I would like to make my 1981 H16 faster.......no plans to race just love the speed! What suggestions do you guys have for me that doesn't cost alot of money??? Thanks Kevin
If you're not racing, then "more speed" is simply relative.... to the wind that is. A screaming reach trapped-out with you and your crew back on the tramp in brisk wind conditions will give you the best cheap-thrill you can get on a catamaran. Lake sailing on Lanier probably doesn't offer the best conditions for this compared to open ocean sailing, but then again you don't have to worry about sticking a hull into a swell and pearling (aka, pitch poling) your Hobie either. Aside from that, the only other cheap thrills for non-racing Hobie cat outings is flying hulls on close reaches. While it's fun to see how high you can stand the cat on the lee hull before the wind catches your tramp and pushes you over, the key to going "fast" while trapped out is getting the windward hull lifted just a few inches out of the water so that you have the minimum amount of hull drag and then working the tiller and main sheet to keep it there.
Beyond that, all of the other tuning tricks such as working on your sail shape via shaving your battens or getting a race-cut jib just aren't worth the time and effort. There are some other intersting set-up tricks in the Hobie U book but not revealed are many of the things that you'll only learn by hanging out with and sailing against the better Hobie skippers.
I did most of my racing out in Division 2 during the latter part of the 1980's, calling Fleet 30 in Riverside "home". Back in the day, Division 2 was pretty competitive and the fleet size at the major regattas was impressive. I worked my way up to A Fleet with three bullets on the second day of the 1988 Pro Sail San Diego Classic (the year they stopped giving away beach chairs as trophies... darn it) and quickly discovered just how far off the pace most of us "mere mortal sailors" were running up against the likes of the Alter-boys, Bob Seaman, Materna, Hauser, and several other really incredible skippers who dominated Division 2 plus some really colorful characters like Udo Winkler (sp), Neil Brady, and a few others whose names escape me. In fact, in retrospet I'd wished I never moved up to A fleet: B Fleet was where the most fun could be had. However, back to "going fast", unless you have figured out who's fast and who's slow compared to you you'll be hard pressed to learn from their rigging tips and tricks and, unless you're on the water behind them you'll also be hard pressed to see how they actually sail their boats and the tactics they use to get around a race course in the least amount of time.
Getting weight off of your "crew" is really about the only other way to make an existing boat lighter. My last Hobie was an '87 and it was made on a very good day as it was one of the lightest boats in Division 2 (they weighed the things before the Divisionals). Unfortunately, after moving to Atlanta back in '91 I never got into the Hobie 12 scene as the logistics associated with getting to "good sailing" were prohibitive. I kept my Hobie 16 in the garage until 1995 when I sold it to someone named Kelly Schlegle (sp) through the Lake Lanier authorized Hobie Dealer. I have no idea if Kelly ever raced the boat or what became of it. It had white hulls, blue tramp and white sails carrying sail number 60302. Like any good A-fleet boat, it had EPO rudders, a race-cut jib with window, Harken blocks on everything, including a 7:1 low-profile mainsheet set. If that boat is still around and in good shape, it should still be light.
Finally, don't under-estimate the value of a good crew: you'll always be faster and have more fun with someone who knows how to crew vs. a passenger (aka. moveable ballast). As a big guy, a smaller crew is a short-cut to getting total crew weight off your boat, but it's still no substitute for making sure you're in the best shape you can be: none of the really fast Division 2 skippers were "big guys" but they were all in good shape.
More than you wanted to know... but since I was taking the trip down memory lane I figured what the heck.
Mark formerly of Redlands, CA
Former H14, H14T and H16 owner... merely reminising