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Contents

Buyers Guide p40

December 2011 Issue 176

44

Group Test Liferafts GEAR Put to the test

26

Parking with twin rudders

102

New BOAT TEST Dufour 375

04 Sailing Today December 2011

54

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This month News AND views Sailing News Readers’ Letters View From the RYA Riding Light

6 12 16 146

GEAR AND EQUIPMENT Stars of the Show Southampton Boat Show Best Bits

34

Books Gear on Test Stars of The Show Buyer’s Guide: Coastal Oilies Group Test: Liferafts

18 26 34 40 44

BOATS New Boat Test: Dufour 375GL Your Boats: Vindo 32 Used Boat Test: Hunter Legend 29.5

54 60 62

CRUISING

96

Paradise Found: Charter Purchase Croatian Charter My MARINA Emsworth The Baltic Cruising Cuisine Panpipe to Paimpol

Cruising Panpipe to Paimpol

70 76 82 88 94 96

Practical Single Line Reefing Re-Caulking Teak Decks

108 112

seamanship Parking with Twin Rudders Weatherclass Q&As with Nick Vass

102 106 116

WIN! WIN! WIN!

Practical Re-caulking your teak decks

co.uk

112

Old Pulteney 12-year Old whisky Pair of Barton’s Maxi ‘K’ cam cleats Winchrite Cordless Power Winch Handle

13 14 68

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December 2011 Sailing Today 05


columnist

Who’s in charge? Richard Falk, Training Manager at the RYA, keeps us abreast of the ups and downs of the latest safety and education issues around sailing. We don’t often start a day of sailing thinking about what might go wrong, do we? In a world gone mad with safety requirements, rules and regulations most of us still find pleasure in the fact that sailing is relatively unencumbered by red tape and rules. On the water we can escape the worries of everyday life and enjoy one of the last bastions of unregulated fun. That being said, most sailors are blessed with some degree of common sense and that is what this month’s article is all about – common sense. Most people these days recognise (and I would like to think actually practice) the necessity for some sort of briefing to their guests or crew before they leave the dock or mooring. This could be as basic as 10 minutes about where to sit and where not to sit, how to put your lifejacket on and activate it and the golden rules for the use of the loo (sometimes the most entertaining). This is fine for a quiet potter around in benign conditions with an experienced skipper. For a more challenging event, such as few days on board or more boisterous conditions, the predeparture briefing will be beefed up accordingly to cover more aspects of the operation of the vessel and, in particular, the location and operation of all of the safety equipment. The extreme of this would be an ocean crossing where a skipper may spend several days carrying out final checks and ensuring all crew are completely aware of all aspects of the vessel and her operations. Surely this is just common sense – not only will the owner/skipper’s life be easier if more people are better informed about how the boat works, but the likelihood of injury or damage is greatly reduced. Now we arrive at an interesting conundrum. We generally issue all of these briefings and carry out all explanations as a skipper with the added rider of “Don’t worry, I’ll let you know when you have to deploy the liferaft, use the emergency tiller, or heave the boat to in case of a man overboard.” Have you spotted the deliberate error yet? We brief our crew assuming that we (as skipper) are on board and fully functional. What happens if we are a) unconscious, b) overboard, c) badly injured and incapacitated? Who takes charge? Do they have

enough knowledge and practical skills to at least be able to raise the alarm and maintain the safety of boat and crew? More importantly, when there is a group of people all with the same level of experience (or inexperience) does anyone within the group know who will take charge? Is any one individual prepared to assume that responsibility? Finally, as skipper, are you immune to all the potential hazards and ailments that could befall anyone on a boat? If your answer to the last question is no, I would suggest you read on to the end of this article. Here are a few brief thoughts I would suggest you consider when you go for a sail: Ensure everyone on board has an appropriate briefing to enable them to look after at least themselves in the event of some form of emergency. Identify one person who has adequate knowledge to take charge in the event that the skipper is left incapacitated. Be sure that the nominated person can operate the VHF radio and understands the start and stop procedure for the engine controls. Ensure both the nominated ‘second in command’ and the rest of the crew are aware of who will take charge in the event of the skipper being incapacitated in some way. The more challenging the passage you are making, the more experienced and capable you will want your second in command to be. An important factor in all of this is that the process does not have to be particularly formal or laborious. The point is just to make sure that in the event of your being unable to take charge of the vessel, someone else is able to step in and take over – and the rest of the crew are clear on who that person will be. Ultimately, everyone will enjoy themselves more knowing that little bit more about the boat and what to do when things go wrong. And most importantly you will have that little bit more confidence that if you do end up in the water your crew will have a better than even chance of being able to get back to you.

