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mmazour 03-16-2010 11:14 AM

Catalina C27 Tall vs. Std. Rig Fin vs. Wing Keel
As I continue to do research trying to learn as much as I can about the C27. I have come up with a question or curiosity.

Quick background. Oprevious boat was a S2 7.3 24' had it for a year and I loved it. Some have referred to the lake as the perfect sailing lake because it lies East to West and the prevailing summer winds are from the southwest which allows a beam reach up and down the lake all day long. The S2 is/was the only boat I have ever sailed so I can not make any comparison myself, but everyone I talked up there said it was a great boat that sailed better than most. I am currently boating on the 19' runabout stinkpot.
We are about 2 years from pulling the trigger on one. I have decided on a year range of 1985 - 1989, based on price, market availability and just because...Inboard Diesel, Pedestal Steering.
What are the advantages/reasons for the 4 different configurations:
Catalina C27 Tall Rig Fin
Catalina C27 Tall Rig Wing Keel
Catalina C27 Std. Rig Fin Keel
Catalina C27 Std. Rig Wing Keel
Just looking for preferences, opinions and comparisons.
Moderator, this is a repost from the Boat Builders Row -> Catalina sub-forum buried in the C27 thread but it did not get much response so I thought I might take a chance and repost this in the Boat Review and Purchase Forum.

zz4gta 03-16-2010 01:05 PM

What are the prevailing wind speeds when you go out? Whats the depth of the lake where you want to sail?

If it was me? Tall rig fin keel. Best performance. You can always reef, but it's very difficult to add more sail area. And the SA/D ratio on any C27 isn't crazy at all.

sailingdog 03-16-2010 01:14 PM

In a nutshell:

Basically, the tall rig will give slightly greater performance due to the greater sail area, but be more tender than the standard rig due to greater sail area and more weight a loft.

The wing keel will usually be a bit more tender and a bit slower due to increased wetted surface area from the wing, but will give you a shallower draft. The fin keel will be a bit stiffer, sail upwind a little better and require more water.

mmazour 03-16-2010 01:37 PM

Have any of you ever sailed more that one of the noted configurations of the Catalina?

sailingdog 03-16-2010 02:11 PM

I've probably sailed on at least three of the four configurations...but never did so with an intent to compare them.

AboardIndigo 03-16-2010 02:49 PM

The intentions of the manufacturer for offering the options are well-documented:

Catalina C27 Tall Rig (light airs) Fin (deep waters) (medium tenderness) (best performance)
Catalina C27 Tall Rig (light airs) Wing Keel (shallow waters) (worst tenderness) (medium performance)
Catalina C27 Std. Rig (heavy airs) Fin Keel (deep waters) (best tenderness) (medium performance)
Catalina C27 Std. Rig (heavy airs) Wing Keel (shallow waters) (medium tenderness) (worst performance)

In practice, I'm not sure how pronounced the sailing characteristics are WRT differences. I've never sailed a C27.

JimB517 03-16-2010 02:55 PM

Cata lina 25
Comparing Catalina 25s I have a fin keel standard rig. My close friend has a 25 wing keel tall rig. My draft 4 feet, his draft 2' 11". He has a trailer, I don't.

Both boats can sail side by side for hours.

In very light air his is faster.

Downwind in most conditions his is faster.

Upwind, especially in strong winds, I'm faster and point higher (by quite a bit).

If I fly a 155 jib and he a 135 we are essentially the same in moderate air, non racing conditions.

I'd reconsider the inboard diesel. A Cat 27 with an outboard would be fine on a lake. Much cheaper to own and operate.

Comparing Catalina 25 to Catalina 27 we both sail about the same. I've raced extensively PHRF against a 27 and he usually wins, but I have some wins.

mmazour 03-16-2010 04:49 PM

Indigo - Where did you find that recommendation? Not that I doubt you, I'd like to add it to my research documentation.

Jim - My primary reason for the inboard diesel is that we like to play in the water and I plan on installing a swim platform off the back,

sailingdog 03-16-2010 06:24 PM

Be aware that swim platforms can be deadly if they are used when the engine is running... CO poisoning is fairly common....

Sailormon6 03-16-2010 07:39 PM

I have sailed on, and raced against C27s with standard rigs, tall rigs, fin keels, with outboard and inboard diesel engines, but not a wing keel, and agree with Jim that an inboard diesel engine will severely degrade it's performance.

With a sailboat, everything relating to it's performance is dependent on it's ability to generate speed, and it's ability to accelerate. As a sailboat's speed increases, it's ability to sail close to the wind also increases. The drag created by the prop constantly in the water prevents the boat from generating it's maximum potential speed and pointing ability - not by a little, but, to my way of thinking, by a lot. Whenever the amount of drive in the sails declines, such as when in a lull, and when you're tacking, the boat won't carry as far or as fast, it'll lose speed faster, and it'll take longer for the boat to accelerate back up to speed. In order to accelerate out of a tack, you'll have to bear off the wind much farther before you can steer it onto it's new course. As a result, it'll have a much wider tacking angle. By comparison with either your S2 or an outboard powered C27, it'll be very unsatisfying to sail.

To some of us, performance is crucial to our enjoyment of the sport. To others, it isn't so important. The choice to trade off that much performance for a swim platform is a value judgment for you to make.

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