SailNet Community banner

1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
82 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
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.
 

·
Super Fuzzy Moderator
Joined
·
17,137 Posts
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.
 

·
2kt wind=trolling speed
Joined
·
370 Posts
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.
 

·
Telstar 28
Joined
·
43,289 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
82 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
tdw said:
Simple answer - how long is a piece of string ?
A piece of string is half as long as twice it's length. :D

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.
 

·
moderate?
Joined
·
13,875 Posts
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!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
82 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
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.
 

·
Super Fuzzy Moderator
Joined
·
17,137 Posts
skrap1r0n said:
A piece of string is half as long as twice it's length. :D

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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
157 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,647 Posts
I've always wanted to sail my Sunfish off the beach in Pensecola. Does that count?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
82 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
P8dawg said:
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.
Yeah I kinda ran into something similar last weekend. I went to the sailboat shop inquiring about how to get started. The guy there that did the survey said to raise the main, then the jib, and it I was nervous about it or felt uncomfortable, reef the main and leave the jib up, and that if I felt like I was getting in trouble, let go of the tiller.

I did this, however, there were no lines to run through the reefing cringles, so like I said, it was VERY sloppy sailing. (It wasn't till I was almost back that I realized I hadn't unhooked the boom from the backstay.)

We had a gust hit us and we heeled fairly significantly. I let go of the tiller about the time the rail hit the water and it turned into the wind very nicely and settled down.

I know there is a whole lot to learn, and that I will make lots of mistakes, but hey, thats the way to learn, no?
 

·
2kt wind=trolling speed
Joined
·
370 Posts
You betcha it is. Your'e having as much fun as I am. IMHO, learnig this way will make us better sailors, maybe not as fast as taking lessons, but MUCH more fun.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
87,723 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,261 Posts
Welcome and good luck. Remember, in most of the Gulf, you have the Gulf Intracoastal waterway as and alternative if the weather is too snotty "outside". And some of the waterway, where it's a wide sound inside of barrier islands (like from Pearl River, La. to Mobile, and a few other sections too) it's actually the more scenic and enjoyable route to sail in. I don't recommend it west of New Orleans, though, it's more "ditch" where you'll be motoring and have to watch out for the barge tows.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
87,723 Posts
Take some sailing courses !!!!!

Find a sailing school, do a Basic Keelboat Sailing class and a Coastal Nav class. If there's a "Bareboat Charter Certification", get that as well.

You'll learn more, faster, than you will on your own. And you'll be safer, to boot.

The Gulf of Mexico can be a very nasty place. Get some training before you get a nasty surprise.

Charles
 

·
2kt wind=trolling speed
Joined
·
370 Posts
I'm sorry if my post sounded like I was suggesting he NOT take lessons for the gulf. My remarks were for his time on lakes, and I stand by it, but then I'm no expert so take it for what it is, MHO.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
82 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
cpcohen said:
Take some sailing courses !!!!!
Oh I will. Planning on a couple of private lessons, just to get the idea, then maybe try to take some of the ASA Blue Water stuff in the future. I don't plan on chartering a bareboat, but it would be nice to have the courses under my belt.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Keep Taking Courses

Dear New Sailor:

I am also new to sailing just buying and fixing a 75 Seafarer 22, fortunately I bought the sailboat from a really honest and knowledgeable fellow sailor. The first thing I did was take the safeboating course online from the coast guard, the next thing I did was contact The United States Power Squandrons they work very closely with the Coast Guard or are considered auxillary Coast Guard, I am still trying to figure that out. They had me sign up to take a course in Charting and Navigation, the cost $21.00 including the book and 6 weeks of classes (one night aweek). Great class only sailboat owners attended and we learned from each other. Next week I take Sailing 101 and 102 this is a 10 week course, one night each week. I also found a great web site for learning it is called Keelboat Course - Basic Navigation. The web address is http://www.sailingusa.info/basic_navigation.htm. The United States Power squadron's web site is http://www.usps.org. Just dont call a chart a map, maps are for landlovers.
 

·
Telstar 28
Joined
·
43,289 Posts
Lakes can be great training grounds... one serious advantage they have over coastal or ocean areas is that the winds on a lake tend to be much more variable... and you have to learn how to spot wind shifts and changes much more carefully on a lake. On the open ocean or larger coastal areas, like Buzzards Bay, the wind is pretty constant... and you can get lazy.

However, when it comes to dealing with heavy seas...the coastal areas are the place to go.... or if you're really adventurous... the Gulf Stream in a northerly wind. :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
397 Posts
Skrap, we're also on Lake Travis and had the dream of a boat on the Gulf. Working full time, we figured weekends 1/4 time driving, 1/4 time sleeping, 1/4 time sailing and 1/4 time other, and our propery would go to hell. Thinking again, we thought we might end up with a lot more sailing on a local lake. Now having a boat, if it were on the Gulf, I'd now figure 1/4 time driving 1/4 time sleeping, 1/8 time sailing 3/8 time other - the 1/8 time sailing being optimistic. We're not sorry we made the local lake decision. Otherwise we charter. However, letting the property go to hell was also a good decision. No recommendation, just how we ended up.

As for classes, I do recommend TSA (US Sailing) on Travis for Basic Keelboat. For more more advanced classes, I would recommend the Bay Area Sailing School (ASA) in Clearlake, especially if you really want to sail the Gulf.

Please feel free to contact me via email if you would like to discuss further.
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top