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Author Topic:   Supercat by Boston Whaler
Powergroove803 posted 06-22-2015 11:38 AM ET (US)   Profile for Powergroove803   Send Email to Powergroove803  
I cannot seem to find any [mention of] Supercat in the reference section. [What is the] history with Bill Roberts and the Supercat company? I owned a 1980 Supercat 20 built by Boston Whaler. [It was a] hell of a boat. How [did] that marriage happen?
hauptjm posted 06-22-2015 12:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for hauptjm    
According to Boston Whaler they only sold them in 1984:

Also, parts are still available at

Also see a prior discussion:

boatdryver posted 06-23-2015 10:12 AM ET (US)     Profile for boatdryver  Send Email to boatdryver

Data sheet with one photo of the Supercat


Powergroove803 posted 06-23-2015 10:40 AM ET (US)     Profile for Powergroove803  Send Email to Powergroove803     
The question still remains, how did Supercat and Boston Whaler come together?
hauptjm posted 06-23-2015 01:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for hauptjm    
Boston Whaler bought the boat's builder.
boatdryver posted 06-25-2015 03:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for boatdryver  Send Email to boatdryver     
It was an unusual decision for Boston Whaler to attempt to market the Supercat, a decision that seems to have been reversed after one year.

Looking at the photo and specs of the Supercat points out that this is a very different beach catamaran from the wildly successful Hobie 16 (134,000 built to date). The Hobie 16 is easily trailerable, the mast can be set up by one person, and when--not it (I used to own one)--pitchpoled or capsized, can be righted easily by two people in a breeze.

This Supercat, with its 12-foot beam and massive rig would be exhilarating to sail, demanding significant skill to keep upright, and usually require powerboat assistant to right.


dfmcintyre posted 06-25-2015 07:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     
We owned one for about eight years. It could hit over 30-nautical-miles-per-hour if the conditions were perfect. The underside of the trampoline had a fabric ladder sown into it, allowing crew to climb up to the upper hull, reach through a section of tramp and release a 18-inch side stay extender. This allowed the upper hull additional moment when righting. Then it was a trick just to haul yourself back on top of the rig.

Again, when conditions permitted, having the hull pop out of the water, while on the wire was a true experience. Instead of a couple of feet off the water on a 16-foot or 18-foot Hobie (my wife and I owned and did some racing with an 18), you looked down and realized you were a BUNCH of feet off the water.

Background behind the hull design of Roberts and Edmunds was that they were pretty forward thinking Pratt and Whitney engineers, who were both competitive in the SE Hobie circuit. They knew of the design problems with the 16-foot (low hull volume, flex points at the hull posts and frame castings, tendency to pitchpole, etc.) And had access to either mainframe or mini computer idle time. And began feeding computational models of the best hull design, sail design and hull size into a great numbers cruncher. Out popped a design. Then they decided to build one, and campaigned it. Then decided to go into manufacturing.

About the time they realized they were engineers and not salesman, Whaler was looking to capture some of the sales they saw Hobie achieving, with their 14, 16 and 18's. Whaler and Supercat got together and for a while, were selling the 20' 19' and 17'. Then Super Cat brand got tossed to Erickson sailboats. That division knew nothing about selling a multihull. And the cats languished until Aquarius picked up the rights.

In my opinion, the 17' Supercat was the best of all worlds, for a easy to run beach cat. No daggers, no boom (block attached to a traveller), roller furling jib, mesh tramp. Hull design minimized pitchpoling.

We had fun with her for about four years. Then found that trying to field a crew of at least one other person or two novices was beginning to become hard. Other hobbies and sports. Plus, lower Lake Huron was not real conducive to beach cat sailing. Our heavy winds also produce significant wave action. Would be a perfect speedster for a large inland lake.

Regards - Don

PS - Miss the wire. Am thinking about building an A class cat.

pete r posted 06-27-2015 07:40 AM ET (US)     Profile for pete r  Send Email to pete r     
A-Class Cats are the most beautiful craft seen on the water. I have always been in orr of that machine.

They sail them at our local sailing club and are so exciting when you see them blast past the shore mark close to the beach at full speed.

That boat is so efficient in design. They cut through the water with so little effort. Even in light winds they have an impressive turn of speed.

dfmcintyre posted 06-28-2015 06:28 AM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     
Pete -

This link shows a unique form of construction; moldless, just multiple frame or stations using foam strips for the hull with carbon fiber inside and out:

Pretty awesome!

pete r posted 06-28-2015 08:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for pete r  Send Email to pete r     
EJO posted 07-06-2015 12:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for EJO  Send Email to EJO     
I used to race an Tornado Cat in the 1970's--just main and jib, about 20-feet long and 10-feet wide. In Force 6 winds with young adults I have reached speeds of more than 23-MPH on a beam reach. It must be easy for a more modern cat of similar length to easily reach 15-MPH to 20-MPH in a strong breeze. I wasn't familiar with the Aquarius cats, but they seem similar to the old Tornado. Sounds like fun to me.
jimh posted 07-07-2015 05:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
This thread begins with this comment:

I cannot seem to find any [mention of] Supercat in the reference section.

The omission of SUPERCAT sailing catamarans from the REFERENCE section of CONTINUOUSWAVE is by design. CONTINUOUS WAVE adopted a policy many years ago, when first beginning to collect and organize information about Boston Whaler boats, to concentrate on the popular outboard models and to ignore the sailboats. A factor in that decision was the presence, back then, of at least one other website being developed and maintained with the purpose of collecting information about Boston Whaler sailboat models. Since information about Boston Whaler sailboat models was being collected and maintained elsewhere, I thought it would be best to let that web developer maintain his own realm of interest and collect his own information, rather than to expand the scope of CONTINUOUSWAVE to include sailboat models.

It appears that the website or websites that were actively collecting, organizing, and presenting information about Boston Whaler sailboats may no longer be on-line, and the information they contain might only be available in the internet way-back machine.

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