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Purchasing Hobie Cat - 16 v 18  Bottom

  • My husband and I have been considering purchasing a Hobie Cat for a little over a year and initially thought we'd go with a 16 because that was what we had heard the most about. However, we have recently been exploring purchasing a Hobie Cat and are looking at a 16 and an 18 and would love some advice from more experienced sailors about the two options and specifically the two we are looking at. We live in MN and plan to sail on lakes only and are new to sailing, but do have some friends and family with experience. Photos are below and let me know if you have questions about details.

    Any advice is much appreciated!!

    https://www.facebook.com/…b-4859-b510-2a6f8a42b154
    https://www.facebook.com/…c-40c4-ad39-27c338f8426e
  • Hi,
    I'm probably the least experienced cat sailor on here but I have had great luck with the H16, so far. It is small & reasonably easy to rig and sail. There are many, many parts available both new and used. Unless you like a project, I'd get the nicest boat you can find within your area and price range. Someday I'll total up the costs of my $400 boat and trailer - probably between $800 and $1000 now plus a bunch of hours of work. More work to do yet also.

    I don't think you can really go wrong with either.

    --
    Bryan in Poplar Grove, IL
    Supercat 17, unknown year
    Hobie 16, 1977
    --
  • Hmmm ... there are a lot more questions to be asked and answered but that said, there are a lot more cats out there than just Hobies. The H18 and H16 were great boats for their day but technology has moved on. If you someday want to race, the big draw for the H16 is you can find one design racing pretty close to anywhere. I would throw Nacra into the mix while you are looking. For me, if it came down to the H16 or H18, the H18 with wings would be my pick.

    --
    dk

    Blade F-16
    Hobie Tiger
    Hobie 14
    Corsair F-242
    Mirage 25
    --
  • I love the H18 especially with wings. That being said, there are a lot more H16’s out there so parts are easier to find. The daggerboards on the H18 make coming into the beach a little more work (you need to pull them up before you get to shallow). The H16 really only handles 2 people, the 18 will take 3 or 4 MUCH better. The 18 is more stable, more comfortable with wings, and easier to tack due to the daggerboards. The 18 is heavier, so loading on/off the trailer and pulling around on the beach is more work.

    Would be good to know your sailing plans. Recreation, interested in racing, 2 people, with/without kids, store on trailer or on a beach, etc.

    Both are good boats. Buy the most expensive one you can afford, likely will end up cheaper than the cheapest one you find.

    --
    Scott,
    ‘92 H18 w/SX wings
    ‘95 Hobie Funseeker 12 (Holder 12)
    --
  • H - Both boats are fun. My first Hobie was a Hobie 16. The next 4 were also Hobie 16's. Then I moved to the Hobie 18. The next 3 were also Hobie 18's. Then to the Hobie 21SE. The type of sailing, experience, weight/size, are all factors to consider. The 16's are fun, I think easier to pitchpole, but that could go back to the weight factor. As I grew, I needed the additional weight capacity, and buoyancy, so I moved to the H18. Sailing is more fun with more crew. As our family grew, I needed more capacity, I moved to the Hobie 21 SE. The set-up time can also be a factor. I can solo-step the mast for the H16 and H18, but the H21SE takes 4 to step. You don't have stay with one or the other. Find someone to sail with on each, trying them out before you commit. It is not a lifetime commitment. Buy it, try it, sell it?

    --
    Todd Elozory
    H18
    H21SE
    Hobie Mirage Tandem Island
    Catalina 22
    Thonotosassa, Florida
    --
  • You're going to get as many different answers as there are members on beachcats, because our preferences are deeply personal.

    So my .02: There are a zillion 16s out there (okay, so it's less than half a million, but still), and fewer 18s, but still a big number. Myself, I never much cared for the way 16s sail - it's a symmetrical (18) vs. asymmetrical (16) hull thing. I always just found tacking 16s to be unpleasant. And I loved my 18 to death - a real hard-rockin' boat, and although I almost never used the wings, it was a lot of fun when they were mounted up and I could take out a crowd. You don't have that "expansion option" with the 16. Also worth noting is that 1987 is a very good year for 18s - that's when they made the switch to the H17 rudder castings, which won't explode rather than kick up, as the old 18s did once they got a few years on them (the photo confirms you have the new style). So I'd say without a doubt: Of the two, get the 18.

