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Mini Cat looks built well


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Good looking little cat. Looks like it would float an adult better than the hobie 14 I used to have. I would like to see a jib on it but it is pretty cool. Would be interesting to see how it would stack up to a Weta. 

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Not even close to a weta in performance...only 53 sq ft main while weta has 89 in the main And has a 34 sq ft jib.  This microcat is designed for kids and very protected waters.  Your old hobie 14 was a more fun ride than this boat.  I suspect it will be difficult to tack with no jib-especially with an adult's weight aboard.

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Seems like it would be similar to a Hobie Wave. For what it's worth. The Wave is a great boat. Easy to sail, tacks very easily (despite not having a jib) and even has an active racing class. It is not fast by cat standards, but is simple, cheap, and nearly unbreakable.

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Again, a wave has a much larger sail plan to make it fun and not ho-hum (M&M did a good design job).  53 sq feet in this humdrum but 95 in a wave.  

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The H14 is a dated design, but I bet it would still blow any of these little boats away. It was actually a pretty fast boat in the right conditions. One of the years we did the Texas 200 in my proa there was a kid on a 14. That boat was fast, he was at the head of the fleet every day. Much faster than a Wave, not even close. I've never seen a Weta, maybe it would be able to keep up, but it looks like a lot of wetted surface to me compared to the 14.

Of course they were a bit tricky to tack...

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A question.....

Am I correct in asking if there is a size below which a catamaran is not a viable proposition when it comes to reasonable performance?

There seems to be no catamaran class below 14ft with reasonable sailing performance.

The expert opinions?

 

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Trisail, that's a really good question.  Only thing I've heard is that you want the hulls to be at least 8 times as long as they are wide.  Figure a human at 75 kgs for righting moment and single handing capsize recovery and that'll tell you something about how big a sail you can put on and total width and how much buoyancy depending on building materials.   Which will tell you a little about how tall the floats and mast could be.  Then determine what you mean by "reasonable" sailing performance (some percent of windspeed to weather and tack angle) and you have a design envelope--which may tell you what is possible.  Design for minimum length and see what pops up.    

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On 3/16/2021 at 3:06 PM, KONeill said:

The H14 is a dated design, but I bet it would still blow any of these little boats away. It was actually a pretty fast boat in the right conditions. One of the years we did the Texas 200 in my proa there was a kid on a 14. That boat was fast, he was at the head of the fleet every day. Much faster than a Wave, not even close. I've never seen a Weta, maybe it would be able to keep up, but it looks like a lot of wetted surface to me compared to the 14.

Of course they were a bit tricky to tack...

I've run and raced against a lot of H14's and it's not a contest. The Weta will just walk away from them all day long. And downwind... forget about it. Even the H14 turbo's DPN is 84. Weta is 78.5. 

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On 3/16/2021 at 12:21 PM, MultiThom said:

Again, a wave has a much larger sail plan to make it fun and not ho-hum (M&M did a good design job).  53 sq feet in this humdrum but 95 in a wave.  

Right, the pic doesn't have references to scale, so it really looks like a Wave-sized boat. If this has half the sail of a Hobie Wave, then yeah, dramatically underpowered.

I wouldn't mind a composite cat, about Hobie Wave sized but lighter for fun. But I guess that doesn't exist as a viable market niche because it ends up overlapping with old 2nd hand a-cats.

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This thing is only 9 feet long and 5.7 feet wide.  Looking at the floats they are way fat for their length.  The chainplates for the shrouds are really close to the mast so raking the mast will be difficult.  Add the really small sail and you can pretty much figure it won't be much fun for an adult.   Hard to believe they have sold any since monohull training boats will be much less expensive and more fun e.g. Sunfish.  

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7 hours ago, Tom Kirkman said:

I've run and raced against a lot of H14's and it's not a contest. The Weta will just walk away from them all day long. And downwind... forget about it. Even the H14 turbo's DPN is 84. Weta is 78.5. 

I wonder how a 14 would do with a downwind sail on it...

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20 hours ago, KONeill said:

I wonder how a 14 would do with a downwind sail on it...

You’d spend most of the time pitch poling. I tried a fairly crude experiment on my 14 Turbo, and it didn’t go well…

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1 hour ago, Monkey said:

You’d spend most of the time pitch poling. I tried a fairly crude experiment on my 14 Turbo, and it didn’t go well…

same here... but it was (kinda) fun !

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17 minutes ago, Trovão said:

same here... but it was (kinda) fun !

No denying that!  It actually worked well up to about 10 knots TWS. Mine was a jury rigged Lightning spin pole and an old 29er (I think) kite. Anything above ten and the lack of buoyancy in the leeward hull meant it was only a matter of time til you went ass over bow. After about the twentieth pitch pole, my “sprit” folded in half. 

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3 minutes ago, martin 'hoff said:

That's how we like it

The 14 Turbo really is the ultimate giggle factory. I still won’t give mine up. It’s getting a full refit this summer. 

