driving cats

I hear a lot about how you need to be able to drive a cat properly , before you'll get the best out of the hull , and how they can be dangerous if driven wrong , in quartering  seas and beam to.

So what exactly are you supposed to do? (and what shouldn't you do)

 

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If I spent half as long fishing , as I do reading this bloody forum , I'd be twice the fisherman I am. 


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I thought you just drove them

Sat, 2012-04-07 07:05

I thought you just drove them flat-out in any condition, least that is what the only cat-owner I know does.

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CCC's picture

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Date Joined: 29/03/10

 Try and get a copy of peter

Sat, 2012-04-07 07:20

 Try and get a copy of peter websters magazine on power cats

Www.boatmags.com.au

Or send him an email maybe better

He explains it as walking the cat, which is about learning to get it to rock from one hull to another. I wont geT into the detail, peter will explain much better then i can.

 

carnarvonite's picture

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Capsize

Sat, 2012-04-07 08:24

Spoke to the owner of the cat that tipped over out of Carnarvon the other day, just got two big waves together, dropped the front corner in to the trough , next wave crashed on the bow and she corkscrewed and over she went.

The skipper is a former pro skipper who has had many years at sea in monos and cats so inexperience cannot be a factor.

allrounder's picture

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Ive seen a 680 patriot do the same thing

Sat, 2012-04-07 09:26

 They only just righted themselves before the next set came.That was between Exmouth and the Murions.They were pretty shaken up by it.

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So tell me have you got your info from years on the water or hours on the internet?

  • was sponsored by Atomic Lures and Shimano but they dropped me.Now sponsored by Fog Dog(The best fish coating out there) and raider lures.

Lastchance's picture

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How big was the cat though?

Sat, 2012-04-07 10:28

How big was the cat though? Just because he had experience on the water doesnt mean he automatically knows how to drive a pleasure craft. Mates of mine that skipper or work on larger work vessels are the worst of the lot as they are used to steaming where they want, when they want regardless of conditions. Im sure this isnt the case though.

carnarvonite's picture

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Cat

Sat, 2012-04-07 15:28

Was a 23 footer and now is a mobile fish attracting device somewhere in Shark bay.

The skipper has had the boat for a number of years and used it very regularly out of here both inside and outside of the islands in all sorts of weather.  He vows that he will never buy another one after this happened.

From what the skipper and the skipper of the boat that was about 100 metres behind when it went over a mono hull boat would ave pushed through it without any trouble at all, once the front corner went down it was all over, doing a corkscrew and flipping over chucking the crew in to the drink and trapping him under the bimini. They were heading into the sea on a front corner not running with it so broaching doesn't come in to it.

Lastchance's picture

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F*ck that then!

Sat, 2012-04-07 17:38

F*ck that then!

woody's picture

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Hey Carnarvonite do you

Sat, 2012-04-07 09:27

Hey Carnarvonite do you reckon that if that skipper was driving a mono the other day in those conditions it would have performed better or worse than that cat ( given that the cat capsized) ??

 

There is a lot of cats down here in Espy...everyone raves about how stable they are and how they handle rough seas better....makes you wonder just how good they really are compared to a good mono.

allrounder's picture

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Once you learn to walk them

Sat, 2012-04-07 09:29

 you notice a big difference in handling.Its all about reading the waves ahead and dropping the hulls where they need to be.I drive our mono almost the same and it runs better.

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So tell me have you got your info from years on the water or hours on the internet?

  • was sponsored by Atomic Lures and Shimano but they dropped me.Now sponsored by Fog Dog(The best fish coating out there) and raider lures.

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Date Joined: 04/02/09

I suppose

Sat, 2012-04-07 10:55

what a mate said to me , never go faster than a following sea in small boats. More comfortable to ride in and lessens the chance of broaching if your tubs a bit tender.

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Or slower? Some boats,

Sat, 2012-04-07 11:29

Or slower?

Some boats, especially ones with foils tend to try and whip around when a following wave catches up.

