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SAILING TODAY ISSUE 183 JULY 2012

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Books reviewed p16

CONTENTS JULY 2012 ISSUE 183

50

NEW BOAT TEST Hanse 385 PRACTICAL Tender loving care

76 40

94

YOUR CRUISING Strife off Sicily

GROUP TEST Eight 10hp outboards

04 SAILING TODAY JULY 2012

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TY GEAR SAFE TO THE BEST BUYERS’ GUIDE YOUR EQUIPMENT MAN OVERBOARD

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HEBRIDES RED UNCOVETHE

PLYMOUTH TO ICELINAND A

IN THREE WEEKSISLANDS WILDERNESS

2,700 MILES LUGGER SMUGGLING A MY MARIN

K SUFFOL HARBOUR YACHT

ASTRO EASY

38 WAY NEW XC DANISH CRUISING THE USED ELAN 380

MADE

LEARN CELESTIA NAVIGATION

OF THE BENEFITS NEW BUYING NEARLY

TABLE RIGID INFLA

TENDERS MINI RIBS FROM WE TEST SIXMETRES 2.4 TO 3.1 OUL: HELP FREE ANTI-F

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Sailing News

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Readers’ Letters

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View From the RYA

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Buyer’s Guide: Children’s waterproofs

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Hebrides

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Your Cruising: Sicily

76

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Cruising Cuisine

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SEAMANSHIP Swinging Moorings: Troubleshooting tips

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Inventors Corner: Easy lift outboard hoist

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ST183 Contents_sj.indd 5

JULY 2012 SAILING TODAY 05

15/5/12 16:16:42


groUp test

tested

9.9hp oUtBoards FOLLOWING ON FROM OUR GROUP TEST ON SMALL RIB TENDERS LAST MONTH, IN THIS ISSUE WE LOOK AT A COMPREHENSIVE SELECTION OF 10HP, 4-STROKE OUTBOARDS THAT COULD BE USED ON SUCH A TENDER OR, IN THEIR LONG-SHAFT GUISE, AS A SAILING BOAT’S AUXILIARY ENGINE. DUNCAN KENT REPORTS. foUr-stroke technoloGy New EU-wide emissions regulations introduced a decade or so ago have resulted in far fewer 2-stroke outboard motors being available in Europe – in fact, only complex and expensive direct-injection engines can now come anywhere near to satisfying these new regulations. So, these days all smaller outboards (up to 75hp or so) are built using 4-stroke petrol engines instead. While 4-strokes are generally less temperamental, quieter, smoother running and less smoky than their 2-stroke ancestors, they do have a few particular drawbacks. The first being their greater size and weight compared to the older 2-stroke models. Having the extra mechanical

components (valves, camshaft etc) means they are unavoidably heavier and larger, so lifting any outboard larger than 4hp on and off the stern rail of a cruiser really requires lifting tackle of some sort. We used our boom and a four-part mainsheet for the 10hp motors, which worked reasonably well but still needed two people – even in dead calm water. Their increased size/ weight can also cause problems where the outboard is required to fit into a well on a small boat, which can often limit the size of engine you can use. I know plenty of boat owners who are desperately hanging onto their old 2-strokes because the equivalent horsepower 4-stroke motor simply won’t fit in their narrow outboard wells.

The second potential problem with 4-strokes is that, having an oil-filled sump means they are fussy about how you lay them down when they’re not being used. Rest it on the wrong side and oil can run up into the cylinder – and out through the exhaust if the valve is open. Apart from maybe making a mess of your car boot, it can also damage the engine by creating excessive compression on starting and/ or lack of lubrication around the crankshaft bearings. All the outboards we tested gave a visual indication as to how they should be laid down in a small diagram on the casing, so it’s worth making a mental note of this when you first receive the outboard. If you do make a mistake and lay it down on the

40 sailing today July 2012

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9.9hp 4-stroke outboards Use on a yacht We tested the short shaft version of all the 10hp outboards currently available in the UK (Note: Mariner, Mercury and Tohatsu outboards are identical) because we only had a RIB on which to trial them. But, of course, a 10hp outboard is easily powerful enough to drive most trailer-sailers and small cruisers up to around 22ft LOA, particularly if you order a high-thrust propeller that many suppliers offer as an option. The only difference would be that boats without outboard wells (those using a transom bracket instead) would most likely require a longer shaft, which is available for all the units we tested. Also available on most are remote steering, tilt and throttle controls, should you need or just prefer them, as well as electric starting. In addition, most come with alternator charging, although some only provide this with their electric start models. Usually only 12V/6A, however, so it will only really be enough to charge a small (60Ah) battery for the most basic needs.