    Or get a SuperCat/ARC boat, since you are in Minnesota. Aquarius is in Wyoming, half an hour from Stillwater. Tom's a great guy - go pay him a visit.

    --
    Southern Alberta and all over the damn place.
    *
    1983 SuperCat 19
    TriFoiler #23 "Unfair Advantage"
    Mystere 17
    H18 & Zygal (classic) Tornado - stolen and presumed destroyed by evil people. Very unpleasant story.
    Invitation and Mistral and Sunflower and windsurfers w/ Harken hydrofoils and god knows what else...
    --
  • condition condition condition
    both boats are great for their intended design but both are known for condition issues in older boats

    delamination is the main issue, softness in the hulls in high load areas can be real issues - so push on the boats you look at, feel every inch for a "floating" outer skin that has separated from the core / inner layers

    a high % of older hobies will probably have some
    run away from any that have a lot of delam or any delam in front of the front beam

    all descriptions above are spot on
  • 18 all the way. Even though it's bigger, the 18 is a much more forgiving boat especially when it comes to tacking. And even though it has boards they are not as deep and are slightly raked back. Should you find yourself not paying attention, you are less likely to do serious damage as deep, high aspect ratio boards. They also have a furling jib and will sail okay with just the main. Try sailing a 16 without a jib! If this is a first cat and it absolutely has to be a Hobie why not consider one of the roto molded ones. Boardless, tack better than a 16, more resistant to impact and pitch poling. Delamination would be a non-issue. These discussions always make me wonder, with all the effort Mr. Alter put into designing the 16, why he didn't see the one obvious big flaw: Not enough hull volume.

    --
    Bill Townsend
    G-Cat 5.7
    Sarasota
    --
  • And I'll third the comments above on costs: The general definition of a sailboat is "a depression in the water into which money is thrown", and you can simulate cat sailing by taking off your clothes, getting into a shower blasting freezing water, and hurling yourself against the walls as violently as possible while tearing up hundred-dollar bills.

    Old used boats are money and effort sinks, to be sure. When I bought my '87 H18 ($3500 Canadian without a trailer, a little high but not outrageous, considering the circumstances) a little under 20 years ago, it was in very good shape. Still, over the next ten years I spent another $5000 on it. Yes, there were a few big-ticket items, like a used trailer, a second mast (it came with a comptip and I wanted an all-Al), and three Oxen blocks. But the rest was mostly the small stuff that just added up over time, though it was (again) aggravated by our circumstances: That the boat was at a cottage in Ontario and I had less than a month with it each year while on holidays, so over the winters I tended to overbuy stuff in anticipation and to try to avoid being stuck without something I needed. Anyway, not typical, but illustrative.



    Edited by jonathan162 on Jul 01, 2021 - 12:56 PM.

    --
    Southern Alberta and all over the damn place.
    *
    1983 SuperCat 19
    TriFoiler #23 "Unfair Advantage"
    Mystere 17
    H18 & Zygal (classic) Tornado - stolen and presumed destroyed by evil people. Very unpleasant story.
    Invitation and Mistral and Sunflower and windsurfers w/ Harken hydrofoils and god knows what else...
    --
  • Quote you can simulate cat sailing by taking off your clothes, getting into a shower blasting freezing water, and hurling yourself against the walls as violently as possible while tearing up hundred-dollar bills.

    icon_rolleyes icon_rolleyes icon_rolleyes icon_rolleyes icon_rolleyes
    LOL

    QuoteWhen I bought my '87 H18 ($3500 Canadian without a trailer, a little high but not outrageous, considering the circumstances) a little under 20 years ago, it was in very good shape. Still, over the next ten years I spent another $5000 on it.

