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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2018 6:11 am 
Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2018 5:13 am
Posts: 3
Hi There!

This post is my first post in this forum though I'm lurked a tad before joining.

I'm thinking of buying a Hobie Cat sailboat--likely a Hobie 16 though I remain open, and I've got questions. I also know enough about learning stuff to know that I might not be asking all the right questions and that those of you with experience may spot gaps in my understanding and help me out here.

About Our Sailing Experience

We're new sailors. I've got an ASA 101 and 102 certification, which I got on a five day live aboard, and my husband and I also took additional lessons with our neighborhood sailing club. We've been out a few times, and I've also sailed a Hobie Cat a few times. I once spent three weeks on a yacht in the Tampa Bay Area.

I'm a salty waterbug. I've got a vintage powerboat that my dad gave away to me about four years ago, and we usually take that out about every other weekend in the warm months--in Florida. I'm used to the intracoastal and to going to islands not accessible by boat, but I'm not an expert.

I'm also a swimmer. I swim about a mile and a half in the pool each time twice a week--and I've done a mile in Olympic distance triathlons in the Pacific (used to live in SF) Ocean and have swam the first half of the Alcatraz route many times.

I've dabbled in surfing and diving--but we are still new to those.

Why I'm thinking of Getting This Boat

First, I had a blast on one of them.

Meanwhile, we've had a couple of close calls with maintaining the powerboat, and I'm kind of thinking I should consider selling it before it becomes an unsellable item that I have to figure out how to get rid--and that I don't get anything back for.

I like the environment, but I don't show my love very well with my two stroke Yamaha outboard motor.

The powerboat always needs gas, oil, maintenance, etc., and is a hole in my wallet. Any boat is a hole in your wallet, but I thought the Hobie Cat might be a little less of on account of not needing gas or oil.

The powerboat is a pain to get in and out of our narrow, condominium garage up the walled slope on the driveway. It's too narrow and too tight of an angle from the alley to the driveway to back in with the car. The slope is too steep to just pull it in with a trailer dolly. (Don't get me started on the fraud that was the motorized trailer dolly.) So I have to winch it in with an electronic winch in back while my husband steers the trailer with the dolly.

The powerboat hogs so much space in the garage and is hard to get around to get to anything in the garage.

What are the drawbacks and the solutions regarding storing a Hobie 16 in my condo garage?

So that leads me to my first question. What are the drawbacks and solutions to getting the Hobie 16 into my condo garage each time and storing it there? What are the solutions?

Before you suggest offsite storage--that's a deal breaker--I've been down this road already with the powerboat--I won't get into all of the reasons that's not going to work for me. I'm just going to say I want a boat that I can store in my garage. Our long term goal is to get a place with a bigger garage--but we aren't there yet.

So regarding my garage--it's eight feet wide. Even the powerboat is a somewhat tight clearance. But it fits.

The garage is twenty feet long, and it has an additional couple of feet in the back of the garage that is a slight step up.

The garage already has an electronic winch installed, and we already have a trailer dolly.

We cannot store a mast outside anywhere because we live in a condo with a beyond strict HOA. (They once took close up pictures of some practically invisible netting I had around the balcony to keep the cat from jumping/fall off--which she'd done once before.)

Where can we feasibly sail with this boat? What activities can we do?

So an advantage to this boat is that we could take it to the lake that is less than a half mile from us--which doesn't allow motors. We can take it to some bays and places that have a slightly shallower draft (not much though as we have only a one foot draft on the powerboat.

But I'm aware that now we can't bring a cooler and chairs with umbrellas and stuff for beach lounging on an island.

Can we sail these in a channel, or is that a bad idea? I know I see sailboats in the channel sometimes--but usually not small ones.

One thing that I loved to do in the powerboat was to take it scalloping in Homassassa, which is brackish and involves traveling through a river to a channel. I don't recall seeing any sailboats anchored for scalloping. Is that because small sailboats shouldn't go in the channel? Is it because of current? I don't remember there being a bridge to clear under the way.

We also like to go in the channel on the intracoastal to Ponce Inlet on the East Coast, to Anclote Key on the West Coast, to Cabbage Key on the West Coast, etc. I guess taking luggage for an overnight stay would be out now. But otherwise, how much of that kind of thing is feasible now? Is it just that it would take to long for a Hobie Cat to travel to a place that it takes a powerboat thirty minutes to an hour to reach at twenty five to thirty knots? Is it the channel? Is it the current?

