hobie 33 one desing class sailboat


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hobie 33 racing

mauri pro sailing team in light air
hobie 33 north american regatta

hobie 33 reaching in light wind

Courtesy of Mauri Pro Sailing

This Hobie 33 Tuning Guide was written to help you get the best performance from your boat. It represents years of sailing success in the class, computer analysis of the sail plan, additional speed testing and the use of Mauri Pro Sailing performance programs.

Hobie 33 - Tuning Guide

The measurements and settings included in this tuning guide are ones that we found to be the fastest settings for the Hobie 33. Since crew, wind and sailing conditions vary, you may find different settings that are best for you. However, by following these instructions you can be confident that you are well set up for success in your next regatta.

Always remember that besides having a prepared boat, nothing replaces time on the water.

This tuning guide is divided into four chapters:

Chapter 1 - Preparation


The hull of a Hobie 33 requires little attention once it is faired. You are not going as fast as the boat is capable if you don't have a faired bottom. Wet sand the bottom with 400 and finish with 600 sand paper (only 400 for the keel and rudder), and then clean it with soap before each regatta (If you moor your boat you will need a different bottom finish). We always consider adding a coat of Teflon to the hull before any event.

One of the most critical factors in speed gains are over the keel shape. Clean the keel and repair any damage especially on the trailing edge.

Keep it clean as possible, repair all the damage immediately, especially on the trailing edge.

There are several things to do before stepping the mast:

1. Remove the running light and wiring. Cover the holes with sail number material. (Keep lights at deck level).
2. Install a small size Windex wind indicator on the back of the masthead crane, plus a batten to lift the backstay when this is not in use.
3. Exit your main halyard on the port side of the mast. Exit the genoa halyard on the starboard side.
4. Exit the spin halyard 8 feet above deck level, and mount a cam cleat just below the cut out, exit this halyard to the starboard side.
5. Exit the topping lift on the starboard side.
6. Take off both ends of the boom and replace the outhaul system using a 6:1 Harken micro block system and 3/16" prestretch line.
7. Double end your 8:1 boomvang to each side of the cabin.
8. Before stepping the mast, clean it and give it two coats of silicone based marine wax.
9. If you are going to race only windward-leeward courses, you may consider using a single end line for the foreguy.


1. Crew weight: Race at 1050 lbs. keeping a crew of 7 members.

2. Boat Weight: Remove from the boat every thing and carry only what is requested by the rules (each item at minimum weight).

3. Carrying on board: You spend hours removing things, cleaning the boat, buying lighter shackles and reducing 10 lbs. of spare equipment. The day of the race each crewmember shows up to the boat with one bag full of clothes weighing several pounds. Limit what every crewmember can bring onboard. You cannot imagine how much 7 bags full of clothes can weigh. If you are only going to race windward-leeward courses, be careful on this point.


Rule: Simple is fast. Consider replacing the standard traveler with a self-tacking one. Place a middle mainsheet cleat and ratchet.

Backstay: Re-run the lines so you double end this control close to the hand of the main trimmer. (Contact Mauri Pro Sailing for a Hobie 33 backstay layout).

Running Rigging: From time to time new materials appear in the market. If possible try to keep with the latest materials allowed by class rules. Lines need to be minimum length and minimum size.

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Chapter 2 - Tuning the Hobie 33 Rig


Headstay Length: In order to achieve proper rake, the length of the headstay that we found to be ideal is 11.07 mts. The measurement is taken from the center of the headstay pin at the hounds to the center of the pin at the bow.

Distance from the deck to the headstay attachment at the mast: 9.17 mts.

You will need to add a toggle to your headstay to bring it up to maximum length.

Mast: Since the mast is provided by the same manufacturer, mast length, spreader length and spreader angle will have to remain the same as original (class rules).


Adjust the upper shrouds to 30 (loose tension gauge), and then measure from the bow to the sides of the boat two equal measure (one in each side) no farther aft than the turnbuckles. With the genoa halyard measure to each mark and find if the mast is center to the boat. Also measure side to side and find out if the mast is in the middle of the boat.

Using a Loose Tension Gauge, tighten the upper shrouds to 30 and the lowers to 26. Adjust the backstay to 25% of his full run. With this measure and with the backstay on at 25% you will have a "medium-loose" headstay tension. This will be the base setting.

More or minus pre-bend will be require to match your sail design (luff curve).

Our latest design has a small amount of luff curve and a short leech to project the draft aft and add more roach on the upper girth. If you follow the "tension chart" your rig will be set up properly at base (minor adjustments will be done to fit local conditions).


Our mainsail (from Mauri Sails) will perform in 10 knots of wind with a 25% of backstay on. In heavy air, bend can be achieved through backstay tension. Backstay tension will bend the upper part of the mast and increase headstay tension, flattening the genoa. Because we don't want to flatten the genoa in light air conditions, pre-bend must be achieved by loosing the lower shrouds.

Once the wind lightens you will ease shroud tension, this will increase headstay sag, improving pointing ability and gaining power. As the wind picks up progressively, you will tighten the lowers more than the uppers. The lowers will reduce pre bend and stiffen the middle of the mast, so every time you apply backstay tension the upper part of the mast will bend freeing the leech of the main and flattening the genoa, creating an ideal shape for heavy air. When you want to gain power again, ease the backstay again.


Wind Upper Lowers Headstay Genoa * Sail.

Rig Tension
Halyard Tension
Distance to Spreader
0 -5
30 / 26
Light # 1
5 - 12
32 / 26
Medium Loose
2 to 4"
Light # 1
12 - 16
32 / 28
135% # 2
16 - 22
35 / 28
4" inside spreader
98% Blade
23 +
36 / 31
2" inside spreader
98% Blade

* Distance from genoa to spreader. If the sea conditions are smooth (flat seas) in winds from 8 up to 16 use 1" less distance to the spreader.

