$tingy Sailor Pop Top EZ-Lift Kit

Catalina Yachts was a true innovator when they introduced the Catalina 22 back in 1969.  Perhaps the most iconic feature was the optional pop top, which gives much-needed headroom inside the cabin. Extended stops and anchoring out overnight are much easier when you can stand upright in the cabin. In hot climates, the extra ventilation can’t be beat. The pop top turns the C-22 from a daysailer into a more comfortable cruiser. With the addition of the optional snap-on, vinyl curtain, the cabin becomes a weatherproof and insect resistant camper.

The biggest disadvantage of the pop top is its weight. Most female and young crew members can’t raise it. It can even be a struggle for some adult men to push up military press style. Some C-22 owners stop using their pop top because it’s just too difficult.

It doesn’t have to be that way. The $tingy Sailor Pop Top EZ-Lift Kit makes it easy for almost anybody to raise and lower the pop top safely.  It’s a complete kit with all the parts and fasteners you need to install high pressure gas springs under your pre-1986 Catalina 22 pop top. After installation, your pop top is as easy to raise as opening the trunk of your car.  Closing the pop top is not only easier, it’s safer too since it can’t slam down on heads or fingers.

EZ-Lift kit installed

The kit comes with all the parts and fasteners you need to install two high-pressure gas springs to do most of the lifting, one on each side of the pop top. All of the parts are high quality and made for a lifetime of use.

  • American made heavy duty gas springs are black nitride coated for wear and corrosion resistance. They each have three internal seals instead of the single seals found on low quality off-shore springs.
  • Heavy duty plastic end fittings are included as standard. Unbreakable stainless steel end fittings with safety clips are available as an upgrade.
  • Thick stainless steel brackets with 10mm ball studs
  • Stainless steel fasteners (26 pieces) with lock washers and acorn cap nuts for no exposed threads
  • Precision machined aluminum spacers
  • Genuine LOCTITE blue threadlocker
  • Proudly assembled in the USA
You get everything shown (stainless steel end fittings optional)

Detailed step-by-step installation instructions (16 pages) with many photos are included in each kit. The only tools you need are an electric hand drill and basic hand tools. A full money-back 90-day satisfaction guarantee promises that you’ll enjoy your pop top more than ever before.

Note: Installation requires minor modification of two pop top legs and U brackets but does not alter normal operation without the gas springs installed.

Best of all, the price is much less than the competition. So if you’ve wanted to add gas springs to your pop top but cost has been a barrier, this is the kit for you. Enjoy your pop top more than ever before. You can pay more for other pop top lift kits but you can’t buy a better kit at any price, I guarantee it.

Purchase securely with your credit card, debit card, or PayPal balance by clicking one of the buttons below.

Order Here

Pop Top EZ-Lift Kit w/standard end fittings $115 USD BUY NOW
Pop Top EZ-Lift Kit w/stainless steel end fittings $140 USD BUY NOW
Terms: Pre-1986 Catalina 22 only (hull numbers up to 13144). If you are unsure of the year or hull number of your sailboat, inquire in advance. Includes free shipping in the continental USA. Alaska, Hawaii, and international buyers please inquire in advance of purchase. Please allow 1-3 weeks for delivery. For product or shipping inquiries, submit the form here.

To add gas spring convenience to your Catalina 22 or similar sailboat lazarettes, consider the $tingy Sailor Lazarette EZ-Lift Kit.

Owners of other sailboats have asked if this kit can be adapted to fit their sailboat. Although the general principle of this kit should work for similar pop top sailboats, this particular kit is designed only for the pre-1986 C-22 pop top height, weight, attachment points, and geometry. But this kit is just the beginning. If it’s very successful, there will very likely be more kits for other sailboats  so submit your make, model, and year in the Other field of the poll below.

If you don’t have a pre-1986 C-22, I’m currently developing kits for the 1986-1994 C-22 and pre-1989 C-25 models. Knowing  if you would buy one will help me to prioritize their development. So if you’re seriously interested in purchasing a kit for either of these models, please vote for your choice below. You’re under no obligation and you won’t be placing an order yet. Then watch here for further announcements.

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24 Comments Add yours

  1. Ed Bachmann says:

    What would really be cool would be to develop a pop-top with lift springs for a boat like my Venture 21…a replacement for the sliding hatch. I have considered cutting the cabin top to create something akin to the V22 pop-top, but would want to research structural requirements beforehand!

