I put this little beastie together when my first Hobie 17 tore itself apart . After 12 years sailing Hobie 17 catamarans and being quite partial to the comfort and mechanical advantage of trapezing from a wing, returning to a Hobie 14 while my 17 insurers decided what to do with me (and I had sailed Hobie 14's from 1972 to 1987) was going to be quite a letdown .
Not so, as this is only recreational sailing (there isn't any 14 competition in Western Australia any more), I could put wings on a Hobie 14 catamaran and go like a striped ape! That is indeed how she performed, with a VMG to windward far better than the local Hobie 16 catamarans.
For 33 years I have lived on year-around warm, windy and relatively flat Kaneohe Bay on Oahu, Hawaii. I have enjoyed all kinds of sail boating on the Bay including sailboards and full keel monohulls. However, since my son-in-law started bringing Hobies here about 16 years ago, I spend most of the time fooling with them.
I started soloing his Hobie 17 and a few years ago I was humbled with capsizing, and though the buoyant mast stopped the turtling, I could not get it up without the help of a passing boat. I’m 158 lbs. & 71 yrs. and just couldn’t overcome the windage from the tramps and upper hull.
Catamaran sailors are an inventive bunch, as Ron Darby proves!
The wings that existed for the Hobie 18 seemed a solution, but I wanted a more comfortable answer for day-long cruising. I found some references to trap seats but they seemed too expensive for a lawn chair. So using the few grainy pics that I could find on the internet as reference, I got to work making my own.
The Hobie 14 catamaran sailboat launched the "Hobie Way of Life" when it leaped onto the world stage with the now famous 1968 Life Magazine "The Cat that Flies" article. This great beachcat is still actively raced today and many new sailors get their first taste of catamaran sailing aboard the Hobie 14 catamaran.
Bob Curry, former World and National Champion on the Hobie 14, has agreed to share his tuning tips for the Hobie 14. His photos and explanations will save the new Hobie 14 catamaran owner lots of time getting rigged, and get the racer around the course a little faster.
The Hobie 20 sports an advanced tiller connection with features of easy disassembly, accurate turning, no binding, and reduced or eliminated slop. All other models, however, have a bolt with spacers, a spring, and a nylon lock nut. The same kit (part number 1953, $104) from Hobie will add these features to the 14, 16, 17, 18, and 21 cruiser.
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