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jbar
Deckhand

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Initially Posted - 09/22/2016 :  20:07:29  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My 250 WB seems to be quite hard to steer in even moderate wind - say 15 knots. I've heard it's because the stern mounted rudder is too far aft. It's tiller steered. Any assistance will be appreciated.

TakeFive
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Response Posted - 09/22/2016 :  20:25:42  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The 3rd generation rudder is much better balanced. If your rudder does not extend a couple inches forward of the transom (under the hull) it's not 3rd generation. You may want to check with Catalina to see if it's available. Expect it to cost $700-$1000.

You can also find other rudders from 3rd party sources:

http://www.catalinadirect.com/index.cfm/category/686/rudders.cfm

Alternately, I vaguely remember that some people may have done a pintle modification to cant the 2nd generation rudder so that its bottom is further forward. If successful, this might accomplish a similar thing, but probably not as effectively, and maybe with some other tradeoffs. You'll have to search the forum - I don't remember for sure.

Rick S., Swarthmore, PA
PO of Take Five, 1998 Catalina 250WK #348 (relocated to Baltimore's Inner Harbor)
New owner of 2001 Catalina 34MkII #1535 Breakin' Away (at Rock Hall Landing Marina)
Photobucket is holding my picture hostage!
----- 1998 C250WK #348 "Take Five" -----|-------- 1991 15' Trophy ----------|- 1985 14' Phantom -
---- Essington, PA on Delaware River -----|---------- Trailered to Lake Wallenpaupack ------------
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Steve Milby
Past Commodore

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Response Posted - 09/23/2016 :  05:10:54  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It isn't because the stern mounted rudder is too far aft. Lots of well balanced, easy-steering boats have transom hung rudders. A well known example is a J24.

You don't need a balanced rudder to fix the problem. You need to adjust the rig. Buying a balanced rudder treats the symptom, but doesn't provide a cure. An excessively heavy weather helm is caused by an imbalance in the forces acting on the boat above and below the waterline. Above the waterline, the wind creates pressure on the jib and mainsails. Below, the water is flowing over the surfaces of the keel, rudder and hull. Bringing all those forces into nearly perfect balance is accomplished in two ways, by the way we trim the sails and the way we tune the rig.

There's a point in the keel called the center of lateral resistance. The center of lateral resistance is the center of pressure of the hydrodynamic forces on the hull of a boat. The center of pressure is the point on a body where the total sum of a pressure field acts, causing a force and no moment about that point.

Wikipedia has an excellent article on the CLR, part of which I'm quoting: "The relationship of the aerodynamic center of pressure on the sails of a sailboat [aka, the center of effort, or CE] to the hydrodynamic center of lateral resistance on the hull determines the behavior of the sailboat in the wind. This behavior is known as the "helm" and is either a Weather helm or lee helm. A slight amount of weather helm is thought by some sailors to be a desirable situation, both from the standpoint of the "feel" of the helm, and the tendency of the boat to head slightly to windward in stronger gusts, to some extent self-feathering the sails and pointing into oncoming waves. Other sailors disagree and prefer a neutral helm."

"The fundamental cause of "helm", be it weather or lee, is the relationship of the center of pressure of the sail plan to the center of lateral resistance of the hull. If the center of pressure is astern of the center of lateral resistance, the result is a weather helm, the tendency of the vessel to want to turn into the wind."

Thus, to correct an excessive weather helm, you should readjust the shrouds so that the entire rig tilts slightly more forward. Start by easing the backstay turnbuckle, allowing some slack in the backstay. Then go to the bow and tighten the forestay turnbuckle by the same amount. I can't tell you exactly the amount of rake the C250 should have, but a good starting point for any sailboat is to begin by adjusting the forestay and backstay until the mast is plumb, and then tilt it aft a couple inches. Then adjust the side stays accordingly. Then sail the boat in 12-15 kt winds and feel the amount of weather helm. You're looking for a light helm. If there's a heavy helm, the mast should be tilted forward more. If there's too little helm, tilt it aft slightly.