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Date Joined: 24/02/11

Cats

Sat, 2012-04-07 13:27

Had my cat for over 20 years and love it it has faults like anything but you learn over time how to walk it been out in all sorts of boats and would not swap it Been out in bad weather never felt uncomfortable and in a following sea nothing comes close

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Walking a Cat

Sat, 2012-04-07 15:14

This "driving" skill is used on most occasions with a following sea. It's a matter of reading the water in front of you and  turning or tilting the cat so that one sponson stays in the water as long as possible whilst the sponson where the water has "dropped away" is left momentarily in the air. The walking term comes from flicking the cat from one sponson to the other as need be to get maximum soft ride - thus stopping the possibility of broaching the boat. As Cats tend to track in the water if the boat broaches at any speed you know you re gonna be in for a pretty scary experience. Owned my Cat for 6-7 years and never grew tired of this little activity on the way back in.

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Cats

Sat, 2012-04-07 15:27

I rarely do anything in a following sea and it has never even given a hint of broaching if anything I tend to power it on just keep the nose trimed up a little

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Cat

Sat, 2012-04-07 15:51

That is one of there faults into a head sea the nose tends to dip if your going slow have had a few over the front as long as your square to the sea it not aproblem on the quarter that different

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Not a huge fan of trolling

Sat, 2012-04-07 16:03

Not a huge fan of trolling out of one. First time I really got to have a good go was only a couple of weeks ago. Tunnel slap got old pretty quickly.
Apart from that it wasn't too bad. Took a fair bit of driving to get the best out of it.

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Does anyone know where the love of god goes, when the waves turn the minutes to hours?

Lastchance's picture

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Post up the footage from the

Sat, 2012-04-07 17:41

Post up the footage from the second day of AIBT Dodgy

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I wasn't totally

Sat, 2012-04-07 18:10

I wasn't totally uncomfortable with going through that area at that speed. Well, not until we drowned an engine due to the depth they sat at on the pods. Might have to edit out some bad language though....

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Does anyone know where the love of god goes, when the waves turn the minutes to hours?

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Cat

Sat, 2012-04-07 16:28

Put auto pilot on it you will never look back great for trolling

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Date Joined: 01/02/10

The chop thumping against the

Sat, 2012-04-07 16:51

The chop thumping against the tunnel was on par with some poorly designed ally boats as far as ride comfort goes. Quite dissapointing.
Had autopilot.

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Does anyone know where the love of god goes, when the waves turn the minutes to hours?

JohnF's picture

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Date Joined: 07/07/10

My old man has had a 20 ft

Sat, 2012-04-07 20:58

My old man has had a 20 ft shark cat many years ago and a 34 ft Kevlacat two years ago.

In the righ conditions, cats are AWSOME and a lot better than a mono, but directly into a chop going slow ( tunnel slap) and with a quarter following sea (broach) they are nothing short of diabolical.

The 34 kevlacat was downright dangerous in a following sea, we very nearly flipped it in seas that were rough but would be easily handled by a much smaller Boston whaler.

They are great to fish off, stable platform, but way too dangerous for the average punter. Mono for me.

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Boston Whaler 235 Conquest is finally here..........time to fish!

carnarvonite's picture

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Date Joined: 24/07/07

Choices

Sat, 2012-04-07 22:41

When we were doing the selection for Carnarvon sea rescue's new boat it came down to 3 options,

1 An ex crayboat around 50 foot that could cruise at 20 knots+

2 A 10 metre Air rider

3 A 10 metre Naiad

 Most of the other skippers had doubts on being able to handle a 50 foot boat and no way could I convince them otherwise because that was my first preference. We took Exmouths Air Rider for a test drive out by the Slot with an outgoing tide and I deliberately tried to make it broach and it did very easily plus a couple of times when we weren't trying. We had Volunteer sea rescues standby 6.8 metre Naiad to have a play with for a couple of hours while it was on its way to Onslow, mind was nearly made up then while down in Perth for the annual conference we were invited to go for a ride on Rob Kirby's 10 metre sports version Naiad with twin 350 Yammies on the back. Decision made and all the boat crews agree we have done the right thing. At no time did we even consider a cat because of all the reports we have seen and through personal experience with them.

