Still has old style rudder system so it must not be sailed often.
??? I think there are a lot of older boats with old style rudder systems that are still sailed often. I honestly don't see any real compelling reason to spend the money to upgrade and the old rudder system works fine for me in both the ocean (Santa Cruz, CA) and on the lake I sail on (Huntington in CA). I would sooner spend the money (and the upgrade is a lot of money) on a new sail before wasting it one something that offers no apparent advantage while underway. I don't find unlocking the rudders when beaching that big of a deal and you have to deal with daggerboards anyway on an 18.
With a little Phil bicycle grease and maintenance the old system works fine for me (I suppose it helps to have a set of spare hulls to boost that confidence factor as well).
The wrap is over the top for me too (and I was a child of a SF hippy mom).
Ditto, except when you're coming in "hot" on a windy day. I've had a couple of hairy situations where I came barreling in to my beach (which was crowded with 10 or so Cats) only to find I had lost my ability to steer after the water pressure kicked up my unlocked rudders. Picture me scrambling to one side of the tramp to push the starboard rudder down....then to port....then back to starboard (because it had kicked back up again)....all the while prepping to squeeze my way into a semi-narrow parking space. Not pretty. I'm sure you ocean sailors would have been laughing at my futility.
My castings are pretty worn and I haven't been able to get them to kick up automatically. I'm going to give it another try this winter.
I have come in "hot" plenty of times and always the bigger worry is getting daggerboards up in time, rudders never an issue (and I never come in with rudders locked, but they are the last thing I unlock). I am much more fearful of hitting something underwater with a daggerboard than a rudder. Only boat I let the sand kick the rudder up with is my Laser (and even then the tie line is un-cleated). I do not trust the rudders to kick up by themselves, and wouldn't regardless of which version (old or now) I had. The dagger boards are deeper in the water and a hard hit there would really be a day spoiler so I always make sure they are up first.
All that said, the one time I broke a lower casting was on the beach in Santa Cruz. The boat was already pulled up on the beach and we were in the middle of turning it around to head back out and a wave came along, one of the rudders happened to not be in the locked up position, and snap. This failure would have happened with either new or old style because it was a side force that snapped it.
I don't worry about transom tearing off incidents because I religiously unlock and raise the rudders prior to hitting the beach.