Latest News: Forums Technical Two simple rule changes to modernise the Wayfarer

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  • #3920

    If you look at modern boats such as the Omega, RS Vision etc which compete with the Wayfarer, you will note two small differences:

    1. All racing and cruising versions of the boat have jib furling gear fitted as standard
    2. Spinnakers don’t have sail numbers on them.

    Everyone in the Wayfarer racing fleet believes that jib furling gear slows the boat down and therefore, we suffer the inconvenience of jibs flogging in the dinghy park and our crews getting frightened by the noise (see my article at the back of the last Wayfarer News on the ‘Beaufort Scale for Crews’). If we changed the rules to make jib furling gear compulsory, then we could solve this problem at a stroke.

    At Waldringfield SC several boats with new Hyde sails turned up with spinnakers without numbers on. These sails are designed in the UK and manufactured in China, so it would be very inconvenient to send them back! Fortunately commonsense prevailed at Waldringfield and no one protested the owners. Once again we could solve this problem with a simple amendment to the rules (clearly there is no speed advantage in not having numbers on your spinnaker).

    What do you think?



    The boats with furlers tend to be asymmetrics, or not have a chute the combination of chute and furler may create even more opportunities for sail snagging – as for striking fear into the hearts of the crews…. 🙄


    If we are thinking of rule changes let’s consider bringing the forestay back behind the chute and have a slightly higher aspect ratio genoa !!

    I was on the Merlin Committee when shutes were introduced and this was very quickly done .

    I am on my third spi with the present arrangement !!


    There is nothing to stop one using a furling genoa now as far as I know. I cannot see why we need to froce evryone to have one though. I usually wrap the genoa around the forestay whilst waiting to launch.

    I have no problem with omitting numbers from spinnakers; but cannot see why Hyde cannot apply them, they seem to be able to put them on mainsails without a problem. Surely they can manage to do this in the UK rather than send to the Phillipines.


    I wasn’t thinking of imposing a higher aspect ratio on everyone but chute owners having an option .

    I don’t think a little furling would be very competitive !!

    Colin Parkstone

    My two penny worth!!

    Spinnaker Numbers, Well if a company as big as Hyde’s cannot be bothered to put numbers on the sail they are just being lazy and cheap and makes me wonder where else they are cutting corners.
    What is the view of the IYRU whose rules we may be taking up as standard ??
    Made in China to cut costs,no numbers to cut costs yet they still cost the same as a set from this country who have for the last fifty years bothered !!!
    As for common sense prevailing at Waldringfield,you know the rules and have plenty of time to get the numbers put on for the next open!!

    Dont forget that the sails also need to be measured and signed!!

    Standards are slipping!!!

    As for a compulsory genoa roller reefing, it would not get my vote.

    I will not be told to spend money unnecessarily on a fitting that would get in the way,have no use for me as I look after my sails and in it self can do as much damage to a sail as letting it flog.

    We have a new boat and very nice it is too but we also have other Wayfarers that still make up the racing fleet.I would remind you all that the new boat is not in the budget of all and if you want to split the class up, I think some of these suggestions are going the right way about it.

    To change the forstay and reshape the genoa is yet more cost which will leave the rest of the class out even more than some people think it is already.
    That bar at the mouth of the chute is to help with the turning of the spinnaker and has no strength to take the genoa and forstay.

    So I say to you all, just think about other people in the fleet and lets move forward at a pace that we all can manage.

    C P 🙁


    The same arguments were put forward in the Merlin Class some 30 years ago and solved by an 18″ piece of stainless tube . How would this and an optional slightly shorter foot affect the cost except for those who want to have a more seamanlike method of spi recovery , in line with the other classes which have chutes ?? Any costs incurred would be soon be more than offset by fewer ruined spinnakers .

    But I agree with your other points – particularly with spi numbers .

    I was race officer for the Merlin Champs at Whitstable when the last beat turned into a run across the finish line – made the recording of the results a bit of a nightmare !

    Colin Parkstone

    The Merlin,being a development class with open rules has over the years found a way to not bring back the tack more than about 8in or so and has flared its bows to make the hole wider at the sheer. Its been alot easier for them to do it and yet they have only sold 3900 odd boats.
    Lots of options do not always carry along a lot of people with it!!

    The Wayfarer bar is in about 14in back and unlike other classes of boats with chutes was never made with the genoa tack away from the bow like the Javelin,FD,Fireball,Osprey and the 505. which found the fitting of the chute at the bow an easier option.
    Why did Morrison not move it back when the new Mk4 was redesigned.

    You say Al that you have trashed three spi’s,I would ask you why???
    How many others have done the same and maybe others have found a differing way to use the chute.

