Chrysler Buccaneer vs Hobie 16 - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 05-31-2010
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Chrysler Buccaneer vs Hobie 16

I am looking to purchase a used sailboat and from what Iíve seen locally it will likely come down to a decision between a Chrysler Buccaneer (17 footer) versus a Hobie Cat 16. The boat will be used for lake sailing (e.g., Lake Tahoe), and my main goals for the boat are the following:

Fast enough to be fun for my three teens
Stable enough for my 6 y/o to be aboard and not be pitchpoled/captized when
trying to avoid same
Easy enough to sail so that after 30 years away from sailing (lasers, Omega 16s) I
could be up to speed pretty quickly
Easily trailored/put in & out of water with a minivan.

Again, Iím sure there are other boats that might fit these criteria but the two that Iíve come across most often where I live are the Buc and Hobie 16.

Any help would be much appreciated.

Thanks

PFT
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Old 06-01-2010
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I've never sailed either of them (although I used to own an O'Day Daysailer, very similar to the Buccaneer), but my thought is that the Buccaneer would be better than the Hobie with a young child on board.

In terms of stability, neither of them is going to be as stable as a a small keelboat, but I would imagine that the Buccaneer would be easier to right if capsized and less likely to capsize in the first place. The Hobie will be faster, but once you get going close hauled and heeling over 15 or 20 degrees, the 5 or 6 mph top speed of the Buccaneer will feel plenty fast. They're both sloop-rigged, so they're both easy enough to sail. And without a fixed keel, they're both easy enough to trailer, launch, and recover, although I feel like the Hobie would be more awkward on the trailer.

For what it's worth ...
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Old 06-01-2010
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Thanks for the feedback. It would be great if the Buc at 6 knots and planning provided some excitment - I should not be surprised since the lasers I sailed long ago certainly provided some excitment when the winds kicked up. Certainly something to be said for having a 'sit in' cockpit with a 6 y/o as well.

All the best

Forrest
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Old 06-04-2010
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The Hobie is going to be faster, but wetter. Isn't Lake Tahoe pretty cold water? Your season may be a bit longer with the Bucc. Plus four are fine in a Bucc, but probably not the Hobie.
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Old 06-05-2010
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Mountain lake, cold water ... wouldn't especially want to take a 6yr old out on either boat, tell the truth. If Tahoe's winds are as gusty and erratic as most alpine lakes, you will be swimming from time to time. I sail a Bucc18 (18 feet, not 17) at 7300' and it's a freaking handful. Friends sail Hobie 14s & 16s, and they dump them frequently. As in turtle. It is not easy to recover a turtled cat. Kids go hypothermic fast. Here's the reality of sailing beach cats on mountain lakes with young children.

Hobie16's a bit faster than the Bucc, but not hugely. Tacking a beach cat takes motivated and moderately athletic crew. Bucc is simple to rig, very few strings to pull, can be kept mostly upright with a reefed main and aggressive hiking. It is NOT a sunset cruiser, unless your winds are far more reliable than ours. It ghosts along on very little wind and begins planing in ~8kts true. Above 15kts, it is very difficult to hold down and takes on plenty water. It won't stuff like the H16 & it's easier to depower. Top speed is NOT "5 or 6 mph" -- it's a planing dinghy exactly as fast as the 470 or Lightning or MC Scow, meaning bursts of 11-12kts (and yes, I can document that.)

As for the Bucc seating 4 or 6 people ... maybe on some gentle Ohio lake with steady evening breezes. Don't expect to seat anyone on the low side in a blow; and despite the invitingly long cockpit, be aware the vang, bridled mainsheet, tall CB trunk, and long tiller make it difficult to get people across during maneuvers. I've said it a dozen times: the Bucc18 is a two-up racer with some limited daysailing potential. For where you are and what you want to do, I'd advise a small keelboat like the Potter19 or Venture17. They are just as easy to trailer, rig, and launch, but they have inherent stability the H16 & Bucc18 lack. And a cabin to stash the tyke for nappy-poos.

Also look into the Mariner19, which straddles the line between dinghy and keelboat better than any craft I've seen. It's a glorious sailer, too. Flying Scot is another possibility -- same giddyup hullform as the Bucc, but it is ~350lbs heavier, 80lbs of that in the ballasted CB. That makes a world of difference in stability, with little difference in speed. Try THIS on a Bucc18 ...



... and you'll be pointing your mast at the bottom.
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Last edited by bobmcgov; 06-06-2010 at 12:31 AM.
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Old 06-06-2010
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Come visit us at Chrysler Sailors :: Index There are a few buccaneer owners there that can answer any question you might have about one.
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Old 06-07-2010
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Thanks for the feedback

Thanks for the feedback everyone. Good points about the Sierra lakes being cold - year round for the most part. I'm sure my youngest would not develop a spirit for sailing by being dunked in the water again and again. The O'Day looks pretty good on the video, but I'm not sure how often I'm going to be seeing 20mph winds on the lake we will be sailing the most (Folsom Lake). I've pretty much ruled out the Hobie so will look closer at the Buc and similar boats (the Flying Scots are terrific, but probably too heavy for my Sienna to put in/out of the water, and very hard to find from what I see around SAC0. All the best,

Forrest
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Old 06-07-2010
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Guys, guys, guys....take your kids out on the boat. Just choose appropriate weather. It's really just that simple. Your 6 year olds will thank you for the experience.
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Old 06-07-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by puddinlegs View Post
Guys, guys, guys....take your kids out on the boat. Just choose appropriate weather. It's really just that simple. Your 6 year olds will thank you for the experience.
But it's not that simple, PL -- not in a mountain environment. Yesterday during dinner I watched our winds go from 6 mph to 45 according to the weather station, in a matter of seconds, with no hint from the sky or NOAA that it was coming. (We had pulled our boat off the lake an hour before, for schedule rather than weather reasons.) You can choose a perfect, cloudless 4kt day to take your kid out and be in survival winds one hour later. Mountain winds in summer are not driven by large, discrete weather systems -- or even necessarily by overt inland storm cells. They are often the result of micro-geography and wicked localized thermal activities. Upslope and downslope air masses can generate winds of 60mph with no rhyme, reason, or ability to forecast. It's a legitimate consideration when selecting a boat.

PFT: Folsom is a little less rowdy than some mountain lakes. Your Sienna could handle a Scot or even a small keeler, no problem. We tow a 21 ft keelboat with its 4cyl ancestor, the Toyota Previa. Cheers & let us know what you choose!
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Old 06-08-2010
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When I read the thread title I was all hobie. Now that you mention kids though, I am thinking something ballasted would be better. I guess the bucc would be okay if you're careful.
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