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Hobie Cat - Thoughts

Old 11-28-2016, 07:54 AM
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Default Hobie Cat - Thoughts

Trying to ease my wife into the idea of owning a sailboat. I get a hard NO when we discuss 20' plus, but the idea of a little Hobie 16 seems to have some traction with her.

Has any one tried this as a gateway boat into getting your significant other into boating? Or will this just blow up in my face and I'll be stuck with the Hobie forever and never get into cruising.
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Old 11-28-2016, 08:06 AM
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Totally different type of sailing compared to a monohull. First off how old is the wife and how athletic? Where will you be sailing? The 16 is a great beach cat and super fun to ride waves with. Will you be trailering it or can you leave it set up. Rigging it is not all that hard once you get the hang of it. Should take less than a half hour but is something to consider. You will get wet and you will turn it over! Great boat to learn to sail on. Now if you want to start cruising or if the wife is not keen on a wet exciting ride you might want to look for something like a Catalina 22. A good sailing boat, easy to trailer and launch. But not a beach cat. You would be better off launching at a ramp. You can pick one up for a little more than a Hobie but it is more boat. It will take a small outboard and is a much better boat if you are sailing on a lake with fluky winds. I have constantly owned a Hobie since 1974 and currently have a 21 here in the Bahamas. Great boat but not as good a performer as the 16 or 18. Bottom line really is where you are going to sail and what type of sailing do you want to do. PM me if I can be of any help.
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Old 11-28-2016, 08:10 AM
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If you've never sailed a boat before I would get a laser or sunfish to learn on first. You should be able to find a used cheap.
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Old 11-28-2016, 08:14 AM
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As far as getting your bride into cruising, perhaps a charter sailboat trip to the Abacos might be a consideration?

As for Hobie's, there's two basic flavors: the 16 and the 18. The 16 is more of the beginner's boat and the 18 can be rigged to be much higher performance than most casual sailors are used to dealing with.

I have to caution you that flipping either one of these boats is only a matter of time and they can be difficult to right if you don't have the experience. Many a bride has gone swimming with these things, never to set foot or butt on them afterwards.

The trick to the 16 is to keep your weight aft most of the time and have the person on the wire hang on to a safety rope to keep from slinging around the front of the mast when the bow dunks under some chop. Keeping the nose up is key to staying upright and in place. The usual practice is to have a girl the size of a parakeet as your crew. You can never hope to stay dry so give up that thought right now. And on the 16, with the flat deck running all the way to the bow, it acts as a scoop and slows down the hull. If you can't depower the rig quickly enough, you will pitch pole in a slow motion front flip.

Other than that, they are good fun in the right conditions.
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Old 11-28-2016, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Flexifoil View Post
If you've never sailed a boat before I would get a laser or sunfish to learn on first. You should be able to find a used cheap.
Flex,

This, unless you already know how to sail.
The Hobie 16 is going to be a wet boat. And as mentioned, you will eventually dump it. Will she be up for that as well?
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Old 11-28-2016, 09:57 AM
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Do not take your wife until you are a good sailor. Do not take your wife sailing in questionable conditions.

I have owned a couple of Hobiecats and they are fun but require a fair bit of athleticism. Sailing a Hobie is a sport, sailing a cruising boat is recreation....I hope that makes sense.

Also, if you sail a Hobie they are much more fun to sail from a beach with time split between sailing and relaxing at the beach, after an hour or two you'll want a short break. I didn't find them enjoyable at all to sail from a launch ramp. Leaving it rigged at the beach is the best option.

You'll find a monohull much more relaxed and an easier pace, especially for someone that is learning.
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Old 11-28-2016, 10:43 AM
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I have sailed plenty of Hobie Cats off the beach in the Caribbean; but my ownership of sailboats for the last 30 years has been limited to Lasers and 470's.
Small high performance sailboats, whether cats or planning monohulls are designed to be used for shorter sailing trips (90 minutes or less) in which the crew doesn't mind both working hard and getting wet. If your idea is to try one for relaxed day sailing as a step to a bigger cruising boat, it won't work.
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Old 11-28-2016, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by grodywhite View Post
As far as getting your bride into cruising, perhaps a charter sailboat trip to the Abacos might be a consideration?

As for Hobie's, there's two basic flavors: the 16 and the 18. The 16 is more of the beginner's boat and the 18 can be rigged to be much higher performance than most casual sailors are used to dealing with.

I have to caution you that flipping either one of these boats is only a matter of time and they can be difficult to right if you don't have the experience. Many a bride has gone swimming with these things, never to set foot or butt on them afterwards.

The trick to the 16 is to keep your weight aft most of the time and have the person on the wire hang on to a safety rope to keep from slinging around the front of the mast when the bow dunks under some chop. Keeping the nose up is key to staying upright and in place. The usual practice is to have a girl the size of a parakeet as your crew. You can never hope to stay dry so give up that thought right now. And on the 16, with the flat deck running all the way to the bow, it acts as a scoop and slows down the hull. If you can't depower the rig quickly enough, you will pitch pole in a slow motion front flip.

Other than that, they are good fun in the right conditions.
It's just a matter of time before every Hobie pitch poles. To have any chance, you really do need to camp on windward transom.

I agree that it's not the best boat for a beginner. Any time that a mono boat starts to heel, the multi-hull sailor will panic. I don't think that reaction every really goes away.

I like the idea of starting with a Sunfish or Laser for someone brand new. But if OP has some experience, I like the Highlanders or Scots for the newbie-with-aspirations boat.
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Old 11-28-2016, 12:33 PM
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I sailed a hobie cat "wave" yesterday. My first time sailing(as an operator). It was a blast. I've been reading up on these today. I am reading that the 16-18 are much more technical than what I was on yesterday.

