Will learning to sail on a Cat ruin me forever? - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 03-17-2012
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Will learning to sail on a Cat ruin me forever?

I'm completely new to the sailing game, and I'm looking for a fun "play around the lake" boat. It's a pretty decent size lake, so something like a sunfish would be a little small...might get ran over by Bajas shooting down the lake at 75mph.

I want something that I can learn on, and will be fun for myself and my wife (who wants to sail too).

The two boats we're looking at are the Hobie 16, and a Laser Bahia. Any opinions on the two?

I like the Hobie, as they look like a ton of fun, and there are thousands of them around...so I'm assuming parts are easy to come by. The only concern is a friend of mine who sails has told me that learning to sail on a Cat will ruin you for life. I'm not totally sure why?

Any opinions on this?

Any other good boats you would recommend would be great, too. Looking for something along these same lines...day sailing, fun, and sporty.
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Old 03-17-2012
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Re: Will learning to sail on a Cat ruin me forever?

The Hobie 16 is a very fun boat to sail.
You didn't mention your age but you have to be flexible. You sort of squat, scoot around on the trampoline. You will get wet, sometimes very wet. Most folks plan on capsizing when they try to see how fast they can get it to go. No big deal just flip it back up and keep on going.

There is no real comparison to a keel boat like a Catalina 22 for example where if you capsize it is a big problem.

Your friend was probably thinking that after going that fast about 6" above the water a normal keel boat will seem slow and boring.

There is no place to put anything other than a couple little holes in the hulls.
The Hobie is a sport boat. Take a look at what people are doing with them on youtube.com. If you like what you see go for it.
If your idea of fun is to sleep aboard at anchor and cuddle with your SO on a lazy afternoon the Hobie will not do it.
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Old 03-17-2012
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Re: Will learning to sail on a Cat ruin me forever?

I would go for the cat as your goals are fun and sporty.

Nearly everything you learn is transferable to a monohull with one key exception.

What to do when hit by a gust that overpowers the boat while on a reach.
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Old 03-17-2012
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Either one will be a blast. Enjoy!
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Old 03-18-2012
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Re: Will learning to sail on a Cat ruin me forever?

Any kind of sailing is good sailing!
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Old 03-18-2012
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Re: Will learning to sail on a Cat ruin me forever?

most guys will love a cat but it's the ladies that you have to consider. is your wife the active type, the one that will ride a bike, water or snow ski, paddle board and swims then go for the cat. the cat will require a bit more crawling on your knees. I have had my Prindle cat for 33 years and still sail it. Great boat. if she is not that active go for the mono hull, although the bahia is a pretty sporty boat also, a blast to sail in a blow. to answer your question either of these boats will make you a better sailor out of you then a keel boat. they are both easy to learn on if you have a good instructor. will a cat spoil you to sail a mono hull? , NO they will make much more in tune with the wind and even make you a better sailor in a mono. Cat is easier to sail off a beach then the mono but the bahia can be beached. if you want a cat look for a used Prindle 16 or 18 they are much better to sail then a hobie 16 and do not pitch pole ( dig the bows in ) as easily
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Old 03-18-2012
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Re: Will learning to sail on a Cat ruin me forever?

Quote:
Originally Posted by overbored View Post
most guys will love a cat but it's the ladies that you have to consider. is your wife the active type, the one that will ride a bike, water or snow ski, paddle board and swims then go for the cat. the cat will require a bit more crawling on your knees. I have had my Prindle cat for 33 years and still sail it. Great boat. if she is not that active go for the mono hull, although the bahia is a pretty sporty boat also, a blast to sail in a blow. to answer your question either of these boats will make you a better sailor out of you then a keel boat. they are both easy to learn on if you have a good instructor. will a cat spoil you to sail a mono hull? , NO they will make much more in tune with the wind and even make you a better sailor in a mono. Cat is easier to sail off a beach then the mono but the bahia can be beached. if you want a cat look for a used Prindle 16 or 18 they are much better to sail then a hobie 16 and do not pitch pole ( dig the bows in ) as easily
We're both highly active people. She mountain bikes with me all the time, and neither of us are really looking for a sunbathing platform (pool floaty ). I've always wanted to sail, but never really had the time or the access. We recently moved to a pretty nice lake (though there are very few sailboats for it being a big deep lake ), and I'm having to sell my motorcycle. Can't ride it anymore due to some left over effects of a broken wrist. We're going to take the money and put it into a new hobby, and I figured this may be the best time to give sailing a go.

I'll see if I can find some Prindles to check out. I've been scouring craigslist the last month or so. The downside of the Bahia is that we'll probably have to travel out of state to get one. There is a Hobie seller in North Texas.

***edit: just found a laser dealer in DFW, too

Last edited by RyanR620; 03-18-2012 at 06:21 PM. Reason: oopsie
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Old 03-18-2012
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Re: Will learning to sail on a Cat ruin me forever?

Check out the classifieds at Sailboats for sale from Sailing Texas, the nationwide and international sailing site, buy or sell your sailboat.
I would also suggest that you both take lessons in a small dingy program. not only will you learn the right way to sail but you will be exposed to some different types of boats before you buy one. I have been sailing since I was 6 but wife had not and just crewed with ( not for ) me . when we boat our big boat last year. I signed us both up in a group sailing school that used small dingy's and we had a blast. it was a lot of fun to watch her learn and I had a lot of fun just sailing those boats. know we have to deside who is going to be the skipper before we go out. but we both know who is the captain and who is the admiral od the ship
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Re: Will learning to sail on a Cat ruin me forever?

As many people have indicated, the cat will be fun and exciting, the mono-hull more inclined toward relaxing - even romantic - sails (although potentially exciting as well). Tacking a cat is slightly more work and sailing in a moderate wind may take more of your attention. It's almost like comparing a sports car vs. a traveling car. I've owned both and loved each. When the wind is gentle, my wife has taken naps while I sail our mono-hull: something that's highly unlikely in a cat.

A quick glance at Possum Kingdom Lake on Google maps shows it as having some fairly long stretches of open water. It also has a nearby airport. Airports are designed to take advantage of prevailing winds, implying your wind will be running along the long axis of the lake - you might end up doing a lot of tacking on the upwind leg of your lake, so that might be something to keep in mind.

Is it possible to hang out by the launching ramp and chat with boat owners of both types of boats and see whose experiences sound the best to you?
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Old 03-18-2012
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Re: Will learning to sail on a Cat ruin me forever?

Yes. You might like it!

Actually, I can go for years at a time not sailing a monohull. When I do, it's awkward for an hour or so, and then I'm right back in the grove. I like monohulls too. Honestly, I think the opposite transition (mono to multihull) is more awkward, at least from the comments I've heard.

Plenty of folks start with a Hobie, switch to a mono, and then switch to a larger cat later.
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