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Hobie 16 refresh

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I bought a somewhat clapped out but still sail-able Hobie 16 (70's, 80's vintage) about 5 years ago for $1500. I initially wanted it for it's rig and sails for a Tri project but have moved on from that particular idea.  I have been leaving it on the beach at Pauanui, mast up, between Labour day and Easter each year and sail on it with the kids on the estuary and have slowly fallen in love with it's speed, simplicity, toughness and general retro awesome-ness.  It's perfect for the estuary as it can carry lots of kids and there are shoals and reefs everywhere which makes a centreboard a PITA. 


However it's still clapped out (has got worse generally) and some asshole undid it's tie down to a tree at some stage and it got blown around in a storm and had some tree roots poke through the side of it's hulls (which I temporarily repaired).  I've bought it back to Auckland for a birthday - possibly a major one. 


The hulls are basically screwed (soft, patched, leaking - designed in the 60's) - While I have developed a respect/love for the 60's hulls things have moved on design wise. I'm thinking of making some new ones but to a more modern symmetrical design with a skeg- i'e like the Hobie getaway or Nacra 570. I've built a farrier so I know my way around glass and foam building but I'm wondering if there are some hull plans I can acquire/buy? There are crap loads of old H16's around and going cheap... Surely someone has thought of this before? 


I'm not concerned about resale value, class racing (though I would like to do the Matakana raid one year).  It's just for mucking about and to give me something to amuse myself in the workshop for the long winter months.

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the whole hobie16 things is a bit like a volkswagon beetle


pretty much everything is done differently and it's probably better to fix things than try to drastically replace them


1st up would be to remove any slop in the tramp hull sockets




then fix the soft spots by injecting epoxy




get the rudders locking down easier + kicking back better with new cams




imho the hobie traveller is also horrendous, esp. the 80's version cast in to the rear beam

nothing to stop you riveting on a harken track and replacing the jib cleats


the australians discovered they pointed better if the mast was raked waaay back

without dagger boards this moved the CofE back to where the deep rudders can help prevent sideslip upwind


for 80s boats the way to rake the mast back beyond the last hole in the forestay plate, was simply to shackle another on in series


the americans liked it so much that 90s hobie16s came with a longer forestay

raking the mast also helps tack that horribly stiff battened jib past the mast halyards when the air is to light to blow it through


the key to sailing them fast is to ALWAYS keep your weight where it should be 

forward + inboard in light air...difficult with the sloping tramp

aft, outboard and on the wire in heavy.....carpet tiles on the tramp frame is good non-slip


get on the wire as soon as needed and get over any fear of pitchpoling

when on the wire be ready to do your "peterpan" kick as soon as the bows go down

there's no time for any recovery, just kick + fly around the side-stays as the boat upends 

seal the top of the mast to help prevent turtling and if you are tempted to sail it solo off beaches make sure to have a tested righting bag system to get it back up




if you wanted to build hulls for the tramp frame/rig etc.


the nacra 5.2 has about the same rig and sail plan and i could give you most the measurements in a couple of months when am back with mine or you could take measurements off Phil's 5.5 in auckland


or you could overbuild some old Acat hulls from plans, or scale down some tornado plans etc


if you still had the farrier plans some scaled or shortened floats would be ideal......if you do make floats some daggers or swinging centreboards, as used on the hobie 18, nacra 580? etc would greatly improve pointing and still allow safe runs into the beach....tho half the reason hobie can run into the beach is due to their deep V banana hull design and solid 50mm? keelsons?  




and if you still wanted better after that


you could keep an eye out for the occasional old nacra or prindle on tm

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I used to race these a fair bit, don't anymore.  There is a guy on the North Shore Dave Tuke dave.mcglashan@hughesandtuke.co.nz who used to sell parts second hand and often had old hulls around after he had butchered boats.  You could contact him and see if he had a set around in good condition, probably a lot less then building a new set!!  

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Thanks guys - Eric the tramp platform etc seems in reasonable condition but the hulls probably need more than just an epoxy injection- whoever sold it to me seems to have heard about the mast rake thing cos the current rake is incredible- it’s still pretty rubbish upwind. I quite fancy new hulls. the NACRA 5 is also a skeg keel but the 5.2 is a centreboard job. I’ve had a good look at a modern cat and can probably copy ones lines if required but I was wondering if someone had already done it. Is a swing centreboard with a slot etc actually better than a skeg? Marginally better I suspect but lots more to break? I really like the simplicity of not having boards - and enjoy hitting the beach at 15 knots...



I’m a bit Leary of the trapeze- if I’m doing mods I’ll probaby add some racks - it’s more appropriate for men of our years :-).

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I used to race these a fair bit, don't anymore.  There is a guy on the North Shore Dave Tuke dave.mcglashan@hughesandtuke.co.nz who used to sell parts second hand and often had old hulls around after he had butchered boats.  You could contact him and see if he had a set around in good condition, probably a lot less then building a new set!!


Ok thanks I might try him - I’m not actually too worried about the cost in money or time in building some new hulls - I’d just like to ensure they are an appropriate design and superior to the old ones.

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the trapeze isn't as bad as it looks


but i guess could be hard work in choppy gusty conditions


this looks interesting








or how about a 120% paper tiger?

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Richard Woods has a design called the Quattro 16, which probably ticks all your boxes. Designed for ply I think, it's what my tri was designed around, or vice-versa.

Yes - that's close to the sort of thing I was after thanks - I do want to reuse all the functional Hobie bits and don't want to build from ply... the lines are certainly more modern than the Hobie but still quite dated compared to modern A's or F16's... There are plans for a "Blade F16" - which looks lovely but the tortchered ply method




looks horrendous compared to building in foam strips...  it's a hard road to find the perfect design - I guess I really want a slightly smaller Nacra 570 hulls... 

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