Thinking about buying



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I'm thinking about buying a catalina 14.2 (probably new) and I was wondering if there is anything I need to know about the boat before I buy.

What kind of winds can it handle? How easy is it to sail?

How easy is it to launch and trailer? I know what the dealer says but I want to hear it from you.

Any accessories I should make sure I get? I put a whisker pole on the list after reading through the forums.

What kind of motor should I get? Anything to watch out for? Where do you put the battery?

We live in central Texas and my wife and I want something we can haul to nearby lakes for fun afternoons. Is this the boat? It seems to be. I really like the fact that it has a storage area. That seems hard to find in this size boat.

Thanks for any tips.
The capri 14.2 is a nice boat to trailer, easy to launch and retrieve via ramp. I sail over in Mission Bay in San Diego, CA and have fun sailing the boat. My two 11 year old sons have even learned to sail on it as well as race our C14.2. The boat is comfy and well manored to about 9-10 knots of breeze. At 14 feet, I can't think of a nicer daysailor that is as easy to sail, has storage and is built to last. Good luck!
The boat is easy to sail and handle. A wonderful daysailer and great to learn many of the intricacies of sailing. Launching is not difficult at all, just rig it prior to putting it into the water. The boat handles very nicely, and is very responsive, so you must be alert. I sail on the east coast, and she is great in the mid-Atlantic bays and rivers, where it can bet pretty choppy.
A good choice IMHO

As a novice, I have found the Capri 14.2 to be very easy to trailer, rig, and sail singlehandedly. I agree with the 9-10 knots of breeze, but in my experience, with a couple of crewmembers onboard using the hiking straps, the boat can speed along quite nicely in higher winds. It is very responsive and a great daysailor as well as racer. I have found it to be relatively light and I can lift the back end of the boat to adjust it on the center of the trailer if need be.
I have a 2hp honda 4 stroke outboard with the long shaft (22 in)
It is an easy pull start so I don't have a battery. When I did early on use a electric trolling motor, I set the battery up near the cubby entrance on the floor on a rubber mat, and ran cables to it.
The only accessory I have bought is the mast float, after I watched my brother-in-law go over in it and turtled it in a high gust.
My wife even likes the boat, maybe because I named it after her!!
I would definitely get roller furling. It has made a lot of difference for me. I would get a boom kicker or topping lift so the boom doesn't fall into the boat when you lower the main. I prefer an outboard motor between 1 to 3 hp with an internal fuel tank. There are no batteries to worry about recharging and where to put them. There are pros and cons to 4 stroke and 2 stroke. I ended up getting a 2 stroke. The honda 4 stroke is nice but there is a serious drawback that would have made it a bad choice for me.
What's that serious drawback to the Honda 4-stroke that would have made it a bad choice for you, regularman? (Something other than the price?)
No, jeff. Although the price is high;) I almost bought a used one that had been used for one season for $450 before I bought the little 2 stroke I have now. I like to ask questions from people who already own stuff ,if I can, to find out how it works. I saw one guy who had a 2hp Honda on a "john boat" last spring . I asked him how it was and he had nothing but praise, except for one thing. He (like me) was transporting his boat a fairly long way to where he uses it (about 50 miles). I take my boat about 250 miles becuase my in-laws have a place right on a large lake where we can stay for free:D I take my motor off of the boat and lay it down when towing for this distance so It doesn't bounce around back there and destroy itself. This guy said that the first time he layed the Honda down and transported it, the oil in the crankcase worked its way up past the piston and caused whats known as "hydraulic lock". He said he could not pull the cord, the motor was locked down. He said he had to remove the spark plug and let the oil drain out. Then it was a pain to start and "killed many mosquitos" when it did (from the smoke). He had a little rig made in the back of his truck to carry it more upright. I sometimes tow my boat with a car and lay my motor in the trunk(hatch) or my pickup which has a toneau cover on it for better milage. Im glad I didn't go with the Honda for that reason. I bought an antique 2 stroke and rebuilt it and it is trustworthy, thats what counts. Their may be a special way to lay the Honda down where the crankcase oil doesn't do this, but I know my luck and the motor would shift during transit. Anybody else hear of this happening? If you have a 4stroke do you leave it on the boat when towing? I would prefer a 4stroke for the quiet and cleaness, but I don't use the motor much anyway, just to get in and out from the dock and to get in quicker if a storm hits, or the wind dies and its getting dark. If I spend an entire week at the lake, I have yet to burn 1 whole gallon of gas.
Regularman, that's just the kind of info that discussion boards are so good at uncovering. I, too, sometimes trailer my boat a ways to get to a sizeable lake and I would have done the same thing, lay the motor in the back of my pickup rather than worry about it bouncing along on the boat transom. Definitely something to take into account.

On the price issue, though, I wish I could find a Honda at that price after only one season of use. I do have an eye out for an older motor, but since, like you, I only plan on using the motor for getting away from the launch ramp dock or returning if the wind dies, I am leaning toward an electric installation once I do the removeable cuddy conversion on my Model 2.

