The Boats

Hobie 16

About

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.

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 1971,[1] 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.
hobie16

Dart 18

History

The Dart 18 was designed in 1975 as a One Design Class by Rodney March, who was also responsible for the design of the Olympic Tornado class catamaran. The very first Dart 18, designed and built in Falmouth, Cornwall, is now owned by the National Maritime Museum Cornwall. Up to the present, a number of improvements have been made, but the original concept was preserved though strict class rules. More than 8350 boats have been built up to 2016, which are sailed in more than 16 nations on 4 continents.

Design

The hulls of the Dart 18 are similar to most sailing catamarans, but without centreboards. Instead, the lower part of the hulls have skegs typical for a beach catamaran. The hull material is glassfibre. Both hulls are filled with flotation inserts to preserve buoyancy in case of damage. The inside of each hull can be reached through a hatch cover located at the rear of each hull. The boat is assembled by attaching the main and rear beams to the hulls with spring-loaded retaining clips, and lacing the trampoline to the beams and hulls. The two rudders are removable without tools, retract on impact with the beach, and can be locked in the up position. The rigging consists of a rotating mast held by a forestay and two shroud wires. The shrouds can be adjusted by simply moving the bolts in the chainplates. The Dart 18 mast does not have spreaders. There is a trapeze for the crew.

The mainsail does not have a boom, has nine full battens, and is controlled by a main sheet with a 7:1 mechanical advantage. The jib sail has two short battens, and is controlled by a jib sheet with a 2:1 mechanical advantage. The main sheet block and both jib sheet blocks have a ratchet and a cleat. A gennaker sail can be added, but is not legal for racing. This is usually combined with a jib furling system. The boat can also be sailed by one person, without a foresail, with a D-PN of 78.7.[2]
dart18