Hobie Cat Review, Features, Types, Styles And More

The Hobie company makes many different products, ranging from kayaks to pedalboards to surf gear. However, perhaps their most notable item is the Hobie Cat.

The Cat is a small sailing catamaran that can be used for many different purposes by many different people. You can cruise with it, but you can also use it for racing or more serious sports.

That versatility is what helps it stand out.

Many Types, Styles, and Makes

Man riding his hobie cat

As great as Hobie and the Cat brand is, there are many different models on the market. That can make it tough to find one you want, especially when searching through both new and used models.

The following list will help with that by covering the reasons the Hobie Cat makes such a solid purchase and then further breaking down some of the more popular styles around.


A Solid, but Affordable, Purchase

Before we get into the individual Hobie catamaran models, we must first analyze the reasons to choose the Cat style over other brands.

First and foremost is the fact that the floats tend to be on the cheaper side for catamarans.

Every boat purchase will run you quite a bit of money. However, being able to get premium features at a lower cost is always welcome.

The Cat models are also cheaper to maintain. That is particularly useful because it further cuts down on costs and enables you to quickly repair it should anything happen.


Lighten the Load

While most people tend to overlook weight when considering a catamaran, getting one that is portable is a large bonus that will make your life much easier.

Most Hobie Cats are light, which allows them to be pulled or attached to a mid-sized car rather than a large truck. That is a great addition for many families, or for people who want to own a float without getting extra gear to take it around.

The light weight also increases the Cats' speed, which makes them great choices for both recreational users and racers alike. More variety is never a bad thing.


Sail Anywhere, Anytime

The final overarching aspect to analyze before getting into specific makes and models is how versatile the Cat can be.

As they are capable of riding through many water and weather types with little hassle, Cats can be taken and used almost anywhere.

This feature goes a long way and means that you'll always be able to get something from the brand regardless of where you live or what type of conditions you experience. This adds to the longevity as well.



1. Hobie Getaway

Hobie Getaway

Our first great Cat on this list is the Hobie Getaway.

All of Hobie's Cats come with their own features and uses. In this case, the Getaway is a socially-tuned catamaran that was completely redesigned last year in order to bring a new modern feel to the craft.

This boat comes with special rotomolded polyethylene hulls that add to the durability and allow the boat to cut through the water with ease.

Those also come with reverse bows and an additional six inches of length to further accentuate the sleek and elongated design.

This Cat measures 17 feet long, and it comes with a 7 foot, 8-inch beam. In addition, it has an 180 square foot sail area and can hold up to 100 pounds.

That sturdy size can handle waves or choppy waters, while the extra capacity is important for people who have a lot of gear or who like to travel with company.


A Range of Useful Features

As with so many Hobie models, the Getaway looks great and comes with many useful features. This catamaran has an accent chine, as well as completely new, stunning graphics to give it a great appearance out on the water.

To further that the bold look, the model comes with bright, themed sails of chartreuse, white, and orange.

Beyond that stunning exterior, you also get an aluminum trailer with optional double rollers, a single trapeze system, and wing seats.

The craft also comes with buoyant hulls (complete with integrated keels), a fully-battened, boomless mainsail, as well as an EZ Loc rudder system.

That not only makes sailing easy, it also ensures there is something for everyone.


A New Way to Socialize

The Getaway is one of the best catamarans for those people who like to have a fun time out on the water. Every Cat can sail, but, as shown by the carrying capacity, this is meant to entertain as well.

Up to six people can sit on both the nets and option wing seats, providing ample space to lay back and enjoy the water. You can hold any gathering you want, from a sail session to a picnic to a relaxing hang out.

That is then furthered by the integrated cooler/dry-storage chamber on both hulls. That helps everyone bring their storage with them, and also gives you a place to keep extra drinks or cold food.


2. Hobie 16

Hobie 16

Another good-sized craft, the Hobie 16 is one of the more classic catamarans on Earth. The design came about in 1970 and has remained a stable in fleets and collections since that time.

In fact, this beach boat is one of the highest-selling catamarans around the world, and for very good reason.

The biggest draw of the Hobie 16 is its incredible cost-to-feature ratio that helps give it an edge over other models. You can spend a lot of money to get a good catamaran, but it is important to know that you don't have to shell out for quality.

This model is one of the cheaper ways to get out on the water, which is a great option to have in a normally expensive hobby.


Reliable Specs

All of the Hobie Cats differ in their size, speed, and style.

