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New to Sailing- AquaCat 12.5?

Posted By: kmbarnes1

New to Sailing- AquaCat 12.5? - 05/18/11 09:09 PM

Hi everyone.
Having finally moved to the beach, I'm wanting to get a small cat to have some fun and start learning how to sail. I have found someone selling their AquaCat 12.5.

I would like something I could go out into the ocean from the beach with my fiance and I on board. I weigh 230 lbs and she's 140 lbs.

I'm hoping someone on here can tell me if this is the right boat for me to start with and to give me some details about it (easy to handle? speed? worthyness, etc)

Also, I dont want to pay too much so if you have pirce ideas, that would be awesome too. It includes sail, mast, pontoons, rigging, rudders, trampoline in good condition. The only thing wrong with it is that a daggerboards is broken.

Thanks for your advice!
Posted By: pgp

Re: New to Sailing- AquaCat 12.5? - 05/18/11 10:34 PM

I think it's too small for the two of you.

Sailing can be frustrating so enroll in a class. Also, if you are brand new it isn't safe for you to go off shore.

For beginners, off shore is water over ankle deep. Seriously.
Posted By: Jake

Re: New to Sailing- AquaCat 12.5? - 05/18/11 11:39 PM

Originally Posted by pgp
I think it's too small for the two of you.

Sailing can be frustrating so enroll in a class. Also, if you are brand new it isn't safe for you to go off shore.

For beginners, off shore is water over ankle deep. Seriously.


Good lord, Pete...ease up. You don't have to be an expert to get a boat over ankle deep and most learned to sail from the beach without any initial instruction (myself included).

Kmbarnes, the Aquacat is a strange little beast. I've never sailed one personally but given that we do still see them from time to time should indicate that they hold up reasonably well (they haven't been manufactured in quite some time). However, they have very flat bottomed hull shapes and they're frankly not a very good performing boat. They will work if you want to tool around, get wet, and sail. Keep in mind that parts will probably be difficult to source.

I do agree that the boat is probably a little small for the two of you, but you're sacrificing performance by sailing overweight and trading off some space by having a smaller boat. However, you gain some ease of mobility and some safety (due to being underpowered) while underway.

That said, there should be a plethora of used Hobie Cats available or perhaps even a Nacra. These boats are still supported today by their manufacturers and parts are relatively easy to come by. In my opinion, the Hobie 16 and Hobie 18 are terrific beach boats and while you may be a little heavy to go competitively race a Hobie 16, it would be a solid boat for you to start with.

I say move on from the Auquacat and look toward a Hobie 16, Hobie 18, or a Nacra 5.2 or 5.5 or similar.
Posted By: pgp

Re: New to Sailing- AquaCat 12.5? - 05/19/11 12:13 AM

You ease up! You may have learned from the beach, as I did, but there were a lot more people around to help and advise. If he's the only guy on the beach, that's a whole different environment.
Posted By: NCSUtrey

Re: New to Sailing- AquaCat 12.5? - 05/19/11 01:43 AM

Pete, is that a scaredy cat in your avatar?

kmbarnes, do yourself a favor and avoid the Aquacat. Jake's suggestions of the Hobies or Nacras is spot on, even a Prindle 16 would be a great fit for you.

Where are you located? Finding someone to sail with you for your first few outing would make learning quite a bit easier (and safer).
Posted By: Mark Schneider

Re: New to Sailing- AquaCat 12.5? - 05/19/11 02:00 AM

Nope.... happily still in production per their web site

http://americansail.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=9&Itemid=9

They still do boat shows....
Posted By: Team_Cat_Fever

Re: New to Sailing- AquaCat 12.5? - 05/19/11 02:11 AM

Mark, I know you love to argue but Trey is spot on,Stay away from the aquacat. I know you can't be advising this guy to get one.
Posted By: Jake

Re: New to Sailing- AquaCat 12.5? - 05/19/11 02:44 AM

Originally Posted by Team_Cat_Fever
Mark, I know you love to argue but Trey is spot on,Stay away from the aquacat. I know you can't be advising this guy to get one.


He did have a point...I had no idea they were still being manufactured....but still...You're standing up for Trey and not me? I'm hurt. (but thank kmbarnes for starting an interesting thread on here - we've been stale for a couple of weeks!).

The Hobies, Nacras, or Prindles will give you something you can grow into and find some readily available help and assistance.
Posted By: Jalani

Re: New to Sailing- AquaCat 12.5? - 05/19/11 07:25 AM

Thanks for posting that link Mark - I'd forgotten what an apalling boat the Aquacat truly is! Their video even confirms it!
The last (and only) time I sailed an A*****t - I can't even bring myself to type it - was waaay back in the early '70s and it scared me almost to death! A friend had bought one to teach his daughter to sail and I was pretty sweet on her too. I was racing Condors at the time so offered to take the daughter out on her new boat. Wind was only around 10mph but that thing flexed all over, wouldn't go upwind, needed all my strength to overcome the horrendous lee helm and was generally awful. After a 30 min slog to get back to the beach (offshore breeze) I swore I'd never go near it again. The young lady's dad sailed it the next day in a club race and we didn't see him from just after the start as he'd headed for the beach.

