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Can a Nacra 5.2 be upgraded to Foil?  Bottom

  • Howdy,
    I sail in San Fransisco bay, mostly on keel boats and occasionally I will head out on a dingy and get a bit wet. I have also sailed a Hobie a couple times in the past, though I am certainly new to cats. There is a listing for a Nacra 17 5.2 selling for $2000. Is it a good deal? I have been doing some research and it seems that other similar boats are selling for $2,500 so this seems like an alright deal, but maybe I am missing something.

    I am also wondering if anyone knows of how difficult and expensive it might be to upgrade a 5.2 Nacra to foil. Is it even possible? I assume that the modern Nacra foils are not interchangeable with the old ones dagger-boards, but how difficult might it be to make them so? I have seen conversion kits for RS Aero's or Lasers to make them foil, would a similar modification be possible on a Nacra?
  • There are a lot of variables for foiling boats, power to weight, beam, weight location, etc. The foiling boats are mostly designed from the ground up to be able to foil. I wouldn't think that an older Nacra would have the stiffness nor the structural integrity to foil for very long before failing. Not to mention the power to weight ratio, etc.

    To convert a $2,500 floater to foiling, I'd expect to spend a lot more than the price of the boat just to buy the foils.

    If you want to foil, buy a foiling boat, you'll have MUCH better success and likely spend less money in the end.
  • QuoteI am also wondering if anyone knows of how difficult and expensive it might be to upgrade a 5.2 Nacra to foil. Is it even possible?


    many sailboats can
    https://i.ytimg.com/vi/4HkIs5VzXCA/maxresdefault.jpg
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UokOO60dsMU

    but does it make any sen$e mischuge

    as per "Is this a good deal"
    we need a LOT more info to answer such a broad question
    year? sail(s) shape? every drop of gear in working condition/ready to sail? tires on trailer, hubs, lights? beachwheels? extras? hulls bottom/side and top conditions (1 -100), pictures? ?video? hulls have flex. etc (etc, etc)

    if everything is "Yes", or most and you can live with the few "no's" that you KNOW you can fix/replace ... than 2k for a working nacra (or any boat) is probably a pretty decent deal - to both the seller and the new legacy cat enthusiast. I would anticipate the need for new rigging and probably a lot more from most "well used" old boats but ya never know ... you could find a gem that needs a new owner for the cheap
  • Yes, it is possible.

    However, the amount of time and effort required are only exceeded by the cost.

    Buy a Fulcrum UFO http://www.fulcrumspeedworks.com/UFO/

    I am not associated with UFO in any way but will probably own one sooner or later.
  • bradinjaxBuy a Fulcrum UFO http://www.fulcrumspeedworks.com/UFO/

    I am not associated with UFO in any way but will probably own one sooner or later.


    Don't want to speak for the guy, but a friend owned both the UFO and an S9; guess which one he sold first? It wasn't the S9....
  • Well lol I know the same guy, sailed on his S9, he sailed on my Whisper, and then I bought his UFO.

    Will is right though, the UFO isn't a catamaran, definitely not when it's foiling. It has the dynamics of a windsurfer, a moth or a waszp when foiling (ie: windward heel). It's a cat only when in displacement mode, but that's not how you'll want to sail it. You use it as a cat to stop for a sandwich and a breather.

    A Nacra 5.2 won't be a good base for a foiler. Foilers are light to the point of often being under-built, a N5.2 is a heavy beast. The sail plan needs to be much flatter for the apparent winds. Foil case and rudder gudgeons need to be reinforced big time. Etc.

    Get a native foiler, or a boat intended to be a foiler. At this point there's a few 2nd hand options. My Whisper is for sale in Miami FL ($17K OBO with a bunch of extras, sans trailer), I'm told there's a Whisper in lightly-used condition in Alabama.
  • https://www.facebook.com/…e/item/3399189553450824/
    Fairhope, AL

    --
    FYC, Nacra 5.2 "Chris's Flyer"
    Previously owned: Trac 14, H14, H16, H18, N5.0, G-cat 5.0
    --
  • Robert found the Alabama Whisper link, good stuff.

    - My 'ad' (had an ad on theBeachCats, but expired) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vF-CfhuTDiU
    - My Whisper videos – still love the boat - 77 videos in the playlist - https://www.youtube.com/w…XYRKpt4hfFSSxvsRftKCIA58

    In terms of conversion and 2nd hand options,
    - some a-cats can be converted, and some 2nd hand foiling a-cats can be bought for reasonable money if you hunt around
    - you can buy a Nacra 15 2nd hand and buy a conversion kit (just the kit costs $10K however)
    - 2nd hand Nacra 17 (converted, for conversion, and 'native' foilers) are around, after getting a beating from olympic-pathway teams; that can be an option but the boat is a _beast_
    - Some Phantom foilers are in the market, 2nd hand boats. Phantom has closed shop though, so spare parts are a problem
  • 5.2 is too heavy and fragile to foil. Also the youngest 5.2 is about 35 years old. I wouldn’t trust it. $2500 is probably a bit high on average. But if it’s in good shape with some upgraded parts (sails especially) it may be worth it. Prices are likely a little higher as everything recreational is during covid times, I haven’t been paying attention to prices recently..

    --
    Dave Bonin
    1981 Nacra 5.2 "Lucile"
    1986 Nacra 5.7 "Belle"
    Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
    --

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