Light, slim and fast, the Pointer 22 is a no-nonsense day-sailer-cum-weekender, says David Harding

Product Overview

Pointer 22


Pointer 22: the refreshingly simple trailer-sailer

Price as reviewed:


Given the number of trailerable day-sailers and weekenders on the market, you might think there’d be little room for any more.

After all, we already have everything from high-performance one-designs (the J/70, Melges 24 and RS21, for example) to versatile cruiser/racers such as Buckley Yacht Designs’ BTC 22 and the Seascape 24, now taken over by Beneteau and sold as the First 24 SE.

Two men on a boat

The Pointer 22 is designed for ‘sitting in’ rather than sportsboat-style hiking. Credit: David Harding

Those who favour a more traditional approach might be drawn to the Cornish Shrimpers, or perhaps one of Swallow Yachts’ BayRaiders or BayCruisers.

Then of course there are the Polish contenders, though many trailer-sailers from Poland have come and gone in recent decades, leaving the Viko 21 among the few that are currently represented in the UK.

Pointer 22: keeping it easy

So, you might ask, is there really a gap? Well, let’s say you want something that’s very much a day-sailer, with a large, open cockpit, a fully-retractable centreplate for minimal draught and easy launching, and a small cabin for stowing your kit, using a chemical loo and perhaps sleeping aboard from time to time.

You’re not interested in ‘trad appeal’ and you want good performance without the inconvenience of a vertically-lifting T-bulb keel or buying into the world of the one-design sportsboat.

A Pointer 22 boat being sailed by two men off the coast

With the wind just abaft the beam, the Pointer 22 surfed readily down the smallest harbour waves. Credit: David Harding

This is where the Pointer 22 comes in, and there’s a lot about her to make you sit up and take note.

She owes much to her bigger sister, the Pointer 25, designed by Van de Stadt.

The builder, Yachtwerf Heeg in the Netherlands, has a long association with Van de Stadt and still builds the Randmeer – the 21ft open racer/daysailer that, in cabin form, later evolved into the Pandora.

Performance of the Pointer 22

The Pointer certainly has a pedigree, but what about the boat herself? It’s obvious at a glance that she’s designed to sail.

There’s no bloated, high-volume hull with towering topsides to create volume down below.

Instead, you see a slim, pretty hull with minimal freeboard and a vestigial coachroof that hints at a modicum of cabin space.

Abaft this she’s all cockpit, so the emphasis is clearly on day-sailing and outdoor living.

The rig isn’t particularly big, because it doesn’t need to be.

With a sailing weight of just 1,650lb (750kg if you’re Dutch) and such a slippery-looking hull, the Pointer 22 clearly doesn’t need a lot of sail.

Lines from a sail on a boat

The mainsheet is a simple 4:1 purchase. Credit: David Harding

The fact that the mast is stepped on a low coachroof atop a low hull helps keep the sail plan’s centre of effort low, which in turn means that she shouldn’t need deep draught or a lot of ballast.

With the 400lb (180kg) centreplate down, the draught is a modest 3ft 7in (1.1m).

That’s less than many dinghies, and reflects the fact that there’s a lot of shallow water in the Netherlands.

An equally important part of the design is that the ballast is in the form of a pivoting centreplate (iron encapsulated in GRP) rather than a vertically-lifting daggerboard, so it would give if you hit something.

What’s more, with the plate fully raised, the Pointer 22 will float in just 12in (30cm) of water.

For sure, a taller rig combined with deeper draught and/or more ballast would create a more powerful boat, but the emphasis is on ‘less is more’ and on keeping everything light, low and simple.

The blades of the twin rudders, angled well outboard as you would expect, slide vertically through cassette stocks so they can still be used for manoeuvring in shallow water.

That’s more of a challenge with hinging blades.

A man wearing a lifejacket smiling at the tiller of a boat

At the helm, there’s a good amount of space abaft the mainsheet. Credit: David Harding

Despite the light weight, shallow draught, modest rig and suitability for trailing, the Pointer 22 appears not to have been designed as a regular trailer-sailer in the sense that she doesn’t come with all the kit you might expect for easy raising, lowering and stowing of the mast.

Or at least she didn’t when I tested her, but that’s something that the UK dealer, Hein Kuiper – who, coincidentally, is also from the Netherlands – is working on.

For our test, Hein already had the boat out of the water, so he trailed her to Poole.

This meant I could see how everything went together, which it did simply enough using some of the systems that Hein had either developed himself or borrowed from other trailer-sailers that he sells under the Boats On Wheels banner (including Astus trimarans and the BTC 22).

When these have all been refined and made available as a kit, there’s no reason why rigging and launching shouldn’t be a slick operation.

