The Bongo – will make you a better sailor

Sailing the Bongo by Onne van der Wal
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No it’s not a drum. It’s a 14foot keel boat that will not capsize like a normal dinghy. It’s great not only for the kids to learn to sail, but also for anyone to improve their sailing without taking the big boat out, or practising while the rest of the crew look on.

The idea is the brainwave of Paul Cronin, Naval architect and Olympic training coach, who started manufacturing the boat two years ago. It has been so successful that they have 10 boats in the local class races these days in Rhode Island, USA.

According to Paul, the boat is excellent for learning all aspects of rig tune, jib trim, main trim, A-sail trim, weight movement, steering and sailing faster with more control.
‘The key,’ says Paul, ‘is that the Bongo makes the connection between the accelerating thrill of high speed small boats and the control and authority of keelboats. The bulb keel gives you the ability to push hard and still have a safe recovery while you learn. You will never age out of the Bongo.’

Just blast around and have fun
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It is sailing wisdom that the best keel boat sailors have been through the process of being good dinghy sailors. If you missed out on that chance, maybe this is the way to get that kind of experience without spending all of Saturday morning dripping wet. The Bongo gives the big boat sailor a chance to sail a high performance dinghy that is very modern, technical, and fast while not tipping over.

Of course you don’t HAVE to approach the Bongo as just a training sailboat. As Paul says, ‘Just blast around and have fun!’

It’s US$14,000 and available directly in the US, Canada and parts of Europe – Switzerland, Germany and Austria, or they will ship anywhere in the world if there’s an interest. Bongo Europe is still proactively looking for
distributors in Europe, especially in Italy and the UK.

Recently, the Bongo was exhibited at Boot 2006 in Duesseldorf, Germany
and Boot 2006 in Tulln near Vienna, Austria. The company plans to be at
Interboot 2006 in Friedrichsafen, Germany, Boat Show 2006 in Paris,
and Boot 2007 in Duesseldorf, Germany again. You certainly haven't heard the last of Bongo!

For more information, go to the Bongo website

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