Capri 14.2s Down Under



Letter from Sydney, Australia - The Capri 14.2 that I bought is a secondhander. The original owner was the Sea Scout group who bought the boat new in 2000. The Sea Scouts have about 6 or 7 Capri 16.5s as they can fit more kids in them. Thus they were not using the 14.2. The boat is in great condition and was well looked after by the Scouts.
There are about 6 - 10 Capri 14.2's floating about Sydney Harbour. The local Catalina dealer used to run a small boat school and he imported them on the back of bigger Catalinas a number of years ago. He stopped the school about 2 years ago and sold them off to ex-students.
I work for GE Power Systems and spent a couple of months working in the US last year, in Schenectady NY. I stayed up in Saratoga Springs and saw one on the lake there and thought it would be a great boat for me to learn on in Sydney Harbour. I finally tracked this one down about 2 months ago. (It wasn’t easy finding one).
I have taken the boat out only once since I bought it (I test and repair the Power Station Generators made by GE when they break down. I’m currently in Taiwan finishing a two-month repair job, six days to go and counting). The day I took out the boat I had one of the demonstrators from the Catalina dealership showing me how to rig and sail the boat. (He had not actually sailed a 14.2, and was a fixed keel sailor). We had the main and jib fully out when the weather closed in and had no way to tie in any reefing points. We turned back to the marina when we were hit with 20-25 knot gusts (up from a nice 7 knots on the harbour). It was very exciting. After reading a couple of recent articles on your web site I can empathize with the comments in "Heavy Weather". They are right when they say that once the boom has hit the water after you have let the main out there is not a lot you can do until the boat either turns in to the wind or tips over. Fortunately we did not tip over, but there was a lot of leaning well over the side of the boat and the occasional rude word. I got a bit nervous when the guy asked me if I had cell phone so he could ring the marina for help. That to date is my only experience in the boat, but I look forward to some nicer late spring /summer weather at Christmas.
Welcome to the forum, Fast Eddie. Man, that must have been quite a ride in the harbor. I got my 14 a couple summers ago for the same reason as you, seems a good boat for learning. Looking forward to hearing more about your Capri experiences down under, especially since it's icefishing season on the lakes here now.