We generally brief our crew assuming that we (as skipper) are on board and fully functional. Who takes charge if you’re injured?

16 Sailing Today December 2011

Richard Falk RYA Training Manager and Chief Examiner


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group test

ecked shipwr itor d Art E

ecked shipwr Editor

Photos: Rod Lewis

oce an s afet y • plast imo • seago • crewsave r • viking • zodiac • ocean safety • plastimo • seago • crewsav 44 Sailing Today December 2011


4-man liferafts WS CRE

AVER

IAC ZOD

GO SEA

N OCEA Y T SAFE

PLAS

TIMO

VIKIN

G

Life saver...

We spend a fortune on them and for some their lives depend on them, but what do we actually know about our liferaft and what can we expect when we tentatively yank that painter to set it off? Duncan Kent and the doughty ST test team took six 4-man liferafts available on the UK market today and set them off in the sea to find out how they fared.

Why have a liferaft? It seems strange to even be discussing this question, but despite not being mandatory for small, private leisure craft in the UK, going to sea without a liferaft would surely be foolhardy to say the least. ‘No liferaft, no life’ is the wry comment made by Josh Jones, who, together with his wife and children, survived the sinking of their yacht in the Atlantic by taking to their liferaft for 18 hours until they were rescued. I must say I was flabbergasted when, during our trials, some curious onlookers gathered to peer inside one of the inflated

rafts. ‘We’ve never seen one of these inflated’ the lady said, as she pushed her trolley full of gear down the pontoon. ‘Do you have a liferaft yourself?’ one of our test team asked. ‘Oh no,’ she said dismissively, ‘ours is only a 30ft boat.’ Can someone please explain to me the logic behind that comment? I treat the liferaft as a vital piece of safety equipment – and not just as a ‘final resort’ in the event of a disaster. I have always told my wife or crew that, should someone fall overboard (especially me when sailing just with my petite wife) and you are unable to

get them safely back on board within a few minutes, launch the liferaft. A casualty who is in full oilskins and boots can be extremely heavy – we weighed one our guys before and after being in the water with full oilies and his weight increased by 1½ stone (nearly 10kg) – so in my case that’s 16½ stone (105kg) my 5ft/7-stone wife would be expected to heave back on board! Whereas, if she’s launched the liferaft I have somewhere I can climb into myself to keep out of the wind and water until the rescue services arrive. What’s a £300 repack job when the alternative is possible hypothermia or worse!

or anchorage, then the pack contents of your raft can be minimalist. In fact the packs available for the ISO-approved liferaft we tested were all ‘Under 24-hour’, intended for inshore or coastal sailing – ie. when you would be unlikely to have to spend more than 24 hours in the liferaft before being rescued. These contain a bailer, sponge, pair of paddles, whistle, torch, signalling mirror, seasickness pills, sick bags, 2 red parachute flares, 3 red hand flares, repair kit and a pump. 24-hour+ kits also contain two thermal blankets, a 1st Aid kit, a second

torch, six hand flares, 1.5ltr freshwater per person and 10,000 kJ of food pp, although some or all of these extra items may be supplied in a separate, floating grab bag. Equipment packs must be protected against water infiltration and easily accessible while wearing gloves. All rafts must also have a floating safety knife

PREPARATION Liferaft pack contents One of the perpetual problems for liferaft manufacturers is the survival packs contained within the raft itself. These have to be pretty basic to avoid extra weight, but they must contain the bare essentials for survival and the ability to signal to a passing vessel or aircraft. The contents of these packs vary considerably and depend on what type of sailing you plan to do, or more importantly, how far you are likely to sail from help. If you’re only ever going to potter along the coastline, stopping for the night in a port

ver • viking • zodiac • ocean safety • plastimo • seago • crewsaver • viking • zodiac • December 2011 Sailing Today 45


NEW boat test

Family fun

Dufour is France’s third largest production boat builder and the 375GL is one of the most recent boats in its Grand Large range of stylish and contemporary sailing yachts, designed for comfortable family cruising and lengthy offshore passages. Duncan Kent took her for a brisk sail to see how this popular mid-range yacht would fare among the many performance cruisers on offer.

