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Looking to buy a Capri 14.2 - need some advice

FrankinCA

New Member
Hi everyone, I'm new to the forum and would appreciate all your advice. After a 10 year break from sailing, I'm looking to start again. In the past, my wife and I owned a Precision 21 and sailed on the Potomac River, We have also taken several basic sailing classes. We now live in the San Francisco Bay area and plan to start sailing again. I want to start with something smaller and more affordable to keep and maintain. I was thinking about getting a Capri 14.2 (I have a Mod 3 I'm interested in right now).

Does anyone have any thoughts on sailing a Capri 14.2 on the San Francisco Bay? I have read from other posts that the boat can get overpowered when wind strength increases. The Bay can get pretty windy and I wasn't sure if this would be an issue?

A little more background on my wife and me and how we'd use the boat. We are both in our late 40s and have a 12 and 9-year-old. We would likely sail out of Alameda or the Berkeley area. I don't see us racing - just using it for some day sailing (my wife is not too fond of sailing when a boat heels too much). I would also like something I can single hand for when I go out alone.

I have read some posts about owners adding a reefing point to their sails. Is that something you all would recommend for my situation?
 

Teresa Call

New Member
I know it’s stated to hold 4 adults but it’s pretty small. I’ve taken my family out, wife and adolescent child, and it was crowded. I’m not sure about the Bay Area but it does heel very easily in moderate winds so not sure your wife would be a fan. Mine definitely is not which is why I go out by myself most of the time.
 

Kerrcat14.2K

New Member
I think that you will be surprised how small the 14.2 feels after sailing a Precision 21, and the significant change in the tenderness/tendency to heel. What you will probably appreciate is the similarity of the feel of the rigging and handling for a small dinghy. I sailed a few dinghys, then a Tanzer 22 shoal keel with center board for over twenty years, downsized to a nineteen foot Cape Dory Typhoon Weekender which I restored, and then tried to get away from sailing and maintenance . Survived without a sailboat for about two years and wanted a dinghy type sailer with performance and features similar to what I had given up. However, I also wanted a self bailing cockpit, a little more stability in the boat, less tendency to capsize, and not as apt to turtle in a capsize. I sail on a large inland lake in southern VA (50,000 acres, 800 miles of shoreline) and have a floating dock. To get the stability, I ordered a Mod III Catalina 14.2K, keel model, with a set of reef points, topping lift, furling jib, trailer, factory outboard motor mount, and a few other customizations. I have been sailing it single handed for six years now, have reefed the main maybe once a season, and enjoy the "ride" as much as ever. I miss the cabin area for extra room, a place for a porta john, and a few creature comforts, but have been content to day sail for more than several hours at a time. I launch the boat in the spring and keep it at my dock until early fall so the launching effort of a keeled dinghy isn't an issue. I give more consideration to the wind conditions than I had to with the larger boats and draw the line on conditions more carefully than when I started sailing fifty years ago but the 14.2K otherwise gives me everything I could ask for. I suggest that you carefully consider the tenderness of the c/b model and that you will be crowded with four people except in calm weather.
 

CAPTCAP

New Member
I'm new to sailing and the Capri is my first boat, but I can provide a few observations that might be helpful. When looking for my boat, in the 14ft range I didn't see many other boats with a high boom, which is one of the reasons I chose the Capri, in that it might allow some family sailing (I have two kids as well). Additionally, as you probably have noticed, it has proper seating, which could be argued to be more family friendly. I would agree with the previous posts that it is a small boat and fitting 4 would be a tight squeeze, particularly with larger kids. It sounds like you have quite a bit of sailing experience, but in my mind the Bay is pretty windy relative to what I envision the Capri being designed for (I lived in SF for 10 years while working in a lab that studied the Bay). The Bay is also quite shallow and has strong tidal currents, which are things to consider, although depth and currents are pretty variable. The keel+motor option described above would help to make the boat more robust in these conditions, although the draft of the keel should be considered given how shallow parts of the bay can be.

