JP - I picked up my Bravo on Tuesday - and FINALLY got to take her out on the Maiden Voyage early Sunday morning (I had just been really busy with work/family visiting for the holiday, etc)
Holy Cow!! What a GREAT little boat!
I'll admit that I had been afraid that I was about to sacrifice some of the Hobie Experience by sailing a "toy boat" - but that is really not the case. It's the most nimble Cat I've ever sailed - the winds were around 7, building to 10 mph; and it tacked and jibed with ease. I practiced "putting it in irons" and then sailing off, which it did handily. It seemed nice and stable - but then, I wasn't out in gale force winds (that will come later!) The boat felt balanced - neither wanted to turn into the wind nor off it - the tiller was light as a feather. Guess I can give my old sailing gloves to someone else
And at the end of my time on the lake - I just sailed it up to the front of our house, pointed her into the wind, and furled the sail. No bucking boat/flapping sails/chaos. It just doesn't get any easier than that:-)
The absolutely best part is the clear view under the sail (no more looking through a little window) and not worrying about the boom clocking you in the head!!! Plus - since my last few boats were smallish monohulls - not having to be in constant motion trying to balance the boat was wonderful.
I made a small change to the rigging - I can't see leaving the mainsheets out in the sun all the time - good line is expensive. So I added a small shackle to the end of the camcleat post; and added a snap shackle to the top of the tiller. Now I can simply remove the mainsheets and I keep them in the rear hatch.
I also ordered a closed-cell-foam exercise mat for the deck of the boat: I'm only 57 years young - but have the knees of a 150-yr old woman. I figure a little padding as I move back and forth can't hurt?
I definitely LOVE my Bravo! It's going to let me "sneak out for 1/2 hour of sailing" - a statement that seems impossible with most boats - heck, it takes that long just to RIG the darn things! But of course, now that I have a boat this handy, it's only going to fuel my addiction for playing in the wind......