Welcome anonymous guest

Please Support

New to Cats, not to sailing - boat question  Bottom

  • Another "What boat should I buy?" thread.
    Sorry, but I couldn't find one that seemed to match my situation.
    And, this ended up a LOT longer than I thought it would.
    But most of us aren't able to sail yet anyway between time of year and virus restrictions.
    Might as well discuss sailing!

    I live and sail at the south end of Lake Huron.
    42yr old, 6'5" tall 280lbs
    Married, with a 12yo son.

    The wife and I took up sailing 16 years ago as race crew on a 35' keelboat.
    We had so much fun, we bought a C&C 35 of our own 11 years ago.
    Our son grew up on boats sailing with us and sailing his own opti.

    We cruise that boat around Lake Huron as a family.
    I race that boat singlehanded, doublehanded and fully crewed.
    Including flying the spinnaker singlehanded.
    Over the 15 years, I typically sail between 1000 and 2000 miles a season.

    My wife and I were avid canoeists before taking up sailing. Still like to paddle when we can.

    My point is, I am not new to sailing, or boats in general. I am quite comfortable in and around the water.
    My son has outgrown or got bored with sailing his opti.
    He likes the water, but isn't that interested in racing.
    As we prepare to get rid of his opti, I have been thinking about getting a beachcat as a toy for us to play with.

    I have only been out on a beachcat a couple times.
    Another father at our club offered to take my son and I out on his old Nacra(16 or 17ft, not sure what model. Main and Jib only.)
    We had a good time, but it was pretty obvious that there was too much weight on the boat.
    Sitting on the tramp was wet, and a bit uncomfortable for me as there didn't seem to be much room.
    Then I have sailed a couple of Hobie Getaways at resorts while on vacation.

    The club where we keep our sailboat has a nice launch ramp.
    So we do not have to beach launch.
    There isn't a significant width restriction on the ramp.

    We would have the option of storing it at home, trailering and setting it up at the club OR if we thought we would use it enough we could pay for a parking place where it could stay on a trailer with the mast up at the club.

    The racing sailor part of me would like to get a good sailing, fast boat, preferably with jib and spinnaker.
    I also think that trapping out looks like a lot of fun. I have never had the chance to try it, but would very much like too.

    The parent side would like a boat that we could have a lot of fun on together, but also might be something my son could work towards being able to sail himself in a few years with some of his friends.

    The 42yo large man side is thinking that a boat with wings would be a much nicer sitting position then sitting on the tramp or trapping out most of the time.

    The water temperature where I sail is cold a lot of the year. So a super wet boat to sail would likely only be used in July and August. I don't see getting serious enough for smocks or dry suits. This also means that I want something that is fairly stable.

    Intended use:
    A fun day sailing toy for my son and I, maybe 1-2 others if they want to come along.
    Something fast, fun, sporting. Smiles and if pushed, thrills on the water.
    I might singlehand it occasionally. Proper conditions and such.
    I would like the chance to sail a faster more performance oriented boat.
    I do not want a Getaway. Based on limited experience with them, I would like something sportier.
    There is no local racing fleet for cats. So no reason to buy a locally common boat so I can race level.
    They would likely let me race handicapped against the sportier mono hull boats on our Wed night club races.
    I don't see us travelling to race against other Cats unless my son was to decide that he wanted to, then I would probably support him in doing that. We could always change boats if this became the case.

    When I started researching boats, I was leaning towards a Hobie 21SE.
    Wide beam, racks, jib and spinnaker. Centerboards.
    Seemed like a good fit.
    I was surprised how difficult they are to find. I haven't seen any for sale within a 6 hour drive.
    So, no matter what I decide to do will likely require a significant road trip to look at/pick up.

    I started researching other options for cats in the 20' range:

    Hobie 18 was also available with racks and spinnaker setup.
    Looks like it has most of what I would like.
    I have some concern about weight carrying with 3-4 people.

    The Nacra Inter20 looks like a much newer design than the 21SE.
    Newer, updated design appeals to my racer side.
    Self tacking Jib sounds nice.
    Would likely have to add racks if I really wanted them.
    People are using them for distance racing, so while fast, they can't be too unstable.

