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    As I improve my rally experience the call to sleep aboard grows, especially now I have identified the leaking self bailer that would have led to lying in a swimming pool. I am not sure how much one can trust a/my World not to leak so does anyone have any top tips on how to stay dry overnight (assuming I can obtain a boat tent)? Has anyone found a system to sleep above the bottom boards, i.e boards between the benches etc, which removes the worry of minor leaks?

    Bob Harland

    We had many nights camping on a Wayfarer World.
    Firstly let me say that there is a lot to be said for drying out the boat. If you can arrange things so you dry close to top of the HW mark then you don’t have to worry about dragging anchors (or leaking bailers).
    We slept on Thermarest mats which kept us off the floor. So if the floor was damp it did not matter.
    Transom flaps could be a problem – Foam seal around the edge helps – but you have to be careful not to let them stay under the waterline. A simple solution is to tape them up.
    That leaves the issue with rain. If it rains water drains down the mast across the floor and into the bailer divets. We always sponged the bailer divets dry, heavy rain during the night requires more sponging.

    Lastly, there are modestly priced waterproof bivi bags available or waterproof sleeping bags (not so modestly priced). Depending on the time of year and whereabouts you are cruising these might be justified.

    I hope that encourages you to try it – the freedom of camping aboard greatly extends the cruising possibilities.


    Adrian, Bob

    You both know (I think) how I have sealed my flaps with UPVC pads and neoprene seal through bolted – seems to work well. I have been giving some thought to the rain/mast/bailer issue, and would appreciate some input on an idea I had recently while ‘browsing’ a camping shop.

    I wonder about using 2 of the single 6inch blow-up mattresses to raise the sleeping level above possible water ingress; strikes me this would allow dry sleeping even with several gallons of water in the boat….



    Bob, Many thanks some good points – I suspect the bit about drying out has the most to recommend it. Bivvy bags and thermarests are a given so at least I shall float in my swimming pool.

    David. I think a lilo from the pool might suit! It does though preclude being under the thwart which by making you sleep further astern means the transom flaps are more likely to be below the waterline.

    Has anyone thought of a ‘false decking’ platform between the side benches?


    Dear Adrian
    We also had a wet experience with leaking bailers so now use boards sitting across the side benches (one ahead of the thwart and four behind). Different sizes so need a visible number when setting up! Varnished builders ply. Thickness is an issue being a compromise between strength and weight. From memory ours are 1.5 cm but would have to confirm. They fit perfectly on their sides in a “V” under the fore deck when sailing – more by luck than judgement! I modified the idea from the log “We didn’t plan to go to sea” (also printed in Wayfarer News, Winter 2006?).
    Transom flaps are duck-taped inside & out and have always been bone dry.
    I did not realise boat-tenting was an option on the recent Blackwater / Colne cruise otherwise we could have shown you.
    Best wishes
    W10004, Skylark

    Bob Harland

    @W10143 wrote:

    Adrian, Bob

    I wonder about using 2 of the single 6inch blow-up mattresses to raise the sleeping level above possible water ingress; strikes me this would allow dry sleeping even with several gallons of water in the boat….


    Yes, though with several gallons of water I guess the mattress would be floating – perhaps an interesting experience.

    There is also the traditional hammock option ……
    I have seen this used on a Wayfarer.


    I salvaged some thick wide pine shelving from a skip (about 6 lengths about 20mm thick) and my wife and I spent a very comfy night in our spacious home made Mk3 at bench level, (instead of squeezing under the thwart of our Mk 2 boat). We had lilos so we had real comfort and still had the boat filling option covered 😀 . The advantage of the extra surfaces for food prep and eating were good too. Obviously a bulky solution with storage under the foredeck but for comfort and space and a happy partner I’d rate it, and of course you can store stuff under the bed overnight (though hopefully not in a puddle). I only got the boards ‘cos I was thinking of sticking the twins there for a night’s experiment, but I’m not sure they’d go for it.


    Dave or Graham,

    Do you have any pictures?


    Hi Adrian
    No pics (and its not pretty as the wood is literally salvaged) but all it is is a solid wide platform made by laying the timber from side bench to side bench bridging the cockpit. They are of different lengths (6 pieces in total) but butted up to each other they made a bed space pretty much the entire length of the cockpit. Not sure of the World layout so it may be irrelevant. They did stack under the foredeck nicely. Each piece is perhaps a foot wide apart from a short piece nearest the mast. Not sure what tent you have but we have masses of headroom with a mk3 style. Other advantage is at dawn you don’t even need to sit up to look out the window. Obviously its bulky and heavy but I do rate the comfort without our low thwart. For me it was an experiment to see if it works, and it does.


