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  • #4328
    revoli
    Member

    I have a plan. It’s not complete and I would like some help to complete it. I have been laid up for over a year with a heart complaint, thankfully it is recoverable but it does require a certain amount of reinvention of myself particularly in the outdoor pursuits department as my staple diet of long cross country mountain bike rides, running, swimming, tennis and anything that requires stupid levels of exertion are not really realistic. Sailing however is in the art of the possible and I have been planning this now for many months. So far I have managed to sail my Wayfarer in the local pond and am picking up the basics of dinghy handling and establishing my limits. By next spring I hope to be able to move to the next stage of dinghy cruising. This relies on a) my health – well if you have any answers on this one let me know b) my sailing skills – I can get the inshore experience but I need a plan to transition and get me ready for offshore c) my Wayfarer and the necessary prep here – there is a long dark winter ahead which I intend to make use of.

    So far I have got to a point where I can reef fairly confidently afloat (albeit calm inland waters) and have basic oars, anchors, satnav, and a stack of OS maps.

    My medium term objective is to cruise South Coast area – I love area around Swannage and this looks a reasonable starting point.

    What advice would members give on:

    Safety kit, Inc comms, mast buoyancy, etc before venturing to sea
    Good way to start – I probably need some experienced hands in wayfarers to get me going, how best to find. I do not particularly want to turn up somewhere and hold up a bigger group
    Comfort – as always one could spend a fortune on clothing and get it wrong. Given wet launching a must what is perceived wisdom for feet and legs whilst cruising
    Knowledge – whilst I understand tides, winds, currents at a superficial level from windsurfing, surfing and the like how best build my knowledge of the sea – I could do the RYA courses for day skipper, or at least the theory bit?

    Like the idea of tent longer term…

    I want to maximise sailing time, minimise faffing but do so in a controlled manner so a sensible way to get on the water next spring is sought. Loads of questions and probably no right answers but advice on how to build towards my goals sought.

    #10154

    Dear Revoli
    Here are some random thoughts to start the discussion:
    1. Day skipper course is well worth doing, or just read the RYA book of the same name
    2. Also do the Radio Certificate course and buy a handheld VHF radio
    3. Buy a pack of flares for use in Inland Waters
    4. Buy yourself some charts of the South Coast Area rather than working with OS maps
    5. Consider starting your sailing in Poole Harbour, which is halfway between inland and open water (and a good day sail to Swanage). There is public launching at Baiter
    6. Buy a second hand Enterprise (or similar) jib to act as storm jib.

    Best wishes
    Steve

    #10155
    Mark Foreman
    Participant

    Hi Revoli,

    I strongly recommend joining in some of the cruising activities organised by UKWA members. Since getting Red Fox last September, I have attended the Calshot meeting for Cruising for Beginners and taken our family of 5 to the Ullswater Family Gathering. At both of these events there were a range of sailors with widely varying levels of experience and more importantly, space in boats. If you do not have the confidence or experience to keep up in your own boat then, most likely, others will be more than willing to take you aboard – though it makes sense to discuss your needs with the event organiser before signing up! For us, it has been a great way to build up experience and we feel we are making fast progress because valuable knowledge is so freely shared. The best part is that we are finding Wayfarer sailors to be incredibly friendly, open and sociable people. Most sail in pairs or small fleets, I guess as much for the company as for the added security it gives when there is no safety boat.

    Just one last bit of advice. Don’t overdo the socials – I still haven’t fully recovered from my Ullswater hangover…

    Hope you enjoy the new chapter as much as we are.

    #10156

    @revoli wrote:

    Comfort – as always one could spend a fortune on clothing and get it wrong. Given wet launching a must what is perceived wisdom for feet and legs whilst cruising

    I am very happy with my ‘Crocs’ and Craghoppers trousers. The advantage of Crocs is that the water drains out and the air can get to your feet. Ditto the trousers – although not waterproof they also dry very quickly. I find that I can be dry and comfortable within half an hour of launching and without a change of clothing. Mind you, it’s nice to have a pair of warm boots in the boat to change into later.

    Steve

    #10157
    revoli
    Member

    Thanks all

    Steve – very useful and just what I need. I now am in process of obtaining the RYA material for reading in the dark months ahead! I have just been reading everything I can on inversions and masthead buoyancy. It seems to me VHF radio in a pocket is a must. Secondly adequate masthead bouyancy – I currently just tie large plastic bottles to the main halyard – I really do not care what it looks like I reckon it will do for paddling around on my local pond and until I am convinced about other very expensive technical solutions will stay. Flares – adding to shopping list. I will look to find some like minded Wayfarers in Poole harbour. As to storm jib I inherited one with boat – yet to try it.

    Mark – Cruising for beginners sounds just the job. Where do I find more info.

