Page 1

Buyer’s Guide p40

Contents January 2011 Issue 177




How to be happy 10 unofficial rules of sailing


GEAR Put to the test

USED BOAT TEST Prout Quest 31

04 Sailing Today January 2012





Books reviewed p18 To buy a back issue call 01442 820580

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

6 12 14 146



NEW BOAT TEST Nauticat 385

Books Just In (Christmas special) Gear on test Buyer’s Guide: Searchlights Group Test: 8in chartplotters

18 26 31 40 46

BOATS New Boat Test: Nauticat 385 Used Boat Test: Prout Quest 31

56 62



PRACTICAL Tender moments


Winter Boat Ventilation How to be Happy My MARINA Conwy First Winter Afloat Cruising Cuisine

70 74 80 86 95

Practical Servicing Safety Gear Inflatable Dinghy Repair Essential tools: Sanders Q&As with Nick Vass

104 108 112 114

seamanship Wind on Berthing Weatherclass

96 102



My MARINA Conwy, North Wales

Old Pulteney 12-year Old whisky Force 4 Chandlery voucher worth £50 Ocean Safety Liferaft

12 13 68

subscribe and save!


January 2012 Sailing Today 05


It will never happen to me Richard Falk, Training Manager at the RYA, keeps us abreast of the ups and downs of the latest safety and education issues around sailing. Confidence is a wonderful thing when it comes to sailing. Knowing that you are reasonably well prepared for whatever the elements might throw at you on an offshore trip and being aware of your limitations certainly reduces your stress levels and allows you to enjoy your time on the water in a relaxed style. However, it is only a short journey from confidence to complacency. Having sailed for about 20 odd years I had been in the happy position of never having personally experienced a man overboard from a vessel that I was on. A few years ago, that all changed. I was teaching a course in the Solent on a lovely summer’s day with not a ripple on the water. With no wind it seemed logical to have my Day Skipper candidates practice a bit of alongside berthing. After a couple of successful manoeuvres we came in for a final approach and as one of my students stepped off the boat he fell between the boat and pontoon. Fortunately I was able to hold the boat off, he inflated his lifejacket and with the help of two crew he was hauled onto the pontoon wet but ok. Exactly one week later I was back in the Solent on another course. Having practiced a mooring buoy pick up (again in very calm conditions) we decided it was time to put the kettle on. While this was attended to, one of the crew stepped onto the sugar scoop outside the lifelines in an effort to free some weed that was trailing from the rudder. He lost his footing and before we knew it he too was in the water in 2kn of tide. He inflated his lifejacket, we slipped our mooring and recovered him on board within about two minutes. Two separate and completely unrelated events taught me a couple of very useful lessons. No matter how benign conditions may be there is always a good argument for having a lifejacket on (particularly when stepping outside the lifelines where crew are most at risk). MOB can happen not only at any time, but to anyone and in a variety of ways. The two examples I have given here are what I would call ‘unusual’ MOBs in that they are not situations where you would normally anticipate someone going over the side. On both occasions the crew acted quickly and effectively and the problem

was dealt with. However, this was done in daylight in no wind and with a professional Yachtmaster Instructor taking control and issuing the instructions. On both occasions the technique called for was completely different from the methods that would generally be taught on your average course. What is the point that I am trying to make? Well it is quite simple really. Many people these days are enlightened enough to carry out MOB recovery drills on a regular basis. This is a great development and one that, if managed properly, can improve the safety of all aboard and can actually be quite fun. However, most people practice these manoeuvres while sailing upwind, closehauled and using a set ‘scenario’. Unfortunately, MOBs do not always happen upwind. Have you considered how you would respond if you were sailing downwind with a cruising chute up or a poled out headsail? Have you looked at what you would do if a crew member fell between the lifelines, was clipped on and was being dragged alongside the vessel? There is no one technique for dealing with each of these situations. However, if you have at least thought through some of the different possibilities and how you might deal with them you have gone some of the way towards finding a solution if or when it actually happens. As a general principle the following points should be your first three concerns with a MOB: a) Raise the alarm. b) Stop the boat. c) Appoint a spotter. Ideally, these will all happen simultaneously and once they have been done you have bought yourself some time to think through what should be done next. Remember also that MOB is not only about getting back to the person in the water, but also how you are going to get them back on board. Next time you are on your boat, why not take 10 minutes to think about the different types of MOB you could encounter and how you might deal with them. Involve your crew in the exercise and see how confident you are about them being able to handle the situation if it is you who has gone over the side. Always remember, it could just happen to you. Safe sailing.