    I think it is bad pratice to seal drain flaps up.Ihave a MK.11.SD.fitted with drain tubes (five inch plumbers pipe ,one each side through rear hatch and comes out under rear seat) round flaps at rear instead of rectangle as in world held shut with bungie the benefit with round is I fitted five inch hatch covers under the seats screwed on at night for sleeping
    Crewe stands on fore deck to keep drains out of water to do this.
    result dry boat for sleeping and still sails dry in a few yards after a capsize.
    I have secuimar from experience ,If you invert in a big swell each wave rams the mast into sea bed.It breaks.
    Suggest if you just cruise you have rectangle drains changed to five inch circles and fit hatch covers on inside.


    Having replaced one bailer and tried the landlubber method of testing for leaks (fill the boat with water and see what leaks out) I suspect the weep from the internals of the bailers will mean a wet night whatever (although it is certainly better than it was) especially if it rains and the water comes in the spinnaker chute……

    I tried Bob’s idea of a traditional hammock but it was not very successful! I thought about putting a camp cot inside to keep above the water but did not have one that would fit; then I thought about suspending a stretcher between thwart and transom but this seemed complex. My final thought was what about creating a canvas ‘hammock’ that is on taut web straps that run from gunwhale to gunwhale and sleeping on that.

    With a World I believe you could suspend such a hammock using the turned over gunwhale edge and some hooks with the web running across the top of the sides. If the tension could be kept this does mean sleeping above seat level (indeed at gunwhale level) which may be a touch draughty, depending on the quality of the boat tent and its fixings, but this seems better than swimming to me. I do not believe that the weight so high up would be an issue for stability when not sailing and it would leave space underneath for kit. My thought was that the hammock would go between thwart and transom leaving the front for admin.

    If it worked it is less large planks to stow but does any one have any thoughts or comments?



    Further to your PM, the ‘gadget’ I use to reduce water entry through the spinnaker chute is seen below. As everything on my boat it is Plastic made from 2 pieces of UPVC cladding glued together….

    Good Luck!


    In my sailing area you can’t dry out the boat, so on last 2 trips I slept aboard the boat (World) each night (except for one night to be honest, but it wasn’t because of water). Two mattresses were put under the sleeping bag: one inflatable and one foam. Each about 2 cm thick. It was perfectly ok, even though on a couple of nights there was heavy rain, and a bit of water leaked through the bailers. The water that got in the boat stayed mostly in the wells.

    Regarding transom flaps, I think if you are only interested in cruising it IS a good idea to seal them – unless you mount hatches like Jim suggests in his post.

    I have tried very hard to keep the flaps – and have gone through 4 versions of modifications with the idea that they should be 100% waterproof, but keeping the possibility of quickly and easily putting them into operation. The “4th mark” seems to have this achieved. But after a near capsize on last trip, I’m convinced that it’s all useless. After the boat righted and while it was stopped, nothing went out through flaps, perhaps even more water came in. And once we had the boat sailing again, I couldn’t notice a significant difference in speed with which the boat drained, compared with occasions when my flaps where permanently closed and only self bailers were used (bear in mind – boat loaded for cruising).



    With (very patient) help from Rob Wagstaffe I developed the idea I had above and he kindly made up a prototype. In principle there are three web straps stretched from side to side with a ‘canvas’ hammock stretched fore to aft laid across the top and tensioned between transom and tabernacle

    The advantages are:

    1. The hammock, which has a pole top and bottom, easily rolls up and stows beneath the side benches and the straps go in the stern bag (less space than boards I believe).
    2. The crew sleep well above any potential ‘dampness’.
    3. There is storage space beneath the hammock for large or wet items if required (wetties, rudder, bouyancy aids etc). This leaves the front free for admin (when the crew lie in!)
    4. It is very comfortable and I do not need to untie toe straps etc.

    The hammock was trialled on the recent cruise on the Orwell/Stour and performed very well with two sleeping on it. Sufficient tension can be put on to avoid having to cosy up (unless you wish to….) although I will, for evidence sake, say that neither I nor my crew are overly personally insulated.

    After the test I am convinced that this is a good way forward, as was my crew. The boat was stable and the hammock was flat and level (both when dried out and when afloat at anchor) and/but at no time did I have any concern about falling over the side.

    The hammock and straps can easily be put up when the tent is already up, it is very quick, and there is space down one side to move if required (i.e going to the pub).

    It will definitely be going with me on future cruises for comfort reasons alone. That said, with electric tape on the transom flaps (very easily opened if required) and the balers well shut she did not leak much, if at all – but then again it did not rain.

    I have attached some photos for anyone interested.




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