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Old 26-07-2010, 19:54   #1
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Prindle 18 for a Finger Lake ?

Hi Everyone,
I'm new to the forum, hoping someone can give me some advice (and hope I have the right forum). I have an opportunity to buy an 18' Prindle, and would sail it at my cottage which is on a finger lake. My question is whether this is too much boat for the lake. Cats are so fast, I'm concerned that I'd be constantly tacking in this finger lake. I'd appreciate anyone who has sailed a comparable boat on a finger lake.

Here's what I can tell you about the lake:
- Closest basin is roughly 3km X 2km. I'd have to sail up either of 2 channels to get to the basin, approximately .75km into the prevailing wind.
- There's another basin down the lake from our island, perhaps 2km X 1km .
- The winds can get quite high as the lake is about 10km long
- There's lots of shoals and islands
- I'm an experienced Laser sailor, but I want something to take my family sailing. I've seen a 16' Hobie on the lake, and it has no difficulty pointing up channels that the Laser cannot handle. Moreover, with all the islands, and resulting wind shifts, I find it very challenging to sail the Laser: I'm either becalmed or completely heeled over. The Hobie seems to handle the gusts without heeling over.

And here's what I can tell you about me
- Experienced Laser and Albacore sailor
- Family of four (wife and 2 boys, 11 and 8 -- none of them experienced sailors). My wife and I weigh ~300lbs together, the family weighs ~450lbs together
- I'm not looking to race, just looking for a fun family sailboat to tour the lake in
- Lake Ontario is only 30 minutes away, so I could always take it there for a couple of days a year for a really strong wind.

Thanks Folks! Look forward to your input!
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Old 26-07-2010, 20:31   #2
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The prindle's pointing ability shouldn't be too different from the H-16. More importantly, it has much more bouyancy in the bows than an H-16 which makes it a MUCH better choice for your family.

Handling gusts in a beachcat is largely about learning to depower by flattening the sail. There is a great yahoo listserve called "beachcats". I would highly recommend it. I think you find some finger lakes beachcat sailors there too. All in all, I didn't see anything in your post which would put me off of the prindle.


Good luck,
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Old 26-07-2010, 21:45   #3
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I raced on a Hobie 18 on Lake Seneca years ago. Certainly not the steady winds I was used to on Lake Erie or Great South Bay, but good sailing when you got used to the fluky air near the shore.

P18 should be good.

Check out web site thebeachcats.com
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Old 27-07-2010, 20:38   #4
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Thanks Searenity and Mambo. A couple of follow-up questions, if I may.

Searenity, the buoyancy in the bows will be better for my family because...? Hull is less likely to dive below the surface, or boat is easier to right, or we ride higher, or some other reason?

Mambo, can you say more what you mean by "flattening" the sail? Not a term I've heard before. Hauling in tighter than I should?

Thanks folks!
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Old 27-07-2010, 20:46   #5
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For a small cat, more buoyancy in the bows means it has less inclination to pitchpole (where the leeward bow submarines under with the boat stopping and you go flying forward). Hobie 16's are notorious for this. With daggerboards, you will be able to point better.
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Old 27-07-2010, 21:38   #6
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If I am not mistaken, the hull height on the P18 is higher than the H18 and is definitely higher than the H16.

As for buoyancy, I think you are REALLY sailing on the edge if you pitchpole a H18--the H18 hulls are more buoyant than the P18, and both are much more buoyant than the H16!

If you are looking to take family, rather than just one crew, you would probably be disappointed in the H16.

After sailing Hobies for over 30 years, if I was going to move back to a beach cat I would look for a Hobie 18 Magnum on Hobie SX-18. They both have the "wings" and at my age they are much easier on the butt. In fact I am going to Florida fin October or a regatta to crew on a H18 Magnum.

The P18 is simpler though, in that it does not have dagger boards.

Again, I recommend joining thebeachcats.com where there are many forums for beach cat sailors. You will probably get more out of that site than you will here for what you are looking for.
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Old 28-07-2010, 20:58   #7
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Thanks, I did join Beachcats, and am getting good advice there also. But don't discount your advice -- very helpful!
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