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New to cats - 12' possible  Bottom

  • Hi Guys,

    I'm considering getting into sailing cats, and I'm currently looking at a couple. The best (read cheapest) contender currently is a 12' boomless "happy cat." I can't find any specs on it (the owner has no idea), but it would seem to be a locally built/designed boat given I can only find reference to 2-3 and they are all here in New Zealand.

    I'm only intending on using it as a bit of fun solo, and teach my niece to sail, so really it only needs to carry about 90kg (200lb), though the ability to fit two adults would seem like a good idea.

    The next contender is a 14' Hobie that is clearly more suitable for me, but is also twice the price and harder to rig. Though clearly it would suit my needs better (I think), I'd rather avoid the extra cost and get something better later on should I decide to stick with a cat.

    So my real question is will the 12' cat be usable by a light adult, and two-up with a kid, or is it going to be a pointless endeavor? (and if you know anything about about the specs let me know)

    Will be sailing in mainly a sheltered harbour that rarely sees over 10 knots.
    Both beach and ramp access.
    Maximum weight I can imagine - 300lb
    Mini weight (i.e. me) - 160lb
    Smaller the better really - 16' would be my max, and that would likely be out of my price range (which I won't tell you since both prices and my budget will mean nothing to anyone outside NZ)


    Thanks for any help
  • The happy cat sounds like it would be comparable to the hobie 3.5. I think the weight limit was like 140lbs and was really designed for kids to use.

    Are there any sailing clubs by you? Perhaps someone would be willing to take you along on a sail. Also someone may have a boat for sale that you would not otherwise have known about.

    I would look at the hobie 14 or perhaps a hobie 16. The H16 is common (here in the states anyway), parts are easy to find and a lot of people learn to sail on them. Also you can put 2 or 3 adults on them.

    Here is one for sale http://www.hobiecat.org.nz/page4/page4.html
  • QuoteAre there any sailing clubs by you? Perhaps someone would be willing to take you along on a sail. Also someone may have a boat for sale that you would not otherwise have known about.


    don't pull the trigger yet! get to know some locals and sail with them at first, a little instruction shortens the learning curve greatly...you will end up loving cats, guaranteed! summer is coming up for you(lucky!) so you have some time to make decesions...good luck and keep us posted!!

    --
    Check out "Prindle Sailors" on Facebook!
    bill harris
    hattiesburg, mississippi
    prindle 16- "BLUE RIBBON"
    --
  • Your NZ $ would be familiar to me, a Canadian. Years ago when I was a bush pilot in the Canadian Arctic I spent an entire winter down under, getting away from the cold. We rented an old car & B&B'd it. My intention was to see NZ & Oz, but we ended up never making it off the North Island! I still have the custom sheepskin seat covers that we purchased somewhere around Rotorua, & a few of those metal $$ with the Queen & Kiwi that you people invented years before Canada implemented them. Those Kauri trees are actually bigger than the Giant Sequoia trees in California. Land of the long white cloud is still on the top of my retirement home destinations.
    As mentioned, it would be very beneficial to try & cage a ride with someone. If there is a Cat Club in your area you can surely get a ride, Cat People are friendly people. I would also have the owner of the Happy Cat rig it & take you for a short sail, (even if you have to pay him a few $$)that will tell you more in 15 minutes than every poster here can. It will also tell you if the boat is in need of repairs or missing parts. Sounds like budget is the major constraint, if the boat needs parts, the H14 if complete could end up nearly the same price. It will also be hard to find parts for a rare boat.
    You are limited by what is available close by, I remember driving could take quite a bit longer than what we are used to here.
    QuoteThe next contender is a 14' Hobie that is clearly more suitable for me, but is also twice the price and harder to rig. Though clearly it would suit my needs better (I think), I'd rather avoid the extra cost and get something better later on should I decide to stick with a cat.

    How "sales friendly" is the Happy Cat? If you buy it, decide it won't work, then try to sell it, you may be out more than just buying the H14 now. If it is easily sell-able, no problem, you can get your money back & step up.
    When I was first getting into Cats I rented a Hobie Bravo,(12') for a week & sailed it solo, & with a buddy, (350 lbs total) in winds up to 15 kts. It was fun, but the boat was not faster than my 16' Bombardier Invitation monohull. When pushed it would bury the bows & come to a stop. It would be fun for a kid, but after a couple of days I realized I had already outgrown it. The advantage was simplicity of rigging & lightweight, I could easily pull it up on my lawn. Had I bought it, I can say that I would have been looking to sell it very quickly & move up.
    Next try was a Hobie Wave,(13'). Though only a foot longer, this was twice the boat. Tough as nails, very fast,(compared to the Bravo) but still easy to rig & move around. That would be an ideal boat for your situation, but may not be available in your budget, or at all in your area. This is why I would have the owner take you out for an hour or so.(you will also be able to pull the drain plugs & see if it takes on water) If the Happy Cat has large volume hulls & a good sail plan, it may be comparable to the Wave, & very suitable for your purposes.
    Be sure to look at how you will transport the boat, is the trailer OK, or will it also need budget eating repairs? Can you back it right down the beach, or will you need beach wheels?
    I assume that if you are going to teach someone to sail, you already know a bit about it. There were lots of boats around Pahia & Bay of Islands, you guys have tons of places to sail, you need a boat! It would be so cool to sail right around Cape Reinga, & have a chase car follow you down the 90 mile beach! Good luck, take some photos & kepp us informed of what you decide.



