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  • I am thinking of club racing an A class. At 6ft 6inch and 240pounds am I too big? also on a limited budget what will I have to pay for a boat to race occasionally and have fun. I would be sailing inland in NC
  • kesI am thinking of club racing an A class. At 6ft 6inch and 240pounds am I too big? also on a limited budget what will I have to pay for a boat to race occasionally and have fun. I would be sailing inland in NC

    Hey kes,

    Welcome to TheBeachcats.com, good to see another "grown man" catamaran sailor. icon_evil

    Are you sailing beachcats now? How familiar are you with the A-Class?

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    Damon Linkous
    1992 Hobie 18
    Memphis, TN

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  • Kes,

    At 240 you would be on the heavy side, but you won't be too far out of the range. The top two sailors at worlds last month are 160lbs and 220lbs. The weight difference is made up for by the cut of the sail. A little deeper draft is pretty easy to cut in, and there is so much sail area for the weight it just doesn't matter (or so I was told by Pease at Glaser Sails who I trust a lot).

    The cheapest way into the class is probably going to cost you around $5,000. For the boat, trailer, ect... You will also need to buy or scavanage a set of Cat Trax ($500), a harness ($150), a life jacket ($100), and I would really recommend a Lycra suit instead of a swim suit.

    For this you will get a decent condition strait board boat. It will likely need some work, but I am pretty sure every A needs some work. For a little bit more, say 7-$8,000 you step up to an older C foil boat. Down wind in breeze the C foils are faster, but it isn't night and day different, but it is substantial. For around $17,000 you can get a used full foiler.

    These days to win NA or Worlds you are almost certainly going to need a foiler, but for local stuff any of them are going to be insainly fast. If you are curious take a look at the Portsmouth ratings for A cats compared to other beach cats. The current rating is assuming strait foils btw, and the boat is still the fastest one person beach cat. C and Foilers just take that to a new level.


    And btw I bought an A-Cat about two month ago, with zero beach cat experience. My advice here is a distillation of everything I learned while looking for my boat

    While I pretty much live bruised and a little battered, holy good god these boats are fun to sail. I have never had as much fun, or gone as fast, with so little effort on anything. My only regret over buying an A is that I didn't do it sooner. it is honestly the most fun I have had on a sailboat in years!
  • I've owned over 30 catamarans in my 42 yrs on the water, and the only one I regret selling is the A! Such a silky feel through the water, so quickly powered up you get to spend lots of time on the trap, my favorite place to be! The ease of rigging, lightweight on the beach, the single string to pull, the ease of settling into the pure joy of sailing. I hope another rejoins the fleet before my catsailing days wind down!

    Dave
  • Kes,

    I am assuming we spoke at Waccamaw.

    I am a new A-class owner. Racing the A has been a pure joy in breeze. I'm 6'1" 230, the boat is still very powered up. I find it the most fun boat I have raced so far, and while its an excellent race boat, it's not a great cruising boat. If you were to pull up at a beach, you really do not want to walk away from it while the sail is up.

    Please contact me is you decide to sell the Hobie.
  • Couple of points to consider:
    - Steep learning curve to sail the boat well
    - Handicap rating has been "driven down" by all of the great sailors on the boat

    Those two points will make fleet racing a difficult and likely frustrating endeavor.

    - A cat is built to be light (read fragile)
    - Unirig is more difficult to tack and keep in the groove
    - Documentation, parts and support info specific to your boat will be more difficult to find

    Although, yes it is fast and a TON of fun, be forewarned that something like a Hobie 16 (or 17 if planning to sail alone), Nacra 5.0, 5.2, 5.5, etc. may be more appropriate for your situation.
  • I wouldn't worry about the handicap too much. My local committee gave me a 24 PHRF rating. Having sailed an A-Cat for about two months so far, I am already close to sailing to that rating. Besides, who cares about the rating, it's the most fun i have ever had on a boat, bar none.
  • Reactivating an old thread here.

    Unpacking this pile of Unicorn parts, I think I have it pretty much mentally sorted out. I can see how the standing rigging is organized and what's likely to need work - a few replacement wires and such. The biggest obstacle is probably the very crunchy old tramp - no idea if or for how long I can use it before I go through.

    I'm seeing one thing, though, that's got me a little rattled: The lack of hiking straps. There are attachments for them on the fore crossbeam, but not on the aft or anywhere in between. And looking at the photos on the Unicorn site, it looks like those maniacs don't have them - trapeze only. Now, I live for the wire, but I get a little freaked out if I don't have the straps to keep my toes under, especially in low+gusty conditions that can't justify the trapeze but still might puff me over.

    Anyone here with an old A-Cat who can give me a little guidance?

    --
    Southern Alberta and all over the damn place.
    *
    1981 SuperCat 20 "Roberts' Rockets"
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    TriFoiler #23 "Unfair Advantage"
    Mystere 17
    Unicorn A-Class (probably made by Trowbridge) that I couldn't resist rescuing at auction.
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  • jonathan162Reactivating an old thread here.
    I'm seeing one thing, though, that's got me a little rattled: The lack of hiking straps. There are attachments for them on the fore crossbeam, but not on the aft or anywhere in between.
    Anyone here with an old A-Cat who can give me a little guidance?


