Cons: They really do take a long time to set up--mine takes a good 2-3 hours and everything is heavy. It makes for a long day if you have to trailer it and set it up to go sailing. They are also heavy at about 500 pounds and rolling them up a long beach is a mother.
Also, parts aren't really easy to find and they aint cheap. The tramp alone is about a grand and there really aren't used sails available. You can use the steering off of any supercat, so that is a plus.
Just don't get cought up transforming it to the same set-up as an ARC22. You can get new sails, new diamonds, solid beams, self-tacking jib, spinnaker... It really adds up fast.
The older ones had problems with the bow tangs pulling out, but other than that, they are tanks.
Pros: It is a very stable, very fast boat and is a blast to sail in any wind. You are up in the air on the tramp and when you are trapped out, you are REALLY up in the air. They have a good righting system and the manufacturer claims they can't be pitchpoled. I don't believe that claim, but I haven't pitchpoled mine (yet). When you get a puff, the boat seems to lift up out of the water and just go. It is an extremely fast (and wet) ride and is just plain comfortable. The rig and the beam translate wind to speed very quickly and the performance is awesome.
But Dan Berger will still get owned by my Nacra 20 vs. his Supercat 20...just 'cause that's the way it is. If you have a place to leave the boat set up all the time, then it may be a good option, but if you have to set up and break down, you may as well get a Tornado and have more people to sail with (and even then...). see attachment
The photo you reference was taken from the channel 5 bridge shortly after the day 2 start. No pitchpole occured at that time, just a good pick me up to start the day. As with many boats; if the skipper and crew can avoid being slung forward, the boat can bury the nose, recover, and keep on rocking.
The daily swim occured much further up the course when attempting to shortcut across some flats. Rudders kicked-up, yes one broke, boat rounded up and we performed a semi-nose plant into mud with a sideways roll-over. Nice move, you should try it.
Was there a madflat under Verrazano bridge too? I've heard that all SC cats have very smart righting systems - extendable shrouds, sea anchors, just let the boat right itself. <img src="http://www.catsailor.com/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" />
looking at your galleries, your SC20 seemed to have received major modifications since the start of your project. Would appreciate if you find time to explain what all has been changed and what were the reasons behind? I just bought an old SC 20 with the smaller mast and will try to update it once the boat arrives... It stills comes with the telescoping beams, while it seems you changed them recently? Are you still sailing/racing your boat in 2006?
Kind regards from the other side of the world! :-)