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Class rules etc.


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I'm new to this forum, but not to Maricats. An excellent venue to have your say. That's what I intend to do here. At the 30th anniversary, Mick, you asked for my input to a couple of topics. As an intro, I've been racing Maricats since 1979 with National and State titles in sloop rig as well as a state title in Windrush sloop. I race at Port Kembla Sailing Club on Lake Illawarra. I raced cat rigged for many years against competitors I regard very highly, like Pete and Steve, Mick, John and others. I have been sailing sloop with each of my three kids for the last 15yrs or so. They are now 24, 22 & 20. Still sailing sloop with my daughter, and enjoying this ONE DESIGN CLASS. This brings me to my comments. The Maricat association committee has always had the interest of its members as its number one priority. To achieve this, it has always been controlled ONLY by its members. During my sailing life I have seen classes irreparably fragmented or made extinct by the introduction of exotic or different (read expensive) materials, build spec's and modified classes. I have recently seen the introduction of the foam sandwich hulls (Wayne's). I was initially concerned about the effect this would have on the class, and wondered why the association allowed this to happen. I hope it wasn't simply a matter of "if no-one protested, then it is allowed". I am still not convinced we now don't have two competitively different boats. However, making a proportionate increase to the minimum skipper weight goes some way to addressing this discrepancy. If nothing else, it allows, attracts the heavier sailors to be competitive. To that end, I would prefer to see the same proportionate increase in minimum weight for foam boats, across all classes, not just cat rigged. 20Kg is still 20Kg on a sloop or SS boat. As far as sails go, let's not play around with technical terms. If it looks different to what we have always known to be DACRON, whatever chemical it is derived from, then it should not be allowed. Otherwise we will need to bring in the lawyers. We should not have to rely on someone protesting in order to enforce a rule. Otherwise precidences will be set which will be very difficult to reverse. IT WILL NOT BE FAIR TO ALL COMPETITORS. I am considering returning to State and National competition. However, that will not happen unless I feel ALL sailors are treated fairly by the organising committees. That includes having separate starts. On the race course, I am racing, not leisure sailing. The Maricat is an entry level, affordable class to be involved in. If you want exotic materials, spinnakers, carbon masts etc, then you obviously have the finances to find another class to race. Leave this one alone.


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This message is from Michael "Humungus". He can't get into his computer.

It's great to see constructive comments. Peter and I only put the motion forward on weight for the cat rigged because we didn't feel it was our place to do it for sloops when we don't sail sloop. The sloop sailors had a chance to put a motion forward at the AGM and chose not to. There is nothing stopping them doing so at the next AGM.

It looks like Tanilba Bay will be an even bigger fleet of maricats this season with what looks like 3 female maricaters getting involved. We reckon 15 maricats all up. This should be the biggest in Australia, meaning great for competition and fleet development.

The young guys are talking new hulls for their old boats. When you think about it $4,400.00 to bring your boat to being almost new again is not cheap. The new boats complete are under $10,000.00. This is thousands cheaper than a windrush or any other cat on the market over 4.3m.

It's a great feeling being part of the new generation maricaters.


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Hi Tony,

Good to see you are still interested in Maricats. i want to make a few comments on what you have said given that I own one of The foam sandwich boats. There are no exotic materials, carbon fibre or other expensive materials used so why raise it ?

A vote was taken on allowing the new boats to compete by Association members and passed by everyone to allow them to be used. It was not a case of no-one protesting. the new boats are built to the existing rules anyway so a protest would have failed against them.. try it some time if you wish.

The boats are new and basically just built better under existing rules. The rules did not need to be changed to allow it.

The measurer was asked to check over the boat in detail to check it measured up.

Basically what we have now is a better, stronger maricat built to minimum class weight by an excellent manufacturer. I was reading an old Maricat Newsletter from 1997 when the new manufacturer just took over and it seemed at the time people were happy about it and looked forward to seeing new boats appear on the water, it has taken a while for it to happen but now some new boats are being built. I still think that this can only be good for the class in the longer term as the class did appear to be dying out.

