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Coquina012

nacra 5.8

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i have just found a late 80s nacra 5.8 for under a grand.  Needs assembly, but that is no issue for me.  I have never owned a cat, and I respect this one is going to be a serious hauler.  I have no interest in racing, but I do like to go fast.  

 

Usual wind in a local lake is 8-12, unless weather system, when it can seriously roll.  There would  normally be two adults on the boat.  My question:  can the boat be controlled with main only, no jib, for something like the effect of reefing, and second, is this craft aggressive enough that children will be either in the way or too scared to have fun?  I know my question is asking for subjective remarks, but if this beast can be rigged for tameness, I can't see how this would not be a win.  I also have zero ego on The Cool Factor.  I would have no problem putting in one set of reef points.   

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Those are great boats, and popular. Sounds like a good deal if there are sails and a trailer. I don't know about de-tuning one, though.

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8-12 should be pretty comfortably controllable on that boat. i'd leave that jib on in those conditions to make it much easier to go uphill and to tack. there are diamond wires on the mast that you can tighten to de-power the rig, along with a main traveller, downhaul, etc... as you're new to catamarans, you're in for some fun. try and track down a copy of Rick White's "Catamaran Racing for the 90s." there's a section on the 5.8...

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Well, it is not a sedate ride, even in 10-12. 

 

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Now that is an awesome video MultiThom!  Having tried to take footage of our Nacra 20 in San Francisco last year, we quickly realized how easy it is for the lens to get foggy, the camera to shake, etc.  Love your editing and multiple angles too -- really well shot, cudos.

Back to the OP -- I'd say 8-12kts is pretty perfect based on my experience on the slightly more powered up Nacra 20.  We'd start trapezing around 8-10kts and be nicely powered up on double trapeze around 12kts.  At 11-14 it starts getting fast like MultiThom shows, but he's really motoring with sheets all the way tight and getting every ounce of speed out of his boat.  Sheet out a little, depower the rig (via mast rotation, downhaul, etc) and it will be more sedate, though less fun. Flat water really helps with control too. 

But yes, you want options for power plan so you can handle different winds and different crew. I'd suggest getting a roller furler on the jib so you can quickly furl the jib if it gets hairy (the boat won't point well at all I believe, but you can still get around).  And adding a reef in the mainsail is another option -- or just buying a cheap small sail from another boat, e.g. Hobie 16 (so long as you're sure it fits) is another option for windy days. 

Go take a look at thebeachcats.com -- great forum there that will go further on your every question, plus a good classified section if you need any parts (also check Craigslist and Ebay for those, plus Murrays.com for any new parts).

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Thanks for the replies.  Smaller sail for higher winds is a good idea. My wife builds them but I would think that Hobie sails that an be cut down or altered to fit would be cheap.  Quite a few posts on google about difficulty of handling mast.  I would not usually be singlehanding this boat but...

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I sail a 5.8 with my wife and sometimes my daughter as crew, the mast is definitely a two person job, the easy way is to start with your boat backwards to the wind, have your crew hold the tip of the mast then while you stand on the tramp, grab the mast and hold it, have your crew stand on the main beam near the base of the mast and hold a trap handle while leaning back like a water skier. The crews weight and wind coming from behind will counter balance the weight of the mast. To take it down do the same still with the wind behind the boat. If the wind comes up big and you can't get the mast to come down because it's being blown upright around 30 knots you can have the crew pull the mast down by using a trap wire from the rear of the boat while you control it on the tramp and again lower the mast to the crew while you are on the tramp. Don't allow your crew to stand under the mast until you have it all the way down so you don't drop it on them.

As for overpowered, best to have the diamond wires loose enough that you can pull them in and touch the mast with them about 18 inches from the bottom of the diamond wires, this allows the bottom of the mast to bend into the slot which depowers the boat. If you are uncomfortable with the wind you are in the easiest thing you can do is pull your centreboards up partially or even all the way and the boat will settle down. When you tie your sail battens in leave them only just tight so that when you pull the downhaul on the sail can stretch along the batten. The downhaul is your friend, on an old boat with old sail you can pull the downhaul on hard enough that the bottom of the sail comes out of the bottom of the mast and that's how we race the pin tops. I have a couple of 5.8's if you need any more help feel free to pm me or just post a question. Important safety info for cats is if you are going over get your crew to slide down the tramp and grab any rope, not climb up the boat, make sure they keep their legs together so they don't come down with a leg either side of the sidestay. Don't fear going over, practice in the shallows righting the boat, this can be done in 3 ft of water. Have fun they are a great boat and very family friendly

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would a 5.7 without daggers be friendlier for a firsttime owner?

