Where to begin?

Thread starter #1
Hello all,

I live in the Austin, Texas area and will be sailing on Lake Travis. I have never owned a boat. I've only sailed a few times on medium sized yachts 25' - 32' but I loved it. I would like to get into sailing, but am completely overwhelmed by the terminology, choices, and lack of direction. I'm not even sure whether I can afford a proper sailboat. I only have about $3000 to spend. I have been researching for about a month now. I happened upon this website when researching a few older Capri 14.2's that were for sale in my area. I spoke with a local salesman who said that a 12 or 14 footer should be good to learn on. There are unfortunately no Sailing classes available in my area for anything but charter certification which runs $800-$1000 (At least that I can find and that anyone knows of). I can't afford to pay for classes and a boat...

The 14.2 looks like a good size from what I have read for learning how to sail however...

I am concerned about my size. I'm a big guy (275Lbs) and am not sure what size boat would fit me properly. The salesman said a 14.2 should hold around 1000 lbs. He didn't say whether that was optimally, max, or before you sink. I would love to be able to take my family out for a day sail, but we are a large family probably about 900-1000 lbs for the four of us. Is a 14.2 large enough for four adults? How about for two of us? Am I too heavy for a small day sailer?

Pending whether I can actually fit on a 14.2, would there be any problems mounting a 5HP Briggs and Stratton 4-Stroke on the rear of one of these? Or buying/building a mount for one? I know that the FAQ stated that a long-shaft was recommended 20"-25" but I am trying to get as much HP for the $ as possible as I might be using the Outboard on another boat as well. It states that a 15" Transom height is recommended but I cannot find the actual transom height for the 14.2 and the short Honda BF2 also states its made for a 15" Transom. Will this engine work on this boat? Will I be overloading the boat? I'm concerned that a 2HP wouldn't be powerful enough to move a heavy crew around the lake if the wind dies or to and from shore. Also the 5HP is cheaper that most 2HP outboards.


Are outboards submersible? Say if I capsize my boat, and the outboard gets submerged, will it ruin the engine?

Are there any good videos or books you would recommend with lots of illustrations (I'm sure I sound like an idiot) for complete newbs?

This is one of the boats I was interested in - http://sailingtexas.com/scapri142d.html

Is there something I should be looking for other than that which is listed in the FAQ when I got to take a look at it?

Thanks for the help!

First off, the C14.2 is a nice well manored boat. I'm about 225# and race my C14.2 with my 100 # 11 year old son with some success in our fleet . That said, at 275# plus your family for a total of 900ish # the boat is not probably going to be alot of fun for you to day sail that heavy. Adding a motor to the formula would be the wrong way to go (IMHO) as the already heavy load of your family would be taxing the boat for any sailing fun you may have. Also, motors don't take well to being submerged. Consider a larger boat for your needs. A Capri 16.5 used might be had for the price range you seek and be more suited to your needs. Hope this helps. I have sailed my boat with about 700 # total (me, wife, 3 kids) and it sailed ok. Learn to sail first if you can, then buy a boat as you'll know what you want and need in a sailboat. Chcken/egg thing... and good luck!

Ed Jones

Secretary/Vice Commodore
Where to begin

I agree that a Capri 16.5 would be a much better choice. I've taken out some big guys before where the total crew weight was about 400 lbs (I only weigh 130) and even that weight made me uncomfortable - the boat felt like it was wallowing. The idea of 1000 pounds crew weight terrifies me - the boat only weighs about 350!

You might consider a small keel boat also, like a Capri 18.
Like you, I never sailed before I started to consider purchasing a boat. The only boat I ever owned was a canoe. I read at least 6 books from the local public library and then took a one hour lesson. I felt that I really did not need the lesson.

My suggestiion to you would be to read several books, rent a boat if you can. Then, once you have the boat, go sailing on a light wind day to try out the techniques you read about. Give yourself plenty of time and enjoy the adventure!

