Dry Buoyancy Testing


If you own a self draining boat such as the MK II SD, Wayfarer World or MK IV then you will have to conduct a dry buoyancy test.  The procedure is illustrated on the Parkstone Wayfarer web site.

Wayfarer Dry Byouancy Test

The illustration above is of testing equipment as shown on the Parkstone Wayfarer web site.
Last Updated on Friday, 10 July 2009 15:53


Leaking centreboard case

Reproduced from “Wayfarer News” Autumn 1996…

I have this year returned to Wayfaring, having learnt dinghy sailing many years ago inCowes where they, of course, used Wayfarers in their fleet. I did own a GRP model a few years ago, but unfortunately had to part with it. Recent determined efforts have allowed the budget to stretch to an old woodie, No 263 (now known as Fantastic Fox II). I berth it at Rollesby Broad SC, and am currently trying to re-learn how to sail.

However, I was most interested in your sug gestion of a problem page. You see, the Fox leaks. Not a lot, about half a gallon per hour, and the source of the leak is around the centre-board case. The project for the winter, therefore, is to repair this, and I reckon I will have sufficient woodworking ability to carry this out myself. I would be more confident in my approach if I knew before I started, how the case is fixed into the hull, and I would appreciate any advice on this. I have been unable to find this information in the Wayfarer Book (2nd ed.) but would not have expected to.

I intend to cruise, but as Rollesby is a reservoir this might be a little restrictive, and other Wayfarers there are encouraging me to race. I might even change my mind, although I don’t expect to come first in the Fox!

I look forward to any comments. Peter Lock

I’ve experienced leaking Wayfarers too, usually when I’ve forgotten to close the balers, or sailed the boat so badly that the sea “leaks” over the gunwale. However the real leaks I’ve had have been around the centreboard bolt and the self balers, and have been easy to rectif’. In the case of the centreboard bolt the rubber washers need periodic replacement, and you should check that the nut hasn’t worked loose (a lock nut helps). In the case of the self balers the rubber seal between the baler and the hull became compressed on my boat and the fixing screws needed tightening. Of course the balers need to shut properly sd dirt and grit need cleaning out from time to time.

However it sounds as if the Fox has a more serious ailment. Apparently almost all early wooden Wayfarers leak around the centre- board case because the screws fixing it into the boat corrode away (yes, this includes stainless). There are basically two solutions – leave it in or take it out. If the problem is not too serious you could try an epoxy fillet applied to the joints, but the wood must be thoroughly dry first. However water is likely to still be seeping into the centreboard struc ture and possibly also into the end grain of the plywood forming the bottom of the boat. 

For this reason it is preferable to make a proper repair before more damage to the structure occurs. This involves removing the fixing screws (not easy – try using a really big brace & bit screwdriver), releasing the thwart (also not easy – but it does not actually have to come out of the boat), removing the case, cleaning and drying all suifaces and epoxying the case back in with new (bronze?) screws. The accompanying sketch illustrates this procedure.

Centreboard case fixing

It’s important to ensure that the shape of the boat is not altered when undertaking such major work. This will start happening if you cannot undo the screws and cut away the outer keel to gain access to their shanks, or if a new case is made and the curvature on the base is not identical to the original. Clearly only thoroughly competent people should attempt any of this. It is strongly recommended that you entrust such work to a licensed builder; or at least discuss it with one before you start.

Richard Readings, W1630 Obsession (with valued advice from Colin May and Roger Aps)

Last Updated on Saturday, 13 October 2007 22:26

Centreboard Checks


23 February 2007

Check that centreboard!

Reproduced from the Summer 1998 issue of “Wayfarer News”…

When did you last take the centreboard out of your Wayfarer, to give it a thorough check and perhaps even a coat of paint? Last winter? A few years ago, can’t quite remember when? Never? Don’t forget how important that piece of wood is, and it will be sure to break at the most inconvenient moment. Many are put off by the seemingly difficult task of extracting the thing, but it’s really not that difficult, as I eventually discovered. I used to turn the boat on its side, with the aid of a small army, so that I could lower the board and then remove it. Quentin Strauss tells me that you can pull a centre board out by going afloat – but you have to be quick! Then someone mentioned John Cadd’s trestle. John is one of our Parkstone Wayfarer stalwarts, sadly between boats as I write.

John’s trestle could be found in the dinghy park uplifting the bow of W8678, Dragon. However John (perhaps unknowingly) was always willing to loan the trestle for an hour or so. It fitted snugly under the transom of a Wayfarer sitting on its launching trolley.

