Riding the Waves

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We love catamarans for riding the waves.  You can find various sailing options at many island and ocean side destinations.  Here are some points to consider when weighing your options.

The first question is what type of sail you want.  Sunset sails with champagne are a more sedate, romantic outing.  Catamaran sails to snorkeling sites combines two popular water activities.  We prefer the “Tradewinds Sail”.  Typically these are about an hour and a half and if you like a high octane adventure as we do, opt for a breezy day.

On Waikiki there are 2 catamarans side by side on the beach.  We did the same Tradewinds sail on each and found some interesting differences.

On the Waikiki Rigger the ladder used to load and unload the catamaran is at the side and is tied off at the front left (port bow) as you sail.  The “railing” around the boat is actually just a safety line not intended to be used for holding on for extended periods.  This boat wants guests seated and encourages sitting on the large net areas up front or on the benches in back if you’d rather not get drenched.

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Notice the ladder ties up at the front and the railing is only solid in this area which is blocked from guest use during sailings. The rest of the “railing” is just the safety line which is an enforced rope not intended for holding on except in emergency situations.

We like to ride standing up as close to the front as possible.  I find the nets to be uncomfortable because you have to sit with no back support and your legs straight out in front of you.  The net also leaves a deep impression pattern in your skin.  We stood as we like to do and found it difficult to hold on because the safety line cut into our hands as the boat pitched in the waves.

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The other catamaran is the MaiTai.  This is our favorite boat for several reasons.  The crew seems more professional, the ride was less expensive ($28 vs. $30) and the boat is a better design for maximum adventure.  My goal is to point out those design differences so you can evaluate catamarans before you get on board.

The MaiTai ladder is in the CENTER.   This leaves both points of the boat open for maximum adventure.   They also offer ample bench seating with waterproof storage areas for what you bring on board (sandals, towels, beach tote).  If you don’t want to get wet, this is the place for you.

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The ladder here is in the center leaving the entire front points open for guests to enjoy during a sail. The railings are solid and provide a great handhold when underway.

However, if you want to ride the waves, grab a spot along the rail and hold on.  Yes, the MaiTai has a solid handrail all around the boat giving you a secure and comfortable hold in the waves.  If this appeals to you, take a close look at the railings before choosing your sail option.

We look for solid railings and unobstructed front points for our catamaran adventures whether on Waikiki or any other destination.  Booking on line, zoom in on the photos of the boat to look for both ladder placement and railing type before you click “book it” and enjoy the ride!

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