Mod and Maintenance Questions


By Richard Dickerson on Friday, May 8, 1998 – 10:51 am:

I have an older C-15 with the center sheeting arrangement with traveler. Is it worth my time and money to convert this rig to a stern sheeting arrangement? I am also interested in buying used C-15 sails as my sails are quite worn. I also need a trapeze set up for this boat.

By John Payne on Saturday, May 9, 1998 – 07:02 am:


Personally I think it’s a very good idea to convert to stern sheeting. It’s easy to do, and makes the cockpit area much more roomy and easy to move around in — thus easier to sail. Instructions (with a drawing) on how to do this can be found in Mark Elliot’s tuning guide in the “Tuning Guide” section of the website. There is also info there on trap rigging.

As for sails, I know for a fact that North and Ullman make very good C-15 sails. There are probably others. We have a link directly into North from the “links” seciton of web. Good Luck.

John Payne

By Chuck Emer on Monday, May 4, 1998 – 08:04 pm:

I recently got a ’77 C-15 with trailer. My first one. The only draw back is it doesn’t have a rudder or center board. I found a local boat yard that has some used sails. The hull is in good shape but the rest was in pretty rough condition. I’m looking for info on making my own rudder and possibly center board, or buying used ones…. The latter would be preferable.


By John Payne on Tuesday, May 5, 1998 – 07:40 pm:

The new ones from Catalina are actually pretty good, and not horribly expensive. Seems like centerboards and rudders run in the neighborhood of $150 each. You can get them from any Catalina dealer.

I also know several people have built their own. Mike Riemann, Steve Stark — jump in here guys and give Chuck here some advice.

By Michael Riemann on Wednesday, May 13, 1998 – 09:43 pm:

Hi Chuck:

I agree with John Payne’s response to your rudder/centreboard question.
The new current factory glass boards can be improved a lot by removing molding ridges and by reshaping the leading edge to a parabolic shape (like a bullet).
Likewise, at the aft edge reshape to a sharp trailing edge, with the last quarter of the board (sides) flat, without any camber. Following that pay careful attention to
fitting the centreboard to the trunk – this will pay big dividends in terms of pointing and boat speed. Basically, you want it to be gybing at the leading edge and with
minimal clearance at the aft edge within the trunk area. The C-15 Tuning Guide, the “Cookbook” describes this operation in great detail. If you do the above
described work on factory glass boards you should end with nearly similar performance to a good custom board. For rudders, reshaping would be similar as for
However, if you really want to build your own here is what you may consider:
Laminate strips together ( about 2″ wide and nearly 1″thick) of select grain Honduras mahogany, ribbon grain where most of the grain is close and nearly parallel for
max. strength. Use Epoxy resin or water proof wood glue for laminating.
Now the fun starts. After the outline of the board has been cut you may need a block plane, a couple of spoke shaves (similar to a wood plane but with handles on
each side), several templates of the cross sectional shape or foil section you have selected, finishing sander and lot’s of patience.Due to centreboards outline in plan
view you will need several templates at different stations to keep checking for the proper camber or shape as you are progressing with shaping the foil section. This
is can be rather slow and is definitely not nearly as much fun as sailing !!. But it must be as precise as possible as both sides of the foil must be identical ! Also, keep
close to maximum thickness as allowed by class rules.
Once you are satisfied with the shape, then you will need to seal it with a good quality Epoxy Resin (West System is a good example). Following, fibreglass cloth ( I
used 2 layers of high density e-glass) and more resin should cover the entire board. Try to keep the resin to a minimum, saturate and then nearly scrape dry to keep
weight to a minimum. Then apply several flow coats of resin to level out the glass weave and minor imperfections, sanding in between.You want just enough resin to
end up with a very smooth, glass like finish, without visible waviness, final sanding with 600 grit wet paper and optional white Polyurethane Catalyzed paint finish.
Over the years I built about forty boards and a well turned out board can be satisfying to the eye and can improve sailing performance, but does it ever take time to
Advantages of a good custom board:
light weight, well under 10lbs. – factory glass version, 12-14 lbs
stiff – most notable in a breeze with crew on wire, possibly higher pointing
Disadvantages: incredibly tedious to build
expensive to buy – Larry Tuttle of Waterat Boats in Calif.
If you’re still keen on building your own let me know and I will send you the cross sectional templates. Good luck and good sailing !
Michael Riemann, CAN 3255

By Jeff clarke on Friday, May 15, 1998 – 02:14 pm:

Need to repair or replace mast for my C-15. I broke it at the partners, about 16″ above the base. Can I sleeve it, and buy a short piece of mast extrusion, or should I replace the entire mast?

Jeff Clarke (in Bay City, Michigan)

By MarkT on Saturday, May 16, 1998 – 07:59 am:

Looking for a source of a C15 boat cover. Once I
found a web page advertising covers for many different
classes, including the C15, and the prices seemed
pretty good.

Anyone know of a source with reasonable prices?

C-15 3512

By John Payne on Sunday, May 17, 1998 – 06:15 pm:

Mainsheet Magazine (an excellent magazine for C-15s and all Catalina sailboats — free for all members of the C-15 North American Assn.) carries an ad from Rooke Sails for C-15 covers. The ad says they are acrylic, lighter, and last longer — though it doesn’t say what it lasts longer than.

Anyone have experience with these covers?

address for Rooke Sails is 1744 Prescott So., Memphis TN, 38111. 901-744-8500.

By John Payne on Sunday, May 17, 1998 – 07:40 pm:

Jeff, sorry to hear about your mast. I am very empathetic as I broke mine in the same place summer before last. I had those darned rubber coated shrouds. With those you can’t see the rust which fortells the impending doom.

For myself, I bought a new mast extrusion from my local Catalina dealer. Seems like it cost about $300, but I activly don’t remember how much sailboat things really cost. I did get it a bit cheaper by waiting for some big boat to be delivered so the mast could go in the same shipment. I’m sure you can work out a similar deal with you local dealer. I spent a saturday taking all stuff the old mast and installing on the new.

Tom (the C-15 guy) Forgue here in the Dallas area has had some luck getting masts welded. You need some additional mast section as you have to cut out the bent parts. The class rules don’t allow any mods for the purpose of stiffening the mast above the gooseneck. Tom says he’ll be glad to talk to you about all this anytime(214-398-4276).

The best bet is to find an old boat and buy the mast — with all the fittings — for a hundred bucks or so.

Good Luck.

By Marisa McCoy on Monday, May 18, 1998 – 10:00 am:

Regarding C-15 covers, here are two places to check out:

Rooke Sails

Sailors’ Tailor (has excellent information re: covers in general)

We have a white acrylic cover from Rooke. Workmanship looks good. Since the cover is < 1 month old, can’t really speak to its durability yet. It looks sharp and keeps everything covered up (and keeps the cat out of the boat).

By Bob Williams on Thursday, May 21, 1998 – 07:22 am:

I have had a Sailor Tailor cover for two years now, and like it. It works well on the road for travel, and can also be used for yard storage by dropping the boom into the boat. I think the price was about $325.00 including shipping, and it has held up well so far.

By Aaron Padin on Monday, June 1, 1998 – 08:04 pm:

I just got a C-15 and we took it out yesterday in about
25 knot winds and capsized. The boat filled with water lucky for us there was a dock nearby and we got most of the water out and planned to dock it there for the night. We came back in about hour or so and it capsized tied to the dock. I realize there is a leak someplace but where? Does the boat require extra flotation, and if so whats the best place for it? Do you know of common problems that I should be aware of, and of any references I can get about the boat. Thanks for any help you can give me.

By John Payne on Wednesday, June 3, 1998 – 10:29 pm:

Aaron, first of all this website is a very good place to get info about the boat — especially from people with experience sailing (and fixing) C-15s.

Sailing a C15 (or any performance dingey) in 25 knot wind is challenging. Capsizing is easy to do, we’ve all done it. As you know, the floors of C-15s are above the waterline thus the boats are self-bailing. They also have internal floatation so they can’t really sink. Usually after capsizing all you have to do is uncleat main and jib, hang onto the centerboard, pull the boat rightside up, get in and get going.

Sometimes leaks do develop in the hull. The most likely place is the drain-plug itself. Make sure it fits very tightly. The next most common area for leaks are the screws around the centerboard gasket. Turn the boat upside down and see if any of these screws are missing or turn freely. Next place (I’ve heard of but it’s fairly rare) is sometimes the centerboard rubs a hole somewhere on the inside of the centerboard well. Take the board out (easy and pretty obvious) and look it over closely. If you still can’t find it after all these, call Tom (the C-15 guy) Forgue at 214-398-4276. I’ll bet he can help you over the phone.

By Aaron Padin on Friday, June 5, 1998 – 06:42 pm:

John, many thanks for the information. The boat is a older model, not real sure as to how old but I did see parts of foam floating in the hull when it was filled with water. I guess I have to take a better look. I haven’t had the time to work on it yet but I do think the drain plug is the main problem. Funny enough about the centerboard well, it was patched already by the previous owner. Once again thank you.

By Bob Camarena on Sunday, June 7, 1998 – 10:40 pm:

A friend and I have an old C-15. The mast has a slight bend in it about halfway to the spreaders. It’s a couple of inches out of column, but not kinked. Can it be straightened or does it need to be replaced?

