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Has Anyone run a Spinnaker on a Maricat?

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Ok, I can hear the purists spluttering from here, but bare with me a minute.

Having sold my F18 I'm totally confused as to what's the right boat to go for next.

I admit that I'm addicted to the downwind ride you get with a spinnaker cat, and that's one of the major factors I'll take into account with my next boat.

The next thing I have to consider is the boats weight. I sail solo almost all the time, and I sail alone (with no other boats) probably 80% of the time. So I need a boat that I can easily manage both in and out of the water on my own.

The problem I've found is that to get a boat with a spinnaker that's still potentially light enough to rig and handle alone, I've only got two choices that I know of. The Taipan at 102kgs, or the Nacra 16sq at 130kgs.

It's not so much the righting of the boat after a capsize that concerns me, it's more a case of being able to physically lift the boat to get the rollers underneath, and then drag the boats dead weight up off the beach.

The Maricats size and weight make it a great boat to rig and sail solo, and since my boat is already good solid platform to begin with, I'm contemplating whether I should play around with the idea of fitting a kite to it first, before considering another boat?

I've spoken to a few sailmakers to find out the kind of costs involved to buy a kite, and it looks like it might be a far more cost effective way to get my downwind thrills than buying a Taipan or a 16sq.

So the question is, has anyone seen a spinaker fitted to a Maricat? , and if not, do you think the standard Maricat platform is robust enough to take a proportionate sized spinaker?

Appreciate any feedback



[This message has been edited by BarryK1200LT (edited 05 June 2008).]

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Darryl advised me that my AO4.4 would be ideal for a spinnaker and would easily take one, but it would require a major strengthening of the bows before I could run a jib.

What would give better performance, a main and jib going to windward or a spinnaker off the wind?

I am long overdue to get a hull wet after rerigging the cat and FINALLY hope to go for a sail out of Humpybong this weekend.

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Hi Barry,

Don't forget the possibility of the Nacra 17. At around 120kgs and with 21sqm upwind with a further 20sqm of spinnaker downwind makes for an easily handled 1up/2up performance boat. Very similar to a F18 to sail.



Nacra 17

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Barry you can contact me at


Or my day time phone number during business hours is

(08) 8326 0877 and my mobile is 04 222 97 414

For QB2

A cat-rigged configuration is far more efficient going upwind than sloop (relative size of boats and sail area the same or very similar). The sloop is potentially better down wind than cat rigged, but the best of both worlds by far is cat rigged upwind then “pop” a spinnaker downwind.

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Darryl can you remember the weight of an an early model AO4.4?

Was it reasonably close to the F14?

Do you supply the spinnaker rig separate to the F14 or can you supply a parts list required to do it yourself?

Even tho I am older now, b**** unfit and probably more senile, what was the question again?, I can't seem to remember my Maricats ever being as heavy as my AO to move around.

"Damn! Was that the red or the blue pill Morpheus,but not both?"

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The AO 4.4 is quite a bit bigger than the AO F14, the 4.4 hulls alone have some 20% greater volume than the F14 which all relates to extra weight in materials, as well as the F14 being in carbon and the 4.4 being in polyester (with a Coremat laminate) One hull of the F14 is only 15Kgs while, from memory the hull weight of one 4.4 hull was about 29Kgs, then all the beams, mast, boom etc of the F14 are in carbon and the 4.4 is all aluminium which represents a large weight difference.

All the component fit out for a spinnaker is fairly standard now on nearly all cats that carry one (apart from the variation in the size between them) so basically if you have a good look at any F18, F16, Tornado, etc you should be able to quite easily compile a list of all that is required to set up a spinnaker on any cat. We don’t have a specific “list” for the fit out of a spinnaker for the 4.4 now although we did way back in the early eighties, and as now, as I said, everything for the F14 is in carbon and although it would be nice to use the same for a 4.4 the cost difference between using standard aluminium and off the shelf fittings is large.

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