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GO FURTHER I SAIL BETTER I BE INSPIRED OCTOBER 2013 sailingtoday.co.uk £4.20

GROUP GEAR

Fun inflatables

Boys’ toys to sail, surf & paddle

African Folly Exploring the Gambia River in a home-built sloop

BOAT ON TEST

Wider wake

Dufour goes beamy with the all-new 410 SOUTHAMPTON

New gear, new boats – launching at the show

KNOX-JOHNSTON

Why the BBC has lost its compass on sailing

Lugger style Drascombe Drifter 22 on test SNUFF OR FURL?

How to tame your spinnaker the easy way

ATLANTIC SAFETY

Guide to the gear you need to cross the Pond


Bo So Vis at ut it u h 25 Sho am s at 9 w pt - 2 B on 61 ert hs




385

HANSE

TACKING WITHOUT TOUCHING THE SHEET Integrated self-tacking jib

EASY TO STEER, SAFE AND FAST Long water line, T-Speed keel. Designed by judel / vrolijk & co

SAIL SINGLE-HANDED All halyards and sheets lead aft to helm

LIGHT AND AIRY Hull windows in all cabins as well as elegant opening flush deck hatches and windows

ERGONOMIC COCKPIT DESIGN Twin-wheel steering with access to bathing platform, solid teak cockpit table, wide bench seats, high coaming

FAST CRUISING 325 345 385 415 445

new

505 575 630e

SEE THE HANSE RANGE FROM 34-57FT AT SOUTHAMPTON BOAT SHOW - SEPTEMBER 13 th-22 nd

Inspiration Marine Group Ltd. | contact.us@inspirationmarine.co.uk Southampton | P 02380 457008 || Windermere | P 01539 447700 Scotland & Ireland | P 01475 522515

www.hanseyachts.com


Strap book Contents

Regulars 8 newS

women at the Squadron, Studland Bay guidance, Ireland in an inflatable

16 readerS’ letterS Simple pleasures, cleaner prop, Stripper

18 what’S on 21 BroadSIde 66 BookS 74 rIdIng lIght 102 dISpatcheS howard Steen explores Shetland

Cruising

22 gamBIa rIver exploring the heart of africa by boat

32 Secret placeS rock-hopping in the Îles chausey your guide to ocean village, Southampton

48 coweS week

56

Joe mccarthy

34 gull’S eye

14-15

on board for the first cruiser race day

72 cruISIng clInIc

Boats

40 dufour 410 Is beamier always better?

54 roamIng catamaran prout Snowgoose 37 crosses oceans

76 draScomBe drIfter 22

boats 32 pages and kit

from trailer to sailer in 30 minutes

Gear

12 Southampton Show our picks of the new boats and gear you’ll find at this year’s boat show

56 fun InflataBleS

40

five toys and tenders tested

64 teStIng tank Sevylor electric outboard, video inspection camera, Boss sunnies

80

Practical

68 atlantIc croSSIng part 2: the gear that’ll keep you safe tame your spinnaker the easy way cover Image: croSSIng chIcheSter harBour In a drIfter 22 – guy foan

Joe mccarthy

80 furl or Snuff?

may 2013 sailingtoday.co.uk

05


Strap book

XODs Photo by Peter Mumford - Beken of Cowes Commercial traffic en route to Southampton’s busy container terminal added spice to Cowes Week. The 336m-long Kuala Lumpur Express carved a swathe through the XOD class race on the final Saturday of the regatta, ending the race for the boats caught on her port side. Three lucky boats squeaked ahead of her and went on to win the race. “We nearly made it,” one competitor told ST. “Another 15m and we would have got through, but the pilot made us change course.”

23

sailingtoday.co.uk may 2013


Strap book

may 2013 sailingtoday.co.uk

23


Ebb and flow EvEnts | gossip | nEws from thE sailing community

U-tUrn on Mczs be done in the zones are much more restrictive, threatening any sort of boating activity. After the announcement of

the 10 zones, the proposal was put out for public consultation which resulted in the U-turn. The government is reported to have received over 7,000 “strongly held views”, 75 per cent of which condemned current rules (for Marine Protected Areas – MPAs) as failing due to a lack of effective management and enforcement, and indicated a concern about future zones.

After a month, Astrid remains rockbound

RonAlD SAunDeRS

The WelSh Government has been forced to back down on its controversial plans to introduce 10 Highly Protected Marine Conservation Zones (HPMCZ – sometimes referred to as MCZs) around the country’s picturesque coastline. The highly-protected part of the Welsh MCZs – compared to English proposals – is significant, as the rules for what can or cannot

Equality agreement

The Squadron’s clubhouse was a Tudor castle, aquired in 1856

A mere 95 years after the first woman was elected to Parliament and nearly 200 years since its formation, the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes, Isle of Wight is finally to allow female members, although the Queen has been patron for many years. Never a club to be accused of knee-jerk reactions, the discussion has been on the table for at least the last four years. It will still take until next spring for the change in the constitution to be completely ratified. 8

sailingtoday.co.uk OctOber 2013

RKJ Miffed Robin Knox-Johnston has issued a scathing broadside to the BBC, accusing it of forgetting the country’s heritage, and portraying sailing as elitist (see p21) See us at Southampton Coming to the Southampton Boat Show? Drop by Sailing Today’s stand at H007 and share your thoughts. There’ll be an opportunity to air your views and ask us any cruising questions, And we’re also inviting votes on your top boats and favourite ST cover ahead of our 200th issue in December. Members of the editorial team will be there all week, but you can be sure to find us between 12 and 2pm on the two Saturdays of the show. There’s more on our website, as well as our exclusive £12 ticket offer – giving you up to £8 off the price on the door.


GoinG up

JAKuB wAluTeK / www.wAluTeK.CoM

eU QUalificaTionS The EU-funded TRECVET Project is gaining pace and should soon see yachtsmen able to freely transfer their sailing qualifications from country to country in Europe.

Astrid still aground The Wreck of the Dutch Tall Ship Astrid, which sank off the coast of Kinsale, Ireland last month, has still not been raised as insurers haggle over the cost of the operation. Sailing Today has discovered that the ship has been inspected, a salvage team has made a plan to lift her and is ready to begin the delicate operation. But the 95-year-old boat’s insurer is still discussing the detail of the salvage plan with Irish contractors. Since the Irish

Coastguard also needs to sign off on the plan, it is likely that the operation is still some time away. It all means that Astrid still sits half submerged more than a month after she was wrecked. The ship hit the rocks on 24 July when her engine failed and the 30 souls on board could not keep her from washing onto the lee shore. None of the crew was lost, thanks to the combined efforts of the Irish Coastguard and another Tall Ship, which recovered many from the water.

The ship had set out from nearby Oysterhaven Bay with a number of passengers aboard, in addition to the regular crew. Four RNLI lifeboats and two Irish Coastguard rescue helicopters were sent to the scene. In the meantime, claims that scavengers had taken artefacts from the boat in the dead of night have proved unfounded. The ship’s bell, compass and binnacle have all been recovered by divers from the seabed nearby, after washing off the boat.

Second time saved The Well-knoWn Swedish manufacturer of Nord West and Najad yachts has been bought out of receivership by Gill Holms Marine, a Swedish boat broker founded by Runo

Gillholm in 1992. It is understood that boatbuilding will restart soon. We reported on the demise of the company back in May (ST193), which had come as a

shock to many in the industry. But Najad has had a troubled history, and was saved from bankruptcy by Nord West Yachts in 2011.Despite heavy investment, both went under.

nab ToWer makeover The iconic Nab Tower, which has marked the eastern end of the Solent for close to a century, is half-way through reconstruction to extend the structure’s life for a further 50 years.

inflaTable incapable A man was retrieved by the RNLI a off the Dorset coast in a beach dinghy with a jury mast and sail. He was “heading for Ireland”.

america’S cUp We couldn’t resist adding this picture of the Team New Zealand boat ploughing under a wave, fast. Incredibly, they managed to save this near-disaster and win the race.

GoinG Down OctOber 2013 sailingtoday.co.uk

9


ebb and flow

Clipper update aS The clipper Race approaches, so the news comes thick and fast. This month we have seen the unveiling of the British entry to the race in Trafalgar square (right). This was followed by the announcement that for the first time, the Clipper fleet would be participating in the classic Sydney to Hobart race this December. Clearly the opportunity afforded by the fleet’s anticipated arrival in Australia in December was too good to turn down.

