FAQ
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GENERAL QUESTIONS ABOUT SMARTKAT


Do I need a sailing license?

As the Smartkat sail area is 9,9 m2, a license is not required in most countries. Exceptions, however, prove the rule. Please check with the authorities for information about local regulations.

Here are some known exceptions:

Germany: In Berlin, a sailing license is required if the sail is over 3m2. In Saxony, a license is required if it is over 6 m2. On Lake Constance, you can sail the Smartkat without a sailing license (over 12 m2, the Lake Constance license is required).

Switzerland and Austria: No sailing license required but you need to be over 14 years old.

Where can I sail with a Smartkat?

You can sail the Smartkat just about everywhere. The Smartkat is a certified vessel according to the CE classification, in Category D (Inland or sheltered coastal waters: For boats in small lakes and rivers with winds to Force 4 and significant wave heights to 18 inches) and Category C (Inshore: For boats operating in coastal waters and large bays and lakes with winds to Force 6, up to 27 knots, and significant seas 7 feet high).    

How does the Smartkat performance compare to other catamarans?

Our focus is on minimizing weight and maximizing sailing performance. The Smartkat is lighter and more stable than other catamarans due to the patented centerboard construction, resulting in excellent upwind capabilities. We use every option available to reduce the weight of all components while maintaining the rigging’s outstanding stability.

Can I participate in regattas?

That depends on the national rules in different countries. For example, in Germany, the Smartkat (5m Racing) is the only DSV approved inflatable sailing catamaran. Yardstick 115.

How do I transport the Smartkat?

Car: The bags are compact and lightweight, suitable for transporting inside any car.

Car Roof: The weight of the Smartkat, including the bags made of waterproof material, is less than 50 kg. You can transport both bags on a roof rack (inner measurements: L185x W60x H30 cm). Alternatively, the bags can be tied directly to the roof rack. Tip: Zippers should be positioned below the bag to ensure dry transportation.

Plane: Check the Smartkat as luggage to any destination.

SAILING


How easy is it to sail a Smartkat?

We designed the Smartkat for all experience levels– from beginner to sailing professional.

How much wind do you need to sail?

You only need a few knots to go sailing as the Smartkat is ultra-light. Even a light wind (wind force 1) or a gentle breeze (wind force 2) is enough for a great sailing experience. A practiced beginner can still sail swiftly and safely in a moderate breeze (wind force 4). Sailing with a fresh breeze (wind force 5) or strong breeze (wind force 6) requires practice and professional sailing skills.

How many people can sail on the Smartkat?

The Smartkat is approved to sail with up to 4 adults. As the Smartkat is designed for single-handed operation, you still have the ability to handle the boat with ease if you are travelling alone.

How fast does the Smartkat sail?

20 km/h is within easy reach for most Smartkat users. Professional sailors can reach speeds of 35km/h.

Is the Smartkat stable?

Yes, exceptionally so. The platform and the hull are designed for maximum buoyancy, giving the Smartkat a very stable foundation for sailing at high speed. This is the optimal base for maximum speed when both hulls are in the water. 

Is it easy to right the boat after capsizing?

Yes. The Smartkat trampoline mesh is 100% self-draining which means that there is never any water on the catamaran, either during sailing or after a capsize. Getting the Smartkat up again is a skill that’s easy to master. The best way is to practice capsizing a few times in a light wind.

PRODUCT QUESTIONS


Why does the Smartkat have a centerboard instead of rudders/fins on the hulls?

The centerboard and rudder of the Smartkat are responsible for the boat’s precise steering and agility. The main function of the twin hulls is simply to provide maximum buoyancy and prevent lateral forces from being transmitted into the rigging. The added advantage of this design is that you don’t need to secure the rudder and fins with the help of a trailer, as you do with traditional catamarans.

Why doesn’t the Smartkat offer a trampoline extension?

Any connection of a trampoline extension to the front end of the hulls would cause a transfer of forces into the rigging during high wave conditions.  All the gear needed for a day trip can be stored in the Smartkat’s storage pockets or in a drybag. For longer trips, you can use the Smartkat transportation bags to store additional supplies. Just strap them on either side of the trampoline. 

Safety is another reason for not offering a trampoline extension. In the event of a capsize, you need to get back onto the Smartkat via the front end of the trampoline.

Why does the Smartkat have conical hulls?

