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Will I need Cat Trax?  Bottom

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  • Ok so I will have my Prindle 18 this summer at a Texas Beach. In Texas its legal to drive on the beach so I can literally pull the boat on its trailer down by the water's edge. The beach is fairly flat so actually launching from the trailer would be hazardous to the vehicle as I have seen many a truck, jeep etc. try to launch various types of watercraft in the surf only to get stuck in a foot and a half of salt water with their 50k vehicle! So my thought is to drop the boat at water's edge (very hard packed sand) and slide into the surf from there.

    I am a good sized guy at 6'3" and 240lbs. My son is 6'6" and about 220lbs. So will I need wheels to slide this boat from waters edge to the water or am I worrying about nothing? Info I can find online states the boat itself only weighs 380 pounds. Doesn't sound like it would be too bad but then I've never tried to drag 380 pounds down the beach before. (I did drag my wife down the hallway of a Ritz Carlton once, but um I digress.)

    --
    Prindle 18

    Texas Gulf Coast
    --
  • Short answer is yes. Two good sized men should easily slide this boat across packed sand to launch.

    But you want cat trax because that sand acts just like sandpaper and in short order will wear through the relatively thin fiberglass bottom and then you have real problems.

    Cat Trax make life much easier.

    New Cat Trax are a bit expensive. If you cant find a used set here are some DIY pics of someone making Cat Trax out of PVC.

    https://www.thebeachcats.…pictures?g2_itemId=82564

    Grats on your purchase it looks like you got a really good deal.

    BW



    Edited by bradinjax on Feb 12, 2019 - 03:24 PM.
  • I see your point. So next logical question since we are talking about preservation of the bottom of the hulls would be should I use cradles or not? Do cradles do anything to offer the hull bottoms protection from the cat trax itself? And,
    do cradles make any part of the process easier or more difficult?

    --
    Prindle 18

    Texas Gulf Coast
    --
  • as most things on boats - everything has pros and cons

    nothing easier than pushing a 400+ lbs boat off a trailer (or back on) than 4 (newish) rollers -
    (if rollers are old, cracked, swollen ... get new ones. rubber ones are very cheap, nice poly one's aren't that much more - get new and hardware axles too)

    having cradles are great for many reasons: distribute the load, prevent catastrophic failure due to some beach kid from jumping on your trampoline when you aren't looking, heavy loads can destroy a cat on rollers, stop the boat from sliding around on the road, etc) but they don't make it any easier getting the boat on the trailer and require another new skillset (how to land the hulls into the cradles without scratching the hulls), and they can easily collect sand (that is tricky to get out since there is usually a boat blocking your access to clean) and this sand can be rub your bottom (not as fun as it sounds)

    what most of us do around here is : cradles in front (furthest from back of the trailer) and rollers in back.
    if you are really cool, you pony up ($$$) and get pivoting double roller$ to distribute load ...


    back to your first question - YES - get wheels - go new if you can - old ones will leak air much faster and then u need to find a new atv tire and shop

    they will make your life MUCH happier

    when you get "good" you can really balance your boat and solo it up the beach
    (i do it almost every time i sail with my 6.0)
  • Quoteback to your first question - YES - get wheels - go new if you can - old ones will leak air much faster and then u need to find a new atv tire and shop


    This fixes the problem:
    https://www.murrays.com/product/13-1401-9/

    Quotethey will make your life MUCH happier

    YES!!

    If you put the wheels at the sterns you can unload the boat without any help, just slide it back. I usually start pushing back from the front beam, standing on the trailer and then pull from the rear beam. Then slide the wheels to the normal position and take the boat out. To load, reverse the procedure and use the winch.

    My beach wheels have no cradles and work just fine, never tried with cradles.
  • Let me tell you of my folly. I bought my boat in 1986, and didn't have beach wheels. For decades, I wrestled the boat onto a beach. As I got older, I even used blocks and ropes to help heave the boat onto shore. Eventually I had to repair the bottom of the hulls, several times, and only 3 years ago fully reconditioned the hulls. I also bought beach wheels. FINALLY, the best money ever spent! I can launch and retrieve the cat effortlessly without damage to the hulls, and even pull it up and down the beach solo. I can load it onto a trailer easily, and visit beaches that could not be traversed before. What was I thinking waiting until I was in my 60s to get this simple, effective tool. Don't be foolish like me. You will never regret having the beach wheels...get good ones.

