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Sol Cat 18

Posted By: Nacra5.8NA1386

Sol Cat 18 - 11/09/10 12:55 AM

Right now i am looking to buy my first beach cat- i have narrowed it to down to a Hobie or Sol Cat 18, but mainly I am wondering about Sol Cats. Does anybody here sail them? How much weight can they handle? I have heard they they LOVE to pitchpole. Is this true? Basically, in what ways do they differ from a Hobie 18? Thanks
Posted By: mbounds

Re: Sol Cat 18 - 11/09/10 01:23 AM

Originally Posted by Formula15
Basically, in what ways do they differ from a Hobie 18?

How about zero parts available (Sol Cat) vs. a boat that you can still get factory parts for (H-18)?
Posted By: Nacra5.8NA1386

Re: Sol Cat 18 - 11/09/10 01:27 AM

Yeah, but the sol cat is a great deal. Believe me, if the two were even if a close price range, I would definitely go with the Hobie- and i still might
Posted By: Jake

Re: Sol Cat 18 - 11/09/10 01:27 AM

What Matt was trying to say is that they are both great boats. One thing you might want to keep in mind is that the Solcats are not manufactured today and parts will be very difficult to source. The Hobies, while some model lines are not being actively produced, still have a full catalog of replacement parts should you need anything. This should be some consideration.
Posted By: Ventucky Red

Re: Sol Cat 18 - 11/09/10 01:36 AM

Originally Posted by Formula15
Yeah, but the sol cat is a great deal. Believe me, if the two were even if a close price range, I would definitely go with the Hobie- and i still might


The Sol Cat was a great boat in its day, and you may get lucky with many of the parts that are generic, but will have a hard time with those that are not, rudder casting, rudders, mast casting, beams, etc......

I see your in Northern CA. There is a big very active Hobie fleet up there and a great deal of support close by with Surf City Catamarans.

Posted By: Nacra5.8NA1386

Re: Sol Cat 18 - 11/09/10 01:52 AM

Thanks. My main concern was the tendency to pitchpole- have any of you experienced that? Or not? Thanks.
Posted By: Todd_Sails

Re: Sol Cat 18 - 11/09/10 02:21 AM

Anything will pitchpole, given the right conditions.

The Sol Cat is a dino. Have you checked the hull for soft spots, How about the sails?, etc. etc. Older Hobie's, or an older Prindle would be a better choice, IMO.
Posted By: Nacra5.8NA1386

Re: Sol Cat 18 - 11/09/10 02:48 AM

but does the sol cat pitch frequently (ive heard it pitchpoles more often than H16s)?
Posted By: Don_Atchley

Re: Sol Cat 18 - 11/09/10 03:47 AM

If your mind is already made up then go for it. You've asked for opinions; and we've all got them. But every argument for the TheMightyHobie18 you've countered with the Sol-Cat.

I think you already know which boat you want... smile
Posted By: davefarmer

Re: Sol Cat 18 - 11/09/10 04:03 AM

I sailed a Solcat 18 a bit, and my asessment is that it's not really any more prone to sticking the bow than other similar boats. The H16 is the one with that reputation. Sailing the Solcat will be fine, but you'll regret not listening to these guys when something significant breaks. And it will, it's a 30 year old boat.

Dave
Posted By: Nacra5.8NA1386

Re: Sol Cat 18 - 11/09/10 04:50 AM

Thanks guys. If the Sol Cat seems in good shape, I think I'll go with her. If not, I think an TheMightyHobie18 is the way to go.
Posted By: Acat230

Re: Sol Cat 18 - 11/09/10 04:12 PM

Noted you live in the Bay area so expect you will sail in breeze and chop often. I worked for a Sol Cat dealer as a teenager in the 70's and the boats were not built well at all. They leaked horribly and the platforms were very flexible. We were also a Hobie dealer and the fit and finish of the Hobie product was way better than the Sol Cat product.

The parts issue is real and I'd bet the sails you'll get are about the age of the boat. Not a good combination for your safety and well being if you sail in true NorCal conditions.

If you lived on an inland lake with mostly light air, the Sol Cat might be OK but if you plan to sail where you live, the Hobie 18 has a lot better track record handling wind and chop than the Sol Cat. I'm sure the Sol Cat is attractive because it is probably dirt cheap given the typical age of these boats but do yourself a favor and spend a bit more money and get a boat that was a lot more popular and still has service support.

Good luck.
Posted By: Todd_Sails

Re: Sol Cat 18 - 11/09/10 04:32 PM

there is an echo in here, isn't there?
Posted By: Jake

Re: Sol Cat 18 - 11/09/10 06:05 PM

Originally Posted by The Todd
there is an echo in here, isn't there?


And I would not want to be the owner trying to sell the Solcat in this situation grin
Posted By: CaptainScuvey

Re: Sol Cat 18 - 11/13/10 03:58 AM

Pitch pole?
I have never done this on mine...have flipped it many times...7 times in one Round the Island race back in 1995...but never pitch poled.
I still sail my 1977 Solcat 15, and my 1976 Solcat 18.
Yes you will have to hunt for parts or retro fit.
But really, Solcats are not high tech and full of special equipment.
Most can be fabbed up from available parts for others cats and monohulls.
I think the Hobie 16 is the pitch pole champ, but your looking at a Hobie 18...totally different cat
Posted By: MUST429

Re: Sol Cat 18 - 11/13/10 03:44 PM

Pardon me in advance for being a bit of a smartass,

When you are looking for a tow vehicle, if you have the choice of buying an old Ford, or a Nash, are you going to insist on picking the Nash?
Posted By: CaptainScuvey

Re: Sol Cat 18 - 11/13/10 08:41 PM

Yes...I like the Nash with the fold down front seat. (wings)
[Linked Image]
Posted By: Mugrace72

Re: Sol Cat 18 - 11/14/10 12:15 AM

Originally Posted by MUST429
are you going to insist on picking the Nash?


Nash parts are easier to find than Sol Cat stuff. However, there is nothing on a Sol Cat that you can't make yourself from other sources. Still, a beater TheMightyHobie18 is hard to beat for all around fun at the beach.
Posted By: Todd_Sails

Re: Sol Cat 18 - 11/14/10 12:52 PM

So, did you buy the Soul - Cat yet?

(you have to say soul cat, as they did on
the hit TV show 'Soul Train')
Posted By: Nacra5.8NA1386

Re: Sol Cat 18 - 11/14/10 08:23 PM

No. You guys have scared me off of her smile. Actually, the guy just hasn't emailed me pics yet, and I'm reluctant to go without having those.
Posted By: NYYankee79

Re: Sol Cat 18 - 09/19/11 05:16 AM

Originally Posted by davefarmer
I sailed a Solcat 18 a bit, and my asessment is that it's not really any more prone to sticking the bow than other similar boats. The H16 is the one with that reputation. Sailing the Solcat will be fine, but you'll regret not listening to these guys when something significant breaks. And it will, it's a 30 year old boat.

Dave

I sail a Sol Cat 18 and absolutely love it. I agree though, when something significant breaks you will be up a certain creek without a paddle. I am constantly looking to see what parts from other boats can be "fitted" to mine should something break. When that happens you either have to think outside the box or part your boat out.

Mike
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