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Cyclone 13 Technical Notes

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What is a Cyclone 13?

The Cyclone 13 is a lightweight high performance one-design sailboat.

Who built the Cyclone 13?

It was built by Capri Sailboats. Capri is part of

Catalina Yachts
21200 Victory Blvd.
Woodland Hills, CA 91367
Tel. (818) 884-7700, Fax. (818) 884-3810
7200 Bryan Dairy Rd.
Largo, FL 34646

What are the specifications of the Cyclone 13?

Length: 13 ft.
Beam: 4 ft. 11 in.
Draft: 2 ft. 10 in. scaled
Weight: 148 lbs.
Sail area: 74 sq. ft. (U.S. Sailing's handicap listings also indicate another larger sail)
Hull: fiberglass reinforced plastic
Spars: aluminum
Crew: one or two
Rating: D-PN 96.3 (see the current Portsmouth yardstick at U.S. Sailing
First built: 1972
Number built: 2,350
Designer: Frank Butler
--A Field Guide to Sailboats of North America (2nd ed. 1994) by Richard M. Sherwood,
Length: 3.95 m (12.96 ft)
Beam: 1.50 m (4.92 ft)
Weight: 66 kg (146 lbs)
Mainsail: 9,2 qm
--Metric specifications
The Cyclone 13 underwent a National class change in 1977 when the sail area was reduced to 74 Sq. Ft. from the original size of 78. This was accomplished by the shortening of the mast and recutting the sail. This was offered as a free modification by the factory although anyone not racing their boat at the time may not have made the change.
--Glen Uslan
,DPN,BN0-1,BN2-3,BN4,BN5-9,CODE [Beaufort ranges]
Cyclone 13,101,102,100.5,100.3,,CLN13
Cyclone 13 SA=74,96.9,98.7,97.2,95.6,,CLN132
--Portsmouth handicaps, Canandaigua Yacht Club, Genoa Only Fleet
Cyclone 13 120
--Yardstick-Zahlen fur Jollen

Can you describe the Cyclone 13?

Sherwood, above, gives this short description, "Bendy mast, short forestay, loose-footed sail, mid-boom sheeting."

Skippers have posted their "reviews" of the Cyclone 13 at SailNet and there is also some Q & A

For illustration, here's the front of the original sales brochure [large file] courtesy of Richard Corbett.

What's the history of the Cyclone?

I stumbled onto your website while looking at a Cyclone 13 for sale on Ebay. I was amused at your information regarding this boat and thought that I might give you a little insight.

If you have an original brochure from the Cyclone, I am sailing boat number 18. Those photos were taken in 1972 in Westlake Village California. The other two sailors are Peter Drasnin and his sister Marina. Peter and I are both past National Champions in the Cyclone class.

The Cyclone was designed in 1970 and began production in 1971. 16 boats were built before the boat was redesigned to include the hard chine in the rear half of the boat. Boat number 129 that is listed for sale was actually the first National Championship boat sailed by Pete Schoonmaker. I have owned numbers 165, 777 and 1715. After I won the National Championship in 1976, I sailed a modified version of the boat in the 1977 One of a Kind regatta. Peter Drasnin sailed the standard boat. My modifications included a stern sheeting system as well as a smaller 72 Sq. foot sail in place of the standard 79 sq. foot rig. After 10 days of racing, I had proven to the association that the modified version was faster and easier to sail. The decision was then made to reduce the sail area on all boats. People were allowed to return their sails to the factory for modifications and were told to cut 18 inches from the top of the mast.

My plans for the stern sheeting were declined by the association and thus, the center sheeting remains. Most people ran only a 3 purchase mainsheet instead of the standard four. This allows for a considerably shorter mainsheet which takes less time to pull in after a leeward mark rounding.

The Cyclone was never quite as fast as the Laser and when the Laser was accepted as an Olympic class, the Cyclone fleet died out. Catalina Yachts now builds the Capri 13 as a club sailor but no real association exists for that boat.

I have not sailed a Cyclone in over 20 years but am interested in finding one in Southern California to go play with. If you ever hear of one, please feel free to pass it along to me. If you or anyone else would like more history on the class or the development of the boat, please feel free to contact me.

