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OK, i've been looking at new boats and my father/coach comes up with a plan to get me into a 2nd hand 14sq, get my skills up to speed on Cats, then go to the nationals in a brand spanker 16 sq or F17, who knows, by then Nacra may even get in the F16 scene.

Is this an ideal boat to train up on for a couple of seasons, like getting used to single handed spinnaker deployment/retrieval, do they have similar handling characteristics of the larger cats?

I never thought buying a bloody cat would be so frustrating....

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Hi, the reason to me that it appears so "bloody frustating" is that you, at this stage seem to have no idea of what or why you want a boat. You have gone from Hobie Getaways, Nacra 570 to AO F14 to Taipan 4.9's and just about anything in between. On the face of it none of these boats have anything in common other than that they all float. The first thing you need to get your head around, is what is it that you want to do on a boat. Till that happens I don't believe that anyone here can give you meaningful advice. For what it's worth, I had a Hobie Getaway and loved it, and no, it wasn't too slow as has been suggested.


[This message has been edited by Loose Change (edited 23 March 2009).]

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Fair enough, sorry to have been such a pain.

Had a good talk with Danny today on the phone, guess he gave me some direction.

Thank you all for your input. I am very grateful for the advice i've recieved. See you all on the water one day maybe.

Thank you all kindly,


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Keep asking the questions Cruiser you can't be expected to know what you want now and it will change after you sail for a while. Get the cat your happy with now. Dont pay too much for an old rough one that needs heaps spent on it and you can change over every year if you want. For what its worth it would take you a long time to get bored with a Taipan 4.9

regards Jeff

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For what its worth this is the path i followed when i got into sailing:

- Crew, Windrush 14 Sloop(age 6-12)

- Skipper, Windrush 14 Sloop/Cat (age 12-14)

- Skipper, Windrush 14 SS (age 14-16)

- Skipper, Laser (age 15-16)

- Skipper, Hobie 16 inc. Spi @ ISAF Youth Worlds(age 16-18)

- Skipper, Tornado (age 18-20)

- Skipper, Windrush (age 21-present)

- Bowman, Magic 25 (age 22-present)

I came up through the Hunter Academy of Sport, YNSW Youth Squad, NSW Institue of Sport, YA National Youth Team.

I sailed almost everything i could get my hands on and still try to sail everything i can get my hands on.

The path of 14ft into 16ft into something bigger is a very tryed and tested method. Bundock came from Maricats...

I've also never owned a brand new boat... only one i've ever sailed was the Hobie 16 Spi i sailed at the Youth Worlds... Always had good 2nd hand boats...

Thats my 2 cents worth...

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Thank you gentlemen, i ALWAYS appreciate good advice.

When i looked at getting back into sailing, i wasn't going to be dictated by a 20-30 year old design, which is the downfall of Lasers, monotony, monotony... bloody monos'.

My focus has shifted from a family/Racer to just racing, if you haven't been following Harry.

I am interested in the 14sq because

1. I am at max weight recommendation,

2. by all accounts, somewhat easier to handle than 16 footers

3. I can get a spinnaker kit, once i understand how to tune the 14

4. Tinaroo has a tight little course, I don't need to damage anyone/anything with a boat that i've not mastered.

5. If going from Sabot to Laser to Laser2 to Fireballs taught me anything, it's don't try to learn the basics and race at the same time,

The fireball was actually the second boat that I had sailed, 4 weeks after starting sailing. My uncle, Robert Heiner, was Aust. Fireball champ for a total of 7 times i believe, 5 of which were consectutive.

This is what inspired me the first time around, which i bought an older fireball, and bit off more than i could chew. We put the kite up and went out of control in a 15-18 knot breeze. Not only did i damage myself, crew and boat, but other peoples gear as well. This is what took me through Lasers and Laser2's, trying to get experience to get back into the fireball.

No matter what colour i painted that boat, or which crew i took out, i always had bad luck in that boat. So i quit.

Time has now passed and I am addicted to sailing again, Danny has an awesome F16, which i look at the pictures of everyday, but i'm spooked by that bloody fireball incident.

Which is what brought me to the 14sq, if i bought a cheap one, get my reaction times back to where they were and get my fitness up to scratch, buy the spinakker kit for it and then learn that, then i feel I will be ready for an F16 and go to the nationals.

This is the plan i've decided on, possibly to Danny's disgust, but on a small tight course with kids in Bic Opens.... given my rip tear bust history, it's possibly a recipefor disaster. Hopefully the 14sq will bring my confidence back.

Thank you all very much for the great input, and putting up with the million questions.

