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Old 19-12-2011, 11:35   #1
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Moving to a Bigger Boat

I have been sailing for about 6 months and had a general question. So far I have only been out on catalina 22's. I was thinking about moving up to chartering a catalina 30'. Can anyone tell me what the major differences are, if any? The catalina 30's that my club has for charter all have wheel helms, so that is one big difference, but besides that I am not sure if there will be any noticeable learning curve to sailing the 30'. Is going from a tiller to a wheel a big change? I assume it would just take some getting used to, I just don't want to get in over my head. The reason I ask is because in the next 6 months or so I plan to get a catalina 30 so I can move away from the charter and start learning about the maintenance, set-up, etc.

Thanks,

Stephen
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Old 19-12-2011, 12:23   #2
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Re: Moving to a bigger boat

biggest difference is the size and how it effects things like how fast it loses way after power is removed. How long it takes to turn and start from a dead stop. And the big increase in loads, on every line aboard. It's a tad harder to "man handle'..
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Old 19-12-2011, 16:38   #3
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The 30 will feel considerably less responsive than the 22. To correct for this, at first you will tend to oversteer the 30. Over time, however, you will learn to give the bigger boat a few more seconds to do whatever you've asked her to do. While you make the adjustment, observe your wake, which functions as your report card. Does the wake snake? Are the angles too tight on your tacks?

The biggest mistake rookies make when moving from a tiller to a wheel is sitting right behind the wheel. We call that the "powerboater position." You should sit as far outboard with a wheel as you did with a tiller. If you can't see your jib telltales, you're doing it wrong.

Try to keep your hand in one position on the wheel. This will keep you from oversteering. A rookie on a wheel, especially a big wheel, gets about 400% more exercise than an expert. (I'm really not exaggerating here. If the wheel is tiring you out more than the tiller ever did, you're doing something wrong.)

In summary, the first thing you must learn when taking up the wheel is patience. The second thing is to be gentle.
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Old 19-12-2011, 16:52   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtbates
biggest difference is the size and how it effects things like how fast it loses way after power is removed. How long it takes to turn and start from a dead stop. And the big increase in loads, on every line aboard. It's a tad harder to "man handle'..
Momentum and energy management is a big deal. The most common mistake I see is after a tack heading up too high before the boat has accelerated. You need to make sure the boat speed goes above around 4-5 knots before trying to point too high. If you don't let the apparent wind build up the boat will be "stalled" in first gear. Focus on boat soeed.

Sheet loads arre higher especially in >15 kts. Where you used to be able to easily haul the jib or genny you will need to winch. It also helps to make clean tacks where the genny is pulled 90% before the tack is complete. Or you will do a lot of winching.

Also when making a trim change you have to be a bit patient to see how it affects boat speed.

If you think about it the same thing happened when you went from dinghies to 22 footers and the same will be true when you go to 40 footers.

Final caution - take the time to find a mooring ball and practice with engine approaching and stopping at and around the ball. Note how prop walk affects in reverse. As you get to below walking speed note how windage takes over. Does the bow fall away? At what speed to you lose steerage. Once you get to 30 feet and above it is dangerous and impossible to "manhandle" the boat while docking.
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Old 19-12-2011, 16:58   #5
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Re: Moving to a bigger boat

G'Day Stephen,

FWIW...

A million years ago I moved from a Cat-22 (owned and raced and cruised for 7 years) to a Yankee 30. The Yankee although tiller steered was of a similar size to your prospective Cat-30. I had none of the problems that you are worrying about... it really isn't a big deal to learn the ways of a different boat, and I'm sure that it will come easily to you.

And as others have already said, the wheel isn't a big deal either. I imagine that it would be harder to do it the other way ie, from a wheel (pretty instinctive for anyone who has driven a car) to a tiller where one's actions are sorta opposite to instinct.

Bash's advice about paying attention to oversteering is right on track, though. But, thousands of folks have made just the jump that you are facing, and have not found it all that traumatic.

You'll be fine, mate!

