Latest News: Forums Racing Thoughts on the Mark IV

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  • #4307
    bigal
    Member

    So we’ve had the Mark IV for two years now – what do people think ?

    Bill Whitney and I sail in more wind than most of you and we both agree that the boat doesn’t require as much weight going to windward . This is probably due to the flatter rocker which tends to resist the heeling moment more than older boats .
    Last year at Poole week I sailed with Graham Snyder and although he was 2sts lighter than Philip I felt we were going faster to windward and Bill certainly went slower with a heavier crew in a force 4 a few weeks back .

    Offwind in a planing breeze they are faster to plane and plane faster again due to the flat rocker .Once the wind drops I don’t think there is much between the old and the new .

    Tacking is i think quicker in the older ,more rockered , boats but I’m not a good person to judge due to a habit of falling over every fifth tack !!

    Capsizing is hazardous due to the Mark IV inverting very quickly but if you can prevent that it empties rapidly .

    All in all I am convinced that the new boat is better on the sea or at places like Poole but inland I’m not so sure and note that
    Roger Challis in 9174 is still up the front of the fleet in the confines of Waldringfield.And of course most Wayfarer racing is done inland .

    How do the rest of you find it – I think that Phil Morrison satisfied his brief by and large .

    #10063
    Colin Parkstone
    Participant

    The best thing to happen to the class as i could see the end in sight when one boat only a year was being built.

    A leap of faith from Richard and his cash as the leisure industry is fickle and we were heading for this recession and the justification to spend cash on toys was becoming harder for us all.

    To look at the class now,I can see it going on for many more years and that can only be a good thing for such a nice boat.

    When you see the likes of other like type boats that have gone from view, its thanks to Richard that we are still here !!

    We could not have lived on with the 25year old boats, doing nothing but club racing and never going anywhere. No progress, so no future!!

    The boat looks modern, up to date,well sorted and made well as far as I can see! Teething problems in small numbers but also a good backup from the builder.

    It fills the bill for the type of boat it is, race it, train people in it and enjoy its safe handling for all of the family, thats what it does and thats what Ian designed.

    As a fat racer I am a bit lost in it at the moment, I have to sit over the thwart upwind and down which is not comfy.
    It does not like the big helm and light crew set up and as Al says, more weight in the front will not help either.
    If your light your go fast most of the time,if not your your have to join the crew in the
    vast area in front of the thwart which being 100mm aft in the boat uses so much more of the boats space to good use.

    I have more to learn!! I sometimes enjoy the challenge but sometimes when I race it, i find the fast postions not to my liking and wonder!!!!

    This class should, and will with this boat move on and have a great future! It would be a shame for it to have been lost from sight.

    CP

    #10066

    The MK4 is obviously a well designed boat – all the bits of string to hand, in the right place, easily controlled rig, comfortable to sail and great advice and back up from Richard and Mark Hartley. I am not a massively exprienced sailor, but dont think that the Wayfarer is very weight sensitive, as it is such a heavy boat. The only exception seems to be in fully powered up conditions, when the lighter crews need to flatten the main and depower, whereas the heavyweights just trundle on at full power! Once the wind picks up further and everyone is depowering and spilling wind, the folks who sail the boat flat,in the right direction, will always do well, weight wont make a huge difference, good boat handling is the key. It would be interesting to see the weight range of the top 5 or 10 helms and crews and see if there is a big variation.
    What do people think the ideal helm / crew weight should be? (There is a right answer here, as I will have a small crew in Dun Laoghaire!!!!!!)

    Trevor
    Hofreki
    W 10686

    #10068
    Dave Bevan
    Member

    Very pleased with ours. We sail at Grafham (just about as far from the sea as you can get) and tend to race Wednesday evenings where we’re invariably enjoying light and falling winds in club handicap racing. We previously had a MKII, so probably a bigger stepchange than from a +S or a woodie.

    Compared to other boats in the fleet, we’re generally ahead of the MKII and SD that regularly race, but can’t really compete with the +S in more experienced hands. If nothing else, we’re certainly planing before any of them.

    It ‘s a much livelier boat than the MKII was, and particularly, easier to capsise. Like Alan, we were suprised how quickly it inverted, and but also once this has happenned, how difficult it is for one person to right. The draining cockpit means it comes up drier, but also means it’s a bit further for the crew to climb in, with not much to grab hold of over the transom! Prevention is the best cure, as they say, and after 5 capsizes in the first year of racing, we avoided any last year apart from some routine practice.