Great Britain’s Clipper entry was unveiled in Trafalgar Square, where she stayed for seven days

stUdland Bay

French Fastnet First At Sailing Today, we don’t often give racing news many column inches, but the results of this year’s Fastnet Race all but demanded we pay attention. Of all the fully-crewed multi-million pound yachts on the startline – some of which are designed and built purely to win races like the Fastnet – a 33ft (10.1m) JPK1010

a french faTher and son team has won the Rolex Fastnet Race, recording the first ever doublehanded victory in the event’s history.

sailed by just two people took overall victory. Okay, Alexis Loison is a professional sailor and his father, Pascal, is no stranger to racing but the result is still “assez incroyable”. As if to ram home the impressive performance of the Loisons, the boat that finished in second on handicap overall was a fully-crewed, practically identical, sistership. The French duo put their win down to a couple of strong tactical decisions.

chi conUndrUM a mysterious underwater object has become the talk of chichester harbour after two separate boats hit the obstacle, which has since disappeared. following the collisions, chichester harbour conservancy and the Queen’s harbour master portsmouth issued a Notice to Mariners to inform sailors of the danger. They later sent a survey ship to the area west of the Winner Scm in hayling bay but it found nothing. The Notice has been removed.

: JM

lio T_

Dp pi_i DeC

The Old GaffeRs Association celebrated its 50th anniversary weekend in Cowes with parades of sail, bunting galore and a huge 129 boat race

The rYa has issued a leaflet providing advice and guidance for those wishing to moor in the controversial Studland bay area. The zone has been the centre of anguished debate regarding the effect that anchoring has on the delicate marine ecology of the area – particularly the seahorse population and their sea-grass habitat. Some have even called for a total ban on anchoring in the bay. The rYa leaflet has been endorsed by natural england and offers advice on how sailors can minimise their impact in the bay. Tips include anchoring clear of the thickest seagrass and preventing dragging when weighing anchor. See www.sailingtoday.co.uk for details.

oS oT pH

The race took place on Saturday with big winds and some rain

10

sailingtoday.co.uk OctOber 2013

bUnTing galore the hundreds of boats take over Cowes

gafferS off all shapes and sizes attended the meeting

The STarTS were staggered to avoid collisions between the 129 boats


E

F


New boats LAUNCHES | SOUTHAMPTON SPECIAL

MODERN CLASSIC Dufour 380

from £133,000

A revamped version of the older 375, the new 380 has many improvements including a smarter interior, better deck layout and much wider drop-down bathing/ boarding platform.  

UK agent: Marco Marine, www.marcomarine.co.uk Berth no: M274/326

Gemini Legacy 35

from £174,000

A vastly updated version of the well-proven, Tony Smith designed Gemini 105, the new Legacy has many enhancements to make her easier to sail and more comfortable to live on, including stub keels instead of daggerboards, twin inboard diesels and numerous layout improvements both on deck and below.

Oban Skiff

from £21,600

This 18ft 4in (5.6m) skiff is based on a traditional salmon fishing boat built in Oban in 1886. Built of larch on oak and with a round stern, she is typical of the small boats of that era. The addition of a centreplate is said to make her fast, manoeuverable and close-winded. Although the plate increases her draught to 2ft 10in (86cm), she draws only 18in (45cm) when it’s raised and can be beached easily. Weighing just half a ton (550kg), she can easily be trailed and launched from a slipway, despite having room for six adults on board.  

12

Builder: A&R Way Boatbuilding, www.aandrwayboatbuilding.co.uk Stand no: A100

sailingtoday.co.uk OCTOBER 2013

Builder: Gemini Catamarans www.geminicatamarans.com  Berth no: M158 

OTHER NEW BOAT LAUNCHES AT THE SHOW Hanse 445

Berth M259

Hanse 505

Berth M260

Lagoon 39

Berth M154

Lagoon 52

Berth M155

Broadblue Rapier 400

Berth M150

Nautitech 542

Berth M350

Oceanis 38

Berth M451

Oceanis 55

Berth M452


Fountaine Pajot Helia 44 from £402,000 FP’s new Helia 44 is a very modern catamaran with panoramic views from the saloon. Lines are led to a raised helming station and a sun lounging area on the rigid bimini offers a great view. A large solar panel mounted on the rear of the bimini provides plenty of charging power, reducing the need for generators.  

Builder: MI Cats, www.multihull.co.uk Berth no: M152

Bestewind 50

from £568,000

The Bestewind 50 was designed by renowned naval architect, Gerard Dykstra, and based on his own distinctive yacht, the aluminium-hulled Bestevaer 53ST. The 50 has a GRP hull and a cosy pilothouse to protect you from foul weather. She is heavily built to withstand rough ocean seas, but is said to have a fine sailing performance and is able to eat up the sea miles effortlessly. She has a deep, aft cockpit for security and below she is spacious and intelligently designed for long-term cruising.  

Builder: K&M Yacht Builders, www.kmy.nl Berth no: M335

Wylo 35.5

from £168,000

A stout, long-keeled centreboarder extrapolated from the 1980s Nick Skeates design for his 32ft (9.8m) yacht Wylo II , in which he successfully circumnavigated the globe. The Wylo 35.5 has been put into production with the emphasis on keeping everything simple, fixable, inexpensive and easy to handle for world cruising. The boat can be bought complete, as a bare hull, or in several stages for self-completion.  

Builder: Voyaging Yachts, www.voyagingyachts.com Berth no: M330 OCTOBER 2013 sailingtoday.co.uk

13


Actisense NBF-3 Buffer Actisense is launching the latest version of its popular NMEA buffer, the prototype of which was shown at the 2012 METS show. The device is an improved version of the NBF-2 and allows multiple NMEA repeaters to be hooked up. It can now directly power the NMEA talker that supplies it with data, removing the need for the installer to use an additional power cable.  Contact: www.actisense.com  Price: £226.80  Stand no: Various

Challenger lifejackets Aquafax is introducing a new range of Challenger and Challenger Aqua-Pro life jackets. Both are manufactured in the UK and are available in a number of buoyancy and inflation types. They are designed for leisure, professional and commercial use.  Contact: www.aquafax.co.uk  Price: From £100  Stand nos: G061 + G064

SHOW GEAR TOBY HEPPELL BROWSES THE BOATING MARKET FOR THE LATEST GOODS

Seafresh Ocean Whisper Seafresh desalinators have launched a DC-powered energy recovery desalinator, which weighs only 20kg and, the company claims, is so quiet it is barely discernible over the sound of lapping water. The Ocean Whisper can be run from a standard battery supply.  Contact: www.seafresh.co.uk  Price: From £5,874  Stand no: G030

Garmin Montera Garmin has announced its first Wi-Fi enabled handheld GPS, combining location and mapping capabilities with an Android operating system. From now on, users can easily access the Google Play Store and download apps through an available Wi-Fi connection right onto the handheld. Optimised for outdoor use.  Contact: www.garmin.com  Price: £600  Stand no: G026

14

sailingtoday.co.uk OCTOBER 2013


Raymarine thermal camera Raymarine is launching a new fixed thermal camera range, the T200. The new cameras are designed specifically with smaller boats in mind, are lighweight and compact, allowing them to be mounted on almost any any cabin roof, radar arch or mast.  Contact: www.raymarine.co.uk

Garmin action camera Garmin has entered the sports action camera market, competing with the likes of GoPro and Contour. Its top end camera, the VIRB Elite, includes top-end features, such as Wi-Fi and GPS. The Elite also connects to a smartphone, providing live video previews and playback.  Contact: www.garmin.co.uk  Price: (Elite)£340  Stand no: G026

 Price: from £2,695  Stand no: G088

Step-on-fender This is esigned for sailors who require a step up onto their boat, but who do not have locker space for the typically bulky traditional fender-step. It’s made from white polyethylene and fitted with stainless steel hinges enabling the step to fold in half and fit over a standard fender when in use.  Contact: www.wearandtearpads.com

Sailcloth jackets

 Price: from £69  Stand no: Various

Among the first to produce sailcloth jackets, Quba & Co has announced the launch of an upgraded X10 jacket collection. Previously sold in unisex only, the X10 jacket is now available in men’s and ladies’ sizes specially tailored for an improved fit and better functionality.  Contact: www.quba.com  Price: £325  Stand no: G126

OCTOBER 2013 sailingtoday.co.uk

15


Word of mouth

retweet

Letters | twitter | facebook | emaiL

this month people have been talking about Duncan Kent’s new-found love of catamarans:

comment of the month Keep it simple Paul Heiney’s Broadside (ST197), reminded me of a line by Burt Reynolds in Deliverance: “Sometimes you’ve got to lose yourself to find yourself.” In my early, low-tech, days of sailing in the Irish Sea there was always a nagging doubt regarding my known position, and it was this that made the sighting of Point Lynas light dead ahead all the more rewarding. I hope the current generation embarking on adventures under sail enjoys the simple thrill of being self-reliant, by accepting that there are desirable, inherent risks involved when you set out in a small boat at sea. alistair D cook, via email

