Page 1

Buyers Guide p30

Contents november 2011 Issue 175


SEAMANSHIP Learning the ropes


Exploring Brittany’s waterways PRACTICAL Electrics overhaul




CORNISH DELIGHT Did the Camel Estuary give us the hump?

04 Sailing Today November 2011






Tools Your Tipsp112 To buy a back issue call 01442 820580



SWEDEN SPECIAL A Smorgasbord of delights

This month News AND views Sailing news Readers’ letters View from the RYA Riding light

6 12 14 146

GEAR AND EQUIPMENT Books Gear on test Buyer’s guide: Kit bags Group test: Watches Inventor’s corner: Self steering gear

18 22 30 34 66

BOATS New boat test: Arcona 410 Your boats: Ryton 395 Used boat test: Oyster Lightwave

44 50 52


52 66

USED BOAT TEST Oyster Lightwave 395 INVENTOR’S CORNER New self steering gear


Sweden investigated Turkish charter My MARINA Padstow Rod Heikell’s Atlantic crossing guide Exploring Brittany’s waterways

60 72 78 84 92

Practical Electrics overhaul Essential tools: The drill

106 112

seamanship Learning the ropes Weatherclass Q&As with Nick Vass

98 104 114

WIN! WIN! WIN! Old Pulteney 12-year old whisky Pair of Barton’s maxi ‘K’ cam cleats Ocean Signal EPIRB

12 13 58

subscribe and save!


November 2011 Sailing Today 05


Playing chicken Richard Falk, Training Manager at the RYA, keeps us abreast of the ups and downs of the latest safety and education issues around sailing. A few months ago I had the opportunity of spending a couple of weeks aboard a 122,000 tonne cruise ship, travelling from Southampton to the Baltic and back. There is a long story attached that I won’t bore you with – but needless to say I have not joined the dark side and become a ‘cruiser’ – although the champagne was excellent! During my time aboard I was fortunate enough to be befriended by the master of the ship and as a consequence spent virtually every port arrival and departure on the bridge and so saw the maritime world from ‘the other side’. Power gives way to sail. How often do we hear that when an incensed yachtie shakes his fist at a large commercial vessel that has ‘failed to give way’. However, there are many different factors that us ‘yachties’ need to be aware of when it comes to large vessels. I thought it might be useful to provide you with a few facts. On some ships, where the bridge is positioned close to the bow (such as cruise ships) visibility from the bridge is relatively good and watchkeepers can see right up around 200 metres from the bow. However, on vessels such as bulk oil tankers and container ships with the bridge towards the stern of the ship the blind spot for the watchkeeper may be up to miles ahead of the bow. In confined waters there will usually be a crew member positioned on the bow to provide ‘eyes’ for the bridge, but at sea this is not the case. With ship tonnages from 100,000 to 200,000 being common place today it is fair to say that most ships carry a huge amount of momentum. The average stopping distance ranges from half a mile up to 4 miles (dependent upon the characteristics of the ship and the speed at which she is travelling). With draughts of up to 18 metres, large ships in approaches to ports will usually be tightly restricted (constrained by draught) as to what channels they can use and the state of tide at which they can make their approach or departure. This means that even if the vessel has seen you and is able to take avoiding action, doing so may well result in the vessel grounding and all the consequences that go along with that. So what is the message here? Am I suggesting for a moment that sailing vessels or small power boats should give way to large commercial vessels

