New to sailing - new to the 14.2 - can I do this?

Discussion in 'Capri/Catalina 14 Talk' started by c14_Scott, Jun 14, 2008.

  1. c14_Scott

    c14_Scott New Member

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    Hello! I was looking for a 14 or 15' boat to learn on and settled on a Capri 14.2 that is in great shape. I'm currently making the trailer more road-worthy, but hope to get out on the water soon.

    But frankly, after reading dozens of posts on this forum to learn from you guys, I'm half-way afraid to raise the sails!

    Is it a given that I'm going to turn the boat over? In my mind, it's a mixed message... I see that lots of folks end up overturned and others report sailing for decades without incident. I'd prefer to be one of the latter!

    Here what I'm doing pre-sail. I've replaced all of the lines with each new rope being a different color. I've ordered a Baby-Bob mast float and will not get anywhere near the water until it's installed. I've got years of boating experience in the Chesapeake Bay, but I'll be learning to sail well upriver in relatively protected waters. I will never, NEVER cleat the mainsheet!!!

    I have sailed a small Hobie Cat once and never felt near turning over. But I understand that each type of boat is different.

    Am I going to be able to enjoy this boat once I get the feel of it, or is sailing it going to be a constant "on-the-edge" experience?

    Thanks very much for all that I've already learned from your past posts!
     
  2. JGM

    JGM Member

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    Hi Scott,
    Welcome and relax. Like all small sailboats without a weighted keel, the C-14s only go over when the wind gets a bit wild. On our one incident, the wind went from 11 knots to 23 knots in less than an hour. Yes, we turtled and it was a b*tch getting her back upright. The Bob will prevent turtling and if you're ever up near Bowie, drop in and pick up a bracket for connecting the Bob to the top of your mast. I made a few extra when I made mine.

    There are other strategies for preventing capsize. Reefing the main and/or hauling down the jib work really well. Both can be handled single-handed while on the water by learning to "heave-to". Some sort of tiller dampener is needed like a "Tiller Tamer" or just use a bungie cord. I also installed reef points with Sailrite's Jiffy Reefing kit. You can see pictures of the completed modification here.

    Oddly enough, the C-14 sails pretty well with no jib and a reefed main. I wouldn't intentionally go sailing that way but it's a better alternative to capsizing.

    For my last trick, I've been mulling the idea of lopping a foot off the mast. It's ridiculously tall, no doubt to prevent the boom from bopping some heads on a jibe. All the other small boats I've sailed required ducking, and unless you plan to race, such a modification would contribute a lot to the C-14's stability without sacrificing any speed.

    Hope this helps,
    Jim
     
  3. GML

    GML New Member

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    Sure You Can

    Scott,

    I agree with Jim: you can easily do this.

    It sounds like you are aware of the potential for capsize, have some good ideas about how to prevent it (e.g. mainsheet in hand, watch the wind speed), and will be prepared to recover in the slim chance that a capsize occurs (mast flotation to prevent turtling, life jacket on). You have enough sailing experience. You'll be fine.

    Since you seem oriented towards being prepared, I do have one suggestion: rig a swim ladder from the transom. In the event you end up outside of your boat (in the heat of summer in Southern Ohio, I often jump off mine to go swimming..), a swim ladder will help a lot. There's a lot of freeboard. There's plenty of options here (just read some of the posts). My solution was to rig something from eyebolts through the transom, but there are less invasive methods.

    While I don't think that adding addional reefing is needed, I also agree that just lowering the jib will prevent a capsize in high winds. I rigged a jib downhaul to make that easier, as well as a bungee cord across the deck to hold the jib down. I was pleased to find that she moves to windward pretty well (though slowly) under main alone.

    I've only had one unintentional capsize in five years, but the mast got stuck in the mud and I don't want a repeat of that. I put some styrofoam in the mast during the spring outfitting. I tested it with an intentional capsize last weekend, but it didn't work. I'll probably get a Baby Bob too.

    The Capri 14.2 is a comfortable and pretty forgiving boat under most conditions. I think you'll have fun with it.

    - Greg
     
  4. c14_Scott

    c14_Scott New Member

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    Thanks for the comments, guys. REALLY appreciate it.

    The Baby Bob is installed and my Jiffy Reefing Kit has arrived. I expect the Tiller Tamer next week. So, I'm comfortable that I'm on the way to benefiting from the great suggestions found in the posts here.

    I also picked up a Honda BF2 outboard for getting to and from the dock. After a couple of chips on the transom are repaired, I'll get that installed. It was a real thrill earlier this week to raise both sails and see what the boat was actually going to look like fully rigged for the first time. Very cool. I'm really anxious now to see how well the boat moves along.

    Thanks again for the great pointers!
     
  5. Scott Ethridge

    Scott Ethridge New Member

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    Let us know how it goes. I've had mine out only a handful of times but am really enjoying it.
     
  6. DragonFly

    DragonFly New Member

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    Cut a foot off the mast?