Many people practice Man overboard, but often only consider one set ‘scenario’.

14 Sailing Today January 2012

Richard Falk RYA Training Manager and Chief Examiner


W ha

t ha

uman eye the h se


mal camera s t a ther ees

The power to see in total darkness chandlery

The same scene. Two very different views – the human eye and a Raymarine thermal camera image. The new Raymarine TH24 and TH32 Thermal Cameras give boaters the power to see clearly in total darkness in a compact, handheld easily accessible format. The TH24 and TH32 Thermal Cameras make pictures from heat, not light, helping you see landmarks, bridge abutments, and other vessels clearly in all light conditions from daylight to complete darkness. Thermal night vision improves your ability to see rocks, buoys, floating debris, and even helps you find people in the water, vital when just a few minutes makes all the difference in the matter of survival. The new TH Series Thermal Cameras from Raymarine

Range Detection Guide TH32: ~4,200ft. (1.23km) TH24: ~2,940ft. (895m) TH32 ~1,476ft. (450m) TH24: ~1,050ft. (320m)





London Boat Show Stand A120 I N N O VAT I O N Ê U Ê + 1    / 9 Ê U Ê / , 1 - / January 2012 Sailing Today 11


Tullett Prebon london boat show

Prepare for an Excel-ent Show The London Boat Show has been around for more years than we can remember and what better way to shake off the post Christmas blues and kick start the New Year than with this magnificent celebration of all things boating and yachting. Taking place between January 6 and 15,

the show has remained bullish in the face of economic gloom and this year promises to bring you all the old favourites along with a smattering of new attractions to boot. There will be almost 1,000 boats to clamber aboard and sniff around. Whether its a nice down to earth cruiser you’re after

or a glamorous and glitzy multi million pound sailing yacht, they’re all there for you to gawp at in wonder. Beyond this, there is a whole plethora of attractions to keep visitors entertained whatever floats your boat. Here are a few highlights that might tempt you.

Refreshments After a full day of action, you’ll doubtless be keen to seek out some refreshment and there is a mouthwatering array of eateries and bars in which to sate your appetite and slake your thirst. Black & White Bar Enjoy a pint of the black stuff at the Show’s most famous bar. Clubs & Associations Bar Enjoy a drink while overlooking the classic boats and craftsmen showcasing restoration skills.


Sunseeker Champagne Bar serving Piper Heidsieck Set in the gleaming South Hall, this is the place to be seen if you fancy yourself. Don the sunglasses on the head, slip on a pair of chinos and head over to sip bubbly and spout off about your Sunseeker. For those looking for a little glamour, this bar is the place to be seen.


24 Sailing Today January 2012

All photos are from the 2011 LBS. 1: Some chap wakeboarding. 2: Punters quaff ale. 3: The model boat pool. 4: John Goode pontificates. 5: Singlehander aground.



