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Toughest 16ft beach cat?  Bottom

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  • What is the strongest, most durable 16ft beach cat? I read a beach cat buying guide stating the prindle 16 is very durable and is still commonly used as a rental boat.

    I googled "prindle 16" and "repair" and didn't turn up much. I did see a H16 hull that split in half, and an AMF Trac 16 where the shroud ripped the deck off.

    Thoughts?
  • Nacra 5.0 or 500
  • I am going to have to say the Prindle 16 there are a ton of them for sale, so one could be had pretty cheap.

    I abused the hell out of the one I had and it keep begging for more.. icon_lol

    --
    John Schwartz
    Ventura, CA
    --
  • Both the Hobie 16 and Prindle 16 had some years where they were using the same foam that seemed to be more prone to delamination. I’m not sure the exact years. That info came from Pete on a previous thread so maybe he’ll chime in.

    My Hobie 16 is an 84, I have had since 2008 and it has been on the beach baking in the sun and salt for most of that time. I sail her once or twice a week and am not gentle on her. I recently replaced a few odds and ends and sailed her over 100 miles from the Everglades to Key West with zero problems. That’s with 2 adults and a week supply of camping gear.

    The thing I think Prindle has the Hobie beat on is the cross bars. Hobie’s pylon system is bound to develop play and rob the boat of its stiffness.
  • John, thanks, I'll probably end up with a prindle 16 since they are so ubiquitous and inexpensive.

    Ste4, the nacra 5.0 looks great, but they're less common here on the west coast. I definitely prefer the more modern appearance of the nacra hull to the the Prindle/Hobie.

    Jalex, I've ruled out the Hobie 16 because it has less carrying capacity than the prindle and other cats. Thanks for the info on the delamination, if you recall the specific years let me know.

    I realize I should have phrased my original question differently. I'm looking at older, less expensive beach cats and and that means buying what I can find in good condition. Toughness is my primary concern, other issues like performance and parts availability are secondary (though also important). The Prindle 16 sounds like a natural choice, but I may run across deals on other less common boats. With this in mind is there anything I should avoid?
  • In my opinion you want something there is a good sized used market for. The used market is almost solely responsible for keeping these things on the water. Its a cheap toy. It destroys the whole concept if you're spending tons of money to keep a $500 cat sailing.
    H16 is everywhere and still in production. There are plenty of downsides to them and finding an old one in good shape priced reasonably is flat-out difficult. So many are what I would call "parts boats".
    The next one on my list would have to be P16. Really solid boats and the next largest used market. Can be found in good condition priced reasonably fairly easy.
    That about closes out the "old, cheap" 16'er segment to me.
    If you step up either size or price, then there's a whole new set of good boats to be had. The used market is what I would pay attention to. Ask yourself. How difficult would it be to track down and replace a trashed hull? mast? Rudder castings, etc.
    Case in point, I think the G-Cat 5.0 is a neat design with the front tramp, but a lack of a used market has turned me away from a couple.
    It's hard to tell you what to avoid, I keep seeing ones I thought were long since dead. Aqua-Cat I'm looking at you...



    Edited by badfish on Jul 08, 2019 - 08:05 AM.

    --
    Joshua

    Texas Gulf Coast
    '82 Prindle 16 (Badfish)
    '02 Hobie Wave (Unnamed Project)
    ‘87 Hobie 18 (Sold)
    ‘89 Hobie 17 (ill-advised project boat, Sold)
    --
  • Any particular reason the length needs to be held to 16’?

    The Hobie 18 has a pretty well deserved reputation for being one of the toughest beach cats ever made (with the possible exception of a few production years which had known hull issues). Not many production beach cats (as in no others) that can claim Worrell 1000 participation, trans-atlantic crossing, and Northwest passage circumnavigation. They are solid boats with a decent used market and parts availability.

    sm
  • I agree with Dogboy on the Hobie 18. You can also add the Hobie Tiger to that list, there have been some very good deals on those boats around and they are a very up to date version of the Hobie 18. Not super competitive on a race course anymore but hard to beat for day sailing/cruising/generally going FAST.

    Between the H16 and Prindle 16 I would vote for the Hobie, the Prindle hulls are pretty thin on the bottom and in places on the sides and I think get softer faster than a Hobie 16. Also, Prindle rudders and general parts availability is less than the Hobie. I'll echo thoughts above though, be careful what you buy as even if complete, you can spend a ton of money replacing trampolines, shrouds, failing lexan rudder blades and sails->Hobie Tiger could cost less $.
  • Totally unbiased opinion, Super Cat 15 or 17.



