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Joe

Jun 1, 2004
6,805
Catalina 27 Mission Bay, San Diego
No offense, but to consider a Hobie 16 the "Ferrari" of beach cats is a bit far fetched. It might be the "volkswagon" of the genre, in that it was so popular, but it was probably the slowest and least technical beach cat of that era. It was this simplicity that made it so easy to learn to sail and made them popular as resort rentals. Plus, the Rainbow colored sails were quite the thing.
 
Oct 26, 2008
4,125
Starwind 27 Barnegat, NJ
I learned on one at age 14 and was solo after one summer. Many of the hobie crews were under 18 around the area here.
All depends on their brains and strength. Then again that was the 70's and I had a 50cc motorcycle at age 5 hehe
I'm not saying it can't be sailed by a younger sailor, I'm saying that righting it after a capsize could be an issue. Before I left for college, I doubt I weighed more than 160# and I doubt that I would have been able to get a Hobie 16 righted in deep water (definitely not alone). Some people had a Hobie 14 that seemed like it was more manageable for a teenager. Not knowing the age of kids or the circumstance of the original poster, I'm suggesting a Hobie 16 might be too much to handle, (both from a set-up perspective and sailing) and there may be better choices if he wants to leave a boat on the beach for the kids to use without direct supervision and constant oversight. That kind of circumstance isn't available to everybody. I grew up with a lot of free time at a vacation home on a small lake and also within a bicycle ride from several beaches on Lake Michigan so the opportunity to sail was ever-present in the summer - my kids did not, so their exposure to sailing was only when I made it possible for them by taking them sailing. Nobody's circumstance is ever the same, and I've found that there is no such thing as "one size fits all".
 
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