Beefing up 14.2 CB for better stability?


New Member
Hi all, I live on the east side of Lake Monona which is very shallow for 100 yards out, I acquired a used 14.2 CB to have a fun day sailer, but am concerned about capsizing. I want my kids to learn to sail, I don't want them to capsize, but the keel version is out of the question due to the shallowness near my dock. Has anyone contemplated modifying or replacing the centerboard to put more weight down below? i have a 3/8" aluminum sheet I could fabricate. I see that stability concerns for this boat are a common topic, has anyone tried to beef up or modify the centerboard, and with what result?

Thanks! Tom
So many threads on this site which deal with adding more weight below. I think that conclusions are to invest your money in systems to help you keep the boat from rolling over and to control the sails, along with experience sailing this wonderful dinghy. Masthead flotation (baby bob etc) will give you the confidence to not worry about capsizing. The boat will not take on much water as long as it doesn't turtle and the flotation makes it easy to right the boat. Most teachers will encourage you to capsize the boat and practice recovery, and generally the kids may actually find that it adds to the adventure; always wear lifejackets. The other investment would be to add reef points and jiffy reefing for the mainsail along with a topping lift or boomkicker. I prefer the topping lift and use of the boom vang to help with trim. Teach the kids the basics/fundamentals with the main reefed and without deploying or raising the jib. Follow this at the appropriate time with using the jib. Finally, teach with a full main set and the jib in place. Might take a few outings but I think that you will be surprised at how quickly kids can learn to sail and how adaptable they are. UCLA Sailing Center has a good tool on their website for their sailing manual which, in the older version, uses Capri 14.2 centerboarders for teaching. This boat can take you from beginning sailing to very advanced dinghy racing, only requires gaining the experience and sailing it regularly in varying conditions.
This past season I went out a lot with my wife and kids 5, 8, 10yrs. Without reef-points, we limited gusts to 15kt when the kids are aboard. We practiced man-overboard drills which the kids thought was fun. We did a practice capsize which showed the kids that they didn't have to be afraid. They were also reassured when I told them what my instructor told me: "When you are sailing you aren't going very fast, especially if you're capsizing. It is about the same speed as you running and falling down."

The boat turns over really slow and everyone can typically hop to the other side to save it. The accidental jibe is what you have to watch out for, but if the wind speed is low enough, then you may be able to recover control.

The most important thing you need is a way to get back on-board the boat once you're out. You can scoop your crew in when you right the boat, but getting back in without a ladder is near impossible. I temporarily got a rope ladder that I attached to the motor mount on the transom. Rope ladders really suck since your feet just go underneath the boat. I was able to swing myself into the boat, but nobody else could get back in without help.

I just installed a new narrow transom ladder, but haven't had a chance to test it. Ill post some details as a new thread soon. Some other people have posted about other types of ladders.
Yep it would not be wise to add a weighted keel to this boat. The hull's not engineered to handle the weight that would be needed to make any difference. And the existing hoist/lower setup would be way overmatched. Everything mentioned above is totally correct regarding how to safely sail this boat. I've got 6 seasons under my belt and have yet to dump her.
**Conservative sail hoisting is a must. When things are sporty I start out with reefed main only, I'm set up to add to the canvas area while underway as desired. Running with a lot of sail area (reletive to wind speed) should be only done when the skipper's totally focused and has no non-sailing passengers. Actually I sail best when I'm alone, total concentration is needed to get a safe and fun experiance.
**Experiance will teach the best way to handle the big gusts. You can hold course and de-power the main as needed, letting it luff somewhat while keeping some drive in it. Sheet in once the gust passes. You can read the water like a book, watching for the "cat's paws" that show gusts are coming. If you do get overpowered and knocked way over, let the helm swing free and prepare for the quick come about. Just pop the jib sheet as you're jumping to the high side, don't worry about sheeting in until you get control on the new tack. If you panic and don't let the helm swing to the opposite tack you'll be toast! Now once I had mine so far over that some water got into the cockpit, but by doing what's described above, managed to allow her to right herself. Then I sat there with all sails luffing crazily until I collected my marbles!
**Check my earlier posts for all the mod's added to my boat, there's a lot of them. Yes, the "Baby Bob" really is a confidence builder, makes it simple to right the boat. The underseat floatation keeps the cockpit almost totally dry. Without the Bob you will totally capsize (turtle) and recovery will be quite difficult. Especially if you're in shallower water, that will leave you with a mast stuck in the bottom, this could also damage it.
**Swim ladder for sure. Not only for getting back in after tip over, but also fun just to drop anchor and go for a swim on a hot, windless day!
**Finally, there's no substitue for practice, practice, practice! After 43 years of sailing I still learn something new every time.


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Missed these great pics, also!


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