A-Cat Exploder A16

Hi all,

I am in the course of buying an A-Cat. It should be able to foil. Now there is one on the market, an Exploder A16, upgraded with rudder differentials and Z22 foils. As Informationis spare on that particular platform I would like to know the A-Cat-Community thoughts on that. Worth to buy for a F18-convert who never did the wild thing before ;-)?

Thanks and cheers,

Andreas

 

Lost in Translation

Super Anarchist
1,275
75
Atlanta, GA
I thought you were getting a 2020?  A 2020 would be two generations advanced from this and would incorporate many advancements to be easier to use and foil.  A step down would be the first gen eXploder AD3, preferably with at least 22s and 2nd cassette rudders with the levers and bungie rather than the screw.

An A16 is OK but is a much more dated design.  Several years older than the F1 that I thought you were asking about earlier.  

What to get exactly depends much more on your skill and ambitions.  Some people who are new to the class are really happy getting an older boat that can't foil and spend time learning the fundamentals of singlehanded sailing.  If you are a serious F18 driver, you already know most of that and can probably go for a nicer set up.

 
Thanks!

Right, the Ad3 2020 was nearly fixed in my mind. However, after continuing to scan the market I am now looking at two options:

1. this heavily armend ready to sail A16 (new mast, relatively new sail, with Z22 foils , rudder differentials etc.)

2. The state of the art AD3-2020 Platform for which I would need to acquire mast, rigg and sail.

Nr. 1 is of course way cheaper and I could just start to sail. Nr. 2 is much more expensive and there are construction delivery times to consider for the very eager sailor or time needed to find a used mast/rigg in the close future.

I am a bit undecided. But I tend to get the AD3.

 

Tcatman

Super Anarchist
1,503
138
Chesapeake Bay
You might want to wait until the worlds are over in Houston at the end of the month and see how many of the international competitors really want to take the boat back with them.

 

Lost in Translation

Super Anarchist
1,275
75
Atlanta, GA
I agree with your sentiments on which one to get.  It's very rare in my experience to see an updated boat perform as well as boats from the factory.  Yes, it can have all the specs but I just haven't seen them perform as well.  For example, where are the board cases now on that boat?  Boats of that era used to have boards farther back which led to more pitch instability.  Everyone was learning what as needed.  The hulls are much larger in volume so the boat has to be more lightly built.  The bows are more traditional for wave piercing so they can tend to catch waves.  How is the toe-in set compared to factory boats?  It's possible what you have found is perfect but you will have a hard time even knowing beforehand.

If you go for an older one and want something that will be easier to tune and use (which I think makes sense in many ways), I would go with the first gen AD3 mid-2017 or newer with boards at 40 to 45 cm back from the main beam.  These will already have the 22s or even 27s and I think you will find an easier learning curve.  Rudders are a big deal on flying boats and you want the best rudders you can get including the much stiffer cross bar that came with 2017 or newer, preferably the stiffer cassettes that came out in maybe 2018 or so and later, the thicker / stiffer rudder sections post 2017, max size winglets / elevators that came out maybe in 2019.  All of that argues for getting the best boat you can get, doesn't it?

There are some great sailors in Germany and the Germans have their own forum.  It looks like you are already there which is great.  You may want to reach out to the Polish one as well.  

 
Hey, thank you all for all the advice. Indeed I am in Germany. We have an a-cat communityhere and I got in touch. The online activity however is a bit sparse. Probably I will fall for the ad3 - and come back with a lot of questions about rigging, tuning and the like ;-)

 

SimonN

Super Anarchist
10,533
755
Sydney ex London
It's not an easy choice for a first time foiling A Cat sailor. It comes down to a couple of things. First, it's about money. There is a simple rule with foiling A's - the more you spend the easier it is to foil! There is a significant difference in ease of foiling between an A16, even one that has all the "toys", and the newer boats.

The next thing to consider is level of expectation. An updated A16 will foil downwind pretty well and for some, that might be enough. However, if you want to foil upwind, the later boats have a huge advantage due to foils and the systems. An AD3 with Z27's and recent rudder winglets and proper, full range rudder differential is, for most, the difference between being able to foil upwind or not. For many, I think the last of the "old shape" AD3"s are the easiest to foil and the best value. If you cannot foil upwind well on one of them after checking the settings are OK, it is you, not the boat. With the A16, you will always be unsure.

I also see many referring to the main foils  - updated to Z22's or Z27's. That's all well and good, but the thing I am always most concerned about is the rudder winglets. Getting good ones are maybe the most important part of the boat. I can foil well with 22's and 27's, because I have the best rudder winglets.

 
Thanks to all again - I now bought the 2020-platform. Think that is the better choice in the end (in the very far end taking to potential resale value into account). If anyone has a sail for me in good condition, speak up :) (message4(at)worldwidelaw.de). I am 88kg and will probably buy a Saarberg mast 6.5. Remember: I am in old Europe.

Best,

Andreas

 




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