54 Sailing Today December 2011


dufour 375GL

IMG_7019.CR2

The 375GL is Dufour’s mid-range cruising yacht in its latest generation of performance cruising yachts from the recently launched 335GL, to its flagship the 525GL. This new range has been well received, with its 405GL being awarded European Yacht of the Year 2010. The 375GL is in a similar vein with its elegant lines, exciting performance under sail, bright and airy accommodation and emphasis on comfort and convenience afloat.

Like all the boats in the new GL range, the 375 sports twin helms – now the norm for most production cruising yachts over 35ft LOA – which opens up the wide cockpit and allows easy access to the water aft. As with all Dufours, she is hand-laminated using osmosis resistant resins and has an injection moulded, balsa cored deck and coachroof. In terms of hull design, she follows the

modern trend towards generous hindquarters, a sleek underwater profile, slightly flared bows with an almost plumb stem. This combination gives her a lengthy waterline and enables her to penetrate an oncoming sea without slamming. She comes with a choice of keels, both bulbed to keep the ballast as low as possible and her sailplan includes a slab reef main and genoa.

December 2011 Sailing Today 55


cruising

ParadiseFound

Yacht management and charter purchase schemes

70 Sailing Today December 2011


charter purchase schemes

One tempting way of buying a new boat is to enter into a charter purchase/partnership scheme run by many of the larger charter companies – but are they cost effective? Duncan Kent trawls through the small print to see if they’re as good a deal as they sound.

F

or some years now the larger charter operators have been offering boat ownership schemes whereby members buy a new boat through them and put it out to charter for the first three to six years of its life, after which it is handed back to you as owner to do with as you please. In return you are offered a contract that allows you use of your own boat (or similar vessel in its charter fleet), for a certain number of weeks a year – depending on the agreement you enter into. The charter operator usually has several plans available, offering you a choice of how you may use the boat during the contract period and how much you wish to initially invest. If you have sufficient funds, some operators let you buy the boat outright and then lease it to them for an agreed amount when you are not using it yourself – usually called a management plan in which running expenses are taken out of the charter income received. If you do choose this option, make sure you find a company that will offer you a guaranteed fixed return so you can budget. This way you will know exactly how much you will be receiving annually, despite fluctuations in the market. Other options require you to front up a percentage of the cost price of the boat – usually around 50-65 percent, depending on the number of years you agree to do it and the yacht’s charter destination. This investment then gives you the right to use your boat, or similar, for certain periods each year, whilst the company charters it out for the rest of the season – taking all of the charter fees generated but paying all running costs. This way you get use of a boat for several weeks a year, but the charter company berths, insures and maintains it on your behalf. At the end

of the deal period you get your (probably well-used) boat back to do with as you wish, although many operators will either accept it as part exchange on another partnership contract, or help you to sell it on an organised brokerage scheme.

CHOICE OF YACHT Each charter operator has a range of approved yachts available that you can choose from – some offering a greater selection than others. Currently there is a greater requirement for monohulls than catamarans, but the call for the latter is increasing every year, so cats are becoming available in the Med as well as the more exotic and remote cruising grounds around the world. The only problem with buying a yacht through most of these schemes is it will usually have to be equipped to the charter operator’s own specific requirements, which might not necessarily match your ideal setup. Saying that, these days the operators are offering more and more equipment, so in fact you might end up with a better equipped boat than you would normally have chosen, although a lot of the electronics will be well dated (in technology terms) by the end of your contract.

FINANCE Many charter operators who run these schemes also offer to provide finance deals on the remaining balance. However, it is always worth checking their terms against those of a reputable marine finance organisation before you agree to anything.

END OF THE CONTRACT At the end of the contract period, most companies will offer you an exchange

programme whereby you can part exchange for a new boat, starting all over again, or simply help you to sell your boat via their own brokerage departments. Many of the larger charter companies will even offer you a guaranteed buy-back value on your boat at the start of the contract, so they must be fairly confident of their own maintenance programmes!