2 weeks later he palmed it off on some other poor soul and bought his daughter a H14!!!

kmbarnes, stay away from that boat and look for something in line with Jake's suggestions.
Posted By: pgp

Re: New to Sailing- AquaCat 12.5? - 05/19/11 10:19 AM

Trey:

"There are old sailors and bold sailors. There are no old, bold sailors."

Picture it: brand new sailor, Aquacat, Tybee surf.
Posted By: Jake

Re: New to Sailing- AquaCat 12.5? - 05/19/11 12:20 PM

Originally Posted by pgp
Trey:

"There are old sailors and bold sailors. There are no old, bold sailors."

Picture it: brand new sailor, Aquacat, Tybee surf.


First; most Tybee 500 launching surf is benign. You get one or two really tough days every couple of years that everyone remembers...and it's usually because of light wind and not so much the surf. While there is some boat damage and drama every now and then, it really hasn't been that physically dangerous...and there are plenty of old crusty bold bastards still out there sailing. Just look at Todd Hart for heaven's sake!
Posted By: Tom Korz

Re: New to Sailing- AquaCat 12.5? - 05/19/11 12:45 PM

I started an an old Aqua Cat 12. (think conduit riiging and the big styrofoam ball at the masthead) Whie we overloaded and abused that little boat, I TOTALLY agree that it would be a bit small for the orginal poster to start on.

As far as learning to sail, you can learn on your own, but it is much faster with a little help.

Read, sail, think, ask, read, sail again. I have been using that learning technique for a long time and still have got it totally figured out!!! laugh

Pics of the Aqua Cat coming soon!!!!
Posted By: Kris Hathaway

Re: New to Sailing- AquaCat 12.5? - 05/19/11 01:03 PM

Hobie 16 is good. I am surprised no one has recommended a Hobie Wave. Hobie 16 can be intimidating the first couple of times to someone that still has to "learn to sail".
Posted By: IndyWave

Re: New to Sailing- AquaCat 12.5? - 05/19/11 01:16 PM

A Wave is a great "learner" boat; but if he's looking for CHEAP, that kind of rules out a Wave. They hold their value too well. Old H16's are a dime a dozen.

That Auquacat video just shows the same white-haired guy going back and forth in front of the camera, broad reach to broad reach, over and over. Doesn't look like it could go upwind very well; and with that A frame, you couldn't let the sail out enough to go dead downwind either.
Posted By: kmbarnes1

Re: New to Sailing- AquaCat 12.5? - 05/19/11 01:39 PM

Thanks for all your responses! To reassure some of you, I definitely do not intend to get a boat and head to the beach without lessons and reading a lot.

I'm in Charleston, SC and will be wanting to sail from Folly Beach.

I'm feeling thanks to all of your responses that the AquaCat would be a waste of money for me. I found one on Craigslist that looked like a great deal but I couldn't find any reviews of it online. Found this forum and thought I'd join and ask! (I'm glad I could provide some good conversation for you all too!)

I'm looking for a good deal/cheap as I'm just starting out from college and saving up for a wedding. Learning to sail is a goal for my fiance and I before our wedding next summer. If I start looking for a Hobie 16, would price range should I look for? Also, any advice on what to look for (on the boat) would be great.

Thanks!
Posted By: ThunderMuffin

Re: New to Sailing- AquaCat 12.5? - 05/19/11 01:46 PM

Good news for you! There are tons of people in the SC area that can help you out. Both Jake and NCSUTrey are only a few hours from you and NCSUTrey goes to Charleston all the time on his boat.

You should definitely get in touch with him.
Posted By: kmbarnes1

Re: New to Sailing- AquaCat 12.5? - 05/19/11 01:51 PM

Awesome!

As for other boats available around me- I found a Hobie 18 with everything (and trailer) for just over a grand. But it has some "soft" spots which scare me. There is also a Hobie 16 with everything (and trailer) for $1500. Either of these good deals?
Posted By: ThunderMuffin

Re: New to Sailing- AquaCat 12.5? - 05/19/11 01:57 PM

Soft spots can usually be repaired. A hobie 18 would be a great boat for you and the wife, but it might be a little too much to handle solo. The H16 can be sailed either solo or two-up.
Posted By: kmbarnes1

Re: New to Sailing- AquaCat 12.5? - 05/19/11 02:02 PM

I highly doubt I'll ever go out solo. This is something for us to do rather than just me. (I've got my pilot's license and she hates flying so thats my solo fun...)

