I was the happy owner of a 1978 Catalina 25

Public Service Announcement:
Keel Cable Fatigue Causes C-25 To Sink.

Fellow Sailors,

I just received this email from a concerned customer. I think it's important enough to share with you immediately.




I was the happy owner of a 1978, Catalina 25, swing keel, for about 12 years. I sailed it on the Long Island Sound, NY, and Great South Bay, NY, every summer and fall for the past 10-12 years. I had it out in rough weather and calm and loved it. Never a problem. I sold the boat in May, 2013.

In late July, the new owner called to let me know that the boat sank! Evidently, the swing keel broke free, cracked the hull and sank the boat, while she was on it at a mooring. She was with a sailing instructor and there were no injuries. But the boat was totaled. I felt awful! I don’t know how much she sailed it, but thank God she wasn’t out on it, under sail with guests, a mile or more from shore. I must say that I inspected the keel cable, visually, bi-annually, and cleaned it with wire brush. I never replaced it. It always seemed ok to me.

Have you ever heard of this happening before? Should a warning be sent out to all owners of that boat?


Thank you

John Fitzgerald,

Setauket, NY


PS. Feel Free to use my experience in any way you need, to alert others to any potential issues you see with this boat. You have my permission to publish this letter.



Whenever your boat is in the water, your keel cable is moving. Whether it is due to tidal currents, the motion of your boat in its slip, or your boat sailing on its mooring, your keel cable is constantly experiencing fatigue. You do not need to be sailing for your keel cable to be subject to wear. Unfortunately, a visual inspection does not reveal fatigue. This is why I recommend that your keel cable be replaced every two years. The problem of keel cable fatigue is not isolated to Catalina 25s. The concerned letter we received from John is equally important to Catalina 22 owners.


We try not to annoy you with too many emails, but this is very important to the safety of your boat and crew. I know that many of your boats are currently stored for winter, so I hope it's ok to remind you again in the spring. I have listed our keel cables below in case yours is in need of replacement.

Safe Sailing,

Lowell Richardson
Owner of Catalina Direct
Proud Catalina dealer for 39 years



Catalina 22 keel cable                     Catalina 25 Keel Cable

Copyright © 2013 Catalina Direct, All rights reserved.