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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 8:43 am 
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Location: NW Arkansas
I have recently fallen in love with the Hobie 16. This is strange because I have never been interested in them in the past. I have zero background in sailing, but have been around other boats most of my life. I am wondering if the 16 is too much to learn how to sail on. I have looked at the Hobie Wave and heard about how great they are for people just starting, but I would rather have the 16. Is there anyone here who started on the 16 or did everyone start with something easier? Thanks in advance.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:24 am 
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I started with a Hobie 18, but I have been sailing since I was 9. My first boat was a Hobie 10, but the 18 was my first catamaran.

There is a steep learning curve for people like you. I say get the 16 cause once you learn it, you will love it.

Make sure you sail with the main sheet in your hand at all times, uncleated your first few sails so if your about to tip, you can just let go and the boat will right itself. Once you have a good feel for how she responds to wind you can cleat it more.

Also look up your local fleet to get local help rigging the boat.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:54 am 
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Honestly, you would be better off getting a boat like a Laser or Sunfish and learning the basics of sailing on a small dinghy like that first. After a year or so, when you feel comfortable on the monohull, sell it and get a cat.

People have learned basic sailing on Hobies, but really, the aren't ideal. They are much less forgiving than smaller monohulls. They're also more time consuming and complex to rig than a basic dinghy. Compared to a boat like a Sunfish, you will find that a catamaran is much more difficult to tack, quickly overpowered in a moderate breeze, and much more difficult to right after a capsize. If you're not prepared for the power and speed of a cat, they can be downright scary for a total newbie.

The good news is that the Sunfish and Laser have been around for decades, so you can likely find an older used one for pretty cheap (less than a grand). And since demand on beginner boats is good, you can probably sell it for at or near what you paid for it when you're ready to upgrade to the Hobie. If you truely have your heart set on starting out with a catamaran, I'd go with the Wave. It's a good compromise between simplicity, performance, and fun.

sm


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 10:01 am 
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Location: Pittsboro NC
Agreed with SRM - came from fast monohull sailing background and still found 16 a handful. Folks who have been saiing them for a while forget how butt puckering it can be to be howling along and suddenly find yourself heading for the forestay with the bows buried.

Learn on another boat then buy the 16

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 10:10 am 
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Location: Harsens Island, Michigan
I started with a Hobie 16. The key is to learn in fairly mild breezes. Last summer I just took it easy, this summer, I plan to take it up a notch. It came easy to me, but then again, I have been thinking about sailing for years, and reading about how it works. I did need help with rigging, that I got here. The first few times I went out, I didn't realize that the jib wire tensions the mast. I tensioned everything really tight, then raised both sails. That didn't allow the mast to rotate much, but since I was in such calm wind it didn't matter much. I was surprised how fast I could go in even calm winds of 4-5 knots. That was a good speed to learn at, since you couldn't tip it (although I was able to lift the hulls a few inches at times). I also have plenty of room to sail on my lake, so that helps. You can think about what you plan to do before you have to do it.

The first couple hours I just went out and back, they out another direction and back, etc until I knew what points of the compass I could get to and how to return. Once I had that figured out, I ventured further by tacking and gybing a few times and then back.

The biggest thing for me was getting confidence that I could get back. I figured any idiot can sail away, but it takes some skill to get back home.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 11:16 am 
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I bought my first sailboat last fall and it was a hobie 16. I am 15 and have never sailed befor in my life. I played the demo of sail sim 5 and watched a ton of YouTube videos. My dad had a tiny kite sailboat that he would sail in the Newport harbor a long time ago and I might have inherited that but my first time out I new how to do everything and it was easy. But to get to the point i think you can learn on it it does go fast but you don't have to pull in the main sheet all the way and you don't have to use the jin at first. If you get a little boat you will get bored of it fast. The hobie cats are unlimited in the things you can do. Watch YouTube videos play the demo of sailsim 5. Learn how sailing works and how to set them up and you will be fine. Maybe go out with an expierenced sailor your first time but you can do it if I can and I am only 15


