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Buying first Cat


Lisa3
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Hi all,

I've just joined after reading through as many pages as I can relevant to purchasing a second hand cat. I've really enjoyed the posts, and the generous support and advice given to people. 

 

I raced Flying 11's as a teenager off Wellington Point when there used to be a sailing club there, mucked around in sabots and Corsairs around the bay islands (Coochie, Macleay etc) but have sailed a cat only twice, hiring one off Mooloolaba years ago.

We just spent a few days at Twin Waters resort mucking around on the cats in the lake, and my kids (12 and 14) are now super keen to learn to sail. Well, my youngest is; his brother just wants to lie around and enjoy the action without actually doing anything, but if it gets him away from a computer every now and then, I'm happy. 

 

So I'm considering a Caper Cat or a Windrush, both 14 footers. I think it's best we start smaller and slightly slower than a 16, and see how we go. We can always add another boat to 'the fleet' later down the track. 

 

The main question I want to ask now regards obvious repairs to second hand hulls.

I've just checked out a Caper 14 that had at least three obviously repaired holes on BOTH sides of EACH hull. I won't even go into the condition of the trailer except to say I'm pretty sure that the rust was all that was keeping it together. Needless to say, I'm not buying a boat unless the trailer is decent.

 

So what do the experienced sailors here think is an acceptable amount of repairs to an old hull before the actual integrity of the construction is compromised (if at all)? I know it will be probably  impossible to find an old boat without at least one or two dings in the hull but is there a number whereby you would just  walk away without a second look?

 

Thanks,

Lisa

 

 

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Lisa

 

There is not a great deal of difference between Mari and Windrush, They are both good boats. On the east coast you are more likely to pick up a good mari than a windy. I would suggest you stick with one of these as they will be easier to sell is you want to upgrade latter. I would also talk to Brisbane Cat Centre to find out the areas they fail and need repair.

 

 Also find out at what Club people race them and talk to them, if they are like most clubs they will give you more information than you can handle.

 

Paul

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Hi Lisa, and welcome to the forum :D

 

 

"acceptable amount of repairs".......

 

Two things spring to my mind instantly.....

 

1/ its old and therefore its most likely to have a few scratches and dents, its the quality of the 'repairs' that would be my main concern, a good repair wont be visible to most people, a shoddy repair begs the question of just how bad is the rest of the bits and pieces the last owner repaired !!!!!

 

 

2/ "Old" doesn't mean it has to of had an odd accident or three, so aside from normal wear and tear in theory it should be in good nick if its been carefully looked after by all the past owners.

 

 

The reality is, expect a repair or 2 and expect them to be done "professionally" or atleast to a high standard.

A repair can never be as strong as the original material, although it will get very close to the structural strength it once had and most hulls are over-built so the repair wont be a huge issue provided its of a good quality.

 

 

Its the old case of buyer beware, and from your description of the first boat you inspected you obviously can pic the "walk away" boats....

General OVERALL condition is the main key, look at EVERY part on the boat & trailer, aside form the hull condition make sure you check the following 

 

Sails for wear along the prone areas such as the bolt-rope or downhaul/out haul points

 

Fittings, ratchet blocks aint cheap, neither are most 'bolt-on' fittings, rudders and cases etc all need the once over

 

Shrouds, these can get crazy in prices unless you can do your own (the gear to do it isn't cheap either)

While your checking the wires have a good look at the mast and boom sections for corrosion from sea water

 

Obviously you able to spot a dud trailer, and it seems fairly high on your list of priorities.

 

Ask to view the boat "setup", most people will have the room to put the mast and sail up so you can see it and actually check the operation of the relevant bits, assist with either the rigging of the boat or the packing up stage, you can learn a lot from seeing the process if there's hidden issues.... EG: nothing worse than finding out the boat has to be laid over every time to put the sail up and down because the halyard is long since departed

;)

 

 

My best advice.......

