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boatless
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Discussion Starter #1
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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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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Bombay Explorer 44
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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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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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boatless
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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
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 :D). 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 :confused:), 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
 

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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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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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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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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.
mono to multi is more awkward, a cat sailor has a much easier time ajusting to a mono the the other way around.
Did you watch any of the early America's Cup racing with the 45' cats. some of the best mono sailor in the world look like they were learing to sail a hobie cat for the first time. I wanted to say, do want me to show you how. They did every don't do with a cat that there is. it would have been a lot less expensive if they had some small cat experiance before they pitched poled a 45' cat
 

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SERIOUS SAILOR
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Usually I'd suggest hitting the local marina, walking the docks to look at boats and maybe meet someone to go sailing with....but PK isn't really a "sailing" lake. Are you planning to sail on PK?
 

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boatless
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Discussion Starter #13
Usually I'd suggest hitting the local marina, walking the docks to look at boats and maybe meet someone to go sailing with....but PK isn't really a "sailing" lake. Are you planning to sail on PK?
Yeah, we'll be sailing PK.

Why exactly is PK not a sailing lake? I've often wondered that, as it seems like it'd be great...though I have no sailing experience, what-so-ever :laugher

Maybe it's a terrible lake, and I should just get a jet ski :D (kidding, I promise...)

I figured it might have something to do with the orientation of the lake, or the fact that the winds on the south end would be buffeted by the cliffs around that end.

There are a few boats around here. I've seen them out on the water every so often, but if you hang around the docks, it's mostly runabouts and bass fishing boats.

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.
during the summer, the wind blows almost straight out of the south, so...right up the lake
 

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SERIOUS SAILOR
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I love PK! I have wonderful memories going all the way back to the mid 70's, boating with my dad on PK and snorkeling the island at Hell's Gate. He'd rent me mask/fins/snorkel at Scuba Point (moment of silence please, it still hurts)...and the first open water dive I did when certified back in 83 was at SP. We frequently rent pontoon boats for dive weekends, camping at the State Park, rafting up in Hells Gate....using the lake from State Park to Governors Cove.

However...for sailing...not so good. The lake is very narrow and winds back upon itself, filling a river canyon. You can sail it, it's just quite a challenge due to the layout and prevailing winds in the area. I don't think I've ever seen a sailboat on the lake...however, I don't normally go to the north end where it's a bit wider, muddy and shallow.
 

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The Bahia & the Hobie are quite different boats in their own way—which one is better for you depends primarily on what you want to do with it.

For tearing around a lake on a day with a decent breeze, the Hobie with a trapeze or two would be brilliant. I've sailed them a few times off beaches in the Med & they're superb on a powerful early-afternoon sea breeze when you can get out on the wire while skimming a hull. Because they're wide you can push them hard before you reach the point of no return and speed-wise they're comparable to an I-14 while being a friendly & forgiving sail. The down side of all this is that they don't really work in the light stuff, are capable of getting stuck head to wind if you tack carelessly, and they're harder to get back the right way up than a monohull.

The Bahia seems to be Laser's answer to a family boat (wide, stable, easily reefable sails, able to carry a motor etc) that can still be a bit lively with the kite up and a trapeze if you want. Haven't really caught on over here though, so I don't think I've ever seen one in the flesh. But maybe better if what you want is something that can be both fun to sail fast for a few hours & also capable of being turned into a more relaxed daysailing dinghy. Alternatively, it might just not be very good at either--hard to say.

Probably the best way to resolve it is simply to go for a sail in each & see what appeals.
 

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boatless
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Discussion Starter #16
I love PK! I have wonderful memories going all the way back to the mid 70's, boating with my dad on PK and snorkeling the island at Hell's Gate. He'd rent me mask/fins/snorkel at Scuba Point (moment of silence please, it still hurts)...and the first open water dive I did when certified back in 83 was at SP. We frequently rent pontoon boats for dive weekends, camping at the State Park, rafting up in Hells Gate....using the lake from State Park to Governors Cove.

