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should I get a PT?


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Hi guys

I am in the final stages of deciding which plans to buy and I am tossing up between the Arrow and the PT.

I am getting back into sailing after the usual-marriage-mortgage(that still hasn't gone away)-kids thing. Now 40 yrs old.

My last boat was a Nacra 5.2, before that Cobra, Mossie, and the usual juniors (MJ,Flying ant).

As I said I'm 40, fairly fit, wiegh 80kg and have probably 14yrs sailing experience(which ended 18yrs ago).

I definitely want to home build and am leaning towards the Arrow because I have never been a huge fan of hiking.

Also I am in NSW (Lake Illawarra).

So, why should I choose the Tiger over the Arrow?

Looking forward to your advice.


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G'day Alex,

There are many reasons in favour of you choosing the Paper Tiger. While I think the Arrow is also a great class, there are some things the Paper Tiger offers that the Arrow doesn't.

Firstly, if you are located near Lake Illawarra, you have a ready-made fleet of very competitive Paper Tigers right at your doorstep. These are located at Koonawarra Bay SC, in Kanahooka. This fleet contains former state and national champions as well as a former sailing coach. They are a very friendly group who are only too happy to help you improve and to get the best out of your Paper Tiger. Unfortunately, the nearest Arrow fleet that I know of is on Lake Macquarie.

At least five of the sailors at Koonawarra Bay have built their own PTs, with one of them currently building another, so there is plenty of building experience to draw on there.

While the Arrow does get good fleets, they don't usually match the numbers at Paper Tiger events. We had 40 boats from five states (NSW, Vic, Tas, SA, WA) at our recent Nationals, which was about 10 boats less than normal, because it was held in Hobart, Tasmania. This is a difficult and expensive venue to get to, so achieving 40 boats (when only 6 of them were Tasmanian) was a pretty good effort. Typically we would expect around 50 at a Nationals.

Because the Paper Tiger is a class where the result depends more on the quality of the skipper than the boat, the racing at the Nationals is always excellent.

If you had come to the Koonawarra Bay 14ft Catamaran Regatta last weekend and had seen the closeness of the racing among the 8 Paper Tigers, I sure you would already be convinced.

Another added attraction of the class is the opportunity to represent your country. Twice every three years we race against New Zealand, alternating between here and there. Teams are selected from the results of the Nationals. Boats are shipped across in a container, which is usually sponsored. Typically there is a 50 boat fleet consisting of two teams of ten, plus an additional 10 from the visiting country and an additional 20 from the home country. This year's International Series will be held in Melbourne (at Elwood SC) over Easter. Next year it will be held in New Zealand. These events are a great chance to experience sailing in another country as part of a national team.

This year's Nationals will be held in Eden, NSW, so this is a great opportunity to sail the event not too far from home. They will be held from 28/12/06 to 5/1/07. This will be a selection event for the Internationals in New Zealand in Easter 2007.

The Paper Tiger is a class that people of many ages can sail competitively, from around 12 through to 80, so 40 fits in well.

Also, 80kg is fine for a PT, with many people having won championships in the class at that weight. It is actually quite tolerable of different weights, from 60kg through to over 100kg.

And as far as hiking goes, it's really not that bad! On a boat that tacks as quickly as a PT, not being out on trap could be looked on as a good thing! Actually, they really are the sort of boat where tacking can be utilised fully, which is part of the reason they are so enjoyable to race.

In my mind, the Arrow and the Paper Tiger are quite different, in that the Arrow has a jib and trapeze, so it is a different type of sailing. It really depends on what you are after. However, with all the advantages of the PT listed above, the Paper Tiger would definitely be my recommendation.

I would be very happy to provide you with any other information you require or to answer any other questions you have. Please don't hesitate to ask.

You might also like to check out the Paper Tiger Catamaran web site at www.papertigercatamaran.org

I would also recommend that you come down to Koonawarra Bay SC (at the eastern end of Kanahooka Rd, Kanahooka) and check the boats out close up. We will be there this Saturday from about 10:30am, with racing starting at 1:00pm.


Dave Stumbles

Publicity Officer

Australian Paper Tiger Catamaran Association

0400 476 449

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