Showing posts with label Comment. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Comment. Show all posts


Engine Cut Off Switch (ECOS) Requirement

As of April 1st, 2021, a new law went into effect regarding Engine Cut Off Switch (ECOS) on boats. So what is an ECOS? It is that lanyard that probably came with your outboard if it was made any time recently. It attaches to the helms-person and the motor. In general, it looks something like this:

They also make electronic ones that you attach to you or your PFD that will kill the motor if you fall in the water or get separated from the boat, but all the ones I saw were pretty expensive and really designed for bigger boats where the crew might not notice that someone went overboard.

Here is how the actual law reads:

(a) IN GENERAL.—Section 4312 of title 46, United States Code, is amended—
 (1) by redesignating subsections (b), (c), and (d) as subsections (c), (d), and (e), respectively;
 (2) by inserting after subsection (a) the following:
   ``(1) IN GENERAL.—An individual operating a covered recreational vessel shall use an engine
         cut-off switch link while operating on plane or above displacement speed.
   ``(2) EXCEPTIONS.—The requirement under paragraph (1) shall not apply if—
    ``(A) the main helm of the covered vessel is installed within an enclosed cabin; or
    ``(B) the vessel does not have an engine cut-off switch and is not required to have one under
        subsection (a).’’.
 (b) CIVIL PENALTY.—Section 4311 of title 46, United States Code, is amended by—
  (1) redesignating subsections (c), (d), (e), (f), and (g) as subsections (d), (e), (f), (g),
      and (h), respectively; and
  (2) inserting after subsection (b) the following:
   ``(c) A person violating section 4312(b) of this title is liable to the United States Government
       for a civil penalty of not more than—
    ``(1) $100 for the first offense;
    ``(2) $250 for the second offense; and
    ``(3) $500 for any subsequent offense.’’.
 (c) EFFECTIVE DATE.—The amendments made in subsections (a) and (b) shall take effect 90 days after
     the date of the enactment of this section, unless the Commandant, prior to the date that is 90
     days after the date of the enactment of this section, determines that the use requirement
     enacted in subsection (a) would not promote recreational boating safety.

I'm not a lawyer but after parsing through a bunch of the law and various other sites on this, here is my understanding of what this means for our Catalina 22. It doesn't apply to boats 26 feet or longer or if the helm is enclosed in a cabin. That doesn't rule out the Catalina 22. The critical passage in there for the Catalina 22 is "while operating on plane or above displacement speed". In general, sailboats just don't get on plane (okay, some of those America's Cup ones do, but we aren't talking about low-flying wind-powered airplanes). It also doesn't apply if your boat or motor didn't come with an ECOS (ours did). Here is what the Coast Guard FAQ says about being "on plane": "Sailing vessels are generally not capable of getting 'on plane' because of their displacement hull, whereas a ski boat, bass boat or runabout can usually achieve planing with little effort."

What does "or above displacement speed" mean? Well, the displacement speed provided by this formula:

The LWL is the Length at Water Line in feet. On a 1985 Catalina 22, the LWL is 19'4" or 19.33 feet, so the displacement speed is 5.93 knots. So this rule could apply if we are under motor moving faster than 5.93 knots, which theoretically could happen if we are moving at full speed with a tide in our favor. If your boat has a ECOS (which are required on all new boats and motors) and you are under motor moving faster than 5.93 knots (for a Catalina 22), you should have that ECOS attached to both you and the switch. This is pretty infrequent, so just make sure you have the cord nearby.

The more likely place that a sailor will run into trouble with the rule is on their dinghy. Some dinghies definitely can get on plane, and that's where you can get into trouble for not having a ECOS.

In general, besides the rules, just don't be stupid about it. Use one where a kill switch makes sense. Your chances of getting stopped by the Coast Guard are low. The most likely place you will run into trouble is if you fall into the water and your boat smashes into something else or comes around and runs you over. Then they will likely fine you on top of your other problems. These rules are there to codify common sense, which some boaters just don't seem to have.


A Busy Day of Not Sailing: Mounting The Outhaul and Tiller Stay

Spring line to the concrete
Whipping indicating where to tie up.

We did a lot more maintenance on the boat today.

We bought another snubber yesterday for our fifth dock line. This allows us to keep the boat nicely away from the dock in all directions. Our host moved a cleat for us on the dock, and the new position really helps. We also are whipping the dock lines to mark them at places so that we can very quickly get them adjusted just right when we pull in. This will make docking faster.

Pulpit eyes for spinnaker sheet blocks.

We put on new pulpit eyes on the stanchions for the spinnaker sheet blocks. Catalina Direct says that Catalina 22s have always used 1" thick tubing for the stern pulpit, but ours is made of 7/8" tubing. The pulpit eyes that we got were too large. They worked for our first time out, but we needed hardware that fits for a more permanent mounting. We found some hardware that will work at Fisheries Supply that fits the 7/8" tubing when used with a couple of D-shackles.

Blocks for the mainsail outhaul.

We mounted new blocks for the mainsail outhaul

Tiller stay.

