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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 4:21 am 
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I noticed a page that was added to the HCA website recently that I thought would be beneficial to share. It looks like there have been some questions recently on what changes are and are not permitted by the Hobie 18 class rules and the rules committee provided official determinations and comments. This of course only pertains to one-design racing at Hobie sanctioned events.

http://hcana.hobieclass.com/class-rules ... at-18-q-a/

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2018 4:44 am 
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Indeed. You can also email the rules committee about any other rule questions for any of the class boats and get an official response.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2018 3:19 pm 
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Q: Is an 8:1 mainsheet legal?
A: NO. Gen. Class Rule 16.4 specifies 7:1 as max.

But in the "Hobie 18 Formula" (not sure the difference between H18 and formula) section of the rules it says:
9.6 Mainsail blocks purchase shall not exceed 8:1 and may be rigged in any manner.


Q: May the mast rotator be moved from its original position to the bottom of mast and be adjustable from the wire?
A: NO. It violates the letter and intent of Gen. Class Rule 1 & 2 and is outside the provisions of Hobie 18 Rule 5.6. Hobie 18 Rule 5.6 is meant to give guidelines for potential additions to the original system supplied by HCC.

In the H18 class rules:
5.6 - Additional mast rotation devices and related control equipment may be installed to the owner's and skipper's specification, provided it does not structurally weaken the mast or the boat or interfere with HOBIE CAT CO. components.

Someone explain to me how "Additional mast rotation devices and related control equipment may be installed to the owner's and skipper's specification" means "guidelines for potential additions to the original system supplied by HCC."

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'82 NACRA 18 Square
'85 Hobie 18 "Honey Badger Don't Care"
'86 Hobie 18 "The Rippin & The Tearin"


Last edited by TAMUmpower on Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2018 5:22 pm 
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TAMUmpower wrote:
Q: Is an 8:1 mainsheet legal?
A: NO. Gen. Class Rule 16.4 specifies 7:1 as max.

But in the "Hobie 18 Formula" (not sure the difference between H18 and formula) section of the rules it says:
19.4 - Mainsail downhaul purchase shall not exceed 8:1 and may be rigged in any manner

Downhaul is not the same as mainsheet. It's kind of a moot point either way, the Hobie 18 Formula class is non-existant. The max allowed downhaul purchase on all configurations of the Hobie 18 (except for the SX for some reason, try to figure that one out) has been 8:1 for many years. The mainsheet purchase has always been 7:1.

Quote:
Q: May the mast rotator be moved from its original position to the bottom of mast and be adjustable from the wire?
A: NO. It violates the letter and intent of Gen. Class Rule 1 & 2 and is outside the provisions of Hobie 18 Rule 5.6. Hobie 18 Rule 5.6 is meant to give guidelines for potential additions to the original system supplied by HCC.

In the H18 class rules:
5.6 - Additional mast rotation devices and related control equipment may be installed to the owner's and skipper's specification, provided it does not structurally weaken the mast or the boat or interfere with HOBIE CAT CO. components.

Someone explain to me how "Additional mast rotation devices and related control equipment may be installed to the owner's and skipper's specification" means "guidelines for potential additions to the original system supplied by HCC."


There is a link on the web page that provides additional discussion/commentary on rulings.

http://hobieclass.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/H18-Supplementary-answers.pdf

The intent of the wording in the rule is to allow the skipper to add equipment in addition to the original rotation equipment such as a bungee system to keep the mast rotated when sailing downwind. However, the original supplied equipment needs to be used as it was originally intended. I agree that the wording of the rule doesn't convey the intent very well, but I think the use of the word "Additional" requires that any alternative equipment would be in addition to the originally supplied rotation equipment.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:30 pm 
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Lol I know the difference in downhaul and the mainsheet, I just copied the wrong section of the rules by accident. Meant to show the 8:1 mainsheet section not the downhaul. I corrected it in my previous post.

I think the rotation one is so easy to get around if they are going to write it like they have. First off I actually believe they intended on allowing any type of rotation control and thats why they wrote it like they did. But for some reason now they are trying to back track, probably from some random class pressure somewhere. There is not a rule that says I have to actually use the stock rotation limiter anyway. I could just not tighten the rope if I wanted and then an "additional" system would operate as the primary but not actually be the only system. Stock system is still there...

If I wanted to put a second rotation control arm for tramp adjustable rotation, I don't see how any committee could stop me based on the written rule.

