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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 12:59 pm 
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And I think the Hobie Getaway may be the one. I am married with three kids ages 11, 9, and 7. Two of the three currently sail and race Optimists, but their dad isn't too much of a sailor yet ;) We own a Sunfish, but it is too small to take out more than one kid with me. We previously owned a small keelboat (Precision 21) for a few seasons, but I found raising the mast a bit challenging when the kids were younger and needed a lot of attention from their mom while I rigged the boat.

I would like to encourage their interest in sailing as well as nurture my own. I am drawn to multihulls, particularly since my wife doesn't like boats that heel too much, and my kids want to go faster as they get older. The Getaway seems like a decent size to hold the whole family, but small enough to still be easy to rig and use. I am tempted by faster cats like the F-16s but realize that only two of us could go at a time on something like that. I realize that all boats have trade-offs of course, but it doesn't stop me from trying to the the "perfect" one. I like the Weta trimaran, but it seems to small for us and the Windrider seems cool for adventures but less appealing as a device to teach the kids how to sail.

I think racing as a family would be fun, but I don't know of many easy options for all of us to race on the same boat at once. Most of the one design racing nearby is for smaller crews (Stars, Penguins, Comets, Lasers) or larger ones (Log Canoes). I think the Viper 640 or other sportboat would be an option but that is getting expensive. Otherwise, perhaps we could get a couple of Penguins or Comets and divide into a couple of teams? I don't see us racing the Getaway though as there don't seem to be many multihull races nearby.

A few specific questions.
1. Would you recommend the trapeze kit for kids? I imagine it would be fun for them to try this option out.
2. How about a spinnaker? Should I wait a season or two to see how we like it first. Often there is fairly light air where we will sail, and the kids will be bored if we aren't moving at a decent clip.
3. I am leaning towards the mast stepper III for times when I might want to try single-handing. Is there a general consensus on this device?
4. Any other boats you can think of that would serve my family well?

Thanks for any advice.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 6:11 pm 
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Get a Hobie Getaway (see video)



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 6:25 pm 
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IMHO, the Getaway is what you want. I bought a Hobie 17 on the advise of the local Hobie dealer back in 1990 when I had kids about your kids' ages. I wanted something for the family. Huh. You know what they say is born every minute. He didn't have an 18 and told me the 17 (which is a single hander race boat) was just as good. Major fail. If the Getaway had been available back then, it'd been perfect.

Plenty of room for all of you. Reasonably fast (more so than any monohull, especially comparably loaded). Probably won't do much racing...I don't know if there is a racing class for it, and with 5 people aboard, you'll lose. Informal racing, particularly against monohulls, you'll win.
Trapeze? Yes! They'll love it!
Spin? Maybe. I like mine. It is a bit of a pain in the neck to rig, but it takes up kid room on the foredeck. Gives the kids another rope to hold, and the snuffer system is way cool!
I have the Mast Stepper III in case I don't have another strong person. I used to step my 17 mast solo with some fiddling around with the halyard to hold it until I could pin it, but why take a chance?

Other family boats for 5? Daysailing? Hunter 22? Melges 24 if you have a lot of money. Flying Scot? Hobie 18 (faster but not as family friendly)?

I belong to a sailing club that has 18 foot sloops, J boats, 30 to 34 foot keelboats, scows, I-14s, and Lasers. I still bought my Hobie because there is nothing like a cat.

Word of warning. Cats are WET. You will be soaked every time you go out. Dress appropriately.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 6:55 pm 
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Hi easternhoresailor,

We just buy a used Getaway (2003) for the family and we are realy happy with it (4 kids: 8, 7, 4, 2). It's stable (my mom that don't like sailing have come 2 times and like it) and the foward trampoline give better place. We have the wing that help also to have more space. Like they said in the publicity... a great family cat.

Can't help with your specific questions, but I'm interested by the answers you will receive.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 7:30 am 
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Thanks for the responses so far. That video certainly makes the boat look fun.

That Melges 24 looks like a nice boat. A nice F 27 or F24 would probably be fun too, but also getting up there in price. I'd be interested in a Flying Scot if they were raced more locally, but I suppose the Getaway is more fun outside of racing.

I am leaning towards the mast stepper and the trapeze, and will likely add a spinnaker in the future if the boat is a hit with the kids. I have read about the one trapeze limit though all three of my kids added together weigh less than 200 pounds. I would be tempted to add a second for kid only use.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2013 9:54 am 
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I think you would be very happy with the Getaway as a fun family boat. One thing not mentioned so far is that maintenance costs are low on this boat, partly because of the rotomolded hills. It's quite easy to single hand as Creative shows (great video BTW!). Get used to the boat first and then get the spinnaker to add more fun. I would not put 2 trap wires on this boat, keep in mind that the tang is anchored in the plastic part of the upper mast.