    Thanks for packaging these kits and saving folks the effort to find the components.


  2. Albert Aymer says:

    Dear $tingy,
    Great to see this product. I have a 1985 MacGregor 25 with a pop top. Do you know if the EZ=Lift kit can be adapted for a Mac 25?


    1. Hi, Albert

      Although the general principle of this kit should work for your Mac 25, this particular kit that I’m selling wouldn’t work. It’s designed for a specific pop top height, weight, attachment points, and geometry.

      But this kit is just the beginning. If it’s very successful, there could be more kits for other sailboats and Macs would be good candidates so stay tuned.

      Thanks for your interest,

  3. Terry Goldstein says:

    I would like to have this for use on my 1980 Catalina 25 SK w/pop top (sail #1977). I hope you can work out the details for us C25 people. The “other guys” unit requires dropping the mast. Can this unit be installed without taking the mast down (fingers crossed)?

    1. Hi, Terry

      There have been quite a few votes for a C-25 kit as well as a 1986-1994 C-22 kit so keep your fingers crossed.

      I don’t know why the “other guys” require lowering the mast to install their kit. My kit doesn’t require it and, in fact, I believe leaving it up makes installing the kit easier because you can latch the pop top to the mast to steady it while you install the kit.

      Thanks for asking,

  4. Brian says:

    This kit is awesome! Simple clear instructions with photos and quality components. I can now lift my pop top with one finger! The instructions are for with mast raised but I was able to install with mast down by simply cutting a couple of 2x4s to fit as braces. The clearances are tight (as advised in instructions), but mine did not require readjustment. Thanks Stingy!

    1. I’m glad it works well for you, Brian.

      Thanks for your comment,

  5. Hi, I have just bought a 1978 c22. I’ve noticed on other c22 photos that the pop top seems to stay upright when opened. Mine slides all the way to the mast and beyond ,if it is not rigged. Is something wrong or am I missing a part? I can send photos if needed. thanks

    1. No, yours is normal, William. The pop-top is designed to be stopped by the mast and held there by a sliding stop. For that reason, it shouldn’t be raised when the mast is unstepped.

      1. william holland says:


  6. Ken says:

    Any word on doing one for an 87 C22?

    1. It’s not ready yet. Looking for a guinea pig local to me to test it on.

  7. Damian G. Finch says:

    Anxious to hear how the pop top kit for the 86 C22 is coming along. If you have decided not to develop it, can you point me to an alternative please? Thanks!

    1. Hi, Damian

      The ’86+ kit isn’t ready yet. If you want one now, contact Catalina Direct.

  8. John Tagiuri says:

    I’m interested in a kit for my 1983 C22! Is it true that your kit can be installed with the mast up?
    Also, do you have a good $tingy replacement for the dogs that hold the pop top clamped closed? The competition wants $40 each!!
    Cheers, JT

    1. Hi, John

      Yes, actually the mast cannot be down to install the kit. Also check out Ergonomic Hatch Dog Knobs.


      1. John Tagiuri says:

        Hi $tingy, I just installed the pop top kit. Beautifully designed and executed!! Many thanks!

      2. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I seldom hear back from kit customers about how their experience installing it went.

  9. Rod says:

    I have a 1989 22 . All the photo you show looks like it would work??

    1. Hello, Rod

      I haven’t yet installed a kit on a second generation C-22 so I cannot say for certain whether it would work or not. It might need different fasteners and brackets and I’m not sure if there would be enough clearance for the gas struts and it might need stronger struts. As soon as I either verify that the current kit works or offer a specific kit for the newer boats, you’ll see it here so stay tuned

  10. Dustin says:


    Great post. Any update on the pre 86 c25 model? Would love to get a kit to install on our 79 c25.

    1. Not yet, Dustin, but stay tuned!

  11. For efficiency you might consider a pop top gas strut kit for the Laguna 22 / Windrose 22 / Balboa 22 as they are one in the same …for the most part. Same pop top to be sure. On a stretch, I’ll suggest that the Venture 22 by McGregor, sourced their pop top hardware from the same place and probably used the same pop top design.

  12. If I could test the installation on actual sailboats from those manufacturers, I would expand the compatibility of the kit. But until then, I can only claim compatibility with models that I’ve actually tested. Hence the delay in supporting the C-25 and newer C-22 designs. But thanks for the suggestions, I’ll keep my eyes open for them.

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