You could also refer to the C250 owner's manual, which probably suggests that the mast be raked aft by a certain specified amount, but I prefer to find the ideal rake in the manner described above.

Tilting the mast forward moves the center of effort on the sails forward, closer to the CLR. Tilting it aft moves the CE aft.

Understand, however, that an imbalance can also be caused by poor sail trim. For example, if you trim the mainsheet traveler too close to the centerline of the boat, that will put too much pressure on the mainsail, and excess pressure on the mainsail will push the stern to leeward, which is weather helm. You'll need to turn the rudder to hold the bow off the wind, and to the extent that you turn the rudder, you are creating drag, which scrubs off boat speed. To relieve that pressure and let the boat run free (without laboring), ease the traveler slightly to leeward, until you feel that excessive weather helm lighten.

When the wind pipes up and the weather helm becomes unmanageable, what do we all do? We reef the mainsail. Why? Because it relieves the pressure on the mainsail that is pushing the stern to leeward. When we reduce the mainsail's sail area, we reduce that pressure, and the weather helm abates.

Steve Milby C&C 35 Landfall ("Captiva Wind"); Cal 25 ("Fahrvergnügen")
Past Commodore

Edited by - Steve Milby on 09/23/2016 05:20:06
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TakeFive
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Response Posted - 09/23/2016 :  06:02:24  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I guess I was guilty of tunnel vision in only answering OP's rudder question. You are correct that there are many causes of weather helm.

If you're sailing this boat in 15 knots of wind without reefing the main, then you are asking for trouble on many different levels. As originally purchased, my boat would round up in anything over 10 kts, and could easily achieve hull speed with reefed main in 8 kts of wind. So I'd reef at 8 knots, often doing so before leaving the slip. This is the first (and easiest) thing to change if you are out of balance.

Catalina's spec for mast rake is 4" (consult your manual). My C250 mast had 12" rake - and severe weather helm - when I first got her. But the first step to solving this problem was adding ballast to the bow to level the boat. Without ballast, the bow was several inches higher than stern, which led to all sorts of problems including weather helm and rainwater leaks through the forward hatch. The C250 MUST float on her lines when at rest. If the bow is high you have leaks in the A-berth and weather helm, if the bow is low you have leaks through the companionway hatch. There is very little margin for error here.

I needed about 300 lb of ballast in the bow to get my wing keel boat on her lines. (YMMV for water ballast.) That solved all the leak problems, and reduced rake from 12" to 7". Then I had to adjust forestay, backstay, and the number of washers in the furler to get the rake to Catalina's spec of 4". This dramatically reduced weather helm, leaving just enough to feel the boat's response and round up automatically if you let go of the rudder.

Obviously sail trim also affects balance. A blown out baggy sail with excessive draft is going to be difficult in heavy winds due to excessive lift. You need your canvas flatter in heavy winds. Sending the sail out for maintenance, especially resetting the bolt rope, can extend an old sail's life.

And back to the rudder, this is a known problem with the early C250 rudders. It has nothing to do with where the rudder is mounted on the boat. It has a lot to do with where the rudder's surface is positioned relative to the pintles and gudgeons (or rudder shaft in the case of blade rudders). The early C250 rudders were entirely behind the pintles, and known to be hard to steer. The 3rd generation rudder puts some surface area in front of the pintles to improve balance. My 1998 boat came with a 3rd generation rudder when I bought her in 2010. It was her third rudder due to previous owners making mistakes that damaged prior rudders (long story).

The order you might pursue these things is:

Reefing
Flatten sail including refurbish/replacement if needed
Ballast to put boat on her lines
Mast rake by adjusting forestay/backstay/furler spacers
Replace or modify rudder

Do some searching on this site on "rake" and "round" and "weather helm." These have been discussed many times. Be sure to do two searches on each - one for non-archived posts, and another for archived posts.