    There is a widened Nacra 5.8 with spinnaker added on this site. Looks like it might be a pretty good deal.
    No racks, but I could build some.
    It is closer to me than most things I have found that interest me.

    Mystere 6.0 looks like a possibility. There are a couple on this site.
    Don't know much about the boat though.
    But, these may be a possibility.

    Supercat 20 might be possible.
    I don't really understand where they fit in this picture.

    Arc 21/22 - look like really fun boats, but from what I have seen they are more than I would like to spend.

    Budget is not hard set. Preference to 4 digit prices, not 5.
    Lower is better of course.
    It is more about finding the right boat.
    I do most of my own maintenance on my other boats.
    So something that needs a bit of work is fine, I do not want a project boat.

    If you are still with me, what are your thoughts?
    Am I looking at boats that suit my intention?
    Any stand out as better choices to you?
    Boats that I missed that I should look at?
  • QuoteIf you are still with me, what are your thoughts?
    Am I looking at boats that suit my intention?
    Any stand out as better choices to you?
    Boats that I missed that I should look at?

    My bias thoughts:
    H21 = 600lbs and hugE mast = harder to rig and move around land
    I20 is race boat - not made for comfort
    h18 is a great robust boat but well past it's prime and getting hard to find one with hulls without soft spots - also 70 design
    widened Nacra 5.8 not a bad choice but hard to move around land (driving - requires disassembly or tilt trailer)
    Supercat 20,Arc 21/2 - fun and stable boat / could work but VERY wet boat and very very heavy mast (takes rigging to a whole new level)

    If budget is not a big issue i would look at new Nacra 5.7 personally (no boom, no boards, spin package, modern layout with jib out of the way)

    But if wings are wanted and dry boat and ability to go from a fun family cat with wings to a racing machine = Mystere 6.0 or 5.5.

    I own both and share a set of custom made wings between em

    if you want to solo a 6.0 i would recommend a set of storm sails so you can adjust your sailplan as needed (i swap my 5.5 and 6.0 sails depending on wind)

  • I have and like the i20. I find it very comfortable. Lots of room on well organized tramp. Curve on side of hull is great for sitting on. Long boat with smooth ride. It is very easy to flip. I've done it in less than five knots when I was laying on the tramp relaxing. That said you can sail very fast solo in winds under 7 knots, especially with the spin. She is very forgiving. Very responsive to rudder. Perfectly balanced sails. Above 7 knots you need crew to get max out of boat. Can be righted solo with bag. Fun boat but Tornado sport might be better as it has wider beam and weighs much less.
  • I'm liking my 21SE, and don't find it complex to rig at all. But, I'm not currently flying a spinnaker. If it takes longer than 1 hour to set up from trailer to water it's something I messed up. In its current configuration it doesn't seem any more complex than a Hobie 16. The wings are nice, real nice for cruising. I found out Friday you can depower the rig and scoot to shore through 4-6 foot breaking surf not too terribly. Big thunderstorm popped up and winds went from 15 to 35 in minutes. With the 9.5-10 foot beam it's also stable. Gin pole is a must in the category you're looking in, I think. Went through the same reasoning and came up with a look at the same boats mentioned. The 21 was nearby, so bought it. They are heavy, but ramp launch easy enough and can be manhandled with cattrax with 2 people.

    Chuck C.
    H21SE 408
  • Hobie Getaway.

    Master UniRig Sailor
  • https://southjersey.craig…sailboat/7114894040.html
    If it's a H21 SE you're in the market for check this one.
    check this site for Super Cat.

    Edited by gahamby on May 17, 2020 - 05:41 PM.

    1982 Super Cat 15
  • First I am impressed at singlehand spinnaker flying on a 35ft keelboat and also anyone that sails the Great Lakes anytime of year. I think I get where you are going. Would you consider selling the C&C 35 so you could have one boat to do both jobs? Something like a Corsair or Farrier 27 ft Trimaran will give you almost the same living space as the C&C and a lot more performance. It is easy to mast up store on a trailer. Double digit sailing in relative comfort.

    Just a thought.

    Brad in Jax
    2x Stiletto 27s, one for sale soon
  • Although I disagree somewhat with the living space comparison, a Corsair / Farrier tri would seem a good fit. With your size, don't want to get wet and at times sail with 4 on the boat, the tri is a good choice. I own an F-242 which for a single boat would likely be too small. Trade that C&C 35 for an F-31 and I think you are all set.