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'82 NACRA 18 Square
'85 Hobie 18 "Honey Badger Don't Care"
'86 Hobie 18 "The Rippin & The Tearin"


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2018 8:11 pm 
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Not going to get into an arguement with you on the rotation control rule, but I suspect that if you made a significant change to the original rotation system, you would likely lose a protest (at least at a championship level regatta). I remember decades back when the rule was changed (at one time, you could not make any modifications to the rotation system) and I believe the intent is as was stated in the original response. Keep in mind that in any case of doubt, the rules/protest committe is most likely going to revert to general rule number 1 which basically says, unless the rules explicitly state that you can do something, you can’t do it.

Regarding the 8:1 mainsheet, it is still a moot point. The Hobie 18 Formula class is non-existant. All other versions of the 18 require 7:1 max.

Do I agree with the way all the rules are written? Not necessarily, but my purpose for posting this (other than just my own general interest) was because there has been some recent discussion about modifications to the Hobie 18 and I thought it might be beneficial to share the class association’s standing on these mods.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2018 10:09 pm 
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srm wrote:
Not going to get into an arguement with you on the rotation control rule, but I suspect that if you made a significant change to the original rotation system, you would likely lose a protest (at least at a championship level regatta). I remember decades back when the rule was changed (at one time, you could not make any modifications to the rotation system) and I believe the intent is as was stated in the original response. Keep in mind that in any case of doubt, the rules/protest committe is most likely going to revert to general rule number 1 which basically says, unless the rules explicitly state that you can do something, you can’t do it.

Regarding the 8:1 mainsheet, it is still a moot point. The Hobie 18 Formula class is non-existant. All other versions of the 18 require 7:1 max.

Do I agree with the way all the rules are written? Not necessarily, but my purpose for posting this (other than just my own general interest) was because there has been some recent discussion about modifications to the Hobie 18 and I thought it might be beneficial to share the class association’s standing on these mods.

sm


No I'm with you but lets just laugh at this for a moment. If they try and revert to "rule number 1 which basically says, UNLESS THE RULES explicitly state that you can do something, you can’t do it." I'll read them the rules that explicitly state "Additional mast rotation devices and related control equipment may be installed to the owner's and skipper's specification"

I mean it's really not any more clear cut than that. If I install an additional mast rotation device I am 100% within class rules. It's black and white. There's not some * that says, excludes xxxxx. Whoever answered that question and said you couldn't add an additional device needs help. If they try to cock block the additional device and say that drilling a hole in the mast to mount another mast rotator structurally weakens the mast then I would just fiberglass the bar around the mast thus actually strengthening the mast lol.

I'd be willing to bet when that rule was written it was before the central tramp adjustable rotator was as popular in cats such as the A class nowadays and they were more making room for a positive rotation control for downwind. Regardless if they don't want additional devices they should rewrite the rule and exclude basically every word of the existing rule...

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'82 NACRA 18 Square
'85 Hobie 18 "Honey Badger Don't Care"
'86 Hobie 18 "The Rippin & The Tearin"


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2018 1:36 pm 
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Hi guys and gals,
It’s nice to read with interest your comments on the Class Rule Interpretations and I am very interested in everyone’s thoughts on the topic and I’m happy to participate in the conversation for the greater good of the H18 class.

The recent class rule interpretations came about because of the H18 fleet in Australia, and more specifically in the State of NSW (Sydney and surrounding area for those familiar with NSW).

For the past 10-15 years the fleet here has been small. 4-10 boats at best at a State Championship and same at a National Championship. It’s had little or no support and a fringe fleet in the big scheme of things. Like the rest of the world, there’s been no new boats built in the past 15 years. Second hand boats have been worth between A$1000 to A$5000.

I bought my H18 two years ago and when I entered the fleet the majority were not class legal, including the boat I bought. In fact it was almost a dirty word. Many boats were using non genuine trampolines, non genuine rudders and dagger boards, double traveller cars and 8:1 mainsheet systems. The non genuine trampolines were used purely because you could buy one at half the price of a genuine one. Non genuine rudders and dagger boards were used to make the boat much nicer to sail and also much safer (less rudder stall). There were a few other items being used like non genuine rigging wires because of both cost and length (teams wanted minimum bridle lengths and more mast rake).

I had no issue with this because it was hard to justify spending the big dollars on genuine parts when the value of the boat wasn’t going to warrant it or ever get your money back.

Since joining the class, the fleet here has grown and two weeks ago at a State Championship the fleet had the potential to have 19 boats in attendance!!! Only 12 actually entered because five did not want to spend money to make them legal and two were used to borrow parts from to help make the others legal.

