Looking for your opinions for a beach cat.
- lake huron sailing (ie choppy and/or wavy)
- 5-15 knots wind only (I windsurf and will do that in over 15 knots)
- will be stored on the water with mast up (probably on a boat lift)
- will need a motor for dockage (slip is 1200' up a fairly narrow river so I'm assuming I'll need a motor)
- will be sailing solo most of the time (180lbs with some cat experience) and occasionally with 2 others max
- must able to solo right
- would probably like a spin and a couple trap's
- no racing
- price not an issue (within reason and my wife's scrutiny of course)
Thank you in advance!
F16 Viper. $7k. I'd get a small electric motor with a self-contained battery to take you out to an open beach area where you can rig the sails. If you get a round-bottom boat with very thin hulls (like Nacra Inter), you will need beach wheels to avoid dents. Modern round-bottom boats cannot be dragged up beach if there are any small stones in sand. The combination of performance spinnaker boat and motor will be challenging IMHO. Store on lift as beachcat hulls deteriorate when stored in water. Also consider an A-Cat and launching off a trailer. It will take 15 min to rig and will be tons of fun. You won't be able to take a second person on an A-Cat though.
Edited by traphappy on Sep 20, 2018 - 03:14 PM.
Sounds like almost any 18.5 foot cat and smaller will fit your needs
so nacra 5.2, 5.7, 500/570 | mystere 5.0/5.5 | gcat5.0 or 5.7 | hobie18, prindle, dart, etc (if i had the funds i would go for a newer model without question)
If it was me and i had the cash i'd buy a brand new mystere 17' or a nacra 570
Solo righting and motor are on the opposite sides of the coin:
you would never want to capsize with a motor onboard - you will kill the motor and leak gas into the environment. - if money is not a real issue ... i would ONLY use a torquedo (lithium battery). and as a matter of fact, motors don't really "fit" great on a cat. they put a good amount of weight in the wrong spot and can get in the way... (understood they are sometimes a necessary evil..but they are not "cat-friendly")
as per righting, anything over a 16' is gonna give you a workout/hard time - you will need a righting bag or pole and even then ... it's all about technique
may want to look into a weta - almost no risk of capsize, but still fast as heck, has a hooter (spin), and can handle LOTS of wind without issue (if your caught in a storm, or just want to go get wild)
I have seen the Weta on the water and wasn’t too impressed, if i had to do a similar choice i’d evaluate a monohull too, for simial price I’m sure there are good options. It’s not evident to me that “beach tris” are faster or more fun than a decent monohull. Just my impression, not a very informed opinion. I LOVED to sail Laser II years ago, that i know for sure.
Edited by Andinista on Sep 20, 2018 - 09:33 PM.
Please don't discount the Supercat (15 or 17). Fine to sail and right with one person if you practice it.
Big hulls, that make it hard to pitch pole and able to carry 1-2 passengers. load it up forward of the front beam and it points well and then get after it.
Very few issues with rudders and rigging. The mast is a bit heavy, but if you have 2 people, no issues whatsoever raising it.
All will tell you its a wet boat - but I like that part.
Hulls are strong, and I put a layer of glass on the bottom, so beach landings don't wear them down.
Great support from Aquarius
I can't tell you about motor mounting, but I agree that if you do go with a motor, get the electric.
The reality is that every sailor will tell you their own personal favorite, based on their experience and current ownership. Any of the beach trimarans will be slower than most every cat discussed, but will give you less concern over flipping the boat.
Try and reach out to others in your area to crew. i know that I take newbies out often, as do my fellow sailors in the area and it will give you a better sense of what to expect. Most of us are very willing to show off our boats to new crew.
Edited by windwardde on Sep 21, 2018 - 09:33 AM.
Several Sunfish and Sunfish clones
Ratboat built from Zuma and Sunfish parts
Shallow water sailor in the Delaware Bay
weta Top recorded Speed: 20.68 kn
this boat is just as fast as any non foiling beach cat
If you want to compare this 4.4 Meter boat with a 5.0 formula race boat that has double the sail area.. yes it's slower
I have sailed this boat in 20knot wind
it was a blast
Edited by MN3 on Sep 21, 2018 - 12:46 PM.
Portsmouth Number says it's slower than a couple dinghies, and not too different than a Laser 2.
Not to say that speed is everything, just to question that speed is the main advantage you will get, which is probably an easy assumption to make. I'm sure there are other pros and cons and it probably deserves a test drive.
Based upon your parameters, I’d suggest a close look at the Nacra 500 sport or the Nacra 570 sport. Rightfully the 500 sport will be easier to solo right than the 570, but as previously mentioned technique goes a long way in handling larger sailplans, rigs and hulls. Ease of rigging set up time might be another consideration, but leaving the mast up obviously greatly speeds up the process on any cat/tri.
