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Hobie vs. Nacra, which to buy?? Help! #54737
08/08/05 01:00 AM
08/08/05 01:00 AM
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H
hedtrpr Offline OP
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hedtrpr  Offline OP
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So I am about to buy a Nacra 5.2 of about 1976 vintage, in very good condition. Why or why not buy this boat over similar vintage Hobie 16 or 18??? I need direction!!
-Lost Soul

-- Have You Seen This? --
Re: Hobie vs. Nacra, which to buy?? Help! [Re: hedtrpr] #54738
08/08/05 01:39 AM
08/08/05 01:39 AM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,012
South Australia
Darryl_Barrett Offline
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South Australia
The NACRA is a much nicer. better behaved, higher performanced, dryer, cat (among other things) and the decks never went "spongy" as they didn't use poly urethane foam as a "sandwich" layer in their decks as did Hobie.
(just my opinion)

Re: Hobie vs. Nacra, which to buy?? Help! [Re: hedtrpr] #54739
08/08/05 07:29 AM
08/08/05 07:29 AM
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 806
Toronto, Ontario
pitchpoledave Offline
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Toronto, Ontario
Nacra parts are half the cost.

Re: Hobie vs. Nacra, which to buy?? Help! [Re: pitchpoledave] #54740
08/08/05 08:12 AM
08/08/05 08:12 AM
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 393
Syracuse,N.Y
pbisesi Offline
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pbisesi  Offline
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Syracuse,N.Y
Where do you live? What kind of sailing do you intend to do?


Pat Bisesi Fleet 204
Re: Hobie vs. Nacra, which to buy?? Help! [Re: pbisesi] #54741
08/08/05 10:40 AM
08/08/05 10:40 AM
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Posts: 95
Salt Lake City, UT
utahsailor Offline
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Salt Lake City, UT
I can highly recommend the Nacra; it's extremely stable compared to the Hobie 14's and 16's I rented, in terms of pitchpoling. It's also faster (even with just a uni sail!) than those boats.

At least, that's the impression of a relative catamaran newbie

Only downside: I've heard that Nacra models before '85 are a bit heavier, and maybe harder to find parts for?

This site has some good information for 1st time catamaran buyers:

http://www.sailingproshop.com/Catamaran.htm

-Aaron

Re: Hobie vs. Nacra, which to buy?? Help! [Re: hedtrpr] #54742
08/08/05 11:02 AM
08/08/05 11:02 AM
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Posts: 894
Branford, CT
rhodysail Offline
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Branford, CT
That's easy.
The best boat is my boat.
Ask anyone they'll tell you the same thing.

Re: Hobie vs. Nacra, which to buy?? Help! [Re: rhodysail] #54743
08/08/05 11:15 AM
08/08/05 11:15 AM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 241
Simi Valley, CA
jfint Offline
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Simi Valley, CA
Just about the only thing that would sway me over to a H16 or TheMightyHobie18 would be if there were lots of them around, and folks you could sail with, Its lots more fun to have a few of the same boat on the water at the same time. If you wanna race really soon, then I would suggest trying to find out what racers in your area are sailing. In my opinion though the 5.2 is a superior boat.


Josh Fint Prindle 19 "Accident Prone" Moro Bay Sailing
Re: Hobie vs. Nacra, which to buy?? Help! [Re: hedtrpr] #54744
08/08/05 12:29 PM
08/08/05 12:29 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 2,074
Northfield,NH USA
bullswan Offline
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Northfield,NH USA
I had the same decision back in the late winter. I bought BOTH. After sailing them both I sold the Hobie 16 and kept the Nacra. It's one of the best choices I made and also one of the easiest. It's a great boat. You will love it.
Greg


