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Old 07-06-2012
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Learning on a cat?

Okay folks; here's the deal. I'm learning to sail. I have NO experience whatsoever. I've been reading and watching videos like mad. I've joined a local sailing club about a week ago. The end goal is a cruiser for all oceans similar to a Manta 42. I have owned a 27friend foot Primate, and I loved that boat.

Question is, would I be doing myself a disservice by learning on a Hobbie or BeachCat vs. a dingy. I can always make the change when I've worked my way into a mid 30's boat.

Admins, please feel free to put this thread wherever it fits best.

Happy sailing,

One Shot One Kill
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Old 07-06-2012
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Re: Learning on a cat?

I think EVERYONE should lean on a small boat, cat or mono.

Sail Delmarva: The Merits of Learning to Sail on a Small Boat

It's fun and you learn the feel of the wind and waves without the boat insulating you. You will learn the bigger boat stuff later.

The fun is sufficient reason!
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Old 07-06-2012
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Re: Learning on a cat?

I like it.
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Old 07-06-2012
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Re: Learning on a cat?

I agree. Learning to sail on a big boat is like swimming in a wetsuit. You're in the water, but you don't have the feel and don't appreciate the subtle changes in wind and waves. Welcome aboard!
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Old 07-06-2012
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Re: Learning on a cat?

I learned to sail on a sailing dinghy. I didn't get my first sail on 2 hulls ( a hobie cat ) until I was in my 30's and didn't buy a catamaran until my 50s.

Learn on a small sail boat and work your way up.
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Re: Learning on a cat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pdqaltair View Post
I think EVERYONE should lean on a small boat, cat or mono.

Sail Delmarva: The Merits of Learning to Sail on a Small Boat

It's fun and you learn the feel of the wind and waves without the boat insulating you. You will learn the bigger boat stuff later.

The fun is sufficient reason!
I was thinking of learning on a boat, mono or cat, not to exceed 17 feet. I've been told by everyone that learning on a small boat is the best way to go, but everyone has been implying a monohull dinghy. I suspect that using a small cat has not even crossed their minds. Perhaps the folk I have read and spoken to have been biased more towards monos - I just don't know.

I have a Mutineers, Optimists and 420's available to me for free through the club. I can also get my hands on a Hobbie 16 or a Beach Cat 17 anytime for the asking as well. Of course, the number one thing to do is GET OUT ON THE WATER! Just looking for the BEST way maximize my time.

OSOK
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Old 07-06-2012
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Re: Learning on a cat?

First & foremost, it's been my experience that one learns the foundations of sailing in small boat better & faster than a large one, but I'm not an expert. That said, no expert or experienced sailor I've talked to has disagreed with me yet

Secondly, 16ft is the dinghy size I've learnt (and still am learning) on. Cats in that size are fun, but there are some things you don't learn on them. Flying a spinnaker being a good example. Different physical skills in sailing a cat that size and a mono too. I get a sore back & legs pushing myself physically in the cat, but sore stomach muscles in the mono.
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Old 07-06-2012
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Re: Learning on a cat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by oneshotonekill View Post
.... I've been told by everyone that learning on a small boat is the best way to go, but everyone has been implying a monohull dinghy.....
I think you're reading too much into it. I'm in my 60s. I learned to sail 40 years ago. There were no two hulled boats in my part of the world at that time. Thinking back, even if there was a two hulled boat available, I probably would have still picked a mono. Back in those days the benefits of sailing a Catamaran just wasn't common knowledge. At least not to us common folk
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Last edited by TropicCat; 07-06-2012 at 10:14 AM.
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Old 07-06-2012
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Re: Learning on a cat?

if you have no sailing experiance then start with the optimist. learning the points of sail with one sail is best. I have seen some learn in cats but it did not make a good sailer of them. all they could do is reach back and forth. never learned to sail upwind. learning in a cat you will develope many bad habits. tou will learn slowly in a cat as there is way to much to it for a beginner. when you can sail the opti to any place in the bay/lake without any help then move up to the 420 or beach cat with a crew and learn the jib
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Re: Learning on a cat?

In my early teens I learned in an Optomist Pram, and then had a 16' monohull sloop, and about then Hobies were coming out, and I got one as soon as I could.

If you have the option of going that route, the learning would be smoother, I think.

Hobies are "weird" as far as sailing goes-don't get me wrong-I love them!

But since they are SO fast, they don't follow the usual sailing rules as monohulls do-for example, when going fast downwind, you don't let the sails out, ("ease the sheets"), you basically keep the sails "sheeted in" fairly tight, and the boat's going so fast it's making it's own wind, (as a ski boat would), so even going with the wind the boat feels as if it's not.

And tacking a monohull is a challenge-it's done all the time, but it's harder on a catamaran.

TMI, probably, sorry.

But if you're looking to buy one boat to learn on, and then have fun sailing it for a while, I'd go with the Hobie and read a lot about sailing them. There used to be a set of two manuals that was mostly about racing, but really taught me a lot.
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