Hobie cat

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Two Hobie cats sailing in St Vaast, Normandy, France

A Hobie Cat is a small sailing catamaran manufactured by the Hobie Cat Company. Hobie's line of products ranges from surfboards to catamaran sailboats to kayaks and stand-up paddle boards, though the Hobie Cat Company is most famous around the world for its catamarans. Hobie also designed a very successful monohull, the Hobie 33.

History[edit]

The company founder, Hobart Alter, began as a surfboard manufacturer in the late 1950s. According to another source, Alter's focus changed in 1961 to designing an easily beached fibreglass catamaran. The impetus of this shift is attributed to a 1961 boat show in Anaheim, CA which placed Alter in a booth selling surfboards, next to Art Javes, the designer of the new (1961) AQUA CAT 12 sailboat. That sailboat featured lightweight fibreglass hulls with an aluminium tube structure supporting a trampoline style deck for seating. The AQUA CAT catamaran did well in shallow water, but relied on dagger boards to reduce slippage sidewise under sail. Dagger boards were also used by the much heavier Pacific Cat from 1960. That design featured a solid fibreglass deck on a 19' x 8' boat, giving it a weight of almost 500 pounds. Following the 1961 boat show, Alter contacted Arthur "Art" Javes, designer of the AQUA CAT to tell him he was also entering the fledgling catamaran market. The first Hobie Cat is credited with being first built in 1965 and featured a structure similar to the AQUA CAT, but slightly heavier with rockered hulls that did not rely on dagger boards. This design was more readily beached than the AQUA CAT or Pacific Cat.

From 1967 on, the new Hobie Cat Company went on to become the largest manufacturer of small catamarans in the world. In 1967, Alter designed the Hobie 14 Catamaran. Alter wanted to make a boat that could be easily launched into the surf. In 1969, Hobie released the Hobie 16, the most popular catamaran ever and the most competitive catamaran class in the world. Over 135,000 Hobie 16 Cats are sailing around the world. The Hobie 18 in 1976, Hobie 17 in 1985, Hobie 21 in 1987, Hobie 18SX in 1989, Hobie 17 Sport in 1990, Hobie 20 in 1991, Hobie 21 Sport Cruiser in 1992, Hobie Wave in 1994, Hobie TriFoiler in 1995, the Hobie Getaway in 2000, then the Hobie Bravo in 2002.

Current and notable past models[edit]

Different catamaran models range from 10 feet (3 m) in length to 21 feet (6 m), and beams range from 6.8 feet (2.1 m) to 8.5 feet (2.6 m), mast heights range from 20 to 33 feet (10 m).

Model Length Over All Beam Draft Weight Mast Crew Description
Hobie 12 Mono-Cat 11' 9" 48" 4" 150 pounds 18' 1 to 2 D-PN of 102.5[1]
Bravo 12' 53" 9" 195 pounds ( 88.45 kg ) 19' 1 to 2
Wave 13' 7' 11" 245 pounds ( 111.13 kg ) 20' 1 to 4
Adventure Island 16' 42" to 112" 2" to 2' 115 pounds ( 52.12 kg ) 15'2" 1 Trimaran, (pedal) MirageDrive
Getaway 16' 7" 7'8" to 10'4" 10" 390 pounds ( 177 kg ) 25' 1 to 5
Hobie 14 14' 7'8" 8" 240 pounds 22'3" 1 to 3
Hobie 16 16' 7" 7'11" 10" 320 pounds ( 145.2 kg ) 26'6" 1 to 4
Hobie 17 (SE or Sport) 17' 8' 5" to 1'6" 340 pounds 27'7" 1 to 2 SE main only, Sport adds jib
FX-One 17' 8'3" 6" to 3'9" 340 pounds ( 125 kg ) 27'9" 1 to 2
Hobie 18 18' 8' 10" to 2'6" 400-439 pounds ( 180–200 kg ) 28'1" 2 to 4
Tiger 18' 8'6" 7" to 3'9" 397 pounds ( 180 kg ) 29'6" 2 F18 class
Pacific 18' 8'6"  ? 375 pounds ( 180 kg ) 29'6" 2-3
Wildcat 18' 8'6" 7" to 3'9" 397 pounds ( 180 kg ) 29'6" 2 F18 class
Miracle 20 19' 6" 8'6" 5" to 2'9" 420 pounds ( ? kg ) 31' 2
Fox 20' 8'6"  ? 419 pounds ( ? kg ) 31' 2" 2 Hobie Cat Europe, Formula 20 class
Hobie 21SC 21' 8'6" 9+' 600 pounds 29' 2 to 4
Hobie 21SE 21' 9'6"-14' 6" to 2'2" 565 pounds 33' 2 to 3
TriFoiler 22' 19'  ? 320 pounds ( 145 kg ) ( 2 ) 18' 2 Sailing hydrofoil, Trimaran
Hobie 33 33' 8' 5'6" 4000 pounds 36' 4-6 Monohull