The nice part about being a pessimist is that you are constantly being either proven right or pleasantly surprised. - George Will
"It's not that liberals aren't smart, it's just that so much of what they know isn't so" -Ronald Reagan
Re: Hobie vs. Nacra, which to buy?? Help! [Re: bullswan] #54745
08/08/05 02:16 PM
08/08/05 02:16 PM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 1,252
California
mmiller Offline
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California
Parts for the Hobie are available around the world. There are dealers for Hobie Cats and parts all over the world. The 5.2 has not been built in many years (what? since the mid 80's) and the 16 is still a thriving boat and class world wide. I would beg to differ on the parts cost being higher. The Hobie 16 is also one of the driest rides of all cats. Narca construction has it's own issues, so saying soft decks area a significant issue to be concerned about is false. There are tens of thousands of old Hobie 16s still sailing strong. You want a daggerboard boat? The Hobie 18 is also a great choice.


Hobie Cat Forums
Matt Miller
Hobie Cat Company
Re: Hobie vs. Nacra, which to buy?? Help! [Re: mmiller] #54746
08/08/05 02:41 PM
08/08/05 02:41 PM
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 95
Salt Lake City, UT
utahsailor Offline
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Salt Lake City, UT
Sounds like we started up the holy wars...

Living in Salt Lake City, which isn't completely in the sticks but sure isn't an international hub of cat sailing, I can say parts aren't a problem for either a Hobie or Nacra - and this is coming from a Nacra owner who frequents a shop that services and sells Hobies.

I will agree that a Hobie 16 rides "drier" than my Nacra - it sits about half a foot higher off the water. On the other hand, that same design leads to easy pitchpoling. As for Nacra construction having "its own issues", any boat will need regular maintenance and will have its weak spots.

From what I can tell, the newer Hobies are great. If I had $5000+ to spend on a new boat, I could think of worse ways to do it than get a recent-model Hobie 18. If there are a lot of Hobies in your area and you want abundant, fair racing above speed/comfort/ease of sailing, it makes sense to look for a Hobie.

That said, when looking for a 70's or 80's boat, I'd personally stay away from Hobie 16's and especially Hobie 14's. Obviously they're fun boats that will beat a Sunfish any day, and there are a lot of very happy H14/16 owners out there. But for the price, they don't handle nearly as well as a Prindle or Nacra (or a Hobie 18) - especially with the pitchpoling issue.

This is just my opinion; I acknoweldge I am a relative cat newbie who has sailed a H14, H16 and Prindle 16 as rentals many years ago before buying a Nacra.

Re: Hobie vs. Nacra, which to buy?? Help! [Re: hedtrpr] #54747
08/08/05 04:10 PM
08/08/05 04:10 PM
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 264
Neb
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Neb
I currently have a Nacra 5.2 modified for single-hand with a Pentax sail.

In the past I have had: H14, H14T, H18Mag, H17.

Personal opinion:

H14/H14T - Small, not much boyancy, fun boat for someone by themselves a lot. Otherwise No thanks... slow.

H18Mag - A war-horse. Not for single-handers. A hell of a lot of fun with 2-3 people in a good breeze. Built extremely tough, but also over 400lb.

H17 - Fun boat for 1 or 2 people. Not a light wind boat. The old mylar sails were terrible. The build quality is the flimsiest of all Hobies. For a single-hander it is a fun boat though. The centerboard design is down right moronic. Easy to move around on your own.

Nacra 5.2 - Solid. Under 300lb. Parts are generally cheaper in comparison to Hobie including sails HT or otherwise. I have never been a huge fan of the Nacra rudder system, but I'd rather replace ropes instead of Hobie cams. Generally fast boat before HT sails. After HT sails, wow. Pre-1983 N5.2's did not have foam sandwich hulls. Just straight fiberglass.


Basically: If you want to race one-design, buy an H16. If not, I recommend Nacra. From what I have seen Nacra generally makes a higher quality boat. Nacra has more support overseas than they do in the states. Parts will always be around and there are a ton of sailmakers. You aren't locked into buying MFG only parts.