    I guess. All this talk about reefing. I cleat the mainsheet alot but you could just hang onto it and let it out when the wind picks up...I must admit the most wind I've had it out in is about 10 to 15 knots. I need to get the jiffy bob, but I also need a mast cap, which is missing. I was thinking about putting some expanding foam down the mast - anyone have any thoughts about that?

    Three years and I've yet to even have a knock down...knock on wood.
     
  7. Scott Ethridge

    Scott Ethridge New Member

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    how much is a bob? Probably need one too.
     
  8. c14_Scott

    c14_Scott New Member

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    I got mine by phone from a Hobie dealer here in Virginia for $121.30 (total including shipping).

    Hobie part #30115 "Baby Bob"

    Backyard Boats
    2380 Research Court
    Woodbridge, VA 22192
    Phone: 800-227-6132

    http://www.backyardboats.com/

    ... I installed it on the mast with some 1/8" x 2" aluminum from Lowe's.
     
  9. JGM

    JGM Member

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    I inspected the top of our mast after we had our capsize incident. It has what I believe to be the factory installed foam plug right below the main halyard sheave. Since we turtled in a matter of seconds, I don't think the plug provided any buoyancy. Of course, there were some pretty heavy winds pushing the C-14 hull upside down. If you do install the foam, I think capsizing in lighter air might not necessitate installing a Bob. It's hard to say.

    BTW, my mast didn't come with a cap and I'm not sure if that's standard equipment or not. Regardless, water will pour into the mast around the sheave slot even if you find one.

    Hope this helps,
    Jim
     
  10. Scott Ethridge

    Scott Ethridge New Member

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    so how hard is it to right a turtled 14.2?

    The one capsize I had was only that, and we were back underway within 5 minutes. I was QUICK to get on the centerboard, neglecting to check on the other 2 who were with me. Thankfully they were OK and the boat didn't turtle.
     
  11. JGM

    JGM Member

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    I wish I could tell you. Evidently it was too hard for me and a couple of burly motor boaters who stopped by to lend a hand. While they stood on the hull and leaned on the centerboard, I was in the water trying to pull up on anything I could find. At first I thought the boat's mast was stuck in the mud except we were drifting pretty fast. I'd say we drifted at least a 1/4 mile.

    Eventually we were blown into the shallows where the mast caught the bottom and the boat started to right itself. Although it was the worst day I ever had sailing, we were really lucky where we went aground. The perimeter of Round Bay is littered with docks and sailboat moorings, and we managed to miss every one of them. :)

    Jim
     
  12. Scott Ethridge

    Scott Ethridge New Member

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    Great! I can't wait!:eek:
     
  13. kentth

    kentth Member

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    I capsized and turtled the first time out, that was almost a year ago. First of all make sure you cuddy door is on tight, mine wasn't. On my lake we have a lot of gusting winds, it can blow 10 gusting 20, or 21 or 22. Makes things real interesting.

    We were sailing in a wind 13 gusting 21, went over, and turtled. The cuddy door came off and we filled with water, center board strap broke and of course the center board folded up into the hull. My friend and I are both excellent swimmers, I dove under the boat got the center board out, and then was able to grab the shrouds, pull the mast to the surface, so we could turn it over. A motor boater stopped and all we needed, since the boat was full of water, was to put both of us on the center board and the motor boater just flipped the end of the mast up, and the boat righted.

    Once you get the mast on the surface and weight on the center board, you just need a little help on the end of the mast to get it back up right. The boat will sail full of water, not great but it will sail.

    Kent
     
  14. Mooseman

    Mooseman New Member

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    OK to sail Mr. Hobie


    If you sailed a Hobie Cat without any problems, you probably won't have any trouble with the 14.2. Just remain sharp, with mainsheet in hand, especially when the winds pick up. Experience can mitigate risks if you are a seasoned sailor, unless you are lazy like me. At my age I want a sailing barge that will heel 2 degrees in a 20 knot wind. But if you're young and quick....go for it.

    Happy sailing.......Mooseman
     
  15. Scott Ethridge

    Scott Ethridge New Member

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    Mooseman, I thought you were done with the 14.2? Your comment about heeling 2 degrees in 20 kinda explains some of your earlier posts. No hard feelings. Did you sell your boat or do you still have it? What are you asking for it? After my capsize with my daughter (first time out for her) my wife has asked me to go out solo to get used to the boat. I can do that! Thanks honey! Anyway..., subsequent sails have been fun and exciting. I feel much more comfortable each time I go out.

    Scott, let us know how it goes dude!
     
  16. JGM

    JGM Member

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    Interesting perspective. It always seemed to me the C-14 was a middle of the bay kind of boat. Not too frisky and not too dull. If I want dull, I go out on my inlaws 26 footer. Talk about boring. Motor out of the harbor, tack back and forth a few times, sip the latest Pinot Noir.

    Groan. Give me a boat with a planing hull, like the Capri, every time.

    But, as you say, if I were young and quick again, instead of 50+ with a bad back, this is what I would be sailing...

