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Hydra cats


Guest simdep0

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Guest simdep0

We 've just bought a Hydra cat 16". I can't find much info on the boat . I know it's old and I think it was built by Maricat. The plates on the boat have worn but I can make out the word Maricat.does anyone have any info?

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The HYDRA was a very good English designed 16' cat, good bouancy ratio hulls well balanced sail plan and at their release were a very competitive 16' cat. Every one that owned one from new loved them, but unfortunately they never really sold in enough "real" numbers here in Australia to become a truly successful class. They had a lot going for them and it was a pity as many "lesser" classes of 16' cats out sold them and effectively buried then as a major competitor on the Australian sailing scene. If they had a longer commercial life and could have been produced in a lighter finished weight and a more powerful sail plan, I am sure that they would still be fully competitive with any of the current 16' cats. For their time they were noted for the large diameter front beam.

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the hydra was a good performer as it seemed to be developed as a small trainer for the tornado ....

It may perform well with a modern copy of the square top modern rig of the T scaled down to suit with spinnaker...any one thought of doing this with an old Hydra?

food for thought for a retro f16?????

cheers

d

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You are right. It was actually specifically designed as a trainer to the Tornado, and they were rather popular in the 80's for a while. Marketing beat them and more people went for the Hobie 16, even though a Hydra could hold its own against it.

They are a great little boat to sail and are fantastic one up.

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Adding to the above............

The Hydra was a very popular boat in NSW and Qld in the 70's and 80's having been built by J&S Marine in both Sydney and the Gold Coast. They also built Maricats. It was an efficient hull shape being designed as a close relation to the Tornado - which we all know remains a very effective design even after 40 years.

There was even a Hydra "Worlds" sailed out of Currumbin on the Gold Coast in the early 80's - won by Colin Metcher.

There are still plenty of Hydras around - mainly in back yards and being social sailed. The good ones have sail numbers higher than 1000 as they were built a bit lighter. I've seen one sailed in Brisbane in the last two years with a slightly cut down 4.9 Taipan main - and it certainly improved it's performance.

J&S tried to update the design by building a boat called the Hurricane in the late 80's, around the same time the Maricat 5.0 was built - and along similar lines. There were only 3 built and they died along with the M 5.0 when the Taipan 4.9 swept all before them in that class of boat.

All in all a great sailing boat to start out for cheap fun sailing.

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The hurricane too was a good design with a modern rig which performed well. It too was bypassed by old thinking/materials in hull construction and lost out in the marketplace. There have been plenty of good designs over the years - unfortunately we don't have the market size to keep the manufacturers viable.

The guy who put the Taipan sail on the Hydra actually then bought a Hurricane.

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Thats a little harsh Mal, if you remember when it was released the main contender in it's market place was the Hobie 16 which, if we started to label all of it's "negative" design points I'm sure that the few areas that you have covered about the Hydra would pale by comparison, yet the hobie 16 is remembered with affection, not because of all its obvious "faults" but probably simply because of the sheer numbers sold and sailed and its longevity as a class. I still feel that the Hydra was, for its time a very good design, and if it had had the luxury of time as a successful class, the items that you have mentioned would have been adressed and it could have evolved into a very competitive class for today.

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I agree guys. I had a Hydra for a few years before I upgraded to my Taipan 4.9.

Nicely balanced and a clean efficient design but fundamentally just too darn heavy. Seemed to be a scaled down version of the 'T' in every respect except the weight was the same!!

Went quite nicely in 20-25kts though and also in 0-3kts where the weight carried it through the lulls. smile.gif

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  • 1 year later...

That is a fair price I would say. I would not pay much more for one as you can get an H16 for around the same price with better performance and 2 on the wire.

The Hydra is fun, but a tad heavy. Throw a kite on it and you will have a blast.

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I campaigned Hydra 1977-81 in Oz &Europe.Worlds 1981 had entries from all Oz states & NT,NZ UK Holland Belgium Singapore&USA.J&S exported 50 boats to Europe,& a few to Spain NZ & Sing.Only production boat to win 5m cat challenge at that time.At top level nothing in it between Hydra Cobra MoZZie H16.Inow sail a 14ft Sportskiff & occasionally an old Cobra.Would love to find my old Hydra 782 white with inlaid 2 tone stripes & insignia. Can anyone help?

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I like the 10 months notice. I think my plastic roto moulded Playcat...... soon to be Nacra will not fit into any category.

Macca and I have though thought about a screacher for it to keep up with the other 16's...... or maybe 14's.

We shall see.

MSC

[This message has been edited by Emmessee (edited 05 May 2008).]

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There was a link on this forum I found a few months ago for a sailmaker that did taipan sails (im looking to get a new main and considering the cut down taipan sail for my hydra)

I cant seem to find the link any more.

Can anyone help. i think it was a USA sail maker that did three levels of sails, from standard (old style) through to modern cut of sail.

Any leads i will be thankful for.

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