    Edited by gahamby on Jul 08, 2019 - 06:31 PM.

    --
    1983 SuperCat 15
    #315
    Virginia
    --
  • DogboyAny particular reason the length needs to be held to 16’?

    The Hobie 18 has a pretty well deserved reputation for being one of the toughest beach cats ever made (with the possible exception of a few production years which had known hull issues). Not many production beach cats (as in no others) that can claim Worrell 1000 participation, trans-atlantic crossing, and Northwest passage circumnavigation. They are solid boats with a decent used market and parts availability.

    sm


    A Hobie 18 is a good recommendation as is the Prindle 18 Classic....

    What I like about my Prindle 16 was it was an awesome single handing boat. That is, it was easy to step the mast with no help, wheel across the sand, sail/handle in a very brisk breeze which that harbor is known for, and easy to right once they tip.. They are a fun little boat. On a beam to broad reach, you straddled the rear beam, sheeted in and held on. Great little surfer too!!!!

    Circa Long Beach, CA (Clairmont Ramp) 1999...

    https://scontent-lax3-2.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/10653373_10204173727836238_9208605431697825839_n.jpg?_nc_cat=110&_nc_oc=AQkX-JFFCh9BkJmUJeKIoTDz_4wZfJ067jpgqjwIoqS5e6hrgnKbP8pwxUMwKiI39UQ&_nc_ht=scontent-lax3-2.xx&oh=81af6c5b27c6727fe23c48f0ce10058c&oe=5DC2821A



    Edited by JohnES on Jul 08, 2019 - 04:55 PM.

    --
    John Schwartz
    Ventura, CA
    --
  • Hello boogaloo,
    If you gave the forum your city we could probably answer your question better. I would recommend a H18 if your budget is $1200 to $2000 there are a number of good candidates in Northern California.

    I have a H20 for sale ($3,500) but I do not think its the model for you and Tiger are not for newbies!
  • Just curious, what exactly are you planning to do with this boat that it needs to be the ‘most durable’

    All these boats mentioned are capable of some pretty nasty conditions. They often times hold up better than the skippers do
  • JohnES

    What I like about my Prindle 16 was it was an awesome single handing boat. That is, it was easy to step the mast with no help, wheel across the sand, sail/handle in a very brisk breeze which that harbor is known for, and easy to right once they tip.. They are a fun little boat. On a beam to broad reach, you straddled the rear beam, sheeted in and held on. Great little surfer too!!!!



    John nailed it, 16 is a good size for single handling (and you can also bring passengers). The Hobie 18 is nice but I'm not sure I would like to rig and sail it alone.

    Re Hobie 16, I know the load carrying ability/hull volume is low from experience and it will carry less load than other cats. Yes, it's more common and yes there is much better parts availability.

    Re durability, I'm sailing on the SF Bay and it's windy and choppy here. I've had my fair share of hardware failures and I've learned it's something to be avoided.
  • Totally biased opinions:

    I really really really hate to say it, but a Hobie 16 would be the best. If you get one that is newer than 1984 and you replace the rigging, you should be OK. You would want the upgraded steering and rudders. The main problem with them is that the hulls delaminate but other than that, they are pretty bullet proof. Used parts are plentiful and not that expensive. Hobie 16s tend to pitchpole a lot, so you would need to be comfortable righting it (buy a righting bag).

    A Prindle 16 is a great, durable boat, but their weakness is the rudder castings. They break easily and get a little pricey to replace. They are also a little hard to find when you need one.

    Hobie 18 - very durable boats, but the steering is weak. Plus, you have those huge dagger boards to deal with when launching off the beach. They are also susceptible to delamination before 1984. One bonus thing is that you can get wings with them, which makes them even better in the chop.

    I wouldn't even think about a Hobie 17.

    G-Cats - good durable boats, but parts are hard to find. Actually, G-cats are hard to find. If you break the castings or rudders, you will have a VERY hard time finding any.

    Nacra 5.0: awesome boat, pretty much bullet proof. They have a skeg so they can launch off the beach easily. I'm not crazy about the system to hold the rudders up, but the steering is pretty durable.

    Nacra 450. AWESOME single hand boat, about the same as a 5.0 but smaller and more manageable.