Re: Hobie vs. Nacra, which to buy?? Help! [Re: flounder] #54748
08/08/05 06:42 PM
08/08/05 06:42 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 829
Charleston, SC
NCSUtrey Offline
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Charleston, SC
I've had a H16, then a TheMightyHobie18 SX, a Nacra 6.0na, and finally an Nacra 20. I by far find the Nacra to be higher performing, more thrilling boat. The N20 is by far the most thrilling boat I have ever sailed. Neither my 16 nor my 18 went soft (I only had them for a few years), but the cams were a pain to replace in the rudders. The N20 seems a little more fragile than the 6.0, and def. more fragile than the 16 or 18, but I still run it very hard and the performance is worth it. Generally speaking, I have found that Hobies don't last as long (delaminate), but replacement parts are usually easier to find. What it comes down to, though, is don't buy a boat that you don't like (or is soft).
Trey
N20 314
Layline Rigging
www.velocitysailing.com


Trey
Re: Hobie vs. Nacra, which to buy?? Help! [Re: NCSUtrey] #54749
08/08/05 09:28 PM
08/08/05 09:28 PM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 473
Panama City, Florida
Redtwin Offline
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Panama City, Florida
I bought a Nacra 5.2 earlier in the spring after sailing mostly on H16s. The Nacra is a much better boat (I'm biased). My friend who sails with me on the H16 says that the rigging on the Nacra is too complicated, but I think it is much better because you can shape and pull the sails from any direction you need to get the proper trim. I have found that the H16 (especially the jib) is limitted on trim options. Some more experienced sailors might disagree or maybe they have different setups than the standard H16.
I had to do a small repair on my boat last month that was a piece of cake to work with. I believe my boat is an 84 and it has solid fiberglass hulls. The hulls on the Nacra 5.2 are very solid compared to the H16. I have found that even though the H16 sits higher, both boats are wet in any kind of chop. Although, the h16 is much much more likely to pitchpole on you, especially with a second sailor aboard. My boat is the only Nacra parked on a beach that has about 10 H16s, 1 H14, and a bunch of sunfish/lazers. I don't have a problem sailing around with my friends on different boats. One thing though, if you do get the Nacra 5.2 and you sail with friends on H16s, make sure you have a flexible neck. You will be forced to look back a lot to see your friends sail.

-Rob V.
Panama City
Nacra 5.2


Rob V. Nacra 5.2 Panama City
Re: Hobie vs. Nacra, which to buy?? Help! [Re: mmiller] #54750
08/08/05 09:37 PM
08/08/05 09:37 PM
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 806
Toronto, Ontario
pitchpoledave Offline
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Toronto, Ontario
ok, how much does a hobie 20 mast cost, with comptip? Nacra 6 mast is less than $900us. What about rudder castings? Nacras are about $100.

Re: Hobie vs. Nacra, which to buy?? Help! [Re: Redtwin] #54751
08/09/05 07:57 AM
08/09/05 07:57 AM
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 141
Panama City Beach, FL
steveh Offline
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Panama City Beach, FL
Rob, you got your hull fixed up? Ready for a PC Cat Club race this Saturday at Carl Grey Park?

Re: Hobie vs. Nacra, which to buy?? Help! [Re: mmiller] #54752
08/09/05 05:20 PM
08/09/05 05:20 PM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 90
Québec, Canada
CharlesLeblanc Offline
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Québec, Canada
I own a Nacra 5.2 and I used to race on a Hobie 16 as a crew for a good friend.

There are major difference between the two boats but BOTH BOATS ARE REALLY NICE!

Quote
.... The Hobie 16 is also one of the driest rides of all cats....


WRONG!!!!! This is the worst catamaran in my experience as far as spray is concern as soon as you start putting some weigth on it. I remember a run with 550 lbs on the wire + the skipper and we were unable to see anything. the skipper had to wear swimming googles to see something!!!


The real strong points of the Hobie16:

Much easier to control in messy waves! While the Nacra can be a handfull, the smaller hulls will not move as much when hitted by waves and swell.

