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New but cool - looking for suggestions on our first cat.  Bottom

  • Ok so I am brand new to sailing. Hubbie and I have taken lessons on a 31’ and 40’ keelboat. While buying one of those would be cool, we live inland and would like to start with a cool cat for nearby lakes and occasional gulf visits. We will save the big boats for charters once we get really cool. We are late 30s, motivated and fit. We would like to sale with our athletic 14 year old and 10 year old kids. We have the means but don’t want to overpay. What are suggestions for a good starter. Important factors are trailerability, setup time and fun. There is a Nacra 570 for sale nearby, but we worry about availability of parts. Also - can you put wings on one of those things. Wings seem like a must for comfort. Help and thanks - you guys all seem so cool - I’d love to share a beer with you and learn all you know.
  • If your only sailing is lessons on big boats, I would recommend you find someone with a cat and trade booze for rides (that always works). If you want to sail with 4, you'll need a bigger cat. The opposite side of that is they are fast and powerful and maybe not the right boat for a beginner.

    Wings start to be an necessity when you get to my age. Late 30's they are a nice to have.


    Blade F-16
    Hobie Tiger
    Hobie 14
    Corsair F-242
    Mirage 25
  • Boomless Nacra are fun boats! Nsturally start on light wind days.


    Marstrom Tornado
    Nacra 5.0

  • It is very hard to beat a 570 for two fit people. They will a,so handle a fair bit of weight, but you will see performance drop on any Cat with four people, unless you get something like Hobie 21.
    We have two legacy Nacra, a 5.7 & a 5.0. I have never had problems with parts. Fair numbers of used parts, & places like Murray’s sells new.
    Having kids, (or anytime with multiple people), the large no clutter tramp of the board less, boom less Nacra is a bigger plus than wings.
    Another good boat would be an H18, which can be found with wings.
    In any choice, condition is everything. Don’t buy a boat just because it has wings, if the sails & boat in general are in poor shape.

    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
  • Ditto - sails can cost as much as that "great deal, used boat"... You can fit that number of people on a Hobie Getaway, but that's a drop in performance and really for dinking around I guess. At a resort in Key Largo my family and I had fun on one for a day. REALLY easy to sail and set up and tough. Just not "fast" like a fiberglass performance boat. Still faster than most mono-hulls (maybe?).

    Chuck C.
    H21SE 408
  • It seems that you will be trailering and stepping the mast often, which means you need something simple to rig. The 570 is a great choice, the Hobie Getaway too if you want to sail all 4 most of the time, but the trade off is that it is more a family boat, not as fast and sporty as the 570. I’d go with the 570 personally, we are 4 too and have had a 5.5 for long time, when the girls were younger we sailed all 4, now we go two or three on board and take turns, which is not an issue at all. The 570 and the Getaway have a trampoline free of stuff that you will love. The wings are standard on the Getaway and are great if your choice is cruising and exploring more than the sailing itself, most cat sailors like cats because of the speed and sailing more than cruising (my estimation..). For that but with the added simplicity, the 570 is a great choice. The issue with 4 people is not so much the space but that weight distribution becomes tricky under strong wind. Performance is compromised but more than that, at some point you can’t sail quite well, the hull will tend to dive and you can’t power the sails as you would expect. That on any boat of that size except the Getaway which has high volume hulls, made for that. About the wings, I would wait and see if you really want them, not a must in my opinion.
  • dssaakWings start to be an necessity when you get to my age. Late 30's they are a nice to have.

    Late 30's???? I'm early 40's and couldn't imagine wanting a boat with wings yet.... unless you're talking the other kind of "wings"... I mean foils, lol
  • beachesbelike We would like to sale with our athletic 14 year old and 10 year old kids.

    When you say you would like to sail with your two kids, do you mean all four of you on the boat at one time, or two people at a time swapping out? It will make a big difference in the type of boat you choose. Two (or maybe three) at a time and you have a huge number of options. Four at a time (on a regular basis) and you’re essentially looking at a Hobie 21 or other similar large cat. Another option to get four people on the water at once would be to look into getting two boats - perhaps a Hobie 16 and a Wave, or some other combination. Two boats would give you a lot of options depending on how many people will be sailing on any given day.

  • Thanks for all the insight, guys! I think we are leaning towards a getaway with the intention of everyone learning and falling in love - then we switch to one or two higher performance boats.
  • Don’t discard Hobie 21
  • beachesbelikeThanks for all the insight, guys! I think we are leaning towards a getaway with the intention of everyone learning and falling in love - then we switch to one or two higher performance boats.

    IMHO i think this is the right idea

    I own a 5.5 and 6.0 spin/wings ... it's a lot to manage, step, push around, and have trimmed correctly.
    getaway hits all your needs and you can grow into something with more controls and more speed (we are talking from 13mph to 15mph give or take)

    smaller boats with less adjustments is a lot easier to learn and become proficient on ... make it fun first - then you can get competitive and fast!
  • Dang MN3 what all boats do you own??? Lol. Realistically really at least I didn't say get a Hobie 16, not the right application, lol.
    Hope everyone is staying safe out there while searching for their right cat.