The recent rules clarifications came about as a result of the lead up to that event as to what ten of the twelve boats had to do to become class legal. I think only two boats were legal before the event - correction may be needed here and I’m not going to get too picky on the exact numbers. It’s the general overall picture.

I was one of the five that didn’t attend as I had a non oem tramp, 8:1 mainsheet, modified/moved rotation arm and moved jib blocks. All pictures of my boat can be viewed on my boats personal Facebook page in the link below.

Why didn’t I change?
It was not worth it for one weekend a year (the one Hobie sanctioned event per year) that my daughter and I attend. Normally we just race at our local club races one Saturday per month and four other club regattas per year. I did sail the State Championship last year with this exact same boat (scored five first places) but this year the Class decided they were going to measure all boats and strictly enforce all class rules so, in respect of that, we did not enter.

Why did I change?
- I use 8:1 simply because it is easier to sheet in, and I eventually want my daughter to skipper and for youth and women, I feel 7:1 is not going to help them on the back of the boat. Therefore I am hoping the class rules will change as we all want more youth and women in the class.
- I moved my mast rotation arm to the base of the mast for two reasons. Firstly so the jib sheet stops catching on it during a tack (even with the triangle shockcord) and secondly so it can also act as an over rotation locker downwind. I use the original Hobie part.
- I use a non oem tramp because I wanted a one piece mesh tramp to eliminate all the ugly lacing. Plus it stops the sheets falling through the gaps. It’s cheaper, colourful and looks better. Plus it has a big pocket for our UEBoom speaker for the music while racing.
- I moved the jib cleats to stop bashing our knees and butts on the track, blocks and cars. I hated that and my daughter has no more bruises on her. I also moved the attachment point inboard 6” to stop the front of the jib from luffing - plus the crew doesn’t have to pull the jib in as tight = better for youth and women.
- I also added more reinforcement to the corner patches of the main and jib so they last longer. I paid over $3k for a new set of genuine Hobie sails made of the cheapest material on the planet. I need to make that money last as long as possible as it cost nearly as much as the entire boat. Plus my daughter chose the custom colours. I did anything to give her some ownership of the boat. Kids these days are all about the look.

For the twelve boats that competed at the recent regatta it was a costly exercise for one weekend both in time converting their boats and in cash to buy the genuine parts (some paid $1250 for new EPO3 for one weekend). Was it worth all the man hours and money to make 15-25 year old boats class legal for two days a year? My daughter and I didn’t think so and neither did four other teams (1 youth, 2 mixed, 1 all male).

What’s the answer?
Update the class rules to make a few small changes to keep the costs down, youth and women participation up, bring the boats out of the 1970’s and into the 21st century and get more boats on the water. Also, make the H18 rules stand on their own and not ride on the back of the General Rules which mainly only apply to the Hobie 16.

How do we do that?
No idea, but I’m open to positive suggestions.

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John Forbes
Hobie 18 Reimagined
Sail # 490
Boat name: 18@heart
http://www.hobie18.fun
https://www.facebook.com/Hobie18catamaran/


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2018 5:12 pm 
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Quote:
I paid over $3k for a new set of genuine Hobie sails made of the cheapest material on the planet.


The sail cloth (The only Class Legal material), if we built the sail is 6 oz Dacron. This is the same cloth used for many years now and is the highest quality cloth in the history of making these sails, so I am confused? "cheapest material on the planet"?

More modern materials are available, but are not nearly as durable as this Dacron. This is nice material.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2018 1:39 am 
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Hi Matt,
Thanks for the clarification on the material. How do we then go about getting more layers of it on the corner patches at time of manufacture? The loads on the sails now are far greater than what they were at inception during the 1970’s due to far more luff tension and mainsheet tension so it would be great to have new sails remain at a competitive level for longer. Same for he jib too where it flogs against the mast during each and every tack.

Yes, I purchased all genuine Hobie sails from my local Hobie dealer, custom colours from the range available.

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John Forbes
Hobie 18 Reimagined
Sail # 490
Boat name: 18@heart
http://www.hobie18.fun
https://www.facebook.com/Hobie18catamaran/


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2018 1:59 am 
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To add a little more info to the above: I use genuine Hobie hulls, beams, rudders, castings, tillers and cross bar, mast (and associated tangs, gooseneck, spreaders etc), tramp tracks, boom, sails, battens, furler and associated furler parts, traveller car and class legal trapeze system.