I have a 36Lbs trolling motor that does the trick when the winds die or to get back to the dock. The battery is very heavy and when I sail solo between it and me towards the rear the stern is a little low in the water. For this boat, 5HP engine would be major overkill. Depending on where you are sailing some alternate form of propusion is very desireable. Especially if you are sailing solo. Paddles are minimally required, but I found that it was nearly impossible to paddle. I have since learned that an efficient way is actually to paddle at the stern, pulling the boat backwards.

I knew that I wanted something that was light to trailer and I could manage solo. and I have found that the 14.2 is manageble to sail solo. I am very glad of this because my wife and daughter feel that it is boring. So I get to enjoy the peace and adventure by myself (not always a bad thing).

I am about 220# I have sailed with my wife and 17 year old daughter (can't give their weights) but between the two of them probably 240 # plus a large battery and trolling motor. I did not feel that the weight was an issue, but when it was time to switch sides of the boat it was a little tight for them.

I also agree that the 14.2 would not be a good choice for the size of your crew. If you were to look at the seating in the 14.2 it looks like you could actually seat 6 adults (I am not suggesting that you do this) but, when you are sailing I would say you plus one is ideal and 3 would be maximum.

Good luck, Art
I agree

I really like my 14.2. It is a lot of fun to sail. I agree with the other guys. You might want to look at a little bit larger boat if you want your whole crew to go sailing togeather.. Pull up the classifieds on austin360.com. I did today and saw 3or 4 boats that might fit your needs and price range. One even has a slip on lake travis.
I sailed on lake Travis for 10 years. I like to put in at the dam and sail over to windy point or Some times Island or anchor out and enjoy the day.
About the motor, be sure it is clamped on securely and tied on with a short safety rope. On any boat that might capsize I want flotation on the mast to keep the boat from "turtling". That will help keep the motor up out of the water. I use a plastic jug but it might look a little tacky.
When looking for a boat most private sellers will take you out on it if you act interested enough.
Happy sailing, John
Thread starter #6
Okay, so I spoke with my family and realistically I will be sailing alone 90% of the tiime and may have me, my father, and maybe my wife on at the same time (700Lbs). Is this still too much weight for the 14.2? There are no 16's listed locally and I think the 14.2 is the only boat my little sedan could handle with a trailer. Any more input on the Outboard? I'd really feel safer knowing it was there. So is the transom height actually 20" or 25"? I was looking at the recommened Honda BF2D OUtboard, it seems so weak. Would this really be able to get me across the lake at a reasonable speed? I also don't like that there is no way to hookup an external gas tank. Do outboards also need a battery to run? I thought the pull-start negated the need for one...

Thanks again!

Josh, I just measured the transum on my mod 1 (1984 model) and it measured 19 inches from the top to the bottom of the boat. The 2hp 2 cycle Yamaha motor I have is the first motor that I have ever had. I am hooked. It is such a releif on the mind to know that if the wind dies or if the tide turns I can get back to where I started . My motor will putt me along at a faster than walking speed.Once I even pulled a friend and his Lazer sailboat back to dock when there was no wind. The only 2 draw backs to my motor is that it is louder than I would like and that the prop is just under the surface of the water. I might need a longer shaft. my motor goes a long way on what is in the tank and I carry a quart or so of extra fuel just in case.
When you start up the motor it is nice to be able to furl up the jib and keep it from luffing in the wind. It can be a real distraction from your view and your enjoyment. John
Larger than C 14 for big guys

Josh: Sailing alone, the C 14 would probably be just fine as long as you use your weight in the right places. Once I tipped my boat over at the dock by merely placing my 210 lbs on the deck just a little in front and to the side of the mast, while trying to step off onto the dock. With passengers, you'll probably be overloaded. What I suggest is for you to research what boats are used frequently on your local lakes, then rent or beg a ride and see how you like them. Here in the Phoenix area, you would probably do well with an 18 ft Buccaneer or a 20 ft Highlander or 20 ft Thistle, simply because there are several of each that frequently participate in our regattas, they can carry more weight than my little 14.2, and they are faster to boot! On the negative side, they are heavier so may take more tow car power, and they are quite a bit more expensive. Dick K.