Stripper madness I enjoyed the Stripper prop protector story in the August edition (ST196, p10) and have decided to take your advice one step further. I will cut out the full ad on p84, frame it and fix to the cabin bulkhead, where anyone can see it. Then make sure that the “single anti-sexism complainant” is not invited aboard. I might even buy a Stripper. H Wardell, via email

Stripper ‘art history’ Your readers might be interested to know the history of the mermaid illustration used in the Stripper

advertisement. Over half a century ago, long before Page 3 girls, my father, Colin Grierson, regularly contributed illustrations to Yachts & Yachting - a series of ‘Sea Maids’ being some of the better known at the time. This mermaid was one of them. My mother lost count of the number of times she was asked about the models! Many of the picture backgrounds showed familiar parts of Scoter. He owned her from 1931-71 - she was the inspiration for many Maurice Griffiths shallow draft designs. I sailed her until 1998 when she was 104 years old. Doug Grierson, via email

Your photographs

PRize comment Each month our star letter wins a bottle of Old Pulteney Whisky, the genuine maritime malt distilled in the fishing town of Wick. www.inverhouse.com

I love my cat and could never go back. Wife wouldn’t allow me to either. Once teased, forever pleased! Stephen Poulson – Facebook Is it true, you can go sailing in a cat with a vase of flowers out on the table, and it’s still there when you get back in port- right way up of course? David Holbourn – Facebook I rafted next to the So’ton boat show demo 430 in Salcombe last year. Looks huge. Owner comments the same, flat, wife happy, quick, would never go back. Does not capsize! Stuart austin –Facebook Duncan makes a good case... but not sure I’m ready for giving up life at an angle yet. Liz cleere – Facebook We asked if people agreed with Sir Robin (p 21) that the bbc treats sailing as an elitist sport: Yes I do. A wee bit more time could be spent on this section of sport... take for example the gruelling Three Peaks Yacht Race! David Holbourn – Facebook

Get in touch Send your letters to: editor@ sailingtoday.co.uk Sailing today, Jubilee House, 2 Jubilee Place, London SW3 3TQ Tel: 020 7349 3700 www.facebook.com/ SailingToday SuSan RainGeR took this photograph of celebrations for a crew member’s birthday on their Sigma 38 during the Rolex Fastnet Race

16

sailingtoday.co.uk OctOber 2013

RicHaRD HeRbeRt Sent in this picture of the prizegiving at the Old Gaffers’ 50th anniversary

twitter.com/ SailingTodayMag editor@sailingtoday.co.uk


Where in the world? It would be nice to know where the pictures on the front cover of the August issue (ST196) and p22 were taken. My wife and I have had a discussion about it and think we have been to both but can’t be sure without captions. Must the creek-crawler’s guide to the West Country really remain this secret? Perhaps you should have a “Where is it?” quiz in every issue. John Dunkley, via email Managing editor replies: First of all, apologies for the missing cover caption: normally this would be found on p5. It is Trelissick House, up the River Fal. As for the picture on p22, it is captioned over the page and is Great Bay on St Martin. Would you have won the quiz, I wonder? JD replies: We would have lost the quiz on both photos. We thought the house on the cover page was up the Dart (although we did sail up the Fal some years ago) and the Scillies picture off Bryher.

Forgotten Fleming steering gear I note your article in January (ST189) on self-steering systems, but you forgot to mention arguably one of the best in the world at the moment – the Fleming. A

®

SeLf StoRAGe I was struck by all the wasted storage space up under my side decks. Old PVC advertising banners cut to size and fitted with superglued hoops along the edges proved perfect. I attached them to hardwood blocks epoxied to the hull. A recent visitor to the boat suggested they look like cat hammocks, but they are useful extra storage for lines, fenders and the dinghy pump. Norman Trott

Fleming was on the boats that Kay Cottee, Jesse Martin and Jessica Watson sailed and many racers such as Alex Whitworth used in their circumnavigations, including via the North West passage. A stainless steel system and stronger than most others. Massive oversight! Peter Hurrey, via email

GeoRGina moon is a regular correspondent who sent us this picture of author, Michael Carroll’s house in Panormos Bay, Crete

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Gmi 20 instrument RRP £479.99 The GMI 20 digital instrument display is perfectly suited for sailing. Designed to clearly show depth, speed, wind and 100+ other parameters, its bright 4” display with extra-large digits is easy to read at a distance and through 170°.

GPSmaP 751 RRP £1299.99 Now with 60 per cent more processing power, this plotter zooms and pans fast. It has a 7” touchscreen with pinch-tozoom display and a sensitive 10Hz GPS/GLONASS receiver that updates 10 times per second.

the Quatix RRP £379.99 This GPS-enabled sailing watch has an altimeter, barometer and compass, plus race countdown timer, virtual starting line and tack assist. It can stream data and control your Garmin autopilot.

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OctOber 2013 sailingtoday.co.uk

17


What’s on BEN SALTER

EVENTS | DIARY DATES | PLACES TO VISIT Harwich Sea Shanty Festival

BARCOLANA CLASSIC / 13 OCT

11 – 13 Oct. Includes a mixture of free open-air entertainment and music

Barcolana Classic is a huge sailing and watersports festival taking place during the second Sunday of October every year on the Gulf of Trieste. Roughly 2,000 boats take part in the huge race and 1,000s of others head to the Italian town for merriment

SERGIO VERZIER

Anglesey Oyster Festival

GENOA BOATSHOW / 2 - 6 OCT

Once the premier speed sailing event, now mostly a week in Weymouth, where people take to the water in experimental craft

Liverpool Maritime Museum

The 53rd edition of this show is having a major overhaul for 2013, bringing more boats and attractions

13 Oct. Family event focusing on the more interesting and unusual facts about the Titanic

NEXT MONTH IN SAILING TODAY INDONESIA’S RING OF FIRE Rod Heikell explores the active volcanic islands from Bali to Timor

sailingtoday.co.uk OCTOBER 2013

WAY BOOST S TO YOU

R

EXPERT TIPS

How to win, what to wear

AMERICA'S CUP Bob Fisher's exclusive report from San Francisco

1665 Cover (1)5.indd 1

BOAT TEST

SB20: Our verdict on this popular sportsboat

NEW DESIGNS

We reveal the boats you must see at Southampton

YACHTS YACHTING

CHELSEA ARINE M MAGAZINES

AUTUMN BREAKS Plan your end-of-season sailing holiday

CHELSEA ARINE M MAGAZINES

CHELSEA ARINE M MAGAZINES

YACHTS YACHTING CHELSEA ARINE M MAGAZINES

22/07/2013 15:39

CHELSEA ARINE M MAGAZINES

CHELSEA ARINE M MAGAZINES

From Cowes to Barcelona

FIFE REGATTA . PEN HIR . PRIDE OF BALTIMORE . DEBEN

18

SEPTEMBER 2013 . ISSUE No 303

ON SALE 26 SEPTEMBER

09

9 770044 000205

SPEED

£4.50 US$12.50

T H E W O R L D’ S M O S T B E A U T I F U L B O A T S

Life after Olympic glory

WWW.YACHTSANDYACHTING.CO.UK

RIVER SAILING Jake Frith rediscovers the forgotten art of river sailing with Universal Yachting

EXCLUSIVE

Classic Boat Classic Boat  Behind the scenes at Summer on the sea the five-yearly Fife Regatta on the Clyde  Sailing François Vivier’s racer-cruiser, Pen-Hir  1931 tugboat Challenge is restored and back on the water  Charlie Barr – part three of our exclusive insight into Britain’s most successful racing skipper SEPTEMBER 2013

£4.30 Issue #1665 | SEPTEMBER 2013 www.yachtsandyachting.co.uk

HANNAH MILLS | ROUTE DES PRINCES | HIKING | TEST: SB20

BAVARIA 37C Duncan Kent tests the German boatbuilder’s latest cruising offering

SEPTEMBER 2013 | ISSUE #1665

RIGGING CUTTERS Find out what works and what doesn’t in an emergency with our group gear test

Yachts & Yachting  Silver medallist Hannah's story 12 Hannah Mills talks about life after London 2012  Europcup champions Hiking explain how to win in a hiking dinghy  12 ways to boost your speed and sharpen your boat-handling skills  Autumn getaways: it’s not too late for an end-of-season sailing holiday

CLASSIC BOAT

IRISH SEA Lifelong sailor Dag Pike noses into the hidden harbours of northwest England and Scotland

DON’T MISS OUR SISTER TITLES IN OCTOBER i

SPEED WEEK / 12 - 18 OCT

12 – 13 Oct. The oyster and shellfish festival has become a huge celebration of shellfish and seafood that attracts thousands every year

