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Modernising maricat/windrush or new 14 foot design?


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With the Nacra 4.5 the only newly designed and built cat being produced currently, that i am aware of, would redesigning the Maricat bow section to get rid of the wide hull to deck join lip and shaping the top deck to  have a near new straight wave piercer shape as the Nacras, A class, F16/F18 cats see a return to mari popularity? The WindRush would probably be easier to update to a new deeper more buoyant tapered bow shape.  Or is a new design using the same beams, mast, rudders, tramp, rigging etc but a lighter build than the Nacra 4.5 needed?    Are there any other new 14 foot cats being built here? 


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Short answer: No. And it's really a 15 - not a 14.
There are obviously many things an update to a 70's designed 14ft cat (Windrush 14 / Maricat 4.30m) would achieve.
Problem is that puts all existing boats at a disadvantage - at least for racers. 

I've had this discussion with Brett at Windrush many times - but no real interest - coz Windrush's focus is rightly where the 'action' is - F18's.
There's no profit in building 14s - apparently - or even updating them - so Brett does it out of love for the design - when he has the time. But it's clearly not a priority.
For example - a proper elliptical mast section would've been nice and logical - to go with the fathead sail - but once again - it would put all existing racing boats at a disadvantage - or force them to upgrade - which many resent. I can understand that in WA - where the class is still strong.

Over here in NSW - the class is effectively 'dormant' - so it would help to do these things to regenerate some interest.
Allowing other lofts to make sails would also help as the Maricats certainly appear to have faster / nicer sails specially tailored to the mast section - made by a local sailmaker - Mr Markovitch.

Just to give a small but important example - the battens I received with my new fathead sail were completely mismatched to the sail shape - which was easily rectified by Ian at Redhead Sails - but that should never have happened in the first place…

And, who buys new 14s anyway? Very few. It's most likely coz people can buy used boats at crazy / ridiculously low prices - so there's no incentive for manufacturers to invest in marketing, making and selling new boats. Let alone updating them - which would INCREASE the prices. A real Catch-22.

Sure - there may be a 14ft Hobie 'Catamaran Resurgence' at 1 particular club - but generally the 14ft  'plasti-cat' scene (Windrush / Maricat / Hobie 14 / Nacra 430 classes) are all struggling to attract new sailors.

While that happens the pure 'racing classes like the Paper Tiger and Arrow seem to be doing OK.

Probably coz there's no 'identity' crisis with them - they're racing boats - and excel at that. They're not pretending to be anything else - so they have dedicated / active racing and membership associations...

* BTW - I've had plans / ideas for a Windrush 14 or 15 'GT' version for years now - which addresses all the minor faults and 'glitches' of the original designs - but cannot get anyone to produce it…

C'est la vie…

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