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View Full Version : New tricks for old dogs w/ cats



Deiter
17-04-2007, 02:24 AM
Seen a lot of discussion on here over the months (years:-X ) about how you have to 'learn' to drive a cat / multihull properly to get the best out of them.

There has also been some talk of them being dangerous in inexperienced hands:o , so........, here is the chance for the learned to explain to the not so learned on the intricasies (if that's a word) on handling these babies on the water8-) .

Perhaps a list of 'what to do' and 'what not to do' would be good to help cut the learning curve to skippers new to this area of boating, or even just thinking about it, like me.

I know that a lot of guys here either own or have owned/skippered these craft for a lot of years, so get into it and let us know just what you found out the hard way and we need to be aware of when driving a cat with little or no experience.

Thanx in advance,
Damo:)

Noelm
17-04-2007, 08:35 AM
hhhmmm I just did a long reply to this and it dissappeared, so I will start again, it depends on the boat itself, like and old 18foot Sharkcat is almost impossible to get into trouble with, but I have almost the same boat but 20 foot with pods and it is a whole different boat to drive, the trim is very noticable in it's effect and the Starboard motor will lift the port bow very easily with some "up" trim which if (say) you are travelling west and the wind in from the north east you can trim the Starboard motor up more than the Port one and the Port boat will easily be higher and you can go as fast as you dare to go! whereas MOST people say that sea on the stern quarter is the worst possible conditions for a Cat, not mine with the trim set right, and cats love power and speed, end of story on that one, a low powered cat can be a "dog" (joke) so with adequate power almost any cat will perform fantastic, but they all vary a bit on thier characteristics and need some practice to get some "go fast" out of them, if thats what you want to do of course, there is no reason that you cannot just take advantage of the far better ride and stability of a cat without being a "boy racer" and just cruise around fishing or whatever, turns can be a but interesting, but there is not too many reasons to do a "U" turn at sea at 30knots, maybe in a ski boat but thats about it, in the harbour/ramp area, there is NOTHING easier to move around than a cat because the motors are so far aprt, you can spin around in a jiffy, and launch and retrieve is also a cinch, but still they are not for every one, post on this board will attest to that on the old mono/cat debate.

Grand_Marlin
17-04-2007, 09:43 AM
It really is better to be shown than told....

The first thing you have to learn is to try and keep any sea on a slight angle ... if you go straight head on into a sea a cat will slam hard into the flat tunnel.

Also when head on at speed, if you hit a bigger wave, the cat wants to (and will) jump straight up out of the water at a violent rate, uncontrolably knocking everyone to the floor, and this effect has been known to break ankles.

Get to know each type of cats likes and dislikes re: trim angles, cross lateral trim, running at all different sea angles.

Some of the older cats are better boats than the newer cats.
Newer cats are really good, lighter, more fuel efficient and better than any mono for sea handling abilities, but they arent as good a sea boat as the older, heavier cats ... I am referring specifically to Sharkcat brand in this instance.

Dont take big breaking waves directly in the tunnel, always cut up and over them at an angle.

Always use the power of the cat ... when your gut "mono" instinct says to back off the throttle ... give the cat 1500 more revs and be amaxed at what happens - it is this point alone that gives a cat its legendary ride status.
If in this same instance you back off the throttle, you will get a bitch of a ride - this is where most inexperienced cat skippers lose the plot and then $hitcan the cats ride.

Correct trim is essential at speed.

Dont try to go fast from day one ... get a feel for your boat first.

For instance, if you are travelling home at 30 knots in a 2 - 3m sea ... with the sea on the port stern quarter ... you come off a swell and bury the starboard bow ... you had better have a good understanding of the cross lateral trim (one motor trimmed down, one motor trimmed up) and be ready to slam the starboard throttle down hard to drive the boat through it .... if you were to back off the throttles, there is a good chance you will roll the boat.

The above statement is also why a cat should have adequate power ... underpowered in this scenario could also see problems occurring.

2 stroke powered cats I am sure were designed under license from the fuel companies !! They are very heavy on fuel. A good day off Moreton in a 23ft cat with twin 200 2 strokes will use up to 4 - 500 litres a day.

In saying that - a cat with big 4 strokes is very economical, as is a diesel powered cat.

