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PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 6:35 am 
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Location: London
Hi Folks,

As I mentioned in my previous posts, I purchased a second hand Hobie 16 two weeks ago here in the UK and have yet to hit the water with her.
I am also a complete novice to the practical side of sailing but have digested a number of cat sailing books so have an understanding of terminology and sailing theory. I guess I would label myself as an arm chair sailor ;-)

I decided to join a yacht club which is only 40 minutes away from where I reside door to door,
Saturday just gone I transported the Hobie so as to store or park her at the yacht club for convenience.

I hazard a thought, that the lay of the land is rather different here in the UK than in the US, for example we don't really have large lakes to sail so most cat sailing if all is generally carried out on the coast which is tidal. Another aspect is that access is generally restricted to the beaches by tidal walls and locked gates so the proposition of just driving to the coast, rigging the boat and sailing is limited. One also finds that the access to the beach's is also owned by some entity or other. Everything over here is owned by someone or other :-( hence joining a yacht club.

I was hoping to make some new friends at the club and while doing so glean a little knowledge, I also hoped to have met someone more knowledgeable than I to give the boat an eye over. I was also hoping I could persuade a charitable sole to help rig and even to come out for an hour or two, to give me an informative tutorial as it where to get me started. Unfortunately this did not transpire for a number of reasons, one being that the weather was blowing a gale on Saturday so club members where lite on the ground and when I arrived on Sunday it was rather late in the day due to work commitments.

However on Sunday I did manage to grab the attention of one of the instructors from the training school next door to the club and explained that I had purchase a Hobie 16 and that I was keen to get out on the water. Unfortunately he came across quiet patronizing with an air of apparent superiority while questioning my motives as to why the heck purchased a Hobie 16, he then progressed to state his rather low opinion toward the Hobie 16 in general such as the boat capsizes fore and aft etc etc. I was informed he could teach me on a Dart 16 which is more stable and so fourth.
I said don't people just go out and put theory to practice at which point I was informed that people drown and die all the time. Not the constructive answer I was looking for, but I guess they do and after all the school wants my cash.

Moving forward, I called the sailing school today and a lady that answered tried to push me towards a two day course to start sailing monohull dingy's then to do a cat conversion course. Ching, Ching, more cash I guess. I expressed that I was not interested in dingy sailing and that I was seeking a course for cat's only, after that the boat I have, then again I had this distinct feeling of superiority and feeling that I did not know what was good for me, if that makes sense. Besides the courses will end up costing more than I paid for the Hobie.
BTW I did ask whether they could teach me in my Hobie but was informed that this is not an option.

So given this rather verbose post I would be very interested to know your thoughts, recommendations and advise on how to get my Hobie out sailing as right now I can't see the woods for the trees and am feeling a little glum to say the least.

Kind Regards,
SRG

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Hobie 14 Turbo (~1979)
Hobie 16 Carumba (1983)


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 7:46 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 20, 2009 4:00 pm
Posts: 349
Location: Charlottesville, VA
I'm trying to remember how I learned sailing. There's really a lot to it. Part was at summer camp, but most was probably in high school. At that age one learns pretty quickly. I was immersed in sailing for years.

That's not your situation, I'm assuming. You will have to learn (and get experience with) wind angles, tacking, working to windward, jibing, and a lot of safety stuff. Monohulls are fine for that; they sail pretty much the same way. The cat stuff consists of refinements to the above: the exaggerated shift in apparent wind, greater difficulty tacking, etc. If you go down the lesson path, I think the monohull route is a fine way to go. To me, the school's response to you is not out of line. I would expect them to use their own boats.

Don't give up on the idea of just going out with some other club members, though. If someone is regularly looking for crew, you'll pick it up that way also.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 10:22 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2011 4:27 pm
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Location: Central Oregon
Save your money...find a Hobie friend that is near you. I am always glad and stoked to help out new Hobie sailors.
Hour or two out with someone who knows cats and your ready to rip.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 11:46 am 
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Joined: Mon May 24, 2004 10:33 am
Posts: 434
Location: Clinton, Mississippi
I expect that the wind/weather conditions you will normally encounter will be wilder than many of us in the USA. Safety must always come first, so while I'm sure you could learn on your own, you will be much better off with some help. I would not count out formal lessons, but I would try hard to find other catsailors to help and hang with first.

