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Best Cat for single handing  Bottom

  • Some background, I'm not a "know it all" but I've been a Hobie sailor/racer since the 70's H-16 #94. While in Puerto Rico, along with the Hawaiians we were the people Hobie used to come see when the first boats were breaking in the wind and surf. I raced for years and was also a Hobie dealer for 8+years. I mention this to avoid wasting the time of good intentioned people giving a primer on cats.

    I've been away from cats for about 20 years and want back in. My crew probably doesn't still have the zeal I have so there will be sailing days solo. I know, with the exception of some exotic additions, that righting a 16 or 18 is not a solo option. So that said I'm soliciting opinions on what's available today. Something that will sail well with 2 people but managed by a solo sailor if necessary.

    Any comments on the Hobie Wave or Getaway as a choice? Maybe Prindle 15 or 16?

  • I've got a Prindle 16. Sails similar to a H16, but a lot more forgiving (and comfortable). Flipping the P16 isn't as easy as the H16.
    But for righting the P16 has the same issues as the Hobie 16.
    A few people in my club can right their H16 solo, but they are 250lbs+ and usually use a water bag.

    What about using a mast float and/or water bag?
  • getaway is considered to be too heavy for solo righting but a righting pole may change that, (and for many other 16-17 foot boats)

    a wave is apparently pretty easy to solo right

    both are pretty indestructible with their heavy roto-molded hulls but are not as sporty as they could be because of that weight

    prindles are no longer made, i think, but that means a good 2nd hand one would be cheap

    for a new boat to go fast there is the inter17 or even the nacra blast

    do you want a spinnaker, where are you in the world and how much do you weigh?

    eric e
  • I live in Florida. Been off cats since 1985 when I moved to California and took up offroad MC racing.

    I'm getting the itch to sail but times are different not. When we raced we were hard core, a rare occassion for us to just play.

    My crew and wife is interested in sailing but not with the idea of going back to racing. She's been beat up plenty of times and those are now just memories and Xrays for her.

    I'd be interested in a day sailor, never thought I'd say that, but I'm having lingering thoughts that I'll miss the thrill of the speed. On the other hand I'm realistic and I don't want something I can't right by myself. Water bags and such may work but the reality is if it is blowing I'll be upside down in the cypress trees of surf before I could deploy some apparatus. I ain't 40 any more! My wife raced a H-14 Turbo and it doesn't have the bouancy for two up. I'm about 180lb.

    The Wave is interesting but I've not heard many comments about the performance, righting it or seen hull flying photos.

  • Hobie 17 is going to be the cheapest platform if you can find one nearby. Simple and easy. As for righting, well you will need some apparatus for any boat at 180lbs. I know we all get into situations, but if is too windy (+20kts) you should never leave the hard. This is probably true with other unirigs, but during a big puff the boat will tend to round up, dumping air and depowering unless you force it downwind with rudders. The thing about the h17 is it is a sport boat and can be squirrely.
    There are a couple getaways that show up where I sail. I have never been on one but they look cush and stable. Cooler compartment is nice. On the 17 if it is blowing more that 12-15 you will never get a chance to drink anyway.
    gataway can have wings also. Go to a dealer or beach and try to get a ride, that would be the best way to decide for yourself what you like.
  • If you are in Northern FL you might want to check out the new Nacra 500, haven't sailed it yet but it's a boardless 16 footer with a clean deck and features from the recreational and high tech cats.

    See at Key Sailing in Pensacola, FL
    Shameless plug for one of my advertisers

    Damon Linkous
    1992 Hobie 18
    Memphis, TN

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  • I've been sailing Prindle 16's since the mid 80's. Back then I weighed in at about 175 and I could right my P-16 whenever I needed to. I really don't think there is a better or more fun cat made that you can single hand as well as have a crew. Plus it's faster than any H-16 I've run against yet.
  • If a P16 can be righted by a 175 lb sialor, then I'd say 'go for that.'

    There is a class of cats called F16HP and those cats can be sailed by one or crew of two, while being able to be righted solo.

    Nice to see that this forum is taking off!


  • Seeing is believing. See two men and a girl having fun on a Hobie Bravo.

  • Hi : I sailed a P-16 for 5 years on the ocean in surf & high winds & I was never able to right it myself . Maybe my cat was heavier (or water logged ??) than the one owned by the guy who said he could right his alone. I could not right it alone & I am a 185 lb gorilla ! Check it out by renting one & see for yourself before you buy . I have a friend that sails a Dart 18 & he always rights it alone . He weighs about 190 , is powerful & over 6' tall... Check it out !
    I sail a P-19 when ever I can get crew & that boat is a blast. When I can't get crew, I sail a Flying Scot 19'(all year round ) & it is fast .I get it to plane off the wind all the time . The boat can be sailed easily solo or with some crew.I also fly a spinniker when I have knowledgable crew . The main can be reefed & the jib taken down easily when the wind kicks up & I out sailing . That makes the boat safe & easy to handle ! The shape of the hull makes it a dry sailing boat when other sailors are getting drenched ! The best feature of the boat is the retactable center board because I can sail in 6" of water & not go aground ! So if you are looking for a great mono hull check out the Flying Scot ! . Bill, Brooklyn NY
  • NaviGator,

    I sailed a Hobie 16 for 10+ years and never had any problem righting it solo, whenever I went over in 20+ winds. Just getting the mast into the wind, with it blowing on the tramp, my 170lbs. was fine once the mast was out of the water. Just be sure you jump to the windward hull before it blows over downwind. The Hobie Bravo looks too much like a toy; check out a Mystere 4.3, I almost bought one after seeing how much boat it was in a small package.



    Has a skeg keel, like the Nacra 500, but might be smaller and lighter, that is if you can find one. Otherwise go with the Nacra 500 - great boat.

    I'm still trying to figure out a method to right my 360lb. Nacra 5.2 solo. Last fall, (mid. Nov.) I was aided by a nearby fisherman. Whew!
  • RAD5.2NaviGator,

    The Hobie Bravo looks too much like a toy;

    The Bravo works beautifully. One person or two.
  • I've been sailing the Dart 18 with and without my girlfriend for a while now. In the culb I'm sailing on the northsea in Holland, and most sailors have a Dart 18. The reason is that it is possible to raise it with only my 70 kilos, is easy to operate and works well with a 2 person crew up to 170 kilos (i guess that is about 170 pounds per person)
    Check youtube and search for dart 18...
  • I bought a new Getaway 2 years ago. It's the wrong boat if you'll be sailing solo very often, which unfortunately is my situation. My sailing circle has evaporated, so solo sailing has become the norm, and the Getaway is just the wrong boat. It takes two strong men to pull it up into the dunes, even with the wheels. And in the surf its weight is way too much for one person to handle. The bow gets turned by the surf, so you need a person at the bow and the stern. I usually ask for help from someone on the beach, and if no one's available, then I'm stuck. On the plus side, it's a REALLY comfortable boat. I love the boomless sail and especially the wings. It's plenty fast and with the big jib you can execute a great roll tack. But I can say honestly that I am not comfortable sailing it solo, especially since I launch through the surf. Guess I need to find a new boat. Any thoughts?
  • Just carry a righting bag and you can right anything 20' or less

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