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 Post subject: First sailboat
PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 8:54 am 
Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2014 4:05 pm
Posts: 17
Location: Ocala, Fl
So i have rented a hobie twice on vacation and have sailed sunfish as well.

This was 20 years ago.

Now at 60 i am ready to get into sailing again on a more frequent basis.

Considering a Hobie 16 but have been told it's too much boat for me.

I am an athletic 6 ft 250 pounds and have fast reflexes. involved in kayaking, mountain biking and other sports.

My sailing skills are nil but i am not a couch potato.

As I understand it a monohull is considered a "better" first boat but when i look at specs for Laser and Sunfish I see recommended weight is way less than 250 pounds.

I will be sailing on a large lake not in ocean at this point.

Do i go for the Hobie or a monohull?

Is my weight a disqualifier for the mono?

I will be sailing solo for the most part.

As I recall the sunfish was not a rocket but was fun.

I guess my other choices are the rotomold hobies.

Any thoughts??

 Post subject: Re: First sailboat
PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 9:17 am 
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Mon Oct 09, 2006 2:34 pm
Posts: 584
Location: NC
I say go for it. Worst case is you turn around and sell it for what you paid for it.

My first sailboat was a hobie 16 right after high school. I experienced a pretty big learning curve given that I was pretty isolated from other sailors at the time. I spend the first two years kind of fumbling around with the boat, sailing her, but not sailing it anywhere near its potential or understanding some of the finer points of sail trim, rigging, etc. I likely still don't sail it to its potential after more than a decade. I'm 6'4'', 34, and about 230 pounds for reference. I sail solo most of the time and can right it by myself at that weight. I even have witnesses.

Once I got hooked up with sailors that knew the boat my learning grew exponentially. Learning to race and attending regattas also speed up the learning process and all in all made sailing more enjoyable for me. The 16 is a fast and responsive boat and it will send the best sailor swimming unexpectedly from time to time. As long as you keep safety in mind as you learn, I'd say get yourself a 16.

When purchasing, avoid soft boats at all costs. They aren't worth the trouble of fixing most of the time.

I also have a sunfish and I love sailing it! I can take the sunfish out in winds that would cartwheel the hobie 16. I don't have anything bad to say about either boat. The advantage of the 16 is that you can take people sailing with you and you can trapeeze. I now also have a 22 foot mono and I think my hobie experience actually made me more comfortable sailing it.

There is nothing wrong with the rotomolded boats either. I prefer fiberglass for the ease of repair, but there is a little more maintenance involved. The advantage of the rotomolded boats is their increased bouyancy and load carrying capacity. If you are strictly planning to sail for leisure, the getaway is a cool boat. They are still pretty fast and you can carry the whole family on them.

A recent poll on this site shows that there are plenty of people your age sailing hobies. Go for it!

86' Redline Hobie 16
Sail # 76909

 Post subject: Re: First sailboat
PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 2:02 pm 
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 7:02 pm
Posts: 344
Location: Rockford, IL
Whoever said a 16 is too much boat for you should go jump in a lake. :lol:

OK, I sail on Lasers and other monohulls (up to 34' keelboats) with the UW-Madison Hoofers sailing club. I also own a Hobie Getaway. I have owned Hobie 17's and have sailed Hobie 16s. I'm 5-9 and 200 pounds, also "fairly" athletic with mountain biking, etc. Oh, and I'm almost 64 years old. So using me for a basis of comparison:
I feel like a Laser is tiny. I'm not comfortable on them, but sail them sometimes, if I don't have any crew to go with me (the club requires 2 people on the larger boats). I'm fully comfortable with their 420's (14' sloop) and Interlake Sailboats (18' sloop which can carry 6 people) but the club requires 2 people on board to sail them. These boats are fun, in their way, but much, much slower than any catamaran.
They are dryer, though, so the sailing season in Wisconsin is longer with them.

I prefer my Hobie. The Getaway is about the same size, although heavier and slower, than the 16. I'm fully comfortable sailing it solo. I would be fully comfortable on a Hobie 16 or 17 solo also (the 17 is actually a solo racing boat. It's faster than the 16 in high winds, slower in low winds, doesn't capsize as easily as a 16, but is pretty uncommon in good shape.)