as standard practice and regardless of the circumstances. Absolutely not! The International Regulations for the Prevention of Collisions at Sea are in place for good reason and have stood the test of time over many years. Put simply – they work. However, once again I am banging on about my favourite topic – common sense! Keeping a sharp lookout and being aware of shipping movements around you is just good seamanship and is the minimum one would expect of any competent sailor. However, what I am suggesting is rather than waiting until you are in a position with a large commercial vessel where a decision needs to made about which is the “stand on” and which is the ‘give way’ vessel – think ahead! A ship has poor sightlines and while you will see it right up until you sail under its bows it may well lose sight of you 5 minutes earlier. It is possibly constrained by draught and therefore unable to alter course. Even if it is able to reverse its engines (which often results in the engines being badly damaged or potentially destroyed due to their design) the vessel will still take several miles to stop – which will more than likely be too far to be of use to you. Scary stuff isn’t it! One more factor is that of the ability to read minds. As the skipper of a sailing vessel you may be very clear in your mind about what your plans are as you sail up towards the path of a large container ship with the intention of tacking just as you get level with it. However, the master of the vessel is unable to read your mind. He can either assume that you know what you are doing (taking quite a gamble) or he can assume you don’t know and give you 5 blasts on the ships horn (your intentions are unclear). So the underlying message here is simple. When you are out enjoying a sail and see a large commercial vessel approaching think 3 steps ahead and position yourself so that neither of you have to get to the point of worrying about which is the give way vessel. Most importantly, make your intentions clear. To date I have not met a master of any vessel who has the ability to read minds. Safe sailing.

Being aware of shipping movements around you is just good seamanship

14 Sailing Today November 2011

Richard Falk RYA Training Manager and Chief Examiner




šKLijWX_b_i[Z FL9Z[Ya_d] šBemcW_dj[dWdY[ šIe[WiojeÓj

7lW_bWXb[_d:$?$O$ijh_fi"fh[#\WXh_YWj[ZcWjiehW\kbboÓjj[Zefj_ed LddYgda[ZGdVYÕIdaaZhWjgnÕ:hhZmÕ8B.-GNÕ:c\aVcY IZa/ ))%&+'&-+.+%.Õ;Vm/ ))%&+'&-+--+( :bV^a/hVaZh@l^a`h#Xd#j`


BVYZjcYZga^XZcXZVcY XdkZgZYWn\adWVaeViZcih November 2011 Sailing Today 29

NEW boat test


core One of the survivors in Swedish boatbuilding, Arcona is not sitting on its laurels. Instead it has just launched the brand new 410 performance cruiser for our delectation. Duncan Kent took her for a spin around the Solent to see if she was up to the marque.


overs of classic Swedish production yachts will have recently been mourning the news that the wellrespected Najad yard has gone into liquidation – taking with it another renowned brand, Maxi, who it saved from the same fate a mere two years ago. Najad, along with Sweden Yachts, Comfortina and others who have also gone the same

44 Sailing Today November 2011

way recently, will be sadly missed at this year’s PSP Southampton Boat Show. Now for the good news – Arcona will still be there – and bigger and better than ever, thanks in part to its sparkling new 410 cruiser/racer. I felt mightily privileged to be offered the use of the UK dealer’s own personal boat (there’s confidence for you) for a day blatting around the Solent

in perfect weather – sunshine with a steady F4-5 sou’westerly. First looks had me itching to get to sea. To be honest, when I first heard that designer, Stefan Qviberg, had created a whole new boat, and hadn’t simply stretched the older, close to perfect Arcona 400, I became worried. In the past few years of financial strife I’ve seen many

arcona 410

traditional brands lose their way – either by trying to ‘modernise’, or by the need to cut costs. Many, as a result, have gone the way of Najad. Folk who buy top quality yachts do so for a good reason. They’re happy to pay over the odds to know that their beloved boat will keep them safe in a storm, provide a truly exciting day on the water and finally be a delight to live with

and show off to their friends. Yards who realise this are indeed charging a lot more than the cost-cutting, mass production boat factories, but it’s for a very good reason. Besides, this type of quality yacht will pretty much give you your money back, sometimes even with interest, when you put her on the used boat market. Like the several other Danish and

Scandinavian designs, Arcona yachts are all built with an integral steel frame, to which are attached the keel, mast and standing rigging. This not only makes for an enormously strong skeleton, but it also takes the rig stresses off the GRP hull, allowing for a lighter weight composite construction. and potentially improved performance.