Another point: Might be one of the easiest cat for traillering. Simply use the pylones as anchor points, you can even use regular rope! Raising the mast is easier and tightening the stays is not even important.

Finally, this cat is very good for beaching and overall the hulls are more solid than other cats

I think that everybody will agree that both steering system have issues

Strongs points of the Nacra 5.2
Very light! I am able to list my 5.2 of the ground and walk with it is the tramp and the mast are not installed.

Easy to right

Points well, tacks well

Looks modern!

My main problem with the 5.2 is thwe jib wires system. It was a good idea 30 years ago but those steel wires on the tramp are really an problem for me.

BTW, If I could swapp my Nacra 5.2 for a Hobie 16 in the same shape, I would do it right now because I am now stuck with traillering to the water

Charles Leblanc
Nacra 5.2 #26



Charles Leblanc Nacra 5.2 #26
Re: Hobie vs. Nacra, which to buy?? Help! [Re: CharlesLeblanc] #54753
08/09/05 07:08 PM
08/09/05 07:08 PM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 473
Panama City, Florida
Redtwin Offline
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Redtwin  Offline
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Panama City, Florida
One thing to consider is how well the Nacra 5.2 sails next to a slowbie... I mean... Hobie. Side by side I can usually crawl past the H16 my friend sails. That is not saying much for the Nacra because he is much more experienced than I am. So, the Nacra makes up for my errors plus some.


Steve,
The Nacra 5.2 is all fixed and I have sailed on it a couple of times since (between tropical storms and hurricanes). I'd love to crew on one of the races. I have no race experience whatsoever, but I feel like I would be a good crew. I weigh around 150# and I am relatively well fit aerobically. Let me know if you need a second.

-Rob V.
Panama City
Nacra 5.2



Rob V. Nacra 5.2 Panama City
Re: Hobie vs. Nacra, which to buy?? Help! [Re: Redtwin] #54754
08/09/05 07:31 PM
08/09/05 07:31 PM
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 576
BobG Offline
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where are you guys getting N5.2 lighter than H16's? Take the boat that you feel most comfortable with your the one that has to sail it.

Re: Hobie vs. Nacra, which to buy?? Help! [Re: CharlesLeblanc] #54755
08/09/05 07:45 PM
08/09/05 07:45 PM
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 806
Toronto, Ontario
pitchpoledave Offline
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Posts: 806
Toronto, Ontario
In my experience the H16 is a much more difficult boat to sail than the Nacra. The 16 pitchpoles, and flipsbackwards as well sometimes if you are not careful. The Nacra has a lot more hull volume so you don't have to be as careful about weight placement. This makes the boat a lot less work to sail. The Nacra tacks very easily, the 16 is a bear to tack.

The jib track wire can easily be taken off. If you are racing then you can sew loops in the tramp to attach the jib blocks. This is a very well known and well documented fix for the jib wire problem.

Personally I think that the Nacra rudder system is quite good. Very simple and easy to fix. No cams and springs to break or wear. The Nacra hull design is one of the best. They got it right the first time.

Re: Hobie vs. Nacra, which to buy?? Help! [Re: pitchpoledave] #54756
08/09/05 08:43 PM
08/09/05 08:43 PM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 473
Panama City, Florida
Redtwin Offline
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Redtwin  Offline
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Panama City, Florida
That one problem about the H16 that I forgot about... the "popping a wheelee" issue. Because of the ssslllooowww tacking of the H16, we usually try to do a roll tack. The problem is that even in medium wind, it tends to pop a wheelee while trying to perform this maneuver. With the daggerboards, the Nacra tacks almost as well as a monohull. I am not required to backwind the jib on the Nacra like I have to do a lot of on the H16.
However, the H16 is simpler to rig and it is much easier to beach, especially solo. I end up running all over the tramp trying to get ready for a beaching, but I only beach it once per trip, I tack many times, so the payoff is worth it.

-Rob V.
Panama City


Rob V. Nacra 5.2 Panama City
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