By John Payne on Monday, June 8, 1998 – 09:54 pm:

Should be no big problem Bob. Slight bends with no kinks are usually easy to straigten. Be gentle, bend it back slowly. I’ve heard that some were successful with the mast on sawhorses with a weight hung on it applied over several days.

By Jonathan Redfern on Tuesday, June 16, 1998 – 11:10 pm:

Fellow C-15 owners I just purchased what I beleive is an old Coronado 15 here in Phoenix AZ the only marking on the boat is a name plate from “WestCo Marine and a hull number of 089. The previous owner claims it is a C-15 and it seems to match the picture here on the Web. It seems pretty old and needs much repairs. I would appreciate any pointers, pushes in the right direction and advice I can get.Please Help….
Jonathan Redfern

By Barry Reiss on Wednesday, June 24, 1998 – 08:06 pm:

I recently bought a used C-15. Can anyone tell me if there is supposed to be a plastic sleeve around the hanger that the centerboard pivots on? Also, how is the centerboard stopper correctly installed? Where can I obtain these parts? Thanks.

By John Payne on Thursday, June 25, 1998 – 08:05 pm:

Barry, I don’t recall any plastic sleeve around the hangers — nor for that matter any “stops” on the centerboard. My first advice is to read carefully the tuning guides in this website concerning centerboard installation. I seem to remember some remarks about keeping the centerboard from goint too far forward. After that, call Tom (the C15 guy) Forgue at 214-398-4276. He knows all this stuff. I depend (probably too much) on him.

ps to all — soon I’m giving Tom my old computer so he can answer these things directly!

John Payne

By Jonathan C. Redfern on Tuesday, June 30, 1998 – 11:09 pm:

My C-15 has some “soft” spot on the deck , floor and top of the tanks, all the spots are where there is suppose to be the flotation foam so I am unable to get “underneath” and do a proper fiber glass repair job. Does any one have any suggestion on how to fix this problem any ideas are most welcome, I am stumped

By Geno Chantrill on Friday, July 3, 1998 – 12:46 am:

I have some soft spots on my my side tanks…sounds like I have a similar problem as Jonathan has. I have
cut a hole in each side and installed a 6″ inspection port so I can get access to the inside of the tanks. I have also got more ambitious and am attempting to seperate my deck from the hull completely. I’m trying to determine if this is possible. I’ll let you know how things turn out. I’d appreciate any imputs from others. My boat is pretty old (hull 1102) and has a rubrail and aluminum rubrail fixture that can easily be removed. My concern is other areas where the deck and hull are attached such as the transom, and in front of the tanks where a bulkhead has been glassed in.

By Tom Forgue on Saturday, July 11, 1998 – 05:24 pm:

Barry. Do you have a wooden board or a composite board? The wooden boards did have a metal sleeve around the centerboard pin which reduced the “slop.” The stopper, or positive stop is a metal or plastic dowel that goes through the board at the top to keep it from going past verticle when the board is all the way down. The composite boards do not have a sleeve around the pin. The positive stop can be either a wing shape built into the board or the dowel as discribed above. First, the composite boards are MUCH better. Second, I have dozens of those sleeves, as every boat that has come through my yard has replaced the wooden centerboard. The dowel positive stop can be made from aluminum rod material you can buy from Home Depot.

By Tom Forgue on Sunday, July 12, 1998 – 11:06 pm:

Jeff Clarke,

Yes, a mast can be welded. As a matter of little known fact, the mast used by Bill Draheim and Jeff Perna to win the 1993 NAC was a broken, sleeved and welded mast. (They are very good sailors) Make a very sraight cut at the lowest possible point on your broken mast. Find a kindred spirit who has already replaced his mast and get several feet of straight, otherwise useless mast. Cut one piece to make your mast the right length (22’10” + or – 1/2″). Cut another to fit inside not higher than the goose neck. On this one, cut out the sail track, squeeze like, well, heck, and force it into the long part of your fixet mast. The short piece now sleeves over that. Ok, now start talking to your buddies. “Do you weld aluminum?” Watch out for those that say, “Ah……., Yea maybe.” It seems there is more than one process for welding and, as I remember it, one doesn’t work, the other does. The people that can, will know, absolutely, YES, I can weld aluminum. Talk to one of these guys about the process. They may suggest that you take the assembly apart and drill some holes in the outer parts, say half inch holes, so that after they put it back together and weld the acutual joint, they can put some spot welds in the holes and onto the inner sleeve for strength.

By Tom Forgue on Sunday, July 12, 1998 – 11:41 pm:

Aaron Padin,

Below the water line, dito everything John Payne said. Plug, centerboard gasket screws and centerboard trunk cracks are big offenders.

When you capsize, every through deck fitting becomes suspect. Screws for cleats and blocks for tank controls, the old travelor holes, the barny post screws, everything that attaches through something, might leak. Oh and the seam around the parimiter of the boat where the deck attaches to the hull. And the biggest of these is the hatch cover. If your hatch cover latch works correctly, you can tighten it down fairly tight. Basic door wheaterstripping works well for a seal here.

Swamping occurs when enough water breaches the hull/deck integrity of the self bailing construction of the C15. On older designs, non-selfbailing boats, this occurs anytime you capsize. The positive floatation contained in the inner hull of a C15 should be enough to keep the boat off of the bottum of the lake, which is a good thing. However, the intention of the builder of any self bailing boat is that the hull/deck integrity be such that swamping not be an issue. SEAL THE BOAT. If the foam positive floatation of the boat is in question (and it is on lots of old boats), replace it with air bags. The colapsable water jugs you can get at any camping type sporting goods store work great. Don’t blow them up or anything, just put the top on loosely, so the can breath (some people put pin holes in them so when the temprature really goes up they don’t pop) and force them behind the useless bulkhead if possible. I do not remember how many of these 5 gallon bags come in the new boats, but it is not many. I think I have 6 on each side.

By Tom Forgue on Monday, July 13, 1998 – 11:17 pm:

Jonathan and Geno,

There is no easy way to fix soft spots in these boats. Yes you can take them apart and put them back together, however, I do not recomend it. I did it, and will buy a different hull before I do it again. The bulkhead can be ripped out from inside the foredeck. (If I can get in there, so can you.) The white almost silicone looking stuff around the parimater of the boat is 3M-5200, and is available at most marine supply stores (I think I used 12 large tubes). This holds the boat together. On older boats like ours (mine is #1016), the big, heavy (more than 20 lbs.), aluminum and rubber rub rail with 1,000,000 screws in it adds little or no hull to deck holding power and can be trashed to save weight. There is 5200 around the centerboard well and at the transom there is a piece of ply wood attached to the deck mold and one attached to the hull that are “glued” together with 5200. If you remove the rub rail and then separate the parimeter of the hull and deck by removing the 5200 with a knife, chisel, hammer, much sweat and probably some blood, and many cuss words you can stand at the bow and lift the deck upward, shake it up and down, grunt a bunch, shake it some more and eventually the 5200 around the centerboard well will come loose. Do this some more, with the deck held really high using two people maybe one inside the hull at this point using his (or her) back to push up and long after you are sorry you started this poject, the two pieces of plywood will separate, with some cracking of fiberglass. Have I convienced you yet?

The foam strips sandwiched under the deck where you sit and along the bottom and sides of the hull are NOT floatation, they function to add stiffness to the boat in the high load areas of the boat. Klegicel and Divinicel are closed cell foams, which means they do not absorb water, swell or gain weight and is the same stuff used in many of the new “foam core, vacum bagged” boats. (It is interesting to me that in the three different “generations” of the C-15s, each new configuration has had more Klegicel foam than the previous version.) At any rate, most of the softness in these boats comes from the fact that fiberglass resins continue to harden or cure forever. This means the stuff gets harder and harder and more and more brittle forever. In addition, the klegicel begins to delaminate from its fiberglass sandwich and does deteriate some. To re-stiffen the hull, I suggest that you take out the old klegicel and lay in new. (Diab Co. 972-434-3677. Ask for low density, 1/2 inch. One 4’X 8′ sheet is probably enough.) This allows you to put in new stiffener, but most important, new resins and glass that will reinforse the old stuff as it continues to cure.

If you take your boat apart, replace the klegicel along the bottom for sure and add some extra expecialy in the bow to stiffen where the hull hits the waves (very fast). If possible, before you take it apart, get in there and make a bulk head that goes from under the mast to under the shrouds. Then, while the boat is apart, you can glass it in to the hull and then assemble the hull and deck and attach the bulk head to the deck. (This bulkhead is not my idea, of course, see the tunning manual by Mark Elliot for a more detailed explaination.) More on all of this as I think of it. Call me for more info 214-398-4276.

By Tom Forgue on Monday, July 13, 1998 – 11:29 pm:

Arron, to seal the hatch cover, I mean window wheather stripping. You know, that 1/4″ or 1/2″ foam stuff that comes all coiled up and you remove the paper to expose the sticky part. Just fit it around the hole in the boat or on the hatch cover itself. See you at Home Depot.

By Randy on Thursday, July 16, 1998 – 02:24 pm:

Saturday morning an overhanging light fixture jumped in front of my C-15 mast as the boat was being trailered to the launch ramp. The mast broke at the spreaders, the deck separated from the hull for about the first couple of feet. Finding another mast was the easy part.

