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Ultimate Catamaran Buyers Guide

The Ultimate Catamaran Buyers Guide

This guide was made over 10 years ago and we no longer service or specialize in Catamarans. This guide still has a ton of great information within it, which is why we still have it up today. Check out the rest of our site for some great sailing gear.
Sail fast and enjoy, Sailing Pro Shop

How to buy a catamaran... Has multihull fever taken hold of you? It is easy to get the bug, but almost impossible to get it out of your system! Don't worry though, this is one of those good germs. The following article is designed to help you make the proper decision on just what kind of boat might best be suited to your needs. Even if you have owned or sailed multihulls extensively, you may gain some valuable knowledge in the following article.

What is a multihull?
Any vessel with two or more hulls is considered a multihull. The most popular designs are either catamarans (two hulls) or trimarans (three hulls). The theories and design vary as widely as the price tags. You can get a great beginning boat on the used market for as little as $1000 complete with a trailer or spend $10 million and end up with a giant cruising cat or the ultimate racing machine capable of reaching speeds more than two and one half times the speed of the wind! Most people have come to call any two hulled small sailboat a "Hobie Cat" due to the companies early successes in marketing these fun little boats in the 1970s. The colorful dacron sails and asymmetrical hull shape of the early Hobie 16 catamarans has given way to much more sophisticated symmetrical hull shapes and easier to sail boats built by a variety of manufacturers. Prindle, NACRA, Hobie Cat, Tornado, Super Cat, Sol Cat, Sea Spray, G-Cat, P-Cat, and many other companies have all converted to symmetrical hull shapes. Some have made the transformation successfully and continued to grow while others have fallen by the wayside. Which one of these boats will best fit your needs?

Things to consider
You need to set a budget. What is the maximum amount you want to spend on a boat complete with gear? If you answered less than $1000, then the best boat is going to be in the 16 foot range and there are several models to choose from. We strongly support the Prindle 16 and Hobie 16 as your first choice.

The Prindle 16 has a much larger hull and therefore supports more weight than most other 16 foot cats. The Prindle is also much less likely to "pitchpole" or flip over forwards than the Hobie 16 because of its sail plan. There is more buoyancy in the forward hull of the Prindle and there is less sail area up high where it will force the bow underwater. For racing, the Hobie has a strong racing fleet and good factory support.

The Hobie 16 set the standard for production "beach boats". Designed back in 1970 by Hobie, Sr., the Hobie 16 features one of the largest racing fleets in the world. The Hobie 16 was also accepted into the Sailing Hall of Fame for its impact on popularizing beach catamarans and still being the number one beach catamaran sold throughout the world. Boats can be purchased for next to nothing and the fun you will have is worth ten times the Price. If you are simply looking for a durable and inexpensive recreational or racing boat, buy a Hobie 16. Also, the Hobie 16 is the only catamaran racing class for sailors with disabilities, called the Hobie 16 Trapseat. Mike Strahles who is a sailor with a disability designed the Trapseats. Trapseats are a hammock like wing seat that bolts onto each side of the Hobie 16 for sailors with disabilities but works equally well for sailors without disabilities, and can turn a Hobie 16 into a fun sport cruiser or the ultimate in disabled sailing!

The NACRA 5.0 is 16 feet long and sails quite nicely. It is a bit underpowered for Southern California but if you live in an area where the wind blows hard, then the 5.0 NACRA would be an excellent choice. The NACRA is very safe as well. Just like the other boats in the NACRA line the 5.0 is boomless and therefor safer for the operator and crew than boats with booms. Please note that any 16 foot boat will be much more fun if your combined sailing crew weight is less than 280 lb.. If you plan to sail at a much higher crew weight than that then read on.

The Prindle 16 was developed after the Hobie 16 and tried to improve upon the Hobie's design. The boats were marketed in mass quantities in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The Prindle 16 is still one of the most popluar rental boats in the world because of its durability. This simple to sail boat is a great way to start catamaran sailing.

If you want to spend a bit more money, say $2500, then the world of small catamarans available to you has become much larger. Eighteen foot catamarans (newer hull designs) are now within your grasp. The Hobie 18, Prindle 18, NACRA 5.2, and SOL CAT 18 are all available to you in that price range. Most 18 foot catamarans range in weight between 360 lb. and 460 lb. depending on the builder and the year it was produced. For example, the Hobie 18 catamaran is an excellent buy if the boat was produced after 1983. Prior to this date, the boats were quite heavy compared to other boats in that price range. The extra weight is bad in two ways. One, it makes the boat very difficult to pull up and down the beach and two, the boat would be nearly impossible to race successfully because weight is such a critical factor in determining how fast a boat will go. Another word about weight-a heavier boat is not necessarily more durable. If the product is manufactured properly all of the excess weight can be easily pulled out when the hulls are laminated. It is a bit more expensive but it is better for the boat in the long run.

If you want a boat that tacks well because you need to sail out of a marina or narrow waterway, then you want to buy a boat with centerboards (rotating) or daggerboards (boards in fixed trunks). This feature will allow the boat to be much more maneuverable in most conditions and generally makes them easier to sail. The only time you may not want a daggerboard is when you are operating in shallow water or in an area known for obstacles just below the surface. We highly recommend centerboard or daggerboard boats because they overcome one of the most frustrating idiosyncrasies of a catamaran, they tack very easily, and they sail upwind very efficiently.

The Hobie Cat 18. The H-18 was designed in the late 1970s and is a fun boat for a couple. The boat has daggerboards which make it much more maneuverable than its predecessor the Hobie Cat 16. The 18 is quite a step up in performance from the H-16! Again, make sure that the hull # shows that the boat is a 1984 model or newer if you want something that is easy to get up and down the beach. The Hobie 18 is best performing with a crew weight between 260-300 lbs.

A Prindle 18 is a great choice if you want a simple off the beach catamaran that requires very few adjustments once you have cleared the beach and have the rudders down. The boat is very light at 380 lb. and reaches as well as any of the 18 foot cats. Its light weight makes it easy to get up and down the beach too! The Prindle 18 sails best when the crew weight is between 260-340 lbs.

A NACRA 5.2 is a good choice if you want a light weight boat that can also be single handed quite easily. The 5.2 is the most fun when sailed between 220-300 lbs. The Sol Cat 18 is a lot of fun for just a little bit of money but beware, the replacement parts are extremely expensive and hard to come by.
If you have sailed very little or want a boat that is more recreational then we will recommend you look at a Prindle 18-2, an almost new Hobie 18, or a NACRA 5.5 SL. All of these boats are gentle enough to get you in to the sport without blowing your socks off! The boats have a high speed potential, but if you want to leave the boat in first or second gear it will behave quite nicely.
The Prindle 18-2 is an exceptionally fun boat! It is light enough to be carried by a family or a couple The centerboards rotate so beaches or other obstacles won't break your boards if you forget to raise them. The 18-2 also has exceptionally good resale value. The Prindle 18-2 is capable of sailing as fast as the larger cats (19-21') but is quite easy to keep under control in even strong wind conditions. The 18-2 will grow with you too. The boat is quite nimble and very maneuverable. There is good class racing and the boat performs quite well in open class racing. State and National championships draw 60-100 boats every year. The best crew weight for this boat is 275-340 lb.

The F18HT from BIMARE ITALY is the right boat for you if you love a light weight, well built boat that performs like a 20 footer! The finish work, building materials and design of this machine are top notch. The massive 33 foot mast sounds like it would be tough to raise but at under 45 lb this carbon mast is as easily stepped as masts five feet shorter. This boat is a UNIRIG meaning it has no jib but don't let that fool you. this boat has plenty of power with the huge mainsail and adequate spinnaker. Ideal crew weight seems to be around 330 lb at this time but lighter crews can usually manage the sail plan in most conditions. The boat weighs 280lbs all up and the beam is 2.5 meters or about 8'2 1/4. This is the OFFICIAL BOAT of the Worrell 1000 in 2003. Have a look at what performance in the 21st century looks like on an F18 HT!

The NACRA 5.5 SL is the latest thing from the NACRA factory and features a boomless mainsail. The mainsail is all mylar while the jib is race quality dacron. This boat is a real rocketship. In local racing, the NACRA 5.5 SL has a strong record for open class events. This boat can also be single handed quite easily with a roller furling system for the jib. The best crew weight range for this boat is 285-350 lb.
Hobie 17: If you are looking for a good single handed boat, then this little machine is a blast! The 17's hull design is much more updated and modern than most of the Hobie Cat line. The wings are a lot of fun by yourself and the centerboards make the boat easy to tack for one person. The minimal hull volume of the hulls and modest sail area make this a strictly one man boat.


The Hobie 17 sport is a good recreational boat if you sail in lakes with a crew weight of less than 270 lb. The hulls are the same as those on the uni-rig 17 and have very little excess volume. The 17 sport is popular in the Midwest as a recreational boat but lacks the buoyancy necessary to sail in ocean and have a really fun ride. Some items that make the 17 sport easy to sail include: a boomless rig, a light mast, and the wings for seating.

If you have experience on catamarans or you are willing to walk before you fly, then there is a league above the Prindle 18-2, Hobie 18, NACRA 5.5 SL. and Hobie 17. The Division 1 boats (19' open ocean catamarans) is the big league of off the beach sailing! Topping this caliber of boats are the NACRA 5.8, Prindle 19, Miracle 20 and the awesome new NACRA 6.0 North American.

The NACRA 5.8NA is an incredible machine with virtually unlimited inshore and offshore performance. Spinnakers and reachers can be added to make these boats competitive in the PRO offshore races. The NACRA 5.8 has been around since the about 1982 when the boats were built of fiberglass with no foam core sandwich construction. This made the boats quite a bit heavier than the current production versions. A pre-1985 NACRA 5.8 is fifty or so pounds heavier and quite a bit less expensive than more current models. They are quite a bit slower though downwind. A NACRA 5.8 of say 1984 vintage is worth approximately $2200 while a 1986 has a market value of $3400. The foam core boats are much stronger and more durable. NACRA's unique hull design makes it an outstanding boat in rough offshore conditions and in very light conditions. The newer boats have mylar mainsails and high quality dacron jibs. One of the best features for the consumer is the lack of items subject to failure on these boats. All harken blocks mean you have a lifetime warranty on your blocks. The rudder system is so simple there is very little to wear down or break. The trampoline is made of polypropylene material and is vastly superior to vynal There is a strong California fleet with State Championships held every year. A strong and active dealer network in Southern California continues to make this fleet grow. If the NACRA is not quite the look you like, then consider the Prindle 19.

The Prindle 19 was patterned after the International Class Tornado. The rotating centerboards and general hull shape are very similar to the Prindle 18-2 but the sail area is quite a bit larger. This makes the Prindle 19 the perfect boat for two good size people to sail on. The boat will accommodate up to 400lbs of crew weight and still be competitive on a National level. The sails are the newest technology mylar and dacron. The Prindle 19 is similar to the NACRA 5.8 in performance. Neither boat should be purchased by the first time sailor as it is very powerful and can be very intimidating to a novice. The Prindle 19 has an outstanding fleet in Southern California and boasts the fastest growing fleet of any manufacturer in the US!

The Supercat 19 was produced in limited quantity but was fairly popular on the East Coast of the US. The boat is fast and strong and features a very deep mast section. Parts availability has been difficult in recent years. The company is once again building boats, but the 19 is no longer competitive with the much lighter production boats on today's market.

The Miracle 20 is a great catamaran for those who want to race. Built with polyester construction and a foam core sandwich hull, the basic design for the hull was lifted from the Reg White Hurricane from England. Plenty of power and a well thought out set of control systems makes the Miracle a really fun boat for those who have performance in mind. The Miracle is rated just slightly slower than a NACRA 5.8NA but packs every bit the punch. The beam is 8'6 which makes the M-20 fairly stable. This boat also has a well organized and growing fleet nationwide.

The NACRA 6.0 NA (North American) is the highest performing polyester construction beach catamaran available on the market today. With nearly 280 sq. feet of sail and a full 20' of waterline, the NACRA 6.0 is quite a straight line machine. This would not be a good starter boat for someone with little or no catamaran experience. A finer bow entry makes the 6.0 a quieter boat going through the water than the NACRA 5.8. A large jib on the 6.0 also makes it a better boat for those persons sailing with a strong crew. If you are looking for the ultimate in beach cat performance then the 6.0 is for you.