Fabulous Fifes Return to the Clyde

Tug on the heartstrings New life for Dunkirk veteran

VOYAGE TO THE GREAT LAKES

Aboard a Tall Ship

CB303 Cover4.indd 1

SUFFOLK SPLENDOUR

Down the Deben

09

WARTIME WINDFALL

Luftwaffe yacht

9 770950 331134

29/07/2013 16:52

YACHTS YACHTING

CHELSEA ARINE M MAGAZINES

YACHTS YACHTING CHELSEA ARINE M MAGAZINES


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Broadside The BBC needs To reCognise ThaT BriTain is an island of sailors and Beef up iTs Coverage, says Sir robin Knox-JohnSton

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e suffer in Britain from a media that, with some notable exceptions, considers sailing to be a minority or elitist sport. It never has been, but that isn’t the point, that’s the perception. This is then used as an excuse to avoid giving any attention to sailing. Historically, sailing boat racing grew from commercial sailing, and competition between the fishermen, pilots, trading vessels and ferries. The real expansion took place after the Second World War when glues developed for manufacturing aircraft became available and thousands of people began building boats at home. Sailing really became a sport available to anyone who had simple carpentry skills. Of course, many of these people moved up into keelboats, and this, especially with the advent of glassfibre, encouraged the building of cruisers and racers. It is still the case that the average price of a boat is £1,000 less than the average price of a caravan in this country. Now there are estimated to be some 2.8m boatowners in the UK, but all this has gone completely unnoticed by most of the media. When 4 per cent of the population owns a boat and another 4 per cent helps to use them, how can you say the sport is elitist? The excuse often given for the lack of TV coverage is that sailing is difficult to film. Well, tell that to the Americans, French, Australians or New Zealanders who appear to have worked out how to make it exciting! These days we can use satellites to bring us live pictures of what is happening aboard boats sailing in the farthest oceans of the world. Another excuse is that the rules are complicated. But the basic rules set out in the Colregs are simple to understand and anyway, in class racing (such as the Olympics) the boats are all the same, so the winner is the first home. What is confusing about that? Cowes Week this year received no national coverage, nor did the Fastnet Race, though it is by far the biggest and best-known offshore race in the world. The sports news on the evening of the start of the Fastnet consisted of cricket (fair enough, as we did have the Ashes going on), athletics from Moscow and football. The BBC response, when its omission was pointed out, was that it does cover sailing. But with less than 1 per cent of the

broadcast time that’s spent on football, I find that comment arrogant and disdainful. This lack of coverage means that many are unaware of what is going on, so if you live north of Watford you would not know that the Fastnet Race existed. This reduces the number of spectators and means that sponsorship for events and for up-and-coming young sailors is very hard to obtain in this country. Compare this with the situation in France, which has huge coverage of events like the Vendée Globe Race, or the Route du Rhum, and you can see why sponsors there think it very worthwhile having an entry in the events. All the big, spectacular multihulls that finished the Fastnet in such phenomenal time (under 40 hours) were French. Not a British boat amongst them. This also has an effect on our boating industry, which contributes nearly £3bn to our economy, half through exports. If our own public broadcaster won’t cover the products of that industry, it makes it a harder battle to sell our products, which comes down to jobs in the end. This attitude extends to other forms of programming as well. Ask a presenter about reading the Shipping Forecast and they have no idea how important it is to sailors and fishermen around our coasts, which is why it is frequently gabbled. Some time ago, the BBC also removed barometric pressure and its recent movements from all but one forecast a day. Yet this information is vital, telling us where a front might be and giving a good indication of the wind direction and force to expect. The BBC suffers from ‘Sea Blindness’. It makes little effort to understand the sea and ships, commercial, naval or leisure, and perhaps this creates a lack of confidence. It needs to remember that we are an island, we have a great tradition of seamanship, that sailing and boating is a natural pastime for islanders, and there might just be more licence-payers out there interested in maritime matters than it wants to believe.

‘more licence-payers are interested in maritime matters than [the BBC] believes’

Your view share your thoughts about sir robin’s column or any other sailing issue www.facebook.com/ SailingToday www.twitter.com/ SailingTodayMag editor@sailingtoday. co.uk

sir robin knox-johnston became the first person to sail solo, non-stop around the world in 1969 and has won a host of ocean races. He now chairs Clipper Ventures OctOber 2013 sailingtoday.co.uk

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Cruising

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A NAUTICAL SAFARI After Christmas in Senegal, Kerry Pears decided to spend the New Year cruising up the River Gambia, where hippos are the main hazard

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‘a fierce grunting and a huge exhalation revealed an angry hippopotamus’

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hat the heck was that noise? We froze as we listened intently for a repeat of the disturbing sound, so close that it had seemed to come from inside Folly, our 40ft sloop. Anchored on the River Gambia in the impenetrable darkness, we sat tense, trying to understand what we were hearing. An explosion of water, a fierce grunting and a huge exhalation of breath close by revealed the source – an angry hippopotamus resented our invasion of his territory. We held our breath, hoping he would realise we didn’t pose a threat. After anxious minutes in which we heard a few more aggrieved grunts from the

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black water, the gentle evening sounds of West Africa were finally restored. We had hoped to see these creatures close up, but now their presence was a little too close! Our diversion from the normal trade wind Atlantic crossing started in the annual autumn exodus from Europe and the Mediterranean. While boats heading to the Cape Verde islands or direct to the Caribbean beat into strong southwesterlies or motored in calms, we sailed southeast on a favourable current.

Dusty Dakar

Our first port after the seven-day passage from Gran Canaria was Dakar, the capital of Senegal. We anchored off the Cercle de la Voile de Dakar (CVD) in the Baie de Hann

Previous page: Lamin Lodge, where the few visiting yachtsmen congregate Top: The wind died in the evening and there were often morning mists Above left to right: Georgetown; goats in the street in Lamin; one of the many monkeys; the wound inflicted by a pilfering monkey

and found the shady grounds and casual, friendly club a haven from the dust and heat of Africa. Dodging touts and vehicles, we were carried along the city’s hectic streets by the flow of slender ebonyblack Senegalese. Fly-covered cuts of flesh hung in the grimy depths of dark stalls in the Marché Sandaga. Shops of brightly patterned cloth lined the streets, frequented by elegant women dressed in the same bold fabrics, vivid against their dark skin. To escape the crowds we took a ferry to île de Gorée, a historic slaving port and a gem of Mediterranean-style buildings shaded by huge baobab trees. Each morning, 40ft fishing pirogues threaded through the anchorage as they returned to the beach where wives and daughters sat under colourful


Gambia River

Top five gear • Self-steering – homemade servo-pendulum controlled by Simrad Tillerpoint • Selden in-mast furling main and Plastimo 1213 roller jib – after sailing 54,000 miles two-up, we know these provide great flexibility • Single Sideband radio – ICOM IC-M710 for weather forecasts and social contact • Watermaker – Katadyn PowerSurvivor 40E • Adverc battery management system – to minimise engine charging

couple of days later. He was anxious to make sure we left Africa by mid-January to ensure steady trade winds on the crossing to Barbados.

ALL PHOTOS: PAUL BROWN

Turning south again

sunshades to sell the catch. Men and boys pulled nets full of tuna over the sand while eager buyers haggled. At the end of each day we returned to Folly via a cold drink on the shady terrace of the CVD. In the shallow, wind-scoured anchorage. it was always a lively, wet water-taxi ride back. The once-beautiful beach is marred by fish entrails and trash-choked streams, providing pungent ferry docking and unpleasant beach landings. In French fashion, we celebrated the holidays on Christmas Eve with a potluck party at the CVD: a feast of shrimp, fresh fish and delicacies garnered from boat stores or the modern supermarket in the city, and shared with French cruisers. “How about celebrating the New Year in The Gambia?” John asked, a

So it was decided. On the overnight sail south through the moonless night and many miles offshore, we dodged small pirogues with outboards. If we were lucky, they would suddenly switch on a flashing blue light and power out of our way, having been completely invisible moments before. The small and friendly capital of The Gambia, Banjul, with its sandy streets and a few colonial buildings, was a pleasant contrast to Dakar and whetted our appetite for the rest of the country. We cleared in easily enough at a cost of €22 – there were no language problems in this ex-British protectorate - then headed off to find company.

