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How To Sail A Hobie Cat

Lowest Wind Speed For Sailing

How to Sail a Hobie Cat!


Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:18 am
Site Rank – Deck Hand


Does anyone have thoughts or opinions about the lightest wind that would still permit sailing. I just bought a new H16, and I want to spend some time on the water in very calm conditions. I’ll be using my Hobie on a lake, so there is no current or waves. I don’t care about going fast right now. I just want to learn how to use the boat.We had terrific sailing winds over the holiday weekend, and now that I have the boat, the winds are basically nil. So, how much wind do I need?


Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:45 am
Site Rank – Old Salt


You will love this for an indirect answer: depends on the conditions. Is there a current or tide – then you need enough wind to counteract them. Is there a lot of power boat/jet ski traffic – then you would need enough not to be a bouncing bob . Otherwise, as long as you have a paddle and don’t care how fast you go, the windless sky and your paddling ability is the limit. P.S. For real light wind tie cassette tape to your bridle and shrouds. It will give you wind direction even in the lightest breezes. Last edited by on Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:48 am, edited 1 time in total.


Line Whipping & Splicing

Give your rig the finishing touches with whipping twine or a custom splice. We offer whipping twine spools and kits as well as a variety of fids and splicing tools.

  • From inflatable and paddle kayaks to MirageDrive pedal kayaks and Pro Anglers, Hobie has the perfect kayak for you to get out on the water. Shop the full range of Hobie Kayaks below.

    Hobie Kayaks

    Hobie is home of the original pedal kayak, powered by Hobie’s MirageDrive. Hobie didn’t invent the kayak – they perfected it. From inflatable and paddle kayaks to MirageDrive pedal kayaks and Pro Anglers, Hobie has the perfect way for you to get out on the water. West Coast Sailing stocks the full line of Hobie Kayaks, including the Mirage, Pro Angler, and Inflatable Kayaks as well as the Paddle Series, plus the full range of parts and accessories.

  • West Coast Sailing Charter Information

    How Do You Ride In A Hobie Cat

    Hobie Cats can fit a handful of people in them, and only one needs to steer the boat. The others will just need to enjoy the ride. Doing this is remarkably easy to do, even if youve got younger kids onboard.

    When youre just riding the boat, its best to sit near the tiller facing your sail and use your weight to balance the boat. You can use your feet to hook yourself into the catamaran for extra security.

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    Sailing Boots & Footwear

    Whether its ankle-length short boots, or mid-calf length, we’ve got the sailing boots that are right for you. Our rubber sailing boots have a broad fit to accommodate thicker socks and warm layers. Neoprene boots provide great support and protection for the active dinghy sailor. Or shop deck shoes for big boat sailing and our full range of socks and other footwear accessories.

    Dyneema Spectra & Vectran Sailing Line

    Hobie Cat 16

    If you’re looking for line with near zero stretch, then our selection of Dyneema, Spectra, and Vectran lines are for you! These high tech lines have near zero stretch and perfect for performance applications such as travelers or as part on a control set up. These lines are uncovered and more likely to wear, but do feature UV coating to protect from sun damage.

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    West Coast Sailing Charters

    West Coast Sailing typically offers charter boats for key Columbia Gorge Racing Association events in the Gorge at Cascade Locks each summer. All available charter opportunities will be posted on this web page. Last updated October 1st, 2021.

    West Coast Sailing is excited to sponsor and support the 2022 RS Aero Worlds in Cascade Locks. Charters are available directly though RS Sailing. Early bird discount available until January 31st, 2022. Click the link below to visit the charter booking page for more information.

    Are Hobie Cats Easy Or Hard To Sail

    Hobie Catamarans are a staple among new boating enthusiasts for a reason. That reason is that they are easy to sail and are often used as the standard starting boat for families that want to give this hobby a try.

    Unlike other boats of their size, Hobie Cats were designed with the beginner in mind. Theyre sailboats that are easy to train, beach, and drive. So, yes. They are relatively easy to sail, and thats what makes them the most popular catamaran type in the world.

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    The Best Hobie Sailing Info On The Web

    Im no sailing expert, although I sometimes play one on the internet. You may have seen me as the Roving Reporter for JoyriderTVs Show us your Cat series. My sons Sea Scouts Ship has been fortunate to receive a few Hobie Cat sailboats as donations to use in their efforts to teach young men and women seamanship and watercraft safety.

    I have found myself scouring the interwebs for useful information to help me get up to speed to help with repairs and instruction. This page is where I post the sailing and Hobie info that I find most useful in this journey. Unless otherwise noted, none of this info is my original work just stuff that Ive found online and archived on Gear Report so it will be easy to find and wont disappear any time soon. Most are documents that I have downloaded and posted. A few are links to other websites.

