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 Post subject: Wave for lake sailing?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2020 12:13 pm 
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My family has a Sunfish on Squam Lake (made famous by the movie "On Golden Pond") in New Hampshire, and we've been sailing it in the summers for 20 years. It is pretty fun to sail in say 8 - 12 MPH wind (my wife won't sail on the Sunfish above 12 MPH out of a fear of capsizing the boat), but you can't really get too far with it in an hour or so of sailing, and it is hard to sail with more than two people on the boat. And, frankly, it feels pretty slow (I've sailed other boats, not on lakes, up to J/24s).

I was reasonably happy with the Sunfish until I saw a catamaran blasting along the lake at seemingly insane speeds (definitely a Nacra from the emblem, maybe this Nacra 5.7, though I was unable to get close enough to be certain).

Since then I've been doing research to try to find a catamaran to replace our Sunfish that is a) more thrilling / fast, b) comfortable / safe to sail for people who've already been sailing for many years on a Sunfish, and c) easy to rig (we leaving the rigging on the Sunfish, on a mooring ball, for the month or so it is in the water per year).

From my research (including this forum), it sounds like the Wave might be a good fit, but I have a few questions that would help me understand the tradeoffs vs what we have now:

1) How does the Wave perform vs. Sunfish in lighter wind, like 5 - 7 MPH?
2) How does the Wave perform vs. Sunfish in the wind that is currently our sweet spot, 8 - 12 MPH?
3) It sounds like the Wave wave is more stable at higher wind speeds than the Sunfish, if we are comfortable in 10 - 12 MPH on the Sunfish, what would the equivalent be on the Wave?
4) Can we leave the Wave rigged on the water, presumably with some sail ties, without the rigging thrashing about and scratching up the boat? We only recently figured out how to secure the rudder to the boom to secure the rigging on our Sunfish, and it is a game-changer in terms of time to get sailing.

Any answers, suggestions, advice greatly appreciated! Main thing we want to is to have even move fun like this - my daughter sailing our Sunfish on Squam:

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2020 5:50 pm 
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Location: Webster NH
A Wave should blow away a Sunfish in pretty much any conditions. The wave is heavier but carries more sail area. I'd strike the sail when not sailing, but there's no reason you couldn't leave up the mast. Putting up the sail if the mast is up only takes a minute or so.

I trailer my Getaway to Winnepesaukee and have a blast! Wish I had a place to leave it at the lake...

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Bill P
Getaway
Webster NH


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2020 7:18 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2013 4:49 pm
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Location: Waterloo, ON, Canada.
Didn't sail Sunfish, but for my taste enjoyable sail on Hobie Wave starts at 12 MPH. If forecast predict less - I don't even bother to hitch trailer.

If below 12 MPH is prevailing wind speed for your lake, and if you usually don't sail alone - consider Hobie 16.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2020 5:27 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2012 10:08 am
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Location: Prince Edward Island, Canada
I can't make a comparison to a Sunfish but my observations on the Wave itself would be this.

-- That wind speed is very doable. You will probably need to practice tacking & jibing on a cat vs. a mono-hull before you feel comfortable with it. I constantly stalled my first cat before I learned to slow down the first part of my tack so the double hulls didn't act like a parking brake. Once you do it a few times though, it becomes second nature

-- The Wave is not as fast as it's fiberglass kin but the extra 'weight vs. sail size' also means that you generally have a lot more time to react to a bad situation. When you are playing in bigger winds or pushing it's limits, (except in rare circumstances,) the beginnings of the flip or a pitch pole will be slow enough that you have plenty of time time to react and avoid it. In normal winds, even a pitchpole seems to begin in slow motion. Except in stupid wind speeds, your family should feel very comfortable and stable on a Wave.

-- Solo is where the Wave shines for speed and flying a hull is a thrill you just can't describe until you experience it. Like any small boat, every extra person you add slows it down but it also adds stability. It's nice to be able to take an extra guest or two. 4 adults (pretty much its max.) make for a nice cruise but you will not go very fast. 2 average adults is actually pretty decent. Depending on total weight, you might not fly a hull (good or bad depending on your guest's thrill tolerance) but you can get some great speed in decent winds. An adult with a small kid or two can be really quit thrilling.

-- A Wave may or may not be a wetter boat at speed. I suspect it is. A sunfish doesn't have much of a cockpit either but the wave has zero and I suspect the bow shape of the sunfish deflects waves and "speed-splash" better, but I can't say for sure. All I can say for sure is that unless it's a low wind cruise, I tell my guests to wear cloths that are OK if they get wet. If I manage the sail to keep it slow, everybody stays dry but as soon as someone asks for some speed, the water will fly!

