Tips For Sailing A Hobie Cat
The Hobie catamaran or Hobie Cat, is popular all over the world because it is relatively inexpensive and fun to sail. A Hobie cat on the water is like a motorcycle on land: fast and fickle. It’s an easy boat to trailer, rig for sailing and get into the water. It is an excellent sailing craft for lakes and areas with little wind.
Preparing to Sail
Inspect the Hobie cat to make sure all rigging is in place and secure. Hobie cat sailing is wet sailing and many cat sailors wear wet suits for sailing. Since the fickle nature of a Hobie cat often sends the crew into the water, always wear a Coast Guard-approved life vest when sailing. Unfurl the jib and push the boat into the water with one person manning the helm. Always practice good water safety and never sail alone.
Getting Under Way
Hobie cats, like all sailing craft, are moved by the wind and this is best accomplished when the cat is pointed somewhere between 15 and 45 degrees from directly into the wind. With the jib and main sails properly set, the wind will flow between them and move the boat forward. The higher the wind speed, the faster the boat will travel. The Hobie is fast and fun to sail.
Sailing a Hobie cat at 90 degrees from the wind direction invites being blown over. When you capsize, or tip over, you will get wet and will be faced with the problem of raising the boat upright. When this happens it is best to lower the main sail back to the boom so it’s wet weight does not have to be overcome to right the boat.