The Hobie FOX is the latest design offering from the Hobie Cat design group. The boat has a sophisticated reverse shear bow and semi wave piercing hull design which offers a level of performance not seen before from Hobie Cat. The EO SNUFFER (TM) system allows even intermediate crews to set and dowse the spinnaker with ease. The square top main and asymetrical jib indicate that Hobie Cat has arrived in the new millenium in style. There has been a change to the original configuration which included a comp tip and now the FOX comes with an all aluminum mast which has greatly improved it's performance. [updated August 9, 2001] For those of you in the Southern California area, five new boats have been sold in the first week of March 2001 and have established an "instant fleet" with some of the better known Hobie 20 sailors moving into the extreme sailing group with the Inter 20s. This should be a fun and challenging group in the 2001 sailing season!

The INTER line of boats by Performance Catamarans, Inc
This is the latest offering from Performance Catamarans. The INTER 17 (single hander) features a vynilester constructed hull and an EO snuffer which allows easier deployment and dowsing of a spinnaker by a single person. The INTER 17 won Sailing Worlds's Boat of the Year contest this year at the Atlantic City Boat Show. While fleets will likely build with this boat there is stiff competition for it from the TAIPAN 4.9 and the INTERNATIONAL A CLASS catamaran class.
The INTER 18 was the first offering in the INTER line and was designed by Morrelli and Melvin yacht designers of Newport Beach, Ca. The INTER 18 was originally designed to be the optimum design to fit the European Formula 18 design class. This provided for a nice platform but was underpowered for sailing here in the US for most areas.

The INTER 20 is a modified INTER 18 and was fabricated with the help of Roy Seaman who also designed the NACRA 6.0 and the NACRA 6.0NA. Roy has always been a big fan of "MORE SAIL AREA" and the INTER 20 doesn't disappoint. While the boat is not overwhelming like the NACRA 6.0NA can be, it sports plenty of power for even heavier crew weights.

The INTER 20
I had a very enjoyable weekend sailing the INTER 20 catamaran in sunny San Diego, California. Alan Thompson invited us to come down and sail the boat for the purposes of a review. I have sailed most of the production catamarans made in the US and found the INTER 20 by Performance Catamarans to be the best sailing two man boat I have ever spent time on by a fair bit.

I want to preface this review with the fact that we are NOT dealers for the INTER product line nor any of the Performance Catamarans boats.

Admittedly we sailed in flat water and the conditions were ideal but the INTER 20 did so many things really well I think it is worth noting the highlights:

#1 This is the best steering catamaran I have ever sailed including a Marstrom Tornado which ranks second in my opinion. There is almost no helm at all and when you ask the boat to change directions it does in a hurry and without effort or deceleration. Even with the spinnaker up I found the boat's helm unloaded and very manageable.

#2 The sail plan generated an amazing amount of controllable power both upwind and downwind. The sail area was very manageable with the stock rigging from the factory.

#3 The quality of cordage, fittings and spars were excellent. The foils needed some minor work but are VERY* nice for a production catamaran under $15,000. The rudder system at first glance seemed fragile and wimpy but after driving the boat I found that it was adequate for the minimal loads it is required to handle.

#4 The EO Snuffer was simple and effective. Some McLube (SAILKOTE) would be helpful for getting the spinnaker out of the spinnaker sock. Beyond that the sail was simple to set and easy to dowse.

#5 An added benefit to the "BEAM FORWARD DESIGN" was a large amount of trampoline space. This made the boat feel much larger that the NACRA 6.0/ NACRA 5.8/ Prindle 19/ Miracle 20s which are in the same overall length range.

I would like to thank Alan Thompson and NACRA fleet #2 members for sailing upwind and downwind several times which allowed me to see the relative difference in sailing styles various skippers use including champion Brandon Wallace. Brandon's all black hulls with white decks was unusual looking but apropos for his close proximity to Sea World and the ORCA whales which the boat closely emulates with it's color scheme (very cool).

If I were in the market for another beach catamaran the INTER 20 would be my choice hands down....

Want something bigger? try this:
If a new boat is in the cards for you, then the price tag can vary from as little as $6000-30,000 or more. Most of the off the beach catamarans of today like the Hobie, Prindle, NACRA or INTER range in price from $8-17,000 on a trailer complete with all of the gear you need to go sailing. A new boat always provides you with the peace of mind. If something goes wrong you have a dealer and factory there to support you. Most of the boats on the market today have their bugs worked out.

Resale may not be at the top of your list right now on how to buy a catamaran, but two or three years down the road it may become an issue. Make this boat an investment and a great piece of recreational equipment. If you find that this is the best sport you have ever participated in and you get in to racing, you will want to get a new boat every three years or so. If your boat holds its resale value then the upgrade will be minimal when you trade your boat in. For example: a new Hobie 18 sells for around $8000 with a trailer, but because there are so many of them out there on the used market, you would be hard pressed to sell that boat for $3000 two years from now. (See the classifieds for exact price comparisons) A Prindle 19 catamaran sells new for $11,000 on the trailer complete and the two year old boats are selling for $6500-$8000. The difference between the two product lines is enormous for resale. If you decide that this sport is just not for you, your boat will be easier to sell through the paper if you are not competing with five other boats at half the price of yours! Resale does count! Think ahead...

Olympic hopefuls. If you think that you may want to compete on an international level, then we suggest you consider the Tornado catamaran. The design is more than twenty years old, but the boats still remain at the top of the performance range for B class catamarans. To compete on even a local level you will need to buy a boat of 1987 or newer vintage. Prices vary from $7000 for a used on to over $30,000 for a new boat with sails and tilt trailer. You must be prepared to make sail changes every six months or so to keep pace with the ever changing shapes in the Tornado ranks.

OFFSHORE or PRO RACE enthusiasts take note: For offshore events, all boats are welcomed that rate .690 (Portsmouth) or faster provided they are not on the probationary list. Come sail offshore with this great group!!! The Ironman event is strictly invitational due to its length. Petitioning sailors may be accepted based upon their resume'.

The Association has been running the events for five years now, and has never had an accident or incident. We are committed to absolutely ensuring that the participants are safety conscious at all times. No concessions will be granted. For more information on what is required by the Association to race offshore please contact us at (562) 594 8749

Interpreting ratings
The NAMSA and Portsmouth ratings committees receive information throughout the year from various regattas where information was taken about the finishing times of competing boats. Those finish times are then computed and compared to the conditions the event was held in. (i.e., flat water and lots of wind or bumpy water and very little wind, etc.) Each year the ratings are adjusted to exemplify the potential speed of given boats. The lower the number, the theoretically faster that boat has been sailed by competitors the previous year. When a boat is first introduced by a manufacturer, it is given a probationary rating based upon what the manufacturer says it can do on the race course. The first year of a rating is probationary period and the rating almost always changes after one year. Very few races in Southern California use any rating system any longer. Boats are grouped into divisions based on length and general speed potential. Boats carrying additional sails like spinnakers or reachers are put into a PRO division where they compete head to head with other spinnaker rigged boats. Do not take ratings as exact measures of a boats speed potential. A Supercat 20 catamaran rates much faster than a Prindle 19 or NACRA 5.8 but I cannot remember a Supercat 20 beating either of those two boats when they were sailed by crews of equal skill levels.

Insurance
While insurance on the boat and trailer are not required by the State of California, we highly suggest you get some through your personal agent. Farmer's, State farm, AAA and others all offer very good plans that are very inexpensive! Have the item insured before you take it home! Homeowners insurance will generally cover you up to $1000 but you should take out a separate policy for $1000 more than you paid for your boat.

The Trailer
Trailers, like boats come in all shapes and sizes. There are very expensive trailers that can hold up to six catamarans and then there are very inexpensive "bolt together" trailers that will do the job underneath an 18' cat or smaller. Shoreline, Cathauler, THE, Peak, EZ loader, Zieman, Pacific, make up the most popular manufacturers that have sold trailers on the West Coast. There are painted and galvanized models by each of the manufacturers. The very best are galvanized trailers with heavy duty frames and will generally cost you $1200-1800 with proper hull supports (cradles). The Pacific trailer is currently thought of as the best galvanized trailer. It will easily fit any of the under 21' boats on the market today. The Zieman is generally thought to be the best production painted trailer except for the custom "VICTORY" trailers. The Victories are quite a bit more expensive though. All of the current model boats that are being produced by the three main catamaran manufacturers (Hobie & Performance Catamarans) demand a cradle on the front support of the trailer to handle the hull. Do not use rollers as a hull support! You will suffer hull damage almost immediately!

The trailer wheels should be at least 12" diameter if you plan to travel any distances at all. Galvanized is generally better than painted if you live within 10 miles of the coast. (Your trailer will rust if it is not galvanized) A galvanized trailer will look as though it has a poor gray paint job with clouds in the paint. The trailer must be galvanized in full at the time of its production. No aftermarket galvanizing systems are really effective. If a trailer has become badly rusted you can have it sand blasted to remove the rust but remember, you can only remove just so much rust before there is no more trailer left!
The bearings on the trailer should be in good shape. Ask the owner when he last packed the bearing on the trailer. If the bearings have a zirt fitting you can easily re-inject the packing with new grease. "Buddy Bearings" are the most common brand of bearing sealer cup and we suggest you look for that brand name.

Check the ball coupler mechanism to ensure that the fitting is in good condition and adequately locks on to your hitch ball. Most hitch balls are 1 7/8 " balls although some are 2". Check with the owner before you have electrical hookups done to your car as to the type of electrical fitting he has on the trailer. A four prong flat electrical is the most common although four or five hole round hook ups exist.
Make sure that the VIN # stamped on the trailer matches the certificate of title! The number can be found on the left side of the tongue or stamped on the tongue itself. The trailer must have an ID # on it if you ever hope to recover it in the event that it is stolen. Make sure that the license plate matches the registration.

Finally, consider your local dealer
When trying to decide on what brand of boat to buy, remember you may need parts in the future. How easy are those parts going to be to get? If there is a good dealer in your area, he will have a full stock of parts on hand. Visit his location and decide for yourself. If there is a local active dealer it will help protect the resale of your boat! Ask around your local beach and find out whether or not the local dealer participates in the local events. Have the sailors heard about the dealer and if so, what kind of job do they do? If the dealer does a good job, he won't be afraid to suggest you ask the locals. No dealer can please everyone, but the sailors can give you a general idea. Ask the local fleet members if the dealer has a strong affiliation with the local fleets. Look around the beach and see what kind of boats most of the people seem to be sailing. That means boats sailing, not parked on the beach all day!

Sometimes you can get a better deal at the dealership. If the dealer takes boats in on trade, he usually wants to liquidate them as quickly as possible and will take a minimal mark up when selling a trade in. That means you can get a good boat at or below the market price. You also have a place to go back to if there is a problem with your boat. A good dealer will offer to set the boat up with you and make sure you are comfortable with the operation of the boat. A good dealer will tell it to you straight. If you need a used boat to start out with, they will suggest one that meets the criteria that will follow in this outline. If a new boat is more appropriate, the dealer should be able to ask the right questions, consider all of the brands on the market and then give you some educated choices to make. Do not be forced into a sale. The dealer is there to help you buy the right boat, not sell you the most expensive boat if it does not meet your needs! The only bad question, is the one that does not get asked. If you are not sure about something, ask! Get the facts. The best boat for you will be fairly easy to find if you know the right questions to ask! GOOD LUCK AND GET SAILING!!! IT IS THE BEST QUALITY TIME I HAVE EVER SPENT WITH THE KIDS OR MY FRIENDS...


The following list is not completely comprehensive and we suggest you have a prospective boat reviewed by someone who is qualified to do so. Just like a used car, a catamaran should be looked at by a "mechanic" who knows the product.

Hobie 16
Produced from about 1970 on. Large production numbers. Still being manufactured. Class racing is excellent. Boat weights were reduced in 1983 by changing the construction materials. Available in a variety of hull colors. Sails are available in a variety of colors. Mylar sails are now class legal. A comp-tip is required for persons wanting to race. Trampolines are typically made of vinyl.

Items to check on a prospective boat:

  • Right and left rear corner castings at trampoline supports often get cracks in them

  • Check to see that the mast is straight by sighting up it when the rig is stood. Look up the sail track.

  • Rudder cams should be in good working condition. You can test this by locking the rudder in the down position and tapping at the leading edge of the rudder with your foot. The rudder should not release until you give it a solid shot. The rudder should be easily brought in to the up position with the steering mechanism.

  • The spring that holds the rudder cam in place when locked down should be in good condition.

  • Push on the deck of the hull just in front of the front crossbar. If there is flex in the deck, this is probably not a good boat for you. This area is critical to the boats structure!

  • Look underneath the hulls to see if there is a lot of beach wear. If you can see the hull beneath the gelcoat paint, that is okay. If you can see fiberglass coming through the brown hull resin, the boat will need a $300 bottom job soon.