6-15 January 2012 Show highlights

and inspire. Cookery Masterclass – Of course, the highlight for any dedicated Sailing Today reader will unquestionably be a star turn from ST’s very own cruising chef, Julian Kimberley. Julian, who is taking part in this year’s ARC event will be working closely with Michelin starred chef Adam Gray and published sailing cookery author Janet Buckingham. The trio will be rustling up some fantastic and quick meals that can be rapidly and easily prepared in all sizes of galleys. Whether on short day trips or crossing oceans, these great but simple fresh meals with their easily sourced ingredients and high nutritional value, will inspire and sustain you. Whether you are on a sailing yacht or a motor boat, these simple recipe ideas are not to be missed at any price. As if that weren’t enough, our very own celebrity gourmet will also be explaining how to keep fresh food fresh for long periods at sea, so that you can enjoy fresh home from home cooking on board, no matter how far you plan to travel. As a bit of an added bonus, on the last four days of the Show, you will also be able to enjoy the London Bike Show, Outdoors Show and Active Travel Show at ExCeL with your Tullett Prebon London Boat Show ticket. All in all, our capital’s show promises once more to be the only way to usher in the next boating season. Make sure you don’t miss out on our fantastic ticket offer either with a free pint of beer (right). It’s the perfect way to keep ■ you lubricated.


Getting there

Special Sailing Today ticket and a pint reader offer: That’s right, pre-order a ticket quoting LDN67 and you’ll get your ticket for £16, plus a FREE pint of your choice. Given the price of a pint these days, that’s a fair saving. So you relax, this one’s on us. Cheers.

To arrange your discount, contact the ticket hotline on 0871 230 7140 or go to www.londonboatshow. com and quote LDN67. TERMS AND CONDITIONS: Offer ends midnight 24th December 2011. A fee of £1.75 applies per transaction, not per ticket. Offer is valid any one day between Monday 9 - Wednesday 11 January 2012. Alcohol is only served to those aged 18 years and over. A voucher is required which can only be redeemed at the Black & White Bar. Up to two children 15 years and under go free with every standard adult ticket presented.

Scan the code for the preview film.

All photos: onEdition

The show offers a mixture of activities, some more leisurely than others. Watersports Action Pool – For those that are more adventurous and are happy to get wet, the Watersports Action Pool has been built especially for the Show where the experts from Neilson Active Holidays and Rockley Watersports will help you get on the water. Visitors can take to the water to try an exciting range of sports such as stand-up paddle boarding (SUP), wakeboarding, windsurfing, dinghy sailing, canoeing and kayaking. For the less adventurous there will be enthralling action to sit back and watch, with live demos and professional championships by watersports experts, including a canoe polo invitational match and pro paddle board competition. Expect the action to wax fast and furious as the competitors vie for supremacy. Classic Boat Attraction – Visitors can experience a real slice of tradition at this fascinating area – learn about a true 18th century sailing warship HMS Victory, Nelson’s flagship vessel that took part in the battle of Trafalgar, and immerse yourself in tales about what life was like on board the only surviving naval warship. Expect some salty tales of rum, sodomy and the lash. The Knowledge Box – A great way to learn about all things nautical. This year’s lineup includes some of the world’s top experts talking about topics ranging from technology and innovations to racing, so whether you’re a novice or an experienced boater there will be something for everyone to educate, enthuse

Tickets can be booked through the website or via the ticket hotline on 0871 230 7140. Tickets bought on the door will be £20. Preview day is January 6 and tickets will cost £16 in advance and £25 on the door. Each ticket admits one adult and two children under the age of 15. If that isn’t enough information, then you can also get extra updates by going to the Love Boat Shows Facebook and Twitter pages.

Rail and tube – The Jubilee Line is recommended as the quickest route towards ExCeL. At Canning Town change to the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) for the quick journey to either Custom House (for Excel West) or Prince Regent station (for Excel East).

Car – When driving to ExCeL London follow signs for Royal Docks, City Airport and ExCeL. There is easy access from the M25, M11, A406 and A13. For satnav

5 purposes, use postcode – E16 1DR. If you’re thinking of driving directly across central London, do remember to pay your congestion charge.

