What is the Best Portable / Inflatable Sailboat? (How to choose the right portable / inflatable sailboat.)
What is the best portable / inflatable sailboat? This is actually a trick question. The answer of course depends on which boat is ideal for you and your needs. So the real title of this post should be - How to choose the right portable / inflatable sailboat for your needs - A buyers guide to choosing an inflatable sailboat. In order to answer this I want to break it down into sections.
This past year we added a new sailboat manufacturer to our line up of great boats; Grabner. Grabner is a company from Austria that has been in business making great boats since 1979. Today they make some very high quality Inflatable Catamaran sailboats and kayaks. While the sailboats are lesser known in North America they are very well known in Germany, but their inflatable kayaks are known all over the world and often written about in paddling magazines.
We carry the full line of Grabner products but are still in the process of listing everything to the web site so if there is a particular product or accessory you are interested in but do not see, please do not hesitate to contact us. You can shop for Grabner products in our online store by clicking HERE.
So now in addition to the ever popular MiniCat inflatable Catamarans we also offer SmartKat and Grabner Happy Cat's. We are your Canadian source for high quality portable sailboats and watersports gear.
Our contract with Grabner also allows us to supply boats to other countries including America where you can shop in Canadian dollars and take advantage of favorable exchange rates and be sales tax exempt.
There's few things more rewarding in my business than hearing about how satisfied a customer is and the joy they feel from getting back onto the water. Thank you Theo for the great message you just sent me and letting me use your words and images in the blog.
There are no words to describe the feeling! Especially since I've waited so long to be back at sea again! The boat is very fast and easily maneuverable, but I guess you already know that. ;)
As I said there are no words, so I'm sending you another e-mail with a link that will give you access to some photos and a small video which you can use as you wish. The sun was so bright that I could hardly see my phone's screen, but the result is not so bad after all, for the first time.
Anyway, I cannot thank you enough for your patience, your passion, your insights and for making all this a reality for me!
We believe the future of water sports is inflatable.
Inflatable boats are tougher than rigid boats like fiberglass and carbon and in the rare case that they do get damaged they are repaired in minutes with a patch and glue. Try that with those other materials. Now there are rigid boats made of plastic, which is much tougher, but also much heavier and impossible to repair. We don't dislike rigid boats ... we love all boats and they each have a specific purpose or use, but we LOVE inflatables.
Besides being super tough and durable, inflatables are easy to transport so you can load them into your truck and never worry about a trailer to tow them. Since there is no trailer you can sail them anywhere, not just places with a boat ramp. Assembly takes much less than an hour and disassembly is done in minutes. When comparing that with trailer loading and unloading and we would rather spend more time sailing and less time rigging.
Inflatable sailboats are very easy to sail by someone just learning, but experienced sailors can also push them hard. They are also many times lighter than rigid boats so you can right them without worry should you capsize which makes them great for kids and lighter sailors. They are also much more comfortable and you end up with less bruises than a solid hulled boat.
Mystic Point Water Sports was founded with a vision that sailing and other water sports should be accessible to all and inflatable sailboats help make that vision a reality. Over the years we have become known as Canada's best and in some cases only source for quality inflatables. We are your go to trusted source for accurate information to help you choose the right boat for your needs.
For many years we focused on MiniCat which has become the biggest selling Inflatable Catamaran sailboat in the world, but now we are please to bring you some of the other brands that are out there. So today we would like to introduce SmartKat. We are the only ones in Canada to offer you the SmartKat but that doesn't mean we can't provide one to our American and International friends. If you are not from Canada don't hesitate to reach out to us. For some reason, foreign orders are tax exempt and you get to shop in the ridiculously undervalued Canadian dollar. We aren't able to sell all our brands to foreign customers, but we can with SmartKat!
This boat was designed and engineered in Germany and is currently built in Austria. It features larger diameter hulls than a MiniCat so it sits a little higher off the water, but the trade off there is in a small increase in weight. SmartKats on average weigh roughly between 45 and 50 kg, MiniCats have alot of models which range from 25 to 58 kg, but the fairest comparison is probably with the 420 which weighs about 44 kg. The biggest take away here though is that both are light and easy to sail and easy to right.
SmartKats also come in 2 bags and the setup time is very similar to a MiniCat. The MiniCat, like most sailboats, uses a sail with an internal rope that feeds through a channel whereas the SmartKat mainsail wraps around the outside of a mast more like a windsurfer or an XCAT. All of which have jib furlers.
The SmartKat has a trapeze wire, same as the MiniCat, but they offer a tiller extension so the skipper can get out on the wire, whereas the MiniCat does not ... but you can DIY your own tiller extension on the MiniCat. Both are built exceptionally well and the quality and engineering that goes into them is noticeable from a mile away.
