14.2 stability

Thread starter #1
I am about to buy a 14.2 and am looking for some input on stability and ease of handling. I have sailed a variety of small boats over the years. A few years ago I bought a Vanguard V15 to have a boat small enough to singlehand, able to be pulled up and stored (no trailer!)on a float and manageable for teaching my grandkids to sail. I have found the V 15 fast and fun to sail but too "hot' and unstable to avoid terrifying the kids. It also has no jam cleat on the main sheet which makes for some exciting moments. I have seen the 14.2 at the marina and it looks ideal. My impressions have been reinforced by comments in the Forum which is a great resource. While I realize that any small boat can be unstable subject to weather and how well she is sailed my readings on "turtling Baby Bobs etc. have given me some concern. Should I purchase the float sleeve option? get the mast foam filled? plan on installing the Baby Bob?


Sailing on Shelter Bay
Opinions may vary

I guess opinions will vary, and I have an Omega 14 which is very similar (someone tell me if I am wrong about that). I see you have small boat experience and I think you will be able to handle the C14 easily. I nearly capsized one day when I was on the wrong side after tacking in a puff and I was surprised how much stability it had. After a severe heel angle, I finally released the mainsheet and it immediately came back upright. It is the ideal compromise between being lively to sail and still reasonably stable (if you are sitting on the correct side!). Oh...and I think comfortable too.
Test drive

How about asking for a test drive of the boat and see how she feels to you ? I know I would allow someone to try my boat if she were for sale.

Good luck !

I have sailed my 14.2 almost 50 times now, both solo and crewed, and if you read the wind on the water and prepair for it, the boat is both fun and stable. I installed a Baby Bob and boarding ladder, neither of which I plan on using.
I think the boat is very stable. I have to say that I have capsized the boat 4 or 5 times, and turtled once. When I turtled, I should not have been on the lake. I was going out solo, there were whitecaps on the lake with strong gusts. I made the mistake of having both the jib and main cleated, and I took my eyes off the water and was having a drink of tea... then was hit by a big gust of wind and didn't want to lose my drink. I found recovery very easy. I managed to climb over the side as the boat went over and ended up standing on the wet side of the boat. I got the boat back onto its side quickly, but had to jump in and swim around to un-cleat the main/jib sheets, then was able to right the boat.

I have had several times even lately, where I've taken a gust and stood the boat up on the rail without capsizing... but I was sailing solo each time that happened in pretty good winds.

I haven't capsized in over a year now, part of it is because I have the boat rigged better and I am more experienced with the boat. I sail the boat on lakes around Atlanta, in the Choctawhatchee Bay in Florida, and the Gulf of Mexico. I have taken the boat out in winds were I had the main reefed and working in strong winds. Other times I have been out when the wind quit and I was able to walk up to the bow of the boat... I am 200 lbs.

I agree with the others, see if you can get a test ride on the boat and see if you like the size of the boat. Or do like me and have a 22' Catalina for really hot/cold weather with lots more people, and the 14.2 Capri for fun exciting sailing anywhere I can find a boat ramp.

1989 Capri 14.2
1984 Catalina 22
Thread starter #6
Thanks for all of your inputs! I am buying the boat new through the local Catalina dealer who sells few if any 14.2s and maintains no inventory. I have seen one on the dock where I keep my V15 but there is no local fleet so a test drive is unlikely. I feel comfortable with the stability issue based on your comments but wonder if I should purchase thr flotation panel option offered and/or plan on installing a Baby Bob just as insurance? Having turtled the V15 while single handing and getting things put back together with the help of a passing motorboat it's an experience I would just as soon avoid.
My '89 has float bags underneath the seats. The day that I turtled, there were two kids on an older Capri. They capsized(again, very gusty day) and the hatch to the cuddy was not latched. The boat capsized, then turtled, filled with water and nearly sank. We did have a couple of big boats for support and they spent the next two hours recovering the boat. It did not have float bags under the seats, but does now.

My boat has the sealed box up front and is sealed pretty tight. I use many carabiners to clip my gear to the boat so items won't sink if/when I capsize again.

I think the baby-bob or the float panel are personal preference comfort items. I want my boat as light as possible and have had little trouble recovering the boat, so I have done without those items. Other people will swear by the bob and float panels. Another suggestion is to put a large plastic bottle at the top of the mast(cheap version of the baby-bob) until your comfort level rises.

If I can also suggest, when I bought my boat, I practiced capsizing the boat with my 8 yr old son. It was good practice to figure out what to expect when you capsize, and more importantly... how do you get back into the boat. Some people have attached a ladder. I have attached webbing to the hiking strap and run through a drain hole and back up over the transom. I use a bungee to keep the webbing attached inside the boat (keeping it from dragging in the water)... I use the webbing as a rope ladder to get back into the boat.

This is my first season with my boat and my first sailboat. I read all the stability/baby bob threads before I bought mine too and honestly, it made me really nervous. However, I've found the boat to be pretty forgiving and have yet to tip it. I bought an inflatable mast float which gives me a sense of security in heavy weather, but I don't even bother putting it up unless its really blowing.