November 2011 Sailing Today 45


d n u o r A d l r o W e th eikell

with Rod H

Your First

Circumnavigation A circumnavigation of the World at trade wind latitudes is for many of us the ultimate sailing aspiration. Rod Heikell who has done four transatlantics, three times across the Indian Ocean and a circumnavigation, takes us through some of the options.


t’s a scary thing setting off on a circumnavigation. It hurts the brain and the pocket and for anyone embarking on the adventure it seems so much more sensible to stay in home waters with what you know. Fortunately sensible is not what a lot of us are good at. Think of a circumnavigation as just a series of smaller passages that join up into a longer affair. And don’t tell anyone you are doing it... just off on a cruise down the coast of Atlantic Spain and, oh, we seem to be in the Canaries now. Well may as well keep going, after all the logical route back is via the Caribbean. Not that you can be laid back about setting off. Most sailing yachts are sturdy enough though you need to pay special attention to the rudder, steering cables, 84 Sailing Today November 2011

standing and running rigging and of course the sails. I’m constantly surprised by how many people think about spending large amounts of money on electronic boat toys when the sails on the boat need replacing. Keep the old sails on board as back-up. You can have all the bells and whistles, generator, watermaker, touchscreen plotters, electric winches and a microwave, but you don’t NEED them. What you do need is a well found boat, hull, rig, sails, charts and crew. There is a lot of research and a lot of preparation to do before casting the lines off though that part is exciting as well. On most ocean voyages that come unstuck it is boat gear or crew that break and not the boat itself.

rod heikell - circumnavigation

North North North Canaries / / / Canaries Canaries Atlantic Atlantic Atlantic Cape Verdes Cape Verdes Cape Verdes Antilles Antilles Antilles

Hawaii Hawaii Hawaii

Galapagos Galapagos Galapagos

Sri SriLanka Lanka Sri Lanka Pacific Ocean Pacific Ocean Pacific Ocean Singapore Singapore Singapore

South South South Atlantic Atlantic Atlantic

Tonga Tonga Tonga Tahiti Tahiti Tahiti


In these articles it’s only possible to provide a brief plan for a typical tradewind circumnavigation. For starters there are a lot of other factors at work including the very recent increase in piracy in the Arabian Sea. I’ll deal with that when we get to the Indian Ocean. For the rest the articles paint in broad brush


pacific ocean

Panama / Galapagos / Marquesas / Tuamotus / Tahiti / Tonga / Fiji / NZ

strokes the tradewind routes across the Atlantic, the South Pacific and the Indian Ocean, the routes our forefathers sailed in ships, often quite small ships, without the benefits of the iron topsail and sometimes without certain knowledge of where they were and where they were going.

Singapore Singapore Singapore

Indian IndianOcean Ocean Indian Ocean

Panama Panama Panama

New Zealand New Zealand New Zealand

1 Atlantic ocean

Suez Suez Suez

Cape Town Southern Cape Town Southern Cape Town Southern Ocean Ocean Ocean NewZealand Zealand New New Zealand

3 indian ocean

Australia / Indonesia / Malaysia / Thailand / Sri Lanka / Chagos / Madagascar / S Africa

Sail notes

When anyone talks about a tradewind circumnavigation, the assumption is that it’s all downwind in a warm following wind idly watching those puffy tradewind clouds and checking the fishing line. In fact most tradewind circumnavigations involve a lot more windward work than you might think. Even in the tradewind belts you can have periods where you will have to go to windward. The following passages are going to have significant chunks of windward work as the norm. • • • • • • • •

Getting down from Europe and out of the Mediterranean to around 35°N en route to the Canaries. Around the Leeward and Windward islands depending on your route. From Panama to the Galapagos. From the Marquesas to Tahiti and to the Iles sous le Vent. From Tonga to NZ. Getting up through Indonesia and up to Malaysia and Thailand. Getting up the Red Sea if going that way or getting around the south of Africa. Getting from the Caribbean to the Azores and back to Europe and the Mediterranean.

