ROD HEIKELL: INDIAN OCEAN ROUTES
EXPERT CHOICE ROD HEIKELL ON INDIAN OCEAN ROUTES ISLAND IDYLL SET SAIL FOR KO SAMUI
• MY MARINA: DOVER
• KO SAMUI
• NEW: BAVARIA 46 VISION
• USED: DUFOUR 35
NEW BOAT TEST
BAVARIA 46 VISION SPACE, PACE AND A PRETTY FACE LEARNING
DOVER MARINA: CHANNEL BOLTHOLE
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DUFOUR 35 TEST: 70’S FRENCH STYLE
YACHTMASTER GETTING QUALIFIED IN THE SUN
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HAMBLE I PLYMOUTH
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CONTENTS DECEMBER 2012
NEWS AND VIEWS 8 SAILING NEWS
Give away your boat for free and the latest on a man in a giant hamster wheel.
12 VIEW FROM THE RYA
VHF protocol from Richard Falk.
88 READERS’ LETTERS
114 RIDING LIGHT
Colin Jarman talks summer weather and fishing.
Photo: Rick Buettner
Send your thoughts, comments and feedback to email@example.com or Letters to the Editor, Sailing Today, Swanwick Marina. Southampton. SO31 1ZL.
BAVARIA 46 VISION
Bavaria 46 Vision – a stylish German brisk cruiser put through her paces.
22 INDIAN OCEAN
Let Rod Heikell be your guide to the remotest ocean on earth.
28 OYSTER SMACK RESTORED
Our Boats – A 1907 Oyster smack blurring the line between hobby and full time job.
32 KO SAMUI CHARTER
There’s more to this pretty corner of the world than The Beach and typhoons.
38 USED DUFOUR 35
The Editor rediscovers psychedelic berth cushions and colourful interior mouldings.
Ivory Hackett-Evans gets to grips with both the theoretical and practical aspects.
50 MY MARINA: DOVER
There’s more to Dover than cross channel ferries and cross harbourmasters.
57 BOAT INSURANCE UNCOVERED Jake Frith investigates whether all yacht insurance policies are really the same.
Julian Kimberley proves his mastery of one pot boat cooking with a sausage casserole.
COVER IMAGE The Bavaria 46 Vision in the western Solent. Photo: Rick Buettner
Photo: Rod Lewis
86 CRUISING CUISINE
DECEMBER 2012 03
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14 December 2012
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New boat test
Duncan Kent steps aboard the new Bavaria Vision and finds a boat designed by sailors, that could fulfil the needs of any blue water cruiser. Photos: rick Buettner
December 2012 15
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the Indian ocean AND PIRATE ALLEY
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Sri Lankan pole fisherman. Said to be the oldest extant form of fishing in the world.
PHoto: BeRnaRd GaGnon
The Indian Ocean is relatively little cruised even compared to the Pacific or South Atlantic. Rod Heikell looks at some of the passage planning around this remote and sometimes dangerous area.
n the Indian Ocean you are further away from yacht facilities than you will be in any of the other oceans and for all intents and purposes you will be on your own. This is an ocean which has always surprised me and to which I am always drawn back. The word which will be on everyone’s lips as they read this will be PIRACY. The recent attacks on yachts in the Arabian Sea and the Somali Basin have meant that the traditional route through the Red Sea and into the Mediterranean is now a perilous affair. There are still yachts doing the trip, but likely a lot less than the 150 or more yachts around when we last came through in 2010. Like the north Atlantic and the Pacific, routing through the Indian Ocean is dependant on being out of the cyclone seasons. Darwin is the usual stepping off point from Australia and boats will head up through Indonesia to Malaysia and Thailand or across the top of the southern Indian Ocean and island hop to South Africa. The cyclone season in the Bay of Bengal runs from April to December and the region has a high number of tropical storms and full blown cyclones. Not surprisingly yachts normally leave from Thailand or Malaysia for the Andamans or Sri Lanka in the New Year once crews have recovered from the parties. In the southern Indian Ocean the cyclone season runs from November to April so yachts will usually leave Darwin around April/May intending to arrive in South Africa by November.
SE ASiA Unless you sail around Indonesia, a tedious and totally unnecessary exercise, the route up to Malaysia and Thailand passes through this huge archipelago. Indonesia is such a huge clutter of islands that the choice of routes through it is many and varied. It is a ‘pick and mix’ sort of place where you could spend months cruising and still see only a small part of it. Most yachts will leave from Darwin for either Ambon, Kupang or Bali and then work their way up through the archipelago according to time and inclination. Those yachts on the Sail Indonesia Rally will have the itinerary mapped out for them, though within this itinerary there is some variation on routes. It should be remembered that when a large number of yachts turn up in one place the authorities and the locals can be overwhelmed by the sheer scale of arrivals and it may take you some time to clear in and get hold of scarce commodities. Most yachts will clear out of Indonesia from Nongsa Point Marina on the south side of the December 2012 23
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28 December 2012
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My Alice gearing up for a race.
