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In view of the recent ISAF developments concerning the validity of catamarans as a suitably representative boat within sailing, we could use some of these http://www.hobiecat.com.au/sailing/bravo.html to bring kids into cat sailing to make it more popular and less easily disregarded.

A campaign to put a couple in every club in the world as trainers would be a very worthwhile first endeavor to advance cat sailing generally.


How do we raise the funds??


[This message has been edited by berny (edited 21 November 2007).]

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If you look at a P class you can see the boat is set up the same as a for more advanced mono. Remote for outhaul, vang, downhal etc etc.

The boat can be an apple box but the kidfs are taught about sail control from the beginning.

Can a bravo supply that sort of introduction?

I agree that kids have to b e iontroduced young but a point an shoot?

A smaller version of the Paper Tiger would be a better idea but of course none are made.

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I tent to agree with Berny here.

What is needed in a boat is the easiest thing to put children on, not something that has all the bells a whistles. That is what makes the Laser such a good class. It is basically a mainsheet and rudder.

Yes, I know there is more to it than that, but it is rather basic.

The Nacra 4.5 or the Sirocco is close as they have minimal adjustments and are a breeze to sail.

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My main aim is to introduce kids to cat sailing early, in the 'teaching them to sail' years. A very rudimentary cat would show them launching and retrieval, how to sail upwind, downwind and reach, steering etc. Other stuff can come later on an SL16 or F14 whatever.

The idea is not to re-invent the wheel but to get the kids onto a cat from the get-go. We need to get something happening and the less complicated the process the better. The Hobie is there already, safe, stable, fun, fast, and available everywhere in the world now! No designing, building yada yada...............never happens.

And the Hobie can carry adults who might like to have a sail on a cat...............................................................


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whatever happened to the arafura cadet? they were like a multihull version of a manly junior. yea i've always thought it a little odd that we don't have any multihull junior classes. for the most part the kids that train in monohulls (the only choice) are staying in monohulls.

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Hi Berny.

Back to serious discussion.

Start by ensuring that the right people represent us at the top level.

Goverment Funding is available, but it all seems to be channelled in the wrong direction,.

I do not want to be "one eyed" and say that some mono hulls are over rated.

Unless we can put the correct representative in the correct places we will continually be left "Ashore".

I attempted to represent the "off the beach" catamaran community at the QYA meetings for many years, but the powers that be are not really interested.

We have to make sure that we are represented.

I believe that David Brookes, is the only person speaking for us, and he can not possibly do it alone.

We , all of us, should be making ourselves heard, and not leaving this important work to a few.


[This message has been edited by xmatelot (edited 22 November 2007).]

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Yes, Pete, I too went down that road with the YNSW. Waste of time. They are NOT interested in much at all really never mind promoting cats. They are a waste of space IMHO.

No we have heads, and we have brains in them too and raising money to train our youth sailors requires an effort at the grass roots by us, not at the top, or it's never going to happen. We need to increase participation in cat sailing starting at club level. We need to create an adequate base of young keen youth cat sailors who will demand attention. Strength in numbers. We need to do more than turn up Satdy, race and go home!

Now, if I get some numbers from Hobie OZ, we'll know how much we need to raise to put two boats in a club. Then we need to find a way to fund that in each club. The more boats we get the cheaper they'll be. We need some sponsors. Surely local business would jump at the opportunity to have a boat sailing on the lake/bay/river, every Saturday with their name all over it for three / five years for a few K.

I bet the combined fees we pay to YA/ISAF would fund a few boats. *We* need this is money desperately to spend on cat sailing, the money that is currently spent almost exclusively on mono's. I believe there is money available through our clubs from 'Sport and REC' if we get organised.

C'mon ppl, we have to *do* something, something more than just whine about being hard done by.


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Just out of curiousity, is the number of juniors sailing mono hulls also dwindling? Or is the falling numbers only an issue affecting catamarans?

The reason I ask is I have two teenage kids, a son 16, and a daughter 13. The way they choose to enjoy their leisure time, and interact with teir friends is radically different to how things were when I was a kid.

My daughter for example plays all sorts of games with her friends online, and can be chatting and interacting through games with 6 or more of her friends at a time.

To me their interaction looks like a waste of time, but to them, it's just how life is lived for their generation today. Its completely normal to them, and they like it that way.

In our day if we wanted to have fun with our friends we had to go out and find them, them find something to do together. That's not the way it is today for our kids.

Neither of my kids have the slightest interest in sailing. They have both been out on the cats with me, but to them its boring by comparison to their modern forms of entertainment.