    Steve – My current gear is capable of handling full mountain storms and is not dissimilar. 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. Drysuit would be ideal here but would I wear it for a normal cruise and apparently once damaged not much use. A wetsuit out of water is not pleasant after an hour or two. I am not sure there is an easy answer. Wool seems to be the best bet protected by quality waterproofs and is my staple kit anyway. Fleece is great where generating own body heat in moderate temperatures but just does not cut it in extreme conditions. Feet I agree Crocs or similar (I have Vibram Five Fingers which are superb for anything if a tad pricey). As weather turns cooler I suspect something else may re required…

    I got caught out in a viscous late summer squall yesterday lasting a couple of minutes on local puddle and quickly found what I had deemed over the top clothing was only just sufficient whilst my young crew learnt a harsh lesson about listening to advice about donning windproofs even thoughK it started as a beautiful sunny day. By such incidents wisdom is accrued!

    On a different tack what is the view about centre mainsheet (as I have) for cruising. I have read of difficulties in this restricting cross boat movement for crew in tacks?

    Regards

    #10158
    tempest51
    Member

    Good luck with your new sport Revoli.

    You sound like you achieved high standards with your previous pastimes and I’m sure you’ll agree that common sense played a massive part in keeping you safe as well as having a plan B in case of weather surprises. I believe that the same applies to sailing, you really can sail without capsizing and it’s not a pre-requisite. The secret is to learn in stages, read as much as you can, but practice is the key. If you do capsize make sure it’s on a lake or river, understand why it happened, and at the same time learn how to get her upright and going again. I would definitely get the best instuctor you can afford, as it will be a quicker learning process and therefore cheaper. But do sail at every opportunity to gain confidence in your sailing ability and to discover what a safe little boat the Wayfarer is. There are reefing systems galore that you can use, so you never need be over-powered. Don’t read too much Frank Dye just yet or you’ll never go out! Remember to always have a plan B for when you go out.

    #10160
    Mark Foreman
    Participant

    The event was listed on this site, so watch out when the new calendar is produced for next year and then get in touch with the organiser. We practised capsizing recently at Ullswater – it’s suitably deep. If we tried it in our local (tidal) river it would probably cost us a mast. My recollection of windsurfing at Poole Harbour a few years ago is that it too is quite shallow?

    #10164
    admin
    Member

    Having just returned from a blustery day sailing from Warsash to Beaulieu and back (F4 with gusts), I am totally satisfied with my recent purchase of a drysuit for cruising at sea. It’s not just that it protects you from the bucketfuls of spray that come over the foredeck, which will chill you down as it evaporates, it is the mental reassurance that, if things do go a bit wrong, exposure and hypothermia will not be your major concern and you can get on with righting the boat.

    At our destination, the Royal Southampton Yacht Club Gins Lane (thanks chaps!), I was able to take the drysuits off and be reasonably civilised in the tee shirt and thin trousers I was wearing underneath, not easy to do that with a wet-suit. In fact I was thinking if I wore a jacket and tie under the dry-suit they might let me into their smart restaurant next time, James Bond style.

    I would add an outboard to yoru shopping list , ‘cos sometimes the tide is just too foul. I have an old two-stroke that, I am told, I can just flush out and start after it has been dunked in the water (not tried that, not keen to find out). My last essential piece of kit would be a VHF, just for the mental reassurance that you can call for help if you cannot get the boat back up again.

    Plan for the worst and hope for the best. Always sail in company, preferably with people who know the area and are sufficiently good that they could help you if you if you fall into difficulties

    Where are you based?

    Mike

    #10167

    @Mark Foreman wrote:

    My recollection of windsurfing at Poole Harbour a few years ago is that it too is quite shallow?

    Poole Harbour is definitely not the place to practice capsizing. Kathy and I capsized in the middle of the harbour many years ago and I sent her round to other side of the boat to collect the jib sheet. She dutifully swam around, threw the jib sheet over, then swam back, only to realise that I had been standing on the bottom all the time!

    #10169
    Colin Parkstone
    Participant

    The ferry that uses the main channel in Poole Harbour is 150mts long and has a gross tonnage of over 20,000 tonnes.
    Think your find some deep bits in the harbour if you look in the right places!!!
    😆

    #10170
    Mark Foreman
    Participant

    Bonus! You can test for impact resistance at the same time… 8)

    #10172
    revoli
    Member

    Don’t get me wrong, although I did loads of sports I never said I was any good…
    Useful stuff on the drysuits. I have only used one once with some nice chaps from Poole who lent me one to go out on their boats that seemed to me to go through the waves rather than over; got absolutely soaked but just stepped out of it at end – I may be persuaded yet! I am based Marlborough but trolley to South coast is the plan – Poole fine.

    #10190

    @revoli wrote:

    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?

    Regards
    Steve

    #10191
    Mark Foreman
    Participant

    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.

    When was the classification made and what are the implications? Obviously there are quite a few sailors who go ‘offshore’.

    #10192

    @Mark Foreman wrote:

    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.

    When was the classification made and what are the implications? Obviously there are quite a few sailors who go ‘offshore’.

    Ooops. I fear that I have set a hare running here! Here is the link to the EU Recreational Craft Directive:
    http://www.conformance.co.uk/directives/ce_boats.php

    Click on ‘Sea Conditions’ for the link to categories A-D. All new boats (including Mark IV Hartleys) come with a plate with ‘CE Category C’ marked on it.

    Steve

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