New Sailors, Old Boat, and Questions

Thread starter #1
My son (12) and I have taken a few sailing lessons (in Laser boats), which we have really enjoyed. We also have a couple of friends with small sailboats. So I started looking at boats that would be good to learn on, and not cost a lot of money.

The next thing you know, I own a nice Capri 14.2 (1988, Mod 1, Hull 1930). The main sail is new, but the jib is original (and has two taped tears). Various rigging needs to be replaced. The boat came on a nice galvanized trailer. I paid $1400, which might be a bit high (but I am not looking back).

Here are my questions...
  1. Mast-head bracket was through-bolted, bent, and loose. Wood beneath does not seem to be rotten and gel/fiberglass are fine. Have read a few threads about mast-head issues in this forum. Bracket will be straightened or replaced. Which of these fixes sounds the best...?
    1. Upsize to #8 screws and put it back together.
    2. Drill and fill with epoxy and dowel-plug or match-sticks. Re-drill and secure with #10 screws.
    3. Do plan (B) and use longer screws that go into a backing board (hardwood, or composite decking).
  2. I will replace the shrouds as they look weathered/rusted. Forestay shroud looks good to me. Should I replace it anyway?
  3. Shroud spreaders have made minor indentations on the mast. Should I be concerned, and if so what can be done?
  4. Previous owner had spray-painted registration numbers (which I hope to remove). I have not tried anything yet. Considering acetone or goof-off. Suggestions here?
  5. Hull: Overall the hull seems to be in great shape. No cracks or obvious repairs. Finish is mostly dull (but not chalky or faded). Should I polish it, or just try to give it a wax? Any product suggestions here? Also, what can be done to treat the textured parts on the fore-deck and seats?
  6. I plan to replace many of the lines and will have some questions that I hope you can help me with. Separate post coming about lines.
Thanks for any answers/suggestions you can provide. I plan to ready the boat, then start sailing in light winds. Controlled capsize drills will be part of it. I will also lean on our experienced friends (and offer to crew for them). I can't wait, and my son is pretty jazzed about it also.

Thanks again!
For the spray paint removal try the goof off first. It usually does the job with less hazardous vapors and less fire hazard than the acetone.

Since we can assume all the shrouds are the same age and have seen the same service conditions, I'd do them as a set.

Not familiar with the specific construction of your mast so I can't comment on those issues.

Pretty normal for an oxide layer to develop on the gelcoat. it might polish off with some rubbing compound. Night require wet sanding with very fine wet/dry paper then polishing.
Pick a spot and test the mildest method first, working to more abrasive. if its taking an annoying amount of time.
Note that the wet sanding needs the polishing after for the above waterline. Below waterline its generally recommended not to polish it, just leave it at appx 1000 grit if you bother at all. This has to do with the way water flows across a very smooth vs a mildly roughed up surface.
1. I suspect you are referring to the base of the mast. DO NOT THROUGH-BOLTS use screws. The size of the screws doesn’t really matter much. The only real stress on the screws is when you step the mast or if a shroud breaks. If a shroud breaks it is best that the screws in the mast base bracket pull out rather easily otherwise you can expect a bent bracket and a damaged deck. If they simply pull out the repairs are very easy…

2. I totally agree with fhhuber – replace all of the standing rigging as it provides very cheap insurance.

3. I would not worry about the damage the spreaders have caused unless it is major damage. If it is bad enough to weaken the mast then replacement of the mast is probably the best if not the only remedy.

4. Nothing to recommend on this one. Fiberglass is pretty resistant to all kinds of chemicals. You may want to start by testing a solvent that will remove the paint by trying it on a very small spot that is out of sight as much as possible. The upper edge of the cuddly opening is a good starting place.

5. When I got my 14.2 the fiberglass looked like chalk. After trying countless “removers” polish, compounds, etc. I finally bit the bullet and went to wet and dry sandpaper. The jell coat is fairly thick so sanding with 400 ~ 1000 will do a super job. The grit you start with will depend on how bad the surface is. Just watch carefully how much jell coat you are removing as it is possible to remove too much.

6. The key word in running rigging is SMALL! It doesn’t take a lot of strength to handle the amount of sails found on a 14.2. You will regret using line larger than that specified in the 14.2 handbook.

What a great opportunity to bond with your son. Let him be a major contributor in getting the boat ready to sail. He will learn and you will reap the wonderful rewards…:)
Thread starter #4
Hello again. I want to say thanks to fhuber and boat for their replies. I very much appreciate your input. Due to travel we have been away from home and I have not done anything with the boat. A few comments...
  • I had my words upside-down about the mast: the bracket issue is at the base (foot) of the mast. I will NOT through-bolt. It will be fixed with screws, either +1 size, or by drill, fill, and use the original size screw.
  • Based on your comments I will replace all of the shrouds. Thanks!
  • I am not too concerned about the mast-indentations from the spreaders, and I don't think that the structure of the mast is compromised. Aluminum is pretty tough.
  • On the hull I will start with Goof-off on the paint. Then I will first try to polish (and wax), and will use sandpaper if required (thanks for the recommendations on grit).
  • Line sizing will be done per the recommendations in the 14.2 handbook (smaller than catalina-spec). There are recommended brands/types in there as well, which is very helpful.
  • Yes, I will involve my son in the project. I have a younger son who is 10 and also pretty jazzed about the boat. He declined on the sailing lessens previously, but that may change. My wife is also supportive, but this is a new direction for us since our boating has been focused on moving water (river rafting and paddle-boards).
Thanks again from your comments. I have learned a ton just from browsing on this site. It's a great resource.