Rick S., Swarthmore, PA
PO of Take Five, 1998 Catalina 250WK #348 (relocated to Baltimore's Inner Harbor)
New owner of 2001 Catalina 34MkII #1535 Breakin' Away (at Rock Hall Landing Marina)
Photobucket is holding my picture hostage!
----- 1998 C250WK #348 "Take Five" -----|-------- 1991 15' Trophy ----------|- 1985 14' Phantom -
---- Essington, PA on Delaware River -----|---------- Trailered to Lake Wallenpaupack ------------

Edited by - TakeFive on 09/23/2016 10:46:00
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Steve Milby
Past Commodore

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Response Posted - 09/23/2016 :  06:56:06  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I agree with everything Rick said with only a slight exception. In his listed priorities, I would re-tune the rig to correct it's imbalance before adding ballast to the bow.

If a boat isn't floating on it's lines, that can indicate one of two possible flaws. Either the boat's design is flawed, or the waterline stripe is incorrectly drawn. I would start with a "clean" boat, just as it came from the factory, and tune the rig. If, after doing so, you still can't get it balanced correctly, with a light, comfortable weather helm, then I'd consider adding ballast. A boat should sail on it's lines, but I'd be more concerned with whether it sails well than whether it's waterline stripe was applied correctly. If you find that it needs that ballast, then add it.

I've sailed on C250s and raced against them, and they sail very well and are capable of sometimes beating a C25 when prepared and sailed well. That leads me to doubt that there's anything very wrong with their design.

The conclusion that many C250 owners have reached in adding 300 lbs of ballast might be absolutely correct, or it might be a widespread myth that arose because they tried to correct a rig that was raked aft too much by weighing the bow of the boat down, instead of just by tilting the mast forward. I'd first try to balance the forces on the rig in the conventional method before resorting to the unconventional method of adding ballast forward.

Steve Milby C&C 35 Landfall ("Captiva Wind"); Cal 25 ("Fahrvergnügen")
Past Commodore
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TakeFive
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Response Posted - 09/23/2016 :  08:10:57  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
While an incorrectly applied waterline stripe is a possibility, I think it's unlikely.

This problem is easy to diagnose. The forward hatch gutter is designed to drain forward into the anchor locker. On my boat, it was draining aft, and water would accumulate in the gutter, where it would grow slime. Since the gasket seam needs to go somewhere and was installed at the aft part of the hatch (since water should drain away from this area), slimy water would then leak into the A-berth.

This was 100% proof that my boat was riding bow high. Most wing keel boats I have seen appear (from the waterline) to rest bow high. I don't know as much about water ballast versions.

I'd suggest that anyone with a C250 open the front hatch, look for signs of water puddling (lots of dirt, slime, or even water if it has rained recently). Then pour in some water and see which way it drains. Note that your own weight could affect the result of this experiment, so it is best to have someone in the cockpit when you do this to counterbalance your weight on the bow.

Similarly, put water onto the sliding companionway hatch and look at which way it drains. If it goes forward (and into the cabin) your boat is bow low.

The boat is resting on her lines only when the forward hatch drains forward and the companionway hatch drains aft. As I already mentioned, there is very little margin for error here, and this is a fundamental design flaw of this boat IMO. Not a huge flaw, just a nuisance issue (leaky hatches if boat isn't balanced).

I'd strongly advise doing this before adjusting rake via forestay/backstay. Those stays are hard to adjust. Even more important, with the excessive 12" rake that I originally had, the adjustment would have been so severe that there wasn't enough room on the turnbuckles. I'd have had to shorten the forestay and lengthen the backstay to adjust rake without fixing my bow-high problem first. And then I would have continued to have a leaky front hatch, because no gasket is good enough to stop pooling water from intruding.

As you can see, lots of issues are interconnected, and if you don't address them in the right order you could subject yourself to unnecessary cost - multiple forestay/backstay replacements, etc. So I would definitely make sure the boat is resting on her lines before adjusting the mast rake via the stays.

