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 Post subject: Wind speeds
PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2014 1:02 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 30, 2014 12:00 pm
Posts: 11
So i almost have my H18 ready to go sail. I've been sailing monohuls and never a cat. How much can my boat handle? Im worried about being over powered from the wind bc of no reefing points. Is this just not that big of a factor with cats?


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 Post subject: Re: Wind speeds
PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2014 2:11 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2005 10:13 am
Posts: 720
Location: Nepean S.C. Ottawa, Canada
Congratulations on your acquisition of one of the best beach cats ever built.
Catamarans sail very differently to monoslugs.... they do not point as well, they run like crazy.

We have had no problems in winds of 15 knots, gusting 30. After that, life can get 'interesting', as it would on any craft only 18 feet long. I am not recommending that you explore nuclear conditions, just be aware that there are folks on this Forum who regularly go out to sea and jump waves, (right Mike !). The H18 can handle about as much as you can throw at it.

You would be well advised to take your boat to an area where you can do a controlled capsize and capsize recovery, (with a power boat if required for help in lifting the tip of the mast), and practice that a couple of times, see elsewhere on the Forum for 'how to etc'. I need to do that with my 20 year old son, as he has never helped me right my SX18, and we sail together all the time. It will give him confidence and experience for when we really need it.

You may also want to make sure that your mainsheet and main blocks run 'free and easy'. We run the stock Harkens with Robbline. You will need to learn to read and feel the wind and to react accordingly by sheeting out VERY rapidly, far quicker than on a monohull. Otherwise, you will enjoy lots of swimming. So for the first season, I suggest that you NEVER cleat the mainsheet. The jib is not as critical.

For upwind work, we normally set the traveler dead centre. If you are concerned about being over-powered, set the traveler out 8" or so. That will 'soften' your ride enormously. Agreed, SRM and others?

Depending on wind angle and wave height on the downwind run, I'll often set the traveler centred, or at 8" or at 20". then I sheet in the main. The H18 has tons of volume in the forward part of the hulls, so downwind should never be a problem - very hard to pitchpole an 18.

If the wind really pipes up, how about furling the jib, and running purely on the main? I've often done that.

Cats are also sensitive to trim, so your fore-and-aft positioning on the boat can be more important than leaning out.
When you feel comfortable, you can move up to using the trapeze and hiking out. Read up more on this aspect first...
as it has its own set of challenges.

Whatever happens, don't be nervous when the Cat rockets ahead... this boat will give you a great ride.

Good winds

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1989 Hobie SX18 Sail # 1947
'Only two things are infinite, the universe, and human stupidity. But I'm not sure about the former.'


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 Post subject: Re: Wind speeds
PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2014 2:15 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2005 6:29 pm
Posts: 2096
Location: High Point, NC
The 18 can handle it, the question is, can you? You need to be quick on the sheets and prepared to steer/depower in big gusts. And be advised that an 18 is a tremendous handful for a single operator to self right.

The guys around here that have 18's feel they are better in big winds with 2 people on board.


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 Post subject: Re: Wind speeds
PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2014 2:27 pm 
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Location: Nepean S.C. Ottawa, Canada
finz08, where do you sail out of? Lake? river? Ocean?
Tom is 100% correct... I will only sail solo in 'light' conditions.

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1989 Hobie SX18 Sail # 1947
'Only two things are infinite, the universe, and human stupidity. But I'm not sure about the former.'


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 Post subject: Re: Wind speeds
PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2014 3:41 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 30, 2014 12:00 pm
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The first couple runs I'll be in a shallow ski lake and eventually move up to the ocean. I plan on having two people on board. So if the wind really picks up furle the jib and ease out the main?


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 Post subject: Re: Wind speeds
PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2014 4:16 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2005 10:13 am
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Location: Nepean S.C. Ottawa, Canada
Shallow lake?
Suggest you research the Forum about going turtle, and you may want to consider a Hobie Bob to prevent breaking a mast.
If you don't want to spend the $, try pool noodles cable-tied to the top of the shrouds.....

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1989 Hobie SX18 Sail # 1947
'Only two things are infinite, the universe, and human stupidity. But I'm not sure about the former.'


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 Post subject: Re: Wind speeds
PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2014 3:19 am 
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Joined: Mon May 09, 2005 10:25 am
Posts: 2618
Location: Jersey Shore
finz08 wrote:
So if the wind really picks up furle the jib and ease out the main?


