This Article is About
hobie 16
set ups
pushing the limits
catamaran
ups
dad
excitement
Hobie 16 – The Cat With A Growl
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Hobie 16 – The Cat With A Growl

I started my enjoyment of this cat as a boy, my father owned one as did many of his friends. We lived close to a large dam that gave us more space than we needed, and the wind guarantee. As a youngster my Dad would set up the Hobie, and I would do what was physically possible to help.

Once rigged and ready to sail the wait would begin. The beer would be opened, cola for me, and the older men would begin their normal chatter of winds and set ups. None of them being experts the discussions would be long, and to me tiresome. But the reaction when the sails of the Hobie clattered, beers flew, chairs upended, safety jackets donned and a dash for the “cats”. Get the catamaran in the water, more important than anything else. I was the crew for Dad, controlling the Jib sail, playing with tension and tautness, till the indicators on the sail showed I had it right.

The biggest excitement, to don a “Nappie” and connect to a trapeze wire, extending my body outside the cat and hanging, feet on the cat and body suspended inches above the water. The speed of the Hobie exaggerated by the proximity to the water. Don't get me wrong, the Hobie 16 is one of the fastest cat's on water, and when the wind was right, Dad would pull in the main sail and “fly a hull”. This, the highlight of the day, not only for me, Dad's grin attested to his. There where dangers involved, a tip, or turn over, with the sails below the water, requiring my fathers massive weight to right. Pitch poles, when the nose of one of the hulls digs into the water, the result, equal to driving into a wall. The Hobie would stop and roll, tail over end, sending passengers in all directions.

Somehow this happened often on Dad's Hobie, I now know why, it's called pushing the limits, trying to get more speed than possible. I remember one occasion when this happened. Dad and I both attached to trapeze wires, and the old man trying for too much, calling for a tightening of the jib sail, which I did, you didn't argue with my Dad, and it happened. I fell into the mainsail breaking my fall, but Dad, well the language cannot be repeated here. He headed forward at great speed, hooking his foot on a “stay wire” and looking like a tumbler in the air, 3 metres above the water. I knew when he emerged from the depths, I heard “ @%&^%, that was lekker” (lekker an Afrikaans word for nice, enjoyable). Righting the cat after a fall is tiring and difficult, bit as the wind was howling, it was up and at it again in record time.

Dad loved his Hobie, as did I, and our sailing was a weekend occurrence, enjoyed at every opportunity during the summer. We partook in regattas, some with hilarious results but this I will leave for another article, suffice it to say, I enjoyed the outings and the camaraderie built with Dad. I now own a Hobie, and I'm making my own memories, but those with Dad and Mom will stay with me forever.


Street Talk

Like you, I grew up on the water. We built a class c cat, 14.4 beam and 25 ft hulls if I remember it correctly. We used to go out when everyone else came in....we built her for heavier wind. It wasn't spritely like the Hobies but was able to develop a lot more speed. It really, really hurt when ya pitched it... and that boat was hard to right... but we'd be laughing our asses off when we came up for air. Couldn't argue with my dad either...my brothers and I joke about how we thought that stuff was always supposed to be fun. There was a delicate balance between humor and fear instilled from my dad, the boat nazi.. and when he'd yell for coming about.. thats where I remember fear...of failure on those race days. But he was usually upset at the club because of the sliding handicap they'd impose... The first time out on the wire was a thrill I wish for everyone! Great writing.

Reply
  about 8 years ago

I appreciate the feed back, it was and is, a special time when out on the water, my Dad still sails with me today, and i do the ordering, only to be told I'm wrong. He is a grand man an example to me, and a person I hope will be around for a long time.

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Well done, been waiting to see what would happen, when you joined my tribe I thought I had gained a quite author, but now the first is out keep it up, I enjoyed the article.

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Thanks, will see if I can keep it up, all too new to me, but enjoy the ride.

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Keep at it, it gets easier.

  
  about 8 years ago
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