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  • Greetings!

    I'm getting into sailing. I'm actually about to take some certification courses aboard a 30-ish foot monohull (my hope being that I can someday rent a boat and sail around the Mediterranean and/or Caribbean for a few weeks at a time). That said, my goal locally (Charleston, S.C.) is to get into a speedy beachcat, like a Hobie 18. I don't think that's the first step, though. That seems like it'd be a super-intimidating first boat.

    Once I have some knowledge and experience sailing the large monohull, what should my first cat be? I'll most likely be a crew of one (6'1", 175 lbs.). I'm trying to find something used in the $2,000-$3,000 range that's stable, relatively simple to set up, and light enough that I can tow it behind my Nissan sedan. Obviously, I'd like it to be as fast and fun as possible, but I understand that some of the things that make certain boats ideal for beginners will also rob them of performance.

    The two things I'm looking at right now are the Hobie Wave and Hobie Bravo. It looks like the Wave is probably more exciting, but it's also a fair amount more expensive ($3,000-$5,000 for the Wave, $2,000-$2,500 for the Bravo). Is it worth the difference? Are there any other brands/models I should be looking at?

    Thanks in advance!
  • Unless you're handicapped or over 70, forget the Hobie Wave or Bravo; get a Prindle 16 or H-16, reef them if it's blowing and get out there. Did we have a choice in the '70's or early 80's. No, we capsized, pitchpoled and generally scared ourselves so that we could handle bigger stuff. Pete
  • +1 on what Pete said. For the price, performance, ease of sailing, and overall grin factor, the P16 or the H16 simply can't be beat.

    --
    Tim
    81 Hobie 16
    87 Nacra 5.7
    Austin, TX
    --
  • You're receiving good advice, the boats you've mentioned probably won't satisfy the desire for speed you're looking for. The 16 footers, Prindlle, Hobie, Nacra, will provide the thrill, and meet the rest of your requirements. And are common enough to find in your price range. A bigger boat, like the H18, isn't a lot faster, just offers more load carrying capacity, with the same great rush. These 16s are boats that can be managed solo or with crew, the larger boats are designed for two(for max performance), are better rigged, manhandled, and righted by two. Bigger boats CAN be soloed, but with advanced skills and sensitivity, and an acceptance of the consequences of mishap.

    Learning on a cat is no harder than a mono, you just need to be cautious about going out/being caught out, in bigger breeze, before you have sufficient boat handling skills. Learn the boat's handling in light air, find another ailor if you can. Work up gradually to stronger winds.
    Or just go out, crash around until you get it figured out. Just do it somewhere where rescue/ assistance is available. Search this forum for discussions about righting the boat, it will be an issue for you solo. But you can quickly gain the needed knowledge and skill that will reward you hugely, first by having learned to sail, a joy in itself. And then particularly when you get to the point where you can confidently drive it powered up. Big fun is in your near future!

    And this is a wonderfully supportive community here on beachcats, your beginners questions will be generously received and replied to. We're always interested in nurturing a new catsailor.

    Dave
  • This is the part where people will probably get upset with me.

    The reason I wanted to ultimately move to a Hobie 18 is they have less of a reputation for pitchpoling than the 16. I had a near-death experience (in my mind, at least) in a sinking Optimist when I was about 9 or 10, and the thought of being stranded in a capsized boat in open water terrifies me. I understand it's a fear I'm going to have to overcome (and that's part of the reason I'm doing this), but I'd rather not spend the first few times out on a cat having massive panic attacks as I try to right my boat. That's why I wanted to look at something like a Hobie Wave or Bravo: they'd probably be easier to keep upright, and I could re-acclimate myself to the water.

    That said, I'd love to go straight to the fun of a 16-footer. Of the ones listed, which is the most stable? Which is the easiest to transport and set up?
  • QuoteOf the ones listed, which is the most stable? Which is the easiest to transport and set up?