EssEx Girl Toby Heppell takes a look at the history of his parents’ 105-year-old Oyster Smack, My Alice.
O “The restoration took significant time and resources, with a full nine years passing before she was back on the water.”
riginally built in 1907, My Alice is an Oyster Smack constructed at Kidby shipyard in Brightlingsea, Essex. She was most recently bought following the sale of Stephen and Carole Heppell’s (Dad and Mum to me) previous IRC racer/cruisers. She is one of only two Kidby smacks still around today and has made a welcome return to Brightlingsea. Originally she would have been used to trawl for oysters and fish for sprats on the famously oyster rich Essex coast. After filling her belly with the day’s piscine haul she would race up the Thames where the fastest boats attained the highest premium for their catch at Billingsgate. She also would have raced at a number of regattas held locally throughout the season. Due to this plurality of intended use, smacks were often a curious mix of load carrying workboat and racing yacht. Though to a modern eye and even when compared to a similar era true racer – such as the 57ft class – Alice does look very workman-like, closer inspection of her lines and, indeed, her pedigree reveal something rather more race focused. Originally, Captain Fred Stokes – a fisherman and successful professional race skipper – commissioned Alice. Around this time a significant proportion of smacks were being built with engines and so were naturally more industrial in looks. Being a sailing man by nature though, Stokes commissioned a boat bearing a greater resemblance to those made 20 years or so earlier. He also ensured she, though capable as a fishing boat, was a racer at heart. Her lines are reflective of this with a very elegant December 2012 29
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ESCAPING TYPHOONS Wishing to cruise with his family in Asia in storm season, Stuart Heaver discovered the relative calm of the Samui Archipelago.
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have never been at sea in a sailing vessel during a tropical storm and while I observed Typhoon Vicente at close quarters as it violently lashed against the windows of our tiny flat in Hong Kong, I idly concluded I certainly have no wish to. It was rainy season in Asia and not normally the time for sailing. Even if you escape a tropical storm, the south-westerly monsoon winds can bring wave after wave of driving rain with the humidity making it unbearably sticky. What sort of nautical masochist would opt to take their friends or family for a cruising holiday in South East Asia during June, July or August and where could you go? Phil Harper of Gulf Charters Thailand has been telling me for years about the unique micro-climate of the Samui archipelago, well away from the path of Typhoons, where the weather remains dry and sunny until late September. So, needing an excuse to hook up with Max and Joe - my two grown up sons both studying at university in London - we all agreed to rendezvous in the south-west corner of the Gulf of Thailand for some cruising. After a three-hour direct flight for us from Hong Kong and a long haul to Bangkok from London and a 40 minute connection for Max and Joe, we found the laid back and charming Ed Olive, Gulf Charters’ man in Ko Samui, at the Billabong Surf Club. The Billabong is the unofficial base of Gulf Charters in the fishing village of Bo Phut and conveniently offers both a view of the anchorage and an inexhaustible supply of cold Chang beer. To save time we decided to complete the boat brief before collecting Max and Joe from the airport and it turned out to be a good decision. Having spent the best part of 24 hours on aeroplanes our elite crew were in no shape to absorb vital information about the windlass, chart plotter, rigging and other essentials. In fact, they seemed pretty disinterested in the chart briefing too and beat a
Boat briefing with Ed Olive (right) and Chris Jakubowski of Gulf Charters.
Dawn over the marine park with Katita in the foreground.
Ao Hin Wong
Mae Haad Koh Tao
Full moon party
The longtail boat skippers are real local characters.