I've even said to my daugter and her friends, "how about we all go out for a sail today and find a nice little beach on an island in the bay?

The answer is invariably a polite "no thanks".

The point I'm trying to make is that maybe its simply a case that life is different for our kids and sailing isn't high of the list of things they want to do.

So perhaps it would be a worth while excercise to "pole" the kids at a few schools, and get some feedback about what they would like to do in their leisure time, and make sailing one of the options.

The drop off in numbers might simply be because sailing is simply out gunned these days in terms of its perceived entertainment and fun value, when compared to the electronic forms of entertainment that this generation of kids has at their disposal.

I think whats being proposed to stimulate a growth in cat sailing at a junior level is a great idea, and I think the first people to bounce the idea off would be the target audience itself, and then maybe give thought to how it might be funded.

Just my 2 bobs worth.



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You cannot make kids do things they don't want too but only create the encouraging environment. My 10 year old Zac, sails with me and by selecting the class, division and the regattas we have managed to pick up a few trophies. The one we currently have on the mantle-piece has Darren Bundock's name on it when he crewed as a 10 year old. We only sail 4 or 5 times a year so we don't create boredom. This weekend Zac had a choice of a tennis tournament, cricket or sailing. He has chosen to come to the Kembla Klassic. Zac now has his own mini cat and has completed one race (a drifter on Lake Albert). Zac now talks about WHEN he gets his A Class not if !! So one out of four kids are involved but all have had a go. None will probably be a world champion but they hopefully will be confident enough to roll up to a yacht club and go for a sail. So my thoughts are to get off your Formula 1 boats, jump on a Mari or Windi (which don't go too fast) with a young kid and teach them to sail. Look at the success that Darcy has had at Mannering Park. Young Jason in now the man to beat at the upcoming Maricat nationals.

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A lot of work is done in all sporting disciplines to foster youth , because it is a survival exercise.

The monohullers seem to have done it pretty well .

Funky fast and sexily named boats that are fast and frightening, and therefore very attractive.

Check out the local promo website Live Sail Die , youth targeted and lots of kids on the forums.

They even have a pic of the A that was trashed at the w/champs .. stuff like that is interesting to kids¡K.

Cats are ( perhaps ) so used being perceived as left field dwellers with super fast toys , that the world has quietly passed you all by.

Most stuff I find about cats is not youth targeted¡K in fact I can¡¦t figure if aim has actually ever been taken at any demographic.. perhaps that¡¦s the problem

Buying cats for clubs isn¡¦t the answer imho , because the need is to create a desire to sail a multihull in a fair sample of the youth population

For every prospect you touch .. you will lose perhaps 90% for one reason or another .. so you need to touch a lot of minds¡K

Creative promotion of a multihull version of say a foiling moth ( cheap, blazingly fast , fun , and sexy) would be at least a start.

Builders would cheerfully give boats to a well set up promo that was just too much fun for words.

When you can blast past a 49er like it is standing still with the 14ft foiling cat that your dad just bought for 10 grand , and can race it in a pyramid structured national comp every week.. bragging rights will be trumps ¡Kand cats will be back

10k .. why not ?? ¡K made in asia in bulk , all composite , light strong cheap, comes in a( big) box like your furniture¡K bolt it together on the garage floor on friday night and race it on Saturday.

Now local shed factories like don¡¦t like to hear this .. but it is a sad truth that Asian and Chinese production is here to stay.

What they would lose in bottom end manufacturing would be more than offset by the sales /servicing¡K and the upgrading to more serious machinery

Setups like this really need to be whole of industry deals where there is a clear path to travel.

So we start them up in a sexy , cheap hyped up little boat in their pre and early teens ..graduate them to a F16/Stealth 18 or whatever. through high school and uni .. sell them a fast class competitive day sailer like the corsair 750 through their early married life .. and then temp the successful few with dreams of a big foiling tri racing around ¡§Oz for a big flash trophy.

It is all just applied marketing and there is a dollar in it for everyone because it runs on volume ¡K. and a bit of hype .. ƒº

Cheers tgh

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A a mono maybe needs to be a foiler to be sexy and fast but a cat is already both. An 8 or 10yo couldn't care less about sexy, they just want to sail something which doesn't fall over all the time and goes quick. The 14/16yo starts to look for sexy and that's where the foilers or F14's come in IMHO.

Otherwise, where is this sexy 12ft foiler cat? Who's going to design and build it? How long will this take?

Good ideas tgh but a bit ambitious and somewhat unrealistic to implement right now I think. We don't have that much time IMHO.

