Found an interesting link today with quite a bit of history:
Hobie 16 (3 formerly)
MacGregor 25 (formerly)
Chrysler Dagger 14 (formerly)
NACRA 5.0 (currently)
High Point, NC
Hobie certainly didn't invent the catamaran. What he did was much more significant - he industrialized the catamaran manufacturing process in such a way that that they could be built in a large scale production environment and brought to the masses. This was undoubtedly aided by his use of molded composite fiberglass hulls - a process he helped pioneer. Oh yea, and his boats are really fun to sail, that certainly helped too....
If you go to YouTube and search "Hobie History" there is a really informative video on there showing how he started out making surfboards and even skateboards before venturing into the world of Catamarans. The idea was to build one that could be easily assembled and disassembled, or trailered, did not use dagger boards so that it could be launched from the beach.
1984 Hobie 16 Redline Yellow Nationals, "Yellow Fever"
Opelika, Al / Lake Martin
I found a book on Catamaran racing for the 1950's in a junk shop in St. Augustine. Some pretty modern looking cats in the mid 50's. The Uk really had a good grasp on a few production models, which surprises me given their cooler air and water temps and more rugged coastline.
The word catamaran is derived from a Tamil word from Sri Lanka/Ceylon meaning "bound wood" (something like "kattumaram") When Europeans began exploring the Pacific, they called the double hulled craft used by Pacific Islanders "catamarans," based on their familiarity with the boats from southern India (namely around Madras, which had no deep water port so passengers and cargo were carried over the waves on "kattumaram") and Sri Lanka.
If only the Pacific Islanders had come to America before Columbus, we might have been sailing cats all along...
Hey, all I know is that Cats are fun, fast, beautiful, and cool as hell!!! When I had a H14 I was 15 years old and I was the cool kid. Now I am 50 years old with a H16 and I am once again, the cool kid. I have realized that where I live now, nobody knows what a Hobie Cat or a catamaran is for that matter, hell, most people that I encounter have never even been sailing in their life. I find that very sad. I learned to sail when I was 10 years old. I guess I'm gonna be taking a few people sailing. Lol!!!
1984 Hobie 16 Redline Yellow Nationals, "Yellow Fever"
Opelika, Al / Lake Martin
I've read that some theories on the pacific islanders being populated by South America. Interestingly, they used a catamaran to get there from South America. However the Kon Tiki design wasn't all that hot going upwind.
Offering sails and other go fast parts for A-class catamarans
The Polynesians colonised the entire Pacific on multihulled craft, the concepts are 3000 years old....
here's what happened to Nat Herreshoff and his AMARYLLIS:
"A YACHTING WONDER.
SUDDEN DEVELOPMENT OF THE FASTEST CRAFT IN THE WORLD.
THE REVEILLE, SUSIE B., AMARYLLIS AND VICTORIA WIN THE SECOND CENTENNIAL REGATTA.
The second of the series of Centennial regattas was sailed yesterday, and was a perfect and entire success. The entries were restricted to yachts of fifteen tons and under, and if the weather had been made on purpose for a regatta of yachts of this size it could not have been improved in any one respect. There was just wind enough to develop all the best sailing qualities of the yachts, and not too much to permit of their carrying full sail. The wind blew steadily from one quarter all through the race, and the water was smooth. The entries were perhaps not as numerous as had been expected by some, but they included all the most famous flyers known to these waters, and the victors can truly claim to be the fastest vessels of their respective classes in the world. The nondescript, half-Catamaran [sic], half-Balsa and wholly life-raft constructed by Mr. Herreshoff, of Providence, whether ruled out by the judges or counted in, can justly claim to be the fastest thing of her inches under canvas that floats, and it is doubtful if there are any steamers of her size that could out-speed her in a straight reach with the wind abeam. Whether she is ruled out of this race or not need make but little difference to her owner, as he can justly lay claim to a medal and diploma of the Exposition as presenting the fastest sailing craft in the world: That she is this every one of the many thousand that witnessed her performance yesterday will admit.
From an early hour yesterday morning the little vessels that were to compete for the honors of the day began to arrive at the rendezvous, near the New York Yacht Club House on Staten Island, and each ferry-boat that arrived brought large numbers of people from the city to witness the race, which evidently attracted quite as much, if not more, interest than the one of the previous day between the large vessels. The gentlemen who comprise the sub-committee, and who have arranged all the details of this very successful affair, were early in attendance at the club-house. They are John M. Sawyer, Brooklyn Yacht Club, Chairman; O. E. Cromwell and M. Roosevelt Schuyler, Seawanhaka Yacht Club, and Sidney W. Knowles, Atlantic Yacht Club.