We couldn’t see any other cruising yachts in Oyster Creek after mudskipping at the limit of our 5ft (1.5m) draught through Chitabong Bolong, so we headed for the well-protected anchorage off Lamin Lodge. This quirky wooden bar/restaurant, founded by German yachtsman Peter Losen, perches on stilts over the mud-oyster and mangrove-lined Lamin Creek, an oasis for the few yachts who visit. Fire eating; African dancing and drumming; a festive buffet; and the company of the only other cruising yachts in the anchorage made New Year memorable. Eager to explore, we left early next day with the tide to start our nautical expedition to inland Africa, working the flood tides and the river breezes to sail and motor-sail upstream. Big river dolphins raced us to our first anchorage off James Island, resonant with slaving history in the lower reaches of a river so wide that we could barely see the mangrove-lined banks. Squadrons of pelicans returned at dusk to roost in the baobab trees amongst ruins on the fortified island. Following in the wake of 18th century explorer Mungo Park on his way to the Niger, the river narrowed and mangroves gave way to grassy fields and sculptural, silk-cotton trees. We marvelled at the birdlife and the equally colourfully-clothed Wolof and Mandinka women. Days on the river were hot and dessicatingly dry; our nights cool and

Kudang Tenda village was typical of the quiet settlements along the upper river

OctOber 2013 sailingtoday.co.uk

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Gambia River

tranquil, punctuated occasionally by the ethereal singing of a lone cattleherder. As we ghosted by villages of thatched huts, small boys in dug-out canoes paddled towards us, offering fish for sale. We anchored safely in the mud of bolongs (creeks) or alongside the main channel of the river with not a man-made dwelling or light in evidence – we were truly on safari.

Hippopotamus sighting

Once into the fresh water we looked for signs of hippopotami and realised how well camouflaged they are – we learned to look for two perfectly rounded protrusions close together aimed in our direction – their ears.

FOLLY

Our first encounter as we dinghied around the end of an island in the River Gambia National Park enchanted us, but also left us feeling vulnerable in our 8ft (2.4m), low freeboard hard tender. “Where did they go?” I whispered anxiously, searching the calm river surface for the adult and calf. “I don’t know, but we’d better back off – our dinghy would be no match for an angry hippo.” We beat a hasty retreat when the hippo re-emerged closer to us and subsequently viewed these powerfully-built “river horses”

40ft aluminium pilot-house sloop, 1999

Above left: Green monkeys are common and bold, as Kerry discovered when one snatched her drink and scratched her face Above right: New Year in the company of other cruisers at Lamin Creek near Banjul

from the solidity of Folly’s aluminium hull. As soon as we spotted adults and young, we switched off our engine and drifted silently by while we gazed, enchanted, at them. We finally reached our turning point of Georgetown 150nM upriver, where further passage east is restricted by an overhead power cable and the river becomes rocky and shallow. The once powerful British administrative settlement is now a simple place, servicing one of the few ferry crossings and some eco-tourists that make the long trek from the coast.

Monkey world

LOA: 39ft 4in (12m)

Red colubus Procolobus piliocolobus Considered Africa’s most threatened primates, these fruit-eaters are preyed upon by chimpanzees

Beam: 12ft 10in (3.9m) Draught: 5ft 5in (1.7m) Engine: Nissan 55hp Designer: Van de Stadt

Green monkey Chlorocebus sabaeus Weighing up to 8kg, green monkeys are common in coastal areas, where they feed on crabs. Also common in the Caribbean

THE GAMBIA RIVER

Chimpanzee Panini pan Measuring up to 5ft 6in and 70kg, Chimpanzees are thought to be man’s closest evolutionary neighbour

Niani Mara

Deer Is Baboon Is Sea Horse Is

GAMBIA RIVER Oyster Creek

Madori Creek

Banjul Lamin Lodge

Tendaba Village

Georgetown

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A t l a n t i c

St James Is

THE GAMBIA AFRICA BRAZIL

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S o u t h A t l a n t i c

S E N E G A L 26

sailingtoday.co.uk OCTOBER 2013


    

        

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RIVER CRUISING TIPS Besides computer charts, we used Imray’s RCC Pilotage Cruising Guide to West Africa by Steve Jones; and a simple map of the River Gambia National Park provided by the port authority HW Georgetown, 150 miles upriver, occurs at Banjul -01:55, but the accuracy of predictions is variable. The flood lasts longer than the ebb, and the maximum tidal current of up to 3 knots is found in the lower reaches or where the river is constricted. Motoring against the flow is feasible, but there is nowhere to refuel upstream. The river twists and turns, so what may be a favourable breeze for a mile or two often becomes less helpful a little further on. The wind died at night, with light nor’easterlies in the mornings, veering southeast by afternoon, throwing up a hefty chop against the tide when it strengthened to 15 knots in the lower part of the river. The breeze was light inland. Anchoring is possible in most of the river, out of the strongest part of the current. The bottom is sediment on mud and mostly good holding. We draw 5ft 5in (1.7m), and despite a shallow patch leaving the Kaiai south channel, we didn’t touch bottom. Creeks off the river are guarded by mud banks but are a tranquil and exotic hideaway if you can find the entrance successfully. The only nav marks upriver are at the Senegambia Highway crossing, for the big ferries. Elsewhere, pirogues carry locals between villages, and fishermen string nets across the stream, leaving a clear passage for traffic, usually marked by a plastic bottle. At first we were nervous about navigation, poring over guides and charts. Gradually we relaxed into the fantastic experience of exploring this waterway infused with colonial history; an artery into the heart of Africa.

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With small breeze-block dwellings and dirt streets roamed by goats, chicken and sheep, there is little to explore and few supplies. Boiled eggs are sold unlabelled alongside fresh, and fruit and vegetables are restricted to a few green oranges, and an ugly brown root vegetable. To celebrate reaching our destination we ate “Yassa Poulet” (chicken, cooked with lemon and onions) at a tourist lodge on the river’s edge as green vervet monkeys played tag through the pirogues.

Total tranquility

Our aim accomplished, we reluctantly retraced our steps down river, sailing slowly with the current. Gazing at the tree-tops’ red colobus monkeys warming themselves in the early morning sun, it felt as though we were on a Disney theme park ride with all of Africa flowing past. Scents of swampy vegetation, mist rising from the warm water in the cool air, barking chimpanzees and chuckling mourning doves reinforced the impression. When the favourable breeze stilled, we anchored to use the clear fresh water of the upper reaches to fill our tanks, wash clothes, and rinse our cruising chute free of salt. River traffic consisted of a few tourist boats, an occasional tug and barge loaded with peanuts, and fishermen – often with open cooking fires in the bottom of their wooden canoes. Navigation was simple but with a disconcerting offset on the computer charts. At times on the ebb we sped along at 10 knots pushed by a following breeze. We passed derelict wharves where women washed clothes and children, men washed smart 4x4 vehicles and herds of cattle wallowed. January was

Above left: Gambians are kind and generous characters, and Liverpool FC fans Above right: Fishermen in pirogues lay nets across the river, but leave passage beween them

slipping by quickly and the Caribbean beckoned. Again escorted by dolphins, we returned to Lamin to provision and prepare for the Atlantic crossing. An unexpected incident reminded us that we had been cruising in a country with wild and occasionally savage animals. As we sat in the lodge one evening, a more daring than usual monkey snatched my bottle of Vimto and casually drank the contents. Too surprised to grab a camera, we watched amused, then I reached for the empty bottle. Big mistake: the monkey spun around baring his teeth in a ferocious snarl and lashed across my cheek with his claws. I spent the first few days of our Atlantic crossing worrying if I was going to develop some contagious disease: Africa is charming, beautiful and exotic, but needs treating with cautious respect. Cruising the protected waters of an African river was magical and a very different cruising experience. People are poor in material possessions, but rich in friendship, courtesy and sense of fun. Experiencing their world and the wonderful tranquillity and wildlife on the Gambia River has been one of the highlights of our 13 years of cruising the world.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

In 1999, Kerry and John Pears launched their 40ft aluminium pilot-house sloop in Portsmouth. Home built from plans by Van de Stadt, the boat was tested with a circumnavigation via the Panama and Suez Canals. Now on the US East Coast, they are repairing Folly after damage by Hurricane Sandy.