The most noticeable difference between the two is how they handle lateral resistance. SmartKat uses a retractable centerboard instead whereas MiniCats use fins on the hulls. Both of these result in faster turning and easier tacking than a rigid hulled boat like a Hobie where the entire length of the hull provides lateral resistance which can result in stalled tacks and be more difficult to tack for novice sailors.
It's hard to say which system is "better" between the MiniCat and SmartKat systems and i'm sure this is something that can be debated endlessly. Both turn easy and point well ... I would think the MiniCat can point a couple degrees higher and the SmartKat can turn microscopically faster but I will need to spend many enjoyable hours on the water testing both. One day I hope to also see which one sails faster but i can't see there being much difference either way.
The SmartKat is rated for higher wind. Their mainsail areas are 5.9 and 6.2 M squared depeding on the model whereas MiniCat 460 main sail has an area of 8.0 M Squared and a 420 has a 6.5 M squared area ... so higher wind rating also means smaller sail ... so you could argue that the MiniCat is better in lighter winds, especially the 460.
The MiniCat comes in 4 categories
The SmartKat comes in 3 categories:
Both brands offer lots of great accessories (we may not have them all up in our store at time of writing so please ask us if you don't see one you want).
Wow this will be a tough choice for anyone looking for a new boat! It's a good thing I don't think you can go wrong with either choice. I'd say choose the one that fits the wind range you most plan to sail in and is the appropriate size for you and what you want to do. And then let's get out there and race our boats!
I am just happy we can provide such great brands for such cool sports and help people to realize their sailing dreams. Now you can own a sailboat that fits in your condo closet! How cool is that? But I must warn you, wherever you go people will be asking you about your new inflatable sailboat. The attention it can draw comes with the territory I suppose.
Feel free to reach out with any questions you have about any of the brands we carry or sports we endorse. We are still building out some nice info pages on our website and working to add all the accessories to our store, but in the mean time you can shop for a SmartKat by clicking the button below.
Thanks for reading and I hope you all have a wonderful, safe and fun filled Canada Day Long Weekend (Independence Day to our US friends).
Thanks for reading and we would really appreciate if you like us on Facebook, Follow us on Instagram, Subscribe to our YouTube Channel and make your own tracks through fresh powder, perfect waves and crystal clear waters.
#SeasTheDay #StepIntoLiquid #FollowYourHeart and live #TheLifeAquatic
with your trusted source for gear and info #MysticPointWaterSports
It's that time of year again when MiniCat owners, dealers, friends and fans journey to beautiful Lake Como, Italy for a weekend regatta full of fun events, prizes and shenanigans. From June 29th to July 1st participants will sail this incredible place where people like George Clooney have bought a house. As usual the incomparable Laura Dekker will be there as well. We could not go this year but if you would ever like to go just contact us and we will try and get you a spot.
Our goal is to have enough MiniCat owners and sailors in Canada and North America to host our own events. Maybe the food will not be as good as that created by a chef in Italy but what's wrong with a little outdoor BBQ next to a beautiful Canadian Lake? And we are close to achieving this critical mass. Customers all across Canada and the U.S. are discovering the benefits of "the world's favorite portable sailboat."
Who needs a trailer, you can pack your cat in your trunk or stow it on the roof and take it anywhere. You can sail your cat anywhere too ... even lakes that do not allow motors or beaches that do not have boat ramps. In my opinion, going to the beach is about more than just sitting in the sun all day and drinking. It's about getting in the water and riding the wind and the waves and feeling that exhilaration that only comes from catamaran sailing. You can grab a boat and jump on board with your friends, family, dog or lover and have a great time .. or you can go it alone and feel the incredible satisfaction of being out there on your own.
We work hard and I can think if no better way to enjoy those precious few moments of summer away from the office than getting out on the water. We've lowered the prices on MiniCats to the lowest they have ever been and they will not go lower so now is the perfect time to take the plunge, figuratively and literally, and get yourself that personal portable sailboat you've been dreaming of. We've also moved away from having sales so you know the price you pay is the best and you will never have to stress wondering if there is a better deal around the corner. All sails and no sales is our motto.
We know it's a big purchase but this is something that will last forever and is basically free from here on in. Compare sailing to skiing -- the gear itself isn't cheap but then you need to travel to the hills and buy lift tickets and meals and more. Now compare this to sailing where you can sail for free and have a picnic on the beach ... what could be better than that.
And if you don't know how to sail, don't let that stop you ... we will show you how. We've trained with Ontario Sailing and have been teaching people to sail for years and it's a lot easier than you realize. MiniCat is also much easier to sail and maneuver than and big bulkie Hobie Catamarans.