Units built: Hobie 14 46,000,[2] Hobie 16 135,000,[3] Hobie 18 18,000,[4] Hobie Dragoon 800,[5] Hobie Tiger 1,100 [6] Hobie Wildcat 332 [7]

Hobie Dragoon[edit]

The Hobie Dragoon was designed by Hobie Cat Europe as a youth trainer for racing. Age target was 12 to 14 years. Double trapeze and spinnaker option to introduce young sailors to high performance. Length: 12' 10", Beam: 7' 1", Mast Length: 21', Sail Area: 118 sq ft (11.0 m2). Main plus Jib, Weight: 230 lb (100 kg). D-PN: 83.0[1]

Hobie 10[edit]

The Hobie 10 was a small dinghy produced as a response to the Laser dinghy. It has been discontinued.

Hobie 14[edit]

The Hobie 14 was the original catamaran designed by Hobie Alter. The general shape and design of the boat is very similar to the later Hobie 16. They share many of the same parts. The 14 was originally designed to be sailed as a unirig with just a main sail. It is possible to convert a standard 14 into a Hobie 14 "Turbo", also known as the JT14, or H14T by adding a jib, trapeze and dolphin striker. No longer manufactured by Hobie North America, the Hobie 14 is still produced in limited numbers by Hobie Europe and Hobie Brazil.

The Hobie 14 is known for its forward mast and very bent banana shaped hull. The forward mast and odd shaped hulls make the boat quite sensitive to weight placement fore and aft. If the helm sits too far forward, he or she can cause the leeward bow to dig in, resulting in a pitchpole. Hobie 14s are great for younger sailors who want a solo-able multi-hull that can be held down without much weight. The boat does not carry passengers well, but used boats can be found quite cheaply.

The boat is slightly faster than the Wave as standard, and much faster as a Turbo model, but cannot carry anywhere near the amount of weight that the Wave can. It is known for being difficult to tack without a jib. However, the H14 is very quick and light. With the ideal crew weight at about 155 pounds, it is an outstanding platform for an experienced Hobie sailor wishing to both single-hand and be able to right the boat by one's self when the inevitable flying hull goes over too far.

The Hobie 14 has a D-PN of 86.4[8] with the Turbo version faster at 83.1.[8]

Hobie 16[edit]

A de-rigged Hobie 16

The 16 is the most popular Hobie Cat, both for recreational purposes and as a one-design racer. The boat is 16'7" long, 7'11" wide, and has a mast 26'6" tall, but only weighs 320 pounds. As with the 14, it is intended to be sailed from the beach through the surf, and to be surfed back in on the waves to the beach. Instead of daggerboards or centreboards, the 16 has asymmetrical hulls which act like foils and keep the boat from crabbing, or slipping sideways from the force of the wind. Both jib and main sails are fully battened and total 218 square feet (20 m2). A trapeze is usually used by the crew and helm.