I would second the suggestion for the NACRA 500 (obviously). Especially if the other 2 you may sail with are children. Boom less rig eliminates some potential problems with kids aboard. I have sailed mine with 3 kids aboard in the waves of the Atlantic and it handled it just fine.
2001 NACRA 450 SOLD
2000 NACRA 500
This is an easy choice, for your circumstance, the 570 wins hands down.
If you windsurf in 25kts, you have some athletic ability, you can handle the 570 solo in 5-15.
If you ever intend to sail with kids, or another adult, or two, the 570 will do a better job.
Let’s be honest, the 500 is undercanvassed, BUT, they kick azz when the winds gets above 20, BUT, then you will be on your sailboard.
We have both,(5.0 & 5.7), they are about the same to right, unless the wind is 20+, or you’re a heavyweight, you will need a bag to right either., but with a reasonable level of fitness solo righting not a big deal.
Rigging, mast stepping is about the same for both boats, not an issue as you seem to have mast up storage. That’s what I do, raise the mast in the spring, take it down in the fall. We also keep them on Seadoo lifts.
Your comment of squeezing down the path...does this mean you could tow the fully rigged cat to the water?
That opens up a lot of options. Can you pull it with a lawn tractor, & leave beachweels & tractor where you put in?
1200’ hand pulling will get old, fast.
You mentioned sometimes 3, 570 wins again, the 500 kind of dogs out with 3.
The biggest factor is your location, the Big Lake. Rough choppy water kills the small finer hulled cats. I had my Dart 15 out 2 days ago in 3’ waves & near 30mph on lake Simcoe. I needed to be on the wire to pull any power, but it was hard to keep footing as coming off the big waves into the trough would submerge the bows, stop the boat, giving one the Peter PAn experience. I lost footing, ended up pitchpoling it once. The bonus is you just flip it back on its feet & get going. In those conditions the 570 really shines, as does the 500 if you are solo or two up. We run both double trapped, they have enough weight to smash through the waves, & enough bow flotation to be very resistant to pitchpole.
My 5.7 is currently being sailed by a newbie sailor. He’s very athletic,(#3 waterski champ f rower). They launch in 20+, & sail the crap out of it, though they do go swimming due to newbie mistakes.
The skeg hulls are also pretty tough & will endure being drug up a beach.
A Hobie 18 would also be a good choice, but if I was never going to race, & could ever only own 1 boat, the N570 would be hard to beat.
Edited by Edchris177 on Sep 23, 2018 - 12:47 AM.
Hobie 18 Magnum
Mystere 6.0XL Sold Was a handful solo
Bombardier Invitation (Now officially DEAD)
Various other Dock cluttering WaterCrap
+1 for the Weta.
I think you can launch from your beach too - I used to launch mine from a floating pontoon which was reached by a gantry only 2m (6'5") wide - and the Weta is 1.7m wide on the trolley. I'd put the boat together on the pontoon, tip it off and go for a sail - returning was more of an issue!
Also the 2018 Weta is now a lightweight foam-core and on the class minimum weight of 120Kg (264 lbs) and is stiffer than the original. A the same time a new 9.3SqM Square Top Sail has been introduced and recut by Norths as a flatter bi-radial - compared with the 8.3SqM pin-head tri-radial original sail. The new sail gives improved performance in light winds and is useable in winds up to 25 knots.
If you decide to go with an outboard, then there are a number of options available here
And there others who keep there's on davits, dock or launch from a crane - details here.
Edited by pewit on Nov 01, 2018 - 10:04 PM.
Lots of options, you have been recommended everything from more recreational beach cats to the Weta to the F16.
Personally if you are used to windsurfing speeds I would go for the F16 or A-Cat. Used they are the same or cheaper than the other new boats mentioned. You can probably shimmy them down your path as well, the A-Cat is 7' 6" wide, the F16 8' 2" wide compared with 11' 6" wide for a rigged Weta, though the collapsed Weta at 5' is a little easier to move and store.
Even with the updates the Weta isn't particularly fast in lighter conditions. Locally, a reasonably well sailed F16 or A would do 1.5-2 laps of the course relative to the Weta. If you lived in the Gorge and were looking for a fun boat to sail solo or 2 up in 15 kts+ of breeze consistently, I would happily recommend it, but that isn't your use case. Further, for the $14,000 cost of a new Weta, you can get into some pretty nice gently used F16's.
And yeah, I may be biased, a gentleman at the club has a pretty gently used relatively well maintained Viper F16 for sail in your price range.