November 2011 Sailing Today 85


s n o s a e r 0 0 80

to go to

Sweden The sailing season is drawing to a close and its time to start dreaming of where you’re going to cruise next year; the Channel Islands? Cherbourg? How about west Sweden with its 8000 islands? Sam Jefferson explores the possibilities.


or sun starved British sailors, the concept of heading north when they go for a cruise can often seem a bit counter intuitive; there is that terrible dread that it might be even colder up there. Yet for the intrepid sailor, Scandinavia has much to offer in the summer months and provides a perfectly viable alternative to a cruise to Spain or the Mediterranean. Getting a bit more country specific, and Sweden has much to tempt cruising yachtsmen and when 60 Sailing Today November 2011

I was invited on a short four day cruise around Bohüslan, situated just to the north of Gothenburg, it seemed like a good opportunity to explore its potential as a cruising ground. Bohüslan is a Swedish province which covers a stretch of coastline running north from Gothenburg toward the Norwegian Border. It looks out on the Skaggerak Strait, a stretch of water separating Sweden from Denmark. It is home to one of the most truly

remarkable archipelagos, consisting of over 8,000 islands. Viewed from the air the archipelago looks spectacular; clearly God was having a bit of a Jackson Pollock moment when he set to work on west Sweden. Rocks and islands are scattered in every direction. The boring geographical explanation for this is because Bohüslan lay under a glacier and once this melted the land started to rise from the sea. This means that the archipelago is still rising out of


November 2011 Sailing Today 61




Huge tangled mess on cleat and dock.

Bow line too tight and a lack of suitable fendering endangers topsides. Lots of turns, should be a single bowline or OXO.

Stern sticking out into fairway due to poorly adjusted warps.

Line isn’t running through fairlead so could cause chafe.

Warp Speed

Time and again we see marina snarl ups caused or exacerbated by shoddy mooring warp usage. Hamble School of Yachting’s James Pearson gives us a solid grounding in the basics of tying and untying our boats.

One of the key set of skills that often betrays whether a sailor has ever been taught, or has worked it out for themselves, is how they moor and unmoor their boat. Looking around any marina, you see a variety of ways of tying up, some of the variety is within the range of individual taste, although some of it is plain wrong. While we are not in the business here of complicating things, mooring is one of the few aspects of sailing tuition where adding more stages to how we consider it actually can help. The classic mistake is to consider ‘moored’ as a single state and ‘underway’ as the only other. Simplifying like this into two states can mean we are tempted into thinking that un-mooring a boat is simply a case of reversing whatever we did to moor it which can lead to problems in anything other than settled weather and little tide. Instead mooring and unmooring a boat should be considered in five distinct stages, which we should get into the habit of considering even in light wind, tide-less conditions:

98 Sailing Today November 2011

1. Preparing boat, lines and crew to moor. 2. Getting the boat moored, safe and initially attached to the pontoon 3. Ensuring the boat is suitably moored for the length of time it is due to be left 4. Preparing boat and lines to slip 5. Slipping (un-mooring)

Even when moving our boat solely under motor, it is good practice to have all sail covers off and the main halyard on in case of engine failure.

in association with

Excess line stowed neatly on guardwires.

4 A

One seperate dedicated line for each job makes adjustment easier.

Lines terminate at dock leaving excess and hence all adjustment done from aboard.

warps set correctly, boat is level to berth and adequately fendered.

Single bowline, giving space for other yachts to use cleat



Note: The stern spring always stops the boat moving astern but is not always led to a cleat on the boat’s stern.

Terminology Lnes and springs- The bow and stern lines stop the bow and stern moving away from the pontoon. The bow and stern springs stop the boat moving forwards and backwards along the pontoon. The key for recognition of the springs is that the bow spring stops the boat moving forwards and the stern spring stops it moving astern. The bow spring gets its name from frequently being attached near the bow of the boat and the stern spring the stern. With a vessel using amidships cleats such as boat A (above) though, the bow spring need not go near the bow and the stern spring need not go near the stern. As in boat B the springs might cross each other, but their exact locations depend upon the available cleats on the boat and pontoon. Springs should ideally be more than half the length of the boat (longer ropes stretch more so can absorb more energy than shorter ones), and not cross the bow and stern lines to prevent chafe with these lines which will snub in a substantially different direction.

