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odonnellryanc
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32 Posts

Initially Posted - 12/05/2017 :  09:39:04  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hey all!

Plan on taking the boat down the Hudson to the Sandy Hook area for some time next summer. During the time we have it moored/docked down there (depending on how things shake out) I'd like to get some experience going out into the Atlantic. Just coastal down the shore a few dozen miles to start, nothing far off-shore.

Of course there are the obvious, general sailing things that are must haves: navigation equipment, running lights, safety equipment, etc.. etc.. that I'll make sure we got and then a backup. Safety first :)

But what are the Catalina 25-specific things we should do for this type of sailing?

Now is the time for me to start to outfit her.

I have a swing keel.

I plan on:

1) doing full keel maintenance

2) replacing all standing rigging, shackles, etc.. as needed

3) tru-hull maintenance


And I've actually bought a beacon just-in-case, figured the $400 was not worth it even if there's the slightest chance we'd ever need it.

Think I should get a life-raft? We're going to have an inflatable we'll blow up and tow once we get in the Raritan Bay area. I figure this may be good enough for anything that isn't more than a few miles off shore.

Have a ditch-bag with what I think I'll need: food, water, beacon.

I have bought (cheap but to spec) jack-lines and a cheap harness. I'll be going with more than 1 other person, but I figure if we're out on deck alone at any point it is a good piece of gear to have.

I'm going to be installing single-line reefing this winter, ensuring all deck fittings are solid (which for my boat means replacing what I haven't already), and the boat already has all-new running rigging.

dasreboot
Admiral

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Response Posted - 12/05/2017 :  10:38:44  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
people have mentioned apprehension about the pop top breaking loose when exposed to heavy weather. I was thinking if it might be possible to just batten it down with lines across the top or ratchet straps or similar.

Todd Lewis
ARWEN 84 TR/SK C25 #4031
Eowyn 87 TR/WK C25 #5656
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odonnellryanc
1st Mate

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32 Posts

Response Posted - 12/05/2017 :  10:58:32  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Great point. I've actually been thinking about much heavier-duty brackets for the pop-top. Replacing the 2 thumb-nuts and the bolts that go with it for something really anchored to the deck of the boat.

Still enable the pop-top to be used (we've put it up quite a few times, especially when working below on projects) but making it much more secure.
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Steve Milby
Past Commodore

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Response Posted - 12/05/2017 :  11:06:06  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
More than anything else, you need to bring along your best judgment. If you sail in the ocean in winds less than about 12-15 kts, you'll have a great sail. Above that, the conditions start to become challenging, especially for a small boat. If you sense that the conditions are becoming challenging, run for shelter. Don't wait until it becomes scary.

My personal choice was that I would wait to sail in the ocean until I had a boat that was really up to it. A C25 can be out there for carefully planned, relatively short trips, such as from Miami to the Bahamas, where it can be done in less than a day and within a safe weather window, but it isn't a blue water boat.

Everyone should be wearing pfds. Jacklines and harnesses should be used when outside the cockpit. You should have a reliable vhf radio with an antenna atop the mast for good broadcast range, and a reliable battery to power it. If you stay near the coast, you can call for help if needed. A fully charged cellphone would be an adequate backup to the vhf.

If your thru hulls, hoses, clamps, etc are in good condition, then the hull should remain watertight, and the risk of sinking should be negligible. That would eliminate the need for a life raft.

If the wind dies and your engine quits, you might want to have towing insurance, however, if you have checked your weather, the wind shouldn't die unexpectedly.

IMO there's really no need to make extraordinary preparations to sail close offshore. All the things I've mentioned are really just as important as for lake or bay sailing. Use good judgment and enjoy the sail.

Steve Milby C&C 35 Landfall ("Captiva Wind"); Cal 25 ("Fahrvergnügen")
Past Commodore
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BKPC25
1st Mate

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Response Posted - 12/05/2017 :  11:14:28  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It seems like you will be spending a lot of money for equipment, safety gear, etc.
I can be done as Steve Milby said, however it would be a much better, safer and more comfortable ride with a boat that is at least 30+ feet long.
There are deals out there, with blue water safety gear already installed.
If you will do it with your C25 please keep us posted.
Oceans have been crossed with smaller boats before.

