Hobie Cats, short for catamaran, or two-hull, are the flagship line of sailboats built by Hobie. Ranging in length from 16’ to 22’, Hobie cats are the most common type of catamaran seen on U.S. lakes and sea shores. The Hobie line of catamarans are notable in that they were the first to use “banana-hulls.” Banana-hulls are curved, like a banana, so that they dig deep into the water at the middle of the boat. This allows the boat to do without daggerboards or centerboards and still not drift sideways while underway.

Hobie Cat Inc. is a company that makes sailboats. They have been around since 1950, when they took sailing from the domain of expensive yacht clubs to that of the surfers who wanted another thrill. All of their boats are in a catamaran or trimaran configuration. They also make kayaks and other water toys. They were the first to mass produce a 'banana hull' design, which allowed for the absence of a keel or centerboard. This gave the boats a shallow draft while preventing slippage while sailing upwind. The boats are between 13 and 21 feet in length, and all can be rigged with trapeze harnesses. The boats are fiberglass and plastic. The fiberglass boats tend to be geared towards racing, and the plastic, roto molded ones are often seen in Caribbean resort ads.

They have two main product lines of boats. Their roto-molded boats are made of that plastic used in Fisher-Price play structures. These boats are made for ease of use and safety. The target market is the day sailor, new sailors, and resorts. The fiberglass hulled boats are made for weekend racers and more serious sailors. Most of the serious racing boats use a keel instead of the banana hull of early hobies and roto-molded boats. They make small 13 foot boats for children learning to sail. At the other end of the spectrum lies a trimaran boat with two masts and a cockpit. It goes 35 knots, according to the brochure.

Of particular interest might be Rigging a Hobie Cat. This is a good detailed description of how to actually use one.

I got most of the info from memory, the product line and roto molding info was obtained from the company website, www.hobiecat.com.

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