But I had my wife and my 7yo son along with me yesterday and can say without a doubt that I highly recommend the "wave" model. It's very easy to use and will really scoot along. There is no boom to knock you out, but if your in the wrong spot, the bottom of the sail can wap you in the face pretty hard
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Old 11-28-2016, 12:53 PM
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I owned a Hobie 16 for 6 years in my late 20's - early 30's. I'm older than that now, and the boat was long ago sold...

It's an "athletic / jock" boat, very fast (25 MPH top speed) and very exhilarating (hanging out on double trapezes while "flying a hull" - ie: up on one hull in high winds). I had many fun times when I owned it. I owned the "Keoke" color, a beautiful brown/orange/yellow sail with tan hull. Had it on a buoy on a lake in Minnesota.

If you and your wife are athletic, daring, know how to sail (or can learn it in a HURRY), and comfortable around and IN the water, I'd say go for it. They don't cost much (relatively speaking), and you could probably resell it easily.

However, if you're not - I wouldn't do it. They require a strong arm to ratchet the main sheet in medium to high winds, coordination to balance, and if you get off balance (while going fast) the leeward hull will dig in and the boat will "pitchpole" (violently flip forward & capsize). It's also a wet boat (lots of spray), and sitting flat on the trampoline isn't comfortable. Once capsized, it requires considerable strength to swim the mast pointing upwind & pull it upright using the "righting line" (that is, if it doesn't turtle). And wear a life vest at all times, you'll be in the water sooner or later. Not for the un-athletic or small children or elderly or non-strong. Not for beginners in any kind of big water. Good luck
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Old 11-28-2016, 01:23 PM
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Here's a pix of my old Hobie 16 on an uncharacteristically calm day. Don't have any action shots from those pre-GoPro days...
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Old 11-28-2016, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by nmcbride View Post
Trying to ease my wife into the idea of owning a sailboat. I get a hard NO when we discuss 20' plus, but the idea of a little Hobie 16 seems to have some traction with her.

Has any one tried this as a gateway boat into getting your significant other into boating? Or will this just blow up in my face and I'll be stuck with the Hobie forever and never get into cruising.
Just so you know.....I'm in the EXACT boat as you except my wife don't care. I'm looking into getting into sailing. I'm eventually going to try and sail the south atlantic but need to learn first. My sailing buddy is a DIE HARD cat fan and is gun hoe on getting a 19ft Nacra to brush up on things and to teach me how to sail. Now that being said, I'm very aware a beach cat is NOT a good way to learn sailing, but he's living in his youth(he had one when he was younger) and wants to show me like that. Everything I've gathered sailing a cat is way different then sailing a mono hull but I'm pretty quick when it comes to learning the concept of something. Anyway..... I think I'm going to start out with the 19ft Nacra myself and go from there. My goal is to learn how to sail, sell everything I have and live like these people and sail the world.


And if you haven't seen this real life video/movie..its a must watch! Sit with your wife and watch it. She'll probably appreciate sailing 10x more.


Last edited by ShaftINIT; 11-28-2016 at 03:30 PM.
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Old 11-28-2016, 03:26 PM
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I also follow "Sea Change" which I do believe is sailing around the world right now.....(shorter video) Ep.1 here


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Old 11-28-2016, 03:29 PM
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Then "Sv Delos" which has been sailing around the world for like 5-6 years now I do believe. They are a good group of people who well...are easy on the eyes. They have like 100 videos on their channel which I watch all the time. I learn as I watch


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Old 11-28-2016, 03:42 PM
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I think we're only allowed two posts each about sailing before we're banned from THT

However, the above post doesn't apply to this count, and I got rid of mine a long time ago.
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Old 11-28-2016, 04:54 PM
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I would agree with others on selecting a more stable, family oriented boat, especially if you have limited experience. While born and raised a powerboater, I had the urge to try sailing. My wife bought me a couple classes from a US Sailing outlet, and I learned on 24-26 foot boats. Once I thought I learned enough, I bought a Laser monohull. To put it mildly, that boat kicked my a**. I wasn't nearly a good enough sailer to keep up with that boat, and spent more time righting it than I did under sail, especially in winds greater than 15 knots. I wrestled with it for two years and never had an outing where I didn't dump it at least once. All that being said, it was a blast to surf that thing on a downwind run, but definitely not a beginner boat.

For your situation, I would recommend a monohull boat with a hard chine, something like a Sunfish, which is much more resistant to capsizing. If that isn't enough room, both Hunter and Catalina make family friendly, stable boats from 14' up. Early on, you will need something forgiving so you can expose your wife to the fun of sailing without making her uncomfortable.
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Old 11-28-2016, 05:19 PM
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I did it when I was younger and stronger...just launching through the breakers can be a workout.
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Old 11-28-2016, 06:34 PM
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http://miami.craigslist.org/brw/boa/5890933790.html


Don't know if your local to South Florida, but I have this for sale right now.
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Old 11-28-2016, 07:07 PM
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Did I ever tell you guys about the time I almost sank a hobie 16, 3 miles out with a girl on board that couldn't swim? And we were bailing water from one of the hulls with a beer can with the top cut off.
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Old 11-28-2016, 07:18 PM
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Take ASA 101basic keelboat class.

Join a sailing club with day sailing boats like J24, Benetau 21, Sonars, etc.

You will learn a lot about seamanship.

You can learn to sail in one weekend, you will never master it as it is ever learning.
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