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 Post subject: How to use Cat Trax
PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 8:36 pm 
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Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2020 7:09 pm
Posts: 8
Yesterday I bought a Getaway. Today I towed it to the beach in a Challenger hobie trailer. The entrance to the beach is small and it was pretty congested, so I unhooked the trailer from my car and just pushed it to the entrance. The trailer got stuck in the sand pretty quick and then I pushed the boat off. I was able to get it to the water (about 30') with my dad who was with me but it was not easy. I am pretty heavy and strong (5'8", 220, crossfitter) and my dad is smaller but in really good shape for a guy in his 60s.

When we got back we saw some of the regulars (some lucky ducks are able to keep their hobies at the beach, but there is a long waiting list, that's not in the cards for me this year) using a device with big wheels to push their boats into the water. I examined the device and it was called a Cat Trax. It belongs to the town so is free for anyone to use and I grabbed it and tried it. I must be an idiot because I couldn't figure out how to get the boat onto the trax.

I can't find a youtube video or explanation of how to actually use the cat trax. I am also somewhat worried that the trax is too small for my getaway since most everyone else at the beach has a 16.

Can someone explain to me how to get my boat onto the wheels?


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 Post subject: Re: How to use Cat Trax
PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2020 6:24 am 
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Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2017 4:42 am
Posts: 4
Two people can pull the Trax under the boat from the bow. Place the wheels directly under the shroud wires & tie the ropes to the shroud adjusters. Now pull the boat in either direction.


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 Post subject: Re: How to use Cat Trax
PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2020 7:20 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2007 1:20 pm
Posts: 450
Location: Clearwater, FL
I also have a Florida Sailcraft Cat Trax that I bought used for $50, replaced the tires, etc., but I can't find a used set of cradles for it and a new set of cradles is about $300 plus sales tax.

Transferring a H16 from a trailer to Cat Trax, and then moving the boat to the water and launching it isn't too hard to do solo.

Is there a video that shows how a single person can get a H16 onto a Cat Trax (w/o cradles) while the boat is in the water? It would also be interesting to see if any one can get a H16 onto a Cat Trax in the water with the sails still up.

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 Post subject: Re: How to use Cat Trax
PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2020 7:07 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 09, 2005 10:25 am
Posts: 3964
Location: Jersey Shore
seanharper wrote:
Can someone explain to me how to get my boat onto the wheels?


With two people- put the wheels at the bow and lift the bows just high enough to get the wheels under and push the wheels back as far as you can. Then each person grabs the line on each side of the wheels and pulls them back as far as you can. If you can’t get them back to the shrouds like that, then alternate sides - one person lifts one bow while the person on that side pulls the line for the wheels on that side. Then switch sides - the person on the bow goes to the opposite wheel and the person that was on the wheel goes to the bow. Work the wheels back like that until they’ve reached the shroud (balance point) and tie off to the shroud. Once the wheels are tied off, the boat should balance and can be wheeled over the sand.

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 Post subject: Re: How to use Cat Trax
PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2020 11:42 am 
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Joined: Mon May 24, 2004 10:33 am
Posts: 620
Location: Clinton, Mississippi
Sean: I can't add much to srm's comments regarding the general procedure.....did you watch how the others moved their boats....maybe ask them for some pointers? The Cat Trax should be sufficiently strong to handle the Getaway's weight. Your beam is about the same as an H16, so they should be wide enough. If there are cradles, the fit must be more exact, and the Cat Trax wheels do have to be close enough together to fit inside your hulls. All that said, the Getaway weighs in at 390 lbs and is a beast to move in soft sand, especially if there's an incline.

Tim: Murrays has cradles for $150. I have Kenny's (sailboxes.com)....they cost a little more but are excellent quality and beefier. If you move your boat on the Trax a lot, they are well worth it. The balance point on the H16 is actually a foot (and a half, maybe) aft of the shroud. With cradles the Trax will stay there (even when loading in the water) as long as you're going forward (can slip some going backward). Soooooo much easier to move the boat around when your not fighting to keep it level and the Trax are staying put!

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 Post subject: Re: How to use Cat Trax
PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2020 6:07 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 20, 2009 4:00 pm
Posts: 548
Location: Charlottesville, VA
Florida Sailcraft sells the cradles for $149/pr. My Hobie dealer is pretty close on most Cat Trax parts but not the cradles. I need to overhaul my whole system as my Tiger Trax wheels are broken and my end caps are pretty ratty, too. Plain axle is easier to get under the boat, but I think cradles would be easier to use after that. I'm thinking that if I had cradles I'd be more likely to use them to take the boat up the beach when we're at the OBX.

BTW, for fastening the Trax to the trailer, what about Quick Fist clamps like this one or these?

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 Post subject: Re: How to use Cat Trax
PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2020 6:37 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2011 9:13 pm
Posts: 49
Location: Okinawa
I can't speak for the getaway but I wanted to add my method for both the 14 and 16 in case someone finds it useful.

The 14 I am always solo, when I come in to the beach I pull up just a little so the boat is maybe half out of the water. The beach is mostly sand just have to watch for any dead coral lying in it's path that would gouge into the hulls. I can usually push the trax from the center of the bar about 1/4 of the way back from the bows. At that point I used to have issues with the boat sliding back off the wheels as I struggled to get the trax further. The beach can be steep in places. I solved this by tying a line around the center of the trax bar then under the tramp to the back beam. I then pass it though the padeye and then the swivel cleat and over the tramp to the front beam. I can then lift the hulls slightly, usually by the front beam, and either by pulling this line or pushing the trax with my feet get the wheels to their balance point. i then tie the line to the beam which holds the wheels in place. I then go around to the sides and tie on the lines from the wheels to the shrouds.

I also use this method too with the 16 but usually 2 of us so it's easier all round.

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