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  • #3608

    Do people commonly do this? Having never sailed a Wayfarer myself I do not know how easy this would be however it doesn’t sound like it would be that hard providing it were possible to reef.

    I bring the subject up because of a comment I saw on the DCA website which stated that about one stone of body weight was needed per foot of boat.

    Any thoughts anyone?

    Dave Barker

    I love sailing singlehanded, and I think it’s quite a widespread habit among Wayfarerers. As with any Wayfarer sailing it’s certainly useful/essential (depending on location, isolation, safety cover etc) to be able to reef effectively and efficiently, ideally both main and genoa.

    Depending on your circumstances the hardest part of your sailing may be the launching and recovering, as there’s no denying that the Wayfarer is a little heavier than many dinghies. This is generally an advantage to the singlehander once you’re on the water, but can occasionally be a source of some head scratching on land.


    If you need 1 stone per foot Matt should buy an optomist and should be in a Osprey ❗


    Sorry It should read I need an Osprey


    @jamesC wrote:

    one stone of body weight was needed per foot of boat.

    Well then that would make me too light for a topper!

    I agree with Dave, singlehanded is great fun, but not so much on long sails.
    And it does look really hard work trying to recover the boat on your own, especially when faced with a muddy slipway and a strong currant in the River Ore..!


    On those few occasions when I join in with the race programme at the ASC, I like to sail single handed if the conditions will allow.

    It is nice to have company aboard however, particualrly since I cannot seem to get competetive over a few shields etc.

    During a race earlier this year, I became bored and nosed Naomi into a reed bed, pulled out my flask and lay there enjoying a nice Earl Grey!

    Suddenly the whole purpose of putting her onto the water that day fell into shape. I lay back and watched as fellow members frantically tosssed themselves around in their boats, calling water on one another.

    For me, the most momentous thing that day was a blue bodied Dragon fly that perched itself on my bow! I marvelled at the areo dynamics of the creature and wondered exactly how do they get oil of bergamot into this tea?

    Upon return to the bank an hour later, smirking pals asked, ‘you were stuck on that lee shore for sometime’!

    I do like to support my club’s activities, but often wonder, ‘is there a sailing club for cruising sailors anywhere’?


    That’s why I strive towards a light boat as putting on another 5 stone is just not on!
    I very much like Naomi’s piece – sort of sums it all up very well I think. As to a club for cruising dinghies, I suspect that risk assessments have put pay to that idea already. Thank goodness for the UKWA.


    Jim, may you enjoy the reeds again, good story. The Lydney Yacht Club (which is not that far from Abingdon) has a regular dinghy cruising programme. (shameless advert).

    Single hand: I find it practical and enjoyable; of course a crew is good too, especially over long distances. Reefing afloat is perfectly practicable, I reef noticably earlier on my own, but I don’t feel inclined to hit the doughnuts to try to improve (?) my weight/length ratio.

    I sometimes carry a spare polyprop line and a couple of old mainseet blocks – I have got up a reasonable slope on my own using 3:1, but it wasn’t easy.


    Single handing is often what Wayfarer cruising is all about , get away from it all (the kids!!) , find a quiet bay or sandbank, doze off , make a cuppa , read a good book whilst waiting for the tide ……..
    a few modifications may be helpful:

    Mast head bouyancy if you go over , a jib rather than a genoa to prevent you going over , a topping lift to keep the boom under control , a road trailer with winch rather than a combi, also have fitted a steel centre plate for stability , but not too sure if the extra weight on the land negates the benefit of extra stability at sea yet? But much better for your health than a diet of Guiness and pizza!!!



    Matt and Howard,

    Nice to hear from you both.

    Shameless advert………..nothing of it old boy. I have just this moment been discussing LSC with my pal who sails Ketchup! Perhaps we can arrange a sail with you sometime?

    Matt, I thought I was the most lazy sailor in the world!!!! It seems others have similar ideas! What training plans do you have for next year?

    I am considering having all halyards etc replaced this Winter. any suggestions as to who might make a good job (DIY dyslexic)


    Hi Jim,
    Tidal training 20-21 September. Very appreciative audience this year and an ever improving programme.
    Wonderful single hand last Saturday. West from Brancaster against a perfect single hander south westerly and return in half the time.
    New halyards – no problem. Just sew the new ones to the end of the old and gently pull through. I reckon it is easier to go in the top first as it is easier to get the new tail through the foot than the head of the mast (did it on this years tidal training on the Hard at Brancaster).



    Thanks very much for the advice on the halyard

    I shall do my best to join your training this coming September.

    Maybe we will meet on the water sometime before then.

    I plan to sail at Chichester harbour a lot this year, and of course my old stomping ground at Poole harbour.

    If ever you are that way, let me know



    Anyway back to the point…

    I love singlehanding my boat. A bit of common sense and good seamanship is all you need.

    Reef early – It takes quite a bit of work to make a wayfarer capsize but even more to get it back up and empty of water. A good slab reefing should enable you to put reefs in and out very quickly so you have no excuse for not doing so.

    Foresail – if you can afford the expensive furling gear then great, if not play it safe and have a jib, at least ready to hoist if in any doubt.

    Tie jibsheets together. This saves fishing around in the bottom of the leeward side of the boat at inopportunist times.

    Get some practise in. Somewhere safe where you can be rescued if it all goes wrong!

    Check forecasts and be flexible if things don’t look good. Stubborness leads to disaster.

    Basically, do everything you would normally but to a higher degree.

    On a more positive note, i had a great 25mile trip this summer, by myself, up and down the Tamar and Lynher. Fantastic! Just wish I’d taken a book.


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