SAILABILITY INTERNATIONAL
NEWS, VIEWS AND REPORTS ON SAILING FOR DISABLED PEOPLE
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HOBIE CAT TRAPSEAT
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EDITORIAL REVIEW

Updated Jan 05 - Report by Mike Wood, spinal injury at C6/7, paralysed from chest down with partial use of hands, good triceps and biceps and some lats - Updated Nov 04. Based on sailing Hobies over a period of 5 years at Club and National and International Competition level and in recent years just for fun.

Class Association - http://www.sail-s.com/main/TRAPSEAT

An internet search on Hobie trapseat will get you lots of info.

My judgement is this the ultimate sail boat, the Formula One of dinghies??? ...

8/10 - As a boat for all types of disabilities - it is a great boat for all types of disability, it only loses a point for me because it might be a problem for people with respirators and the like - you could sail on it but you would only be able to go out in light conditions.

10/10 - As a boat for experienced disabled sailors - easy to sail, tricky to sail well, very rewarding to skill and knowledge.

7/10 - As a training boat - in a league of its own at all levels, some restrictions on conditions/disabilities.

8/10 - Ease of rigging - easy if you leave the mast on, the main block needs care and experience.

7/10 - Ease of transport and launching - its wide but ok... the real problem is the mast... its huge and needs care and technique to put up and down and its safer with 2 able-bodied people.

10/10 - Controls - light, responsive and good quality.

9/10 - Quality of fittings and build - good tough stuff.

10/10 - Getting in and out - very easy.

10/10 - Sailing qualities - very very good.

9/10 - As a club boat - it takes up a bit of space but is very rewarding and very popular at the clubs I know, cheap and reliable to maintain.

SCORES 88/100 ON THE BOAT CHART

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MY OPPINION.......

For me this is the most interesting and exciting boat I have sailed and I am grateful to Mike Strahle his brother and friends for getting me into this outrageous piece of kit.

The trapseat Mike designed and developed over the years is very comfortable and easy to get in and out of. It also allows the crew to trap out further to balance the boat and allow it to go faster... and is it ever fast......

Very light steering makes it easy for anybody to sail and easy to convert to electric's.... but you have to keep them in a dry container.

Not much go's wrong on a hobie, take a little care of your main block - its a big block and salt and sand are more of a problem than other boats because of the very nature of Hobies - they can live in beautiful places ( beaches) and they get very wet, a little care will reward you well, a wash in clean water and a spray with a silicone based ( not oil ) lubricant is all thats needed to makes them run like silk and last for ever.

If you leave your mast up for long periods, check the ball/socket washer now and then as a smooth swivels to the mast 'ices the cake' in light airs.

For disabled competition you have a crew of 2, one of which may be able-bodied. The disabled person elects which side of the boat he is going to sit before the race and then is not allowed to cross the centre line before race ends.

As a light air sailer with a fully battened main AND fore-sail this is an amazing machine and is so easy to sail BUT to sail it well in light conditions requires skill, knowledge and experience. You will see crew balanced at the bow to try and lift the stern from the water and one rudder blade up to reduce drag.

In 10 to 20 kts this is a wild ride everything happens very fast, but controllable, if you make a mistake the Hobie will just show you its bottom and offer you some righting practice. There is a knack to get it back upright and there are some clever after market devices to help. I havent tried any so cant comment but look out for 'owners mods' and 'reviews'.

As a club boat or training boat it is limited by the fact that it can, and does fall over and requires some skill and practice to get it up again... but it is an amazing boat to sail.

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