Vector outboards are one of the more recent, low-cost motors now available in the UK. Below: Handling these heavy motors requires a little mechanical help if single-handed.

photos: stewart wheeler

common featUres The outboards in these trials were all twocylinder models with short shafts and manual pull-starting mechanisms. All featured a throttle tensioner and stock clamp, to enable the speed to be set to remain at a pre-determined level and the tiller to be locked in one position – both features are particularly handy when the outboard is being used on a cruising boat. They also all sport multi-position tilt for adjusting the trim to suit your load and shallow water drive – where the leg is free to lift when you hit the seabed going forward. All have forward-neutralreverse gears – the only difference being the selector. Some have a small lever on the side, some at the front and some have a rotary gear change mechanism on the tiller arm. All have ignition kill safety switches for use on a tender (worn around the wrist to shut the engine off should the driver fall overboard) and none can be started in gear.

fUel tanks and fUel consUmption wrong side you will need to leave it in the vertical position for a couple of hours and remove the spark plug/s to clear the oil from the cylinders before attempting to start it. With regard to overall performance, while 4-stroke outboards don’t give you the instant throttle response of a their 2-stroke cousins, they will run smoothly at low revs or tick over quietly without oiling up. They are also noticeably more frugal with the fuel.

All the outboards were supplied with a 12-litre plastic fuel tank and a fuel line with priming bulb. In this way you can fit a larger tank should you wish. A few came with some form of basic mechanical fuel level gauge, but it’s often easier/safer to check it by eye. Fuel consumption on a four-stroke outboard is much better than its two-stroke equivalent. All the motors tested offer a consumption rate of between 2.0-2.5 ltr/hr

at cruising revs and this will be towards the lower end of that scale when a high-thrust prop is fitted. At full chat this will usually increase to 4.0 ltr/hr. All have in-line fuel filters that should be cleaned during the annual service and renewed every few years.

low oil pressUre These outboards all have dipsticks to measure the oil level with the engine upright. They also all feature an oil pressure switch that lights a warning LED on the front and forces the engine to drop the revs down to around 2,000rpm should the oil pressure/ level drop below the minimum. Like a car, they also have an oil filter, which must be changed annually along with the oil.

telltales All outboards of this size are raw watercooled and feature ‘telltales’ – where some of the cooling water exits the engine in a jet at the back, to confirm the cooling pump and impeller are operating correctly. If there is no visible water jet, or the jet is reduced to a mere dribble, then immediate attention is needed to the cooling system to prevent the impeller from burning up and the engine overheating. Sometimes it’s just the telltale hole itself that gets blocked with salt crystals, but failing this you must check the condition of the impeller and waterways. It’s worth noting that a healthy stream from the telltale is not necessarily a sign that the waterways are clear – just that the pump is working. The telltale jet’s pressure can even increase when the waterways or thermostat are partially blocked, giving the impression that all’s well, when it isn’t! After the engine warms up, put your hand in the telltale stream – the water should be warm, but not hot and the stream should be strong, but not excessive. Running any outboard out of the water can wreck your impeller within seconds and, if continued for more than a minute, can seriously damage the engine as well.

trim, tilt and shallow water drive All these outboards have manual multiposition trim settings that are adjusted by relocating a pin on the mounting bracket. This helps you get the boat planing quicker or holds the nose down when aft loaded. They also all have a multi-position tilt and lock feature so you can gradually raise the leg as you come into shallow water, or tilt it up completely to keep the leg clear of the water when not in use. The main benefit of this feature is that when you are in forward gear the leg is unlocked and able to jump up should you run aground while moving in a forward direction. In reverse, however, the shaft is locked and will not tilt or jump up.

