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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2015 6:50 am 
Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2014 4:05 pm
Posts: 17
Location: Ocala, Fl
My prior experience has been at resorts. The Hobie was always rigged and ready to go.

They watch you round a buoy and come back and deem you "good to go".

I have no illusions. I am not a proficient sailor.

Just bought a Hobie 16. I will be launching at a local lake here in Florida. I have practiced stepping mast, hoisting sail (on calm day) and feel I'm ready to get on the water.

My issue is I have no choice but to trailer to lake and launch from ramp.

So how and when do I raise the mainsail? I know I have to be facing into wind to raise the main. If conditions permit do i raise main at dock and try to sail off or better to have jib up and sail away from dock on jib than turn into wind to raise main? Or third option is paddle away from dock and raise main?

At resorts or with those of you fortunate to have a beach it must be so much less complicated!!

My other big concern is coming back in. At the beach it is so easy. What do i do at a concrete ramp?

If wind blowing away from ramp not too bad but if traveling down wind toward ramp how do I gauge when to drop the main?

Again at the beach it was simply a matter of coming in close and beaching.
Obviously I cannot beach on concrete.

Any help is greatly appreciated.

I have had the H16 for almost 3 weeks but have been hesitant to sail due to fear of ramp launch.

Oh yes I have the ocean or gulf both 2 hours from me and can beach launch there (I bought Cat Trax) but prefer to get some calmer water practice before I venture offshore.

Thank you

PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2015 7:47 am 
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2007 11:23 am
Posts: 597
Location: Lake Norman NC
everyone at one time was new Try going thru the hobie forum posts as there have been many answers to your questions
Former Hobie Admiral Gary

PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2015 8:29 am 
Hobie Approved Guru

Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2003 7:11 pm
Posts: 5080
Location: Detroit, MI
Is there a place you can pull the boat up on shore close to the ramp (beach / grass)? That would be ideal, but assuming you don't have that option, then launching with just the jib up (sheets not attached), then raising the main & hooking up the jib sheets (fast pin or snap shackle helps here) at the dock may be your only option.

Leaving is one thing, returning is another. Depending on the wind direction, it could get . . . interesting. You might need to drop the main on the water and sail in under jib alone.

PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2015 10:12 am 
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Mon May 09, 2005 10:25 am
Posts: 3226
Location: Jersey Shore
Another option would be to rig up the boat in the parking lot (put foam padding or carpet under the hulls) and then walk it down to the ramp on your beach wheels when you're ready to sail. Leave the beach wheels near the ramp and then when you come back, put the boat on the wheels and roll it back up into the lot. When returning, before you get to the ramp, turn the boat up into the wind, jump off, and walk the boat up to the ramp (one person holds the boat, the other grabs the wheels). Of course, this all depends on how big the ramp is, how steep it is, and how crowded it is.

Hoisting and lowering the sails on the water is going to be a challenge. If you end up launching from the dock, the general rule of thumb is to keep the boat on the downwind side. This will make it easier when you shove off. It will also prevent the boat from rubbing on the dock or capsizing onto the dock.


PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2015 11:54 am 
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Mon May 24, 2004 10:33 am
Posts: 503
Location: Clinton, Mississippi
Unless there is a beach near the ramp as Matt suggests, this would be daunting for even an experienced catsailor. Got an aerial view of the launch?

There are so many things that can go wrong....too many to list. While docks/ramps tend to be in sheltered areas (which has its advantages), they tend to get swirly shifty winds from the trees, etc. that supply the shelter. With sails up, I'd be really nervous on cat trax/concrete, and I can't even imagine trying to raise/lower H16 sails on the water. Docking any sailboat (especially without auxiliary power) requires some pretty serious boat handling to control forward, backward, and sideways movement. Steering difficulty will compound when you have your rudders up enough not to back down on/break them and/or you have a boat full of mainsail/boom/mainsheet laying on the tramp (and in the way of your steering mechanisms.....crossbar/tiller/hiking stick). Even if all this is doable in light air, wind speed and direction can change quickly once you're on the water.

Hate to be the naysayer, but I do have some experience (meaning I've screwed up just about every way possible). Is there no better lake/launch/catsailing group within a reasonable distance that you can develop your skills with? Lake Eustis Sailing Club, maybe?

You are wise to be shows you've learned a lot already.....

Good luck, man!

Jerome Vaughan
Hobie 16

PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2015 1:00 pm 
Site Rank - Captain

Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 6:41 pm
Posts: 71
Location: Cape Coral FL
What you are wanting to do is very possible, mostly for those with a lot of launch/recoveries under their belt. It also really depends on the conditions of any given day, and the layout of your boat ramp area.

Your first attempts would be to do it on a day where the winds are not very strong, and not blowing exactly perpendicular to the ramp in either direction. The idea would be to have some cross winds to the ramp so you can sail straight away and straight back. You would set up the boat in the parking lot with the sails up, wheel the boat down the ramp with the downhaul completely out, and the sheets completely out so the sails can luff as much as possible. Roll the boat down the ramp and as soon as you get in the water turn the boat into the wind and have the crew stand in the water and hold the boat there while the skipper takes the wheels back to the trailer and locks them up (that's what we do).

Then, have the crew hop on and get ready to sheet in the jib, then the skipper turns the boat, tells crew to sheet, then the skipper hops on and keeps the rudders turned to steer the boat out, and lock the rudders down when water is deep enough and then start sheeting in the main. When you return, the object is to be going as slow as possible, sheets out as much as you can, then right when you get to the ramp turn up into the wind and have one of you hop off and hold the boat there while the other goes and gets the wheels.