I suppose the other drawback is that we can't just go when we want if there's not much in the way of wind.

Okay, I appreciate all of your input.

I realize that we can also go other places that the powerboat can't.

PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2018 2:01 pm 
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2016 4:35 am
Posts: 329
Location: Opelika/Lake Martin, Alabama
Well, welcome!!! Sounds like you've had quite a bit of experience in and around the water on various water craft.
The only thing I can comment on here is about storage. If your garage is only 8 feet wide and you think the power boat hogs all of the space, wait until you try to stuff a 7' 11" wide H16 in there. The length of the garage may be okay, you'd probably have to remove the rudders being that you say there is a step up, rudders in the down position take up less space, but they are long. As far as moving the boat around on the trailer, if a trailer has a tongue jack, its fairly easy to move a H16 around by hand when on a flat surface, I do it all of the time in my backyard, but in a tight situation like corners and retaining walls, you have to keep in mind the boat is 16 feet long, with rudders sticking out at the rear making the boat itself longer, then there is the trailer tongue to factor in as well, all of this would make it more challenging to say the least. Oh, and don't forget about the 26' long mast to also store somewhere, it ain't fittin' in no one car garage that's for sure.
Sorry if none of this helps, but, as a wise man once said, "do not fear the ob-stackles in your path" .
Hope it all works out and you get your H16.

1984 H16 Yellow Nationals Redline, "Yellow Fever"
Lake Martin, 'Bama.

PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2018 5:18 pm 
Site Rank - Captain

Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2014 12:34 pm
Posts: 144
Location: Hartland, WI
Is the total width of the garage 8' or is that just the door? Rudders could be removed easily. If you have a diagonal measurement of the space, you maybe able to hang the mast from the rafters. It's somewhere around 26'6". Though this may get in the way of the door, when it's up. But it could be hung low, no need to hang it any higher than you'd have to. There are all types of trailers for these. One way to shorten it up to get the trailer in would be to move the boat forward on the trailer, so it isn't sticking out so much in the back. Most trailers have vertical side rollers to guide the boat onto the trailer. They are usually set up on the outside, but most can be switched to put the guide rollers on the inside of the hulls. This may help with clearance as well. You really have to measure your door opening from trim to trim. The overall width of the boat may be a problem going thru the door.

83 yellow/ white decks Hobie 14 Corando turbo
82 yellow hulls Hobie 16 Cat Fever
84 yellow hulls hobie 16 Yellow Nationals
plus a few extras that I'm restoring

PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2018 5:23 pm 
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Fri Oct 17, 2008 2:21 pm
Posts: 361
Location: Winston Salem, NC
A Hobie 16 is a fantastic boat. I owned one for about 28 years and turned it over to my daughter and her husband. It is, however not designed for overnighting or carrying a lot of gear. People have done it through much improvising. The boat is fast and exciting in a good wind. It won't easily go up a river or channel since at some point you would have to tack a lot. It doesn't point up well enough to make a lot of progress trying to tack down a channel. I wouldn't plan on anchoring it anywhere to go scalloping. You would have to pull it up on a beach.

The biggest problem I see is that I don't think it will fit in your garage. Not only is the mast too long (it wouldn't even fit in diagonally) but the trailer tongue would probably make the rig exceed 20' without the mast.  

The Hobie will float in very shallow water but the rudders stick down too far to make any sailing difficult. The rudders would kick up so you wouldn't get stuck but the weather helm would be very strong.

I found maintenance costs for my Hobie to be very low. I finally replaced the sail by buying a used one so that was the only major cost I had. I ended up selling my old sail to someone who kept using it.

I see no reason you can't sail in a channel but it depends on boat traffic. When big power boats cruise in the channel, discretion is called for even though you have the right of way. That gets complicated in narrow channels where you can't force large boats out of the channel.

I normally carried beach accessories, chairs, coolers, etc. to the launch area on a lake where there was a beach next to it We would sail then come back to beach and relax. I wouldn't want to carry the gear to an island though I guess its possible.


PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2018 7:39 am 
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2008 6:18 am
Posts: 2981
Location: Sarasota,Key West FL
We live in the same area, just south of you in Sarasota, and did many of the things you describe. More of a touring/ destination/ casual boating lifestyle than competitive racing around closed courses around little bouys, ( we don’t do that and have no desire to do so).
We are also former powerboat owners, we had a 24ft searay, boy what a money pit that was. Nothing lasts very long in salt water, wait till you get the bill for a new 5.0 engine, or stern drive unit, or have to fill the 80 ggal tank at $4/gal marine gas. Plus dry storage down here is over $400/mo.
Up till 2007 we lived mostly in the Chicago area and California, but had a house here, (we kept the boat in FL), and came down occasionally, (when the kids were out of school).
In 2007 we sold everything else and moved down here full time, we had sold the sea ray, and the sarasota house the yr before, but the wife, (native Floridian), decided she missed florida ( she couldn’t stand the cold), so we found a new house and moved here full time. Me being Canadian it was pretty brutal for me the first couple yrs, just sayin.
We bought several Hobie kayaks and used the heck out of them. We ended up splitting our time between our Sarasota place and our Key West place. Carrying the kayaks on the roof back and forth. However if you look at any map you can see the region is vast, and going anywhere in the hot florida sun at 2mph is not going to get you anywhere.
My favorite lifetime pastime is scuba diving, ( as a former scuba instructor for the Y, (USN master instructor certification) up north. Our fav thing to do is dive the coral reefs in the keys, and a few places up here. I also enjoy free diving and snorkeling, spear fishing and lobstering.
However we quickly discovered renting boats for a day, or going out on dive charters every weekend gets very expensive, we had sold our searay in 2006.
In 2010 I had enough and went into a Hobie dealer to buy an H16, (cash in hand). The dealer heard us out listening to what we wanted to do with the boat, ( mostly touring and adventure destination sailing). And understood we have zero desire to join sailing clubs reggata’s, or sail competitively around small courses, ( chasing bouys). The Tandem Island had just came out, and he convinced us to buy one of those instead. Best part being as kayakers, we can leave all the big offshore stuff at home and use as just use as a kayak only anytime we like, (lol turned out to be the best and fastest kayak we ever owned). We store ours in our garage on the trailer, ( similar size garage).
Stock from the factory, the boat is very versatile, but not so suitable for extreme offshore diving in open ocean, (neither is an H16) off the keys. So we had to do a few mods to the boat to harden it for offshore, and increase the range to 100 miles per day.
One other big factor is setup and rigging time, most cat owners I know store their cats at sailing clubs, (mast up), and it takes a while, ( around 30 minutes) to rig most sail boats. We sometimes go out daily and I have zero desire to own anything that takes more than 10-15 minutes to get out and go.

We were out pretty much every weekend year round, and about 80% of the time the wind is around 5-7 mph, (typically zero in canals). We are on the intercoastal a lot, all the channels are very narrow, near impossible to tack, plus we sometimes go many miles thru canals and river inlets, which often includes going under many low bridges. Anything close to shore you get really squirrely winds.
We ended up installing small outboards on most of our TI’s.
It ‘s not for everyone, and there is no boat direct from the factory that fits our needs.
My opinion is you might be happier with an 11 or 12 ft RIB, with a fairly powerful clean 4stroke that gets great fuel economy, that still fits easily in your garage and is lightweight. There are a gazzilian similar boats in this area.
Just tryin to help here

This is us out at a sand bar, keep in mind this is our only family boat anymore, and we have a huge family:

We also travel a lot, (some years we are out and about 6 months at a time all around the country, and need something that can be car topped. The setup in this picture, (Hobies on roof and campers in tow), we have well over a 1/4 million road miles over the last few years.
Last summer we visited 41 of the 59 national parks, that's our TI and our camper.

I think you mentioned taking your H16 down canals, there is typically zero wind in canals, (watch my wing sail in the video below, no help at all), and any wind is always really squirrely, this is where the TI's pedal drive system really comes in handy (boat comes with two pedal drives).

Last edited by fusioneng on Mon Jun 25, 2018 10:42 am, edited 6 times in total.

PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2018 8:23 am 
Site Rank - Admiral

Joined: Fri May 01, 2015 9:49 am
Posts: 232
Location: Eastern PA
I went with a Hobie Wave because it was the biggest thing I could get into my garage. The trailer extends slightly beyond the beam of the boat and I have an inch or two clearance on both sides. To get the trailer into the garage I had to do the following:

1. Remove rudders
2. Slide the boat forward so the back of the boat is level with the back of the trailer.

I installed an extra wooden crossbeam with carpet, set lower than the actual trailer crossbeam. When trailering, the Wave sits on the trailer itself and extends beyond the rear. When moving to the garage, I push the boat forward, off the rear rollers and onto the carpeted 2x4 crossbeam, until the rear is level with the trailer.