1979 C25 #1389
"Adalynne"
Lake Travis, Austin, TX

Edited by - BKPC25 on 12/05/2017 11:15:18
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odonnellryanc
1st Mate

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Response Posted - 12/05/2017 :  11:25:03  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Steve, great points. Yes, never plan on staying out for more than making 60-70 mile (max) trips down the coast. I know I need a larger boat to accomplish some of my longer-term goals, but I feel the C25 would be a great boat to make mistakes on -- just not dangerous ones...!

Great points overall about the radio. I do have a hand-held that is great quality, but I should at least test the antenna on the mast.

Entire electric system has been overhauled on this boat, and I have enough battery power to use the dinghy motor (electric) to tow at least 10 miles. I'm sure much more but I haven't tested this. (3x 120ah batteries that I could use in a pinch) along with the solar panels for charging, I'm not too worried about the engine and having to be towed (I do have a membership anyway).


BKPC25, I do like the size of the C25! For the next few seasons at least the money I'm saving on slip fees and larger-boat maintenance is worth it to me to buy gear for the Catalina. I don't think I'm increasing the resale value even 10% of what I'm putting into it, but it's worth it to 1) learn to do these things on a small boat, and 2) keeping the friends safe!


Bigger boat, yes. Long-term goal is Bermuda - and then, who knows? For that, I like the Westsails - seem unsinkable. Was a good deal for a fully-outfitted


But yes. Even splitting costs with friends, we've had to put about 10k into this boat, including purchase price, not including the slip next summer, and it is a lot of money. I'm sure the rigging and gear will help the boat sell for 1-2k more in a few years, but it's a lot of fun working on it and I've learned things I don't think I could have learned otherwise.

Edited by - odonnellryanc on 12/05/2017 11:26:14
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HerdOfTurtles
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Response Posted - 12/05/2017 :  12:34:17  Show Profile  Visit HerdOfTurtles's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Sounds like you're in pretty good shape.

Personally, I would want a transom ladder in case I fell overboard but it's not absolutely essential providing you've practiced boarding without one.

1978 Standard Rig
Fin Keel
L-Dinette
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Bladeswell
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398 Posts

Response Posted - 12/05/2017 :  12:50:11  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hello Again,

I can't speak for the east coast but I sail southern California's coast. Mostly sailing off the coast around Redondo Beach where my boat has a slip. I also sail to Catalina Island whenever I can for 2 or 3 days. Catalina is 26 miles away and the channel can be rough at times so I watch the weather closely before setting out. You mentioned that you have sort of cheaped out on your jack lines and harness. I would re think that decision. After all, how much is your life or the life of one of your friends or family worth. Am I guilty of cheaping out myself ? Yes, I don't have a life raft. Because the cost of a good quality coastal life raft would cost more than my boat. But then again, I am a single hander most of the time. And always when going to the island. Best of luck with your journey and please keep us informed. You also mentioned keeping your travels to 60 or 70 miles but you didn't mention a time frame. I hope you are not thinking that you can do that in a day's sail. Going to Catalina is 26 miles as I said and it almost always seems to take about 6 hours. I average about 4.5 knots, sometimes better. But 6 knots is about the best I've managed.


Bladeswell

C25 TR FK Hull #973 1979 L-Dinette. So.Cal.
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odonnellryanc
1st Mate

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32 Posts

Response Posted - 12/06/2017 :  07:54:46  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Good points with the speed. I was kind-of throwing out the 70 mile number: I'd figure it could be done in a day with minimal night sailing .. but I should probably adjust that to 50 as the C25's max-range for a day of sailing once you take into consideration tides, currents, and variable wind.

I think plenty of trips up/down the NJ coast can still be done by using 50nm as a good rule. I can't get an exact number from the anchorages, but it definitely seems like I can make it from the battery to basically anywhere on either LI or the NJ coast while keeping the daily miles < 50.