    [​IMG]

    These are International Moth Class hydrofoils and state of the art for small sailboats. They're having their world championships in a few days - something I look forward to reading about every year. Can you believe it? These little puppies are pushing 30 knots!!!!

    Ahhhh...to be young and quick again. :(
    Jim
     
  17. fish89

    fish89 New Member

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    Done Yet?

    Mooseman, I must agree with Scott's post, how much longer are you going to keep hanging onto this site? You have already made it painfully clear to everyone on the forum how you really feel about your Capri (though you never sailed it). I must say that I enjoy the challenge and fun I have sailing mine as do most of the others on the forum too I suspect. Just like driving, if I wanted to just "lumber along in the slow lane" I'd probably own a minivan or something, but I enjoy the thrill that my Z gives me. Sell the boat already and start posting on a Hunter or similar website. (No offense to any Hunter owners out there (used to have a 22'), but if I ever buy a bigger sailboat again, it will have to be a J-Boat!) This forum is for those who enjoy the DYNAMICS of an "engaged" sailing experience! Otherwise I'd just sit at home on the couch and watch TV. :)
     
  18. Rankin

    Rankin New Member

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    Righting

    Practice and the MOST important line on the boat! I too was a little afraid of a capsize. The first year I had my boat I deliberately and repeatedly capsized her in controlled conditions with help nearby. I quickly learned to rig a line from the Barney post to aid in up righting her. This line, no more than 10 feet in length with one loop strategically placed so as to get one foot into the loop and climb back into the boat. The addition of several knots along the line make the retrieval a little easier. After a capsize, un cleat and un tangle all sheets. Through the line rigged from the Barney post over the upward side and swim around the boat. Place feet (toes) on submerged gunnel and pull the rigged line. It's really that simple. Try to pull slowly as the mast comes up to prevent it from going over to the other side. If you have crew with you, they should be scooped up with this righting and will aid in keeping the boat stable. Depending of how agile you are you may of may not need assistance getting back into the boat. I'm 49 years old and 230 pounds, hence the foot loop. You may try several times to get the loop where you like it. It will be lower than you think. Even I can easily get back into the boat this way. If all this is done quickly you will prevent turtling, but if it does, not to worry, the same procedure will right the boat. Make sure the line is long enough to go all the way over the hull to opposite gunnel and a little beyond. If turtled, it does require a knee on the gunnel to start the boat coming over, but once started it's exactly the same procedure. Don't forget to scoop up crew if you have one. Sure all of this easier in calm winds without chop nipping at you while you work, but I've done it in 15-20 knot winds just to be sure. MAKE sure all sheets are free to run before attempting or you will have a boat ready to sail off as it comes up. I now regularly sail solo and am prepared to recover from a capsize. I've been sailing this boat since 1987 and have only gone over once by accident and that was to windward! That's a long story but it was basically from completely letting go of sheets during a puff and both of us were on the weather side and couldn't scramble quickly enough to balance the boat. It was only after righting and sailing off red faced that it occurred to me just what happed.

    Rankin
     
  19. rkrebill

    rkrebill Member

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    Practice

    Scott: Sometime when the water is warm and you have support nearby and PFD on, and are in a good location near shore, have the centerboard down, and no motor, you might want to practice a capsize recovery. Get your weight over on the side till it goes over. As you go over or when you and your crews heads bob up, uncleat both the jib and especially the mainsheet. Don't put weight on mast which accelerates a turtle. Captain swim around to centerboard, reach up pull it down into the water (it may need all your weight). As the boat starts to come upright again, the crew on the opposite side can reach in and grab one of the hiking straps and get pulled into the cockpit if they know what they are doing. The one on the centerboard needs to grab onto the boat before it drifts away, then needs to climb in over the stern. It pays to have a rope step preattached to the stern end of the hiking strap that you can reach from your spot in the water, and place in the water to help you get some lift. Also the crew if in the cockpit can give a pull, or if in the water can give a shove. First one in needs to get control of boat so it doesn't get away or get into worse predicaments. If a capsize happens when you least want it, its nice to know that you really can recover, and there is no better way to know that than to practice a bit.

    Also, especially if you are over 200 lbs you can easily capsize by standing on the deck a foot or more off to the side of the mast with no crew aboard. My first unintentional capsize happened this way, right at the dock in about 55 degree water. My second and fourth happened while racing and pushing a bit too hard in gusty winds (you really need to watch out for those wind shadows produced by the spinnakers of larger boats-- its real tough if you are hiked out only to find suddenly there is no wind in your sail to hold you), and my third happened when hit by a "dust devil". Only once turtled and afterward found that the masthead foam plug was leaky.
     
  20. sk8marie

    sk8marie New Member

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    2-Cents Worth

    1) Spend some time sailing in the morning or whenever it's calm to get used to the boat.

    2) Keep the boat flat. If it's too hard to do solo, ease the main as necessary. It heels over pretty far before it flips so unless there are really strong gusts, you should have plenty of time to respond.

    3) As a last resort, I'd do without the jib. It handles funny, though.

    Have fun!
     

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