    Edited by Edchris177 on Nov 27, 2010 - 10:33 AM.

    --
    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
    --
  • in nz

    at 14', it would be hard to get better than this frp, 14' trapeze and jib furling windrush 14', if it's close to you

    http://www.trademe.co.nz/Trade-Me-Motors/Boats-marine/Yachts-sail-boats/Small-sailboats/auction-331618680.htm

    2nd hand ply paper tiger also possible

    trademe has lots of offerings

    http://www.trademe.co.nz/Trade-Me-Motors/Boats-marine/Yachts-sail-boats/Small-sailboats/auction-293706148.htm

    http://www.trademe.co.nz/Trade-Me-Motors/Boats-marine/Yachts-sail-boats/Small-sailboats/auction-327560832.htm

    http://www.trademe.co.nz/Trade-Me-Motors/Boats-marine/Yachts-sail-boats/Small-sailboats/auction-333858607.htm

    http://www.trademe.co.nz/Browse/SearchResults.aspx?searchType=0001-0348-0031-1270-&searchString=catamaran&type=Search&generalSearch_keypresses=9&generalSearch_suggested=0
  • Thanks for the advice so far. Yes the Happy Cat is clearly intended for juniors, but as I really just want a fun boat I'm thinking it's probably not a major concern as long as it moves without being pointless.

    Closeness is an issue. I am in the South Island and most sailing goes on in the North (where it remains warmer in the winter), and while a ferry crossing with a trailer is possible, it all adds to the cost. Both Cats are a 4hr drive away, so not really practical to view again/sail before buying etc. This does have a positive effect on price down here however(at least generally).

    I can hear what everyone is saying about a club, but my mis-guided sense of adventure says do it on your own.

    In theory I know how to sail small monos, but it's been while, so really this is 80% me just wanting to get out and have some fun while trying something a little new, and 20% me thinking it would be fun to teach my niece to sail over the summer holiday. I could pick-up an (extremely) cheap trainer for her no problem, but anything big enough for the both of us is likely to be too hard for her to handle, where the 12' cat would be no issue.

    Frankly given cost, size (storage & 1-handed launching concerns), and location, I prefer the 12' but it is senseless getting it

    I'll post a pic of the Happy Cat when I get one (I've looked at a few cats, so can barely remember what it looks like).
  • One other posiblity I've spotted today is a 14' CrestaCraft.

    It's (almost) local, but I've no time to check it out ATM
    http://images.trademe.co.nz/photoserver/72/152024072_full.jpg

    and the Hobie (poor picture though)
    http://images.trademe.co.nz/photoserver/26/151482026_full.jpg

    Which will need the hulls tidied but will sail ok as is.



    Edited by sefer on Nov 27, 2010 - 06:37 PM.
  • My 1st cat was a H14 Turbo, a H14 with a jib sail, I weigh in at 190 lbs and it was only the fact that this cat had the extra sail area that I kept the cat for a year. The low volume hulls are it's downfall, but....it will carry up to 200 lbs, it is easy to rig, the mast can be stepped by an adult easily, even easier if you turn the cat around on the trailer and use the front mast cradle to help raise the mast. You can also buy the Turbo Kit later and really amp up the speed. Cat can be righted easily by 1 person, and easily tuned as you get familiar with the rigging and steering. Will also keep it's re-sale value when you go to sell it.

    Only if your other choices have higher volume hulls would you even consider them.

    --
    TurboHobo
    H14T
    H16
    P18
    G-Cat 5.0
    P16
    --
  • Had a quick look at that CrestaCraft catamaran,
    http://www.trademe.co.nz/…35484588/p-152024165.htm

    I think this 14' cat would suite your needs, has the high volume hulls, you could carry 2 adults on that easily, especially if it comes with a jib option like this one,
    http://www.trademe.co.nz/…ts/auction-335186480.htm.

    Weird looking rudders though



    Edited by turbohobo on Nov 27, 2010 - 07:43 PM.

    --
    TurboHobo
    H14T
    H16
    P18
    G-Cat 5.0
    P16
    --
  • Once I heard you are on the South Island, that changes the game. It probably isn't worth the time, gas, etc to go all the way to or past Auckland. If I remember correctly you need a reservation, & the ferry was not cheap.
    So it comes down to what is available in your area, you are not into racing, so get the boat in the best shape, & go have fun.
    You live in a beautiful area, reminds me of where I grew up, on the edge of the Rockies. You have great skiing, awesome fishing & hunting.
    Whatever you decide to buy, be sure to save some of the budget for repairs. When you buy a used Cat there is almost always something, lines, sail repair etc that needs doing.

