guzzis3

V 3.5 sailing report.

11 posts in this topic

I don't know if this is appropriate and I'm not sure where to put it so I thought here was a reasonable guess...I realise most of you are in to established makes and probably racing  but it's possible someone in future will be looking at this or a similar cat and deciding whether to buy it.

 

I took the new tiny cat out today for my first sail on it. It has V3.5 on the sail, it's 3.5 meters long and about 1.6 wide. I can just about lift the whole boat less rig, it must weigh about 30 kg. I intend to try and weight the hulls at some point.

 

My point of reference is a a caper  cat I owned for many years. Sailed it all over moreton bay and wivenhoe dam, so all comparisons are to that boat.

 

Today was a bad day to go sailing and particularly in such a tiny boat. The forecast said 20 knots and I though I might just about manage that but I swear it was blowing at least 25 as I sailed out at Manly about noon. As I got into open water the chop was about 2'. In the CaperCat this would be no problem, I routinely sailed in 4' chop and high winds. It is a much bigger boat than the extra 2' of beam and 2'6" of length might imply.

 

The 3.5 was another story. It was like a windsurfer, only much wetter :) The chop was tossing the boat about like a cork,  and as you'd expect it was VERY sensitive to crew weight.

 

I had lashed the funny little handles someone had put on the tiller bar. One each side and no way to secure them so they moved around and snagged things so....unfortunately this meant I had to sit aft to steer and the transoms dragged terribly.

 

I hadn't checked the sail. I knew it was pretty second hand. I should have...as I tried to beat the top half of the sail kept backwinding, the battens had reverse curve on them. I haven't looked yet, still recovering from a really hard day but I can only assume they are vastly over tight. It got worse. The boat has a vang and I didn't bother to mount it. Big mistake. The sail kicks like no boat I've ever sailed on. I couldn't get it to tack so I turned off the wind and ran a bit and brought it round carefully, not really a jibe, and headed back in. Or tried to... As I came round the upper battens must have got caught in the shrouds, I had a twisted sail and had to go back over to starboard, pull the sail free then back to port again. Very messy, and quite scary. You have to be really careful about where you are on the boat.

 

Then it got worse. The lower batten came out about half way. NO way I could stand up to grab it so I jut kept heading in. Yep it fell out and was gone. Stupid me tried to find it so to stop the boat blowing away I stepped off (it was shallow as) and capsized the boat. About half an hour later of dragging it around and trying to simultaneously unbury the mast from the mud and pull the hulls over I finally got it righted and walked in to the ramp.

 

Now if your smart your thinking most of that was my fault, and yes it most certainly was. I didn't do my preparations properly. I had test rigged it, but did not inspected the components properly. I was slack not rigging the vang. Most of all I shouldn't have gone out today. It was one of those cursed days where everything goes wrong from the start. I already knew this when I woke this morning, late, because I'd taken my pills late last night. That lead to a late start, traffic, low tide when I arrived at manly, problems setting up the boat..and that blessed wind of course. All the signes were there but I was so keen to get  a sail I powered through. If I'd dropped it in the river instead it probably would have gone much better. Less wind, no waves...

 

So disasters apart what about the boat ?

 

Well whenever I managed to catch some wind and the sail took shape it was magic. It'd take off like a bullet, and being so small, light and sensitive it was more like wearing a running shoe than being aboard a boat. In the right conditions it would be a properly lovely thing to sail, but right conditions include flat water and the rig properly tuned and in reasonable order.

 

I am 85 kg more or less. You MIGHT just get 2 adults on it, but 1 adult or 2 children is probably more the right weight. Everything on the boat is light. Stepping the mast is trivial, moving it around is trivial. I carry it on the ladder racks of my ute and I can load and unload it on my own. What I do want is wheels, probably a kayak trolley strapped to one of the hulls then tilt the thing to wheel it around.

 

Well I hope that is of interest to someone.

IMAG0539.jpg

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Thanks for the write up, to me it sounds like an exciting day that gave you all the info you were looking for on the boat, you sailed it in plenty of wind that showed the issues, easy to fix things and next time will be easy. I mostly sail on 18 to 19 ft cats but the best fun I've had is flogging around on small cats in big wind and chop, sailing a 8ft Bic open together with my 4yr old son on the tiller in 20 kts will always be my most fun sailing memory. Shorter boats just amplify the fun looking forward to hearing how it goes  

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Thank you for the reply.

