I have been thinking about purchasing a sailing catamaran. I have been sailing for about 4 years, and to be honest I have only ever sailed monohulls
I have been contemplating on purchasing a Nacra 5.8. I found one for sale for 1,900USD. The seller says it was made in 1972, but they only started to make the in 1982.
Is it out of my league?
Is the price fair?
Do you have any tips, suggestions, advice?
Anything helps. I am happy to answer additional questions.
Here are the images of the catamaran.
I have a saying ... "Life is short, buy the boat!"
I have a friend who has a 5.8 and have been on it many times. It can be an exhilarating ride when the wind picks up. It is hard to tell much from those pictures but it is a nicer looking example of a 5.8.
Grab someone who knows cats and have them go with you to look at it. Buy him a couple of beers and then convince him to join you on the boat for some lessons. If you are going out alone, make sure you have a water bag.
Cat sailing is tons of fun!!
Owner of many Nacra's and raced the 5.8 for many years. It's a great boat in choppy water with it's buoyant deep hulls. Recently restored an old Nacra 5.5SL. As others have said, have someone help you inspect it. Glass and gelcoat can be repaired as long as structure is good. Parts hard to find and costly are: Mast, boards, and beams. Not hard to get but costly is sails. When buying a boat at the low end of price range, please have a budget available to restore it to a worthy and safe sailing condition. I had around $6,000 in cost of restoring the previous mentioned 5.5SL and was only able to sell in $3,000 range. From cost perspective, seems better to buy an older boat already restored. Just saying. Happy sailing.
Looks like a nice boat and with that trailer worth the money if the hulls, sails, rudders, and boards are in decent shape. Sail condition on these older boats is important since they cost more than the price of the boat to replace. The boards are hard to find and very expensive so look them over good. Where are you located? Best suggestion was to have a knowledgeable cat guy look it over.
A 5.8 is a lot of boat for a newbie especially if you are a light crew. That boat has the bridle foil so it is an NA with the larger jib. I would still suggest buying it and learning in lighter air or with someone experienced. If the boat turns out to be in good shape go for it, you won't be disappointed.
Nacra I20,P18, P16,H16
Admittedly I don't know anyone with an extensive knowledge in cats. As mentioned before I have sailed my fare share of monohulls, so I might have to make due with that. Pete to your question, I am located in Central PA, while the seller is in Hanover PA. I am going to ask the seller more images especially of the current condition of the sail, rudder and daggerboard. I am not too concerned about crew weight, as I would be sailing with my brother or father. "TominPA" Thank you so much. I am glad to hear that, as I read those are easier to fix. If it is solid laminate, I can do some repairs on it, but I am not to keen on purchasing a project cat.
I've just bought a secondhand 5.8 ($4k AUD), admittedly i didnt know much about the Nacras when I made my purchase, but i had done a bit of research and i know enough about boats to be over confident in my knowledge (or lack of). On first inspection i was impressed with the condition of everything, the hulls were in great nic, with no noticeable repairs, sail was good and everything was straight. Fast forward a few weeks, and noticed a couple of things I've missed and I've taken the boat in to the shop for a once over. While i was expecting a few things, those fews things have added up ($2k AUD), plus a recommendation to replace the tramp for another $600. That's not including personal equipment, PFDs, trapeze Harnesses, gloves, warmth layers, boots etc.
So a couple of things from my experience:
- does the tramp have straight or zig zag stitching, if straight, expect it to be replaced sooner rather than later
- check for any damage where the boards go through the hull
- carefully check the mast and beams for any holes, corrosion or pitting
- check the holes on the beam where the dolphin striker attaches, are these elongated or in good shape (round)? (tough one to see)
- the mast ball should be about 75mm above the beam, if it's not, the dolphin striker may be stretched or the above holes have been stretched
- check the hulls for any damage or repair work. It may just be the photo but the starboard inner hull near the front beam looks discoloured to me.
- check the beam straps aren't screwed tight over the beams on both screws, There should be a gap. both screws should have an even'ish space between the strap and the hull, or at least have a gap on one side.
Other things to consider, are you planning on sailing solo or with a crew/family. The 5.8 is a lot of boat solo. Also take into consideration the man power to raise the mast and rig the boat.
Does it come with beach wheels?
Expect to spend money on additional items personal equipment, PFDs, Trapeze Harness, gloves, warmth layers, boots etc.
Edited by johnoau on May 05, 2021 - 06:37 PM.
My advice is: if you plan to purchase it either dry rig it with the previous owner and video the process
there are lots of steps and it's easy to forget some and or be confused when you do it solo
this will also PROVE all the parts are there
IF the seller is a good person and capable and willing ... take it for a test sail. this will prove all the parts are working. I required it on most of my boat purchases.
Thank You John so much for the helpful information. I can beleive that there are a lot of repairs that might need to be done. I will definitely bringing someone who knows more about cats than I do. I will ask the seller if we can go somewhere to sail it. (There is a lake a couple minutes from his location, so I hope he agrees to it) Generally when you buy a car you bring it to a mechanic to have it checked. Would you suggest doing something similar.
Can you please elaborate on straight or sig zag stitching. I am not sure I understand.
Thank you. I didn't know the correlation between the sail number and time of manufacturing.
I noticed that the daggerboard hold down on the port side needs fixing. I would think that isn't too bad.
a vs b
cheaper machines can't do the zigzag stitch and is an indicator the builder of the tramp wasn't using the best equipment to build the tramp and the life expectancy will be reduced
best tramps use very UV resistant materials and methods of construction and will double or more the life of a tramp
another "test" you can do is to use your fingernail on a single thread (stitch) and see if it breaks/fails easily. if it can the tramp is either at the end of it's life or very cheap materials (thread) were used - neither are good but an older boat can have a SHOT tramp and that doesn't mean the boat is also shot. Tramps have a shorter life compared to gelcoat and alum
Edited by MN3 on May 05, 2021 - 12:06 PM.
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