Catalina Owner Reviews

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Review of the Catalina Capri-25 by John Schramm

Year built 1982  
Location of boat Ironwood Point Wallenpaupack  
The boat is sailed on Lakes  
How the boat is used Racing  
Normal wind strength less than 10 knots  
Average size of crew solo  
Liveaboard? No  
Owner bought the boat in 2012  
If the clock could be turned back, would owner buy again? Definitely. Not much else to say. The Capri 25 is a unique racer, it can run toe to toe with a J/24 or an S2 7.9, if properly sailed.  
Gear that's been added Tiller pilot, boarding/swim ladder, upgraded all clam cleats on boom, upgraded cam cleats on cabintop, fixed traveler (prior owner replaced it, but the car still didn't lock in right, new angles on cheek blocks)... Tons more work to go.  
Structural or complex improvements Not yet, structural improvements aren't necessary yet, but I am aware that the aft bulkheads can rot, as can the compression post. Neither one are a problem as of yet, boat is 30 years old.  
The boat's best features Performance! Light air performance especially. The sail controls are that of a J/24, or S2 7.9. these are direct competition to this boat. Backstay adjuster, traveler, vang, cunningham, topping lift, outhaul, flattening reef, reef, spin rigging for sym, this boat has it all.  
Problem areas in terms of design, materials, maintenance, etc. running lights were blown, I replaced them with LEDs from Dr. LED. Traveler was binding (new harken track, and car), turns out the cheek blocks on the combing were too low rubbing on the track. The motor was too large at 6HP for the boat, with a long shaft, which would not allow you to tilt it out of the water completely. Going to a 2.2hp short shaft was extreme, but is significantly lighter, and more importantly clears the water nicely. The boat did not have a fixed stern ladder, just a portable ladder. I replaced this ladder with a snap-on ladder to the port side. AS the fixed stern rail is difficult to traverse, this has been a decent compromise.  
Sailing characterisitcs Boat is slower than the competition downwind with just JAM... The spinnaker is like an accelerator for DDW. However, off DDW, going broad reach, this boat really takes off. Pointing, is an exercise in feathering, as it will not point perfect, but will be 2-3 degrees off the pointing arrows. By feathering to windward, the boat can really speed up, and pinch. This boats tuning is pretty easy, but getting proper sail trim is key. It's a narrow window of trim keeping the boat in the slot, but when you do it transmits it with 10-20% more speed, it's very obvious.  
Motoring characterisitcs Nothing special. It motors. A 4hp is probably perfect sized for it, as the 6hp barely cracked idle to get the boat to hull speed, and the 2.2 only gets it to 4.2 knots. I'd strongly recommend a 3.5 or 4 hp motor to properly match the boat.  
Liveability This boat is strictly a single overnight boat, not a multi-overnight. Its got PLENTY of room below, but not more than sitting headroom. The berths are very long/wide, so sleeping is not an issue, but most sold with a sink, and a spot for a cooler, I just have the spot for the cooler. I am not complaining mind you as the boat is primarily used to day sail, and race. Our lake technically doesn't allow overnighting, although it can be done on the hook. But there is enough room for 4 to sit comfortably below, although there is no table to speak of.  
The owner's experience in dealing with Hunter (if any) I primarily deal with catalinadirect.com for parts. I find some parts for this boat are from a Catalina 25, some parts are from a capri 22. Calling them is the best way to find out, as they are very aware of how the capri 25 is rigged.  
The owner's experience with the boat dealer or broker, if any N/A  
Other comments for a 30 year old boat, these boats are much maligned for being "poorly built." I'd say they are no more poorly built than say a J/24. These seem like light boats for sure, and the false bilge is an issue to be watched (finding a way to keep it dry being key). Since the bulkheads aft are the only thing between the lazarettes and the cabin, it's a weak point, and water can lay against the plywood rotting it. Also since the lazarettes are deep, you have to secure the doors in case of hard broach. This boat is not for the timid, it stands up well to the wind, but it takes a measured hand to sail it in winds above 15 knots with the spin. This boat will broach easier than some at those winds. Also note, the rudder is LARGE on this boat, so it takes very small adjustments in steering. If you read the prior paragraph, you'll understand that once you get into a death roll with the boat, it'd take a steady helmsman to get you back out of it. The rudder is this boats biggest asset, and biggest liability. Trick is to use it to your advantage. I love the way this boat sails, and would recommend it to anyone sailing in consistent light air waters.  

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