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Where have they gone?


Spectre
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Yes where have they all gone, some of us can remember Forster(250 cats), Kurnell(200+) for their regattas. It seems to be costs. When the Cat Craze started, catamarans were the fastest and cheapest boats therefore appealed to the newer and younger sailors. Prices increased and the Windsurfer fad took over, now it looks like a choice of Kitesurfing or for the more affulent

Jet Skis.

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The foam boats are unbeatable, and the average bloke will not waste his time turning up to be humiliated on a mk 1 or mk 2. Untill there is a separate division for the new boats I believe that very few old boats will contest any championships, I believe that the foamies should have a Y/S at least 2 points lower than the old boats. On an old boat I am back in the traffic at club races, on my foam boat I am with the other foamies 2legs ahead.

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The foam boats are unbeatable, and the average bloke will not waste his time turning up to be humiliated on a mk 1 or mk 2. Untill there is a separate division for the new boats I believe that very few old boats will contest any championships, I believe that the foamies should have a Y/S at least 2 points lower than the old boats. On an old boat I am back in the traffic at club races, on my foam boat I am with the other foamies 2legs ahead.

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The foam boats are unbeatable, and the average bloke will not waste his time turning up to be humiliated on a mk 1 or mk 2. Untill there is a separate division for the new boats I believe that very few old boats will contest any championships, I believe that the foamies should have a Y/S at least 2 points lower than the old boats. On an old boat I am back in the traffic at club races, on my foam boat I am with the other foamies 2legs ahead.

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But I don't think its just cats, there are similar discussions all over. I've noticed that (with my Careel hat on) there is a small resurgence in the cruising side, there have been 20+ boats just recently so it might be cyclical.

At the club level (while Darcy is still manning the ramparts at MPYC) there seems to be plenty of activity and I for one (when I get to attend/put the bungs in) am quite happy to be "in the traffic" for the extra experience it provides.

As to the foam boats, there is a danger of complete fragmentation of the class, there are now two sets of sloop/super sloop/cat giving six classes within the one.

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In the Windrush class it has been noted that the experience that the SKIPPER is still the most important component of the entire winning equation. They regularly see foamies at the tail of the fleet just as they see older boats in the lead. This is despite the weight advantage enjoyed by the foamies. If Maricat sailors are not turning up at titles because they fear they will not be competitive then they are helping to termite their own class. To have a separate division for older boats will NEVER promote their class – it will only assist in the demise of what is one of the better 4.3m cats still sailing. For goodness sake, just accept that foamies are here to stay. The cost of upgrading is still relatively minimal when compared to the cost of purchasing an opposition class boat. Either support the rest of the fleet or look for an alternative. I am sure that Paper Tigers didn’t and Arrows won’t have half as many problems and go through this sort of debate.

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I still think that its the skipper/crew who ultimately win an event. There were 4 foam maricats at the head of the cat fleet and very very close to each other, that being the brothers Mick & Mark, Peter & Steve.

The way they were sailing they would have been at the head of the fleet on older boats or on the new ones. Other foam boats were mixed within the fleet. To win an event whether its 200 boats or 20 takes a number of factors including the ability/experience of the skipper, fitness level, determination, boat tuning and preparation. Fitness did play a part in the Port Stephens regatta as the races were long and in reasonable wind strengths. To say that anyone can turn up on a foam boat and win a title is wrong. If an excellent skipper turns up on a new boat then sure they are in with a chance to win as the new boats are all very equal in speed, likewise it is still possible for a good skipper to mix it with the new boats on an older mark1 or 2 mari.

It would be alot nicer if the emphasis became more on participation than winning. Would much rather see 200 maricats on the water all enjoying themselves and the spirit of competition then people not turning up unless they feel sure they will win something.

I remember Spectre as a very fast boat/skipper in the 80s. Are you still sailing maris? The Nationals at Port Stephens where the fleet was so large it needed to be split into and A and B fleet was my first experience at a Nationals on Maris. Would love to see fleets of that size returning to the water. The rate at which the new foam boats are being sold is high, if the trend continues then it is quite possible to see large fleets return (I guess).

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So.

Why are the foam boats supposed to be quicker? If it is a lighter hull weight then this doesn't necessarily transform across all conditions.

From my very ancient experience a heavy hull seemed to be quick in light conditions and heavy conditions. Whereas in the middle band (say, around 12 knots plus or minus a bit) the lighter weight hulls seemed to excel.

we need to remember that even back in the Mk1 days there could be a large differential in hulls weights probably because of the human element in GRP construction.

We used to combat this through sail cut and batten weights. Have a flat cut sail for inland areas and open water and and a fuller sail for coastal lakes, harbours etc (eg Port Stephens).

The problem is that over a championship event the conditions change over several days so the safest approach was to have at least 2 sets of battens (to change sail shape) because the Association got a bit precious about changing the sail mid stream - even it was the same number. Suspicious lot.

I have to agree that it can go back to the bloke steering the thing. Oldies such as Greg White could handle most conditions. To sail in light conditions demands the highest level of concentration. Those guys could do that. But they could also handle the heavy stuff and they were not built like gorillas (might have looked that way though).

Thirty years ago I thought the the Maricat was the best small cat you could buy. I still believe that. Although, having spent the summer swanning around on a Nacra 4.5 (not mine), there is some real competition out there to the Maricat.

The worry is that if the design rules are too relaxed and people see some inequalities between boats that essentially look the same, then the potential is there to look elsewhere if you you want to do one class racing. And the scarey thing about this is, is that one manufacturer builds both boats. This is not good.

The Association needs to have a close look at this or the Maricat could go the same way as the Windrush, Hawke Cat, etc etc.

