centerboard vs. keel, what to expect!

Thread starter #1
for the past three seasons, i have been racing aboard a 27 ft keelboat. i have gotten plenty of time at the helm in that boat as well as a 25 footer. I was wondering what differences i would experience when sailing a 14 ft centerboard boat. any insight would be much appreciated!
There is a hugh difference between a 27 foot keel boat and a 14 foot centerboard boat. The 14' cb will respond much quicker to changes in the wind, chop in the water and the helm. Since the 14" cb is lighter than a 27 foot boat its just more responsive to changes in the position of crew weight and crew weight itself. I have more fun siling small cb boats as compared to keel boats for these very reasons but it is not for everyone .

The biggest difference to most is you capsize in a cb boat a lot easier than you do in a keel boat
Thread starter #3

thanks for the response... any suggestions for the first time out? what's the bast way to avoid capsizing?
> what's the bast way to avoid capsizing?

I only learned to sail last summer so you might want to take my advice with a grain of salt. I trained for a week with an expert sailor on a Flying Scot. When I later soloed with my Capri 14.2 I took his advice and went out the first half dozen times with just the main. I didn't add the jib until I was really comfortable with the boat.

I also added a Hobie Baby Bob to the mast and a collapsable ladder on the stern - just in case. :)
Thread starter #5
Baby bob?

Is that what they call the foam you sometimes see at the top of the mast? great idea! Thanks! Another question, while I have everyones' attention...
can you tow the boat behind a small car like a ford focus wagon?
Probably. I regularly tow mine 250 miles with a weak compact pickup similar to a Ford Ranger. Only time that I notice that it is back there is in high winds.
They tow great. I towed mine behind a Honda with a 2.0 liter 4 cylinder to Tempe AZ from San Diego CA with no problems.

I have never capsized in a C14.2 (yet) but the most wind I sailed one in is about 20 knots. In breeze I never cleat the main sheet and you must be quick to release the jib in an auto tack. Sail the boat in less than 7 knots of wind if possible until you become more used to the handling. Have fun and sail safe (wear a pfd). my 2 cents.
If Capsize

CoffeeBob: Best be prepared to capsize. Wear lifevest, practice in reasonably warm water. When you go over, and you and crew are OK, be sure the mainsheet and jibsheets are uncleated (if not, you end up trying to lift hundreds of pounds of waterin the sails during recovery), then one of you swim around to centerboard side, reach up grab centerboard and jpull it down into the water. You may have to place feet against hull and lean way back to get enough leverage to do this. At same time your crew can stay on sail-in-water side but don't put weight on rigging or lee side of hull as that can cause the mast to go down and boat to "turtle" where it becomes a bear to right again. With your weight on the centerboard and the sails not cleated, the boat should come up and your crew can grab the hiking strap and be scooped into the boat as it rises. Otherwise, both you and crew need to crawl over the transom to reenter the boat. Best to hold onto something in meantime as wind can blow the boat away. Once one of you is aboard, bring the boat under control with the rudder and sheets and help pull the other person aboard over the transom. It helps too to have a small rope doubled aaround the aft hiking strap, and passing through about an 8 in. long plastic tube which can be pulled over the transom and used as a step. Length of rope depends on person's size which you can figure out during practice on some nice sunny warm day. Also nice to wear wet suit if water is cold, and to have warm clothes or blankets available back on shore. Capsize recovery can be one of the fun things about a small centerboard boat! RK
Thread starter #9

I actually laughed out loud when I read "coffeebob"...

Coffeebob would be my father, although you'd have to substitute "coffee" with "beer". So I guess that would make him "beerbob" :D

Anyways, thanks for all the info! I am amazed at how willing people are to share knowledge...
thanks for the response... any suggestions for the first time out? what's the bast way to avoid capsizing?
How do you surf without falling off the board? How do you ski without falling down? How do you eat lobster without getting butter all over your chin?