  • Check at the back of the boat where the rudders connect to the hull. The metal fastener housings are called gudgeons. If there is cracking around the gudgeons, the boat has probably had some problems when beaching. This can be a severe problem so look carefully at the back of the boat.

  • Look for worn wires on the mast. Look at the shrouds (side wires) forestay (front wire) and the trapeze wires for broken strands. Also check the bridle wires (very front, attach to bow) for broken strands. Ask the owner when he replaced the wires last. Most manuals suggest a five year maximum life for wires even if they have not been used.

  • Look for broken strands in the halyards (lines that pull up the sails).

  • Look at the sails for broken battens (solid pieces of fiberglass) in sail.

  • Look for tears in the sails.

  • Check the stiffness of the sail material. The newer the material, the stiffer the sail.

  • Trampoline condition. Tramp should have no tears or holes.

  • Look for areas of discoloration in the hulls. This may indicate a repair of some type.

  • Ask if the boat leaks. If so, how much in two hours. A few cups of water are okay, but half a gallon or more is unacceptable.

  • Look all around the hulls for gelcoat (paint) cracks. Sometimes this is okay, but if the area around the cracks is soft, walk away and look for another boat! Press on the decks with the palm of your hand and all of your weight.

  • Ask the owner of the boat to rig the boat with you the first time to make sure that all of the parts are there. Make sure that you look overhead before you stand the mast to make sure that there are no electrical or telephone wires you may hit. Once you have rigged the boat, actually get on the boat and pretend that you are tacking. Move the sails, the rudders, and anything else you would normally operate when sailing the boat.

  • Ask the owner why he is selling the boat. How long has it been on the market? Are you the original owner? When was the last time you were sailing on this boat.

  • Ask the owner what model year the boat is. Then go to the back of the boat on the right hull and look on the back of the boat. There will be a hull number that will end something like "M79L". This would indicate that the boat is a 1979 model. Make sure that the title that the owner gives to you has a VIN # (hull #) that matches the number on the boat. Make sure that the person you are speaking to owns the boat. They must own it outright with no "legal owner" listed. If there is a legal owner listed, you must make sure that the lien on the boat has been satisfied. Simply call the lienholder. Make sure that the person selling the boat is the singular owner and that there are not two names listed on the title. If there are two names, then the other person must also sign off and date their interest in the item. To be really sure that this boat is as it appears, contact you local DMV and County Accessors office. Have the Hull numbers for the boat and the VIN # for the trailer ready along with the owners full name and address.

  • Taxes and registration. Ask the owner if he has paid his county tax on the boat for the current year. Call DMV and make sure there are no outstanding parking tickets or other citations on the trailer. If the boat and trailer are out of date on registration, it could be very expensive to get the boat and trailer back to current. The certificate of non-operation slips are much more limiting than they used to be so call DMV to confirm you will not have to pay the additional registration fees and back penalties due.

  • If the owner no longer has or has misplaced the certificate of title(s), make sure you have them provide you with a "duplicate certificate of title" along with $14 per lost title to cover DMV fees and processing fees. Do not give payment in full for the boat until the title has been cleared with DMV!

  • What additional accessories come with the boat? Beach roller, lifejackets, harnesses, wetsuits or sailing gear, spare wires, pins, shackles? Extras are nice, but add no real value to what you should pay for a boat except for a cat box and beach roller. Does the trailer have a spare tire?

  • You must also get from the owner a "BILL OF SALE" which is a standard document available at the DMV. A home made version does not do the trick. When you arrive at the DMV with the bill of sale you will be assessed State of California Sales Tax based upon the amount paid for the boat and trailer. You must get separate bills of sale for the boat and trailer showing correct hull and trailer numbers. It is payable at the time of registration.

There are other things to check over and there is no way we can cover them all in this article. If you use this as a fundamental guide and some common sense, you can make a good purchase! Good luck and always wear your lifejacket!

Prindle 16
The Prindle 16 was developed after the Hobie 16 and tried to improve upon the Hobie's design. The boats were marketed in mass quantities in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The Prindle 16 is still one of the most popluar rental boats in the world because of its durability. There is an active fleet nationwide. This simple to sail boat is a great way to start catamaran sailing.

Things to look for when buying a used Prindle 16:

  • Make sure that the mast is straight by sighting up the mast once the rig is up.

  • Look at the mast head sheaves (pulleys in the top of the mast) and make sure they are not badly chipped or broken.

  • Look at the downhaul blocks on the mast to see if they have been replaced. (located just below where the boom attaches to the mast) The older boats had a block on the lower portion of the mast that became dry and brittle with exposure to sunlight. Hobies still have the same block.

  • Check to see whether or not the hulls have inspection ports (large entry holes in the top of the hole 1/3 back on the hull between the crossbars) 1978 boats and newer have them. They are a good way to keep the hulls dry and light. They also serve as a great storage space. This is a desired item.

  • There is a hull plug located underneath the rear crossbar on the inside of the hull, check to see that it is there and that it is not all dried out. It measures about 3" across.

  • The rudder lock down mechanism should be very positive. Go ahead and lock the rudders down a couple of times and test them with your hand by trying to pull them up from the rear of the boat after they have been locked down. Be sure to keep your hands clear of the rudder casting when dropping the rudders on dry land. The rudder should stay in a locked down position until the rudder is pulled very hard.

  • Look underneath the hulls to see if there is a lot of beach wear. If you can see the hull beneath the gelcoat paint, that is okay. If you can see fiberglass coming through the brown hull resin, the boat will need a $300 bottom job soon.

  • Check at the back of the boat where the rudders connect to the hull. The metal fastener housings are called gudgeons. If there is cracking around the gudgeons, the boat has probably had some problems when beaching. This can be a severe problem so look carefully at the back of the boat.

  • Look for worn wires on the mast. Look at the shrouds (side wires) forestay (front wire) and the trapeze wires for broken strands. Also check the bridle wires (very front, attach to bow) for broken strands. Ask the owner when he replaced the wires last. Most manuals suggest a five year maximum life for wires even if they have not been used.

  • Look for broken strands in the halyards (lines that pull up the sails).

  • Look at the sails for broken battens (solid pieces of fiberglass) in sail.

  • Look for tears in the sails. Especially around the batten pockets.

  • Check the stiffness of the sail material. The newer the material, the stiffer the sail.

  • Check the trampoline for tears or holes.

  • Look for areas of discoloration in the hulls. This may indicate a repair of some type.

  • Ask if the boat leaks. If so, how much in two hours. A few cups of water are okay, but half a gallon or more is unacceptable.

  • Look all around the hulls for gelcoat (paint) cracks. Sometimes this is okay, but if the area around the cracks is soft, walk away and look for another boat! Press on the decks with the palm of your hand and all of your weight.

  • Ask the owner of the boat to rig the boat with you the first time to make sure that all of the parts are there. Make sure that you look overhead before you stand the mast to make sure that there are no electrical or telephone wires you may hit. Actually get on the boat and pretend that you are tacking. Move the sails, the rudders, and anything else you would normally operate when sailing the boat.

  • Ask the owner why he is selling the boat. How long has it been on the market? Are you the original owner? When was the last time you were sailing on this boat.

  • Ask the owner what model year the boat is. Then go to the back of the boat on the right hull and look on the back of the boat. There will be a hull number that will end something like "M79L". This would indicate that the boat is a 1979 model. Make sure that the title that the owner gives to you has a VIN # (hull #) that matches the number on the boat. Make sure that the person you are speaking to owns the boat. They must own it outright with no "legal owner" listed. If there is a legal owner listed, you must make sure that the lien on the boat has been satisfied. Simply call the lienholder. Make sure that the person selling the boat is the singular owner and that there are not two names listed on the title. If there are two names, then the other person must also sign off and date their interest in the item. To be really sure that this boat is as it appears, contact you local DMV and County Accessors office. Have the Hull numbers for the boat and the VIN # for the trailer ready along with the owners full name and address.

  • Taxes and registration. Ask the owner if he has paid his county tax on the boat for the current year. Call DMV and make sure there are no outstanding parking tickets or other citations on the trailer. If the boat and trailer are out of date on registration, it could be very expensive to get the boat and trailer back to current. The certificate of non-operation slips are much more limiting than they used to be so call DMV to confirm you will not halve to pay the additional registration fees and back penalties due.

  • If the owner no longer has or has misplaced the certificate of title(s), make sure you have them provide you with a "duplicate certificate of title" along with $14 per lost title to cover DMV fees and processing fees. Do not give payment in full for the boat until the title has been cleared with DMV!

  • What additional accessories come with the boat? Beach roller, lifejackets, harnesses, wetsuits or sailing gear, spare wires, pins, shackles? Extras are nice, but add no real value to what you should pay for a boat except for a cat box and beach roller. Does the trailer have a spare tire?

  • You must also get from the owner a "BILL OF SALE" which is a standard document available at the DMV. A home made version does not do the trick. When you arrive at the DMV with the bill of sale you will be assessed State of California Sales Tax based upon the amount paid for the boat and trailer. You must get separate bills of sale for the boat and trailer showing correct hull and trailer numbers. It is payable at the time of registration.

  • There are other things to check over and there is no way we can cover them all in this article. If you use this as a fundamental guide and some common sense, you can make a good purchase! Good luck and always wear your lifejacket!

Taipan 4.9
Offered by Australian High Performance Catamarans (APHC), this 16-ft catamaran is a real “Pocket Rocket!” In Australia, where very fast sailboats dominate, the T4.9 is very popular, and its popularity in the US and EU is growing steadily. The T4.9 (Sailing World’s Performance multihull of the year in 2000 when it was introduced to the U.S.) was designed by two "A" cat sailors (Jim Boyer and Greg Goodall) to bring the "A" cat technology to a small, one-design beach cat. Like its "A" cat big brother, the T4.9 is remarkably balanced and responsive. Built of modern materials (kevlar/epoxy hulls, carbon/epoxy blades) using modern techniques, it weighs a mere 231 lb. fully sloop-rigged. The T4.9 can be sailed and raced solo as a uni-rig, or with crew, sloop-rigged. For even greater thrills the optional spinnaker kit and snuffer can be added to either configuration to "turbo-charge" the downwind performance. Its 208 sq. foot sail plan is exceedingly powerful, yet tunable, due to its pre-bent wingmast and high aspect square top mainsail. While equally competitive with older 18-19 ft designs (Portsmouth number of 68.4), its smaller size, and lighter weight and sheet loads make it a joy to rig, launch, sail and trailer. With a total crew weight of 360 lb. or less, it should not be considered for heavyweight crews. The boat can be raced solo or crewed in Portsmouth handicap, Taipan one-design class, or the new F16HP class—one of the new “Formula” classes that only restricts certain basic dimensions. Several designs offered by different builders can be raced head-to-head with the T4.9 under F16HP. While the T4.9 is fairly expensive compared with older 16-ft cat designs, experienced cat sailors quickly discover there is no comparison in performance. If you are looking for a modern, high-performance, versatile, and lightweight catamaran that can be sailed or raced by yourself or with crew, the Taipan fills the bill to a “T”!

Hobie 17
This single handed catamaran has become popular with people who wanted the freedom of sailing alone in a variety of conditions. The vertical cut mylar mainsail comes in a variety of colors. The wings provide a comfortable place to sit when the wind conditions are less than exciting. The boat is the most fun when sailed in the 125-175 lb weight range in 15 knots of wind or more.

When buying a Hobie 17 consider the following.

  • The newer H-17s are outfitted with an upgraded sail although many racers prefer the Neil Pryde mainsail over the brand new sails.

  • The wings should be checked for cracks at all of the welds.

  • The wing slots should be checked for gelcoat fractures.

  • The mast should be checked to be sure that it is straight.

  • The boat comes with a comp-tip and you should check to be sure that the sun has not badly degraded this composite tip. They are expensive to replace!

  • The centerboards should be removed from the hulls and checked for bubbles or signs of a major repair.

  • Check the rudders and rudder castings for abnormal wear.

  • Push on the deck of the hull just in front of the front crossbar. If there is flex in the deck, this is probably not a good boat for you. This area is critical to the boats structure!

  • Look underneath the hulls to see if there is a lot of beach wear. If you can see the hull beneath the gelcoat paint, that is okay. Of you can see fiberglass coming through the brown hull resin, the boat will need a $300 bottom job soon.

  • Check at the back of the boat where the rudders connect to the hull. The metal fastener housings are called gudgeons. If there is cracking around the gudgeons, the boat has probably had some problems when beaching. This can be a severe problem so look carefully at the back of the boat.

