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  • Hi all!

    I'm new to this forum, but not to sailing or beach cats- I've cruised and lived aboard (monohulls that is) for long stretches, done some intercontinental bluewater sailing, I windsurf, and I've owned 3 different hobies (so far haha). I still think of myself as a bit of a beginner when it comes to beach cats as a "genre" of boat though, having mostly only sailed Hobie cats.

    I'm location independent, but am sort of based in North America, and spend more of my free time around east TN and western NC than anywhere else lately. I've been dreaming up beach cat adventures pretty much since I got rid of my last one, and will very likely acquire a boat in the summer of '21.

    So, to my question: Which beach cat gives me the best intersection of performance, general ruggedness, and weight capacity? Ease of single handing and affordability are also concerns, but I'm mostly just trying to narrow the field currently. My plans are mostly raid-ish adventures, either coastal or on lakes and rivers around the US, where I'm carrying 40-100lbs of gear and food/water strapped to the tramp and occasionally a sub- 200 lb. crewmate (I'm 155-ish myself). My current top contender/favorite is the Supercat 19, but I have little knowledge of what else is out there that might suit, and my attempts at researching around these characteristics haven't yielded much as of yet.

    Any input is greatly appreciated! it seems like there's a lot of knowledge floating around this forum, and I'm excited to have found you all.

    -A
  • If you can find a GCAT 5.7 in good condition it would meet all your criteria. They are not as fast as the modern boats but comparable to a Hobie/Prindle 18. They have a front tramp which is awesome for stowing gear. The only downside is that they have been out of production for quite some time so finding boat specific parts like rudder castings and mast bases can be problematic. Other than that find one in good shape and you would have the perfect "raiding" cat.
    Shawn
  • I'm in th e WNC area about 10 minutes to Asheville . I've got a Hobie 18 SX with wings that you'd be more than welcome to take out for a day and try out. With the wngs it's really accommodating,can be loaded down and single handed. Feel free to hit me up. Cody. 8 too 8 3016one one one
  • I have only owned G-Cats and Nacras and I have to agree with Shawn about the 5.7. I have owned 6 of them and have sort of made a hobby out of restoring them and selling them. I've always lost money but very little and really enjoy fixing them up. In fact I'm looking for another 5.7. Parts are an issue but there is an owners association which helps. The SC 19 might be a bit much because I know the mast on the 17 is too heavy for a normal person to step alone. I'm 155 and can still step the mast on a 5.7. It sounds like your ideal boat should be boardless and have a front tramp. Keep in mind that boardless V shaped hulls are much, much harder to drag over sand. Front tramps are really nice for being at dockside, anchoring and raising the jib. In light air you can get your crew member forward to get the bows deeper to go to weather. Pitch poling has never been an issue with me because on the 5.7 the front tramp is set well aft. Not so much with the 5.0. However single handing in gusty winds can be an issue with too much air getting under the boat if you fly a hull. Have you considered a Hobie 21 Sport Cat? It has boards but they are kick up center boards. It also has a front tramp and a big, ugly storage compartment. It might fit all your needs but it's heavy and probably slow. Hobie has cornered the rental market with 16 ft roto-molded with front tramps and boardless but I think they are too small. If you decide the front tramp is not an issue, I don't think you can go wrong with a Nacra 570 or 5.7 even a Prindle 18.

    --
    Bill Townsend
    G-Cat 5.7
    Sarasota
    --
  • supercat masts are prohibitive for solo sailing rigging and righting, anything is possible with leverage but those masts are crazy heavy - beside that it is a great boat that had great support from the designer/builder. Not sure of the status currently. A wet boat but a great cat

    Gcats are great but as mentioned - old and out of production
    this is the same with many legacy boats - and if your thinking off shore sailing - you may want to bite the bullet and spend a lot more for a modern boat. the problem with old boats is they are built light, and break easy. years of use and even non use puts a lot of metal fatigue into the beams and masts.

    Parts is the other issue

    For me - mystere was the perfect answer
    lots around the south east / esp florida. dealer support (then and now), lots of deck room, kickup centerboards,
    competitive boat (in the mid 90's) and i can add or remove all the bells and whistles i want (spins, wings, front tramps on the xl model, etc)
    i have 2 (5.5 and 6.0). still crazy fast in a blow (was originally the training boat for the Olympic tornado) and can be depowered enough to sail solo in 20 (was out in 23knots a few weeks ago. i could have benefited with some crew but was able to handle it solo)

    I have big and little sails that i swap between boats depending on wind.


    https://www.thebeachcats.com/classifieds/data/1/large/3.png
    https://www.thebeachcats.…-custom-mystere-6-0.html
  • Thank you all for weighing in, I really appreciate the input! (and I'm glad I asked, I knew nothing about G-cats or Mysteres)

    -Heard on the Supercat masts being too heavy. It's a bummer, because they sound tough and fast, but I don't want a boat I can't rig.

