1995 Capri 14.2 - First Boat, Questions on ding/gouge repair & barnacle crud


New Member
Hello everyone! I'm new to sailing and the forum, and have been reading lots of the old posts on this page to get up to speed.

I recently purchased a 1995 Capri 14.2 and had the pleasure of taking it out for the first time last week. By the time it was back out of the water I had a little list of repairs to complete which has given me a really nice tour of the boat. So far I've scrubbed her down (almost fully), reinforced both stern cleats (after one tore out while I was sliding it onto my trailer from the water, turns out it hadn't been anchored from inside at all... so I climbed/shuffled in and completed the harrowing task of reinforcing both sides from the inside w/ backing mounts- wow!), re-wired my trailer, and even procured some Dracon tape to fix a tear in my main sail. I'd love to also replace the decals/pinstripe, and eventually redo the gelcoat and/or just give it a really nice waxing...

My questions are as follows:

  1. For the ding/scratch you see in my photos, would it be okay to patch it with Life Caulk and call it a day? If yes, would I be able to add the new decal on top of my repair, or would I need/want to apply some type of finishing coat top the entire hull first? I know zero about boat paint and finishes and didn't see any past posts on redoing a gelcoat (but I may have missed them). I do see some traces of past repairs, and it looks like they were completed with some type of white caulk or other material.
  2. For the barnacle(?) crud, would it be okay for me use soap and scrape that stuff of with something like an acrylic ice scraper or other blunt and flat plastic object, or could that possibly damage the hull? Wire brushes? "Heavy/Course" scrubbing sponge from West Marine? The past owner had this docked in an estuary for a while but I will be keeping out of water when not in use. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated!
I added some photos for fun and for reference :D

Needless to say, I'm very HOOKED and aspire to someday make it up to a Cat 22, and beyond. I'm 35 y.o. now and dream of an Atlantic crossing by the time I'm 45. That's the goal anyways, but gotta start small, and this is where I'm at.

Any other sage wisdom for a young sailor, please send it my way Look forward to growing and contributing to the forum as I learn more!


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Congrats on getting your Capri, you've got great aspirations and you will succeed!
A few things I can share with my experiances:
**Capri has a nicely rounded hull which makes for great boat speed and weather helm. Compared to a flatter bottom hard chine hull it will seem more "tender" but once you get used to it you'll fly! The flat bottom/hard chine design seems more stable when going to weather but once it reaches it's limit then BAM you're over. Capri will smoothly transition changing wind speeds if you are alert. Play the helm, sails, and your body weight properly and it will reward you with an exhilarating sail. On windy days always start out with reefed main only, then add canvas when you get in the groove. You'll get quite a workout! Also comes about more smoothly than hard chine design because the hull is rounded, not sharp edged. Capri is more like a Ferrari and hard chines are the Chevy pick up trucks!
**As a 67 year old single hander I find Capri ideal for trailering, launch/retrieve, and up/down with the rigging. Light enough to drag around with a dolly and store discreetly in your back yard if needed. If you check my earlier posts you'll see all the mod's I did to make the boat easy to single hand.
**Years back I had a C-22 on Lake Michigan, for 5 seasons. That would be a great step up boat for your future. Small enough to trailer behind a decent sized vehicle yet big enough to handle large bodies of water. It's actually more challenging to sail Capri compared to larger weighted keel boats, Capri is actually a giant sailing DINGHY. Skipper needs to pay close attention under sporty conditions or she will go over!
Welcome and best wishes. I am even older than "aquaman" (74) and have been sailing for over 50 years. Mostly from a Snark to a Tanzer 16, to a Tanzer 22 to a Cape Dory Typhoon Weekender (19ft with full cabin etc) and now am thoroughly enjoying my 2015 Catalina 14.2K (2 foot fixed keel) which is rigged equivalently to the 22 and 19 foot boats. Single handing almost exclusively now and fitted the boat with a Honda 2.3 o/b, jiffy reefing, a topping lift, and even lazy jacks since I store the boat in the water at my dock from May through October/November. The Cat came from the factory with a roller furling jib. The Cape Dory was the oldest boat I have owned and we did fiberglass repair, deck replacement, etc with the help of a friend who was a wizard with fiberglass work. You can find information about almost anything you need to know on this site and are embarking on an absolutely wonderful adventure. I learned a long time ago to keep an unopened container of TRAVACO Marine-Tex Epoxy on hand along with West Systems resin and hardener and fabric. Your ding/scratch may lend itself to being repaired carefully using the Marine-Tex. The stuff is easy to work with, doesn't sag, and cures rock hard. Epoxy resin and gelcoat "likes" to run until it sets up and would probably be difficult to work with in your situation, in my opinion. I don't think that using any material which will not harden will satisfy you in the long run, especially in the area of the water line.
As an aside, all of my sailing is on a 50,000 acre fresh water lake so barnacles etc are not an issue; lake crud and scum is. I actually had the Cat 14.2K bottom barrier coated and bottom painted with a multi-season ablative before taking delivery from the dealer. Touching up the bottom paint has been a simple matter and as long as I sail the boat regularly the bottom stays amazingly clean except for maybe mud stains. Storage on a trailer off season does not affect the bottom paint effectiveness. Mooring cleats were all installed with stainless hardware and backed properly as well as being seated with bedding compound.
Good sailing, the 14.2 is one of the best platforms for learning as long as you pay attention to the conditions and listen to what the boat is telling you as you sail it.
Thank you for the great advice Aquaman & Kerrcat!

For the ding/gouge I ended up going with Marine Rx (which I think is essentially the same idea as the Marine Tex but WM's version?). It didn't come out half-bad! I started with applying the compound to the effected areas directly then did a liberal smattering which I eventually was able to sand down using some 150 grit paper. My water line decal is now in need of an overhaul, but what's important is that I'm back on the water!

(You can see the repair on the port side of the bow in the attached picture) - Also, this was just after launch and the boom/main wasn't fully set up until we finished rigging up on the other side of the dock... I know it looks like a disaster in the pic haha)

For the barnacle issue, I've tried little sections with toilet bowl cleaner, then upgraded to some On & Off which I'm told has about 5x stronger concentration of hydrochloric acid. To no avail!!! I think my next choice will be to try sanding it down and applying some (or having someone do it depending on cost) fresh hull paint...

Thank you again everyone for the encouragement and advice! I should have done more research before asking such basic questions, and appreciate the positive response none the less!

My passion is as strong as ever! I was able to join my first race at the local yacht club last week and had the opportunity to work the height of the spinnaker pole while were going downwind, and filling the oh so necessary role of "rail meat" :D


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Thanks again for all the great tips! Started the day reefed and kept it reefed haha. Even in the dinghy, it's stressful (I prefer the term 'activating') to be out there alone


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