Rick S., Swarthmore, PA
PO of Take Five, 1998 Catalina 250WK #348 (relocated to Baltimore's Inner Harbor)
New owner of 2001 Catalina 34MkII #1535 Breakin' Away (at Rock Hall Landing Marina)
Photobucket is holding my picture hostage!
----- 1998 C250WK #348 "Take Five" -----|-------- 1991 15' Trophy ----------|- 1985 14' Phantom -
---- Essington, PA on Delaware River -----|---------- Trailered to Lake Wallenpaupack ------------

Edited by - TakeFive on 09/23/2016 08:17:11
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Derek Crawford
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Response Posted - 09/24/2016 :  07:13:40  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Reading all this makes me so grateful that I had a C25...

Derek Crawford
Chief Measurer C25-250 2008
Previous owner of "This Side UP"
1981 C-25 TR/FK #2262 Used to have an '89 C22 #9483, "Downsized"
San Antonio, Texas
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jbar
Deckhand

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Response Posted - 09/24/2016 :  11:58:03  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for all the insight guys. I have learned a lot. My 250 is a water ballast and I don't think the water ballast 250's tend to ride high in the bow like the wing keels do; but, I will check mine. Thankfully, I have had no leaks. I can see this just looking at my WB in the slip vs a couple WK 250's down the row. I do need to check my mast rake and adjust the stays if necessary. Regarding the rudder, I don't think it's a 3rd generation you speak of. My hull is #248 (coincidentally 100 units older than Takefive), a 1997 model year.
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John Russell
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Response Posted - 10/13/2016 :  13:33:48  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I think it's simpler than all that. If you haven't reefed the main and are flying all of your jib/genoa,you have too much sail up for the conditions. Before you start playing with your forestay and backstay and start hauling rocks to your bow, try sailing with less sail aloft. I reef the main and shorten my 135% Genoa to less than 100% and still can make hull speed comfortably in 10 knots of wind.

All this with only fingertips holding the tiller.

John Russell
1999 C250 SR/WK #410
Bay Village, Ohio
Sailing Lake Erie
Don't Postpone Joy!

Edited by - John Russell on 10/13/2016 13:37:08
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Stinkpotter
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Response Posted - 10/13/2016 :  20:29:44  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
When I first looked at the drawings for the C-250 WB and SK, it was apparent the WB centerboard was far enough forward that the "center of lateral resistance" (CLR) would be further forward than that of the wing. If the CLR is too far forward, you can have excessive weather helm, where you're constantly pulling hard on the tiller to keep the boat from turning to windward. And guess what--C-250 WB owners were complaining of excessive weather helm.

Several C-250 WB participants here have reported that they have improved their performance and ease of sailing by pulling the centerboard up a little--I'll guess 20 degrees or so--which tilts it aft and thereby moves the CLR aft. Try it. You can experiment with the amount and see what happens at your tiller.

Dave Bristle
Association "Port Captain" for Mystic, CT
PO of 1985 C-25 SR/FK #5032 Passage
Now on Eastern 27 Sarge (but still sailing when I can).

Passage, Mystic, and Sarge--click to enlarge.

Edited by - Stinkpotter on 10/13/2016 20:33:21
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Arlyn Stewart
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Response Posted - 07/12/2017 :  14:25:45  Show Profile  Visit Arlyn Stewart's Homepage  Send Arlyn Stewart an AOL message  Send Arlyn Stewart a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
I missed a very interesting conversation resulting from jbar's question regarding the difficult steering even in moderate winds.

The complete answer to this question is complicated. Many of the post pointed to issues that play a factory, but what I found after several years of wrestle to tame the beast, had to be done by dealing with and understanding several systems. Simply put, a search for a single answer will end in frustration.

While Steve offers a good tutorial about weather helm, it falls short of identifying the root cause of the problem of the C250. While it outlines that CLR (center of lateral resistance) is a factor, it doesn't provide enough detail about it, because historically it wasn't as dynamic as it exist on the C250 design.

In the attempt to explain, it will help to first offer that trimming the bow down, helps to solve the problem. We know that it is not that the mast gets raked forward that provides the relief... because doing so doesn't help much. It is something about what is happening to the hull. We also know that weighting the bow goes against traditional thought, that weighting the stern increases aft lateral resistance and helps to relieve weather helm. That leaves the prime question, what is happening to the hull when weighting the bow that brings the relief.