  • Look for worn wires on the mast. Look at the shrouds (side wires) forestay (front wire) and the trapeze wires for broken strands. Also check the bridle wires (very front, attach to bow) for broken strands. Ask the owner when he replaced the wires last. Most manuals suggest a five year maximum life for wires even if they have not been used.

  • Look for broken strands in the halyards (lines that pull up the sails).

  • Look at the sails for broken battens (solid pieces of fiberglass) in sail.

  • Look for tears in the sails.

  • Check the stiffness of the sail material. The newer the material, the stiffer the sail.

  • Trampoline condition. Tramp should have no tears or holes.

  • Take a very hard look at the gooseneck assembly. (boom to mast connection) Look for signs of breakage or wear.

  • Look for areas of discoloration in the hulls. This may indicate a repair of some type.

  • Ask if the boat leaks. If so, how much in two hours. A few cups of water are okay, but half a gallon or more is unacceptable.

  • Look all around the hulls for gelcoat (paint) cracks. Sometimes this is okay, but if the area around the cracks is soft, walk away and look for another boat! Press on the decks with the palm of your hand and all of your weight.

  • Ask the owner of the boat to rig the boat with you the first time to make sure that all of the parts are there. Make sure that you look overhead before you stand the mast to make sure that there are no electrical or telephone wires you may hit. Actually get on the boat and pretend that you are tacking. Move the sails, the rudders, and anything else you would normally operate when sailing the boat.

  • Ask the owner why he is selling the boat. How long has it been on the market? Are you the original owner? When was the last time you were sailing on this boat.

  • Ask the owner what model year the boat is. Then go to the back of the boat on the right hull and look on the back of the boat. There will be a hull number that will end something like "M79L". This would indicate that the boat is a 1979 model. Make sure that the title that the owner gives to you has a VIN # (hull #) that matches the number on the boat. Make sure that the person you are speaking to owns the boat. They must own it outright with no "legal owner" listed. If there is a legal owner listed, you must make sure that the lien on the boat has been satisfied. Simply call the lienholder. Make sure that the person selling the boat is the singular owner and that there are not two names listed on the title. If there are two names, then the other person must also sign off and date their interest in the item. To be really sure that this boat is as it appears, contact you local DMV and County Accessors office. Have the Hull numbers for the boat and the VIN # for the trailer ready along with the owners full name and address.

  • Taxes and registration. Ask the owner if he has paid his county tax on the boat for the current year. Call DMV and make sure there are no outstanding parking tickets or other citations on the trailer. If the boat and trailer are out of date on registration, it could be very expensive to get the boat and trailer back to current. The certificate of non-operation slips are much more limiting than they used to be so call DMV to confirm you will not halve to pay the additional registration fees and back penalties due.

  • If the owner no longer has or has misplaced the certificate of title(s), make sure you have them provide you with a "duplicate certificate of title" along with $14 per lost title to cover DMV fees and processing fees. Do not give payment in full for the boat until the title has been cleared with DMV!

  • You must also get from the owner a "BILL OF SALE" which is a standard document available at the DMV. A home made version does not do the trick. When you arrive at the DMV with the bill of sale you will be assessed State of California Sales Tax based upon the amount paid for the boat and trailer. You must get separate bills of sale for the boat and trailer showing correct hull and trailer numbers. It is payable at the time of registration.

  • What additional accessories come with the boat? Beach roller, lifejackets, harnesses, wetsuits or sailing gear, spare wires, pins, shackles? Extras are nice, but add no real value to what you should pay for a boat except for a cat box and beach roller. Does the trailer have a spare tire?

There are other things to check over and there is no way we can cover them all in this article. If you use this as a fundamental guide and some common sense, you can make a good purchase! Good luck and always wear your lifejacket

NACRA 5.2- 17 ft
The NACRA 5.2 was the boat that started the NACRA line. The boat is an extremely good bargain in the Southern California market where boats can be bought under $1500 complet with trailer. This well performing catamaran compares in speed to the Hobie and Prindle 18s. The 5.2 is quite a good single handed boat as well. With a roller furling jib almost anyone can handle this little "sports car".

  • Prior to 1985, the NACRA 5.2s were made of almost exclusively firberglass with no foam core.

  • If you are lucky enough to find a post '85 5.2 you will have a more durable boat. If you can only find earlier models, that is okay too, the earlier boats were generally lighter than the newer models.

  • Press on the deck of both hulls just in front of the crossbar. If there is a lot of flex in the deck then this boat may be "soft".

  • The hulls will feel soft if you press on the side of the hull with your hand firmly. This is normal for an all glass boat. It does not indicate weakness.

  • In 1982 the ceneterbar that connects the rear beam to the main beam was removed. This is better because the bar no longer represents a spot to hit your shins. Some sailors liked the bar because it gave the skipper and crew a nice place to put the feet when the boat began to fly a hull.

  • In the early 1980's the main traveller changed from being a Schaefer traveller track and car to being a Harken (superior) traveller system.

  • Look at the daggerboards carefully. The leading and trailing edges should be free from dings and chips. The daggerboard bungi cords hold the boards in place when they are in the up position. Make sure that the bungi cords have adequate flex life remaining.

  • Check the bottom of the mast. The very bottom section is called the foot. There have been two mast step systems used on this portion of the mast. The captive mast step system is vastly safer and superior to the non-captive system. If you find a boat without a captive system one can be retrofitted to the boat. How you can tell which is which... Look at the mast foot casting. (black aluminum) It is the female portion of the mast step link. If it has a hole drilled through it, and a 1/4" clevis pin that measures approximately 2 5/8" long sticking through it, you have a captive system. If the mast ball on the main beam simply fits unsecured in to the "cup" at the base of the mast then you do not have a captive system.

  • The rudders should be in good shape with no dings or chips. The rudder casting that holds the rudder and is part of the steering system should be in good shape with no signs of repairs such as welds. Look to see that the tiller arm that sticks up from the casting and attaches to the tiller crossbar is securely fastened together with rivets.

  • Newer boats or boats that have been retrofitted to a "beaching rudder" system will have a "Pivmatic" rudder kick-up fitting about 2/3 the way up the tiller arm. This black fiberglass compression sleeve serves to release the rudder in the event you hit a submerged object or beach the boat. If the boat does not have this type of rudder cleating system, one can be easily retrofitted and it is highly recommended. The alternative rudder lock down cleat would be a silver or black aluminum jam cleat that is either riveted or screwed in to the tiller arm. This system does not automatically kick up.

  • Always check to see that the trampoline track is securely fastened to the hull. A boat that has been raced hard or abused, will in time, become weak in this area. This problem can be solved but may be expensive. To check this, stand on the trampoline directly adjacent to the trampoline track and gently bounce on the tramp. If the track flexes a small amount it is normal, but if the track is moving quite a bit, it could mean an expensive repair.

  • There are numerous accessories available for the NACRA 5.2 and some of them are very nice to have, others are just dressing. Consult your local dealer to ask what is worth having on board!

  • Look underneath the hulls to see if there is a lot of beach wear. If you can see the hull beneath the gelcoat paint, that is okay. If you can see fiberglass coming through the brown hull resin, the boat will need a $300 bottom job soon.

  • Check at the back of the boat where the rudders connect to the hull. The metal fastener housings are called gudgeons. If there is cracking around the gudgeons, the boat has probably had some problems when beaching. This can be a severe problem so look carefully at the back of the boat.

  • Look for worn wires on the mast. Look at the shrouds (side wires) forestay (front wire) and the trapeze wires for broken strands. Also check the bridle wires (very front, attach to bow) for broken strands. Ask the owner when he replaced the wires last. Most manuals suggest a five year maximum life for wires even if they have not been used.

  • Look for broken strands in the halyards (lines that pull up the sails).

  • Look at the sails for broken battens (solid pieces of fiberglass) in sail.

  • Look for tears in the sails.

  • Check the stiffness of the sail material. The newer the material, the stiffer the sail.

  • Trampoline condition. Tramp should have no tears or holes.

  • Take a very hard look at the gooseneck assembly. (boom to mast connection) Look for signs of breakage or wear.

  • Look for areas of discoloration in the hulls. This may indicate a repair of some type.

  • Ask if the boat leaks. If so, how much in two hours. A few cups of water are okay, but half a gallon or more is unacceptable.

  • Look all around the hulls for gelcoat (paint) cracks. Sometimes this is okay, but if the area around the cracks is soft, walk away and look for another boat! Press on the decks with the palm of your hand and all of your weight.

  • Ask the owner of the boat to rig the boat with you the first time to make sure that all of the parts are there. Make sure that you look overhead before you stand the mast to make sure that there are no electrical or telephone wires you may hit. Actually get on the boat and pretend that you are tacking. Move the sails, the rudders, and anything else you would normally operate when sailing the boat.

  • Ask the owner why he is selling the boat. How long has it been on the market? Are you the original owner? When was the last time you were sailing on this boat.

  • Ask the owner what model year the boat is. Then go to the back of the boat on the right hull and look on the back of the boat. There will be a hull number that will end something like "M79L". This would indicate that the boat is a 1979 model. Make sure that the title that the owner gives to you has a VIN # (hull #) that matches the number on the boat. Make sure that the person you are speaking to owns the boat.

  • They must own it outright with no "legal owner" listed. If there is a legal owner listed, you must make sure that the lien on the boat has been satisfied. Simply call the lienholder. Make sure that the person selling the boat is the singular owner and that there are not two names listed on the title. If there are two names, then the other person must also sign off and date their interest in the item. To be really sure that this boat is as it appears, contact you local DMV and County Accessors office. Have the Hull numbers for the boat and the VIN # for the trailer ready along with the owners full name and address.

  • Taxes and registration. Ask the owner if he has paid his county tax on the boat for the current year. Call DMV and make sure there are no outstanding parking tickets or other citations on the trailer. If the boat and trailer are out of date on registration, it could be very expensive to get the boat and trailer back to current. The certificate of non-operation slips are much more limiting than they used to be so call DMV to confirm you will not halve to pay the additional registration fees and back penalties due.

  • If the owner no longer has or has misplaced the certificate of title(s), make sure you have them provide you with a "duplicate certificate of title" along with $14 per lost title to cover DMV fees and processing fees. Do not give payment in full for the boat until the title has been cleared with DMV!

  • You must also get from the owner a "BILL OF SALE" which is a standard document available at the DMV. A home made version does not do the trick. When you arrive at the DMV with the bill of sale you will be assessed State of California Sales Tax based upon the amount paid for the boat and trailer. You must get separate bills of sale for the boat and trailer showing correct hull and trailer numbers. It is payable at the time of registration.

  • What additional accessories come with the boat? Beach roller, lifejackets, harnesses, wetsuits or sailing gear, spare wires, pins, shackles? Extras are nice, but add no real value to what you should pay for a boat except for a cat box and beach roller. Does the trailer have a spare tire?

There are other things to check over and there is no way we can cover them all in this article. If you use this as a fundamental guide and some common sense, you can make a good purchase! Good luck and always wear your lifejacket

Hobie 18
Designed in 1977, the Hobie 18 was the first daggerboard boat from the Hobie Cat Company. The H-18 brought a new performance level to Hobie Cat sailors. This boat was directed at the NACRA 5.2 type market. Sailors wanting better upwind performance and a boat that would tack easier than the Prindle or Hobie 16. The larger overlapping jib was made handleable by a roller furling system. The early boats (1978-1983) were quite heavy compared to comprable size cats in production at that time. The Hobie 18 supported quite a bit more weight than did the Hobie 16. The new symetrical hull shape and bow design had overcome most of the pitchpoling problems that the Hobie 16 experienced. The Hobie 18 also introduced many Hobie Cat sailors to more sophisticated control mechanisms like rotation contol arms.

When looking for a Hobie 18 consider the following:

  • What year was the boat built? 1983 and older will be quite heavy.

  • Is the roller furling mechanism on the jib in good condition?

  • The mast should be in good condition and the metal work should not be chipped. Black annodization looks great when it is new, but the sun causes the black anno. to turn grey. Also, black metal work can become extremely hot if it is exposed to direct sun for a period of time. OUCH!

  • If you can find clear annodization, you will have a boat that looks better in the long run.

  • Has the mainsheet system been upgraded or is it the stock system? 7:1, 8:1 and even 9:1 mainsheet system are desirable on the Hobie 18.

  • What kind of non skid surface does the boat have on the side rails of the hulls? Carpet kits get to be a mess if they are exposed to sun over a long period of time. Neoprene is much better. Kits are available from your local cat dealer if the boat does not come with it.

  • Look at the rudder castings. The Hobie 18 casting is more vulnerable to breakage than the Hobie 16. Check the integrity of the rudder "cams" as well. The cams are plastic pieces inside the rudder casting that allow the operator to get the rudders to lock up or down. Check also to see that the rudder lock down spring and assembly are in good working order. All of the tests should be done from the boat as though you were sailing.