    1984 Hobie 16 Redline Yellow Nationals, "Yellow Fever"
    Opelika, Al / Lake Martin
  • QuoteDang MN3 what all boats do you own???

    2 mystere (both is the pic below) & a 57 Crestliner Jonboat (for moving camping gear and dog to the local islands)


  • This comes down to what do you want to do with the boat and how much performance you are expecting. The first choice is boardless or board boat.. The boardless boats give you one less thing to worry about, especially when approaching a beach. They typically will not point as well as a boat with boards, but there are some tradeoffs. We can keep digging in to each of the boat details to help narrow down a choice.

    Just starting out, I would consider a Nacra 5.7 or a 570. You can probably get a 5.7 cheaper. Starting out with a cheaper boat has some pros and cons. You don't have a large initial investment, but like everything, it takes maintenance. More than likely, a used boat will need work. I would suggest making the boat able to sail. Don't get caught up in the cosmetic details for now. Get out on the water and get everyone hooked. That will help motivate everyone to work on it later. Ultimately, I would lean towards the Hobie 21 if you want to sail with all 4. I have sailed with 4 on my Prindle 19 and it does ok. For most people, they are not worried about extra weight. For multis, less weight is best for performance. Will the boat still do 12-15 knots with 4 people, yes. With more weight, it will load up the boat more and there is a greater possibility of breaking something. I always advise new sailors to start small and go up from there. Some people stay hooked and some lose interest. There is also the possibility of getting a 17-18' cat for the adults and a Hobie 16 for the kids. Just take boat boats and that way they get to learn on their own and gain independence.. With that, you could get 2 H-16s to merge/share parts. They are easy enough to double stack on a trailer. Parts are very easily accessible. Usually, one can find parts pretty easily. I started off at 16 on a Nacra 5.8, so don't get intimidated by a bigger boat. One of the things that deters people from the bigger cats is raising the mast. There are a bunch of systems out to get that done easily. You can message me for details on what I do when you get to that point.


    Prindle 18-2 Mod "FrankenKitty"
    Tornado Classic "Fast Furniture"
    Prindle 19 "Mr. Wiggly" - gone
    Nacra 5.8 "De ja vu"
    Nacra 5.0
    Nacra 5.8
    Tornadoes (Reg White)
  • Don't underestimate the fun of a Getaway. They take a lot of hits from the performance folks, but my wife and I (and friends) certainly like ours..and it is pretty fun powered up. Not the boring dog with benches (gasp) that seems to be a common refrain. Maybe I'd feel differently if frequently dealing with light winds.

    Robert Netsch
    Nags Head, NC
  • I’ll throw my anchor into the ring and also suggest the Getaway. I rented one in Cancun and was surprised on the performance and ease of use. Previously I scoffed at rotomolded construction but they certainly can hold up to wear and tear during learning phase. MN3 mentioned simple set up and that can not be overstated during novice stage. Last item to point out is the Getaway will be easier and faster to rig which means getting on and off the water quicker than larger and more advanced/performance cats.


  • The Nacra 570 is a great boat, I'm a little bias :) But it's seriously a lot of fun and very durable!
    However it's a big boat for what most people want to manage. I usually say if you're two large strong adults or plan to often bring 3-4 people then a 570 is good, if you're a large adult and medium adult and plan to sail with 2-3, the Nacra 500 is better.
    Parts are easily available for all current Nacra boats.
    Boats like the 5.0,5.2,5.5.,5.7,5.8,6.0 and etc we don't supply parts for, in some cases you can get it aftermarket but things like the mast, beams, rudders, rudder systems, daggerboards and etc. are no longer available at all.
    And yes I'd have to agree with Will, wings are't even a consideration yet! If you plan to haul 4-6 people then I could see it though.
    We do have some special deals on new boats right now! Drop me a line if you're interested at todd@nacrasailing.com

    Edited by nacrasailing on May 26, 2020 - 10:53 PM.
  • Here is another thought ...

    Buy a couple of F16s and it would be two up sailing with the kids. They are modern, light, fast, easy to right (don't ask) when necessary and really are easy to double stack. When crew isn't available, one up main and spinnaker only sailing is great.


    Blade F-16
    Hobie Tiger
    Hobie 14
    Corsair F-242
    Mirage 25
  • You say you live "inland", but could you be more specific? Your choice of boat can have a lot to do with geography.

    Southern Alberta and all over the damn place.
    1983 SuperCat 19
    TriFoiler #23 "Unfair Advantage"
    Mystere 17
    Zygal (classic) Tornado
    Invitation and Mistral and Sunflower and windsurfers w/ Harken hydrofoils and god knows what else...
  • I sail primarily Hobie 16 and Nacra 5.0, usually single handed and hiked out, a couple years ago rented a Getaway in the Keys with a buddy (total ~ 450lbs) we had a blast- hull tends to bury a bit at speed but overall was great fun- so much so my buddy bought one back home. easy to trailer, set up and cruise- easy to teach kids points of sailing etc. Rotomoulded hulls are bullett proof- if you accidentally get into rocks or hard beach landing-no problem. Tramp up forward great for beach gear, small coolers etc. Just my 2c.


    Nacra 5.0
    Hobie 16 (restored)
    Nacra 5.5

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