NB&G 2015: Hobie

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In the late 1960s, after a wildly successful decade of designing and producing surfboards, Hobie Alter developed a prototype for a lightweight, fast, easy-to-sail boat patterned after the Polynesian twin-hulled catamaran. History soon repeated itself. What Hobie’s surfboard did for surfing, the Hobie Cat did for sailing, introducing a whole new way to have fun on the water and revolutionizing an industry in the process. Forty-five years later, Hobie Cats are still the world’s best-selling cats, and it’s hard to find a body of water on any continent that doesn’t have an active Hobie racing fleet.

In the years to follow, numerous other water-sports innovations emerged from Hobie’s imagination, including a wide range of paddle and pedal-driven kayaks. Hobie didn’t just create toys—he created a way of life for generations of dreamers, all of whom spell fun in the sun, surf and sand with a flying capital.

 Hobie Mirage Tandem Island

Hobie Mirage Tandem Island

Hobie Mirage Tandem Island

The Hobie Mirage Tandem Island’s two-piece carbon-fiber rig minimizes weight overhead—thus stiffening the ride. Both cockpits are fitted with steerage and sail handling controls, allowing sailors of all abilities to share the experience. Its leeward ama chisels into the water and its efficient, square-topped mainsail immediately converts increased wind speed to boat speed. The Tandem Island’s crossbars, amas, akas and rig are easily stripped, transforming the boat’s rotomolded polyethylene hull into a highly efficient, pedal-or-paddle-powered touring kayak with enough hatches and on-deck stowage to accommodate multi-day escapes. Grab a partner and enjoy the ride!

LOA: 18ft 6in • Beam amas out/in: 10ft/4ft • Weight: 190 lbs • Sail Area: 90 ft²

Year Introduced: 2010 • Designer: Hobie Cat Design Team


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