With the Hobie 16, you get a boat that measures 16 feet, 7-inches and comes with a 7 foot, 11-inch beam. It weighs 320 pounds (making it light enough for towing) and has a mast length of 26 feet, 6 inches, as well as a sail area of 218-square feet.

That gives you a solid boat you can take out with confidence.


A Great Time, Alone or with Company

In addition, as the above specs show, the Hobie 16 can hold its own on two different fronts. It serves as a great racing boat that can zip on top of waves, but it can also be used as a fantastic recreational tool.

That is further accentuated by the fact that the Cat can be crewed with one to four people. That gives you the option to take it out solo or spend some time with other people.

Even if you don't anticipate bringing people along, you never know when the situation will arise.

It does not matter how you like to sail or who you like to sail with, this Hobie Cat's lightweight, asymmetrical fiberglass hulls provide lift, while the dual-trapeze rig lets you and your crew member harness its power at all times.  


3. Hobie 18

Hobie 18

Coming in third on our Hobie Cat breakdown is the Hobie 18. As you might imagine, this model is similar to the 16 in many ways but has enough features and uses to set it apart.

First, this model comes equipped with dagger boards, which are an often-overlooked feature that bring a lot of quality to a craft.

Though many simpler Cats do not have those additions, they make the 18 much more maneuverable than past models. That then increases the performance for people who either want more control or who often find themselves in tight spots.

A Multi-Use Cat

As with the 16, the Hobie 18 is incredibly versatile. This boat is perfect for more competitive sailors who want to race, but it is also a good way to relax and spend a fun day cruising out on the waves.

If you have the jib furled, this model can be single handed in the same way as other Hobie models. However, you also have the option of adding on wing seats, which then turns it into a much more low-key family cruiser.

Though it has speed, the Hobie 18 is also easy to maneuver and pilot for people at all experience levels. Not only does it easily sail off the beach, but it is quite stable and much more forgiving than other crafts.

Options are an important part of any Hobie Cat, and this one is a prime example of that.


Bring Anyone Along

Another selling point of the Hobie 18 is its crew weight, which is competitive between 295# and 320# and can support 500# or higher.

That allows the boat to function on two different levels.

It is fast enough for when you need some speed, but it can also comfortably support 3 or 4 adults during more relaxing moments. You even have some extra leeway to bring gear or food as well.


Heavy-Duty and Long-Lasting

The final reason to go with a Hobie 18 is its stable, tough body. Catamarans, by definition, need to be hardy in order to handle crashing waves and other such obstacles you can run into on the water.

The Hobie 18 can do all of that with flying colors. In fact, the boat handles extremely well across numerous different types of conditions. Though it points a bit higher than other Cats, it is incredibly durable through spray and wind.

There are very few conditions that can shake this catamaran, which is extremely important for long rides or more turbulent areas. Even in calm seas, you’ll never know what you'll encounter, and it always helps to have a plan.



4. Hobie Fox

Hobie Fox

The final Hobie Cat in this article is the Hobie Fox. This Cat model is a great option for several reasons, including its great design and stunning performance qualities.

The design has a sophisticated reverse shear bow, but it also has a semi-wave piercing hull design that offers a level of performance not seen in any other Hobie Cats.

Each of those work together to create a great device that can slice through the waves with ease.


More Features, Less Problems

Features are at the forefront of all of Hobie's crafts, and the Fox is no exception.

This model comes with a special EO Snuffer system that enables anyone, regardless of experience, to easily set and douse the spinnaker.

There is also an all-aluminum mast for improved performance, a double trapeze, asymmetrical spinnaker with retrieval system, and a special comp tip mast.

Finally, the high-performance dagger boards enable you to turn and move in tight or cramped environments, while the race rudders, as you might guess, give you an edge when competing against other crafts.


A Need for Speed

As mentioned, this craft is built to zip across the water. Not only does it come with the unique wave-piercing hull, but the shape was designed by world champion sailor Nils Bunkenberg and the sails come from Giorgia Zuccoli.

That quality perfectly matches the 20-foot-long body, 8-foot, six-inch beam and 419-pound weight to deliver a catamaran that can plow through all different types of obstacles.

Even when not in a race, it always helps to be able to cruise without worrying about a large wave or unexpected gust completely take you off of your course.

The Best Way to Ride the Waves

Very few brands are able to create as many high quality items as Hobie. The Cat is not just one solid model, it covers many different excellent, top of the line catamarans.

The above makes are some of the best watercraft you can find, and they all make this list for different reasons. Some are sturdy, some are sleek, and others are incredibly well rounded.

There are many different reasons people choose to purchase a catamaran. Whatever yours is, the Hobie Cat line will have something for you.

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