Launching forth

From arriving at the slipway to being ready to launch took just under two hours. It would have been a good deal quicker had one of the bottlescrews not snagged as the mast went up and needed some first-aid.

The rig then had to be tensioned in the normal manner once the forestay was attached, so we wound down the caps to put some pre-bend in the mast while keeping it central and straight laterally.

Then we took up the slack on the lowers. With a square-top main and no backstay, it was unlikely that the lowers would ever come under any meaningful load.

Without a rig-tension gauge to hand, we had to guess when we had it about right. Between us and our helpers on the slipway at Parkstone Yacht Club, we had experience of rigging and tweaking everything from dinghies and keelboats to offshore racing yachts, so we reckoned we weren’t far out with our settings.

A man raising the mast on a Pointer 22 trailer sailer

Raising the mast can be managed single-handed with the help of a gin-pole and a 6:1 purchase. Credit: David Harding

If you didn’t have a furling headsail, it would be quicker to leave the caps and lowers pre-set and then apply the tension via the forestay.

After that, launching was straightforward. The Pointer’s light weight and wide transom means that the stern immerses only a few inches as the boat slides off the trailer, so you should be able to get away with dry hubs even on a slipway of fairly gentle gradient.

Auxiliary power for motoring out of the marina was provided on our test boat by an ePropulsion electric outboard.

Otherwise, a petrol alternative of 2.5hp to 4hp would be ample.

If you go down the electric route you’ll find the small locker right aft in the cockpit just big enough for a spare battery.

Two men launching a Pointer 22 sailer trailer boat from a trolley on a slipway

An abundance of rollers help the boat slide on and off the trailer easily. The wheel hubs can often stay dry. Credit: David Harding

On the day of our test, we had a brisk westerly in Poole Harbour that nudged 20 knots on occasions and meant that a slab in the main upwind was the order of the day.

The Pointer 22 heels readily, but is so easily driven that there’s no reason not to tuck in a reef as early as you like.

She’s happy to sail at 20° to 25° of heel, staying light on the helm and well balanced, so it’s principally a question of comfort.

With a tide to consider and a log that was under-reading by about 50%, it was a matter of estimating our speeds.

Polar data suggests about 5 knots upwind in 10 knots true, quickly building to over 7 knots on a reach under the cruising equivalent of a Code 0.

We reckoned we had a good 5 knots upwind and over 8 when semi-surfing down the small harbour waves after unrolling the Code 0, the drum of which is taken to the end of the moulded bowsprit.

Maintaining balance

Even when hard-pressed on a three-sail reach, the Pointer rarely showed any signs of misbehaving.

While she’s unlikely to see big waves on the inland waters of her home patch, she should be great fun downwind in open water and I would expect double-figure speeds to appear readily.

The twin rudders provided plenty of grip and kept her on track as we gybed the angles to keep her sizzling.

We would have been able to sail a good deal deeper with the 300ft2 (28m2) gennaker, at the expense of power at closer angles.

You pays your money and takes your choice. Or pay a bit more and have both.

The compaionway of a boat

Lines at the mast are led aft over the coachroof or can easily be reached from the cockpit or companionway. Credit: David Harding

Everything works quite nicely at the helm.

You have plenty of space abaft the mainsheet which, on our test boat, was a 4:1 purchase taken from about two-thirds of the way aft along the boom to a block and cleat on a moulded upstand on the cockpit sole.

The absence of a traveller limits control over the angle of the boom in light airs and, significantly, over leech tension in both light and heavy conditions.

If fitting a traveller was impractical, I’d be tempted to rig up a bridle at the stern (not currently shown as an option, but available).

Apart from anything else, it would call for less purchase on the sheet, minimising friction and the sheet’s length.

To eliminate the need for winches, the Pointer 22 uses 2:1 purchases on the jib sheets and the main halyard.

A boat with a blue deck sailing

A 2:1 purchase on the jib sheets avoids the need for winches. Credit: David Harding

A Cunningham would be useful on the main as it might not be easy to increase halyard tension under way.

At the helm, you have the full width of the side decks for getting your weight outboard, and a stainless steel foot-brace to help you stay there.

Forward of the mainsheet is a seat inboard of the decks on each side for the working crew and any passengers, long enough for at least two people.

The foot blocks and cleats for the jib sheets are mounted well aft, allowing control from the helm, so you could sail the boat single-handed and leave the crew further forward to relax and enjoy the ride.

To this end, padded tubular backrests for the seats can be slotted in.

A Pointer 22 boat with yellow sails being sailed by two men off the coast

Downwind performance can be spiced up with the cruising equivalent of a Code 0, or a gennaker for deeper angles. Credit: David Harding

In gentle conditions, you could sail with them in place, but we wouldn’t have wanted them in the breeze we had because they’d be in the way and stop you getting your weight out on the side decks.

