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Old 02-09-2010, 01:12   #1
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The 'Spartan' Cruiser . . .

While checking out the myriad of potential boats in the 30-35' range, I ran across and was attracted to:

Hobie 33'

Now, this thing looks to be more "racer" than cruiser, however, I find it has some qualities that I find attractive...

1. Cost
- Most of them are hovering around the 20K range.
2. Simplicity
- From the pictures I have seen, they are simple boats that don't have a bunch of crap I could easily live without, like teak / "condo" decor on the inside.
- They don't have a lot of the internal systems that could require potentially extensive over haul or replacement, and frankly, I find the thought of having to over haul or replace an engine, electric wiring systems, plumbing, and tanks pretty terrifying mentally and financially.
3. Performance
- Apparently those little suckers can really move!
- I have read that they tend to do best with a crew weight of 1050lbs, which means that it shouldn't suffer too much potential performance degradation from weight with a single / double crew and their kit and provisions.

There is a company in CA that is "reviving" the Hobie 33 and claims to have a "cruiser" version available that uses the same hull, but allows more head room. New would be nice, but who knows if those dudes actually know what they are doing in re boat construction...

I can live spartan, however, I WOULD want electric power for coms and lap top nav charts, and possibly a fridge/freezer for meat storage under way. I'm thinking portable generator for electric power at anchor, water and fuel stored in 5 gal cans, and a porta potty for waste collection. However, I don't know if those things are big enough to put all that crap on em'....

Thoughts?
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Old 02-09-2010, 12:36   #2
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They are fast, lightly constructed and maybe they'll come out with a cruising version but it'll be heavier and slower so why not just buy a cruising boat? With what you want on a boat you'll be weighing down any hull with stuff.
If I remember right the Hobie doesn't have an enclosed head and shower which you or a significant other might like. Porta potties get old quick.
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Old 02-09-2010, 12:42   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Mosby View Post
I can live spartan, however, I WOULD want electric power for coms and lap top nav charts, and possibly a fridge/freezer for meat storage under way. I'm thinking portable generator for electric power at anchor, water and fuel stored in 5 gal cans, and a porta potty for waste collection. However, I don't know if those things are big enough to put all that crap on em'....

Thoughts?
Once you have the fridge/freezer you're no longer spartan. The whole picture changes, more batteries, better charging system, wind?, solar?, hi-output alternator?, wiring, battery monitor... it goes on and on.
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Old 02-09-2010, 12:56   #4
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Well, I wouldn't bother posting in the "Single Sailors Seeking Soulmates" thread, because if you dont have one already, you'll never get one sailing a Hobie 33 and you'll increase the odds of losing the one you have. Women like a bit of comfort on occasion.

What would be fun is a little inflatable Hobie that one could use as a tender.
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Old 02-09-2010, 13:00   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vasco View Post
Once you have the fridge/freezer you're no longer spartan. The whole picture changes, more batteries, better charging system, wind?, solar?, hi-output alternator?, wiring, battery monitor... it goes on and on.
You can have fridge and simple. An engel and a solar panel is still spartan.

Cheers
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Old 02-09-2010, 13:02   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiprJohn View Post
They are fast, lightly constructed and maybe they'll come out with a cruising version but it'll be heavier and slower so why not just buy a cruising boat?
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Old 02-09-2010, 14:12   #7
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From what I see the Hobie 33 is a fun racing boat and definitely not a live-aboard or a cruising boat. From the on-line description they list:
Limitations
-Smaller than the 33 ft. length might lead you to believe.

-The 48” headroom limits use of the interior
-Deploying the engine is difficult when underway
-The cockpit is a bit cramped
-A tender boat – must shorten sail quickly in breeze upwind.
Tough and wet going upwind in rough conditions.

As others have said, if you want a cruising boat buy a cruising boat not a lightweight fragile racer.
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Old 02-09-2010, 15:47   #8
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I;ve got a cruising and have been thinking of buying a Hobie 33 as a daysailor. I would never consider it as a cruising boat except for short overnighters. For one thing, there just isn't much storage without doing extensive modifications to the interior (read, added weight). No head and no privacy which guarantees fast SOLO passages. They need weight on the rail to carry sail in windy conditions to weather. That's the reason for the hefty amount of crew reccomended for racing. Adding water ballast might help for a single hander but takes up a lot of space below. Though they seem to be adequately strong in construction, age may cause problems. The shrouds are attached to an aluminum plate that has deteriorated over time on some boats. If that aluminum fitting fails, the rig is coming down and a large section of the deck will be ripped out. Something to be aware of and replace if it's questionable. Probably best to do with a custom SS fitting.