Probably you have a marina or spot in mind, I would recommend heading down there to see what people are sailing in the size/price range you have in mind. That was very helpful to me when selecting the Capri 14.2 for our pretty small local lake. I'm guessing what works for the Berkeley Marina may not be the same for South Bay or North Bay, given the variability in the conditions. Let me know what you decide so I can sail vicariously with you, I miss it out there.
 

Kerrcat14.2K

New Member
Captcat is spot on with observations. The position of the boom as well as the standard rigging and line control features on the 14.2 are what make it so similar to larger boats, lots of adjustments and plenty of control. Lots of threads on this site deal with some of the decisions you are trying to make. I would recommend that you look up the UCLA Aquatic Center site and find the basic sailing texts (older version) which are actually using a 14.2 for some of the training boats. North Sails has a post regarding how to adjust sails on a 14.2. The keel version draws two feet, adds 200 pounds of ballast, and I use a Honda 2.3 long shaft outboard which provides plenty of power and is a four stroke engine, air cooled, with a centrifugal clutch which effectively gives you a neutral/idle feature. Because I keep the boat in the water and at the dock all season, I have added lazy jacks and a sail cover; just like having a cruising sailboat. I added fittings to make jiffy reefing of the main a single line process. The bridle on the stern has a loop tied into it which keeps the mainsail block centered and give better control. I believe that you can find discussion regarding that on this site as well as on the North Sails information. I did barrier coat the bottom and had copolymer ablative bottom paint added. Eliminates most of the lake slime, etc.
Good luck with your decision making....
 

laketahoe

New Member
Kerrcat14.2K, would you have some pictures you could share of how you have your jiffy reefing setup. I just got my sail back from the loft where they added reef points and need to figure out how to rig it.
 

FrankinCA

New Member
Thanks everyone for your great advice and thoughts. Based on your recommendations and additional searches in the forum, I’m thinking the 14.2k might be just a little too small. Any thoughts on the Catalina 16.5?
 

laketahoe

New Member
I took my first sailing class at SEA up in the Richardson Bay area. They used 16.5's. Fleet. We reefed the main several times on gusty days.

I would agree with you the 14.2 is too small. The 16.5 will work great for your family of 4. The extra few feet makes a big difference in cockpit size. I would have gone with the 16.5, but needed something I could launch from a beach.
 

Kerrcat14.2K

New Member
Laketahoe:
Sorry, no pix; boat is still covered due to excessive rain and lake flooding. But, I based my single line reefing on the Harken system and past experience on my Tanzer22 and Cape Dory Typhoon. At the stern end of the boom (positioned on the boom just below and back from the position of the sail's stern reefing cringle) I attached an eye loop on one side and a Harken carbo cheek block/turning block on the other side. At the forward end of the boom I attached similar blocks on either side of the boom just below and forward of the position of the forward reef cringle. A small cleat was added on the attachment side of the mast about three feet, or so, aft of the cheek block. Line was probably about a quarter inch diameter or a little less and low stretch. The line is attached to the stern eye loop, passes up through the cringle in the sail and then back down through the cheek block, lead forward to a cheek block, up to and through the forward cringle, then down through the cheek block on the other side of the mast, then back to the cleat for tie off. I added a few eye loops along the boom to pass the line through so that it didn't sag down below the boom, as well as a loop above each of the forward cheek blocks to help guide the line. Before raising the sail, I tighten the line and have light weight tie offs through two additional cringles in the sail, which holds the bagged sail in place. Then raise the sail to the proper height. You can find lots of information, diagrams, through Google, sailing references, and I also patterned this off of the Harken kits which were available. It is harder to write this than to look at a picture, but should make sense once you see where the forward and aft reef cringles are located on the sail. I positioned the loops and blocks on each end of the boom so that they had a slight angle of pull on the cringle, both forward and aft, to create tension along the foot of the lowered sail. All fittings are attached with the appropriate size stainless screws, drilled and tapped. Mainsail was bent on and raised long enough to decide where to properly position the fittings. Hope this helps.
 

Teresa Call

New Member
Thanks everyone for your great advice and thoughts. Based on your recommendations and additional searches in the forum, I’m thinking the 14.2k might be just a little too small. Any thoughts on the Catalina 16.5?
Just saw a 16.5 for sale in Colorado. Listed on sailboatlistings.com
 
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