How can I paste the front of the boat back together?
Catalina Yachts suggest using West Systems resin and hardner and just filling the joint. Does anyone out there have any experience with this repair?

By Randy Haynes on Thursday, July 16, 1998 – 02:40 pm:

Saturday morning an overhanging light fixture jumped in front of my C-15 mast as the boat was being trailered to the launch ramp. The mast broke at the spreaders, the deck separated from the hull for about the first couple of feet. Finding another mast was the easy part.

How can I paste the front of the boat back together?
Catalina Yachts suggest using West Systems resin and hardner and just filling the joint. Does anyone out there have any experience with this repair?

By Tom Forgue on Thursday, July 16, 1998 – 06:22 pm:


Did the deck piece break completely off and was then a triangle piece hanging from the now unattached forestay, or did it just separate from the hull? Hopefully the latter. If so, I do not think West System in the correct solution. West is a great epoxy fiberglass resin, however, to rebond the deck to the hull, you need some flexibility in the “glue.” Without talking to you directly, I can not fully diagnose the problem, but from what I read, you should glue the deck and hull together with 3M-5200 and then add extra support inside the hull. On second thought, this may depend on the “generation” of your boat. 1st generation boats for sure should use 5200, 2nd and 3rd generation boats might work better with West System. Either way, I do recommend reinforcing the inside of the bow, as this is a very comon problem without the help of powerlines, and is refered to as “Jaws syndrome.” The problem is that the forces on the jib and therefore jib luff wire are great enough to, over a period of time, pull the deck away from the hull.

To reinforce the bow of your boat: You know the bow plate that the bow line, forestay and jib luff wire attach to? Get another one and through bolt it on the inside upside down to the other one. Glass in a large dowel, hammer handle, or 12″ piece of broom stick to the bottom of the hull as far forward as possible, under the bow plate. Through bolt a shackle or boom bail through the hammer handle. Build or have built a 3/32 wire with a turn buckle at one end to fit between the boom bail and the upside down bow plate. Attach it at both ends and tighten the turnbuckle only finger tight. Now the load on the jib luff wire is distributed to both the deck and the wire/hull. Very secure.

This idea is not original, however, I donot know whom to give credit. It does work! There are several similar solutions for the sidestays, which also tend to cause separation. I wrote an article for Manisheet about this somewhere down the line. I will try to get John to put this artickle on our web site for those that are interested. For the most efficient method of supporting under the shrouds, read Mark Elliots tuning manual. He will tell you about building bulkheads under the shrouds that reduce not only the upward flex at the deck level, but also the inward flex and twist inherent in C15s.

If your bow pulled completely out and you have a triangular piece of deck hanging from the forestay. “Write a check.”

By Randy Haynes on Friday, July 17, 1998 – 07:32 pm:

Tom, thanks for the repair plan. My hull number is 2842. I suspect that makes my boat an “early generation” model. The foredeck still lays down on the hull. In fact, it takes quite a bit of force to lift it to get at the joint.

There is/was a lot of stuff that looks like light weight plaster in the connection between the deck and hull. It is pretty hard stuff, not at all flexible.
There are some surface cracks in the deck but they don’t appear serious. Is the rub-rail edge material available? Thanks again for the help.

By T. Newman on Wednesday, July 22, 1998 – 10:39 pm:

I have an older C15 that was hit hard by a wave and bounced into the dock which seperated the foredeck from the hulk from the bow all the way back to where shrouds attach to the thru deck chain plates. The deck is in good shape and not broken anywhere just loose on both sides from the big bang. Been thinking of bolting it to the hull along the edge where the deck overlaps the hull. Any suggestions. The deck is hard to pull up so I think it might be hard to get somekind of epoxy in the space to glue it back down. I sent a similar note to Catalina and haven’t heard from them yet. This may have been a blessing in disguise as about two years ago I ordered a new rub rail for it and couldn’t get it on as the deck was glued too tight to the Hull. Now it will fit in the seam nicely after I fix the deck to the hull again. Thanks for your help!

By Tom Forgue on Friday, July 31, 1998 – 09:10 pm:


Beleive it or not you boat is what I call a second generation boat. It has a rolled shape along the edge with a plastic rubrail, right? That stuff is available from Catalina, I think. Ask your local Catalina dealer. First generation boats have an aluminum and rubber rubrail that weighs over 20 lbs. along the edge. New boats (thrid generation) have the rolled edge and no rubrail. West System will work great, far better than the plaster stuff you discribed. I still recommend the hammer handle/turnbuckle treatment.

By Tom Forgue on Friday, July 31, 1998 – 09:31 pm:

T. Newman,

Read my comments to Randy. From your comment about the rubrail fitting into the seam, I am pretty sure you have a second generation boat. Lay the boat upside down and use a chissel or putty knife to hold the deck from the hull. West System offers some syringes that you can use to “shoot” the epoxy into the seam while you hold it open. When you have both sufaces wet with epoxy, clamp it together. (Be sure to mask the area well before you start as you will make a mess.)

Bolting will have very little structural strength as the twisting and flexing of the boat while sailing will quickly “waller” out the holes and cause leaks and eventually rip out.

Read my discription of putting a wire and turnbuckle in the bow for further support. A similar treatment can be done under the shrouds. Again, I will get John to print my article from Mainsheet about deck pullout solutions as there are more than one and Mark Elliot’s idea for bulkheads is the best, though hardest to make.

By Mike Staley on Saturday, August 1, 1998 – 12:40 pm:

I am a student in Santa Barbara and on a recent trip home (to my parents’ house in Sonoma) I was able to take off their hands a ’83 c-15. With much work I have it fairly well restored, but the boat was race rigged by it’s former owner and and there are a few aspects of the rigging that I can’t for the life of me figure out how they work. My question is this… How can I find a book or some other information to help me figure out how to rig her. I want to start racing soon, so please send help

By John Payne on Saturday, August 1, 1998 – 10:35 pm:

Hello Mike,

The very best way to learn how to rig and sail a C-15 is get with a group of active sailors. In S. California there is an active group at Los Alemitas Bay YC in (or near) Long Beach. Bob Anderson and Walt Prue are excellent C-15 sailors and will be glad to help. Also Randy Sprout and others sail C-15s out of Marina Del Rey . He left a message in one of the other forums in this site with phone numbers. Also, soon we will have an area contact page on this site which should also help you locate others in your area.

The other best way is to read infomation contained in this website. You should find that Mark Eliot’s Tuning Guide tells you a great deal of what you need to know. Once you’ve been through that ask here for any furthur info or clarification. Good luck.

By Tom Forgue on Sunday, August 2, 1998 – 05:49 pm:

Hello Mike from me too,

It is amazing the kinds of things people have done to C-15s when it comes to rigging. My comment, like John’s, is to get with people in your area that are currently sailing C-15s. Look at their boats and see what looks simple and effective. Like John said, the tunning mannual has diagrams of almost every control. Compare the manual to the boats in your area. One nice thing about C-15s is, you are allowed to run the controls to both sides, so they are convenient while sailing. I guess what I am saying is, you might want to change a few things from the way it was rigged before to make it more convenient, simple and safe. (Esp. Does your boat have stern sheeting, a jib halyard lock and a powerful vang?)

Anyway, welcome to C-15 sailing. Hope you enjoy your boat. C-15s are great fun!

By Brad Purdy on Monday, August 3, 1998 – 03:56 pm:

I’ve already sent this off to John Payne but in case he’s out on the water for awhile perhaps someone can answer this. I was sailing a friend’s older C-15 this weekend when the mast suddenly collapsed. We were sitting in irons in a small cove with a very slight wind while we ate lunch. After swimming the boat to shore, we noticed that the pin connecting the port side shroud to the boat was missing. My partner and I recall checking both shroud pins before getting underway. We also noticed that the groove on the metal base plate (proper terminology?) which is attached to the deck and on which the base of the mast rests while sailing was partially sheared off on one side. The metal was crumbly like old pottery. There was no sudden gust of wind when all this occured. The boat is old and appears to have set out in the sun for years. My friend had never even sailed her. Is it possible that the base plate gave way first, and that the stress was too much for the shroud pin to bear the full weight? Or is it more likely that the pin came out and the base plate couldn’t withstand the lateral torque caused by the base of the mast? There’s also now a hairline crack in the fiberglass running lengthwise 2 inches outside of the point where the shroud connects to the boat. Can that be fixed? Where can I find a new base plate? Thanks for any help you can give me!

By Tom Forgue on Monday, August 3, 1998 – 11:09 pm:


Hairline fractures are very common around where the shrouds attach. Under the deck, at that location is a wooden piece through which the chainplates are attached. Usually they are through bolted, though, either this is not always true, or sometimes the bolts on the back have vibrated loose, as I have come accross many that are not through bolted (VERY DANGEROUS SITUATION). At any rate, this wooden piece varies in size from boat to boat and around this piece there is almost always some fiberglass cracking. These hairline fractures are very hard to fix. You can fill them with VC water tight or other fairing compound, to keep it from delaminating, but that is not cosmetically the greatest, or you can egnore it. I can tell you how to reduce the occurance of these fractures.