One notable difficulty in sailing this boat is the tendency of the boat to 'pitchpole' when running downwind; the sail plan and distribution of the flotation of the hulls is such that it can push the bows down far enough to dip them under the water, stopping the front of the boat and leading to a cartwheel or somersault and subsequent capsize of the boat. Sailors compensate for this by putting their weight as far aft as they can while running downwind, also raking the mast aft of the centreline reduces this motion and can improve the windward sailing ability of the boat.

Although capsizing is endemic to the boat, even when it is well sailed, turtling can be prevented. To begin, 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] See Righting a Hobie 16.

Hobie 17[edit]

This boat was available in two 'trim packages': the Sport has a jib and a small boomlett that is not attached to the mast and is intended for recreational use by two people, while the SE has only the main sail, a full boom, and is designed to be raced by one person. It is 17' long, 8' wide, has a 27' 7" mast and 168 square feet (15.6 m²) of sail area (200 ft² or 18.6 m² with the jib). Both models have swinging centreboards and 'wings', which are made of aluminium tubing that plug into the hulls and covered with reinforced vinyl or mesh covers that can be used as seats, backrests, or provide more leverage when trapezing. The uni-rig or catboat sail plan allows the 17SE to 'point' well, or sail closer to straight upwind than many other Sloop-rigged catamarans. As of 2003 this boat is no longer produced.

The Hobie 17 has a Portsmouth Number of 783.[9] The SE version has a D-PN of 74.0 and the Sport version has 74.5.[8]

FX-One[edit]

The FX-One is an import from the France-based Hobie Cat Europe company. Successor of the 17, this boat is designed both for single-handed racing (mainsail + gennaker) and dual-crew sailing (jib + mainsail + gennaker). In both configurations, this boat is eligible for the IHCA racing class. In the two-sailor configuration, this boat is also eligible for the Class 104 multihull class. Relatively uncommon in North America, the FX-One is 17' long, 8' 4" wide, with a 27' 9" mast and 172 square feet (16.0 m²) of mainsail area, 3.98 m² of jib area, 17.5 m² of gennaker area, and weighs in at 326 pounds (148 kg) with the dual crew set-up. It features wavepiercing hulls, and daggerboards. The D-PN is listed as 70.1 without spinnaker and 68.5 singlehanded with spinnaker.[8]

Hobie 18[edit]

Hobie 18
Current Specifications
LOH 18 ft (5.5 m)
Beam 8 ft (2.4 m)
Hull weight

400 lb (180 kg)

Hobie 18 Magnum Wing seats (mid 80s style) add 39 lb (18 kg)
Mast height 28 ft 1 in (8.56 m) (SX version is 29 ft 6.5 in (9.004 m))
Total sail area 240 sq ft (22 m2)
D-PN 71.4[8]

Many people[who?] consider the Hobie 18 the quintessential “beachcat.” The Hobie 18 was designed to be not only fast but also rugged. It is designed to be sailed by a crew of two, but can easily carry four passengers when cruising. Experienced sailors can sail the Hobie 18 solo. Unlike the smaller Hobie 14 and 16, the Hobie 18 uses a symmetrical hull design. Although this design gives the 18 a speed advantage, it requires the use of daggerboards when sailing close-hauled or reaching to prevent slipping. The typical configuration for the Hobie 18 is with both a main sail and a jib. The jib on the 18 is set up on a rolling/furling system that wraps the jib around the forestay when it isn’t needed. A double trapeze system is also standard equipment on the Hobie 18. Optionally the Hobie 18 may be equipped with wing seats (similar to the 17). Wings were available on the Hobie 18 in two fashions. The shorter wing "spanned" from the front to rear crossbar on the Hobie 18 Magnum, while the Hobie 18SX sported even longer wings. These wings reached aft to the stern and forward approximately 20 inches ahead of the front crossbar. Additionally, the SX model had a mast approximately 19 inches taller and high aspect mylar sails. Wings of both types, magnum and SX, are in much demand today due to the added comfort and space provided. They add about 40 pounds. Much to the dismay of many Hobie enthusiasts, the Hobie 18 is currently no longer produced.

