Midwest Puddle Pirate
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Gardner, KS
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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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John USYacht 27 "Cora Lee"