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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Got a new Hobie Cat for the kids, have I ever mentioned I think Hobie is awesome? Not necessarily for their performance boats, but for their practical, family freindly, easy to sail innovative designs.

This one is the Hobie Bravo. Perfect boat for kids to get started in multihull sailing IMO (my son is turning 7 in a couple of weeks).

Boomless cat rig means no bumped heads or jib to mess with. Mast float to keep it from turtling. Unlimited round the mast reefing. 2 water tight storage areas to pack your lunch or camping gear in. Only 195 pounds rigged so light enough to be manhandled on the beach and a payload of 400 pounds, so dad can take it for a rip too 馃槑 it's even light enough to carry on roof racks if one felt inclined.

Picked this one up used.

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
I had to get my wee Hobie out for a test sail to, err, make sure it was safe for the kids.

Any way, first to collect the boat. The boat was about 100 miles away in the Laurentians, which is a mountainous area in Western Quebec. I brought my V6 front wheel drive minivan to collect the boat, because that's my tow vehicle. At any rate, roads were steep twisty gravel roads out in the bush. The final descent to the cottage where I was collecting the boat from was very borderline for a 2 wheel drive vehicle without at trailer. And in the bush with no cell service of course. Any way, hooked up the van and with minimal fuss the van pulled the boat to pavement, then the 100 or so miles back to our summer spot. The boat was so light it was barely perceptible except stopping on downhills from 90 (kmh). Least eventful trailering of an unknown boat and trailer ever.

Got the boat back to our summer spot. Who wants to take the new boat for a spin. Silence. Ah well. They take off to the beach leaving me with the boat. I decided to step the mast and rig the boat, sans instructions, sailboat, how hard can it be right? 25 minutes later, boat was rigged and docked and trailer was park. "Boats ready to go, any one want to go for a rip?". Silence, swim swim. "Alright, I am going to take her for a spin.".

Unfurl the main, sail away from dock. That was easy.

I sailed for about an hour, coming to visit wife and kids on the beach every 10 minutes or so.

Any way, the boat sailed surprisingly close to the wind, was reasonably quick from a broad reach to a close reach and really a bit of a dog down wind, no boom, so I guess that's that.

In terms of stats- tracked on Strava- I averaged 3.8 knots in 5-6 knots of wind, with a top speed by GPS of 6.0 knots. Knot to shabby. I didn't get a good sense of tacking angles as I was sailing back and forth to the beach across the river which was more or less a close reach in one direction and a broad reach in the other.

At any rate, it wasn't as fast as a wave and certainly nowhere near as fast as an H16 or a Getaway, but it would dust my 12 ft mono dinghy.

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Great week end sailing.

Wind was honking. Wasn't sure about sailing at all.

Wind was cranking down the St Lawrence Valley. Sunday I had had enough of waiting for the wind to settle down. Windy.com as showing 15 knots sustained with gusts to 36 knots cranking down the St Lawrence Valley.

I headed out solo with full sail, not quite sure if my 205 pounds would be enough the keep the 12 foot boat on her feet. I left the boat launch like a sling shot, but wen the first gust hit, there was no way for me to keep the windward hull in the drink. Sheeted out and the wind ward hull dropped, sheeted back in and the hull went flying risking a dump.

Returned to dock, reefed to about 2/3rds and took another stab.

What a ride. Was still flying the wind ward hull in the big puffs and easing the sheet to bring her back down but didn't dump (the St Lawerence river is still cold at this time of year).

Didn't dump, made okay progress to weather and hit 10.8 knots of boat speed. Only issue was with the boat so deeply reefed she did not want to tack for me so I gybed.

Next day I brought my son out (7 years old, 60 pounds) and his extra weight made a big difference in performance and hit slightly higher top speed and better average speed.

Love this boat.

Here is a clip from Sunday after I reefed.

 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Put together a little review of this boat. If you have small kids, or grandchildren, this really is a great boat for them. Annnddd, if you are an adult that wants a small low stress sailboat, it could work nicely.

 
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