Future Supercat 17 owner, Poplar Grove IL

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Waiex191
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Boat Make/Model: Supercat 17

Future Supercat 17 owner, Poplar Grove IL

Post by Waiex191 »

Hey all,
New member here, first post. I have a little sailing experience. Learned in Boy Scouts back in the 70's, on a Sunfish. Did some catamaran sailing in Florida near the turn of the Millennium on a Prindle 16. This season I bought a couple of little foam lateen rigged boats - one is a Snark and the other one is of unknown manufacture, but seems a little closer to a reclaimed igloo cooler than the Snark does. I'm finding the foam boats, though fun and super convenient, are not great family boats. My wife really liked the cat sailing we did in Florida so that was her vote. I called one of my serious catamaran sailing buddies in Florida to ask for advice, and he offered to give me his old Supercat 17. I know, nothing more expensive than a free boat and all. But, sounds like the boat is complete and needs just a little work. I am sort of a project type person anyway. I've got a couple sewing machines, I made a sail for the igloo cooler, I've got a vacuum pump and some composite experience from my aerospace career. So, I'm going for it - just have to do the long drive from Northern Illinois to Southern Florida and get it. My goals for the boat are twofold: some easy cruising on light days with the family, and I'm sure my oldest and I will want to go out and scare ourselves. I'll be picking the boat up in December. My buddy is prepping the boat and trailer, and I'm rebuilding the rusty bumper and spare tire well of my 2000 Buick so I can safely bolt on a hitch.

So the guy giving me the boat wants to see it go to a good home. My catamaran friends in Florida were all Sikorsky aircraft co-workers, which is co-located on the campus where Bill Roberts used to work. The current owner of this supercat was friends with Bill and lived either in the same town as him or nearby. Palm City was the place to live down there.

One of the folks over at the beachcats forum mentioned Aquarius Sail and the forum here. So I thought I'd wander over and check it out.
Supercat cropped.jpg
Bryan Cotton
Poplar Grove, IL - C77
Supercat 17 (future) and a couple of foam monohulls
T Peterson
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Joined: October 14th, 2010, 4:00 am
Boat Make/Model: Supercat 17
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Re: Future Supercat 17 owner, Poplar Grove IL

Post by T Peterson »

Welcome! Read everything here, and then go back and read it again...
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Waiex191
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Joined: October 10th, 2020, 1:43 pm
Boat Make/Model: Supercat 17

Re: Future Supercat 17 owner, Poplar Grove IL

Post by Waiex191 »

Thanks for the welcome! I still have a lot to read and learn. I sailed my foam boats a lot this season, all the way through November. I bought a wetsuit to extend the season. I'm ready to move up.

Next week I'm headed to pick up my boat. My buddy has replaced the tires & bearings, and done some cleanup and prep for the trip.
Supercat on trailer.jpg
Bryan Cotton
Poplar Grove, IL - C77
Supercat 17 (future) and a couple of foam monohulls
gahamby
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Joined: July 24th, 2012, 7:02 am
Boat Make/Model: SuperCat 15#315
Location: Falls Church VA 22042

Re: Future Supercat 17 owner, Poplar Grove IL

Post by gahamby »

It was me recommended this site from Beachcats. Welcome! This is a great site. As recommended read every thing posted here. It's most informative.
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Waiex191
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Boat Make/Model: Supercat 17

Re: Future Supercat 17 owner, Poplar Grove IL

Post by Waiex191 »

Made it all the way home. We drove about 3000 miles in total, and each major leg (Illinois->Florida and back) was about 1450 miles. This was in a 2000 Buick Century we bought for my youngest son for $200 a little over a year ago. It got about 30 mpg on the way down, and ranged from 15-18 MPG on the way back with the boat. The 18 MPG was on the flat, warm roads in the south and the 15 MPG was on the hills of Tennessee and Kentucky. Though I am tempted to dive into the project now, I actually need to finish building my airplane. Here are a couple of pictures. First one is on the trip home at a rest stop. The second is the SC17 in its new home. We had to really clean, and organize the hangar to make space.
Buick rest stop.jpg
SC17 storage 3.jpg
This beachcat was owned by a former Sikorsky co-worker of mine, Rene St. Julien. He passed away in an airplane crash a few years ago. This SC17 used to live on the beach and Rene sailed it a lot. He sold it to a young Sikorsky engineer, who then sold it to another Sikorsky engineer. After some years it was given back to Rene and he entered into a partnership with my other former coworker Rod Condon. Rod was a neighbor and friend of Bill Roberts. He had lost his motivation for the project after Rene passed. When I called him looking for advice on buying a catamaran, he offered to give it to me. I just had to come and get it. We stayed at Rod's house when we were down there to get the boat.

The boat needs some work. The bridle fittings show some rust and one of them is cracked. Rene had used small cable and what appears to be AN aircraft fittings like we use for control cables on aircraft. He was serious about weight control and racing. Rod had bought replacement wire rope of a heavier gauge, and has all the thimbles and eyes. I'll be buying a swage tool and making all new standing rigging. The bow sprit (or whatever it actually is called) has a fitting that rivets onto the forward crossbeam. There is corrosion underneath it and the two bottom rivets have failed. The mainsail needs some repairs of the batten pockets and some new plastic batten protectors. Probably some other things too. I intend to repair the mainsail for the first season. The blocks that hold the beams to the hulls are corroded on the outside. I am not sure if I want to pull them off and address all that or let it go for now. There are some dings on the hulls from the lawnmower and some previous repairs. I am not going to worry about cosmetics, I am more interested in sailing. The trampoline is pretty new and has been stored inside. I haven't actually seen it yet but Rod says it is very nice. Rod gave me a lot of spare parts including a rudder.

