I've sailed monohulls my whole life. All shapes and sizes. I want to get into cat sailing mainly so I can:
1: Have a beach launchable boat that will hold more that just me and
2: To teach my kids how to sail and take the family sailing and
3: A boat that I can easily trailer to mexico and as I stated earlier - beach launch up and down the Gulf coast.
Oh - and I live in Lafayette, LA. Right now I'm leaning towards a Hobie 16 or 18.
What do ya'll think?
i think ... Yes! GO FOR IT!
H16 is a great way to start, 18 isn't much harder to learn, and will give you more room for crew and gear - but weight is an issue for many solo sailors (pushing an 18 around the beach or solo stepping the mast)
both issues can be overcome with beachwheels, gin pole and experience
I would suggest you find a fleet and go crew for a few rides
make sure it's you cup of tea and then jump in
You can't go wrong with either boat. I have owned them both and still own a 16. The 16 is easier to beach launch due to lighter weight. I consider it easier to rig because of the shorter mast. Also, the 16 does not have dagger boards which is one less thing to worry about. The 16 doesn't really like more than 2 medium adults and a picnic, but an additional child isn't a deal breaker. More than that you should consider the 18 for weight capacity and it really is the better sailing boat, especially when the wind picks up. I found mine to be a beast wrestling on and off the beach. The standard roller furling is nice and if you are lucky enough to have wings you'll be loving life. I am in the Florida Panhandle, if you make it this far east I'm happy to take you for a test drive on a 16
Edited by jalex on Aug 27, 2018 - 04:17 PM.
most people love the idea of wings - i did too -
mine currently hang in my garage - i stopped using them
they are wonderful with wind but:
add to rigging and tear down time
and more importantly to me - they add weight - in the wrong spot
more towards the mid/aft part of the boat (not desirable)
this make light wind tacking more difficult
and crew always want to be up on the wings - this is not good in light air conditions
May I suggest a prindle? I've sailed a Hobie 14,16 and 18 but I like my prindle the best for handling, hull buoyancy (lower risk of pitch pole). I currently sail a prindle 15,but the 16 has more room for crew. Parts could be an issue, but many parts from other boats can work on the prindle too. Just my 2 cents. Good luck.
Prindle 15/Hobie 16/Hobie 14T
prindle and hobie 16 and 18's are very very similar boats
small differences, but over-all not much difference between them
other good legacy cats to consider are
dart 18's (light and easy to rig / great high wind boats)
supercat 17 great boat with lots of manufacturer support (rare in legacy boats) but heavy boat and crazy heavy mast
nacra 5.7 - skeg boat (no boards) no boom
g-cat 5.0 / 5.7 - great boat / front tramp - limited support / few parts but beams and masts are very similar to hobie mast extrusions
IF you have the cash ...
a new mystere 5.5 or nacra 500 or 570 would be my choice
why? 20-30 year old legacy boats have wear and rust that can cause catastrophic failure at almost any time
esp if sailed in salt water
downhaul (cunningham), outhaul and traveler can all be used to reduce power
to really put it into granny-gear you can furl the jib and dramatically reduce healing motion and power
also - many of us have high wind sails for days we want to sail and keep it sane -you could get an old sail and cut it down pretty cheaply for days with kids on board too
last option is to set it up for reefing - i have a reefable main on my 6.0 (this boat was refabricated for a family of 3 with a 7 year old at the time)
I do like my Gcat, Very simple rig but can perform decent when you want it to. Harder and harder to find them in decent shape. I do worry about the rudders, they are bound to break and hard to find replacements. Most of the other parts can retrofitted from other boats
Nacra 570 or 5.7 is a great choice, if I was on the market again I'd choose that one, simple, fast, lot of room on the tramp, you can bring the family (say or 3 adults or 2adults +2kids).
No boom = safe and simple
No daggerboard= simple + all seats available for the crew.
If I'm not wrong, the 570 has the jib block on the front beam, which means free tramp, without the 4-way system in between
Beachwheels make your life much easier, consider them, they are often part of the deal.
I missed speed among your reasons, if it's not really on the list, your 3 points above don't necessarily translate into a beachcat. If you like planing and playing the waves on monohulls, you might miss that. Unless you like speed...
Stepping the mast and launching is not necessarily easier on an 18 ft cat, which is what you need if you want more than 2 on board.
Another option, more family oriented, less performant but more stable, buoyant, takes more people, very easy to rig: the Hobie Getaway.
How much do you weight and what would be your typical and occasional crew?
Thank you for your thorough response. I do like speed - it is fun. My crew will be my wife and 2 kids (ages 3 and 6). I grew up sailing at that age and that set me up with a life long passion. My issue with a monohul is that outside of a sunfish or laser I don't know of any that I can beach launch.. where as the cats seem to be designed to do that with trailer additions like the beach trax that just make it easy. I find a sunfish or laser too small to effectively teach on.. I don't think a 420 or 470 as beach launchable.. am I wrong?
The only issue I have with the SKEG hull would be it's ability to point into the wind.. I know that is an issue with cats in general and I feel that a SKEG will only amplifiy that issue - am I correct here?
I love to plain and play the waves on monohulls.. but I'm willing to forgo that for a boat that I can launch anywhere.. form a beach or a campsite on a lake. Where I live in S. Louisiana there are almost no sailboat friendly launches and when we do go to the beach in the Florida Panhandle or on an annual trip to San Carlos mexico, a beach launchable option is all that I'll have.
not really an issue - you are talking a deg or 2 and unless you are racing against other classes - who cares and even if you are open class racing - the handicap systems take this into effect
technique and weight placement will have an equal to greater effect
I would forgo my centerboard for a skeg in a heartbeat
I am not a Nacra guy but my guess is theskegs point better than a Hobie 16, which doesn't really point well without knowing the tricks, but all part of it. Riding in to the beach on surf trying to wrestle the boards up will make you want to give up a few degrees of windward. Not trying to be overly dramatic, but its an important point
Edited by jalex on Aug 29, 2018 - 02:48 PM.
'82 NACRA 18 Square "Bangarang"
'85 Hobie 18 "Honey Badger Don't Care"
'86 Hobie 18 "The Rippin & The Tearin"