Just bought 14.2 mod II / Sailing Charlotte Harbor FL

Discussion in 'Capri/Catalina 14 Talk' started by groberts111, Jun 28, 2011.

  1. groberts111

    groberts111 New Member

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    I just bought a 1992 14.2 and am currently in the process of preparing for fun times sailing it on Charlotte Harbor (Punta Gorda FL). I'm really glad to see a forum such as this exists for discussions pertaining to this particular boat! I've printed C14 handbook available on this forum and am reading the whole thing in the interest of getting off to the right start. Any advice anyone may have in addition to content of this guide they consider as noteworthy for safe fun successful C14 operation would be greatly appreciated :)
     
  2. gregwcoats

    gregwcoats Member

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    Three things come to mind. Wear your lifejacket at all times, install a masthead float (such as a Baby Bob) and install a boarding ladder. You are going to end up in the water someday, the Baby Bob will keep (or at least help) the boat from turtling and the boarding ladder will help you get back aboard the boat.
     
  3. Allatoona

    Allatoona Member

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    See if you can find a local sailing club, you can find other people to go out sailing with and local folks know the weather/marinas/etc...

    Practice capsizing drills with anyone that you will be sailing with. This will let you all know what to expect if/when you capsize, and how to get back into the boat. I ran some webbing through a drain hole and use it for a rope ladder to get back into the boat.

    Get out and sail the boat, this is the best way to figure out what works and doesn't work for you. Have fun and enjoy.

    -Robert
    1989 Capri 14.2
    1984 Catalina 22
     
  4. woodbark

    woodbark Member

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    AND .... make sure your Standing Rigging is secure at the Mast and Deck attachment points, screws etc. tightened. Dropping your mast while sailing is not fun, this forum has a few such incidents described in detail.

    I never thought of doing this until one of the members on this forum had his mast fall over and totally mangled the step and deck :eek: not a pretty sight. Sure enough, when I checked my boat, quite a few if the screws were starting to come loose.
     
  5. gone4sailin

    gone4sailin Member

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    I'd suggest buying a good, waterproof cover. Florida weather is tough on everything, so try to even keep the sun off your trailer tires. I use the heavyweight truck tarps, but they are a bear to wrestle with. When I was looking to buy a boat, I saw many examples of boats that had lost a $1000 of value b/c their owners were too cheap to buy a $120 cover. :(
     
  6. fan

    fan Member

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    Make sure the mast step is not through bolted as it will tear up the deck if you drop your mast while sailing. Wood screws not nut and bolt. My 2 cents.
     
  7. casatroy

    casatroy New Member

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    Turtling Adventure

    After a couple of years of never dumping the boat, I dumped our 14.2 a couple of weeks ago. Can't believe how ill-prepared we were. To echo the above:
    1) WEAR YOUR VEST, the time I spent trying to get the vest on was long enough for the boat to turtle.
    2) INSTALL A STIRRUP at the transom. It was a challenge to climb on the hull, very thankful for the optional motor mount on my boat, I was able to get one finger into the CB slot and climb up. I was sort of surprised that the boat came back to horizontal w/o much trouble. It was only with the help of the collapsible pole we had on board that my wife was able to push the mast up to get the boat back to vertical. This is all in a brisk wind that is pushing the boat while were trying to get back in.
    I made a simple stirrup by tying a boline knot into a loop w/ a 5" piece of PVC in the loop for a step. This will help getting onto the hull or back in the boat.
    I am sorry to add that despite no less than 40 people nearby, not one came to our assistance. They must have thought I was a great sailor just going through a drill! We were able to get back in the boat by tying the lines from the tiller ( I have no idea what that cruise control device on the tiller is called) to create a step.
    I am 60 years old and my wonderful wife of 34 years is 58. We were proud of ourselves for the self-rescue, somewhat appalled at the indifference of our fellow sailors, and we are interested in getting a mast float.
    Where does one buy such a float?

    Hull #3786
     
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  8. Allatoona

    Allatoona Member

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    Good news you and your wife survived. That's why I always suggest everyone practice capsizing drills with their crew, so everyone knows what to expect and more importantly.... how to get back into the boat.

    I turtled once and found it was not difficult to get the boat back upright. No one stopped for help, but I was alone and righted the boat quickly.

    There are good folks on the water, last year I was sailing a very old Hobie Cat and didn't know that the hull was in bad shape. I was skippering with 2 of my 16 yr old Sea Scouts and my 11yr old son. After 2 hours of sailing we had a hull failure and we were moving around 16 mph at the time. The front 6' of the port hull buckled and turned in 90 degrees. The boat started over and rolled forward, I ended up on the high side and jumped off onto the mainsail. I could hear my son screaming so I knew he was ok -- we all were wearing PFD's. The boat turtled pretty quickly.