    The G-Cats sound like sweet boats, but between the questionable parts availability and not being super attracted to the idea of a front tramp (despite the well described advantages) I'm leaning more towards something like the Mystere that MN3 posted, or a Nacra. Are Nacras tough boats? I'm not sure why, but so far I've been imagining them as fragile but fast. The kick up centerboards on the Mystere are also an attractive feature, as are those deck hatches.
  • If money is no object, get a Nacra 570. (They're still in production.) The 5.7 Nacra is an earlier version, they've been around a long time so there's a few out there. The 570 is much improved however. Boardless and boomless and much more durable than Nacras' high performance boats but plenty fast.

    --
    Bill Townsend
    G-Cat 5.7
    Sarasota
    --
  • Hobie 18 with wings. Many boat years available depending on budget, durable, and parts always available. Easy to add roller jib, spinny, ect...
  • QuoteI'm leaning more towards something like the Mystere that MN3 posted, or a Nacra. Are Nacras tough boats? I'm not sure why, but so far I've been imagining them as fragile but fast. The kick up centerboards on the Mystere are also an attractive feature, as are those deck hatches.

    In general -The higher the performance boat the more delicate they are (light = fast, overbuild = strong)
    Nacra's are great boats and in production in europe - there are a few dealers in USA -

    that is a deck hatch - put in by a previous owner.
    the bows are big volume and the hatch is nice for gear

    I had a h16 and h18 - neither are performance boats but if racing class = all equal
    i went up from my h18 to my mystere 5.5 - night and day (the 5.5 is basically a f18 and there is a f18 version called the Mystere Twister)
  • MN3
    In general -The higher the performance boat the more delicate they are (light = fast, overbuild = strong)


    Where would my Supercat 17 fall on that spectrum? Is it fast or strong?

    --
    Bryan in Poplar Grove, IL
    Future Supercat 17 owner
    Currently own two foam monohulls
    --
  • waiex191
    MN3
    In general -The higher the performance boat the more delicate they are (light = fast, overbuild = strong)


    Where would my Supercat 17 fall on that spectrum? Is it fast or strong?

    i would call a supercat a strong design
    it can be sailed fast and wet but it doesn't compare to modern cats for speed
    Most legacy cats are not fast and overbuilt compared to modern designs


    it is rated the same as a hobie18 Formulat
    https://schrs.com/ratings.html
  • QuoteMost legacy cats are not fast and overbuilt compared to modern designs

    Are Tornados, Nacra 5.8s and Prindle 19s legacy cats?

    --
    Bill Townsend
    G-Cat 5.7
    Sarasota
    --
  • shortyfox
    QuoteMost legacy cats are not fast and overbuilt compared to modern designs

    Are Tornados, Nacra 5.8s and Prindle 19s legacy cats?

    Yup

    Tornado is a 1967 design
    nacra 5.8 was released in 1982
    Prindle 19 is credited to 1985

    The 19 is pretty darn close to a tornado. both boats started to put on larger sail plans to increase speeds

    so the youngest is 35 years old - these boats are not close to the speed and fragility of modern design. Modern catamarans are mostly built for racing (a few exceptions but the recreational market is dead in the USA, replaced with rotomolded boats)

    I am not knocking these boats at all - just saying older designs were originally built more for recreational sailing and when racing, either raced class or with a handicap system - not as worried about shaving lbs to sail in a huge class like Acats, f16/f18, 20'ers
  • QuoteModern catamarans are mostly built for racing (a few exceptions but the recreational market is dead in the USA, replaced with rotomolded boats)

    Too bad. Except for rotomolded I don't believe there's been much development in "recreational boats" in the last few decades. I've been sailing beach cats for 40 years but have no experience with the latest designs. There's a small group of Nacra sailors from a local club with modern boats that I sometimes get the opportunity to sail alongside. This is like an informal race and they don't exactly walk away from my old, tired G-Cat. The difference in speed is less than a knot on reaches. If I were in the market for new, and money was no object, I'd give a Nacra 570 a good look. Certainly more recreational than high performance but plenty user friendly with boomless, boardless and jib blocks on the cross tube. I know because I sailed a Nacra 500 for 10 years and I believe the 570 is a bigger version of the same.