    My h16 was $1200 - fair deal - sold it for the same amount
    my h18 was $400 - good deal - guy just purchased a mystere 6.0 (i now own) and needed the h18 out of his front yard

    sold it for $1200 2 years later when I purchased my mystere 5.5



    Edited by MN3 on Jul 01, 2021 - 01:51 PM.
  • On the other hand, I got my Tornado for free out there, so the universe does tend to balance things out - maybe it's some kind of catamaran entropy.



    Edited by jonathan162 on Jul 01, 2021 - 06:07 PM.

    --
    Southern Alberta and all over the damn place.
    *
    1983 SuperCat 19
    TriFoiler #23 "Unfair Advantage"
    Mystere 17
    H18 & Zygal (classic) Tornado - stolen and presumed destroyed by evil people. Very unpleasant story.
    Invitation and Mistral and Sunflower and windsurfers w/ Harken hydrofoils and god knows what else...
    --
  • Thank you all for the thoughtful feedback. We are leaning towards the H18 as it seems it fit our needs and what we intend to use the boat for better. We are checking an H18 out tonight and will use a lot of this advice, so thank you!

    Any thoughts on the price listed, $2500 for an '87 with trailer, wings, sails (one has a small hole from mice that will be repaired before purchase)?
  • Can't comment on stateside prices, but since you said "an H18" and not "the H18" it's not clear whether the one you listed above is the one you're looking at. If not, I consider the old style rudder castings to be a deal stopper. They're going to break and will be expensive/difficult to upgrade, since the 17 and 18 are long out of production.

    --
    Southern Alberta and all over the damn place.
    *
    1983 SuperCat 19
    TriFoiler #23 "Unfair Advantage"
    Mystere 17
    H18 & Zygal (classic) Tornado - stolen and presumed destroyed by evil people. Very unpleasant story.
    Invitation and Mistral and Sunflower and windsurfers w/ Harken hydrofoils and god knows what else...
    --
  • If this boat has the old rudder castings I still wouldn't let it be a deal stopper. They can fail without warning but that's unlikely. If they've lasted this long they'll probably be okay. Rudder castings and rudders usually get damaged by doing something like getting pushed backwards while going out through surf or loading them up sailing with them not down all the way.

    --
    Bill Townsend
    G-Cat 5.7
    Sarasota
    --
  • Not trying to go off on a tangent, but...

    The original 18 rudder mechanisms were evil. That's why they got replaced. They'll work properly for years, then one day you'll hit something and instead of kicking up the lower castings will just shatter, regardless of how well you cared for them. And as much as you stare at them after that, you can never quite manage to figure out how they ever worked in the first place, because the vectors are all wrong and there's just no reason for that roller to have ever ramped out of the lock. I can't tell you how many of those things I've seen blown. Any 18 that still has them is simply a failure waiting to happen, and then you and the boat are SOL until you can track down a used set of the new version, because I don't think Hobie supplies them anymore, and if they do they'll set you back half the cost of your boat.

    --
    Southern Alberta and all over the damn place.
    *
    1983 SuperCat 19
    TriFoiler #23 "Unfair Advantage"
    Mystere 17
    H18 & Zygal (classic) Tornado - stolen and presumed destroyed by evil people. Very unpleasant story.
    Invitation and Mistral and Sunflower and windsurfers w/ Harken hydrofoils and god knows what else...
    --
  • That's pretty steep. I got a h20 1991 for 1500 in good condition. Needed a new mainsail.
  • If you can get the one in the photos for $2500, it’s not a bad deal, ( and if $2500 is ask, you should be able to bargain a few hundred $, or get harnesses, life jackets, spares etc).
    Only one photo, but the hulls look in good shape. Just make sure ALL the parts are present, try to have the owner rig it for you, both to make sure everything is present, & see how it’s done. Bring an experienced buddy along.
    Wings are worth $$, they are not so easy to find, & easily worth $400, especially if the tramps on them are in good shape.

    --
    Hobie 18 Magnum
    Dart 15
    Mystere 6.0XL Sold Was a handful solo
    Nacra 5.7
    Nacra 5.0
    Bombardier Invitation (Now officially DEAD)
    Various other Dock cluttering WaterCrap
    --

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