The bay in front of the club-house was all alive with craft of every description, and them all none attracted more attention than the schooner-yacht Magic, the winner of more annual regattas than any other schooner of the New York Yacht Club. She has been restored as near as possible to her old appearance when she raced for the Queen's Cup, in 1871, and has been put in perfect order. It is said that should the owner of the Comet desire a match with the Magic he can be
accommodated at any time and for any amount he may desire. Next to the Magic, the yacht Playful was the most noticed. She has been altered to a schooner, and looks as if she might be a most comfortable yacht to cruise in. As the time drew near for the start of the yachts several excursion steamers arrived from the city literally packed with passengers to witness the race. A small stake-boat was anchored just off from the club-house, and it was arranged that the start should be from a line drawn between this boat and the club house. Outside of this stake-boat was the yacht of Vice Commodore Kane, of the New York Yacht Club, dressed off with long lines of bunting, extending from trucks to sails, and here the starting gun was fired.
From this starting line the course was to and around a buoy off Coney Island point; thence to a stake-boat off Bay Ridge Dock; thence to a stake-boat off Robbin's Reef Light house and back to place of departure; this course to be sailed over twice, a distance of about twenty miles. There were in all thirty-five entries, and of these thirty-two were prompt at the starting line as follows:
No. Name. Length. Owner. Club.
46. Reveille 30.07 Frank Bates Long Island
50. Favorita 33.09 B. Brandt Williamsburg
12. Cricket 27.10 Doyle & Cullen Williamsburg
13. Leroy 27.10 W. Leroy Gen. Hudson
16. Susie S. 27.03 E. P. Miller Brooklyn
17. W. R. Brown 27.04 C. Brown Gen. Hudson
18. Greenpoint 28.00 P. O. Snow Williamsburg
19. Journeyman 28.06 R. M. McWhinney Columbia
21. Kate 28.00 G. Crolius Long Island
23. W. T. Lee 27.06 C. H. Cheever Brooklyn
25. Sophia Emma 21.10 J. Varian Manhattan
26. H. H. Holmes 22.08 Pavonia
27. Au Revoir 22.08 G. Heass Columbia
28. Tough 15.07 B. Carr Hud. River
29. Mary Emma 25.00 C. O. Iselin Seawanhaka
30. Almira 22.02 E. Alaire Bayonne
31. Clara S. 24.01 J. Stigler HUD River
33. Amaryllis 24.10 N. Herrshoff [sic] Providence
34. Addie Taylor 21.09 W. Taylor Pavonia
35. Pluck and Luck 24.08 J. Schmidt Williamsburg
36. Inspector 24.00 A. Brush Williamsburg
20. H. W. Beecher -..- - Mohegan
37. Maud 18.00 F. M. Scott Perth Amboy
38. Vinita 21.00 Farrington Atlantic
39. Florence 27.07 I. C. Fisher Red Bank
41. Foulton 26.07 - Pavonia
42. Frou-Frou 26.09 - Pavonia
43. Victoria 27.05 Thos. Fry Brooklyn
44. Fidget 27.11 J. Grinnell Gen. Hudson
45. Cynthia 29.00 E. P. Miller Brooklyn
48. Rebecca 34.00 J. C. Peabody Jersey City
22. Knight Templar 30 00 R. Donshea Jersey City
The allowance of time for all classes was 2m. to the foot of length.
All things being in readiness at 12h. 12m. the gun was fired for the vessels to prepare, and 5m. later a second gun gave the first and fourth classes permission to start, and after another interval of 5m. The third gun sent off the other classes. There was no maneuvering [sic] for position, as in the start of the previous day, but each got over the line as soon as possible and began the race. The Cynthia was the first off, followed by the Maud, H. W. Beecher, Florence, Fidget, Foulton, Mary Emma, Reveille, Favorita, Nanita, Victoria, Knight Templar, Pluck and Luck, H. H. Holmes, Clara S. Victoria went to the wrong side of the stake-boat and had to make another crossing as also did the Knight Templar. Then came the Au Revoir, Susie S., Inspector with a reef in her mainsail and an apology for a jib; after he came the Tough, Addie Taylor, Cricket, Sophia Emma, William T. Lee, Leroy, Greenpoint, Amaryllis (the life-raft), Almira, and the Journeyman brought up the rear.
