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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 6:57 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2014 6:49 am
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Location: Madison, WI
Hi all,

I have been browsing local classifieds for Hobie Cats over the past few weeks. I recently found a Hobie 16 at a steal of a deal - mainsail, jibsail, trailer and everything allegedly in good condition (asked seller about soft spots and his response was "everything's in great shape"). It is a 1982 with an asking price of $500. No wings, but I can always add those myself...! Plus its sails don't look like they came out of a dumpster from the 1970s. I will check for soft spots if I check it out in person.

The one caveat is that there is a leak "between the hull and the v mold" on one pontoon. Does anyone know what sort of cost / time would be involved in repairing this myself? I'm guessing that's why the seller is letting it go for so cheap, since there is work to be done.

On a sidenote, any reason a grad student should NOT buy a Hobie? I've got limited funds, but I had such a fun time sailing my friend's parents' Hobie at their lake last summer that I have to have my own!

Thanks
HobieCarl


Last edited by HobieCarl on Fri Jun 13, 2014 1:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:08 am 
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Joined: Mon May 09, 2005 10:25 am
Posts: 2553
Location: Jersey Shore
Lesson #1 - Hobie Cats have HULLS not pontoons.

There are countless threads and articles regarding finding and repairing leaks in a hull. The general procedure is to lightly pressurize the hull and then spray down the hull using soapy water and look for bubbles. If the leak is at a fitting, remove the fitting, clean the surface, apply fresh silicone caulk and re-install the fitting. If the leak is at the hull seam, epoxy can be worked into the seam to seal the hull.

sm


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 12:39 pm 
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Location: Madison, WI
Thanks - forgive me for my ignorance :P.

Here are some photos of the boat, do you think it is worth the asking price of $500?

Image
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 4:12 pm 
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Location: Jersey Shore
The scum line on the hulls mean the boat sat in the water for quite some time. I would expect that the hulls have soft spots or at the very least blistered and damaged gelcoat as a result of this.

If the hulls are solid and the sails are in functional condition, then yes, $500 is probably reasonable. If the hulls are soft, then it is a parts boat - I would 't even consider buying it to sail.

sm


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 7:34 pm 
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One thing to consider (and I think most would agree and if they don't they are welcome to chime in) is that cat hulls undergo a fair amount of stress with hard use. So, hulls with small problems will certainly develop larger problems soon. I don't think I have ever met any cat sailor who doesn't eventually want to push their boats hard.

If you buy the boat and it does have hull problems that need attention, then it's just a question of if you have the extra time, fiberglass skills, and extra money to do reclamation, as a grad student. Unless you are an engineering student...

If the seller will let you do a bubble test (if you have already gone over the hulls carefully to check for delamination) and it passes the bubble test, then I would consider it a good starter boat. It will likely last several seasons before you must redo the hulls. It is somewhat possible that you could recoup your $500 by selling the boat for parts after that time. The risk is always that you will spend more time working on the boat than sailing, which is a bummer. My rule of thumb is that if you buy something cheap, you will usually always have to spend some time and money to get things up to normal. It's always just a question of how MUCH time and money...


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 5:55 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2014 6:49 am
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Location: Madison, WI
Decided that the boat wasn't spectacular and I didn't put an offer in on it.

However... Over the weekend a 17' popped up. Owner says that there are soft spots that need to be fixed but no cracks or leaks in the hulls. Claimed weight 700 lbs, would haul just fine on my car hitch.

Boat has (per owner): wings one-piece, trampoline, Harken rigging, trapeze (?), "low miles" trailer

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Asking price is $800, is this fair or should I counter-offer something lower?


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 6:56 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 7:28 pm
Posts: 223
Location: BC, Canada
HobieCarl wrote:
On a sidenote, any reason a grad student should NOT buy a Hobie?


I use to be a graduate student long enough to give you a perspective. What I recall was deficit in two ares: time and money. If you want to get into cat sailing you will need at least one of the two, and preferably both. Boats you are looking at will need work, parts, etc. Then sailing is very time consuming activity -- trailing, rigging, sailing, derigging, trailing back -- will take you at least 1/2 day at the time. So, sadly, you may be better off concentrating on completing your degree at this time. One idea is to find other sailor in your area to crew with. You may even find someone willing on this forum. You can also try http://thebeachcats.com

As to the H17 you are looking at, check the size and number of the soft-spots. Let us know size and location for every soft spot. Large soft-spots are practically not repairable. Then inspect the sail for delaminations, wing pockets for leaks, and finally remove and inspect center board hook for cracks. You can search this forum for more details on H17, there are plenty.


Good luck :)

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H17
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 5:22 am 
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Location: New Brighton, PA
Also keep in mind the the 17 is designed for one person so unless you plan to sail alone or have a very light crew member it's not for you. Max weight capacity is just over 300 lbs, I think it's 330, while the 16 is rated at 800 lbs

A $500.00 boat will most likely need some work but can still be a lot of fun and get you out on the water. I would be more concerned with the condition of the bottom of the hulls where they wear down from being drug across the sand or rocks than I would be of a few soft spots. As long as the gelcoat is not cracked around the soft spot it won't leak.

West system epoxy has a lot of good online instructional literature you can look though to see if you're up for doing any repairs yourself and how well you finish it is up to you.

http://www.buxtonsimport.com/catamaran-repairs.html

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Buxton, 11' H16 White w/ Coronado Sails: "White Lightning"
82' 14T, 84' 16


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 7:54 pm 
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Location: BC, Canada
buxton wrote:
Max weight capacity is just over 300 lbs, I think it's 330, while the 16 is rated at 800 lbs


Maximum published capacity for H17 is 400lb. It is true, the boat performs the best with one person at about 170-180 lb. I've been sailing with my wife and daughter in light to medium air with no issues other than a bit slower. In a heavy air and chop, an overloaded H17 gets wet. H16 has about the same hull volume, but the tramp is higher, so the ride is drier. The 800 lb capacity is a gross exaggeration. It can surely carry that wait, but will be a dog. Optimum crew weight for H16 is closer 300 lbs.

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