DTA

RS Cat 14 Question

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I ordered and paid for an RS Cat 14 a couple months ago. It's due to be delivered in April. I'm just DYING to get it, so I can start sail camping. But my question is this:

Every dinghy I've sailed capsizes the instant there's nobody on board to counteract the wind (Laser, Vago, Aero, RS700). So, if I fall off - no big deal. I'm happy knowing that the boat will capsize a second or two after I fall out.

But what about with small catamarans like the RS Cat 14? Do they also capsize instantly? Or do they stay upright? If they stay upright, do they turn into the wind and "stop" (i.e. not "sailing", but merely drifting backwards)? Or do they keep on sailing with no captain aboard? If they keep sailing w/ no captain aboard .... um ... wtf are you supposed to do about that?

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Specifically, this video spooked me:

 

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Runaway boats is not a fun thing. Speaking from experience many things can happen to cause you to lose your boat. It can easily happen when righting a cat after a capsize and if you cannot get on quick enough you can be dragged and the boat will keep running. Now falling off your boat is not super likely it can happen. Since multihulls are generally extremely stable this is always a possibility and there is litter you can do. Now I can’t speak to the RS cat 14 but I know most will continue on. 

Edit: I just looked up the RS cat and it seems to have weighted Hulls like a hobie wave. Now it may eventually tip it may go for a nice long run before it does. 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

I've had a Hobie wave sail away from me. Many/most(?) small cats are not "fail-safe" in this regard. They are generally meant to be sailed in safe, protected waters, ideally with additional boat traffic that can come help.

Wetas have the same problem, and they have a harness setup that is designed to keep the boat with you if you go overboard.

Edit: You could tie yourself to the boat in this fashion if/when sailing solo or in open waters.

Edited by martin.langhoff

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35 minutes ago, martin.langhoff said:

I've had a Hobie wave sail away from me. Many/most(?) small cats are not "fail-safe" in this regard. They are generally meant to be sailed in safe, protected waters, ideally with additional boat traffic that can come help.

Wetas have the same problem, and they have a harness setup that is designed to keep the boat with you if you go overboard.

Edit: You could tie yourself to the boat in this fashion if/when sailing solo or in open waters.

May not be the best idea to tie yourself to a runaway cat. Drowning is easy at even low speeds. Similar to why falling off a boat offshore and being teathered on is dangerous as you will quickly drown.

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3 hours ago, DTA said:

captain

Skipper or helmsman.

Tie a lanyard between you and the drain plugs :ph34r:

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10 hours ago, Midwestmike said:

May not be the best idea to tie yourself to a runaway cat. Drowning is easy at even low speeds. Similar to why falling off a boat offshore and being teathered on is dangerous as you will quickly drown.

Yeah, should have mentioned that risk. I'm not sure what's worse, TBH.

The only strong recommendation I have is -- all these cats are fun toys to be used in confined, safe waters, or with a fleet / support. 

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Also, a knife is a great thing to have with you. While you may be on a less sporty boat then say a f18 it can still come in clutch and save the day.

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Hmmmm ... I'm not so sure that the leash idea is so terrible. I believe that the following *would* be a drowning danger: two people are on a small cat, one falls overboard leashed to the cat, and the other continues to deliberately drive the cat at full power. I can see the possibility of the person being dragged getting drowned in this situation.

But for a single sailor situation on a small cat, I would imagine that having a 230 lb. sailor attached to the 14' cat would stop the boat in short order. With nobody on board to hold the tiller or mainsheet, I would think that the drag of an attached man-overboard (230 lbs. in my case) would quickly stop the minimally powered up cat (or cause a capsize in high wind conditions).

No? (I have zero experience w/ cats, so I'm genuinely asking).

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Depends on each one and also how you fell out. The UFO, thanks to the mainfoil being forward of the mast, will round up into irons and "park". However if you've managed to get something firmly wrapped around the tiller that keeps it dead center it will, like anything else, carry on sailing thanks to the stability of the platform.

DRC

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1 hour ago, Dave Clark said:

Depends on each one and also how you fell out. The UFO, thanks to the mainfoil being forward of the mast, will round up into irons and "park". However if you've managed to get something firmly wrapped around the tiller that keeps it dead center it will, like anything else, carry on sailing thanks to the stability of the platform.

DRC

In the above video, i noticed that the rudders are up and not in the water. I imagine that is part of the cause for the boat failing to turn to wind and stall.