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I think there are a number of reasons why the foam boats appear to be quicker. 1. Good skippers are sailing them. 2. We seem to have mostly moderate winds recently not so many drifters and we no longer race over 22 knots wind strength for association events. 3. The new boats are tuned better straight out of the factory, Mick also sells the boat he uses as a demo boat meaning that it is possible to buy the current National champion boat at a discount to the cost of a new one and it comes tuned as a National Title winning boat.

All the foam boats are within a few kilos of each other and the ones from the factory or Mick have the hulls aligned well etc. The tuning and weight of the old boats varied alot. Also the skippers on the old boats seem not to be doing much tuning with them, rare to see people using multiple sets of battens now.

In the past we were never to worried about hull weights, it was known that the weights varied and we tuned accordingly.

I think its the same in other classes but they don't go on about it so much. In paper tigers I am sure an old untuned boat out of a backyard may well be 2 minutes slower than a new National Champ winning boat. Just you don't hear those guys going on about it.

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The original topic was where have they all gone.

We have now gone back to foam Versus old boats.

Perhaps if we concentrated on encouraging new or old sailors to sail, instead of ranting about the advantages of which boat to buy then we may start to increase catamaran sailors. I can remember Colin( who has started having a say on the forum)saying to my son "wait till you are within 60secs of the top sailors before you think it is only the equipment that counts". He then went out and proved it to him, by sailing a very early factory Mari that also had a very used sail(which included 4/5 holes in the main body of the sail).That 11year old then started to sail not complain about advantages new boats give you. In conclusion lets start concentrating on getting bums on the water and get back to the days it use to be.

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We were just discussing this, this afternoon at Tanilba after our races. Tanilba hosted the pacer nationals over Christmas, it was figured that there is about 550 pacers racing along the eastern seaboard of Aus in various assocns, yet they had a fleet of only about 15 turn up to their nationals at tanilba. Its endemic across almost all fields of recreational pursuit. People just don't seem to like leaving their thermostatically cooled Mcmansions with their Ipods, plasma screens, DVDs and surround sound to get sunburned beaten about by the waves and wet. (Although that seems like a pretty good sunday afternoons entertainment to me)

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Hi Zax

To answer an earlier question, I haven't sailed for 25 years. I discovered skiing.

Today I am retired and don't ski any more.

Bought a 28 year old mari and leave it rigged on the foreshore of Batemans Bay. When the weather is right(for me)I put up the 28 y.o sail and remember. Occasionally a Windrush, H14, H16 will join in and we have a social sail and drag race. Not a bad life.

I didn't think my little question would stir up so much interest. Bigger than bloody Ben Hur.

Out of ignorance I have to ask what the average weight of the new boat is? I think the web-site quotes 97Kg. My fading memory recalls the Mk1 at 110Kg. Is that correct? Also, how long have they been around and are there signs of stress fracturing around the front beam areas where the Mk1s used to fail. Is this why a 22knot limit is placed? Gee, I remember at a presentation night at my old club giving the starter a house brick attached to a rope and asking that races should only be called off when the rope was horizontal. Ah, the memories. Today I get nervy at 10knots and my smokes get wet.

As I said before, weight can be an advantage or disadvantage. I accept that the "better" competitors will seek an edge. But that edge could be more the result of a new sail and a race prepared boat rather than hull weight.

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the new boats were all weighed at the Nationals and ranged between around 96 to 100kg. Mine weighed in at 99. The class minimum weight is 95kg which has not been changed.

The boats have now been around for 4 years. Mine was the first built and there are a dozen on the water. I have no stress fractures at all on my boat and have been sailing it sloop and supersloop for the last few years, my weight has ranged from 98kg to 91 kg while owning the boat and I do take it out in wind strengths over the max 22 knots smile.gif So it does get pushed. One of the boats (also supersloop) with a heavy skipper did have stress fractures at the front beam. I think its a one off on this boat as they have been strengthened in this area.

I remember the rope on a brick being used at a National on Port Philip Bay.. a good measure of wind strength. I had taken a break of around 15 years from sailing maris and have no idea why the 22 knot limit is now there. maybe others on here can answer that one !

sounds like a great life to me at Batemans Bay smile.gif

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Hi ho hum

Re Regatta at Batemans Bay and numbers I am not the one to talk to. I social sail only.

Best guy to speak to is Roger Freney from batemans bay Sailing Club - 4471 5726.(also see www.bbsc.org.au). He (Maricat sailor) organises racing at Lake Coila (Tuross Head) which is closed water but only 100m from ocean. I think there are several maricats in the fleet. You may also pick up numbers from inland (Canberra, lake Cargellico, Orange plus Vic etc) if they still have numbers.

There seems to be a reluctance to have dinghy and cat club events on Batemans Bay. It can produce quite nasty conditions at times and may require a few rescue boats subject to fleet size. It is classified as open water.

If the Nats had of been here in early January this year I suspect that few boats (skippers) would have finished a 10 race series. The N.E, winds were shitfull (if u know what I mean). The Bay is shallow and can chop up quite bad. One metre (or higher)chop and 25+ knots ain't my idea of fun. If the course was set off Long Beach (north shore) it would be better.

Gut feeling is that January would be wrong time of year unless race start times were 10am and 4pm. Why 10 races? Used to be 7. Gut feeling is posible more punters if lesser number of races. Would also reduce accommodation costs for sailors and/or offer more holiday time with family.

Suggest check out ANZAC weekend regatta down here to see if club has organisational capabilities and whether there are any maris racing. In recent years I have seen only about a 1/2 dozen. Few Championship events are run here so there has to be a reason for this.

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