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Anybody made their cat foldable?  Bottom

  • My driveway is too small for a catamaran, but I would love to get one...that fits within my 7' side yard. Has anybody made their catamaran fold to make the travel beam smaller? I know it's popular with trimarans, but have not seen it on a cat...and most tris fold to get down around 8', so they wouldn't fit either. I know...it's a long shot.

  • Even if you could, you still have the width of the trailer to contend with. The only thing you could do is get a tilt trailer and the cost of one could exceed the cost of the boat.

    Bill Townsend
    G-Cat 5.7
  • What catamaran are you shopping for? Maybe instead of a professional tilt trailer fabricate something up that just tilts for the yard.

    Bryan in Poplar Grove, IL
    Supercat 17, unknown year. Future project
    Hobie 16, 1977 - died a spectacular death https://youtu.be/Y7O22bp2MVA
    Hobie 16, 1978 - current boat
  • I am not sure how a tilting trailer would help... I don't really want to stand it on end. I would want the aluminum tubes that connect the hulls to be able to reduce in length. (Either telescope or fold.)

    I have a kayak trailer that is under 7' wide. What's an 18' cat weigh? Heck, I could get a custom trailer, for that matter.
  • One option would be to just disassemble the boat. Most of them come apart relatively easily by removing the trampoline and un-bolting the crossbars. A little bit of a PITA, but can generally be done in 30 minutes to an hour depending on the complexity of the boat. The idea of telescoping the trailer crossbars for storage would be pretty easy to do. You just need some round or square aluminum tubes that slide inside one another, drill hole for a locking pin, and mount your trailer cradles. Or just unbolt the crossbars for storage -they are just held on with U-bolts.

    I’ve never seen a folding beach cat, but an inflatable boat may also be something worth considering.

  • Some SC20s were made with telescoping beams, so it is doable.

    Edited by SC19 on May 03, 2022 - 10:39 AM.
  • SC19Some SC20s were made with telescoping beams, so it is doable.Edited by SC19 on May 03, 2022 - 10:39 AM.

    Hobies too
  • Shark is a folding catamaran. 1963 vintage, gibbs boat co. good luck finding one that isn't worm meat.
    The Dart 18 was designed for easy disassembly without tools for storage purposes.

    Dart 20
  • Both the Shark and B-Lion cats fold in the middle, but they are 10 foot beams meant to fold to legal width.
    The Weta tri folded is under 6 feet wide and comes on a dolly that would make it possible to put in your side yard, but you would still have to deal with the trailer. Not sure how wide a Weta trailer is. Another option
    but less performance is the Hobie island or tandem island.
  • Since the 60's were mentioned, the shark was a popular 20x10 cat. The gibbs factory was building all fiberglass sharks, so there must be some around the north east still today. All the early tornado sailors would unbolt the hulls to trailer on the road. The rig was only about 4 feet wide. We had it down to a system and would rig/unrig the boat from the trailer for a Wednesday after work race in the summer.
    The Dart was made by tornado guys that wanted to simplify the beam removal process, and improve on the H16. Some roads in England are narrow with a lot of turns, so they like narrow trailers.
  • I really don't like the Supercat 20 telescoping system. I would never consider going for a day sail with that setup. Tilt trailer makes life easier, but adds plenty of gray hair towing on the interstate
  • QuoteThe Dart was made by tornado guys that wanted to simplify the beam removal process, and improve on the H16. Some roads in England are narrow with a lot of turns, so they like narrow trailers.

    Many legacy cats were based off the reg white english designs if i recall correctly
    I own 2 currently

    the dart is the winner for easy riggin and made for high winds in my experience

    Edited by MN3 on May 03, 2022 - 06:37 PM.
  • So, apparently a good answer to the original question is get a dart cat.
    Here is the designer that Reg White worked with on the tornado https://sailboatdata.com/designer/march-rodney -not sure how accurate that list is-
    He also designed a c class cat "Thunder" previous to the Tornado, that was the basis for the Tornado hull shape.
    Rodney worked with the Panther Craft guys to design the first production fiberglass Tornado, then later the Dart line.
  • Telescopic or foldable beams may seem simple to do in theory, what is not evident is that the trampoline needs significant tension, so you either loosen and tighten it before and after extending or folding the beams, which will add time and effort, or you figure out a way to tension the telescopic beams. I think this is less relevant in a tri, where you don’t use the tramps as much. I wouldn’t consider the Weta as something comprable, it’s a smaller and lighter boat. If it is for day sailing I wouldn’t advice to make a foldable beachcat, they already take a lot of time and effort to rig and launch without that.
  • Thanks for your thoughts. I will mull them over

    It would be a trailering day sailer, so anything over 30 minutes setup would kill the urge to impulsively sail in the bay for an hour or two.
  • Thirty minutes set up? It takes me thirty minutes and I have my boat in mast up storage. For all the reasons above, I would forget about some kind of telescoping / foldable boat even if you could find one. Assembly? Way too long. Put your energy towards keeping your boat somewhere else but near your sailing area.

    Bill Townsend
    G-Cat 5.7
  • I take between 1 and 1.5 hrs, door to water, I’m 3 blocks away from the beach so no much driving. Many will say 30 mins but probably for just part of the process, count everything and it will hardly be less than 1 hr.
  • I break down my Tornado completely to travel flat (hulls upside down). The trailer is about 5' wide from wheel well to wheel well. It takes me about 2 hours to assemble and rig the boat for sailing. If you disassemble the boat, there are definite tricks to make the process go faster.

    If you have an open mind, you could build something that fits what you have. Maybe find some Prindle 18 hulls, make it 7' wide and use a Prindle 16 mast and sails. It would take a bit of work to make it fit, but it would work. I built a 10' wide Prindle 18-2 (with a few extra boat parts I had on hand).


    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)

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