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Old 24-02-2016, 10:32   #16
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Re: Catalina 22 to Bimini

A number of years ago, (mid 80's) I sailed a Columbia 26 from just south of Tampa down to the Dry Tortugas, Key west, Cat Cay, then up to Marsh harbor with 4 people, 2 dogs, 2 birds, and no engine. It was a bunch of fun. We were not overcrowded and everyone had a great time. My two friends flew home from Marsh Harbor and the two of us (plus dogs and birds) sailed the Bahamas for 6 months before sailing back to the US.

Your little Catalina will do fine and you will have a whole bunch more fun than all the people with larger boats sitting in a marina in the US wanting and hoping to go but feeling they need perfect weather or more safety gear. I would take my departure from Alligator reef though. Easy to get out and the current will take you a bit east as well as north, and much better to get across the stream a little south of where you are bound than a little north if the wind is light.

Not sure you will like Nassau though…. The Abacos would be more fun, and you can come around the top and take your departure from West End for West Palm or St Lucie then go back home via the Okeechobee.



The only things you really NEED are will to do it, a compass, a good anchor, and the required safety equipment (life vests and flares). However in my humble opinion, it is nice to have a dingy, an inexpensive HF receiver for weather and entertainment, a VHF is handy for weather and talking to friends (but you will find there is so much incessant chatter on VHF’s that one normally just turns it off), a GPS, (an old smartphone with navionics is fine), and items that are pricey in the Bahamas (basics like coffee, cocoa, cooking oil etc.), snorkeling and fishing gear, some basic tools and the desire to have fun. She may have an old alcohol stove aboard, I would pitch that over the side and pick up an inexpensive propane stove.

Sounds like an adventure! Good luck and have fun!

Michael
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Old 24-02-2016, 10:33   #17
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Re: Catalina 22 to Bimini

You can often find a Catalina 27 in the same price range as a 22. If there were two of you I'd say "have fun," but for 4 of you I'd definitely look for a bit bigger boat.
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Old 24-02-2016, 10:45   #18
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Re: Catalina 22 to Bimini

I owned a Tanzer22, which is similar in size...maybe a bit bigger.

Why did you choose the C22? Or did you "come across it" and decide to use it for this trip? What is the purpose of the trip...fun? Or do you just want a cheap way across? Are you 4 related? 2 adults and 2 kids? Are you large adults or small?

Sure, you could do it. The boat will be a mess with all the personal gear, ww gear, food, drinks, water and extra fuel. Seriously, I doubt you will fit your "luggage" below, never mind enough supplies and gear for the trip. For example, what ground tackle are you bringing? Dinghy? Stove? Sun tent? Scuba gear?
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Old 24-02-2016, 10:55   #19
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Re: Catalina 22 to Bimini

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Originally Posted by captmikem View Post
A number of years ago, (mid 80's) I sailed a Columbia 26...
A Columbia 26 is a MUCH larger boat than a Catalina 22. The difference is greater than the 4' in LOA might lead one to believe.

The Columbia displaces more than twice as much and has more than three times the ballast. It has a head compartment, a table, a galley area--none of which you will find on the Catalina. The Columbia was built with the idea that people would spend nights aboard. The Catalina is basically a daysailer with four berths crammed into it, and a small space for a porta-potti. Comparing them is a classic case of "apples and oranges."

I would consider the OP's trip in a Columbia 26 with three good friends. In the Catalina 22, though? Not me.

Move it up to a Catalina 25, or better yet a 27, and I would call this doable. I just think that four guys spending this much time in a Catalina 22 is a formula for failure.
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Old 24-02-2016, 10:59   #20
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Re: Catalina 22 to Bimini

I really appreciate all the responses; I didn't expect it.

To go over some of the points, we will definitely have a VHF and a GPS of some sort. We will also either be towing a Sunfish or a small dingy, as a tender/'just in case'.

On the friendship part, the four of us are all college aged and I have known them for about 5 years. I expect it to be pretty easygoing, but the four of us have never really butted heads on many issues. Given all the stops we will be making, I think we will be able to cope pretty well.

On the crossing itself, I am in favor of a majority of the comments saying to jump off from further south. That's definitely the plan. Nassau was just the only city I knew in the Bahamas, so that is definitely up for debate/whims/weather.

For the boat, by happening across I meant that it was free, and as college kids have a pretty low budget. We managed the kicker for 90 and built a rudder ourselves (glued together plywood with marine glue, planed by hand, and built a tiller - getting mounting for real though). It's been our dream to sail somewhere for a couple years now, maybe 3. We built about 80% of a plywood paddle duck (?) sailboat in my garage.

In regards to space, we are planning on just bringing maybe a duffle bag each, food, a stove, and some fishing supplies. It's more about the sailing and scenery for us, versus scuba diving or other space-using activities. Definitely will look into how much room we actually have on the boat. Never considered that, thank you.

If anyone is planning a similar crossing this summer, maybe we can buddy it. Send me a message!
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Old 24-02-2016, 11:07   #21
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Re: Catalina 22 to Bimini

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Get a second C22 and go as buddy boats.


