First what is “Mast Rake?” Mast rake is how far forward or back you tilt your mast. Usually if your mast is raked, you have it tilted toward the back of the boat. When sailing a multi hulled boat, such as a catamaran, there is a little trick that can make a of difference in the way you sail. Mast Rake is one easy thing to change, and will make a difference. Especially on a Hobie cat boat. Mast rake actually effects a lot of different things, and some surprising things you may have not know.
1. Fist the straighter the mast is the more the force of the wind will push down on the front of the boat. So, if you are thinking about sailing fast, you will have to get way back on the boat! To keep from pitch poling so much set the mast rake back. Also having the mast almost straight will not let the boat point as well. There are a few considerations that you need to consider on how far, and how much you want to spend on mast rake. You are probably thinking why would I need to spend money on mast rake? Let me explain in a minute.
2. Setting the mast rake back will fist of all help the boat point better in the wind. If you are into racing, this can be a huge advantage! (especially for a small sailboat like a 16!) One other thing that it changes is the feel on the rudder stick. Wile the downward pressure changes from being more toward the front to the back, the rudders are now taking more pressure. This will make the feel of the rudder stick harder to turn the boat. If I could give my opinion I defiantly recommend raking the mast. It is well worth taking the hit on the rudder stick for the improved performance that you get.
3. Now lets talk about how you set the rake. The shrouds are linked to the boat with a thing called chain plate. This is fairly easy to do, you just need to set the pins in a higher hole in the chain plate. You do the same thing in the forestay. (if you need to get even more mast rake, you can get another chain plate, and connect it to the existing one, then rig your jib through the top chain plate.)
Now that you have changed the mast rake, if you have an old style seaway main block, (stacked block) you will not be able to use it anymore. (The main sheet has 3 blocks.) If you sheet in the main all the way, there is no room for the seaway block. You will have to upgrade your main block to a 6:1. These work really well. If you buy one new, it will run you as much as $200. If you keep your eye on e-bay, they come up every once and a wile for around $50.