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Old 26-10-2011, 15:32   #1
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Is a Catalina 22 Seaworthy Enough to Make the Passage from Florida to the Bahamas ?

I'm new to the forum and new to sailing. A few years ago I had the bug to buy an older sailboat, but my business slowed to a crawl and the dream was put on hold. Recently I acquired a project, a Catalina 22. Its smaller than I originally wanted 27-32 ft. but I couldnt turn down this boat as it is FREE!!! It needs some work but the price was right, FREE!!! Anyway I am wondering if a boat this size is seaworthy enough to make the pass from Florida to the Bahamas? Of course I wouldnt attempt this without plenty of instruction/experiance etc. I'm just wondering if a Catalina 22 is big enough to even attempt such a trip. My current sailing experiance consists of small boats on fresh water and inshore many years ago. I spent a lot of time sailing as a pre-teen and teenager, even won a summer camp regatta.

Anyway, I'm just wondering if a Catalina 22 is big enough for a trip to The Bahamas from Florida?
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Old 26-10-2011, 15:33   #2
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Re: Is a Catlina 22 seaworthy enough to make the pass from Florida to The Bahamas?

Do they have Roro's to the Bahamas or carry ferries? If so why not put it on a ferry set sail and then put it on a ferry home.

roro is an acronym for roll on roll off
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Old 26-10-2011, 15:34   #3
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Re: Is a Catlina 22 seaworthy enough to make the pass from Florida to The Bahamas?

YES!

Only a a day sail. But then only you can answer it for yourself. have a good trip
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Old 26-10-2011, 15:51   #4
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Re: Is a Catlina 22 seaworthy enough to make the pass from Florida to The Bahamas?

From Miami to Bimini is about 50 miles pretty much due East and that's as close to FL as the Bahamas get. There's a current running north @ three to five knots (called the Gulf stream) and if you hit any kinda wind from the north you can get some mighty interesting seas. (Don't worry, they probably won't be as high as your boat is long but the operative word here is "probably".) I did it in the last century aboard a new Ranger 23 (1972) but, conditions were perfect (wind from the SSW@ about 15) and it was a beautiful 10 - 12 hour ride. A centerboarder like the C22 could do it but y'have to choose your weather window mighty carefully 'cause it's gonna take y'awhile.
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Old 26-10-2011, 16:01   #5
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Re: Is a Catlina 22 seaworthy enough to make the pass from Florida to The Bahamas?

Absolutely....check the weather and know how to navigate.

Back in the 70's we were crossing in 19' Cape Dory typhoons with NO nav gear but a watch and a compass...but then again...SO were the big boats!!!!

Of course the boat has to be sound...so if it's a project boat and you do a good job the trip should be a snap...plus you can upgrade a few things along the way that make things stronger or more seaworthy.
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Old 27-10-2011, 06:29   #6
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Re: Is a Catalina 22 Seaworthy Enough to Make the Passage from Florida to the Bahamas

Going over will be the easy part, 'cause you can carefully choose your weather window. If you need to be back in Florida by a certain date, the return trip could be a real bear.

Don't let yourself get trapped by a fixed schedule. Mother Nature couldn't give a rip about schedules.
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Old 27-10-2011, 07:41   #7
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Re: Is a Catalina 22 Seaworthy Enough to Make the Passage from Florida to the Bahamas

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Don't let yourself get trapped by a fixed schedule. Mother Nature couldn't give a rip about schedules.
This is the key. Yes, you can cross to the Bahamas in a boat that size. I've done it myself in a San Juan 23, which is not much bigger or heavier than your boat.

But you ABSOLUTELY MUST be willing to wait for the proper weather window going both ways! Do not try it if the wind is not somewhere out of a southerly quadrant.

