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Finally have the Nacra F18 on the water


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After many weeks of frustrating the boys at BCC with the same question "when is it going to be ready" the 2 boats finally arrived in Port Douglas and we spent today rigging and testing them.

Thanks to Mick from Brisbane Cat centre we did not have to many problems setting them up.

The boats finally hit the water at 4 tongue.gifm Friday 30 August. The wind was approx 10-12knts and a fairly big chop.

The first thing you notice is how the boat has more rocker than a 5.8 and tends to sail over the chop and not crash though like a 5.8. The upwind performance seemed to be very good.

We were able to get 2 on the wire straight away (something we were not expecting to do due to the lack of wind and our expectation of the extra weight vs the 5.8 Nacra - approx 15 kg) and found that the boat is far more responsive to tiller movements than we expected. The first tack nearly threw us overboard - this thing can tack like no other cat I have been on.

The mast prebend and the mast rotation have a huge effect on performance. It was interesting to be side by side with the other nacra F18 and see what small adjustments to the downhaul and mast rotation made to the speed.

Downwind we had some problems with cavitating boards and rudders but this has always been a common problem with brand new nacras - a sanding of the trailing edges of the boards will fix this tomorrow.

The selftacking jib is fantastic and although we could not sail today with the kite due to a problem with the ropes not being long enough - all should be OK tomorrow.

This weekend is Ports largest regatta so the 2 new F18 will be up against nacra 5.8 Taipan 5.7 and 4.9 as well as a mixture of other 16ft cats - I will post further impressions later this weekend - For day one sum up - Fantastic - don't worry that the thing weighs so much - on the water it seems to be excellent and the easiest boat I have come across to wild ride without a kite.

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