I'll be moving by Lake Michigan in a year or year-and-a-half. I want to get into cat sailing as soon as I'm there. Currently, I am doing okay with my Sunfish, ideal for the current venue. I just wish I had gotten the race version; I might do some upgrades on her sails.
I almost bought a beaten Laser yesterday but then passed. I wanted it as I lack the experience in utilizing cunningham, traveller, outhaul system, and etc... However, after talking with you folks, I realized I might not even have to get into those features ever as it looks like my first cat possibly won't have a boom - Perhaps a cunnigham and a traveller for the mast.
I'm always on the market for used deals. As many new sailboats require ordering months in advance nowadays, I've started the market search for new boats a little too early. I don't think some boats on my list can even be ordered anymore.
I will test ride the Wave for a few times and make a decision based on that experience. Meanwhile, if I find an H14 in good condition, that will put an end to the search of course, regardless her boom.
I like the Wave, but I think I'll outgrow her fast, just like how I've outgrown my Sunfish.
Edited by sun on Nov 28, 2022 - 02:03 PM.
Every cat i have seen has a downhaul (cunningham), even though the hobie 16's have a very lackluster one and not sure what a traveler "for the mast is", but if you mean a traveler on the boom (Outhaul), - boomless boats (typically) have multiple holes on the sail leach (where the blocks are hung) to act as an outhaul (inboard placement for a fuller sail, outboard for a flatter sail). the disadvantage with that setup is the inability to modify this on the fly (typically flat for upwind and full for downwind)
SOME (very few) boomless cats have a small track built into the sail to create an outhaul -
Downhaul and outhaul (and traveler) setting are used to power up or down the sails
EDIT: "(inboard placement for a fuller sail, outboard for a flatter sail)." I think i got this backwards: - pretty sure it is inboard for a flatter sail (as this would pull the sail taught), outboard for a fuller sail (as this would pull the sail in/add curve/shape)
Edited by MN3 on Nov 29, 2022 - 07:51 AM.
Your weight, I believe, is the first consideration. You can make the boat set-up as simple or complicated as you wish. I think the Wave could be a good contender for starting out. Once you get comfortable with experience, jump up to something with more horsepower (which does add to rigging and derigging times and "junk on the tramp"). Maybe consider a Hobie 17? You can add a jib down the road, or keep it as-is. It really depends on what you are going to do with the boat and what "features" you would like. I have raced a few of boomless boats (Nacra 5.8, Nacra 5.0, Nacra 6.0) and they have pros and cons. I am toying with setting up my modified Prindle 18-2 with a boomless main for cruising and farting around.
Prindle Fleet 2
Prindle 18-2 Mod "FrankenKitty"
Tornado Classic "Fast Furniture"
Prindle 19 "Mr. Wiggly"
Nacra 5.8 "De ja vu"
Tornadoes (Reg White)
You explained what I meant to say way better than I had. For example, with the Wave, there is only downhaul line and mainsheet. But the downhaul line is for only tensioning while setting up.
I meant this with the traveller:
You mean the holes at the clew?
Edited by sun on Nov 28, 2022 - 04:03 PM.
I'd be trying to think a bit longer term, if you're going to be sailing with a club at Lake Michigan, see if you can suss out what the majority sail, and work from there. It's far more enjoyable to sail something similar to the other members and at least being socially competitive without having to be over the top competitive. I know I wouldn't enjoy sailing as much a Hobie wave in a fleet of H14/16/Nacra 450's etc, similarly for sailing a H14 in a fleet of A Class and Taipans.
I think you'll out grow the Hobie Wave quickly.
1335 XTSea Nacra 5.8 NA
605 Nacra 4.5
Cleveland Yacht Club
I'll take a vacation there this summer, see the fleets around, and test whatever they have as rentals. I think I started the search a little too early. For now, I'll go back to my Sunfish and upgrade the sails.
I'll be back. ;)
Edited by sun on Nov 28, 2022 - 09:33 PM.
Hi "sun", I was in your shoes and was looking for cats in the 14 ranges such as RS, Topaz, etc. Yes the H16 are easily accessible but a friend of mine had to be rescued with hypothermia because he tipped and couldn't get it back up too. It's a real risk on the great lakes.
Anyway, I started on a Prindle 18 and it was a blast. Though I had to call for help a few times when I tipped it until I was able to right it solo using a waterbag. It wasn't easy but it was do-able with a struggle and I'm about 180lbs.
