I had quite an experience with the last Hobie 18 my dad and I purchased. It was a 1981 model from Florida that simply hadn't been taken care of well. The hulls were totally delaminated, but we did get to sail it a few times in light air. However, we couldn't trust the hulls and ended up parting out the boat.
After some searching for a newer, better condition boat, I found one from Michigan that fit the bill. A couple of weekends ago we picked up the boat, a 1987 Hobie 18 Magnum with rock solid hulls. An afternoon later, we had the boat all readied up to take to the lake and sail, but weather and schedules didn't allow us to sail until yesterday. We took the boat out to Lake Martin and had a fun day on the lake getting used to the new boat. There wasn't much wind, but we had some 10 mph or so gusts. The wings are great, just as I had heard. I can't wait to take the boat down to the gulf later this fall and do some real beach sailing with it!Here
are some photos of the new boat in action.
I'm still relatively new to sailing, and have a few questions regarding the different methods of trimming the main. We only have the stock downhaul right now. Should I look at upgrading to the 5:1 power downhaul, or is it not necessary for leisurely beach and lake sailing? Should the downhaul be set before the outhaul, and how tight should they be set depending on the wind?
I think I finally have the mast rotator figured out: because the mast is shaped as the leading edge of the airfoil, the rotator points it into the wind, allowing the sail to form its curvature. In a beam to broad reach, the rotator should be let out, while in a close reach it should be pulled in more, correct?
How do I know when to let the traveler out and in versus simply unsheeting and sheeting the main?