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Why are so few Catalinas raced?

Hello SanDiegoRacer,
I have not found a lot of information on racing Catalina 27s, or any Catalina (other than its junior cousin, the Capri) for that matter. I have purchased a Catalina 27 recently and sail it out of Sandusky, Ohio, on Lake Erie. I was going to post my own thread asking why you find so few Catalinas racing. For example, on the Lake Erie PHRF list there are only seven Catalina 27s listed for the 2009 season for the entire lake. Yet, the boat has a decent PHRF rating, somewhere around the 210 mark. So, why are so few of them raced? Perhaps some of you out there who are experienced both in racing and Catalinas could enlighten me and help SanDiegoRacer find his information too.
Thanks for your help.
 

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Gentlemen, or ladies, as the case may be, I have two recommendations for you: Ivar Dedekam's Sail and Rig Tuning and Adam Cort's and Richard Stearns' Getting Started in Sailboat Racing. The former covers all aspects of sail and rig tuning, with lots of explanations of How Things Work and lots of pictures and diagrams, and the latter covers sail trim, and racing tactics and strategies.

Jim
 

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Gentlemen, or ladies, as the case may be, I have two recommendations for you: Ivar Dedekam's Sail and Rig Tuning and Adam Cort's and Richard Stearns' Getting Started in Sailboat Racing.
Two outstanding books, both available on Amazon.com. I actually have two copies of the sail and rig tuning book, one at home and one on board.
 

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Hello SanDiegoRacer,
I have not found a lot of information on racing Catalina 27s, or any Catalina (other than its junior cousin, the Capri) for that matter. I have purchased a Catalina 27 recently and sail it out of Sandusky, Ohio, on Lake Erie. I was going to post my own thread asking why you find so few Catalinas racing. For example, on the Lake Erie PHRF list there are only seven Catalina 27s listed for the 2009 season for the entire lake. Yet, the boat has a decent PHRF rating, somewhere around the 210 mark. So, why are so few of them raced? Perhaps some of you out there who are experienced both in racing and Catalinas could enlighten me and help SanDiegoRacer find his information too.
Thanks for your help.
There are at least three C27s in our race fleet on the Magothy River (empties into the Chesapeake). They are very good little racers and enjoy a very advantagous PHRF rating.
 

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I see a lot of Catalina 27s racing on the Chesapeake Bay. I believe they are all standard rig, as opposed to tall rig C27s, and all outboard-powered. Thus, all the tall rig 27s and inboard powered 27s are not good choices for racing. I think the boat is often owned by newer sailors who tend to be more cruising-oriented than racing oriented. As a result, most C27s have accumulations of old antifouling paint, and would not be good racers unless given a thorough bottom-stripping job. But, that having been said, large numbers of them have been built and are available, they can be bought without a big investment, they sail well, sails aren't so big as to be prohibitively expensive, and they make a good, fun, competitive, inexpensive racer that can also be cruised.

However, if I was going to race PHRF, rather than one-design, I'd race a Catalina 25 (probably a tall rig in the lightish winds of the Chesapeake Bay). It has a longer waterline than the C27, is lighter in weight, and is faster than the C27, but the last time I looked, the C27 had to give the C25 handicap time under most rating systems. In my opinion, the Catalina 25 (not the Capri 25) is an underrated boat for the very reason that so few of them are well-prepped and seriously raced, and they get a favorable rating as a result.

You can find tips on racing a C25 at Catalina - Capri - 25s International Association , including suggestions on tuning the rig. Most of it would be equally applicable to the C27.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the feedback!

The Navy Yacht clubs in San Diego have mostly Cat 21s, 250s and 27s. I presume it is because their main goal is to provide recreational cruising for active and retired military. Boats have no nav gear, no spinakers and the bottoms are not too well maintained. But they are really FUN to race for several reasons:

- They handicap at 210 while most of the rest of the fleet have numbers in the 100-130 range, so when I keep up with or pass a non-rental boat, it is a real charge.

- The rental charge of $22 for an afternoon/evening of racing a 27 footer beats the pants off the price of purchasing my own boat, although I am looking around.

- In a field of 10-13 boats, I usually finish 3rd (good race) or 5th (mistakes or bad start), so I like staying ahead of the pack.

Anyway... I can usually finish 3rd and am looking for what I need to learn to push that up a notch.
 

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In Milwaukee we have 4 or 5 c27, I only race a couple of times a year because of current work travel. Intending to race more in the future, I have not seen specific articles on Catalina sail trim, but assume that one follows conventional wisdom and tests what works best.
 
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