After having some hull soft spots, I traded it in for a H14 Turbo and that was a blast. BUT similar to you, I'm sailing Lake Huron, and these big lakes are a little overpowering for the H14T. Yeah I was going very fast and at the same time I pitchpoled it many times, forward, sideways, backwards, etc. But since that boat was so light I was able to just bring it up in seconds with no issues at all.
This summer I sailed a few boomless 15 footers Hobie Playcat, Nacra in Europe and really like them but aren't able to buy them in the States. I really like the boomless feature.
So I was checking out new RS, Topaz, Nacra, etc. but was able to find a Nacra F16 which is very stable and buoyancy. However, I did flip it once and wasn't able to right it solo. This is a very concern of mine as well.
Since you didn't mention where you going to sail Lake Michigan, check out the Catamaran Sailing Association of Michigan and Wisconsin, CRAM https://cramsailing.com/ or CRAW https://crawracing.org/. This is a very nice group of sailors and always would welcome you if you want to crew and learn at the same time. This might give you a good idea on what you want.
The downhaul on the wave (like other hobies) is a simple cleat on the mast. You tie off the line to the cleat, around the sail grommet and then cleated (making this a 2:1). this is adjustable on the fly (tensioned hard for upwind, and loosened for downwind) by uncleatting and resetting - that being said it will be hard to do on the fly without crew
page 21 - https://media.hobie.com/d…bie_Wave_Manual_2020.pdf
Edited by MN3 on Nov 29, 2022 - 10:29 AM.
It is possible - but not the most convenient with the stock setup.
they sell kits to upgrade from the stock 2:1 to more purchases for easier setting
you can change out the stock cleat for a clam cleat, this would make securing it much easier
you can even run the downhaul line down the mast, to the beam, to a turning block, to each side for skipper adjustments on the fly
I have sailed beachcats for over 20 years and mostly solo
my big cats (5.5 and 6.0) are much more complex to manage than a wave (including with spinnakers) and it is all possible - but it is a lot to manage, esp for a newbie
I wouldn't worry about getting "tired of" or outgrowing a wave if that is the best boat for you, they are a fine choice - but not the highest of performance and can be easily sold when you are ready to upgrade
I figured that out.
You see, as my Sunfish has recreational sails, I have only mainsheet and tiller. I have no experience in outhaul and cunningham adjustments. I thought Wave was like that too, but now, I know that I can stop and adjust the downhaul tension on Wave when I wish to. I mean I knew it was there, but never look at it as a control line as the tension is not adjustable on the go with the standard set up. From the way I explain things, you possibly notice how much I still have to learn. Getting there, one line at a time...
So...the boomless set up will have cunningham and perhaps multiple holes on the sail leach (where the blocks are hung) to act as an outhaul. Still, I don't need to buy a Laser to figure them out; it seems to me that on the simple / beginner cats I consider, there are not many tedious adjustments - pretty straightforward process that will possible require a quick stop singlehanded. That was what I meant to say earlier - and at the time, I was not aware of half the info here either.
I will upgrade the recreational sail on my Sunfish with a race sail, which has cunningham and outhaul. I think I'll be good for now.
Thanks, man. You really helped.
Edited by sun on Nov 29, 2022 - 10:34 PM.
I was just checking out a similar upgrade:
By the way, bottom link is a similar traveler to the one I was talking about earlier:
If I can find a used Wave, I'll have no problem with outgrowing it as I can sell it for a similar price.
To be honest, I've started to lean toward sticking with monohull dingies when solo-ing. I think I better find a like-minded crew for the catamaran fun - at least, until I have enough experience.
Edited by sun on Nov 29, 2022 - 05:14 PM.
You shouldnt need a new "race" sail for the Sunfish to upgrades you noted - the "hacks"you're taliking about can be found on Lee Montes Youtube Channel.
Sunfish is a very simple but yet very fun little boat.
Edited by JohnES on Nov 29, 2022 - 02:52 PM.
I think I watched all of his videos. I need to replace the sails regardless. He is drilling the boom, which I don't want to do. So...I will buy a race boom and new sails - that's the plan.
I love the Sunfish too. Thanks for the tip, man.
Edited by sun on Nov 29, 2022 - 05:34 PM.
How about a Prindle 16? It is the same as the 18, but they can be easily rigged and sailed solo, will not pitch-pole like a Hobie 16 or 14, and they were built like tanks.
Plenty of them for sale here in the classifieds and on Craigslist.
Edited by JohnES on Nov 29, 2022 - 04:17 PM.
This list is based on users active over the last 60 minutes.