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My Apologies, and a Question re CAT TRAX

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First off, I'd like to apologize to this forum. Based on my review of the front page of this forum a couple months ago, I thought that this forum was primarily devoted to large, yachting catamarans, and that smaller "wet" catamarans were not a source of discussion. A Class Sailor has corrected me in another forum, and has informed me that this forum does indeed discuss small "wet" catamarans. So, I apologize for having mischaracterized this forum. I am hoping that you will accept my apology and allow me to participate.

I am a new CAT sailor, having sailed Aeros, Lasers, and a Vago for several years before recently purchasing an RS CAT 14 to try and learn CAT sailing. The problem is that I have discovered that CAT TRAX appear incompatible with the RS CAT 14. It appears that the distance between the interior of the hulls on an RS CAT 14 is significantly shorter than the same distance on Hobie CATS. As a result, when I try to put the CAT TRAX under the RS CAT 14 it doesn't work, because the wheels come into contact with the interior of the hulls.

As I can see it, I have two options. First, drill holes further inward and move the wheel mechanism further inward. Or second (as H Class Sailor suggested) get a REALLY long axle and put the CAT TRAX wheels on the outside of the hulls. The second option sounds best, but the entire CAT TRAX mechanisms (roll pins and bracketing mechanism for keeping roll pins flush to the smooth aluminum axle) seem precisely engineered toward an exact diameter of aluminum axle. 

So, before I embark on option 2, I was wondering if anyone could direct me to a website for the exact aluminum axle that would be appropriate for implementing option 2 w/ my other CAT TRAX parts.

Thanks, in advance, for any info you can provide.

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i've re-drilled my axle several times to accommodate a mystere 4.3, F18, Hobie 16 and F16. Just make sure you move them in far enough to keep the hulls from rubbing on the wheels.

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I needed to be able to adjust my wheels easily, So i bought some stainless steel tri clamps from ebay. used some 10mm rope to make them fit. Cost less than $20.

 

20180819_045954931_iOS.jpg

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2 hours ago, John Williams said:

i've re-drilled my axle several times to accommodate a mystere 4.3, F18, Hobie 16 and F16. Just make sure you move them in far enough to keep the hulls from rubbing on the wheels.

I've never drilled through aluminum before. Will my regular drill and bits I have for home repair work? Or is some kind of industrial strength drill required to make it through the aluminum axle? And thanks much for the input.

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1 hour ago, lamorak said:

Re-drill the axle and move the cradles/tires in.  having them on the outside is a pain in the a$$ when moving the boat around.

Thanks. I'll try this first, especially since I don't need to purchase any new equipment to make it work.

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1 hour ago, Dazz said:

I needed to be able to adjust my wheels easily, So i bought some stainless steel tri clamps from ebay. used some 10mm rope to make them fit. Cost less than $20.

 

 

That is exceptionally clever. Would you mind providing a link to the stainless steel tri-clamps that you purchased? I think I might just plagiarize your solution!

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Yeah 4 clamps and about 200mm of 10mm rope per clamp.  8mm was just that bit too thin.

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3 hours ago, Dazz said:

Yeah 4 clamps and about 200mm of 10mm rope per clamp.  8mm was just that bit too thin.

Thanks man. You  rock!

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When I answered, I assumed you had already moved the wheels closer together, which is the first thing to try. A standard DIY drill bit (not one designed only for wood) should be able to through aluminium easily. IMO, the clips shown above are overkill unless you need to use the wheels on a range of boats that differ in size.

As for a longer axle, its standard aluminium tube. It's not specially made. The only issue I can potentially see is that it might be a metric size and I don't know how much of a problem that is in the USA or how similar it would be to a US imperial size. I wouldn't dismiss the idea as quickly as some do, unless you have to wheel your boat through narrow gaps. i know people in the A Class fleet who prefer the wheels on the outside because it adds significantly to the stability of the boat ashore due to the wider wheel base.

 

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ACS,

  Agreed that the clamps are overkill when there is only one type of boat involved.

  Just a fun fact, the aluminum tubes on the European cat trax (EuroTrax) are 50mm in O.D, ~1.5mm wall. The aluminum tubes on the U.S built Cat Trax are an even 2" O.D, 1/16" wall. These are pretty standard size anodized aluminum tubes, its just much easier to source imperial spec tubes in the U.S and metric spec tubes in Europe so that is what the beach wheel manufactures did. I know this as the hull cradles for my Scorpion needed a ton of filing to fit on my 2" O.D CatTrax as they were speced for 50mm tube and thus 1/32" of undersized in diameter.

Oh, I'll add that the tubes are normally cheap, but the freight costs are not. YMMV.

-Sam

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Sam and ACS,

Have you ever seen anyone use tri clamps before ever??? I have been sailing cats fort the last 40 years and have never seen anyone using this solution before. 

I have  one F18 EDGE, but I also have a 4x F18 trailer. for doing nationals with, The sailbox is too wide for the wheels so every time i mount the wheels on the trailer they have to moved about 100mm outwards. The argument the clamps are overkill for one boat is kinda not very well thought out.

the ability to take the rollers apart and store them for travelling is highly desirable for us with cold hands after 12 races with no tools is just a bonus! 

so if i can save some one else the hassle of nuts and bolts for breaking down their catrax or eurotrax then I am happy to share my idea.

Mobile still saves a fortune in booze at national events!!!!  

Cheers

Dazz.  

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18 hours ago, Dazz said:

I have  one F18 EDGE, but I also have a 4x F18 trailer. for doing nationals with, The sailbox is too wide for the wheels so every time i mount the wheels on the trailer they have to moved about 100mm outwards. The argument the clamps are overkill for one boat is kinda not very well thought out.

Sorry, I hadn't taken into account that somebody might have such a poor set up that they would need to do this. In 40 years of cat sailing, this is the first time I have heard of such a thing, so to call it not very well thought out is pretty weak. :)

 

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it wouldn't be an issue if the trailer was 200mm longer, but that would cost around $300 per year in transport fees. Sorry, the setup is ideal to maximize the number of boats for the shortest trailer possible. compromises had to be made.

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Dazz - i just got the clamps. Am headed off to the store now to pick up the 10 mm line. Thanks for the great idea. 

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Yeah, I bought them off Amazon from a non-Chinese distributor. Cost more, but I got them in two days. Cat Trax all fixed up per your method. Thanks.

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Hey Dazz,

  Not something I have thought about. It would also make the wheels completely disassemble pretty quickly which could be handy in a few situations.

-Sam

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Just bought a set of used Cat Trax. The cradles and wheels are set too wide for my boat. To relocate everything I will have to re-drill the axle. All of the cradle attachment holes must be in the same plane and centered. Does anyone have a jig/technique for doing this with hand tools?

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Here is a photo of the adjustable wheels in action.  less mucking around than the other set we tapped up.

 

 

20190313.jpg

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1 hour ago, leeboweffect said:

Just bought a set of used Cat Trax. The cradles and wheels are set too wide for my boat. To relocate everything I will have to re-drill the axle. All of the cradle attachment holes must be in the same plane and centered. Does anyone have a jig/technique for doing this with hand tools?

Use the boat as your jig

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