I love how light weight it is and that it can be maneuvered around the beach on a dolly with just one person. It’s as minimalist as it gets!

Off Duty, Hobies 16′

Interview with the Captain – Nathan Bruneau

About the boat

Why did you choose to buy this particular boat and what else did you consider?
It was a little bit of fate. I would see the Hobies sailing off of Siesta Key and I wanted to make friends and get out. Then, I learned of one for sale by the widow of the previous captain.

What boats have you previously owned?
This is my first boat ever, at the age of 36.

What are the features you like most about your boat?
I love how light weight it is and that it can be maneuvered around the beach on a dolly with just one person. It’s as minimalist as it gets!

What features/improvements have you added or do you plan to add?
I have basically just worked on the boat to get everything up to par. It’s 33 years old, so maintenance is to be expected! 

Where have you traveled with your boat?/what do you have planned?
Being that there is no cabin and just a trampoline, I don’t plan to go far. So far, I have gone to the north end or Longboat Key. I would like to make a day of key hopping, as there are several north and south of my location.

Do you belong to a yacht club/marina or other boating organizations?
Sort of. My boat is on the north end of Siesta Key along with about 20 other catamarans. About half are operable. We fit in a grey area of the county’s grace to do so. Catamarans have been on the mean high tide part of beach for 25 years or so. The tradition continues for now.

What is the biggest challenge you have in servicing your boat?
Being that it is stored on the beach, I have to take the parts and tools to it. Hobies were popular in the 80’s, so information can be hard to dig up.

Who first introduced you to boating?
My father, when I was 14 he had a Prindle Catamaran. He would have me out on the trapeze while we “fly the hull” in some pretty big swell. Flipping it was a lot of fun!

Do you have any advice for those looking to buy a boat like yours?
Examining the hulls for soft spots is the most crucial part. Everything else can be replaced and repaired.

What’s the story behind the boat’s name?
My coworker helped me name it while working on it, we’re lifeguards. Lifeguard Off Duty was his idea and I liked it.

Any recent boating-related purchase you’ve been enjoying (e.g. product/tool/equipment etc)?
I am looking for a harness. For now, I am using arm strength to hike out.

Do you have any other notable resources you use (apps, devices, etc)?
A friend in the Hobie community introduced me to Relive. It tracks your route and speed with GPS. When finished it makes a little video about your venture.

Click the gallery below for more photos and information about Off Duty!