  • Check the gooseneck assembly for wear. There is a "Super goose" upgrade that is highly recommended if this item needs replacement.

  • Check what type of rudder the boat has. If the rudder is made of lexan or other standard plastic material, you will be able to flex it quite easily. If the rudder is foam cored or made of epoxy (EPO), it is vastly superior to the standard plastic rudders and does not flex easily.

  • Look at the tiller extension. Good extensions are telescopic and made from fiberglass and not aluminum. The fiberglass is much more flexible and will last longer than the aluminum. "Hot stick" or "arriba stick" are the most popular brands of fiberglass extension. All of the fiberglass extensions are black.

  • Check the flexibility and condition of the trapeze shock cords. They should be in very good condition or you can plan or replacing them.

  • Look underneath the hulls to see if there is a lot of beach wear. If you can see the hull beneath the gelcoat paint, that is okay. Of you can see fiberglass coming through the brown hull resin, the boat will need a $300 bottom job soon.

  • Check at the back of the boat where the rudders connect to the hull. The metal fastener housings are called gudgeons. If there is cracking around the gudgeons, the boat has probably had some problems when beaching. This can be a severe problem so look carefully at the back of the boat.

  • Look for worn wires on the mast. Look at the shrouds (side wires) forestay (front wire) and the trapeze wires for broken strands. Also check the bridle wires (very front, attach to bow) for broken strands. Ask the owner when he replaced the wires last. Most manuals suggest a five year maximum life for wires even if they have not been used.

  • Look for broken strands in the halyards (lines that pull up the sails).

  • Look at the sails for broken battens (solid pieces of fiberglass) in sail.

  • Look for tears in the sails.

  • Check the stiffness of the sail material. The newer the material, the stiffer the sail.

  • Trampoline condition. Tramp should have no tears or holes.

  • Take a very hard look at the gooseneck assembly. (boom to mast connection) Look for signs of breakage or wear.

  • Look for areas of discoloration in the hulls. This may indicate a repair of some type.

  • Ask if the boat leaks. If so, how much in two hours. A few cups of water are okay, but half a gallon or more is unacceptable.

  • Look all around the hulls for gelcoat (paint) cracks. Sometimes this is okay, but if the area around the cracks is soft, walk away and look for another boat! Press on the decks with the palm of your hand and all of your weight.

  • Ask the owner of the boat to rig the boat with you the first time to make sure that all of the parts are there. Make sure that you look overhead before you stand the mast to make sure that there are no electrical or telephone wires you may hit. Actually get on the boat and pretend that you are tacking. Move the sails, the rudders, and anything else you would normally operate when sailing the boat.

  • Ask the owner why he is selling the boat. How long has it been on the market? Are you the original owner? When was the last time you were sailing on this boat.

  • Ask the owner what model year the boat is. Then go to the back of the boat on the right hull and look on the back of the boat. There will be a hull number that will end something like "M79L". This would indicate that the boat is a 1979 model. Make sure that the title that the owner gives to you has a VIN # (hull #) that matches the number on the boat. Make sure that the person you are speaking to owns the boat.

  • They must own it outright with no "legal owner" listed. If there is a legal owner listed, you must make sure that the lien on the boat has been satisfied. Simply call the lienholder. Make sure that the person selling the boat is the singular owner and that there are not two names listed on the title. If there are two names, then the other person must also sign off and date their interest in the item. To be really sure that this boat is as it appears, contact you local DMV and County Accessors office. Have the Hull numbers for the boat and the VIN # for the trailer ready along with the owners full name and address.

  • Taxes and registration. Ask the owner if he has paid his county tax on the boat for the current year. Call DMV and make sure there are no outstanding parking tickets or other citations on the trailer. If the boat and trailer are out of date on registration, it could be very expensive to get the boat and trailer back to current. The certificate of non-operation slips are much more limiting than they used to be so call DMV to confirm you will not halve to pay the additional registration fees and back penalties due.

  • If the owner no longer has or has misplaced the certificate of title(s), make sure you have them provide you with a "duplicate certificate of title" along with $14 per lost title to cover DMV fees and processing fees. Do not give payment in full for the boat until the title has been cleared with DMV!

  • You must also get from the owner a "BILL OF SALE" which is a standard document available at the DMV. A home made version does not do the trick. When you arrive at the DMV with the bill of sale you will be assessed State of California Sales Tax based upon the amount paid for the boat and trailer. You must get separate bills of sale for the boat and trailer showing correct hull and trailer numbers. It is payable at the time of registration.

  • What additional accessories come with the boat? Beach roller, lifejackets, harnesses, wetsuits or sailing gear, spare wires, pins, shackles? Extras are nice, but add no real value to what you should pay for a boat except for a cat box and beach roller. Does the trailer have a spare tire?

  • There are other things to check over and there is no way we can cover them all in this article. If you use this as a fundamental guide and some common sense, you can make a good purchase! Good luck and always wear your lifejacket

Prindle 18
The Prindle 18 was introduced in 1978 along with the Hobie 18. The Prindle 18 is a very light boat with a large trampoline and is very similar in speed to the Hobie 18 and the NACRA 5.2. The Prindle 18 boasts a good sailing fleet and is an excellent family boat. Simple to operate rudders and no daggerboards mean this is a great off the beach catamaran for recreational use as well as racing! The boat is one of the simpler 18' catamarans to rig.

When looking at Prindle 18s you should consider the following:

  • Check the mast for overall condition. It should be free of dents, corrosion, and large scratches.

  • The trampoline is better if it is black rather than another color. The black trampolines last much longer in the sun.

  • Look at the pigtail wire that runs from the hull inspection port to the jib block. Make sure that there are no broken wires.

  • Look at the grommets located in the center of the trampoline just behind the mast. Look for wear spots.

  • There is a hull plug located underneath the rear crossbar on the inside of the hull, check to see that it is there and that it is not all dried out. It measures about 3" across.

  • The rudder lock down mechanism should be very positive. Go ahead and lock the rudders down a couple of times and test them with your hand by trying to pull them up from the rear of the boat after they have been locked down. Be sure to keep your hands clear of the rudder casting when dropping the rudders on dry land. The rudder should stay in a locked down position until the rudder is pulled very hard.

  • Look underneath the hulls to see if there is a lot of beach wear. If you can see the hull beneath the gelcoat paint, that is okay. If you can see fiberglass coming through the brown hull resin, the boat will need a $300 bottom job soon.

  • Check at the back of the boat where the rudders connect to the hull. The metal fastener housings are called gudgeons. If there is cracking around the gudgeons, the boat has probably had some problems when beaching. This can be a severe problem so look carefully at the back of the boat.

  • Look for worn wires on the mast. Look at the shrouds (side wires) forestay (front wire) and the trapeze wires for broken strands. Also check the bridle wires (very front, attach to bow) for broken strands. Ask the owner when he replaced the wires last. Most manuals suggest a five year maximum life for wires even if they have not been used.

  • Look for broken strands in the halyards (lines that pull up the sails).

  • Look at the sails for broken battens (solid pieces of fiberglass) in sail.

  • Look for tears in the sails. Especially around the batten pockets.

  • Check the stiffness of the sail material. The newer the material, the stiffer the sail.

  • Check the trampoline for tears or holes.

  • Look for areas of discoloration in the hulls. This may indicate a repair of some type.

  • Ask if the boat leaks. If so, how much in two hours. A few cups of water are okay, but half a gallon or more is unacceptable.

  • Look all around the hulls for gelcoat (paint) cracks. Sometimes this is okay, but if the area around the cracks is soft, walk away and look for another boat! Press on the decks with the palm of your hand and all of your weight.

  • Ask the owner of the boat to rig the boat with you the first time to make sure that all of the parts are there. Make sure that you look overhead before you stand the mast to make sure that there are no electrical or telephone wires you may hit. Actually get on the boat and pretend that you are tacking. Move the sails, the rudders, and anything else you would normally operate when sailing the boat.

  • Ask the owner why he is selling the boat. How long has it been on the market? Are you the original owner? When was the last time you were sailing on this boat.

  • Ask the owner what model year the boat is. Then go to the back of the boat on the right hull and look on the back of the boat. There will be a hull number that will end something like "M79L". This would indicate that the boat is a 1979 model. Make sure that the title that the owner gives to you has a VIN # (hull #) that matches the number on the boat. Make sure that the person you are speaking to owns the boat.

  • They must own it outright with no "legal owner" listed. If there is a legal owner listed, you must make sure that the lien on the boat has been satisfied. Simply call the lienholder. Make sure that the person selling the boat is the singular owner and that there are not two names listed on the title. If there are two names, then the other person must also sign off and date their interest in the item. To be really sure that this boat is as it appears, contact you local DMV and County Accessors office. Have the Hull numbers for the boat and the VIN # for the trailer ready along with the owners full name and address.

  • Taxes and registration. Ask the owner if he has paid his county tax on the boat for the current year. Call DMV and make sure there are no outstanding parking tickets or other citations on the trailer. If the boat and trailer are out of date on registration, it could be very expensive to get the boat and trailer back to current. The certificate of non-operation slips are much more limiting than they used to be so call DMV to confirm you will not halve to pay the additional registration fees and back penalties due.

  • If the owner no longer has or has misplaced the certificate of title(s), make sure you have them provide you with a "duplicate certificate of title" along with $14 per lost title to cover DMV fees and processing fees. Do not give payment in full for the boat until the title has been cleared with DMV!

  • You must also get from the owner a "BILL OF SALE" which is a standard document available at the DMV. A home made version does not do the trick. When you arrive at the DMV with the bill of sale you will be assessed State of California Sales Tax based upon the amount paid for the boat and trailer. You must get separate bills of sale for the boat and trailer showing correct hull and trailer numbers. It is payable at the time of registration.

  • What additional accessories come with the boat? Beach roller, lifejackets, harnesses, wetsuits or sailing gear, spare wires, pins, shackles? Extras are nice, but add no real value to what you should pay for a boat except for a cat box and beach roller. Does the trailer have a spare tire?

  • There are other things to check over and there is no way we can cover them all in this article. If you use this as a fundamental guide and some common sense, you can make a good purchase! Good luck and always wear your lifejacket!

Hobie 18 SX
The Hobie 18 SX is a turbo charged version of the standard Hobie 18. The "SX" has a more efficient sail plan than the origional Hobie 18 and this adds quite a bit of performance to the boat in light winds. The boat weighs in at around 455 lbs and has a fairly tall mast with a higher aspect sail plan than on the Hobie 18 classic. The 240 square feet of sail push the boat quite nicely. The SX has black metal work and mylar sails giving it a quite good asthetic appeal! The hulls, daggerboards, deck layout and gear are pretty much the same as the 18 classic on the US version. The European Hobie 18 SX is quite a bit lighter than the US version and also has a redesigned daggerboard and daggerboard well in the hull. The European version of this boat should be quite a bit faster than the US made boat. Be prepared to pay the price for the European boat though, it will cost you about $10,000 to get it to the here! The Hobie 18SX is quite a bit more lively than a standard Hobie 18 but should still be sailed in the 275-300 lb crew weight range due to the hulls minimal excess buoyancy. This is a really fun version of the standard Hobie 18!

When buying an 18 SX consider this:

  • Is this a converted 18 SX or one that was designed originally as an SX? The Hobie 18 can be converted so that it will perform like an SX but beware, you should buy an SX that came from the factory designed to be the turbo charged version-not a retro fit.

  • Look closely at the stitching in the trampoline. If the stitching is still in good shape then look at the material itself. The polypropylene should not be pulling away from the stitching around it.

  • Look at the welds in the wings and at the attachment points for the wings. The areas should be free from stress cracks or broken fittings.

  • Check the condition of the comp-tip. It should be covered when not being sailed to protect it from the sun. Also check the attachment point where the comp-tip intersects the metal mast portion. The connection of the two mast parts should be flush all of the way around the mast.

  • Check the mast hook and make sure it is still in good condition and not bent or loose on the mast.

  • Is the roller furling mechanism on the jib in good condition?

  • The mast should be in good condition and the metal work should not be chipped. Black annodization looks great when it is new, but the sun causes the black anno. to turn grey. Also, black metal work can become extremely hot if it is exposed to direct sun for a period of time. OUCH!

  • If you can find clear annodization, you will have a boat that looks better in the long run.

  • Has the mainsheet system been upgraded or is it the stock system? 7:1, 8:1 and even 9:1 mainsheet system are desirable on the Hobie 18.