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Weta manuals emphasize practising quick release of the tether, to manage the risk of drowning. I do not think it is a joke. A cat dragging you in the water will slow down, but the drag forces will be working on your body in the water. Depending on position, it can push you down.

Sail with a friend - any cat or dinghy - and test the "boat at full sail dragging you while you're fully in the water" scenario. We sometimes do it for fun.

11 minutes ago, DTA said:

In the above video, i noticed that the rudders are up and not in the water. I imagine that is part of the cause for the boat failing to turn to wind and stall.

The Hobie Wave that left me behind had rudders down. There's a similar vid of a Stunt S9 foiling away... 

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Many cats have very neutral helm and so they don't round up especially ones that don't have daggerboards. So yeah it can sail away from you especially in the light when there's not enough wind to capsize it AND most people can't swim fast enough (particularly in gear) to catch up to even a slow sailing boat.  TBH even a capsized cat (assuming it doesn't turtle) can get away from you. OTOH you're unlikely to fall off if you don't capsize. The tether seems like an OK idea except there's another rope to tangle up.

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What if you tied the tether to the bow, so if you fell to windward (most likely direction in my opinion) the drag you create would turn the boat up? If the rudder isn’t stuck centered, it should turn up fairly easily

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Hey Dion,

Most catamaran racers set up rudders with a little toe in.. this is considered to be slightly faster, gives you a little more feel to the rudders, and also allows the boat to head up if you fall off.  

I love that my catamaran tracks straight but if I was singlehanding I'd make that sacrifice to allow it to head up on it's own.

The RS Cats have a great helm and are intended to be set from the factory, but you can play with it after you get it and make it work for you as all Cats are different and could use a bit of adjustment for your desired feel.

 

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10 hours ago, RSsailingNA said:

Hey Dion,

Most catamaran racers set up rudders with a little toe in.. this is considered to be slightly faster, gives you a little more feel to the rudders, and also allows the boat to head up if you fall off.  

I love that my catamaran tracks straight but if I was singlehanding I'd make that sacrifice to allow it to head up on it's own.

The RS Cats have a great helm and are intended to be set from the factory, but you can play with it after you get it and make it work for you as all Cats are different and could use a bit of adjustment for your desired feel.

 

Interesting. As having only sailed boats with a single rudder, I had no idea what "toe in" meant. A little googling and now I see what you mean. I'm glad it's something with which I can tinker. Thanks.

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I sail a Maricat which is a 14ft beach cat from around the '70s.  It has a banana shaped hull which, when you get the cat moving and the rudders flowing will stay in a straight line, however when you let go the rudders it'll pretty much instantly turn into the wind.

One thing we do between races is to pull the main and traveller right in and let go of the tiller.  The boat sails a little, rounds up, goes backwards, sails a little - rinse, repeat.  You stay pretty much in the same position.

I'd say try it.  Work on the rudder blade setting so that you have  bit of weather helm most of the time and then just let go - see what happens.

I've never seen any of the 14ft cats fall over on their own.

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You might want to alter the main shrouds and see if you can induce some weather helm, while at speed? falling off isnt something I thought much about,  have been parted from various boats but always managed to do a quick swim and catch up with the, usually, capsized boat. 

Very interested in the Cat 14 myself.  I got a Hobie 16...which needs a new trampoline and few other bits.  Just wonder if the Cat 14 is as fast?  Hobie is ok as a singlehander, but wonder if a newer type such as what RS are offering will be as much fun.

Quite like the look of the NACRA range too.  Expensive boats though.

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13 hours ago, robjwilkinson said:

You might want to alter the main shrouds and see if you can induce some weather helm, while at speed? falling off isnt something I thought much about,  have been parted from various boats but always managed to do a quick swim and catch up with the, usually, capsized boat. 

Very interested in the Cat 14 myself.  I got a Hobie 16...which needs a new trampoline and few other bits.  Just wonder if the Cat 14 is as fast?  Hobie is ok as a singlehander, but wonder if a newer type such as what RS are offering will be as much fun.

Quite like the look of the NACRA range too.  Expensive boats though.

Delivery date has been pushed back to early June. But as soon as I get it, I'll start posting videos.

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On 4/25/2018 at 9:46 AM, DTA said:

Delivery date has been pushed back to early June. But as soon as I get it, I'll start posting videos.

