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PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2004 5:31 am 
Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2004 4:51 am
Posts: 8
Location: Hong Kong
Hi out there!

I just moved into Hong Kong and live at the seaside close to the home of the Hong Kong Hobie fleet. I want to do some watersports and so it is clear that I want to join the club, have a boat and go sailing at least every 2nd weekend. I want to sail with my wife but I would also like to take up to 2 friends with us on the boat from time to time. Now we are shopping for a boat.

1st issue: We have no sailing experience
I did the windsurfing 10 yrs ago and my wife sailed a small "inflated rubber" catamaran 15 yrs ago. Thats all. This means we have no sailing experience but some feeling for the wind. We have registered for a sailing course (0,5 day theorie and 5 days of sailing on a monohull because they do not offer couses on catamarans).

2nd issue: I'm heavy!
- I'm 6 ft 5,5 inch tall and my weight is 230lb.
- My wifes weight is 125 lb
- Total crew weight would be 355 lb (unless I succeede in reducing my weight, which is rather unlikely :( )

The local hobie club has a guy that sells new and second hand hobies. He said that a H16 is too small for the two of us - and now he wants to sell us his Hobie Tiger (2003 model) because it would be the right boat for our weight and easy to sail. He also said the H17 and H18 are outdated design and will no longer produced (don't believe that).

I have my doubts. Beside the fact that the price of the Tiger is three times of the Hobie 16 (which is not really the issue, becasue in HK I have no hobbies so far) I have the following concerns:
- Are we too heavy for the H16? (After getting better I'd love to race!)
- Is the Tiger a boat for beginners or will we crash the thing on the first ride? (The local club will help us to learn)
- Is the 5 days sailing course sufficient to get the basics of sailing in order to operate a Tiger safely?

I would appreciate your comments!


Ralf from Hong Kong

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2004 8:29 am 
Hobie Approved Guru

Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2003 7:11 pm
Posts: 5120
Location: Detroit, MI
You are too heavy to race the 16 competitively, but that doesn't mean that it couldn't handle the weight. It's a very simple boat, and it's all but indestructible.

The 18 is out of production, but still being sailed around the world - used boats can be had here in the US at quite reasonable prices. It can definitely handle the weight, and like the 16 is nearly indestructible.

The 17 is a singlehanded boat that is in limited production. The two of you would exceed the load limit on the wings, so it's defintitely out.

The Tiger is a machine. It can be quite a handful for even experienced sailors. The spinnaker adds a level of complexity that the 16 and 18 don't have. It's not a forgiving boat.

Given your limited experience, I would suggest getting an 18 or a 16 to start with. You can learn how to handle a catamaran which is somewhat different than a monohull. Both boats are forgiving, so you can learn without getting hurt.

Then when you're ready to start racing competitively, move up to a Tiger.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2004 9:51 am 
Authorized Hobie Dealer

Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2003 7:35 pm
Posts: 1369
Location: 315 N. Hwy 79 Panama City Beach, FL 32413 850-235-2281
I highly recommend the Hobie Tiger as a race boat but not for beginners. If your wanting a boat to learn on the Hobie Getaways cannot be beat. It is fast and fun, and oh yea extreamly easy to rig and sail! I would sail it for a year or so adn then sell it and move up to a tiger to race!

Brad Stephens
Hobie Division 15 Chairman
Authorized Hobie/Vanguard/Hunter Dealer
Panama City Beach, FL

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2004 6:16 pm 
Site Rank - Captain

Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2004 6:05 pm
Posts: 33
Location: Melbourne, Australia

A few things. Firstly, production of the H18 has been discontinued in USA however it is still being produced by Hobie cat Australia. AFAIK the decision to discontinue the 17 has been reversed in North America and is still in production in Australia (Sorry - don't know about the other factories). In fact there is a H18 and H17 worlds late this year in Melbourne Australia.

Now, as much as it pains me to do so, I would actively advise against any new sailor from trying to learn on a Tiger. My personal recommendation would be to learn on an 18 as they are a far more forgiving boat, are just about bulletproof (rarely break anything during capsize) and are still loads of fun. Learn on an 18 for 2 - 3 seasons and if you are ready for the next step (and it's still quite a big one), go the tiger by all means.


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