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16ft solo righting question


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Hello all , I have just joined the list as I get myself organised to sail a beach cat this season.

I'm an old bugger , and can sail a bit although I have no cat experience.

I'm planning to buy a beach cat to sail for this season to get myself sorted and decide about investing in a bigger toy next year.

As much as I can figure I need to stay with a 14 ft cat , because the 16 footers can't reliably be righted solo.

Would appreciate some opinions please.

I'm just going to mess around in Moreton Bay , and maybe plod along at the tail end in a few races here and there.

With the usual problems of the fresh afternoon breezes and the short chop , I don't want to be on the tv news with the coatguard hauling my boat back on it's feet after I got a bit agressive and stuffed up.

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Taipan will be righted by 75ks easy enough...but that is a fast boat and will give you plenty of practice.

H16 will give you penty of practice...but you won't right it.

Hydra, is well beheved, especially for a person who likes sailing. 80kgs will right that if you follow a preceedure. It is a 16 foot boat and very forgiving of stuffing the bows.

Nacra 14sq is a lot of boat, good in a chop and has a high volume mast which will not often turn turtle....als very predictable and happy stuffing bows.

The 14sq is often only 2 and a half K over there and a lot of boat for that dosh.

I am 51 and have a Taipan, a Hydra and a 14sq. Easiest is the 14sq, it is faster than the Hydra and less drama than the Taipan.

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Hi tgh,

I would reccomend going to a local sailing club, talking to a few sailors, maybe a test sail,and taking it from there.

There are many small cats for sale,some good,some really questionable, but if you are not sure, get some reliable advice first .

(I allways recall an "A" class at 18 Ft.)

pete smile.gif

[This message has been edited by xmatelot (edited 29 September 2007).]

[This message has been edited by xmatelot (edited 29 September 2007).]

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Thanks for the feedback..

Yeah , I'm probably too old for an A Class , although after reading the A class website this morning it looks like a challenging and interesting ride.

I will hang around a few beach cat meets and see what I find.

I'm also pumping up the old rubber duck to watch the Trailable Multihull champs next week... maybe next season


ps .. It would be great if all the boats on the list had a still for sale /sold marking system .. there are a lot of old ads ....

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Yep the A-class is a beauty ( I am a bit bias--as i have one). They are 18ft--but extremely light (and fast).

I agree with xmatelot--go to a club and have a chat with the locals--you will probably walk away even more confused as to what to get, however, you will at least be able to buy something from an informed point of view.

Go to Humpybong--Redcliffe (north siders) or Cleveland Yacht Club--Cleveland (south siders).

Ps. Pete do you sail a Hobie 16?

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The PT is a great sail. Just a lovely boat...don'r go cheap, get a good foam boat and you won't look aback. Re. Hydra, I sail mine solo all of the time as does the guy I race it against. He is 62.

Is heavy on the beach.

PT is easy from all angle except sailing expertise. This boat will take all of the mind you want to put into it and just keep giving more performance.

It is also a great "coming home" boat.

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Re: Hydra

Used to sail my hydra solo also (20kts+ was a real buzz)--however, I wouldn't be recommending this to a novice.

Re: PT

Good looking PT on ebay at the moment, and a ply Taipan (also a bit much for a novice, I think?). But both seem well priced. If I didn't already have too many boats I would seriously look at them.

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Nice to see abit of conversation on a fairly quiet list .. thanks everyone for the continuing input.

The taipan on ebay looks tidy and I could probably muddle along with something like that ( I'm old and very rusty but not completely hopeless wink.gif ) but it has a nice coat of paint on what kind of condition hulls ?

I'm going sailing as I can no longer do my current extreme sport ( one of my knees is on the way out ) .. so I figure that hanging out ( aka pt) would be harder than a trap ( taipan / mari_ss et al ) .. yes /no ??

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That would depend greatly on the injury. I had a medial ligament injury and found hiking on the Paper Tiger quite OK when it 'healed'.

Hiking puts your knee in 'tension', while trapezing requires strength to stop your body being flung forward on the boat, placing a load sideways on you knee.