January 2012 Sailing Today 25

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NEW boat test

56 Sailing Today January 2012

nauticat 385

Finnishfinesse Owing to currency fluctuations over the past few years, all Scandinavian yachts seem to be getting more expensive by the day. Nevertheless these premium products still seem to be finding UK buyers for whom top notch build quality is their number one priority. Duncan Kent took a close look at the Nauticat 385, a beautifully crafted pilothouse cruiser from Finland, and asks whether she’s a worthwhile investment. Nauticat yachts have been built in Finland for the past 50 years and nearly 3,000 have been launched during this time. The yard’s well proven formula has become a byword for excellence in boatbuilding with its wide range of top quality, classic motorsailers and offshore pilothouse cruising yachts. Change comes slowly to a boatyard with the sort of breeding that a Nauticat exudes. The original boatyard was called Sitala until just a few years ago, but the boats have always been called Nauticats and it seemed logical that the yard should be renamed after its best known brand to avoid confusion amongst customers. Until the last two decades, its craft, though excellently built, were rather more of the traditional brick outhouse variety than of the sleek, mile-munching bluewater pilothouse yachts its yard produces today. The most recent, the Nauticat 385, is a prime example of this new breed. Part of its performance range of 32-51ft sailing yachts, the 385 is a development of its 37, which was first launched in 2002 as a replacement for its older 39. In fact the hulls are

almost identical – the only really noticable differences between the 37 and 385 models being an extended transom platform, a new cockpit design and the option for a midships guest cabin running back beneath the raised

saloon sole. In fact all Nauticats are custom built, so the layout pretty much depends on the owner’s particular requirements. Very few of the yachts are ever built to the same specification, which is one of the reasons Nauticat’s prices are on the high side when compared to ordinary production yachts from mainland European yards. The raised deck saloon, or pilothouse, offers a fantastic place to sit and watch the world go by at anchor, as well as a safe and warm haven for the crew when underway in foul weather. The yacht can be navigated and, to some extent, controlled from below – either by using a second wheel or simply by using the autopilot controls. The all-round visibility through the large windows compares very favourably to other yachts of this design and comfort levels are outstanding for a 38ft yacht. The GRP lay up is all done by hand and no balsa or foam filled sandwiches are used. Nauticat prefers the more traditional solid GRP construction, which it believes is essential to guarantee absolute integrity and longevity of hull, deck and superstructure. January 2012 Sailing Today 57



Sail happy :)

Some of us want to discover exotic places, others want to improve our skills, but we all share the desire to be happy in our boats. Here is our deeply subjective list of the 10 laws of (sailing) happiness. Words by Jake Frith and cartoons by Jake Kavanagh.


afe in the comfort of a drizzle bound office, it’s all to easy to look at blind alleys we’ve all made on our various sailing journeys, and even easier to think about the mistakes that other sailors we meet seem to continually make. With this in mind, and with the caveat that everyone finds boating happiness in slightly different ways, here are the 10 things we would go back and tell younger versions of ourselves, starting out on the long, but hugely enjoyable path of cruising under sail in sailing yachts large or small.

1. Be flexible with your plans We meet plenty of sailors who have encountered more adventure than they and their crew had bargained for whether it ends with a fatiguing overlong upwind passage or an equipment failure. A recurring theme leading up to such worrisome events is that certain sailors plan trips many months in advance, then slavishly stick to the planned itinerary, when a reappraisal due to weather conditions is called for. So your trip cross channel is met with a Southerly F-7 forecast?

Then find a sheltered estuary closer to home to explore. Granted, you would probably still have made it to France, but would your crew have thanked you for it?

2. Reef early I was reluctant to put such sailing technique specific rules in here, but this really is a crucial one. We’ve all held onto full sail too long in increasing wind, because reefing requires considerable effort in many boats. Human nature means we tell ourselves lies about how the wind will probably moderate

Madman or genius? - the haPpiness equation... Last summer, a wisened old gent arrived at the offices of ST and demanded an audience with the Editor. He pressed into our hands what he believed to be a formula for boating happiness for leisure sailors that would result in a recommended boat buying budget that would ensure that people would no longer spend too much money on boats they use too little. We still have it on a post-it note.

