Our resources page is where you can find a broad range of information related to all things Hobie Cat. A wide range of links, articles and manuals related to maintenance, suppliers, sailing courses and our FAQ are available through the drop down menu above.

Below we have some articles written by club members.

Hobie vs Nacra: Which One to Buy?

When it comes to choosing a catamaran, two names often dominate the conversation: Hobie and Nacra. Both brands have a rich history, dedicated followings, and offer high-quality sailing experiences. But how do you decide which one is right for you? This comprehensive guide will break down the key differences and help you make an informed decision.

History and Heritage


Founded in 1950 by Hobie Alter, the Hobie brand revolutionized small boat sailing with the introduction of the Hobie 14 in 1967. Hobie’s designs are celebrated for their ease of use, durability, and fun factor, making them a popular choice for recreational sailors and competitive racers alike.


Nacra, short for “North American Catamaran Racing Association,” was established in the early 1970s. Known for their high-performance racing catamarans, Nacra has a reputation for innovation and speed. The brand has been a staple in competitive sailing circuits, particularly noted for their role in Olympic sailing.

Design and Performance


  • Models: Hobie offers a wide range of models, from the beginner-friendly Hobie Wave to the racing-focused Hobie 16 and Hobie Wildcat.
  • Ease of Use: Hobie catamarans are renowned for their user-friendly designs. The boats are easy to rig, launch, and sail, making them ideal for novices.
  • Durability: Built with rotomolded polyethylene hulls, many Hobie models are incredibly durable and can withstand a lot of wear and tear.
  • Performance: While Hobie catamarans offer good speed and agility, their primary focus is on fun and accessibility rather than cutting-edge racing performance.


  • Models: Nacra’s lineup includes high-performance models like the Nacra 17, which is used in the Olympic Games, and the Nacra Infusion, known for its speed and agility.
  • Technology: Nacra catamarans often feature advanced technologies such as curved daggerboards and carbon fiber components, aiming to maximize performance and efficiency.
  • Speed: Nacra boats are designed for speed and performance. They are typically faster than Hobie catamarans, making them a preferred choice for serious racers.
  • Learning Curve: Due to their advanced features and performance capabilities, Nacra boats may have a steeper learning curve for beginners.

Community and Support


Hobie has a vast and active community of sailors. The Hobie Class Association hosts numerous events and regattas worldwide, fostering a strong sense of camaraderie among Hobie sailors. The widespread availability of parts and accessories, coupled with excellent customer support, ensures that Hobie owners have everything they need to maintain and enjoy their boats.


Nacra also boasts a dedicated community, particularly among competitive sailors. The Nacra Sailing International Association organizes events that attract top-tier racers. While the community may not be as large as Hobie’s, it is passionate and highly skilled. Nacra’s support network is robust, with a focus on ensuring racers have access to the latest innovations and performance upgrades.

Cost Considerations


Hobie catamarans are generally more affordable than Nacra boats, making them an attractive option for recreational sailors and families. The initial cost, combined with lower maintenance expenses, makes Hobie a cost-effective choice for many.


Nacra boats tend to be more expensive, reflecting their high-performance design and advanced materials. The investment is worthwhile for serious racers looking for top-tier performance, but it might be overkill for casual sailors.

Conclusion: Which One to Buy?

Choose Hobie If:

  • You are a beginner or recreational sailor.
  • You want an easy-to-use, durable boat that’s great for family fun.
  • You prefer a more affordable option with strong community support.

Choose Nacra If:

  • You are an experienced sailor or competitive racer.
  • You seek high-performance and cutting-edge technology.
  • You are willing to invest in a top-of-the-line racing catamaran.

Both Hobie and Nacra offer exceptional catamarans, each with its unique strengths. Your choice ultimately depends on your sailing goals, experience level, and budget. Whether you opt for the versatile and user-friendly Hobie or the fast and high-performing Nacra, you’re in for an exhilarating sailing adventure.

Happy sailing!

How to Properly Clean and Maintain Your Buoyancy Aids for Longevity and Safety

Maintaining your buoyancy aids through regular cleaning ensures they remain hygienic, free from unpleasant odours and mold, and in perfect working condition. As essential safety gear for anyone venturing on the water, buoyancy aids must always be kept on board and worn when necessary.

Like other nautical accessories, buoyancy aids require meticulous routine maintenance to guarantee their efficiency and extend their lifespan. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to keep your buoyancy aids in top shape.

Importance of Cleaning Buoyancy Aids

The first step in buoyancy aid maintenance is thorough cleaning. Regular washing and sanitizing remove dirt, sweat, salt, and persistent stains like grease, sunscreen, lubricants, and fuel. This cleaning routine prevents mold and other contaminants that can cause skin irritation. Moreover, a clean, odor-free buoyancy aid is more likely to be worn by the crew, enhancing overall safety.

Cleaning also offers an opportunity to inspect buoyancy aids for any signs of wear and tear, such as rips or tears, that might indicate the need for replacement. Here are some tips to help you keep your buoyancy aids clean, sanitized, and in excellent condition.

When to Clean Your Buoyancy Aids

Ideally, buoyancy aids should be cleaned after each use, especially in saltwater, and immediately if they get dirty. They can accumulate stains during normal onboard activities, whether worn or stored with other equipment. Regular cleaning makes it easier to remove dirt and avoid discoloration and permanent marks. At a minimum, aim to clean them once a month and at the beginning and end of each boating season when you take them out or store them away.

A quick rinse with fresh water is often thought to be sufficient, but deeper cleaning is essential and does not compromise the buoyancy aid’s quality. On the contrary, proper cleaning enhances its longevity.

Simple and Effective Cleaning Process

Cleaning buoyancy aids is straightforward and cost-effective. Follow these steps for optimal results:

  1. Prepare Your Workspace

Lay a clean cloth or large plastic sheet on the ground. Spread out the buoyancy aids fully, with hooks, lines, buckles, and straps free.

  1. Mix Cleaning Solution

In a bucket, combine cold fresh water with a couple of tablespoons of marine detergent, preferably eco-friendly to protect the environment.

  1. Scrub the Buoyancy Aids

Use the water and detergent mixture with a non-abrasive sponge or a soft-bristled brush. For stubborn stains like grease, mold, or rust, apply a drop of detergent directly onto the stains and gently scrub with the brush. Avoid strong detergents or chlorine bleach, as these can damage the internal foam and weaken the outer fabric, causing discoloration. Industrial cleaners like gasoline, paint thinner, or acetone should also be avoided.

  1. Rinse Thoroughly

After scrubbing, let the buoyancy aids rest for 15 minutes. Then, rinse them thoroughly with fresh water, ensuring you rinse all seams, pockets, and interstices.

Drying and Storing Buoyancy Aids

After cleaning, air-dry the buoyancy aids, preferably on a windy day and away from direct sunlight. Hang them up and avoid using direct heat sources like dryers or hair dryers, which can damage the material. Placing them near a fan is acceptable to expedite drying.

Once completely dry, check for any folds or shrinkage. If there are no issues, store the buoyancy aids in a cool, dry, and dark place. Avoid placing heavy objects on top of them, as this can crush the flotation material and reduce their effectiveness.

By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your buoyancy aids remain clean, functional, and ready for use whenever needed. Regular maintenance not only prolongs their life but also ensures that they provide maximum safety for you and your crew.