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Old 23-08-2013, 23:39   #1
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pirate Not Exactly what I had in Mind

So my wife and I are trying to be realistic about our approach to prepping for the cruising life. We started with the investment account to start building the kitty and I pretty much do nothing in my spare time but read about sailing and cruising and maintenance and CF.

So we recently bought a really funky old (1974) Catalina 22 with a 2 stroke Suzuki 6HP outboard, to learn with. We've now owned it a couple weeks and have been spending our weekends getting it cleaned up and ready to drop it in the lake behind our house. Tonight (friday night), after a really long week at work, we drive the hour and a half to the lake house and decided it was time for our maiden voyage.

Since we've never actually the boat (still unnamed by the way) in the water, we decided to not mess with anything fancy like the mast and rigging and actually make sure that it floats. So I loaded in the bare essentials and a cooler so we could motor around, kick back and watch the sunset from the cockpit of our sail-less, mast-less, old sailboat.

So, we drive around the corner to the boat launch and I back the trailer into the water but of course it's not quite deep enough to float the boat of the trailer so I wade in and spend 15 minutes (literally) pushing, pulling, and prying it off the trailer. But hey, it's finally off the trailer and floating...time to swim around to the stern and climb up...hurry up check the bilge. What do ya know, no water...woohoo. The motor starts right up 2nd or 3rd pull.

So we decide the simplest thing is for my wife to take the truck and trailer back to the house. I'll putt the 10 minutes back to the house and pick her up at the dock so we can get out and enjoy that sunset. Then it starts, or should I say stops...outboard is dead. I'm technically up against a lee shore and nothing I'm trying is getting it running again, since it overheated. Dammit, I'm close to that dock...Thankfully I had enough sense to load that anchor and prep it, just in case. Dig it out of the locker, lower it and make sure it's sufficiently set, well at least that works. Oh crap, sun's getting low...I made the decision to take the boat out with no lights. Well that's not completely true, there are lights, it's just they're not actually connected to anything because a previous owner has removed every trace of wiring. I'm planning to get to that sometime....this winter or something. So I text the wife and ask her to come get me but the only vehicle we have with functional nav lights it in the lift tightly covered, with the tower down, and that will take wayyy to long to get in the water. So I ask her to grab a jetski and a towline and tow me back home.

So she blazes back to me. I jump in tie a couple quick bowlines, swim back to the stern...damn the steps on this folding ladder suck. Time to weigh anchor and wrap this sweet ass evening up. So here I am "cruising" back into our little cove in the new (1974) mast-less, sail-less, and now motor-less "sail"boat...The Flyin Hawaiin aint lookin so bad now...but hey guess what, the sun is setting and I guess this is my chance to get a little time on the tiller...whataya know that still works. So we drift up to the dock, secure the boat...actually at this point I think barge is a better fit...and finally crack open a couple cold beers and unwind...on the dock.

Not exactly what I was hoping for on the maidentrip but tomorrow's a new day (and all that crap). I'm hoping the problem is just a clogged intake on the motor (but need some daylight before I'll know) and who knows we might even go nuts...rig the mast and bend on a sail or two...I've seen some great diagrams in a book or two...watched a youtube video or two...how hard could this really be???
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Old 24-08-2013, 00:57   #2
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Re: Not exactly what I had in mind

Welcome to the joys of sailing, and the many adventures to follow. You're making me miss the fun I used to have sailing our old J24.
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Old 24-08-2013, 00:58   #3
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Re: Not exactly what I had in mind

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...how hard could this really be???
It's as easy as falling off a log .

I enjoyed your report lots. Keep the updates coming and good luck .
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Old 24-08-2013, 04:29   #4
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Re: Not exactly what I had in mind

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So my wife and I are trying to be realistic about ...

Not exactly what I was hoping for on the maidentrip but tomorrow's a new day (and all that crap). I'm hoping the problem is just a clogged intake on the motor (but need some daylight before I'll know) and who knows we might even go nuts...rig the mast and bend on a sail or two...I've seen some great diagrams in a book or two...watched a youtube video or two...how hard could this really be???

West Marine sells clamp-on running lights. I think they are legal for boats under 25 ft.

You are going to make yourself *crazy* (I can recommend a nice padded room for you as I have been through this) if you don't have an utterly reliable outboard motor on there while you're learning to sail. BY DEFINITION you will have snafus where you will want to turn the motor on. The less you know about sailing, the more dependable your motor has to be.

I have two friends whose diesels have gone on to that Great Mechanic in the Sky and who do not currently have the scratch to replace them. However, they are accomplished sailors and can sail their boat into a dock under essentially any conditions. THEY can get by without an engine. Odds are you can't.

I went down this road. It made me crazy. Get a new outboard -- 5 hp should be plenty -- take really good care of it and you will enjoy this process much more. Don't buy a used one. Just don't, unless you know a great deal about outboard motors, have compression testing equipment, etc. The majority out there are being sold because they are no longer dependable.
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Old 24-08-2013, 04:31   #5
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Re: Not exactly what I had in mind

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I enjoyed your report lots. Keep the updates coming and good luck .
+1

On the Nav light thing, if not intending to do much at night then can get away with battery powered "Emergency" Nav Lights - No wiring! .
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Old 24-08-2013, 04:59   #6
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Re: Not exactly what I had in mind

If the wind is light, you can easily move a 22 footer at 2 knots with just one canoe paddle. If the wind is not light, you have sails. Do't really need an engine on a boat this size.
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Old 24-08-2013, 05:07   #7
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Re: Not exactly what I had in mind

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If the wind is light, you can easily move a 22 footer at 2 knots with just one canoe paddle. If the wind is not light, you have sails. Do't really need an engine on a boat this size.

