Hi everyone, I've been lurking for a while but finally snapped some photos of the new to us Hobie 18 my dad and I got. I'm hoping the photos can provide a "virtual tour" and to get a "virtual survey" of the boat. Here's a link to the album.
I'm off for summer break from college and my dad and I had been wanting to get a Hobie 18 for a while. After perusing craigslist for a while, we found one in Rockledge, Florida. We drove down and gave it a cursory inspection and deemed it in good enough condition to buy, take home, and fix up. We bought the boat for $1000, and the guy who sold it to us suggested we stop by Performance Sail and Sport which was conveniently located down the road from where we were. We brought the boat over there and had Scott give the boat a once over and hook us up with some new running rigging, along with a few pieces of hardware. The boat was made in September 1981 according to the serial number, so it should have the heavy hulls.
We took the boat home, and over the past couple of weeks I've been working on cleaning up the boat and performing some various repairs and maintenance. Cosmetically, the boat isn't very pretty, but the boat seems solid and I hope it will sail well. The gel coat has faded and is chalking, and the trampoline is faded, but other than one large soft spot on the centerline side of the port hull past the front crossbar, I haven't found anything else that needs immediate attention. I've replaced the main halyard (and replaced the old halyard ring with an Aussie ring), jib halyard, jib sheet, tramp lacing, and the trapeze rope, but that's about it. My dad, brother, and I refinished the daggerboards after making some fiberglass repairs to them. We have painted them with white appliance epoxy, hoping to get a nice, hard finish. I have also sanded down a thin layer of UV damaged plastic on the rudders to leave a nice smooth finish.
Since we refinished the daggerboards, I would like to make sure our dagger wells won't scuff up the daggerboards too much. I saw in the Hobie catalog that there's a neoprene dagger well kit. Is this what I'm looking for?
The large soft spot has been the most intensive repair, and I'm a little concerned that we didn't do it quite correctly. The soft spot was roughly 23 inches long and 10 inches high. My dad did not feel like spending the money on Git Rot, which I've read to be the preferred resin for filling soft spots on fiberglass/foam boats. Instead, we bought regular fiberglass resin made by 3M from Lowe's, at $17 per quart. I drilled a couple of holes at the top of the soft spot and began to fill the soft spot. We kept running out of resin, and in the end it took nearly 3.5 quarts of resin to fill. We mixed the resin a little light on the hardener, wanting it to stay liquid longer to fill in all the crevices. Does this sound right? My dad and I were amazed at how much resin it took to fill this thing, and our main worry is that some of the resin inside may not harden. I'm hoping that given enough time out in the heat of Alabama that it will find a way to catalyze and harden.
Our sails are in good shape, but I can't figure out what sail pattern the main is. My only guess is that it is a faded Fantasia from 1986 or so, but the boat was made in 1981 so perhaps the original main was replaced at sometime after. I've read it's not uncommon for sails to be replaced, that they are kind of like clothes for a boat. I'd love to know what sails the boat was originally sold with, though. The jib has some faded splotches but also is in good shape. I can't figure out what this strange plastic bracket
is near the tack of the jib is, however.
We've successfully rigged the boat and even got to put it in the water last week (though there was no wind to sail). Our mast rotator arm is very bent so we purchased another one. It appears as though the bolt that holds the rotator to the mast also supports the diamond wires. Is replacing it as easy as loosening the diamond wires, removing the bolt and old rotator, and putting the new one in?
I'll be leaving for the beach this Saturday, and we're planning to take the boat with us. I think everything should be ready to go by then, but I'd just like some advice with the repairs I've made, and some rigging help. I look forward to posting about further boat progress. I know I'd love to have the hulls re-gelcoated in the near future. Thanks for the help!