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John Forbes
Hobie 18 Reimagined
Sail # 490
Boat name: 18@heart
http://www.hobie18.fun
https://www.facebook.com/Hobie18catamaran/


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2018 9:41 am 
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I agree with John that the class rules need to be relaxed to encourage more people to sail/race the H18, but I honestly think it's a moot point, because nobody really class races that boat anymore. I do think that Hobie's dacron sails are high quality dacron sails, but John I think you suffer from even higher import & shipping fees to Australia... In the US their sails are around $1,300 to $1,500, which is notably higher than competing sail lofts, but for you (if $3k was in USD) it sounds like it's triple what you'd pay elsewhere.

As Hobie has been (understandably) less flexible with replacement trampoline & sail options as they've represented a much smaller volume of sales, and the mast conversion has become prohibitively expensive (to convert mine would cost me 50% of what I paid for the boat), I think these rules ought to be retired. Those changes alone would probably quadruple the pool of available class legal boats. But again, that's a lot of effort for a class that likely won't be revitalized anyway.

A question I have is: where did all the H18 sailors go? I've been told that many of the "serious" H16 racers, the best of the best, switched to the H18 shortly after it's introduction, and it became the premiere class racing fleet for a while in the 80's. Where did all of these top notch, highly competitive sailors go? When Hobie introduced the H18 magnum, H18SX, H20, and H21, did they all just become splintered? Did they downgrade back to the H16 when the aforementioned fleets failed to take off? Did they go to Nacras & F18 racing? Or did they all just exit the sport altogether?

I understand that the market for catamarans has been declining for decades, but you'd expect the competitive racers to be invested enough to stick around in some form or another. It's puzzling to me that the H18 fleet, if it was ever truly comparable in size and competitiveness to the H16 fleet, just evaporated to the point that Hobie had to discontinue the boat altogether. I'm not questioning if it happened, as Hobie obviously wouldn't have discontinued the boat if it had been a top seller, but I'm really wondering why it happened, and where all those skilled sailors disappeared to.

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'79 H18 standard 'Rocketman II' sail #14921


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2018 10:49 am 
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The Hobie 18 fleet has never (ever) been anywhere near in size to the Hobie 16 fleet. In fact, there are few racing classes (of any type of boat) that had sizes comparable to the Hobie 16 fleet.

For the most part, I agree that the Hobie 18 class rules could benefit from some updating / clarifying. I actually wonder if there are any actual Hobie 18 racers on the rules committee. Regardless, as you said, it's unlikely that rules changes or relaxing the rules is going to revitalize the fleet. It could even have the opposite effect. The more variables you introduce to the allowable equipment, the more it becomes about "the boat" and less about "the sailor."

Changes like allowing the rotator arm to be moved or 8:1 mainsheet systems have no real bearing on speed and probably should be allowed. Changes like allowing non-OEM tramps, rudders, boards, and sails becomes a slippery slope. Now you have to have definition of what is and is not allowed, possibly measurement requirements - things get complicated quick.

The real reason I started this thread was because there has been some discussion recently on the forum about changes being made to boats (some minor, some not so minor), and I think it's important to also include the Class's current standing on those changes as part of the discussion. I think the last thing we would want would be for someone to show up to a regatta with a bunch of mods done to their boat thinking that those changes were permitted, and then get protested for equipment infractions.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2018 12:02 pm 
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Here is a penny's worth of my view.

I was one of those Hobie 16 sailors that switch to a Hobie 18 in 1982. Sailed both through out Florida in the Hobie hay days. Most of the top Hobie 16 sailors stayed with the Hobie 16. However, much of the reason they were top sailors was they only weighed 150 -160 lbs. Being a more typical American male, let's just say I was much heavier. I was way more competitive in the Hobie 18 class, because my weight was not as big a penalty. Towards the later 1980's the racing crowd was being over run with Nacra's of all sizes and then Prindle released its Prindle 19. Basically a street trailer legal Tornado. Boat for boat, these larger cats were faster than the Hobie 18 or 16 and started getting a lot of the Hobie sailors moving over. My thoughts at the time as to why they were moving over, was they were not that good in the Hobie Classes. So a simple solution was to get a different and faster boat. The catamaran family never had sailors that grew up in the old monohull class mentalities (like a Thistle), that would have people stay with the class, regardless of technology improvements of other boats.

So the Hobie Brand was having a lot of bleeding from the racers into other manufacturers. At the same time the Hobie Company was going through a lot of changes. The had a big company buy them and the top financial dudes started making very bad decisions that were based on their "marketing" knowledge, rather than any love for sailing. So the mentality became one similar to the car companies. Release a new and better mouse trap each year and continue selling to you client base. This became catastrophic to Class Racing. Then the new boat that killed it all (from my perspective) was the Hobie 21. At the time, us local Hobie racers wanted a boat the could compete with the Nacra 5.8 and Prindle 19. Fast and racy. Hobei comes out with the mega cruiser the Hobie 21. A dog out of the box as far as racing was concerned. When they finally came out with the Hobie 20 it was too late and they had already lost the lions share of their Hobie loyalists. Yes by then I was deep into racing the Prindle 19, being one of the last remaining Hobie18 sailors to switch (at the time).