To set the stage for the explanation, it is important to note that the C250 does not have weather helm issues at low heeling angles but as heeling increases, it develops what a British one meter model sailboat racer calls, "monster weather helm". Why does the 250 do that?

The answer is because the CLR of the 250 is very dynamic. When it heels, the CLR shifts radically forward, losing balance in the process.

Why does it do that? The simple answer is because of the hard chines given to it as a necessity of water ballast. Remember... the c250 was first designed as a water ballast and only later included a wing keel to save the design when water ballast was maligned as the cause of bad handling. The wing keel inherited the hull form and hard chines of the C250 design... so it also suffers monster weather helm.

The hard chines increase the righting lever arm loss of the shallower righting weight, hence their necessity for water ballast. So, what is it about the hard chines that causes the monster weather helm.

And, the answer is, it accentuates the asymmetrical water footprint of the hull. Man has known for a very long time that asymmetrical foils produce lift. Hobie Alter made his fortune by using the principle of asymmetrical foils on the Hobie 16 that needed no dagger boards and was a witch when going to weather. It was so because when it heeled onto the leeward hull and raised the windward hull out of the water, the leeward hull with its flat outer form and curved inner form provided an asymmetrical foil lifting it to weather.

The same thing is happening with the C250, except unfortunately it isn't the windward side that has the greater curve. The c250 hull starts lifting to leeward because the hard chine creates an asymmetrical foil lifting to leeward.

Extremely important now is to understand that lifting foils have centers of pressure. What is going on is that the center of pressure of this lifting foil is too far aft of the boats CLR balance point and thus the stern is lifted (not up but laterally) leeward causing the boat to yaw and manifest weather helm.

Trimming the bow down with 300lbs of sandbags, reshapes the asymmetrical foil and moves the center of its lift forward and closer to the boats balance point, and thus diminishing its lever arm to yaw the boat.

A great help to understanding all this is to realize that the age old definition of CLR has been re-defined to include ALL forces upon the hull. Understanding boat balance is not simply about measuring lateral resistances and determining their center... it is about understanding all hull forces.

For those who may have labored through all that and are still reading, where does the rudder come into play with this?

As Steve well pointed out, it is a counter measure to another problem, which we now have identified. Catalina, McGregor and other manufactures who produced water ballast designs were all caught with inadequate rudders when releasing water ballast. Traditional rudder areas did not work. Traditional rudder depths did not work. Remember, the hard chine raises the heeled boat farther from the water when it heels. Designers were caught unaware.

A second generation rudder was released to provide control, but it required a strong arm on the helm, especially if the kick up rudder poorly designed hold down system allowed the rudder to angle aft. Catalina responded with a 3rd generation fixed (dropping the kick up and blaming its problems on wrongfully operation rather than admitting it had a hold down design problem). Note: I know this because Gerry Douglas said it to me.

Ok... after reading all that, what is the best way to manage the monster weather helm?
  • Limit heeling as it will avoid the leeward lifting force.
  • Trim the bow down as it will shift the leeward force more in line with the boat balance point and reduce its lever arm causing the stern to yaw to leeward Doing so helps greatly with the sudden winds that heel the boat
  • If a water ballast, rake the center board aft some. Catalina did this on later models by inserting a stop block in the trunk.
  • reef earlier.


These comments are not made to imply that the C250 is not a good design. Understanding the boat, and sailing it accordingly allows the boat design to be a joy.

I cruised my water ballast 3500 miles on open waters of the Great Lakes and concluded that it has much of he character of a full keeled design providing comfort of passage when much larger center keeled boats found the going very uncomfortable.

And... regarding comparing the C25 with the C250. I looked very hard at buying a C25 to do my Great Lakes cruising as they are fine boats but they were unsuitable for my needs. I needed a design that was easily trailerable from Texas to the Great Lakes and then could be launched at a sport fishing ramp. That made the swing keel the only possible choice but it was unsuitable (dangerous) for the kind of open water sailing I embraced.