We are having a great summer here on the US gulf coast, sailed with the dolphin again yesterday! H.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2013 7:59 pm 
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Nothing really competes with the Getaway. The other choices in rotomolded cats have design choices that are less attractive (like rudders that are affixed using bolts through the hulls, etc.), or don't have the tramp space of the Getaway. The only other boats with the kind of space offered by the Getaway are day-sail boats like the Vanguard Bahia. If you are considering something like a Viper, I would just move all the way to a keel boat - here along the Great Lakes, the Shark 24 is a popular keel boat with a fleet at practically every sailing club. You can get one used for about the same price as a new Getaway (roughly), and race with the entire family; of course, you need to rent a slip at your local club and figure out winter storage…I'm sure there is an equivalent type of keel boat in your area.

I have 2 kids (now ages 8 and 6) and the Getaway is an ideal boat for a family. When the air is light, we go out for 2-4 hours with a bunch of snacks and drinks and have a great time. There is something about being on the water that forces people to be in the here-and-now, and I can say that some of the absolute best family time we have is out on our Getaway on light-air days. One kid hanging off the front tramp staring at the water, and another hanging off a trapeze (get the trapeze!). We take out a bleach-bottle anchor on hot light-air days and park the boat, and everyone jumps in off the wings - it's a blast.

In heavier air, the ride is wet and wild. My kids love sitting on the front tramp and getting soaked, or joining us up on the bench and feeling the wind and waves.

I'd hold off on the spinnaker until you decide you want it or when your kids are a bit older. It takes away a bit of front tramp space, which will otherwise be used by the kids.

Can't comment on a mast stepper - although I have considered one, the mast is easy to put up and take down if you have someone who has 2 minutes to help. I keep my Getaway on my beach, but we get very strong winds and storms, so I take down the mast every night after sailing. I place the mast on the boat, affix the side stays and mast base pin, and then my wife helps me to pick up the mast and she pins down the forestay.

When you find the kids are old enough to want to go out on their own, you can sell your Getaway and pick up a couple of Waves to do some family racing.

Mark


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2013 2:40 pm 
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Thanks again for the replies- they have all been helpful.

We did have a chance to rent a Getaway the other day down at the beach on vacation. The whole family enjoyed it, and the kids look forward to having one of our own sometime soon. I will say that the rental place seemed to have a lot of rules: no gybing, no sitting on the front tramp, sail only North of the rental place, etc. Luckily, we still managed to have fun ;) Also, there were no wing seats to try out and no tiller extension, so we couldn't play around with weight distribution as much as I would have liked. My older two kids had fun alternating between skippering and trimming the jib. (Don't tell the rental place though as I am sure I broke another rule haha.)

I think the kids will like the trapeze, and in the future I imagine adding a spinnaker will be fun. Downwind wasn't too exciting, but then it isn't on most sailboats that I have been on.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2013 6:01 pm 
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Another option would be a H18 SX. You get a more complicated boat (boom and dagger boards), but it is faster, designed for 2 trapeze ( which your kids will love), has larger wings, and designed for a spin. You would not have the front trampoline. If you are experiences and interested in performance, I would take a look at them. They stopped production about 10 years ago.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2013 7:52 pm 
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easternshoresailor wrote:
Downwind wasn't too exciting, but then it isn't on most sailboats that I have been on.


Oh, then, get the spinnaker! You will discover downwind excitement! (listen for the evil chuckle...)

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2013 5:40 am 
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dorienc wrote:
easternshoresailor wrote:
Downwind wasn't too exciting, but then it isn't on most sailboats that I have been on.


Oh, then, get the spinnaker! You will discover downwind excitement! (listen for the evil chuckle...)


Will that be too much excitement then? I don't want to scare my wife. I'm not worried about the kids ;)


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2013 6:04 am 
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easternshoresailor wrote:
dorienc wrote:
easternshoresailor wrote:
Downwind wasn't too exciting, but then it isn't on most sailboats that I have been on.


Oh, then, get the spinnaker! You will discover downwind excitement! (listen for the evil chuckle...)


Will that be too much excitement then? I don't want to scare my wife. I'm not worried about the kids ;)


No, I don't think so. My wife helms the boat while I handle the spin sheet. Cats are really boring downwind since they sail so easily, and you basically feel like you're sitting in still air. The chute gives a nice pull and lift, and yes, makes the boat a lot faster, and there is some more risk of a capsize, and the boat just feels much more exciting. My wife really likes the spinnaker!

