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Building Your Own Catamaran Sails

Added by damonAdmin on Dec 07, 2005 - 11:20 PM
Amateur Sail Builder, Rolf NilsenAmateur sail building..

Scene: The sails on your catamaran looks (and pulls) like they have been trough both WWI and II. However you are seriously short on money, as the "admirals" priorities have your boat a long way down on the list (mortgages on the house, food, electricity and even gas are higher on the list, go figure..). So, what do you do? You gather all the creativity and initiative you normally pump into your sailing sessions, make a good deal on some sailcloth, keep on chanting "Navigare necesse est!" and build your own sails.

When we bought our current Tornado in 2001, a set of sails from year 2000 came with the boat. The Tornado class changed their sailplan after the 2000 Sidney Olympics, so these sails were a first generation cut. We used these sails both for training and competition until 2004, when we bought a well used asymmetric spinnaker from the Swedish Olympic Tornado team. Strangely enough, there was a huge difference in the power and speed this asymmetric developed compared with our 2000 asymmetric (I'm being ironic).

After this discovery, we began studying our main and jib with a critical eye. Compared to other T's, we were lacking both power and windward ability. A common problem with sails where the draft has moved aft. When hit by a gust, the boat wanted to heel instead of squirting forward, no matter how much we "massaged" the downhaul during gusts.Wanting to stay competitive with the fleet on the beat, it was time for some new sails. Besides, the old sails were literally falling apart. The luff tape on the main was so worn that hoisting and unhooking the main was a chore at every outing.

Footnote: Thanks Rolf! I'm sure this will benifit some enterprising beachcat sailors.

Adding Wings to the Hobie 14 Catamaran

Added by damonAdmin on Mar 05, 2004 - 04:31 PM

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.

Footnote: Barry Sanders is an official Australian Correspondent for TheBeachcats.com, watch for more from "down under".

Capsize prevention system (TORUS) for the Hobie 17 Catamaran

Added by damonAdmin on Dec 09, 2003 - 12:43 AM
Introducing TORUS™ (Tip Over Resisting and Uprighting System) for the Hobie 17. Here's a system that promises to make catamaran sailing more accessable for those that feel capsizing is not an option. Read how inventor Ron Darby has solved his capsize problems on the Hobie 17...

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!

Build Your Own Trap Seat Wings for your Hobie 16 Catamaran

Added by damonAdmin on Nov 11, 2003 - 08:20 PM
I really liked sailing my Hobie 16 with my wife and dog when we first got the boat last summer, and wanted to enjoy exploring the lakes around the parkland area. But after about an hour of cruising, sitting up at the helm got a little hard on the back, and I got jealous of the wife being able to lie out on the trampoline in the sun. So I started looking for some way to put a lawn chair on the cat.

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.

Footnote: Great project for those that have the skills and tools to attempt it!

Hobie 14 Catamaran Tuning Guide

Added by damonAdmin on Oct 20, 2003 - 10:58 AM

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.

Footnote: Excellent detail photos Bob! Attention all cat sailors... If you would like to help your class, please follow Bob's lead and share your rigging tips.

How to Epoxy the Hobie 16 Catamaran Frame For Better Performance.

Added by damonAdmin on Oct 13, 2003 - 08:08 PM
This article will explain the step-by-step method of epoxying the frame of a Hobie 16 together to achieve a stiff, well sailing boat.  The techniques will be very similar and can be applied to a Hobie 14.  This article does not pertain to other Hobies since they do not have the elevated 3 corner casting design.

Footnote: This article appeared in the October 1998 issue of "On The Wire" eZine, but there are even more used Hobie 16's now than then. Please add your comments if you have different ideas for this.

Upgrading Hobie 14, 16, 17, 18, and 21 tiller connectors.

Added by damonAdmin on Jan 03, 2003 - 04:57 PM

Many Hobie Cats have a rather crude tiller connector mechanism. By tiller connector, we are referring to the point between the rudder arm and the rudder crossbar. This article will illustrate the steps to retrofit other Hobie catamaran models with the advanced Hobie 20 (Miracle) style tiller connection.

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.

Footnote: This article was originally published at Catsail.com in June of 1997 but is still great advice. I've edited it only for length. (ed)

Installing Deck Ports

Added by Damon Linkous on Sep 12, 2002 - 12:35 PM
A step-by-step illustrated guide

By Bill Mattson

First published in "On The Wire" Ezine.

If you own a Hobie Cat, you may have noticed that if you take on any water, it is virtually impossible to get it out, given the location of the drain plugs. You can raise the bows, but unless you point them straight to the sky, you are going to have some water left in the boat when you are done. Deck ports will accomodate a far more effective and convenient way to remove water.

This month, we install them in a couple of Hobie 16s. If you are even thinking about doing this, or wonder why anyone would, read on. We cover each step in detail, and give you a good idea of what to expect along the way. Let’s face it: If you are going to take a saw to your boat, you want as much information as you can get before you start cutting. This article provides fully illustrated step-by-step procedures to help you do the job right...