    --
    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
    --
  • Photo of the Happy Cat:

    http://images.trademe.co.nz/photoserver/33/124982133_full.jpg

    http://images.trademe.co.nz/photoserver/48/124982248_full.jpg
  • the happy cat looks to be the modified? version of the original aquacat from 1961!

    http://sailboatdata.com/viewrecord.asp?class_id=3825

    it was the success of this boat that apparently inspired hobie to make the hobie14

    what it is - a very simple and basic cat that is great on small lakes, quiet water etc
    what it is not - a fast hull flying thrill machine that will teach you about cats

    note the simple/primitive rig that will reach ok but neither point, nor run well

    a windrush14 is a generation later than the hobie14, this is a generation earlier...
  • the happy cat looks to be the modified? version of the original aquacat from 1961!

    http://sailboatdata.com/viewrecord.asp?class_id=3825

    it was the success of this boat that apparently inspired hobie to make the hobie14

    what it is - a very simple and basic cat that is great on small lakes, quiet water etc
    what it is not - a fast hull flying thrill machine that will teach you about cats

    note the simple/primitive rig that will reach ok but neither point, nor run well

    a windrush14 is a generation later than the hobie14, this is a generation earlier...
  • They still make them.
    http://www.americansail.c…task=view&id=9&Itemid=11
    What is the Hull #, should be stamped into the starboard hull somewhere, the last 2 digits will give you the year.
    It may be the current owner figured this cat would just not do what he wanted/envisioned. Try to go for a sail on it, that will answer much of what you want to know. A few $$ for gas & a couple more days searching may be money well spent.

    --
    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
    --
  • Thanks for the info.

    I'll likely get the Happy Cat, it sounds fine for what I want currently and I can always sell-up for a Hobie or similar after summer if I'm still keen. I'm only going to consider the Hobbie 14 if I can get a couple of hundred off it. The others currently looking suitable (including one nearby) haven't got trailers, so that extra hassle puts them out.
  • Again everyone, thanks for your help. I've ended up buying a Windrush 14 which seems to be in fairly good condition. http://images.trademe.co.nz/photoserver/1/152872301_full.jpg

    Now - what sort of wetsuit would you recommend. I hate cold water (and it's cold here) and only the hottest days will get me in the water. Clearly the intent is to not be in the water 99% of the time - so anything too thick/that restricts movement too much would seem like overkill.
  • in nz i've been able to buy a full length 2mm wetsuit from the warehouse for about $80

    which is what you'll want in south island waters

    when it's really hot you can unzip and even pull the top half down and tie the arms around your waist

    (note those 2 poor french guys seem to have died in queenstown after about only 1 hour of swamping their kayak, lifejackets not enough in the south)

    good pick on the windrush, simple enough to start on but still fast enough to thrill



    Edited by erice on Dec 08, 2010 - 02:59 AM.
  • Yes that was my first place to look, but they've stopped selling adult suits (no profit in it I guess).

    Hmm, yes pity about the kayakers. Just goes to show if a local warns you it's going to get nasty you should probably listen.
  • Don't know your conditions, but a dry-suit would probably be most comfortable for you. I typically use a 3mm farmer john style wetsuit with a spray top (sailing windbreaker with wrist and neck seals) over it. Much more comfortable for me then a full length wetsuit, since no pulling at your neck and much more freedom of movement. But in cold water, a full length wetsuit is warmer. Or you could get a farmer john plus a neoprene jacket to wear over it. That way you could unzip the jacket when you are warm. I got an NRS brand wetsuit and really like it. Not sure your options in NZ.

    I also just got a neoprene head cover to wear. 2.5mm of neoprene over head and ears makes a huge difference.

    --
    Scott,
    ‘92 H18 w/SX wings
    ‘95 Hobie Funseeker 12 (Holder 12)
    ‘96/‘01/‘14 Hobie Waves
    --
  • Hi again guys.

    Sadly it turns out the guy I brought the cat from in a complete arsehole - it's missing pieces and is nowhere near the condition he stated. I will be taking him to court, but I'm basically stuck with the cat and short of reselling at a big loss, I figure I may as well get it on the water (he'll end up paying for most of it anyway).

    So far I've found these things missing:

    Triple Ratchet
    Jib Traveller cars (L/R)
    Jib bullet blocks

    and likely more, as I've only tried rigging as far as raising the mast.

    The tramp and jib aren't in awesome condition, but both will be usable for now, the jib really just need restiched, and the tramp is saggy as, but I'm thinking maybe I could get it cut in half and have some eyelets put on each side of the cut(reinforced obviously) to enable it to be tightened.

    I'm also puzzled about how to tension the stays - the head stays clip to the front eyelets, and the shrouds clip to eyelets as well, but there are no pins, or turnbuckles, or anything to tighten everything down (and it needs it). Anyone able to tell me what should be there?

    Finally, how do you suggest I go about rigging? It would seem there are some extra things - so I'm thinking the rig has been modified to account for the missing bits - I'll get some photos if that'd help - but a triple block would seem a minimum to get moving, right?

    Thanks for any help guys.



    Edited by sefer on Dec 15, 2010 - 02:52 AM.

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