I wrote an article for Mainsheet magazine about this. I keep saying I’ll get John to put it here, you see he has a scanner. But briefly, there are three methods to reduce this problem. By the way, none of these ideas are mine, I’m just reporting them. The easy way is to glass in a piece of wood to the hull under the shroud chainplate, connect a wire with turnbuckle to the piece of wood and to the underside of the chainplate and fingertighten the turnbuckle. This will distribute the load of the forse of the wind and rig tension between the deck and hull. The second method is to build a bulkhead from the floor level down between the hull and the wooden floor support directly under the shroud chainplate. Attach a wire with turnbuckle to the chain plate and the bulk head. This also distributes the force as before, but also stiffens the hull at that point, reduces some of te the inward force and some of the twist of the boat. This method is marginally harder than the first method, but much better. The third, hardest, and by far, BEST method is building bulkheads that run from under the mast angled back to under the shroud and connect to the hull and deck. This distributes so much of the upward, and inward pull to the deck, hull and bulk head, and it illiminates alot of the twist of the boat that it is worth writing a check for. This, by the way, was first introduced on the C-15 by Mark Eliot and is standard on the new C-15s. Again, this is a breif discription of the processes. I will get the detailed explainations in soon.

By T. Newman on Tuesday, August 25, 1998 – 12:25 am:

Tom Forgue – Thanks for the advice on how to reglue the fore deck back down after it came loose. I found the 3M 5200 and used it to reseal/reglue the fore deck to the hull. However, I still used some Stainless #10 – 1.5″ long Finish head bolts and bolted the deck down all along the rub rail spacing the bolts about 1′ apart along the sides and about 3″ apart at the bow where the jib stay attaches to the deck. After checking the seam between the deck and hull all around the boat, I found it all to be loose and therefore decided to go ahead and bolt the deck down as it appeared fairley difficult to raise the deck all around the boat enough to get the 5200 in between the deck and hull. It’s pretty strong now and won’t move. The space between the deck and hull in the overlap area on my boat is about 1/4″- 3/8″ or so, so I plan to turn the boat upside down and fill this area with 5200 after I put the new rub rail on the deck overlap. The previous owner had put some caulk in this seam but it wasn’t holding. I suspect the previous owner also caught a overhead line and pulled the jib stay up with the deck as the jib stay has been replaced and the was some fiberglass repair done inside to hold the deck back down to the hull. Hope the 5200 will hold better. Should seal the boat pretty well? – or is there something else I should use along the deck/hull seam? I’ve got to reseal it as it leaks along the edge when we bury the rails.

My boat is # 1427 and had the thin plasiic strip for a rub rail. I got a new one from the local dealer here ( about 40′ ) about three years ago and never could put it on due to the previous owners “repair” left no space for the rub rail to fit on to. Thanks for the advice and suggestions.

By Raymond Roeder on Tuesday, August 25, 1998 – 02:36 pm:

Just got s/n 2264. First boat I’ve ever sailed, I’m a sailing rookie, but I’ve already found I love it! Found this website the day after I bought the boat (3 weeks ago today) and have learned a great deal already thanks to all the users’ inputs and the responses. Thanks so much for providing this forum.

On my third outting we capsized while running in near 20 knot winds. Should C-15’s “turtle”? My guess is “no” after reading Aaron’s story above. When we finally righted the boat, it rotated up and continued on over to the other side to capsize again, only this time I was able to scramble across the flooded deck and get onto the centerboard in time to stop a second turtling. After finally getting the boat stablized in the correct orientation, I stood in the cockpit and watched water pour out from the bottom of the mast. When I checked the cuddy, it was nearly full. On the previous two outtings I checked for water in the bilge and never found any.

My diagnosis: (1) need to seal the mast, and (2) put thicker, better-fitting weather stripping on the cuddy door. The co-owner thinks we also need to (3) add extra flotation (something like what was suggested to Aaron above) and (4) a “mast float” to the top of the mast (a big foam ball to prevent turtling). I think extra flotation wouldn’t hurt but the mast float seems excessive to me, plus I have concerns about attaching it to the mast (how to attach and what will the bouyant force do to the mast/stay/shrouds). Which repairs/modifications would you suggest, and in what order?

One more thing. After getting the boat home I was inside the cuddy retrieving a wet tennis shoe from far behind the bulkhead, I noticed the bulkhead was loose along most of the joint to the hull. Can I simply bond it back again with 3M-5200?

Thank you for any help you can provide.

By Doug Britton on Friday, August 28, 1998 – 12:04 am:

I have question about the halyard locks. The original factory halyard lock (and L shaped bracket with a hole for the halyard) is no longer on some of our boats. My question -> is there a preferred replacement part that will withstand the high load of the halyard. Secondly, I read about someones halyard stop (ball) slipping. Is this common (our current halyards have no stops on them), and can I hand swage one on, our will it simply slip. Any insight appreciated.


By Tom Forgue on Sunday, September 6, 1998 – 11:15 pm:


For the main, just about any of the several halyard locks you can find will hold up. The ball (main and jib) must be Swedged on (not Nicro pressed). Ask around who in your area builds shrouds with turnbuckle stud ends or T-ball fittings. These are Swedged on (I think I am spelling this correctly, but spelling is not my specialty). The ball should be 13″ from the halyard shackle pin.

For the jib, the locks that are thicker and look more like claws are prefered. Look around, I think Sea Way makes these. Since these are “after market” on most boats, there is no standard for where the ball goes. See Mark Eliots tuning manual.

I’ll bet you can get locks from your local Catalina dealer or Small Craft Advisory at1-800-354-7245

By Tom Forgue on Sunday, September 6, 1998 – 11:30 pm:


Fun, huh!! You’ll get the hang of it. The right technic is to keep the stick thing in the air and the pointy end in front of you. How? Fun, huh. You’ll get the hang of it. Let out the main and jib quicker. When you tack, be sure the old sheet does not recleat and back wind the jib.

3/4 inch window weather stripping works well on the hatch cover. On the mast, silicone every conection and screw, but please, please do not put one of those mast head floats on a C-15. You’ll give us all a bad name!!!! If you spend much time sideways or upside down, every screw that goes throught the deck may take on some water. If you want, take each out, silicone it and replace it. If the boat continues to leak bunches of water, let me know, we’ll talk. There lots of possibilities.

Hey, have fun, join the Association and Race that boat. You’ll learn more about sailing in one season of racing than 10 years of daysailing.

By Tom Forgue on Sunday, September 6, 1998 – 11:44 pm:

T. Newman

I still think West System would be better for your boat. In addition, I think the bolts will add little or no structual integrety to the “glue.” Connect the deck and hull via a turnbuckle or bulkhead to distribute the load between the deck and hull. When you epoxy the parts together, if there is a gap, clamp them.

By Tom Forgue on Sunday, September 6, 1998 – 11:54 pm:


Oh, I forgot. The bulkhead is useless. Just leave it alone. If you realy want to do something usefull in terms of bulkheads, take that one out and read all the stuff here and in the tunning guide about connecting the shroud to the deck of the boat via turnbuckles and/or bulkheads.

More floatation may or may not be helpfull. If you spend much time sideways etc., the boat will likely swamp, and at that point, maybe more floatation would help, but not a great deal. The idea is to keep it from swamping for longer periods of time. The thing that is going to do that is sealing holes (hatch cover, through deck fittings, etc.). Again, the most effective preventive tool is keeping the boat upright.

By Davis King on Wednesday, September 9, 1998 – 11:59 pm:

Centerboard Repairs

We have a factory centerboard that’s lost the corner where the centerboard line attaches, up from and including the ears, due to the failure of an earlier repair, plus the fiberglass skin has separated from the foam core nearby. Is a lasting repair possible, or should it just be replaced? Any advice on how to do such a repair? I’m concerned about how difficult or time consuming it may be with 3 weeks before the NA’s, and about the odds of actually getting the repair to measure in.

Thanks a lot,
Davis King
Georgia Tech Sailing Club

By Randy Haynes on Thursday, September 10, 1998 – 11:15 am:

My boat (2842) has the fiberglass barney? post option.
A compass is mounted in a console that carries the tackle for the mainsheet. The new style boats look attractive in that the aluminum post both appears to leave more room and allows the hiking straps to be mounted in two sections just above the deck rather than along the surface.

The late boats have a beveled ridge that the post attaches to. My boat is basically flat in this area. Is there a late type post that will fit my boat?

By Tom Forgue on Tuesday, September 15, 1998 – 11:09 pm:


With out seeing your centerboard, I can’t really help you. Yes, I would think, it can be fixed. Cut or grind off the “ears,” grind down any delamination, refiberglass, (use some mat, not just epoxy and filler) sand paint and put an aluminum rod through it to act as a positive stop (instead of the “ears”). The C15 centerboard has no foam!!! If it does, it is illegal. Your best option is to buy a new one and use the repaired one as a spare.

By Tom Forgue on Tuesday, September 15, 1998 – 11:16 pm:

Sorry, is the whole corner broken off? If so, it is harder to fix. I have had some luck rebuilding corners, esp. where they rubbed the ground when trailering, by putting aluminum dowels into the board sticking out and building up around these dowels with West System Epoxy and a high density filler, shaping, putting a layer of glass over the repair and overlapping onto the original board material, sanding and painting. However, I have not done this in the high load area you are talking about. Try it, buy a new one and use this as a spare.

