How stable is this thing?

Thread starter #1
Hi folks,

I am starting to wounder how easy it is to capsize on of these boats. We just got one and have not had a chance to try it out yet but we hope to this weekend. Sounds like we should leave the camera on shore. It seems as tough this boat should be fairly stable given its beam. I know that any boat can be capsized if pushed or if sailed by someone with limited experience but it seems to be quite the issue here. Does every one worry every time they go out? Thanks for your replies.
I sailed my C14.2 for several years down in San Diego. Never capsized but have come close once or twice. They don't capsize any more or any less than any other dinghy but many sailing the boat seem to be newer to sailing so maybe that is the issue.
First rule for dingy sailing

In high winds say 10+ never cleat the main.

Second rule
Never jibe in winds above say 10-15
Most capsizes occur during a jibe. Reasons to numerious to mention
Never Jibe above 15 in a dinghy? If going downwind it could be hard to get where I want to go without a jibe or a few. Now reach to reach, tacking in heavy air is better, I'll agree there.:D
Great boat

Last spring I purchased my first sailboat a catalina 14.2. I had never sailed before. I sail with my wife and 8 year old son. We have sailed the boat many times since we purchased it and have not capsized yet, the sound of knocking on wood can be heard in the background. We have gotten close a time or two but have not gone over. I feel that the boat is a great boat to learn to sail on and I plan on keeping the boat a long time. It is the perfect size boat for us. You just need to be careful in winds over 15 Knts.



Capsize =) Drill ! YES!

My husband & I purchased our Capri 14.2 about 3 weeks ago. We have had her out about 10 times since getting her.

We did capsize this last weekend - In higher (15 mph)- While both sitting on the same side. You see my husband is from the land of Hobie Cats & likes to sail a lot more adventurously then I (at this point).Winds were Very Gusty & changing directions.....

Now the good News.....
We rightsided the boat in under a minute! By the time three elderly gentlemen in their bassboat arrived.... we had rightsided the boat & I was Celebrating the Victory..... (I had wanted to perform a "capsize drill" which my husband felt was unneccesary.)

Since I was in the stern, I swan to the "underside & reached for the centerboard. My husband had the presence of mind to release both the jib & main sheets prior to going overboard. He then swam underwater & pushed up the mast (we have the spray foam- but had not yet filled the mast!)

We did have the hull hatch closed & only lost one boat shoe & a float cushion & one water bottle....

It is my recommendation to PRACTICE a CAPSIZE DRILL! - My years of Girl Scouting (That's where I first learned to sail=) taught me to be prepared. There was not question in my mind as to what to do or who would do what.
My only caution is to make sure that Everyone is in agreement on the timine of your drill & that you are in at least 30 feet of water. so as not to plant your mast in the mud....

I am gratefull to the folks who have shared their knowledge & experience on this site....

Happy Sailing,
Owasso, OK


Reefinga Capri??

Ant recommendations on Reefing the Capri 14.2. Where we live (Oklahoma) we have some pretty gusty days (for the land-locked =)

SkipperC said:
Ant recommendations on Reefing the Capri 14.2. Where we live (Oklahoma) we have some pretty gusty days (for the land-locked =)

Roller furling is the number 1 thing. If the wind picks up just loosen the jib sheet and pull the fuling line and you have reduced 1/3 of your canvas in a few seconds. Jiffy reefing of the main is the next step. Its easier done before launching, but can be done on the water but its harder to tidy up the loose sail area if things are rough. With both the main reefed and the jib furled, I have sailed in some pretty hard winds that have come up during summer afternoon storms out on a lake.

rjsailnsd said:
Never Jibe above 15 in a dinghy? If going downwind it could be hard to get where I want to go without a jibe or a few. Now reach to reach, tacking in heavy air is better, I'll agree there.:D
Agreed. I did my shakedown this weekend of my 14.2 and it was the first time sailing a boat under 22' for me. The winds kicked up to 10+ with some of interesting puffs. We did well jibeing but it was reaching that got us. We capsized and turtled then but I must say it was fun and good practice too. Don't ask how but we did not loose a thing, even the potato chips stayed dry. Jibe at 15+ , sometimes you have to, watch out reaching though. It is easy to be taken by a puff when letting the main sheet out is not an option because it is already out. Thank goodness for 90+ degrees. Going in the drink does not bother you in this weather.


I am sailing in Charlotte Bay/Florida. Spent the whole weekend out there on my boat. Had some puffs catching me, but capsizing was never an issue. Although, on some of my journeys around Sanibel Island on the rough ocean side it almost got me for some time. Furling the foresail is step #1 to reduce horsepower. Chances to capsize mostly while jibing. This is the moment when you have the least amount of control on the sailarea. Reducing the main while being in full speed is not so easy and requires some previous thoughts how this can be achieved easily. Best is, to do it the old fashioned way with some straps around boom and lower sail. I prefer to let the main out and reducing area with the angle of attack. That way I've been sailing in winds of up to 26 mph. Entirely without foresail. Main alone. But that's pretty rough and I would not recommend it to anybody. Going in the pond and taking a dip is not bad at all, but what most of the motor boaters don't realise is that we DO have sharks. You can more easily spot them while sailing rather than sitting in a noisy motor boat.
The best way to avoid capsizing is to sail in winds not to exceed 6-10 mph in the beginning. Once you have learned how to read the wind AND the forecasts you can go in almost any winds.
C14 stability

It's small, light and carries a lot of sail area -- it WILL go over if there's enough wind. :) Then, so will just about anything if there's enough wind. :)

Lots of roller jibs, but reef points in the mainsail don't seem to be that common on the C14's that I've seen and I'm not sure why. I grew up sailing in New England/Long Island Sound and when sailing the small boats we nearly always started with the reefs in and then shook them out once we had assessed the wind and sea condiitons. If it was gusty and we weren't in a hurry, we often didn't take the reefs out for quite a while as we figured out the winds.

If I were sailing singlehandedly on my C14, I'd want reef points for sure (and I just picked up my mainsail from the chandlery after having them put in), but YMMV.

Now if Lake Lanier just had some water in it . . . .
Reefing the Mainsail

I just purchased my 14.2 on the Cape (watersports) and had them install reefing points and hardware so I can singlehand reef the main. It also has the rollerfurling jib. Added a Topping Lift and Hobie Mast Float as well. Hope that this will afford me more time to right her when/if she goes over.

Having just taken sailing classes (35 yr hiatus) I was quickly reminded about the importance of ALWAYS wearing your PFD... people in another class boat capsized and did not have PFDs on... Whoops... Jibe.... into the water they went! Talk about scarey...Not a situation I would want to be in.

Another kayaker in my weekend group failed to wear hers and got flipped in Open ocean waves... Lesson learned I hope for her sake.

Does anyone have suggestions for singlehanding the 14.2. Rigging changes, trimming/tuning the rig?

Also looking for input about how to rig a cuddy area float bag (if necessary) and a method of organizing lines, PFDs, safety stuff, inside the cuddy so everything is at arms length... I was thinking along the lines of a shower curtain bar or similar glassed into the cuddy, which could be removed by simply screwing in the bar to release tension.

Others have any suggestions?


Jon Frost