You can always add it later. And you can sail without it. On heavy wind days, I don't bother rigging the bowsprit or the spinnaker. I don't know how much wind it's rated for, but it's pretty thin nylon. I'd be afraid to open it up if the wind were over 15 mph.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 2:01 pm 
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Mark P. wrote:
Nothing really competes with the Getaway. The other choices in rotomolded cats have design choices that are less attractive (like rudders that are affixed using bolts through the hulls, etc.), or don't have the tramp space of the Getaway. The only other boats with the kind of space offered by the Getaway are day-sail boats like the Vanguard Bahia. If you are considering something like a Viper, I would just move all the way to a keel boat - here along the Great Lakes, the Shark 24 is a popular keel boat with a fleet at practically every sailing club. You can get one used for about the same price as a new Getaway (roughly), and race with the entire family; of course, you need to rent a slip at your local club and figure out winter storage…I'm sure there is an equivalent type of keel boat in your area.

I have 2 kids (now ages 8 and 6) and the Getaway is an ideal boat for a family. When the air is light, we go out for 2-4 hours with a bunch of snacks and drinks and have a great time. There is something about being on the water that forces people to be in the here-and-now, and I can say that some of the absolute best family time we have is out on our Getaway on light-air days. One kid hanging off the front tramp staring at the water, and another hanging off a trapeze (get the trapeze!). We take out a bleach-bottle anchor on hot light-air days and park the boat, and everyone jumps in off the wings - it's a blast.

In heavier air, the ride is wet and wild. My kids love sitting on the front tramp and getting soaked, or joining us up on the bench and feeling the wind and waves.

I'd hold off on the spinnaker until you decide you want it or when your kids are a bit older. It takes away a bit of front tramp space, which will otherwise be used by the kids.

Can't comment on a mast stepper - although I have considered one, the mast is easy to put up and take down if you have someone who has 2 minutes to help. I keep my Getaway on my beach, but we get very strong winds and storms, so I take down the mast every night after sailing. I place the mast on the boat, affix the side stays and mast base pin, and then my wife helps me to pick up the mast and she pins down the forestay.

When you find the kids are old enough to want to go out on their own, you can sell your Getaway and pick up a couple of Waves to do some family racing.

Mark



I concur exactly with everything Mark has said. This is exactly my experience.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 6:21 pm 
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@easternshoresailor where you are located? Our family (8, 6, and 2) has a Getaway that we drydock in Yorktown, VA and we love sailing the bays of the Hampton Roads area. We use the Getaway as more of a fun pontoon boat while other friends and family skin and tube behind the Whaler. I'll heave to on the getaway and they come alongside and we trade crews. That makes it so we can have 10 or more people out on the water and everyone is having fun and we don't have to idle back to the dock which is 1/4 mile up the creek in a no-wake zone.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 5:54 pm 
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jjchristop wrote:
@easternshoresailor where you are located? Our family (8, 6, and 2) has a Getaway that we drydock in Yorktown, VA and we love sailing the bays of the Hampton Roads area. We use the Getaway as more of a fun pontoon boat while other friends and family skin and tube behind the Whaler. I'll heave to on the getaway and they come alongside and we trade crews. That makes it so we can have 10 or more people out on the water and everyone is having fun and we don't have to idle back to the dock which is 1/4 mile up the creek in a no-wake zone.


That sounds like a great way to spend a day! I notice as our kids get older, it is all about friends with them. Boats can get small very quickly when all the kids want to bring a friend, so it is nice to have lots of flexibility with more than one boat.
dorienc wrote:
easternshoresailor wrote:
dorienc wrote:
easternshoresailor wrote:
Downwind wasn't too exciting, but then it isn't on most sailboats that I have been on.


Oh, then, get the spinnaker! You will discover downwind excitement! (listen for the evil chuckle...)


Will that be too much excitement then? I don't want to scare my wife. I'm not worried about the kids ;)


No, I don't think so. My wife helms the boat while I handle the spin sheet. Cats are really boring downwind since they sail so easily, and you basically feel like you're sitting in still air. The chute gives a nice pull and lift, and yes, makes the boat a lot faster, and there is some more risk of a capsize, and the boat just feels much more exciting. My wife really likes the spinnaker!

You can always add it later. And you can sail without it. On heavy wind days, I don't bother rigging the bowsprit or the spinnaker. I don't know how much wind it's rated for, but it's pretty thin nylon. I'd be afraid to open it up if the wind were over 15 mph.


Sounds like a spinnaker will be in our future then. Perhaps I'll add it in the off-season after we get more comfortable with the boat.

We are up the Bay from you on the Maryland side, near Oxford and St. Michaels.


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