The world would be a better place if more people got out on the water. it’s easy to argue that one of the pioneers who took boating out of the clutches of yacht clubs and put it into the driveway was Hobie Alter. He passed away in 2014 but his legacy lives on anywhere there is a lake or shoreline.

50 years ago, Hobie Alter launched the first Hobie 14 catamaran, making the possibility of sailing accessable to just about anyone. More than 70,000 Hobie 14’s were made (70,000!), making it one of the most successful boats ever built. To commemorate the 50th anniversary, Hobie is holding a “Hobie Cat Funtastico,” a 10-mile race near the original launch point of the first Hobie 14 – Doheny Beach in Dana Point.

The Hobie 14 was not only a fun boat to sail – just about anyone could drag it down a beach, get it in the water, and head out. Anyone who has sailed a Hobie catamaran knows just how much fun these boats are and the memories will never leave them. There are thousands still out there and you can even pick up a used one on Craigs List for about a grand or two.

If you have 20 minutes to spare, here’s a great historical video of Hobie Alter and his catamaran with the sounds and vibe of watching Endless Summer.

You can’t buy a new Hobie 14 today, but Hobie has the very fun Hobie 16 if you want to commemorate this anniversary with a new cat.

Thank you Hobie Alter!