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Hobie Wave or Nacra 430?


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Guys, a little torn...mostly around the price difference. The wave is a good chunk cheaper...it would be a lot of fun I am sure, but I like the dynamic options of the 430 - as the kids get older this will give them a great shot at participating. I also love the fact that it is built in Oz. By the way, I am a recreational sailor. So thoughts on the options:-

Option 1: buy the N-430 and forget about the price. It is a great boat for the cost don't get me wrong...just a big spend for me.

Option 2: buy the H-wave. Having sailed it, it is a lot of fun on a windy day.

Option 3: buy the H-wave, introduce the kids to sailing then up-size down the track (2-5 years).

I am thinking the racing community would provide a better re-sale market for the Nacra than the H-wave which is also a consideration.


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A couple of kids, maybe 12-14 years old, sailed a Hobie Wave at last year's Batemans Bay Regatta. Because it was by far the slowest boat in the fleet, they bobbed along behind everyone else all weekend. They looked like they enjoyed it OK, and did alright on yardstick.

The 430 is properly quick 14' racing boats, especially when it gets the kite up. I've only seen experienced adults on it, but as it has a jib it would at least give a crew something to hand onto. Like any cat, it should be easy enough for a beginner to sail; the challenge is developing sail trim and boat handling skills for racing.

I've not sailed either, but would evaluate them:

Hobie Wave, good points: durable construction and mast float makes them good for beginners. Cheaper

Bad points: slow, the contoured deck tends to make people sit too far back, which is even slower. Only 1 sail, so not great for 2 people. Short nose and narrow width look dodgy for flying the hull; likely to cartwheel.

Nacra 430: good points: fast, 14' long so supports adult/2 up weight better. Jib for crew to hang on to, and spinnaker to play with if they get ambitious. More racing boat than clumsy toy.

Bad points: price, seem a bit technical so less suitable for beginners. Make take longer to rig up

Either way, great to read of you considering buying a new cat! While you say you are a recreational sailor, would still encourage you to join and sail with a club. The benefits include personal insurance, a rescue boat on hand, and other sailors to socialise with and learn from. Good luck with it!

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The resale on a wave would be almost zero, the new price of the 430 is steep if you are not racing, another option is good 2nd hand 14 or 16 sloop rigged, Hobie, Windy, or Mari, all are tough and good performers with good spares availability. Good, sloop rigged 14s start from $1500/2000 and Hobie 16 $4k up for later models. All will be found racing at local clubs. My clubs, (Toukley and Mannering Park) always have members selling to step up.

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Have owned a Nacra430 for over two years and would thoroughly recommend it. Great boat, fast, forgiving and easy to manage. I have great fun on mine. I race it one up every weekend all year round. Every race is a new challenge.

Briscat are also very supportive. Suggest you talk to Briscat, visit to a local club and try one out.

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Great advice. Thanks everyone. The H-wave is a bit slim on good points isn't it.

Finding a good recreational boat for me, the kids and some friends is quite a challenge at a good price I have to say. The thought of bobbing around on a single hull dinghy fills me with dread (no offence meant). Having sailed a number of H-16's - I wouldn't feel comfortable taking my kids on board at this point of their life...and rigging on my own (whilst watching the kids) could be a potential issue. Every H-14 I have looked at, is older than my grandad.

Mferguson: Over 2 years, surely time for a new craft for you :)

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In my opinion go for a good second hand Windrush or Maricat.

The Hobie Waves are 'hire boats".

The 430 is heavier and no faster or better than the 40 year old Windi or Maricat designs.....except with the kite.

But like Tony I have not sailed either.

There are lots of windy and maris at local clubs to get advise and competition.

At most there is one or two 430's at the regattas, let alone at clubs.

You can rig and sail a windi/mari by your self or with a crew.

You could buy 6 good windies/maris for the price of a new 430.............

Old Maricats/Windrush $1000.

Good ready to Race Mk 2 Maricat $2000

Good Foam Sandwich Maricat $7000

New 430 $12000 ??

Hobie Wave ???

You can buy a new Windy and in theory you can buy a new Maricat too.

The Brisbane Cat Centre can sell you a new Maricat as well as a 430.

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Mferguson - that could work a treat. Given the solid advice of our fellows on this forum, I am seriously looking at a 2nd hand Windy 14 and so upgrading to a 430 in a year or so is a good option. I am based in Melbourne and also notice you sail on Lysterfield. I will be sure to come down for a sail with the kids as soon as I sort a craft. Happy to exchange details?

To everyone else, thank you. Incredibly helpful insights.

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No problem. Wander over to Lysterfield on Saturday if you like. I am helping out with the sailing school in the morning and then racing in the afternoon.

I will be there around 9.30am with my boat. You are welcome to have a look and if I get time may be able to take you out on it.



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