If not on these forums, you may be able to find some help on the Open or Hobie 16 forums here:
http://www.catsailor.com/forums/ubbthreads.php/ubb/cfrm
The Catsailor forums are generally not so Hobie-friendly, but a lot of UK sailors frequent that site......surely someone is close by and willing to help. And while they may favor other models like Darts for the rougher conditions, the Hobie 16s do OK in rough conditions, too. See the Class 2 Texel results.

If these guys can't help directly, they may be able to put you in touch with Hobie people in your area:
http://www.hobiecatcentre.co.uk/

You might also try contacting the European Class Assn. (but their link for GB contact info is dead):
http://www.ehca.hobieclass.com/

Finally, go check this out in October:
http://www.ehca.hobieclass.com/?Page=9682

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Hobie 16


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 12:29 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 12:02 am
Posts: 109
Location: London
Thank you everyone for your replies they are very much appreciated.

I will continue to persevere!
We are heading to the Camargue in the South of France for our vacation in early August. Basically a road trip and camping with a couple of other family's and I am keen to trailer the Hobie for some fun Mediterranean sailing (no tides to really mention), this will keep me occupied as I am not one for laying around on a beach for any duration, I get way too restless and besides it would be great to take the teenagers in our group out for some fun sailing.

So I have basically four or so weeks to become confident or at the least basically proficient so as to make it worth while taking. To be honest her indoors will not let me take it otherwise, the boss is the boss! :-)

Thanks again folks, I'm off to check out the provided links.

SRG

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Hobie 14 Turbo (~1979)
Hobie 16 Carumba (1983)


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 2:12 pm 
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My tow cents... both yes and no.

I've been on and around sailboats for most of my life. Monohulls mostly but some cats. Have cruised and raced the Great Lakes, inland lakes and also some ocean stuff. My suggestion is to get an intro class done. You'll get the textbook basics down - rigging, points of sail, safety stuff. Also spend some time around the yacht club. Try to crew on some other boats for some races, even if you're just rail meat. By osmosis, you'll pick up pleanty. With that, enjoy the hobie... sailing is the same wether a mono or cat- just some tweaks here and there. Cheers!


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 3:07 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2011 12:26 pm
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Location: Harsens Island, Michigan
I was like you, no experience, read some books, bought a Hobie 16, and went sailing. I learned how to rig it from the owners manual, and the nice video on this website, that I am sure you have found by now.

Fortunately, I had a better place to learn than the ocean. I have 1x4 mile bay that is only chest deep in the middle, so I couldn't get into too much trouble. The first time out, I just picked a point of sail and my only goal was to get to that point, and back. Then I picked another and came back. I did that all day. I figured that after reading a book, anyone can sail, but if you can sail BACK to where you came from, you had learned something. Over the past 2 years, I have gradually gotten the confidence to sail in more and more wind, and still haven't left the bay alone.

Since then, I also found a great group of Hobie sailors at the local races, and they have inducted me into sailing on a club boat (Hobie Tiger). Once you try that, you are hooked forever!

Keep at it. Find a friend that likes to go with you, as it gives you more confidence when you don't have to right the boat alone or deal with any other issues.

Have FUN, and stay safe!

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1979 Hobie 16 "Orange Crusher"
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 6:49 pm 
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What club did you join? Do they have a Laser fleet?


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 4:55 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 12:02 am
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Location: London
Sorry for the delay in replying!

I joined Whitstable Yacht Club (WYC)
Here is a snip taken from the club website regarding classes and fleets:
http://www.wyc.org.uk/flattened/home_why.html

"With 650 members, we organise something for every sailor. There is an active cadet section that sails Toppers. Lasers offer keen competition for single-handers. The Tasar is our dominant one-design dinghy and we have the largest fleet in the country. Our main development class is the Merlin Rocket. New this season is also an asymmetric dinghy class. Cat lovers will meet a competitive fleet of Darts and big cat fans will find good action in Hurricanes as well as Britain's largest Tornado fleet. If the wind is too strong for racing, then out come the boards for a blast across the waves. For yachts, there are moorings off the club or sheltered facilities up the Swale. Wanderers are the most popular boat for our cruising members. "

Regards,
SRG

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