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New owner! First time out on the water

TunedRef

New Member
Hi! I recently bought a '95 Catalina 14.2, and I'm very excited to own my first boat. I used to crew on J24s and the occasional FJ back in college, and I've rented Lasers and Hobies a handful of times on vacations, so I know a little bit about sailing, but this is the first time its my own boat, and suddenly I'm responsible for stuff like rigging it, negotiating boat ramps, it's a lot of fast learning and I'm loving it.

I bought the boat for a pretty good deal, knowing it had a leak in the centerboard area, but thanks to a thread I found on this forum, i felt confident pulling the centerboard, getting the boat flipped over in my front yard, finding an obvious gap, and filling it with 3M 4200. So far it seems to be holding great.

I dunked it in a lake up here in New Hampshire for the first time last weekend, and I had a great time despite a number of, lets call them educational moments.

-I forgot to plug the drain plug before dunking the trailer, didn't plug it until right after we left the boat ramp. I decided to carry on, thinking maybe a slower boat wouldn't be the worst first outing, especially with 2 adults and 2 kids on board. And hey, the water didn't finish draining until I got all the way home parked on my steep driveway, so I think my hull repair held!
-About 7kts of wind coming straight towards the ramp and dock, and I had a pretty hard time getting out into deeper water. It was tough to keep the boat facing towards the wind, one of us had to jump out several times and push it away from rocks, trying to turn it towards the wind to raise sails, and then again a few minutes later, I couldn't get enough momentum to effectively use the tiller and I kept drifting towards shore. Once we did escape from shore though, it really sailed fine. It felt very stable and predictable, and at one point the wind picked up to where I had to lean off the side of the boat, so good! I think next time if the wind is similar, I might try to paddle away from shore a bit before raising the sails.
-Pointing ability was just OK. Measuring the angles on the GPS tracking from my FitBit, on average we were doing 64 degrees off the wind. I don't think that's great, but enough to sail upwind and anchor on the sandbar with all the power boats, let the kids swim. My cheap Amazon grapple anchor didn't hold very well, pretty sure I need to find a Danforth.

Kids loved jumping off the boat on the sandbar, and I definitely want a swim ladder. On the port side of the transom I have the motor mount and an inspection port. Peaking inside the motor mount is bolted into two rectangular pieces of wood on the inside of the transom. Figure I can add a port to the starboard side and rig a ladder in the same fashion.

I found quite a bit of discussion about pointing related to the traveler. My traveler line was way too short and way too thick, so I bought a new line from West Marine, added some knots so the mainsheet block only has about an inch of room to move side to side, and is now sitting about 26", 26.5" above the transom. Between that and the not letting water fill the hull at the boat ramp, I assume performance should only be better.

I have a couple questions about my Furling Jib. There seems to be no Jib Halyard, I just attach the ends of what I guess is still called the forestay to the mast and the bow, one of us pulls on that as the other steps the mast. Then I unroll the jib and good to go. Is it normal to not have a jib halyard if you have a furler? The guy in this Youtube video seems like it makes it easier to step the mast. (
) Besides stepping, I imagine it would allow me to adjust the tension underway. I attached a picture of how my furled jib/forestay attaches to the mast, right above what I believe is the jib's halyard pulley. How legit or how wrong is this?

The previous owner warned me that the string (furling line?) that's spooled up on the bottom had ripped and is not long enough, so I've just been reaching forward and furling by hand. That will be the next line I replace. Does anyone know the correct length and diameter for it? The furling mechanism is not listed in my manual.

Last question is about negotiating the boat ramp, cleats, fenders. I have a couple good cleats on either end of the transom, but nothing up front besides the bow loop. How do you guys mount fenders or something to keep from bumping up against the dock? My crew held the boat at the dock with a line, but also had the kids. Just in the minute it took me to go get the car it banged up against the dock more than I'd prefer to have happen again. I only managed to find one small fender in a local store, but if I can't find more I'm going to at least try to use some pool noodles.

