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Old 21-05-2015, 08:57   #1
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C-22 on the Great Loop

I moved this thread to here from the meets and greets.
Here is my intro from there:
"I'm an older guy 72, and missed out on a lot of things I wanted to do in life but have not given up. On my bucket list I have a long cruise on a sail boat. However, time and trials of life have taken their toll. Last year I purchased a 1972 Catalina 22 swing keel and have been sailing it and fixing it up on a long winding reservoir in North AR.
My question is am I being realistic to think at 72 I can make the Great Loop cruise on this boat?
I’m in pretty good shape and don’t have health problems. I live and work daily on my retirement small farm, work on the boat, fish and sail her for extended periods of days. I am a retired teacher and have a livable pension income with enough money left over to add essential equipment and boat upgrades as I make the cruise. What I don’t have is time to wait until the boat and equipment are perfect.
I have some boating experience, worked on a MS river push boat as a young man just out of the Army, and shipped on freighters (before containers) as an ordinary seaman. I lived on a 23 footer while going to the U of New Orleans. In the 80s I had a wealthy wife for a while that bought us a 30' Hunter we lived on and cruised the northern Gulf Coast for a couple of years. I Took a home study course from FL Maritime logged my time and got a 50 ton license (no longer current) I have owned and sailed an O'day 23 on the Gulf
Coast and salvaged, lake sailed a holed brand X 23' swing keel for a while.
The current boat, a C22 is an old model with no frills. She is not a pop top. She has had some upgrades to strengthen the rigging and rudder. I just finish refurbishing and reinstalled the keel, and painted the bottom. She has a new keel wench, cable, and lights. I just bought her a VHF. I know generally what other equipment I need to add (she has some), and plan on some new off shore class sails. I have a 2008 Tohatsu 4 stroke,6 hp long shaft and a self refurbished Johnson 6 hp 2 stroke for a back up.
I have some reservations about the FL big bend to the Okeechobee crossing leg and the Great Lakes leg from the Erie Canal to Chicago. Reservations are mostly because I don’t have any navigation electronics but I can plot, use charts and have a hand held gps. I used a loran C based chart plotter on the Hunter 30, but know C is no longer in operation.
I am not trying to impress anyone, don’t want to write a book, or make history. I just don’t want to sit here like a bump on a stump until the end. I really want to make a trip but don’t want to commit suicide although I am willing to go down swinging. I would appreciate constructive advice and guidance, but if all you can offer is school boy smart a** sarcasm then keep it, I already got that.
Thank you for your indulgence. If you think I don’t belong on this forum just politely say so, I’ll go.
Peace and Love, James"

Now the cruise will begin. Thanks for looking in; I will appreciate any and all comments, advice, info, or just hellos.
Peace and Love, James
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Old 21-05-2015, 11:25   #2
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C-22 on the Great Loop

Hi James just joining the group with encouragement. I'm no help on points south but have experience in the Great Lakes. I tend to agree skipping Erie and enjoying the Trent Severn Waterway. I'd do it in a heartbeat myself but draft too much. Once you get into Huron and Michigan the state has a bunch of marinas that are nice and clean. Anchorages can be tough to come by in many areas. If you did hit weather remember any Marina or yacht club will provide safe harbor. My big lesson was learning to watch the fronts in addition to the weather forecast. It see lately the weather forecast can change drastically quickly. Watching the fronts can help mitigate that.

Have a blast and enjoy. I've met a few loopers along the way most were having s ball. (Except for one grumpy wife)

Fair winds!
SC
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Old 21-05-2015, 11:42   #3
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Re: C-22 on the Great Loop

We sail a 19' trailer sailor on Lake Ont, I've even crossed L. Ontario and L. Erie on a similar boat. So I'm certain that a well-set-up 22' boat could safely sail the great lakes, especially if you pick your days. I'll let others answer for the ICW or the oceans, but I hear that, as long as one uses good judgement, a smaller boat can safely complete those too.

Watch the weather, and bring extra gas.

Fair winds, James.
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Old 21-05-2015, 11:47   #4
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Re: C-22 on the Great Loop

The only part of your journey that I've seen is the lakes in Kentucky while traveling between St. Louis and Lexington and stopping by Paducah, Grand Rivers and Land Between the Lakes. It's a beautiful area and I would think a great starting place. I'm anxious to hear about your progress.
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Old 21-05-2015, 11:55   #5
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Re: C-22 on the Great Loop

While that is smaller than we would be comfortable in (comfort not safety), from your description of the boat and your abilities, you should be fine.