The wind was a whole-sail breeze from west, the tide first quarter ebb, and off they all flew with sheets well off. The Nondescript gave the spectators a slight taste of her speed in a wonderful burst just as she crossed the line and then up to the time of passing the forts she took things easily, apparently losing the wind, and she, with the Journeyman, Almira, Greenpoint, Tough, Cricket and Leroy were all bunched together close under the bluff and almost becalmed. As the
others went racing off toward the mark they made a picture which had never been excelled for beauty in any previous race in New York Bay. That of the start for the Queen's Cup may have equaled it, but nothing could exceed it. A flock of scared birds just rising to their wings would come neared to it in appearance. They were all so bunched together that it was impossible to rate them accurately, but the fast ones, the Susie S., the Pluck and Luck, the Cynthia, the W. R. Brown, and others of that class, began at once to press towards the head of the line. Below the Narrows the wind slackened, and the progress of the fleet was comparatively slow. The cluster that had been becalmed under the forts drifted out with the tide and went on after the rest, but with a long space between them. The life raft appeared to be doing about as well as the others, but was not as yet doing anything very wonderful in the way of speed. This rear clustering of boats, however, caught the freshening breeze first, and at the first mark had closed up so much that the whole fleet turned with but small intervals of time between them. The following are the times of turning which will show the relative position of the fleet:
CONEY ISLAND BUOY.
Name. H M. S.
H. W. Beecher 12:50:0
Pluck and Luck 12:53:0
Susie S. 12:54:0
W. R. Brown 12:56:0
Clara S. 12:57:0
R. H. Holmes 12:58:0
Wm. T. Lee 12:58:5
Mary Emma 12:58:10
Addie Taylor 12:59:5
Au Revoir 1:0:36
The others were not timed at this point. The fleet now had the wind about abeam, and the line began to draw out as the boats took position according to speed. The Susie S. hauled up out of the ruck and kept farther off shore than the rest, which gave her stronger tide to overcome, but as the leaders drew up toward the Fort the wind headed them and then the weatherly position of the Susie more than compensated for all she had lost by the head tide, and she went through between Fort Lafayette and the shore heading the fleet. The Cynthia came next, the H. W. Beecher third. The Pluck and Luck went outside of the fort. The Catamaran had been gradually working up
through the fleet but failed to weather the Fort Hamilton dock and had to tack. At about 1.45 o'clock the wind breezed and the little yachts, overpowered by their racing canvas, had to beg along, requiring constant care to prevent them from capsizing. Just here the Amaryllis began to develop the wonderful speed that she possesses, and she fairly flew along the Long Island shore, passing yacht after yacht as if they were anchored, so that at the next mark, off Bay Ridge, only eleven of the fleet were ahead of her. These were:
BAY RIDGE STAKE-BOAT.
Name. H M. S.
Susie S. 1:43:00
Pluck and Luck 1:45:00
W. R. Brown 1:46:00
Wm. T. Lee 1:46:30
H. W. Beecher 1:46:35
Kt. Templar 1:51:05
The course of the yachts was now sharp upon a wind over to the stake-boat off Robbin's Reef, and they had wind enough and some to spare, the only one that went along at all comfortably being the cigar boat. She, with a crew of only two men and no sand bags to take care of, went over easily under small suit of sails, disposing off three more of the fleet as she went across. The following are the positions of the fleet at this buoy:
ROBBIN'S REEF BUOY.
Name. H M. S.
Susie S. 1:58:00
Pluck and Luck 1:59:50
W. R. Brown 2:00:30
Wm. T. Lee 2:01:30
H. W. Beecher 2:02:00
Knight Templar 2:08:35
It will be observed that as the wind freshened the big ones began to come to the front. The Reveille, admirably handled by Frank Bates, had been quietly disposing of the little ones ahead of her, and at this mark looked the sure winner of her class. Perhaps the most amusing incident of the race was to see the Nondescript attempt to get by the Greenpoint off the old Quarantine dock. Three times she tried to go by to windward, but the boat could lie nearer the wind than she could, and would force her up in the wind and shake her sails, and she would drop astern. Baffled in the attempt to go by on this side, at last, as a dernier resort, she kept off to go through his lee. No one who saw the attempt believed she would succeed, but just at this time there came a sharp flaw, too much for the Greenpoint, and with the surplus, the cigar-boat came two or three of her porpoise-like jumps, and was off after the yacht ahead, going through the lee of the Greenpoint as if the latter had been at anchor, and when she arrived at the home line on the first round she had but seven yachts of the whole fleet ahead of her. The following are the times of turning this mark:
TIME ON THE FIRST ROUND.