By Tom Forgue on Tuesday, September 15, 1998 – 11:23 pm:

Randy Haynes,

Yes, those big ole compas mount things really get in the way. The new barney post and transom sheeting and you really clean up the cockpit. There may be a flat version, I’m not sure. Call Small Craft Advisory (1-800-354-7245) and ask them. I just bent the barney post to be flat when I did mine. Use a vise and bend untill it is flat. No problems in over five years.

By Jclaffey on Friday, January 8, 1999 – 09:16 am:

This one will drive you crazy. I have a new boat. It weighs 403 lbs. I want to reduce the weight by extraction/excavation. The first step was the halyards. Then the bucket was cut in half. Now I have cut the excess off the outboard end of the boom. This is the tricky part. I want to route out (honeycomb) the mast partner to lighten but leave plenty strong. I also want to lighten the transom plate the same way. If this is a little weird, then what about just cutting large holes for inspection plates in the transom plate. It could be the biggest gain possible. I remember Mark Elliot cut his out and caught lots of grief. All that I want is to lose about 18 Lbs.
What’s the rules deal?
What else is there?
I will consider almost anything.

By RobPerlstein on Friday, January 15, 1999 – 10:19 am:

To anyone: I would like to obtain the correct dimensions for the steel portion of the jib and main halyards, especially the distance to each locking bead attached to the steel. Thanks.

By Chadd Hamilton on Sunday, February 7, 1999 – 12:05 am:

Can somebody explain to me what the mast block does
and where i can buy one or make one and how to setup correctly.

By John Payne on Sunday, February 7, 1999 – 09:42 am:

Chadd, check out the tuning guides in this site. There’s a good explanation there of how to build and use mast blocks.

By Geoff Smith-Moritz on Wednesday, February 10, 1999 – 05:50 pm:

I have recently purchased a 1990 C15 set up for racing. However, I don’t plan to race it in the near future. I’m thinking about installing a Boomkicker and Harken jib furling system to make daysailing and rigging a little easier. Any comments?

By Bryan-Chadds Dad on Thursday, February 18, 1999 – 12:52 am:

To: John Payne
From: Bryan Hamilton
Mast block: I set my Mast like tuning guide, but no clearance between mast and board whoochie maggiger.
What should the clearance be and does it vary from boat to boat. also im an overweight individual trying to shed some pounds. will there be a disavantage or advantage with the extra weight i have when racing.
im assuming that in heavier winds it will help, but
lighter winds it will hurt is this true. Also whats
a good location on jib and main for telltales? I also
read somewhere where you could cut the rudder above the transome to relieve some drag? What do I use on my
black anodized mast to keep it looking nice and my boom. Whats a better sail Ullman Or North? Thankyou
for your help! Soon as i get the extra bucks Iam going
to join the association. I really enjoy my C-15 its a
well kept bi-centennial edition red and white with blue
hull. Paid $500 for everything trailer, boat, new set of sails and older set of sails. Man did i ever get lucky on this one!

By Lee Fox on Wednesday, February 24, 1999 – 10:59 pm:

Still winter here, but at least I’m thinking about it…!

I’m a new C-15 sailor; just got hull #468 last summer, and have been having a ball just playing with it. I’ve been reading the tuning guides and intend to attempt the jib halyard lock and block. My question is the recommended jib wire length is 226″ and if I’m estimating correctly, that will allow the wire to run past the tie cleat on the mast base making it tough to tie the halyard down. It’s approximately 18′ from the jib block to the cleat. Any problem using less wire? Maybe it’ll be more clear when I actually get the tarp off. I was just trying to get the pieces and parts lined up. Thanks!

By Tom Forgue on Tuesday, March 2, 1999 – 05:26 am:

Jim Claffey,

As you know, the good news is that your new boat is REAL stiff. Yes, boats with the transom cut out have been disalowed at regattas. The rule is something about it keeping the original shape, or something like that. The mast partner on the new boats is very heavy. How ’bout replacing it with one made with 1/4 plywood. This would give plenty of strength side to side, to suport the mast, but you wouldn’t be able to stand on it. Take the trash can out completely and replace it with a hatch cover made of plastic. I’ll bet that is 5-8 lbs. savings over your shortened one. (Plus the weight of stuff you won’t be tempted to carry.) Let’s see, weight? Can you cut some more holes in your bulkhead? Does the old style boom weigh less? Smaller, lighter sheets and control lines. Especially, rope that does not absorb water. Smaller, lighter blocks. The Harken 3mm blocks have a larger load limit than the micro blocks and weigh a lot less. Simplify rigging. Are the outhaul, cunningham, jib ciunningham, or centerboard controls to both sides? Can you sacrifice that convinience to get rid of rope and hardware? Eighteen pounds. Let’s see, cut off your…. feet?

By Tom Forgue on Tuesday, March 2, 1999 – 05:42 am:

Rob Perstein,

The main halyard on old boats is 1/16 inch, 7 by 19 wire about 20 foot long. (Length is not terribly important.) On boats with a new mast head, the wire is 3/32. The main halyard lock ball should be 13 inches from the pin in the shackle. The jib halyard is 3/32 inch, 7 by 19 wire. Jib locks vary on old boats as they were added by individuals after market. I’m not sure what the measurement is on new boats. Seems like 36 inches is right, but don’t go out and build one based on that. If you do not have an old one to copy, you can figure out the measurement by taking the boat off the trailer (just pull it off the back) and, with a shoud adjuster on the top of the jib and a rope (or better wire) attached to the shroud adjuster and through the sheave, put up the jib getting the rig tension and rake as close as you can and tie it in place. Pull the boat over on it’s side and measure it. With the shroud adjuster, close is good enough.

By Tom Forgue on Tuesday, March 2, 1999 – 05:59 am:

Geoff, don’t do it!!! Just kidding (kinda). A topping lift would be easy to install. A cheek block on the side of the mast at the top and a line long enough to tie at the bottom and go up to the block then to the back of the boom. The Harken roller is great. The C15 is an overpowered, little trapeeze boat, and you can’t change that. Oh, smaller sails (which are available from Catalina) will help, but it is a sportboat, not a minivan. I daysailed my boat for 10 years before I started racing and loved it. But the performance is what I loved. If you want a daysailor, get one. Whatever you do, don’t change stuff that can’t be changed back. You might want to sell it sometime.

By Tom Forgue on Tuesday, March 2, 1999 – 06:17 am:

Bryan, Chadd and family,

Mast block clearance info in tunning manuel. It keeps the mast from bending forward down low. With a block, as you apply mainsheet or especially boom vang the mast will bend higher up.

Tailtales: 6-12 inches from luff? (Any body out there have a formula?)

Rudder: Stock rudders are raked back. That is, they are not parrallel with the transom. The more the rake, the “heavier” the helm feels. The idea is to modify the board to make it parrallel to the transom (and this will reduce drag).

Black Masts: I wonder if Penitral would make it shinny?

Sails: Ulman, North and Bartlet (Austin) sails are all great.

1976 boat. Sounds cool. Mine is about that same age. (1016) Have you done any of the equipment upgrades like transom sheeting and stuff? Well you have added a mast partner. Any thing else?

By Tom Forgue on Tuesday, March 2, 1999 – 06:27 am:

Lee, you want the wire at least long enough to attach to something on the mast, like the whisker pole ring, go up through the sheave and down a few inches (6-12″ or more is fine) with a loop and a rope tied to that. The rope ties to the cleat at the bottom of the mast. “What?” you say, “attach the wire end to the mast? I thought it attached to the sail.” Oh yea, this is for putting away your boat and traveling, but if it will do that, it is plenty long for sailing.

By Geoff Smith-Moritz on Tuesday, March 2, 1999 – 11:29 am:

Tom, I promise not to change anything that can’t be put back. I agree about the basic nature of the boat. That’s why I bought it. I’ve already jury rigged a topping lift and it works fine. I think I’ll skip the furler for now. Thanks for your input.

By BJ Jones on Saturday, March 13, 1999 – 04:44 pm:

I recently purchase a c-15 1982 model. I has the cockpit control arrangment as in the Tuning Guide posted here, boom vang, cunninham centerboard controls.
It does not have the stern mainsheeting controls setup.
It has a Traveler bar / Barney Post attached to two blocks off the middle of the boom. Should I convert to stern mainsheeting ? Can I do it with the Travler Bar and barney post I have now? I saw the set up in the tuning guide but It doesn’t use the travler bar. Its is just the Barney post. I saw a version on another web sight but it was wierd looking. Can someone send me a drawing . “” I have never sailed before so I’m new to this and was wondering if I should go to the trouble of converting or just learn to sail first. I believe in Simple Performance in my cars and boats, Meaning KEEP SIMPLE and good Performance.

By Trent on Monday, March 22, 1999 – 07:48 pm:

Boom launched whisker poles? Are they class legal? I recently sailed on a Snipe. It had a slick bungie powered whisker pole that stayed attached to the boom and launched with a simple pull of a line that runs from the jib through the whisker pole and back to the mast. It retracts on it’s own via a bungie. Quick easy and clean.. If class legal I’d like to do this on my C-15. Check it out.. (

Any ideas?

