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Shark History #258634
03/31/13 12:08 PM
03/31/13 12:08 PM
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 1
M
M in MI Offline OP
stranger
M in MI  Offline OP
stranger
M

Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 1
Years ago, my family owned a Shark catamaran or pre shark class catamaran, it may have even been an early Tornado. They bought it from a guy that lived on Grosse Ile, MI sometime around 1970-72. According to the previous owner it was one of a dozen or so that was imported from England.
The things I remembered about the catamaran were:
Fiberglass hulls with mahogany top decks, wooden rudders & daggers, Daggers were more rectagular, than what I have seen on Sharks although rudders look exactly alike.
The tramp area was also made from mahogany as well
A steel bar running between the bows of the boat(forestay was connected to it)
Both hulls had 2 1/2 to 3" wide by approx 36" long splash guards or anti pitch boards, mounted on both sides of the hulls up by the bows.
The mast (crank style) was mounted on a small wood base platform on top of a contoured equipment storage forward cross support assembly.( all mahogony construction )
The boat was solid from hull to hull, meaning that it did not hinge at the center of the tramp area to shorten its beam (approx 10' wide )for transport.
It had a jib and main sail #43 with a red panel about 2/3 the way up with a insignia that was not the same as the shark, it resembled more like:

_______
[ /
[ /
[ /
[ /_
[ /
[ / it was black in color
[ /
[/
I can't seem to get the above image to come out right, 1 big V (enclosed) stacked on top of a small v (enclosed), with a vertical line down the middle to cut half of it out.

trying to remember if it had dual trapeze wires on each side or just a single.
We sailed that boat until 1985 (when we sold it)
I remember sailing it with my parents and later solo (also being able to fly the hulls on it.)
When that boat "hooked up" to the wind, it would just fly, on a slight downwind beat, spray would come off that leeward forward inner bow splash runner and you would get a shower from it. The boat was fast in heavy winds, and the smell of that varnished mahogony wood was almost like/similar to an english sports car with connally scented leather.
That boat was an experience, when it came to catamarans that had "class". It is understandable why this boat design has survived all these years.
Does anyone on these forums, really know their history on this design of cat?
I'd be interested in learning more about the pre-history of the Shark and Tornado prior to being built here in the U.S.
I've done some research on the web and found out about the original designer J.R. (Rod) Macalpine-Downie and Dick Gibbs who was a partner in building Shark cats up in La Salle, MI But the History & production numbers info is limited. The designer also built boats: Thai MK4, Hellcats 1&2, Crossbows 1&2
Can anyone tell me more?
I may try to post some pictures of what we sailed back then, but I have very few, and I'll have to try and scan them up.
It is an awesome boat design, and my prior experience's of sailing it, is second to none. Anyone, that can have the opportunity of sailing or crewing on one, should never turn it down. The wedsite for Shark Class boats is down. I've tried to "friend" on the FB page but no luck on that, yet.
I also was fortunate to have sailed a Dingo cat for a couple of years around 1978-80 but then we sold that. Later in 1990, I bought a 1979 Hobie 16, and have sailed that for the last 22 years.

Last edited by M in MI; 03/31/13 12:55 PM.
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Re: Shark History [Re: M in MI] #260737
06/27/13 02:46 PM
06/27/13 02:46 PM
Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 4
D
Dough Boy Offline
stranger
Dough Boy  Offline
stranger
D

Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 4
I purchased a Shark last year. I didn't have any idea what I had purchased and was going to modify it. When I started digging and found what I have that isn't going to happen. Google, Rod MacAlpine Downie you will get all the history of his designs there. Hell Cat is one that was designed for racing after he went to a race and said he could do better ( he had never had anything to do with sailing at that time) He returned with his new boat design the following year and kicked everyones butt. If I remember correctly He blew them out of the water. I am always looking for info on the Shark and wouldn't mind getting another one. JZ

Re: Shark History [Re: M in MI] #265451
09/28/13 07:35 PM
09/28/13 07:35 PM
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 57
Penfield NY
rturbett Offline
journeyman
rturbett  Offline
journeyman

Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 57
Penfield NY
try the facebook page again, or email me at penturbett@aol.com



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