16 foot hobie cat, what to look for?

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by kroberts, Jul 8, 2013.

  1. kroberts
    Joined: Mar 2009
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    Location: Chicago area

    kroberts Senior Member


    There's a 16' hobie cat for sale on a trailer in my town. I know a little about power boats but not much about sailboats and nothing at all about catamarans.

    It's in a parking lot unattended, so I spent a couple minutes looking.

    I know the guy wants $1000, the trailer is rusty but seems sound, boat color is yellow and faded, the hulls seem to be in good shape. There are some signs of repair but AFAICT it was done fairly nicely. The tarp/deck seems to be worn but the corner I thumped on seemed alright. The sign says the sail is in "excellent" shape but given the shape of everything else I suspect that means stretched but not torn up.

    So I guess I need to know what to look for as far as damage or warning signs on this sort of boat, and what a reasonable price for it would be.

    I would use this for my wife and I, and maybe a chickenweiler if he behaves. I'm 260 lbs and she's under 150. Puppy is about 75 lbs.

  2. jonr
    Joined: Sep 2008
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    Location: Great Lakes

    jonr Senior Member

    Soft hulls is the worst issue. Sometimes the rudder parts get worn and the rudders won't stay down. I've had stays break. $1000 with trailer seems about right.
  3. upchurchmr
    Joined: Feb 2011
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    Location: Ft. Worth, Tx, USA

    upchurchmr Senior Member

    Push down on the hull about 1' in front of the trampoline on the deck. If it is softer than up near the nose then probably don't get it or bargin down the price and prepare to work on it a lot.
    If there are drill holes filled with resin in the same place it has been worn out and crudely repaired.
    Look on the bottom of the hull where it rests on the trailer crossbeam rollers. If it is soft or heavily worn prepare for lots of repair. Look between the two rollers to see if the fiberglass has been ground away by driving it up on the beach/ rocks. This is another necessary repair.
    Slide your hands (gently!) along the entire length of the wire stays/ shrouds. If there is a broken wire sticking out you will need to replace them.
    Check the sail for discoloration. If it has been rolled up and the sail is discolored where it would have been exposed, it is probably weak enough to tear when you are sailing. If you see one of those areas, grab it in both hands across the faded area and pull. If it is really bad you will tear it apart (might want to ask permission).
    I don't know how to check the rudders without sailing.
    Trampolines regularly get sun damaged, but mostly in the threads which sewed it together. Get on top of the tramp and walk on it. If you have a fairly strong sewing machine you can resew it. Of find a shop that makes replacement mats for the jumping trampolines. They might be willing to resew it much cheaper than buying one.
    Ropes - just plan on replacing them unless they are obviously good.
    Pullies - at least spin them and see if the sheave spins free. They still might not work well under load.
    Jack up the trailer and see if the wheels spin free.

    Look down the mast and see if it is straight. Lots will not be - don't accept one that is bent. Unless you know where to get a straight one for a reasonable price. They come up all the time.

    Good luck, they are fun boats.

    Leave the dog at home. These are touchy boats to sail in any kind of heavy wind. Very weight sensitive and very sensitive to where the weight is positioned - fwd and aft.
  4. Blackburn
    Joined: May 2013
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    Location: Florida

    Blackburn Senior Member

    Forget this boat. It is probably from the 80's or earlier, and whatever is not worn out or broken already will be strained by your combined weight which is over the ideal crew weight, which is a little under 330 lbs.
    If your desire is to learn beachcat sailing, a newer boat in good racing condition will serve very much better.

  5. teamvmg
    Joined: May 2008
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    Location: christchurch,uk

    teamvmg Senior Member

    The problem with old boats is that they can break down while you are sailing.
    The problem with old Hobie16s is they they don't sail properly in the first place before they break.
    Untie it from the trailer and see how far you need to lift one of the bows before the other one starts to lift - quite a lot! this in itself is not a major problem, but it will be what has happened throughout the boat.
    When you are sailing it, you will be fighting the steering and won't be able to get it up to speed.
    I love the Hobie 16, but it is a shame when people buy really old ones and don't get a proper buzz like they should.
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