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post #11 of 31 Old 03-21-2008
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My first boat was a Hobie 16. I had never sailed before in my life. I took the boat out for the first time in 30 mph winds, with no instruction at all. I learned very quickly to dump wind from the sails, and I didn't even fly a hull that day.

While there may be better boats to learn on, and boats that will teach you more of the skills required for a keelboat, Hobies are great fun. You can in fact learn to sail on a Hobie, I sure did. The wife however hated the boat. It is wet, and you're ducking under the boom as you tack. Not her cup of tea.

Dog mentioned pitchpoling when running, which can happen. But a hobie is so fast that almost every point of sail is close hauled. Just don't run straight down wind, you can get there faster heading up a bit.

If no one has told you yet, you need to learn about the soft hulls on a H16. The older H16's had a foam filled fiberglass hull. As the hulls age, the foam tends to shrink away from the deck skin ahead of the trampoline. This will seriously compromise the strength of the hull. I learned about this after buying mine. The demise of the boat came when I pitchpoled it (no not on a run) and the port hull was bent backward when the mast hit the water, and the port side sank to just below the surface. It ruined our whole day, just as the wind was finally picking up.


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post #12 of 31 Old 03-21-2008
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This is another reason a Hobie 16 is a lousy boat to learn on IMHO. You really don't learn all that much about proper sail trim, since most of the sailing is done with the sails close hauled due to apparent wind effects.
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But a hobie is so fast that almost every point of sail is close hauled. Just don't run straight down wind, you can get there faster heading up a bit.

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post #13 of 31 Old 03-21-2008
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This is another reason a Hobie 16 is a lousy boat to learn on IMHO. You really don't learn all that much about proper sail trim, since most of the sailing is done with the sails close hauled due to apparent wind effects.
That's what I love about a Hobie. There is a LOT of apparent wind.

IMO, you can learn to love sailing on a H16, or you can learn the finer points of sail trim while trying to make an 850 lb plus crew boat move under sail.

BTW, I have never seen a day with so little wind that you couldn't sail a hobie at a respectable speed. I've got a picture of my H16 on the lake that looks like a swimming pool before anyone gets in - except for the (small) wake behind my boat. When I got my first boat, I wanted to sail it all the time. You can sail a Hobie in a wider range of conditions than some other boats.


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post #14 of 31 Old 03-21-2008
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Here it is in terms you can relate to.
If you had just decided that riding a Motorcycle would be fun would one of the Ninja bikes be a good choice to learn on if your goal was to tour the US on a motorcycle?????
Same thing.
Hobie cats are a riot to sail, but if your goal is to move up to cruising they are the wrong boat (IMHO) to learn on.
There are plenty of smaller monohulls for sale out there that will give you the learning curve you are looking for before you move up to a 30 footer.
Start with something old and 20-25 foot that allows you to sail a Main, Jib(s) and a Spinnaker. This is the experience you need before going larger.
If you like to get wet and keep your heart rate up get a Hobie.
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post #15 of 31 Old 03-21-2008
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I say get the Hobie. You don't have to sail it on the edge. And if you learn to sail one of those, you can probably sail anything else with a single mast. After a fast beach cat, other boats are, well, kinda stodgy and sluggish feeling. It's like going from your Ninja bike to a BMW.

And keep in mind that a lot of the guys on this forum wouldn't recommend a catamaran to you under any circumstances. Monohull people can be funny that way.

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post #16 of 31 Old 03-21-2008
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My experience is exactly what SD said. I have a hobie but I learned on a sailing dinghy ~ a pico which is a kind of laser but sloop rigged with all of the sail controls, cunningham, outhaul, vang, traveller, etc. Very responsive and very good to learn on and also fairly cheap. The hobie is a blast ~ my son and I like to sail it on the edge but you can certainly sail it more conservatively ~ I have taken my wife out and she really doesnt want adrenaline pumping too hard ~but as SD said until you learn a bit it is easy to get overpowered, and if you pitchpole it somebody can easily get hurt if they end up flying into the mast.
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post #17 of 31 Old 03-21-2008
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2Gringos—

It is easy to say you don't have to sail it on the edge, but until you know how to sail... not sailing it on the edge can be pretty painful or really boring.

Don't get me wrong, I love hobie cats, and am very much a multihull person, owning a trimaran myself—gave up the Hobie a long time ago.

The OP wants to learn to sail. Most people who want to learn to do something, want to do so as quickly and painlessly as possible. Learning on a Hobie isn't going to accomplish that. Learning on a Pico, or a Flying Scot/Lightning, is going to be a better grounding in sailing fundamentals IMHO. You will have to learn about all points of sail and how to trim the sails effectively for them all, as opposed to two points of sail, which is effectively what a Hobie 16 sees—close hauled and running.

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—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Last edited by sailingdog; 03-21-2008 at 09:15 AM.
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post #18 of 31 Old 03-21-2008
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I have sailed on beach cats for most of my life and have just recently began sailing on big monohulls. I have been very surprised at how much I have to relearn. Most of the difference is in trimming the sails and efficient points of heading. I really enjoy my new boat, but it's hard to match the speed and agility of a cat. If you like Ninjas, you should buy the cat. Don't forget Prindle or Nacra, which many argue are better boats overall.

"cause the fast ones always ride for free." -Mother Love Bone-
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post #19 of 31 Old 03-21-2008
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Learning on a Hobie

I owned a Hobie 14 for a few years and sailed frequently on a 16. Lots and Lots of fun, when I wasn't flying through the air or trying to get the damn thing rightside up again. ( I was much younger then and liked to push the hell out of things) But as a boat to learn about sailing not such a great tool. Better off with a monohull that flys main and jib and dosen't scare the bejesus out of you.
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post #20 of 31 Old 03-21-2008
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not going to say 'you can't learn to sail' on a hobie. you should probably try a sunfish or some other small boat to understand points of sail and how to get back to the launch point with out a motor. the other thing to consider, it's a wet boat. i've sailed it in cold weather , but it's most fun when getting wet isn't a factor.

the " better things " in life , aren't "the things" . . .
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