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C-250 vs C-22 comparison

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Tim Daley

I am interested in hearing from sailors who own the C-250 water ballast version, especially those who have moved up to the C-250 from the C-22. I currently own and sail a 1987 C-22 (TIMBECK II) on Lake Willoughby in northern Vermont and dock the boat in approx. 2' of water. The C-250 interior room and shallow draft appeal to us but I keep seeing stories on how the water ballast boats have severe weather helm and heel a lot more than the C-22. I have only sailed on one water ballast craft (that being the Hunter 26) and I did feel that it heeled more than my C-22 and it certainly suffered from weather helm. On the other hand, it was stable and seemed to sail well. If you have info. please contact me via e-mail at daleytim@hotmail.com Thanks, Tim Daley

Arlyn Stewart

C250 water ballast

Hi Tim, I presently own a c250 w/b which was an upgrade from a c22. At first, there was a mixture of feelings. The c250 had a lot of amenities compared to the c22. The enclosed head, larger galley, more room, walk thru transom and swim ladder, easier setup and launch, better trailer, and many other things made the c250 much more enjoyable. The handling characteristics however weren't enjoyable. They fostered the stories that you have heard. The also caused some buyers to resale and give up on the boat. After four years, my boat has become a good sailor and I'm glad that I didn't give up on her. Here is my perspective. The weather helm was so severe that with about 20 deg heal, she would drag her rudder sideways and roundup out of control and plop into the wind. Catalina retrofitted the rudder to a larger rudder which could maintain more control and provide more lateral resistance aft. This helped to keep control but required great effort on the helm. Then it became a matter of dealing with the weather helm. At first, I looked for a single solution and finding none decided that attention to several items would be necessary. 1. I raked mast forward some. This required boring out the bearing block in the furler. 2. I added a backstay tensioner so that I could firm up the headstay and flatten the jib when winds piped up. This in conjunction with moving jib cars aft, allows continued flying of the jib with power only in the lower section thus reducing heal. It is important to keep the jib flying to keep a ballanced rig and the ability to spill the power in the middle and upper section is important. 3. I started reefing early and added a second reef to the main as well as a cunningham. Power in the main needs to be kept in proportion with the jib. Boat heel needs to be kept under 20 deg. 4. I started raking the center board back, more wind....more rake. This moves the center of lateral resistance aft to keep ballance with the center of effort. This proved to be a great help, as much as the reduced heal. The c250 is a great light air performer and with proper management can take care of herself in a blow as well. With the changes I mentioned, she still retains some forgivness and will round gently up if she's pushed over too far. The big differance however is that the helm is now friendly. A nice thing about the c250 water ballast version that quickly becomes appreciated is the nice ride in chop. The ballast tank acts as a damper to hobby horsing as well as the weight is not down low in the keel. This is not a small matter as several 25' range boats with deep weighted keels can punish attempts to either motor or sail thru chop so much that alternate courses are necessary. The c250 has room to add a marine head and 13 gal holding tank if desired, to add 18 gal of fresh water tanks. To store an inflatable in the V berth locker. I am happy I stayed with mine, I trailered from Texas to great lakes for 300 miles of cruising last summer in north Lake Huron and leave this week for 400 miles more around Manitioulin Island in northern Lake Huron waters. She is a geat trailering boat and now a pretty good sailor as well. Arlyn
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