Aesthetics of Sailing

In 1965 the Hobie cat entered the sailing scene. The Hobie cat is a small sailing catamaran that is manufactured by the Hobie Cat company. The Hobie Cat was designed and built by Hobie Alter for the wavy rough waters of California. Though I have never had the chance to sail one in the ocean I understand the awe that comes along with sailing these amazing boats because I have sailed them in many large lakes such as lake Michigan. When I was 12 years old my father taught me to build and sail one of these magnificent creations. I was lucky enough to sail on the very boat that both my father and mother had their first date on.  This is also the boat that my father built and learned to sail from his mother. Below is an image showing an actual picture of me and my little brother on my fathers boat.

Notice how between the image above and below how calm or aggressively you can sail this boat! How cool! The image above is my little brother and I sailing at Higgs lake in Michigan. We sailed all the way across the lake, about 4 hours.

In the 1950’s, Hobie started out by making surfboards and paddle boards out of his garage in California. Before long he was setting records with his designs. “Hobie’s lineup was a veritable Who’s Who of surfing greats. Phil Edwards, Joey Cabell, Corky Carroll, Micky Munoz, Joyce Hoffman, Joey Hamasaki, Gary Propper, Billy Hamilton and Herbie Fletcher are just a few of the champions who supported the distinctive Hobie diamond logo over the years.” By the 1960’s Hobie started messing around with boats and just like surfing records being broken, soon too his boats were a huge hit. In the past four decades, more people have taken to the water on a Hobie Cat than almost any other sailboat design.

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.

The greatest part about sailing and arguably the reason it is still so popular is the everything people love about being on the water without any of the crazy loud noises you get from a power boat. From personal experience, I am absolutely in-love with how quickly you can be traveling on the water without any sound! Look at the picture above, what they are doing is called “flying a hull” and it’s when you’re obviously on one hull and you’re using your body weight to counteract the wind. This is one of the most surreal experience one can every experience. In this moment all you can hear is the sound of the wind and the boat breaking water and when you turn around and look behind you you can see directly down into the water and it is absolutely amazing.

Hobie cats have always influenced a more environmentally fun way to be in the water. These boats create no pollution and are much better for the waters. I only wish more and more people would chose these boats over power boats!



Hobie. “About Us.” Hobie,

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5 Comments. Leave new

  • I sailed and raced a 16 and a14T since 1978 and enjoyed the people and the sailing of these fine boats, Hobie and his group did a great job of building a boat that you ride more than just sail.

  • Callum Schulz
    February 1, 2021 9:17 am

    Hey Peter, while I haven’t had the pleasure of sailing on one of these boats, I have always admired their design and sailing prowess. I hope to one day be able to experience sailing on one of these boats. I am particularly interested in learning how to “fly a hull” as that looks really fun. You mentioned that this style of boat is particular quick in the water, I was wondering how the top speeds of this style compared to other non-motor powered boats?

    • Hey Callum, great question! These boats are usually used for racing. Their hulls are designed to be as sleek as possible to not produce a lot of drag. Depending on the wind you can technically go as fast as you want until the boat starts to break apart. Personally I have hit around 40mph but professional racers on larger boats with bigger sails have been seen to reach upwards of 90 to 100 miles per hour.

  • Ive seen a couple of theses race up on the lakes in the mountains out here in CO. Its as much as a hobby and a skill as it is an art to be one with the boat as they race. There is a noticeable passion driving this post and I enjoy the personal connection to it. I definitely enjoy the form and function combination on these boats, very pretty and you are correct when you say they can fly when they get up to speed! I had hoped to have learned more about how the design of these boats had changed over time if any and maybe where they began.

    • Hey Josh if I’m not mistaken I had stated they started in California. The design really hasn’t changed much but the styles of colors and themes have changed dramatically over time. I agree it would’ve been cool to show a picture of the hundreds of different color combinations!


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