ASK, put up a link if the boat is listed online as others may spot issues you missed or may even know a bit about its history

Sail it, if its a so-called goer then ask to take it for a spin

 

If possible take another sailer with you for a non biased 2nd opinion.... (preferably one that has some knowledge of catamarans atleast, even better if they know a bit about the class) 

 

The trailer can be checked over by most welding shops for a very small fee ($20 usually) for structural issues, even the RACQ would have a vehicle inspection if desired (in Vic the RACV does it for free for members)

 

Join a local club, the info sharing, knowledge, and assistance will be more help than hinderance, even more so if the class of boat is sailed there

;)

 

 

cheers

Kingy

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Thank you all for your quick advice and suggestions! 

It's made me rethink any quick purchase and saved me from driving down the Gold Coast to view the Windrush which the current owner had no intention of letting me sail before I bought it! Your suggestions made it much easier to be direct with the guy.

 

I see your point about buying a boat with plenty of other owners in the locale for spare parts; I guess it's like buying a second hand car that you know has plenty of parts available in wreckers. There are some local clubs up here where Maricats are sailed, At the moment, though, there doesn't seem to be a wide range of cats for sale though. I've extended my search to sailing club classifieds, but I think it might need some direct contact with club people. I'm just not a joiner really- was looking forward to solo sails on the bay ;)

 

But I won't be rushing in to a purchase now. 

Thanks again for the sage advice guys.

Cheers,

Lisa

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"Gumtree' is a good start if you go to that site and type in "Windrush 14 or Maricat 14" you will get a whole page of boats for each, there are a lot of helpful people on this forum if you name your budget I'm sure someone local would find a boat for you and check it. Each boat has good and not so good things that will attract you, as a general rule there are a lot more good Windrush 14 sails potentially available because a lot of people have upgraded to square top sails, there are two types of rudder systems on windsurf 14's one is a fixed system and one is pop up the pop up system works great but is expensive to fix if it is not working properly whereas the fixed rudders are cheaper to maintain but don't perform as well. If the boat doesn't have beach rollers it means it was dragged on the sand look carefully under the hulls if the gelcoat (coloured bit) is worn through then the fibreglass may be worn as well this is an easy fix to reglass but the repair cost is money you could have spent on a better boat and have less stress. Try to find a boat that you can happily sail without worrying about it falling apart and you'll do a lot more sailing

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I'll put my tuppence in - see if there is a club within reasonable distance.  There are so many benefits.  Our little club at Mannering Park bought a bunch of Bic Open dinghy's and the kids are having a great time sailing them in the school on Saturdays.  Sailing also is great fun when done in company and relatively risky when done alone particularly on the sea.

My boat is Maricat #16, one of the first to be built and it's still going strong.  

For Mari's and Windy's check here first, put pics up if possible because there is so much knowledge here.

As to shrouds, my last set (2 forestays and 2 shrouds) cost me $80 and the dolphin striker cost me $32 with two connectors, again people here will be able to tell you where to get them from - add $15 for postage and you're away.  It is always good insurance to replace these - for Mari's they come in plastic sheathing so you don't know what state they are in (although most go at the swage so you can see that).

 

There you go - all the best.

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Hi Lisa and again welcome.

 

Your starting where I did only afew years ago, sailing the Hobie Wave's around Twin Waters where you begin to realise your passion for sailing and how enjoyable it can be.

 

You will find that different forums, groups or clubs support different catamaran makes and models. I personally went on a simular journey only to find that the clubs here in Brisbane are pretty serious racers of mostly A-class, Nacra's and Hobie's.

For this reason I started the South East Queensland Hobie Sailing group on facebook. Yes there are plenty of great older catamaran's around like Windrush, Maricats, CaperCats etc but nobody will argue that Hobie's are certainly one of the most popular amongst social sailors.

You can find us here on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/SouthEastQueenslandHobieSailing/

We have members travel from Northern NSW, Toowoomba, Gold and Sunshine Coasts and we sail all over the great south east but mostly from Raby Bay where we island hop around Peel, Stradbroke, Coochiemudlo, Macleay, Green, St.Helena but we also visit Wivenhoe Dam and others. We hold formal sails monthly and have members sail weekly in smaller groups.