    --
    Tom
    NACRA 5.7 (1984 Sail 181)
    Pennsylvania
    --
  • Tominpa, do you have cradles on your beach wheels?

    --
    Prindle 18

    Texas Gulf Coast
    --
  • Good advice, and totally agree, Cat Trax make beachcat life much easier. I am 53 years old, about 6 feet tall and 195 pounds and have no problems pushing my H16 around on my Cat Trax. Your boat is a little heavier but you should be able to wheel it around with ease on some Cat Trax, balance is key. Congrats on the find of a really nice Prindle and welcome to the Beachcat way of life!!!

    --
    Marty
    1984 Hobie 16 Redline Yellow Nationals, "Yellow Fever"
    Opelika, Al / Lake Martin
    --
  • Cradles on the Cat Trax are much better than the roller tube Cat trax.. We have both types, and are looking to up grade the roller to cradles. The cradles stay put without ropes. Conventional CT need to be tied in place with 3 or 4 ropes. The single ropes coming out the end don't work well on the Wave.

    --
    John

    Marstrom Tornado (fast)
    DN Iceboat (really fast)

    CT
    --
  • We acquired a P18 this past summer and the beach wheels that we leave on the beach have no cradles. I found that the shape of the P18 hulls reject the round tube and keep spitting the wheels out before they are tied on.
    With 2 people it is less of an issue. Cradles will be added this year. If you want to go low buck at first, go to the
    box store and grab a few pieces of plastic lattice. The boat will slide easily on the plastic and no hull damage.
    For travel just throw the lattice on the tramp under the foot straps.

    --
    Pete Knapp
    Castleton,NY
    Sailcraft Tornado,Nacra 6.0,P18, P16,H16,,Reg White Tornado(project),
    --
  • I too wrestled our Nacra 5.7 and 5.0 around with out wheels for several years, & I only had to move them from the back door to the water. I was going to build a set, as per one of the threads under technical, then picked up a used set of Cat Trax, the Gold standard of beach wheels.
    https://www.thebeachcats.…0cbb451ff1d4de9f8aad69df
    I now have two sets, one without cradles for the Nacra & H18 & a factory set for the Dart 15. I will never sell them until I sell the cats. The round bottom hulls, like H18 can be slid around on sand/lawn, the skeg hulled Nacra/Dart are a b*tch, they tend to dig in. Using wheels, I can single-handedly move the Hobie or Nacra into out of the water,or around the lawn for maintenance.
    The Skeg type hulls are very strong on the bottom and don’t require cradles,round bottom hulls can be more fragile. Cradles have pros and cons. I don’t have cradles on the cat trax for the bigger boats and it makes it easy for a single person. You can roll the boat right up into position, as the rubber on the Trax axle will grip on the bottom of the boat hull, & allow it to spin while you shove the boat forward. However, you then need to tie the Trax lines around shrouds or some other anchor point, (directly above the wheel), or else the wheels will want to roll back out from under the boat when you try to move it.
    As for cradles or rollers on the trailer, I cobbled rollers from cut up pieces of plastic sewer pipe with two pieces of 2 x 2 screwed onto it, so it fits over the roller, but held in place by the 2x2s You can lift one corner of the cat, drop the cradle onto the trailer roller,or remove it in order to easily slide the boat on and off. I borrowed this idea (thanks dog boy), I think it’s the best of both worlds.

    --
    Hobie 18 Magnum
    Dart 15
    Mystere 6.0XL Sold Was a handful solo
    Nacra 5.7
    Nacra 5.0
    Bombardier Invitation (Now officially DEAD)
    Various other Dock cluttering WaterCrap
    --
  • QuoteConventional CT need to be tied in place with 3 or 4 ropes


    I have a fixed length auxiliary line on each side, with a hook on the end to attach to the shroud, then I tie the original line at the front beam and take out the slack. This keeps the wheels in position. Otherwise, even if you attach the line right above the axle it will move a few cm. If your attachment point is not directly above, you need to tie to different points depending on whether you are moving the boat forward or backward.

    Using just the original lines wasn't too bad though, I'm just a bit obsessive sometimes.



    Edited by Andinista on Feb 13, 2019 - 12:07 PM.
  • ....and I borrowed the removable cradle idea from a fellow Hobie sailor probably 25 years ago.....