Name. H M. S.
Susie S. 2:13:45
Pluck and Luck 2:15:00
W. R. Brown 2:15:15
Wm. T. Lee 2:16:10
H. W. Beecher 2:17:01
Knight Templar 2:24:05
Clara S. 2:27:45
Mary Emma 2:27:59
H. H. Holmes 2:29:52
Addie Taylor 2:31:28
Sophia Emma 2:34:45
Au Revoir 2:35:02
On this round the boats had all that they could stagger under, and some few of them met with slight accident in the way of parting halliards, splitting sails, &c., but, to the surprise of every one, there were no capsizes as they sped across the bay, half buried in foam. The Catamaran kept jumping along, her motion resembling that of a porpoise when frightened more than anything else, and by the time she reached the next buoy there were only four yachts ahead of her. The turning of this mark in the stiff breeze was a very difficult affair, and the Greenpoint had to make three separate attempts before she got her boom over. She finally accomplished it in safety, but the Victoria, which was under working sails, managed here to get by here and turn first. The following times were taken at this mark:
CONEY ISLAND MARK - SECOND ROUND.
Name. H M. S.
Susie S. 2:35:30
W. R. Brown 2:39:30
Pluck and Luck 2:39:45
Wm. T. Lee 2:40:15
H. W. Beecher 2:41:00
By the time the Catamaran got up abreast of Fort Hamilton dock she had only one yacht, the Susie S., ahead of her. She does not lie very close to the wind, and had to tack three times ere she could clear the dock, the Susie meanwhile, going all the way without tacking. Notwithstanding these tacks in the ebb tide she was gaining all the time on the boat ahead of her and about half-way between the fort and Owl's Head she went for the Susie in earnest, and in an incredibly short space of time she went by her. Her great speed here was near bringing her to grief, for she ran her nose under, and was near pitchpoling over. For a half minute she stood right on end, all the forward part of her submerged, and the Susie got by her again, but she slowly righted, and again starting off she soon put the Susie behind her, and became the head boat in the fleet. The Pluck and Luck on this reach broke her gaff, but pluckily kept on to the end of the race. The two leaders turned the Robbins Reef mark as follows:
Name. H M. S.
Susie S. 3:36:40
After this buoy was turned the sloop-yacht Annie, one of the fastest in the previous day's race, thought that she would give this monstrosity a turn. The wind was abeam, and just as much as the yacht wanted. The Captain of the Amaryllis had evidently only been playing with the small fry; he now went for the big yacht with a will, and in a few minutes the big yacht was left hopelessly behind, Captain Joe Ellsworth, who was at the wheel of the yacht, shouting frantically to the sea monster to "Hold up and give me a line." As the new experiment dashed over the line a winner she was saluted by guns from the yachts that were lying at anchor, and the excursion steamers screeched their loudest in honor of her victory. The following table gives the result of the races by classes. The fourth class carried nothing but working sails, and, as will be seen from the record, made most excellent time. The contest between the Victoria and the Cynthia in this class was very close, the former only winning by eight seconds, and next to these the H. W. Beecher did the best of any.
Name. Start. Finish. time. time.
H. M. S. H. M. S. H. M. S. H. M. S.
Reveille 12:21:13 4:09:40 3:48:27 3:42:07
Favorita 12:21:29 4:15:28 3:54:08 3:54:08
Cricket 12:26:02 4:05:32 3:39:30 3:38:10
Leroy 12:26:55 4:04:40 3:37:45 3:36:25
Susie S. 12:24:55 3:51:39 3:26:41 3:24:14
W. R. Brown 12:25:30 3:55:30 3:30:00 3:27:40
Greenpoint 12:27:12 3:58:40 3:31:28 3:30:28
Journeyman 12:27:59 4:05:00 3:37:01 3:37:01
Kate 12:26:02 Not timed.
Wm. T. Lee 12:26:28 3:56:52 3:30:31 3:28:24
Sophia Emma 12:26:08 4:28:08 4:02:00 3:56:00
H. H. Holmes 12:24:20 4:16:08 3:51:48 3:47:28
Au Revoir 12:24:43 Not timed.
Tough 12:25:38 Not timed.