    I had hoped that the new Mk4 was to bring a more uniform boat to the class for it’s own future,we could not stay as we were with so many marks and types.
    If people are already starting to want to change this boat before it’s even three years old we are just asking for trouble in my opinion.

    C P 🙁


    For racing furling IMHO you need an expensive top spec furling system that will furl at full rig tension, and a new shorter wire halyard. This is too expensive for a rule change.

    The boat should not be slowed down if you lower the sail on the luff wire, as low as possible. I have used this racing and there was no apparent loss of speed, however, it was more complex to rig up as I had the tack tension string connected to the furler.

    As others have said any sailmaker can sew spinnaker numbers on as in class rules.



    I sail a boat with a “all boats must have one” furling headsail (Laser 2000).
    The only time I use the furling is when landing in a strong wind and the crew doesn’t want to get hit in the face with the jib sheets flapping about.
    As soon as we land, we un-furl and lower the jib.
    Wrapping all that expensive cloth around a thin wire forestay is NOT a good idea for longevity and speed of the jib.


    Can’t the fiddlers leave the boat alone for a while?

    The Mk4 has only been racing in significant numbers from this season, so there’s been no time for views on it to stabilise. What we need is a period of stability where we concentrate on racing the thing rather than constantly making changes, many of which will have unforseen effects, reduce reliability, cost money and generate even more variants and controversy.

    Yes, we’ve modernised but this isn’t a development class, so give it a break for a year or so and enjoy the sailing instead!

    Steve Collins wrote:
    At Waldringfield SC several boats with new Hyde sails turned up with spinnakers without numbers on.

    I was amazed when we recently took delivery of 10628 to find that it had no spinnaker numbers – effectively a racing boat that we could not legally race and so a product not fit for purpose. And the hassle to get them put on – first measure the position of the downhaul patch on the new spi, then find a local sailmaker open on Saturday morning (this is Medway, not the Solent), then get a downhaul patch put on the spare spi, wait a week for it to be added and then collect it, obtain the numbers for the new spi, return to the sailmaker, hope he fits it OK, pick it another week later up. Total duration: 3-4 weeks from getting the boat plus the cost plus the hassle.

    I have every sympathy with Brian Lamb and others without spi numbers: Hartley’s must have had an aberration, as this is a class whose rules require numbers!

    Also, the mainsail foot stretches no closer than 70mm from the boom black band not ideal in a racing sail.

    The devil’s in the detail but this is basic – the sails don’t measure without numbers and they should extend to close to the black bands

    These irritations apart, though, overall the boat’s great – as it should be for the price of a small car.


    Hold on guys – we were asked to submit ideas by the racing sec (asst ) to modernise the class – that is what I responded to .

    I would be p**d off if ,having bought a new boat ,changes were made immediately .

    As to Colin’s comment about the Merlin class ;

    1, no-one buy a Merlin to cruise in

    2, what other class gets 100+ boat for a non-championship event with people being turned away ( Salcombe Merlin Week )

    All this despite being far more expensive than a Wayf

    I long for the day when our class is half as healthy on the racing side .


    Still trying to work out what we are doing right (for a change). Those who know Starcross will know we have to get the spi up and down very frequently on the average race course. We don’t seem to have any difficulty, find it easier than the old bag arrangement and the spi that came with the boat is still in very good nick after heavy use since purchased last September.
    It does not have numbers though! How many classes do? Yes it will be a real pain to get some done. How often does a Race officer have to finish a fleet on the run? I would be happy to ditch that requirement.
    Furlers on a racing Wayfarer…not good. Shape will go very quickly and need for replacement more frequent to stay competitive. furlers are often a nightmare anyway, they always jam just when you need them to work….but then do we really need them?
    Am I to assume my Hyde sails will not measure? I have only used them once….what is the situation here. I presume my Hydes are the same as everyone elses.

    Colin Parkstone

    And what makes you think everyone elses measure ?

    The situation is Liam that you are all open to be disqualified !

    You all know the rules and have abided by them for all the years you have sailed in the Wayfarer fleet and all the other fleets of boats that have this rule.

    So why does having a set of Hyde sails preclude you all from this rule, did you ask Mike Mac to flout the rules and not to bother with numbers when you ordered from him. Bet you Did Not!!!

    If this rule flouting goes on for much longer you are all making a mockery of the class and its rules.

    We have ways to change the rules,do it that way but in the meantime follow the rules as they are at the moment.

    SWD, If the sails are coming to you as you have discribed they are “Not fit for purpose”.
    If the good service that Hartleys have given in the past is anything to go buy,they will sort all this out for you with little problem!

    This spi halyard length thing, Liam have you been able to work out the length you are successfully using yet,we have lots of people it seems hanging on that very measurement?
    C P

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