July 2012 sailing today 41

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neW boat teSt pHotoS: rod leWiS

estABLisHeD in 1993, Hanse Yachts has gone from strength to strength by building performance-orientated yachts at affordable prices. For some time now, all Hanse’s sailing yachts have been designed by Judel and Vrolijk – a renowned team of naval architects that has had input into numerous campaign-winning boats, including the 32nd America’s Cup winner, Alinghi. its latest range incorporates a great number of innovations and practical

improvements that have come about by listening to Hanse owners’ suggestions, so the new 385 is a very different boat to its predecessor, the 375. More akin to her sister ships, the 445, 495 and 545, she boasts twin helms and a fold-down stern boarding platform, unlike the 375’s open transom. the 385 also has more interior volume, a further improved sailing performance and a sleek, clutter-free deck design with flush hatches and hidden control lines.

As with all other new Hanses, her hull is laid up by hand and heavily reinforced using a composite sub-frame bonded to the hull, while weight is kept to a minimum by using a balsa-cored sandwich above the waterline. epoxy-based vinylester resins are used throughout for their renowned strength, lightness and water-resisting properties. Hanse has chosen to go the way of several other production boatbuilders by providing a basic boat at a very attractive

50 SailinG today JUly 2012

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Hanse 385

HANSE 385 tHe RanGe of peRfoRMance cRUiSinG YacHtS fRoM tHe GeRMan BoatYaRD, HanSe, iS pRoVinG popULaR WoRLDWiDe. DUncan Kent SaiLeD itS LateSt MeDiUM-SiZeD cRUiSinG YacHt, tHe 385.

price, but then putting most things that a cruising yachtsman would most likely need into ‘Option packs’. For instance, the ‘Cruising pack’, which costs an extra £6,991, contains such essentials as a second 150Ah domestic battery, 30A battery charger, anchor and windlass, spring cleats, lazyjacks, fold-down bathing platform (i presume the basic boat has an open transom) with shower and liferaft stowage locker, windex and a few other bits. the ‘Comfort pack’

has everything else you’d also like to have on board, such as LeD lighting and dimmer panel, blinds with insect screens and cooker covers – for a further £3,651-odd. so it’s very likely you’ll be adding another £10K+ to the advertised price – before you even consider the sailing instruments, VHF, Ais, chart plotter, radar, cruising chute, stereo, central heating, folding prop etc etc. Not that Hanse is any worse with than any other production boatbuilder in this respect.

JUly 2012 SailinG today 51

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YOUR CRUISING

EVENTUALLY THE DAY CAME WHEN WE RETIRED FROM FULL TIME WORK

Leaving Plymouth for a new lifesyle.

SICILIAN STORM ST READERS LOOK BACK OVER THE RICH TAPESTRY OF THEIR CRUISING ADVENTURES AND MISADVENTURES AND SHARE THEIR YARNS FROM AROUND THE GLOBE. THIS MONTH ROSANNE AND MICHAEL HODIN BATTLE STRONG WINDS AND THE LANGUAGE BARRIER IN SICILY.

W

e were part way through our epic journey from Plymouth, Devon to Greece in our Dufour Classic, Ethel. We had reached Sardinia, but were pressing on. We had foolishly arranged to meet friends in Sicily and were jostling between being held back by weather and hurrying on past glorious places to get to the appointed meeting place on time. I took stock of all the things that were bothering us. Our Navtex wasn’t working and we had been relying on that for weather forecasts. Our AIS system wasn’t either. Our hot water cylinder kept building up too much pressure and squirting boiling water into a locker, which was draining into our stores cupboard in the bilges. Still, on the 4th September we set off early from Arbatax to make the passage to Sicily.