Downhaul and traveler are your friend. If you get overpowered, you want to first tighten the downhaul (you can crank it down until the bottom of the sail hits the gooseneck fitting on the mast). Then start traveling out the main. You want to keep the mainsheet as tight as possible as this will flatten the sail. You ease the mainsheet in the puffs if necessary. Basically the traveler is your "gross" setting and your mainsheet is your "fine" setting.

Going downwind, if you get overpowered, you want to turn the boat on a deeper heading downwind.

Furling the jib is also a good option of the wind really gets strong. The balance of the boat will be a little off (a bit more weather helm), but furling will help cut down some power and give you one less sail to have to deal with.

sm


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 Post subject: Re: Wind speeds
PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2014 1:42 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2014 8:12 pm
Posts: 91
Start out in the morning when the wind will be lighter and as it progresses to more than you are comfortable with then furl the sail.
After a point with boats like the Hobies more air will not make the boat go any faster, only heel more and require more air to be spilled from the sail to keep it controlled.

Hobie went with a very conservative sail design for their kayaks (unlike the cats) so it is much more difficult to capsize. I recommend going where you will be safe to capsize and able to right the boat easily, as in a lake near the shore, and learn where the edge is for you and your boat.

If the wind is gusting the sheet should not be fastened down but held by hand so you can quickly respond to a gust and let it out and depower the sail.


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 Post subject: Re: Wind speeds
PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2014 6:11 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:36 pm
Posts: 184
Rather than repeat what has already been, said about the boat taking a beating and wave jumping(what else is it good for?) A blunder I see many new Hobie sailors make is to not put trap lines on the boat. Even if you're not using a harness and getting out on the wire, the handles and trap lines can be very nice to help you and your crew effectively get your weight out and back in when appropriate.

The boat can survive getting up past 45 degrees and drop right back down if you dump the sheet and/or head up. Also it will calm right down as you dive it almost dead down wind(dead down wind is dangerous in some high wind conditions)

Have fun!

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Tom
Fleet 259, Central Coast CA
H18 ('81)
H18 ('85)
H20 ('97)
H18 ('78)


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 Post subject: Re: Wind speeds
PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2014 6:32 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 5:40 am
Posts: 415
Location: Metuchen NJ
DDW, or dead down wind, (180° from true wind) should be avoided as a wind shift will get behind the main sail and throw it over to the other side, not a good idea with the low boom the H18 has.

160°-165° off true wind is the lowest I ever go. even that can be a problem if shifts are wide swings.

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Chris
'88 H18SE Arís


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 Post subject: Re: Wind speeds
PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2014 7:47 am 
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Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 3:15 pm
Posts: 124
Location: Buffalo, NY
I'd recommend sticking to winds below 15mph your first few times. It's plenty of wind to get you used to the feel of the boat, how to control it and what to do when it picks up a bit, but you shouldn't have too much trouble keeping it under control with two people. I've had my boat in 25 gusting to 35 without issue. Just keep your rigging in good repair.

Like others have said, the boat can handle just about as much wind as you dare to sail it in. Theoretically, catamarans can sail at up to ~1.5x the wind speed (reaching), maxing out near 25mph (H18). In practice, I've seen my boat get to maybe 1.2x wind speed, topped out at 20mph... though I'm sure I could've gotten more! I kinda look at it as follows:

5mph - slow sail
10mph - casual sail
15mph - cruising
20mph - flying
25mph+ - wild ride!

Granted, that is with a few years' experience.

One thing I would recommend is to purposely capsize your boat one of your first few times out. See how close you can get without going over. It will give you a much better feel for how far you can push the boat, what is or is not recoverable, and what to do if/when you do it on accident. Just make sure you have a combined weight of at least ~290 lbs and a righting line on board. When the boat goes over, it goes slow for the last ~30 degrees. If you hike out as it goes, you'll end up sitting on the upper hull. From there, you jump into the water, get the righting line out and bring it back up. It's really simple and safe, if you're careful about it and read up on how to do it beforehand. As others have mentioned, if you're in a shallow lake, you might not want to do this without a mast float. My mast is all aluminum and well sealed, so it floats on its own. Other masts may leak, causing the boat to turtle, especially if they have a comptip.

Aside from that, just enjoy it! The Hobie 18 is an absolute blast!

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Mike
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'79 H18 standard 'Rocketman II' sail #14921


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