A New Boat in Nashville
I found my new (to me) Catalina on the Trailer Sailor
Forum, when a frequent poster suggested he solve my title line,
"sailboatless" by buying a friend's 22 in Florida. The price was
right and the referrer said the boat was in great shape. I
bought it sight unseen and started looking for a trailer to get it
A trailer was found in West Tennessee on Ebay. It was a bass boat
trailer, but I had just bought a cutting torch and welder for use on
another boat and felt confident I could modify it for the
Catalina. Again, the price was right and I brought it home the
first of February to start work on the bunk boards. After
all the welding, I was tickled to find all the critical
had come in exactly as planned! However, after the boat was
loaded, the bunk boards were determined to be too wide in the front
with the boat sitting back as far as it ended up. He could not
taking a picture of the trailer in front of the pink motel in
Bradenton, FL before the carpet was taped onto the bunk boards.
We checked the wheel bearings and found them to have plenty of
grease. Just to be on the safe side we cleaned the bearings in
the first hub to examine their condition. Uh oh, they had a
bearing or two, so they were relegated to spares and new ones were
installed. After looking at the other bearing on that axle,
it needed replacing too. At that point it was decided a run
Boater's world for two more sets of bearings! After
replacing and repacking all the bearings, one of the Bearing Buddies
was replaced and all the hubs were filled with new grease.
The lights were all checked and worked perfectly. It seemed the
trailer was ready for a 1,500 mile trip. We had no spare, but the
tires appeared to be in very good shape and I couldn't find the right
wheel/tire combinations - because I was looking for a 14" wheel with a
4 on 4" bolt pattern when it was actually a 13" wheel!
The trailer pulled great on the way down, which was encouraging.
As they approached the boat, the green color was kind of
discouraging. The 1" think barnacles and clams on the rudder did
well. The owner thought the keel cable had been eaten by
electrolysis, so my Son-in-law was prepared to dive and fix
it. After finding the cable in the murky water, Rich determined
it was still attached. Yeehaw! A few cranks on the handle
and the keel was raised making the boat ready to get
What a guy! The water was pretty cold.
Rich and my daughter Jessica proceeded to walk the boat around to
the loading ramp, right at the dock. The water was not very
deep, as can be seen. The wind was blowing pretty well, but once
Rich figured the rudder needed to be centered, he pulled it easily
without hitting anyone's boat. A feat of which I took
particular note, since I like to sail onto and off docks.
The next step was to tape up the spiffy maroon bunk
board carpet. By now quite a crowd had assembled at the
dock area of the retirement trailer park, My family
was becoming the prime entertainment for the weekend!
About the time we got the boat loaded the first time, Christy Day,
formerly from Nashville, showed up to help. After 3 or 4 more
times loading and unloading, the bunk boards and bow chock was adjusted
to my satisfaction and Rich's consternation, since he had to back
down the ramp and pull back up numerous times.
At this point I might mention Rich is an infantry Sergeant with the
101st and doesn't know "take your time to study the situation."
Rich knows "take a quick look at the situation and use decisive force
accomplish the mission!" As those of us who have rigged our boats
for the road know, this may not be the right approach! I heard
Christy saying, "It might be a good idea to fasten a safety line to the
mast before you take it down." Haha, I turned around to see Rich
undoing the fore stay. "Whoa, lets look at all
shrouds and get the boom off first."
After one little problem, we got the rest of the gear stowed and
lashed down pretty quickly. As a testimony to our methods, they
never had to redo a single lashing the rest of the trip.
While rolling up the main sail I noted it was a North in great
shape. An unexpected bonus. The previous owner had retained
the roller furling jib, so it had no jib.
They tested the tongue weight. It had negative tongue weight and
got away from us! That brought a round of laughter form the
crowd. Bob remarked under his breath, "Luckily the guy with the video
know my name or how to send the tape to anyone!"
After one more stop to pick up a 4 hp motor, also purchased on Ebay, we
headed home. I had gotten in the habit of putting my hand on
all the tires of the tow truck and trailer, along with the hubs of the
trailer at every stop. I noted that only one tire was warming up
at all, and it was not even as warm as the truck tires. None of
the bearings were getting warm, so the decision to replace them all was
Rich's Z71 with a Vortec engine, Allison transmission and Chevy's
towing package was a hoss of a tow vehicle! It pulled the boat at
70 mph like there was nothing there. We kept the "towing"
selection turned on because it resulted in less shifting. We
also kept the all wheel drive selected because it rained most of the
After 600 miles of getting blasted by 70 mph rain (and some sleet), the
grundge was dramatically reduced. However, I still
wonder why we didn't find a car wash in Florida, where it was 70
degrees, instead of waiting till we got to Nashville to wash it in 32
degree weather! The trip took a total of 58 hours.
Not much time for sight seeing!
I plan on setting the boat up for racing, although I
am planning a unique paint scheme that will make it easy for the race
committee to point out any over early's!