RedHerring did you read his post? He knows he doesn't know how to sail and they were just testing the boat without sails up and the engine. I think that was a smart thing to do, and in fact I'm going to recommend it to beginners.

If you don't know what to do with the sails yet and you find yourself in a pickle, you'll have to get the sails down safely and securely while struggling with other problems, and dealing with sails isn't something you're familiar with.

I think learning how to handle the boat with the motor first so it can be a TRUE emergency back up is a brilliant plan for a complete beginner.
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Old 24-08-2013, 05:09   #8
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I'm thinking you hook up a sculling oar. Bag the outboard. I am not talking about sculling like rowing shells but the older definition oar off the transom. Maybe add electric outboard. Forget a new gas thing. Unless you like cleaning carburetors. I read Webb Chiles journal http://www.inthepresentsea.com/the_a...ebbchiles.html and he is using one good writer you might enjoy. Any way here is a link to a good electric outboard http://www.torqeedo.com/us/. Really easy and cheep would be a oar. Not hard to figure out how to work one. I can scoot my dink around near as fast as rowing. Get that mast up.
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Old 24-08-2013, 05:33   #9
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Re: Not exactly what I had in mind

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RedHerring did you read his post?
I did. All I'm saying is "have a paddle or two on that boat - at this size it works".
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Old 24-08-2013, 05:45   #10
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Re: Not Exactly what I had in Mind

'sounds like a strong start to me. At the end of the day, you overcame everthing! As time goes on you'll find more things will be dependable and there will be far less stress.
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Old 24-08-2013, 06:24   #11
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Good on ya, ER. Some days things go sideways and you just have to react. I have been messing about in boats for 60 years and only last week I tangled in a lobster pot, stalled the diesel, tacked back and forth for 6 hours till the wind died,then hip towed my 7 ton boat with my dink and 2.5 Yamaha for 2 hours to get back to my mooring. I observed a great sunset and lovely full moonlit evening. You learn something every time you go out and the more you know the better it gets.
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Old 24-08-2013, 07:19   #12
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Re: Not Exactly what I had in Mind

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I'm thinking you hook up a sculling oar. Bag the outboard. I am not talking about sculling like rowing shells but the older definition oar off the transom. Maybe add electric outboard. Forget a new gas thing. Unless you like cleaning carburetors. I read Webb Chiles journal self-portrait in the present sea Webb Chiles and he is using one good writer you might enjoy. Any way here is a link to a good electric outboard Torqeedo, electric outboards, outboard motor, boat motors, boat engines, outboard engines. Really easy and cheep would be a oar. Not hard to figure out how to work one. I can scoot my dink around near as fast as rowing. Get that mast up.

Sculling won't be very comfortable in rough water, and who is going to steer the boat while he does that? Is the physical space big enough for him to scull while his wife steers? Probably if it's a tiller, but with a wheel that would be a real problem.

Would sculling require standing up at the rear of the boat? Might not be a great thing for someone who doesn't have much boating experience.

Sculling will always require two people. If you get a good outboard motor, take care of it and NEVER EVER EVER put ethanol gas in it (NEVER EVER, and do NOT take advice on that motor from anyone who says you can) -- you'll be fine with an outboard motor.

Sailors always think the sails should be up. I had taken sailing classes before I bought my first boat (outboard motor). Looking back on it I really wish I had started with just the outboard and gotten very comfortable with it. It doesn't take long at all.

THEN use it to get out to open water and sail the thing.

Here's another thing -- one person to scull, one person to steer to keep the boat pointed into the wind, one person to take the sails down. Are you always going to have three people with you?

I know the point is to sail, but this will take very little time. Get a good motor and take care of it well, and it will run for years.
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Old 24-08-2013, 07:25   #13
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Re: Not Exactly what I had in Mind

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who is going to steer the boat while he does that?
You can easily do both with a sculling oar. Especially on a small boat.
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Old 24-08-2013, 07:38   #14
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Ha! Sounds a bit like my first experience in my 17' O'Day with a crotchety old Johnson circa 1960.

After you get used to the boat with the outboard, and get it rigged spend a lot of time practicing sailing in close quarters and docking under sail. Always good to not have to rely on the outboard.

I have an O'day 22 now that we routinely sail down a canal and back to the dock. I imagine the Catalina 22 would be just as easy to handle in close quarters under sail.
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Old 24-08-2013, 07:43   #15
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Re: Not Exactly what I had in Mind

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I know the point is to sail, but this will take very little time. Get a good motor and take care of it well, and it will run for years.
PS -- Don't ever, ever, EVER loan it out. NEVER. I loaned mine twice, and both times it ended badly. The first time it ran, but poorly. The second time, the carbourator had to be completely replaced -- somehow he had gotten salt water in it. Of course he denied all responsiblity, and we are no longer friends.
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