I suppose if we wanted to sleep on the boat while it was sailing that'd be another thing ... maybe I'd want some kind of radar, haha!

As for the jack lines, by cheap I mean I bought the cheapest ones from defender. Still not exactly cheap ...
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Steve Milby
Past Commodore

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Response Posted - 12/06/2017 :  09:01:22  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
When I plan a coastal cruise I always plan for 2-3 different destinations. I might plan one destination at about 15-20 miles, another at about 25-30 miles and, if I want to travel a considerable distance, I might plan a destination at about 40-45 miles.

If the sailing conditions are excellent, I'll sail for the most distant destination. If they're terrible, I'll consider myself lucky to make the nearest destination.

Along the way, I'm watching my speed and progress. Anytime I can't make at least 4 kts under sail, I'll consider starting the engine, depending on how anxious I am to cover a certain distance.

When you're planning a cruise, don't forget to add 30 minutes or an hour at each end to get from the marina or anchorage to the ocean at the start of the trip, and back in to a marina or anchorage at the end. If you're sailing a couple miles offshore, just getting in through the passage and into the ICW takes added time.

50 miles in a small boat in a day can make for a very long day, especially if you're in the sun or rain, with no bimini to shelter you. At 5 kts average speed, it's 10 hours. At 4 kts you can add 2.5 hours to your eta. At 3 kts add 6 hrs 40 mins. That's why you should pay attention to your speed and adjust your plan as needed along the way. If my progress becomes so slow that I doubt that I'll make my next destination, I have no reservations about turning around and going back to an alternate destination for the night. Because sailing conditions are so changeable, you should likewise be flexible with your plan.

Sometimes you'll start the day with a fresh beam wind, and you'll be eating up the miles, but a few hours later the wind will shift on the nose, and your progress might slow to a crawl. That's why it's good to plan for destinations at 2-3 different distances.

Steve Milby C&C 35 Landfall ("Captiva Wind"); Cal 25 ("Fahrvergnügen")
Past Commodore
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odonnellryanc
1st Mate

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32 Posts

Response Posted - 12/06/2017 :  09:40:42  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Some great points, Steve. I have the US port distances and will plan as you indicated. Longest I've been out on the boat so far has been about 24 hours: so this will be a way to get more experience with longer trips.

I also need to practice motorsailing. Read a great article here: https://www.sailmagazine.com/cruising/the-art-of-motorsailing which I plan on implementing before this longer trip. Doing many upgrades this winter, so we'll be shaking the boat down in the spring and adjusting as needed.

Want it to be as comfortable as possible, while still making some good distance!

Learned the lesson of making less time than we'd like on the Hudson, though there the current and tides are a huge factor. Fun to make the first 8-10 miles in 1.5 hours ... then to be stuck barely moving at a knot against the current and tide with only a light wind to help. Current can also help: we've briefly hit 9-10 knots on the GPS while riding some good surf and current, that was very fun!

Nice thing about the river is the abundance of anchorages. A luxury we'd have to do without if we go a few miles offshore :)
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Stinkpotter
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Djibouti
7597 Posts

Response Posted - 12/06/2017 :  10:29:32  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Also do some reading about negotiating ocean inlets (like the ones at Manasquan and the Shark River). Wind against an outgoing current near the mouth can be brutal--sometimes worth waiting for a tide change--and the approaches can be tricky due to shifting shoals. A "cruising guide" for the Jersey Shore should be helpful there (and for lots of other things).

Dave Bristle
Association "Port Captain" for Mystic, CT
PO of 1985 C-25 SR/FK #5032 Passage
Now on Eastern 27 Sarge (but still sailing when I can).

Passage, Mystic, and Sarge--click to enlarge.

Edited by - Stinkpotter on 12/06/2017 10:30:11
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Bladeswell
Captain

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Response Posted - 12/06/2017 :  11:20:42  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hello Again,

I'm glad to see you meant the cheapest one available but one intended for the purpose. I was really concerned that you were using something sort of jury rigged up. About motoring, be sure to take along extra spark plugs, motor oil and fuel filters and the correct tools needed to do the job. You just never know. Hope you have a great trip. Seems lately the waters of Southern California have become shark infested. If my boat ever goes down I could be in some serious trouble. I guess I should start saving towards that life raft.