Everything can be done with day sails, so wait for nice weather windows and it's all doable.
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Old 21-05-2015, 13:58   #6
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Re: C-22 on the Great Loop

Earth Date: May 21 2015
I’ve decided to make my depart goal Sept 1st with tailoring over to Kentucky Lake on the Tenn – Tom water way section of the loop. Then we’ll head south to the North Gulf Coast at Mobile Bay. I still have some boat work to finish up and the boat is still up on the dry in my improvised boat shed. But most of the things on my to do list are pretty straight forward. (pic attached) Boat work has become Zen for me. It takes me out of past darkness and into reality’s light. I guess that is why those monks spend so much time raking.
I am really comfortable on the C-22, so those that have worried about my comfort level aboard should not. I asked one thread respondent, “Can a boat be a soul mate?” Mine is, her name BTW is “Grace” and she is that.
One area I am still sorting out is finding a reliable person to check in on my farm house for the year or so of the trip. I have sold off my goats and included the herd guard dog. I still have a few chickens but they’ll be eaten by Departure Date. As will the fresh vegetables from the garden. I think I will miss those the most, but understand my route will not be in the wilderness and I should have some access to markets most of the trip.
Section 1 is pretty familiar territory to me. Having lived and fished in a lot of the waters of that area. That will make the transition to boat living easier.
It is taking patients to get everything together but it is only 3 months.
All the good wishes and support I’ve gotten from the forum is remarkable and heart warming. I do sincerely appreciate all.
Peace and Love, James
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Old 21-05-2015, 14:07   #7
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Re: C-22 on the Great Loop

In much younger days, my husband sailed/raced his C 22 on SF Bay. My take on this is that you're going to be fine, if you goof up and get caught in bad wx, just remember that reefing early is really a good deal. You're out there for enjoyment, not for attending deadlines.

Have a great time.

Ann
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Old 21-05-2015, 15:01   #8
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Re: C-22 on the Great Loop

One of the modifications I did on mine was to change the forestay chainplate to an external stainless strap coming down the stem a bit and through bolted. I wish I had photos. I did that because I saw the original pulling up some under stress.
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Old 21-05-2015, 15:47   #9
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Re: C-22 on the Great Loop

You will be fine. Remember that on the loop you are never too far from civilization, so it's hard to get into trouble that can't be fixed. And if you really need to get back home for some reason you can stop at a marina and rent a car. Have a great time.
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Old 21-05-2015, 17:00   #10
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Re: C-22 on the Great Loop

James and Grace (lovely name for a boat) I wish you well on your adventure. You are doing what so many others only dream about. Life is an adventure if you have the right attitude and you seem to have the right stuff.

I once cruised the coasts of FL and GA in a 19 ft Cape Dory Typhoon and had a great time. My wife and I have been sailing our larger boat for 16 years and living aboard and cruising the coast of Southern California for about a year and a half ... and loving it.

I'm 66 so not as young as I once was. We have more space and comfort now than on your C22 but two people away from shore for sometimes several weeks at a time need more space. I just wanted to add my encouragement as well. Good luck and smooth sailing.



S/V B'Shert
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Old 21-05-2015, 17:58   #11
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Re: C-22 on the Great Loop

BTW, get a towing package from Towboat US or SeaTow. Well worth the $150.
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Old 21-05-2015, 21:57   #12
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Re: C-22 on the Great Loop

Something that I plan to do when my kids are out of the house. I have a Catalina 25 that I want to use. Good luck and please keep us posted...I'm sure you will be fine

Sent from my SM-T320 using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
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Old 22-05-2015, 09:14   #13
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Re: C-22 on the Great Loop

As for no chart plotter, etc., you may want to consider picking up an IPAD with Cellular and Built-in GPS. Add a nav app such as Garmin Blue Chart Mobile. Buy the appropriate maps through them, and it works really well including Active Captain being built in. We use ours as a back up for our full Garmin 7212 Chart Plotter and used it as well for overnight crossing from Carrabelle, Florida down to Tarpon Springs - worked beautifully the whole way.
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Old 22-05-2015, 09:14   #14
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Re: C-22 on the Great Loop

James:
Older people have done it and smaller boats have crossed the big oceans in fine shape; read "There Be No Dragons" and you'll feel like you're on an ocean liner compared to some of the epic small boat passages.
A good weather eye should keep you out of any serious trouble and your resourcefulness will get you out of any you might encounter. The adventures will all be worth it!
Have a great time!
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Old 22-05-2015, 09:26   #15
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Re: C-22 on the Great Loop

I had a C22 for 10 years which I sailed, mostly singlehanded, on the Potomac when I couldn't be in the Caribbean on my larger cruising boat.

The C22 is an excellent vessel, able to handle rough weather pretty well PROVIDED that you don't overcanvass her.

One early modification I made was to add two self-tailing cockpit winches. This made single-handing much easier. If you plan to actually sail a lot -- and there are lots of stretches where you can do this, even in the ICW -- then you might think about this modification.

Take care....I'm sure you'll be fine.

Bill
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