Gambia River Clockwise from top: The width of the river is shown by the distant bank in this view from James Island with Folly at anchor; the ‘Internet tree’ covered in messages; boys in pirogues; Banjul fish market; Georgetown was once a powerful centre for colonial administration

‘as monkeys warmed themselves in the sun... it felt as though we were on a Disney ride with all of Africa flowing past’

OctOber 2013 sailingtoday.co.uk

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chandlery chandlery


Looking north at high water, just a few islets were still visible

I

t had been several days of Force 6 and low scudding clouds when dawn finally lit up an empty sky. Just past high water, the locks at Paimpol still gaped wide – in just a few hours all this would be glistening sand and mud, so we quickly slipped our lines. No wind was forecast, but in the first sun-cream weather of a twoweek cruise, we didn’t mind motoring much; the last sail had been a hair-raising affair with a scrap of jib, threading between the rocks of Bréhat. When I noticed the ensign wasn’t flying straight astern, we realised there was some wind after all. With the 120 per cent jib unfurled and a preventer on the main we “fizzed” east at a respectable 3 knots. The tide turned and we were suddenly making 5 knots over the ground. Lunch came and went. The wind rose. One mackerel, then another, jumped our hooks. The breeze filled and backed, and by mid-afternoon, the spinnaker was up. By now we were doing 8 knots over the ground, as the redoubtable tides of this corner of the Channel did their work. The modern marina delights of St Quay Portrieux were far astern; Dahouet soon passed abeam, then Erquy, St Cast and finally St Malo. The white-painted fronts of the parade at Granville poked their heads

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Secret placeS

Îles Chausey Eschewing the delights of St Malo and St Cast, Sam Fortescue anchored amid a lunar landscape in France’s Channel Island

over the horizon. Nine knots. Off to port, some lone rocks on the fringe of the Minquiers plateau slipped by like shark fins. Ten knots. A low lump appeared off the port bow and we began to turn in towards it. The spinnaker returned reluctantly to its bag on the foredeck and the engine came back on. With the sails furled, we followed a careful transit in between two fearsome lines of rocks, like molars in a jawbone – eyes always on the depth reading. Three metres… two… then jumping back up to eight, 10, 12. We were in. Bobbing in a broad pool amongst the drying reefs of the Îles Chausey, the only Channel Islands still in French hands. Really, it’s an archipelago of islands. At high water it is the sort of reef you would go to pains to avoid. But at springs, when the tidal range is more than 12m, the water drains away revealing a vast network of golden sand banks that connect one island to the next.


Secret Places

ÎleS Odet chauSey: river: 47º56’.29N 48º52’28N004º06’.16W 001º47’57W Grande Île According to most charts, the only deep water in the archipelago is off the main island, where a vedette from the mainland ferries in daytrippers. Just a mile long and half as wide, the island offers beaches, walks and the all-important restaurant and bar. There’s also a handy minimarket for fresh bread, cheese and so on.

Moorings There are local and visitor moorings south of La Crabière cardinal, opposite the quay where the ferry berths. They are first-come-firstserved and in hot demand, especially at weekends.

Shellfishing

SaM forTeScue

There are strict rules about what shellfish you can catch when, and how big they must be. The French distinguish between numerous types of what we just call clams, and in case you weren’t able to tell a praire from a palourde, there are leaflets on Grande Île and a team of roving wardens for enforcement. The eastern islands are bird sanctuaries

There were some motorboats anchored up when we arrived, but they shoved off as night fell, back to Granville on the mainland. Apart from us, just one boat – a Southerly which could take the bottom – shared this secret expanse with us. Next day we set out with a bucket and a rake for what the French call la pêche à pied – combing the sand for shellfish. As the tide retreated, the pools of water dried up and the beach gave up its cockles and razor clams, which betray themselves as you pass with a squirt of water – like naughty schoolboys. At low water, the rocks become stacks and the islands become mountains; boats in neighbouring pools disappear, except for their mastheads; forests of stakes emerge, tightly wound with ropes of mussels. It is another world. And like the lock at Paimpol, once you’re in, you have to stay until halfway up the tide before you can escape.

Drying out If you can dry out, the possibilities here are endless. Be sure to walk the seabed at low water before you settle on a spot – there are plenty of obstructions. For fin keel yachts there are several deeper pools. The French chart SHOM 7134 is vital.

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OctOber 2013 sailingtoday.co.uk

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OCEAN VILLAGE MARINA Toby Heppell takes a look at this large marina in central Southampton

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arely a soul alive would argue that you moor in Southampton for the view alone. No matter how nice a marina you are in – and Ocean Village is very fine indeed – there is no escaping the fact that you are moored in the heart of a busy city. This Southampton location is also one of the key attractions for visiting sailors. On the marina’s doorstep is all that can be expected of a large, relatively affluent city, from chandlers

Main: The marina itself is vast and it is very rare that the staff have to turn anyone away

and riggers to nightlife and culture. Indeed, there is work under way to expand shopping and eating facilities around the marina. This and its proximity to the Solent are what gives Ocean Village Marina its appeal. The city is well protected up Southampton Water at the confluence of the Rivers Itchen and Test. These sheltered waters give easy access to the Solent and its excellent surrounding cruising grounds, from Chichester to Yarmouth. This area’s fame as a sailing area is not without reason.

Local berth holder Gordon Agnew – Maxi 340

“For me, Ocean Village Marina is the perfect location. It is close to home but also its

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sailingtoday.co.uk OCTOBER 2013

proximity to the centre of Southampton and the Solent makes it a great place to berth. As a racer and the Vice-commodore of the Royal Southampton Yacht Club, the club’s location in the marina itself is also a strong draw. “There is plenty of cruising to be done round the Solent

and Cherbourg is only 70nM away, so you can be across in a day relatively easily. For racing or training, if the wind is up, we can sail in the relative shelter of Southampton Water or choose to go out into the central Solent and enjoy the fine waters and stiffer breeze there.”

STEPPING ASHORE The nearby Oxford Street lays claim to many of the best restaurants in the city and is always worth a visit if you are after a decent bite. There are a number of restaurants within the marina area itself which are fine for a quick spot of nosh. The Royal Southampton YC seems to be a favourite food spot for sailors, with its view over the pontoons. A short walk from the marina could see you in the centre of Southampton with theatres, museums and shops all within an easy 10-15 minute walk.


Wight: 0 7.45 hrs 01/06/13 Wind: 15 knots gus ting 26 k nots, shi Weather: fting NN Clear, go E od visibi l i ty Boat: Ba varia Ma tch 35 – “HKJ Fir estarter Location ” : 2013 R o u n d The Is just off land Rac The Need e les HKJ Fire starter: IRC Bava 2012 and ria Clas 2013 Rou s winner nd The I and crew in sland Ra ed by Ke c es, skip ith Love the race p ered t t (who has 25 times complete ) and An Knox-Joh d tony Jam nston es of Ha supporte race par ven rs of the tners fo event as r the pa st 10 ye ars

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Marina city Southampton’s Itchen River also hosts the Shamrock Quay, Kemp’s Quay and Ocean Quay marinas, all a 30-minute walk from the city’s commercial centre

Ocean Village This 375-berth marina rarely has to turn people away. It is situated in an old ferry port and therefore can accommodate boats drawing up to 4m.

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OCEAN VILLAGE 50° 53’ 42n, 001° 23’ 26W

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sailingtoday.co.uk OctOber 2013


Commercial traffic Keep a good look out as you approach, particularly for fast craft such as the Red Jet Ferry

FACTFILE OCEAN VIllAGE MARINA Contact: +44 (0)23 8022 9385 www.marinas.co.uk/mdl-oceanvillage-marina Facilities: Laundry, yacht brokerage, bars and restaurants, Royal Southampton Yacht Club, Cinemas, Tesco Express, Wi-Fi Tides: (1st) Dover -0001 VHF: Channel 80 Costs: From ÂŁ3.32/m for boats up to 41ft (12.5m) inc. electricity

OctOber 2013 sailingtoday.co.uk

AERIAL PHOTO: PATRICK ROACH

Berths: 375

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Gull’s EyE Pwllheli

Passage planning Ocean village marina: 50° 53’ 42n, 001°23’ 26W

F

or the novice sailor, a glance at charts for both the central Solent and Southampton Water provides almost every chart symbol and abbreviation known to humanity. Couple this with the stretch of water’s reputation as one of the busiest in the UK and there are many who have spent years avoiding it. Which is a shame, because the actual navigation is fairly simple. The significant issue with the Solent is the number of commercial and pleasure craft all vying for supremacy in such a small patch of SAILING

water. The commercial shipping is one of the reasons so many sailing schools choose this as their Yachtmaster examinations base, working on the principal that if one can sail in the Solent, one can sail anywhere.

‘A large ‘precautionary area’ stretches from west of Cowes...into Southampton’ However, as with any busy stretch of water, all that is reasonably required is a good look out and early evasive

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action. This second point is particularly pertinent, as many of the commercial ships passing through do so at a surprising rate of knots and can catch the ill-prepared unawares. King of the fast craft must be the Red Jet ferry, which blasts from Southampton to Cowes at over 30 knots. Of significant note in this area are the tides. These come with two different local features that can surprise visitors. During springs there is a double tide, with separate high waters roughly two hours apart. During neaps this is a long stand. As far as grounding goes, there are really only two main dangers. The first, in the central Solent, is the well documented Bramble Bank. The bank is marked on its easternmost point by the Bramble Buoy, and its westernmost point by West Knoll. It

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short stay (up to 4 hours) Up to 15m £8.00 15m + £12.00

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During certain peak times a surcharge may be levied for advance bookings - please contact the Dock Office for details.

