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  #1  
Old 10-26-2009
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Wink Are there any ideas anyone might have about blue water in a cat 22

I'm a pretgty experienced sailor, but my experience is limited to larger vessels (38' to 55'). However, I just purchased a catalina 22 swing keel. Iam not realy sure why, but the simplicity and ease of maintenance on the thing just realy seemed to draw me to it. I do plan to live aboard (by myself), but want to cruise the all over the caribian, from cozumel to barbados. Other than the obvious; epirb, ssb, and inflatable type things, does anyone have any recomendations on how to better prepare for this passage on a boat of this size. Any help would be apreciated.
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Old 10-26-2009
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Welcome to the Net, Closehauled. You'll find lots of good advise and some great sailing adventures here. I hope my advise is good.

As an experienced C22 owner/sailor, I can't imagine sailing the Carib in such a boat. Don't get me wrong. I love this little boat and I love to sail her. I have camped out in her for days at a time, and I often sail her in weather when everyone else stays home. But I cannot imagine living aboard her for more than 1 to 2 weeks, nor sailing anywhere that's very far from shelter. She's just too small, and she gets smaller as time spent aboard increases.

And though she is well designed for her intended purpose, the C22 is not designed for extended cruising across the Caribbean. Some C22 sailors have picked good wx windows to cross the Gulf Stream from Florida to the Bahamas, and many sail the great bays and lakes of North America, but she is just not built for anything approaching blue water.

If any other sailors have successfully cruised the Caribbean in similar boats, please chime in and I'll keep my mouth shut.
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Old 10-26-2009
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I just read a great account of cruising the Bahamas in a 19' Potter. I cruised a 20' sloop coastwise for up to ten days. But I doubt I'd live aboard for an extended period. It would be really minimalist.
I also love small, simple boats. One of my best vacations was cartopping a sailing canoe to Florida. I stayed in a cheap motel and launched in a different place evey day.
If you go in the 22, be careful, have fun, and tell us the story.
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Old 10-26-2009
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First thing - buy a different boat or trailer it to the island of your choice. Between islands in the Caribbean the sea will average greater than four feet, 6 feet not being extraordinary. currents can exceed 2 knots in island to island passges and winds will frequently exceed 20kts. Your boat is a lake sailer not and ocean sailer. Having said that a family sailed into Jax, FL about ten years ago on a catalina 27 but that boat had been completely rebuilt and was like comparing a factory Chevy with a NASCAR Chevy.
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Old 10-26-2009
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Take the 46' cutter your living aboard, it might be better suited to the task.
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Old 10-26-2009
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Talking I may be dumber than you think

I am the captain on the cutter, but the owner wants to spend the entire winter and spring in key west, so taking it is out. I understand everyone's concern about the seaworthines of the c22. I am wary of it as well. I have already decided to go, and started refiting acordingly. I have added positive flotation foam, replaced all standing and running rigging, closed off the fuel locker from the cabin. Made access doors for some of the truly wasted spaces on the 22, added ssb radio, epirb, inflatable w/ solas a, all lines ran aft, jack lines, and sea anchor w/ 100ft of painter line. I'm just trying to get a feel for if I may have forgoten something. But,yes...I am absolutely dumb enough to give this a shot.
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Old 10-26-2009
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Florida, Gulf Stream and the Bahamas are all possible if you are not in a hurry. I have crossed many times, although the smallest boat was 27 ft. At least a quarter of my 20 crossings to Bimini have been very benign and I had to motor. I would run down Hawke's Channel and cross from Marathon so as not to fight the stream. In the right weather the Bahama banks are very do-able

However, once you reach the bottom of the Exumas the jumps start to get a bit on the long side and you are almost always into wind, waves and current. Turks to the Dominican Republic would be hard as would DR to Puerto Rico. From Fajardo to the Islands the only big jump is BVI to St Martin but that would be a challenge...almost always into the elements.

I did the whole trip this year...Canada to Trinidad in a 55 ft boat and it was hard work. Would I do it in a 22 ft boat...NO...could I do it...yes... but I would plan for it to take a long time enabling me to pick weather windows and I would stay as close to land as possible.

Good luck...Phil

Last edited by Yorksailor; 10-26-2009 at 11:47 AM.
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Old 10-26-2009
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Phil, thanks for the advice, and trust me, the national weather service, and noaa are about to be my new best friends.
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Let us know how it goes. I'll take my Hunter 23 next
Serioulsy, GL!
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Old 10-26-2009
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I am ok with th risk involved. I was just hoping to get some advice about things I may have forgoten, or that may be helpful on my passages.
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