By Dean Ballard on Tuesday, March 23, 1999 – 01:35 pm:

I recently purchased an older C-15 (hull 921?) that has been nicely restored. The current owner has kept it in “dry dock” storage, and I plan to keep it moored afloat in a slip though the sailing season. He told me that since the boat draws so little and has such a high center of gravity, that floating moorage can be a problem, and that the boat can capsize from wind on the mast and rigging alone. Is this true? Should I be looking for dock storage, or will my slip be ok?

Thanks for your ideas!
– Dean

By Doug Britton on Thursday, March 25, 1999 – 05:51 pm:

BJ Jones,

I would not bother with the fancy stern sheeting arangement. I am not convinced that it gives a significant performance advantage, and it just tends to complicate matters. I would recommend that you just learn how to get the boat going fast “as is” and then later decide if the modification is worth the effort.


By Doug Britton on Thursday, March 25, 1999 – 05:56 pm:


I would NOT recommend leaving the boat in a “wet slip” because of the concerns you mentioned. On top of that however, if you did leave it in the water, you would need to treat the bottom with some type of antifouling and blister prevention epoxy paint. This could severly reduce the performance of the boat (read make it heavier and slower). Also, make sure that you treat the centerboard and rudder. Leaving the centerboard down would help with the stability concerns at the dock however. Good luck, and let us know what you decide to do, and how it turned out.


By Tom Forgue on Monday, April 5, 1999 – 06:45 pm:

BJ Jones,

The point of stern sheeting is to simplify and clean up the cockpit of the boat. You will remove the travelor completely and imagine the room you’ll have. You’ll be able to walk from front to back without tripping!!! In addition, when you tack the boat, you will adjust only the mainsheet, instead of the mainsheet and the travelor lines.

The old barney post will work just fine (or a new style barney post can be ordered from your Catalina dealer or Small Craft Advisories). If it is the type with the compass, it will still be kind of big and in the way, but it will work. I suggest you move it forward about 10 inches (if there is no compass mount). You’ll have to cut a “V” shaped slot in the back of it to allow the cenerboard to come all the way up. You’ll also want to add a “floater block” by attaching a wire to the ratchet block about 4-6 inches long and a single block to the wire. (To do this on some of the older stock ratchets there is a hole in the center of the sheave and you can connect a wire through this hole. BETTER, is to replace the old ratchet with a new one with a becket.) You’ll need a block on the back of the boom and two in the middle. Make a bridle on the transom of your boat by drilling two 3/16 or 1/4 inch holes way towards the back of boat and outboard the lip/edge of the boat on each side. Take about 7 foot of 3/16 or 1/4 inch rope with a knot tied in the middle and put the ends throught the two holes and tie knots on the ends adjusting the knot in the middle about 2 feet above the transom. Don’t cut the extra off yet.

Ok, go sailing. Set the boat up, tie the mainsheet (35 foot of 5/16 or 3/8 rope) to the knot in your harness, put it through the block on the back of the boom, forward through the back block in the middle, down through the floater, up through the front boom block, down through the ratchet and cleat. As you sail in medium air, watch the knot you tied in the mainsheet. As you trim in hard, you want that knot to almost touch the boom block. In heavy air, trimmed all in, it will touch. Adjust the harness at the holes in the boat to make it work. When you are really satisfied you like the larness length, cut off the access with a heat gun.

By Tom Forgue on Monday, April 5, 1999 – 07:07 pm:


Yes, a pole launcer is legal and lots of fun to play with. I also learned this trick from local Snipe sailors (Snipe Fleet No. 1 is at CSC in Dallas Tx.) and I tried it for about a year. It works really cool, most of the time. Because our jib is so much bigger, it takes alot of rope. I think most of the bad stuff that can happen with this system will happen more on a c15 than on a Snipe for that reason. Here are some of the reasons I went back to a simple trolley.

1.) The rope as it goes from the back of the pole to the mast and down to a cleat, even with a floater block on a bungie tied to the spreader to hold it up, kept saging and hanging me when we tacked. The alternative was to keep pulling the slack out the front end of the pole, which distracted us from sailing the boat fast.

2.) The end attached to the clew of the sail then goes up through the front of the pole. That sometimes got caught on the “V” of the splash rails when tacking.

3.) When taking the pole down, the line sometimes did not run free (kind of like spinnaker halyards on other boats). Knots, foot or butt cleats and getting wrapped around the centerboard positive stop were specific problems.

4.) It was scratching the heck out of my mast.

Anyway, I had fun with it for a while. Lots of people commented on it, etc. But in the end, I desided it caused more problems than it was worth. Play with it and let me know what you think.

By Tom Forgue on Monday, April 5, 1999 – 07:23 pm:


I totally agree with Doug about not keeping a C15 in the water. I usually do not respond to messages so clearly answered by someone else, but this is important. DO NOT KEEP THE BOAT IN THE WATER. Even if you do ruin the boat with bottom paint, even if you use something like VC 17, a teflon based antifoouling paint for racers, even if you paint the boards similarly, there is no good way to get the inside of the centerboard well painted. Some of that is beneath the water level and without antifouling paint, will begin to delaminate way before the end of the season.

Is there dry storage at your lake where you can keep the boat on the trailor with the mast up? That is a great way to keep the boat ready to sail. At our club here in Dallas, we have mechanical divices that lift the boats out of the water in the slip. Nothing as fancy as hydahosts, these are simple mechanical systems using wire, a cradle for the boat, some blocks, a metal pole with a wagon wheel that wrapes the wire around the pole as it pulls up the cradle and boat. (Davits they are called.) Anything, just don’t leave it in the water.

By Glen Meloy on Friday, April 16, 1999 – 01:53 pm:

Has anyone figured out what to do about the mast chafing against the wooden guide thing (I can’t think of what else to call it!) above the hatch? My C-15 is from ’81 and the mast is visibly worn from this… it is starting to worry me.

Glen Meloy

By John Payne on Saturday, April 17, 1999 – 08:13 am:

Glen, seems the obvious approach is to cut away part of the “mast partner” that’s rubbing on the mast. Make that slot the mast fits into a little wider. Why won’t that work?

By Jay Merry on Tuesday, April 20, 1999 – 08:14 am:

Hey everyone! I’m looking for a fiberglass centerboard and rudder for my older C-15. Please contact me if you have any suggestions.

Jay Merry

By John Campbell on Friday, April 23, 1999 – 07:26 pm:

I am looking this weekend at a used Coronado 15, I was told from about 1978 with a hull number possibly in the 1700s. At the risk of asking too much, can I ask what I should particularly pay attention to in inspecting the boat. I was told it has new shrouds, the forestay is still the old plastic covered stay and the jib halyard acts as a stay also?

Any help VERY much appreciated.


John Campbell

By John Payne on Friday, April 23, 1999 – 10:29 pm:


I’ll see if I can get in touch Tom Forgue to answer your questions too as he has more info and experience than I do about the kinds of things you ask. But, a couple of the key things I would look for are any softness of the hull or tanks (where you and crew sit). Pound on it and see if it seems to give under your fist or hand. Stiffer is better. I’ve seen some older boats where the hull would actually dimple in (called oil canning)while sailing fast on a reach. Also look under the edges where the hull and top meet. See if there’s any sign of the glue bonds here breaking loose. Don’t worry too awfully much about the rigging as it’s easy and relatively cheap to replace. Find out whether any mods have been made — such as those suggested in the tuning guides (on this website). Check the condition of the blades. The newer fiberglass ones are usually better than the older wooden ones.

See if you can find any experienced C-15ers in your area.

Good Luck
John Payne

By Marisa McCoy on Tuesday, April 27, 1999 – 12:02 pm:

John Campbell

(I’m probably just repeating what Tom F. would say.) Speaking from personal experience, I think you should also take the hatch cover off, get as far as you can inside the bow, and look around VERY carefully inside. Especially look for rotting wood near the mast.
Our boat was stiff, yet it still had some internal problems (unbeknownst to everybody). I’m sure Tom Forgue can speak at great lengths about this! 8^) (BTW — he did a GREAT structural job for us and fixed the problem.)

By Geoff Smith-Moritz on Wednesday, April 28, 1999 – 11:45 am:

I recently purchased a 1990 C15, #3611, I’m interested in checking out the inside of the boat but I’ve not been able to remove the hatch insert. What should this require? How is it attached? By the way, had a great day this Sunday on San Diego Bay, planing like crazy in 18kts of wind. What a ride!

Geoff Smith-Moritz

By Nelis Hooyer on Wednesday, May 5, 1999 – 01:17 pm:

Hi everyone. I just bought my first sailboat (C-15 #2432). I got a great deal, but it was missing a main, tiller, and some lines. Im waiting for my main and tiller but in the meantime I’d like to buy some new jib sheets and a main sheet. Should these be a certain length? Am also replacing the halyards. There is a jib halyard lock on the mast right now, so I thought I’d put the stop sleeve in the same spot as the old halyard wire. But there is no main halyard lock. Is this a necessity? How far from the top of the mast should it be installed? What should the distance be between the stop sleeve and the head of the main? Any help would be very much appreciated. Thanks.

By John Payne on Wednesday, May 5, 1999 – 08:55 pm:

Nelis — try exploring the tuning guides on this website. I’m pretty sure most if not all the info you’ve asked for is there — plus lots more. Check it out. If there’s anything you’re not clear on we’ll help out.

