Author Topic: Considering a PC, how much weather can they handle?  (Read 1866 times)

Offline mayrel

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Considering a PC, how much weather can they handle?
« on: October 04, 2015, 09:30:39 AM »
We're selling our CP19 due to age and physical issues.  We've owned smaller sailboats(Crawford Melsoneedl, Montgomery 15).  The PC seems like a good choice.  With that said, we sail on the Choctawhatchee Bay in NW FL, winds can 20-25mph with 2-3 foot chop.  We've sailed in these conditions with our MS and M15 without any issues.  Will the PC handle these conditions?  I have read the PC needs to be reefed in anything above 15mph winds.  I'm also curious if a 3.5hp outboard is too much for the PC?  We've had the Honda 2hp which is a great motor, but noisey and limited power for a overcoming a strong headwind/current.  Any information will be appreciated...John

Offline bruce

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Re: Considering a PC, how much weather can they handle?
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2015, 11:43:07 AM »
John,

I'm not familiar with Choctawhatchee Bay, but I think most PC sailors would agree that 2-3 foot chop is the upper limit. We would head in if the chop was building to 2 feet. We sail on upper Narragansett Bay in RI, well isolated from ocean swells. Consistent winds 20-25 kts would be time to reef, but we have frequently been out in winds gusting to 20 without reefing. I'm not sure who was suggesting that you have to reef by 15, but I wouldn't agree with that. The boom is set high, very crew friendly, and with only 109 sq. ft. of sail, most consider the PC under canvassed, already half reefed if you will. Again, the chop is more limiting, due to the broad hull form.

The PC has a lot of freeboard for a small catboat, very upright, real benches and great storage. The freeboard, and the outward-facing deck flange that deflects waves that do climb the hull, makes for a relatively dry sail.

The PC likes to be sailed on its lines, too much weight in the stern will be noticed. I have a Honda 2 LS at about 29 lbs., and a Lehr 2.5, SS only, at 37 lbs. Both are fine. We sail with and extra 100 lbs. of bagged sand in the forward locker with our normal crew to balance her out. Sailors with electric motors often but the batteries forward for trim. I've never felt the need for more power, but we don't see currents much above 1 kt.

With your experience in small boats, you'll be able to tell if the PC is right for you in short order. Grab a test sail if you can! And, everything you've heard about the Mastendr system is right on the money. You'll spend a lot more time answering questions from onlookers than you will rigging the boat.
Bruce
Aroo, PC 308
Narragansett Bay, RI

Offline Allure2sail

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Re: Considering a PC, how much weather can they handle?
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2015, 12:55:04 PM »
Curious.....
Hi:
You must be very close to me. I sail out of Swansea marina with a 27 and to top it off my name is Bruce as well !!!! Name of my boat is allure....
Bruce
S/V Allure

Offline bruce

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Re: Considering a PC, how much weather can they handle?
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2015, 02:35:05 PM »
Hi Bruce,

We dry sail out of Barrington, usually from the Haines Park ramp on Bullock Cove, but also from the ramp off Annawamscutt Drive in Bristol into Mt. Hope Bay, and the Wilson Park ramp in Wickford.

I'm glad Joaquin decided not to mess with us. Hope to get out this week, once it stops raining!

Bruce Mason
s/v Aroo
PC 308
Narragansett Bay, RI

Bruce
Aroo, PC 308
Narragansett Bay, RI

Offline Jon898

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Re: Considering a PC, how much weather can they handle?
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2015, 09:08:34 AM »
Couple of thoughts:

1.  If single-handing, I'd go to first (and if standard "only") reef at about 20mph.  If sailing with crew, I might hold on a bit longer remembering that downwind is different than upwind (easy to get seduced by an exhilarating run downwind and then find you're over-canvassed when you round up to go back upwind).

2.  The chop, if it's short as well as steep, may be the limiting factor.  The PC has comparatively bluff bows and may be brought up short in a short chop.  She'll stay quite dry, but she (and you) may not like the hobby-horsing.

3.  Remember that as standard there is no positive buoyancy and the hatches are large and not very well secured.  It would take a lot to lay her on her beam ends, but once there she'd be hard if not impossible to recover.  Good hatch latches and added buoyancy would be prudent additions.

4.  Initially I used a 3hp outboard (air-cooled Tomos), which was way more than I needed for where I sailed on inland lakes.  I have since changed to a 40-lb thrust trolling motor (equivalent to less than 1-hp) with a deep cycle group 27 battery just aft of the mast.  In a strong wind, the trolling motor barely lets me make headway, but in a strong wind I'm in a sailboat,so who cares.  The Honda 2 would probably work fine and be lighter, but the only issue you'll have with the 3.5 will most likely be the weight making the stern drag and the potential difficulty of raising the prop all the way out of the water when not in use.

5.  Cushions for the cockpit seats are a must as they can be really hard over time (I use a SOPAC closed cell foam cushion, not the fancy OEM set).

6.  In FL I would definitely go for a bimini, and I'm considering one here in NC if I get around to it

I really like our PC and find it a lot of fun.  Have you talked to the factory about the waters you'd use her in?  Clearwater Bay can have some rather hairy conditions too and they may be able to advise.

Good luck, Jon