July 1st is not just the event in Lake Como but also Canada Day ... wouldn't it be nice to take a MiniCat with you to this weekend?
Thanks for reading and have a safe long weekend everyone ... don't drinbk and boat and always wear a life jacket. Until next time remember to:
#SeasTheDay #StepIntoLiquid #FollowYourHeart and #LiveTheLifeAquatic
with your trusted source for gear and info #MysticPointWaterSports
Spring is here and its time to start up the blog again and take advantage of the great weather we have been having. I love this shot from a super high wind session the other day at a sailing instructors clinic with colleague Alex Byczko. Capsizing is a part of the fun of extreme dinghy sailing just make sure you have the right gear on and layer up. Message us if you have any questions about what gear to wear to be safe and have fun on the water and be sure to follow the Alex, the big cheese of sailing, on Instagram ... he has some absolutely stunning photos that really show what sailing is all about.
We just received the following customer review of his new XCAT sailboat with Row Vista and I wanted to share this and say Thank you for the kind words. Also below is a quick video clip of his XCAT on the St.Lawrence... Looks like September is the new July so at this rate we should be sailing into October and with wait times for a new boat at an all time low, now is a perfect time to get you a new sailboat that you can sail into fall and be ready as soon as the ice clears in the spring...
XCAT arrived home in 4 boxes. Everything was installed correctly including sails, rudder, net and rowing accessories in 2 and half hours. Of course I had to read the instructions and watch the videos during the first assembly. But was not really difficult. Moving the XCAT on the provided wheels up and down the lake was easily done single handed.
I tried the RowVista first. It is really fast, smooth and enjoyable. Very entertaining workout. The forward movement is a great and unique feature of this boat. When my daughter was rowing, other boaters were surprised how easy and fast this thing goes!
With my limited sailing experience I was able to take full control for over 20 hours of sailing single handed. It goes really fast and easy. Tacking by moving your weight forward using the amazingly designed automatic rudder is extraordinary. With a crew of 2 we hiked, we jibed and it was fun. So far, I sailed it in wind speeds 5-11 knots. I felt very safe. Hoping with some training, I will get the courage to try the 15 knots sailing. I sailed the XCAT with a friend of mine who is an experienced sailor and he was amazed with the boat quality, light weight and the simplicity of assembly-disassembly procedure. I also see the boat brings attention from other boaters with lots of thumbs up. One has to say that there has been a lot of engineering in this boat.
I have to tell that switching gears between sailing and rowing rigs takes less than 10 min. I was sailing at the same time with someone who has a Minicat and it is clear that the Xcat is faster. But what is more important is that when the wind died, he headed back home and I went to switch gears to rowing and continued the fun during a beautiful sunny day.
Only one con, the left oar's latch opens sometimes spontaneously during rowing making the oar loose. I contacted the dealer and sent some pictures to get an advice. He immediately contacted the manufacturer and they sent me a replacement part right to my door.
Overall I am totally satisfied with this high quality boat and highly recommend it to others. I am planing to store the hulls on hangers in the garage during the winter. The dealer is also is very supportive and responsible. He responds to emails almost immediately. He is honest and highly professional.
We are excited to be at the show this year in its 27th amazing year and can't wait to show off what we have, provided all of our demos have not been sold by then... To learn more about the show and get specific info such as hours, directions and prices, click HERE.
We haven't had a chance to update our product list in a while but we wanted to officially let everyone know that we carry Torqeedo. Torqeedo makes the best electric boat motors in the world. Designed and built in Germany they have famously revolutionized the world of boating like Elon Musk and Tesla have revolutionized the automobile.
If you've ever been stuck when the wind dies, or you've had a calamity like a shroud breaking and a dismasting, then you know as small paddle isn't going to be much help, especially if the wind is blowing hard. While it is the law to carry a paddle, the sad fact is they are not very adequate to propel you back to shore. What all sailors should have is a back up motor.
If you enjoy training in heavy winds and you dont have a support boat then you can be in serious trouble if something should go wrong. Every sailor has at least one nightmare story in their archive and I am no different. All of our catamarans come with optional motor mounts and I highly recommend a backup motor. They will not interfere with your sailing enjoyment and provide a critical backup safety system. And when there is no wind you can still enjoy being on the water.
Torqeedo is an amazing product that has revolutionized boating. Gone are days of the smell, noise and hassle of gas fumes and pulling a cord to start a motor. We welcome this new era in aquatic and proud to be one of the few places to get Torqeedo in Canada. Stay tuned as we update product listings but in the meantime do not hesitate to contact us for your Torqeedo needs.