However...for sailing...not so good. The lake is very narrow and winds back upon itself, filling a river canyon. You can sail it, it's just quite a challenge due to the layout and prevailing winds in the area. I don't think I've ever seen a sailboat on the lake...however, I don't normally go to the north end where it's a bit wider, muddy and shallow.
I haven't dove (dived? :laugher) here yet, but one of the guys I work with is a big diver. I haven't been underwater with supplemental air in about 8 years, but we're supposed to try the lake sometime this summer. I've heard the shop at scuba point used to be a pretty good shop. The retail world out here is interesting...there is such a huge need of stores/shops/restraunts for all the summer crowd, but no one can make it through the slow winters :rolleyes:

I kind of had a feeling it'd be a hard lake for sailing :mad:

But...it's home (for now). We would probably put in mid-lake...around sandy beach, and stick to the north end. you're not down in the canyon like on the south end of the lake. It's also part of the reason we're thinking small day sailor/dingy/cat instead of something like a 22-25ft boat. Plus...something small like the Bahia or a Hobie (or whatever else in that size category) would be able to be thrown on a trailer and taken to other lakes, or the coast when we visit the in-laws.
 

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Our club has both cats and monohulls such as the Laser. I've only been sailing a year or so but in my experience so far I much prefer the monohull.

I like the fact that the monohull is more sensitive and requires far more technique (at least at my level) to keep it sailing fast without capsizing it. I find it more of a challenge and I enjoy that.

Each time I get on the cat I get bored - but maybe that'll change once I'm up to speed on using the trapeze....
 

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... Each time I get on the cat I get bored - but maybe that'll change once I'm up to speed on using the trapeze....
Small cats only come alive when a hull is out of the water and capsize quite possible. They become a challenge when waves are sweeping the whole boat and there are 2 on the wire, when you can pitchpole hard enough to land 15 feet in front of the boat--then you'll know you're doing something.

Plenty of "feel" then. Until you can keep it on one hull for 1/4-mile, you've barely been introduced.
 

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Plenty of "feel" then. Until you can keep it on one hull for 1/4-mile, you've barely been introduced.
Well, I'll look forward to that :)

Obviously my current experience is very limited so I'll readily admit that I don't have enough sail time under my belt to know what i'll enjoy most in a few years time. That said, the OP is in the same position as I was last year...

Following the advice of club member I currently I take out the monohulls when there's a light wind that I can learn to sail in without capsizing constantly. Conversely, when the wind is stronger I take a 12' of 15' cat. I haven't yet been out in any really strong winds but I find the mono more challenging in the lighter wind than the cat in the stronger wind.

I'm curious about the comments that suggest that a cat sailer can adjust to a monohull more easily than a monohull sailer to a cat. My first sessions were an a cat and I found them quite easy. I was quickly put into place when I took out a monohull for the first time!

Finally, from a purely emotional point of view, I find monos more beautiful to look at :)

Tim
 

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Well, I'll look forward to that :)... Conversely, when the wind is stronger I take a 12' of 15' cat....Tim
Assuming these are roto-molded Hobies, they aren't real beach cats. Those are cheaped-out products of the US market designed to be more more stable and forgiving to keep beginners out of trouble... meaning slow and boring. IMHO, a complete waste of plastic. I'm a cat sailor and would chose the Laser over those every time.

Now, if you get a ride on a NACRA, Prindle, Hobie Tiger or 18 or 17, or Stiletto, you'll have a different expereince.

There are several lessons high-performance cats teach that non-planing dingies don't:
* Trapeze balance. Easy on flat water, not on rough water.
* What do you do on a reach when the lee bow starts to bury? How do you predict this?
* How to steer when overtaking waves.
* Not letting the boat stall; planing boats can become capsize prone if sailed to slowly, and cats start making leeway. Both of these boats don't sail well unless pressed to their full potencial.
Upwind, they are not so different.
 
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