What would be handy is a foot-brace in the middle of the cockpit, because your legs won’t reach the leeward seat if you’re sitting on the deck and otherwise you find yourself sliding inboard when the boat heels.

On a light, sporty boat like the Pointer 22, crew weight makes an appreciable difference.

In any event, it feels only natural for most people – especially anyone with a dinghy-sailing background – to sit on the high side when there’s any wind.

This is when you could really use something to stop you doing a back-flip out of the boat: there’s nothing outboard to lean against, or inboard to anchor your feet.

Staying aboard

Sportsboats typically have low guardwires along the cockpit, either to act as backrests if there’s a ‘no hiking’ rule (as on the RS21), or to allow the crew to hike (J/70).

Other ‘no hikers’, such as the Cork 1720 and Laser SB3 (now the SB20) have low stainless steel ‘bum-rails’ along the gunwale.

A boat like the Pointer 22 is intended for more leisurely sailing and, that apart, any form of guardwire might be out of keeping with the simple, open nature of the design.

Sail and accommodation plan on the Pointer 22

Sail and accommodation plan on the Pointer 22

From my brief experience of the boat, I think I’d favour a removable central foot-brace with toe-straps or a bar that you could simply hook your feet under.

Alternatively, do what you’re probably supposed to do and stay on the seat rather than out on the deck.

As befits a boat of this nature, the cockpit is relatively shallow and drains straight through the transom.

Cockpit comfort is provided by seat cushions and the colour-matched backrests, while a boom-tent can be fitted to extend the useable space for camper-cruising.

Continues below…

If you’re keen to get the best performance from the boat, you would want to find a way to reduce forestay sag.

Our leeward cap shroud never went loose, suggesting that we had enough rig tension, but the forestay still sagged noticeably.

Although the Pointer’s square-top main is more efficient than a pin-head, and provides more area for a given mast height, the absence of a backstay makes it harder to maintain forestay tension unless you have more sweep-back on the caps than most monohulls are going to want.

On sportsboats without backstays – the Hunter 707, for example – forestay tension is maintained partly through leech tension on the main, which calls for a traveller and, in heavy weather, a powerful vang (kicking strap) too.

Given that the Pointer 22 is intended to be sporty yet simple, perhaps we shouldn’t be too critical when it comes to rig control.

Just set your tensions, follow the basic rules of tuning and sail setting according to the conditions, reef as early as you need to and enjoy sailing a fast, responsive, rewarding and undemanding boat.

Keep it simple

Below decks, there’s more space than you might expect. You can raise and lower the centreplate by leaning in through the companionway from the cockpit and winding the winch.

It works smoothly, and the system looks and feels nicely engineered.

A downhaul line can be tensioned if you want to make sure the plate stays down, while the lifting ‘cable’ is in the form of webbing.

If you want to lie down, you can.

The inside of a Pointer 22 trailer sailer boat

There’s a surprising amount of space below decks. Low seats provide sitting headroom and there’s even room for a chemical toilet. Credit: David Harding

The V-berth forward of the compression post is 6ft 7in (2m) long, and what you might call the ‘settee berths’ in the saloon extend under the cockpit seats and are 7ft 2in (2.2m) long.

A chemical loo will fit beneath the cockpit and can be slid out for use. Given the maximum headroom of 3ft 3in (0.94m), you can either crouch, or poke your head out through the hatch.

Thankfully there’s no headlining or hullside lining.

A winch used to control a downhaul line on a boat

The centerplate’s uphaul webbing is taken to a winch on top of the case, above the downhaul line. Credit: David Harding

The insides of the mouldings are simply flow-coated and the fastenings for the fittings and chainplates are easy to reach.

The ‘keep it simple’ approach is evident throughout.

This is a light, fast, unpretentious and uncomplicated little boat that really does appear to fill a gap in the market.

For daysailing and weekending in harbours or on lakes, rivers and estuaries – perhaps with the odd race if you’re so inclined – the Pointer 22 should be a lot of fun.


Hull Length:6.50m (21ft 4in)
Beam:2.20m (7ft 3in)
Draught:t (centreplate up) 0.30m (1ft 0in) (centreplate down) 1.10m (3ft 7in)
Weight: 750kg (1,650lb)
Ballast:180kg (386lb)
Sail Area: (main & jib) 23.0m2 (248ft2)
Motor:Outboard 2-4hp
Headroom:0.95m (3ft 3in)
Designer & Builder:Yachtwerf Heeg
UK Distributor:BoatsOnWheels