** Loose gauge Model B.

Tip: Write down on deck this chart with the amount of turns you need to move from one tension to the other.

Genoa tracks: To fine-tune the genoa it is important to have extra holes in the genoa track. Drill holes between factory holes (better if you can adjust the genoa cars while sailing).

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Chapter 3 - Sail Trim

Once your boat is set up as outlined above, there are three sail adjustments that will affect your speed more than any other while sailing to weather. These are jib sheet tension, mainsheet tension, and backstay tension. If you feel that you are lacking speed, there is 90% chance that one of these three adjustments is wrong. If you are slow, free sheets bearing away a couple of degrees, gain speed and then try pointing.

Main Trim:

Maintain the boom on centerline until you start heeling. In light winds pull the traveler to windward so the upper batten is 3 to 5 degrees open and the boom is in the center of the boat. As the wind increases, start dropping the traveler and increasing sheet tension.In 10 knots, the traveler will be in the middle of the boat and you will need to apply more sheet tension so the top batten is pointing 3 degrees to windward. When you reach more than 13 knots start freeing the sheet and start dropping the traveler a bit. Don't let the boat over heel. If you're used to playing the sheet, you will probably need to apply a lot of vang tension so every time you free the sheet, the boom will go out instead of up. Don't use the vang until you start heeling. If it is puffy conditions, use the backstay to depower and power up the boat.

Genoa trim:

Position the genoa lead so when over trimming, the genoa touches the turnbuckles and the sail remains 1" from the spreader. Then free the genoa sheet and trim the sail following the tuning chart. With the sail in position head slowly toward head to wind, the luff will need to break first in the upper part of the sail (by a second) earlier than the lower part. If the sail breaks even, move the lead back one hole. If the upper part breaks first (by more than one second) move the lead forward one hole.In light air the halyard should be tensioned for no wrinkles in the luff (nothing more than that). As the wind increases allow wrinkles in the luff, this will move the draft back, improving pointing ability. With more wind, tension the halyard until the wrinkles disappear.

In a practical way, pull up all the halyard, then start easing until the wrinkles start to appear or to the desire point. Do not over tension the luff of the sail. If you cannot point, probably some of this can be happening: a) an over tensioned genoa sheet. b) To much tension in the genoa luff or c) a loose mainsail leech.


Upwind never heel more than 15ª , if you start heeling more than that start depowering the rig, only after you are sure that the crew is max hiking.

Remember don't try to point until you are at full speed. Also, if the boat heels in a puff don't point to avoid the heeling, free sheet and let the boat move, you will end up forward but in the same line as the boat that points (but goes sideways).

Jib trim:

Once the wind picks up over 16 knots, you will need to change to the little jib. Set the lead so the foot touches the foot of the pulpit and the leech remains 4" inside the spreader. If the wind goes over 25 knots move the lead back 1" to tighten the foot of the sail and to open the leech 2" to the spreader end.Also at the first moment if it is choppy, when you change to the jib loose the shrouds one scale.

Backstay: Divide your backstay in 4 equal parts.

1) Totally loose for downwind legs.
2) First mark: For going upwind in 5 to 12 knots
3) Medium mark: To depower the # 1 and to sail up wind with the # 2
4) Max backstay: For the upper range of the # 2 and for winds over 25 knots.

Note: When you change to the # 3, try to sail with medium tension on the backstay.

In the run, free the main sheet until the luff breaks, or directly to the shrouds (be careful) set the vang so the upper leech is parallel to the boom.

Windward mark: A couple of things to do before the mark.

a) If your are using "vang sheeting", you will need to release your boom vang at least 4" (or more) before turning the windward mark.
b) Pre feed the guy ¾ to the pole.
c) Hike harder.


In the runs is where you can gain or lose the most distance, it is time to attack the leaders or consolidate your advantage. The new Mauri Pro Sailing spinnaker is a true runner with Broad Shoulders, this sail will allow you to sail lower and faster than other boats in your fleet.

If you are flying a true runner, keep in mind that:

The sail is designed to project maximum area, so don't pull the pole too far aft. 80 degrees of the apparent wind proves to be faster than the standard 90 degrees. Over 8 knots, sail the boat heeling to windward as much as 10 degrees, you can heel more and start going deeper, but don't do it if you have to steer to much or if you start feeling pressure in the rudder. Bring the pole end of the sail lower than the clew. NEVER allow the tack to be higher than clew. In almost all conditions set the tack to around one foot lower than the clew. Keep the pole perpendicular to the mast.

Use the middle seem of the sail to fine-tune your spinnaker. Keep the middle seem parallel to the mast. If the upper part is closer, bring the spinnaker pole lower. If the lower part is closer to the mast, then hoist the spinnaker pole until you bring it to parallel.

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Go Fast Tips

01) Sail at maximum crew weight.
02) Sail the boat as flat as possible.
03) Do not pinch.
04) Going upwind, keep the bow down.
05) Play the main sheet constantly.
06) Keep an eye on the speedo.
07) Practice roll tacks and roll gybes.
08) Set the shroud tension for the wind you are expecting in the first part of the race.
09) When in doubt select the more powerful option (it is easy to depower.)
10) In the runs heel the boat to windward.
11) In the runs use as much crew weight as possible to steer the boat.


If you have any questions or comments, please call me directly at 1-888-756-8883

Juan Mauri


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Hobie 33 North American One Design Class Association

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