A baby Wildling?

One thing I have found when teaching our kids to sail aboard large cruising multihulls, is that things can be pretty intimidating and confusing. They do learn the maneuvers real well, but because everything is so big (massive sails, huge winches, lines everywhere) and we rely so much on instruments, they don’t feel the same connection to the sails and the wind as you do on a little boat.

Things can be a bit intimidating for a small person on a big boat!

Things can be a bit intimidating for a small person on a big boat!

Where the heck is the mainsheet on this thing?

Where the heck is the mainsheet on this thing?

I have been thinking for a while about getting a dinghy that we can sail on our home waters at Moreton Bay, Queensland so when Lindsay was selected to join the Ormiston College sailing team, it was the perfect excuse to buy a boat for her to train on.

After a lot of research, I decided to buy a WETA trimaran for us to sail together for fun, and for Lindsay to train on. The thing I like about the Weta, is that it’s a multihull (of course) and it has pretty much the exact same sailplan as Wildling, with a main, jib, and roller furling gennaker. The only thing missing is the mainsheet traveler, and there are no reefing lines, but other than that, it’s essentially the same as Wildling. So the skills Lindsay learns on the Weta, will translate directly to sailing Wildling.

It may not look like it, but this little trimaran has almost the exact same sailplan as Wildling, just in a tiny 4.5 meter long boat. She has the same top speed as Wildling also (about 20 knots)!

The Weta trimaran has almost the exact same sailplan as Wildling, but in a tiny 4.5 meter long boat

The Weta was designed in New Zealand by a father and son dinghy racing team, and they have sold about 1,100 boats worldwide. The boat has a main, jib and furling gennaker, and the outrigger floats make it very stable and easy to sail, while still being fast and fun.

Our new Weta trimaran rigged for the first time

Our new Weta trimaran rigged for the first time.

Lindsay and I getting ready to launch

Lindsay and I getting ready to launch

Maiden voyage!

Maiden voyage!

Since our Weta arrived, we have taken her out sailing every few days, and Robin and I have gone out together while Lindsay is training on her sailing team boats. It’s fun to get back to basics and set the sails based on the feel of the wind on your face, and getting sprayed as we skim over the waves! Of course there’s no glass of wine in the Wildling cockpit at the end of the day, but a beer in the yacht club when we’re done is a pretty close second!

8 Comments on “A baby Wildling?

    • We call her Sauvagette, because Wildling in French is Sauvageonne, but she’s just a baby, so she’s Sauvagette 🙂

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  1. Hi,
    très mignon le nom !!!
    Regarding the size of the boat, did you ever try sailing Wildlind solo ? (the big one, not ‘la Sauvagette’…)

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  2. Merci Jean!

    I’ve sailed Wildling solo a few times now, it’s pretty easy to do. Tacking and gybing is no trouble solo. Handling the gennaker is possible, but easier with two people. Reefing can be done solo, but it takes a bit longer. I know other 5X owners that sail solo from time to time as well. I would never undertake a voyage solo though, and in any case our insurance doesn’t cover it!

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    • I really wish I could, but it’s too big and heavy to take on a boat. I would love a wind related toy to use at anchor, but we haven’t found a good solution yet. One option might be a SUP with a sail attachment, but since I have never figured out how to windsurf that might be a bit of a stretch. Maybe I need to learn to kiteboard!

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      • I think you should try! They only weigh 250 lbs all in, and you could assemble on tramp and float with spin halyard…

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