Blasdeswell

C25 TR FK Hull #973 1979 L-Dinette. So.Cal.
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JohnP
Master Marine Consultant

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Response Posted - 12/06/2017 :  12:29:10  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I agree with Dave's point. You need to acquire local knowledge about each sailing locale you enter. Those inlets on the Jersey shore can be very dangerous. Cruising guides can be helpful.

Choosing a favorable weather window is the most important factor, in my opinion, when venturing out on the ocean in a C25.


JohnP
1978 C25 SR/FK "Gypsy"
Mill Creek off the Magothy River, Chesapeake Bay
Port Captain, northern Chesapeake Bay
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Stinkpotter
Master Marine Consultant

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Djibouti
7597 Posts

Response Posted - 12/06/2017 :  16:00:25  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by JohnP

...Choosing a favorable weather window is the most important factor...
Yup. That Jersey beach can seem very long between inlets, with no place to hide till you get there, at which time the inlet itself might be scarier than the ocean. The C-25 can take more than most of us want to, but you don't really want to test that adage.

Dave Bristle
Association "Port Captain" for Mystic, CT
PO of 1985 C-25 SR/FK #5032 Passage
Now on Eastern 27 Sarge (but still sailing when I can).

Passage, Mystic, and Sarge--click to enlarge.
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Voyager
Master Marine Consultant

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Response Posted - 12/06/2017 :  16:26:22  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The point I come back to is the Swing Keel. I don't know whether this is an issue (and it would be a great asset in New Jersey's shallow back bays) but how will a swing keel behave in a mean pitched chop, such as entering an inlet during wind opposing current? It's possible to see 6 foot breaking waves at 3-4 seconds in these conditions. That's just downright mean!
If the boat is being tossed about will the swinger remain in the fully down position under these conditions? Or will the momentum cause the swing keel to come up partially, then crash back down? With 1500# of lead or iron swinging around this could do a lot of damage to the centerboard trunk.
Thankfully, I do not speak from experience since I have a fin keel. But is this a potential failure mode in serious chop?

Bruce Ross
Passage ~ SR-FK ~ C25 #5032

Port Captain Stratford & Milford, CT
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SKS
1st Mate

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Response Posted - 12/06/2017 :  16:49:42  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I used to sail in that area in my Clipper Marine 26. Swing keel, 10 hp outboard. Sounds similar.
You've got the basics covered by others.
One point, be careful, you're in the NY traffic. Lots of traffic from ocean freighters and an occasional cruise ship, as well as other small boats.

"Lady E" 1986 Catalina 25: Fin Keel, Standard Rig, Inboard M12 Diesel, Sail No. 5339
Sailing out of Norwalk Cove Marina, Connecticut
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Steve Milby
Past Commodore

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Response Posted - 12/06/2017 :  18:19:38  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Inlets can be hazardous, but any inlet that has been marked for navigation is not always hazardous. The conditions that make an inlet hazardous are (1) if the bottom shoals rapidly as you enter, (2) if there is a strong tidal current running at the time you enter, especially an outgoing current, and (3) if the wind is strong and at your back as you enter it.

The greatest danger exists where all three of those conditions are present. If you eliminate one of those factors, then you'll greatly reduce or eliminate the danger.

If the wind is strong and at your back when you enter the pass from open water, the waves will be their biggest, because they will have built over a very long fetch. As the bottom shoals at the entrance, the waves suddenly become much higher and steeper. At some point they might even break. But the worst situation of all is if you add the third element to the equation - a strong outgoing tidal current. When that outflow meets those high, steep, nearly breaking waves, the waves rise higher until they can no longer keep their form, and they collapse in a maelstrom. Those conditions cause the boat to become unresponsive to the rudder, the boat turns sideways to the huge waves, and the next big wave rolls the boat over.

That's the worst case scenario, but it isn't too difficult to avoid it.