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fully dries at the bottom of spring tides and is best avoided at all states of the tide. Other than Bramble Bank, the only piece of land likely to cause a problem is the Weston Shelf, which sticks out from the eastern corner of the River Itchen. Here, the deep-water channel up the river is well marked with port- and starboard-hand leading posts. There is a large ‘precautionary area’ which stretches from west of Cowes, past the mouth of the Medina and up into Southampton Water. This zone is where large commercial vessels turn, so keep an eye out for any tugboats floating around. Entry to Ocean Village Marina itself is simple. follow the channel to starboard as you approach the River Itchen and head towards the large Itchen Bridge. Due to the angle of approach the marina entrance is largely hidden at first. However, a helpful sign is fixed to the harbour wall on the corner alerting you to its presence. Even without the sign, the wide, deep entrance is easily spotted as you approach. To starboard as you enter is the floating dock office, which is manned 24 hours per day, every day, available on VHF CH80.

on

Shamrock Quay Marina

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Calshot Activities Centre

Calshot Castle

CHIMNEY (198) (Q.R.Lt)

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crUiSing grOUnDS With the Solent being such a popular cruising spot, there are endless places to sail to and moor, many of which have great facilities and shoreside attractions. Finding somewhere that is not too busy can be something of a challenge, however. Those looking for an enjoyable upriver sail will fare much better heading out of Southampton Water, turning to starboard for a couple of miles along the coast and then up the Beaulieu River, which offers some beautiful sailing and stunning views. Alternatively, a short sail up the River Hamble could be a good option if you are after a spot of pub lunch. To the west and across the Solent is the beautiful estuary of Newtown Creek, with some visitor moorings. Further west, Yarmouth now has a full complement of pontoons for visiting yachtsmen, much improved from the days of pile moorings. There is much to see here in the west of the Isle of Wight, including nature trails and the quaint little town of Yarmouth itself. Opposite lies Hurst Spit and the muddy backwaters of Keyhaven. Further afield, Portsmouth and Chichester Harbours lie within easy reach to the east and across the open expanse of Christchurch Bay to the west is Poole Harbour and Studland Bay. From any of these destinations, the entire south is your oyster, with dayhops along the coast just as possible as long coastal passages.

OctOber 2013 sailingtoday.co.uk

39


On test

Broad appeal An eager Duncan Kent finally gets his hands on Dufour’s latest cruising creation, the new Grand Large 410

All new hull design

The most noticeable changes from previous models are the hard chine, which carries aft to her transom all the way from amidships, and an extremely beamy rear-end. Her mast is also positioned a long way forward and the boom has been tilted down towards the gooseneck. This not only 40

sailingtoday.co.uk OctOber 2013

increases her sail area a tad, and slightly lowers the centre of effort on the sail, but it also (and I suspect this is the real reason) assists the crew to stack the sail neatly into the zip-up sail bag without climbing around. Dufour’s hull lamination is done by hand and the result is a very robust monocoque. Stringers are reinforced with the synthetic fibre Twaron, and run for the full length of the hull, criss-crossed by stout floor bearers to spread the loads. Her deck is a vacuum-infused balsa sandwich that is light, but rigid and well insulated. She has a 9/10ths fractional rig, deck-stepped mast with two well swept spreaders, supported by chunky cap, intermediate and aft lower shrouds. The first two are led to chain plates on the topsides, the latter to deck plates, and she has twin backstays that help put plenty of pre-bend in her mast as well as allowing unrestricted access aft. A performance model is available with a taller rig and larger sail area. We boarded via her wide, dropdown transom platform and stepped up into the teak-covered cockpit. In the aftermost end of the cockpit sole

Chines

the hard chine and wide stern improve her form stability noticeably, but be careful not to over-heel her or she’ll lose grip with her single rudder

photos: Joe Mccarthy

D

ufour has been building production cruising yachts for some 50 years and its boats have always emphasised space, comfort and practicality. Since the introduction of Italian Umberto Felci to its design team, performance has also played an important part. The new Grand Large 410 supersedes the earlier 405, but is a completely new boat with an entirely different hull and deck. Her superstructure is very low and sleek, and her gently rising sheerline and a vertical stem give her an attractive, contemporary styling without any unnecessary frills. From the water she’s definitely a pretty boat – even for a traditionalist like myself.


OctOber 2013 sailingtoday.co.uk

41


Looking good

her very sleek lines and low superstructure make her a real looker from the water

are two large lockers, which are intended to hold the packed dinghy and liferaft. This is really useful when you have the twin aft cabins and subsequent shallow cockpit seat lockers. There are also two very useful fold up/down footrests for the helms set into these locker lids. The cockpit is massive and even has room for optional sunlounger conversions to the seating. A chunky drop-leaf table offers some support when heeled and provides a console at the after end that is large enough to house a 12in chartplotter. Inside the table is a bottle locker and insulated bin for ice and tinnies. The one thing that stands out about her deck layout is the simplicity of it all. There are no clever, complicated gizmos – just basic, well-engineered deck gear. The primary winches for the 115 per cent genoa are right beside the helms and the tracks, with cockpit-adjustable cars, well inboard on the side decks. Her mainsheet is on a decent length track across the coachroof, with the mainsheet leading to a sizeable self-tailing halyard winch. In my experience, this is more satisfactory than the currently popular “German mainsheet” system whereby each end of a one-piece sheet is led to a helmside winch. The latter usually increases the friction hugely and requires two hands on a winch handle to trim. Even worse if 42

sailingtoday.co.uk OctOber 2013

1 it goes to the same winch as the headsail sheet, with the inevitable clutch-juggling involved. No, personally I’d rather hit the autopilot button and move forward to trim the main by hand – dropping the excess line down the hatch to keep it clear of the cockpit.

Crisp performance

We had picked a cracking day for a test sail – starting grey and misty, but soon bursting into sunshine and a perfect 12- to 15-knot sou’westerly. We hoisted the fully-battened mainsail and were soon nudging the 7-knot mark under main alone. Designer Felci certainly knows how to create a slippery hull. This was immediately noticeable as we motored out of the Hamble on virtual tickover, while still making over six knots! Once we’d transferred the photographer to the RIB we unfurled the genoa and set off close-hauled towards the Isle of Wight. Our boat had only just arrived in the UK and so had no instruments whatsoever. However, our mobiles told us the wind state at Bramble Beacon (16 knots, gusting 22 knots) and our hand-held GPS gave us our speed over the ground. Being pretty much slack water our SOG would have proved fairly close to our speed through the water, which, close-hauled was a shade over 8 knots, increasing to 8.8 knots on a close reach. A couple of times we crept over the nine-knot mark on a beam reach, but both times a sudden 20 knot gust hit us and demonstrated that, if you

Instruments

1

the substantial cockpit table has two wooden drop leaves, a bottle store, an ice bin and drinks holders - oh, and there’s space to mount a 12in chartplotter as well in the console at the after end


Dufour 410 Boat test

2

2

Rig well foward

her mast is positioned a long way forward, so her boom only just reaches the cockpit

considerably better with the mainsheet traveller dropped down to leeward. Clearly, she’s a boat that prefers to be sailed reasonably conservatively, which, in all honesty, most cruising folk probably would. Had I been sailing with my family, I’d have put a reef in the main as the true wind reached 15 knots. Off the wind she tracked well enough to goosewing for a mile or so, making 7 knots under standard white sails only. A decent gennaker or chute would push this to at least 9 knots, and I’m sure it wouldn’t take much more to get her on the plane. Returning to the marina under power, her 40hp Volvo Saildrive proved more than adequate to push her along comfortably at 6.8 knots at 2,000rpm, although for some reason there seemed to be a lot of vibration from the two-blade Volvo folding prop. Maximum speed was 8.6 knots at 3,400rpm. She span pretty easily within her own hull length and went astern swiftly and obediently, making berthing stern-to a doddle without the need for a bow thruster.

A bit more beam

Cockpit control

although the 410 is easy enough to control under sail and the genoa winches are within reach of the helm, the mainsheet leads to a halyard winch by the companionway, which means leaving the wheel to trim it

‘‘Dufour’s designer, Italian Umberto Felci, certainly knows how to create a slippery hull”

heel her beyond the chine, her wide stern breaks away and forces her to round up pretty quickly. I’m sure if we’d been able to get to the mainsheet in time we would have kept her on track, though, and when the wind got up further things were

It appears that every new model of a production yacht these days is a few inches beamier than the last. The 410 is 9in (23cm) wider amidships than the 405 and the difference at her stern is probably even greater. This is good news in the accommodation stakes, making the two aft berths a comfy 6ft 6in by 4ft 9in (2m x 1.5m). Three layouts are available – 2 cabins/1 heads, 3 cabins/1 heads and 3 cabins/2 heads. Our test boat had the latter. As is the trend these days, large windows allow masses of natural light below. The 410 has two large tinted windows forward, but they don’t open and are surrounded with an inchthick bead of rather crudely profiled mastic. For a boat that’s quite likely to visit warmer climes in its life, there’s precious little ventilation. OctOber 2013 sailingtoday.co.uk

43


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sailingtoday.co.uk OCTOBER 2013


Dufour 410 Boat test

1

Not so airy

1

Large windows and portlights let ample natural light below, but ventilation is minimal

2

Massive fridge In the saloon there’s one mediumsized hatch and a single small opening port above the galley. All windows and hatches in the coachroof have built-in blinds, but not the hull lights, which could prove annoying/ embarrassing at night. The seating/dining area is great – with up to six places in a U-shaped seat and a further two on the bench seat inboard. The settee to starboard can be split into two comfortable single seats either side of the coffee/ chart table, or the latter can be dropped down and covered with cushions to make another long seat.

