Hobie Cat is the iconic Southern California company that pioneered the beach catamaran in the 1960s and '70s. Although the company continues to produce fiberglass beach cats, such as the Hobie 16, and high-performance cats, such as the Wild Cat F18, it emphasizes recreational sailing.
The boat that has done well for Hobie is the Mirage Adventure Island, a rotomolded kayak (single or double) that can be paddled or pedaled. It also can be expanded with amas to become a trimaran that carries a simple sailing rig.
The Mirage Adventure Island competes with entry-level sailboats, and Hobie is trying to capture a bigger slice of the kayak fishing market. With the volatility of fuel prices and water access becoming more difficult, the company believes that crossover boats will appeal to a variety of water sports enthusiasts and help novices get into sailing because they can paddle or pedal back to shore if they don't feel confident to do so under sail.
Other small boats