I’m heading to meet some family in Orange Beach. Are there any preferred launch areas for Hobie 18?
Hobie Mirage Tandem Island
I'm no expert, but have spent some time there.....
Don't know of any launch directly to gulf.
It's been a long time, but I've put in before at Boggy Pt. Landing on the east end of Marina Rd. Doesn't look as cat friendly these days, but it may be possible to launch then paddle over to sand beach for rigging. This puts you in Perdido Bay....check out the mansions on Ono Island! If you attempt to punch out into the gulf, however, beware of funky wind at bridge and tidal currents in Perdido Pass. It's pretty tight between the rip-rapped shores/jetties there as I recall.
It also looks like you could put in at Alabama Pt. on the east side of the bridge with some effort, but that puts you directly in the potentially bad air/current mentioned above.
During summer, vehicles pulling trailers are most unwelcome at motel/condo/public beach access parking lots...….things may be more relaxed in off season. I doubt it's legal to leave a trailer overnight at the above mentioned sites either...….not sure about leaving a boat on the beach. A call to the local authorities might be helpful.
Good luck....I remember the area as a great place to sail in the right conditions.....just too commercialized and too many !@#$%ing people in summer!