Koh Phangan Thong Sala
Gulf of Thailand
5 5 7 Ko Katen
Average Daily Hours of Sunshine
S U M A T R A Tha
Nov 31°C 88°F
Dec 31°C 88°F
Bo Phut Nathon Koh Samui Laen Nam
Sep 31°C 88°F
Aug 32°C 90°F
Jul 32°C 90°F
M A L A Y S I A
May 34°C 93°F
Parco Marino Apr 35°C 95°F
Feb 33°C 91°F
Mar 34°C 93°F
Jan32°C 11°C90°F 52°F Jan
Jun 33°C 91°F
Angthong Average Maximum Temperatures
O c e a n
Oct 31°C 88°F
I n d i a n
hasty retreat to the terrace of the Billabong with some expensive looking cocktails. Chart briefings are often an excellent indication of the atmosphere of the place you will be cruising around. Yes of course you need to know about recommended anchorages, emergency services and tidal variations but it’s the quirky bits of the briefing that I love. “Be careful never to anchor downwind of the fishing fleet at Chalok Lam,” said Ed pointing at the northern part of the island of Ko Pha-Ngan on the chart with his index finger. “Can they be a bit unfriendly?” Asked Sarah “No, it just stinks of rotten fish”. He pointed to a small secluded bay with an up market spa located on the beach which immediately aroused Sarah’s interest. “They have some weird treatments at that Spa “ Ed mentions, “It’s probably about the only anchorage in Thailand where you can get an enema”, he added cheerfully. With all questions dealt with and all paperwork signed, we took the tender out to the yacht. Phil had lined us up with a fabulous 38ft Athena catamaran called Katiti. It was the first time I had sailed a catamaran (or at least one bigger than a Dart 16). This might get interesting, I thought with some apprehension. The immediate advantages over a mono-hull were obvious. In the ultra-spacious accommodation there were four comfortable double cabins (two in each pod) so we managed to separate ourselves from those large smelly brutes and their inevitable mess by a significant expanse of water. Perfect. The other noticeable difference was the sailing side of things does not impact on comfort. The boom is far above the bimini, which obscures any view of the mainsail from the comfy seat provided for the helmsman. The traveller and mainsheet are sited along the transom so as not to interrupt any cocktail parties in the cockpit area and everything except reefing and making the gin and tonics is undertaken from the cockpit. The fist time I opened the cockpit locker I half expected to see a private spa or Jacuzzi concealed below. “It’s so comfortable - as though they want you to forget you’re on a sailing vessel,” Sarah mused rather too approvingly for my liking.
Waterfall Bay Hatrin
Given that Max and Joe were suffering from acute jet lag, sleeplessness and the effects of the cocktails in the Billabong bar I made a quick command decision (largely ignored by the crew, of course) to weigh anchor and make a short passage north to the adjacent island of Ko Pha-ngan. The bay on the south east corner of the island is only a short eightmile sail. It would allow us to get used to Katiti under full sail and arrive in time for an early supper and a good night’s sleep. Ao Hat Rin is the international home of the Full Moon Party but I was assured by Ed that our being a full ten days after full moon, the partying will not disturb us oldies while anchored offshore. The skipper’s plan worked like magic. We weighed anchor at 15.15 after some practice with
Surat Thani December 2012 33 Chumphon SAMUI ARCHIPELAGO
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PHOtOS: rOd LeWiS
the SPec dUFOUr 35: PRICE FROM £25,000 LOA 35ft 3in (10.75m)
Ballast 2.8 tons
LWL 27ft 10in (8.50m)
Sail Area 77 sqm
Beam 11ft 4in (3.48m)
draught 6ft 0in (1.90m)
Production 1971 - 1982
displacement 5.7 tons
designer Michel Dufour
Water capacity 66 gals
Builder Michel Dufour SA, La Rochelle, France
Fuel capacity 26 gals
about the owner
This Dufour’s big selling point back in 1981 when shipping insurance consultant John Brookbank bought Mare as an immaculate three year old was her massive interior space. Having fitted sailing around a busy working life, Mare’s only been as far as Northern Brittany, but John’s lack of recent sailing due to knee problems means she is currently up for sale with Boatshed Hamble. hamble.boatshed.com
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used boat test
By the 1970s Michel Dufour had already built up an enviable name for himself selling modern, attractive yachts with a good turn of speed and oodles of interior space. Jake Frith donned his metaphorical kipper tie and platforms to take Mare, a 35 footer from the 1978 Dufour stable for an afternoon gallop round the Solent.
n 1978, ‘proper’ sea going yachts were still largely wet, narrow, fairly pokey and dark inside. The French builders had seen the light though, and up to the minute boats like the Dufour 35 were just beginning to show that perfectly reasonable seakeeping need not be out of the reach of family and charter friendly, high freeboard designs. The fact that most boats still continued to look like this one well into the nineties suggests that Dufour
was a designer well ahead of his time. At first I feared that some aftermarket hull alterations had happened to this example. Surely rectangular tinted hull ports were the latest (or 2011 onwards) design motif of the big volume German yards? Clearly not so. Still, descending into the saloon, a world of primary coloured mouldings and geometrically patterned tweed, would soon remind me that Mare was indeed a child of the ‘70s. December 2012 39
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MYMARINA Wellington Dock
Dover MarINa KeNT
Convenient access point to Europe with history abounding or fit only for ferries? Toby Heppell takes a look around.