 

It is remarkable how big a difference there is between a 14' caper cat and this 11' 6" thing. As you say step up to an A class and it's another thing again. I should have taken it out in light winds though to start. I made a lot of mistakes that day, but despite my write up it was never dangerous. I was in or beside knee deep water the whole time :)

 

I'm very glad to get some positive feedback. I was not at all sure if this was an appropriate post.

 

Now I just need to find a sail that's not totally gone... :D

 

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Keep posting most of us started on smaller cats a lot are still on smaller cats, you are in the right forum

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Hmmm, IMHO even if you do get the rig and steering sorted, this is still a kids/teenagers boat at best... and even though you may be able to lift it single-handed onto the racks, is it able to be manhandled any distance without cat rollers? I seriously doubt it, unless you happen to be Arnold Schwarzenegger...
The thing is, once you have the cat/beach rollers, any 14 is gonna suit a person of your weight and ability better.
The only hurdle is getting a 14 up and off those racks...

I'm sure you know what's coming next? The Windrush 14 can be 'folded' up and car-topped - and once you know how to position it next to the car/racks, it's not too difficult for anyone of reasonable strength to slide it on and off...

My dad used to do this with our first 2 boats... I honestly don't remember if we helped him do it - probably...

He had a Datsun 240K Coupé - and oversized/wide racks. It must have looked insane - I know - but that's how we transported her...
(the original Windrush 14 brochure shows a few different styles of vehicles all car-topping the boat)
And, I believe that it would be a lot easier on that Ford Ute to get a workable system fabricated...

Sure it's a 'hassle' compared to a trailer, and you need the racks set-up correctly - (a pivoting and sliding rack system would certainly allow it to be performed solo) - and it would open up a lot more conditions for you to sail in.
Definitely you need to find a decent 'bulkhead' boat - not one of the heavier 'old clunkers'...

As far as raising the mast on a W14 solo goes, no big deal - there are techniques to do it - just read the Windrush Sailors Forum for a discussion on it...

Of course, should you decide to go this way eventually, you then have the ability to rig your Windy cat / sloop / trapeze - and even spinnaker...
PP

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On 1/29/2017 at 2:35 AM, Prince Planet said:

Hmmm, IMHO even if you do get the rig and steering sorted, this is still a kids/teenagers boat at best... and even though you may be able to lift it single-handed onto the racks, is it able to be manhandled any distance without cat rollers? I seriously doubt it, unless you happen to be Arnold Schwarzenegger...
The thing is, once you have the cat/beach rollers, any 14 is gonna suit a person of your weight and ability better.
The only hurdle is getting a 14 up and off those racks...

I can pick the whole boat up off the ground. The hull less rig probably weighs about 30 kg. The other problem with a 14' cat you miss is the beam. I can't carry an 8' wide boat on my ute easily. It's legal but it isn't pretty. This thing is 1.6 meters wide. I am thinking about a kayak trolley to move it about, and that would allow me to wiggle past the bollards around kayak ramps. The other issue is stepping the mast. While it's about 6.2meters it's a small section and compared to stepping say the capercat mast it's just a doddle.

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I'm sure you know what's coming next? The Windrush 14 can be 'folded' up and car-topped - and once you know how to position it next to the car/racks, it's not too difficult for anyone of reasonable strength to slide it on and off...

My dad used to do this with our first 2 boats... I honestly don't remember if we helped him do it - probably...

He had a Datsun 240K Coupé - and oversized/wide racks. It must have looked insane - I know - but that's how we transported her...
(the original Windrush 14 brochure shows a few different styles of vehicles all car-topping the boat)
And, I believe that it would be a lot easier on that Ford Ute to get a workable system fabricated...

I've not had anything to do with windrush 14s. I could for that matter simply demount a capercat and load one hull at a time and stash the beams in my tray, which is 8'. Again I made a conscious decision about this boat.

Quote

Sure it's a 'hassle' compared to a trailer, and you need the racks set-up correctly - (a pivoting and sliding rack system would certainly allow it to be performed solo) - and it would open up a lot more conditions for you to sail in.
Definitely you need to find a decent 'bulkhead' boat - not one of the heavier 'old clunkers'...

As far as raising the mast on a W14 solo goes, no big deal - there are techniques to do it - just read the Windrush Sailors Forum for a discussion on it...

Of course, should you decide to go this way eventually, you then have the ability to rig your Windy cat / sloop / trapeze - and even spinnaker...
PP

Once again, I'm not new to this. I've been sailing for decades. The tiny cat is not my only boat. I bought it with open eyes to achieve a specific purpose. Is it a great boat ? no. Is it versatile ? no. But for now at least I'm happy with it... it's a bit of fun. If worse comes to worse I'll use it as a base to build a sliding rigger row boat, and in that roll it would be superb.

