Since you want to eventually use the cat for long distance , and Lake Ontario
is kinda BIG so it will produce larger waves ; think i'd go for a Hobie-18. It will
handle larger chop, and will carry more weight so you can bring heavier friends
with you along with camping gear. An 18 is capable of being handled by yourself
once you learn how to make it go.
If you lived on a small lake, i'd go for the 16 ; pound for pound the 18 is
a better call for the money spent on the purchase and time spent rigging it to go sailing
for the environment you intend to use it in !!
Watch Out though ; sailing is Real addicting !! I also kite-board, and none of
my kiting buddies can figure out why i like sailing so much ; to me the two
sports compliment each other nicely.
Later on, after you learn to use it, you can get smaller/stronger sails to use
in higher winds ; now a bit of excess wind will be even MORE fun !!
Me & the
guy i went in 1/2 on for our H-20 went the Other direction ; we learned
to sail the cat with the smaller sails which made it Under-powered and WAY
less likely to flip if we screwed-up. Now we regularly go out in 30+ mph wind
on our H-20, but we use a Main-sail & jib made for a H-16. Most the Hobie purest
will disagree with me on that one , so take my advise with a grain of salt ...