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 19-12-2011, 17:24   #6
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Re: Moving to a bigger boat

I think you will find the 30 feels safer, easier and more comfortable. It will not respond as fast, so get used to it gliding farther in neutral. However, you will find that reverse now actually works! You wont be on your ear immediately in a reasonable wind gust etc. In my 22 I always felt I needed a hand ready to release the main sheet!
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Old 29-12-2011, 07:47   #7
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Re: Moving to a bigger boat

I took classes on a smaller J boat, then chartered a 30ft. Other than using the wheel, and a bit more bother raising the sails. A lot more use of the winch handle to trim the sails. And generally a little more time to do everything.

Just do it, you'll get used to it after a few hours, and wonder why you thought it would be that much different.

Rent one for the day before you buy one.
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Old 29-12-2011, 08:29   #8
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Re: Moving to a bigger boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by xstephenx View Post
I have been sailing for about 6 months and had a general question. So far I have only been out on catalina 22's. I was thinking about moving up to chartering a catalina 30'. Can anyone tell me what the major differences are, if any? The catalina 30's that my club has for charter all have wheel helms, so that is one big difference, but besides that I am not sure if there will be any noticeable learning curve to sailing the 30'. Is going from a tiller to a wheel a big change? I assume it would just take some getting used to, I just don't want to get in over my head. The reason I ask is because in the next 6 months or so I plan to get a catalina 30 so I can move away from the charter and start learning about the maintenance, set-up, etc.

Thanks,

Stephen
Stephen--

In many respects, a larger yacht will be easier to deal with than a smaller one. By their nature, larger yachts are more stable and the influence of one's errors less significant in that one's influence on the yachts behavior is proportional to the ratio of one's weight to the displacement of the yacht. Not unlike a horse, trying to make a larger yacht to do something detramental will simply result in the yacht refusing to respond (although this does not include banging into the bottom or a pier). One key to handling the larger yacht is to do things slowly and to allow the yacht time to respond. There is no "snapping the helm over". That might crash tack a 22. On the larger yacht it will simply stall the rudder.

Beyond the foregoing, something often overlooked or under estimated is the cost of maintenance, upkeep and repair, both in terms of time and money. Such costs increase exponentially with the size/displacement of the yacht--frequently to the distressed surprise of the buyer. Mooring alone can be a major cost. While a 22 can be easily dry-sailed, a 30 cannot. Suddenly a $50 doller per month parking space near the launching ramp becomes a $10/per foot--of yacht or slip, whichever is greater--slip fee, easily $300 per month (6x the cost the the parking space). Likewise while a 22 might easily be insured through one's home-owner's insurance, the 30 will require it's own policy which can run to several percents of the insured value per annum and subject to periodic haul-outs for Surveys. Bottom paint, a necessity for wet stored yachts, now averages about $300/Gallon and the haul and launch to apply the paint seems to run about $12/foot in most areas. This does not include the time effort and misery of doing the actual prep and application or their cost if one is not inclued to look like a poor version of a Blue Man for a couple a daze. The list goes on. And, as a pratical matter, time spent actually sailing--verses maintence & up-keep--decreases as water-line length increases.

When the younger guys/gals around our Club bring up the issue of buying a larger boat, my suggestion is that they look at nothing larger than what will serve their actual verses imagined needs. One doesn't need a Blue Water Cruiser for day sailing or weekending, nor its costs.

FWIW...
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Old 30-12-2011, 08:19   #9
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Originally Posted by svHyLyte
.

When the younger guys/gals around our Club bring up the issue of buying a larger boat, my suggestion is that they look at nothing larger than what will serve their actual verses imagined needs. One doesn't need a Blue Water Cruiser for day sailing or weekending, nor its costs.

FWIW...
After many years of observation of the weekend/daysailer the boats that get out all the time, everytime are in the sub-32 foot range with excellent short hand set up.

Above 32 feet it seems sailing 1 or 2 up is just not as "fun" - the 36 foot+ guys are always looking for crew.

If you are a "cruiser" and are going to long tack all the time 40+ feet makes sense.
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