Catamaran for beach: Hobie Wave/Getaway or something else?
Some family members are building a home on the beach in Florida (Gulf side) and they'd like to get a beach cat to keep there for the occasional jaunt into the Gulf. They are beginners and probably won't sail it much themselves, but want to have it for visitors, most of whom (like me) will probably be intermediate-at-best sailors.
After some initial poking around (this thread was particularly helpful), the Hobie Wave seems like the leading contender.
It's simple, light, and has those tough rotomolded hulls. I like the idea of the Getaway to take out multiple people at once (something tough to do with the Wave), but given that there will likely be times when only one adult is sailing, I'm concerned that at 400lbs the Getaway may be too heavy to haul to the beach and too hard to right after capsizing.
Are there other viable options for a boat that will likely spend most of its time sitting in the dune grass on the beach? I've thought about looking for a used Hobie 16, but I think it's worth paying a bit more for the Wave/Getaway's more-durable hulls and anti-turtling mast bobs (although a dolly and an aftermarket anti-turtle bob might make a used 16 a viable option). Are there other beach cat manufacturers out there, or is Hobie pretty much it? Anything else to consider?
I say go with the the Getaway. You should be able to pick one up used for a good price.... Now if you really want to impress the kids get a Hobie 18 or Nacra. Both of which are fast and fun. ALthough you could pick up a used Hobie 16 for less than 500 and add a bob for 100. (or just mount a fender to the top of the mast)
No matter what yall get... just sail it and bring the kids on it. My kids love our Hobie 18 and are always asking to take a friend with them.
I've read in a couple places that the Getaway is hard for a single adult to right. How hard is it?
And how hard would it be to pull the Getaway down to the water through a hundred or so yards of dunes? Would a single adult be able to do it with a catamaran dolly? I have zero experience with catamarans on beaches (my sailing has all been on dinghies and small cats that sit right at lakeside or big pre-rigged monohulls that dock in a marina) so I apologize if this is a stupid question.
Beach cats are easy to move along the beach using beach wheels... I have moved my Hobie 18 alone several times. As far as righting the cat after its flipped... yes their is a technique to right it but it is not hard. If you have a "bob" on the mast the righting will be very easy. Check out the following sites for a little info...:
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ALso once you are in the beach area try to find the local Yacht club. They may have a few used cats forsale.
The rotomolded hulls are generally tougher, but if they get a hole, they are irreparable. I don't know all the science involved, but repairs won't stick to the plastic used for those hulls. The local Hobie rental outfit near me switched to the 16 for lessons, but he still does use Waves for rentals.
I owned both H16's and an H18 before buying my lead sled. I also did demo sails and new owner training for the Getaway. Go for the H16. You can have3 adults (thogh very crowded) on it, it sails fast, there are thousands of used ones waiting for some one to buy them, and they can take a beating. I like the fiberglass hulls better because you can repair any damage that may happen and they do not flex as much as the rotomolded hulls. Hobie crosslinks the plastic in the hull mold for the Getaway. This means that you will not be able to heat or chemically weld any more material to the hulls. So, if you have a big gouge in the hull, you will not be able to repair it. Getaways are heavy for thier size compared to the H16 or the H18. With the H16 if it is windy enough to capsize it is windy enough to right the boat solo. On a dolly the H16 is very easy to move up and down the beach. The H18 is tough to pull up a beach on a dolly. I am a sizeable guy at 6'2" and 260lbs and I had trouble over long distances.
In summary I say the H16 because it is affordable, fun, easy to sail single handed or with two others on board, and they are solid boats.
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Nacra 500 or 570. Simple, fast, repairable.
Personally, I lost all respect for Hobie when they switched from catamarans to ...
... beach toys. Although I may change my tune if I can find a ride on a Wildcat. What I saw looked very intersting.
Buy a used 16, 17, or 18. Much better sailors. Or for that matter a Prindle 16 will be lighter and easier to haul (320 pounds).
Beach wheels work if it is pretty level and flat. Otherwise, with 2 people they can manage a lot.
Whether they are hard to right depends on many variables; weather (actually easier when it's blowing), size of the person, the boat, and whether the mast gets water in it. All are simple with 2 people. I like the Hobie 17 or the Prindle 16 for ease by a single sailor (160 pound minimum).
all of the advice to get an H16 comes from people who already know how to sail. I too like the 16's better but they are bad boats for a complete beginner. They WILL overpower them. They WILL capsize them. They WILL have trouble getting them upright again.
I got a Hobie Wave for the visitors at my house for three reasons
1. Though you cant repair plastic, it is pretty nearly bulletproof and wont need repairs. I have had a wave for 5 years and it is pretty near impossible to break the plastic hulls. Believe me, my teenage son and his friends tried and if it were easy they would have done it.
2. It is very forgiving for new sailors. No boom means they can't kill themselves (unlike an H16 or the others like it) and it is hard to capsize - it has more buoyancy than the fiberglass boats do. There is a good reason that this is the boat the resorts rent out.
3. It is fast. Maybe not as fast as a 16 but plenty fast for a beginner (or for me most of the time) with the added benefit that a Wave can go out in winds that would keep the 16's on the beach. It is an inherently safer boat.
As for righting it, get a collapsible canvas bucket to add weight.
And do get beach wheels. You will want them. A getaway would be impossible without and a wave difficult.
and if it were up to me, i would get two waves instead of one getaway. then you can race!
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