[This message has been edited by berny (edited 23 November 2007).]

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I know a sailing club that offers sailing to a local school. I was talking to the sailing master a few years back just after they started it up. They only planned on offering during the warmer months but it was so popular they ended up offerring it year round.

Unfortunately this sailing club's only training boats are monos.

Now stick 6 or 8 small cats in a different club that is prepared to offer sailing to a local school and it could be a start, or at least a test case.

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This is a great thread. An initiative like this could be wonderful for cat sailing.

I'm involved in junior windsurfing. We are, if anything, less "establishment" than cats but we have been able to get a couple of thousand in funding each year.

The junior windsurfing class was kicked along by a club and the multi-class windsurfing association. If there was a multi-class cat association it could do the same thing. Even a simple agreement between cat fleets could kickstart the junior cats.

Now that we're getting some juniors out and racing, we have the leverage with the authorities that we lacked before. The leverage and funding come after the grass-roots effort gets kids out sailing, not before.

We chose a simple tough and cheap kid's board. Some young teens and under like performance but many also get scared when going too fast, and price, simplicity and durability are very important to parents. Some kids like to go fast, but they all like to play - so boats that can take a bashing and thumping are vital in our experience.

If slow boats bored people, why would Lasers and Sabots be so popular? If speed is the key, why did NSW cat regattas attract hundreds of boats when cats were slower?

It wouldn't be hard to start up a Junior cat class here. Initially, there wouldn't even have to be a single class selected - there could just be an agreement for clubs to train kids and then a series of coaching days/regattas for under 15s (or something) on yardstick, using agreed boats (maybe Windrush and Mari and/or PT or H14). Smaller kids could use smaller sailors with yardstick adjustment. Short courses could be used. Slower sailors could get on the water coaching during races.

Later, a smaller (easier to handle ashore) junior cat could be launched, but surely that would be a lot easier if each cat fleet in NSW already had 6-15 kids racing.

There's a gazillion cheap surfcats around, and doesn't the growth of MPSC and similar boats show just how well they can work in creating a cat fleet?

The funding is available (I think, I'm not the person who gets it) on a matching basis to funds raised by the class association. To get the funding, we have to provide the names of the juniors we are training and an idea of the programme. Once the programme is up with second-hand boats, funding for Bravos or whatever would be easier to find. We are finding that the best possible way to convince YA coaches and other sailors is not to sit back and dream or blame anyone, but to get them to come down and see 15 kids spend all day in the water racing and having fun.

There are endemic problems with YA and YANSW funding and attitude, as shown by the fact that the entire YANSW Youth committee resigned en masse in protest this year. But it's not a specific anti-cat thing.

Sometimes I get the idea that some cat sailors think that other forms of sailing get showered with gold and votes - from "the inside" that's miles off ball. For example, before the Laser Radial went Olympic it was about the second most popular boat in the world and country, but the YA support that went into the Radials in NSW was about zero; the Olympic/Youth coaches were actually not allowed to give coaching advice to the non-YA squad champions that the Olympian and Youth sailors were using as pacemakers. It was a bizarre situation where the coaches and sailors want champs who are not in the YA squad out there to train with, but aren't allowed to actually help them.

We've also found that the YA is obsessed with the "elite" and they are just not concerned with increasing the actual number of junior sailors. In fact, their support can actually take kids away from their home clubs and drag them out to where the coaches want them to train. A programmme run by a multi-class association, on the other hand, can be designed to increase the number of club sailors which is surely what we want most.

I hope this doesn't sound patronising, I'm just trying to point out that a grass-roots effort to get kids involved CAN work.

[This message has been edited by BBCC (edited 26 November 2007).]

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Just have a few simple targets.

Firstly increasing interest through increasing the profile of sailing in the local community. Ensure that the sailing results are written in to reflect an active and engaging sport- focus on close competition, fun, thrill, fast competition etc. Ensure that the club has a file of GOOD digital pics to accompany the results.

Signoff the report with a blog/ myspace address.

Secondly, designate a 'youth' coordinator to the club. They're the contact and organiser at the club. Their responsibility is to plan and be prepared for youth to be involved. What does that mean? Plan for an opportunity if someone comes for a 'look' that they get a ride on a boat, have a spare lifejacket and harness and someone to take them for a ride.

Then, don't bore then with anecdotes or stories of days gone by, they want to be the future and talk about what's coming up next.

Finally, as in all sport kids/ youth don't want to sit around waiting for their turn etc. So it's rig and race.

A final opinion- if we just focus on sailing. We conjure up an image of salty lads in woolen jumpers sailing wooden (monohull) boats.