--Glen Uslan [ UslanHCC (at) aol (dot) com ]

P.S. One of the best tricks about Cyclone sailing is lifting the daggerboard about 6" when sailing to weather in heavy air. The boat becomes much more stable although it does drift a bit more.

The older mast's upper section is 14' long, the newer mast's is 12' 8' long. For both, the lower section is 8' long with a 13" sleeve that inserts into the upper section. On the older mast I've seen, the halyard slot goes all the way down, and I could not see where the vang block or cunningham blocks attached.

Does Catalina still build a boat like the Cyclone 13?

The Capri 13 (or Catalina 13 [pdf]) took the place of the Cyclone 13 in the product line, though it is no longer listed on its web site. It appears the closest Catalina boat in size still in production is the Catalina Expo 12.5, one of the newer and less demanding wider-hulled boats with simplified rigging.

What is my Cyclone 13 worth? or What should I expect to pay for a Cyclone 13? Where can I buy a Cyclone 13?

I've listed some sold and for sale on the fleet roster. You can also consult the Marine Blue Book.

Can I get parts for a Cyclone 13? Where?

Some parts are still available for the Cyclone 13 through Catalina.

Susan Laine made a replacement sail from a Sailrite kit.

One cyclone owners manual
One Capri sailboats General handbook, and
One Cyclone cloth jacket patch (badge)
$10.00 plus USPS priority mailing costs (under $20 total) offered by George Albaugh, in the Annapolis, Maryland area albaughg at comcast.net
(George is a Moth sailor.)

I have two Cyclone 13 enamel pins from around 1974. These pins were offered for sale by the factory at that time. They are about 1.5" in diameter and are blue enamel with a Cyclone sailboat in the center. If you are interested, please contact me at uslanhcc [at] aol [dot]com.
--Glen Uslan

How do I rig my Cyclone 13?

Here is an overall view from the Owner's Manual.

Here are specifications on the hull, mast and boom, and sail, courtesy of Eric Duris.

You might find this interactive diagram for the Banshee helpful.

Here is how I rig mine.

Is there a complete list of the components of a Cyclone 13?

Here is the Rigging Kit Check List.

My Cyclone has a one piece mast, so why do I see references to a two piece mast? (or vice versa?)

I understand it started with a one piece mast and this was later changed to two piece to make car topping and trailering easier.

Should there be something in the base of the mast step to keep the mast from abrading through the hull?

There should be a mast step plug (rubber doughnut). These are available from Catalina,
per Wallace Bruce, Wob623 at aol.com

If the base of the mast step works loose, how do I tell if it's properly positioned during repair?

I am told it should be positioned so that a plumb line from the top of the mast is two inches behind the mast at the deck,
per repairs done for Allen Green ATGreen1 at aol.com

Why do some Cyclones have "the traveller right at the stern, with three blocks on the boom, one at the very outermost end which feeds down to the traveller"?

Another change that was considered at the time [1977] was a stern sheeting system. While allowing for easier sail control, the stern sheeting system required a longer mainsheet. It was also felt that the stern sheeting system could create severe mast bend in the elliptical mast and cause premature failure. The association members therefore voted against this modification for class racing but some owners made the modification anyway.
--Glen Uslan

What is the United States Sailing Association code for the Cyclone 13?

Its USSA code is CAT13.

Can I get a replacement Owner's Manual for the Cyclone 13?

These have been available through Catalina. Here is a scanned version [8 pp. PDF] courtesy of Richard Corbett, and another [16 pp. pdf] I did. His smaller file is 2:1 pages, my larger file is 1:1.

Can I cartop a Cyclone 13?

It's possible, even on a Chevrolet Vega, as you can see on the back of the original sales brochure [large file] courtesy of Richard Corbett.

Is there an Owners Association for the Cyclone 13?

Cyclone 13 owners, along with other Catalina owners without an organized association, can join the International All Catalina Alliance (formerly the All Catalina Association). You will find links to download an IACA membership application at Mainsheet magazine web site. Your membership includes a subscription to Mainsheet.

While the Owners Manual includes an invitation from an International Cyclone Association, the builder's web site and Mainsheet magazine do not have any information about it. Here's the cover of the class rules [large file] courtesy of Jack Vrins.