So that is where the old sailors went after Hobie cats. Most though, really just dropped out of sailing altogether when they switched boats out of the Hobie brand. The other brands, never had the chemistry of the Hobie Class and the beach type mindset for fun. The regatta were not as fun, the camaraderie never the same. The good old days just became lost.

Now back to the original question of Class rules and how to deal with them to get class racing going again. I can give you an example of how we handled the Hobie 33 Class. I bought one of those Hobie's too, and still have it since new. That Class was also dropped by the Company, but we still race as a class around the Country. Here is how we did it.

We started by making allowance for boats that were not in compliance using the Race Instructions. We would say, these particular rules will not be enforced for this up coming regatta. We only dealt this way with areas where the rules do not effect speed of the boat. "For this regatta you may have a mainsheet block system of whatever you want and it is not protest able". Eventually, after enough races everyone agrees it makes no difference and the rules get up dated. As boats age it becomes almost impossible to stay completely class legal unless you could buy a new boat, which is not an option. So the rules can be changed. Things like tramps etc. should not be a big deal to be class legal. I can see sails from one manufacturer like Hobie staying a rule. In the Hobie 33 Class the sails were never a class rule. However it was our biggest problem. The sail manufactures would always push the envelop and build oversized sails. Many a regatta with sails not allowed because they would not measure in. Keep that mess out of the game. But, with enough folks I could easily be over ruled. See how that works?

Now that the long story is near the end. I can tell you I came back to the Hobie 18, because it was just fun, easy to sail and cheap to buy. Now everyone in my family (of 4) has one and we race against each other. Try doing that with a Prindle 19. Still plenty of Hobie 18's out there. No other manufacture of cats out there has the numbers.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2018 1:07 pm 
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Thank you for all the above sailors comments. I agree with all of them.
In Australia we are seeing a revitalisation of the Hobie 18. All old boats. All wanting to see more bums on seats. All, well the certainly the vast vast majority, not class legal for over a decade. When it was 3-6 boats at a regatta no one cared, not even the Hobie Cat Co or the Class Association. Now that it is 12-19 boats they are starting to pay attention. The issue is, the horse has bolted and to reign it in again is too costly and too biased because of the multitude of changes (rudders, dagger boards, tramps, 8:1). Each boat is different. Some have one change, some have another, some have multiple. So updating one rule won’t solve it. There needs to be multiple rules updated to make all boats legal.

We tried to have the exclusion rules in the Notice Of Race and this works for non sanctioned Hobie regattas. Easy fix. But for Hobie Association sanctioned events they would not do it.
We asked to have an A Fleet and a B Fleet. A Fleet is 100% Class legal. B fleet not class legal. B fleet can race but gets no trophy and can’t be State Champion or National Champion. This almost got up and, had it got accepted by Hobie Australia and the Hobie Cat Association there would have been seventeen or more Hobie 18’s at the recent regatta. However, about three weeks prior it was scrapped and some went into a frenzy and started borrowing bits and buying bits and others simply withdrew from competing. This is the reason the recent Class Rule Interpretations were released.

What we would like to see is an update of the rules to allow ALL boats in their current state to be class legal. To do this it requires:
- allow non OEM rudders and dagger boards, but they must meet the Hobie plans and drawings. (No change to the overall profile, no square tips, no foiling, etc)
- allow non OEM trampolines but retain all of the other tramp rules. (Same attachment points, commercially available mesh or canvas, one to three pieces, footstraps, etc).
- allow 8:1 mainsheet. Use existing Hobie 18 Formula rule
- remove the word “Additional” from the mast rotation rule.
- remove the word “Additional” from the jib cleat rule.

By updating these five Rules, there will be more than twenty class legal Hobie 18’s racing in Australia in 2019.
Boats breed boats. People see a big fleet of not expensive boats and those in fringe classes will switch over to Hobie 18.

The Hobie Cat Co will sell more spare parts, more sails, etc as a result.

Thanks for your time and interest in this topic.

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John Forbes
Hobie 18 Reimagined
Sail # 490
Boat name: 18@heart
http://www.hobie18.fun
https://www.facebook.com/Hobie18catamaran/


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