Join Date: Jul 2009
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GeorgeB, At this point I primarily trailer sail, though I am tiring of the setup and take down so a slip may be in the works in the near future. I.m very hesitant about keeping a swing keel boat in warm salt water for any extended period of time. Working that issue separately.
We get storms here in the summer a few times a week, mostly late in the day. They do come up quickly though. As I gain experience I will be able to see the onset of them though, plus a barometer will soon find its way on board.
I am willing to spend what is necessary to ensure the safety of myself and my crew. Though a bigger boat is on the horizon- for no other reason than the ability to stand up inside and to get rid of the high maintenance swing keel. The trade off in draft is worth it to me given the fact that I can sail here near year round, basically the boat needs to be able to be stored in the water most of the year. Swing keel boats are not designed for this, to many moving parts to get fouled up.
I am going sailing tomorrow so I will take some photos of my basic setup.
As far as the boat goes, I have already replaced all standing rigging, installed backing plates to everything and upgraded all the eyebolts from 3/8 to 1/2. I have sealed all hatches and lockers, installed four locking hatch dogs on the forward hatch and the poptop. I have also installed locking tabs for the crib boards so that when engaged, the boards will remain in place upside down. Everything inside is secured with hold downs and straps. If the boat turtles, I believe the only things that will fall are my charts and the cushions. In addition, I have installed thicker seals on the cockpit lockers so that they have to be compressed to close. This ensures that they remain locked to operate the boat. If i forget to secure them they sit open about 2" as a reminder. My headstay is attached to my bow eye so it won't pull out of the deck. Basically, every safety upgrade noted by Catalina and Catalina Direct has been applied. I am now installing new running rigging, and as many of you pointed out, justifiably so. I can't rely on my outboard to get me out of trouble (prop out of the water) so being that it is a sailboat, she is being set up to sail out of trouble.
I just ordered a Harken single line reefing system, internal outhaul and a boom vang. Should be here next week so I'll have some new hardware to learn how to use. I like to sail alone sometimes so I am working on running everything to the cockpit. I think jacklines are overkill for my small boat so I'm rigging up a tether to my tiller. That way if I fall off, my weight will overcome the tiller tender and force the boat to turn back towards me...at least in theory.
From what I have seen, there are not a lot of sailboats sailing in my area. Though there are hundreds of them tied up at the marinas. Most seem to stay in the sounds. Guess I'm one of the few fools sailing my Catalina 22 3 miles offshore. I find it peaceful out there and worth the risk. More to follow, thanks for the advice- it is all well taken. Alan