    Now, for the ultimate:

    Supercat 15 or 17. The 15 has about the same sail area as a Hobie 16 if you are worried about power. They are, however, hard to find. If you break the mast, you will also have a hard time finding a replacement. The steering is bullet proof. They have twice the buoyancy as a Hobie, and it is about impossible to pitch pole them. They have the Supercat righting system with the hayfield levers, so a solo sailor can right them. I'm 170 pounds, I can right up to a Supercat 20 by myself. I do carry a righting bag just in case. If you are overpowered, you can furl the jib.
  • I loathe the Prindle rudder system. Too many parts. More parts, more things to break. Love Prindle's Though. The P18 is awesome, I just can't justify another boat so similar in size to my other 2.
  • Pretty much what Dan said. There is a SC 17 in the classifieds on this site. There is a SC 17 on the market in Warrington
    VA. It might be sold. If you're serious I'll PM you the seller's email. 15s are rare at the moment. Again if you're serious I can PM you the email addresses of a couple potential sellers. Mine's not on the market unless you make me an offer I can't refuse.

    --
    1983 SuperCat 15
    #315
    Virginia
    --
  • There are plenty of Hobie 16s out there. Parts are plentiful and available. The boat is still being built and there is a strong owner following. The hulls don't have enough buoyancy. They don't tack well. Unless you have a
    fat ass, sitting on that rail that holds the tramp is way uncomfortable. The Prindle 16, like the Hobie, has slow tacking asymmetrical hulls. Unlike the Hobie however, the hulls have more buoyancy and are more resistant to pitchpoling. Also, I've heard that asymmetrical hulls pull against each other when the boat is sailed flat. One thing I've always liked about the Prindle is the way the tramp comes all the way over the hull making it so there is no need for anti-skid tape on the rails. I agree with jalex about the rudders. The Nacra 500 is a much improved version of the 5.0. About the only thing they have in common are the hulls and the mast step. They both lack rails which make them a lot more comfortable when hiking out and on your bare feet when trapezing. The 500 has an improved kick-up rudder system and a way improved cross tube-hull connection. The 500 has a square topped main but more importantly, both are boomless. The Hobie 16 has almost no boom clearance when sheeted down hard. The Nacras have boardless symmetrical hulls and tack real nice. The Nacras have diamond wires to limit mast bend and the Hobie and Prindle don't. This isn't a big deal, and not having diamond wires makes for easier mast stepping.

    So out of the original three 16s I would cast my vote for the Nacra 500. The downside is they are expensive. If you are on a real tight budget, go with the Hobie. If you think you'll be sailing with someone most of the time there are a lot of other choices worthy of discussion. One more thing. When looking at used beach cats, beware of any boat that's been sitting around for years with water in the hulls and the hull vent-ports closed. Good luck!

    --
    Bill Townsend
    G-Cat 5.7
    Sarasota
    --
  • What are parts prices like on the SC15 and 17. I’m sure used parts are scare and I know Aquarius offers support but parts for the SC20 I sail on have been prohibitively high, but I know bigger boats typically have bigger parts price tags
  • DanBergerA Prindle 16 is a great, durable boat, but their weakness is the rudder castings. They break easily and get a little pricey to replace. They are also a little hard to find when you need one.


    I have never broken a casting, but I have worn them out, that is I had elongated the bolt holes from running it up on the beach a few times too many... As for finding used one, there are plenty for sale on eBay... some bloke in Dickinson TX has a buch of them as does Pete Bagel...


    jalexI loathe the Prindle rudder system. Too many parts. More parts, more things to break. Love Prindle's Though. The P18 is awesome, I just can't justify another boat so similar in size to my other 2.


    The Prindle rudder components are all metal and you can by the replacement parts at Murray's. Once set up properly they'll give you years of service...

    Another boat to take a look at and it is right in your back yard is the NACRA 460..... Advertised here on The Beachcats That looks like a fun little "modern" boat

    https://www.thebeachcats.com/classifieds/catamarans-for-sale/p16263-2014-nacra-460.html



    Edited by JohnES on Jul 09, 2019 - 06:38 PM.

    --
    John Schwartz
    Ventura, CA
    --
  • There is well over 120 lb difference between a H-18 & Prindle 16 sitting on the beach. But the comparison was 16' cats. By the way, much easier to right from capsize, very important when single handing. While complex I've never broken a rudder casting, and usually have them in stock to sell. Pete Begle

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