The trolley could then be moved a few feet forward, allowing the centreboard tip to drop sufficiently to permit its removal upwards through the boat.

Refitting was the reverse of this procedure, although the problem then is to align the holes in board and case to allow the bolt to be replaced. Drawing lines on the board can help, if you can shine a light into the hole in the centreboard case. You can also realign the centreboard pivot hole with a piece of twine through all three holes before you drop the board down.

However I’ve found that returning the boat to its correct home on its trolley with the board back in the case helps to locate the board and makes finding the hole easier.

Richard Readings, W1630 Obsession

Last Updated on Saturday, 13 October 2007 22:30

Winter Maintenance


Wayfarer Winter Maintenance

The time is near at hand to put away your Wayfarer for the winter. This is your opportunity to do those jobs that you have been talking about all season and maybe some that have not crossed your mind yet. The following suggestions may help with the task ahead.


Wash out the mud you may find in the mast; check wires and ropes for damage. Redo those eye splices in the comfort of your own home – not in the wet/cold dinghy park.

Spinnaker halyards and pole adjustment ropes can be turned around so that the cleat positions on the rope vary.


Outhaul ropes inside the boom may have frayed: check rivets in the end castings – badly worn or broken castings can be replaced – also the sliders for kicker and main sheet. Why does the kicker slide on the boom at the wrong time?


Repair any holes and wash down. Store in a dry place. Renew those lost ties that do not hold the cover taut over the boat – loose covers collect water. If your cover flaps around the skirt, you could replace the aft drawstring with elastic.


Wash down with fresh water – don’t forget behind your ears – oops, sorry, floorboards! Salt water and mud hold dampness close to the boat and can cause rot or mark your boat heavily.

Wash all your control ropes in fresh water and dry them well (kindlier on the hands next year).

Release your catches on tank covers – it gives the seals time to recoup and also allows air to circulate all around the boat. Wash out all your fittings and see to those that do not work. Spares like springs can be obtained, so you may not need a new cleat. Sometimes grease and salt build up and force springs off their pegs – they just need to be cleaned and put back together.


Centre Boards and Rudder Blades

Take out the centreboards and rudder blades – check for damage and surface condition. They make up a large part of the total wetted area of the boat. The tips are the most vulnerable areas and are covered by rules! If you seem to loose a lot of tip every year, a brass or epoxy tip might help to reduce wear and tear to a minimum.

General condition

Paint and varnish protect your pride and joy – but only if they cover all of the boat. See to those bare areas where paint or varnish has been chipped off. By at least touching them in you can wet and dry them down to existing paint – even if you are going to paint the whole boat later.


A matter of convenience! If the boat must be outside it is best upside down and off the ground. This gives air a chance to circulate, and the rain no chance to gather. If you cover the upturned boat, do not let the cover touch the hull as a damp cover may dry out only into your hull.

If inside a garage (what are garages for anyway?) leave the boat upside down again with a low wattage bulb underneath. The heat will be contained inside and keep your hull dry. I don’t cook my boats – only when they have no paint on them and are very wet.


Clean with fresh water and dry. Take out all of the battens and check the pockets for wear and tear. Check all the sails for rips and loose stitching. Your local, or not so local, sailmaker can see to the bigger repairs.

On older jibs the luff wires may be starting to rust near the wires, so renew the wires. Older sails can be reworked on the leeches to remove that ruddering, and spinnaker tapes can be replaced to give your spinnaker a better shape – and another year of life.

Trailer and trollies

Your boat spends a lot of time on its trolley, so check that it supports your boat correctly. I like to see a boat with most of its weight taken on the strongest part of the boat – the keel. The side supports are really just to bear the boat laterally. Too much weight on the bilge keels can damage them and also tends to concave the hull panels. Plastic trolley wheels tend to wear around the metal axles and can collapse without notice. Replace them with new, and the older tyres and tubes can become spares. Paint any rusty parts – it’s cheaper than buying new.

Trailers enjoy lubrication – so give them some! The bearings, the wheel nuts – and a spot on the ball couplings does not go amiss. Check the tyres for wear, damage and tread depth. Lift the wheels off the ground and spin them. If you hear a metallic grumble, it could be that the bearings have gone west. The centre nut may be able to be tightened a small amount, but if this does not work, seek new bearings – or help.

Colin May, W9068 “Watery Moments” 

Colin is a UKWA Measurer and professional boat builder. He can be reached on 01202 476145 (mobile 07866 350462)