-- Waves can be harder to find to test drive. There are probably lots of 16s or similar boats around which you should try but I'd caution too much of a comparison. They are certainly similar in many ways but they sail quiet differently and the 16s can take a fair bit longer to rig and go. Closing my drain holes and raising the sail take about 3 minutes and I can drag the Wave to the water solo, with some effort. 16s have advantages too if speed in light winds and hanging from a trapeze is your desire. I truly wish I could have both boats!

Short version, sounds like a Wave would be a great boat for you. It seems to fit your current needs nicely and when the kids get older and seek even bigger thrills, you will be set to trade up to a 16.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2020 8:23 pm 
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For what it’s worth, I recently sold my Laser to make room for a Wave. I am on a 300 acre 2-mile long lake in PA, and winds average 9-12 on a good day, and even at that the wind can blow inconsistently. Despite these conditions I have an absolute blast on the Wave. I sail it 10x more than the laser, mainly because as another poster said it’s a snap to rig and go. I also wanted a boat that was durable and that I could take my wife, daughter or friends along. It’s super comfortable, no boom to clock your head, and can be taken apart and stored in the garage for the winter. Even in light winds I find myself outrunning the Sunfish on the lake. The Lasers are harder to beat speed wise, but for all the reasons above the Wave is the winner in my book.

Another poster indicated tacking can be a bit tricky. This is true, and you’ll find yourself in irons more than with the Sunfish. With a little experimentation I’ve found the trick to avoid stalling is to harden up as you initiate the tack. This flattens the sail and enables the wind to “push” the boat onto the opposite tack as you come around. Once tacked, let the sheet out a bit until you pick up speed. Trim accordingly.

As for finding one, I looked for a while up and down the east coast for a used one. Ended up driving to Vermont to get it. Hard to find them, and new ones even harder at moment, at least in the NJ/PA area. Interestingly, my boat started life at a marina in NH!


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2020 6:11 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:29 am
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Location: Webster NH
There's a Wave for sale in Wolfeboro on Facebook Marketplace.

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Bill P
Getaway
Webster NH


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2020 10:18 am 
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Joined: Sun Feb 02, 2014 1:35 pm
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How long would you leave the mast up? It is just a ball in a joint at the base and held up by the shrouds, it’s very loose. Leaving it up in the water all summer long In the water would beat it up. Leaving it up for a day would be fine, but noisy if wavy. Why not just pull it up on the beach/lawn, etc... very easy to do. And then the mast is fine. I live on a lake and the mast is up year round. I can be sailing in 5 minutes, max..

The sail is a piece of cake, no boom, so I just roll it up coming down. Super easy to rig and unrig.

The rudders can be popped up and they stay out of the water, so that’s easy too if you want to leave it in the water for the day.

Been a long time since I sailed a sunfish, but the wave has lots more room and more fun.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2020 2:44 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 7:02 pm
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Location: Rockford, IL
I have a Getaway, not a Wave, and a Sunfish.
Extrapolating down size a bit from the Getaway to the Wave...
1. The Wave will be a bit faster in light wind due to more sail area.
2. The Wave will blow away a Sunny in higher winds. And you'll find your sweet spot comes a bit higher. I begrudgingly take my Getaway out in 8 MPH winds, but prefer 12 -18.
3. You'll start getting scared at about 18-20 MPH winds, I expect. You can fly a hull in that breeze, which is fun after you've done it a few times. NOTE the Wave will be nowhere near as fast as the NACRA. My Getaway is nowhere near NACRA speed. (The Hobie 17 I used to have, was as fast or faster than a NACRA, but it loved high winds. It came alive at above 20 MPH winds. As I trapped off the wings!) But the Wave will always be faster than the Sunfish, sometimes MUCH faster.
4. Secure the mast from slapping and you'll be OK. If you can beach it, or put it on a lift, even better.

Keep your Sunfish too! They are a fun little boat. I love to take mine out in ridiculous blows and heel WAAAAYYY over until the rudder comes out of the water and the boats spins up into the wind! Makes me laugh like a loon every time.

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Yet another Bob!
"Firefly" - 2012 Hobie Getaway with wings and spinnaker
"Sparky" - 1978 Sunfish (OK, it's not a Hobie, but it's a fun little craft)
Too many canoes and kayaks


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2020 9:36 am 
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I sailed a Sunfish for years in a range of conditions on Lake Wallenpaupack in PA in winds from 5 to 20+ mph. It's a fun boat, but we've had a Wave for about six years now. It is a much more enjoyable (and faster) boat to sail in heavier winds though I tend not to go out if the wind is under 10 mph. It's fine; it's just more fun in heavier wind. The Wave fortunately is a bit under powered which makes it great in heavy wind! It's very fun and stable.