You might find information on the centerboard version of the Catalina 14 that you can adapt to the Cyclone 13.

Where do I find the hull number?

It should be on a small metal plate at the rear of the cockpit. If there is a sail number on your sail(s), it should match.

What's the "US" in the sail number?

That indicates that your Cyclone was sold in the United States. A cyclone sold in Germany would have the prefix "G" in the sail number.

Is there any easier way to get back in the boat when it's righted after a capsize?

I've tied a loop in a line, and tied the other end to the hiking strap at the rear of the cockpit. Set the length of the line so you can step into the loop with one foot, and then pull yourself over the transom.

What can help to right the boat after a capsize?

I've tied short lines to each of the loops on the side cam cleats, with stopper knots at the bitter end. After climbing on the centerboard, I grab that side's line to right the boat.

Can the deck can be removed and reattached to permit some interior hull repair?

I am in the process of restoring (read that as returning to sailable condition) US 965. The mast step broke off and tore the deck surrounding it during a storm. The previous owners assumed it was a fatal blow. I proceeded to remove the deck to allow good access to the underside of the deck and the keel area of the boat where the mast step attaches. The deck is joined with the hull all along the perimeter of the boat. The rub rail trim can be tapped off, although I wonder how easy this would be if the joint was not already loose. After loosening the entire deck at the gunwhale/hull joint. I discovered that the deck is epoxied in at least five other places. The cockpit floor is epoxied to the hull at the daggerboard well. There are plywood supports underneath the gunwhales that are epoxied to the hull itself. Additionally there appears to be two attachment points that are on the transom and there are not reachable from any angle or access point I can figure. I believe removing the deck would have to be done by a professional boat repair yard and at great cost. I ditched the idea of removing it, although the loosening of the hull/deck joint has been very useful for inspection and reaching various areas under the foredeck. Great care should be taken in doing this however, because it can open existing cracks along the deck and in other places (deck was not meant to flex in this manner).
--J. Hoyte Stultz III

What are the rules for Cyclone racing?

I've received this from the rule book pp. 10-11.

The following options are approved for sanctioned Cyclone races:

A. One (1) paddle.
B. Bailing scoop, can or handheld pump.
C. Tel-tales [sic]; ribbons; mast-head fly.
D. Ratchet block for mainsheet - type optional.
E. Cam or clam (wedge) action side cleats for mainsheet, see specification Plate 1 and 2.
F. Compass.
G. Beaching rudder.
H. Reef points per specification Plate 5.
I. Material and size of sheet and control lines.
J. Window in sail per specification Plate 5.
K. Metal or plastic jamb cleat jaws.
L. Riser blocks under cunnigham jamb cleats only. (Max. height 3/8")
M. Two-piece masts.
N. Multiple purchase outhaul, per specification Plate 3.
O. Pop, or quick release, pins for vang, headstay, and mainsheet connection to hull assembly.
P. Snap shackle at clew outhaul, 2" maximum length. Use of snap schackle shall not relieve responsibility to limit inboard travel of the clew as shown on specification Plate 4.
Q. Foam flotation in mast.
R. Anchor.
S. Protest flag.

Is there a Cyclone 14? What is the Omega 14?

Less well know than the Cyclone 13 is another Catalina legacy boat, the Capri Omega 14. Catalina dropped the Cyclone name because it was also used by another builder. Here is a Capri Omega 14 Sailboat Photo Gallery.

By the way, the Omega 14's USSA code is OMG.

Can I add a jib? Should I?

Tell me and John S. skyjs at yahoo.com

Is the Cyclone 13 used by any sailing clubs in southwest Florida?

Tell me and Dan Kapica
spiritu220 at mac.com

How do you repair a leak in the mast step?

Tell me and Pat Oberdorff (US2523)
dorf4ever at cs.com

If a repair to the mast step prevents the mast from inserting the last few inches, will this cause undue stress to the boat?

Tell me and Joel Richman
richmanj at BATTELLE.ORG

What's a suitable trailer for a Cyclone 13?

Tell me and Pat Oberdorff (US2523)
dorf4ever at cs.com

Hypertext by Terrence Berres
Revised September 19, 2021.