Clarification of Shroud and Forestay lengths

Bill Ewing

New Member
Having just bought a used boat (C14.2 #920, built 5/86, "mod1"), I wish to replace the shrouds and forestay. They don't look bad, but I'm no judge and there's just no telling how old they are.

I'm a beginner and may never race, but it makes sense to rig things the way serious racers prefer. If nothing else, this may help resale value.

I inherited a manual that indicates on both "Drawing 4" and in the rules that the shrouds must not exceed 15' 8-3/4". The rules in my manual aren't as specific about forestay length, however its Drawing 4 does indicate 15' 3-1/4" as a maximum.

I called Catalina's parts department today and they did not know anything about lengths. They transferred me to the Technical Dept. where a guy named Kent was very friendly, quick and knowledgable.

Kent indicated that the Forestay length Catalina builds to has always been 15' 2-1/4" on drawings that go all the way back to 1983. It occurs to me now that the description of forestay length on my drawing is in a different font and thus was probably annotated by our class assn, not Catalina.

Kent indicated that the forestays they sell today are 15' 7". My copy of Drawing4 indicates 15' 8-3/4" as max.

I wonder if the Class Assn assigned max lengths to allow for mfg tolerances and a little stretching. BTW, Kent told me their rigging shop would build to order any length you ask for-- if you do so in writing so there's no misunderstandings.

The stock parts sound close enough, so I will probably go ahead and order them after checking and comparing to the lengths I find on my boat. I know I can go to a local rigging shop, but as a cautious newbie prefer the original mfr for now.

Does this sound right? Thanks in advance for help and opinions.

PS - when I told the parts department the part numbers on my parts list, they indicated they were for the keel version, not the centerboard model I have. A keel boat I rented was pretty tight, so I would guess the lengths may be shorter. I'm glad I did not blindly order the part number on the list I have.
Rigging info

Bill, you may want to check out the following site for rigging and sailing info for the 14.2.

Use shroud adjusters to set the proper lengths.

If you are a new to sailing, I would not worry too much about rigging your boat for racing. Note that a lot of the information you read is intended so you can get the most speed out of your boat. You should be aware that there can be a fine edge between obtaining the maximum speed and capsizing. I do not race and I really do not want to capsize, so I know how to de-tune my boat to allow more stability when the wind picks up.

BTW, if you do not know the age of your shrouds, I would not put the mast up until they are replaced. If you snap one, you will have a real mess.