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Would I be crazy to buy a Hobie FX One?  Bottom

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  • I am 55 years old and went catamaran sailing (and sailing in general) for the first time ever a few weeks ago. It was just a Hobie Wave but I can feel it and I wanna learn how to sail cats, crew in races and if I eventually become skilled and confident enough, race my own boat.

    I want to buy a beach cat soon and stop paying rental fees. I've been talking to some folks at the yacht club where I sailed about this and the consensus is that I should get an H16.

    I'm a technically-minded guy and tend to question orthodoxy, but at the same time I appreciate wisdom and don't wanna be the new guy with a big head who buys a boat thats way out of league and ends up getting trashed by it. Which brings us to the FX One.

    I've been watching Joseph Bennet on youtube and doing other research and I've come to think an FX One would be a more interesting first buy than an H16.

    It's designed as a single hander, but can fly a jib and a kite, and has daggerboards. I'm disciplined and I could resist the temptation to get more sail out than i can handle. I'd be happy to sail with just the main for as long as it took to get that right, AND I could sail it with experienced crew to help me learn the boards and kite over time. As I understand it I could leave the jib furled and just leave the boards on the beach at first, It seems less prone to pitchpolling, resembles the bigger racing cats that I could crew on, so I could be gaining comfort there (boards specifically). It seems reasonable to right single handed and maneuver on the beach.

    When I watch videos of the same guy sailing the H16 and the FX One, the H16 seems like a much more difficult boat to handle just from its twitchiness and desire to pitchpoll.

    Being single handed I could maximize my time on the water since I'd never have to wait out a good day for lack of crew. It seems like a great platform to learn basic technique, as well as learn the more technical stuff over time, with a modern hull design.

    I have read conflicting information about whether an H16 is easy to learn single handed, and about whether one person can right it. I'm 160lbs btw.

    Would I be crazy to get an FX One instead of an H16 for a first cat? If so, why? I want to understand the advantage of learning on the H16 and the disadvantage of learning on the FX One.

    Edited by rjo on Oct 02, 2021 - 11:03 AM.
  • I'm 55 and got an H16 as my first cat. Technically my second and third cats, but I've not gotten my Supercat 17 on the water yet.

    I'm about to try single handing my H16 for the first time. I think I'm ready. I'll be doing the first solo run in only 10kts or so. Just working on building confidence.

    So I think an H16 is a decent choice. I have no idea about an FX One.

    The H16 has a jib and a main. I don't think I'd sail it with just the main. I know at least one experienced cat sailor who has no interest in a spinnaker. What's the rush with that?

    I'd learn to sail before you worry about racing.

    Where are you located?

    Edited by waiex191 on Oct 02, 2021 - 01:29 AM.

    Bryan in Poplar Grove, IL
    Supercat 17, unknown year. Future project
    Hobie 16, 1977 - died a spectacular death https://youtu.be/Y7O22bp2MVA
    Hobie 16, 1978 - current boat
  • No particular rush with respect to the spinnaker. When I buy something I usually reach a little and get a little more than I need. So it boils down to whether something like an FX One presents impediments to learning that an H16 does not, or if an H16 makes you a better sailor somehow.

    I'm also taking sailing lessons on regular old monohulls so I'm gonna learn a lot of sailing basics that way too, and plan to get myself to WildWind in Mauritius for 10-14 days if I can and sail with their instructors as much as possible on their cats to gain some basic skills and experience.
  • Have you found an Fx1? Not a lot in the states if that’s where you are. Not sure about parts, assume they are available but not sitting on your dealers shelf, probably ship from overseas. Resale in the states may be hard

    An F16 would meet your criteria as well as far as modern design, spin and 1up or 2up. Maybe a Nacra 17 as well

    A Hobie 16 may not be interesting but they are awesome. Well built, simple, available, plenty of us sail them solo and they aren’t the cartwheel machines they are made out to be if you keep an eye on that leeward bow.

    You have the benefit of having sailed before so probably have your mind a little made up already, best boat is the one that’s in your area and in good condition and in your budget with plenty left for all the unexpected. Any 16-18 foot cat is going to be a blast
  • Thanks jalex!

    I do have my eye on an FX One but who knows if I can make a deal. I have considered an F16, and I'm thinking about an A class too.

    I'm in Miami, and will be sailing in Biscayne Bay, and there are lots of H16s around so I might just go that way. I suppose that I just don't want to go through the hassle of selling it when I want to upgrade, which I almost certainly will.
  • Are you going to be sailing with a club/group? What do they sail? While not a requirement, it tends to be more fun sailing similar boats, even if you're just social sailing or social racing. If you're class racing that's another story.

    1335 XTSea Nacra 5.8 NA
    605 Nacra 4.5
    Cleveland Yacht Club
    Brisbane, AU
  • Don’t leave the daggerbords on the beach, the boat won’t sail well upwind, or won’t sail at all. Only one will work (i had one missing for a while). About rolling the jib, that’s good for strong wind, not necessarily to make it easier on normal conditions. I don’t know the fx-one but cats in general maybe hard to tack, especially with waves. The jib tends to help, you may find yourself back winding it often to be able to tack.
  • If you are thinking about one design racing in your area (socially or later competitively), the H16 would be the way to start IMHO. They seem to have the biggest fleets and decades of knowledge to draw on.

    However, if no racing or limited racing is in your future, I would opt for a more modern hull form. The F16 boats are light, fast and fun; boards are not an issue. You can sail main, main/jib, main/spinnaker or main/jib/spinnaker with one or two up so you sail at your comfort level.

