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Another newbie with a Mari in NZ


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Hi All,

Newbie from New Zealand just brought a Mari 4.3. Not a lot of these over here and I don't seam to be finding much in the way of local info or parts. So I turn to you wise poeple.

I picked it up in Lake Taupo in NZ of a guy who picked it up of a guy, who picked it up off a guy and so on and so fourth. After doing its first beach rigging and then a short sail in light winds I have some questions.

Im sure you have all read this a million times and your first response may well be "use the bloody search bar!" however I have some general and more finite questions so I figured it would be easiest to just chuck them all down here and hope for some generous responses. Please excuse my lack of knowledge and proper terminology, im learning!

After the first rigging on the trailer it seames like there may be a fair few bits that are not original Maricat. Bits dont fit right, bits are missing and I want to try and get it sorted before I get right into it. Specifically I have issues with the sail and or the mast and I was wondering if there is a way to tell if they are original Maricat or maybe donors? 

My reasoning for this is that when we set the mast with any kind of rake the main sheet blocks are barely 200mm apart with very little tension. It seams to be like the boom is too low to the deck. My thought is that maybe the sail is to long for the rig? Is there a standard length of sail?

This is with the wire halyard set in the lock at the bottom of the mast, however we can pull that halyard another 100mm or so down, obviously lifting the sail. I assume this is not standard practice but is there anything wrong with putting another cleat on the wire to allow us to lock it down that little further?

To try and combat this on the first sail we had the mast set with very little rake, the front stays we right down in the chain plates and side stays right up high. When we were out on the lake it was choppy with low wind and I found the rig was banging forwards real bad. Like the front stays would loosen and then bang tight over every little wave. My guess it this is caused by not enough rake and the mast going over centre?

The next question is around the mast. Is there a standard length of the mast or an easy way to tell if it is original Mari? The fist issue with is is that where is joints to the front boom (them mast knuckle?) there is a threaded hole that someone has just wound a big bolt into. I dont think this is standard as it is chewing out the plate on the beam and the mast does not rotate very easily once everything is rigged. If this is a standard Mari mast where can I get the right fitting for that part? Also there is no cleat on the mast for the Jib halyard (wrong terminology i know) should there be one?

Final question. Front beam bend. From the photos I have seen of other cats it looks like potentially my front beam might be over bent and potentially not evenly bent. The dolphin striker is in ok condition and the wire has been replaced by someone. My thought is that maybe the wire was too short or over time it has over bent the beam. Is there a way I can work out if it has to much bend?

I lied, one more. Trampoline. Mine is stuffed. The one short sail resulted in many large holes and it needs to be replaced. Being in NZ am I best to try and get one custom made or is there someone in Aust that might be keen/willing to send me one? Mine is a split tramp. Should I be looking at going a 1 piece one?

I know. Many many questions. But us Kiwis are inquisitive people. And I am also completely i the dark here.....

Any thoughts or feedback would be GREATLY appreciated. Help a future cat fan out!!

Thanks in advance. Nic

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Lots of questions 

Can you take and attach some photos.

we can start slowly

Do you have the stays on the right way ?

Are you cat rigged (one sail) or sloop (Main and jib)

I assume you are using 4 stays - one each to the bow and one each to the sides.

Main halyard is secured by the jam cleat at the top of the mast not the bottom, bottom one is just to keep the halyard tidy, with no tension. There should be a sewage about 300mm from the end of the halyard attached to the top of the sail.

Very unlikely front beam would be over bent.

Mast base and step sound odd - photo ?

All parts - new or second hand are available 


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I think Rodney means SWAGE but I guess that depends on what it's been capsized in!

Forestays on modern Mari's (that is any one from any time that's used for racing) are 5.5m at the front and 5m at the side.

That top mast bit - like Rod says hand span down from the top at the front should be a s/s 'thing'.  On the end of the halyard that connects to the head of the mainsail should be said swage.  The swage locks into the 'thing'.  The end of the wire halyard is then close to the bottom of the mast - I use a bit of thin bungee to connect it to either the mast, or the dolphin striker etc.

With the 5.5/5 stay lengths an old sail will be right at the rear beam.  Those who still have them put a D ring about 150mm - 200mm up the leach.  A sailmaker would be best because you need to stitch it onto the sail.  Newer sails have a higher foot.

For the dolphin striker tensions apparently (I've not done it) you loosen the rear beam bolts then tension the dolphin cable so that the beam fits straight onto the hull.

The base of the mast should have a casting that has a male cone shaped piece.  This fits into a female cone shape on the beam casting.

Darcy is your best bet for parts, he's regularly stripping old Mari's.  Mick Colecliff if you want to do luxury new stuff.

