I am new to Hobie sailing and recently visited the local cat beach to watch the boats. The Hobie 18 seemed like the perfect boat, a crew of up to 4 and the ability to race if I choose.
As I am just finding out and you are all aware, the 18 is a thing of the past so I am faced with a decision, the 17 or the Tiger.
My only concern with the 17 is the low maximum weight of 400 lbs. While this is easy for 1 and not so bad for 2, 3 or more becomes difficult.
The Tiger on the other hand offers the capacity, but is a significant step up in price as well as complexity.
Can anyone offer any direction?
Hi, Glen. The 17 is really a singlehander's boat. You're pushing it with two people on board and 3 or 4 are completely out of the question. Even the tiger is going to be well loaded down with 3 people on board. The crew capacity just means that the boat won't sink. It doesn't give you a good idea of how your performance suffers with that much weight. A hobie 16 has a crew capacity of 800#s but if you put 4 people on it, you have a submarine with a sail. You will see very few catamarans racing with 3 people on board. If you just want to sail around with 3-4 people, check out Hobies' GETAWAY. It's not that fast, but it has a forward tramp and 1000# crew capacity. It can actually handle 4 people and not suffer as much of a proportional loss of performance as some others. It has some other nifty features, too.