I look forward to it, just seen your ytube link and have subscribed :)

 

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21 hours ago, robjwilkinson said:

I look forward to it, just seen your ytube link and have subscribed :)

 

Delivery pushed back again to July 14. But the delivery ship is working its way into the Gulf Coast now. So I think this delivery estimate will actually hold up!

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Hey @DTA, what's that has you excited about the RS 14 Cat (compared to other cats, 2nd hand and new)?

I've sailed the Hobie rotomolded cats lots and they are a ton of fun. Just curious as to what makes this one different.

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DTA, it's a little different with A-Cats which is I have the most experience with.  They're 160 pounds and are very light on their feet so other A-Cat sailors told me it was important to tie the tail of the mainsheet to your trap harness when sailing alone. Those boats can get away from you quickly even when laying on their side.  I would recommend the same but like another side, maybe keep a knife nearby, one with a quick line cutting hook on it, and just remember that you're tied on.

You could also do some testing with it, if you can get a friend with a powerboat. Jump off untethered out in the open and watch how quickly the boat moves and what it does. With heavier hulls, it's likely to be pretty stable and stay upright.

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On 6/30/2018 at 8:39 AM, martin.langhoff said:

Hey @DTA, what's that has you excited about the RS 14 Cat (compared to other cats, 2nd hand and new)?

I've sailed the Hobie rotomolded cats lots and they are a ton of fun. Just curious as to what makes this one different.

I don't know anything about cats, so I probably made my  decision all wrong, but here's what I was thinking:

1. I sail alone. So I wanted to start w/ a 14' cat, to ensure that I can right it after capsize myself, and generally handle it in big winds.

2. I also wanted the boat to come w/ three sails: main, jib, and kite.

3. The 14' version of the Hobie only seems to come w/ a mainsail. I've seen videos of people customizing a jib and kite, but those seem to be home-made endeavors. Not factory installed. And I didn't want to mess around with customizing 3 sails; I wanted it to come that way from the manufacturer. So, the RS CAT 14 was already ahead of the Hobie 14, by my scorecard.

4. The Hobie banana hulls freak me out b/c they always appear to be almost fully underwater. I just do not dig how far underwater those hulls are. And then the trampoline has to be built high above the hulls to account for the fact that the hulls ride virtually underwater. Contrast w/ the RS CATs (both 14 and 16) and the hulls ride high out of the water, so that the tramp is strapped just straight across the hulls. No need to extend the tramp above the hulls. Maybe I'm missing something, but that just seems to make more intuitive sense to me.

5. My understanding is that the elevated tramp requires that the tramp scaffolding penetrates the hull. Plus, I believe that the crossbeams also penetrate the hull. So, these are all potential water entry points for the Hobie hulls. Sure, if you monitor the condition of your hulls and maintain as necessary, then everything should be fine. But I just prefer the concept of the  RS hulls which are completely sealed. Nothing penetrates the hulls. No holes/intrusions that need to be monitored or maintained.

6. For my first CAT, I wanted a rotomoulded hull that could take a lot of damage w/o any maintenance. If I get washed up on a jetty, I don't want it to be a catastrophic situation the way it would be w/ a fiberglass hull. I hear cats get stuck in irons quite easily, so -  I just want to be able to make mistakes and get washed up on jetties, against concrete piers, etc., without complete devastation to the boat.

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You're definitely too heavy for the Hobie 14 even without camping gear.

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Don't knock yourself, it's all reasonable criteria. And it's a nice cat. However, it's more comparable with Hobie Wave and Getaway than to the H16 (ie: thin banana hulls).

I didn't realize that the Hobie Waves and 14 with jib were homebrew. I have to say, I like how the transom is built in the RS Cat 14.

WRT the crossbars, while it's a good goal to avoid "holes", there's a significant tradeoff there with platform rigidity. And I don't think the Hobie rotomolded boats have an opening into the inside of the hull -- the "hole", is through to the other side of the hull, but not to the inside.

All minor points. It's a good looking modern rotomolded cat. Now, tell us how it goes :-)

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1 hour ago, Dex Sawash said:

You're definitely too heavy for the Hobie 14 even without camping gear.

You know, what's interesting is that I got the same impression from watching Hobie 14 videos on YouTube (me being 230 lbs). But then if you look at the specs for the Hobie 14 it says it has a capacity of 353 pounds!!!! I've always wondered how accurate that is.