Different knee weaknesses would react differently to each arrangement. It would be best to test out both situations before purchasing a boat, just to make sure.



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The Taipan certainly looks good--might be worth asking to have a look before hand if you are considering it.

I also have a gammy knee. I did the damage while on the trap sailing solo on the Hydra when I had it---this is nothing against trap cats--just one of those things. I changed over to non-trap while I healed and am now back on a wire and loving it !!. As already said--depends on your injury which way is best for you.

If you go to Humpybong this weekend you are welcome to have a ride on my A-class or my friends' Nacra 16sq. I'm sure there would be others more than happy to give you a ride also--sorry no Paper Tigers.

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Oops, that Taipan is across the border--do you have a passport? and the PT is no longer on ebay, but I think it was across the border also.

Best to go to a club anyway so you can do a bit of test driving anyway!

p.s. beat three hobie 16s, couple of Nacra 5.0s and a few others on the weekend--with my wife on board (two up on an A-class!!! ) and still could only be beaten by a Hobie Tiger with kite!! No wonder I am bias toward these things!!!

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Why get a wooden boat??!! You are old...less maintanence the better...get out on the water.

Foam core PT.

RE the Hydra...sail quietly and build up. A good thing about both boats is that they are very well behaved cats. Lots of warning about any problems. You can stuff the bows on both boats without too much worry. I sail the Hydra bow under often in 20/25 and have never blown it.....I have watched others sailing it and they might stuff competely but it just backs up and pops out and sails away. Underpowered compared to H16 and could do with more mast rake and bigger jib.

PT is light on beach...easy to put mast up and has a lot of forward boyancy. Also the daggers make great paddles and it will paddle as fast as a kayak if wind dies.

If you have a few years in you the PT will also upgrade to a Genny brilliantly and become a giant killer once your skills are up.

If you go PT I am very happy to go through some trim and use ideas that will make you safe and fast very quickly.

The Windy 14 is also a great fun boat but not as sophisticated as the PT. Mari 4.3 and Buffalo are much the same. H14 too much of a stuffing pain to bother with.

As an ex mono sailor, I can say the Hydra and the PT are sail boats.....the others are monkey bars with sails....fun, but crude.

Most importantly..if you are flying solo and are happy alone with it al and not wanting to take people on picnicsl. The PT will never break your balls at the beach because of strength issues. It is a 55/60 kilo boat.

MHO only.

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I agree with you on the Hydra--great cat, BUT!

As with the PT, there are very few Hydra cats in QLD. If tgh plans to sail on Moreton Bay (brisbane) there are few of these boat around--as good as they are. Also, if a Hydra can be found (in QLD) it is going to be at least 20years old and most likely to be in poor condition.


Nothing wrong with a ply boat that has been kept dry--plenty of new PT's and Taipans are being made out of ply today!

I own & race a carbon fibre 16ft skiff on saturdays(three man crew) and it is horrendously expensive! I race a ply (timber) A-class on sundays (competitvely and cheaply).

Nothing against glass or carbon. ply is just another alternative, with a relatively long lifespan if looked after. But a ply boat does need a thorough checking over before purchase. My first PT cost me $400, was ply and lasted me 12months before it started to fall apart--good value for a years fun and learning.

As the saying goes--KISS--keep it simple stupid.

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Ah well you were right on the money with your last word...

I dunno .. this is all getting heavy.. I was originally just gonna buy an old hobie and mess around.. that's all gone and now as I have learned a lot the last week ...and now I'm dreaming about serious toys.

At the end of the day it is the art of the possible and/or (maybe) sensible.

There isn't much for sale in seq. There are a couple of tidy sounding mosquito's , 2 Paper tigers and a ply taipan.. all for sale miles away.

It makes no sense to spend 10k on an intro year sailing cat.. maybe next year I will buy an f boat , but this year is just toe wetting time

A Nacra 14 sq gets big wraps in old posts on this forum.. but same deal ..none for sale.

I live not so far from Cleveland , so will call in some time and have a prowl , otherwise will just watch out for something for sale that might do the job.

Thanks very much again to all of you for your friendly and helpful responses

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