Hobie Tiger[edit]

The Tiger, another Hobie Cat Europe import, is Hobie Cat's entry into the Formula 18 multihull class. The Tiger has been very popular and successful both in class racing and Formula 18. At 18' long, 8' 6" wide, with a 29' 6" mast and 227 square feet (21 m2) of sail area (452 square feet (42 m2) with the spinnaker). It weighs in at a minimum of 396 lb (180 kg) as to conform to the Formula 18 specifications. The class D-PN is 62.1[8]

Hobie Pacific[edit]

The Hobie Pacific is based on the Hobie Tiger, but has skegs instead of daggerboards, a smaller rig, and no boom. The boat is intended to be easier to handle than a F18 boat, and targeted at sailing schools. Sail area is 211 sq ft (20 m2), the optional spinnaker is 200 sq ft (19 m2).

Hobie Wildcat[edit]

The Hobie Wildcat was introduced in 2009. Same as the Tiger, it is a Formula 18 boat and has the same measurements, weight, and sail area. The boat is optimized for racing, with wave-piercing bows, a flat bottom in the stern for better planing, and thin daggerboards.

Miracle 20[edit]

In contrast to the Tiger, the Miracle 20 has 250 square feet (23 m2) of sail area and takes advantage of light winds. The 20 is 19' 6" long, 8' 6" wide, with a 31-foot mast, weighs 420 pounds, and has a D-PN of 65.0.[8] Some of the early production models had a high rate of hull failures due to a manufacturing defect, but this was rectified in later models. As of June, 2007 this model is no longer in production. The Miracle 20 is designed by Jack Groeneveld, a Dutch catamaran sailor (European champion Prindle 19, winner of the Prindle 19 nationals etc.)

Hobie Fox[edit]

The Hobie Fox was designed by Hobie Cat Europe to meet the Formula 20 racing class rules. The hull shape was designed by world champion A-Class sailor Nils Bunkenberg. It is a modern wave-piercing hull. It has a double trapeze, asymmetrical spinnaker with snuffer retrieval system, high performance daggerboards, race rudders, and sails designed by Giorgio Zuccoli. It is 20 feet long, has a 8' 6" beam and weighs 419 lb (190 kg). Mainsail area is 194 sq/ft (18 m2.) Jibsail area is 52 sq/ft (4.8 m2.) Spinnaker area is 269 sq/ft (25 m2.) With a D-PN of 60.4,[8] the Fox is the fastest of the Hobie family.

Hobie 21SC[edit]

The 21SC (for Sport Cruiser) was Hobie Cat's first 'family boat'. Intended for casual sailing, this boat has a front trampoline, wings, an outboard motor-mount, and a built-in cooler. Though larger than the Getaway at 21 feet long, 8' 6" wide, with a 29-foot mast and 222 square feet (21 m2) of sail, it could be raced off a D-PN of 74.5.[1] The 21SC was quickly displaced by the more rugged, cheaper Getaway and has been phased out by Hobie Cat.

Hobie 21SE[edit]

The 21SE hulls are similar to the 21SC but the similarities end there, the 21SE is a performance oriented boat. It is no longer in production but it had a beam of nearly 10 feet and 14 feet with the wings. The boat was intended for a racing crew of two or three adults. It also had centreboards instead of daggerboards a 33-foot mast and 300 sq ft (28 m2). of sail. It weighs 700 lbs and has a D-PN of 67.0.[8] It had arched, curved crossbars. It was raced as a one design boat in professional racing circuits. The boat is fast and stable but probably saw low production numbers because of its weight, the need to telescope the hulls for trailering and because it is difficult to right the boat if it capsizes without outside assistance.

