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Sould I get a Dart 18  Bottom

  • 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 Dart 18. I found one for sale for 1,500USD. The seller says it was made in 1995. Do you guys have any tips suggestions warnings?

    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.
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1KA0rvtTbZU9ykKsGb4FAKlboonIofnUTIF0ePhDOFjE/edit?usp=sharing


    I am located In Central PA
    Seller in Baltimore
    Would be sailing with my brother
  • It is only out of your league if you attempt to sail it the first time without the help of an experienced cat sailor. There's many more ways to get in trouble than sailing a monohull. The Dart 18 is a well known boat so you should find lots of information about it. Boardless is the way to go for a first cat.

    --
    Bill Townsend
    G-Cat 5.7
    Sarasota
    --
  • 1500 for a cat in good working condition is a good price
    look for condition of sails, hulls, trailer, tires. bearings, how old is the standing rigging? if old, unknown or a few years in salt - replace (all works into the overall cost)

    darts are great boats - simple break down, easy to rig, easy to sail (relative to modern cats with more control lines), easy to right, as Bill said, "boardless is great", that design is made for med to heavy air so it is kinda slow in light air but can handle big air (sailed in the n sea, and s africa)
  • +1 On getting a cat sailor to come along for rigging advice. However, I am self taught and if you watch the youtube videos and pick up The Catamaran Book https://www.amazon.com/Ca…d=pla-327820661716&psc=1
    (which is based on the Dart 18) you will be in fine shape. Practice rigging in the yard before you have the stress of the boat ramp. Find a 8-12mph day and let her rip!

    --
    Robert
    81' NACRA 5.2 "Chris's Flyer"
    Previously owned H18, Trac 14, G-Cat 5.0, H14T, H16, N5.0
    BYC, Mobile, AL
    --
  • Thanks guys for the helpful info. I updated and added more pictures of the sails, rudders and some of the rigging.

    https://docs.google.com/d…onIofnUTIF0ePhDOFjE/edit
  • Some things to consider. How will the boat be sailed, as in are you looking to race or casual sail? How much weight are you planning on putting on the boat? Some cats can handle more weight than others, not sure about a Dart 18. Easy of assembly, as in, are you going to be able to leave the boat set up for periods of time or will you need to trailer and set up each time you use it? The larger cats have heavier masts and are a bit more challenging to set up. As far as looking at any used cat, be sure to look at it in person. Check for soft spots in the hulls, check out all hardware, lines and stays, wires for any wear, ask if they are original items or have been replaced and when. Check trampoline for holes, wear, basic tightness. Check sail condition, rudders, mainsheet system. If the boat has a trailer, check tires, lights and overall condition of the trailer assuring that it is road worthy.
    In general, mainly check everything for wear and functionality after all it is a boat and will have been subjected to the elimates over the years. Hope this helps a little.

    --
    Marty
    1984 Hobie 16 Redline Yellow Nationals, "Yellow Fever"
    Opelika, Al / Lake Martin
    --
  • Hi I have been sailing a Dart 18 now for 7 years. Its is a great boat a bit under canvased in light winds but in a breeze she good fun. Thing to look for on the hulls are excessive damage to the skeggs and cracks along the keel lines I have a boat build in 1992 (sail no.5054) and this age did have lots of problems with cracking along the keels not the end of the world but will take on water and the fix is do able at home but involves removing the middle deck (been there done that!!!). You and your bother should be good people do say don't sail with 3 people if the wind is really blowing the mast has no spreaders so little support and there have been stories of the mast bending or snapping if sailed like that. There should be an stainless steal plate in the bottom of the mast where the mast ball sits this is to stop excessive wear on the ball and foot. scrub that last bit I can see in in the mast foot in pic 10.
    Other than that pretty much as martyr has said. If you are on Facebook the Dart 18 UK association is a good place to have look and there website have lots of info about setting it up. From the pics it looks pretty good for its age if that sail no. is right for the hulls. In the Uk I would say the price is about right with a road trailer. Over her they really start at about $1200 and go up from there. I think that below that price its better to break them for parts.

