Cat 250 WB Concerns

Feb 20, 2016
Catalina 22 Palm Harbor
Okay...........I'm new to this page and was already advised that my interest or questions about this boat are to be directed to the experts.
I am retired and plan on sailing off in the sunset from the backyard. You'd think that was convenient, but we have shallow tide passage to the West Coast Gulf here in Florida. I am a past Cat 25 Swing Keel owner years ago. I don't care for any other boat than the 22, 25 or 250.

The 250 is a beautiful boat. The WB option will accomplish all our goals out to sea, beaching at sand bars for haul maintenance, etc., but I don't know much about WB boats. We will be mooring our boat, thus the WB can not be emptied while we are not planning on trailing the boat.

While moored:
Can I install an electric bilge in the ballast to empty when we are not sailing?
What concerns should I have leaving the water in the ballast, permanently?
Will this boat perform as it's less attractive cousin , the CAT 25 Swing Keel? ( Catt 22 is too small )
I can get to sea via these low tides of ours with a Cat 25, but the Cat 250 WB is just to comfortably attractive.
Any suggestions would be most appreciated.
Feb 26, 2004
Catalina 34 224 Maple Bay, BC, Canada
and was already advised that my interest or questions about this boat are to be directed to the experts.
Hi, again, John.
I think by "experts", I suggested to you that you talk directly to the skippers who own those boats and ask them. I gave you the link to the Catalina 25 & 250 forum.
There are definitely (by simple logic because of the nature of these two different forums) more Catalina owners of that size boat there than here. Although touching both bases wouldn't hurt.
Have you?


Apr 3, 2019
Macgregor 26M Mobile AL
I own a water ballasted boat, and have quite a bit of interchange with owners of water ballasted boats. Some owners use a small air inflator on the ballast vent to "blow" most of their ballast water out. The way our tank is configured, you can't get it bone dry by this method. Not sure what your tank/valve arrangement is, but you may or may not be able to get all of your ballast out this way. When a Mac owner sees bubbles coming out of the stern mounted ballast valve, you close the ballast valve and shut off the air pump. A low pressure inflator is the key (under 1 psi max pressure). Our ballast tanks are factory tested to 2 psi, and the water pressure when heeled will typically exceed 1 psi on the low side of the tank. Over-pressurizing the ballast tank can severely damage your boat. You should check with other owners of Cats before trying this, but it is a common method used by Mac owners.

Using a bilge pump, as you suggest would be a good way to go also. I'd probably put a hose fitting and valve in the ballast tank and use a positive displacement pump. You could get the inlet located such that you could get most of the water out of the tank using this method.

Pool chlorine is the most common tool of choice for long term ballast water treatment among my peers.
Feb 20, 2016
Catalina 22 Palm Harbor
Thanks to everyone regarding these concerns. Moving forward with my "Guy" at the boat yard as to how to economically address emptying the ballast while moored.