    The new boat has breathed life into the class and class racing as Colin says, but also reinvigorated our racing. I sometimes wonder how much of our improved performance is the new boat or just new enthusiasm, but having a better sorted boat and rig does mean you can make little tweaks to the setup and either realise the benefits, or quickly try something else!

    For info, we use a P&B spini, and McNamara Genoa/Main. The ‘chute means we launch the kite quicker, but has resulted in more instances of sheets under the boat. A P&B reaching spini allows us to fly it on more marginal reaches.

    A few minor niggles, but support from Mark and Richard has been excellent and understanding.

    #10069
    bigal
    Member

    Hello Dave

    At the Ian Porter teach-in he advocated having the crew pass the sheet to the helmsman who keeps some tension on the sheet as the spi comes down .

    #10070
    Colin Parkstone
    Participant

    Thats if the crew is pulling the spi down Al ?, no free hands for the helm to do that as well when he lowers the spi!!

    If of interest to anyone, I have kept to the bag stowage system as its is how I have sailed a Wayfarer for the last 15yrs and felt that one less extra thing to learn in a new boat was a good idea for me.

    Its what we know but if your not sure about a spinnaker, the chute will give you more confidence.
    CP

    #10071
    Dave Bevan
    Member

    Thanks Guys,
    I normally hold the sheet until the crew’s got the guy and pulled the sail in towards the boat, then I lower it once the pole’s down. Once we adapted our droping to ensure the sail is under control as it comes down, we haven’t had too many issues.

    #10073
    Pete Smith
    Member

    What can I say?
    STONKING BOAT.
    Just picked up sailing again after 12 years away. (Had +S in late 90s).
    Sailed MK4 for a couple of months now. Lots of learning and remembering going on but in comparison to how I remembered the +S. the Mk4 is a cracking boat.

    The good stuff
    1. Feels much more responsive.
    2. Points to windward superbly.
    3. Much more sensitive to kicker adjustment (good this, you can feel a difference when changing settings here, on +S, I felt sometimes it didn;t matter what I did, the boat just went same speed!!)
    4. Heels a bit more but does react quickly when you get your butt over the side.
    5. Comes up nice and easy after a capsize. (Even my wife who is 5ft on a good day can right it!)
    6. And it drains!!!!!!!
    7. Gets on the plain pretty quick.
    8. Looks cool
    9. Better build quality than RS or Laser product (in my opinion)
    10. Easier to roll tack than older marks. (did this on Sun in light winds, didn’t really mess up once, with good sense of speed coming out of the tack).
    11. Thwart being moved back gives loads of room for crew. I can’t quite get used to it from the helms position, but this is just time on the water)
    11.Quality of service from Richard Hartley and his team is more than excellent. (if there were a better word than excellent to describe the service that would be it)

    The not so good stuff
    1. Had a few teething problems such as ropes not sealed well, losing odd screw, centreboard a bit stiff. But in fairness most of this is to be expected in first few weeks of new boat.
    2. Possibly top gel coat might need to be a little heavier. ( but of course this adds to weight). Have got a few small scratches already. But hey they don;t stay new forever.

    I’m not sure whether Richard Hartley reads these forum pages. But he should be very proud of what he has done to not just the Wayfarer but other classes as well.
    It would have been a crying shame to lose the Wayfarer. His development with Phil Morrison has been superb. The class still does what it was originally designed for; ie safe boat for taking out novices and having a pootle. but fast enough to power up and have some enjoyable racing.

    So all told COOL BOAT
    Cheers
    Pete Smith
    W10801

    #10159
    jmeck
    Member

    Hi All,

    I just think it is a shame that they are so good as it has made all older versions not as competitive (or perceived to be as competitive). 8 out of the top 10 in Weymouth were Mark IV. I guess it is partly because a lot of good sailors have bought them but that is because they are faster most probably.

    cheers
    Julian
    Plus S owner

    #10165
    sailfree
    Member
    jmeck wrote:
    Hi All,

    I just think it is a shame that they are so good as it has made all older versions not as competitive (or perceived to be as competitive). 8 out of the top 10 in Weymouth were Mark IV. I guess it is partly because a lot of good sailors have bought them but that is because they are faster most probably.

