Question My balance has gotten bad enough that I’m considering selling my Hunter 146 and buying something with more initial stability. Would a Catalina 14 K do

Short answer is probably yes. The keel version draws about two feet, adds two hundred pounds of ballast, and eliminates having a centerboard well; the cockpit is self draining. My boat was built in 2015 and I ordered it with a factory mounted motor mount, topping lift, and installed lazy jacks and had a mainsail cover made. Launch it in the spring, keep it at my dock on a large freshwater lake until early fall, use a Honda 2.3 long shaft outboard. Since I single hand always the boat has given me the equivalent of a 23 foot sailboat and a Cape Dory Typhoon, both keel boats, which I sailed over many years. Rigging is virtually the same and the only trade off I feel like I have made is reducing the amount of wind in which I want to sail; 6 to 12 is ideal and gusts to 15 or a little more are not a concern although I will sail in a little higher wind conditions just for the thrill of it. The boat rides well at the dock because of the keel weight; I added a mooring cleat to the forward deck and mooring cleats on the port and starboard sides aft for easier mooring at my dock. Great sailing dinghy!
Agreed that the keel version is a whole different ballgame compared to the swing board model. If boat's staying wet moored that's great, but when you're storing on a trailer it would seem to be a hassle. My swing board is a snap to launch/retrieve with the setup I developed. Sits low on the trailer so it's easy to access the cockpit from the ground, also easy to move it around (lighter weight) and store with the low profile. It does demand more attention when under sail since your weight must work in conjunction with the keel to keep good control. I've heard that it points better because the board gets superior bite on the water (compared to the shallower draft fixed keel), and also accelerates like a Ferrari in sporty conditions. It will actually go on plane with strong following winds, real exciting! Conversely, when it's rough seas I would greatly prefer the fixed keel. I don't go on big lakes, you really have to be on top of your game when the waves kick up or you'll be in deep doo-doo. Attached are a few pics of my "Mistress". See how I need my 190 lb gut to make for a nice windward run!


  • Best Trailer Shot.JPG
    Best Trailer Shot.JPG
    793.4 KB · Views: 78
  • Action 5.jpeg
    Action 5.jpeg
    453.8 KB · Views: 80
  • Stern of Capri.JPG
    Stern of Capri.JPG
    836 KB · Views: 75
  • Transom 2.JPG
    Transom 2.JPG
    815.7 KB · Views: 92
  • Lazy Day At Anchor.jpeg
    Lazy Day At Anchor.jpeg
    488.7 KB · Views: 80
  • Ready To Go.jpeg
    Ready To Go.jpeg
    461.7 KB · Views: 83
Yesterday's conditions were winds 6 to 9 with gusts generally up to about 15, maybe a few higher than that. Wind was blowing across the lake so there was not a lot of fetch and not quite white capping. With the keel boat and single handing I never felt the need to hike out on the gunnel or reduce sail with my set of reef points. In fact, in the lower wind speeds, probably below 6 or 7 sitting to leeward was not uncomfortable. Point being that the keel was the difference. The boat does not point quite as well as it probably would with a center board and it's added depth but at some point the longer board also begins to add more resistance to lateral movement and actually increases the healing tendency. The last center board boat which I owned and sailed regularly was a Tanzer 16, with more weight in the board and wider beam. It would plane with enough breeze downwind and yet was not as tender as the centerboarded 14.2 seems to be. I do not miss the center board trunk which comes with a centerboarded day sailer. I have been pleasantly surprised at the response of the boat to light winds and never feel as if I have given up anything by having the keel version.
Launching and retrieving the 14.2K is accomplished by using a rope/chain attachment which lets us "sink" the trailer enough so that the bunks are just below the water level. The boat is light enough so that getting it on and off of the trailer is no problem. I carry a 6 foot aluminum folding ladder to the marina for ease in accessing the boat while it is on the trailer; same thing for getting onto the boat when it is in the yard at home. Because we keep the boat at a dock at home during the season, we are only launching once in the spring and retrieving only once in the fall.