By Randy53 on Monday, May 31, 1999 – 01:13 pm:

Reviewing videos of the Texas and Georgia North Americans, I can see one big setting that many of our sailors are ignoring. The older boats like our, HAKUNA MATATA, have a downhaul that most racers pull on much to hard. If you look at any of the top A Fleet sailors, you will notice a lot of horisontal wrinkles in the main and the jib, even under fresh breeze conditons. That’s really fast. The slower boats will have just the opposite with many vertical wrinkles right along the mast, because they have either too much downhaul or cunningham cranked on. The cure seems to be to install a simple stop in the mast, beyond which the boom can’t be pulled. The class rules talk about this measurement. The tuning guide talks briefly about this, but I have seen a lot of “older slower” boats with the boom pulled down 2 to 3 inches below the stripe. Trust me when I say we have been parked under light wind conditions. Then we finally noticed that, without the stop, our internal rigged outhaul line was pulling our boom down way below the stripe. The people with the newer booms don’t have the downhaul, so it really won’t matter to them. Take a good close look at any photos of the guys out front in the older boats and you’ll see what I mean.

By 452 on Thursday, June 3, 1999 – 07:49 pm:

Hello…this is hull #452 (1969)checking in. My new owner has read all the info on this web site and
thinks it’s great. Thanks to all of you have worked to provide this service. But here at a couple
of things he would like to know. Should the bulkhead under the shroud chains be glassed in with
polyester resin or epoxy resin? Is there more to the trapeze set-up than just the handles…is there
a harness/support also? The mast partner (which I do not have) should be installed with a
“block”. Where can my owner get the template for this and does it anchor through the wood on
the bow decking? How does the “L-shaped” block work in the mast partner? Finally, my pintels
are missing on my rudder. Do you have a suggestion for a source for the two of these?

My owner does want to get me in the water soon, but after reading comments in this column,
would like to have it be an enjoyable experience (although he can swim). Thanks, friends, hope
to see you soon. From Grants Pass, Oregon.

By Lee on Tuesday, June 15, 1999 – 11:28 pm:

Tom, thanks much for the advice. I managed to get the jib halyard lock in so the distance to the transom from the main halyard block is at least close to the tuning guide. I met a local sailor with some C-15 racing experience this weekend and he told me that I needed a larger jib sail and that I should not have left the jib furler in. This makes the bottom of the jib sail 6″+ above the deck. He said it should be a “deck sweeper”. Do you guys concur? Any idea where I can get good used C-15 sails? Are larger jib sails available? Thanks much, Lee

Hey 452, I’ve got your slightly younger brother (468) here in Ashland; you ever get to Howard Prairie lake?

By 452 on Monday, June 28, 1999 – 04:05 pm:

Hull 452 update.

We have met some great sailing folk in Southern Oregon. Much of the tuning guide is making more sense. Went sailing and had great fun…not racing yet. Met all C-15 owners through the E-mail circuit first and contacted each individually in the following weeks.

This is a wonderful network of sailing enthusiasts.

By EzraS on Wednesday, June 30, 1999 – 03:54 pm:

I have just recently been forced to buy a new factory rudder, and on inspection I found the leading edge to be lopsided. It curves mainly in one direction, and on the other side has a much sharper edge.Is this normall?
And what can I do to fix it?

By Anonymous on Saturday, July 3, 1999 – 10:04 am:

I was getting my C-15 ready to sell, and on inspection in the bow compartment, I found a loose set of 6 weights that weigh a TON!!! The weights are connected together and are about a foot long total, each weight is about 4 X 4 inches. It appears these have come loose from somewhere, but where…and what are they used for? I have not noticed these before and cannot recall when or why they may have come loose. Do they belong there? How do I replace them if they belong there? Thanks!!!

By John Payne on Monday, July 5, 1999 – 07:01 am:

To EzraS

I’ve seen several new factory boards but never one with any pronounced asymmetry. Usually they’re pretty good and all you need to do is sand and smooth the leading edge to a nice curve. What you describe does not sound normal to me.

By John Payne on Monday, July 5, 1999 – 07:12 am:

To Anonymous

Sound like these are weights installed to bring an underweight boat up to the minimum. We weigh all boats at major regattas such as the North American Championship. If a boat is under weight we add weight. Where and how is usually up to the owner.

I would just remove the weights you found. Since these hulls sometime absorb water over time it may very well be that the boat has gained weight since the last time it was weighed. Anyway, light is good!

By Paul Bearden on Monday, October 8, 2001 – 11:00 am:

I just purchased an old (I don’t know how old) C-15 with trailer for $100. The trailer is pretty rough but it works. The mast is slightly bent but no kinks. I am a beginner sailor. I intend to restore the boat and use it as my learning platform. Is there a catalog, web site, boat yard (I live in north Texas) or some source of parts, manuals, etc… for this boat?

Thanks in advance!

By John Payne on Saturday, October 13, 2001 – 08:30 am:

Paul, the best resource in the North Texas area for C-15 parts is the garage/workshop of Tom Forgue — who lives in Dallas. You can find his phone number on this website. Tom has restored, or helped restore many C-15s.

Good Luck
John Payne

By GrandPrix on Monday, November 19, 2001 – 04:58 pm:

I have owned my C15 for over a year and looking to repare scratches in the hull, as well as repaint. Any advice on how to go about it. I am used to dealing with wood, not fiberglass. Thanks.

By Bobby on Sunday, November 25, 2001 – 10:34 pm:

I just talked to tom at the lake today, and had a couple of questions for him or any one else. I just bought a c 15, butTom pointed out that the hull was soft, mainly in the tanks and some in the floor. I am not looking to race the boat, I actually plan to use it more as just something to pittle around with, mainly in light to medium winds with my family. If it is blowing hard, I will break out my board and wind surf. The part that is the softest is on the inside of the wells, Tom said sooner or later I will put my foot through it. If I do need xtra stiffness, is there a easy way to get it, (blow foam inside hull, add xtra glass to outside of hull) Again,I dont care about speed, weight… since I am not racing. Any advise would be appriciated.

By Trent on Monday, November 26, 2001 – 01:40 pm:

Maintaining your good looks.

Scratches,dings,nicks in the gel coat can be fixed by matching the color as best as you can and filling the dings with a gel coat repair patch. Matching color is really tough.
Your local boat shop might have a few gel coat repair systems. West marine offers several options from cheap and simple to expensive and time consuming. Check their website out for ideas http//
As for painting the C15? I Highly recommend giving your boat a Really Good scrub. Old Wax on the Hull can turn yellow and look bad there are a few acidic cleaners that will make your boat shine white as new. As for the deck I have had good luck using the store bought soft scrub with bleach and really scrubbing the deck good with a plastic brush. After your done apply a marine wax to the smooth deck sections and hull this will make it easier to keep the boat clean. You’ll be surprised how good your boat will look. I wouldn’t paint over gel coat every paint job done this way looks worse than the original gel coat with a fresh scrub and wax job. If your gel coat is worn down to the fiber glass then you might consider spraying on a new epoxy paint to pro

By Rob Bondurant on Thursday, August 1, 2002 – 01:41 pm:

Does anyone have a way to raise/lower the mast of the C/15 with only one person? Is there a way? Also, I need a set of replacement battens. Thanks.

By Charlie Quest on Friday, August 2, 2002 – 01:44 am:

Bob, It’s not too hard to step the mast by yourself. Attach the side shrouds. Don’t have too much rigging in the way in the aft part of the step. Attach the trailer to your tow vehicle or block up under the stern so that when you’re standing in the aft most part of the cockpit the boat and trailer don’t pivot on the axle raining the bow until the stern hits ground. It’s much harder, albeit doable, to step the mast with the boat in this position. Get into the cockpit, make sure the rigging on the mast is not fouled, pick up the mast and go to the transom, then move the mast aft by walking your hands toward the foot of the mast until you can hook the base piece of the mast on a clevis pin in the fourth from the front pair of holes in the mast step and walk the mast up. It’s a little tricky with a mast partner in place but quite doable.
With the mast up hold forward pressure then grab the forestay and hold the mast forward while attaching thee forstay to the chain plate. If the forestay is a bit taut, you can use the jib halyard attached to the chain plate, pulled tight and cleeted. Then you can stress the halyard to pull the mast forward and attach the forestay.
I’m sure you can do it but it’s much more fun to sail with a friend.

Enjoy yourself,
Charlie Quest

Enjoy yourself,
Charlie Quest

By Jacob Keilman on Sunday, August 4, 2002 – 09:35 pm:

Charlie is right, and it can be done the way he suggested, but I think you might have an easier time doing it another way. I have modified the piece on the bottem of my mast so that you can put a pin in it and the mast step and use it as a hinge. I am not sure what the original piece looked like, as mine was a replacement, so you might not have to modify it at all.
Then, onve you have the pin in and the mastlying down, attach the stays, and then you raise the mast by either getting in the boat and pushing it up, or you can attach your winch to the forestay and winch the mast up.

Good Luck,
Jacob Keilman

By Paul Marrack on Monday, August 5, 2002 – 10:33 am:

Hi all,
My C-15 came without trapeze cables. The tuning guide talks about a through bolt to hold them to the mast. Is this correct? Second, I would like to know the length of the trapeze cables and what type of ends they have so I can make or have the trapeze cables made.


