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Old 23 April 2008, 05:08   #1
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Getting into Zap/Thundercats

Hi, This is my first post here but I have spent some time looking at some of the threads on here so I hope I'm not covering old ground for you guys.

I'm looking at the possibility of getting a 4m SIB/SLT like a gemini zx-1 or ceasar thundercat. I am wondering if it would be worth me going for an older hull for my first boat so I can learn without worring that I'm going to break anything expensive if it all goes wrong!

I can possibly spend 2.5k on hull, trailer and engine now and then trade up next summer or I could wait until next summer and have 4k - 4.5k to spend. I am allowing for additional items on top of these prices such as RYA Powerboat 2 course I am doing next month and safety equipment/handheld vhf etc so the amounts I have to spend will be purely for the hull, trailer and engine.

I am not looking to race immediately, more for fun at littlehampton & west wittering and also to take on holidays to the south of france.

So, what do you guys think? should I get one now and learn on it, then trade up to a better rig... or just wait and get one next year that will be that much newer/better condition?

Any advice will be appreciated
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Old 23 April 2008, 05:38   #2
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I think you will struggle to a zapcat/thundercat for your budget. However, there seems to be one in Dorset which is for sale for 2,000 - but says it has a split in one of the boards. I am sure you can buy new boards from www.zapcat-racing.com.
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Old 23 April 2008, 06:31   #3
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Yes, this is one that I was looking at and also a 2001 zapcat ended with no bids on ebay the other day for 2500 and was the Happy Racing Teams second boat for 2007.

Are most parts generally replaceable/fixable or will a hull reach a stage where it is unfixable? Does the PVC degrade over time?

I dont mind things going wrong because I'm not racing, but I dont want a lemon either!
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Old 23 April 2008, 06:39   #4
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I was in your exact same shoes a few months ago, I wanted to buy a new toy and decided on a Ceasar Thundercat.

I ended up buying a new one though, and haven't regretted it... seriously fun machines!
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Old 23 April 2008, 06:51   #5
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Most, if not all, parts are replaceable, tubes will last a long time too.

Ex race boats have generally been hammered.. however, a good thing about the zapcat raceboats, the believe engines cannot be modified, they have to be factory standard to race. They are 50hp engines, and I measured the speed with Gray and I in mine, and we got about 40.1 knots. - Im not light either!

They can be scary beasts when you're on your own. I have done a few trips from Warsash to Cowes by myself in the zapcat, and although a lot of fun with "wheelies" ... there are times when you hit waves and you wish you had some ballast up front to bring the bow down again!


There are some cool movies on you tube, and www.zapcat-racing.com that show how fun the cats are!
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Old 23 April 2008, 08:45   #6
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Thanks for all the replies guys, it is really appreciated. BenC I have seen a video of Gray in your zapcat I think, is it the black one with jaws painted on and a 'oh S***' underneath?

Alt, your gemini looks great, nice colour scheme too. A new boat would be the way to go but having just bought a new car and going to uni in September funds will be tight.

September would be the earliest I could buy, so probably best to wait until next year until I buy one for about 4k + as I wont get much use out of one if I buy this year.

I must have watched the youtube and other vids over and over for weeks now :-) Even been to some SA and NZ forums to see how those guys do it. There is just not much specific info around on owning/keeping these beasts!

What should I look out for when viewing them? Should I try to find someone who knows what they are looking at and take them with me or are problems easy to spot such as wear and tear etc?

Also, I will need to store indoors at all times which means that it will need to be deflated after every use. I understand that will be a bit of a pain but would this cause the boat to wear more quickly? I could imagine consantly folding up the tubes and instering/removing the floorboards would cause more wear than just leaving it inflated between uses? Also is it possible to dismantle the trailer for storage at all?

My current list is as follows, can anyone see if I have overlooked anything?
Zapcat, engine, trailer
Saftety equipment, helmet, wet/dry suit
Handheld waterproof VHF, flare pack like ones used by kitesurfers
RYA Powerboat 2 course
12 months fully comp insurance

Thanks again
:-)
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Old 23 April 2008, 09:08   #7
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You're diong the right thing - plenty of research

The SA and NZ forums are great, lots of experienced guys over there - Just remember that they'll be trying to squeeze eevery last knot out of it

I was giogn to buy 2nd hand but decided to new for 2 seasons:
1) Personal - I'd never bought a new boat before
2) The majority of 2nd hand ones were raced, hence the b4lls driven out of them

For 4k you should get a package no problem. If you're not buying until September, may aswell wait until the next spring to buy - it'll be too cold if you're out in the winter and could take the enjoyment out of it

I deflate mine a little after each use, especially the hijackers - they run at around 9psi fully inflated so it's advisable to let teh pressure off to increase the life of the seals/valves etc.

I am delighted with my Ceasar. Mullacott marine kept me in communication with the assembly etc. and provided pics whenever I wanted.

At first I didn't want the red boat, but now that i'm used to it I love it (I wanted blue but 6 week wait) because it all matches. The red on teh boat and engine match, and the grey tubes go with the black engine
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Old 23 April 2008, 09:13   #8
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[YOUTUBE]CDI4Y-0VB54[/YOUTUBE]
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Old 23 April 2008, 11:47   #9
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Have a chat with Neale (BS Motorsport) 01296 658 422 - they are at Westcott Venture Park (between Aylesbury & Bicester) which is only about 30 minutes away from you. He had quite a few Zapcats down there last year (he was racing them and building some very clever trailers). I have no sales connection with him or the company but they have serviced my car in the past !
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Old 23 April 2008, 12:35   #10
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cool thanks for the vids alt, something to tide me over till I get mine!!

Bumbleabout, thanks for the info, I had seen mention of him before but could not find any info other than his location, I will give him a call sometime.

Does anyone know of any events in the south of the UK anytime soon? This weekends T-cat worlds Scarborough event is just too far for me at the moment but it would be good have alook and get a feel for it all. I was hoping to try my luck to get a place as a co-pilot this season but still need to get my RYA course out of the way and most racers seem to be based on south coast but I wont be moving there until next year sometime. I suppose the worlds is a bit outta my league but you never know lol
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