That gives me a few inches of clearance to close the garage door. My Wave mast fits diagonally across a single garage space. I lay it across the boat with towels under the float end and center section, and then support the other end with a webbing strap attached to the opposite corner of the garage. Not sure about a 16 mast.

Trying to tack you way along a narrow channel that is churned up by boat wakes will be a frustrating experience at best. You can add a small outboard to a Wave - I have wondered about it or that reason, but decided to go a different route. Not sure you could that with a 16.

PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2018 9:19 am 
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Mon May 09, 2005 10:25 am
Posts: 3531
Location: Jersey Shore
Storing a 26 foot long mast in a 20 foot long garage is going to be the deal breaker. Even if you are able to squeeze it in diagonally, you need to consider how much work it's going to be each time to disconnect all of the shrouds, untie it from the trailer, move it into storage, etc.

Then you would likely have to do similar with the boat to squeeze it into the garage. Although you might be able to get around the boat/trailer length issue by installing a trailer tongue hinge.

In any case, you're probably better off looking at a boat like the Wave. Very beginner friendly, smaller than a Hobie 16, and has a 2-piece mast for easy storage.


PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2018 12:47 pm 
Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2018 5:13 am
Posts: 3
These tips are hugely helpful. It's a lot to think about.

Someone asked what the full width of the garage is--I don't recall. But the eight feet is a conservative measure between the opening. There's about another foot on either side of the opening. The beam on my power-boat is roughly the same as the Hobie 16--plus the power boat has the trailer license and lights sticking out on the side.

The power boat is fifteen feet--but that doesn't include the additional couple of feet that the motor takes up--or the trailer tongue.

Regarding the trailer tongue, I had a swivel tongue installed. They are great. I'm not sure if such a set up is available for a Hobie Trailer. But this one is easy to swivel and unswivel. It remains held fast while trailering. And it takes about a foot off the front of the trailer tongue.

The main issue would be the mast. I am wondering whether it's possible to store it not only diagonally but vertically.

Keep in mind that already with getting the powerboat ready to go and getting it in and out of the garage is something that takes forty-five to seventy five minutes. Getting it in has gotten easier though now that we have the drill down more. But we also have to stop and flush the motor with fresh water each time after going in saltwater---plus, we have to stop for gas each time. So it's not like hassle would be a change. I'm just wondering which would be less hassle.

I think the ideal solution is to get my dad to borrow from my inheritance so that we can move to condo with a bigger garage and a less narrow driveway. :P But I'm not holding my breath on that one. :D I think we just need to keep saving a few more years until we can upgrade to a place with a bigger garage.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2018 9:47 am 
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Fri Oct 17, 2008 2:21 pm
Posts: 361
Location: Winston Salem, NC
I doubt very much that the beam of a 15' power boat approaches the 8' beam of a Hobie 16. My 18' Cape Cod catboat (monohull) was 8.5' wide, typical for a catboat but very wide compared to other boats. My garage door is also 8' wide with an additional foot of width inside. I wouldn't even try to get the Hobie into it.

Ideally you need to find a place you can store it between home and where you want to sail. From your description of your driveway and garage, storing any kind of boat there sounds about impossible. The other possibility is a boat like my old Cape Cod catboat which would need to be kept in a boat slip. It had a cabin to sleep 2 people, a porta potty, and place to keep a little stove. Draft was 18" with the board up and had a small motor so you could go anywhere (like up a canal). It was no where near as fast as a catamaran but could be exciting in a strong wind. A cat boat has only one sail with the mast far forward in the bow. I had the ideal setup. i would trailer my Hobie to the lake where I kept my catboat. I would sleep in the catboat then sail the Hobie the next day.


PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2018 5:06 pm 
Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Tue May 22, 2018 3:12 pm
Posts: 16
Location: Denver
They say that boats are holes in the water into which the owner dumps money. A catamaran is two holes! :lol:

That said, Hobies are pretty cheap to maintain, especially the 16 with as much ubiquity as it has.

That said, you will not fit the mast in a 20 foot garage. At 20x10, your garage has a little over 22 feet diagonal (thanks to Pythagoras). The mast is definitely 26 feet long. I think the beam is wide enough that you'd be fine, so fitting the actual boat in isn't too bad, but the mast will need some alternate arrangements.

1978 16, "Bifrost"

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