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rosscos

Older plywood cat

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Somewhat new here I have come across a perfectly preserved plywood cat in a garage.

 

Apparently the class is a Solo 16 that was designed in the early 70's. 

 

Anyone know the history or if any are stil sailing?

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42 view and no takers.  Sounds like your Solo might have been a one off (geddit!!).  

 

There are certainly good ply cats around, some Taipans are ply and Paper Tigers, Arrows and Arafura's too.  I would though suggest you take very great care if you intend restoring and sailing your 'find'.  It's very easy to overcapitalise, spending money for which there would be no or little return.  I once bought a Maricat for $600 and then spent $850 on a new sail for example.

 

Pics might help too.

 

KO

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2 sailed at my old club back in the late 70's & into the early 80's, so I'm scratching deeply into the long forgotten grey matter.....

 

From memory they hit the scene around the same time the A'class was getting a foothold and were an alternative to the very popular Mosquito catamaran, usualy the owners were ex Quick-Cat sailors and for some reason they found them an easier boat to sail over the mozzie....

from memory they were similar in performance to the mosquito.....

 

Contact:

 otbyardsticks@yachtingvictoria.com.au

 

for a yardstick rating, they have obviously been archived due to lack of info / sailing data over recent years (2005 was as old as I could find)

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rosscos:

Googling I found this

 

That pic was taken at Lake Bullen & Marie (Camperdown Aquatic Club) somewhere between 1977 and 1980......

 

My Impara cadet is in that pic as is my Mosquito.... both are on the beach at the far left of the pic.

 

The impara has the red & white striped sail and white hulls and at the time of the pic it was owned by a young girl sailor that I'd recently sold it to, when I owned it the hulls were clear varnished. She had re-named it and painted it white at the end of the 1976 season 

 

The Mosquito was also clear varnished when I started on it but it was repainted a dark blue at the end of the 1980 season

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usualy the owners were ex Quick-Cat sailors and for some reason they found them an easier boat to sail over the mozzie....

from memory they were similar in performance to the mosquito.....

 

:

 

 

 

 

Seems that they are fitted with a hiking plank rather than a trapeze so that probably explains the reason behind your comment.

 

Apparently there were over 100 built in the 70's, I wonder if any more still exist?

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Yeah that would most likely explain it   ;)

 

We had 3 QuickCats at one stage ..... of the 3 one guy retired and took up cycling..... pftttt , one (in the pic) obviously went to the solo and the 3rd went to a mozzie.

Interestingly the guy in the pic (Peter Wilson) sailed against me in the jnr'ss on an arafura cadet before taking on the solo 16, he left that and went to a cobra as a crew member and I don't know where / what or even if he sailed after that.

Peter's dad only ever sailed a Hartley-Trailer-Sailor and did so for ~15 odd years before he gave it and sailing away.

 

Back in those days...

7 ~ 10 cats sailed in the snr class every w/end with 3 jnr cats as well, there was also around the same numbers in the mono-hull-thingies.

One fireball sailor (Tony) that was a regular back then STILL has the boat he competed with back then and still sails regularly on a far newer fireball...... oddly enough, he's also my boss

:cool:

 

 

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Flat deck like an Arrow, curved traveller track like an A class but behind the beam, doesn't look like it has flat hulls. Hiking plank could be swapped to trap if the mast has spreaders, Looks like big rocker but skinny at transom. Looks in good nick did you look at the bottom of the boat was it flat on the bottom or does it go to a point in the middle

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The hulls have flat bottoms the same as Arafuras, Arrows, Mini Quests and Quckcats................ mast has four shrouds and no diamonds or intermediates.

 

With regard to bottom shape and being V'd at the bottom the only plywood cat I have been told had that feature was a Tachos V.

 

As I understand it early Dolphins had round bottoms, probably following the Quest shape but then for some reason changed to flat.

