New Project – Wildcat F18 – Man maths strikes again

Tris...Wildcat F18Leave a Comment

Voiced by Amazon Polly

During the IMA National Championships at Swords, Ireland, in September, we were down working on the 600, near to the club house, building a set of Spectra/Dynema shrouds to replace the damaged metal ones. Before anyone says anything, yes we know they aren’t class legal but…

Predictably this generated a lot of interest, given spectra is banned in rigging for most classes. One of the sailors who came up was thinking about getting a 600 but was also asking about our 14. He raised what seemed to be an initially harmless question, “What do you do for racing in Ireland with the 14?”

Of course the truthful answer is there is nothing for us to sail against. There is the Irish 49er squad, but they are young, fit and sail all the time, whereas, well lets be honest, we aren’t.

At the time didn’t give it a lot of thought, but it was one of those questions which kept coming to haunt. As fate would have it, there was a Hobie Wildcat for sale at the club. A bit of research showed that yes this was an old boat, but even by old Wildcat prices this was cheap. Story behind it was owner bought it a couple of years ago, just before Covid hit, sailed it twice couldn’t sail because of Covid, didn’t have a regular crew etc. Put it on the market and there it sat.

Eventually the thought running around the back of my head came to the front, “There is a fleet of Cats at Swords, there are even 4 other Wildcats, the boat isn’t that much different to a 14 in many respects, you sail them on apparent wind, fast in a straight line, slow(ish) to tack, twin wire and asymmetric…” Man maths at its best, but after a chat with Peter we decided to acquire the Cat. BUT it needs some work so another renovation project was born…

The boat has sat for two years, so the first jobs are mainly around cleaning an really finding out what we’ve bought. As can be seen from the picture on the left, she was looking a bit grubby. As with the 600 first stage was to pressure wash the hull to get the surface dirt of the hull.

This was followed by cleaning with washing up liquid to strip the worst of the dirt out of the gel coat, then rinse with the pressure washer again. Next stage was to clean with Cif a micro abrasive cleaner, which lifts more of the dirt and removes the worst of the hull staining and lifts more dirt from the gel coat. FInal stage is cleaning with ‘Flash with bleach’ using a mildly abrasive pad. Results can be seen below.

Wildcat after cleaning.
Wildcat after cleaning.

Latest Posts:

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.