In contrast, RS seems to always understate carrying capacity. The RS Aero is ridiculously low - below my body weight of 230 lbs - but it's always floated me just fine. And the RS CAT 14 says it will carry 265 lbs. Plus, the pics have two adults on the boat (300 lbs?) and it appears to be floating them just fine.

https://www.hobie.com/xe/en/sail/hobie-14/specs/

 

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getting caught in irons is pretty common with cats.  Give yourself loads of room when tacking, leave the jib so it backs and helps swing the bows around.  Uncleat, if you havent already done so, let the mainsail loose as this is will otherwise stall.   Its quicker to gybe most of the time, even in a good wind.

I see what you mean about the Hobie,  the 16 is very sensative to fore/aft trim.  Hulls could have done with some more volume. I understand the 17 (pretty rare these days?) was more suited to solo use.   

Dart 16 looks a tough little cat, many of those in the USA?

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On 7/2/2018 at 4:13 PM, Connor.kainalu said:

Pretty specific 

The "pretty specific" weights in lbs are obviously conversions from the much rounder numbers of 160 and 120 kilos.

Also, I have always assumed that the recommended crew weights for boats are not so much "this thing will sink if you go a pound over the maximum" but more in the spirit of "you will be fairly competitive racing this boat in a range of conditions if your are in this weight range."

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On 4/4/2018 at 7:34 AM, Speng said:

Many cats have very neutral helm and so they don't round up especially ones that don't have daggerboards. So yeah it can sail away from you especially in the light when there's not enough wind to capsize it AND most people can't swim fast enough (particularly in gear) to catch up to even a slow sailing boat.  TBH even a capsized cat (assuming it doesn't turtle) can get away from you. OTOH you're unlikely to fall off if you don't capsize. The tether seems like an OK idea except there's another rope to tangle up.

I was sailing my Weta 2 weekends ago in 10-15+ winds.  The tiller extension came unattached from the tiller on a reach and the boat stayed its course.  I expected it to turn up but it didn't.  It wouldn't take long for a boat to get away from you in open water and once there is some separation it may be impossible to catch.

Years ago I capsized a laser in a gybe roll and instead of the sail hitting the water it filled with air and stayed upright.  Needless to say the boat quickly sailed away on its side, I had no hope of catching it.  Thankfully it was during a regatta so I had help.  

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22 hours ago, robjwilkinson said:

getting caught in irons is pretty common with cats.  Give yourself loads of room when tacking, leave the jib so it backs and helps swing the bows around.  Uncleat, if you havent already done so, let the mainsail loose as this is will otherwise stall.   Its quicker to gybe most of the time, even in a good wind.

Center traveler.... sheet main hard and get speed up... going to weather......  Don't tack from reach to reach.

Put helm over... leave jib sheeted to backwind... when boat is head to wind... uncleat and ease main sheet about 6 inches. and cleat.    complete tack...  release jib and sheet in jib then main.

Gybing in breeze going slow will kill you.

 

22 hours ago, robjwilkinson said:

I see what you mean about the Hobie,  the 16 is very sensative to fore/aft trim.  Hulls could have done with some more volume. I understand the 17 (pretty rare these days?) was more suited to solo use.  

Dart 16 looks a tough little cat, many of those in the USA?  NO....  

Dart 18's and Dart 20's aka Stampedes circa late 80s   No US importer after that.   Perhaps Canada has a few.... boat was designed well after dart 18s, 20s , TSX (20 with a chute) or a Hawk... (early F18)

Hobie Getaway is a 16 foot rotomolded Hobie for rec sailors... simple boat that has a forward tramp as well.  lots of volume for lots of weight.

Hobie 17 is a single handed race boat.  Hobie 17 sports add a jib for a rec market... BUT not enough hull volume to carry much weight.... not a great option for 2 or 3 adults.

Good luck.

 

 

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On 7/4/2018 at 7:33 PM, robjwilkinson said:

Dart 16 looks a tough little cat, many of those in the USA?

There is/was one in Biscayne Bay (Coconut Gr / Miami). I sailed it lots, solo. It was beaten up, but man it was a hoot. Solo, trapezing,15-20kt winds.

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22 hours ago, martin.langhoff said:

There is/was one in Biscayne Bay (Coconut Gr / Miami). I sailed it lots, solo. It was beaten up, but man it was a hoot. Solo, trapezing,15-20kt winds.

I looked at the Dart 16 a few times over the years, never tried one as of yet...but next time I am over in the UK I might just get to see what they are like.  I do like the toughness of rotomolded hulls, plus the mast looks good and strong.

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