VAT All the operators will be VAT-registered, so you won’t have to pay VAT while your yacht is being used in their charter fleet. You will, however, have to pay VAT when you finally take possession of it, although it will only be on the residual value of the vessel. VAT or any other type of tax will be due when the vessel arrives at its new home country, and at the rates applicable to that country. So, if you bring your five year-old cat back from the Caribbean to the UK, you will need to inform HMRC and have it assessed for VAT as soon as it arrives. VAT will usually be calculated on the charter operator’s stated residual value, although HMRC – or any other EU tax department – can decide to put their own value on the vessel if they think your suggestion is unrealistic, so don’t push your luck too far! Most operators will be well versed in the local VAT regulations should you wish to leave the boat in its original cruising area and will help you sort out the necessary paperwork.

TAX As with property rental, if you own the yacht, outright charter income has to be declared. However, you are using finance to pay for the yacht then the repayments can be offset against the income. December 2011 Sailing Today 71


cruising cuisine

Method Place the casserole dish on the hob over a medium flame, pour in two tablespoons of olive or vegetable oil and, when hot, add your chopped onions and garlic. Season with a little salt and ground pepper. Sweat off the onions and garlic until slightly browned and then add the chops. Seal the chops on both sides and allow to brown slightly. Remove from the heat. Add the tin of chopped, peeled tomatoes with two tablespoons of tomato puree, two tablespoons of red or white wine vinegar, three tablespoons of honey and a good pouring of Worcestershire sauce. Finally, add in half a teaspoon of the chilli powder, half a teaspoon of mustard powder or English mustard, a little more salt and ground pepper to taste and give it all a good stir. Return to a low heat on the hob and allow to simmer or, better still, place in a preheated oven at 200°C (gas mark 6) and leave to cook for 40 minutes. Half fill the saucepan with water and bring to the boil, add a little oil, which helps to prevent the rice grains from sticking together, but don’t salt the water. Once the rice is nearly cooked, add in the tin of sweetcorn along with all the juice. This will add the sweetness to the water and to the rice. Finish cooking and serve. Garnish with a few sprigs of flat leaf parsley.

Pork chops in spicy barbeque sauce

Feeds 4 Substantial and warming, combining spicy flavours with the pork and sweetness with the rice.

Ingredients • • • • • • • • • •

4 large pork chops or steaks Vegetable or olive oil 1 large onion (chopped) 1 clove of garlic (chopped) Tomato puree Red or white wine vinegar Worcestershire sauce Honey Chilli powder Mustard powder or English mustard

• • • • •

1 tin of chopped peeled tomatoes Salt and ground pepper 1 small tin of sweetcorn 2 large cups of white or brown rice Few sprigs of flat leaf parsley

Utensils required: • Casserole dish or similar with lid • Saucepan with lid • Small, sharp kitchen knife • Chopping board

Julian Kimberley cooks up a favourite dish. When in need of something more substantial and warming, it’s incredibly quick and easy to prepare and very tasty.

T

his is really excellent boat food and still in keeping with my trend of mainly one pot cooking. Apart from the rice all the rest can be done in the one dish and can be cooked on the hob or in the oven. A casserole dish with lid works best and In my experience, pretty much all the ingredients for this recipe are often found aboard boats anyway and, if not, can be picked up easily, even in places without supermarkets. I have used pork chops here although pork steaks are also ideal. The sauce is slightly hot and spicy, so it gives that lovely

94 Sailing Today December 2011

warming feeling when going down and the sweetness from the sweetcorn gives the rice a real lift. If you have a container with a liquid sealable lid on board, I would suggest making up a little extra sauce, because it is not only perfect with pork, but also fantastic with chicken. It is one of the sauces I will be making on the ARC, because it’s so versatile and goes down well with a hungry crew. I will be concentrating on versatile sauces over the next few issues, which can be used to good effect with different foods and highlighting some basic ingredients, which, if

on board, will always enable you to conjure up something special. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Julian runs a company manufacturing high quality marine cookers and is doing the ARC this year on Casamara, a Discovery 55. He will be using specialist vacuum storage systems supplied by his galley company, GN Espace, to provide the seven crew members with fresh meals for the duration of the crossing. Visit his website www. gn-espace.com for more recipes and information or contact Julian direct at julian@gn-espace.com