    The rear attachment for the hiking strap may be through a grommet at the aft end of the strap, tied to grommets on the rear end of the tramp (if your tramp is tightened on the rear crossbeam).
    As in the photos on this page:
    https://www.thebeachcats.…9761b47db1bfb1cc0fcfec93

    --
    Sheet In!
    Bob
    _/)_____/)_/)____/)____/)_____/)/)__________/)__
    Prindle 18-2 #244 "Wakizashi"
    Prindle 16 #3690 "Pegasus" Sold (sigh)
    AZ Multihull Fleet 42 member
    (Way) Past Commodore of Prindle Fleet 14
    Arizona, USA
    --
  • Yeah, I'm looking for the usual suspects - but there's simply nothing to attach to. The tramp has bolt rope along all four sides - no lacing whatsoever. There are no grommets and no little cross-straps to keep the straps down on the tramp. And no eye straps or anything else on the aft crossbeam. It's really weird.
  • Its funny you mention those hiking straps. I have never used them in my 5 years. I was considering removing them. I have never liked leaning off a lot by the time the straps take hold. I would not stress the lack of them. I use mine only for tying shrouds to for trailering.

    --
    FYC, Nacra 5.2 "Chris's Flyer"
    Previously owned: Trac 14, H14, H16, H18, N5.0, G-cat 5.0
    --
  • Oh, I'm stressing, I'm stressing. You don't indicate where you are, so I don't know whether you're prone to extremely gusty winds, as we have here in/near the mountains. I wouldn't sail without hiking straps for a hot minute, because they're essentially a safety backup for when there's not enough wind overall to be hooked onto the wire, but at any second a hard gust can knock your ass over. And they're invaluable when you take a newbie out. If I'm not hooked in, my toes are under it.

    Call me a wuss, but not having them is a worse feeling than driving without a seat belt.



    Edited by jonathan162 on Sep 20, 2023 - 11:51 AM.
  • Fair enough. I am on the gulf coast. Steady breezes here except near the condos.

    --
    FYC, Nacra 5.2 "Chris's Flyer"
    Previously owned: Trac 14, H14, H16, H18, N5.0, G-cat 5.0
    --
  • jonathan162Yeah, I'm looking for the usual suspects - but there's simply nothing to attach to. The tramp has bolt rope along all four sides - no lacing whatsoever. There are no grommets and no little cross-straps to keep the straps down on the tramp. And no eye straps or anything else on the aft crossbeam. It's really weird.

    Kinda sounds like a non-OEM trampoline. The original could have had lacing, or grommets for lashing the straps.
    How do you get a tramp installed if all four sides are bolt rope - remove both crossbars and load them first?
    This is weird.

    --
    Sheet In!
    Bob
    _/)_____/)_/)____/)____/)_____/)/)__________/)__
    Prindle 18-2 #244 "Wakizashi"
    Prindle 16 #3690 "Pegasus" Sold (sigh)
    AZ Multihull Fleet 42 member
    (Way) Past Commodore of Prindle Fleet 14
    Arizona, USA
    --
  • I strongly lean toward believing that it is an OEM tramp, given that it was made ~50 years ago, before "now-standard" methods of doing these things had evolved. Also, its condition suggests it's that old. I've put feelers out to the UK Unicorn group to see if I can connect with someone with the same boat - that'd help a lot.

    Lemme try another photo (though I'm not having a lot of luck with them... nope, still don't get how to make them work here).

    At least this won't screw up the aspect ratio:

    https://www.imagebam.com/view/MEP2J7T



    Edited by jonathan162 on Sep 21, 2023 - 02:45 PM.
  • QuoteHow do you get a tramp installed if all four sides are bolt rope - remove both crossbars and load them first?

    I am seeing bolt rope on three sides on each half of the tramp. You insert the tramp on the hull first, then the beams, then lace the center. The PO may have figured out it saved time to just unbolt the beam and slide it off with help.
    "Some assembly required" would apply here.

    --
    FYC, Nacra 5.2 "Chris's Flyer"
    Previously owned: Trac 14, H14, H16, H18, N5.0, G-cat 5.0
    --
  • What I'm seeing is that that's a detail that doesn't matter - it effectively has a bolt rope around all four sides. The only lacing that would be relevant to this discussion is aft, because that's what that end of the hiking straps (the point of this discussion) might tie to.

    On the other hand, if you can see something I don't (that is, how that center lacing could help with the hiking strap problem), I'm all ears.



    Edited by jonathan162 on Sep 21, 2023 - 03:08 PM.
  • jonathan162On the other hand, if you can see something I don't (that is, how that center lacing could help with the hiking strap problem), I'm all ears.

    Based on that photo, I'd say your Unicorn didn't come with hiking straps.
    There are no hints of a mounting for either end of the strap.

    --
    Sheet In!
    Bob
    _/)_____/)_/)____/)____/)_____/)/)__________/)__
    Prindle 18-2 #244 "Wakizashi"
    Prindle 16 #3690 "Pegasus" Sold (sigh)
    AZ Multihull Fleet 42 member
    (Way) Past Commodore of Prindle Fleet 14
    Arizona, USA
    --
  • klozhaldThere are no hints of a mounting for either end of the strap.


    Sure there is. Look at the right (fore) tube. Those two SS thingies (the lower/starboard one has a bit of shock cord tied around it) are clearly for hiking straps. That's what makes this so confounding. They're there and there's nowhere for the aft ends of the straps to attach (yet).
  • I suspect the rings you have on the beam are related to mast rotation.

    --
    Greenville SC

    Offering sails and other go fast parts for A-class catamarans
    --

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