Tend to agree with you about the sails and personally prefer the dacron to other materials on the maricat. I am sure Mick won't mind to get rid of the exotic sail and put a Dacron one on for the Nationals !

Hope to see you on the water soon, and I am still pushing to have the skipper weight limit put back as it was for the foam boats so you won't get support from me for your intial comments on that. All skippers should be able to use the new boats, not just the heavy guys such as myself.

Cheers !


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Class rules allow Dacron sails to association measurements. Manufacturer is now open. Some people like to use ripstop dacron such as Bob S. on the super sloop at times. I like to use ripstop material in the jibs.

Mick uses a Pentex reinforced dacron sail.

Myself and Wayne both use Geoff Adams plain Dacron sails. I have experimented a bit and like the Dacron for its greater range and considering we don't sail in over 22knots in Maricat events don't see the need for stiffer material such as ripstop or pentex reinforced sails. The lighter weight crews may find some advantage in using the ripstop material as it does hold its shape better over a series.

On Sweet16 I used a Kevin flower main which used a high resin dacron, an excellent sail and well suited to the boat.

If you need more detail, specifically I like to use a full cut, low aspect ratio 5.4oz woven dacron with an aspect ratio around 1 - 1.5.

The advantage of using a Pentex reinforced sail is that you can match the strength and stretch charateristics of the 5.4oz dacron in a 3.8oz cloth... quite a bit lighter.

What are others using ?

cheers !

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Interesting comments. I have continuously raced Maricats. So I am more than "still interested" in Maricats.

Please correct me if I'm wrong. Minimum weight is stated as 95Kg.

The foam sandwich boat is around 20Kg lighter. The class rules do not specifically allow foam sandwitch construction. Stiffening strips strategically placed in the hull do not make it a foam sandwich boat.

It is my understanding that if it is not specifically allowed by the rules, then it's not allowed!

Otherwise we can all let our imagination loose, as long as the rules don't say you can't, then you can. What sort of a one-design class is that? One can say, "That's easy, just change the rules". I repeat "IT WILL NOT BE FAIR TO ALL COMPETITORS".I refer you to the first paragraph of the class rules:

"The class racing rules are based on the premise that all competitors sail equivalent catamarans".

As far as quality goes, I don't dispute they can make a good quality boat. At the same time, my boat is about 24yrs old. What's wrong with the quality?

My son has recently bought a second hand Maricat. He, like most young people, can not afford a new one. Historically he could successfully compete on talent with this boat. That's what attracted him to racing a Maricat. I stand by my comments. "I am still not convinced we now don't have two competitively different boats". If you insist minimum skipper weight for foam sandwich boats should be the same as the non-foamies, why would he or other competitive-minded sailor bother travelling long distances for races? With the talent at my club, why would we bother?

If you insist minimum skipper weight for foam sandwich boats should be the same as the non-foamies, have the foamies made to 95Kg.

As far as the class dying, I understand your club Maricat fleet is growing. Tanilba's fleet is growing. It's the enthusiasm and help from the older Maricat sailors that will attract new sailors, not a foam sandwich boat.


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I think this can be answered quickly as you seem to have some misinformation. The new boats also have to weigh in at 95kg same as the old ones. They are not 20 kg under this weight.

Waynes boat is slightly over minimum weight and mine is slightly under so I have to carry correcting weights at maricat events to bring it up to minimum. All new boats are built to the minimum weight of 95kg by the manuafacturer. Mine was the first built so the weight was unknown. Waynes was the second one built so the extra weight was added by strengthening the hulls. The new boats made from now on would be the same as Waynes.

Class rules did allow for the foam sandwich boat as it is still just using polyester resin construction. The Association also had a vote on this and unanimously voted to include the phrase "including foam sandwish construction" to the existing rules so there would be no confusion for people wishing to buy new boats. New boats are encouraged by the Association as are old boats. Participation in sailing is what is most sort as a goal by the association.

