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Anyone sailing catamarans with degenerative knee cartilage.

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Hi everyone.

I tore and ripped my medial meniscus (cartilage) in my left knee whilst racing my Maricat on Australia Day.

Just had surgery yesterday in hospital. Surgery took 3 times than thought, as the damage was quite severe. More than 1 hour on the operating table. Anyhow, the report back from my surgeon is that my cartilage in my joints are worst than the average person for 56 years of age. Plus to add to the matter that I have osteoarthritis setting into my knee joints.

Anyhow, the surgeon has warned me that I am at extreme risk to be continually tearing the cartilage in my joints and in particular my knees.

Now my injury happened on Australia Day when I went to tack, came inboard and kneeling (squatting on my knees to turn 180 degrees to head off out the other side of the boat. It happened ever so easily, and also at the same time i tore  and sprained my calf muscles (probably due to extreme hard hiking out the side of the maricat and back arched to get the most leverage possible.

So my question is, has anyone else been in a similar case with their knee cartilage. I am aware of Pete here in Tassie with knee replacement, but mine is a different issue to this. Thinking about getting knee braces that will help support the knee, b ut prevent the twisting of the knee at the same time, as it is the twisting of the knee that tears the cartilage. Also wondered if sailing the maricat with trapeze, may or may not help. The only thing is, being 56 and having to race as a super sloop sounds too much for me to handle with poort health.

I really dont want to give up sailing as it is one thing in life that I live for. And I really dont want to give up my maricat, as I have only been sailing it since Xmas 2017, not long at all, and really loving the boat. Even though I have raced and sailed many different yachts, including a lot of multihulls since I was 10, I really enjoy this boat more than nearly any other.


Please! Please help me with all suggestions and ideas that you may know of.


Cheers David.:)

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Very sorry to hear of this David.  I don't have injuries to report although I've always had dodgy knees so I'm possibly more aware of them.

Although Mari's and Windy's have trapeze classes I would think that it might be better to trap on one of the larger cats, the Taipan comes to mind.  Having said that I still read reports of injuries and issues on trap boats too.  You could try SailingAnarchy.com as the forums sometimes have people with problems and sometimes solutions.

Hope your recovery is quick.


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Hi James.


Many thanks for your thoughts. I just dont know which way to go. I nhave thought about a larger cat, but then that is more of a bigger boat to handle with my ageing body. I am really loving the maricat since doing the performance improvements. It is very fast on yardstick rating against other yachts at my club. I have contacted Tynor in Western Aust, who make knee braces. They have recommended 2 types of their braces. So I might give a pair of them a go. As they are cheap at about $38 each. A lot cheaper than selling my boat and buying another. Plus this way, I can still get to race against Pete Morrow here in tassie next season, as my injury did not permit this to happen this season. And who knows, I might make it to a a Nationals Maricat titles next season (I wish to).


I will try sailing Anarchy and see what they have to suggest.


Cheers for now and thanks. David Banfield.

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Hi David

don't stress i have had 2 knee reconstructions and 3 other knee ops i have the left knee of a 70 year old don't need braces physio is the key and sailing the motivation. my knee locked many times, i wore braces but none of then helped. cat rig is the go as you have plenty of time tacking to move sides mari cat rig is the best and easiest on the old body. give us a call i can help i have lots of experience with knees and how to tack with bad knees

cheers Grady


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Thanks Darcy.

I had a very long chat on the phone last night with Grady. His advice is terrific, and he knows best, with the problems he has had with his knees. I will be seeing my GP on Thursday, and will be getting a referral from him to see a top sports physio that we have in town. So I will take my time to rebuild my body, and will stick with the Maricat and hiking, not trapezing. And who knows, I might be at the next Nationals.

You guys are terrific.

Actually Darcy, I will private message you, as I will be needing some parts for my Maricat over winter.

Cheers David.:)

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