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 11:19 am 
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Location: Lititz, PA/Somers Point, NJ
i was like you. spent most of my life around the water and on boats but nothing with a sail. I jumped on to the 16 right away. I am by no means an expert or even overly comfortable with it. I agree with jmecky, I never cleat the sheet and pick my days. if its blowing I'm not going... yet. Each trip i learn a new little trick weather its a quicker set up or a smoother tack or trimming the sail a little better. At this point i treat the 16 like i used to treat my sport bikes when i was a kid... know and respect what the boat can do (good or bad) and try to figure out how to deal with it before it happens. Not cleating the sheet is a no brainer, when things start to head south just let go.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 11:45 am 
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Location: Ontario, Canada
srm wrote:
Honestly, you would be better off getting a boat like a Laser or Sunfish ...
... Compared to a boat like a Sunfish, you will find that a catamaran is much more difficult to tack, quickly overpowered in a moderate breeze, and much more difficult to right after a capsize. ...

The good news is that the Sunfish and Laser have been around for decades,...

If you truely have your heart set on starting out with a catamaran, I'd go with the Wave. It's a good compromise between simplicity, performance, and fun.

sm


No no no!! A thousand times no!! This is the biggest fallacy on this website. People who haven't tried the Bravo continue to underestimate the benefits of this great little boat. Yes the Sunfish and Laser have been around for decades, but there's a newer, and better boat out there that fills that role! There's a reason why in the 70's and you went to a resort, you'd see a Sunfish, and now you see Wave's and Bravo's.

My Bravo can be rigged faster than a Sunfish, is way faster to sail, much more durable, simple to tack, easy to right after a capsize, has a furling sail to help you deal with heavier winds, you can fly a hull, and it's pretty cheap to buy. In fact, if you buy it used you can usually sell it for what you bought it for.

So yes... you could buy a Sunfish, get bored within an afternoon, and give up on your dream of sailing because the Sunfish is too boring, and the 16 is too much boat for you. OR... you could try a Bravo. Get used to it, see if you like it, then decide if you want to move up to a 16, or also have the option of moving to a Wave or Getaway.

The 16 is a great boat, but you want to start with something that gets you sailing and not rigging. If I have an hour free, I can spend that hour sailing, not rigging and de-rigging. That's what you want to do as a beginner.

People!! We're all Catamaran and Hobie fans, why would you send someone to a boring Sunfish when you could send them into a simple, and much more fun boat like the Bravo! It's a GREAT boat!

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 11:58 am 
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Location: Black Hills South Dakota
Well I started on a 14, quickly went to a 16. I think the 16 is a great boat to learn on. where do you live? contact the nearest fleet and ask for help. Get a friend to come with you and learn together. I have a 16 for sale cheap.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 12:00 pm 
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Location: West Maui
My first boa was a 16. I was lucky in that I had a friend who was willing to offer help in getting started and joining a Hobie fleet that took me to higher and higher skill levels.

Talk to other sailors, read books, and get out on the water every chance you get. Practice makes perfect.

Don't let the scary stories about rigging scare you off either. I could pull my boat off the trailer, get the mast up, sails and rudders on in under 30 minutes. And that was all by myself.

The 16 is a great starter boat that will serve you well for years.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 12:15 pm 
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Location: Clinton Lake, KS
I had played around sailing when I was a kid.. Didn't really do that much of it...

Then YEARS later I picked up a H14.. The next year I had to move to a 16 because I am 225lbs and 6'5".. The 14 wasn't enough boat for me.

I would say it depends on how daring and adventurous you are, and physically able to right the boat.

I personally never cared about flipping it.. That was an enjoyable experience for me, and being on very small lakes (at first) it was never really a safety concern.