  • What kind of non skid surface does the boat have on the side rails of the hulls? Carpet kits get to be a mess if they are exposed to sun over a long period of time. Neoprene is much better. Kits are available from your local cat dealer if the boat does not come with it.

  • Look at the rudder castings. The Hobie 18 casting is more vulnerable to breakage than the Hobie 16. Check the integrity of the rudder "cams" as well. The cams are plastic pieces inside the rudder casting that allow the operator to get the rudders to lock up or down. Check also to see that the rudder lock down spring and assembly are in good working order. All of the tests should be done from the boat as though you were sailing.

  • Check the gooseneck assembly for wear. There is a "Super goose" upgrade that is highly recommended if this item needs replacement.

  • Check what type of rudder the boat has. If the rudder is made of lexan or other standard plastic material, you will be able to flex it quite easily. If the rudder is foam cored or made of epoxy (EPO), it is vastly superior to the standard plastic rudders and does not flex easily.

  • Look at the tiller extension. Good extensions are telescopic and made from fiberglass and not aluminum. The fiberglass is much more flexible and will last longer than the aluminum. "Hot stick" or "arriba stick" are the most popular brands of fiberglass extension. All of the fiberglass extensions are black.

  • Check the flexibility and condition of the trapeze shock cords. They should be in very good condition or you can plan or replacing them.

  • Look underneath the hulls to see if there is a lot of beach wear. If you can see the hull beneath the gelcoat paint, that is okay. Of you can see fiberglass coming through the brown hull resin, the boat will need a $300 bottom job soon.

  • Check at the back of the boat where the rudders connect to the hull. The metal fastener housings are called gudgeons. If there is cracking around the gudgeons, the boat has probably had some problems when beaching. This can be a severe problem so look carefully at the back of the boat.

  • Look for worn wires on the mast. Look at the shrouds (side wires) forestay (front wire) and the trapeze wires for broken strands. Also check the bridle wires (very front, attach to bow) for broken strands. Ask the owner when he replaced the wires last. Most manuals suggest a five year maximum life for wires even if they have not been used.

  • Look for broken strands in the halyards (lines that pull up the sails).

  • Look at the sails for broken battens (solid pieces of fiberglass) in sail.

  • Look for tears in the sails.

  • Check the stiffness of the sail material. The newer the material, the stiffer the sail.

  • Trampoline condition. Tramp should have no tears or holes.

  • Take a very hard look at the gooseneck assembly. (boom to mast connection) Look for signs of breakage or wear.

  • Look for areas of discoloration in the hulls. This may indicate a repair of some type.

  • Ask if the boat leaks. If so, how much in two hours. A few cups of water are okay, but half a gallon or more is unacceptable.

  • Look all around the hulls for gelcoat (paint) cracks. Sometimes this is okay, but if the area around the cracks is soft, walk away and look for another boat! Press on the decks with the palm of your hand and all of your weight.

  • Ask the owner of the boat to rig the boat with you the first time to make sure that all of the parts are there. Make sure that you look overhead before you stand the mast to make sure that there are no electrical or telephone wires you may hit. Actually get on the boat and pretend that you are tacking. Move the sails, the rudders, and anything else you would normally operate when sailing the boat.

  • Ask the owner why he is selling the boat. How long has it been on the market? Are you the original owner? When was the last time you were sailing on this boat.

  • Ask the owner what model year the boat is. Then go to the back of the boat on the right hull and look on the back of the boat. There will be a hull number that will end something like "M79L". This would indicate that the boat is a 1979 model. Make sure that the title that the owner gives to you has a VIN # (hull #) that matches the number on the boat. Make sure that the person you are speaking to owns the boat.

  • They must own it outright with no "legal owner" listed. If there is a legal owner listed, you must make sure that the lien on the boat has been satisfied. Simply call the lienholder. Make sure that the person selling the boat is the singular owner and that there are not two names listed on the title. If there are two names, then the other person must also sign off and date their interest in the item. To be really sure that this boat is as it appears, contact you local DMV and County Accessors office. Have the Hull numbers for the boat and the VIN # for the trailer ready along with the owners full name and address.

  • Taxes and registration. Ask the owner if he has paid his county tax on the boat for the current year. Call DMV and make sure there are no outstanding parking tickets or other citations on the trailer. If the boat and trailer are out of date on registration, it could be very expensive to get the boat and trailer back to current. The certificate of non-operation slips are much more limiting than they used to be so call DMV to confirm you will not halve to pay the additional registration fees and back penalties due.

  • If the owner no longer has or has misplaced the certificate of title(s), make sure you have them provide you with a "duplicate certificate of title" along with $14 per lost title to cover DMV fees and processing fees. Do not give payment in full for the boat until the title has been cleared with DMV!

  • You must also get from the owner a "BILL OF SALE" which is a standard document available at the DMV. A home made version does not do the trick. When you arrive at the DMV with the bill of sale you will be assessed State of California Sales Tax based upon the amount paid for the boat and trailer. You must get separate bills of sale for the boat and trailer showing correct hull and trailer numbers. It is payable at the time of registration.

  • What additional accessories come with the boat? Beach roller, lifejackets, harnesses, wetsuits or sailing gear, spare wires, pins, shackles? Extras are nice, but add no real value to what you should pay for a boat except for a cat box and beach roller. Does the trailer have a spare tire?

There are other things to check over and there is no way we can cover them all in this article. If you use this as a fundamental guide and some common sense, you can make a good purchase! Good luck and always wear your lifejacket I am not familiar with the resale market on the 18 SX enough to give you good parameters for the used boat market. So few have been sold in Southern California that we really have not seen them come back on to the market yet as used boats.

Prindle 18-2
The Prindle 18-2 is the little brother of the Prindle 19. The Prindle 18-2 first came out in 1986 but became popular in 1987 and 1988. A factory promotion with the boats got an instant fleet going in Southern California. The boats also sold well in Florida and in Europe. The Prindle 18-2 looks very similar to the Prindle 19 and the Tornado but sails quite differently than the Prindle 19. The bows are fuller on the 18-2 than on the 19 and the rocker in the hull has changed from the Prindle 19's location. The boat steers much more easily than the Prindle 19. The systems set up on the boats are very similar between the 19 and the 18-2. They both have barberhaulers, downhaul systems, rotation controls, and four way jib adjustment systems. One of the biggest differences between the Prindle 18-2 and Prindle 19 is the class concept. The Prindle 19 is an open class that allows you to buy different sail cuts from different manufacturers. The Prindle 18-2 allows you only one sail from the factory. You must compete with this sail only. This keeps the sailing fair and affordable! You will not be forced to keep pace with the latest sail designs if you wish to stay competitive. The Prindle 18-2 came stock with dacron racing sails but that changed to mylar in 1988. The availability of dacron forced this change. The Prindle 18-2's 233 square feet of sail area make it exciting but manageable by a crew weighing 275-340 lbs combined crew weight. The boat can actually be sailed at 400 lbs or more recreationally and it is still a lot of fun with pleanty of reserve buoyancy available.

If you plan to buy one of these fun and light weight boats (375 lbs) consider the following:

  • What year was the boat built? There have been some improvements to the construction since 1989.

  • Does the boat come with dacron or mylar sails? The mylar sails are better in heavy wind, and the dacron sails are better in light to moderate winds. Both are equally durable.

  • Does the boat have color decks? If so, you will need to cover them to keep them from fading.

  • Does the boat have gelcoat (paint) stripes or are they taped on? The taped on stripes are easier to repair in the event of a whoops but the painted do look cleaner.

  • Does the boat have a four way jib system on it? The system comes stock, but some owners opted to remove it for fun sailing. You will need this to go racing.

  • Push on the decks in front of the main crossbar. There should be some flex, but the deck should not feel "soft".

  • What color is the trampoline? If the tramp is black that is very good. If it is blue you will probably need to replace it in a couple of years unless you cover it.

  • What type of downhaul system does it have? There should be swiveling cleats at the base of the mast that are either made by PYF or by Harken. I prefer the PYF because it is lighter, but the Harken is very good as well.

  • How is the rotation control set up? If the owner has installed a rotation control system that is after market, take a look at whether it goes under the trampoline. Some systems work well, others are a nightmare. Ask the owner for a working demonstration.

  • What type of mainsheet system does the boat have. The Prindle 18-2 needs an 8:1 purchase mainsheet or larger to be really fun to sail. This system should be a low profile system if possible. (See your dealer for an example) The mainsheet system should be made by Harken.

  • Are the lines color coded? They should be. There should not be any two control lines on the boat the same color. What kind of lines are they? The owner should be able to tell you who makes the ropes. The ropes are very different in quality and you can not just get something that looks pretty, it needs to be high quality, pre-stretch line for the control lines and be soft low stretch line for the sheets.

  • Has the trampoline been modified? It is nice to have a larger pocket on the trampoline than what come s stock from the factory. Semi-circle and square pockets with velcro are the best.

  • Has the forestay been modified? If there is a quick release type hook on the forestay, you are going to need to replace this item before you go racing. The bridles will also have to be changed if the forestay has been changed.

  • Are there notches cut into the rudders? If there are, you will have some fiberglass work to do before the boat is competitive.

  • Is the traveller post stock, or has it been changed? Hopefully it has been changed. Only the new boats have a really high quality traveller posts as stock equipment. One of the new style posts can be retrofitted to the boat.

  • Does the traveller car have metal wheels or plastic wheels? The rollers on the new boats are all metal and roll much easier than the old style cars. The new cars also have roller fairleads for the traveller sheet. A new style car can be retrofitted if necessary.

  • Does the boat have a jib luff control? (Downhaul for the jib) This should be accessible from the trampoline area. This system allows you to vary the jibs shape when racing.

  • Does the boat have foot straps for reaching? These should be made of fabric and definitely not of rope covered by plastic. The rope system has been responsible for broken bones in the feet of the skipper! If the boat does not have these, they can be easily installed. They are fairly important if you plan to race offshore.

  • The rudder lock down mechanism should be very positive. Go ahead and lock the rudders down a couple of times and test them with your hand by trying to pull them up from the rear of the boat after they have been locked down. Be sure to keep your hands clear of the rudder casting when dropping the rudders on dry land. The rudder should stay in a locked down position until the rudder is pulled very hard.

  • Look underneath the hulls to see if there is a lot of beach wear. If you can see the hull beneath the gelcoat paint, that is okay. If you can see fiberglass coming through the brown hull resin, the boat will need a $300 bottom job soon.

  • Check at the back of the boat where the rudders connect to the hull. The metal fastener housings are called gudgeons. If there is cracking around the gudgeons, the boat has probably had some problems when beaching. This can be a severe problem so look carefully at the back of the boat.

  • Look for worn wires on the mast. Look at the shrouds (side wires) forestay (front wire) and the trapeze wires for broken strands. Also check the bridle wires (very front, attach to bow) for broken strands. Check the diamond wires as well. Ask the owner when he replaced the wires last. Most manuals suggest a five year maximum life for wires even if they have not been used.

  • Look for broken strands in the halyards (lines that pull up the sails).

  • Look at the sails for broken battens (solid pieces of fiberglass) in sail.

  • Look for tears in the sails. Especially around the batten pockets.

  • Check the stiffness of the sail material. The newer the material, the stiffer the sail.

  • Check the trampoline for tears or holes.

  • Look for areas of discoloration in the hulls. This may indicate a repair of some type.

  • Ask if the boat leaks. If so, how much in two hours. A few cups of water are okay, but half a gallon or more is unacceptable.

  • Look all around the hulls for gelcoat (paint) cracks. Sometimes this is okay, but if the area around the cracks is soft, walk away and look for another boat! Press on the decks with the palm of your hand and all of your weight.

  • Ask the owner of the boat to rig the boat with you the first time to make sure that all of the parts are there. Make sure that you look overhead before you stand the mast to make sure that there are no electrical or telephone wires you may hit. Actually get on the boat and pretend that you are tacking. Move the sails, the rudders, and anything else you would normally operate when sailing the boat.

  • Ask the owner why he is selling the boat. How long has it been on the market? Are you the original owner? When was the last time you were sailing on this boat.

  • Ask the owner what model year the boat is. Then go to the back of the boat on the right hull and look on the back of the boat. There will be a hull number that will end something like "M79L". This would indicate that the boat is a 1979 model. Make sure that the title that the owner gives to you has a VIN # (hull #) that matches the number on the boat. Make sure that the person you are speaking to owns the boat.

  • They must own it outright with no "legal owner" listed. If there is a legal owner listed, you must make sure that the lien on the boat has been satisfied. Simply call the lienholder. Make sure that the person selling the boat is the singular owner and that there are not two names listed on the title. If there are two names, then the other person must also sign off and date their interest in the item. To be really sure that this boat is as it appears, contact you local DMV and County Accessors office. Have the Hull numbers for the boat and the VIN # for the trailer ready along with the owners full name and address.