And finally, we added our new tiller stay tiller controller. This was from a kit from Catalina Direct. They have several videos of projects to perform on a Catalina 22. The demo for installing this is on the Video Projects DVD volume 2. This allows the captain to leave the tiller for short periods without losing heading, as well as not having to fight the tiller so much. It also means that we do not have to tie up the tiller when we dock. It took us maybe two hours to install the whole thing. We did not do the complicated epoxy thing on the tiller.

Note that the video and directions are not clear on where to mount the fairleads that direct the line to the tiller. They say to mount them one inch inboard from the thingy on the side, but not how high off the seat. We mounted them just a little too low when the seat cushions are in place and will need to move them up an inch or so.


Greg's Background

Although I have never really sailed, I have pretty much always wanted a sailboat. My father had a small sailboat when I was a kid, although we didn't use it much. He, however, had dreams of owning a bigger sailboat. As a teenager, I read Chapman Piloting & Seamanship cover to cover.

After looking at the possibilities for sail boats, I decided that either I wanted a 70' sloop or ketch with staterooms and a crew, or, more realistically, a 20' to 24' sloop with a swing keel that fit on a trailer. I figured that a 20-24' boat wasn't going to capsize frequently, and would be suitable for sailing anywhere except open ocean. (Ernest Shackleton sailed a 22' boat 800 miles across the open ocean, but he really did not have a choice.)

After examining the options, I decided that a Catalina 22 was about exactly the right boat. It had sleek lines, and was easily trailerable. Some 30 years+ later my wife and I now own one.

This blog and the associated articles will chronicle our experiences with purchasing, owning, maintaining, and sailing this boat. We intend this to be a a place where we can post what we have learned as a resource to others. We will answer the stupid questions that everyone that has owned a boat before already knows, because we just asked that stupid question and had to find the answer. We will link to other content on the web that we find useful. We will also write all the standard stuff that goes into a captain's log, although we will use Gregorian dates instead of stardates, to the dismay of my Star Trek fanatic wife.

We have chosen to use a very loose definition of a yacht for the name of this blog. Some definitions of "yacht" pick an arbitrary size and state that any vessel shorter than that is a boat and not a yacht. The definition we chose is simply "a vessel used for private cruising, racing, or other noncommercial purposes". I would argue that the difference is whether it has an enclosed cabin allowing comfortable overnight accommodations. In any case, regardless of the size of the vessel, the act of having one is "yachting".

We are both pretty experienced "computer people", so where it makes sense, we will provide software tools that will help with maintaining a boat.



Welcome to Greg and Sandi's Catalina 22 owner log/blog. My husband and I are excited to join the community of sail boaters, Catalina owners and other trailer sailers alike. We decided to start this blog as an updated version of the standard ship's log, and a way to share with others what we learn along the way.

First, some background...

Since we live in the greater Seattle area, we have a myriad of options for both fresh water and salt water sailing. Nearby, the San Juan Islands are recognized as a prime sailing destination both for their beauty and the protected waterways of Puget Sound. Other nearby lakes offer fresh water destinations, and Victoria, Vancouver and the Inside Passage are all within reach. We live within view of the large and beautiful Lake Washington, where I'm able to see boats out daily much of the year, even in our all too common Pacific Northwest liquid form of sunshine that some call rain. Boating in general is very popular in the region and we're looking forward to getting out on the water and creating many lasting memories with both family and friends.

Growing up in Miami, Fla., another boating mecca, I learned to sail as a child. One summer, when I was about 10, I took a sailing class with my best friend that was offered thru Girl Scouts. A couple of times each week, we attended classes and sailed dinghys around a large harbor, in between lots of large yachts moored offshore. We learned to control our little dinghys pretty quickly since a wrong move could have sent us crashing into a large and expensive yacht! The classes culminated in a day long sail south along the Miami coastline to a nearby island, circumnavigation of the island, a quick shore trip for packed lunches, and finally the long sail back home.  I think that was the day when I fell in love with sailing. Then again, it could have been the day I had a close encounter with a Florida manatee while in my dinghy.

Blackwater Sound, south of Miami, Florida
Blackwater Sound, south of Miami, Florida
Map © OpenStreetMap contributors

Shortly after learning to sail, my grandfather, who had a little property in Key Largo, bought a build-at-home sailboat kit (I don't know the make). I remember getting to work with him on it from time to time when I could go down for a visit. Once the boat was finished, he started taking it out, but my grandmother said he wouldn't put the sails up without me along because he'd never learned to sail! Usually, he'd just motor around with it. I remember one time I got in trouble at home and was grounded on a weekend I'd been planning to go down to Key Largo. I packed my bag, snuck out and started walking towards Key Largo, running away from home, to go sailing with him. That's about 60 miles I was planning to walk, and I was around 12 years old.

Diego Garcia, in the Indian Ocean
Diego Garcia, in the Indian Ocean Map © OpenStreetMap contributors

We sailed together on and off for several years, all around Key Largo but mainly in Black Water Sound. In my mid teens, I got busy with school and friends and didn't spend as much time with my grandparents. But at age 19, I had the good fortune to spend a year working on a tropical island in the middle of the Indian Ocean with both Laser and Catalina sailboats available to rent very cheaply, along with some pretty amazing beaches, fishing, and snorkeling. The sailing club on the island put on races regularly, and I spent many of my days off either racing in a Laser or cruising one of their Catalina 22s around the large protected lagoon. It was there that I fell in love with the Catalina 22.