My first boat being VERY similar to a regular 14.2 (the JY14, now the Hunter 140) I would like to suggest the 14.2 as a first boat over the Expo. Once you learn the basics of sailing you will be so glad you opted for the 14.2 over the Expo.
Jib sails (the small sail on the front of the boat) are so much fun to play with and help you sail toward the wind better than the Expo could ever do without the jib.
Also, there are LOADS of people sailing 14.2's all around the country to share stories/tips with. I think I can pretty much guarantee you that once you are comfortable sailing the Expo (which will be almost immediately as there is not too much to learn) and THEN sail on someone's regular 14.2 you will wish you had bought one of those. There are also a lot more regular 14.2's around for you to be able to pick one up second-hand at a good price.
I sailed my (Hunter equivalent) of the 14.2 solo for 5 years before I changed to a different boat, a Com-Pac Picnic Cat (no jib) and then after one year back to a Catalina 16.5 WITH a jib, sort of the older brother to the 14.2.
This is just my 2 cents worth but don't take my word for it. Let someone take you for a sail in a 14.2 and see if it seems so hard to get the hang of.
These are just my thoughts and experiences, but there you go. I hope this helps. Let us know what you decide, find and experience. ~ Les
Les makes several good points, Greg. If you search in this forum, you will find several people who routinely sail the 14.2 single handed (me included). But gets intimidating in high wind situations. I have been standing at the shore many times cursing because the wind is a stronger than I am comfortable with, and I think the Expo might be better in these situations. Worse yet is when I am already out and the wind comes up to a level where I am uncomfortable, and sometimes I get scared. Others in this forum are braver than I and go out no matter what, and I've been impressed with their stories.
I find that a roller furling jib makes it pretty easy to sail single handedly. I do wish, however, that I also had a roller furling mainsail because sometimes it is better to sail with full jib and less main, and reefing while underway is hard to do (at least it is for me).
I sailed my first 14.2 this past Saturday. Winds got up to 20 kts. I only used the jib and this particular model has a 200 lb. lead keel under it. I thought it sailed really well. I was suprised at how wel.
Wow! I had to go verify that at the Catalina site. It's amazing to me that they would put a 200 lb. keel on a 340 lb. boat.
Heck, I have nearly that much ballast on my own, and I can put mine on the rail.
My wife and I previously had a JY14 (no ballast) and now have a Catalina 16.5 (no ballast). We supply the ballast, and with a stiff breeze and both of us sitting on the rail it's a flat, fast and exciting ride.
Glad you got to go sailing though. Wish I could have gone with ya!
We have a 14.2 Expo. It is going to sail differently from the traditional rig. It is incredibly easy to rig and to sail. If you really want to learn sail tuning, you probably want the trad rig. If you just want to sail and not spend a lot of time at the ramp, then the Expo is the way to go. We're selling ours (see classifieds - sorry - please don't flame me), but only because we haven't been using it. The Expo is a cat boat, really so it sails more like one. Catalina claims that the bendy mast spills more winds is gusts, making the rig more forgiving. I can't comment, as my spouse isn't going to go out in gusty conditions and I don't really like to sail alone. You could single hand either rig, but the Expo has less to mess with. I think it really comes down to the tuning issue. If you NEED to tune the rig and will have heartburn with the sail shape when the mast bends, then you probably don't want the Expo. But, if you just want to sail and not worry about it, then go for it!
Hi All, I'm currently searching for an Expo to buy and ship to Egypt where I sail (will start sailing) on the red sea. The Expo is proving more difficult to find and will cost more to ship since it has a slightly longer mast that will not fit in a 20' container and hence will need a 40' cont.
The standard C14.2 will probably be easy to find and cheaper to ship. my intentions with sailing is not racing but rather to go cruising with kids. Reef the main sail, anchor and just play around. So the Expo seemed perfect. I'm willing to reconsider the standard rig if someone assures me that I can still do the same with it. I also suspect that I will sail solo a lot.
The boat will be always stored on the beach trolley, so the mast will always stay stepped in and accordingly rigging should be easy for both models, correct?