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Cats/boats without centreboards???


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G'day All,

Our club is in desperate straights with low water levels in our lake and a continued future of the same.

So in looking to the future we now need to change our fleet of boats over to boardless types.

Well I know that Mari's, Windies, Nacra 4.5's meet this criteria but are their any other cats out there that are boardless? What about mono's. Any dingies with skeggs?

And what about rudders? I've seen in photo's flat squarish jobs on hire boats. How do they go? What happens when you rake your mast back with them etc/


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This is going to be imported by Nacra and sold as a Prindle I think.

I have one. They are rotomoulded plastic and for what it is, the cat is light and rather quick.

It takes me 10 minutes to rig.

There is only downhaul and mainsheet but this can be changed to have a traveller as well if you wanted. I am going to look at pitting a screecher on in next summer.

Worth a look.

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Nacra have the rights to them now. They are the update to the Hobie Wave. I got mine from Brisbane Catamaran Centre and they will be bringing more into Australia.

They have more pics of the updated one which is white. The problem with roto white is that it does hold the dirt a little more.

If you google Playcat Escape there a quite a few sites that have reviews on it.

I love sailing it, even though it is not high performance or anything like that. I take the kids out on it and they have a blast. It has a massive tramp so plenty of room. I had 7 kids on it once.

I would ad a screecher for ease of sailing. I would just furl it.

Upwind it is quick and it is a hoot in a blow reaching. It is hard to capsize and I have never dug the nose in, even when trying.

Things I would add......



Trapize for the kids to use. Just some added fun for them.

Teller extention. But you may need 2 as the sheet is behind the cross bar so tacking would be hard with a single extention. I will look into this more closer to summer.

None of the above is needed at all. The boat as it is sails beautifully and easily. You don't need to drop the rudders. Just jump on, pull on the sail and off you go. Any idiot can do that (maybe why I need a boat like this).

OK, I do miss my A-class, but I had to tread that like cotton wool and I couldn't take friend and family for a spin.

It also takes less than 10 minutes to rig and has great performance.

The Playcat is just a ball to play on.

Would I race it. Yes.

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Some further Questions!!

Would you be able to shorten the tiller arms and set the crossbeam back behind the mainsheet?

Does it come with a traveller track or is this a modification that is also needed? How would you mount this?

What price ars Bris cat Centr asking?


Which Kite? Nacra14sq?


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It is a different beast to the 4.5.

It is a little wetter for a start and not as quick to accellerate. I have not campared it for speed against other boats one on one, just out from Balmoral.

On a windy day I was almost pacing with a H16, but they could have been some dodgy blokes on a 25 year old boat with no idea.

The traveller I am sure BCC would add for you and I have not had a close look at the tiller cross bar, but from memory this would not really be possible. If sailing solo there is no worry flipping a long extension around, it is just when there are a few on board.

If running a kite I would think a 14sq, but for ease I would stick with a screecher that is just furled and easy to use.

I would add a better downhaul and also a hook for the mainsail up on the mast. At the moment it is a chunky cord cleated off at the mast base.

The funny looking rudders work a treat and I have not once been caught in irons yet.

In a blow you can really push it hard. With a trapese it would be even more fun, but I am not that worried about it as I am a big bloke and have to capsised yet.

You can really push the bow down hard and not trip, but when it gets warmer I will test the limits.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, went for a blast in the freezing conditions yesterday as the family were away and I thought that it would be better than sitting at the local drinking 3 middies and being told I was a binge drinker.

I froze just rigging the boat and it took less than 10 minutes by myself.

It is a very wet ride in the strong breeze and the helm was a little heavy, but all in all was a blast. I didn't go over and still have not dug the nose in and I pushed pretty hard.

Packed up and went to the pub and had two middies.

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it needs a tad tow in, that is all you can do to adjust them so that is part of the winter project, that and to fix my trailer so the boat fits a little better.

Maybe a better downhaul as well. Needed in yesterday.

Then the next step will be a traveller but I am not sure wether it is really needed. I think I would be better saving that money for the screecher.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Escape Playcat

Sailing off the beach in a simple but responsive boat is unquestionably one of life’s great pleasures. Clip on a PFD, push the boat into the surf, hop aboard and trim up the sheet. That’s it: You’re off and sailing. There is a sense of spontaneity and freedom that will never be duplicated in an Orlando theme park. Whether you’re sailing for the first time or you’ve been at it a lifetime, you just can’t help but feel the power of the wind as you rip across the water under sail.

