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New Owner - Questions and issues


New Member
I bought a Catalina 14.2 sight unseen two days ago. It was not my best move. Not all was as good as it seemed. So I have some questions and hopefully I can get some wisdom from the group. First, I am 74 years old and very excited about having a boat again. So here are the issues:
1. The boat was kept on a platform on a fresh water lake. The last foot or so of the boat collected a lot of calcium deposit and dirt. I was going to use muriatic acid but after reading some of the issues, I chose to play it safe and find another solution. What is the best cleaner that will help solve the problem.
2. The "waterproof cabin" up front was not. It had about 3 inches of water. I have cleaned it up but am curious how it got there. It has been stored outside for some time, so it was subject to heavy rains and heavy storms. Are there any issues I need to be aware of?
3. The plastic fittings in the self bailing drains are in pieces. Am I at risk sailing with them as they are in terms of wood in the transom being soaked?
4. I was under the assumption that the boat was rigged with a cunningham (I think that is the proper term). It isn't, but the main has a hole where the cunningham would go. I would like to add that as well as reefing points in the main. Ant issues with doing these things?
5. It has a brand new jib. It doesn't have a window in it. That would be nice to have. Would I be better off getting one cut and sewn into the new sail or buy a new one.
6. The shrouds need to be replaced. Where is the best place to buy them configured to the right length.
7. The boat came with a nice galvanized trailer. I doubt it was ever used much as the last time it was registered was 8 years ago. It is oddly configured though. Can someone point me to a youtube that instructs on how to adjust small trailers. The ones I found seem to be for more complex configurations. I have replaced the tires already as my nearest lake is 30 minutes away.
8. The blue and red striping has been worn off a little on the port side. Again, does anyone know a source for replacement that is not painting it on.

Thanks in advance for any wisdom advice you care to share. We were going to go out today but winds were running 15-20 with a new boat and a new lake, so discretion took the better part of valor.

Central TexasSailsUp.jpg


New Member
Catalina Direct has the shrouds, so please ignore that question. I am still most bothered by the water in the front space.



Congrats on your new boat and welcome to the group. It looks like a young boat. With a little TLC it ought to be a lot of fun. I agree with your caution at going out in 15-20 knots. That is pretty sporty for the 14.
  • Cunningham: mine doesn't have one, but you could rig it yourself since you already have the grommet.
  • Reefing: check with your sail loft about adding one, but my bet would be that it will add stress points the sail wasn't cut to support.
  • Water issues: Maybe water is getting in at the broken cockpit drains? I would replace those, clean it up and not worry about a little water in the null initially. Keep an eye on how much, if any, water drains from the hull after an hour or two in the water. You might find it isn't an issue.
  • Removing calcium: Coke?
Good luck getting things sorted.

Cheers, Karl


Active Member
Here's what I know about the sails:
**Totally recommend reef points. I've had my 1986 Mod 1 for 5 seasons now and those give a ton of flexibility for sporty sailing. Had them added as soon as I bought the boat! On gusty days running with reefed main only is a total confidence booster. You will find yourself going out on many days that otherwise would not. And never saw any stress on the sail. Also added slugs in lieu of the standard bolt rope, I'll explain why below.
**About the jib. Yes i would add window and switch out those cheesy plastic clips for some larger brass spring loaded ones.
**By doing these mods you can then operate your boat as follows:
*Add small electric trolling motor and "tiller tender" which will lock helm while you tend to the sails. I'm able to motor out/in to dock with sails doused, hoist/lower when out on the open water.
*Also can reef/unreef while underway. And with the bigger hanks in the jib I have a tag line running through them which makes it possible to hoist/douse while underway. Just tie it off in tube shape on deck when not in use. I see no need to spend big $$ getting a roller furler. Not to mention the roller setup is harder to pack away when trailering and more complicated to use. Now keep in mind that it takes agility, organization, and experiance to do the sail changes while underway. Probably much more steady with the fixed keel Capri, but it can be done with our swing keels if you're on your game.
**So get a quote from your sail loft to do all the mod's described here. Also take a close look for any rips or holes that might need repair.

As far as water trapped in the cuddy below the foredeck I have the same issue at times. Recently had a highly skilled "boat doctor" do some major repairs on my Capri and he found no evidence of places where water could get in. Most likely cause was condensation. My boat has a dark canvas cover that really soaks up the sun, and with no ventilation it gets super hot in the cuddy on given days. I'm going to find some kind of water absorbing material that could be left on the floor, to be wrung out as needed, also possibly find some ways to ventilate a bit.

Check out my earlier posts and you'll see all the things I've done, feel free to ask any questions.

