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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 9:47 am 
Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Tue May 05, 2009 6:27 pm
Posts: 1
Serious Newbie questions.

I know a bit about sailboats but nothing about Hobies. Any and all advice greatly appreciated!

Just bought a 1978 14ft. Rigging seems in good shape. Sail is wasted and will need replaced. Trailer looks homemade and scary, I think there are pieces of sign post and guard rails on it. Need a new trailer!

Biggest part I don’t like is cracks on the tops of the hulls in the gel coat and the tops will also flex and pop when I push on them. They don’t crack but they do flex.

Is it normal for the fiberglass on the tops of the hulls to flex like this? Is it old and just become brittle? Was the Hull designed not to be walked on? Can I stiffen it some way?

What can I do to refinish the gel coat? It is Tan in color and looks like my Moms 1970’s Green fridge and stove. Can I strip the gel coat and paint it with a two part Urethane or primer that will soften the gel coat?

About an inch of water inside each hull and the foam blocks are intact. Can you fill the insides with that stuff they pump into your walls? Or Stuff in a can? I have used this procedure on Wooden Kayaks in the buoyancy tanks.

Has anyone ever tried the DIY sails at Sailrite?

Does anyone own a Castle Craft trailer? I’m leery of bolt together trailers. If so is it holding up well?

Already know the lesson on boats, “Hole in the water”! Wife just deployed to Iraq, and need a project to take my mind off things. I think I have it!


PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2009 8:53 am 
Site Admin

Joined: Tue May 27, 2003 12:44 pm
Posts: 13815
Location: Oceanside, California
Lots of good information in these forums. Try a search of the forums for many of the questions.

We have a FAQ section for sailing questions that have been answered:

There is a specific post on the soft / delamination:

Do not fill the hulls with "Wall filler". This will hold water. There is debate about filling with an appropriate closed cell - floatation foam. I say no... the stuff is heavy and will still tend to trap water.

Matt Miller
Director of Parts and Accessory Sales
Warranty and Technical Support
Hobie Cat USA

PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 4:28 pm 
Site Rank - Admiral

Joined: Wed Sep 27, 2006 8:32 am
Posts: 245
Fix the decks.... drill a hole through top layer of fiberglass ONLY, don't go ALL THE WAY through into the inside of the hulls... just the top layer..... drill holes in a grid... maybe 1 inch apart... where it's soft.... inject into the holes some expoy.... look for google, etc words like "hobie, deck, soft, delamination, repair, " etc....

Don't put expanding foam into the hulls.... adds weight.... then more weight as they soak up water.... upsetting boat balance and trim...

Once you fix the hulls.... you can get a high speed polisher and some good cutting/polishing compound and go to town on it... look on youtube for something like "hobie hull refinish"....

All in all.... I'd recommend you find a boat that's ready to sail and only needs tweaks..... Unless you're really patient to get the boat, the sails, the trailer, etc up to par and investing the time, money, energy to do so.

Then, when you're done... you'll want a Jib... and a trapeze setup to make that 14 fly....

When it's stiff and tight with good rigging and sails... solid hulls (as designed when new) it's a BLAST for one person....

Now... if you're over probably 180 pounds.... the 14 may just, literally, be a bit too small for you... if so... just trade up for a Hobie 16.

Rob sends....

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