    Chris (Uk)
  • Thanks much-big 3 day holiday this side of pond will install this weekend/I have had 3 Dart 18s,all purchased used, few issues, still have 2, i have owned 2 Hobie 16s a H18 with wings, 4 Prindle 16s one .with wings, Nacras 5.2,5.5sl, & a N5.7, sailed Tornados, n570, Hobie 17,Bluejays, Flying Scotts, Cape Cods, Lightenings, a Celebrity etcetc and found the Dart 18 to be the best designed(unusual
    for u limeys since every British sports car I owned was a pain in the A-loved them all anyway) safest dependable small craft for day sailing.Still pondering stainless screws instead of rivets
  • Thank you all so much for your help.

    I found out some new information, and wanted o ask your opinion on it.

    ONE SIDE OF THE MAST FOOT IS BROKEN. How big of a problem is this? How much does it cost to get fixed.
    The broken mast is the first picture in the link below

    The rudder mechanism for lower water doesn't work. I am not too concerned as I am not planning to sail in shallow water, but let me know if it is a bigger problem than I recognize.

    The broken mast is the first picture
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1KA0rvtTbZU9ykKsGb4FAKlboonIofnUTIF0ePhDOFjE/edit
  • The mast base is going to be a problem unless replaced or repaired there is a pin that goes through it to hold it on the ball when mast raising.I believe you could by a new one reasonably easy

    --
    Carl

    Dart 18x2
    Nacra 5.8
    1967 B-LION for sale
    1985 Hobie 18
    Windrider Rave x2 for sale
    --
  • Cannot really see the rudders well enough in the photos to see why they may not work> they need a good bump on the tiller when you pack them up

    --
    Carl

    Dart 18x2
    Nacra 5.8
    1967 B-LION for sale
    1985 Hobie 18
    Windrider Rave x2 for sale
    --
  • Hi I don't want to go against onekiwi but my mast foot is broken in the same place since I have had the boat and it has not been problem. I do store the boat with the mast up and only take it down at the end of the season or if high winds are forecast. I will be honest an i do have a large crew member on the trapeze handles when raising or lowering the mast. If you do get the boat grease the ball before you put the mast up to save wear. The rudder I am guessing the bolt though the middle has probably corroded itself to the sleeve running though the rudder which is metal new ones are nylon. You can change them but it not easy we cut, drilled and big hammer it out but I would not recommend it. i would find someone with a press and see if that would works. if the tiller does not lift up I am thinking it could be the locking could be sticking. All parts are still made in the uk by Windsport i sure they post would wide.
  • You can purchase new base direct from Windsport. I have had them ship, (via Royal Mail), to me, here in Canada. The base is £61! About $61USD.
    http:// https://www.winds…arts/dart-18/mast-d18-2/
    It looks as if a pin can still be inserted. It won’t be captive on one side,but if it holds the foot in place, will still work.
    Same as legacy Nacras, the pin just keeps the mast foot from popping off the ball, only needed during the initial portion of the raise. If I trailer sailed, I would definitely get a base with pin.
    Dart rudders are $$$++.
    They work very well, but are much more complex, parts wise, than the Nacras or my H18.
    The good news is they are the same parts as the D15, & there are a few wrecked 18’s around, so buying a used rudder is doable. They use Ackerman angle, so there is a left & right, BUT, grab any one you can, the tiller can be removed from your faulty rudder & swapped out.
    I’ve direct sailed against a D18, with a crew that were decent racers, & my N5.7 was easily faster, but that is to be expected with a longer waterline, (19’ vs 18’), taller mast, & more sail area. The Dart jib would make a good hanky, or doily.
    That said, when the wind gets up, you are not in survival mode. If my sailing area was consistent light/med wind, I would prefer the Nacra 5.7. If you sail in 20+ often, the Dart is a fantastic boat. I’ve sailed my D15 in 33mph.
    For ease of use, no boom, no boards, no tools required, hard to beat that.

    --
    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
    --
  • doily I have not heard that term for a long time!

    --
    Carl

    Dart 18x2
    Nacra 5.8
    1967 B-LION for sale
    1985 Hobie 18
    Windrider Rave x2 for sale
    --
  • Thank you all for your super useful information. I had an appointment set up with the person, and he sold it sight unseen less than 24h before we were supposed to meet. Unfortunate, but I guess money doesn't smell. Currently looking at a Super Cat 17, so you will see another post soon asking for help. Thank you again all for your helpful information and support through my quest to get my first cat.

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