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Old 30-07-2009, 00:22   #1
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Beginner Sailor - Will a Prindle 16 Work ?

Hi there!
i'm a new sailor, looking at getting into sailing a small catamaran.
we have one for sale over here in Australia for $3,000 (AUD)

I was just wondering if anyone could give me some advice as to whether a beginner sailor could manage a 16ft prindle cat - starting in lakes during light winds.

the catamaran has had new trampoline, all new rigging and the fibreglass hulls, boom and mast all look to be in very good condition (including mainsail and trapeze harnesses)
being a prindle, which hasn't been manufactured for a while rather than an equivillent hobie16, i'm wondering if it is worth $3000 considering its condition

would it be difficult to set up before sailing for a beginner?

please share your thoughts, and thank you very much for taking the time to read my post!

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Old 30-07-2009, 03:13   #2
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My "beginner boat" was a Hobie 16. Once I learned to read the manual, rigging it wasn't a problem for me. The only issue for a solo sailor will be getting it upright again when (not if) you capsize. My Hobie needed 250 lbs hanging on the righting line to bring it up, and I only weighed 175. I needed another person onboard or someone in a boat to stop and help by lifting the mast tip out of the water or pulling on a throw-rope I kept aboard for the purpose, attached to the upper hull.

I can't comment on the value of the Prindle, but I can say that it will be a great boat to learn on and a heck of a lot of fun!

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Old 30-07-2009, 04:47   #3
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I prefered the Prindle to a Hobie cat. Prindle is more forgivining.
Brisbane catamaran center QLD is a good place to contact for info and spares for the Prindle.
I used to get my spare part for mine from them.
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Old 30-07-2009, 09:24   #4
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I also started with a Hobie and I agree that once you capsize, it is a bear to right her. I rigged a pull rope at the top of the mast and found that it was very helpful in righting the boat by myself. All I did was grab the rope and climbed up on the hull and leaned back (giving me a lot more leverage), and she came right up out of the water. Now I'm not a small guy and it would be more difficult for someone who is fairly small to do it alone. But that rope sure did help.
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Old 30-07-2009, 10:11   #5
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Another Hobie 16 sailor here. I've only sailed a Prindle 16 a couple of times, but I recall it was advertised to be and easier, softer Hobie 16, that could be righted by a single, larger person. If there is a vendor nearby that still supports Prindles, they can put you in touch with an active Prindle sailing group, who can certainly advise you. I think I would prefer a Prindle to a Hobie now that I'm fat, old and fragile!
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Old 30-07-2009, 11:17   #6
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The Prindle is a better design than the Hobie. It's more forgiving and holds a larger load. You can rig a lever arm to right the boat by your self, and when you become a more advanced sailor you can use it as a sprit for a spinnaker. If you do a search on google you might be able to find some ideas for how to rig this.

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Old 30-07-2009, 18:02   #7
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I owned a Prindle 16 for several years. It was a great boat and I solo sailed it all the time. My boat had a single reef point. With the reef in and about 18 knots of wind solo I flew by everyone. I weigh 170 lbs and could right the boat myself. If I recall the Prindle had 190 feet of sail area and the Hobie 220. The shorter mast might be why I could right the boat alone. It would be just fine for a beginner. Just pick your days to sail her the first few times. Keep the wind under about 12 knots until you get some experience.
The only thing I see wrong here is the price. Good Prindle 16's are worth no more then 1500 or so in US dollars. There may be fewer in Australia and the market may be different but the price seems on the high side.
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Old 30-07-2009, 19:00   #8
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thank you everyone for your replies!
sailvi767, thank you for your comments about the price, i have been looking at lots of US-based second hand listings, and they are all definety about the price you have mentioned.

the thing is over here, there are really no cats available second hand, all hobie16 cats are at least 4,000 australian, and there aren't any prindles to compare the prices to, so I feel like i'm buying a bit blind in terms of the price.
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Old 18-07-2010, 05:58   #9
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What I have heard when I researched my 1984 Prindle is that in these years Hobie had a weak cross bar - to - hull design using bolts on mounting pads. These never stayed tight and so then this added 3-8 inches of flex on the structure in a good wind. This meant energy absorbing and speed robing performance - not good. The Prindle in these years had the cross bar sunk into and integrated into the hull - very very rigid design. Before you buy, on dry land, raise one hull 6 inches. If the other hull lifts at the same time or at the 2-3 inch or less delay of the other hull - you're good. Again Hobies in those years - even if they pass the test - will come loose... Depends on the years... That's why I turned away from Hobies in those years - in my budget.
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Old 18-07-2010, 11:34   #10
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i learned on a prendle 18,good boat, i could right alone
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Old 20-07-2010, 11:58   #11
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I have a NACRA 5.0 (which is 16' long). It's a great beginner cat because it's easy to handle alone and has no boom. There's an active NACRA sailing community in Australia, so you may be able to find some used ones.
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Old 20-07-2010, 13:35   #12
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Another H16 sailor here. Bought mine new in 1981--just sold it last June.

But I have sailed on a P16 and I can say it is a lot easier to pitchpole a H16 than a P16.

Evidently Geoff Prindle was a Hobie sailor but wanted a boat that was more "wife" friendly, since she was his crew.

Either one will be a good platform to learn on and have a blast sailing, but if you are a newbie, find a local beach cat fleet. Show up with your boat and you will have more help and suggestions than you can handle, though some will be very good ones. You will probably get a ride on someone's boat as well (or have someone offer to go out with you) and that experience can be invaluable.

Try for information.

Good luck.


"People sail for fun and no one has yet convinced me that it's more fun to go slow than it is to go fast." -Dick Newick
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