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seamanship

Parking with

twin rudders

102 Sailing Today December 2011


Case Study

As more and more boat designers go for twin rudders, Hamble School of Yachting’s James Pearson takes a look at how this thoroughly modern configuration requires their handling under power to be treated slightly differently. Twin rudders a potted history Ever since the TransPac and Mini Transat race boats of the early 90s, followed quickly by their bigger brothers; the Open 60s, went down the route of twin rudders, more and more have been appearing on production boats. With a single rudder, there was a limit to how wide a transom could be, as there would come a point where the heeling angle would lever the rudder out, causing it to lose grip, leading to the boat rounding up. (as far right) With twin rudders, designers can make a boat’s transom wide, shallow and boxy, which provides lots of lift at the stern, often improving performance off the wind. This was crucial for the predominantly downwind races that such boats were initially designed for. The boats needed a wide, flat transom to plane off the wind and the elegant solution of a rudder at each corner of the transom ensured that their performance upwind, when it was occasionally required, would

Life without prop wash Looking at the principle of prop wash in the diagram (below), we recall how, with a quick thrust of forward gear while stationary, the central single rudder of the hull on the right diverts the thrust of the prop wash to port, turning the stern to starboard, and due to the pivot point, the bow to port. Without a central rudder to divert this relatively narrow column of thrust, we soon realised that Firesong (depicted by the boat on the left) lacked one of the 5 mechanisms of boat handling. Ray informed us that Northshore Yachts have in the past installed a third short central rudder for owners who keep their boats in tight berths. However, Ray had concluded, and we had agreed, that adding the drag of a

also be acceptable. While cruising boats are not normally expected to plane downwind, their designers could still get downwind speed benefits from wider aft sections and even more appealing was the increased space this configuration would allow in the aft cabins. In the context of Northshore Yachts’ lift keel shoal draught Southerly range, heavily reinforced twin rudders along with a raised keel and a grounding plate make for a stable tripod for drying out on- yet another persuasive case for this modern configuration. However, as twin rudder technology started to filter down into the cruising market, the new owners’ delight at their boats’ sprightly performance off the wind, was moderated in some cases by occasional close quarters difficulties due to the boats’ different behaviour under engine. We were approached by Ray Bacon, the fortunate owner of Firesong, a New Southerly 42 RS, (his first twin rudder boat) to take him through any modifications he might need to make to his boat handling.

Tips

third underwater appendage for the hours and days spent sailing just to make life a bit easier for the minutes spent parking was an exceptionally inelegant solution. Although Firesong has a bow thruster, it’s there as a backup and we wouldn’t be using it today. Far better to get a thorough grounding in our boat’s behaviour without it first, then we can more sensibly evaluate the situations when we need to use it and when it isn’t necessary. Having stopped our boat and felt its windage, the second exercise we teach skippers familiarizing themselves with a new boat’s behaviour is to turn the boat through 180º using forward, reverse gears and the helm from motoring slow ahead. This mimics the common scenario of entering a

Back to basics Firstly we went back to consider again the 5 basic principles of boathandling under power (ST172- August 2011) • Pivot point • Windage • Steerage • Prop walk • Slide

Facts

Tips

Video

One could argue that because a twin rudder boat when unheeled typically has a slightly larger rudder area than an equivalent single rudder boat, it might display a tendency to pivot round a pivot point further aft. Allied to Firesong’s raised saloon, which gives the boat the RS suffix and increased lateral windage, we thought it prudent to begin our investigations with a dead stop in a light side wind in slack tide. As we learnt in ST172, there is no better way to evaluate how a boat will behave at standstill. In 7 knots of breeze on the beam we allowed Firesong to come to a complete halt. While she’s clearly a relatively high windage boat, most of her raised saloon is aft of her pivot point and her bow is relatively sharp and chiselled, so her bow blew off downwind in a manner that was no more sudden or surprising than Ray’s previous boat; a more conventionally designed single rudder Dufour 385. We found that Firesong’s behaviour concerning slide and prop walk were also as expected, but unsurprisingly when trying to gain steering from prop wash in gear ahead, she behaved very differently from a centrally keeled boat (see left).

Asks?

confined space such as a marina trot, then having to turn around and head back out. With all boats without strong prop walk, in slack tide, it pays to turn the bow towards the wind first if possible. Sure enough, when Ray tried to turn the boat stern to the wind, completing the turn proved impossible while remaining on station. Using the boat’s forward momentum to take the bow through the eye of the wind first means that the wind will do much of the rest of the turn for us. >>

December 2011 Sailing Today 103


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