Catalina Expo 14.2


I've started a thread here to discuss this boat. Until Lark posted a comment about it in another thread, I was unaware of its existance.

Lark, tell us about this boat. Do you like it? How does it sail? Is it as stable as Catalina says on their website? It looks like a large family would be very comfortable in this boat.
Here is the link to the Catilina 14.2 Expo Web Site

The hull is the same. The main difference is the sail plan: "The SmartRig® system consists of a tapered carbon fiber mast and deck stepped Hoyt boom. Just two lines control all the sail’s power. One line controls the sail size, while the mainsheet line shapes the sail. Strong, yet flexible, the mast bends in the gusty conditions instead of the boat heeling excessively. Having far less weight than an aluminum mast, the boat is more stable, with less tipping. At the end of the day, just pull the furling line and the sail wraps completely around the mast. The mast and boom are free-standing and have no wires or chainplates to work around."

Sounds like a neat idea. It will be intersting to get Lark's first hand accounts.
Maiden Voyage

Went out for our first sail yesterday in our new EXPO 14.2 (sail no. 45). We're sailing at Duessen Park, just outside of Houston. Of course, the ramp and the lake near the ramp were crazy with jet skis etc. Took us 10 minutes to step the mast, attach the tiller. We keep the main rolled around the mast , all in a long canvas bag. Just take of the bag and place the mast in the hole in the deck, then the base fits over a pin. The pin, incidentally, is on a built up base from the hull, so it looks very substantial. The boom can stay on the boat, but it won't fit in the garage that way. It fits in a second hole/pin aft of the mast. Anyway, step the mast and launch. We don't have a motor (do we want the aggravation - we'll see). The unrolling of the sail doesn't work as well as advertised. The dealer said it wouldn't. Pulling on the outhaul just won't do it, you have to reach up and spin the mast manually. You can't just put out as much sail as you want because the main clew has a strap that must (?) be attached to the boom AFT of the mainsheet atttachment. Anyway, this still gives you a pretty good reef as this is a 3-4' length. So, we pulled out the main and took off. The boat sailed great, very responsive. We didn't feel 'tippy' at all. The winds were light, 5 kts with gusts to 10. We sailed a mile or so downwind then tacked all the way back. She tacked like a dream. We made it through EVERY tack, very unusual. This may be because this is really a cat rig, so we probably have more weather helm than a sloop rig. At the dock, one pull on the reefing line, after unhitching the clew strap!, and the main completely rolled around the mast. Nice! Retrieving to the trailer was a hassle. I have side posts ordered to mount just forward of the "wide part" to help. Need to get a wider roller for the forward-most one. Why do they put these crappy 5" rollers on trailers? All in all, we had a blast. The rigging was very simple and fast. This is what we wanted, as the first mate starts to balk at going sailing with all the mast raising etc etc work.
I had a great call with Jeff at Lynn Sailboats in Houston. He has new Expos and is very informative. I'm looking to pay a bit less, if I can, so I will hold off on a new one for now.
Turtled! I've been sailing my Expo for about 4 years now. I went out on a good sized lake in NH yesterday. The wind was forecast to be 15 mph or less, but it turned out that it was gusting up to 20, and reportedly up to as high as 31 at least once during the day. I had a hard time tacking, and had to turn down wind at one point as I was getting somewhat close to the shore. I was on a training run with the wind coming from the starboard quarter. The boat just started rolling onto its port side and I could not stop it. I was too close to shore to turn to port to alleviate the situation, and also afraid that I might incur an accidental gybe in very heavy wind and rough water. In any case, the boat went over quickly. I immediately swam to the daggerboard. That's when I realized that I did not just have the mast in the water, but rather the boat was upside down! With great difficulty, I was able to climb up onto my turtled boat. I tried for a long time to pull on the raised daggerboard to upright the boat, but it was not working. A woman swam out from a powerboat that was anchored nearby, and with my help climbed up onto the boat as well. The two of us together, standing on the side rail and pulling with all of our weight on the daggerboard were finally able to right the boat. We were both exhausted! I jumped in as fast as I could, and furled the sail, then she jumped in and we managed to steer the boat to a dock. I was very lucky that the water was deep enough such that the mast did not get stuck in the lake bottom, and nothing was broken. The others that were in the powerboat brought over my paddle and hat that were floating out in the lake.

I'm writing this as I'm wondering if others have experienced this situation, where you do not even get a chance to stand on the daggerboard and lift the sails out of the water, because the boat has gone all the way over. Please post/reply if you've had a relevant experience.