I could see a Hobie 33 for a solo or double handed TransPac with hotel reservations at the end of the passage. It would have to be dedicated racer(s). You'd be living in conditions that would have the ACLU on your back if it was a prison cell.
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Old 03-09-2010, 14:58   #9
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We have an Aphrodite 101, the progenitor of the Tartan Ten, Hobie 33, San Juan 33, etc. After five years and many thousands of miles, my thoughts are that it is a lot more comfortable than you might first think.

Headroom is an issue. We have standing headroom in the hatchway under a canvass dodger.

Sink drainage is the other issue. We cannot do dishes on port tack as the sink is below the waterline. This raises other manageable safety issues. (close the seacock!)

I would sail our Aphrodite around the world and think nothing of it. In fact, that's the plan. Cheap to operate, fast, fun to sail, accommodations ashore.

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Old 05-09-2010, 11:34   #10
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Great insight, thanks folks.

Storage would definitely be a concern.

Can anyone recommend another boat that would be a better compromise between "sporty" and "comfy"?

I've seen some of the J boats online that appear to be more sport oriented, yet had decent accommodations below decks. I would probably be more attracted to a fast boat that can be made "comfortable enough" than a comfy boat with "decent" performance characteristics.

The search continues...

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Old 05-09-2010, 13:01   #11
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I think what you did with the thread about the Hobie 33 is the best way to solicit opinions. Find a boat then ask about it specifically. Norm seems to think that the boats he's listed would be ok. I'm not certain I agree because of the long distance comfort issues. Of course, I'm older now and don't like bashing to windward in a light boat.
Try Cals, Pearsons, Columbias, Catalinas and Tartans (not the 10) in the same length and see what you come up with.
Good luck in your search.
kind regards,
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Old 05-09-2010, 15:25   #12
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Hey:
I have seen the J30 in a a lot of Caribbean ports. The rudder is the weak part.

Sailed one back from Bermuda double handed and found it very comfy. We used them for a six-person weekend cruising course at Boston Sailing Center for years. Cockpit is not too comfy.

Best-ever cruising boat has to be the J28... if you can find one for sale.

Best, Norman
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Old 05-09-2010, 16:19   #13
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[QUOTE=Curmudgeon;514082]Well, I wouldn't bother posting in the "Single Sailors Seeking Soulmates" thread, because if you dont have one already, you'll never get one sailing a Hobie 33 and you'll increase the odds of losing the one you have. Women like a bit of comfort on occasion.

If you "Get one" you'll end up selling whatever boat you have, anyway ,and buying real estate with the money. Then life will get real complicated.
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Old 06-09-2010, 06:17   #14
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One of the things I see when cruising is the very wide range of vessel types used for long range cruising. "To each his own?"

true story: Sitting between two couples at a well know pub in Tortola, one claims that anything under 50 feet is too small and pointless. The other couple claimed that boats over 35 feet are too big to be enjoyable.

My observation, the 35 foot couple were out cruising a lot. The 50 foot couple were at the dock fixing things all the time.

Met a fellow in Barbados who sailed from England to North Africa and then across the pond to Barbados thereafter cruising the Caribbean in a mid 1980s Hunter 30.

In a Hobie 33, one will find a sailing partner who likes spartan living. Maybe that is the goal?

We love our little boat. Find the lack of headroom an issue when at rest and the sink underwater on port tack an issue under way. Otherwise... she's perfect for the two of us Spartan sailors.

What is your goal? What are your minimum requirements?
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Old 06-09-2010, 11:24   #15
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Another thought about selecting a design: Look at the PHRF numbers. Lower values mean faster boats. Check base handicaps at the PHRF-NE dot com web site, for example.

Hobie 33 is 90
Tartan Ten is 126
Aphrodite 101 is 135

Similar boats in terms of being 33 feet and skinny. THe A101 is very comfy and seaworthy. The T10 is more lively and the H33 is a hand full in a seaway. Since light air is more trouble than heavy air, the faster boat may make more sense if you are in light air regions.

So... how long are the legs you plan to sail, in what region, and with how many? I hope you go!
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