can I handle "righting the Wave say with two grand kids (ages 4 and 6 with me)?
First reaction is for safety's sake you always have to be careful when kids are on. True with any boat.
As long as you sail where the shore is within easy reach, in conditions that are not beyond your abilities, and with the kids in life jackets, then the Wave is a good choice.
If you read the forums you may note that some label the Wave as relatively slow. That is true only relatively! That is, in relation to other beachcats. The Wave can hit speeds 10 mph plus -- which is fast enough with kids on. Other beachcats fly faster.
With basic swimming skills, righting the Wave is no problem. My wife is still somewhat uncomfortable about capsizing, so I don't push it when she is on.
The one thing about all sailboats is that they are powered by the wind. (yeah, duh) Wind is the gas pedal and the wind is variable. Capsizing happens when the wind blows the boat over in extreme conditions.
Need a little more explanation especially relative to "terminology" (see in " "?)
About mast stepping, most people don't store the boat with mast up. Bad for the rigging over a long period. Mast has to be raised or "stepped" each time out. You have to lift it into place. Wave's mast is easy. Other boats with 30' masts are a bear. Like lifting a pine tree...
The Wave weighs 250 lbs. With beach wheels, it is easy to push around by hand on land. It can be stored mast down on land and rolled to the water by hand. Other beachcats are heavier and so it is a matter of how much you want to lift.
3. Is there a need for putting a "reefer" (I think that is the correct terminology?) in the sail until I get comfortable sailing?
I looked at the reefing option too at first. No, you don't need one on the Wave. They make a sail with a zipper reef. Not necessary. There are enough ways to depower the sail without it.
If you have done any kind of boating, you know the difference between safe conditions and iffy conditions. The Wave is very safe in safe conditions. It also has the potential for speed and thrills in heavier air.
Too bad that this is the end of sailing season. If you know Ocracoke, you know where Duck is. Norbanks http://www.norbanks.com/
is right down the road and they rent Waves. Also selling their rentals now...
The tech specs that Hobie posts on the Wave are thorough, IMO. Check them out.