    hobie and prindle 16's are about the same and both easy to rig and pretty easy to solo right

    read the H18 thread (esp the end) to see how hard the boat is to solo rig, move around and forget solo righting without at least a righting bag
  • Water is water. The only difference the boat makes when going overboard is if you can right it, and if you can get back in it. Capsize in surf-- different story. I can capsize the Laser without even getting wet. Coming from Laser I've not capsized my Hobie 18 yet but I'm prepared for it when it does happen. I expect to do it when I have crew and when it's warm. When I do capsize it with crew I will work solo, crew watching, using my righting pole to see if I can do it myself before enlisting crew help. If I can do it myself then when I am solo on the boat I'll have no worries. Much of this is knowing what can be done before it happens. Don't fear capsize in dingy. That can be half the fun on warm days with friends. You can read about my H18 experiences here including making a gin pole and self stepping the H18 mast.. but really if you're thinking 30' monohull as I am.... stick with that. I see 30' mono's for under $5,000 and they are a lot less work setting up every time you want to go sailing. Go to marina, turn on motor and go. But is is kinda fun going fast in a cat..... so many options.. 16 is probably better for solo...

    http://www.thebeachcats.c…ms/viewtopic/topic/15482

    --
    Goodsailing

    Laser-Standard Rig (Sold 6/15)
    H18 (Sold 7/15)
    Building 19' Tacking Outrigger
    Balt-Wash Area
    --
  • Nothing to fear. Get with a cat sailor or any sailor who knows the boat and go an capsize it. It can actually be refreshing if you've been sailing for hours and are hot... or in some cases.. need to take a leak! icon_lol

    --
    Goodsailing

    Laser-Standard Rig (Sold 6/15)
    H18 (Sold 7/15)
    Building 19' Tacking Outrigger
    Balt-Wash Area
    --
  • Hobie 16 & Prindle 16 are not pretty much the same! Prindle 16 is 40 #'s lighter yet has much more voluminous bow. No jib battens to snag on halyard when tacking. Composite rudders that don't break. Deck lip allowing footloops to be installed for easier beach maneuvering & handling. Plentiful parts available. Drive if you have to, but just find one. Pete
  • So the Hobie and the Prindle are options. I'll do some more research on Nacras, but I'd welcome anything you guys could tell me about them.
  • I have one, & its big brother, the 5.7. The Nacra 5.0 (or 500) would be a great beginning Cat. Stable, resistant to PP, uncluttered tramp, no boom, no boards.
    Unless I wanted to get into class racing, or was going to sail it onto the beach everyday, I would take my N5.0 over an H16 anyday. You really have to work at it to make a 5.0 PP, & will carry 2 people your size quite well.
    The Hobie dealer tried to talk me into a Bravo a number of years ago, & actually dropped one at my door for a weekend. It's only a kids boat, kids who outgrew the Opti. It was neither fast, nor exciting, even beginner sailors could beat it with my old Bombardier Invitation.
    I would not knock the Hobie Wave, they are lots of fun, forgiving as Hell, VERY easy to setup solo, & right when you flip it.
    Given your comments, it would be a very good starting point. I think you will outgrow it, so if you get one, realize you may be selling it in a year or two.



    Edited by Edchris177 on May 20, 2015 - 03:21 PM.

    --
    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
    --
  • In the Nacra line, you'd probably be looking at a 5.0, 5.2, or a 5.5. All have more bow volume than the H16/P16s, so are less prone to pitchpoling. However, they are more complex (i.e. diamond wires, barber haulers, etc), and typically cost more. Also, the Nacra's are higher performance boats, so they'll be more of a handful when you're starting.

    My advice would be to do a season (or two) on a H16 or P16 to hone your skills at a minimum investment. Once you're comfortable with it, you can sell it for probably as much as you paid for it. At that point move up to a higher performance boat, i.e. the Nacra line, a H18, P18/19, etc.. You'll have a much better idea of the features that you want, and can make an educated decision on which performance ride you purchase.

    As others have said, either the H16 or P16 will easily provide you with the thrill of going fast and flying a hull. They'll also carry a crew member so that you'll be at ease when (not if) you capsize. Once you go swimming a couple of times you'll see that's it's really no big deal. Once you get your head wrapped around that, you'll start to push the boat and REALLY experience the thrill.

    Good luck!!

    --
    Tim
    81 Hobie 16
    87 Nacra 5.7
    Austin, TX
    --
  • pbegleHobie 16 & Prindle 16 are not pretty much the same! Prindle 16 is 40 #'s lighter yet has much more voluminous bow. No jib battens to snag on halyard when tacking. Composite rudders that don't break. Deck lip allowing footloops to be installed for easier beach maneuvering & handling. Plentiful parts available. Drive if you have to, but just find one. Pete


    Okay, I've seen this posted like ten separate times now, and I can't take it anymore, so although I'll probably regret it, I'll bite in the interest of noob education. (If nothing else the noob will learn how much we all like our boats!)

