FAQ: What Should I Consider When Buying A C14.2?

Discussion in 'Capri/Catalina 14 Talk' started by Bradley, May 8, 2012.

  1. Bradley

    Bradley Administrator Staff Member

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    Before you read any further, we urge you to click on the History page, especially the section on the evolution of the class. Finished? Good, because there's a pop quiz later. (Only kidding...)
    Briefly, the Mod 1s have an open cuddy with a teak door (not very watertight). The Mod 2s have a closed cuddy with a storage box (covered with a canvas panel). And the Mod 3s have an open cuddy with a large, robust plastic hatch, completely watertight.
    The Mod 1/2s have basically the same hull, one that's lighter than the Mod 3s. For that reason, lots of racers prefer them. But the Mod 3 hull is stiffer, which will flex less in a chop. Thus the Mod 1s do slightly better on flat water, but in waves the Mod 3 can have the edge. I race a Mod 3 myself, as do others in my fleet, and we are usually competitive, so the differences seem to be minor.

    Most importantly, the Mod 3s are stronger, more durable, and lots more user-friendly than the Mod 1s and 2. What to look for when evaluating a boat?

    Condition of Hull - Look for gel-coat cracks. A few are okay, but an extensive pattern of cracks could indicate structural damage. Mod 1/2s often have a lot of cracks on the seats. These can get worse - a heavy crew could be be a problem. (Don't laugh!)

    The Mod 1s have some plywood braces between the hull and the cockpit floor. If you can squeeze your upper body into the cuddy, shine a flashlight back there and see if some look like they are deteriorating. If so, that's not good.

    How is the finish? Some older boats with colored hulls will be faded. Some can be buffed out, others are hopeless.

    Was the boat pulled up on beaches? Look for scratches and gouges on the bottom. Minor scratches can be wet-sanded out, gouges must be filled and sanded.

    Rudder and Centerboard - Older boats (Mod 1/2) used foam-filled blades that can be easily damaged. Look for cracks or chunks gouged out of the edges. New blades run about $200 each.
    Make sure the rudder works okay, without bent pintles or gudgeons. See if it pivots okay, and stays pointed straight down when underway.

    See if the centerboard moves freely. Older boats often have turning blocks for the control line that are deteriorated. The ones on the front of the cockpit and on the board itself are easy to replace, but the cheek blocks are hard to get to. I've seen one boat that had the sides of the slot squeezed inward, pinching the board. This was caused by the plywood supports under the floor breaking down. (See above.) If the centerboard doesn't stay down when underway, it needs a new bungee cord, no big deal.

    Rigging - If the shrouds and forestay are several years old, plan on replacing them. It's a minor expense and could prevent a dismasting. Check the tangs, pins, etc. Any that look shaky should be replaced. Running rigging (sheets and halyards) are easily replaced if they look tatty, and it's a good opportunity to use smaller diameter lines, as the original ones are way too thick. Figure on about $100 up, depending on how fancy you want to get with super-no-stretch lines, etc.
    Check the jam cleats. Make sure the cams pivot and snap shut freely and will hold under load.

    Sails - What kind of sailing do you plan to do? If it's an occasional sail with the kids or Aunt Matilda, then the original factory sails are probably okay. The problem with them is they aren't very durable and tend to lose shape. If you're interested in racing, plan on close to $1000 for a competitive set of new sails from one of the major lofts.

    Trailer - Galvanized ones are obviously best, especially in salt water. New ones run $800-1000. In fresh water, a painted trailer is okay, but check it over for rust. Minor rust spots can be sanded out and painted with Rustoleum. Check the wheel bearings and tires. Look for sidewall cracks.

    Prices - Here are typical prices. Keep in mind these numbers don't reflect the condition of the sails. A fairly new set of racing sails can add $500-800 to the value.
    Mod 1s - $500 - $1500 (But really nice ones can be more. I found one that had been kept in a garage since new in 1985, and only sailed five times! A friend was thrilled to snap it up for $2500.)
    Mod 2s - $1000-2500
    Mod 3s - $2000-4000 (But an almost new one can be more. Keep in mind brand new ones can go for as much as $6000 with a galvanized trailer, a cover, and taxes and license.)
    Bottom Line - If you want an inexpensive "starter" boat, a Mod 1/2 should be fine. But if you want a boat to last for a long time, try to get a Mod 3, even though used ones are harder to find.
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  2. Jeremy Becker

    Jeremy Becker Camp Counsellor

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  3. Jeremy Becker

    Jeremy Becker Camp Counsellor

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    What can you tell me about the keel version versus the centerboard version? Does one sail better than another? Is one more stable than the other? Is one faster? Any help would be appreciated.

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