If you never capsize, IMHO, your not trying hard enough.
If you are afraid of capsizing, IMHO, dingy sailing is not for you.
Capsizing is a negative word for larger boats, a 14.2 doesn't capsize, it "goes over" and part of sailing a 14.2 is to stand it back up and keep going.
Thread starter #11
easy there big guy

whoa, let's not get out of hand... it's not that I am afraid of "going over", to use the correct terminology, it's just that lake erie doesn't usually warm up until august, and I would appreciate staying out of the water as much as possible until then. also, i realize that going over is part of dinghy sailing, I was thinking more of what you would call "turtling". Lastly, I "go hard enough" when I race aboard the keelboat... what's wrong with just enjoying a nice relaxing sail?
I see your point, here in Southern California, the water is always pretty warm, compared to lake Erie! I have sailed with a wet suit before but not since I wore a younger mans clothes. My hat's off to those who sail dingys in cold water, same with Northern US surfers. When the water is below 65, I gripe big time.
A nice peaceful sail without a "going over is always possible as long as you keep the main sheet unlocked.

I have had my Capri for a 1 1/2 seasons now. I turtled it the first time out. I put it over at the start of this season tied to the dock, that was humiliating.

First of all make sure your cuddy door is on tight, mine wasn't the first time. Second watch back winding the jib. I know that others talk about sailing the boat without a jib, but I have problems controlling it with out the jib. Also sail it de-tuned until you get the hang of the boat. When I am taking people out for the first time or the admiral is going out with me, the main and jib are never trimmed completely, most of the time they are slightly luffing.

I am like you, I sail mine in Indiana and the water can be cold up until the middle of June, so I really don't want to go over at the start of the session. Since I normally single hand the boat rather I am racing or just out for a nice sail. the main sheet is normally not cleated, unless I am adjusting the jib and I make sure the jib is clear of the mast as I come about.

Take it out practice with it de-tuned and then tighten it down as you get comfortable, working on heaving to, that really taught me a lot about how the boat handles. I found it is a great boat in 5-10 knot winds, and gets more exciting as the wind picks up.

Have fun.

Today in Malibu, the water and the air is 56 degrees. For us, that's cold! My banana plants had frost this morning,:eek: not good but it's the 5 or 6th time this winter along with some very strong winds this fall...I need to move somewhere warmer, what would it cost to ship the boat to Hawaii?
Winter Sailing and Capsizing

I sailed my Capri over Thanksgiving in NW Florida, it was 65 and 70 degrees on the two days I went out. I did wear my kayak dry-top on the first day and got really hot.

Some of my club members north of Atlanta went out sailing New Years day on their Catalina 22. There were whitecaps on the lake. I'm just out from eye surgery, so I'm not allowed to sail yet, doctors orders. We do have our first race of the season Jan 24th... but we'll all be racing our big boats. We've been out in frost and sleet in the past, other times it's been 65 degrees. Lake sailing in Georgia, I prefer off season sailing on my big boat.

My Capri 14.2.... the only times I've capsized was when I got "back-winded" with the jib and ended up on the low side and went swimming. I've adjusted my mainsheet block a couple of times and have it just about right... but I like to sail with my mainsheet cleated in the heavy air, so I can keep a tighter grip on my jibsheet. A couple of times I've had water come over the rail because I didn't get the mainsheet out fast enough, but hasn't caused me to capsize... The closest call was when my shorts got caught on the jibsheet block and I couldn't move around quick enough.... thank goodness for self draining cockpits.

Then again, I've had water come over the rail on my Catalina 22 a couple of times as well.... That's really exciting, my crew didn't find it quite so entertaining though. I mounted a Barney-Post in the cockpit floor, it helps a lot for controlling the sails while racing solo.

1989 Catalina Capri 14.2
1984 Catalina 22
Adjusted mainsail block? Please explain.

The best I have had the rail in the water was on a windy day gusting to about 20 kts, single handed. I had water into the seat. Figured I was over but the main never touched and brought it back upright.