Mary Emma 12:25:49 4:11:59 3:46:10 3:44:30
Almira 12:27:59 4:22:40 3:54:41 3:49:21
Clara S. 12:24:33 4:11:42 3:47:09 3:45:39
Amaryllis 12:27:18 3:46:50 3:19:32 3:19:32
Addie Taylor 12:25:29 4:19:42 3:54:13 3:48:03
Pluck and Luck 12:23:28 4:03:22 3:39:54 3:39:34
Inspector 12:25:15 Not timed.
H. W. Beecher 12:19:38 3:56:20 3:36:42 3:28:00
Maud 12:19:05 Not timed.
Vinita 12:21:38 Not timed.
Florence 12:20:33 4:11:06: 3:50:33 3:37:43
Rebecca 12:20:05 Not timed.
Foulton 12:20:55 4:22:55 4:02:00 3:47:30
Victoria 12:23:33 4:03:45 3:40:12 3:27:02
Fidget 12:20:41 4:19:22 3:58:41 3:46:31
Cynthia 12:18:40 3:55:50 3:37:10 3:27:10
Kt. Templar 12:25:00 4:06:49 3:41:49 3:33:49
Thus it will be seen that in the first class the Reveille wins, beating the Favorita 12 minutes and 1 second. In the second class the Susie S. is ahead, beating the W. R. Brown 3 minutes and 26 seconds. In the third class Mr. Herishoff's [sic] experiment is ahead, beating the Pluck and Luck 20 minutes and 2 seconds. In the fourth class the Victoria leads the Cynthia 8 seconds.
After the race was over, the captain of the Clara S. protested against the Amaryllis, on the ground that she is neither a yacht nor a boat; but it was the general opinion that the protest came too late, and should have been made before the start. Had it been, there is little doubt that the judges would have barred her out. If she is ruled out, the prize comes to the Puck and Luck.
Source: Anon. (R. F. Coffin?). "A Yachting Wonder. Sudden Development of the Fastest Craft in the World. The Reveille, Susie B., Amaryllis and Victoria Win the Second Centennial Regatta." The World, June 24, 1876, p. 2.
A REVOLUTIONARY YACHT.
The defeated yachtsmen in yesterday's race are entitled to sincere commiseration. It is a well-established fact among Americans of a yachting turn of mind, that the American yacht embodies in her model all the fairy tales of science and the long results of time. It is supposed to be almost the perfect model for speed under canvas, and it is supposed that any improvement on it will be merely an extension of it. Yet yesterday all the yachts of this approved model were beaten ridiculously by a vessel of outlandish model and rig. She is literally 'outlandish,' for according to the description of her the nearest approach to her afloat is the famous 'flying proa' of the Ladrone Islands, of the speed of which wonderful stories are told. Nobody protested against entering her for the race yesterday, for the reason probably that everybody expected to beat her, but everybody seems to have objected to being beaten by her. Next time we advise our yachtsmen to ponder the words of MILTON, And think twice ere they venture to "Sport with Amaryllis in the shade."
In form the entry seems to have been perfectly fair, since the yachts were taxed only according to length, and were permitted as much extension in all other directions as their owners chose. But in fact, it is clearly unfair to race boats of radically different models, and built for entirely different purposes, against each other. The model of the Amaryllis evidently would not do for a sea going vessel, and nothing in the way of the practical 'improvement of naval architecture ' which yachts and yacht clubs are supposed to promote, can come out of a flying proa. But on the other hand, none of the boats engaged in the race with her are supposed to be good for much except to engage in such races. The tendency of yacht-racing is everywhere to-produce 'racing machines;' in ENGLAND by narrowing, deepening and ballasting yachts out of all reason, and here by making broad and shallow 'skimming-dishes.' In either case the result is not a good type of sea-going vessel. So the owners of racing-machines have really no reason to complain that somebody should invent a racing-machine to beat them. This the inventor of the Amaryllis has done. It behooves the owners of the large schooners, however, to take counsel together lest somebody should build an Amaryllis a hundred feet long and convert their crafts into useless lumber. It is a matter quite as important as keeping the America's Cup, and may demand quite as ingenious and elaborate devices as were put in force against Mr. ASHBURY.
Source: Anon. (Editorial). "A Revolutionary Yacht." The World, June 24, 1876, p. 4."
Ole Nate was kept down by "the man" (yacht clubs).
The last paragraph says it all on why catamarans pretty much disappeared for decades after.
"It behooves the owners of the large schooners, however, to take counsel together lest somebody should build an Amaryllis a hundred feet long and convert their crafts into useless lumber."
1992 Hobie 18
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