By Dan Crain on Saturday, August 31, 2002 – 09:26 pm:

1. I’m looking at buying an older C-15 (# 1157) that has been yard kept for a few years. The wooden Centerboard is in very bad shape & is not on the boat. It seems to be missing all hardware for the centerboard. What hardware is needed for the centerboard & where could these items be purchased?

2. The area I live has a small boat racing program primarily of Lightning’s, Interlake’s, Mobjack’s & I-470’s. They use the Portsmouth Ratings to handicap all the boats. How will the C-15 fair with these other boats?

Please advise & help.

Dan Crain

By Scott on Sunday, September 1, 2002 – 11:31 am:

I am contemplating reinstalling my old traveler bar. I took the barny post and the traveler out, and reinstalled the main sheet on the new type of pedestal with the rear sheeting (as shown in the rework drawings) when I bought the boat last year. But now I want a traveler, I have been looking at ways to install the rear sheeted traveler but since I have the hardware for the old traveler, what I thought I would do (since my sheeting system is now in line with the old traveler holes) is to remount the traveler bar at about the same location aft as the jib cleats. I was planning on either getting inside the gunnels and installing internal backing plates, or install externally doublers from 1/4″ marine plywood at the cutouts in the hull to beef up the area.

My only concern with this is that I would be dumping all the loads from the jib and main into about the same location in the boat. Just wondering if some one out there has had any luck reusing there traveler bar? I am pretty sure Tom F. would not like this, but I thought it sounded good.

Scott S. Arlington Tx

By Scott on Monday, September 2, 2002 – 01:18 am:

Well before I picked up the drill I checked inside of the gunnels and found out that there was existing factory backing plate for the vang and centerboard at the same location I wanted to install the traveler at (Thank God). The total stack up of the plates is apx 1″ including the fiberglass. The only thing about using the existing backing plate is that I had to drop the bar down to make sure had a little wood left (1/2″) over on top of the hole since the plates are only on the vertical section of the gunnel and don’t go up into the radius (like at the original traveler bar location). But by dropping the bar down, it now interferes with the centerboard. To remedy this situation, I first checked to see how far I could have the board down w/o interfering with the trailer when loading/unloading in the stowed position (figured the tip could droop 1″ below the hull). Now I need to install some sort of vertical stop on the C/Board so that when I pull the board all the way up I does not smack it into the traveler and bust the board.

Scott S. Arlington Tx

By Trent on Wednesday, September 11, 2002 – 02:04 pm:

Scott your putting that big heavy traveler bar back in your boat and drilling more holes? I wish I could convince you to get rid of it. I think my traveler bar is used as a security bar on a garage door.

Stern sheeting allows for two types of traveler systems which weigh a fraction of the traveler bar require less junk in the center of the boat and in some ways is much cheaper in the long run.

A split mainsheet traveler system is very simple and slick. The stern end of the main sheet is split into two identical smaller lines each line runs through a block on the back of the boat and up the floor to the helm position where the driver can simply pull on one or the other to adjust the travel of the boom.

Or you can keep the normal main sheet and tie it to a line which runs from one side of the boat around the back and up the other side this way you can simply pull on one or the other to travel the boom up or down.

Both systems get stuff out of the middle of the boat which tends to be the busiest place, removes the very heavy and anoying traveler bar freeing up space for the driver to move forward and back as needed. If you move the bar forward you will greatly impact your crews ability to move around and get out on the trap without banging into things.

Check out the Harken website they usually have good diagrams showing stern sheeting systems. Stay away from the idea of putting a fancy/heavy/expensive track across the back of the boat. The track is over kill for the C15. Keep it simple and light. In most cases the traveler isn’t used correctly anyway. The C15 is very sensitive to minimal adjustments and in most cases the traveler is over used which reduces boat speed and effectiveness.

Most of the fastest C15 sailors keep their traveler movements to a minimum to avoid main trim inconsitancies. They do use it but not as much as most people would think.

A centered traveler and a well trimmed main will beat a traveled traveler and mis trimmed main anyday.

I’ve spent the past two years working on my main trim and have seen dramatic improvment in my race performance. The main is amazingly sensitive to trim and has a very large impact on boat speed. In my case I was over trimming the main and had to train my self to look up and ease quite a bit. Now its a habit and my trophy case shows it.

Good luck!
Sail Fast!

By Joseph Hickey on Tuesday, September 17, 2002 – 06:55 pm:

I cant seem to find the tuning guide you have spoken of.
I was just “searching” when I found this most excellent forum. I have just bought a C-15, and want to take out the bar, and coke holder ( or whatever it is). I was wondering… if you take out the coke holder looking thing… will water come into the cockpit area through the centerboard slot?

By Trent on Thursday, September 19, 2002 – 03:34 pm:

The By laws on the home page

Have measurements.

The tuning guide found on the C15 home page

Contains tuning and modification stuff.

I’m guessing the Coke holder thing is screwed to the middle of the boat and has a block for the main sheet attached to the top of it?

If it is an actual coke holder bolted to the boat then all I can say is find a good drink and use it. Just kidding.

First you can remove the bar by unscrewing the two bolts on each end and simply slide it out of the boat. I used two large rubber stoppers with an eye bolt and washer run through them to plug up the holes left by the traveler bar. The eyebolts are a great tie spot for a small bungie cord to hold up your hiking straps. When screwed tight they wont budge.

With the bar removed you need to set up a stern travler system. See previous comments about the stern traveler systems.

The coke holder thing (barney post). You either need to leave it or buy a replacement which allows you to move it farther forward which gets the drivers weight off the back of the boat. This results in faster speed. Unless your a hard core racer I would leave it and finish rigging up the rear traveler system.

As for the water? Unless you drill a hole through the floor of the cockpit with a 12″ long drill bit so you go through the Hull you shouldn’t have a problem.

There is a rubber gasket on each side of the center board that keeps water from shooting up through the slot into the cockpit. These do go bad or get torn after a while. So check and make sure you have a gasket (a flap of rubber on both sides of the center board on the bottom of the boat.)

By Clark Blodgett on Sunday, September 22, 2002 – 08:20 am:

The Coke holder thing is probably a compass mount.

By David Scarani on Tuesday, September 24, 2002 – 10:36 pm:


I just purchased an older C-15 (Hull #898). This is my first sailboat, so I’m not very familiar with all the components, terminology and proper rigging.
I was trying to rig the boat with a friend who is a Hobie sailor, and we discovered that the boat doesn’t have a Forestay. It appears that the prior owner used the Jib Halyard inside the jib for that purpose. It has a harkin furling jib setup if that matters or not ? I see the tuning guide mentions Forestays for the Coronado 15, so I would assume it should have one. Is this common to not have one ? I found a site, that sells the forestays, I just don’t know what other hardware I need. Would I need or could I use a forestay adjuster, and if so, what size ? What other hardware would I need to attach it to the bowplate ? At the other end, I can’t seem to find where to attach the Forestay to the mast. I have 2 screws (at 2″ centers) in my mast starting about 6″ above the pully that the jib halyard runs through, then about 5″ above that I have 2 more holes(at 1 1/2″ centers) with no screws in them. I’m assuming something should be screwed into either set of holes so that I could attach the forestay to it. Does that sound right, and if so, do you know what needs to be attached to the mast there ?

Additionally, I read in the tuning guide that there should be 2 bolts for the mast step. I only have one and it’s missing the little ring on the end. Could someone tell me what size bolts I need and possibly where to acquire them.



By Paul Marrack on Wednesday, September 25, 2002 – 04:55 pm:

It is not required by One-Design rules to have a forestay with a furling jib, but for safety I think it’s a good idea to have one. It helps setting up the boat and when things go wrong. When the boat is ready to sail the rig tension needs to be on the jib halyard leaving the forestay slack. The halyard is a length of 3.32x1x19 SS wire 17’6. 5″ long and a shroud adjuster with two clevis pins. At one end you will need a nicro-pressed thimble (to shroud adjuster). At the other end will need you will need a nicro-pressed loop through a tang to attached to the mast above the jib halyard block. I will have to measure mine to let you know which holes to use. One end of the shroud adjuster attaches to the bow plate with the clevis pin. The other clevis pin connects the shroud adjusted to the forestay. I also think its a good idea to install a jib halyard lock if you don’t have it (see tuning guide). It’s similar to the mainsail halyard lock. It stops mast compression and sets the rig tension the same each time.

There are two pins that go through the mast foot plate. One in the forward most hole and the other in the aft most hole. The mast sits on the front one and the back one is used to raise and lower the mast. Once the mast is up-right lift it on to the front one. I don’t know the size of the pins. Match to a S.S. bolt. You can find ring-a-dings for the pin you have at most boat shops.

I hope this helps and good luck.

C-15 #1831

By John Virga on Tuesday, October 1, 2002 – 09:34 pm:

I bought a new tapered mast on ebay a few days ago..supposedly for c-15.. but since tapered obviously not factory.. My new mast has a connection on the mast for the boom.. of course my old (non-factory) boom doesnt match the fittings.. anyone know of where I can find the matching piece ?? maybe I can attach the ‘mate’ of this mast to my wooden boom..
anyone with pictures of the factory boom gooseneck and/ or mast area where boom attaches please email me.. I have pics if anyone can tell me what I have is called or where i can find replacement parts..