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I don't know the 5.7 so can't answer for that, I'm guessing at that price the 5.8 your looking at doesn't have the modern bow foil arrangement, so will already have the smaller jib, with the 5.7 you don't have to worry about boards but the 5.8 has a good method for holding the boards at whatever height you want, the good thing about both boats are they are fairly solid and heavy and weight is your friend when your learning as the boats would be near impossible to blow over in your wind range of 8 to 12 knots and you won't be looking to reef sails or anything in that range on either boat

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Thanks, good info.  I think I am going to buy based on boat condition.  I hvae a 5.7 and a 5.8 for about the same price, with trailers, but the 5.8 is a late 80s (which I understand has a foam core hull as well as other improvements.  FROM PHOTOGRAPHS, which we all know might not be current, the 5.8 looks to be good, garage kept condition.  The 5.7 looks to be a bit weathered.  Further competition from a Thistle with an anodized mast, which I really want for a planing skiff build I am prepping.  These are nice problems to have--too many cheap boats knocking on my door. 

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18 hours ago, galacticair said:

Now that is an awesome video MultiThom!  Having tried to take footage of our Nacra 20 in San Francisco last year, we quickly realized how easy it is for the lens to get foggy, the camera to shake, etc.  Love your editing and multiple angles too -- really well shot, cudos.

 

Kudo's should go to the guy who shot it, not me.  I just found the video on YouTube and thought the OP might want to know what the boat looks like in 10-12 which is what the wind looks to be based on water view-which we all know is tamer in video than in real life.

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7 hours ago, Coquina012 said:

Thanks, good info.  I think I am going to buy based on boat condition.  I hvae a 5.7 and a 5.8 for about the same price, with trailers, but the 5.8 is a late 80s (which I understand has a foam core hull as well as other improvements.  FROM PHOTOGRAPHS, which we all know might not be current, the 5.8 looks to be good, garage kept condition.  The 5.7 looks to be a bit weathered.  Further competition from a Thistle with an anodized mast, which I really want for a planing skiff build I am prepping.  These are nice problems to have--too many cheap boats knocking on my door. 

All else equal, take a look first to see if there's a big difference in the sails between the two boats.   That's a big $ item and performance variable too.  Get the best sails you can.  Other than that, I'd look at hull conditions (cracks, hollow sounds / soft spots, obvious repairs, etc), mast condition (any cracks, plus look at the forestay attachment at the hounds, the forestay tang can elongate and need replacement), as well as the center beam right below the mast rotation ball (a known weak spot at least on larger Nacras where you'll see cracks in the aluminum.  These are usually all repairable but you probably don't want to be fiber-glassing or riveting in month 1, unless that's something you enjoy...   In contrast, cosmetic weathering, old lines, old hardware/blocks, and even the tramp are  all fairly affordable to replace as new...

 

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I thought the 5.8 was Nacras best boat[Except  for the R36, which is a beast]. My wife was sacred raising the mas t[go slow]. Repair is straight forward.  Use no seize lube on the crossbeams.  Have fun.  Skip Elliot makes great sails for it.

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I went to look at the smaller boat.  I mis-stated what it was.  It is a 5.2, not a 5.7   Although older, the hull and sails all looked reasonably new.  Better than not bad.  The 5.8, which I might get to see tomorrow, has 5 sails with it, and the seller claims that one jib and one main are near new.  He says it also has an older mylar main.  Gelacticar, I am not educated enough about cats to gauge much beyond cosmetics.  I also have the means and wherewithal to fix anything, the questions is how annoying will it be, and how much down time.  So thanks for your very good input.  I will bear those points in mind.  I also have some competition from a Thistle and now a glass Wayfarer.  When it rains it pours.   

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17 hours ago, guerdon said:

... My wife was sacred raising the mas...

Sounds like you really worship your wife. That's nice!

:D

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5.8 will carry your family. 5.2 will be tight and harder to sail. Both great boats, but from what you say, the 5.8 would be my choice.

 

If you have not sailed multihulls much, I have two tips: do not overtrim the main before heading upwind, (from a downwind course) and certainly leave it uncleated! I made this mistake as a kid on a Hobie 14, and years later the first time I sailed a big, stable Tornado. Flipped both times. Slow learner, but now I know. 

 

Good luck!

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