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.
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.
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.
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!