But what we do is RACE. We wear a harness, gloves and gear. We go as fast as possible with an element of fun and thrill. If we wanted to we could have boats that made a statement- great decals and SPONSORSHIP which will heighten local interest. Trial it locally and offer the naming rights/ opportunity to local businesses. So results are mentions of supporters.

Which gets me back to the first point- increasing our local profile.

Now, to get back to the original posting.

I'd be buying boats after a need existed. It's not a chicken and egg thing where you buy/request a boat and they come.

The Dept of Education will frown on the use of Catamarans as training boats- with their potential to sail away when the occupants fall off . Either crew or instructing adult. Note I have not dismissed the oportunity to use cat's in training or sailing as a school activity, but when undertaking a risk management assesment of the activity, a monohull is preferred.

It is my opinion that if this thread is to take on a purpose- further than the 'around the bar talk' that currently exists. Then the talk should include a constructive element.

The NSW Sport and rec site is:


Don't panic the closing date is mid next year.

Has anyone had a successful submission. From memory I'm sure that Drummoyne SC and another club have successful grants for support craft. It would be noce if they could contribute to another clubs submission.

Free blogs can be developed at blogger.com

The teen+ drop out factor is real- even SLSC's with their high profile gained through TV and facilities gained through govt funding cannot maintain youth. Other sporting groups such as Tennis, cricket and basketball lose youth to a more social scene.

Set the ball in motion.

Liaise with your local paper, talk with the editor and they will give you advise on what type of report they want and pic formats and size.

Wouldn't 20 cats running downwind alongside the fleet as they leave Sydney Harbour on Boxing day look great.- Sorry guys but I'm in Tassie. But when I was a kid my dad took me out to the start on Boxing day in his Hobie 14 circa (1975).

Start talking about 'retired' boats- they're around. If your in Sydney and they're on the street put a typed, well layed out letter in an envelope inviting them to the next invitation sailing day- free rigging tips, BBQ, contact on the day no.( they might come and not know where to park) etc. This starts the ball rolling and you never know who will turn up or who's interest has been sparked. That old Cobra on the street in Harbord could be the school Principal's. (no it's not mine and I don't know who's it is- I just saw it there last week) There's also a Hydra in Coogee just near Wileys baths.





PS. As a member of Great Lakes Sailing Club in Forster I hae seen members come and go. As a teacher I ran sailing for sport at the sailing club using Corsairs and sabots.

We've had some youth come and go- but all of our new members are coming BACK to sailing. Inspired by the quality of fast, light cats, and the opportunity to compete (RACE) is a significant motivating factor.

[This message has been edited by slammer (edited 27 November 2007).]

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Hi ,

Some time ago, ( actually many years ago,), our local catamaran sailing club ran many promotional days, eg. Scout Sail,Youth Sail, School Sail, on various days during the year.

These were allways well attended by the many children , and enjoyed by the sailors who knew that this was the "WAY TO GO".

Unfortunately that era has passed, and we all need to accept Berny's challenge, and get up and DO SOMETHING.



Get suitable catamarans

Get the youngsters on the water .

I have allways believed

" sailing is fun",

BUT, just as importantly,

" should be seen to be fun".


pete smile.gif

[This message has been edited by xmatelot (edited 27 November 2007).]

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you opened the thread with a picture of a boat with a swearword on the sails and hull poindexter...

I digress , before we think about any new classes we should do more to create equal pathways for juniors to come up the ranks in multis . or we will go on being perceived as that family that lives up the road and drives a valiant.. get a governing body, get a well thought out training regime that is FUN and COOL, get national events that are well attended and have similiar accolades to mono classes eg lasers , cherubs etc. get a national youth team or teams and have them trained by champions of the sport and fund them to go to world events. at the end of the day though, if people are out there sailing in a manly or a ORMA 60 it's a good thing. we haven't the pull as we did 30 years ago as a sport.

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what about if yacht clubs got together with some of the local secondry schools and maybe make one or two cats eg arafura cadets in woodwork and other various classes in exchange offering sail training as was previously mentioned that would give the kids a better appreciation if they could actualy sail on the boats they make whilst actually follwing some form of curriculum which might make the school eager to particapate.

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Originally posted by shoom:

you opened the thread with a picture of a boat with a swearword on the sails and hull poindexter...

This comment is typical of the thinking that has seen the multihull community divided and conquered.

Shoom, if you really believed in the sport, you wouldn't make such a pathetic small-minded comment.

No wonder cat racing is struggling!

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