74 Sailing Today January 2012

Give it a try with you and your boat and let us know what you think. We tried it, and it split opinions here. It certainly doesn’t work if you are a

Net worth

(Home equity + savings etc.)


liveaboard for example. We have finally found space in print for this curious formula although for many boatowners the freedom to cruise is priceless.

Average number of days spent aboard your boat per year


how to be happy

our haPpiest times afloat...

Tell us your happiest time afloat. We’ll collect together any publishable responses for a future issue of ST.

Jake Kavanagh

Jake Frith (Editor, Sailing Today – Happy when sailing) My brother and I took Nina, my first cruising boat, a bilge keel Hurley 22, half way across the Bay of Biscay and made landfall in San Vincente de la Barquera, on Spain’s Costa Verde. Back in those days in our early 20s, sailing was done on a very tight budget. Indeed, part of our satisfaction in making that particular passage was that thanks to an early start we had left the port of Le Palais on Belle Ile without paying our harbour dues, so were travelling with the additional excitement of being international fugitives from the law. The satisfaction of making a trip in open water under our own steam from one foreign country to another very different one was a feeling that was still quite new. On our trip into town to celebrate our landfall our faces glowed with the confidence of a good passage well made in a small boat.

Sam Jefferson (The most joyful Deputy Editor in Swanwick) At the age of 21 was on the dole, living with my parents and bored. I had spent the summer driving passenger boats and crashed back down to earth that winter with a thud. A trial shift in a bar in Carlisle was enough: I frantically contacted about a million different delivery skippers. This led to a succession of some of my most enjoyable sailing trips. I was fortunate to work with a rather dour Scotsman who believed that if you were going to go sailing, you should really go for it. I recall a particularly exciting night clinging on to the wheel of a 60ft Swan as we ran before a gale in the Gulf of Lyon while down below water sloshed all around. Reflecting back, part of what made it so fun was because I was young and it was all new, but another factor was that I got to sail some amazing boats in amazing places without any ownership worries or stress: I was simply enjoying the pure pleasure of going sailing.

(Freelance yachting journalist and full time bundle of smiles) I don’t own a yacht, I own as escape capsule. For me, the happiest moments afloat are when nature is at it’s finest, and you are out there with the place to yourself. The boat needn’t be big – I’ve had the most fun in an 18ft Hillyard and a 21ft Corribee. For example, I was once motoring in mid Channel, with nothing in sight, and no wind. The sun was setting into an oily sea, casting some amazing reflections, and to the east the full moon sitting on the horizon like a drifting, silver beach ball. The two tracks of light, one gold and one silver, seemed to reach out to each other. It was magical. Suddenly the sea erupted alongside, and I found myself looking eye to eye with a sleek, black pilot whale. Happiness is being able to cast off, and leave the bustling world behind – even for just a day.

Nick Vass Yacht surveyor (Just happy to be in an article with a Hurley 22 in it) When I was about twenty I became friends with a man called Howard Young who had bought an old gaff rigged, timber ‘Crabbie’ lying derelict in Brixham. I had owned a small yacht for about two years and was keen to learn more about boats. Howard, sadly no longer with us, was a teacher and was using the 1908 built boat as a floating classroom for his disabled pupils. The boat was practically sunk and lying on the bottom of the harbour and so the kids could only use the deck. Long before ‘elf-n-safety’ was ever invented. Howard was such an inspirational chap that he not only taught me about timber boats but inspired me to train as a woodwork teacher. He also inspired many others, including Jewson’s timber yard to help restore the boat.