    Beyond that, I would echo what was said earlier. Don't wait for the 'perfect' boat. Find something close, in good condition so you spend time on the water and not money on the boat. Then go sailing!! You'll soon find out what you like and don't like. If the boat is a keeper, great. If not, the right boat won't loose much value, sell it and move on to the next one because I am sure you will be hooked.


    Blade F-16
    Hobie 14
    Corsair F-242
    Mirage 25 (Sold)
    Hobie Tiger (Sold)
    Hobie Tiger (Sold)
    TomCat 6.2 (Sold)
  • I just saw the that FX1 Thursday. It's in excellent condition.
  • @johnoau, @dssaak The cat racing that I know of through the folks I've met here in Miami seems to be mainly bigger 20' boats and not a tight class group. I may discover thats not true but thats what I've picked up. They have a handicapping system to deal with the disparities. I definitely want something I can single hand so I'm hoping to crew on those boats and stay small for my ride.

    I guess what I'm wondering is whether something like the FX One would be much easier to get in trouble with than an H16, or if any of my intuitions about having a small racier platform giving me a chance to learn how to manage all that over time, while being able to sail with it configured for low power are reasonably sound.

    Thanks everyone for your input so far! I really appreciate it.
  • Other than the kite, I don’t see a big difference in sailing technique to be afraid of. Just don’t go out with wind above what you are comfortable with. Check what is the crew weight range for the boat and if you are in it go for it. What might be harder is to right it, get a water bag and make sure to learn how to right the boat. Raising the mast solo will also be tougher. And for any cat consider beach wheels, they make life easier.
  • Certainly not crazy to buy a FX-One!

    Only go for a H16 if you are into class racing or social sailing with the other H16´s in your area, as there seems to be plenty of them in your area.

    But, if you want to sail with more speed and be able to make the most of your single handing, go for the FX1 or some other boat that is up to date in sail/speed-enhancing advancement, F16, A-cat, Nacra 15 or even a F18 with downsized rig. The hazzle with a heavier boat will be to get it out or in from the shore and eventual problems if capzising.

    I am more than 10 years older than you and where into Tornado racing in my younger days. As I nowadays most of the time sail alone, I have a F18 converted Nacra 5.5. Single handing I use a Slingsby A-cat main(same luff length as F18) together with a Nacra F16 jib. The only culprit is the weight, when leaving shore and landing.

    Edited by revintage on Oct 03, 2021 - 01:58 PM.


    Frankentri 5.8/5.5/Inter20
    Aerow trimaran foiler

  • If you are solo sailing in open fleet racing and want something fast and light, any of the F16 boats is the way to go.

    F18, I20, Nacra 6.0, etc, etc ... only if you have steady crew I would think.


    Blade F-16
    Hobie 14
    Corsair F-242
    Mirage 25 (Sold)
    Hobie Tiger (Sold)
    Hobie Tiger (Sold)
    TomCat 6.2 (Sold)
  • F16s seem to be in very short supply!

    How bout the Topaz 16cx? I was just looking at those and they seem like a sweet spot. Light, seems easy to right solo, plastic hulls, skegs .. like a juiced up hobie wave (cuz the fx one im looking at is not responding so considering alternatives).
  • If soloing, I recommend you also consider raising the mast, moving the boat up/down the beach etc. Heavier boats/masts take their toll as we get older and the ability to manage the boat with little drama may be desirable (e.g. raising the mast, beaching, righting, etc).

  • Thanks James,

    I'm focusing on that quite a bit. I've been looking at the Topaz 14cx online and it seems to check a lot of these boxes. 243lbs fully rigged would make righting and beach movement much easier, and since its a beginners boat and has a spinnaker it seems like it would give me the room to grow that I'm looking for ... if I can find one.
  • @rjo - I'm one of the CABB sailors – we're gearing up for the Columbus Day Regatta this Saturday coming up.

    I imagine you've talked with John and the CABB crowd. The FX One looks good but I don't think there are many of those, and I don't see the option to buy new.

    The boat that _most_ people have for a mix of solo-ing and two-handed sailing is an F16, which you can get new or 2nd hand. There's enough F16s around that there's fleet racing (ie: yearly regattas in Clearwater or Sarasota).

    Myself, I've gotten a Nacra 15, just a tad smaller, which you can solo.

    I have a Whisper as well which I am selling. It is 18ft long, but super light (
  • Hi @martin_langhoff!

    I have not met with John just yet. Was hoping to meet him at Hobie Beach before he took of on the Fowey Rocks race but that got cancelled.

    Thats good input on the F16. I have looked and not seen many recent listings for them so I'll keep my eye out. I got fixated on the FX One due to a nice example thats currently listed but the owner is not responding so thats fading a bit. An F16 would scratch the same itch if I can find one. It would be cool to have a boat that fit into a fleet/class thats common around FL so thats great info. Thank You!
  • @rjo ... this 2nd part of the post got mangled:

    I have a Whisper as well which I am selling. It is 18ft long, but super light (less than 200lbs) and is a super-forgiving foiling cat - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vF-CfhuTDiU and here's a full playlist including lots of soloing: https://www.youtube.com/w…FSSxvsRftKCIA58&index=21

    IMHO the Nacra 17 is an absolute beast, and I would not consider it for soloing.
  • Here is an F16 listed 25 days ago.


    Pete Knapp
    Schodack landing,NY
    Goodall Viper,AHPC Viper,Nacra I20

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