This is really awesome though, I've been talking about buying a boat for years, and finally pulled the trigger. I'm watching a couple thunderstorms on this weekend's forecast, but if they don't materialize I'm going to go again!
 

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CAPTCAP

New Member
Looks like a great setup!! Welcome to the forum. My boat is a bit older and furling-less so I'll let the others chime in on your questions. Where are you sailing, New Hampshire?
 

laketahoe

New Member
I just converted mine from the hank-on style jib/forestay to the rolling furler and the jib with integrated forestay. It's set up exactly like yours is.. no jib halyard. The upper pennant attaches directly to the mast tang with a shroud adjuster. However I found it a bit tricky to step the mast and apply enough forward tension to attach the pin at the base of the furler. So I ended up using my "old" jib halyard and attaching it to the top of the mast where the jib halyard block is, and then my helper would yank forward on that while I finished installing the pin. I store my boat on a buoy in an unprotected part of the lake that can get some strong evening chop and I need to keep the shrouds and forestay very tight to prevent the mast from slamming around.

I recall the furler wants 3mm line, but I didn't have any and just used paracord. I'll probably get some real 3mm line for next season.

Regarding attaching fenders, I have just clipped them to the shrouds, the jib car and the rear traveler line. I got the fenders on Amazon - about 16" long and 5" in diameter. It would be nice to have a few more places to attach forward of the shrouds, but I'd be hesitant to install anything that would interfere with the jib sheets.

Regarding getting off the dock, etc... since you already have the motor mount installed, I've found a 46 pound of thrust electric trolling motor has been invaluable. To keep the aft area free of a battery box, I ran a wire from a jack I installed in the back near the motor up inside to the storage area up front.
 
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Kerrcat14.2K

New Member
My 2016 (produced in 2015) 14.2K came fitted out with roller furling and uses the wire which is seized inside of the jib as the forestay, which attaches to a pennant mounted on the mast. I keep the boat at my dock during the season and also keep the shrouds set up pretty tight, which of course keeps the forestay taught. I am able to use the main halyard and attach the head clip to the bow plate in order to pull on the main halyard and top of the mast to tension the shrouds and get enough slack in the forestay to set the connector.
I use a carabiner and quarter inch (or larger) nylon line to hold a dock bumper in place at the midpoint of the boat by clipping to the barney post. Because I installed a mooring cleat in the bow deck for mooring, it also gives me an attachment point for another nylon line with bumper, with a loop in the line. At times I have just tied to the mast with a couple of half hitches. Easy to unclip the midpoint line and lift the bow line off of the cleat, leaving both on the dock while sailing. Otherwise I could just throw them into the forward cuddy. I also installed smaller cleats near the stern on each side of the boat, above the rub rails, and can attach a mooring line as well as a dock bumper.
I use a Honda 2.3 long shaft outboard for auxiliary power, mounted on a stern mounted motor mount. Centrifugal clutch lets it idle as if in neutral and it is only about 32 lbs or so, four stroke. Plenty of power, air cooled, easy to start and very dependable.
 

laketahoe

New Member
I've been looking at the Honda 2.3 and the Yamaha. With my 46lb electric, the max speed I could get is only about 3.5mph and that's on smooth water. I was hoping to put a gas outboard on so I can reposition the boat quickly to other parts of the lake to find better wind conditions. The electric works great for docking, etc, but just doesn't move the boat fast enough for repositioning. Can you estimate how fast you can get out of your 2.3?
 