    We had 6 powerboats stop and offer help, one powerboat towed us back to shore with me and another standing on the underside of the turtled trampoline. Lesson for the day for me... inspect boats before you sail them, especially ones that you haven't sailed before.

    -Robert
     
  9. no4j

    no4j New Member

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    Home-Made Mast Float

    OK. This is not going to set well with the folks that like cool looking boats. Here's what I did.

    I bought 2 swim noodles at Walmart. Cut them up into 6-inch pieces. Stuffed them into a net pouch and I attached that to the main halyard hardware at the attach point with the top of the main sail. Total cost: $6.00. Works like a champ. I would not use it in a race but it really doesn't matter when I'm day sailing with the wife. It has no noticeable negative affect. Usually in organized racing, there is a chase (safety) boat. So the need for the mast float is really diminished.

    It has the added benefit of having everyone ask questions.

    Dave
     
  10. woodbark

    woodbark Member

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    Dave, 2 swim noodles is enough to float the whole boat :p You will never turtle even if someone was standing on the end of the mast. Swim noodles are a great idea and you have a choice of colours as well.

    I use a clear plastic jug, properly sealed and securely tied to the top but not rigidly so it flops around a bit in the wind, I do make a point of inspecting it before I step the mast.
     
  11. groberts111

    groberts111 New Member

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    Thanks everyone for responding to my inquiry with a lot of good advice to help make a good safe start sailing my "new" 1992 capri 14.2! :)

    Funny thing to me to do with advice on "wearing a lifejacket at all times" is that I know one might rightfully contend this should be an absoute imperative no matter what that is, nevertheless, easy not to follow. Case in point: sailing a hobie 21' with a couple other friends a few weeks ago, we're all good swimmers, there's hardly any wind as we started and in irons at times sitting in calm water, temperature over 90F and amidst swarms of lovebugs - an uncomfortable setting without compounding by donning lifejacket! It was certainly more comfortable and relatively low risk not having our lifejackets on under these conditions but trouble with this was that conditions changed a short time later and there we were tightened up in nice afternoon seabreeze, hiked out, flying a hull doing probably close to 20 knots! At that particular point we should have absolutely had our lifejackets on but we didn't. I'm thinking the moral to this story may be a matter of highlighting importance of maintaining greater awareness of changing conditions and being disciplined enough to adjust along the way. Then again, maybe it's just a good idea to simply wear your lifejacket all the time... ;-)

    Fortunately we didn't capsize the hobie that day but we could have easily! I've been doing a lot of reading on this forum and the reality of potential for capsizing and turtling capri 14.2 is very clear to me at this point. I've seen many references to using a masthead float to prevent turtling (such as a Baby Bob, empty plastic jugs, bundled Wal-Mart noodle pieces etc... ;-). I've also seen some commentary about using close cell foam inside mast. I believe there's also some reference to this within handbook downloadable from this site. One thing I'm curious about is why the foam plug already in place inside at top of mast isn't sufficient to keep mast buoyant enough to prevent turtling assuming plug in mast makes it watertight? Is the Baby Bob or whatever other option is chosen intended as an added degree of insurance that GUARANTEES the boat won't turtle? Should the Baby Bob be used in conjunction with the foam? In many places the depth of the water in Charlotte harbor where I'm located is very shallow and turtling could very well mean that the masthead gets stuck in the mud. Several years ago I was sailing a simple little polyethylene boat with a single roller furling main sail (Ie., an "Escape"), capsized, turtled with masthead stuck in the mud such that getting the boat righted in that case first meant maneuvering the boat around so wind would help mast unlodge from the mud...as opposed to wind serving to drive it further into the mud. So I know what turtling is all about and really want to avoid this if at all possible. I'll certainly do controlled capsizing drills to gain a good comfort/confidence level but any other commentary on the finer points for turtling avoidance would be appreciated.

    I've been thinking I would simply use the "poor man's" swim ladder (line with a stirrup in the end) documented in the handbook and discused in this forum but some other alternatives referenced here are interesting to consider. I guess what's right for me will become apparent when I've actually gained some experience on the water. I'll start with simple option. I just rigged boat today, stood the mast up, attached jib line, other rigging, inspected hardware and attachments (as George advised) etc... Ie., still getting familiar with boat and prepping for maiden voyage.