  • Taxes and registration. Ask the owner if he has paid his county tax on the boat for the current year. Call DMV and make sure there are no outstanding parking tickets or other citations on the trailer. If the boat and trailer are out of date on registration, it could be very expensive to get the boat and trailer back to current. The certificate of non-operation slips are much more limiting than they used to be so call DMV to confirm you will not halve to pay the additional registration fees and back penalties due.

  • If the owner no longer has or has misplaced the certificate of title(s), make sure you have them provide you with a "duplicate certificate of title" along with $14 per lost title to cover DMV fees and processing fees. Do not give payment in full for the boat until the title has been cleared with DMV!

  • You must also get from the owner a "BILL OF SALE" which is a standard document available at the DMV. A home made version does not do the trick. When you arrive at the DMV with the bill of sale you will be assessed State of California Sales Tax based upon the amount paid for the boat and trailer. You must get separate bills of sale for the boat and trailer showing correct hull and trailer numbers. It is payable at the time of registration.

  • What additional accessories come with the boat? Beach roller, lifejackets, harnesses, wetsuits or sailing gear, spare wires, pins, shackles? Extras are nice, but add no real value to what you should pay for a boat except for a cat box and beach roller. Does the trailer have a spare tire?

There are other things to check over and there is no way we can cover them all in this article. If you use this as a fundamental guide and some common sense, you can make a good purchase! Good luck and always wear your lifejacket.

Prindle 19
This represents one of the most exciting boats ever built by a production boat manufacturer. The Prindle 19 is one of the fastest production boats in the world and is only surpassed by larger multihulls and some of the exotic "speed machines" developed for speed trials. The Prindle 19 has been around now for about six years and has one of the fastest growing fleets in the country. Patterned after the Tornado, the Prindle can be trailered flat on a trailer and has the maximum allowable width on California Highways at 8'6. The fine entry of the bow slices through the water very quietly and makes this an outstanding flat water boat. The Prindle 19 has quite a strong racing record to back it up. In 1985 the Prindle 19 won the Worrell 1000. In 1987 the Prindle won the Pacific 1000 and its record this year has been quite strong as well. In head to head competition the Prindle 19 defeated the new Miracle 20 from Hobie Cat boat for boat even though the Miracle was flying a spinnaker and the Prindle was not! Steve Rosenberg was first across the finish line for all of the boat competing in this fun race! Steve skippered the boat in Cat Fight that took place in early September in San Diego. Steve had never sailed a P-19 before but he thought that the boat performed well! With a class minimum crew weight of 325 lbs, the Prindle 19 offers you performance with crew eights well into the 400 lb range. The boat weighs a mere 385 lbs all up and can be easily carried down a beach by a couple.  The Prindle 19 takes a spinnaker quite nicely and performs best reaching and downwind. This is a legal boat for all PRO races and CPSA OFFSHORE events.

When buying a Prindle 19, there are some things to check for:

  • Check the mast for dents, scratches or bends. Sight up the sail track to check for bends.

  • Does the boat have mylar or dacron sails? Dacron are good for having fun, but the mylar have proven to be the tip for going really fast.

  • Does the boat have a four way jib system on it? The system comes stock, but some owners opted to remove it for fun sailing. You will need this to go racing.

  • Has the boat been weighed recently? If so, how much did it weigh? Most boats are 385-395 lbs but there have been a few coming out over 400 lbs. If you want to race, do not buy an overweight boat.

  • Push on the decks in front of the main crossbar. There should be some flex, but the deck should not feel "soft".

  • What color is the trampoline? If the tramp is black that is very good. If it is blue you will probably need to replace it in a couple of years unless you cover it.

  • What type of downhaul system does it have? There should be swiveling cleats at the base of the mast that are either made by PYF or by Harken. I prefer the PYF because it is lighter, but the Harken is very good as well.

  • How is the rotation control set up? If the owner has installed a rotation control system that is after market, take a look at whether it goes under the trampoline. Some systems work well, others are a nightmare. Ask the owner for a working demonstration.

  • What type of mainsheet system does the boat have. The Prindle 19 needs an 8:1 purchase mainsheet or larger to be really fun to sail. This system should be a low profile system if possible. (See your dealer for an example) The mainsheet system should be made by Harken.

  • Are the lines color coded? They should be. There should not be any two control lines on the boat the same color. What kind of lines are they? The owner should be able to tell you who makes the ropes. The ropes are very different in quality and you can not just get something that looks pretty, it needs to be high quality, pre-stretch line for the control lines and be soft low stretch line for the sheets.

  • Has the trampoline been modified? It is nice to have a larger pocket on the trampoline than what come s stock from the factory. Semi-circle and square pockets with velcro are the best.

  • Has the forestay been modified? If there is a quick release type hook on the forestay, you are going to need to replace this item before you go racing. The bridles will also have to be changed if the forestay has been changed.

  • Are there notches cut into the rudders? If there are, you will have some fiberglass work to do before the boat is competitive.

  • Is the traveller post stock, or has it been changed? Hopefully it has been changed. Only the new boats have a really high quality traveller posts as stock equipment. One of the new style posts can be retrofitted to the boat.

  • Does the traveller car have metal wheels or plastic wheels? The rollers on the new boats are all metal and roll much easier than the old style cars. The new cars also have roller fairleads for the traveller sheet. A new style car can be retrofitted if necessary.

  • Does the boat have a jib luff control? (Downhaul for the jib) This should be accessible from the trampoline area. This system allows you to vary the jibs shape when racing.

  • Does the boat have foot straps for reaching? These should be made of fabric and definitely not of rope covered by plastic. The rope system has been responsible for broken bones in the feet of the skipper! If the boat does not have these, they can be easily installed. They are fairly important if you plan to race offshore.

  • The rudder lock down mechanism should be very positive. Go ahead and lock the rudders down a couple of times and test them with your hand by trying to pull them up from the rear of the boat after they have been locked down. Be sure to keep your hands clear of the rudder casting when dropping the rudders on dry land. The rudder should stay in a locked down position until the rudder is pulled very hard.

  • Look underneath the hulls to see if there is a lot of beach wear. If you can see the hull beneath the gelcoat paint, that is okay. If you can see fiberglass coming through the brown hull resin, the boat will need a $300 bottom job soon.

  • Check at the back of the boat where the rudders connect to the hull. The metal fastener housings are called gudgeons. If there is cracking around the gudgeons, the boat has probably had some problems when beaching. This can be a severe problem so look carefully at the back of the boat.

  • Look for worn wires on the mast. Look at the shrouds (side wires) forestay (front wire) and the trapeze wires for broken strands. Also check the bridle wires (very front, attach to bow) for broken strands. Check the diamond wires as well. Ask the owner when he replaced the wires last. Most manuals suggest a five year maximum life for wires even if they have not been used.

  • Look for broken strands in the halyards (lines that pull up the sails).

  • Look at the sails for broken battens (solid pieces of fiberglass) in sail.

  • Look for tears in the sails. Especially around the batten pockets.

  • Check the stiffness of the sail material. The newer the material, the stiffer the sail.

  • Check the trampoline for tears or holes.

  • Look for areas of discoloration in the hulls. This may indicate a repair of some type.

  • Ask if the boat leaks. If so, how much in two hours. A few cups of water are okay, but half a gallon or more is unacceptable.

  • Look all around the hulls for gelcoat (paint) cracks. Sometimes this is okay, but if the area around the cracks is soft, walk away and look for another boat! Press on the decks with the palm of your hand and all of your weight.

  • Ask the owner of the boat to rig the boat with you the first time to make sure that all of the parts are there. Make sure that you look overhead before you stand the mast to make sure that there are no electrical or telephone wires you may hit. Actually get on the boat and pretend that you are tacking. Move the sails, the rudders, and anything else you would normally operate when sailing the boat.

  • Ask the owner why he is selling the boat. How long has it been on the market? Are you the original owner? When was the last time you were sailing on this boat.

  • Ask the owner what model year the boat is. Then go to the back of the boat on the right hull and look on the back of the boat. There will be a hull number that will end something like "M79L". This would indicate that the boat is a 1979 model. Make sure that the title that the owner gives to you has a VIN # (hull #) that matches the number on the boat. Make sure that the person you are speaking to owns the boat.

  • They must own it outright with no "legal owner" listed. If there is a legal owner listed, you must make sure that the lien on the boat has been satisfied. Simply call the lienholder. Make sure that the person selling the boat is the singular owner and that there are not two names listed on the title. If there are two names, then the other person must also sign off and date their interest in the item. To be really sure that this boat is as it appears, contact you local DMV and County Accessors office. Have the Hull numbers for the boat and the VIN # for the trailer ready along with the owners full name and address.

  • Taxes and registration. Ask the owner if he has paid his county tax on the boat for the current year. Call DMV and make sure there are no outstanding parking tickets or other citations on the trailer. If the boat and trailer are out of date on registration, it could be very expensive to get the boat and trailer back to current. The certificate of non-operation slips are much more limiting than they used to be so call DMV to confirm you will not halve to pay the additional registration fees and back penalties due.

  • If the owner no longer has or has misplaced the certificate of title(s), make sure you have them provide you with a "duplicate certificate of title" along with $14 per lost title to cover DMV fees and processing fees. Do not give payment in full for the boat until the title has been cleared with DMV!

  • You must also get from the owner a "BILL OF SALE" which is a standard document available at the DMV. A home made version does not do the trick. When you arrive at the DMV with the bill of sale you will be assessed State of California Sales Tax based upon the amount paid for the boat and trailer. You must get separate bills of sale for the boat and trailer showing correct hull and trailer numbers. It is payable at the time of registration.

  • What additional accessories come with the boat? Beach roller, lifejackets, harnesses, wetsuits or sailing gear, spare wires, pins, shackles? Extras are nice, but add no real value to what you should pay for a boat except for a cat box and beach roller. Does the trailer have a spare tire?

There are other things to check over and there is no way we can cover them all in this article. If you use this as a fundamental guide and some common sense, you can make a good purchase! Good luck and always wear your lifejacket.

NACRA 5.8
The NACRA 5.8 is an outstanding racing and recreational boat. The large hulls provide plenty of volume to carry up to five hundred pounds of crew weight on even a very windy day. The NACRA's unique hull design allow the operator to drive the hulls underwater without slowing down. You have to sail one of these boats to believe it. We highly suggest you contact your local fleet and arrange for a ride! In Southern California, this fleet has been growing rapidly for about three years. The World Championships are planned for Long Beach in 1991 and whether you are a novice or an expert, you can take part in this awesome event! The 5.8 is 19 feet long and is very comparable in speed to the Prindle 19. The 5.8 utilizes daggerboards instead of centerboards like the Prindle and is therefore a bit faster in light wind conditions. The local NACRA fleet's caliber ranges from the National Champion (Brad Hunter-Long Beach) to a very solid "B" fleet with some good competition with less emphasis on intensity and a greater intention for fun! The "B" fleetres in Southern California are very competitive on a National level. The novice group ranges from first time boat buyers (which we do not recommend) to people who are there for the party as much as the competition. The NACRA 5.8 has a boomless mainsail so if you forget to duck, the repercussion is not a concussion!

The clewboard traveller compromises nothing for performance. This unique draft adjustment system was first used on the NACRA but has now been picked up by other manufacturers. The 5.8's rudder system is as simple and effective as they come. The automatic kick up rudder system protects your transoms from damage in the event you hit something at high speed, like a beach! Finally, the NACRA 5.8 is outfitted with all Harken blocks and that means a lifetime warranty on most of the parts that break on a boat. This boat is a dealers nightmare! Very few items ever break, and those that do are very reasonably priced. The NACRA 5.8 is recognized by CPSA as a legal offshore racing for PRO events. The boat and can be easily outfitted with a spinnaker. This is one of the most competitive offshore racers available.

When looking into buying a 5.8 consider the following:

  • What year is the boat? If you want a fast boat with good resale, buy a 1985 or newer. This will also make it easier on you at the end of the day when you want to move it up the beach.

  • Is the traveller track at the back of the boat part of the rear beam, or is it screwed on? It is better if the track is actually part if the beam.

  • Is the traveller car approximately five inches long and blue, or is it seven inches long and red? Either way the Harken car is a good piece of equipment but the red car is better.

  • Does the boat have a positive rotation control system? If not, one can be retrofitted by the dealer. If it does, can it be accessed by a person on the trapeze?

  • Does the boat have a barberhauler system? There have been several versions that varied widely from through the beam controls, to main beam mounted cleating systems and the list goes on. The most popular is the new main beam system that is very similar to the Prindle 19 system.