Cost wise there isn't too much difference between the Naiad and the Air Rider but performance wise compared with Shark Bays one and Exmouths  the Naiad leaves both for dead IMO.

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Do you have many conditions

Sun, 2012-04-08 10:08

Do you have many conditions around carnarvon similar to the slot? That place is pretty special when the conditions are right.
We have an airrider being delivered in sept. I would have preferred the naiad but it wasn't my decision.

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Does anyone know where the love of god goes, when the waves turn the minutes to hours?

carnarvonite's picture

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Date Joined: 24/07/07

Koks

Sun, 2012-04-08 13:28

In close around Koks island when the bigger tides are running is about as close as you can get. The Gap is too dangerous to go mucking about in if the swell is up

The group should have arranged to take a ride in one of each to do a comparison like we did.

Our 10 metre Naiad with twin 300 Yammies blows Shark Bays Air Rider away big time with their twin 300 Suzis

Anthony Hall 87's picture

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Date Joined: 09/01/10

I have had the 560 series

Sun, 2012-04-08 18:38

I have had the 560 series bruce harris cat for around 3 years now, grew up fishing on one with twin 70's the one with 70's used to dig in and make you feel a little uncomfortable in a following sea. I have twin 115 yammi fourstrokes on mine now and she skips over the swells in a following sea no matter the size, trim the nose out the water and havent had a drama. Like tomcat says if you slow suddenly going into it you can cop one over the top. Only other critisms I have is it is a little ass heavy at rest now and the motors sit a little low. You also get nice and wet up the back if the wind is coming across you it sucks it in, a bit of water never hurt anyone though.

 

 

The old girls weight a ton and don't look to pretty, but they are tough with plenty of glass in them and I don't reckon you can go past them for a small boat in big seas.

 

 

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Tight lines to all :)

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Date Joined: 14/07/12

Driving CATS / Mono capsizing

Tue, 2012-12-04 21:25

I am new to CATS - have a 1982 - 5.6 m Shark Cat with 90hp Envirudes (1998). Bought a CAT after much research following the loss of my previous boat (15ft Haines) off Jumpinpin bar last June!  Why a CAT - simply put had to have foam filled hulls and twin engines! So I watched all the VMR trainign tapes, read as much of these forums as possible, talked to boaties, got Peter Websters book.... and tried to learn as much as possible....oh and I only had $25000 available!

Searched for latest and lowest hours motor I could find and a hull with no discernable rot! Trailer was fair condition - but I don't take that to sea!  So the money went where is needed to go so to speak.

Anyway some feedback on my sea ventures in a CAT so far....

First trip was from Scarborough to Bribie in 25 knot westerlies with 1.2 to 1.5 m waves on a 1 m swell. Splashes at idle came over the front, but once up on the plane - it was fine. 16kts is a steady plane for this boat with 4 passengers.  It is a 30 minute trip in the CAT to bribie - in these conditions. Would have been 1 hour in the mono boat at least - and probably not make it anyway - with 4 aboard - would have taken a lot of water and the bilge pump would have been flat out! Coming back the wind had not changed and it was sun set - so we hit 20 knots (any faster was unnerving and this was my first run) - and the boat ate up the miles smothly and without any major concern. Boat was angled in at 45 to 60 degrees to the waves/chop - so we were not smashed about. My son sat in the cabin despite the speed and chop - exemplifying the smooth ride (relatively).

Other trips were in Broken Bay  on a 1.5 m swell and no real chop, and in a lake.....

Last week end a mate and I went out from Nudgee Creek and due to the 20-25 knot wind form the E-NE - decided to head for Mud Island to shelter form the wind and do some fishing at anchor. There were 5 boats out in the whole of Moreton bay only plus ships!  The swell was 1.5 to 1.7 m and the waves were of similar size on top!  The was partlicularly worse where the mouth of the river met the bay - even 1 mile off shore from the airport! The river was rushing out at a low tide causing the waves to stand up more! We travelled across these at 20 knots angled at about 30 to 45 degrees and at time the boat flinched as the crests of the waves hit the back of the hull. So we varied our angle of attack from 25 degrees from parrallel to the wave and if a steeper wave was approaching turned into it more to ride up over it and added a bit more power it we could not power passed it in time....

