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Introductory Letter: Michael Hetzman, skipper of the Catalina 25 "Jabberwocky", wrote the following letter to Bill Holcomb a few years ago when Bill served as the Association's editor (Telltales & Mainsheet). The 10 month, 5,385 mile odyssey of Jabberwocky is recorded in the links at the bottom of this page.
Well, I figured that it had to be time to finish the
correspondence I started with you in 1995. At that time, I had written you
from Florida about my family and I taking a year off on our C25. I have
actually started writing you many letters, got one nearly complete before the
computer crashed, really got bogged down on another one trying to do a
described narrative about each modification, and so on.
Enclosed for your perusal is a set of newsletters
that I generated en route for family, friends and (reluctantly) the local
newspaper. Obviously, I made many modifications to Jabberwocky, although
nothing that would be considered structural or a deviation from the standard
sail plan. My newsletters do not describe the C25 in detail, but Jabberwocky
is hull #877, a í78 fin keel, standard rig, w/ob poser and dinette interior.
The ob is a Johnson 9.9 Sailmaster w/long shaft, electric start and
alternator. (Thereís a PS to the newsletter re: my problems w/the ob. After
the last letter the overheating problem returned, and w/the motor on the docks
at Drummond Island, Michigan, I pulled the entire motor apart (except for the
lower unit gear box), piece-by-piece. I found a partially melted rubber
bushing in the engine casting where the water tube enters. Now the ob really
is running great.) Jabberwocky does not have roller furling; our sail
inventory for our year cruising included our working jib (110%), a 150% genoa
which bottom reefs to 130%, storm jib & cruising spinnaker. Before we left
I had our main re-cut, tightened and a second set of reef points installed.
For electronics: knot/log, and digital depth (both
í78 original but rebuilt before leaving), Autohelm 800, shipís VHF
w/masthead antenna and a handheld VHF for cockpit use, esp. when the mast was
down. Cruisers refurbishing a Tartan 31 in Mobile Alabama gave us an old
loran; however, we seldom turned it on except when crossing the gulf to
validate our own deduced reckoning.
I am currently working on a list of upgrades,
additions and modifications. These are cruising related and wonít be
of much interest to diehard racers. Instead of trying to describe in detail
each improvement, Iíll simply list them. If thereís interest from any
readers, Iíll be glad to do a more detailed piece.
Just curious, do you know of any other C25 voyages
of similar mileage and duration?
I am one of those silent association members who
really appreciates all your and the other officerís efforts. I must have
told hundreds of people while we were out that the C25 is a great economical
cruiser and a well-kept secret.
Keep up the good work.