    --
    Bill Townsend
    G-Cat 5.7
    Sarasota
    --
  • g cats are great boats for sure. we have a 5.7 in dunedin (rey) who is very fast and hard to beat on corrected time (although his boat is the furthest thing from "stock".) Here in dunedin the racing is VERY informal. Hans and Rey won a majority of the races in the past decade. Since Hans was the manufacturer - he gave the boat a VERY friendly rating in the handicap systems.


    that being said: i don't see g-cats in either SCHRS nor Portsmouth ratings - only around 2000 were built so probably not enough to rate a rating at a national / international level.

    i am not sure your on the water evaluation of "under a knot" but even at face value.... that is 1 mile (give or take) per hour of distance racing. that is considerable.

    Also g-cat may be close on a reach but not be close on other points of sail. Every hull shape and sail plan has it's pros and cons

    Some rating examples:

    Prindle 19 1.074
    Tornado Classic 1.046

    Nacra 5.7 Race 1.132
    Nacra 570 (without spinnaker) 1.103
    Nacra 5.8 Spinnaker 1.023
    Nacra 580 Sport Spinnaker 1.016

    Hobie Tiger F18 1.000

    Nacra 20 One Design 0.970

    Modern
    Nacra F20 Carbon FCS 0.868
    Whisper 0.957

    PS i am with you on the 570 - that is my desired cat



    Edited by MN3 on Oct 27, 2020 - 01:28 PM.
  • Nacra 570 a good look. Certainly more recreational than high performance but plenty user friendly with boomless, boardless and jib blocks on the cross tube.



    NACRA 570 ??? Boards? I thought they're a Boat with Boards, now not sure. Hadn't seen one in my neck of the woods



    Edited by topcat16 on Oct 27, 2020 - 04:46 PM.
  • Still being built - check out online. Skeg boat. Now, if it had wings also - THAT would have my vote! I'm spoiled now...

    --
    Chuck C.
    H21SE 408
    --
  • QuoteNACRA 570 ??? Boards? I thought they're a Boat with Boards, now not sure.

    Definitely boardless. Little or no rocker, cut away aft of skeg, much less buoyancy when you go aft to tack, bows go up and the boat kind of pivots on the skegs when you come about. Works good.

    Quotei am not sure your on the water evaluation of "under a knot" but even at face value.... that is 1 mile (give or take) per hour of distance racing. that is considerable.

    I'm not sure either. But you're right when I stop and think about it. It is considerable. I just know in 12 kts wind they just barely, barely creep by. Everything is relative when you're going that fast and
    you can't tell the difference in boat speed without some kind of reference. One of the things I like most about sailing is no matter how experienced you are there's always something to learn. There's satisfaction in making something more efficient, whether it's sailing faster or just trailering and setting your boat up. By the way, I know Hans, I've bought two boats from him over the years, sold him one and I'm looking for another 5.7.

    --
    Bill Townsend
    G-Cat 5.7
    Sarasota
    --
  • Quote By the way, I know Hans, I've bought two boats from him over the years, sold him one and I'm looking for another 5.7.

    Yes you mentioned he showed you a few things.
    I have sailed with him 100's of times. he is a great sailor and an adventurer for sure.

    He is a good man. He is now retired from beachcats but i see him on the causeway from time to time.

    https://www.thebeachcats.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=128305&g2_serialNumber=3
  • traverse313So, to my question: Which beach cat gives me the best intersection of performance, general ruggedness, and weight capacity? Ease of single handing and affordability are also concerns,...

    -A

    A, Welcome to TheBeachcats.com!

    As you see, most "what boat should I buy" topics devolve into a discussion of which is fastest... we just can't help it. No matter what the question is, the answer is speed!

    But seriously, your problem is finding a boat that does what you want, and is available near enough to you to be able to get your hands on it.

    Keep an eye out for a Nacra 5.7 or 570, a Prindle 18, and of course, the best one icon_biggrin Hobie 18 (with wings or without). Those boats are all available on the used market and were built in sufficient quantities that you might actually find one.

    If you can handle a 20 foot boat then the classic Nacra 20 is the king of the long distance boats and can handle considerable weight if you aren't trying to be competitive around triangles.

    Good luck and please come back and update us on what you end up doing.

    --
    Damon Linkous
    1992 Hobie 18
    Memphis, TN

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