The Mosquito was designed in 1966 by Neil Fowler of Darwin as a one person (on trapeze) cat rigged yacht. Later the jib and the second trapeze were added and the Mosquito became an easily converted one-person/two-person yacht able to be built at home by the amateur or by professional builders but not restricted to one manufacturer.
At first the Mosquito gained acceptance in Darwin and South Australia in MkII mode (two person sloop rig) while in Victoria the one person MkI (cat rig) dominated. Soon after it also became established in NSW, Qld and Tasmania. There are also Mosquitos sailing in South Africa and even Canada (we know of one!). Since 2001 the optional Spinnaker was added to the rig resulting in four possible rig variants.
Although it can be loaded up with an esky for a day cruise (on a quiet day) it doesn’t suit the cruising role; the Mosquito is a racing catamaran.
The Mosquito has been around now since the the late 1960s and in that time its performance has been shown to be consistently good for a 5 metre catamaran, often beating much newer designs around the course. The current YV yardsticks range from 81.5 down to 73.5 depending the MkI and MkII and spinnaker setup.
While it is fast the Mosquito is not loaded up with excessive sail area. Instead it achieves its performance through efficiency and light weight. The Mosquito has a very low minimum weight; 55 kg for the bare hulls or less than 100 kg fully rigged. It is very easily handled on the beach from trailer to water and back again.
The Mosquito is not as wide as most 5m cats at 2.185m. Combined with the light weight this makes it a fairly lively and exciting boat to sail. When it was introduced it was criticised for having a tall, high aspect rig which the “ordinary” sailor would never be able to handle. Times change and these days the Mosquito’s once tall mast is now regarded as “low aspect”.
The Mosquito is easily converted from MkI to MkII and although not all skippers take advantage of this, some find it convenient to keep a jib and a pair of cleats in the car for when the family want to join in the fun. MkII skippers can easily remove the jib if they want to sail and the crew can’t make it.
The Mosquito can be bought as a complete set of hulls (in foam-sandwich) for owner finishing but some prefer to sharpen up the plane and saw and create their own. The Mosquito can be built from ply using the stitch and glue method.
The Mosquito has a lot to offer; performance, light weight, resale value, good competition and an active class association plus the ability to change between a one person and two person boat with the option of carrying a spinnaker.
For more information contact one of the State Associations or NMCCA officials. Contact details are available from our contacts page.