Near disaster

Thread starter #1
I only have a couple minutes to write this down, but last week I had a near disaster on my c14. I was sailing on a lake leaving from the dock. I had the mainsail lowered and tied up around the boom. We had a weather shore so the wind was at her back and I decide to unfurl the jib and sail on the jib only until we got out in the middle of the lake and then raise the main. When I unfurled the jib, I heard a loud pop and the mast started falling backward. The small penant cable that runs between the mast and the furler uppper swivel had broken. With the wind behind me, I was able to hold up the mast while my wife steered. I was starting to run out of strength so I had my wife hook a bungi cord around the tiller to the hiking strap to keep it pointed downwind. Then I had her go up on the foredeck and unhook the mainsail halyard and hook it through the large hole in the bow fitting. We then pulled in on the halyard and this served as a temporary forestay so we could get back to the dock. If the wind had been higher or from another direction it would have been bad. When replacing stays, I would suggest repacing the 15" penants as well.


Pretty impressive that you were able to recover from that situation, Kim.

My most recent outing involved a mishap that I'll share, although
it is somewhat embarrasing. I was single handing on Lake Grapevine
(Dallas-Fort Worth area) and after having sailed about 5 miles from
the boat ramp I use the wind really started to pick up. I had to use
the fisherman's reef (jib tight, main let out) going back and was
nearly knocked down several times. Eventually I made it back to
the area where the boat ramp I use is, and since the ramp was
on the windward shore I decided to douse the sails and go
in with the trolling motor. I lashed the tiller arm with a bungee cord,
lowered the trolling prop into the water and started it in low speed.
Then I went forward to furl the jib and douse the main. The wind
was still blowing pretty heavy (lots of whitecaps) and before I went
forward I had uncleated the main and both jib sheets. This was
a very noisy but manageable situation until the main sheet was
blown out of its blocks and ended up behind the boat and, of course
fouled in the trolling motor prop. I tried reversing the trolling motor
to free it but that didn't work. I ended up beaching not to far
from the boat ramp and just walked the boat over to the ramp
in waist high water where I tied it to a rock and prepared it to be
trailored. A humiliating spectacle but I think I'll get over it. With
hindsight I think this could have been avoided if I had had a large
knot tied in the end of the main sheet so it could not have been
pulled thru it's blocks to run free over the stern. I do put these knots
(figure 8s) in both jib sheets, it just never occurred to me to put
one in the main sheet.

Kurt O.
Thread starter #3
Kurt, If you didn't turn the boat over, it was a good trip. This past summer I seemed to end up in a storm about every time I went out. I was ususally on vacation for the week so I would go out every day hoping for the best, but afternoon thunderstorms seemed to happen everyday. I will have to remember that about knotting the mainsheet end. I rarely singlehand because my wife is ususally with me. I have had good luck when the wind starts whipping with just rolling up the jib and sailing on the main alone. It gives you weather helm but you might want to try it when the wind is nice and get used to it before trying it in a storm. Dousing the jib gets rid of about 40% of your sail area. Thats a lot less heeling force and one less sail to fucus your attention on when all hell starts breaking loose. I am in the process of getting a reef put in my mains'l so I can install a jiffy reefing setup. This should take about 30% off and allow me to unfurl a small amount of jib to balance the helm and get her to point well in higher winds. I don't like getting knocked down in a blow and most people know what I am talking about if they have been there. It takes all the fun out, but I am convinced reducing sail is the answer. I talked to a guy who sails a 15 foot unballasted boat and he says that if the wind is anything but easy, he puts a reef in the main before he leaves the dock when sailing singlehanded. He says its easier to shake a reef out once your out in the middle of a lake than trying to reef the main once you are out there and realize the wind is too much.
Good advice about the penants. I sail on a small lake (sand pit) that is within 5 minutes of home. There is no dock. From the shore of 6 inches of water it goes out about 20 feet to about 3 feet of water and then drops suddenly to 60 or 80 feet (who counts after 8 feet?). In order to launch or get back to shore I usually use a trolling motor set very high in the water. I will usually pull up the centerboard and then the rudder when I am coming back to sure.

This weekend the winds were stronger than I usually sail in. I set up as I usually do; furl the jib, douse the main, drop the motor, pull up the centerboard engaged the motor. I could not get control of the boat. The wind,coming over the starboard side when returning to shore, was just blowing it around. I finally figured out the answer I dropped the centerboard about 4 or 5 inches. What I theorized , was that without the centerboard ther was no "pivot Point" for the motor to push the stern around.

This seemed to help quite a bit and I did not drag it on the not so sandy (rocky) shore.

I have sailed with very little jib and full main and this seems to work out ok. Sometimes it is difficult to get the bow to come around though. I would agree it would be great to be able to ree the main and use the jib partly furled to balance the sails.

