For a fun day on the water, learning how to sail a Hobie 16 sailboat is the way to go. Most tourist spots, such as island destinations, have Hobie 16 catamarans rigged and ready to go. Since they're so light and maneuverable, you and a guest will be whipping along the water line in no time flat. Come along and get some basic information so you'll be ready to try your hand at sailing a Hobie 16.
Things you'll need:
- Hobie 16
- Life jackets
- Either rent, borrow or steal a Hobie 16 (only kidding about the stealing part). A small catamaran such as the Hobie Cat should rent for around $50 an hour or so, but it's totally worth the money. If you're lucky enough to have a friend with a Hobie Cat, it might be worth your time to get some experience on the boat as a passenger before you take the sails and head off into the wild blue yonder.
- All passengers must wear life jackets. Although a Hobie 16 is relatively stable and will rarely flip, with inexperience sometimes comes a dunk in the water for all sailors. Wearing life jackets is not only the law, but it just makes sense.
- If the Hobie 16 is beached, drag it to the water so that it is floating. A Hobie Cat will float in about six inches of water. With its double hulls for stability, it has no dagger board, so it's quite easy to drag as needed.
- Board the boat from the sides. Balance the boat to allow your passenger, if you have one, to climb aboard.
- Sail a Hobie 16 by setting the main sail about 45 degrees into the wind. You'll get the most lift and sail the fastest if you sail on a 45 degree tack. There will be a rope coming off the main sail that you can use to move the sail around. Sit on the side with the wind on your back so you can balance the boat. Keep the sail taut. If you start to lose the wind and the sail starts to flutter, reposition your boat to a new 45 degree tack to catch the breeze again.
- Use the tiller to move the boat in the direction you need to go. Most of the time you'll have to tack (move the sail to the other side) to get back to your starting point if the wind hasn't shifted, so move the tiller in the direction you want to go and the sail will bounce to the other side. Make sure to let your passenger knowing you're "coming around" so they can rebalance on the catamaran as needed.