messing about in boats

Nacra Inter 18 For Sale

Posted in Sailing by Joseph Moore on June 14, 2010

Nacra Inter 18 For Sale

I’m so bummed out about this, but circumstances change and needs must, so she’s got to go. Take a look at the for sale ad on the F18 website and drop me an email if you’re interested.


Deja Vu Spotted

Posted in Sailing by Joseph Moore on November 7, 2009

I was killing some time this afternoon browsing the Boats & Outboards classifieds when I spotted one of the Grafham cat fleet Prindle 15s for sale… with a rather familiar mainsail in the background. None other than my F18 – Deja Vu, pulled up on the beach. At least someone’s taking photos of her, even if I keep forgetting!


Prindle 15 for sale, with a lurking F18

Catamaran Sailing

Posted in Sailing by Joseph Moore on September 23, 2009

Why Two Hulls?

I’d always enjoyed sailing monohulls (and of course still do!) but had a ride on a friend’s Hurricane 500 earlier this year and was hooked. Cats seemed to have everything: speed over the water, plenty of space for lazy days and what seemed like years of ‘thinking time’ to react compared to the Cherub. There always seemed to be quite a bit of banter between the monohull and multihull fleets, with sailors firmly in one or the other. I guess it’s because the boats are so different and people are naturally sceptical of anything unfamiliar.

All I can say really is find someone who has a cat and try it!

Getting Stuck In

Being Cherub sailors we’re used to boating on a budget. We’re also big fans of development and restricted classes, allowing for flexibility and some DIY should there be any breakages. If you’re able to fix it yourself, it’s not always time to groan and open your cheque book.

The boat park at Grafham had quite a few old cats knocking around. A few Darts, Prindles and some rather home made looking Tornados. None of these really fitted the bill of fast, robust and not needing much work to get on the water. In the end we came across a Nacra Inter 18 on the F18 class association website.

So we parted with just shy of £1900 in exchange for a hell of a lot of plastic and metal. ‘Deja Vu‘ had a new mast and good sails, a trailer, trolley, but needed some attention to tidy the hulls up after years of abuse and some fairing on all four foils. Plenty of plans for the winter, but at least we could get sailing in the mean time!

Things To Think About

  • Don’t underestimate just how fast a catamaran will go in a breeze. We were out comfortably buzzing around in a force 5 one afternoon with huge grins from ear to ear, but it’s shocking how fast you can close in on other boats especially in a gust so don’t let your guard drop.
  • If you think you’ve pulled on enough cunningham, you probably haven’t. Pull on some more!
  • Getting off the side onto a properly set trapeze hook can feel like a leap of faith. Don’t be tempted to set them too high.
  • Flying a hull way up in the air looks cool, but isn’t all that fast. Keep it just skimming the water to present the biggest sail area to the wind.
  • If you’re not sure of the best way to do something, ask someone! In our experience cat sailors are a friendly bunch, only too happy to welcome newcomers and offer advice.

There’s going to be a lot more here about Deja Vu as we tune her up and learn plenty more about sailing multihulls. It’s gonna be awesome.