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getting into nacras - I'd love some advice


jamesw
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Hi - I'm a newby to this forum. But an experienced cat sailor. Started with an arafura cadet then an arrow... a caper cat, then a long boatless existence before being hooked again when a friend gave me a windsurfer last year. Now I'm keen to introduce my sweetheart and son to the joys of cat sailing now, and maybe do a spot of racing.

I've shopped around and it seems the big decision is between a hobie18 and a nacra 5.5 or 5.8, and there seems to be enthusiasm for the nacras. I've often eyed them off - fast, tidy, well kept. And they can be had for $5-$10k it seems.

I'd really appreciate some advice. Is this too much of a handful? Although I have lots of sailing experience, my crew won't have. Is it a challenge to rig? Get on/off trailer? And is it possible to take a bit of gear (eg in waterproof drums) for an island over-nighter? I'd like something fast, but could look for a cat with a small cabin.

All advice welcome/valued.

james

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I'm based in Brisbane. Checking out a nacra this Sunday with luck. And planning to sail on the bay and broadwater I guess. I'm drawn to open water, but with a crew who are new to sailing I'll stick to sheltered water initially. The broadwater and in behind south Stradbroke look great. I often kayak there. And more reliable breeze than inland (eg Somerset or Wivenhoe). Not much point rigging up for less than 10 knots I suppose. Any recommended spots?

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hi james

what weight are u and ur crew? i sail a 5.8 and love it 99% of the time hate it when there is less then 8knts of wind .but having said that we do weight up at almost 200kgs between myself and crew. if ur a light weight crew may be a 5.8 isnt going to be ur boat . maybe the 5.0 would suit u better . regardless of what u buy if its a nacra u will love it

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Hi James,

Ok, so I'm probably a bit biased in my comments below because I have my Nacra F18 up for sale.

BUT, if your in the market for a 5. something metre catamaran, then consider having a good look at an F18 before you buy anything.

The F18 can be sailed with just a Main and Jib the same as a 5.0 or a 5.8 Nacra, or when you really want to have an adrenalin overload, rig up the spinnaker and you'll have an absolute ball in anything above 5 knots of breeze.

Here's a link to my trading post ad with photo's, and I'm in Brisbane too.

http://www.tradingpost.com.au/iteminfo/adnumber_WB2733261198_cat_Sailing+Boats+%26+Yachts_off_0_sect_Marine_sort_otRZSQ1BJDZfdRZSQSearchDisplayPriorityIndAVSCotRZSQ1BJDZfdRZS QFirst Published_sqt_2_srch_Nacra+F18_state_9_stpg_1_subs_Sail+%26+Non-Power_

Cheers

Barry

PS; Here's a video of us having fun in about 8 knots of breeze on Morton Bay. You can't have this much fun with so little wind on a 5.0 or a 5.8!

http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=o-DnRiP83fE

[This message has been edited by BarryK1200LT (edited 21 May 2008).]

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Cheers Barry

In fact I'd discovered your you tube already. It's brilliant. And the set up (trailer, etc) looks first grade. I think my budget is about half that, though () smile.gif

I'll have to do without a spinnaker and the tilt trailer set up, etc. I'm curious though - why is it that the f18 has a tilt trailer while I've seen nacra 5.8s on flat trailers? I would have thought with the added length, they'd be wider too?

With less than 10 knots, the nacras seem fast and smooth, then with 10-15 seem a much wilder ride. Is that right? How do you deal with the wind coming up while you're out? Is it possible to get over-powered if you're more than 30 minutes from shore? I don't suppose it's possible to reduce sail area?

james

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Hi James,

Mate I've been overpowered 3 seconds after leaving the beach let alone 30 minutes away. I don't quite get what you mean by being 30 minutes from shore?

Never the less, over powering is simply a matter of flattening the sail. Best way to do that is pull on more downhaul as the gusts arrive, then ease off again as the gusts pass.

In really bad gusts letting the traveller out a bit is usually enough, and point up if all else fails.

Cheers

Barry

[This message has been edited by BarryK1200LT (edited 21 May 2008).]

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Hi James

Once you work out how to stand the mast on a 5.8 its really quite easy . The older the boat normally the heavery it is but we load and unload the boat with 2 of us and the beach wheels or 3 without the wheels. What barry is saying about down haul is importantin the fact that you cant drop sail to reduce power more downhaul will help depower a 5.8. When comparing the 5.8 against an f18 to really make them perform you need the spinaker. since your in brissy why dont u head to one of the local club and talk to the guys who are racing down there and see what they have to say .speaking from experience since i can from sailing monos and windrushes and hydras the 5.8 has been a steep learning curve . i bought a cheap older boat to start me back in the sailing game . raced that boat for 12 months then upgraded to the current boat which is only 3 years old . theres lots to learn and the best way to learn is to get on the water with other boats the same and get the guys to show u how to make the boat work .

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Your weights are close to ideal for the 5.8, downhaul,diamond tension, mast rotation and mainsheet block clue position all are used to power up-down, also 2 jib sizes are available, a second hand small jib and bridle will probaly set you back $100-$150. (The best 5.8 at Mannering Park is an old boat with small jib, he loses some ground downwind but doubles it upwind) A second hand 5.8 is definately biggest adrenalin rush/per$

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