o paraphrase a character from the BBC’s hit political satire ‘The Thick Of It’; Dover is the place you have to go through to get to France. For a long time I had a slightly different view though. Having been raised on the Essex coast and racing yachts both there and in the Solent, Dover was always the place you had to pass to get from one to the other. The point is, for neither of these options is Dover considered a place to actually stop. In many respects - due to the volume of traffic, in addition to the confused sea-state, as waves rebound from the massive harbour walls - Dover has always been something to dread followed by something to put to the back of your mind on a voyage. Of course this is an unfair assumption still widely held. These days
with port control more akin to an airport control tower, crossing or entering the port is a truly easy job, with all decisions effectively made for you. Adding to the port’s appeal and reflecting the reasons Dover has become the busiest passenger ferry terminal in the UK is its position as an ideal spot for forays to the French coastline. Finally at just over one hour away from London by high-speed train, the marina is well linked to the rest of the UK. If one can look beyond the industrialisation inherent in a large port town, Dover has much to offer cruising sailors and visitors alike. Indeed, Roman ruins, castles and top class restaurants abound and any history buff will definitely find their fill of nautical times gone by. Such is the historical importance of
Dover, the Marina often plays host to television crews and the like. A visit to the town is all but essential for any documentary covering Britain’s nautical past, and the proximity to France brings yet more TV crews as people often make lunatic attempts at crossing the channel in vessels of variously (un)seaworthy states.
Locals enjoying the sun.
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Dover BerTHING aND FaCILITIes Contact: 01304 241663 or go to: www.doverport.co.uk Facilities: Loads on offer including water, electricity, gas, pump out, launderette, Internet etc. Fuel: 24hr fuel station – gas available. Repairs: Fully serviced boatyard on site Lift-Out: 50 tonne travel lift.
The Wellington Dock.
Regency buildings line the seafront.
ANNUAL BERTHING CHARGES: Wellington Dock (WD): £216.66 Granville Dock (GD): £255.30 Tidal Harbour (TH): £268.32 Daily (p/m 24hrs): GD £2.30 WD £2.10 TH £2.60 Weekly: £12 p/m (allocated according to space) Monthly: £41.86 (allocated according to space) The Marina currently has an offer on giving the option of 20% off their Winter Rates for the 2012/2013 winter. With the exception of visitor berths, electricity is supplied via a metered supply at either £8.33 per month or (£ subject to market prices per KWh)
LoCaL BerTH HoLDers DAVID SINNOCK – DUFOUR 41 THERMOPYLAE It is not, we quickly decide, a day for lounging in the cockpit of a yacht, tucked away in a marina. The wind is light but the rain is pouring down and shows no sign of abating. I had arranged to meet local yacht owner, David Sinnock and Royal Cinque Ports Yacht Club (RCPYC) member onboard his boat, Thermopylae. We were quickly afforded the opportunity to retire to the Marina Office by Marina Controller Chris Windsor, a proposition we jumped at. “It’s a shame you arrived on the one day this year it has rained,” quips Chris with a smile. Of course this is far from the truth but his point is unavoidable. It is a truly terrible day and Dover is looking far from her best. I try not to judge as we discuss the various merits of this busy port. As previously mentioned the great fear about Dover is the sheer quantity of traffic coming and going, so I start by asking generally what the main hazards are in making an approach to the marina.“There isn’t really much you can do wrong,” David mentions.“With Port Control there, you just
radio them and they tell you exactly what to do. All the decision making is taken out of your hands really.” If there is anyone who should know the answer to this it’s David. He has had a berth at Dover Marina for well over 20 years and has been sailing out of the marina on various boats during this time. His most recent steed is his Dufour 41 Thermopylae, which he purchased new back in 2001 and is still serving him well. David has long been a member of the RCPYC, based in a grand old regency building just to the east of the Marina. Indeed, the RCPYC and Marina clearly work extremely closely together and feel united, almost as one organisation. Despite the regal air of the title the Yacht club is a friendly place;“Some people are put off by the Royal part of the title but really it is just a bunch of keen sailors sharing their enthusiasm for the sport,” David explains. The Yacht Club arranges a number of things to do in addition to their regular racing; trips to France and cruises further afield as well as social meets etc.
Dover Marina has three basins in the form of the Tidal Harbour, Granville and Wellington Docks. They offer various levels of access with the Wellington only being accessible through a lock and swinging bridge (HW±1.5hrs approx). The Granville Dock is less limited affording entry through a separate lock at HW - 3.5hrs / +4.5hrs. Finally the Tidal Harbour is available at all times. As such, Chris informs us, each area has its own identity. The Tidal Harbour is used mostly by commercial fishing boats, charter yachts and tugs: The Wellington by those less fussed by immediate access to the sea and the serious racers and cruisers tend to reside in the Granville. David, is the very pinnacle of a Dover based cruiser, having sailed extensively all over the European coast as well as brief jaunts down to the south. Of course, the Granville is where David stores Thermopylae. December 2012 51
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