 

On another note Hobie has many different classes to suit all sailing types, parts are everywhere, they're still manufactured and easy to setup, rig, maintain and sail.

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...... but I think it might need some direct contact with club people. I'm just not a joiner really- was looking forward to solo sails on the bay ;)......

 

 

 

I know that feeling ALL to well...... and No I wont go into it, lets just say clubs are what they are ;) 

 

but having said that there are times where a club can benefit you and you can actually make it work for you and your boat needs, after all it would be a pointless excersise to go to the local drag-strip looking for assistance with a new set of shrouds for example.

 

Sailing clubs will have a knowledge base and a skill-set that will reside in that group, this will be of more value to you than paying through the nose for it elsewhere, the same applies to sailing a "similar' make of craft as the locals do, Its not overly helpful for this mosquito sailor to pass on tuning tip to a Hobie sailor for example, they are simply chalk n cheese and I'd be back with the minnows if I set my mozzie up like a hobie....

 

Like your future boat, shop around for a suitable club, and again, don't be frightened to "test-drive" the club too before committing

;)

 

Kingy

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Hi Lisa and again welcome.

 

Your starting where I did only afew years ago, sailing the Hobie Wave's around Twin Waters where you begin to realise your passion for sailing and how enjoyable it can be.

 

You will find that different forums, groups or clubs support different catamaran makes and models. I personally went on a simular journey only to find that the clubs here in Brisbane are pretty serious racers of mostly A-class, Nacra's and Hobie's.

For this reason I started the South East Queensland Hobie Sailing group on facebook. Yes there are plenty of great older catamaran's around like Windrush, Maricats, CaperCats etc but nobody will argue that Hobie's are certainly one of the most popular amongst social sailors.

You can find us here on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/SouthEastQueenslandHobieSailing/

We have members travel from Northern NSW, Toowoomba, Gold and Sunshine Coasts and we sail all over the great south east but mostly from Raby Bay where we island hop around Peel, Stradbroke, Coochiemudlo, Macleay, Green, St.Helena but we also visit Wivenhoe Dam and others. We hold formal sails monthly and have members sail weekly in smaller groups.

 

On another note Hobie has many different classes to suit all sailing types, parts are everywhere, they're still manufactured and easy to setup, rig, maintain and sail.

Hi Matt

I've got a mate who is dead set keen on buying a brand new hobie 14, he does'nt want second hand, he wants brand new.  Can you point us in the right direction to get him a new hobie 14, (he's not at all keen on a 16, reckons they are too big to handle by himself).

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Hi Matt

I've got a mate who is dead set keen on buying a brand new hobie 14, he does'nt want second hand, he wants brand new.  Can you point us in the right direction to get him a new hobie 14, (he's not at all keen on a 16, reckons they are too big to handle by himself).

 

Korwich, Hobie Europe still manufacture the H14 but it's not available here in Australia. Hobie here are affiliated with Hobie US and ceased H14 production years ago. I guess if your mate is willing to pay $$$$ 'where there's a will there is a way' to import one. I know the Victoria Hobie Association were getting numbers for a limited run of new H14's @ approx $10,000 last year but I think the order has already been finalised and no more can be added to the order.

On that note there are several very nice H14's being sold by those Victoria's who ordered new ones with black anodised aluminium.

 

On another note Korwich your mate should have alook at the new Hobie T2. That's somewhere between a H14/H16 in performance with rotomould hulls and square top main.

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Hi Matt,

another TwinWater story, huh? I wonder how many others have had the lake as their intro to sailing (or  a reminder about how much they've missed it!)

Thanks for the Facebook links, I'll take a look, that sounds like great fun. Social sailing (with non competitive races) sounds lots of fun, and the islands are my old stomping ground. 

I will certainly keep hobie's in mind though.