Cats arent cats either ... for example a 4.9m markham whaler (by design) wont touch a 5.0m sharkcat for performance... and a 5.2 Webster twin fisher is somewhere in between... but none in this size are as good as a 5.2 Kevlacat.

Same goes for the difference between all brands in all sizes ... one brand doesnt have it right in all sizes ... so always water test and be happy with the cat you are buying.

Alloy cats are good, but not as good as glass.

Little cats are more "flighty" than big cats ... a bigger cat is a lot more balanced in the water.

Dunno what else to add ... will think some more

Cheers

Pete

finding_time
17-04-2007, 10:16 AM
Damo


I'll be watching this thread with interest, still hoping to get Wayne ( kittycat) out for a fair bit of instruction but the quote below is making me feela little warm and fuzzy;D

Ian







.

Cats arent cats either ... for example a 4.9m markham whaler (by design) wont touch a 5.0m sharkcat for performance... and a 5.2 Webster twin fisher is somewhere in between... but none in this size are as good as a 5.2 Kevlacat.

Cheers

Pete

Noelm
17-04-2007, 10:32 AM
as good as the 5.2 KC is I feel there is no other boat as "forgiving" as a well powered 18foot sharkcat, they just go and keep going, sure they were rough in their finish and fittings, but they sure went good, and there is almost no vices to speak of. OH and they are reasonable cheap as well.

Deiter
17-04-2007, 07:40 PM
Cheers Noelm and Pete. By the sounds of it you could write a book about the little nuances of the different models.

Ian, how have you found yours so far? those 60's giving you enough oomph? i'd also be interested in your approx fuel consumption and speed at cruise.

I just wish there was an 18 odd foot cat with enough cab room foom 2 to lie down and that i could fit in my garage. out of interest, approx how high a garage does 5.2kc or 18 sharkcat need on trailer. away from original topic, i know, but essential info all the same.

Damo

Grunter71
17-04-2007, 07:48 PM
Deiter

I have an 18 foot Shark Cat and have recently replaced the old bimini with a new folding rocket launcher/bimini set up. With the rocket launcher folded down, the garage height needs to be 2.7m (to the top of the windscreen).

Also, our cabin will comfortably sleep 2 adults, crossways.

Kerry
17-04-2007, 08:14 PM
as good as the 5.2 KC is I feel there is no other boat as "forgiving" as a well powered 18foot sharkcat, they just go and keep going, sure they were rough in their finish and fittings, but they sure went good, and there is almost no vices to speak of. OH and they are reasonable cheap as well.

:-X So "which" of the 18 foor SC's are we talking about ???? Some of them were absolutely atrocious and they kept changing them hoping one day to get it right ;) So has that day arrived yet ;D

Kerry
17-04-2007, 08:19 PM
....the trim is very noticable in it's effect and the Starboard motor will lift the port bow very easily with some "up" trim which if (say) you are travelling west and the wind in from the north east you can trim the Starboard motor up more than the Port one and the Port boat will easily be higher....

The shoe sounds like it's on the wrong foot? Under normal conditions the starboard motor is already trimmed close to max so trying to trim out the stb motor more will only blow it out.

Sure the stb motor is trimmed higher then the port motor but it is the port motor that is normally trimmed down as this is where the movement to trim is!

Grunter71
17-04-2007, 08:29 PM
Kerry

I am interested in which of the 18 foot models that you consider were good and which ones were atrocious.

Deiter
17-04-2007, 08:58 PM
Hey, Grunter, what cab setup is yours?? seen a few that differ slightly - and some are straight runabouts. You got any pics of the inside?

Damo

p.s. Kerry, would love to see a positive post from you. Looking forward to your thoughts and elaborations as to why you have formed the opinions you have.

Kerry
17-04-2007, 09:02 PM
Kerry

I am interested in which of the 18 foot models that you consider were good and which ones were atrocious.

- Well the one if 1 person stands on the bow the props leave the water!
- The ones (lots of these) that have had to fit cowl air ducts to stop drowning the engines
- The ones they tried with the big bullish looking bow which did nothing anyway

Dunno the 18 and it's many variants (and there's a few) just never appeared to be right, it was always on the chopping block getting a revamp.

Actually the old original 16 was probably better then the 18????