If you are looking for the cat experience a Sunfish or whatever isn't going to do it for ya and might turn you off to sailing. I would just pick your days carefully until you are sure you can handle the overpowered boat and go for it.


If you can find a local fleet or experienced sailor, that will be your best option. I probably learned more in my first day with a good sailor than I learned fumbling through it myself the first year.


I spent a bunch of time IN the water.. BUT had a bunch of fun.

There are plenty of people who shouldn't be sailing anything enjoying the heck out of 16's.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 12:40 pm 
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Location: Jersey Shore
augaug wrote:
srm wrote:
Honestly, you would be better off getting a boat like a Laser or Sunfish ...
sm


No no no!! A thousand times no!! This is the biggest fallacy on this website.


Nothing against the Bravo. I haven't personally sailed one, but it would be in the same general performance/simplicity category as a monohull dinghy. There is no "fallacy" about my prior post. As I said, going the dinghy route does not mean you're stuck sailing the dinghy for years and years. You get it, learn the basics and then graduate up to a cat. How many times have you gone to your lake, bay, river, etc, and seen a newbie cat sailor drifting around backwards unable to tack, or screaming around out of control, or on their side for hours wondering how they ended up that way and how they're going to get back? I've seen it plenty of times.

Lasers and sunfish (and Bravos and Waves) are specifically designed to be simple and easy to handle for beginners. If you end up in irons, you push the rudder over and you're out. If you end up on your side, you pull down on the daggerboard and the boat pops up. It's simple.

Yes, you can learn to sail on a Hobie 16, people have certainly done it. But you have to be very selective of your days, you have to do research on how to rig and properly sail the boat, and it helps if you have someone experienced to show you the ropes.

So I stand by my prior statement that ideally, you would get a small dinghy to learn the basics on and then move up to a Hobie after you're comfortable. And by the way, anyone who says a Laser is a boring has clearly never sailed one in 20 knots or raced one in a large competetive fleet. Lasers can be extremely rewarding and exciting to sail.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 1:01 pm 
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Location: Winston Salem, NC
There are a few questions you need to answer to make your decision.

Are you reasonably athletic and have decent reflexes? What do you weigh? Where will you be sailing-lake or ocean? Will you have someone to crew for you or do you want to sail alone? Is there a place nearby where you can get some basic lessons? Do you want to race? Is there a Hobie fleet nearby or do you know any place where Hobies are sailed?

I had some sailing experience when I bought my Hobie 16 and I am still sailing that Hobie after 27 years. It is not difficult to handle or to learn. Try to find someone who will let you crew. If you ask on this forum, I am sure you can locate a ride. The 16 is a little difficult alone so you should think about having a friend crew with you if you go that route until you feel comfortable. A small lake near me used to offer sailboat lessons on Sunfish which is good for basics and worth taking but I don't think I would buy anything but a catamaran. I am partial to the 16. If you buy a 16 it will satisfy you for a long time. If you want to sail in the ocean or large bays, I wouldn't sail alone. Lake sailing is a bit safer.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 2:47 pm 
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srm wrote:
augaug wrote:
srm wrote:
Honestly, you would be better off getting a boat like a Laser or Sunfish ...
sm


No no no!! A thousand times no!! This is the biggest fallacy on this website.


Nothing against the Bravo. I haven't personally sailed one, ...
So I stand by my prior statement that ideally, you would get a small dinghy to learn the basics on and then move up to a Hobie after you're comfortable.

sm


We're on the same page. I just think that Hobie fans need to give the Bravo more credit. It's SO much more than a Sunfish. Your points about the Laser are valid, but the Bravo is not at all in the same performance class as the Sunfish. Just as simple to rig (if not easier) but much more fun. It's no 16, but if a 16 is a Porsche 911, the Sunfish is the Original Beetle while the Bravo is the Volkswagen GTI.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 8:15 pm 
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Location: BC, Canada
Check out this thread:

http://www.hobiecat.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=41050

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