 

I had a look for Nacras after some of the last posts and there are quite a few around SE Qld, just a little more than I was hoping to pay. I'll keep looking :) 

 

Madaboutcats, yes Gumtree was where I found my two 'duds' lol. In saying that, there looks like a nicely kept Windy at Hervey Bay ;) Just a long drive for a boat that might only look good in the pic though haha.

 

Kingy, I hear you- those in the know are worth more than gold. I just don't like commitment haha. But will see how it goes. There are some learning to sail courses coming up at some local sailing clubs. It would be good for my youngest to learn the basics, then I can suss out the club. 

 

Thanks for some more info about Windyys and Maricats Knobblyoldjimbo.

 

 

Oh, just found this not far from me. In my price range. Any thoughts? I'm gonna ring and see what they say about a sail this weekend :)

 

http://www.gumtree.com.au/s-view-details.html?adId=1076260836

 

Lisa

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The Calypso's can really perform. I've been sailing beside a C16 with my H16 recently and we're often neck and neck racing between islands. The H16 is certainly faster but the C16 isn't far behind.

Lisa that CaperCat looks very sound. Even if you don't purchase a Hobie your more than welcome to join the fb group on the water ;)

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Hey Pirate,

Sounded good didn't it? Still might. I did go and have a look today. Owner was honest (in that he disclosed by text the only problem was a broken bracket on the port part of the rudder but assured me the rudder itself wasn't broken). No photos of the broken bracket in the Gumtree ad, however. My son took a photo of the broken port bracket on the Calypso  rudder/tiller bracket. I just don't know how to upload it here though. Anyone help?

 

 

 I had a look at the boat as much as I could without rigging it (overhead electrical wire to house and no personal knowledge lol). 

Mainsail was rolled around boom with battens still tied in (not the way we left our sails); jib crumpled and stored in starboard compartments;the jib corner had a large rip so was so 'tatty' it would tear in any decent wind.  Port side compartment had large internal repair, like a caesarean line I guess. It  did not seem to have extended through hull to external port side however (couldn't feel anything). 

 

It was the large rip in the bracket that concerned me. What are thoughts here about that?

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That break was complete, so only one side of the bracket held. I might be totaly wrong, but I wouldn't want to risk hikinh out on one hull with onyl that side of metal between me, the sea, and no rudder! 

Bit like that 90s Lemonheads song 'Ship without a Rudder' hahaha.

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That's a pity, so disappointing when the sellers deliberately cover-up or fail to disclose issues that obviously will have a negative effect on the purchaser ..... Their thinking generally is that once your in the door they have a better chance of a sale.

 

Options now are to price out the parts that need replacing NOW to make the boat both operable and SAFE....and the parts you'd replace as a "just in case"..... 

The costs of those parts are a bargaining point, example.... lets say the jib will cost $100 and the rudder bracket is also $100, in theory you should easily get him to drop $200 off of the price, the not so well stored main 'may need' replacing sooner than later too so you'd factor in a couple of hundred for the mucking around and freight etc..... that should get you a $400 cheaper boat and probably gives you a bit more room to move. -> the prices are for examples only, you need to price the parts yourself for a true representation of what your initial after purchase costs are going to be

 

The down side to this is the availability of the parts, I personaly have not seen a caper-cat for may a year now in my region, so for me to find parts would mean I'd be at the mercy of the sellers that do have the gear, its one of the many reasons we've all suggested to look at what is sailed locally by the clubs in your region... My local club and surrounding clubs all have a Mosquito catamarans as part of the fleets within the clubs, parts, knowledge, and assistance is but a phone-call away. 

If I moved up to your area that all goes away, I'd be very much on my own and at the mercy of the sellers and the freight companies, sure a 2nd hand mast might cost me $50 down here but to get one in brisvagas I'd have to add a lazy couple of hundred.

 

With what you know now.....

check on the price of the parts that need replacing, contact the seller and haggle like hell, and keep looking for an alternative boat

 

Kingy

 

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