Slipping- This is the way we un-moor a boat by paying it out on one end of a doubled mooring line passing round a cleat or bollard and back to the boat. The most professional method of un-mooring

our boat! (As above). Note that the way the lines are arranged when the boat is moored is quite different from the way they are arranged to slip. Awareness of >> this difference is a key mooring skill.

November 2011 Sailing Today 99

Essential tools cruising cuisine

l l i r d e h t learning Tools expert David Parker looks at different types of drills and drilling techniques to help you choose the right way to get boring on your boat. There are few projects on a boat that do not require drilling holes of some kind and choosing the correct drill and drill bits for that job is guaranteed to make it easier. The first consideration when choosing a type of drill bit is the material it will be used on. High Speed Steel (HSS) drill bits are the commonest type of standard drill bit and these are used for general drilling of various materials, but if you don’t want them to burn out and blunt quickly, you need to follow a few rules.

HSS. You might pay twice as much for a decent cobalt tipped bit, but cheaper bits will just ‘blue’ and wear out after one or two holes. When drilling metal, choose a slow cutting speed and start with a smaller bit first and increase the bit size gradually. A good level of downward pressure helps with stainless, because it helps the bit to cut rather than burnish. What you want to see while drilling is a continuous spiral of swarfe coming off; this indicates that the bit is cutting nicely.

Drilling metal

Drilling wood

When drilling most metals, particularly stainless steel, lubricant should always be used – with the exceptions of brass and cast iron, which should always be drilled dry (and slowly). The ideal lubricant is proprietary cutting oil, but any oil or lubricant is better than nothing. I have even used water and washing up liquid when drilling steel and it works, but WD 40 is a better ‘make do’ if you have it to hand. Graham Aird of Makita explains that the best drill bits to use on stainless steel are Cobalt

Although metalworking bits can be used for wood, drill bits specifically designed for wood are twist drills with a centre point; these are known as lip and spur or dowel bits. The point centres the bit exactly in the wood and prevents its slipping and helps you to drill straight. For traditional, tapered wood screws, the timber can be pre-bored using two sizes of bit. After the pilot hole is drilled to the full depth, you then drill a shorter clearance hole for the thicker shank at the top of the screw.

112 Sailing Today November 2011

Larger size drill bits such as 8 and 10mm can be used for wooden dowels in joints or to cut a shallow, round hole at the top of the main screw hole, which can then be plugged with doweling. When not using plugs, screw heads are made flush with the surface of the work with a countersink bit. There are two main types of countersink known either as a ‘rosehead’ or ‘reamer’ head. I prefer the rosehead type for general work, because it keeps its edge better over time. If you have a lot of fixings to do, for example fitting plywood sheathing on a wooden deck, then a counter 3-in-1 bit makes short work of this. This tool drills a pilot hole, clearance hole and will countersink the screw head all in one operation. For large holes in wood, spade or flat bits are typically used. They have flat edges on the shank for fitting it into the drill chuck and the long brad point allows holes to be bored in soft or hardwood, end grain, knotty timbers or even damp wood. To prevent break out or splintering as the bit emerges from the other side of the timber, use a scrap piece of wood for the drill to

drilling and drill bits

Proprietary cutting oil has a low viscosity, so it doesn’t run off (left). Decent drill sets will give repeated use (above).

8mm wood bit fits standard dowels.



This HSS Ezychange Holesaws Kit from Makita has sizes ranging from 16 to 51mm.



Your Tips

For drilling steel, apply pressure, use lubricant and choose a slow cutting speed. A constant spiral of swarf off the drill bit indicates it is cutting nicely.


Lip and Spur bits are used for wood.

Auger Bits can be used in a hand brace or power drill to quickly drill deep holes and are available in standard (above) or long (below) sizes.

