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Old 22 August 2008, 16:48   #1
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which zapcat

Iam thinking of buying a zapcat . It seems there are two makes available Gemini and Ceasar the latter is called a thundercat .

Which is the best ? I think the gemini may be made from hypalon and I know the ceasar is pvc but are there any other differences .

I have heard the PVC ones are the best performers as they are more rigid but i would prefer the toughest boat really .

There is loads of info out there but its all directed towards racing rather than fun or practical use
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Old 23 August 2008, 02:16   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ian parkes View Post
Iam thinking of buying a zapcat . It seems there are two makes available Gemini and Ceasar the latter is called a thundercat .

Which is the best ? I think the gemini may be made from hypalon and I know the ceasar is pvc but are there any other differences .

I have heard the PVC ones are the best performers as they are more rigid but i would prefer the toughest boat really .

There is loads of info out there but its all directed towards racing rather than fun or practical use
Better ask for the Hypalon & PVC fabric specs (decitex) of the inquired boats, you could have a costly thinner Hypalon fabric boat compared to a much thicker PVC cheaper boat, decide on budget and what you want the boat for. If not planing to spend ten years boating all day long out in the sun a PVC could be a nice price/boat performer alternative.

Happy Sibbing
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Old 23 August 2008, 07:44   #3
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Hi Ian - my 2 cents worth.

Firstly Zapcat and Thundercat are 2 different things - even though the boats themselves are almost identical.

Zapcat are all Gemini hulls and they race together exclusively in the Zapcat championships. Thundercats is then a 'catch-all' term for ALL manufacturers - Gemini, Ceasar, Aquarius, Rat Cat, etc. With the Thundercat Racing you can race in any manufacturers boat.

So ... 'Zapcat' = commercial body running racing series solely for Gemini boats (which the commercial body sells)

...and ... 'Thundercat' = non-commercial race series where all manufacturers (of an almost identical boat) can race together under standardised rules.

All manufacturers tend to supply the package with a 50hp 2-stroke Tohatsu engine (which is pretty bomb-proof). Please note that I'm not trying to push one series over another, just trying to give you a 'heads-up'.

For non-racing, there all much of a muchness - so it'll come down largely to who'll give you the best deal. We bought one late last year and haven't looked back. Simple to launch and recover, and very adaptable for whatever we have used it for.

Not too sure about the Hypalon on the Gemini - I always thought they were all PVC
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Old 23 August 2008, 15:50   #4
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Thanks for that Blimp
I reckon the hypalon mystery may be a bit of misinformation that i have read on the net , I also thought they were all PVC .

Type in zapcat and there is tons of info, however its all about performance and racing which leaves me with questions . so here goes

What sort of speed do they start to plane at and whats a good cruising speed . ?

Does the open transom allow waves to roll in easily if you were not moving ie fishing etc ie do you expect to get soaked whenever you use the boat

How wet is the ride if its a bit choppy

Although I want some fun Iam also hoping a zapcat would perform at least as well as a similar sized sib in terms of comfort and spray protection

Also what are they like to climb in and out of if you are swimming etc , do you need a rope ladder or is there an easier way

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Old 23 August 2008, 16:07   #5
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Hi Ian,

I was in the same position as you last year trying to decide what thunder/zap cat to get but i had a practical need as well as a performance need for the boat too. After trying an Aquarius and a Ceasar thundercat i decided that there wasnt enough freeboard up the forward end for any passangers (especially the kids), as you tend to sit/lay on top of the boat rather than in it. Thats when i decided to look for Ceasar Surfcat http://www.leisureshopdirect.com/mar...boat_only.aspx which has the same hull profile as the zap/thundercats but has the round nose and more freeboard so you lay IN the boat so any passengers feel alot more secure + theres more deck space for putting drybags/bowbag up front-The Gemini GRX is the same style too, but i dont think that there is any Gemini dealers in the UK at the moment- the gemini's are a dryer boat as they have a closed transom verses the surfcats open transom.
Granted, PVC isnt as tough as Hypalon, but its more than up to the job, the main wear is on the is in the hijacker bottoms, but they have hard wide rubbing strips throughout the length and can take a LOT of abuse.
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Old 23 August 2008, 16:53   #6
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Just seen you last post,

Bear in mind that mine is a surfcat so it is slightly different. They plane very easily at about 12/15 knots,a good cruising speed is about 25/30 knots, the boat isnt as wet as you'd think it would be, but you do get a bit of water laying about 2/3 ft in from the transom when stationary, but its only your bum that gets wet, its dryer the further forward you get- if you stop suddenly you will get a bit more come in as the wake catches up, but it doesnt swamp it.It will fill up in seconds if you go astern but also lets the water out in seconds too when under way, which is great for cleaning out the deck!!!
I was out in mine today and it blew up to a force 5/ gusting 6. You do get wet/sprayed when going beam on to the sea like most boats, but it is actually quite dry when going head on or with the sea- i should imagine that a thundercat would have a bit come over the nosecone in these conditions as they are designed to so through big surf rather than over it.

IMO In terms of comfort they perform better than a similar sized rib , but are a lot lighter, so can be a bit flighty when theres a breeze blowing and you are jumping the waves- you dont thump down that heavily as the hijackers soak it up + the flat floor creates an air cushion beneath.
Best thing i can suggest is to try one out.
Although all of them are good,Ceasar are the best ones to go for in terms of build quality.
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Old 23 August 2008, 16:59   #7
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Forgot to add, i pull myself in quite easily, but i have a friend who suffers from artheritis so is a bit weak, he ties a loop with a bowline knot in the end of the loose rope attached on top the bow sponson and pulls himself in quite easily.
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Old 23 August 2008, 17:08   #8
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thanks for that good info .

The sufcat is what i would choose but have yet to see a used one for sale . A new one isn't out of the question but if a decent used zapcat is half the price ie under 4 k instead of nearly 8 then i could live with the disadvantages
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Old 24 August 2008, 02:56   #9
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Easyrider gave some great info there. You probably will have a harder time finding a used Ceasar Surfcat or a Gemini Surf GRX, but every so often, I do see one listed. If you are looking for something that is practical & multipurpose, these round nosed tunnel hulls will be more suitable than the zap/thundercats will be. I haven't seen the Ceasar products firsthand, but I have read alot of great things about them. I have seen the various Gemini products in both PVC and hypalon, and there build quality is first rate. Their PVC boats are very well made and tough, but their hypalon boats will have a fair bit longer of a life expectancy.
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Old 24 August 2008, 13:26   #10
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I shall wait a bit and see what turns up , certainly no rush with the weather the way it is , it feels the summer that never begun is over now . I haven't looked at sea temps but it feels like it never warmed up much this year .
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