Hobie 16

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Current Specifications
Hobie Cat 16.jpg
A Hobie 16 'The Pig' in action on Pittwater, Australia
Crew 2
Type Catamaran
LOA 5.05m (16' 7")
Beam 2.41m (7' 11")
Hull weight 145 kg (320 lb)
Mast height 8.08m (26' 6")
Spinnaker area 15m² (161.5 ft²)
D-PN 76.0[1]
RYA PN 811[2]
Development
Year 1972

The ISAF International Class Hobie 16 (H16) is a popular catamaran manufactured by the Hobie Cat Company for racing and day sailing. The craft was the driving force behind the popularization of beachcats and was recently inducted into the Sailing Hall Of Fame.

Introduced in 1972,[3] the Hobie 16 is the second largest boat fleet in existence with over 135,000 boats built to date.[4]

The boat is distinctly recognized for its asymmetric "banana" shaped hulls, designed to work without the need for daggerboards so the catamaran could be run up the beach without worry. The rudders kick up automatically by lifting up on the tiller crossbar.

Structure[edit]

A de-rigged Hobie 16

The Hobie 16 is manufactured in France by the Hobie Cat company, and by the Hobie Cat of America company in the United States. Historically the French boats are preferred as they are perceived to be built to tighter tolerances.[citation needed]

The Hobie 16 normally carries two sails, the mainsail and the jib. There is a kit to allow an H16 to fly a spinnaker but this is only class legal for youth racing.

Each hull has two pylons (the forward ones are vented to allow the pressure inside the hull to equalise) and the frame fits onto these pylons. The frame consists of four aluminium alloy beams which slot into four aluminium alloy corner castings and are secured with rivets. The trampoline slots along the inside of the beams and is tensioned by rope or shock cord. Racers commonly epoxy the beams into the castings to boost rigidity because the flexing of the boat as it rides over waves saps power. Equally, the joints may be packed with aluminium sheet cut from drink cans; this method facilitates disassembly.

Earlier masts were one piece, of aluminium alloy, but were changed to two pieces with a non-conductive composite fiberglass tip (known as "comptip"), after a few people in the United States of America were electrocuted trying to raise masts under power lines and their families sued Hobie Cat.[5][6] The mast foot casting forms a ball which steps into a cup-shaped shoe riveted onto the forward crossmember and there is a Teflon disk separating the two. The downward compressive force from the mast is partially carried by the crossmember and partially by a stainless steel compression post and tensioned tie rod assembly called a "dolphin striker".

The Hobie 16 is noted for its particularly robust construction. While this is of great benefit when launching and recovering in waves, and in close quarters racing where contact is not uncommon, the Hobie 16 does weigh more than some other boats of similar type, notably the Dart 18.

The H16 may be equipped with two trapeze wires either side to allow both the helm and crew to trapeze. "Cat seats" can be fitted to allow disabled sailors to sail the H16 without too much penalty.

The rudder assembly consists of a rudder on each hull fitted to a Hobie-patented automatically releasing stock comprising a casting, a cam, and a spring-loaded plunger. This allows the rudders to spring up when they hit ground, to avoid damage. The system can be troublesome until the correct tension is set on the spring[citation needed]. The rudders are connected to two short tillers which are in turn attached via a ball and socket joint to a connecting rod called the tiller bar. The tiller attaches to the centre of the tiller bar and is typically extendable for operation while trapezing.

The mainsheet has a maximum of a 6:1 purchase and has a traveller that allows movement over the entire aft crossmember of the frame. The jib sheets are of a 2:1 purchase and attach on the front beams with their own two travellers.

The boat has a 3:1 purchase downhaul (upgradable to 6:1) to tension the mainsail and an outhaul (standard 1:1, upgradable to 2:1) to flatten the mainsail along the boom. Both the mainsail and jib are fully battened.

Tuning[edit]

In most situations, the H16 mast is raked back as far as possible. You are limited by the distance between the boom and the rear crossmember and the distance between the clew of the jib and the jibsheet blocks. The cut of the jib was changed[when?] to allow further rake and low profile jib and mainsheet blocks are essential.

For maximum speed, the windward hull should be flying and skipping along the surface of the water. H16s do not beat particularly well, nor do they sail directly downwind particularly well. They are, however, proficient at reaching, so if in doubt, sailors are encouraged to sail at more reaching angles.

H16s at speed in choppy waters are prone to "pitch-pole". This is where the leeward bow digs into the back of a wave and if the main is not de-powered immediately and the crew's weight isn't back far enough, the boat is liable to trip head over heels. The pitch-poling tendency of the Hobie 16 results from a number of design factors; the relatively large sail area to hull length ratio and the flat top of the hulls are particular contributors. Crews are advised to keep their body weight as far back as possible in strong winds when sailing at angles between a broad reach and true reach; to this end it is advisable for the heavier crew member to act as helm. When beating, pitch-poles are less common and weight can be brought forward to aid angle of point.

Righting[edit]

Turtling can be prevented. The mast is supposed to be sealed, so it floats. However, Hobies have been at the forefront of the use of a streamlined blimp-like float that attaches to the top of the mast.[A]

When an H16 capsizes, it will normally lie on its side as the mast is sealed and positively buoyant. It is imperative that at least one of the crew immediately get onto the righting line to prevent the boat turtling as it is more difficult to recover from that position. With all sheets released, the crew stand on the lower hull. The bows of the boat should be pointing into the wind and the crew can facilitate this by shifting their weight forward along the hull which will allow the wind to push on the trampoline and 'windvane' the boat head to wind. The crew then lean back on the righting line ready to grab the bottom of the boat as it comes up to prevent it from capsizing to the other side.

It is far more difficult for one person to right an H16 without using additional equipment such as a righting bag or some device to slacken the shrouds.

In practice it is not always possible to align the capsized boat with bows pointing into wind, particularly in the presence of waves. If the boat is righted from a position where the mast is to some degree upwind of the hull, the boat’s inertia, coupled with the wind pressure, can cause it to immediately capsize in the opposite direction. The crew can mitigate this tendency by grabbing hold of the dolphin striker on the windward side of the boat as it passes through the horizontal position. In the interests of safety the crew must be prepared to release the dolphin striker and allow the boat to capsize for a second time if it appears that they are in danger of being lifted clear of the water.

A Hobie 16 can be brought onto its side from a fully inverted or ‘turtled’ position by a single crew member with relative ease. The technique involves one crew member climbing aboard one of the upturned hulls and sitting or standing as close to the rear as possible. Thanks to low buoyancy towards the rear of the boat, this should cause the hull to sink; the diagonally opposite front corner will rise clear of the water and the boat will come up onto its side. The conventional capsize recovery technique can be used from this point.

Other Specifications[edit]

Maximum Load: 362 kg (800 lb)
EC homologation category C

See also[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ "Easily removed for trailering or racing." "Hobie Mast Float – Mama Bob". Sailboat Marine. Retrieved 17 November 2013. 

Endnotes[edit]

  1. ^ "Multihull Classes". US Sailing. Retrieved 22 August 2012. 
  2. ^ "Portsmouth Number List 2012". Royal Yachting Association. Retrieved 22 August 2012. 
  3. ^ http://www.sailamerica.com/halloffame/hobie16.asp
  4. ^ Hobie 16 2012 class report 2012, International Sailing Foundation
  5. ^ St. Petersburg Times - Sep 28, 1977, "Electrocution Lawsuit is Settled Out of Court", Neil Skene, Staff Writer
  6. ^ Sunday Times-News - Feb 22, 1986, Henderson, NC, "Negligence Ruled in Lawsuit", Wilmington-AP

External links[edit]