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    Dave Barker

    There are some interesting points coming out of this discussion. One of these is made by Dave Mac when he observes the effect of trying to right the boat with the mast downwind. Because the hull is pushed along by the wind, the sails will act against the interests of the helm and crew trying to right the boat (like a shovel).

    I should therefore qualify my assertion on the direction that the boat should be righted. If the boat has turtled it makes sense (if you have the presence of mind) to start the righting process as though you are going to lift the mast to windward. As the mast breaks the water’s surface, pause, let the wind blow the mast round to a leeward position, then finish the righting manoeuvre.

    Everyone else probably realised this years ago, but I never gave it much thought until now!


    I agree 100% – don’t try to right the boat ‘rig to windward’, it will generally end in another capsize. Interesting idea of yours, putting a line through the centreboard tip for better leverage.
    Anyway, everything comes round full circle – woodies will rule again soon eh John!


    Hi Matt!

    Yes, it seems that woodies were created to the best of knowledge and abilities of that time. Unfortunately in this time and in all fields we seem to hide our lack of enthusiasm or will behind the parole of “value for money”. Sometimes it can be accepted, but not when it can impact someone’s safety or health.
    So just go on caring for “Water Witch” as you did, there is no doubt you have all reasons for pride!

    Best regards,



    Hi all. Mato, I love the drawings (point taken re. correct righting practice…in no way am I challenging the wealth of real experience out there), I am still armchair man rather than capsize man! Surely the idea of long enough “righting lines” would be the same as the centreboard hole concept? And this is where my brother’s drogue to increase weight of person on hull levering comes in……….(though you would have to think through the idea of tying yourself to a sea anchor and watching your boat sail off pretty carefully!!) I guess the bottom line is the Wayfarer can be a boat for those who expect to capsize regularly and equally can be a boat for those who have no intention of it and by and large don’t.
    cheers Dave


    Hi Dave!

    Perhaps you are right, the advantage of that centerboard hole idea compared to long righting lines might be so small that it isn’t worth messing up the centerboard.
    But, as Ralph has given me a wonderful new “cruising” centerboard (mahogany not plywood, thicker/stronger than racing plate and with brass reinforcement on the leading edge), I intend to test the idea with my old one. It’s just that my new family and work obligations won’t allow me to do it before summer… so if anyone feels like doing some tests sooner, let us all hear the outcome!

    Best regards!



    Hi Nick and all.
    The postings are very illuminating. I agree that the Woodie is most stable at 90 degrees and the World has inherent problems causing inevitable inversion. These inherent problems seem to be caused by the double floor and the buoyancy in the sides of the boat which change the C.G. and C.B. at 90 degrees.
    Might it be possible to use the double floor to advantage? Could two chambers be built within the floor either side of the centre of the boat to be filled with water ballast? In sea cruising and family day sailing mode the filled chambers would increase stability. In 90 degree capsize mode the boat might not invert so readily. However, it should be noted that should the boat invert then righting, due to extra weight, would be even more problematic.
    When racing or cruising in light winds the chambers would be empty keeping the boat still in class. The water could be pumped out prior to recovery to dry land when in cruising mode.


    Or how about possibility of storage compartments in there for anchors and chain, spare fresh water bottles for extended cruise, tools and other heavy gear….
    Would the construction and materials of the hull withstand/allow this?



    I think to some extent this already happens – where else can one keep the beer cool!


    Dear respondees and other players concerning this topic.

    I had no idea my post would cause such a reaction but am delighted it has and am intrigued by the comments made so far At the risk of being dull, might we focus on the main question (shades of Dimbleby). I would really appreciate further comment and experiences of others on the differences between the versions when it come to the proneness to turtling. Many of the points made are enlightening for the racing scene and for those who are happy to sport a balloon or other contraption up the mast. Other rather more traditional sailors (dare I say), like me would prefer not to go down that route. I am amazed to read that the Hartley may not have been subjected to its turtling prospects – surely this is fundamental at the design stage of any sailing dinghy. Finally, the purpose of my initial post was to identify the best Wayfarer version for my sailing requirement, ie coastal cruising. The curent concensus of opinion would point to the Wood as being the most stable version so can anyone convince me that the Mark 2 is as stable?