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Would be a hoot in a breeze with a trap, the Arrow planes in big wind would love to have a crack on that one in 25kts but may be the last time it sails, is the transom as narrow as it looks in the photo? Easy to put diamonds on the mast as it should be pretty strong if it handled the hiking plate without diamonds. Lots of high profile fast wooden V bottoms or curved bottoms, like A Class, Taipan 4.9's, 1st Taipan 5.7 still racing competitively, Mosquito, F16 Blades, Tornados etc

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Interesting piece of engineering to raise the traveller and be able to use the tiller under it but you would be limited to a short or collapsing tiller, no throwing it out the back, lovely condition must have been someone's pride and joy

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The "Solo 16" was designed by Jeff Miller of Adelaide and he was at the top of the Quickcat fleet in SA at the time. The "Solo 16" had 5 square feet more sail than a "Quickcat" and a swiveling plank to hick out on. These two additions made the Solo 16 when sailed by a good sailor a minute or two faster around a triangular course.  The "Quickcat" was a great cat and was around with a large fleet for many years ( I sailed in a fleet of just over 100 at Lake Bolac in a Vic States in the mid 70's) but it had a tendancy to nose dive. Center sheeting travellers were fitted to the "Quickcat" so the main could be sheeted in when it was let out for reaching and this did stop some of the nose diving but the fixed sliding hiking plank didn't allow the skipper to power up the rig by hiking on a reach. Miller developed the Solo 16 with this in mind and the swinging plank allowed the skipper to slide back as the cat was beared off the wind and even reaching. At the same time the" Dolphin" was developed by Lindsay Cuningham in Melbourne and the addition of the trapeze on this cat spelled the early end of the "Solo 16". There were several built and sailed at Kingston ( Lacepede Bay SC ) and they were good for sailors that struggled with getting out on a trap wire but were no match for the Dolphin, Mosquito and Stingrays that were also being sailed here at the time as well. They were a nice boat but really came along at the time catamaran development took off ( A Class, and the other classes already mentioned) so they never got to build a fleet of any great numbers.

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The "Solo 16" also had lee boards that were a big improvement on the one swiveling center board in the middle of the "Quickcat". This along with the extra sail area made them hard to beat up wind also.

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Again a bit more digging apparently around 110 plan sets were issued and around 80+ built, mainly in South Australia & Western Victoria. There must be still a few around in farmers sheds.

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There were a couple sailing at Safety Beach in the 70's.

They must have been at Lake Boga as well - there is a couple of Solo 16 sails hanging from the Yacht Club ceiling.

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After a bit more Google research have found this.

 

My next catamaran was a Solo 16, which I built in the early 1970s. I can’t for the life of me remember the designer´s name, except that he was from Adelaide, and the boat has disappeared without trace from internet sources. The Solo had Quickcat ancestry, with similar dory hulls but there the resemblance stopped: It had twin dagger boards instead of a central centerboard, and the heavy wooden structure connecting the hulls was replaced by aluminum beams and a trampoline. The mast was supported by twin forestays, so there was no headsail. It had a hiking plank, and was quite fast, especially single-handed. Hiking out on the plank it was easy to fly a hull, but the boat always felt under control and never looked like nose-diving. I had a few capsizes and breakages, but the boat was easy to right, even when fully inverted. The Solo seemed to me to be a much better boat than the Hobie 16, which had appeared in vast numbers by then. I sometimes wonder why the Solo never became more popular. Maybe it was eclipsed by the second generation of catamarans with stitch-and-glue construction and more sophisticated hull shapes.

 

By Dave Shatwell (on Outrig Media)

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The cat is certainly a Solo 16, I built one in the 1970s. It was fast and fun to sail, easy to fly a hull and never nose-dived. The designer lived in Adelaide but I have forgotten his name, does anyone remember?

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The boat pictured is a sailed by myself in 1980. It was class number 166, but I think they started at 100. 166 was a beautiful boat, craftsman made by a fellow Camperdown club member. He made it in his lounge room and had to lift the hulls out through the windows! It had 135sq ft sail, more than the Quickcat or Mosquito, but a touch lower rig than the mozzie and was pretty easy to sail. I recall the rudders raked forward a little and the helm was incredibly light, I could sail upwind with just fingertips on the tiller feathering through the puffs.

I sailed it mainly around the lakes but did take it to Port Phillip a couple of times but I had trouble with the steep chop there on the hiking plank not being able to raise myself a little higher.

A lot of the competitive guys were moving out of the class by then to Dolphins/Mozzies but there were still some very good guys from Bendigo, Safety Beach, Lake Boga. I sailed the Vic champs a few times and the dominant sailor was Bob Foreman and he had won so many states he had lost count, although I won it the second time in strong winds.

The boat was very simple and you could just concentrate on sailing it well. The green boat pictured looks like in great condition and a piece of history in my opinion.

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