    I think you are missing the point – before the Mk4 the best sailors had to hunt round for the best wooden boat and a number were believed to give an advantage in certain sailing conditions by the variations in shape. I believe we had a “good” wooden boat just did not sail it as well as some others but it was bad for the class that to ensure you had the most competitive boat you had to search around for the best 20yr old wooden boat. Most of the sailors at the front of the fleet deserved to be there but it was never possible to determine how much the helm/crew and how much the boat contributed to any win or race position. With the Mk IV its a completely level playing field with the general perception that the MkIV is easier to sail, easier to sail out any water and possibly marginally faster but I think the helm is still the biggest factor and any good helm can now buy a MkIV and expect to (win knowing that its as good as any other MkIV) providing they are the best helm/crew that day.

    #10166
    jmeck
    Member

    Hi,

    I am not sure I am missing the point. As you say it is a level playing field if you have a MarkIV. Implying that if you don’t it is not. To me this has split the class into Mark IV and not Mark iV as shown by some clubs giving Mark IV a different handicap. I think it has been brilliant for the class in many ways bringing new people into the class and resulting in the huge turn out at Weymouth. I just think it is shame – but perhaps an inevitability to make it successful – that the Mark IV seem to perform significantly better than previous marks. I totally agree that it is always the best sailors at the front of the fleet but the best sailors will also not sail a dog.

    cheers
    Julian

    #10171
    Colin Parkstone
    Participant

    The class was already split, Mk 1, Mk2, Mk2+s, Mk3 or Plus S and World.
    I fail to see that the Mk4 is anything but the next generartion and the years i spent flogging around the race fleets of the class and still getting left in some winds because i had the wrong shape hull from the fast wooden boats has now been changed again.

    The class was about to die, one boat in each of the last years and at a cost that was much too high.

    My old boat is sailing at the club and beats me sometimes in the right hands, it has a value to someone starting out in the fleet and will help someone along the way.

    If you go to the opens and championships you will find more new and many of the older people sailing the new MK4 and many I have not seen before.
    All these people have been drawn to the class and the new boat because its new and is much better than the old one.

    If you still enjoy your boat at your club and do not travel or have never traveled you have lost nothing, or so little over the 25yrs some have had there boats thats it pails in price compaired to how much you may have spent on a car in the same years.

    Yes the leap is big to the new Mk4, but its the same as a new good kitchen, a new small car and many other things we would all buy and know the cost of but do not have a choice in changing.

    As for some clubs and the handicap, they will also change any other class of boat if it goes faster than others in a vain hope of making everyone the same! Handicap racing is never going to make eveyone happy and thats why we never have it at our club and I will never sail in it.

    #10179
    sailfree
    Member
    jmeck wrote:
    Hi,

    I am not sure I am missing the point. As you say it is a level playing field if you have a MarkIV. Implying that if you don’t it is not.

    The point you are missing is that as Colin suggests it was never a level playing field with various Mks and especially certain wooden boats always winning in certain conditions. While I am happy to give credit to some good sailors I do not believe that their sailing ability was the sole factor in their success. On that basis and with new comparable wooden boats being unobtainable the class was dying. Atempts by a couple of Irish boats to bring competitive wooden boats into the fleet highlighted the problem especially ensuring conformity of the hull shape.

    The MkIV has made one level playing field leaving many good secondhand boats for others to learn to race and buy a MkIV when they feel they are good enough as a sailor that only the boat now will make a major difference.

    I voted against the Mk IV but I now realise that I was wrong and the MkIV is the best thing to re-invigorate the class.

    Spending money, for most of us, is a balance of priorities but pleasure for £ I believe dinghy racing and the versitile Wayfarer is one of the cheapest pleasures. Remember that the final cost is only the difference between purchase and final selling price.

    #10185
    jmeck
    Member

    Hi all,

    I truly think that the Mark4 is great for the class I don’t think anybody could sensibly argue that it has not. It has also meant there are some really reasonably priced 2nd hand boats too. I was just trying to stir the pot a bit as everyone was saying how wonderful it is. Maybe it is a bit of jealousy of your shinny new self draining boats.

    cheers
    Julian

    #10193
    bigal
    Member

    I’m not sure you are right to be jealous of the self-draining feature of the mark IV s . Only once out of four capsizes have we managed to prevent a total inversion needing rescue boat help to right the boat . They may be better inland on flat water but in waves the inversion is rapid .

    Can’t help feeling that , in due course , a mod will be needed to isolate the front and rear buoyancy units and reduce the buoyancy of the side tanks – but probably not in my sailing lifetime !!

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