Whats Smallest Boat for the gulf of mexico - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 20 Old 03-08-2007 Thread Starter
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Whats Smallest Boat for the gulf of mexico

Greetings everyone. I am new here (obviously), and new to sailing. After quite a few years of trying off and on, I finally got the boat I am supposed to have. I located a '80 Catalina 25 for next to nothing. I paid for a survey and it came back favorably so I jumped on it.

Now, I have no actual sailing experience, save the one time I went out with a friend. This boat is slipped on lake travis in Austin, and I have been out on it twice, once just motoring and once with the sails up. I decided to just raise them and see what happened. I managed to do ok, though I am sure it was VERY sloppy. Totaled about 10 miles over a few hours and managed to make it back to the cove under sail.

I am hoping to spend a year or so sailing on the lake, then maybe trailer it down to Kemah and launch it in the gulf for a vacation. I would dearly love to sail to the Keys and back to start. Then maybe on the next time out, follow the coast up to Massachusets and back.

My question is this, is a properly equipped Catalina 25 too small to sail in the gulf? Also, aside from the basic boaters safety classes (signed up and taking it next week), are there additional classes you would recommend for sailing in the gulf? If this boat is too small to do that, then at least it's good enough to learn on and I can upgrade in a few years.

I am not planning on leaving tomorrow, I know there is a ton to learn, but I basically need to know where to start in order to prep for those kinds of trips.
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post #2 of 20 Old 03-08-2007
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Simple answer - how long is a piece of string ?

I don't know what a Catalina 25 is but it's not the size of the boat its the fitness of same that matters. Same with the crew.

John Guzzwell circumnavigated in Trekka, a 21' yawl in 1955, but he was a very adept sailor and she was well up to the task.

Andrew B

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post #3 of 20 Old 03-08-2007
2kt wind=trolling speed
 
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I can't help you either Skrap, but I admire your way of thinking. I'm in the same boat(so to speak), no experience, just want to do it. Way to go sir. Welcome aboard.

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post #4 of 20 Old 03-08-2007
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IIRC, they have circumnavigated in a catalina 27... it was heavily modified, and the person sailing it was quite experienced. A Catalina Capri has gone from California to Hawaii... so I don't really see a problem with taking a Catalina 25 out into the Gulf of Mexico. It really requires that you get your sailing skills up, and if you're not extremely experienced, which seems to be the case, take someone who is as crew... and plan the weather window accordingly.

Start small... take short trips...stretch them out as you get more experience. As for bad weather...practice reefing and heaving to on nice days...and then as you get better try it in stronger winds and heavier seas... eventually, you'll be pretty comfortable doing it, even when it is blowing like snot.

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post #5 of 20 Old 03-08-2007 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdw
Simple answer - how long is a piece of string ?
A piece of string is half as long as twice it's length.

I'll post pics of it soon so you can see what it is like. I agree on the experience and weather planning as well as smaller trips. I will be doing lake sailing for the most part all summer, just to .get as much experience as I can

The biggest issue with the boat now is that is needs a good chunk of the running rigging replaced. It's there, just in poor shape. I will be out this weekend and hopefully will get new line on the traveller and the main sheet. Topping lift and boomvang next. The halyards and the jib sheets are acceptable.

I am mainly asking because i am wondering whether or not to begin to set her up for open water, or save the expense of doing that for a larger boat in the future.

At any rate, she'll be a lot of fun. I am planniing my first overnight trip this next coming week, as I am off work all week.
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post #6 of 20 Old 03-08-2007
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Skrap...welcome aboard. You seem to be approaching things right. One thing I would suggest is replacing the standing rigging as well if it hasn't been done in the last 10 or so years. You are coming from a freshwater environment so that makes it last longer, but before you head out to salt, it would be good to KNOW that the rig will stay up.
The open gulf can be a bit much for a C25 even with someone experienced at the helm but you can certainly make coastal hops in her all the way along the gulf and up into Maine...so she will take you where you want to go as long as YOU are ready and her rig and outboard are solid. Good luck with your plans!
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post #7 of 20 Old 03-08-2007 Thread Starter
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According to the surveyor, the standing rigging has about another 3 years on her. He suggested that I replace it and have a bootom job done all at once. Costal hopping is exactly the plan, with smaller trips to start off with, perhaps to Padre Island, maybe lake Pontchetrane/NOLA etc.

I am planning on trying to sail year round up here in the lake in just about all conditions, just to get used to what to expect.

I can assure you, I will be asking all sorts of questions.
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post #8 of 20 Old 03-08-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skrap1r0n
A piece of string is half as long as twice it's length.

I'll post pics of it soon so you can see what it is like. I agree on the experience and weather planning as well as smaller trips. I will be doing lake sailing for the most part all summer, just to .get as much experience as I can

The biggest issue with the boat now is that is needs a good chunk of the running rigging replaced. It's there, just in poor shape. I will be out this weekend and hopefully will get new line on the traveller and the main sheet. Topping lift and boomvang next. The halyards and the jib sheets are acceptable.

I am mainly asking because I am wondering whether or not to begin to set her up for open water, or save the expense of doing that for a larger boat in the future.

At any rate, she'll be a lot of fun. I am planniing my first overnight trip this next coming week, as I am off work all week.
Aha, good comeback.

Should have added a welcome in my first post, remiss of me, so belatedly "welcome to the asylum".

Setting her up for a bit of offshore work is probably a good exercise for later boats as long as you don't over capitalise the thing. It's a common mistake so be a bit careful.

My previous boat was only 28' and she has cruised the whole east coast of Australia and done some offshore racing. With the right preparation and a sensible attitude to the boat's limtations you should be fine.

Andrew B

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post #9 of 20 Old 03-08-2007
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Same as you,

Lake Travis can be pretty challenging at times. I was there crewing on a Stiletto 27 once, and we almost flipped her when the wind and hail came up very quickly. I have recently purchased an S2 8.0(26ft.) and am very excited. Although I have a lot of sailing experience, it is almost completely on multihulls. I'm really not sure how well my knowledge will correlate to this boat, but I'm itching to find out. As for the Gulf cruise, I think you could handle it, with a little luck and good weather data.
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post #10 of 20 Old 03-09-2007
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I've always wanted to sail my Sunfish off the beach in Pensecola. Does that count?
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