When you say usually can be repaired...what goes into repairing them?

Do those prices sound good?
Posted By: ThunderMuffin

Re: New to Sailing- AquaCat 12.5? - 05/19/11 02:16 PM

Those prices sound in the ballpark for sure. It all depends on what the condition of the gear and rigging is in to be honest. If the sails have holes in them from mice, then I wouldn't pay a cent for the boat.

Usually soft spots form in the hull decks because the fiberglass-foam sandwich has been abused in some fashion. The fix involves drilling shallow holes into the deck, only through the top layer of fiberglass then clearing out some of the foam in the middle of the sandwich, then injecting epoxy resin into the holes. Hobie has a good diagram on their website.
http://www.hobiecat.com/support/articles/archive/?src=http://2010.archive.hobiecat.com/support/tech/delam.html
Posted By: Jake

Re: New to Sailing- AquaCat 12.5? - 05/19/11 02:35 PM

Originally Posted by kmbarnes1
I highly doubt I'll ever go out solo. This is something for us to do rather than just me. (I've got my pilot's license and she hates flying so thats my solo fun...)

When you say usually can be repaired...what goes into repairing them?

Do those prices sound good?


I kept a Hobie 18 on Folly Beach for a couple of years...when looking at boats, having a beach dolly included with the boat should be a BIG plus. You'll absolutely need it unless you can find somewhere to trailer launch like James Island Yacht Club (trailer launching is still a PIA though). You can launch early in the morning at a couple of the parking / beach access alleys but you have to beat the beach-going cars because they'll block the access and you'll need to find a way to manage the early morning mega-toothed Folly Beach no-see-ums (less you eventually "go full monkey"). Death by no-see-ums sucks!

I also think you can still get permits to leave a boat on Folly Beach but you may need to be (know) a resident - I would do that again in a heart beat if I lived down there (just plan to have a way to haul sails, rudders, and boards home after each sail). Bury a couple of cinder blocks in the sand by the dune and run a cable through them before filling in the hole. You can lock the boat by wrapping the cable around an end of one of the beams and putting a pad lock on it. It also helps to keep it from blowing away in storms (but watch out for full moon tides).
Posted By: kmbarnes1

Re: New to Sailing- AquaCat 12.5? - 05/19/11 02:54 PM

I'm a few miles from the beach at Folly so you know exactly where I hope to be launching from! Since I just moved here, I don't know anyone on Folly yet but I'm right on the edge of James Island so trailering won't be too bad (except for getting it in and out)

Thats another thing I didn't think about...permits and registration. I know with the AquaCat that you didn't need one because it was smaller. I'm assuming I'd need to register the 16 or the 18?

Posted By: ThunderMuffin

Re: New to Sailing- AquaCat 12.5? - 05/19/11 03:11 PM

Originally Posted by kmbarnes1
I'm a few miles from the beach at Folly so you know exactly where I hope to be launching from! Since I just moved here, I don't know anyone on Folly yet but I'm right on the edge of James Island so trailering won't be too bad (except for getting it in and out)

Thats another thing I didn't think about...permits and registration. I know with the AquaCat that you didn't need one because it was smaller. I'm assuming I'd need to register the 16 or the 18?



Register something in South Carolina?

Surely you jest.
:P

(I actually have no idea)
Posted By: davefarmer

Re: New to Sailing- AquaCat 12.5? - 05/19/11 03:12 PM

$1000 to $1500 for a complete H16 in decent condition, with trailer, is reasonable. It'd be great if you can get a catsailor to look at any potential purchase with you. If not, ask the seller to completely set the boat up with you, that should bring to light anything missing. Replacing missing parts runs up the price very quickly. I'd hold out for a boat without soft spots unless you're experienced with fiberglass work, or very handy.

Dave
Posted By: pgp

Re: New to Sailing- AquaCat 12.5? - 05/19/11 04:19 PM

I wouldn't count the sunfish out as a trainer. I wouldn't buy one but they're fine for learning the basics.

A lot of community sailing centers offer instruction on sunfish for cheap. It's as good a place to start as any, and a good way to meet sailors.
Posted By: Dan Berger

Re: New to Sailing- AquaCat 12.5? - 05/19/11 05:12 PM

Back to the Aqua Cats--I see some for sale every now and then that are brand new. The owners won them on some game show like 'The Price is Right' and they are trying to sell it to a)recoup the taxes they paid on the boat and b)to get some money to get a real prize. They are always asking top dollar for them and NEVER know anything about the boat or the sailing in general.

