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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 10:23 am 
Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2012 6:59 am
Posts: 4
Quick poll question to the 18er's
What are the upsides and what are the down sides to owning a 18?

I will be a first time Hobie owner, and I am about to buy a Hobie 18 that looks to be in great shape. I will sometimes have up to 3 people on teh boat, but would like to be able to solo it as well.

PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 12:07 pm 
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 5:50 am
Posts: 378
Here's my take. I mostly sail solo but sometimes take my family and friends....

- Discontinued boat (although parts are still readily available from Hobie)
- Noticeably heavier than the H16 or 17 on the beach
- Daggerboards can sometimes be a PITA when sailing solo. Always need to plan ahead before beaching. Also, I've had them get stuck in the "Down" position a few times after getting sand and pebbles lodged in the lower flange from dragging the boat across the beach be myself
-Takes a degree of skill to sail solo in heavier winds (say, 15+)
-Older sails can be difficult to raise and set due to worn bolt rope/friction
-Can be a difficult boat to tack without a backwinded jib (trait might apply to all older cats, others can confirm)
-Difficult to solo right without the aid of good wind and/or a righting devise

-Very, very solidly built - I accidentally plowed mine very hard onto a beach covered with ugly "river rounds" this summer and was positive I'd have holes in the hulls. Nothing!
-Lots of used boats and parts available
-Roller furling jib is a great feature
-Lots of hull bouyancy; can handle a lot of crew weight and still perform
-Less of a tendency to pitchpole than the H16 and H17
-Doesn't "hobby horse" in the waves like the H16
-Wings are a great feature (if you can find them)
-Various tuning options (diamond wires, mast rotator, downhaul, mast rake, etc.)
-Fiberglass construction means you can fix just about everything

In moderate winds (say, 9 MPH) , the average sailor isn't going to see much of a speed difference between the H16, H17 and H18, but when the wind and waves are up, you'll be pleased you're on the Hobie 18. It's a great boat!

PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 1:32 pm 
Site Rank - Admiral

Joined: Wed Jan 27, 2010 12:38 pm
Posts: 221
Location: Roswell, GA - USA
I agree with what was said above.

The big difference for me was the flotation in the front that allows you to drive it hard (very hard) and not worry about pitchpoling. This is especially important if you have a heavier crew or more than 2 on the boat. It is bigger and more stable than the 16, not as sensitive to weight distribution. I have the wings and love them, they make sailing much more comfortable, drier and easy + more room on the boat, you can even sit on the wing at the dock and it is no issue. With 3 on board it is very comfortable. My crew likes to sleep on the leeward wing when the wind is not up. I sail on a lake so the daggerboards are not an issue, they do help the boat to point a little better than the 16.

Overall I used to sail both a 16, 18 with wings and many other small sailboats (available to me through the college sailing club) and I always chose the Hobie 18. When it came time for me to get back into sailing, I went for the 18 with wings and love it. The 16 has some advantages but the 18 is my choice :D

PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 1:59 pm 
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 5:40 am
Posts: 464
Location: Metuchen NJ
the downsides: very few.
heavy boat to muscle around the beach without wheels.
while the mast is not much heavier than a H16 mast, the diamond wires sometimes rake my arms hoisting it up.

the upsides:
well designed and solidly built.
plenty of bouyancy up front where its needed when driving hard off the wind.
ability to carry 4 adults with power to spare when the wind is 10 kts or more.
did I mentioned bouyancy? after owning a H16, the H18 is a smooth ride.

to quote an oft-used phrase: GO FOR IT!

'88 H18SE Arís

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