Is your cat a Mk1 or Mk2.  You tell a Mk1 because it's got a separate traveller at the rear beam.  The Mk2 has the traveller moulded into the beam.  Also the boom is different, a Mk2 has a traveller track like thing moulded to the top of the boom, the Mk1 is just an ordinary boom which can break under big tension (so you use a mainsheet takeoff that's wrapped around the boom, not hung from the bottom).

Good luck with it all.

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Hi Team,

Thank you both for you replys. It one of those situation where the boat is not stored where I live so I will work on photos tonight. I have a couple of not-so-helpful photos from when we brought it but nothing up close to show detail.

The boat is sloop rigged. It has a furling Jib at the front. From the description we assume it is a MK1 as it has a seperate traveler track. We also have some issues with this as it looks like some integral parts in the middle of the rear beam have been removed/broken and they had attached cheap cleats at the ends of the traveler bar to lock it in. I want to ideally rig this as an endless mainsheet traveler setup once we get the main bits sorted.

I have had a look at a photo I have of the boat and can just see the jam cleat at the top of the mast, I had noticed it when we set it up but had through that it was around the wrong way (figured it must be for something else) therefore no use for locking the main up but looking at it now it does look to be correct. I must have overlooked it in my haste/excitement to get it rigged. There is definitely one at the bottom of the mast which I had though was the one to use. This must, as suggested, be just for locking the end of the wire halyard down once the main is up and locked into the top jam? I cant remember is the wire halyard had a swage at the sail end. It probably does.....

Stays. The boat has 4. Yes we did check we had the stays the right way around, based on the configuration of how they were attached to the mast. But I will check their lengths. We need to replace a couple of these as they are frayed at the eye's. 

The main being right down on the beam sounds like what mine would be if the mast had the correct rake. So putting the D ring further up the leech is effectively raising the clew and therefore the boom? Do you remove the excess sail under this new clew? Do you need to also lift the tack end of the sail?

Im not sure I follow in regards to the mainsheet takeoff on the boom? Mine is attached directly to the boom with shackle that is attached to a steel strap thing that is in a U shape and riveted to the boom.

This is also how the down hall and vang are attached to the mast. With two of these straps rivited onto the bottom of the mast, these are bent and twisted and not very well attached. Looking at photos of other Mari masts this is not standard and there should be a bracket moulded into the bast of the mast, the bit that also sits on the mast step? 

Thanks for all your feedback team. MUCH appreciated.

I have attached the only decent photo I have at hand, this shows the front beam and the mast step.



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Auto spell checkers are good !,

Base step looks normal.

if you are running sloop then you don’t use forestays as the weight must on the wire stay in the jib.

the length of the wire pennant ( the wire between the top of the jib and the mast hound) will determine the mast rake.

the bridle wire Between the bows which the jib attaches to must be 1100mm each - bow saddle to middle shackle.

you don’t need a vang 

picture of mast base would be handy.

cant see rear beam in this photo

Jib sheet blocks look a bit dodgy 

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Thanks again. 

Ah yes that was our first mistake. Using the forestays. So you just remove them when you are sloop rigged? I guess that would fix our problem with those stays banging when we sailed it. 

I’m pretty positive my jib did not have wire attaching it to the mast. We had a rope going through a pulley that we tied off at the base of the mast. I assume this is not correct?....

There is a wire bridal that come off each bow and attached to the job furler. I will check the measurements. 

I did wonder about the job sheet blocks. I’ll get a better photo. 



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Thanks again Pointed Reply. I will endeavour to rig my main the same. I would be keen to see a photo of how the job connects to the mast. Mine is obviously wrong.

Couple of photos of the ends of the mast. Looks like the base was either a different cap thing in it or it has had part of it broken off. you can see the straps that have been added to connect the down haul and the vang. You can also see the bolt that has been used in place of the proper pin to sit in the mast step.

I guess the best option is to try and replace this cap?

Thanks again.




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  • 10 months later...
On 2/11/2018 at 4:46 PM, Pointed Reply said:

A few more pics





Hi again Pointed Reply.

Picking up on this thread. What do you use the swivel cleats at the bottom of our mast for?

I am needing to find a way to attach my down haul as the attachment point that is usually part of the cap (the cast part that sits into the mast step) on the end of the mast is broken off on mine (see photo above). Someone has attached some hounds to act as mounting points for the don haul and the vang but they are not in good shape.

I am wondering if I could use a swivel cleat off to the side for the down haul?


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Yes we have replaced the bolt with a stainless domed pin, as per standard.

Ok maybe ill do the same thing for my downhaul, will be an easy and tidy solution.


One more thing, I need to put a swage on the main halyard to clip into the jam at the top of the mast, it currently does not have one and we were locking the halyard at the bottom of the mast, do I want to set it so the main is as high as it will go on the mast? Like the shackle just short of the pulley?



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