Also, you should probably be ready for some seasickness, as the boat will be rolling quite differently than you would ever experience on a lake or inshore waters.
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Old 27-10-2011, 09:32   #8
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Re: Is a Catalina 22 Seaworthy Enough to Make the Passage from Florida to the Bahamas

I used to know a guy that sailed his Precision 21 from Key West to the Bahamas every summer. I had a P21 and it is more lightly built than a C22. Pick your weather window and go for it. Also, consider towing and launching your boat at Bahia Honda State Park in the Keys and spending a week or two in that area. Very protected marina, secure place to store trailer, amazing beach, lots of small islands to day-sail to and Key West is less than an hour drive when you need to get off the boat.
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Old 28-10-2011, 22:20   #9
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Re: Is a Catalina 22 Seaworthy Enough to Make the Passage from Florida to the Bahamas

I think you are asking the wrong question. The question should be "do I have the ability to sail a small boat across the gulf stream?" A fourteen foot dingy was sailed across the Atlantic. The difference in survivability is not the boat, it is the sailor.
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Old 29-10-2011, 00:11   #10
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Re: Is a Catalina 22 Seaworthy Enough to Make the Passage from Florida to the Bahamas

in the 60s the locals used to do the bimini run in 15 foot open boats with 25 hp on them and just a compass if that,,,,but then again in modern times you need radar, ebirp, ais, liferaft, vhf, another boat to follow you, and any other safety gear you can think of
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Old 29-10-2011, 03:07   #11
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Re: Is a Catalina 22 Seaworthy Enough to Make the Passage from Florida to the Bahamas

preperation & timing,spend anite off the coast get the feel of the boat in open waters,make sure the keel can be locked down.have a reefing system you can handle from the cockpit,it can be a little uncomfortable on the bow of a small yacht tryng to change sails in 10ft. seas.ive done a few crossings of the cook strait in small craft and allways kept the lee boards in(even if it looked fine)water below in a small boat is very bad.the feeling of completing an ocean passage in a small yacht is something special,one with the sea an all that.ENJOY.....if u thingk about it reef.........
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Old 29-10-2011, 05:10   #12
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Re: Is a Catalina 22 Seaworthy Enough to Make the Passage from Florida to the Bahamas

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Beth View Post
I think you are asking the wrong question. The question should be "do I have the ability to sail a small boat across the gulf stream?" A fourteen foot dingy was sailed across the Atlantic. The difference in survivability is not the boat, it is the sailor.
Good way to put it.

Smaller boats are generally less forgiving than larger ones, so the competence of the captain becomes more important.

For crossing the Gulf Stream to the Bahamas, as several have mentioned, one of the most critical issues is waiting for conditions that are suitable for your boat and your sailing skills.
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Old 29-10-2011, 10:57   #13
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Re: Is a Catalina 22 Seaworthy Enough to Make the Passage from Florida to the Bahamas

One thing you might want to consider...

The Catalina 22's standing rigging is designed for day-sailing and club racing, not for bluewater sailing. Will you have a plan for what to do if your rig comes apart while the gulf stream is pushing you into the North Atlantic at 6kts?

Will your small hp outboard allow you to make enough headway East, while the current pushes you North? You might miss your target by many miles.

These are the questions I was asked by a very experienced ocean sailor when I brought up the possiblity of doing the same rather than save up to buy a real ocean-going yacht.
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Old 29-10-2011, 11:04   #14
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Re: Is a Catalina 22 Seaworthy Enough to Make the Passage from Florida to the Bahamas

Sailing to the Bahamas is hardly what I would call bluewater sailing...halfway you are only 25 miles from land...most coastal cruisers wind up that far offgoing from one port to the next.

While the gulfstream should be respected...let's keep things in perspective. A good/decent radio and a plb are good ideas as is at least a handheld gps. Other than standard safety equipment a good weather report is the best thing you need.
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Old 29-10-2011, 11:25   #15
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Re: Is a Catalina 22 Seaworthy Enough to Make the Passage from Florida to the Bahamas

Been there Done that back in the mid 70's with a couple of buddies, we stayed for 6 weeks. We only had a compass and on our trip over to the islands our compass started spinning AARRGGG the Devils Trangle NOT our stereo speaker was too close to our compass. We had a great cruse.
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