I'm new to the board, new to sailing.
I grew up here in St. Petersburg, FL, and rather enjoyed being a bit of a beach bum. I've had a dream for 20+ years of owning and sailing a Hobie Cat.
I was recently reminded of this dream, so I signed up at my local Yacht Club (monohulls-only) and graduated my local sailing school. I'm also signing up with a neighboring yacht club that is mostly multi-hull.
I didn't receive any certification, but I'm pretty comfortable with the basics. I had a great time, learned more than I thought I would, but from the first minute on, sailing felt entirely natural.
And yes, I'm hooked.
So I'm shopping, and as men like to do, I'm researching. And I'm, ah, frugal. A cheapskate. Miserly. You get the idea.
I don't mind paying for quality though. I'd rather spend a bit more than have to wrench more than sail.
I will probably single-hand as often as I have a passenger. I may be inclined to take friends out once in a while, for a total possible load of four adults. I don't mind limiting it to just me plus one, though. Will be used some in Tampa Bay, but much more near the beaches in the Gulf. Racing isn't really in my future, so this will just be for personal fun.
I'm trying to decide between two Hobie Cats, either the 16 or the 17 Sport. While I'm sure it's a fine craft in its own right, the Getaway holds no draw for me. At some point, I will want to add a removable mount for a motor (most access points here are usually wind-free).
I'd like to sum up what I find attractive about each, then I'd like to hear from anyone who has an opinion (and yes, I know about opinions!).
The H16 is the VW Bug of boats. They are everywhere, solid & proven design, and very tough to kill. Parts are plentiful and inexpensive, and tech information, advice, upgrades, etc. are equally plentiful. Fast, fun, reliable, universal. My first love.
The H17 Sport seems more refined but still holds close to the original. I like the idea (not sure of the specs) of increased crew. I LOVE
the idea of the wing seats, and love it that you don't have to use them (more options for staying comfortable while puttering around but still more than capable of flying a hull). Not so hot on the "boom-let" design (not a real manly term there), but I guess it works well enough. Like the roller-furler on the jib. Not so hot on the standing rigging for the jib (bridles & spreader pole - more to go wrong?). Not sure if the symmetrical hulls are a plus. Tougher to find, and I'm guessing the parts are a bit more money as well.
I missed a great deal on a H16 two weeks ago. $700 for boat, trailer, full complement of sails, cat trax, etc. Looked to be in good seaworthy condition. I was disappointed, but also encouraged that there will be other great deals.
Local dealer has this H17 Sport available. Wing seats included, trailer too, no trax, $3000. I haven't done a full inspection, as it will be a few more paychecks before I'm ready, but I'm seriously considering it. http://tampa.craigslist.org/pnl/boa/2021711886.html
Have at it - whaddyathink!?