Grunter71
17-04-2007, 10:02 PM
Deiter,

I have been told that it is the "Sportsman Deluxe" model. Not sure how true this is.

It was built in the early 90's by the Noosa Cat company, however, still badged as a Shark Cat. Not sure if this will help in defining the model for you.

I have attached a few photos. Difficult to take a good photo of the cabin looking through the narrow door, hopefully they come out okay.

It is wide enough for a 6 foot bloke to sleep across the 3 cushions you can see in the photo. There is room for 2 adults in there, or 3 kids and 2 adults on the deck.

Deiter
17-04-2007, 10:27 PM
Cheers grunter, havent seen many at all like that. What you got pushing it?

fishingrod
17-04-2007, 11:12 PM
I have been told that it is the "Sportsman Deluxe" model. Not sure how true this is.
It was built in the early 90's by the Noosa Cat company, however, still badged as a Shark Cat. Not sure if this will help in defining the model for you.


This may help in some way. Ive posted this brochure before in a "cat" thread here, so appoligies to those who have seen it before.

This is from circa 1987-1998.
http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c369/fishingbasket/SAVE0015.jpg
http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c369/fishingbasket/SAVE0016.jpg

Grunter71
17-04-2007, 11:26 PM
An old pair of Yamaha 2st 70's are pushing it along at the moment.

Deiter
17-04-2007, 11:43 PM
This may help in some way. Ive posted this brochure before in a "cat" thread here, so appoligies to those who have seen it before.

This is from circa 1987-1998.
http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c369/fishingbasket/SAVE0015.jpg
http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c369/fishingbasket/SAVE0016.jpg

Hey fishingrod, can't see the brochure but very interested. could you try again, or is it just me who can't see it or a link???

Damo

disorderly
18-04-2007, 12:48 AM
I can see it Damo.
Geez..you'd have to have shares in an oil company to afford to run one of those larger models with outboards at 40 knots plus.
The series 500 looks ok though.

cheers scott

fishingrod
18-04-2007, 09:01 AM
Hey fishingrod, can't see the brochure but very interested. could you try again, or is it just me who can't see it or a link???
Damo

It works ok for me at home and here at work.

Try these manually:
http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c369/fishingbasket/SAVE0016.jpg

http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c369/fishingbasket/SAVE0015.jpg

cheers
Rod

finding_time
18-04-2007, 09:20 AM
Ian, how have you found yours so far? those 60's giving you enough oomph? i'd also be interested in your approx fuel consumption and speed at cruise.

I just wish there was an 18 odd foot cat with enough cab room foom 2 to lie down and that i could fit in my garage. out of interest, approx how high a garage does 5.2kc or 18 sharkcat need on trailer. away from original topic, i know, but essential info all the same.

Damo


Giday mate

my opoinios so far are

1. it's a very soft ride, travelling across the northern bay and it's many sand banks with 15 knots of sw against a incomming tide it didn't slam once and runnning it faster definately helps it perfomance!!

2. i'm using approx 22lper hour at a cruise of 22 knots at 4300-4400 rpm i may end up driving at 4600-4700 which will up the fuel use

3.the boat has a very fast action not a gental rock which will take awhile for the body to get used to.

finding_time
18-04-2007, 09:23 AM
Ian, how have you found yours so far? those 60's giving you enough oomph? i'd also be interested in your approx fuel consumption and speed at cruise.

I just wish there was an 18 odd foot cat with enough cab room foom 2 to lie down and that i could fit in my garage. out of interest, approx how high a garage does 5.2kc or 18 sharkcat need on trailer. away from original topic, i know, but essential info all the same.

Damo


Giday mate

my opoinios so far are

1. it's a very soft ride, travelling across the northern bay and it's many sand banks with 15 knots of sw against a incomming tide it didn't slam once and runnning it faster definately helps it perfomance!!

2. i'm using approx 22lper hour at a cruise of 22 knots at 4300-4400 rpm i may end up driving at 4600-4700 giving me about 24 knots which will up the fuel use

3.the boat has a very fast action not a gental rock which will take awhile for the body to get used to.


4. i would need about 2.8 meters of gararge height to get it in with the lid folded down, up it's actually higher than my mates 685 outsider, my roof has been lifted about 5 inched though.


Ian