I would not keep it on the water. We have made PVC runways (16' long) for ours and keep it right on the beach with the sail on the tramp under the main sheet. It takes about 4-5 minutes from putting on the life jacket to being on the water.

I would recommend it highly so long as you can keep it on the beach. It would not do well on the water all summer.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2020 7:25 pm 
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Location: South Boardman, Mi
Try capsizing the sunfish. If you sail long enough eventually you will get turned over. It is best to practice righting in fair weather rather than an emergency. Sunfish can easily be righted solo by hanging off the dagger board. If you upgrade to a wave, flip that over as well.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2020 10:11 pm 
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I'm a good person to discuss. I had a sunfish and still have it. I learned on in in 2016 and decided I wanted a wave to upgrade my experience. I take it on lakes mostly.

Here's WHY i got the wave:
1) I wanted to sail with another person or two
2) I got sick of swinging boom
3) I wanted to learn a jib sail
4) It's more stable and won't flip as easy
5) I can sit in it not ON it
6) It's better in higher winds

So here's my comparison going from sunfish to it - especially before adding the jib..

1) Sunfish is better in VERY light winds. I found (until I added the jib) that tacking the Hobie or even going in very very light winds like 5-7mph is iffy as heck. My buddy took my sunfish out and i was on the wave and he got moving easier.
2) Sunfish "reaction time" is quicker - it puffs or changes and you have a few seconds to react or you are swimming!
3) Did I say no boom? No broken noses! lol
4) The wave HANDLES differently. Tacking on a cat is harder. Also the wave (unlike the sunfish) doesn't like going straight downwind. Reach the sunfish n go! Not so much on the wave unless you get a traveler (which I did) and it helps a lot.
5) I found adding a jib kit helps the tacking issue
6) It's more stable in high winds vs the sunfish. I was out in 15-20mph winds one day (not intentionally) and other than chop kicking up it wasn't that bad. I'd crap my pants on sunfish that much wind. lol
7) Downside - in low wind a small paddle is fine with sunfish to aid or get out of trouble. Paddling a wave is less fun....
8) Downside of wave - rigging takes longer. Sunfish is easy as heck. 15 min.

I'm sure there's more I missed but I think that's the key stuff.....


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2020 6:38 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 26, 2014 6:01 am
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Location: Orlando!
Catamarans are inherently more stable than monohulls and at over 200lbs i could stand on almost any part of a pontoon no problem.

the wave has a relatively small sail area relative to its width and mass which means its more forgiving (read; fun) in higher winds and a little slggish in light airs. Long after higher winds force the dinghys to come in, the Waves are still having a blast.

I wouldnt expect it to point or tack as well as the sunfish. Easy tacking tip: As you come through the wind and BEFORE you lose momentum, loose the sheet, grab the clew and backwind the heck out of the sail, it will force the bows to follow through. Also works great on the island series yaks.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2020 5:20 am 
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I was in the same situation, different lake (Great East Lake, NH/ME) and traded my Sunfish for a Wave this past July. First impressions... love my Wave. So much fun to sail and you can bring a friend without being a contortionist. I leave it moored, which is one of the reasons why I went with the Wave over a 14 or 16. Also, I wanted a well rounded boat for occasional speed and leisure. Flipped a 16 before and didn’t want the potential for that hassle again. For mooring I take in the sail. If I will be away for multiplr days, I take in the rudders, otherwise I leave fully rigged. With the sail off, I attach the ends of the halyard to the back of the trampoline to prevent from slapping against the mast. Looks a bit funny, but it’s quieter than the neighbors Sunfish. Tip: Hang on to both ends of the halyard or you may lose one and need to drop the mast to retrieve it :roll:

Very light wind is tough on both boats, but the Wave will get you where you need to go. Earlier posts have good insight on tacking. You will learn to ease the rudder through the turn without putting on the brakes.

Sailing in heavier wind is a blast. Can be wetter than a Sunfish as whitecaps splash up through the middle of the tramp. Buried the pontoon a couple times without flipping. It’s a forgiving boat.

I have two downsides, which may not apply to you:
1. I don’t have an easy place to launch my boat, so need to use the public boat ramp far away. Electric wires will prevent rigging at the ramp... next time.
2. Bringing the sail and rudders in (by peddle boat) can be a pain. Rigging is easy, but can be more challenging while moored. It’s not like a Sunfish where you can easily stand next to the boat and raise the sail.

Bottom line: Happy I made the switch. Loved the Sunfish for years, but it was time for a more comfortable boat. And the kids can easily sail it. All the envious Sunfish owners are a bonus :wink:


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