    The 40# difference (when new) is incorrect if compared to H16s manufactured since 1983. Besides, I'll wager that none of the old boats weigh the same as when they left the factory.....and there's a lot more material in those voluminous P16 hulls to get waterlogged in ~35 years.

    Jib batten issue can be fairly easily resolved.

    EPO rudders on my H16 are just fine. Also, I'm pretty sure I have actually laid eyes on a broken P16 rudder.

    H16 has a deck lip as well.

    And......(drumroll).....the coup de grâce....for $2-$3K, the noob might even find a H16 that was manufactured during this century (ain't no such Prindle)!

    We all know you love your Prindles, Pete! icon_lol Peace, brother!



    Edited by rattlenhum on May 20, 2015 - 03:47 PM.

    --
    Jerome Vaughan
    Hobie 16
    Clinton, Mississippi
    --
  • QuoteHowever, they are more complex (i.e. diamond wires, barber haulers, etc), and typically cost more. Also, the Nacra's are higher performance boats, so they'll be more of a handful when you're starting.

    Diamond wires don't get in your way while sailing, they are a minor inconvienience when rigging/stepping the mast -
    barber haulers are not in the way, nor are they used often (only when going very deep downwind) - not a big deal
    "higher performance boats" - heck yea it is.. but we are not talking about strapping on a stick of tnt to a motorcycle to go faster... I would NEVER let the fact that it is a better and faster ride (thank a h or p 16) stop me from buying one

    I have sailed one - it rocked! and was great to solo rig (and right)



    Edited by MN3 on May 20, 2015 - 04:12 PM.
  • QuoteJib batten issue can be fairly easily resolved.

    EPO rudders on my H16 are just fine

    a. how did YOU resolve the jib batten hangup issue?
    b. epo's aren't stock (i believe) so it's not really accurate to add them to a cat to cat comparison - i broke many sets of (old and sunbaked) hobie rudders in my day. they broke very easily
  • Is one of them (Hobie 16, Prindle 16, Nacra 5.0) better for beach launching? My family still lives on the sea islands south of Charleston, so I have access to docks, ramps, and beaches. I've always imagined beach-launching from Seabrook Island (if that's allowed?).
  • QuoteIs one of them (Hobie 16, Prindle 16, Nacra 5.0) better for beach launching?

    all the same - all 5 meter (or about 16') boats, all close to the same weight
    all relatively easy to launch (compared to just about every catamaran)
    beach wheels will still make life much easier moving a cat on the beach -
  • quote]Diamond wires don't get in your way while sailing, they are a minor inconvienience when rigging/stepping the mast -[/quote]
    icon_lol

    QuoteI've always imagined beach-launching from Seabrook Island (if that's allowed?).

    You better find out first. No sense wasting time if you have no water access for beach launch a cat or from ramp which can be a problem launching from boat ramp if the wind is not favorable.



    Edited by goodsailing on May 20, 2015 - 07:36 PM.

    --
    Goodsailing

    Laser-Standard Rig (Sold 6/15)
    H18 (Sold 7/15)
    Building 19' Tacking Outrigger
    Balt-Wash Area
    --
  • Quotea cat or from ramp which can be a problem launching from boat ramp if the wind is not favorable.

    poooo pooooo
    i did it for years in downtown tampa (davis island boat ramp)
    if there is a will ... there is a way

    get the boat down the ramp, push it off - anchor and raise your main .... so easy a caveman could do it
  • I will stay out of the p16 versus H16 arena as much as possible here. I have one of each and find both have their place. The H16 is just plain awesome in light winds. It will sail on a breath. The downside it will pitchpole
    very easy. Flipped my P16 a couple of times but never a complete pitchpole like the H16. So on that note the P16 is quite a bit more stable a platform than the H16. Both seem about the same to right. I have always had two on board but we are a light crew. If heading out into the chop and strong winds I will take the P any day. That said pushing the H to its limits in weather is so much fun. As far as epo's, have you ever seen what happens when they are left on the tramp in the sun? Not that it is a good idea with any rudders.

    --
    Pete Knapp
    Schodack landing,NY
    AHPC Viper,Nacra I20,P18, P16,H16
    --

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