We started off with the usual shenanigans and self-amalgamating tape around the pressure hose and one hour into the journey we took the Navtex aerial apart. We searched the pilot book for suitable Italian phrases for repair on our broken systems and jotted down a few daft sentences. There was no wind. Three turtles floated past as did an ominously empty lifejacket. The calm turned into a swell but we had a good current with us. We drifted into a patch of what could only be the foul and sour smell of whale breath. Later we found an unbelievable canopy of stars and in our wake the propeller threw up bubbles of phosphorescence like jellyfish spiralling away behind us in an incredible electric violet glow. By mid morning Sicily could be seen 25

miles ahead. Palermo from the sea is a tantalising mix of industrial buildings, domes and towers. We plied our way into the harbour through much rubbish and a dead rat. Our lines were taken and we were tied up alongside within minutes. In miserably inadequate Italian I tried to explain my mission for repairs to the cheery wizened guy who took our lines. He called out to his two burly mates who work the tugs. They crammed themselves into the cabin and looked at the pressure hose shrugging and laughing uproariously indicating that they were used to much larger problems. Clearly we weren’t much closer to repairs, so we spent a day of delight in Palermo exploring the utterly filthy and rundown streets and buildings, which were compelling in their grace and antiquity.

76 SAILING TODAY JULY 2012

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SICILY

Tunisia Clockwise from opposite page: The Palermo skyline; our yacht, Ethel; a typical Italian market; filthy water is Palermo.

NEXT STOP, STROMBOLI Stromboli was supposed to be our next stop for sheer awe and wonder, but sharp winds on the nose sent us back. Now we had to hurry and find our way along the top of Sicily and get ourselves ready to enter the Straits of Messina and go through the ancient horrors of Scylla and Charybdis at the right point of the tide. There was a worrying lack of suitable anchorages as we got nearer and at this point we got another hit of bad weather. There was a great deal of thunder and lightning. Michael sat timing the lightning bolts and to my alarm had packed the passports in our grab bag. Just short of the Straits we found that one of our possible anchorages was now a lee shore in a swell. The storm had brought a major directional wind shift. We crept around the point of Milazzo Capo and anchored in a snug small bay, which was sheltered at the time but would be exposed from NW to NE. Thunder was all around still. I swam to check the anchor which was holding well in sand and our transits were steady. We had a bad night though; the wind >>

JULY 2012 SAILING TODAY 77

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My MARINA

Looking down on the marina from the east CREDIT: SUE SIEGER

POOLE QUAY BOAT HAVEN POOle, DORseT

WE VISIT CRUISING SAILORS AT THEIR HOME PORT TO GET THE INSIDE LINE ON WHAT MAKES THEM BERTH THEIR BOAT THERE. FROM LOCAL ATTRACTIONS TO NEARBY CRUISING GROUNDS, WE GET THEIR PERSONAL RECOMMENDATIONS.

U

ntil fairly recently, visitors to Poole Harbour who fancied a jaunt in to town may fondly recall tying up against the quayside. In the middle of summer yachts were sometimes three deep and this often led to absolute carnage of an early morning when the inside boat decided they wanted to leave. A fresh southeasterly would further enliven proceedings. Perhaps it was with this in mind that Poole Quay Yacht Haven was built, which supplanted the old quay, which is now the realm of the busy tripper boats. Although some mourn the loss of the uncomplicated quay, the comfortable facilities and improved shelter the marina provides certainly has its

benefits. The marina is unusual in that, during the summer, it is generally acknowledged as a visitor’s marina, while in winter it offers heavily discounted berthing rates and welcomes a diverse range of boats, including fishing boats and small commercial craft in addition to cruising yachts of all shapes and sizes in search of a good value winter berth. Poole Harbour is often acknowledged as one of the finest natural harbours in the UK, or indeed anywhere else to be fair. The harbour is 102 miles in total circumference and features a hugely diverse range of nooks and crannies to explore by boat: The splendid isolation of the shallows on the west side of the harbour are a creek crawler’s

delight; offering a plethora of wonderful spots to dry out for the night. in addition to this, there are several islands to explore, not to mention the obscenely expensive Sandbanks peninsula, inexplicably one of the most pricey places to buy a house in the world. For those not blessed with either a shallow draft boat or more money than sense, there is still plenty of deep water to frolic in and the harbour is an ideal starting point either to head across the Channel or explore the south coast from; accessible at all states of the tide and providing excellent shelter within. Poole Quay Boat Haven is accessible 24 hours a day and you can always expect a warm Dorset welcome.