There are places we sail that are basically just boat ramps, and you have to do all of the above. We (Fleet 5) will be having our first club race of the year next weekend on 3/7, you are welcome to come by and we can show you how we set up in the parking lot, roll our boats down to the ramp and launch from there. Here is the website link to the club, its on the southern tip of St. Petersburg, so not sure how far from there you are.

If you can tell us the name of the lake, and where it is we can google earth it and take a look.

Welcome to Hobie 16 sailing, hope we can help you get the right start.

Division 8 chair

PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2015 5:33 pm 
Site Rank - Admiral

Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2011 11:35 am
Posts: 269
Location: Memphis, TN
As a fairly new Hobie sailor and have had to trailer and launch from a ramp a bunch, you really NEED some kind of spot to rig the boat off/near the ramp in any kind of wind that's not directly on the concrete ramp. Other (power) boaters will get pissed at you blocking 30+% of the ramp while you struggle rig the boat and turn it into the wind while trying to not let it take off on its own, taking off the bottoms of your hulls at the same time. I would scout out a place near the ramp ( grass/mud/sand ) you could paddle to or sail with the jib only to finish your boat setup there, very worst case, find you an old 10' x 10' patch of carpet to set your boat on at the waters edge while you drop off the car and trailer.
In light winds under 7mph or so i'd go ahead and fully rig the jib but leave it uncleated with lots of slack sheeted out, in the parking lot, toss the rolled up mainsail on the tramp and get it started only a foot up the mast track, bungee the rudders locked UP ( tiller crossbar bungeed in the rear corners ) triple check your drain plugs are screwed in tight and have everything you need on the boat before backing down the ramp - life jackets, sunscreen, mainsheet blocks and small cooler bag with a six pack of iced down um, water, so you're basically ready to sail as soon as the main sail is locked and cleated.......... DO remember to remove rudder bungees before you take off and get 50 yards offshore. :oops:
The real problem is going to be getting back on the concrete ramp going anything over 2mph without damaging your boat. Hobies go amazingly fast in almost no apparent wind - faster than you could swim - if you had to jump off and cushion your landing a few yards from shore. By the time you get back to ramp the wind could have and probably did change directions making things very interesting. If you somehow pull this off, PLEASE get it on video!!!

Tim Grover

Memphis, TN fleet 134
Hobie 16 and 20!

PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2015 7:51 pm 
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 7:02 pm
Posts: 358
Location: Rockford, IL
I always rig on the trailer, with the mainsail connected to the halyard but not raised. My jib is furled.
I launch off the trailer, turn the boat into the wind and raise the sail. If sailing off a pier, you may have to walk it to the other side first. Then sail off the pier depending on which way the wind is heading.

Recovering is tricky. Sail in and turn directly into the wind as you coast into the pier. Lightweight cats don't coast well, so your timing has to be perfect. Drop the mainsail while facing the wind. Sometimes someone has to jump in to catch the boat or stop the boat.

This is how I did it with my Hobie 17s, Thistle, Interlake Sloop, Laser and other motor-less boats.

Now I've got a kicker motor on my Getaway, so I usually motor in and out. Raise and drop the sails well away from the pier. But I'm not as good a sailor anymore. Lazy!

Yet another Bob!
"Firefly" - 2012 Hobie Getaway with wings and spinnaker

PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2015 7:55 pm 
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2010 2:48 pm
Posts: 397
Go sailing with someone who has experience to show you what to do & have fun!

PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2015 8:31 pm 
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Wed May 05, 2010 8:28 am
Posts: 781
Location: Clinton Lake, KS
. You see by the responses to this thread what the Hobie community is all about!

Try finding someone close to you, if they have a Hobie, they will be more than happy to help you out..

Maybe try here

Or find a fleet close to you here. ... 0817/3027/


PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2015 4:27 pm 
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Sun Sep 20, 2009 4:00 pm
Posts: 470
Location: Charlottesville, VA
What I would do totally depends on the layout of the launch area and the direction of the wind.

Typically, it's rig on the trailer with jib up and main started, back down the ramp, walk the boat away from the ramp (to a beach or favored area of the pier) and park the car. Then come back, hoist the main and sail away. For a concrete ramp, I don't bother with beach wheels.

Tell us where this is and we might be able to look at a satellite photo and come up with more specific suggestions. It really depends on where you can put the boat as soon as it's in the water.

'00 H16 #104691 - '78 H16 #32692 ex-rental - Old Holsclaw trailer
My Hobie 16 pages

PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2015 6:58 pm 
Site Rank - Captain

Joined: Sun Dec 28, 2008 8:12 pm
Posts: 57
It sounds to me like you are in central Florida somewhere by your description of 2 hours from either coast. There are many places in central Florida that I would suggest. I am a member of the Lake Eustis Sailing Club. we have an easy launch area for both using a ramp and for beach launching. I would be happy to meet up with you there on a weekend to get you started on the right track.

Another spot is in Clermont. The city launch ramp there has a sand beach on both sides of the ramp so it is easy to slide your H 16 off of the trailer, walk it or paddle it over to the sand, park the car/trailer, then raise the sails on the beach. Easy recovery, too. And on the eastern shore is the Tiki Bar, the home of outstanding grilled burgers, a great place to stop during your sail.

It is best to be conservative as you learn and build confidence in your boat handling. A cat is not the most maneuverable in close quarters.

JT Cole
Clermont, FL
'03 Getaway
'05 Wave

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