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A 14 can run a spinnaker depending on the cut of the particular sail. A very full cut spinnaker would be difficult on the 14, but a flatter cut would be fine. A buddy of mine rigged a factory 16 spinnaker on his 14 and has run it without undue incidents.

 

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12 minutes ago, Tom Kirkman said:

A 14 can run a spinnaker depending on the cut of the particular sail. A very full cut spinnaker would be difficult on the 14, but a flatter cut would be fine. A buddy of mine rigged a factory 16 spinnaker on his 14 and has run it without undue incidents.

 

A factory 16 spin????  
Edit: confusion over the spin aside, it was a very flat spin I was using. The boat’s a nose diver even without it. Still a ton of fun. Is your buddy a little guy?  With 200 pounds of me at full hike on the trap, that leeward hull gets driven under very easily. 

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On 3/16/2021 at 12:23 PM, trisail said:

A question.....

Am I correct in asking if there is a size below which a catamaran is not a viable proposition when it comes to reasonable performance?

There seems to be no catamaran class below 14ft with reasonable sailing performance.

The expert opinions?

 

?

and the Clark foil cat, of course....

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Vortex are surprisingly good dinghies, and have a following of older guys who want to trapeze but not so keen on tea bagging.  Slow though, compared to a catamaran, and needs 12 knots to properly get going, otherwise laser kind of speed.  They were built by Laser during their careless era, the class has been trying to get a better builder and new moulds for a while, maybe a down to weight one would show what this Jo Richards design could really have done.

I guess 15 foot is about as small as you can go and still have catamaran type speed, but 18 foot is better, with any waves.

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On 3/19/2021 at 6:42 PM, Monkey said:

A factory 16 spin????  
Edit: confusion over the spin aside, it was a very flat spin I was using. The boat’s a nose diver even without it. Still a ton of fun. Is your buddy a little guy?  With 200 pounds of me at full hike on the trap, that leeward hull gets driven under very easily. 

He's about 230, which is really a bit heavy for the H14. But he makes it work. And yes, there has been a factory H16 spinnaker available for many years from Hobie.

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On 3/16/2021 at 3:23 PM, trisail said:

Am I correct in asking if there is a size below which a catamaran is not a viable proposition when it comes to reasonable performance?

I think it makes sense that, (assuming planing speeds)

  • there's a target weight you have to move around - boat + crew weight
  • so there's a minimum sail size, and forces involved including leverage given mast length
  • said leverage wants to dig your bow in the water in general, particularly on the back of the next wave

so if the hull is very short, you're always digging its bow in the back of the next wave. You could make racks to move the crew further back, like an 18ft skiff, and you'd effectively be making the boat longer again, just not in the water.

If you want to go faster on a shorter boat, put foils on it. The UFO is an example, less than 10ft, a cat on the water, but only 2 foils in the water once foiling. It's fun and fast but not very stable.

The Stunt S9/iFly is 4-legged and its configuration is ridiculously stable once it pops on the foils and builds a bit of speed. I think the boat is 14ft or 15. Maybe that's a path to a fast stable 10ft?

The stability of these 4-legged cats isn't "natural", it comes from speed + large foil flaps + wands at the bow. It also means that when you pitchpole, it's a major event ;-) It also means that you could end up with a boat that is very pitchpoley/bow-diggy if you disengage the foiling mechanism (the UFO has a bit of that). 

I do wonder what a cross between a UFO and a Stunt/iFly might behave like. A down-scaled S9/iFly platform and foils, maybe a UFO-style windsurfer sail/rig. Wish we could cross-breed some of these boats and see what happens, like Mendel would. 

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23 hours ago, Tom Kirkman said:

He's about 230, which is really a bit heavy for the H14. But he makes it work. And yes, there has been a factory H16 spinnaker available for many years from Hobie.

Interesting. I never knew that. I’ll have to look into that. Could be a fun addition to this year’s refit. 

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On 3/18/2021 at 1:42 PM, MultiThom said:

This thing is only 9 feet long and 5.7 feet wide.  Looking at the floats they are way fat for their length.  The chainplates for the shrouds are really close to the mast so raking the mast will be difficult.  Add the really small sail and you can pretty much figure it won't be much fun for an adult.   Hard to believe they have sold any since monohull training boats will be much less expensive and more fun e.g. Sunfish.  

 

They seem more a specialty shop - not a marketing company. I suppose their business for the College Sports (Sailing is BIG in Boston area - major fleets of boat - also west of there) keeps them busy. I found them because they are making the new Larks - probably 100+ of them. So this may just be a project boat for them...maybe someone in a Sailing Youth Groups in Boston wanted to train little kids on multis. Not a bad idea because the average person tends to run into hobie waves and getaways at resorts and rentals, so a very casual sailor might do well to learn on a cat. 

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