You can't change the contour of the bottom, but you can time your arrival at that entrance at either slack tide or a rising, incoming tide. That alone will greatly reduce the danger. Also, you can refrain from entering when the wind is strong and at your back. The danger will be far less if the wind is lighter or on your beam, or even on your quarter, as you enter.

If in doubt, you might see another boat run the inlet and that will give you a clue to the conditions, or you might be able to raise someone on the radio with local knowledge who can offer advice.

If the conditions through the inlet don't permit safe passage, you'll probably be much safer to stay in the open water and perhaps head for a less hazardous entrance, and get there on a rising tide.

Steve Milby C&C 35 Landfall ("Captiva Wind"); Cal 25 ("Fahrvergnügen")
Past Commodore
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Good Times
1st Mate

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Response Posted - 12/06/2017 :  22:28:14  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Done several blue water deliveries on big cats and had my small boats C22 and C25 along the Gulf and GA/FL coast. I think a well maintained C25 can probably take more - even along the coast - than most skippers; your prep list covers already lots of items, some thoughts:

I would only replace the standing rigging if it needs to be replaced anyway bc of age or corrosion, no need to replace it just bc you are going outside;
sailing a bit further off shore is often calmer than near shore; you only deal with ocean swells and fewer short breaking waves.
70 miles is not really that long or far but fatigue will start creeping in; when I did this solo I had an autopilot on board, used it to take a nap now and then - since you have crew, make sure they can handle the boat - and that you are able to sleep/nap on the moving boat - may want to check into sea-sickness remedies or the patches for everybody.
- have food prepared that does not require 'cooking'; sandwich, salads of choice; a light hot soup from a thermo, PP&J goes a long way; pickles are good for 'wetting' the mouth, water and or coffee in a thermo; not a complete list but you get the point.

Have a point of 'no return' figured out for the given conditions ( it may not be the halfway point) where it is faster to press on than to return should some issue arise. Have enough fuel on board to motor the entire distance including in and out the channels (not that you want to, but..) your 3.5 gallon tank may not be enough.

I would a add a radar reflector (the tubular ones that parallel a shroud) so you show up on the radars of the big guys around you.

as long as you are within cell range (about 20 miles out) there are APPS that pick up and display the AIS signals of the big ships as well; likewise a weather APP keeps the 'surprises' to a minimum. Be sure to have a waterproof case for your phone.
If you plan to be further away from shore than cell range, I have had good experience with the small InReach device (now a Garmin product) it works via satellite, lets you text back and forth with people onshore, send pre made texts ("all is fine" etc) and they can track you if you let them.

IN addition to the obligatory whistle, each person needs a handheld VHF, a knife and a light on their PFD; IMHO you can skip the 'life raft' or the food in your ditch bag; you are not far from shore, well within range of rescue authorities like coast guard or towing services; they just have to hear from you...

good info regarding inlets already mentioned; I would add, use the VHF and check with vessels in the area you plan to pass through for current conditions; but do ask what type of vessel they are reporting from...
the story goes something like this: small sailing vessel wants to cross the Gulf Stream from Miami to the Bahamas and the prudent skipper asks any vessel in the area regarding the conditions in the GS; one response comes in: all is quite out here no issues, water flat; Prudent skipper thanks for the response and states that his 25 ft sailboat will have no problems then - only to hear from the captain outside: Sir I am on a 300 meter tanker - your perspective out here may be different...

don't rule out night sailing, could be better wind, calmer conditions, less traffic, but wait for passing through inlets til daylight. As a matter of fact, for a 70 mile trip along the coast, I would start well before sunrise to have enough cushion to come back in before sunset; yes, do check the tides as well..

have a spot light on board so you can make out channel markers etc in the dark.

watch your battery charge, and simply run the engine for a couple hours when it gets low; a solar panel helps somewhat; switch to LED Nav and anchor lights; much less draw. Running the engine intermittently also gives you peace of mind that it will start on demand after being tossed around a bit if there are waves; nothing worse than making it to the inlet passage only to discover something is amiss with the engine.

watch the weather, reef early and go for it, Enjoy!

