Re: How to choose a daysailer/dinghy
TJ: I made my comments about the difficulty of sailing a catboat (not a Hobie) off of a dock, near what sounded like crowded conditions because of the OP's stated reason for wanting a boat: so his guests who come to visit him have "something to play with". I took that to mean that some who sail this boat will be less than expert boat handlers. My comments were geared towards trying to provide some insight for someone who wants to make things as easy as possible. I don't know the OP's friend at all, so I have no idea if a Hobie would be a good choice for him. I do think that a Hobie is probably not a good choice if the idea is to introduce a wide range of people (his guests) to sailing. The boat may be a bit too "exciting" for some, and in any case, sounds like a poor choice for that area. Not just because of the proximity of the locks, but because you wouldn't be able to use the locks to get to the rest (most of) the lake. I always had the best time on a Hobie when I could get the boat going on a long reach, maybe flying an ama. If the part of the lake where the boat would be restricted is too small, then for me, you lose the best part of the boat.
Just my two cents (adjusted for inflation).