Setting up a Wayfarer for cruising

One of the great aspects of a Wayfarer is that it can be used to do exactly the same sort of cruising as a yacht – though without all the more comfortable facilities, it has to be said! The inventory of the Wayfarer log library shows just how extensively the Wayfarer has been cruised; in fact it would probably be easier to list the places a Wayfarer hasn’t been cruised. The following is for anyone who might wish to progress from sailing around their local area to using their Wayfarer to undertake more interesting and adventurous trips.

Taronga Setting up a boat for cruising

It might be assumed that setting up a Wayfarer for cruising is pretty much the same as one used for day sailing, with perhaps the addition of a few more storage facilities. Well, not exactly. In fact for real cruising, the boat ought to be set up more similarly to one used for racing – less a number of the more refined sail setting features. Many racers might well have thought it was almost sacrilege for our Webmaster, Bob Harland to convert a fine wooden racing boat into one for cruising. However, a cruising boat needs to be fitted out to the same high standard as a racing boat, and for the very same reasons. The fittings and equipment need to be of the highest quality so that everything works first time, every time. In fact, this can be even more important for cruising than racing, since something failing, or not working instantly or effectively for a racer could cost him the race, but for a (serious) cruiser, it could cost him his life.

It might be helpful at this point to make a distinction between day sailing and cruising.
Day sailing is any ‘out for a jaunt’ pleasure sailing for a few hours or more, usually starting and finishing from the same readily accessible base, with possibly only a casual check on the weather, since it would take only a short time to get back to the safety of the launch site. For the same reason, only the minimum amount of gear will need to be stowed aboard, save perhaps for throwing (well, metaphorically) an anchor in the back locker should there be an intention to stop somewhere say for lunch and leave the boat afloat.
Cruising on the other hand implies sailing from one place to another, usually over a period of 2 or more days. This means that the trip will be dependant on the weather forecast, with the boat being set up to deal with any change in the weather conditions; and sufficient gear being stowed aboard to cope with all the needs of any trip, as well as spares and repair items to deal with virtually any situation that might arise.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 13 October 2009 13:04