Arlyn C-250 W/B #224

N/E Texas and Great Lakes
Arlyn's Sailing Site
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jbar
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Response Posted - 07/12/2017 :  20:21:06  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Arlyn, thank you for your reply. I'm having a trouble visioning the asymetrical foil, but by trusting your concept I can see how bow weighting will reduce it's effect. Another solution I've heard of to move CLR forward is to cut a notch out of the rudder thereby allowing the rudder to swing further under the stern. I'm trying to avoid that.

Two questions:
1. Why would a guy from Texas with a plethoria of lakes and close proximity to the gulf want to sail the Great Lakes? :)

2. Also, you confused me at the end when you mentioned your extensive Great Lakes sailing and how your were pleased with the boats character; then in the last sentance of the post alluded to sailing a 250 on the Great Lakesf and the open water sailing being dangerous. As someone who hopes to sail up the coast of the Great Lakes at retirement, please expand on your opinion of the 250's capability in those waters.
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TakeFive
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Response Posted - 07/12/2017 :  20:34:30  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I think he was saying that the C25 (with swing keel) was dangerous for open water sailing.

C25 was available with swing keel.
C250 was available with centerboard and water ballast.

There is a difference.

Rick S., Swarthmore, PA
PO of Take Five, 1998 Catalina 250WK #348 (relocated to Baltimore's Inner Harbor)
New owner of 2001 Catalina 34MkII #1535 Breakin' Away (at Rock Hall Landing Marina)
Photobucket is holding my picture hostage!
----- 1998 C250WK #348 "Take Five" -----|-------- 1991 15' Trophy ----------|- 1985 14' Phantom -
---- Essington, PA on Delaware River -----|---------- Trailered to Lake Wallenpaupack ------------
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Stinkpotter
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Djibouti
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Response Posted - 07/12/2017 :  21:50:06  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Arlyn Stewart

...If a water ballast, rake the center board aft some. Catalina did this on later models by inserting a stop block in the trunk.
As I mentioned earlier, the drawings make it obvious to me. If by "hard to steer" you mean the tiller is pulling to leeward (weather helm), just raise the board a little to rake it and move the CLR aft. Try it.

Dave Bristle
Association "Port Captain" for Mystic, CT
PO of 1985 C-25 SR/FK #5032 Passage
Now on Eastern 27 Sarge (but still sailing when I can).

Passage, Mystic, and Sarge--click to enlarge.
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doublereefed
1st Mate

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Response Posted - 07/12/2017 :  21:57:54  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
What's the best way to put 300lbs of sand under the v berth? Home Depot sand bags in plastic garbage bag? That seems slippery. Just using the bags of sand seems like sand will eventually be all over the v berth.

'95 C250 WB #61
Midway, UT
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Stinkpotter
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Djibouti
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Response Posted - 07/12/2017 :  22:14:55  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Arlyn Stewart

...That made the swing keel the only possible choice but it was unsuitable (dangerous) for the kind of open water sailing I embraced.

Debatable... But his point is regarding the 1500 lb. cast iron "swing keel" of the C-25 SK version, not the 100 lb. fiberglass "centerboard" of the C-250 WB. One theory is that if the C-25 SK rolls past horizontal on a big wave (mast in the water), the swing keel can fall into its trunk, reducing the righting moment so the boat won't come back up. Maybe... I haven't heard of it actually happening with a C-25. Both boats have their limits--neither is designed to be a "blue water" cruiser for sailing for days or weeks over the horizon where there's no place to hide if a major storm hits. These are "coastal cruisers" meant to be sailed in manageable conditions and returned to port (or kept there in the first place) when things are dicey. But they have proven to many of us they can take more than we want to.

Dave Bristle
Association "Port Captain" for Mystic, CT
PO of 1985 C-25 SR/FK #5032 Passage
Now on Eastern 27 Sarge (but still sailing when I can).

Passage, Mystic, and Sarge--click to enlarge.
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Arlyn Stewart
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Response Posted - 07/13/2017 :  06:40:08  Show Profile  Visit Arlyn Stewart's Homepage  Send Arlyn Stewart an AOL message  Send Arlyn Stewart a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by jbar

Arlyn, thank you for your reply. I'm having a trouble visioning the asymetrical foil, but by trusting your concept I can see how bow weighting will reduce it's effect. Another solution I've heard of to move CLR forward is to cut a notch out of the rudder thereby allowing the rudder to swing further under the stern. I'm trying to avoid that.