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Plenty of adults on small cats there was a bloke that did the 50km Milang to Goolwa race a couple of weekends ago on an 11ft Arafura Cadet, there were multiple adult junior crews on the 3.5m Nacra when I raced near Noosa this year, I've spent plenty of time on an Arafura Cadet the same size as guzzis3's boat and if we all made more positive posts regarding the smaller boats you might be amazed by how many more people bob up on this forum, 

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16 minutes ago, madboutcats said:

Plenty of adults on small cats there was a bloke that did the 50km Milang to Goolwa race a couple of weekends ago on an 11ft Arafura Cadet, there were multiple adult junior crews on the 3.5m Nacra when I raced near Noosa this year, I've spent plenty of time on an Arafura Cadet the same size as guzzis3's boat and if we all made more positive posts regarding the smaller boats you might be amazed by how many more people bob up on this forum, 

I wasn't being negative at all. I was simply pointing out an alternative - based on his comments about the boat - and its limitations.
The fact that he states he hasn't had any experience with the W14 is why I detailed the procedure. The boat folds inwards to make it legal to car-top.
At least it was when we did it. Things may have changed? Not sure...
Anyway - that was my point.

When folded in - no need to demount the hulls at all - it's not as wide as when folded out for sailing.

Queenslanders know about Calypsos, Hobies and Caper Cats - understandably - but have (apparently) little experience with other designs...


 

CartopPic2.jpg

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That's interesting but I don't know how much better it would be than simply pulling a capercat apart.

 

I've seen windrushes and most of the other common beach cats, just never paid attention to them. They are all as common as muck up here.

 

Is this one ?

 

http://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/shorncliffe/sail-boats/14-ft-boat/1134845969

 

8' is legal to cartop, it just isn't pleasant. And the difference between stepping a capercat mast and the one on my tinycat is HUGE :)

 

I hate racing, still scarred by an experience racing keel boats back when the world was young. Thus my interest is cruising and of course the capercat offers a lot in that respect. That's why I like them. The lockers, the freeboard, the conservative rig, the quality, the carrying capacity. That is why if I were to buy another 14' cat it'd be something like a capercat not a windrush hobie paper tiger cobra hydra.....

 

But, as I say, my only expectation of this boat is to potter around and have a spot of fun. It's all good.

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Hi Guzzis3,
the only thing you need to remove is the rudders - I'd say that's a 5 minute job at most. There's no need to dismantle anything else.
Dismantling the Caper Cat would take a lot longer - and then having to put it together again - big hassle. It's also a bigger, heavier boat - so to car-top it would be a challenge.

Absolutely agree with you - it's an ideal cruising boat - and fitted that purpose nicely. Shame something newer like it hasn't been developed.
The boat that you saw via the link to Gumtree - yes it's a Windrush 14. Looks old - but it might be OK...  as I said you want at least a 'bulkhead' boat in reasonable condition; the earlier boats were overbuilt and heavy by comparison to say, a Hobie 14 of the same era.

Here's an example of a very nice boat - but it's in the ACT:-
https://www.allclassifieds.com.au/automotive/boats-and-jet-skis/windrush-14-catamaran/ad42fc6c1cde7c4d4683a623103794fb173c

The thing is, a correctly set-up Windrush 14 is probably the nicest 14 to sail - alongside a properly tuned Paper Tiger or Maricat 4.3 - regardless of wanting to race or not.  General consensus is that it's also the best trapezing platform - if that flicks your switch...
A properly tuned and set-up boat is a joy to sail for fun too... it's how I get my kicks 90% of the time.
Raising the mast solo on W14 is no big deal either - there are a few ways to do it without coming to grief - check the Windrush Forum for details.
(you can also get the 'old' disc rudders - for shallow water adventures…)

My 10 cents worth was simply to bring a viable alternative to your attention - on which you could conceivably do a lot more, take another person out occasionally - and in a wider range of conditions. Certainly not to denigrate your choice, or smaller cats in general…

Car-topped width of the Windy is 1.91m - well under the legal 2.438m
:)


 

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Just a quick update.

 

I've had trouble getting my bits to re rig the boat (in the mail) so haven't been able to go sailing. I have however been able to weight it. The hulls connecting structure rudders main sheet tramp everything except the rig is 44 kg. I have not weighed the mast boom and sail but the mast is a very small section.

When I start putting things right I'll put up progress in the shed section, assuming anyone is interested.

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