Feel free to send me an e-mail with any questions you might have. I've been sailing an 18.2 for ten years now. Some recommendations:
1.) When you rig the forestay, ring and jib halyard - get it right! Test it BEFORE stepping the mast. The typical mistake is to have the halyard snap clips on the wrong side of the forestay eye and you can't hoist the sail. After the mast is stepped is a sucky time to find that out.
2.) Buy the tiller connection kit
and stiffening kit
from Murrays. A vast improvement and takes out any slop in your helm.
3.) Ignore the manual on the diamond wire tension. Tight man! Tight! If they are loose, you risk breaking the mast. Mine have practically no play in them at all. Wrap the siezing wire around the diamond wires and spreaders to keep them in place, cover them with the rubber boots, and then wrap it up with tape to protect the sails from chaffing against them.
4.) If you don't intend to get picky race-wise, consider not using the 4-way jib system. It just takes up space along the tramp and you may never touch it.
5.) On the 18.2 you should be forward - FORWARD! There is mucho buoyancy up front so in moderate winds, the crew is practically on the forwrad crossbar. If you're hanging back on the aft crossbar, the boat's not balanced right.
6.) Practice lowering that mainsail. You point into the wind, hoist up on the halyard, push the mast rotator over to get the hook out of the way and then drop the sail. Don't look like a tard, wondering why your main won't drop. <img src="http://www.catsailor.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
7.) The stock downhaul system sucks and gives you no control. Consider investing in the 8:1 here on the Catsailor Online Store.
8.) Make sure you get your tension right on your rudder bolts so that you can raise and lower the rudders with the ropes. It's not as efficient as the Hobie system and it may take some trial and error to get the right balance between having them locked in place and popping up prematurely and you not having the arm strength to disengauge them (and also risk them breaking if you hit something and they don't pop up. When I trailer with the rudders on and up, I don't trust the v in the gudgeon to hold them in place. I wrap the rope around the gudgeon and then use Velcro cable tie-wraps to hold them in place. It's enough to ensure that no bump will EVER have the rudder swing down and chip on the road below.
7.) The rotating centerboards is one of the very best features on this boat! Learn to raise the windward one up into the hull when you're flying it. It's quick and easy. When you're sailing in shallow water with the boards down, don't sit directly over the centerboard trunks. When the rotate, the corner tip extends about 3 inches above the deck surface and if your "family jewels" are in the exact perfect spot.... <img src="http://www.catsailor.com/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" />
8.) After your first sail, go back and re-tighten the tramp. You'll be shocked as to how much more tightening you'll have to do.
9.) Spray plenty of Sail Lube on the bolt of your main.
10.) The 18.2 is a fast, bt forgiving and fairly easy cat to sail. I've actually soloed on mine many times. ENJOY your new toy!
Doug, #590, Lake Norman, NC