The breeze was piping up off Annapolis, and the Hobie Getaway was next on our list. I couldnt wait. My wife Becky and I sailed the boats baby sister–The Wave–down in the BVIs, and I knew that if it was anything like that boat, I wouldnt be disappointed. I yelled over to fellow judge Carl Shumacher, who hasnt done much cat sailing, “Are you ready? You may need your life jacket!” Before he knew it, we were two blocked on the main and flying upwind. About two minutes into the test, I noticed a smile on Carls face and asked him what he thought. He responded: “This thing really moves!”
As we sailed into larger waves off of Bay Ridge, I was pleased to find that the Getaway didnt want to hobbyhorse like some cats but began to rip through the waves. Occasionally, a wave would slap under the forward/leeward section of the tramp and slow us down, but we could get her back on pace quickly. The boat has a nice groove in the uphill mode that any sailor whose skill level is intermediate or above will be able to find easily. Id recommend getting the wing seat option when buying the Getaway to give you the needed leverage to sail her fast. You can buy the “Getaway” without the optional trapeze, but if you do go with it, you might think about adding some windsurfer-style foot straps on the wing to keep the crew from flying around the headstay in the event of sudden deceleration.
Soon it was time to switch drivers, not a problem while underway because of the wings. I dropped the extension behind my back and Carl slid aft on the wing as I slid in front of him on the tramp–an easy enough maneuver. I trimmed the jib in tight and then saw the sheet tail all the way down below the mast on the forward beam. It took a bit of pace off to go down and grab the sheet but it was worth it; I was able to use the sheet to hike her down a bit and it helped keep me from falling over the side. Another good place to add a foot or hiking strap would be on each hull where the crew is located. The driver really doesnt need foot support because of the control gained by holding the main sheet and tiller extension.
We were cracked off for a little while, really starting to fly, when we noticed the wave pattern getting a bit tricky, and before we could even process that information, Carl and I buried the leeward hull up to the forward beam and presented our photographer with a Doctor Crash moment–tumbling into a 3/4 pitch pole and 1/4 capsize. We usually try to do a flip test in the smaller boats but hadnt planned one for the cats.
I remembered observing the anti-turtle ball at the top of the rig during the land test and wondering how well it worked. The answer is: very well! The boat flipped, but stopped flipping when the ball hit the water. However, I didnt. I landed up by the middle of the mast on the mainsail. It took both of us to get her back over but was a lot easier than I thought it would be. All we had to do was lean back on the righting lines that lead under the tramp and we were back in action. I wouldve enjoyed sailing the Getaway for a couple more hours, but we had to let the other judges have a turn. Bummer.
As Carl noted in an e-mail to me shortly after our judging adventure: “This boat is a kick to sail, fast sailing at its simplest.” I couldnt agree more. Not only a fun boat to sail, the Getaway is loaded with sensible features; I noticed cooler/storage compartments in both hulls. These compartments would be ideal for a full day out on the racecourse or cruising out to Becky and my favorite spot on Narragansett Bay, Dutch Island. I imagined beaching it on the north end in the lee of the southwesterly breeze. The durable roto-molded hulls with built-in keels would take most any abuse we or anybody else could hand out.
The ease of use and stability that the Hobie Getaway provides makes this boat one of our top choices for 2002. We recommend purchasing the optional wing seats, which ups the price from $5595 to $6390.00, but is well worth the extra dollars. Some recommendations: Add a couple more purchases to the cunningham and lead the jib sheets to the windward side–either shock-corded off to the wings or attached to the trapeze wires. The beauty of the Hobie Getaway is in its simplicity, so dont get too crazy.
This boat would make great family day sailor or local club racer and is fairly versatile for all levels. Ive already checked with the Bitter End YC in Virgin Gorda; they have some waiting on the beach for our next Caribbean vacation.
DSPL 250 lbs.
Sail Area 180 sq. ft.
Carrying Cap. 900 lbs.