TriFoiler[edit]

The TriFoiler is the fastest production sailboat ever created, with Russel Long sailing a TriFoiler to a Class A world sailing speed record in 1992 that remains unbroken.[10][11] This sailing hydrofoil stands as the most unusual of Hobie Cat's boats. Designed by the brothers Greg and Dan Ketterman, this trimaran has two sails, one on each ama, and hydrofoils that lift the hulls out of the water at wind speeds of 10 to 11 miles per hour (16 to 18 km/h), allowing the boat to reach speeds up to 35 miles per hour (56 km/h) and pull over 2 G in gybe turns.[citation needed] The TriFoiler is based on Longshot, a trimaran designed by the Kettermans and used by Russell Long to set the A class speed sailing record in 1992.

The TriFoiler is 22 feet (6.7 m) long, 19 feet (5.8 m) wide, weighs 145 kilograms (320 lb), and is sailed by two people. The boat is fitted with 18-foot masts, with a total sail area of 215 square feet (20.0 m2). It was the largest multihull boat built by Hobie Cat, with 170 produced between 1995 and 1999; another 30 were built independently prior to production starting at Hobie Cat.[citation needed] Production ceased because of limited popularity; the boat was expensive, fragile, and could only be used in low-wave conditions with winds between 10 and 25 miles per hour (16 and 40 km/h).[citation needed]

Hobie 33[edit]

The Hobie 33 is a 33-foot (10 m) monohull lift-keel boat designed to be very light and very fast. It is considered a ULDB or ultralight displacement boat. It was intended to be a trailerable, one design racer/cruiser. To be trailerable in all U.S. states without special overwidth road permits, beam was kept to just 8 feet, which is quite narrow for a boat of this length, although the Hobie 33 was advertised as being capable of sleeping 7 people. A total of 187 Hobie 33s were built between 1982 and 1986.[12]

The design was the brainchild of Hobie Alter and Sheldon Coleman Sr. To start the project a Bill Lee designed ULDB Santa Cruz 27 named "Redline" was purchased, analyzed and then raced in southern California. Once the design stage started Lewie and John Wake were brought in to lend racing yacht design experience. Hobie 18 designer and legendary surfer Phil Edwards designed the keel and rudder.

There is an active North American class association[13] and national championships yearly. The Hobie 33 is still a competitive offshore sailing yacht and as recently as 2006, 'Mad Max' was the Overall Winner in the Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race, beating vessels of all lengths from 26–90 feet on corrected time using the PHRF formula. In 2005 the Hobie 33 was first in the doublehanded division of Transpacific Yacht Race and went on to win its class against fully crewed boats.

American Rotomolded Boats: Bravo, Wave, Getaway. European Rotomolded boats, Catsy, Teddy, Twixxy, Max, Tattoo[edit]

This series of boats is created of rotomolded plastic and is intended for casual and new sailors.

The Bravo is the smallest Hobie sailboat at 12' and is intended for one person but can carry two. The relatively narrow beam (53") compared to its 19' mast leads to considerable heeling, or tipping of the boat compared to other catamarans. The Bravo has the distinction of being able to furl its sail around the mast. The D-PN is 100.0[1]

The Wave is intended for one to four passengers, but is easily handled by one with its 13' length, 7' beam, and 20' mast. The Wave was designed by the Morelli/Melvin Engineering firm, and has proved to be extremely popular with beach resorts and rental operations. It is often praised for being rugged and easy to sail. While described as slow and underpowered by catamaran standards, it has a D-PN of 92.1,[8] similar to a Laser (dinghy) that is often considered to be a performance dinghy. Although marketed as a recreational sailboat, an owner-controlled racing class has organized and held regattas since 1998.

The Getaway is marketed as a "social boat" and is designed with room for up to 6 people, more than Hobie Cat's other boats. The boat has a trampoline both forward and aft of the mast, and is the only rotomolded Hobie to come stock with a jib and have an available trapeze. At 16'7", the Getaway is the same length as the Hobie 16; the beam is 7'8" and the mast is 25' tall. It has a D-PN of 83.3.[8]

Racing[edit]

There are racing classes all around the world for a range Hobie Sailboats. Some are competitive and some are recreational.

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]

External links[edit]