It makes no sense to have hulls which cut through the water on an inflatable catamaran. The Smartkat is a semi-glider and climbs rapidly to the surface of the water. With the buoyancy of the 5m Racing hulls in particular, the front comes out of the water at high speed. 

Why doesn’t the Smartkat have a groove guide on the main sail mast?

We don’t use a groove guide because the Smartkat is designed for maximum sailing performance. A groove guide is only useful if you have a rotating mast, and those come with additional weight. The Smartkat’s main sail can glide freely around the mast, therefore the sail always has optimal airflow. It’s the same reason wind surfers have no groove guide.

GET YOUR SMARTKAT READY TO SAIL


How long do I need to setup the Smartkat?

Trained sailors need about 20-25 minutes. Putting the catamaran back into the bags is even faster (approx. 15. min.). Using an electric pump will save you time.

What tools do I need?

None. The Smartkat is designed to be built and dismantled without any tools.

AFTERSALES


Do we stock spare parts?

Yes, all replacement parts are available.

Are older models compatible with new parts?

Yes, this is central to our Smartkat philosophy. All parts fit. You even can upgrade older models with new parts.

What warranty comes with the Smartkat?

Two years, and you have the option of upgrading your warranty by adding another twelve months. 

MATERIALS


Is the Smartkat saltwater resistant?

Yes. All aluminum parts are crafted with surface-recompensed (anodized) aluminum for corrosion protection in saltwater. This processing is much harder and more robust than powder coating.

This extremely hard surface finishing prevents grains of sand from penetrating the aluminum material, ensuring that there is no "welding" at the connection points.  Setting up your boat on the beach is no longer a risk, and all parts can be easily disassembled. 

What are the hulls made off?

The Smartkat hulls are manufactured from a highly tear-resistant, fabric-strengthened polyester/fabric mixture (bonded PVC) to provide light weight and maximum buoyancy. Two layers of fabric are "heat welded" between an exterior reinforcement band and an interior airtight band (the proven process used in all inflatable Zodiac boats). Where certain sections are exposed to particularly high stress (e.g. intake of Power Frame and seams), the material is multi-layered to make it extremely robust. The PVC is coated with a DTEX-1100 cover and UV protection for durability. Reinforced head and tail protection caps with friction coating give added protection in the event of collision. 

What are the sails made of?

The jib is made of Dacron. The fully battened main sail is manufactured from a combination of X-PLY (which forms a stable material) and Dacron. The profile of the sail can be adjusted with the battens depending on the wind force.

What about the sustainability of Smartkat components?

The Smartkat is manufactured out of high quality materials to resist the shock of impact and abrasion and promote maximum sustainability. Our factory focuses on building top quality products with a view to recycling the highest number of components. The principle of sustainable development underlies the manufacture of all our Smartkats.

ACCESSORIES


Can I use a motor for the Smartkat?

Yes. The engine makes your Smartkat into an all-rounder. You can then use it even if there’s no wind. You have the choice between combustion engines and electrical engines, but just make sure you select a motor with a long shaft.

An electrical engine maintains our commitment to environmental stewardship and we recommend the Torqeedo Ultralight (7 kg including batteries). There is also a special Smartkat mounting available.

Can I use a trapeze?

Yes, you can. Check out the accessories section for all details.

MAINTENANCE


How do I clean my Smartkat?

The best way is to rinse it off with fresh water after every outing.

How do I store it?

After use, store your Smartkat with the zipper of the bag open to ensure all parts get thoroughly dry. Then, store it wherever you want. Even under your bed works just fine.

DELIVERY AND DEALER NETWORK


What is the fastest way to take delivery of a Smartkat?

Our catamaran has a rapid delivery time. You can order online or buy it at one of our local dealers.

How do I become a Smartkat dealer?

Smartkat is always interested in working with professional business partners to grow our Smartkat community. Please contact us at contact@smartkat.net to discuss opportunities. 


MORE QUESTIONS?

Please send us an email to contact@smartkat.net or ask one of our local dealers.


Our service


Worldwide delivery

We have partnered with a premium freight carrier to send all items worldwide, direct to your door, without delay.

Global Dealer Network

Test our Smartkat at one of our dealers if you still need a little convincing. Contact us to discover opportunities for field testing near you.

Premium Service

Our in-house customer support is ready to answer your questions. We love questions, so go ahead and ask!

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