Hobie Cat Forums

It is currently Wed Aug 20, 2014 1:20 am

All times are UTC - 8 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 10 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 7:26 pm 
Offline
Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Thu Sep 26, 2013 5:15 pm
Posts: 7
Does anyone on this forum have experience sailing a Bravo with little kids?

I'm an experienced sailor (my other boat is a 17' O'Day Daysailer) and am thinking about buying a Bravo to keep at our town beach in Clinton, Connecticut.

When we go out together, we'll be staying in the harbor, close to the beach. But my other goal is to be able to go out for a quick sail by myself and let her rip :)

I appreciate any and all feedback on safety, fun, and room to grow for my little guy.

Thanks!

Alan


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 5:21 am 
Offline
Site Rank - Admiral

Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2012 10:08 am
Posts: 169
Location: Prince Edward Island, Canada
Hi Alan,

I think a Bravo will do you quiet well. I owned one for a season and although we have no children of our own, I took out smaller children for rides on numerous occasions.

Along with being super easy to sail, it has a bit of recessed deck so I found that the kids tend to actually sit still as opposed to crawling around the tramp. A small dingy style boat would provide even more security on that front but you can't just slide a mono-hull into the water from the beach and let them hop on in a just a few inches of water, so pros and cons to both.

My only caution since your son is pretty young.
The Bravo is very stable for it's size but it can be flipped. On a nice day you have almost zero worries. If it's get windier, I can attest that an uncontrolled jibe can knock it over pretty fast. You can right it with barely any effort at all though so it won't be many years before your kid is out there racing it around and righting it all by himself.

I'm going to assume your four year old will have a life jacket on and is comfortable with the water. On a leisurely day, you will have no worries at all unless he spontaneously decides he wants to go for a swim. I had a 6 year old do that once. Practice man-overboard maneuvers with a floating cushion or something before you take him out. That way, you can be confident of sailing back to him quickly if he does happen to fall or jump of.

In short, it's a near perfect beach boat for Dad and kids and it can be very fun for Dad & bigger kids solo in a strong breeze as well.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 9:59 am 
Offline
Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 5:08 am
Posts: 1
I've had a few kids on mine, 8 and 10 year olds. They loved how easy and roomy it was, and being close to the water. Getting them back on is cake when they decide its time for a MOB drill.

The Bravo sails well boomless, especially if you are sailing on a reach. Boomless is good for little heads. The sail furls really easily if the wind get blowing. Give it a half furl at 15+ and you'll stay flat on both hulls.

You'll want a boom if you go out on your own; it helps a fair bit with speed and with downwind sailing. Its not a fast boat, but in 15 knots with one hull up, it feels great.

If you are looking for getting on the water fast for a quick sail, I can go from my car, to the gear room for the sail/mast, rudder, and lifejacket; drag the hull down to the lake, set it up, and be on the water in five minutes.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 7:10 pm 
Offline
Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Thu Sep 26, 2013 5:15 pm
Posts: 7
Thank you both for the feedback, I really appreciate it.

Priced Bravos today from several local dealers and am comparing shipping fees, etc.

My birthday is this Friday so there's my justification - this will definitely be the best present ever!!!

One last question: what do folks use for a beach dolly? Buy or build?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 12:13 pm 
Offline
Site Rank - Admiral

Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2012 10:08 am
Posts: 169
Location: Prince Edward Island, Canada
Happy Birthday ! Sounds like a great present. You will not regret it.

If you buy a Bravo, you will not need a dolly for many situations. It is light enough to be dragged along a beach or shore by a single person of average, adult strength. The hull is super tough so unless you are crossing pavement (or another exceptionally harsh terrain) and don't have a second person to lift it with you, you don't need to worry about damaging it like a fiberglass cat when you drag it. My wife of average build was able to carry it short distances with me the few times we ventured from our own shore. Mostly though, I just dragged the thing everywhere it needed to go.

If your terrain or physique does require a dolly, then most people here seem to have have purchased a flavor of Cat "Trax". I have never owned one myself but I have never heard anyone complain about them so they must be a solid product. Hobie dealers tend to carry these so they should be easy to find.

If you search this forum you will find some home made versions as well.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 2:36 pm 
Offline
Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2012 2:47 pm
Posts: 16
Respectfully, I would not recommend dragging your Bravo over sand for extended periods; this will definitely cause premature wear on the very end of the keels (assuming you're dragging the boat from the front handles). I use my Bravo exclusively at the beach, and there's a small amount of visible wear in this area from just dragging the boat from the shoreline to my beach umbrella - ha. If you view the post "Is it safe to store my Bravo this way?" there's some pics of the dolly I made for about $200. Don't waste your money on an expensive dolly; mine works great. Big Foot dolly tires (most expensive thing - Google to find). Sorry, I'm not at my place now so I don't have additional pics but the posted pics referred to above should give you a hint as to how it was made. 1" solid aluminum axle. Good luck!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 6:09 pm 
Offline
Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Thu Sep 26, 2013 5:15 pm
Posts: 7
I'll definitely check out the link to your home-made dolly.