80 Sailing Today JULY 2012

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POOLE QUAy DORSET

MaRK gReen – COBRA 850 WATER LILY FOR MARK GREEN, HIS PARTNER NICKY AND THEIR DOG POPPY, CHOOSING TO KEEP THEIR BOAT AT POOLE QUAY BOAT HAVEN WAS PART OF A HUGE LIFESTYLE CHANGE AND IT WAS CLEAR THAT THE MARINA WAS IDEALLY SUITED TO THEIR NEEDS For Mark Green and his partner, Nicky. The choice of Poole Quay Boat Haven to keep their yacht was a carefully considered decision. This was because the Dorset based couple had opted to drastically cut back on their working hours and spend a lot more time cruising. This meant that in the summer months they tend to make their home

wherever they drop the hook, but in winter they were going to need a more permanent base with a few modern conveniences. “It was a toss up really between here, Cobb’s Quay marina and Davis’s, both of which are located slightly out of town” mark explained: “Ultimately, it was this that convinced us to go with Poole Quay; it’s so central. “The fact that we can step off the boat and be in the heart of the town is a really nice feeling during the winter months when things can get a bit bleak. “The marina also offers substantial winter discounts which fitted in well with our own plans and the marina has good facilities and friendly staff which always helps. “There’s a decent community within the marina during the

winter, with many yachts returning year on year. You see a lot of random stuff moored up here too; this year Father Christmas was delivered by boat and there was a New Years bath race; all very random.” The choice of Poole Harbour itself was also a very natural choice for the couple, as Mark explains: “We’ve lived near Poole for the last 20 years, so keeping the boat in the Harbour was an obvious choice and once we decided that we would be staying on the boat for long periods of time, a berth in the centre of town seemed like the ideal option during the long winter months. “Not only is Poole Harbour our home, it’s also a very beautiful place to sail and there are many places to explore and enjoy within the harbour itself. “We have also found it a well situated starting off point for our cruising adventures as it gives you the option of a number of very tempting cruising grounds to choose.”

Mark with his dog Poppy

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BeRTHing anD FaCiliTies Contact: John Binder, Marina Manager, Tel: 01202 649488 or email info@poolequayboathaven.co.uk or go to www.poolequayboathaven.co.uk. Facilities: Poole Quay Boat Haven has plenty to offer berth holders and visitors alike, including water, electricity, which is charged at £3 per day for visitors and metered for berth holders, a launderette and showers. WiFi is also available.

Mark’s faourite deli, located next door

Car parking: The marina does not provide designated parking spaces. Pump out: This is charged at £10 per pump out. Repairs: No lift out. Berthing charges: Daily: £2.42- £3.92p/m. Weekly: £13.48 - £22.23p/m Monthly: £47.80-£88.12p/m. Long term winter rate: £134.29p/m for five months, November - March.

JULY 2012 Sailing Today 81

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SEAMANSHIP

ALL PHOTOS: SAM JEFFERSON

SWINGING VISITORS’ MOORINGS ARE PROBABLY THE SIMPLEST OF ALL THE VARIOUS METHODS OF ‘PARKING’ OUR BOAT FOR LUNCH, THE NIGHT OR EVEN MORE PERMANENTLY, BUT THERE ARE SOME PITFALLS. HAMBLE SCHOOL OF YACHTING’S JAMES PEARSON TALKS US THROUGH BEST PRACTICE FOR PICKING ONE UP.

PICK UP A SWINGER 40 YEARS AGO there would have been little call for an article about swinging moorings in a yachting magazine as many sailors kept their boat on one. Gaining experience with these moorings came as a by-product of most sailors’ first steps on the water. With the proliferation of marina berths it’s now not uncommon to find UK boat owners more cautious of picking up a visitors’ buoy in open water than they are berthing alongside in a marina. There is no logical reason for this other than unfamiliarity with the mooring system, as in most balanced estimations of the difficulty of the two systems it is clear that swinging moorings should be a doddle in comparison with congested marinas. For starters there is usually much less to hit.

We decided to take a Modern Dufour 34 out for this exercise. Its fairly cluttered bow area and lack of a central bow roller would introduce a few extra techniques that might be handy as cruising yachts without a bow roller are becoming increasingly common.