    Wetsuits & Skiff Suits

    Teaching My Wife How To Sail âµï¸?ð¨ðâï¸? A Hobie Cat 16

    A wetsuit is a popular and versatile garment for spring and fall sailing, offering core warmth and the ability to add or subtract layers as conditions change. Pair with a smock top and thermal top for those chilly days on the water! Wet suits available in full length, farmer john style sleeveless, pants, and shorts styles for adults and kids.Pick up yours today and keep sailing late into the season.

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    Finding The Right Diameter

    If you are replacing an existing line, the easiest way to determine what diameter you need is to match what you already have. This can be done with a caliper or by close estimation with a tape measure. If you’ve previously used a 5mm control line and it has performed well, another 5mm line is likely a great choice. In most applications, there is some flexibility in the exact diameter that can be used. Most blocks, for example, have an ‘ideal’ diameter but also have a range so that you can run a slightly thinner or slightly thicker line. If you have a control line that is getting hung up in your rig, stepping down 1-2mm might help the halyard run more efficiently. If you have a larger boat or rig and want to run a thinner control line , consider a double braid high tech line that features a Dyneema or spectra core for strength.

    Can I Sail My Hobie Cat In A Storm

    Hobie Cats are great for daysurfing and casual sailing, but they are not great for stormy weather. Unlike other boats, Hobie Cats will not provide any form of shelter from storms or inclement weather.

    While they are considered to be unsinkable, Hobie Cats still wont fare well in a storm and can capsize easily. Its best to keep your sailing days sunny and to beach your boat as soon as you see storms coming by.

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    Do Hobie Cats Have Gas Motors

    A standard make Hobie Catamaran will not have a motor. These are made to be sailboats, and that means theyre powered by wind and surf. That being said, there are kits available that can convert a Hobie Cat into a motorboat, but you typically will need to install them yourself.

    Adding a motor to your Hobie Cat makes a lot of changes to how you sail your boat, how your boat is viewed in the eyes of the law, and more. Heres what you need to know before you modify your boat:

    • Maintenance will increase. If you arent ready to spend extra on your boat, dont add a motor to it. This makes upkeep more involved and pricier than youd think.
    • Your state may require you to get a boating license. Motorized boats arent the legal equal of sailboats. You will need to be licensed to drive your modded boat.
    • Oh, and you might need to sharpen your steering skills. Steering with a motor is harder than just doing your standard sailboat procedure. Youll need to practice.
    • Your speed might increase if you want it to. Most people dont use the motor on the water, though. Its more of a starter thing for many boaters, and if you want a smoother start, its worth consideration.

    What Happens If I Capsize

    2020 Hobie 16 from Hobie Cat

    Dont panic. Hobie Cats are lightweight enough for you to flip over or push to shore. While many sailboats can right themself, a catamaran just isnt designed that way. Most sailing schools will teach you to right your boat once its turned over as part of your first lesson.

    Righting a boat can be tricky to do solo, so its best to sail as a group when you first start out. Extra hands can make it easier than ever to get the kind of sailing experience you want, even after your boat capsizes.

    Heres how you right a capsized Hobie.

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    The Effects Of Wind Direction

    The direction from which the wind is coming will dictate your course. Imagine that you are sailing on the face of a giant clock. The wind is coming from noon on the clock and you wish to sail to the area between 10 on one side and two on the other side. Unfortunately, this area is normally dead area, meaning that it is impossible to sail directly into it. Instead, you will have to zigzag across the face of the wind to arrive at your destination. This is known as tacking. Any other course on the clock face can be reached simply by sailing toward it. For example, if you wished to sail to three on the olock face, you would be sailing a beam reach directly for the goal. The same would be true if you were sailing to nine on the clock. Sailing to three would put you on a port tack. Sailing to nine would call for a starboard tack.

    fig. 7.

    Whenever you change your course, remember to align and adjust the sail. If you forget, you will not be getting the best performance out of your cat. Watch those telltales and the sails. Align and adjust.

    To determine which direction the wind is Coming from, watchn flags or trees around the body of water on which you plan to sail. Its also a good idea to ask fellow sailors about the wind reputation of a given area and to watch the weather report the night before. While you are still learning, it is a good idea not to venture out when strong winds are blowing. They may be a bit more than you are prepared to handle.

    High Tech Sailing Line

    For sailboat racing, high tech line that is durable and offers minimal stretch isn’t an option, it’s a requirement. West Coast Sailing offers a range of high tech line options including Samson Ultra-Lite, Alpha Ropes SSR, Robline Dinghy Control, Marlow Excel Racing, and Robline Coppa 500. These lines have a strong, low stretch Spectra or Dynemma core with a durable cover.

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    Hobie Cat Sailing Lessons West Palm Beach

    Get on the water and sail on a Hobie Cat. Theres nothing quite like the salt air breezes across your face as you sail on the ocean. Adventurous and relaxing, all at the same time. Rent a Hobie Cat at Downwind today!

