I learned to sail on a Hobie 16 and there are tons of them. I wanted something a little bigger / faster so I bought an 18. I sailed it alot last year and had a ball and a couple of scary moments. I would put it in the water and go, didn't worry about the setup of the boat or anything. I had no intentions of racing, but it just looks like so much fun. So...now I want to race, but it seems everyone within 200 miles of me races 16s and 18s are hard to find at a race. Kinda kills the one design idea if I jump in with them.
The major difference I really noticed coming from the 16 to the 18 were the daggerboards and getting comfortable with their depth vs. the water depth. They don't kick up like the rudders and if you always sail in deep water, its not an issue. I doubt you'll forget to pull them up coming in to the beach, but crossing a sandbar or other shallow water you may forget or at least get nervous. Leaving the beach in shallow water isn't as bad as I thought it would be with boards up or down just a little.
They both will turn over, that's what cat sailing is about. You can keep both of them from turning over if you wish, but you rarely see magazine pictures with a cat riding firmly with both hulls in the water and the crew sitting pleasantly on the tramp
If there is a specific 18 you are looking at or can get a deal on, go ahead and buy it and enjoy. If you are just looking for a boat, 16s are more common with more info available, more used parts and the rest.