The width of an expansive bit can be adjusted and saves buying a set of bits.

hole and a cutter with a spiral to pass out the chips. Because they are pricey, if you are only going to use them occasionally, an expansive bit can be adjusted to different sizes. Both spade and auger bits can be used in a carpenter’s brace which, with its wide sweep, offers very good steady leverage for cutting holes. The carpenter’s brace was the standard for cutting holes of all sizes long before power drills and remains a great tool to have at your disposal. Also, don’t forget the old fashioned hand drill, because it is handy for drilling pilot holes in wood and countersinking.

Drilling glassfibre Spade or ‘Flat’ drill bits (above and below) are used in a power drill and are versatile and inexpensive. They come in different lengths and the long brad point allows holes to be bored in soft or hardwood, end grain or even wet and stringy timbers.

run into. Alternatively, drill until the point begins to project through, then complete the hole by drilling back in from the opposite side. Auger bits are more expensive that flat bits, but will drill large deep holes faster and cleanly. An auger bit has a screw nose that draws it into the wood, a spur to cut the periphery of the

GRP is very abrasive and creates a lot of heat during drilling, so a high quality, very sharp bit is required and Graham Aird of Makita recommends using a Titanium Nitride coated bit. The TiN coating helps protect the bit and dissipates heat from the tip. Graham also recommends covering the area to be drilled with low tack tape, such as masking tape. The tape helps you mark where you want to drill. Drill a very small pilot hole first through the tape to prevent the gelcoat splitting, followed by a larger hole that you drill with very low pressure, trying to keep the drill as perpendicular as possible. Before tightening down any screw or bolt, Graham also suggests using a fine counter sink to clear the gel coat from around the drilled

hole to reduce direct pressure on the gel coat and reduce the risk of stress cracks. A hand drill can be used for this, so you only remove the gelcoat and do not enlarge the actual hole. Some people also put the drill into reverse, which wears away the gelcoat first and then actually drill through the glassfibre itself. For large holes, a circular hole cutter is required, which is also known as a hole saw. This has a cylindrical saw blade with a drill bit through its centre and makes a cylindrical cut leaving a plug of the waste material removed. Hole saws can be used for various materials including wood, plastic and GRP. When using these in a power drill, select a low drill speed with a high torque setting and fit the sidemounted handle for safety and accuracy.

Precision drilling Finally, when using any power drill freehand it helps to use a try square to check that it is upright. For greater precision when fabricating parts, a vertical drill stand enables you to clamp a portable drill into a mounting on a pillar fitted to a base. The drill is then raised and lowered with a lever and this ensures that the hole is drilled exactly at right angles and enables you to control the depth of cut more reliably. It’s also well worth bearing in mind that general use handheld power drills have a maximum chuck size of 13mm and for any holes larger than this a bench mounted drill would be better, although this will depend on how portable ■ the wood you are working on is.

About the author David Parker used to be with Sailing Today as Technical Editor and set up ST’s marine equipment Test Centre in Falmouth before moving with the magazine to its Southampton base. He has built and restored boats and now writes on a wide variety of boating subjects.

November 2011 Sailing Today 113

Hallberg-Rassy 310

"Comfortable and capacious, hugely entertaining"

Lots of natural light in the Hallberg-Rassy 310

Yachting Monthly write in their test report of the 310: Hallberg-Rassy is leading, not following. The saloon is huge, with amazing light and ventilation. Two hatches and four large, opening sideports bathe the interior with light and air. There are thoughtful details like the small pressurized water reservoir so the pump doesn’t fire up at the slightest twitch of the tap. She’s quick, pretty and the space below is remarkable in a yacht of this size. Construction is up to the standards you would expect of Hallberg-Rassy. This is a hugely entertaining yacht – fast and fun, spirited but secure, comfortable and capacious, impeccably built and, because of the name, sure to hold her value.

- Established 1943 -












Sailing Today Preview  

Sailing Today Preview

Sailing Today Preview  

Sailing Today Preview