THERE COULD BE ANYTHING DOWN THERE There are almost as many types of swinging mooring buoy end arrangements (see photos above and right) as there are boats so if you are approaching an unfamiliar one the most important tip is to ensure the crew member at the bow is equipped to deal with pretty much anything they are likely to find and as little as possible is left to chance.

FOREWARNED IS FORE ARMED There is often the opportunity to research the mooring configuration as part of the passage plan to the port in question. Sometimes a cruising guide covering the port in question will mention the type of visitors buoys, particularly if they are an especially awkward configuration. Sometimes just an incidental photo in a cruising guide will tell a switched on crewmember what type of swinging mooring they can expect. We also need to consider condition of the equipment and its location. Will we have enough swinging room free of other boats? Will there be enough depth at low water?

88 SAILING TODAY JULY 2012

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POWER HANDLING

INTEGRAL SECURING LOOP

SEPARATE PICK-UP

Heavy metal eye Hard solid buoy

Marker Buoy Pick-up Buoy

Chain or tie rod

Pick-up line

To Sinker

SECURING

To Sinker

A

B

■ If there is a ring atop the buoy, does it look strong enough to use? ■ If not, would the shape of the buoy’s underside lend itself well to a lasso?

BE PREPARED

RECCE PASS Much of the final guesswork can be removed by making a recce pass of the mooring arrangements (Pic A). This is best conducted at just enough speed to retain steerage so our crew at the bow has plenty of time to ascertain what sort of pickup method will work best. An experienced crew member will look at a myriad of factors and report back:■ Are there any long floating lines that could be a fouling danger? ■ Is there a pickup loop and does it look in good condition? ■ Do we need a line threader (if available)?

1) Separate pickup line: The buoy is simply a flotation device to keep the end of the mooring chain at the surface, and there is a pickup chain or rope from the shackle underneath it to be picked up. Sometimes this will have a small pickup buoy near or at the end of it, sometimes it will have a floating rope streaming down tide from it. The main buoy in this case will be often be spherical, quite lightweight, and unsuitable for lassoing (or practicing lassoing) to. 2) Integral securing loop: The buoy has a strong metal rod or chain passing through the middle of it to a ring or shackle at the top, which the yacht connects to.

Despite all our best laid plans and any number of recce passes, when picking up an unfamiliar mooring, it’s often not until we have commenced the pickup and are right on top of it that we see it wasn’t quite what we had expected. Just in our day of mooring practice in the Hamble area we found; broken pickup loops, sunken pickup buoys, dangerously corroded loops and plenty of buoys with ‘private’ written on the top in big letters; all reasons for last minute changes in method or complete rejection of the mooring. This is why it pays to be prepared by having handy at the bow:-

For a number of reasons, most sailing schools recommend using one of the yacht’s own mooring lines to go overboard to whatever is in the water (Pic B). Clearly this is the only option anyway when the buoy has an integral securing loop, but why do schools recommend the same course of action when the buoy has a pickup loop that could be simply pulled on deck and passed over the mooring cleat? The pickup loop might be chain or rope. Chain could cause damage to the yacht, perhaps only annoying rust staining, but whatever it is will have probably spent some time in the water so is likely to make a mess of the deck. Often a heavy gauge chain is too large to go through our boat’s bow roller (if we have one). The rope or chain loop might be too short for the mooring cleat, or its bridle might be too short so the main buoy chafes the bow. A rope loop might be so stiff or large that as our yacht swings on the tide, it can disconnect from our mooring cleat. So there are a lot of variables we can rule out in one fell swoop if we simply use our own line to connect to an unfamiliar buoy. Pickup loops, whether rope or chain need to be treated with caution. Sometimes we may need to reach under the main buoy and thread a line through the chain or large shackle holding it on if we don’t like the look of the rope loop (Pic C). We never connect our line to the handle >> of a pickup buoy, even temporarily.

■ Both a boathook and a threading device. ■ A couple of lines of different thicknesses. ■ A clear head to think quickly around any challenges and changes of method.

TWO LITTLE BUOYS While all moorings have (hopefully) something heavy at the bottom end, usually a large concrete sinker, in general, moorings have one of two quite different types of top/buoy attachment systems.

C JULY March2012 2011SAILING Sailing TODAY Today 89

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30/04/2012 17:04

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