Really, any new boat, Foam Sandwich or not is going to be significantly better than a 20 year old boat. these new ones are really good and well manutactured. compared with other classes they are still relatively inexpensive. If you have the chance to get one.. do it ! they are great boat.

To further encourage youth and ladies to sail the boats the minium skipper weight has been dropped for those people. this is meant to further encourage participation in the sport by those groups.

I have offered myself to not sail in events if it concerns anyone because of the new boat. Most competitors seem to still like to see ZAX and Prima F on the water. We hope to see more of these great new boats on the water soon. Maybe what is needed is for someone in the class to start selling these - to act as a reseller ?

I like the new boat and love sailing maricats. But I am more happy to see the class grow. If it helps the class for me to sit out a few events it is fine. Still get the Saturday sailing in smile.gif

Hope this answers some of your concerns.

Yes.. the new boats do have an advantage !



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I should add this...

Under recent changes to Association rules your son would have more chance to be competitive now than in the past. This is because the weight limit for youth sailors has been dropped. This can give a significant weight advantage to the youth and female skippers.

The new boats are also not unbeatable by the older ones. Peter B. managed to win the recent state titles defeating Wayne on the new boat. the racing between myself, Wayne and Lachy was very close at Port Maquarie with Wayne still on his old boat and decided more on limiting mistakes rather than boat speed. Old and new boats are still able to race together competitively. Races are still decided on talent over and above equipment... as always.

But I don't expect you will beat ZAX on a 24 year old boat, although I could be wrong smile.gif

thats a challenge !


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TONY...the cat fleet with the weight of skipper at 85kg minimum on new foam boats and to carry no more than 20kg per boat this puts the class in good shape. the cat fleet love foam boats, and I would like to see both john and wayne sail in this class, the racing will only be better for this, all skippers will be better off on new boats,even little skippers like me and you; END OF STORY.... TRUST ME PIRATE.

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It seems I should have read more recent posts before commenting on boat weight. I refer to posts by Mick and John of 18th April (last post 27th April) and 10th March (last post 31st March) resp.

I must say, in all my 27 yrs racing Maricats, weights were never checked "fully rigged". Average weight was around 94 Kg, comprised only of hulls, tramp, complete rudder assembly and main sheet system fitted. To find 14 boats, fully rigged with an average weight of 94.6 Kg is most surprising.

I also recall the rules did not specify how the 95Kg weight was comprised. It seems a loophole has recently been taken advantage of with the foam boats. Therefore I can understand the 85Kg minimum skipper weight for cat-rigged foam boats. It also justifies my cocerns about the huge advantage afforded to the new boats.

As such I agree with Mick and Pedro regarding the minimum skipper weights and would recommend skippers of all sloop rigged boats request the same level playing field.

That's just my view.


[This message has been edited by TZ (edited 28 August 2006).]

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It's a long story but..if you have one of the brand new Foam Sandwich Maricats (of which there are only two: ZAC, Prima Facie) the NSW Association has set a "temporary" minimum crew weight of 85kg, but the minimum crew weight for all the other older/normal Maricats is 63.5kg for Cat Rigged. The crew weights for Super Sloop is 74kg and 104kg for Sloops. The NSW Association also removed all weight restrictions for juniors and female sailors. Sloops with two Juniors would also be unrestricted.

I'm not sure but I guess this only applies to NSW events. In other State and National events the "old" rules may apply.

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loophole ?

The all up weight for maricats has always been 95kg. It was actually set at 90kg all up initially for the Maricat 14 and changed to 95kg with the 4.3.

Generally only the platform is weighed and then an allowance of 15kg is used for the rig.

The Association has a measurer if you are unsure of any of the set requirements.

The temporary minimum skipper weight of 85 kg on cat rigged maricats only applies to NSW/ACT and not other States or National Titles.

I am against the minimum weight of 85kg and hope it will be dropped at the next AGM. The rule does not effect me personally since I weigh in at 97kg.

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