    Getting back to the OP’s question, I think if you are literally just moving the boat from water’s edge into the water, then you can probably avoid getting a set of wheels - especially if the boat is being moved by two (or more) 6’+ 200+lb guys. Damage to the bottom of the hulls dragging them a short distance will be pretty minimal and can be fixed relatively easily by adding a fresh layer of gelcoat every couple years.

    If you will need to move the boat anymore than a few yards, or if the ground is steep, rough, or uneven, then a set of catracks is the way to go.

    sm
  • Sorry, forgot the photo link. I used my Trailex trailer, that was setup for the Nacras to retrieve an H18 that I restored. This is what I cobbled together for the rounded Hobie hulls.
    I used SS machine screws with countersunk heads, so nothing sticks up from the PVC pipe to damage the hulls.
    https://www.thebeachcats.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=120297&g2_serialNumber=4



    Edited by Edchris177 on Feb 13, 2019 - 12:35 PM.

    --
    Hobie 18 Magnum
    Dart 15
    Mystere 6.0XL Sold Was a handful solo
    Nacra 5.7
    Nacra 5.0
    Bombardier Invitation (Now officially DEAD)
    Various other Dock cluttering WaterCrap
    --
  • Getting a little off topic here, but the only issue I’ve found with that cradle arrangement is that the potential exists for the cradle to rotate its way around the hull and pop out. You can put a little stopper on each side of the cradle that will contact the trailer roller and keep the cradle centered on the roller. Or, in my case, I just tied a short length of line to connect the cradle to the trailer so if it does pop out, it doesn’t get lost. I also don’t have to worry about having a storage place for the cradles when they’re removed- I just take them off and let them hang by their cords.

    sm
  • carzanTominpa, do you have cradles on your beach wheels?


    Yes I do, but my NACRA 5.7 does not really need them. They were included on my order by error, but having used them, I will keep them. The cradles distribute the weight over a larger surface area. I have not found they accumulate sand, and they seem to make positioning the boat easier. I store the boat all summer on the wheels. Click on the image below and note how far back the balance point really is on this boat. Good luck hauling it around the beach without wheels.

    https://i.imgur.com/nmqGAi8.jpg



    Edited by tominpa on Feb 13, 2019 - 09:33 PM.

    --
    Tom
    NACRA 5.7 (1984 Sail 181)
    Pennsylvania
    --
  • QuoteQuote
    back to your first question - YES - get wheels - go new if you can - old ones will leak air much faster and then u need to find a new atv tire and shop


    This fixes the problem:
    https://www.murrays.com/product/13-1401-9/


    Yes these tubes are great but you will still need to go to an atv shop to get the rubber removed and remounted
    (or be really good with rims)
  • QuoteGetting a little off topic here, but the only issue I’ve found with that cradle arrangement is that the potential exists for the cradle to rotate its way around the hull and pop out.

    OR worse have the cradle rotate just as you are putting the boat on it and the bolts scar or pop your hull

    I put a block of wood with holes drilled out for the bolts and rubber cemented this on the bottom of the cradle
  • The cradles we are talking about are removable and are placed over the trailer rollers, not present when putting the boat on the trailer. You use the standard trailer rollers to get the boat on the trailer. Then once the boat’s on the trailer, you lift the hull and slip the cradle between the roller and hull. This gives you the best of both worlds- rollers which make it easy to get the boat on and cradles to protect the hulls from point loads.

    sm
  • Quote
    OR worse have the cradle rotate just as you are putting the boat on it and the bolts scar or pop your hull
    I put a block of wood with holes drilled out for the bolts and rubber cemented this on the bottom of the cradle

    The bolt heads are the countersunk,(45* angle heads). After drilling the holes in the PVC, put a countersink gizmo in your drill, & cut an “inverted pyramid” into the PVC. The Bolt head sits just below the surface of the PVC, & cannot contact anything.
    The other end of the Bolt is slightly shorter than the thickness of the 2x2. A small hole accommodates the bolt shank, a larger one appx 3/4” deep, accepts the nut, keeping it below the surface. There is nothing that can score the hull.



    Edited by Edchris177 on Feb 14, 2019 - 08:20 PM.

    --
    Hobie 18 Magnum
    Dart 15
    Mystere 6.0XL Sold Was a handful solo
    Nacra 5.7
    Nacra 5.0
    Bombardier Invitation (Now officially DEAD)
    Various other Dock cluttering WaterCrap
    --

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