    Blade F-16
    Hobie Tiger
    Hobie 14
    Corsair F-242
    Mirage 25
  • There are 2 F-27 Trimarans in my area, that do seem to make your argument valid.
    I have checked out the F-31 thru F-39 boats online.
    Seems like it could be an option, someday.
    Although, I think you are either underestimating the room on my 35 or over estimating the room on a F boat.
    The F-33, F-36 and F-39 boats would require a significant increase in budget.
    They also are troublesome to find slips for in my area. 35' monohull there are a lot of options. 35' trimaran is MUCH more limited and would likely require me changing clubs.
    Maybe someday, but this isn't the current plan.

    Just looking to add a toy at this point.
    Otherwise I might be tempted to take up fishing or golf...….
  • gahambyhttps://southjersey.craig…sailboat/7114894040.html
    If it's a H21 SE you're in the market for check this one.
    check this site for Super Cat.Edited by gahamby on May 17, 2020 - 05:41 PM.

    That's the type of boat I started looking for. The little outboard might be a nice option too at times, although not really required.
  • Anyone have experience sailing a Hobie 21SE and a Nacra Inter 20?

    Thoughts on the major differences?
    Since I won't be racing, what would be the biggest differences to the owning/sailing experience?

    I assume the Nacra would point quite a bit better with the newer board design.
  • Hobie 21SE points, well...meh. Better than a 16, but not as good as a mono-hull. I'm guessing you're right about the Nacra pointing better. The Nacra will also be faster off the line, accelerating faster due to lighter weight. Not sure about top speed. The 21 is very, very roomy and comfortable and not a slouch at top speed. Mine has never felt like it's wanted to pitch-pole, but we've watched our weight balance and have had time to adjust. As to stability? I can only talk from my newbie point of view and find it very stable. Flipped it twice; both with inexperienced crew that didn't listen. I mean I couldn't have been MY fault... icon_rolleyes

    Chuck C.
    H21SE 408
  • If it is a toy that fits the criteria, then an F-24 would be my buy. It doesn't have the speed feel of a beach cat but you can keep dry, sail with 4 and still see double digits. It also makes for a good swim platform. It could only be thought of as camping cruising because there is little to no room on an F-24 compared to a C&C 35. Having storage with mast up gets you sailing in the time it takes to back it down the ramp plus 10 minutes more. So easy to unfold and be sailing.

    If still thinking beach cat, I have been on an H21 with 12 other sailors on a nice evening booze cruise. I have been on the same boat doing 20 knts with spray going everywhere. If you can get past how much the boat weighs and sure you can right it, it would be my beach cat choice. Besides, spring loaded centerboards can keep you out trouble when the boards on an I20 won't.


    Blade F-16
    Hobie Tiger
    Hobie 14
    Corsair F-242
    Mirage 25
  • QuoteAnyone have experience sailing a Hobie 21SE and a Nacra Inter 20?

    I have quite a bit of experience on both boats and own an I20. As pointed out the biggest draw back for the 21
    is the size and weight. Can be a bear to move around the beach and the heavy mast and having to expand the
    beams takes extra time to setup. Righting is also difficult.

    From a comfort stand point a winged boat takes the cake and the 21 is probably the best of them all. That said, the I20 is the most comfortable non winged boat that I have been on. The Tornado used to hurt my back after an hour. I think the clean tramp and wide hulls make the I20 quite comfortable.

    Pure sailing you cannot beat the I20. It was built ground up to be a spin boat and the helm balance is amazing.
    People always comment that you should not buy a race boat (I20) for recreational sailing. That is exactly what we did and it was the right choice. The boat is very manageable in heavy air and is really quite forgiving if mistakes are made.

    You asked about durability. The 21 is definitely a tougher boat that will take more of a beating and will take beaching better. Also a bit dryer ride in cold water. I have been on some of those crowed booze cruises on the 21. I don't think you can put enough weight on a 21 to make a difference. It just handles it. The I20 will suffer much more from extra crew weight.

    Hope some of this helps.


    Pete Knapp
    Schodack landing,NY
    Nacra I20,P18, P16,H16

This list is based on users active over the last 60 minutes.