The one thing I am going to tackle before I finish the airplane is getting the boat and trailer registered. From what I read on the Illinois website I may be in for a challenge due to the fact the boat never needed to be registered in Florida.

The only catamaran sailing I've done was back in 2000, before kids. I was in Florida and the place to go was the Stuart Causeway. I actually saw this boat sail back then, as Rod and Rene came out for one of our group outings. We were sailing a Prindle 16 that Rod used to own but had been sold to another couple of Sikorsky guys when he bought a Supercat 22. There was also a Hobie 16 and one other boat that I don't remember.

So, it was an epic trip, and so far I've got about $550 into my free boat, of which $300 is gas. Another $150 was for new wheels & tires on the trailer, plus bearings. The remaining was costs for rebuilding the trunk and bumper of the Buick, plus putting a hitch and plug on the back.
Bryan Cotton
Poplar Grove, IL - C77
Supercat 17 (future) and a couple of foam monohulls
T Peterson
Professional
Posts: 66
Joined: October 14th, 2010, 4:00 am
Boat Make/Model: Supercat 17
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Re: Future Supercat 17 owner, Poplar Grove IL

Post by T Peterson »

Hi there - fun story

I used to have a 4 cylinder car that got 30 mpg going 60 mph with no boat and 20 mpg going 60 mph with my sailboat.
Quite a difference!

Your airplane will go faster than the sailboat but the sailboat will FEEL faster than the airplane, I bet!

If you have questions about how to fix the couple items you mentioned post some good photos to this site and someone will help you. There's pretty much nothing you will break or need to fix that someone here hasn't done already!
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Waiex191
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Boat Make/Model: Supercat 17

Re: Future Supercat 17 owner, Poplar Grove IL

Post by Waiex191 »

Thanks Tyler! My boom batten is an aluminum tube with a wooden splice. I assume this is not stock. Is it supposed to be an aluminum tube all the way through or something else?
broomstick.jpg
The blocks that hold the beams to the hulls are corroded. I'd like to replace them someday but I wonder if I will have issues with the threads inside the hull.
corroded mounting block.jpg
The batten pockets have been repaired before. I am going to patch up the new rips and try to get between a half and one season out of this sail. The jib is pretty good.
yellow rip.jpg
Bryan Cotton
Poplar Grove, IL - C77
Supercat 17 (future) and a couple of foam monohulls
Kevin Keller
Professional
Posts: 350
Joined: September 24th, 2006, 2:56 am
Boat Make/Model: SC-20, ARC22
Location: Honolulu

Re: Future Supercat 17 owner, Poplar Grove IL

Post by Kevin Keller »

Although I do not have that model I am pretty sure it was supposed to be an aluminum tube. Not too had to get a replacement.

Were you able to remove the bolts? I would think the half moon spacers will still work.

Is that and RV kit?

Kevin
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Waiex191
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Boat Make/Model: Supercat 17

Re: Future Supercat 17 owner, Poplar Grove IL

Post by Waiex191 »

Kevin Keller wrote: February 11th, 2021, 12:08 am Although I do not have that model I am pretty sure it was supposed to be an aluminum tube. Not too had to get a replacement.

Were you able to remove the bolts? I would think the half moon spacers will still work.

Is that and RV kit?

Kevin
Hey Kevin,
You are right, I can replace that tube from my local metal supply. Should be pretty easy.

I have not tried to take the bolts out yet. I think this coming year I just want to sail it. I may restore it at a later date. I have to keep the priority on the airplane project - it is a Sonex Waiex. I've been building it with my son since he was 11, this should be our year to fly it.
outside 4.jpg
Waiex and SC2.jpg
Bryan Cotton
Poplar Grove, IL - C77
Supercat 17 (future) and a couple of foam monohulls
Kevin Keller
Professional
Posts: 350
Joined: September 24th, 2006, 2:56 am
Boat Make/Model: SC-20, ARC22
Location: Honolulu

Re: Future Supercat 17 owner, Poplar Grove IL

Post by Kevin Keller »

Nice airplane. Great project for you and your son to do.
gahamby
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Joined: July 24th, 2012, 7:02 am
Boat Make/Model: SuperCat 15#315
Location: Falls Church VA 22042

Re: Future Supercat 17 owner, Poplar Grove IL

Post by gahamby »

Those half moon blocks should clean up pretty well. I just finished up doing mine. Start with lots of penetrating oil on the bolts. Have a couple of
3/8-16x1" hex bolts handy to keep the beams located. I re-tapped the holes and turned a die over the bolts. The inner bolts on the stern were a bitch as the access hole was covered by the traveler track. I used a 9/16 crows foot to get them started. I needed an extension on the ratchet handle. If I turned the bolts too far out the ratchet jammed against the top of the tube.
I used a 3M paint and rust remover wheel to clean the blocks.
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