    HOBIE 16With its legendary design and induction into the Sailing Hall of Fame, the Hobie 16 is truly in a class of its own. Thirty years of racing and going stronger than ever.

    Powerful enough to challenge veteran sailors yet easy enough for beginners, the Hobie 16 is the perfect all around cat. Asymmetrical hulls eliminate the need for dagger boards. This makes for easy launching and beaching.

    Standard Features:

    • White Asymmetrical Hulls Eliminate Daggerboards for Easy Beaching
    • Kick-Up Rudders Allow Easy Beaching
    • Colored, Race-Ready Dacron Sails
    • Raised Trampoline for Dry, Comfortable Sailing and Easy Trapezing
    • Double Trapeze System

    How Do I Keep Safe In A Hobie Cat

    How to sail fast Hobie 16 multi cam with commentary

    Like with any other boat, safety is an issue that should be every persons primary concern. Though Hobie Cats are fairly safe, injuries and accidents can still happen. When sailing, make sure you follow these important safety tips:

    • Stay close to the beach, and keep a waterproof radio on hand. Accidents happen, and fast help can save your life. You want to make sure that you can get peoples attention if you need help while sailing. Staying in eyesight of others and having an emergency radio will help.
    • Always wear a lifejacket. This is a must. Lifejackets will save your life in the event of an accident.
    • Learn to swim first. You really shouldnt sail until you can swim. Should your Hobie Cat capsize, being unable to swim can turn a small issue into life-threatening danger.
    • Dont sail in stormy weather. A single lightning strike is all it takes for a good time to turn terrible.
    • Avoid larger boats and speed boats. Collisions with larger boats can easily cause death and serious injury.
    • Check your equipment before you set sail. An equipment failure, be it a cord or a seal, can easily spell wrecking for your boat. These boats are said to be unsinkable, but thats not always the case.
    • Never drink and sail. We know it looks good in movies, but drunk sailing is still a form of drunk driving.

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    Introduction To Hobie Cat Sailing

    Offered Most Thursdays, 10am 1pm

    This three hour course teaches students the skills needed to sail a Hobie Wave safely and effectively even if youve never sailed before! A short classroom session teaches the fundamentals of sailing such as sail trim upwind and downwind, tacking and jibing. The on-the-water portion of the course consists of rigging, launching and sailing a catamaran with an instructor onboard. Finally, students learn how to right the boat in case of a capsize. Once students can perform all the skills taught in the course they become eligible for Hobie Wave Boat Access.

    Double Braid Vs Single Braid

    Two terms you will often see in line descriptions are ‘double braid’ and ‘single braid’, which refer to the way the line is constructed. At the most basic level, a double braid line has a cover and a core whereas a single braid does not, but there are other important distinctions to consider when making a line selection.

    Single Braids are made up of either 8 or 12 strands that are braided into a circular pattern, half clockwise and half counter clockwise. This produces a line that is supple, absorbs twists, and tends not to kink. There are two types of single braid lines: performance single braids and polyester/blended single braids. Performance single braids are made from fibers with very low stretch and designed to handle extreme loads – think Dyneema, Spectra, or Vectran. Polyester/blended single braids, sometimes called hollow braid, are soft and easy to grip, built for sheets and hand-adjusted control lines. These are less common than performance single braid lines but recommended in a few specific applications.

    For control lines, we typically recommend Double Braids, particularly for the portion which is either cleated or is handled by the sailor. If you control line system requires a ‘secondary’ line , a single braid high tech line such as Dyneema or Spectra is appropriate.

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    Are Hobie Cats Good For Racing

    If youre looking for a fast but small sailboat, youre going to love the feeling of sailing in a Hobie Cat. These boats can go extremely fast compared to other boats of their size and maneuver very well.

    As a result, these boats are a favorite among boat racers. Want to race? Not a problem. There are multiple organizations entirely devoted to racing Hobie Cats for you to check out once you have learned how to handle your catamaran.

    How Much Does A Hobie Cat Cost

    Hobie 16 Catamaran

    It depends on the model and make. Most new models will sell for $12,000 or less, right off the marina. If you opt for an older boat, youll be able to find well-kept models for as little as $4,000 on a fairly regular basis.

    That being said, buying a Hobie Cat isnt the only cost youll incur. You also have to worry about the following issues:

    • Storage and transport. If you own a trailer and have a large lot, this wont be a problem. Otherwise, you may need to look for a marina that will store your boat off-season. Transport and storage can cost more than the boat itself!
    • Maintenance. Hobie Cats are generally low maintenance. That being said, they still need upkeep. Expect to pay at least $400 per year on upkeep alone, especially if youre not storing it properly.
    • Fees. Just docking and driving your Hobie Cat can incur fees. These vary greatly depending on your location.

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