Two questions:
1. Why would a guy from Texas with a plethoria of lakes and close proximity to the gulf want to sail the Great Lakes? :)

2. Also, you confused me at the end when you mentioned your extensive Great Lakes sailing and how your were pleased with the boats character; then in the last sentance of the post alluded to sailing a 250 on the Great Lakesf and the open water sailing being dangerous. As someone who hopes to sail up the coast of the Great Lakes at retirement, please expand on your opinion of the 250's capability in those waters.



#1 - I was raised a mile from the coast of North Lake Huron and love the area and have much family there. The Great Lakes likely offer the finest fresh water cruising in the world, with moderate summer temperatures and pristine waters.

I've sailed the Gulf once, and simply found that I liked the Great Lakes environment better... especially the cooler sailing conditions.

#2 - "Dangerous" was in reference to considering a C25 swing keel. The short steep wave action of the Great Lakes is such that the C-25 swing keel is vulnerable to having that 1500 lb keel hammer and tear out the trunk and sinking the boat. That concern does not apply to the C250 water ballast and 70lb swing center board.

Arlyn C-250 W/B #224

N/E Texas and Great Lakes
Arlyn's Sailing Site
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Arlyn Stewart
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Response Posted - 07/13/2017 :  06:45:36  Show Profile  Visit Arlyn Stewart's Homepage  Send Arlyn Stewart an AOL message  Send Arlyn Stewart a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Stinkpotter

quote:
Originally posted by Arlyn Stewart

...If a water ballast, rake the center board aft some. Catalina did this on later models by inserting a stop block in the trunk.
As I mentioned earlier, the drawings make it obvious to me. If by "hard to steer" you mean the tiller is pulling to leeward (weather helm), just raise the board a little to rake it and move the CLR aft. Try it.



Yep, it helps but in and of itself is not enough to control monster weather helm.

Arlyn C-250 W/B #224

N/E Texas and Great Lakes
Arlyn's Sailing Site
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Arlyn Stewart
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Response Posted - 07/13/2017 :  06:59:29  Show Profile  Visit Arlyn Stewart's Homepage  Send Arlyn Stewart an AOL message  Send Arlyn Stewart a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by doublereefed

What's the best way to put 300lbs of sand under the v berth? Home Depot sand bags in plastic garbage bag? That seems slippery. Just using the bags of sand seems like sand will eventually be all over the v berth.



I note you have the water ballast... it doesn't need the 300lbs that is used in the wing keel. The water ballast tank extends fully forward with a pocket in it forward for locating the sounder. The water ballast does not set stern down on its water line like the wing keel does. I found that the two six volt golf cart batteries and other things stored there did the job for me in leveling the water line. That is, until I updated to the heavy xls Honda with electric start. At that point, I added 50 additional pounds to the bow.

I should point out... that after adding the XLS Honda and 50lbs more in the bow, I never after that experienced what we Cat sailors called, having the slot working, where the boat seemed to be really frisky and exceeding its normal speed on a broad reach. No doubt for me that the weight additions produced a drag and thus speed cost.

Arlyn C-250 W/B #224

N/E Texas and Great Lakes
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Arlyn Stewart
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Response Posted - 07/13/2017 :  07:56:51  Show Profile  Visit Arlyn Stewart's Homepage  Send Arlyn Stewart an AOL message  Send Arlyn Stewart a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Stinkpotter

quote:
Originally posted by Arlyn Stewart

...That made the swing keel the only possible choice but it was unsuitable (dangerous) for the kind of open water sailing I embraced.

