Thanks partly due to the advice and opinions on this forum, I decided to purchase a new Getaway a few weeks ago. I found a "leftover" new 2012 boat at Clews and Strawbridge in PA, and they ordered a few parts/accessories to customize it just the way I wanted. I settled on wing seats, a trapeze, double rollers for their local galvanized trailer and the mast stepper III. I picked it up on Thursday, and all was ready to go, neatly packed for the two hour drive home. I did read about the Bob, er bobbing, and as I saw it bouncing some on the top of the mast, I pulled over a mile in and removed it. The rest of the trip was uneventful. Wow, is this boat easy to tow. I am used to heavier boats I suppose.
Yesterday, we took her out for the first time. I had watched the rigging videos online, so I had some idea what to expect. I also brought the Getaway manual, but I found the small black and white photos less helpful. While I did purchase the mast stepper iii system, I didn't feel comfortable using it yet as the rigging seemed pretty involved. I do hope to try it soon, so I have the option of rigging and sailing solo. Somehow, with my wife's help we managed to raise the mast without much trouble. It was certainly easier than on my last sailboat, a Precision 21 keelboat. We messed around a little too much with rig tension I think. At first it was too loose. Then I think we added too must mast rake, so we loosened things up a little. It was my first time using a roller furler, so I fiddled with spinning it in and out a few times. Seemed a little backwards in the end, but all seemed to work ok in the end. Launching off the trailer was a breeze. My wife and kids got on, and we were off. There was a short row to get away from the launch ramp, which is nestled in an area with a few boat slips and a fishing dock. Once, we got turned around, it was smooth rowing out directly into the Tred Avon. I had picked up some cheap oars from Walmart in the morning. They are a bit short, but they worked well enough. Since it was a fairly calm, but shifty day it took a little time to turn into the wind. There were a few moments when I thought we would need to turn around and come in, when I couldn't loosen the shackle to attach the halyard to the mainsail. It was seized up pretty tight, and I had no tools with me. Lesson learned. After a few moments of searching, I realized that the plastic bracket for the trapeze would do the trick for leverage, and the shackle opened right up. We did have a little trouble feeding the mainsail into the tracks and raising it. Eventually, we got things figured out and started sailing along.
There was just enough wind to cruise along lazily. There was a race finishing in Oxford yesterday, so we got to check out some pretty boats, including a few Farrier trimarans. Every once in a while, we would catch a puff and take off for a few minutes. The kids took turns skippering, and we basically puttered around for a couple hours. The air was cool, but the water was warm. We should have brought suits and towels! Oh well, next time. The kids enjoyed hanging out on the wings and the trampolines, and my wife enjoyed sitting in the same spot on one hull much of trip, resting up against the wing as a backrest. She never liked heeling on our mono haul, and the stability of the Getaway, complete with wings really suits her. After a couple of hours, the wind had died down to just about nothing, so we headed back to the ramp. We did have a few moments of frustration trying to lower the mainsail. After eventually breaking out my phone and googling the problem, we had it down without further fuss. What on earth did we do before the internet? Anyway, thanks again to this forum for helping us out.
Hauling out was pretty painless, but I am sure it took us three times longer than it should have. Getting the boat up on the trailer was easy. I haven't had a trailer with rollers before, and they sure make it easy, especially since the boat is so light. Lowering the mast was the most stressful part, but I just need to get used to where I need to stand on the trampoline to best support the mast as it comes down. My wife was very patient and helpful with this part. I also need to figure out a quick, safe solution for attaching everything before trailering (the shrouds, jib, trapeze wires, etc.). Is it best to tie everything up to the mast or coil the wires all together? I feel like there must be a better quick way. Do I leave the jib attached in the snorkel to the mast or remove it? Those sorts of questions are a work in progress. Since the trailering distance was short, I left the Bob attached and just moved the whole rig more forward so there was less mast overhang off the stern. There seemed to be minimal bouncing this way.
Thanks for reading, and I hope my experience is in some way helpful to others. I would give the boat a solid A for a first outing. It was fun even in light winds, but gave a hint of more thrills to come when we caught a puff or two. There is an awful lot of space for stretching out for such a small boat. The systems seem well thought out, and it most everything seems as simple yet functional as possible. As to my performance, I'd give myself a C minus. Just barely passing
With practice, I am sure I can improve, and it sure was a lot of fun on a day when I wasn't even sure there was enough wind to go out.