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 Post subject: Wild Cat vs. Tiger
PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2016 5:33 pm 
Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Fri Sep 30, 2016 3:52 pm
Posts: 3
Location: Vancouver, WA
I guess because of the nature of the F-18 rule the Tiger and Wild Cat will always be rated the same, but at the same time Hobie (one assumes) felt that the Wild Cat was a faster, more competitive boat. Has that proven true? It certainly looks the part, but looks can be deceiving. And it's always seemed to me that there the wave-piercing hull idea is a trade off vs. buoyancy forward. At some point wave piercing seems more likely to pitch-poll.

Have the two boats turned out to have different conditions or crew size that favor one over the other? I note that in Europe both are still cataloged. Elsewhere I've read that there are different business conditions that account for this in Europe, but still the Wild Cat was designed as a direct replacement for the Tiger, but the Tiger lives on, so one assumes some people must still be preferring it. (Not sure if there is a significant price difference). I find this odd, particularly at the high end of racing, which the F 18 class certainly is.

Anybody got any opinions on this?

 Post subject: Re: Wild Cat vs. Tiger
PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2016 5:22 am 
Site Rank - Admiral

Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:58 pm
Posts: 182
Location: SE Michigan / NE Indiana
Hey Drzero

There's lots of opinions out there. Here is one from someone who is not an expert, but who has sailed a Tiger many times, sailed a Wildcat once, and is now sailing a different F18.

There are probably two major differences between the boats: Hull and foil design.

I'll go with the easy one first: Foils (= rudder and daggers). The Wildcat has thinner and higher aspect ratio boards. This makes them more efficient. Think glider wing vs. sport plane. Gliders are all about providing maximum lift with minimal drag. Sport planes have broader and shorter wings and powerful engines. They are super maneuverable and don't care about drag so much. The tradeoff is that the higher aspect ratio boards can be more of a challenge to control in light air when there is not much water flow across them - they can be easier to stall. They are also a bit more delicate since they are not as mechanically strong as shorter thicker boards. They absolutely most be pulled up half-way on the down-wind runs.

The 2nd area is hull design. The Tiger hull was designed in an era when boat speed expectations weren't quite as high. Without getting too technical the hull is optimized to be low drag at these lower speeds. Think of a rowing shell - very fine entry and a U shaped bottom. Works great until the wind comes up and the speeds get higher. Then the U shaped hulls and fine entry can be a liability. You can't push the boat quite as hard and thus not quite as quickly on those heavy-air downwind spinnaker runs.

The Wildcat on the other hand has much more volume and buoyancy in the bows and a flatter bottom to promote some lift (and reduced drag) at higher speed. The tradeoff is that there may be a bit more drag at lower speed.

There are other changes including more modern rigging design, larger chord wingmast, beam position moved forward a bit, beams mounted higher above the water, etc. They are all more subtle improvements.

In the end, the Wildcat has a reputation of being a faster boat in expert hands and the Tiger a bit more forgiving (except in high wind).

Fortunately the F18 box rule was well conceived, and the ultimate differences between boats is small. This is one of the reasons the class has done so well over the last 20yrs. Its still possible for a Tiger in expert hands to beat a Wildcat in less experienced hands.

Jeff R
'88 H18 Jolly Mon
'10 F18 Closely Called

 Post subject: Re: Wild Cat vs. Tiger
PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 7:16 am 
Site Rank - Admiral

Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2006 6:41 pm
Posts: 209
Location: Commerce Twp, Michigan
Dr. Zero...

Having owned two Tigers and now a Wildcat I can say that Rehmbo's analysis is pretty spot on. Each boat has it's sweet spot...both are fairly equal to weather. But the Wildcat has another gear downwind that the Tiger lacks. This is due to the planing hull design of the Wildcat vs. the U shaped hull of the Tiger.

John Bauldry
USA 413
Commerce, MI

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