Kudos to Aquaman for his responses, which are right on target. My 2016 14.2K came rigged with a roller furling jib system; I previously utilized a tag line system on a Cape Dory Typhoon lowering the various size jibs which I used. Tag line was routed to the cockpit which kept me off of the deck when dousing the sail and a quick application of a bungee cord would keep the jib on the deck until I was ready to raise the jib or until I returned to the dock. Because I launch once in the spring and retrieve in the fall for dry storage on the trailer the inconvenience of dealing with the 14.2K furling system while raising and lowering the mast isn't an issue for me. I would not want to deal with that every time I launched if trailering. In your pic it appears that you already have a topping lift. When sailing, I leave mine attached and just loose enough to not affect the set of the main. That way, if I want to reef my main while underway, or shake out the reef when conditions improve, the process is much simpler because the boom is supported. I also installed a single line reefing system to simplify the reefing process. I was getting a very little leakage into the cuddy around the "waterproof" hatch when the boat was at my dock and hard rains and wind came from different directions. I fabricated and added a small lip above the hatch which I made from teak which I had on hand. The lip only protrudes out past the face of the hatch by maybe 1/8 or 1/4 inch and extends on each side by maybe an inch or a little more, screwed and bedded into the fiberglass just above the opening. I have seen no more moisture, water, accumulate inside of the cuddy over the past five or so summers since making the modification. Finally, because I wanted boat stability, was going to keep the boat tied at my dock during the season, single hand always, and was getting older, also 74 this year, I ordered the boat in the keel configuration. It does make a considerable difference with eliminating most of the tenderness of the dinghy both when rigging and while underway. I don't feel the need to reef nearly as much as I would with the centerboard. I have said in other posts that this gave me a dinghy with all of the attributes of the larger keel boats which I have had over the 50 some years I have been sailing.
Enjoy, you have a gem for sailing!


Active Member
I forgot to mention I have a "boomkicker" which pretty much does the same thing as a topping lift. Holds it up nicely but it's still a bit springy. So my main halyard serves as a solid topping lift until it's time to sail, when I just transfer it over to the main and hoist. Boomkicker also makes it possible to reef while underway. As long as I have a few spare moments, here's a bunch of pics showing my set up.
"Lazy Day" shows the simple canopy I made up for those hot windless days. Drop my 8 lb mushroom and jump in, take a nap, or whatever!
"Light Air Sheet" is my way of getting the best light air performance, keeping the main in line for better pointing
"Reefed Main" I have to tie off 4 points to the boom plus refasten the backhaul line. With shortened main only I can handle some pretty hairy winds. Now my 195 lb ballast also helps, I love my pasta!
"Sails Doused/Tag Lines" there's my method for handling the jib. Pic #1 you can see the tag line on the deck, and look closely see the large brass hanks that allow for the line to be run through.
"Tiller Tender" this is an excellent and necessary device for holding course while you work the sails.
"Windy Day Anchorage" The opposite extreme to "Lazy Day Anchorage". When it's too windy for safe sailing I don't even bother setting up any rigging. Just motor out to a comfortable anchorage and kick back. It's kind of fun to feel the boat getting buffeted around and not have to worry about knockdowns. It's quite possible to enjoy any given day out on the water, even if the winds are not cooperating!
"Boom Kicker and Vang" See my first blurb above.
"Transom 1" See the upright trailer guides that make for easy work at the launch ramp. As a dedicated single hander who's constantly launching, these are great! Also nice to have boat sitting low on trailer, very easy to access and discreet to store at home. This setup is light enough to be dragged around by hand with a dolly if you need to store in your back yard.
"Transom 2" Good view of the motor, ladder, and tiller tender.

And like I said before, it would be great to have the fixed keel version, but I've learned how to live with the quirks of the swing board model. At the ripe old age of 68 I'm still strong and nimble enough to handle her on the small to medium sized lakes I enjoy. Tried Lake Michigan once but was quickly humbled to beat a hasty retreat back to the ramp!

If anybody wants contact information about where to purchase the hardware described herein, feel free to ask.




New Member
Thanks everyone for the replies. Aquaman your pictures were very helpful. So based on schedules and weather, I still have not gotten the boat wet. Maybe this week. The bottom is now shiny clean with no calcium bumps or major issues. I have adjusted the trailer as low as I can. My trailer looks identical to yours Aquaman. Having a tractor with a front end loader turned out to be a great blessing. I was able to easily lift the boat off the trailer to easily get to the bottom for cleaning. Starbright Easy On Easy Off is the solution I used for cleaning the bottom. It is a pretty nasty HCl acid mix. Wear lots of protection if using. That being said it worked fairly easily. I should have taken pics on the tractor. It was pretty cool. Thanks again for the help and comments.