Catalina 30 standard rig for Lake Ontario - SailNet Community

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Old 03-16-2008
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Catalina 30 standard rig for Lake Ontario

I have found a good Catalina 30 standard rig. This boat meets my requirement condition/price. The only problem is that this is standard rig boat. I read that it's better to have Tall Rig for Lake Ontario since we have mostly light air.

I would like to get advice from Great Lakes Catalina 30 owners. Is there real benefit of having Tall Rig on Great Lakes or Standard Rig will do?
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Old 03-16-2008
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Because the power that drives a sailboat is the wind, a boat with a tall rig can carry more sail area, which generates more driving force. For that reason, a boat with a tall rig is usually a nice thing to have in light air. However, when the wind pipes up, the additional sail area of a tall rig boat has to be reefed earlier, to prevent the boat from being overpowered and heeling excessively. Also, since the mast is higher, the boat will have more weight aloft, which will cause it to heel a bit more easily. If you have a standard rig boat, and you sail it a lot in light air, you can get a cruising spinnaker, which will increase it's sail area, and keep it moving better in light air. In other words, there are some things you can do to improve the performance of a standard rig boat in light air.

If I was buying the boat to race, I'd want the extra performance of the tall rig boat. If I was buying it to cruise, I'd probably lean more towards the boat that was in the best condition and that had the best equipment for the money.

I've never sailed Lake Ontario, but I'd bet both tall rig and standard rig Catalinas have been sailed there happily by their owners for a long time. Almost anywhere you sail, sometimes you'll go to the boat and find there's not enough wind, and that's when you take a swim, or socialize on the docks. At other times, you'll go to the boat and find so much wind it'll scare you. When that happens, you'll find out if you're a real sailor who goes out there and revels in the wind, or if you'll just have a swim, and socialize on the docks.

Last edited by Sailormon6; 03-16-2008 at 02:01 PM.
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Old 03-16-2008
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Thanks for response Sailormon6. The boat I am looking at has a set of new sails that includes cruising spinnaker. Since I only race in the club races on Wen night I can do it Tall or Standard Rig. My primary purpose to get bigger boat is to be able to cruise longer distances. So I guess standard rig will work for me.
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Old 03-16-2008
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Standard rig will suit you, and your PHRF will reflect this should you want to compete "officially" in club racing. While it is true there are sultry, near-windless evenings in July and August, May, June, September and October can be quite gusty, and with the standard rig, you can keep a full hoist fractionally longer.

I've raced against Cat 30s and I will make a couple of general observations:

1) They are a great boat for racing and cruising in Lake Ontario, but be aware that you will generally give everyone time in PHRF classes, because you'll be racing against C&C 27s, Newport 27s, Viking 28s and so on.

2) Proper rig tuning is exceptionally important in this boat to get the most out of it.

3) Downwind in 20 or more knots, it can get quite squirrelly, for which I credit the not-particularly-large rudder and the fact it can surf in some situations.

4) That huge companionway wants to stay shut in rough weather, unless you like lake smell down below.

5) It's a good all-arounder, but there's a real limit to its racing ability and few people would bother to keep it fair or light enough to really compete...because of that "always a bridesmaid" aspect of the PHRF ratings.

Have fun and find three or four heavy people for the rail. The stiffer you can make it in a breeze, the better she'll go. I think the Catalina 30 is a boat you can sail adequate in the first 10 minutes...that's why it's still insanely popular...but to sail it well in a racing situation takes more practice than, say, on a equivalent C&C or CS, which are similarly popular racer-cruisers on the lake.
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Old 03-16-2008
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Three or four heavy people for the rail? Now that could be difficult... Other than this I think standard rig may not be a problem for me.
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Old 03-17-2008
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OK, three people. But if you're going to race a 30 footer, you'll want a mainsheet trimmer/helmer, and two winch people (one of whom might slack off the backstay), plus a bowman/lookout (what, you're keeping the FURLER? Egad! OK, the spinnaker person) someone to handle the halyards, and someone to do misc. deck stuff like poling out, moving genoa cars, that sort of thing. The last three go on the high side rail when you are trying to beat...you don't want that weight in the relatively large Catalina 30 cockpit.

Have fun, and remember...even if you are still learning, you keep crew by patient instruction. I've seen newbie teams get into the running in half a season...if the skipper was firm but calm.
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Old 03-17-2008
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Another thing one can do if racing on Wed nights if you will, and the wind is on the light side a lot, is buy a drifter head sail. Granted not sold a lot any more, but a 155 or max size for your area in a 1.5 oz nylon spin cloth. This will pick up the zephers in the <5-7 knot winds. Then when it gets stronger than that, or forecast, use a heavier 155 or what ever sized head sail you will use. IIRC the SAD is about 15-1 for the std rig, and 16-1 for a tall rig with 100% sails, no roach included in main etc.

C30's are popular around Puget sound, both tall and std. Tall is more previlent, as we have lighter winds in the summer. But std mast setups will work just fine if you set up or know how to setup the sails rigging etc for light vs heavier air sailing.

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Old 10-10-2009
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I have a Catalina 30 that I have primarily used for cruising but starting to do some racing. Any info on the best way to sail the C30 fast? Are there any rig/sail tuning guides out there for a C30?
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