Posted By: Jake

Re: New to Sailing- AquaCat 12.5? - 05/19/11 05:14 PM

Originally Posted by kmbarnes1
I'm a few miles from the beach at Folly so you know exactly where I hope to be launching from! Since I just moved here, I don't know anyone on Folly yet but I'm right on the edge of James Island so trailering won't be too bad (except for getting it in and out)

Thats another thing I didn't think about...permits and registration. I know with the AquaCat that you didn't need one because it was smaller. I'm assuming I'd need to register the 16 or the 18?



Technically you are supposed to title the boat in S.C. (which I found out only recently) but you don't have to carry registration or registration numbers on it as long as it is under 21' and doesn't have an engine/motor. Folly Beach has some sort of permit system (or did) where you have to have a sticker on the boat to prove you have permission to leave the boat on the beach.

Used to launch there just north of the Holiday Inn. If you're really lucky, a homeless guy might come up and help in the morning. They used to sleep under the catamarans there on the beach (so leave your boat north of there if possible!) ;-) I actually got to know one of the guys, "Chillie"...he actually knew some stuff about cats and really did help me rig. After rigging, he would say he would appreciate some beer money. I said I appreciated the honesty and the help and would give him a 10 spot. ;-)
Posted By: NCSUtrey

Re: New to Sailing- AquaCat 12.5? - 05/19/11 06:13 PM

kmbarnes, email me off list and we'll get you set up in Charleston.
velocitytrey(at)gmail(dot)com
Posted By: pgp

Re: New to Sailing- AquaCat 12.5? - 05/19/11 09:49 PM

And keep us posted. Everyone wants to how know how the newbies are progressing.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: New to Sailing- AquaCat 12.5? - 05/20/11 08:40 PM




Originally Posted by davefarmer
$1000 to $1500 for a complete H16 in decent condition, with trailer, is reasonable. It'd be great if you can get a catsailor to look at any potential purchase with you. If not, ask the seller to completely set the boat up with you, that should bring to light anything missing. Replacing missing parts runs up the price very quickly. I'd hold out for a boat without soft spots unless you're experienced with fiberglass work, or very handy.

Dave


i agree with everything but those are very "sweet" prices in season (Dave, i know you buy lots of boats)

i would expect 2-3k for an TheMightyHobie18
Posted By: Todd_Sails

Re: New to Sailing- AquaCat 12.5? - 05/23/11 02:35 AM

Soft spots the TheMightyHobie18's are notorious for? Stay away from that too.
Any descent no soft spot in the hull H16, TheMightyHobie18, or Prindle 16 Prindle 18, Nacra 5.2, all plenty available, and all good starter boats- fast when you want them to be, etc.

Posted By: MultiMatt

Re: New to Sailing- AquaCat 12.5? - 05/27/11 12:56 PM

There are a few catamaran guys trying to organize in Charleston, SC for sailing out of Sullivan's Island at Station 12 St. Check out the facebook page for "Fort Moultrie Beachcat Sailors": http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_229735613710689

You could meet up with them and see the different boats most people sail (mostly Hobies). From what I've heard, there are at least a couple guys out there every weekend. I went over there a couple of weekend ago and the people I spoke with were really nice and liked talking catamaran sailing. So, I'm sure someone would let you ride with them and start showing you the ropes.
Posted By: David Parker

Re: New to Sailing- AquaCat 12.5? - 05/27/11 01:25 PM

Quote
I'm sure someone would let you ride with them and start showing you the ropes.


Since you are on board, shouldn't that be "show you the lines" ?
Posted By: HMurphey

Re: New to Sailing- AquaCat 12.5? - 05/27/11 08:45 PM

David,

+1

(Basic Nautical Terms 101)

Harry
Posted By: ksurfer2

Re: New to Sailing- AquaCat 12.5? - 05/27/11 09:07 PM

I was once told by a wise old salt that a rope is a line without a job. Seemed to make sense.
Posted By: kmbarnes1

Re: New to Sailing- AquaCat 12.5? - 06/18/11 03:43 AM

Just to give you all an update...I've looked at a Hobie 18 (had a soft spot so I walked away), a Prindle 18, and a Hobie 16. I had cash in hand for both the Prindle and Hobie and both sellers backed out at the last minute. Now I can't find one for sale...

Any SC guys in here know of anyone selling a ready to sail boat for around $1000 (with trailer)
Posted By: hokie

Re: New to Sailing- AquaCat 12.5? - 06/20/11 12:29 PM

I am moving to CA and will know in about a weeks time (my wife has to measure the garage when she gets out there), whether I will be bringing my 5.0. You can PM me for more details.
Posted By: Team_Cat_Fever

Re: New to Sailing- AquaCat 12.5? - 06/20/11 02:16 PM

Originally Posted by ksurfer2
I was once told by a wise old salt that a rope is a line without a job. Seemed to make sense.


Nice. I'll have to remember that.
Posted By: kmbarnes1

Re: New to Sailing- AquaCat 12.5? - 06/20/11 02:41 PM

Hokie: PM sent
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