Latest News: Forums Technical Prohibit Slot Gaskets!

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  • #3868

    At the AGM I was impressed by R&T Chairman John Mellor’s approach and wonder whether he could consider whether there is any evidence supporting the retention of the rules allowing slot gaskets on racing boats.

    In my view, permitting the use of slot gaskets on racing boats has been the most retrograde change to the technical rules in the last few years.

    It is retrograde because every two or so years they must be replaced and that means turning over a heavy boat and removing and replacing screws which were not designed to be regularly removed and replaced. Screw-holes become worn and must be repaired and backs become strained – and there seems to be no obvious benefit.

    I am not sure why slot gaskets were permitted – surely there weren’t such differences in speed between marques that needed to be evened out by gaskets? If not why allow them? If there were no differences in speed between marques before gaskets, have they created any?

    What were the reasons for permitting them? What effect has fitting gaskets had on racing results? Has the effect on each marque been the same? Have they affected PY? What hard evidence is there to make the case for keeping them?

    If there’s no hard evidence of racing benefit, then I propose prohibiting them again them for racing – they’re a maintenance nuisance in a low maintenance age.


    Mine have been on 10188 for some 5-6 years and have given no trouble .

    On my new boat I have reverted to an old style rudder because Ian Porter reckons that gaskets improve the efficiency of blade so much that
    a deep rudder is unnecessary ( even at Shoreham !! )

    Dave Bevan

    Similar to Bigal, we had slot gaskets fitted to our MKII around five years ago. Went for sailcloth rather than mylar, and still no need to maintain. No perceivable performance impact.


    From club racing we know that slot gaskets improve performance, and rumour has it that it’s 2 or 3 points difference on PY rating.
    But the PY is a primary yardstick so is not going to change soon.

    The only advantage I have seen in class racing is less water coming up the centerboard casing on fast reaches.
    Maintaining them does not out weigh this, so I would be in favour of renouncing this change and all of us going back to no slot gaskets for the reasons stated by SWD.

    I suspect serious racers change them every year,just to be sure they are OK.
    I have renewed mine once since origional fitting, and need to change them again this year.
    I know from experience the effect of small amounts of seaweed on the rudder can have on boat speed, so think a small imperfection in a slot gasket can have the same effect.



    I have been sailing with slot gaskets for as long as I can remember. They last a very long time (many years) and they prevent stones from entering the slot. As a cruiser I say legal or not, I have no intention of removing them. From a racing viewpoint, not having a slot gasket is like sticking two fingers in the water and we don’t do that do we?

    With the coming of the Hartley boat the Wayfarer is on a level playing ground again with more recent designed boats and sales are picking up. Let us not spoil that by prohibiting something every other modern boat has.

    We had this discussion in depth only a few years ago. The rule change was accepted with a very large majority. Even the toughest opposition now has gaskets once he found out how easy they are to install and how cheap they are. Please let’s not get in to this debate again.

    Colin Parkstone

    I agree, they can be a pain to fit but that is not fault of the gasket,its are great big boat!!!
    They have, as has been said made all the boats in the class much more level as this class over the years has had all sizes of centreboard box sizes that hold differing amounts of water to be carried around,how fair was that.??
    I think your find on the new Hartley you only have to stick it on,how easy is that and the box is only the size of the board so your have the best of all ” Fast ” worlds.

    ” Progress ! Wayfarers Moving Forward For another 50 yrs “

    C P 😀

    ps,you can use that as a slogan if you like !! copy right waved!!


    Sailed my Wayfarer for the first time today at Rutland. I was amazed at the noise and amount of water coming up the centerboard case. It was only blowing about 10mph….had my handheld Gps and averaged about 5 knots with a max of 7.1knots.

    How do I fit a gasket on a MK1a ???

    Bob Harland

    @Paulburton wrote:

    How do I fit a gasket on a MK1a ???

    There are a couple of links under this topic;

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