One other thought: lots of folks are gungho on getting a Wave instead. Even a local Hobie sales guy tried to talk me into it!

My thoughts on the Bravo vs. Wave are that I actually want a smaller boat for me to enjoy now and my son to learn on in future; that the ability to reef the main is really key; and that ultimately quicker setup means more sailing time.

I've also got a "big boy" O'Day Day Sailer (16'9", seats 4 adults comfortably) for taking out company, so that's not really a concern.

But am I missing something about the Wave? Let's hear people stick up for the Bravo!

Cheers,

Alan


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 7:08 pm 
Offline
Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2012 2:47 pm
Posts: 16
Sounds like you are a beach person too, so I hope my thoughts help here. If I was not on a beach, some of these points would not apply. There have been times I thought a Wave would be nice but I'm sticking with my Bravo for the following reasons: 1) it's much lighter on a dolly than a Wave, 2) the mast on a Bravo can be stepped in about 30 seconds so I can dolly the boat without the mast which saves even more weight (if you want a quick sail, it's not practical to transport a Wave without the mast attached plus I think you'll need assistance stepping the mast), 3) on the ocean (where I sail exclusively) the sail can be reefed in no time enabling me to sail in some major winds (however, I rarely do reef the sail as I enjoy the challenge/excitement in those conditions), 4) while the load capacity is 400 lbs, I have exceeded this capacity many times with no problems at all, 5) I can transport, step the mast, and launch my boat without any assistance, and 6) because it's smaller, I actually store my boat and mast indoors (safe and no sun) - try that with a Wave. For me, when considering the Wave over the Bravo (for beach transport and use) it always comes down to: is more speed/space worth the additional hassles on the beach? No. Hope this helps.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 5:07 am 
Offline
Site Rank - Admiral

Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2012 10:08 am
Posts: 169
Location: Prince Edward Island, Canada
sandbridge wrote:
Respectfully, I would not recommend dragging your Bravo over sand for extended periods; this will definitely cause premature wear on the very end of the keels (assuming you're dragging the boat from the front handles).


Your point has merit. I should point out that my shore where I park my boat for the season, is not beach. We used the Bravo, now a Wave, to sail over to the nice beach across the bay. Our shore has a short strip of not quiet sand, (rougher actually) but much of it is actually shore grass and/or much seaweed, making for a good slip.

That being said, after putting in a season in each boat, dragging it over the rough spots at least a couple of times a week and up onto the beaches wherever we go, I can see only a few insubstantial razor sized knicks in what is a very thick keel. Sure, it is cumulative but I can safely say that this boat will last many generations at this rate.

Your point is valid though, it all depends on the terrain.

Edit: Another cheap option...
I had some old treated 2x6's from a project and purchased some PVC pipe. I cut the PVC into short lengths and placed them into holes in the 2x6s to make a ladder like slip. I made 4 of these so you just keep moving them ahead of the boat in sequence.

I throw these into the truck whenever I'm taking the Wave anywhere. It allows me to get safely across rough surfaces, solo, if need be.

I've since seen on this board pictures of the same concept with the PVC tubing embedded into lengths or tarp instead of big clunky 2x6's. A much better idea. Wish I had seen that first.


Last edited by Murph_PEI on Wed Apr 16, 2014 5:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 5:24 am 
Offline
Site Rank - Admiral

Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2012 10:08 am
Posts: 169
Location: Prince Edward Island, Canada
Re. Bravo vs. Wave.
I have owned both now and I don't disagree with the positives of the Bravo. My boat is parked beneath our house so I leave my mast up on the Wave for the season (except for a couple of road trips). When I had the Bravo, I carried the mast with sail wrapped around it, back and forth to the house because it was, truly just that easy!

Pulling a rope to reef it in Completely once we hit the beach for the day was super convenient. Now I leave the sail on the Wave loosed with the boat turned into the wind on the shore, but I'm always remaining conscious of a major change in wind direction.

We traded to the Wave so we could take a passenger or two over to the beach with us and so I could go play with some speed on stronger winds days, while still keeping the convenience of something that I could get to the waster easily solo. However, we loved our Bravo. I can still get onto the water in under five minutes but that is because I have the advantage of a parked boat. Otherwise, nothing beats the convenience of a Bravo.

I'd love a glass version some day as well for the sport factor (I'm keeping an eye out for that rare used gem) but I think we are mostly like you in that, right now, getting out on the water more often (cause it's so damn easy) is more important than going fast. I definitely won't be trading my Wave for a glass boat, but I'd love to someday have both.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 10 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 8 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group