Thanks for the reply.
Have you given any thought to where you would put the battery?I sometimes go to a very small lake nearby that doesn't allow any gas outboards and wouldn't mind having a small electric troller to use on it if I could find one cheap enough. On the big lake I still prefer gas, because during the storms last summer I needed full power to get back in from 5-10 miles down the lake and I would be afraid the battery on an electric would get too weak before I made it back. Hell, I probably forget to charge the damn thing anyway. Some of those deep cycles are heavy too, I wonder if they make one the size of a motorcycle battery, that would be ok on that small lake.
Kim, I was figuring that once I made the cuddy box removeable, as per the plans published in Mainsheet, that I would be able to mount a battery or two in the bilge area in some way -- perhaps two smaller batteries, one on each side of the cuddy opening for balance, and run the cables through the bilge back to the transom area. Haven't sat down (or gone out to marine stores) to do all the research necessary, so I'd be happy to get any input from those who have rigged electrics in their boats.

Yeah, a small gas motor does have certain advantages, but if I can find a reasonable way to use quiet electric with easily removeable/rechargeable batteries, it would be nice. I daydream sometimes about having a bigger sailboat that uses all alternative energy sources for the support functions -- wind generator, solar panels, maybe eventually a fuel cell to run an electric auxiliary.

I recently noted in one of the sailing mags that a very expensive new boat design had an electric auxiliary with the huge battery bank serving as much of the ballast. If they can figure out how to do it for that boat, it should be an option for small boats like the Capri if the battery technology (as in weight vs. power) isn't prohibitive.
I know what you mean Jeff . I would like some kind of rig like that too. One of the best rigs I have seen on a larger boat is a permanently mounted electric motor under the stern. This is used to get in and out of the dock and to motor when In low wind. The motor works like a generator when sailing to recharge the battery. A cool idea. I did the cuddy thing on my mod II as well. I had a little write up and photos in the mainsheet as well.. If you have any questions let me know. Its hard to list every detail. Its nice to have storage:D
What about the Precision 15?

I am also researching the purchase of either a C14.2, Precision 15 or Hunter 146.

Do you guys have any experience on how these three boats stack up together in different wind conditions?
Sailing will be single handed 95% of the time.

Thanks for the input !

Yeah, Kim, the design I saw used the same idea - the free rotating prop served as a generation source.

From some preliminary checks on the web last night, one issue will be the whether a battery installation is easy to remove for recharging. A customer review of one sealed marine deep-cycle battery said it was a great battery, but not exactly portable. A plus for the sealed batteries would be that they seem to allow positioning them other than "normal" with the cells/posts up. So perhaps there is enough room under the cuddy box if a battery is put on its side, then you could have the battery both centered and low.

And if it was a pain to take out to recharge, then perhaps one of the small solar-panel trickle chargers could be hooked up when the boat is parked in my driveway -- or, as with my cars if the battery dies, use a nice long extension cord out to a portable charger sitting in the cockpit.
Jeff, are you going to sail on the ocean or a big lake, small lake or what? What area of the country? Just curious, because here in the southeast, some of my best ever sailing days were when it was overcast. Do you plan on sailing alone most of the time? My wife goes with me most of the time and she has a fear of storms, so when they start she wants to get in quick. Something about all that lightening poping around and a 20 foot aluminum spar sticking up in the air:D In those occasions its nice to have full power to get back in ASAP. I could just see the battery getting weak and us crawing along in a storm, this would be most unpleasing for the bride(and thus for me as well);)
Kim, I live in far northern Wisconsin, just a little ways below the Michigan border. While we have more than 1,000 lakes in our county and more than 1,000 others in the county to the north, not to mention all the others in the region, not that many are truly suitable to sailing because of size, accessibility, or structure.

However, there are a few with fairly large open bodies that allow good wind and have workable boat landings. Then I just have to watch out for the fishing boats and the jet skis. I would imagine if there was a really bad storm that came up quickly, I'd be able to get to a dock really easily, even if it wasn't to the boat landing. Generally the folks around here seem friendly enough to not be too surprised by a stranger in a small sailboat at their dock (and surprised they will be -- very, very few sailboats on the inland lakes around here).

Considering the life that the musky fishermen get out of their batteries with trolling motors, and considering the weight of a C14, even with crew, I think that an electric with pretty good thrust could zip a C14 along pretty well for quite a while. But I know some folks on this board have tried them and I wouldn't mind their additional comments. Probably should go back for old posts or start a specific thread on the subject.
Well, your situation is a little different than mine, but let me know what you come up with. I know some guys who use trolling motors on there bass boats and get a lot of time out of them, but they usually have two 50-60lb batteries onboard. Send me some pics when you get your setup figured out. I love to see other people's boats:D Its finally starting to warm up here, so hopefull I can get out on some water soon. Its a long time from November to March:(