A bugger of a day for all concerned here......happened in the late seventies off the northern end of Moreton Island. The 20 foot Shark Cat that came to grief here was allegedly out of power in at least one engine when it found trouble.
There was a child on board the yacht that rolled, everyone was safe in the end.
Thats how you have to land/retrieve at one of the spots I used to fish. To avoid losing the boat on the shore break (sometimes 3 to 4 foot) you have to time it so you run up the beach as the set wave runs up the sand, too early you come down off the face of the wave and hit the sand real hard (plenty of broken/cracked boats).
You need to release the pressure valve screw to disengage your hydraulic trim/tilt (not sure what its actually called). The thrust of the motors going forward keeps the engine/s down (if you put in reverse they will fly up). You can then run up the sand and the motor/s will jump up. One guy there used to use a bungee type cord attached to the motor to help lift it up so it wouldnt hit the sand.
Not particularly good for boat or motor but only ramp in vicinity. Used to often see guys coming unstuck (occasionally the pros).
If you didnt slide far enough up the beach you would drag it up some more with the car/tow rope.
If you didnt do this, waves would break over the transom and fill up the boat and pull it back into the deep water. Seen it happen a couple of times.
Launching was done by putting a guy in the boat - disconnecting reverse back between sets, slam on breaks and get the car/trailer out of their. Everyone used to prestart motor as you would only get a min or so before your boat got washed back up the ramp/beach.
Posted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 8:26 pm Post subject: Re:
Those racing Shark Cats that competed in the Qld coastal races ( Pacific 1000 ? ) were a lot lighter than normal, and from memory weren't overly successful, I remember a 24 foot Mustang winning one and a Haines 773 winning another. A lightweight cat running at high speed is a scary conveyance, particularly if there is a beam sea of any size. Even running the wakes of other boats they could get a lively fast rocking action. Little wonder Harris didn't spare the glass and resin on boats he marketed, it was the only way to make them as safe as they were, by being heavy boats.
When was the last time you driven a 23 cat hard in same shite I mean real shite conditions, back then there was no 773 .what year are you talking 1971 or 1987 .
Haines won in 79 with a 773, I think ? The first couple of years that was an interesting contest, with boats the average Joe could relate to, not the 40 foot Cigarettes etc that came along later. A bit like Bathurst and car racing. One year a Mustang Cat was entered, it finished well off the pace. I don't recall the 23 Sharkies having much impact, they would have been somewhat lighter than production boats, to gain some speed, I suspect the monos would have been every bit up to the weight specs of the stock boats, then some. The Shark Cat was not a race boat, it was a fishing/work boat. I had two 560's, couldn't really justify a 7 metre boat for occasional recreational use. and was very happy, if I wasn't I wouldn't have repeated the exercise. More than one owner who had both 23 and 18 footers at various stages told me the smaller one was the better boat, maybe the fuel bill was what swayed them though. I don't know, was never in a 23 footer in really rough water, but I stand by the contention that dropping the weight out of them to the point of becoming a speed machine, you were inviting adverse happenings. It might have appeared that a cat was the ideal platform to exploit the exotic fibres carbon, kevlar etc to get the weight right down, smaller engines, less fuel etc. In reality it doesn't work. Some will remember the Flybridge version of the 23 or 24 footers, plenty of them went over, they might have had the at-rest stability to cope with top hamper, but not the dynamic stability. These days I run a 20 footer self-built and designed, and 25 knots is a good cruising speed to me. Top speed is not even of academic interest, unless a racer ! However, like the old "stock" car racing, it was a useful guide to the worth of retail boats, unlike the likes of Stefan and his pink monstrosity, which was only an indication of the size of an ego and a bank balance.
The orange boat would have been a 773 Haines with a big-block V8 Mercruiser in it, judging by how it is sitting down in the water it was no lightweight. Carrying heaps of fuel though. In the background is the New Formula Marine 23 Shark Cat.
Bringing back memories.
I have super 8 footage that I took of the boats crossing the old Southport Bar as they finished the Pacific 1000 ( from Cairns - not Townsville).
I had driven up to the bar in my beach buggy as the road ended at Seaworld in those days.
A few mates were involved as team members in boats & support vehicles.
I must get the brittle old films put onto DVD's to preserve them.
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