My concern is what happens in capsize. Reading accounts of such wayfarer episodes exhaustion and hypothermia quickly set in if not able to recover capsize in first or second attempt.
Back to the serious stuff. A Wayfarer with full racing rig and powerful genoa is a very challenging boat, as I discovered when Kathy and I switched to the class (I addressed this problem by persuading my 6′ 2″ 32 year old RAF sergeant son to start crewing for me in racing events, but we still have had plenty of capsizing practice). However, the Wayfarer is a completely different beast with a storm jib and one or two reefs in the main – and, as everyone says, the perfect cruising boat.
Although Frank Dye would be turning in his grave I also think that the EU have got it right by classifying the Wayfarer as Category C suitable for inshore waters and winds up to Force 6. Remember that Force 6 is described as a small boat’s gale.
So by avoiding going out when there is a six in the inshore weather forecast, and reducing sail in anything above Force 3 you should be pretty safe.
If you do go in, it would be very handy to set off a flare to attract attention, but that can’t be easy unless you keep a flare in your pocket. Any thoughts on that out there?