Andy Kohler

C25 #6012 TR WK
traditional layout

16ft Apollo Dinghy
16ft Hobie Cat
21ft SanJuan
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Lee Panza
Captain

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Response Posted - 12/06/2017 :  22:52:00  Show Profile  Visit Lee Panza's Homepage  Reply with Quote
In addition to preparing the boat, I'd suggest two things to do to prepare yourself.

One is to become proficient at reefing, especially when you delay a little too long and the wind builds more than you expected. You mentioned installing single-line reefing; practice with it until you can do it proficiently when a squall kicks up (especially if you get stuck sailing past dusk). In fact, get as much practice as you can in foul weather with all aspects of sailing and boat management, because sometimes Mother Nature doesn't seem to listen to the NOAA weather broadcast.

The other thing to practice is heaving to (and I hope by now you understand that this has nothing to do with sea-sickness). Being able to put the boat into a self-tending stall allows you to deal with other emergencies that arise.

As for the boat, you mentioned replacing the standing rigging: that's important. Stainless steel degrades over time exposed to the elements, especially when there's some salt involved. The cables need to be replaced occasionally, especially with swaged fittings; crevice corrosion can be difficult to detect until a fitting fails (which apparently often happens before the wires fail, although I've had individual wires break without the entire cable failing). Also important is the keel lifting cable and winch. I think every couple of years in salt water is reasonably prudent. Even if you don't plan on raising that keel, if you run aground coming into an unfamiliar harbor and you need to lift it a little to get free (this is one of the great advantages to having one of these "cast iron depth gages") you could suddenly be scrambling to keep from sinking.

One more piece of equipment to not overlook is the motor (and, with it, the fuel system). As has been pointed out, coastal cruising can involve a fair amount of motoring, and sometimes that motor will be a life-saver - literally. Make sure it's in good condition and understand how to service it, including out on the water.

Until I retire early next year I haven't had much time to sail outside the Golden Gate, other than day-sailing, but we get some pretty interesting conditions. I've pushed a little and I haven't felt the boat was ever at risk, although it doesn't sail very well once things get "bouncy." It's too light to power through much of a chop, and it rocks around so easily that it can be difficult for the sails to generate much drive going to weather. But once you understand its limitations and you plan accordingly a Catalina 25 can be a worthy coastal cruiser.


The trouble with a destination - any destination, really - is that it interrupts The Journey.

Lee Panza
SR/SK #2134
San Francisco Bay
(Brisbane, CA)
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sethp001
Mainsheet C-25 Tech Editor

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Response Posted - 12/06/2017 :  23:12:56  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
In addition to the excellent comments above, do not sink - keep water out!

1. Install the biggest electric bilge pumps you can and back them with big batteries and dedicated outlet hoses. Think about Rule 4000gph pumps and at least two 100+Ah batteries. More than one pump is preferable for redundancy. More than one battery is preferable for redundancy.
2. Rebuild your manual bilge pump if necessary (its internal diaphragm could be failed). Diaphragms are available from Catalina Direct.
3. Mount TruPlugs or similar plugs by each thru-hull.
4. Have 1/2" thick rubber mat (1'x2' and 1'x3' dimensions are good for our boats), 1" long self-tapping wood screws, and a battery-powered electric drill (with good charged batteries) and appropriate driving bit for the screws on board in case you hit an obstruction near water level that breeches the hull.
5. Have a hatchet on board to chop away the internal liner and/or systems to access a hull breech in an emergency.



Seth
"Outlier" 1987 Catalina 25 SR/SK/Traditional Interior #5541
"Zoo" 1977 Morgan Out Island 30
"Nomad" 1980 Prindle 16
"Lost" 1988 Catalina Capri 14.2
"Marine Tex 1" Unknown Origin POS 8' Fiberglass Dinghy
http://whichsailboat.com/2015/08/22/catalina-22-review/

Edited by - sethp001 on 12/06/2017 23:40:31
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JohnP
Master Marine Consultant

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Response Posted - 12/07/2017 :  09:26:06  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Wow!!! The worst case scenario sounds awful!

On this trip I bet you'll have a few beautiful summer days with 5-10 knot breezes and maybe get a little sunburned.