  • What type of downhaul system does it have? There should be swiveling cleats at the base of the mast that are either made by PYF or by Harken. I prefer the PYF because it is lighter, but the Harken is very good as well.

  • Check the bottom of the mast. The very bottom section is called the foot. There have been two mast step systems used on this portion of the mast. The captive mast step system is vastly safer and superior to the non-captive system. If you find a boat without a captive system one can be retrofitted to the boat. How you can tell which is which... Look at the mast foot casting. (black aluminum) It is the female portion of the mast step link. If it has a hole drilled through it, and a 1/4" clevis pin that measures approximately 2 5/8" long sticking through it, you have a captive system. If the mast ball on the main beam simply fits unsecured in to the "cup" at the base of the mast then you do not have a captive system

  • Do the jib blocks have pigtail wires attached to them? If they do, this is a very easy way to make it simple for the crew to uncleat the jib. The wires should be made from wire and be five inches in length.

  • What type of mainsheet system does the boat have? An 8:1 is the most desirable, but a 7:1 is sufficient. Mylar sails are faster in general but is better to have an 8:1 system with this type of sail.

  • What type of sail does the boat have? Mylar or Dacron? If the boat is older than 1989 do not expect a mylar sail unless the owner has upgraded it. The dacron sails are just fine for racing until you get to the really high end of B fleet. Then you will want to purchase a new mylar sail.

  • What type of battens does the sail have in it? The battens should be yellow and white. If they are not, you should check with your local dealer to find out whether or not the battens are foam core sandwich and high quality or not.

  • Look underneath the hulls to see if there is a lot of beach wear. If you can see the hull beneath the gelcoat paint, that is okay. If you can see fiberglass coming through the brown hull resin, the boat will need a $300 bottom job soon.

  • Check at the back of the boat where the rudders connect to the hull. The metal fastener housings are called gudgeons. If there is cracking around the gudgeons, the boat has probably had some problems when beaching. This can be a severe problem so look carefully at the back of the boat.

  • Look for worn wires on the mast. Look at the shrouds (side wires) forestay (front wire) and the trapeze wires for broken strands. Also check the bridle wires (very front, attach to bow) for broken strands. Check the diamond wires as well. Ask the owner when he replaced the wires last. Most manuals suggest a five year maximum life for wires even if they have not been used.

  • Look for broken strands in the halyards (lines that pull up the sails).

  • Look at the sails for broken battens (solid pieces of fiberglass) in sail.

  • Look for tears in the sails. Especially around the batten pockets.

  • Check the stiffness of the sail material. The newer the material, the stiffer the sail.

  • Check the trampoline for tears or holes.

  • Look for areas of discoloration in the hulls. This may indicate a repair of some type.

  • Ask if the boat leaks. If so, how much in two hours. A few cups of water are okay, but half a gallon or more is unacceptable.

  • Look all around the hulls for gelcoat (paint) cracks. Sometimes this is okay, but if the area around the cracks is soft, walk away and look for another boat! Press on the decks with the palm of your hand and all of your weight.

  • Ask the owner of the boat to rig the boat with you the first time to make sure that all of the parts are there. Make sure that you look overhead before you stand the mast to make sure that there are no electrical or telephone wires you may hit. Actually get on the boat and pretend that you are tacking. Move the sails, the rudders, and anything else you would normally operate when sailing the boat.

  • Ask the owner why he is selling the boat. How long has it been on the market? Are you the original owner? When was the last time you were sailing on this boat.

  • Ask the owner what model year the boat is. Then go to the back of the boat on the right hull and look on the back of the boat. There will be a hull number that will end something like "M79L". This would indicate that the boat is a 1979 model. Make sure that the title that the owner gives to you has a VIN # (hull #) that matches the number on the boat. Make sure that the person you are speaking to owns the boat.

  • They must own it outright with no "legal owner" listed. If there is a legal owner listed, you must make sure that the lien on the boat has been satisfied. Simply call the lienholder. Make sure that the person selling the boat is the singular owner and that there are not two names listed on the title. If there are two names, then the other person must also sign off and date their interest in the item. To be really sure that this boat is as it appears, contact you local DMV and County Accessors office. Have the Hull numbers for the boat and the VIN # for the trailer ready along with the owners full name and address.

  • Taxes and registration. Ask the owner if he has paid his county tax on the boat for the current year. Call DMV and make sure there are no outstanding parking tickets or other citations on the trailer. If the boat and trailer are out of date on registration, it could be very expensive to get the boat and trailer back to current. The certificate of non-operation slips are much more limiting than they used to be so call DMV to confirm you will not halve to pay the additional registration fees and back penalties due.

  • If the owner no longer has or has misplaced the certificate of title(s), make sure you have them provide you with a "duplicate certificate of title" along with $14 per lost title to cover DMV fees and processing fees. Do not give payment in full for the boat until the title has been cleared with DMV!

  • You must also get from the owner a "BILL OF SALE" which is a standard document available at the DMV. A home made version does not do the trick. When you arrive at the DMV with the bill of sale you will be assessed State of California Sales Tax based upon the amount paid for the boat and trailer. You must get separate bills of sale for the boat and trailer showing correct hull and trailer numbers. It is payable at the time of registration.

  • What additional accessories come with the boat? Beach roller, lifejackets, harnesses, wetsuits or sailing gear, spare wires, pins, shackles? Extras are nice, but add no real value to what you should pay for a boat except for a cat box and beach roller. Does the trailer have a spare tire?

There are other things to check over and there is no way we can cover them all in this article. If you use this as a fundamental guide and some common sense, you can make a good purchase! Good luck and always wear your lifejacket.

Miracle 20

The Miracle 20 is produced by the Hobie Cat USA Company. The boat is very similar to a Reg White Hurricane in design. The Hurricane is a very fast boat in Europe and Hobie Cat hopes that it will continue that tradition in the US market. The Miracle has daggerboards that are very similar to the NACRA 5.8. The rig has a boom and comes stock with a good downhaul system.

Hobie Cat 21

Now this is a big boat. No, I mean big boat. The mast is a towering 33' tall. The boat is over 21' long and weighs more than 625 all up for racing. The Hobie 21 is a really fun boat to sail once it has been set up! The boat origionally raced in the PROSAIL series but since that organization no longer puts on events, we have not seen much from the 21s. The H-21 carries 300 square feet of sail area and has very comfortable benches on which to sit until the wind really starts to blow and then you head out on the trapeze!. There are several available on the used market and recreational sailors who can leave them set up on the beach close to the water have been buying them. The boats can be found for as little as $5000 on the market nationwide! The boats were in the $10,000 price range initially, but have not sold very well in recent years. The boat is a lot of fun to sail for as many as four persons. The 21 is fairly fast too! The only real drawback we can find is its inability to be righted easily be two people. There are some aftermarket systems that allow you to right the boat but most are very costly and not yet well proven. The boats one would find used are generally outfitted with great race gear! Harken or Oxen blocks, top quality trailers and all of the gear you would need to fly a spinnaker is usually included! If you have the location to leave this one set up on the beach, it is a great recreational toy! If you plan to race this boat, there are very few places you can find a race committee willing to allow you as an entry because of the boats reputation for not being righted easily.

When looking for a 21 consider the following:

  • What model year is the boat? A 1989 would be better than a 1990. A 1988 probably has two hard years on it from racing and you may want to think twice before buying one of these.

  • Does the boat come with a spinnaker? If so what kind, mylar or nylon? A nylon spinnaker is generally better for longevity. Mylar spinnakers are very temperamental

  • Does the boat have all of the gear necessary to fly the spinnaker? Ask the owner to fly the chute for you in the parking lot.

  • If the owner has the boat in mast up yard and you intend to trailer this boat, you should ask the owner to drop the mast, collapse the beams and put the boat away like he were going to travel. Then you should stand the mast, spread the beams and rig the boat from start to finish. Time how long it takes with the owner. He should know what he is doing!

  • Look over the tramp for tears.

  • Check all blocks for unusual wear. (spinnakers do the darnndest things to blocks)

  • Look at the comp-tip/mast connection. Make sure that it is water tight.

  • The tiller extension for this boat should be an FX-6 (magnum stick) or longer.

  • Make sure the trailer can handle this boat! Look around for wear on the crossbars.

  • What type of mainsheet system does the boat have? An 8:1 is the most desirable, but a 7:1 is sufficient. Mylar sails are faster in general but is better to have an 8:1 system with this type of sail.

  • What type of battens does the sail have in it? The battens should be yellow and white. If they are not, you should check with your local dealer to find out whether or not the battens are foam core sandwich and high quality or not.

  • Look underneath the hulls to see if there is a lot of beach wear. If you can see the hull beneath the gelcoat paint, that is okay. If you can see fiberglass coming through the brown hull resin, the boat will need a $300 bottom job soon.

  • Check at the back of the boat where the rudders connect to the hull. The metal fastener housings are called gudgeons. If there is cracking around the gudgeons, the boat has probably had some problems when beaching. This can be a severe problem so look carefully at the back of the boat.

  • Look for worn wires on the mast. Look at the shrouds (side wires) forestay (front wire) and the trapeze wires for broken strands. Also check the bridle wires (very front, attach to bow) for broken strands. Check the diamond wires as well. Ask the owner when he replaced the wires last. Most manuals suggest a five year maximum life for wires even if they have not been used.

  • Look for broken strands in the halyards (lines that pull up the sails).

  • Look at the sails for broken battens (solid pieces of fiberglass) in sail.

  • Look for tears in the sails. Especially around the batten pockets.

  • Check the stiffness of the sail material. The newer the material, the stiffer the sail.

  • Check the trampoline for tears or holes.

  • Look for areas of discoloration in the hulls. This may indicate a repair of some type.

  • Ask if the boat leaks. If so, how much in two hours. A few cups of water are okay, but half a gallon or more is unacceptable.

  • Look all around the hulls for gelcoat (paint) cracks. Sometimes this is okay, but if the area around the cracks is soft, walk away and look for another boat! Press on the decks with the palm of your hand and all of your weight.

  • Ask the owner of the boat to rig the boat with you the first time to make sure that all of the parts are there. Make sure that you look overhead before you stand the mast to make sure that there are no electrical or telephone wires you may hit. Actually get on the boat and pretend that you are tacking. Move the sails, the rudders, and anything else you would normally operate when sailing the boat.

  • Ask the owner why he is selling the boat. How long has it been on the market? Are you the original owner? When was the last time you were sailing on this boat.

  • Ask the owner what model year the boat is. Then go to the back of the boat on the right hull and look on the back of the boat. There will be a hull number that will end something like "M79L". This would indicate that the boat is a 1979 model. Make sure that the title that the owner gives to you has a VIN # (hull #) that matches the number on the boat. Make sure that the person you are speaking to owns the boat.

  • They must own it outright with no "legal owner" listed. If there is a legal owner listed, you must make sure that the lien on the boat has been satisfied. Simply call the lienholder. Make sure that the person selling the boat is the singular owner and that there are not two names listed on the title. If there are two names, then the other person must also sign off and date their interest in the item. To be really sure that this boat is as it appears, contact you local DMV and County Accessors office. Have the Hull numbers for the boat and the VIN # for the trailer ready along with the owners full name and address.

  • Taxes and registration. Ask the owner if he has paid his county tax on the boat for the current year. Call DMV and make sure there are no outstanding parking tickets or other citations on the trailer. If the boat and trailer are out of date on registration, it could be very expensive to get the boat and trailer back to current. The certificate of non-operation slips are much more limiting than they used to be so call DMV to confirm you will not halve to pay the additional registration fees and back penalties due.

  • If the owner no longer has or has misplaced the certificate of title(s), make sure you have them provide you with a "duplicate certificate of title" along with $14 per lost title to cover DMV fees and processing fees. Do not give payment in full for the boat until the title has been cleared with DMV!

  • You must also get from the owner a "BILL OF SALE" which is a standard document available at the DMV. A home made version does not do the trick. When you arrive at the DMV with the bill of sale you will be assessed State of California Sales Tax based upon the amount paid for the boat and trailer. You must get separate bills of sale for the boat and trailer showing correct hull and trailer numbers. It is payable at the time of registration.

  • What additional accessories come with the boat? Beach roller, lifejackets, harnesses, wetsuits or sailing gear, spare wires, pins, shackles? Extras are nice, but add no real value to what you should pay for a boat except for a cat box and beach roller. Does the trailer have a spare tire?

There are other things to check over and there is no way we can cover them all in this article. If you use this as a fundemental guide and some common sense, you can make a good purchase! Good luck and always wear your lifejacket.

Written by Mark Michelsen 2000

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