"The PlayCat is the next logical step for us," explains Escape General Manager Scott Forristall. "It’s light, simple to sail, fast and incredibly durable. It’s designed to be dragged up and down the beach." After a recent test sail on Biscayne Bay, I suspect the PlayCat will spend more time on the water than the sand. It’s a real sailboat and will offer some serious competition to the well-known players in the beach cat world.

Like the other Escape models, the PlayCat is designed to be simple enough for nonsailors to handle, yet offer enough performance to entice seasoned sailors craving a basic sailing fix. Simplicity, however, can be deceiving. Creating a functional product that performs well is probably the most challenging assignment for any designer, which is why Escape Sailboats is the brainchild of some of the industry’s most talented people, including Tom Whidden, Gary Jobson, Gary Hoyt and company founder, Peter Johnstone. The company’s first model was launched in 1996 and featured a super-stable hull form, a single furling sail and a self-teaching, trim-by-color sail control system. It was a huge success and quickly became the best selling sailboat in the country. Soon new models were added, including the very popular Rumba and now, this spring, the PlayCat, Escape’s first multihull.

The PlayCat’s 16-foot, 7-inch canted hulls are rotomolded polyethylene, which is durable and more or less maintenance free. Rotomolded boats have come of age: from sea kayaks to bass tenders, the advantages of seamless, one-piece, oven-baked construction have been well proven. The rudders are built-in with aluminum stocks, eliminating the need to fasten them on the stern. The hull shape includes just enough draft to allow clearance for the rudders when running up on the beach and still maintain shallow enough draft to sail almost anywhere that’s wet. The cross bars are aluminum, spanned by a one-piece, snag-free trampoline. The assembled beam is 7 feet.

The 26-foot mast is comprised of two sleeved aluminum sections, allowing for practical transportability. In fact, although the PlayCat has a payload of 750 pounds, the all-up weight is just over 200 pounds, and it can be carried on a roof rack or in the back of a pickup with the hulls lashed down. The boat is quick to assemble and break down, although most users will leave it set up on the beach whenever possible.

The rig features a loose-footed, full-batten mainsail, so there is no boom to worry about during an accidental jibe. There is an internal halyard and a mainsheet on a four-part purchase, and that’s it: two control lines on the boat. The standard sail is Dacron, although a Mylar sail is optional and the possibility of adding a jib is being considered. Like any good cat, the mast rotates on a nylon bearing.

We had a perfect day to see just how the PlayCat would stand up in a stiff breeze. The southwest wind was steady at 20 knots, and there was a sizable chop running on the bay. Forrestal had hauled the PlayCat to the beach in his pickup truck and had the boat assembled before I arrived. We pushed the light hulls into the water, jumped aboard and skidded off toward the Miami Seaquarium on a tight reach.

My first thought was that we needed to pinch up to avoid being set in toward shore; however, as we worked our way offshore I was impressed with how well the PlayCat tracked.

We overtook a reefed J/24 without much trouble and then came through the wind. My tack was less than picture perfect, but I eventually got the boat moving again, and we blasted toward the far shore on a reach. The bay was full of boats, most laboring along with deep reefs. The PlayCat, on the other hand, felt lively and very stable. With our combined weight (which we’ll list as considerable but still well under the 750-pound limit) keeping the boat on its feet was no problem. Because the boat was brand new, the mainsheet was a bit slick, as was the trampoline. The aluminum steering bar provided positive steering even when the wind gusted well over 20 knots.

Coming through the wind again, we charged back toward the beach on a broad reach. Zipping along before the waves, the memory of pitch-poling a small cat years before flashed before my eyes. However, the canted, buoyant hulls had no problem handling the 3- and even 4-foot waves. By the time we ran the boat up on the beach, I was mentally calculating if I could manage the PlayCat’s hulls on Fortuna, my 44-foot ketch. I am planning a family cruise in the Bahamas this summer and the idea of having a PlayCat to play with is very appealing.

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  • 2 months later...

for shallow water i can highly recomend a Hobie17....why?

They have pivoting centreboards that are approximately the same depth as the rudders..depends on angle of hulls when sailing eg bow down driving hard or stern down when tacking etc only a couple of inches in it...

this is good for several reasons things like weed can be easily cleared from c'board and if run aground they lift up without damage to the case and also the performance upwind is still there....

and the wings are comfortable to sit on for the lazy and the fairer sex when invited for a casual sail.......lol lol....

and they appear to be more boat for the same price as a 14 etc

hope you check them out

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