MiniCat Boats Buyer's Guide

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MiniCat Boats Buyer's Guide

MiniCat boats are the most complete, well thought out inflatable boats on the market. No other inflatable boat manufacturer offers a comparable selection of boat models or as wide of a selection of accessories. MiniCat has truly created the best inflatable sailboat line on the global market. It is no wonder why MiniCat is the most popular and best selling inflatable sailboats in the world!

This post should help make model selection and accessory selection a little bit less daunting.

What MiniCat model should you choose?

As of 2018 MiniCat offers 4 different models: Guppy, 310, 420 and 460.

Guppy

The Guppy is MiniCat's newest model, launching in March 2018. This boat is based on the tried and true MiniCat 310 platform, but has been adapted to assemble in 10 minutes, which is the fastest assembly time of any MiniCat.

The Guppy does not have any accessories at the moment. The Guppy is a great grab-and-go boat. Weighing only 61 lbs and taking 10 minutes to assemble, it is the perfect beach boat to surf in the waves or just go out on the lake for an enjoyable afternoon. 

MiniCat 310

The MiniCat 310 is MiniCat's oldest model. They have done constant updates to the design, but the 310 design has been successfully sailing all around the world for 13 years!

The 310 is a great boat for live aboard sailors or for kids that want a full featured sailboat that they can manage and even right themselves without any adult assistance! A solo sailor that is looking for a minimum storage footprint would also find the 310 as a great fit.

What is the difference between the 310 trim levels?

The MiniCat 310 comes in two trim levels: Super and Sport.

The Super trim level has a jib but no roller furler.

The Sport trim level has a continuous line furler for the jib at a cost of $250 more.

Both of the 310 models have a full selection of sail colors: Red, Yellow, Blue and Orange. Pick your favorite! 

MiniCat 420

The MiniCat 420 is our best selling MiniCat model. It fits a wide range of functionality with the ability to mount an outboard and a total weight capacity of 992 pounds! This is the perfect family sailor. Easy enough for a few kids to manage, but fast enough to keep Dad happy!

The 420 is a fantastic boat, it sails with both hulls in the water and can really move, without the need for a lot of wind!

The MiniCat 420 comes in 4 different trim levels: Instinct, Emotion, Evoque and the Laura Dekker Edition.

All 420 models include a continuous line jib furler.

The Instinct is the base model 420. It is the only 420 model that does not have a boomed mainsail. This is a plus for parents for some peace of mind that no heads will get knocked by the boom, but you do lose a little bit of performance. The Instinct also uses a wire luff which doubles as the forestay. I find the assembly to a bit more tedious than the higher trim levels, but overall it is not much different. This boat employs Dacron jib and main sails with windows for great visibility.

The Emotion is the first trim level with a boomed mainsail and a dedicated forestay. This will provide for greater sail shape control and be more in line with a fully featured sailboat. The Emotion has a Dacron jib sail and a monofilm clear main sail.

The Evoque is essentially a carbon fiber version of the Emotion. The Emotion uses a carbon bowsprit, boom and rudder over the aluminum/fiberglass versions used in the Emotion. The Evoque also uses a Dacron jibsail and a monofilm clear main sail.

The Laura Dekker Edition 420 is my personal favorite and the MiniCat I sail personally. This boat uses all of the features of the Evoque with the carbon fiber parts, but we now employ a very pretty red white and blue sail design as well as an upgrade to a carbon fiber Poly-X racing main sail! This sail will not show crinkles or creases like the monofilm sails do and looks very good when out on the water. I find the clear sails get "lost" in the background by other boaters. The boat also comes with a signed copy of Laura Dekker's book "One Girl, One Dream".

The MiniCat 420 as of May 2018 will have an optional gennaker making it the complete boat and potentially the first inflatable One Design class sailboat!

The MiniCat 460 Esprit

The 460 is MiniCat's fastest and largest boat. It can carry over 1200 pounds and has a bit more space for a family of 4. The 460 does take about 15 minutes longer to assemble than the 420, so I would recommend it to people that leave it assembled for longer periods of time (all Summer or perhaps for a week long stay at a waterfront RV park).

The optional gennaker makes the MiniCat 460 the fastest MiniCat boat to date. if you are a thrill seeker and someone that longs to hang on the wire, this is the boat for you.

What does Redbeard think?

I personally think the MiniCat 420 Laura Dekker Edition is the best bang-for-your-buck boat offered by MiniCat. It is very fast, easy to sail and can even be outfitted with an outboard for use as a tender or for when the wind dies down. The boat assembles in 20-30 minutes and can be stuffed in a hall closet when not in use. You are getting the best quality parts and with all that carbon fiber it has a sense of high tech about it.