    Jim suggested ideas of protecting boat from intense sun here in SW FL which I know is excellent advice having been a resident here for 20+ years and familiar with harsh affect of sun. I think my C14 has spent most of its life up north and has been stored inside. Everything seems to be in very good shape. I think the sails must be original and based on my uninformed inexperienced inspection would say they're in good shape; ie., no holes, chafing, fraying or any deterioration of stitching etc... An experienced sailor friend of mine mentioned something to me about the concept of sails being "blown out", baggy or stretched so they're not completely flat thereby reducing performance and I wonder whether that can be an issue with sails on these little boats? Particularly in the the case of my older 1992 boat assuming the sails are original? I'm thinking this is probably more a consideration for sails on much larger heavier boats?
     
  12. baurand

    baurand New Member

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  13. Ed Conrad

    Ed Conrad New Member

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    I just found your posts and replies. I have a new Catalina Expo 14.2 (same as a Capri hull). I will be spending a month in Punta Gorda in Feb. 2013 and I'm interested in your experiences sailing there for more than a year. I'll be launch from Ponce De Leon park. Looking at charts, the harbor looks fairly shallow. I've already had the joy of getting my mast stuck in the muck on a shallow lake in Wisconsin. What is the bottom of the harbor like? The mast on the Expo is carbon fiber and floats by itself so I'm not sure how I managed to get the boat over far enough to get the mast stuck, but I did so I'm concerned about the same thing happening in Charlotte Harbor. The Expo has a single sail and furls around the mast. Many of the suggestions about flotation simply do not work because of the solid mast and no real masthead to attach anything. I will be practicing capsizing and recovery when I get there, but any tips you have as a local sailor would be helpful.
     
  14. groberts111

    groberts111 New Member

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    Hello Ed: I've had a few learning and character building experiences sailing my 14.2 capri in Charlotte Harbor last year or so. You mentioned your plan to launch from Ponce De Leon park so I'm assuming you have a kicker bracket and small motor on your boat. Otherwise it could be a little tricky sailing directly from boat ramp there - deep water well over your head and not much room to maneuver from ramp at ponce inlet into harbor. An alternative place to launch I recommend considering is from Gilcrist park. It's located along Retta Esplanade in Punta Gorda. The city recently completed a "hand launch only" ramp designed for small watercraft including day sailers such as your expo and my capri. My 14.2 capri sits on a small trailer in my garage and I have a hand dolly I use to walk trailer down the ramp to launch from this facility after quick 2 mile tow there via truck. I have a motor bracket on my capri and a small outboard but have never used this setup yet and really don't want to because it represents one more complexity in the way of quickly being underway. A motor on small 14.2 capri hull seems a little unwieldy to me, there's high potential of capsizing and I don't want to be concerned about that motor mounted on bracket. When you launch from the "hand launch" ramp you don't need the motor as it's easy to sail away and back to base of ramp as this ramp is pretty much right on the shore of the harbor. I know about capsizing - been there done that! I haven't turtled boat (yet) and it's not for using any kind of float mounted to top of mast. Rather, many places in harbor it's impossible to turtle since it's so shallow. I think one time I capsized mast may have gotten into muck a bit but it was pretty easy to right the boat using center board as leverage, swimming hull to a point downwind from where mast was pointed, be sure and release main sheet before attempting to right boat etc... I use short length of line with a loop in the end as method of getting back in after boat is righted. It seems to me the key after capsizing is to stay cool and just step through relatively short list of fundamentals for getting boat upright. I remember once I capsized a small "Escape" which sounds similar to your boat in that sail rolls to/from mast. The mast went into the muck and I had difficulty getting it unstuck until I figured out that I needed to swim the hull in a direction so that current and wind would aid in getting mast unstuck; i.e., pulling it out of muck as opposed to helping to drive into muck. There's quite an active sailing community here and if you head down to the park where the "hand launch" ramp is at there's a good chance you'll run into other guys sailing boats similar to yours who will provide additional tips/advice. Have fun in February!
     
  15. Ed Conrad

    Ed Conrad New Member

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    Thanks for the information about Charlotte Harbor. I was there last February so I am somewhat familiar with the area. I do have an electric trolling motor that I would use to get out to the river from Ponce De Leon. It should be easy to remove it and store in the cutty once I'm on the water. I'll check out the Gilcrist park launch. I do have access to a dolly, but there is only so much I can pack in the SUV I'll be using to get the boat to Punta Gorda. My trailer does have a wheel in front, but I'm not sure how much effort it would take to pull it and the boat out of the water (getting it in should be easy). I'll make the decision about this when I get there.

    I owned a larger boat (a 19 foot O'day ) which had an 8 horse outboard. The lake I usually sail on had two features that made an outboard a good idea. First, the wind tended to die in the late afternoon. Second, it was not unusual for storms to blow up. The motor gave more security. Are either of these things likely in Charlotte Harbor. If they are, I might invest in a 2-1/2 hp outboard for added safety.

    You can e-mail me directly at <edconrad@sbcglobal.net>
     

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