Sometimes this seemed to work well other times we were a little airborne but at all times we did not want to be jumping from face to face - washes off to much speed and then can make the CAT more vulberable... We let the hulls to do the work - walked the cat - to suit the speed and approach angle that worked with this wave period and our chosen direction. Tacking almost parallel at times.

My point is you need to keep the bows up on the plane and never let the waves meet the back of the sponson - and keep momentum even with the boat up on the plane in any rough water! When you are in the rough you are committed to it. And watch out for breakers and drop offs!

Finally, we came home at night and the wind did not drop as we had hoped - so under search light we tacked across the same waves then had to run with them back to the launching ramp! We tried a few different strategies and I think runing about 30% faster than the wave whilst a little unnerving reduced the cavitation frequency of the motors which came up toward the surface when we cross the waves, but any slower and the fol;lwoing wave sucked us back of the back slope and we were at risk of being swamped and the nose ploughing (yes it happened a few time) was un nerving till we got our sea legs.

I hope this helps paint a picture of what seems to work...

I am sure  others will have lots of comments - so I welcome them....

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Speed

Tue, 2012-12-04 21:38

 is always a problem, both on road and off road.. 

The problem is when cutting seas at 45% one motor should be trimmed a little less that the other, not hard to work that out with a bit of thought.

Mono 4 me.

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Date Joined: 14/07/12

Motor trim on CATS

Tue, 2012-12-04 21:54

Hi Squidder,

Yeah I have played around with that trick - but I find that a little unnerving as if you suddenly power up (say) the trimmed out motor twists its side down and can add to the roll of the boat at the wrong time... perhaps. However I think (if I read you correctly) you would trim out the motor closer to the wave approach - since the approaching wave face is always steeper than the back - or have I got that totally wrong?

Appreciate your advice on that one...

Cheers - Dan

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Date Joined: 07/10/10

First of all

Tue, 2012-12-04 22:13

No matter what hull you re running in travel at a speed that you maintain control of your craft. Having owned a small cat for 6 years the " walking the cat" is best described as steering the boat in such a way as to avoid the troughs of the waves ( if possible) - basically putting the sponsons on the high point of the wave/ chop that your running with. You tend to do this more often when in a following sea. The experienced Skipper Carnarvonite is talking about must have peaked out when he realized what his situation was .

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Equalizing

Wed, 2012-12-05 07:05

the or emptying the front fuel tanks first up is what we used do in my mates 7m cat to eliminate any nose diving.

One must have the correct amount of power and most importantly the correct leg length {outboard} to achieve any trimming under power.

There are know doubt some shite designs in regards to sponsons which would make the skipper work his arse off under power.

Small cats are not designed to take on the big stuff, just like dinghys, they are purely meant for a good ride inshore in nice conditions and become a stable platform to fish at rest.

 

A young fella I know went pro and he had a bursta, plenty of weight and power, cruised like a dream interestingly with a single trimmable inboard. You know who I mean, Carnarvonite.

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Walk the Cat

Tue, 2013-05-14 18:18

Agree with you about the following sea - it does work well. then when the wave eases out push forward... works for me anyway! Cheers!

Alan James's picture

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Driving Cats too easy

Tue, 2013-05-14 18:38

Check this out. Good skipper or lucky I'm not sure.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETir8OEdDrc&feature=player_embedded

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carnarvonite's picture

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Brown undies

Tue, 2013-05-14 20:12

Bet all three on board were wearing brown undies when they stepped off, were white before they started off though........

Paul H's picture

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Don't know you can compare a

Wed, 2013-05-15 15:35

Don't know you can compare a sail cat with a power cat  but worth a watch, could have gone wrong in a big way.

Been out in some rough seas in my mates 8m cat and never been worried in any direction. Need to have loads sorted and trim and drive them properly though.

 

Cheers

sea-kem's picture

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 That was some shit hot and

Wed, 2013-05-15 15:49

 That was some shit hot and lucky Skippering.

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Love the West!