What is the going price to have reef points installed on the main?

Thread starter #5
The last quote I got was for $125.00 plus about 20 shipping each way from Air Force sails. I can buy a new sail with the reef in it from the sail exchange for $175. I can buy a DIY kit from Sailrite for $50 and I think I will go this way. If I mess it up too bad I can buy another one for not much more than the reef job. It doesn't look to hard. The stitching can be done by hand (according to the instructions). I will let you know how it goes.



I really like the DIY reefing points intallation idea... I'll be interested to
hear how that goes if you choose to do it, Kim. Good luck with it.

Kurt O.
Thread starter #8
I will let you know how it goes. Sailright has the kit but it seems to be made for larger boats. It looks like the main ingredient is the sail patches. I am still studying on this. I want the reef to be effective, but simple. I won't mind pulling in and cleating two lines if it means a lot less blocks and extra hardware to install and deal with.
I'm considering this hardware kit:{E43C56A1-0F65-4BA3-9EE3-32D3BC18920EVEREST4}&ic=430&eq=&Tp=

but it looks like a lot of hardware to install (which I don't mind).
Thread starter #10
DIY reefing

I just finished the DIY reefing job on my mains'l. I have bought all the stuff for rigging it on the mast and boom but have not installed it yet. I looked at the reefing kit from sail right but was not happy with the patches or the large ring for the clew. The patches just did not look right for this kind of sail. I ordered some dacron material from sailrite and cut my own patches trying to follow a pattern I had seen on a larger sail that had reefing and a similar panel layout as this sail. I finally finished sewing on all the patches and putting in the grommets last night. Hopefully I can try it out soon before it gets real cold. When I get everything installed I will try to take a photo and put it on here (if I can do that). At the same time I also enclosed some closed cell foam in the first couple of feet in the top of the mains'l for floatation just in case. I saw this in the C14.2 owners manual that Catalina offered as a sleave that was removable for racing. I don't plan on racing, but if I did I would probably buy a new set of sails just for racing anyway so I sewed it into the sail permanently. This is the last two things I wanted to do to the boat to have it the way I want it. They are both for safety and peace of mind after this last summer with all the storms in the afternoon. I have sailed mostly in mountain lakes of varying size (although I prefer the larger ones). The bad thing about these lakes is that many times you can't see a storm until its one you.
This sounds great, Kim. If you can't post a picture here, then please send it to me. I'm curious to see what the patches look like that you are describing. Was it difficult to put in the grommets?

I'm jealous that you still have a chance to try it out. The sailing season here where I live is definately over for the year :(
Mast Flotation Device

I intend to try out this mast floatation device:

My local sailing shop has installed the Hobie mini-bob on other 14 ft mono-hulls and is willing to install on my 14.2. It looks ok on a Hobie but it seems like it might be out of proportion on a 14.2.

Thread starter #13

Ok, I can't figure out any way to put photos on here without a lot of trouble (creating a web page, etc.). I put my photos in one of those free online photo albums at yahoo. I will put in the link for it and anyone wanting to see can go there and look in "my photos" if it works. please let me know if this does work. Then maybe others could do the same and I could see some photos of their stuff. The last picture is of the foam I used for floatation(sp). This had been my hold up for a long time. all the foam I could find either wasn't closed cell or just wasn't durable enough(in my opinion) or it was 40 or 50 bucks. I came across just what I was looking for at a wholesale club. It was a foam interlocking mat for kids to play on. The size was big enough to get pieces the size I needed and it was only 15 bucks for 8 pieces and I used the two blue ones and we still have six left for mats. Here we go..... If this doesn't work, maybe someone else could show me how to do it another way.
Thread starter #15
One thing I forgot

I forgot to tell you that I did test the foam for floatation. After I cut the pieces, I took a weight set and started loading down the foam in a bathtub full of water. If I carefully placed the weights on the foam until it would not take any more or sink. It held 18 pounds but would sink with 19. I left the 18 pounds on it floating for a couple hours just to make sure the foam would not take on any water or somehow loose its bouyancy. I hope to try the sail out soon.
Thread starter #18
reefing photos

Was anybody able to look at the photos on the site I listed? It has been a while and I wonder if its working. I will list it again . Look at the mainsail photos. I have about got all the hardware installed on the boom and mast. I will put some pictures of the sail reefed on the actual boat as soon as I can. Has anybody got any other reefed photos?. I would like to know what others have done.
Good looking photos! Now we can see what you look like. Isn't it always great to put a face to a name.

The modifications to the mainsail look really good. I'm going to try to do the same later this winter.

Thanks for posting the pictures.




Thanks for posting those photos, Kim. The reef points
on the mainsail look very good... I'm anxious to give
this a try.