Hobie-18 rudder castings come in two flavors: Pre-1987 and 1987 on. They’re easy to tell apart, as the newer systems use a plastic cam to hold and release the upper casting, while the older systems use a metal one. Both are supposed to work the same way, with the rudder kicking up when an obstacle is encountered or when the skipper wishes to beach the boat. However, the pre-1987 Hobie-18 rudders have an annoying habit of not releasing or kicking up when you want them to. I’ve even busted a tiller arm or two yanking up on them to try to get a rudder to release. I always had to keep a tool with a long end that I could insert from behind the release cam in order to trip the mechanism whenever things would stick – not very convenient or even safe under some circumstances.
The Hobie 20 sports an advanced tiller connection with features of easy disassembly, accurate turning, no binding, and reduced or eliminated slop. All other models, however, have a bolt with spacers, a spring, and a nylon lock nut. The same kit (part number 1953, $104) from Hobie will add these features to the 14, 16, 17, 18, and 21 cruiser.
1. You don't have to hide your Sailing magazines.
2. It's perfectly acceptable to pay a professional to Sail with you once in a while.
3. The Ten Commandments don't say anything about Sailing.
4. If your partner takes pictures or videotapes of you Sailing your beachcat, you don't have to worry about them showing up on the Internet if you become famous.