Sent from my iPhone using Cruisers Sailing Forum

You know this may have initially sounded flippant, but I think it has a lot of merit
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Old 24-02-2016, 11:12   #22
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Re: Catalina 22 to Bimini

Don't get me wrong, I love the C22, but... I sailed with a buddy from Dana Point to Catalina in the late 80's and it was cramped for 2 people for a week with gear. I can't imagine 4 people for a week, especially if everyone is hiding from weather below.
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Old 24-02-2016, 11:47   #23
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Re: Catalina 22 to Bimini

"We will also either be towing a Sunfish or a small dingy, as a tender/'just in case'."


Just in case of what, precisely? Don't get us all worried by implying that you would consider a Sunfish, or any other small dinghy, a "life boat"!

The C22 will either make it or it won't. If it does, you will. It it doesn't, you won't!

Like so many others, I consider the boat too small for the job of carrying four adults - however close their friendship may initially be - on that trip.

So here is where we come back to the "just in case". Were you meaning that when the fit hits the shan, as I think it very well might with four grown-ups in 22-footer, the Sunfish will serve to carry Cap'n Bligh and the other stalwarts across the ocean, while mutineers take the boat to Bimini?

TrentePieds
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Old 24-02-2016, 12:13   #24
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Re: Catalina 22 to Bimini

All things are possible...not all things are advantageous!
This is an adventure unfolding for all of you!
Keep a clear head and save the drinks for when you hit Bimini!
Anchors away!
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Old 24-02-2016, 12:21   #25
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Re: Catalina 22 to Bimini

If crowding will be an issue (and add me to those who think it will be), it should emerge sometime in the trip from Tampa to SE Florida.

If I was your father, I'd be concerned about two things: First: your timing. How long do you figure it will take you to get around Florida? Add in some delays for bad weather and repairs, you might be looking at 3-4 weeks? Then on to Bimini and beyond has you sailing into hurricane territory just as hurricane season is kicking in. And it won't take a hurricane to make passengers on a C22 wish they'd never heard of a sailboat. You'll be returning as the possibility of a hurricane or tropical storm is even greater.

Second is your safety preparation. Well, you are youngsters, bless your hearts, so it is understandable that you don't have serious safety preparation as a high priority. But c'mon man - you are going to tow a Sunfish! That's funny! That you are considering towing anything across the Gulf Stream with a C22 (with 4 adults aboard!) tells me you have a lot to learn.

Don't give up the dream of a great adventure! But consider reducing the scope. If you sail from Tampa to the Keys, hang out in the Keys for a while, then sail back to Tampa, you will have a more manageable adventure, and really, you'll have more fun than going to the Bahamas.
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Old 24-02-2016, 12:35   #26
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Re: Catalina 22 to Bimini

including the notes above...Just make sure it's in good shape. Have a good bilge pump and way to keep the batteries up. Strong rigging and rudder. If it's a pop top make that water tight for the crossing.
I crossed once in y boat same day as friends who were in a 23 footer. It may take you 12 hours. Pick a good day. Key Largo might be good, lots of current sweeping you toward the NE. Their keel was leaking when they got to Bimini. Had to go under water and use some wet setting epoxy.
And most importantly, go cruising locally with all your buddies for a few days or a week. Then reassess the situation!
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Old 24-02-2016, 14:54   #27
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Re: Catalina 22 to Bimini

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I can't imagine 4 people for a week, especially if everyone is hiding from weather below.
I suggest this test: All four of you get on the boat. 3 of you below, one at the tiller. One of you takes a dump in the "head" below. Discuss. Hopefully you have a Y valve, or the holding tank is now full...

BTW, I'm loving this thread! I used to sail with my two kids (when they were little) on a C&C25. Finally they got too big for that boat. When I discussed a new boat with them, they had only one request....BIGGER!

I really like the buddy boat idea posted above. There are more free boats out there...and they aren't all junk either...many are in sail away condition...just really, really dirty.
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Old 24-02-2016, 15:05   #28
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Re: Catalina 22 to Bimini

Forgot to ask...fin keel or swing keel model?
What year?

Please...PLEASE...take lots of video.
If you make it, it will be hilarious.
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Old 24-02-2016, 15:19   #29
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Re: Catalina 22 to Bimini

Folks, all of these issues will sort themselves out. Sailing this boat to their jumping off spot will take some serious sailing time. If they were just going to leave from Key Largo or thereabouts, then it would be a whole different story. If they have too many people on board this will soon manifest itself. This is something they should talk about (given the fine input from CF) and have a Plan B. If they do not have a ''buddy boat'' for the crossing they should by all means have an Epirb on board. I believe BoatUS will rent one to its members. Actually a BoatUS inexpensive membership would be a good idea, inexpensive towing. Bimini top or awning by all means. Have fun.
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Old 24-02-2016, 16:04   #30
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Re: Catalina 22 to Bimini

A long time ago I had a Cat 22 (hull #61). Sailed the hell out of that boat, raced and cruised, had a ball in the SF Bay and environs. Had two adult couples on board overnight a few times. Pretty crowded even with only weekend stores and supplies... and our sleeping situation, being youngish couples, were a bit different than those acceptable to 4 young blokes... I imagine!

And as I remember, the sailing characteristics were impaired by such loading, FWIW.

If you guys go, have a good time. If you all survive, write home and tell us about it!

Jim
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