January 2012 Sailing Today 75




PART 1: stuck on!

wind on berths

The big 5 principles of boat handling under power As we covered in detail in ST172 (August 2011) our boat’s behavior is governed by five broad principles:

1. Pivot Point 2. Windage




Our boat will rotate around the centre point of her underwater profile, just abaft her mast or the trailing edge of her keel if she’s a fin keeler. If her bow is pushed to starboard her stern will move to port.

96 Sailing Today January 2012

3. Steerage

4. Prop Walk

The greater the flow of water over the rudder, the better it turns the boat. A short blast of prop wash in forward (ahead) gear from the engine can be directed by the rudder to help a turn.

Dependant on the design of boat, in astern gear the prop works as a paddlewheel turning the boat. We can guess the prop walk by looking at the moored wake with engine running in astern.

5. Slide

Your Tips

Most yachts have a centre of windage a little forward of her pivot point so her bow will be blown downwind more than her stern. With all power off she will ultimately assume a slightly bow first lateral drift.

Due to centrifugal force and the liquid environment, our boat will slide outwards from a turn, so rather than thinking of our handling like a car, it’s more like a shopping trolley on ice.

wind on berths



Sooner or later, whether we are planning an arrival or a departure, we’re going to find a stiff breeze driving us onto a pontoon berth. Hamble School of Yachting’s James Pearson goes over some of our wind on berthing options.


ith autumn come the strong winds that can really test our mettle when it comes to boat handling under engine. With 26kn gusts across the deck of Orinoco Flow, HSY’s relatively high windage Jeanneau 37 Sun Odyssey, and an average wind strength of 17kn, we were going to have to think hard about how we would safely move the boat onto or off this cross wind berth.


Tide: Key Principle

Your Tips


Lassoing a cleat

If we are short handed coming into a wind on berth we can save time, look extremely competent and not have to leap ashore and OXO our cleat on the pontoon by lassoing the cleat.

We conducted this photoshoot an hour either side of low water, so tidal effects were so minimal we were able to disregard them. However, one key principle must be stated; wherever possible conduct all of these manoeuvres against the tide. It helps steerage by allowing us to achieve more water flow over our rudder without having to move quickly over the ground.


Arriving at a wind on berth In the scenario we have here, with a good Force 4 bang on the beam, assuming we stop our boat level with the berth we wish to be in, it’s tempting to reason that our windage will push us into the berth, whereupon we can simply tie her up and adjourn to the pub. While that is partially true, and with enough fendering we can get away with a lot, it’s worth thinking back to our Big 5 principles of boat handling (opposite). Here it’s all about our windage, which we recall will push our bow downwind at a greater rate than our stern. Allied to the fact that we will

be slowing down as we berth the boat, it’s clear that our boat will be inclined to go in bow first as we slow. With this in mind, our crew should get the stern line on first. We experimented with a crew putting the bow line on first (picture top of opposite page). Our windage remains, when against a downwind pontoon, in fact our pivot point effect is even stronger as the boat levers against the solid object amidships provided by the pontoon. Aided also by the shape of the boat, we see that if we don’t get the stern line on first, the boat will rapidly drift in until the flattish run of the bow is lying flat against the pontoon. In most conditions, when well fendered, this wouldn’t create a major issue as the stern could be sweated or winched in fairly easily, but it’s inelegant. Knowing that if there are any issues with getting the stern line on, the boat will roll her whole length along the pontoon quite rapidly we should ensure that she is well fendered from stern to bow.

2 1 3 1. OXO one end on the boat’s cleat. 2. Take enough line to create a loop long enough to reach down to pontoon height with a coil or two spare in each hand. 3. Put a foot on the ‘long end’ while preparing and dropping – this makes it quicker to pull it in as it doesn’t require uncleating first. 4. When close to the pontoon, drop the loop over the cleat. Don’t aim for the cleat itself, we want to lay the rope around and behind the cleat. 5. Pull the loose end in and cleat off.


With this stiff breeze holding her on she’ll stay put with a single stern line.


January 2012 Sailing Today 97


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