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PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:24 am 
Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:34 am
Posts: 1
I am newly minted into the forum and am on the Hobie 18 end to start as there is a boat I am interested in purchasing.

I am in the research stage and will benefit from navigating this forum more fully.

The initial questions:

Is an 18 a good starter Hobie with my family (wife with 3 little ones light weights) as the 16 appears to be good for 2 adults, possibly 3 and the 18 appears more versatile (given my limited experience)

Second question: is it difficult to build a trailer as I will be transporting it from Lake Ontario to Lake Huron regularly throughout the limited sailing season (May-Sept) in Ontario Canada.

3rd question: Would the salt water be an issue or should I consider a fresh water used boat?

PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:41 pm 
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 7:02 pm
Posts: 540
Location: Rockford, IL
The 18 is a good size for a family. I own a Getaway, which is also good. I've also sailed 16s and 17s, and as the kids grow, those would become way too small.
Are you planning on building a trailer? Chances are, any boat you find will have a trailer available. Unless you have mad welding skills, it's simpler to just buy a trailer.
Check the metal for corrosion on a salt water boat. It's pretty hard to hide. Look on the 18 forums for advice on what to check. Soft spots on the hulls, and leaky hulls are definitely to be avoided. If you can get the boat in the water for a test, I'd recommend it. I bought a used 17, and the seller assured me the hulls didn't leak, and the rigging was new. One of the hulls leaked gallons, and a shroud broke soon after I bought it, dismasting us in the middle of a lake.

If you can get an 18 with wings (the SX or Magnum models), I would recommend it. Your wife and kids will love the wings. It makes the ride dryer and more comfortable.

Yet another Bob!
"Firefly" - 2012 Hobie Getaway with wings and spinnaker
"Sparky" - 1978 Sunfish (OK, it's not a Hobie, but it's a fun little craft)
Too many canoes and kayaks

PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2020 3:05 pm 
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2005 10:13 am
Posts: 1060
Location: Nepean S.C. Ottawa, Canada
Mully, don't hesitate to check in with Morton Fogh at Fogh Marine, our local Hobie dealer. (Mississauga)

I suggest you read elsewhere in the Forum about soft spots and replacement of shroud anchors etc. before you buy.
Salt water will have an impact on anything metal.

I sailed H18's from 1991 through April 2019, when I sold my beloved H18SX.
IMHO they are one of the best beach cats ever built, especially for family/friend use.

As an alternative, you may wish to look at a Getaway, they are a much simpler boat, easier to sail, and will have less maintenance.
By the time you buy an older H18, and throw some maintenance costs in.... 'nuf said.

2015 H16, with spin,
SOLD 1989 Hobie SX18 Sail # 1947 "In Theory..."
'Only two things are infinite, the universe, and human stupidity. But I'm not sure about the former.'

PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2020 12:49 pm 
Site Rank - Captain

Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:20 pm
Posts: 106
Location: Galveston, Texas
I sort of went this route, but a Hobie 21SE was found not too far from me and the guy came WAY down on the I went and looked at it and bought it.

Waaayyyy too much boat. Perfect. It has wings and I got to say - if you aren't racing competitively, I'd never do without them. Ever. They add so much comfort and dryness as to make them a necessity.

The 18 is the little brother to this boat, basically. Uses a bunch of the same parts even. Having never bought a boat, but having grown up on them I was leary, read a LOT and spent probably 2-3 hours going over the boat before I gave him the money. Looking back, I probably should have:
1) Bought one of the current Hobies (i.e. Getaway) - had sailed on one several times in the Keys and loved it. But, it's not "fast" (faster than most keel boats I guess).
2) Gone over the hulls more thoroughly - I knocked and pressed on them and found nothing. Still no soft spots found, but I should have been more thorough probably.
3) Wings and 21's/18's - My wings fit into sockets in the hulls, you MUST check the sockets, if so. 17's have sockets, but I think all the 18s are externally mounted. They're almost guaranteed to be cracked and/or repaired. 3 out of 4 of mine were blown out. Water gets in the sockets in the winter, it freezes and that's all she wrote. You're cutting into the hulls to do fiberglass repair. I saw this and knew about it going in and is a prime reason why I got the boat as cheap as I did. Won't have this problem with 18s or Getaways. Get the boat with wings instead of trying to retrofit it.
4) Called the guys "bluff" on the "new sails..." They weren't. At all, but I wasn't going to argue and just figured that out in the pricing. Good sails are just about 50% of the price of one of these used boats... Even if they are "serviceable", they are fairly worthless. You find out when you get new ones and find out what you've been missing.

Do I regret it? HECK NO! I had a STEEP learning curve, but have some great sailing buddies who always seem to want to go with me (I buy the barley-pops) and they brought me up to not-rank beginner, but just "beginner" stage very quickly.

A Getaway, while plastic and not a "performance" boat will be much, much more family friendly (easier and quicker to set up/take down) and quicker to water. It's also currently supported by Hobie, but then more expensive, typically. The big caveat with them, if buying used, is to watch for cracks in the hulls - they seem to be more cosmetic and some special glues work on that plastic (welding does not), but raises a worried eyebrow. I'd buy one in good shape, if in the market. These, you can concentrate on more fun than all of the controls and adjustments for speed, etc. on the other boats. But then again, the other boats ARE faster...

Finally, Matt Miller is about the best support from a company you could ask for. I just still can't get over how much he's helped me get my boat up and running safely with detailed info., retailers for parts, and even drawings with dimensions! This on a boat that has been discontinued for 30 YEARS! Got to have a love for this hobby/business to do that.

Good luck - ask questions and don't get in a hurry if you're buying used. Take your time, ask questions here and beachcats dot com and you'll get tons of help. Forums aren't real busy, so you may have to be patient.

H21SE- 408

PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2020 8:42 am 
Site Rank - Captain

Joined: Wed May 18, 2016 11:44 am
Posts: 48
Location: Traverse City, MI.
I have an 18 with wings in Northern Michigan, never seen salt water I am thinking about letting go as I don't use it so much. has trailer too;)

PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2020 3:17 am 
Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Sun May 05, 2019 8:58 am
Posts: 10
I've just joined this thread and it's interesting reading about everyone and their boats. I personally have visited Canada a couple of times to go skiing and it was fantastic. I am planning to sail in Canada this year too. Try to learn on Canadian visa application process at the moment

Last edited by Robert55 on Mon Jul 06, 2020 12:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2020 11:37 am 
Site Rank - Admiral

Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2007 10:20 pm
Posts: 242
Location: South Boardman, Mi
A hobie Getaway is probably a better fit for you. Hobie 18's are more difficult to rig and sail. Also the trampoline is wetter and the boom is lower so you have to crawl under when tacking vs a quick duck on the boomless Getaway. Hobie Getaways also have better hatches for storage.

Ok, that was the advice I should be giving you, but here is how I really feel:

Hobie 18's are fantastic boats. They occupy a wonderful middle ground between fast recreational sailboat and all out race boat. H18's are more durable and much easier to rig than the modern F18 boats, while still being quite a bit faster than boardless cats like the H16, Getaway and Nacra 5.0 and 5.7.

While most older beach cats excel at performance per dollar, Hobie 18's have an almost mythical performance to cost ratio. H18's outpoint most beach cats, while also sailing faster off the wind. Their buoyant hulls contribute to great downwind performance and allow the boat to support a crew of 4.

The boat is wet. Wings help a lot here.
With a heavy crew the boat is even wetter. Get wings.
Compared to a getaway, H18's require more sail adjustments. I think this is a plus as more levers to pull equals more fun; however if you are just starting out it may not be appreciated.

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