Debatable... But his point is regarding the 1500 lb. cast iron "swing keel" of the C-25 SK version, not the 100 lb. fiberglass "centerboard" of the C-250 WB. One theory is that if the C-25 SK rolls past horizontal on a big wave (mast in the water), the swing keel can fall into its trunk, reducing the righting moment so the boat won't come back up. Maybe... I haven't heard of it actually happening with a C-25. Both boats have their limits--neither is designed to be a "blue water" cruiser for sailing for days or weeks over the horizon where there's no place to hide if a major storm hits. These are "coastal cruisers" meant to be sailed in manageable conditions and returned to port (or kept there in the first place) when things are dicey. But they have proven to many of us they can take more than we want to.



Debatable..... yes of course. My opinion is one mans opinion and I should perhaps elaborate on my opinion.

First, when I was searching for a 25' boat to trailer to the Great Lakes, I'd spend some previous time cruising on a wing keel C30 owned by a good friend of my brother in law. The owner of that boat was a high school shop teacher and long time avid Great Lakes Cruiser who first put the bug in my ear not to consider the C25 SK. He was not a C25-250 forum follower and is now gone due to abestosis.

On the forum, I noted over the years the reports of broken trunks of which some caused sinkings of C25 sk boats. Some of them were caused by having the keel up and a failed cable or winch suddenly let go and caused the keel to drop and fracture the trunk. Some others however were due to steep wave action and it was those that caught my attention and confirmed to me that my friend had been wise and correct in warning me away from the C-25 sk.

I'm quick to point out that the sailing that I did was aggressive. Under moderate conditions, I'm not claiming or suggesting that the C25 sk is dangerous... but neither will I back off of the assertion that it is so for aggressive sailing on the Great Lakes.


Arlyn C-250 W/B #224

N/E Texas and Great Lakes
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TakeFive
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Response Posted - 07/13/2017 :  08:09:43  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Arlyn, it sounds like you're saying a knockdown is not required for the swing keel to move, but surfing up and down large swells could create enough motion to stress the trunk. Especially true of a 25 footer that can bounce around more than larger boats, and more of an issue with a heavy swing keel than a lighter weight centerboard. That's an interesting observation that I hadn't thought of.

My C250 was a wing keel, and my current C34MkII is also a wing. But I've obtained my captains license, and have an upcoming delivery gig involving a centerboard boat. It's inshore, and a 46' boat, so I don't expect any problem, but I'm trying to soak up as much info on swing keels/centerboards as I can for future reference, since I'll be sailing other people's boats.

Thanks!

Rick S., Swarthmore, PA
PO of Take Five, 1998 Catalina 250WK #348 (relocated to Baltimore's Inner Harbor)
New owner of 2001 Catalina 34MkII #1535 Breakin' Away (at Rock Hall Landing Marina)
Photobucket is holding my picture hostage!
----- 1998 C250WK #348 "Take Five" -----|-------- 1991 15' Trophy ----------|- 1985 14' Phantom -
---- Essington, PA on Delaware River -----|---------- Trailered to Lake Wallenpaupack ------------
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jbar
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Response Posted - 07/13/2017 :  19:45:59  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

Two questions:
1. Why would a guy from Texas with a plethoria of lakes and close proximity to the gulf want to sail the Great Lakes? :)

2. Also, you confused me at the end when you mentioned your extensive Great Lakes sailing and how your were pleased with the boats character; then in the last sentance of the post alluded to sailing a 250 on the Great Lakesf and the open water sailing being dangerous. As someone who hopes to sail up the coast of the Great Lakes at retirement, please expand on your opinion of the 250's capability in those waters.
[/quote]

#1 - I was raised a mile from the coast of North Lake Huron and love the area and have much family there. The Great Lakes likely offer the finest fresh water cruising in the world, with moderate summer temperatures and pristine waters.

I've sailed the Gulf once, and simply found that I liked the Great Lakes environment better... especially the cooler sailing conditions.

#2 - "Dangerous" was in reference to considering a C25 swing keel. The short steep wave action of the Great Lakes is such that the C-25 swing keel is vulnerable to having that 1500 lb keel hammer and tear out the trunk and sinking the boat. That concern does not apply to the C250 water ballast and 70lb swing center board.

[/quote]
Thanks Arlyn. I value your comments.
Regards from Nebraska.
John
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