Kerrcat14.2K

New Member
I think that the rated hull speed is about 4.9. The Honda has enough thrust that I rarely open the throttle more than a quarter of full throttle even when motoring from the boat ramp to the house in spring and fall. In white capped waves I might have exceeded that by a little but more so I have been adjusting speed to match the wave intervals. Getting from the dock out into the main lake area I am usually at less than one quarter throttle. I can tell you that I have never felt underpowered. Probably anything over one half throttle would be used just for extra control or thrust. The lake area where I sail might at times have a several mile fetch, maybe as much as four at the most, but that can create some pretty good "chop" with ten to twelve knots of wind if steady. And, I am powering the keel version of the 14.2 with a 200 pound, two foot draft, keel. I carry a one gallon gas container and have not ever refilled the container in a season unless I did some motor cruising. The lake is an inland fresh water area of 50,000 acres with 800 miles of shoreline, a hydro/flood control project, so it is basically a meandering river which was dammed in the early 1950's. Usually about one to several miles wide. Great sailing body but not subject to major wave action like Chesapeake Bay or Pamlico Sound.
 

laketahoe

New Member
Thanks, this is great information. I found on Newports website that 46lb thrust is equal to 0.64HP. So the 2.4HP outboard will be a significant increase, which aligns with your experience of rarely needing more than 1/4 or 1/2 throttle. In Lake Tahoe, the conditions change on a dime, and frankly for safety I think this is a good upgrade. And I don't have the keel version.. frankly I wish I did for this lake, but I needed something I could launch from the beach.

Also thanks for the tip on using the main halyard attached to the bow plate. Much better and simpler solution!
 
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Kerrcat14.2K

New Member
A couple of final thoughts. Without repeating too much of what I have put in other threads on the site, several of the best things which I have found make the 14.2 more friendly or at least similar to the larger sailboats which I have owned: for boat dock bumpers I use Taylor Made low freeboard bass boat bumpers (5 inch by 14 inch) which have an L shape which works really well on small boats; topping lift dead ended on the mast and cleated on the boom for adjustment and left in place loosely while sailing; a set of reef points and single line reefing on the main for windier days; mooring cleats carefully placed and bedded on the bow deck and port and starboard on the stern end sides; some type of simple rope and board boarding ladder to hang off of the stern if needed; large windex on the mast; tiller tamer especially for single handing but also for better control when launching, motoring, and during tacks.
 

TunedRef

New Member
Thanks everyone!

That was Newfound Lake in New Hampshire. Lovely lake, and a lot less crowded than Winnie. Weather didn't cooperate this past weekend, so hopefully next.

Thanks for letting me know my jib isn't rigged funny. I still think I'd like to add a jib halyard, as I think I'd need it if I wanted to raise the mast solo. And 3mm line for the furler. I can probably count how many rotations to unfurl and estimate the length.

I think keep an eye on Craigslist for a motor, it might really open up a lot more bodies of water that would be fun to explore. I think I prefer how self contained a gas motor would be, no wiring or battery. I can always leave it off the boat if it's a day I'm particularly worried about capsizing.

Installing reef points on the sail and single line reefing - definitely beyond my sailing experience. I get the idea of reefed = not raised all the way, but how does the reefing line work? I've heard of ordering sails with reefing points, or I guess you could modify the existing sail? I'll search around on the topic, I really don't know what's involved. It definitely sounds nice.
 

TunedRef

New Member
I think this thread is answering my reefing questions!
 

laketahoe

New Member
I paid about $120 to have my main modified to add the reef point. I did it through Catalina Direct. It was pretty painless, just ship them the sail and about a week later it was returned. I'm glad I did it - it gave me some confidence to go single handed when I haven't before. I didn't have any fancy reefing line systems setup.. I just manually set the sail in the reefed position before heading out. Being able to easily reef or unreef single handed is definitely something I'd like to figure out, so I will review these threads for all the advise and get it done before next season!
 

Kerrcat14.2K

New Member
Look at the "Boom Height" thread, first reply, for link to 14.2 manual. The manual should show a drawing/diagram regarding placement of reefing points and suggested line placement. I went one step further and patterned a single line reefing system based on the small Harken system, similar to what I had in place on a Cape Dory Typhoon and a Tanzer 22. That utilizes a line, several small air blocks, a cleat, and several stainless eye straps, all mounted with stainless machine screws instead of pop rivets. I think that only one row of reef points is sufficient.
 
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