Thanks for your responses. Being new to this I don't know some of the terminology. Are the pylons what the trampoline frame attaches to on the pontoons? When you say transom, do you mean the serial number is on the back of one of the pontoons? What causes a "soft" spot and how is it repaired? Do you recommend aftermarket sails and trampolines?
exactly what you said. where the trampoline frame attaches to the hull or "pontoon". check right in front of that as older 16's commonly have soft spots in that area. Soft spots are where the fiberglass has detached from the inner foam. push your hand along most of the boat and if you feel an area that is soft it will push in. its a lot more obvious then you might think. if you just have a couple small soft spots, its not that big of a deal and an easy fix. if the whole hull is soft, its probably not worth the hassle. go to hobiecat.com and look in product support. theres a writeup of how to fix soft spots and it even gives you a recommended product.
yes the transom of a boat is the back area of the hulls. and a serial number should be on both of the hulls. the last two numbers of that serial number will be the year of the boat. if you do a search of this forum there is information on what all the other numbers mean as well.
most people dont recommend after market trampolines. although cheaper, they usually wont hold up to the salt air and pressure of people climbing all over them. hobie brand ones last much longer in most, if not all, cases.
there are some great aftermarket sails out there and they will save you money. the only problem, and its kind of a major one, is ONLY hobie sails are class legal. so if you ever want to race in a hobie 16 event you must have hobie sails. but if your not ever planning on racing and just cruising around, then sure, there are some very good aftermarket sails out there.