See you all out on the water one day.

Chocko (Darryl)

[This message has been edited by cruiser (edited 27 March 2009).]

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Personally I would skip the 14sq and go straight to a 16sq. Like you said you are at the max weight range for a 14. As for sailablity the 16sq is one of the easiest boats to sail because they are so forgiving. They have heaps of volume and don't feel like a big boat on the water.(note the addition of diamond wires allows for more depowering options then a 14)

I progressed from small Skiffs (jd's, cherubs etc..) and went straight into a 16sq at 17years of age and no catamaran experience and I found the 16sq was easier to sail then a cat rigged maricat.

However saying that I would be looking more closely at what is sailed around your area and wether they have good numbers at states and nationals. Its no fun being the only one of your type.

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Thanks heaps Mitch, have been in contact with James. He's been great. Unfortunately, i'm in Cairns so the nearest Nacra Dealer to me is over 300k's away in Townsville. He is very busy though, and I don't want to hassle him anymore, as I think i've already worn out the welcome mat.

I don't think I'll take a 14sq to the nationals yachtie boy (that sounds really sarcastic hey...) I see myself getting into either an F16 or F17 within 1-2 seasons, depending on who has the larger fleet.

Thank you kindly,


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You do realize the F16 isn't really established in Australia yet and probably wont for quite sometime. Personally I don't think they will take off to much we have to bigger f18 fleet. As for the F17 that will never become an established class as long as there is such a huge 16sq fleet racing with kites at club level and such a competitive national titles.

Just my two cents worth

[This message has been edited by Yachty Boy (edited 28 March 2009).]

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Oh well, at least i'll have a season or 2 to see what happens.

We have an experienced Tornado man up here who looked into all the single handers and decided to go with the Inter17, which i thought was an interesting choice.

a. because there aren't too many around,

b. because he says that they don't bury the nose under power.

c. bloody fast, which can also be said for alot of other boats.

I hve tried to approach Cat racing in an unbiased way, and have recieved lots of top quality advice off alot of top quality sailors. I have taken the way of stepping one sep at a time and building my ability as i go, rather than being the pain n the @ss that everyone hates on the course because he can't control his boat.

As for the F16 fleet never really taking off because of the F18's, The F16 had 6 at the nationals, now there are about 20, so i am told by a good reliable source.

I really see the F16 as the single handers choice of the future, as there are alot of peole like me who have trouble finding decent crew (more my problem than crews) and having the flexibility to buy what brand you like, or what best suits your style of sailing.

The Nacra 16sq will still be popular through ease of use, and ultimately see the demise of the F17, which will be unfortunate, as they are much further advanced than the 16sq (or appear to be). But that is only my opinion.....

Anyway, it certainly will be interesting to see what happens over the next couple of seasons.



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G'day everyone,

I'm trying to get hold of a 14sq, to teach myself how to use a spinnaker and sail a small cat so i can graduate to either a 16sq of F16 (another story).

If anyone knows of one or has good advice about them, please let me know, as the season has kicked off and I've no boat. BTW Devons Inter17 has made it to Lake Tinaroo finally, have a look at the vid here...

I haven't seen it yet as i had to prep our house for reno's.



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You guys are all pretty well clued up on all things Nacra!!

Does anyone know the history of 14sq sail no. 69 & sail no. 32?

Both are for sale, just wanted some hints. If anyone knows of any others, i'm almost cashed up and ready to do a deal!!

Thanks everyone,


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  • 3 weeks later...

I picked the boat up on the weekend, and it's a bloody long way form Cairns to Brisbane. I love the Boat and it seems like it will suit my purpose well. Once i get confident with the course and handling, I'll get a spinnaker Kit and get my head around that. If i consider myself good enough, Then i'll get a new boat and go to the nationals.

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You don't need a new boat to bring it to the Nationals, my 16sq is No. 29 which was built in 1991, its still quick enough to do well, 5th at this years states, 1st at last years states and 4th at the 08 nationals. With this years nationals at Hervey Bay (not even as far to travel as Brisbane, and i'm sure plenty of other boats will be coming from up that way that you could double decker and save some travel costs). Don't worry about the spinnaker just get on it and learn to sail it well, then bring it the the Nationals and enjoy it.


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Thanks Corey, I will try my best to get there.

I raced the 14sq today at Lake Tinaroo, lost out big time in the first race, but got line honours in the second!!! Only because the inter17 went wide. It handles supreme. I buried the nose and she didn't even slow down, came up again and into it.

Just need to get rotation sorted and tighten the tillers.

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