JohnP
1978 C25 SR/FK "Gypsy"
Mill Creek off the Magothy River, Chesapeake Bay
Port Captain, northern Chesapeake Bay
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Steve Milby
Past Commodore

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Response Posted - 12/07/2017 :  09:48:32  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by JohnP

Wow!!! The worst case scenario sounds awful!

On this trip I bet you'll have a few beautiful summer days with 5-10 knot breezes and maybe get a little sunburned.



It is awful. It happened to me years ago on the Florida Gulf coast in my C22, and I was plain lucky to not pitchpole the boat. A few years later I saw a 27' boat rolled over while entering Boca Grand Pass during a severe storm. It righted itself, he climbed back aboard and sailed it to the nearest marina, but his wife was lost.

I didn't intend to scare anyone by describing the phenomenon. The overwhelming likelihood is that he'll have a great cruise. But everyone should understand how to evaluate the ambient conditions when entering a pass in marginal weather, because you'd think you could see breakers and be able to avoid them, but you can't always. When you're sailing in following seas, you see the smooth-looking tops of the waves ahead of you. You don't see them breaking on the far side of the waves. If you understand those three elements to watch out for, and can avoid the pass when all three elements are present, you'll avoid most of the hazards.

If you're going to sail into the ocean, you need to know how to evaluate when and whether it's safe to enter an inlet.

Steve Milby C&C 35 Landfall ("Captiva Wind"); Cal 25 ("Fahrvergnügen")
Past Commodore

Edited by - Steve Milby on 12/07/2017 09:52:17
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Davy J
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
1369 Posts

Response Posted - 12/07/2017 :  15:53:41  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
A few years later I saw a 27' boat rolled over while entering Boca Grand Pass during a severe storm. It righted itself, he climbed back aboard and sailed it to the nearest marina, but his wife was lost.


I have been through Boca Grande Pass several times. A few times in my C25 and once in my Gemini. No two passes are alike, but Boca Grande has a special difference. Charlotte harbor is vast, the prevailing winds are ENE, an incoming tide opposing that wind will create short timed steep waves. Once leaving the pass our C25 was getting rolled to the point of putting one rail in the water then the other side.......... not fun.

We sailed our C25 up and down the west coast of Florida in the Gulf of Mexico. If there was any type of hiccup in the forecast we usually stayed put or transited the GICW.

As for movement of the swing keel during rough conditions, never experienced that in ten years of ownership.

As Mr. Milby pointed out, you need bring your best judgment.....

Davy J

(Former photos in this area, as well as all my forum additions held ransom by Photobucket)

2005 Gemini 105Mc
PO 1987 C25 #5509 SR/SK
Tampa Bay
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Steve Milby
Past Commodore

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USA
4970 Posts

Response Posted - 12/07/2017 :  18:56:28  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
A huge volume of water moves through the inlet from Charlotte Harbor and Pine Island Sound, and the inlet is relatively narrow to be accommodating that much water. It's usually passable except in rough weather, but it has always seemed to be bumpier than most inlets, even in mild conditions. It feels like driving down a road with lots of potholes. Still, it's a great cruising ground. Hence the name of my boat "Captiva Wind."

Steve Milby C&C 35 Landfall ("Captiva Wind"); Cal 25 ("Fahrvergnügen")
Past Commodore
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bigelowp
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
1228 Posts

Response Posted - 12/09/2017 :  19:20:13  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Knowing the area but not having sailed it in a C25 . . . . . when in the Intercostal the swing keel will be great, but any ocean work will require you being very cognicent and cautious about local conditions. As stated, current vs wind will be an issue so plan well and have a thought out Plan B if you are delayed. Our boats are tough -- tougher than most of us -- but do practice reefing and review the local charts/sailing info closely. Yes, as when sailing anywhere, the through holes, standing reefing, keel cables, bilge pump(s) all should be checked and in good condition. But with normal, prudent planning you should have a great voyage and a life time of memories! Enjoy!

Peter Bigelow
C-25 TR/FK #2092 Limerick
Rowayton, Ct
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