    In anticipation of more lively comment!

    Nick Chavasse


    Hi Nick.
    Apologies for not specifically answering your point.
    The Mk2 GRP appears to be nearly as stable as wooden boat when capsized to 90 degrees if the side deck buoyancy is removed.
    In winds up to the top of F4 10 litres of sailhead or masthead buoyancy is likely to prevent total inversion. In winds over F4 significant masthead buoyancy is likely prevent inversion.
    I sail a Mk2 GRP with sidedeck buoyancy. Under the floor I have some ballast which means that should I capsize to 90 degrees then the boat assumes a similar position to a wooden boat. I also have a 10 litre in sail inflatable buoyancy bag and a 40 litre Secumar masthead float.
    My Mk2 GRP suits my needs. I do not have the time to maintain a wooden boat and should I have to replace the present boat I would purchase another Mk2. a Mk1 or a Mk1a.
    I sail very little so you are likely to receive more worthwhile advice from more experienced members.
    Hope this helps a little.
    The reason that your post has produced the reaction is that it is the first time it has been raised on this Forum. May I suggest that you look on the Yahoo Wayfarer Forum where this topic has been indirectly discussed over eight years.


    Hi Nick…point taken re. the versions debate however the secumar is a very sleek “contraption” until it inflates and sailhead bouyancy even sleeker! Also just to draw attention to an old thread here in the cruising section on “Inversion and Masthead bouyancy”. I do think the rescue account that is linked into it is “must read” material for anyone cruising. For my own take on the versions debate I would value more clearance under the thwart for sleeping aboard, My mk2 GRP is a little tight! Also my front locker sealed storage is very difficult to use, although the open shelf is very accessible and useful.
    Hi 5811……..what do you use for underfloor ballast out of curiosity?
    cheers Dave


    Although every account of similar incidents should be a ‘must read’, if you refer to the article by Richard Gooderick from 1999., I must note that it was a subject among several participants of the UKWA Tidal Training in November. Several problematic issues were debated, which are not pointed as such in the article itself. First of those arises in the very first sentence:

    “…Wayfarer was comfortable under a well-reefed main and genoa…”

    We had a special lecture on sail balance at the training event, and also in accordance to my previous experience with Wayfarer: you should never sail with a genoa and a reefed main.

    So take everything (including my own comments) with a grain of salt.



    Wayfarer 5811 made a point about using separate compartments that would hold water, as well as the air filled ones….

    About 30 yrs ago or so, a Fireball trainer was designed called a Bullett. This was designed for 12-20yr olds, and had lots of built-in buoyancy – fore, aft and under the decks. The effects of too much buoyancy were discovered during testing, so it was designed with holes (about an inch by 4 ins) in the buoyancy tanks.
    Basically, if you capsized, jumped onto the plate, righted the boat and sailed on – then the holes were small enough to not let in too much water.
    But if you capsized and didn’t get straight on with the righting, then the holes gradually filled the side buoyancy tanks with water: thus lowering the boat in the water, making it easier to climb onto the board, and providing a balance to your weight when the boat came upright again.
    (Once upright, another hole near the bottom of the tank let the water out of the tank into the boat, ready for sailing out of the bailers).
    The idea was to get the benefit of lots of buoyancy when needed, and not too much when it wasn’t useful.

    Did the idea work? No idea – but have you ever come across a Bullett? 🙂


    The Laser Stratos has tanks that flood. I quote.

    Stratos Security “Sailsafe” is a system of flooding and self draining side tanks to assist capsize recovery. All centre board dinghies can capsize and for the inexperienced or less agile, this can be a daunting experience. “Sailsafe” means that Stratos is easy to recover and stable during and immediately after recovery allowing the crew to quickly regain control. “Sailsafe” is unique to the Laser Stratos.

    No idea if it works though.


    John, I have lots of experience in Capsizing a Stratos, the tanks that fill are quite a good idea. When full, the centreboard is JUST within reach, but once the boat is upright the tanks empty VERY quickly lifting the transom out of the water making it very difficult to get in unless you are very quick, the students have a tendency to forget that you ( the instructor)are still in the water when they are both in the boat. Simon

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