I am extending my Hobie sailing season-I just bought a drysuit. Found one designed for sailing at in the UK, cost about $250 with liner, shipped from England. My early season sailing will be solo, because my wife says if it's too chilly to sail in a swimsuit, it's a good day for tea and a good book.
I have the Getaway because I have kids and grandkids, and it's not unusual to have 6 people on my boat. That's too much for a 16, and way too much for a 17. I think it's too much for a 18, but I have no experience with the 18s.

So, if I were you, my first choice would be a Hobie 17, if you can find one in very good shape. 2nd choice, a Hobie 16. Others would reverse that order. For solo or 2 people sailing, the Hobie Wave is, I hear a good choice (I have no experience with them). There are nice monohulls out there; I considered a Hunter 22 before I bought my Getaway, and the Melges Scows are fun, fast boats. But there's just something about catamarans that float my boat. :D

But to say a 16 is too much for you? Ridiculous.

(Edit. Just found this on eBay. Price seems great for such a new boat, and it looks like it fits the bill! I'd be tempted if I wanted a smaller capacity boat.) ... kA&vxp=mtr

(2nd edit, here's a 16!) ... 2475743409

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

 Post subject: Re: First sailboat
PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 2:47 pm 
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2014 1:30 pm
Posts: 627
Location: Benicia, CA
When you rented the hobies on vacation, what were they and did you enjoy sailing them?

I agree that whoever told you to skip the 16 was out to lunch.

I don't know why you are limiting your choices of monohulls to just laser and sunfish...there are many many many more monohulls than those. If you are limited to trailering, there are still lots of choices.

You might also consider a trimaran (not just Hobie tris). A windrider 17 is an awesome machine for single handing. A weta is fun but, well, wet. A Triak is a sailing kayak (you already kayak) and is great and my 210 pounds is comfortable in it.

For any boat purchase you have to remember that you can get any two of three things. You can have performance or cost or comfort.

Do you mind getting wet, is the water cold; what's the normal summer wind like? Take a look around where you are going to be sailing and see what boats are being sailed solo.

BMW C600
Formerly raced F24 Mk II

 Post subject: Re: First sailboat
PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 9:36 pm 
Site Rank - Captain

Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2016 4:35 am
Posts: 99
Location: Opelika/Lake Martin, Alabama
The Hobie 16, although capable of hauling ass, is also enjoyable just cruising around. I wouldn't have a problem having one as a first boat, but I would be cautious with it until you understood the beast that it is. Go out in light air and get to know how the boat handles, whatever boat you get, build your confidence and just get out there and do it. Sure, you are going to capsize now and then, that's all part of catamarans anyway, just learn how to right the boat and you will be fine, it's no big deal to capsize. Whatever craft you end up with, just learn the boat and have fun, that's what it's all about. The Hobie 16 would be fine as a first boat.

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

 Post subject: Re: First sailboat
PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 10:51 pm 
Site Rank - Admiral

Joined: Fri May 11, 2012 3:07 pm
Posts: 171
Most people answer the which boat should I buy question with whatever boat they have. I have owned a Hobie 16, Hobie 14, Hobie 17 and Hobie Getaway. I enjoyed them all. Here are some other thoughts.

1. I think a boat with furling jib is a must have, it makes the boat easier to control and faster. A furling jib rather then one that doesn't furl is key, none furling jibs are a bit of a pain to deal with, with a furling jib if you don't want to use it, just pull the string.

2. There are other great starter boats aside from Hobies. The Prindle 16 and Nacra 5.0 are good options, and I think more stable platforms then the H16 or H14, which pitch pole fairly easily.

 Post subject: Re: First sailboat
PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 12:15 pm 
Site Rank - Admiral

Joined: Fri May 01, 2015 9:49 am
Posts: 154
Location: Eastern PA
For me, the big questions were actually less about sailing than all the other stuff. I knew my sailing time would be limited and a Wave fits in my garage, is super easy to trailer out to the lake and rig solo, and at 180 lbs I am confident that I can right it. Maybe not the right boat for you, but do consider the logistics as well as on-water performance.

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