2

her galley is equipped with a very large top opening fridge that has several useful stowage bins inside

Small chart table

For video of the test, scan the QR code with a smartphone or see www.sailingtoday.co.uk

The coffee/chart table is small – too small even to stow charts unless they are the folded type for small craft. There are numerous shallow lockers above on each side and the electrical switch panel is behind the seat back. She has a well-equipped galley with cooker/oven, microwave and huge top-loading fridge. Strangely, the front-loading fridge of the Dufour 405 has been phased out, despite the good feedback I have had about it. Stowage is reasonable, but without partitions of any sort in the locker above. A cooker cover extends the worktop and there’s stowage under the sole – although a large area of that is a ‘wine cellar’. The aft cabins are a good size with ample headroom of 6ft 3in (1.9m) and a large clothes locker, but the presence of a water tank one side and a fuel tank the other precludes stowage beneath the berths. Our boat had the V-berth forward with an en suite heads and shower

Electrickery

as with the chart table, which can be ‘magicked away’ beneath a cushion, the electrical panel is tucked away behind the seat

that is smaller than the main one and without a separated shower area. It’s roomy enough, however, and stowage for toiletries is generous. The alternative is to have extra stowage in place of the heads and an offset rectangular berth with seating and side access. The cabinetry, of which there’s enough to give her a warm and cosy feel, is Moabi (aka African pearwood) veneer and the quality of joinery is towards the upper end of typical production boat furniture. OctOber 2013 sailingtoday.co.uk

45


Dufour 410 Boat test

Duncan’s verDict Dufour’s Grand Large range has frequently been close to the top of my favourite production boat list, mainly due to its pragmatism and simplicity. the 410 still shows these qualities in its straightforward deck gear layout and sensible, practical accommodation, but I’m sensing a gradual creep towards a ‘style over sense’ attitude. the 410 is a good boat with a fast hull and the space of a 1990’s 50-footer. But there’s just a risk her extreme wedge shape, not dissimilar to that of a Vendée Globe entrant, might just be starting to compromise her role as a quick but secure family cruising yacht. that said, she’s well put together, looks stunning on the water and, sailed within her limits, she’s an excellent boat for offshore cruising in comfort. SAiLinG AbiLity: HHHH H Comfort: HHHHH bLuewAter: HHHHH

specification PriCe: from £159,351 (BasIc saIL away) AS teSteD: £183,788 (aDVenture MoDeL) LoA: 40ft 6in (12.4m) LwL: 36ft 6in (11.2m) beam: 13ft 9in (4.2m) Draught: 6ft 10in (2.1m) Displacement: 8,940kg (19,668lb) Sail Area: 860sqft (80m²) fuel: 200lt (44gal) water: 380lt (84gal) berths: 4/6 engine: 40hp, Volvo D2-40 diesel transmission: saildrive/2-blade folding prop Designer: umberto Felci builder: Dufour yachts, www.dufour-yachts.com uK agent: Marco Marine, 023 8045 453245 www.marcomarine.co.uk

performance AVS: 123° Sail area/Displ ratio: 16.75 Displ/LwL ratio: 180.5 Weight Speed Weight Weight

Speed Speed

For a fuller explanation of stability and performance figures see Weight Speed Weight Speed www.sailingtoday.co.uk Weight

Speed

If the Dufour 410’s not rIght for you...

46

Hanse 415

Jeanneau s/O 409

Oceanis 41

from £151,654 With a very similar hull design to the Dufour, Hanse’s 415 is another modern, twinwheeled wedge designed to provide a swift performance, easy sail handling and a good deal of spacious and comfortable living accommodation. uK dealer: inspiration marine www.hanseyachts.co.uk

from £173,000 Twin wheeled, wide sterned performance cruiser with bags of space on deck and below for entertaining in port. In addition to her low, sleek profile, the 409 has a number of alternative accommodation layouts to suit all tastes and preferences. Check www.jeanneau.com for your nearest uK dealer

from £177,400 The new Oceanis 41 is beamier than ever, which gives her improved form stability and added stiffness under sail. The extra width also makes room for a generous, light and airy interior that has been designed specifically for luxurious family cruising. Check www.beneteau.com for your nearest uK dealer

sailingtoday.co.uk OctOber 2013


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RACER FOR A DAY

RICHARD lAnGDon

When Cowes Week announced a new cruiser-friendly race day, Sam Fortescue jumped at the chance to compete

48


Cowes Week

OctOber 2013 sailingtoday.co.uk

49


Main: The finish line off the Royal Yacht Squadron meant thousands could watch from the beach Clockwise from top left: Friday fireworks at Cowes; the Red Arrows; the crew musters on race day alongside the friendly Cowes Corinthian YC

I

’m not a racer. Though I’ve covered nearly 20,000nM in the last 10 years, barely 150 of them have been under the Racing Rules of Sailing. But I’ve always held a curiosity and a reverence for what is billed as one of the oldest sailing regattas in the world, so news of a dedicated cruiser race on the last Saturday of Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week gave me the opportunity that I’d been waiting for. With only a few weeks to go, I signed up for the day, alongside

seven other white-sailed cruising boats. More than 40 boats raced in the cruiser divisions, but most of them raced in a more concerted fashion as part of the full regatta.

Scant preparation

Our Sadler 34 is still well set up for offshore cruising, with a wind generator perched above the pushpit. She also has a watermaker, and many excess kilos of spares, baggage and non-essential items, such as barbecues and extended downwind sailing kit.

RICk TomlInSon

TeAm FAlConeT

RICk TomlInSon

RICk TomlInSon

Cowes Week

Crew view - Summer Song

50

Thomas Storgaard

Alex Tilson

Savannah Henley

Tactician Although we didn’t quite make the podium we had an exciting race, which included a couple of boats becoming intimately acquainted around the first mark. It’s easy to see why the regatta is such a pull, Cowes becoming really intense with the sheer number of visitors

Winch monkey and navigator Arriving late in Cowes, the Friday night revellers banished any notions of old school ties and blazers. With the wind behind us, we rounded the first mark in no time but found it harder heading westwards. Sore limbs, sunburnt faces and big smiles - it was our turn to head into town and party

Winch monkey Cowes has a magical party vibe, which is infectious; you can’t help but chill out. Setting out in the morning, you realise just how many people are sailing; the water a scene of dancing masts. At the prizegiving there’s a real sense of the wonderful variety of people competing

sailingtoday.co.uk OctOber 2013

Having spent most of the winter getting her ready for pleasant summer cruising, I was in no mood to strip her back to the gelcoat, so really the only steps we took were to leave the dinghy and the outboard behind in Poole and lower the sprayhood. And that is one of the joys of the race: we saw boats with radomes on poles and all manner of cruising kit, so we weren’t alone. With more time to prepare, I might have removed the wind genny and emptied lockers of gear such as offshore liferafts and kedges. I might even have had her lifted out and the hull pressure-washed, to remove the incredibly vital sealife supported by Poole Harbour’s silt-heavy water. But it wasn’t a necessity. I also had another look at Toby Heppell’s guide to racing a cruising yacht (ST196). It’s well worth marking sail trim positions on your gib sheets and travellers to speed up manoeuvres.


Cowes Week

The oldest regatta

‘There was none of the aggressive jostling or luffing which discourages casual racers’ And Toby also has some sound advice on assigning crew to different tasks and staying out of each other’s way.

Race day dawns

A very moderate 8 to 10 knots from the west was forecast for race day, and at breakfast, this looked pretty accurate. It was sunny with a little cloud, and warm. In view of the light winds, we bent on the large 140 per cent genoa, then applied the race stickers to the bow and strung up the spray dodger and class numeral. This was all facilitated by our easy berth at the welcoming Cowes Corinthian Yacht Club, alleged to serve the cheapest beer in town! The course had been texted through to us the night before, spelling out the start and finish lines, and the three marks we would have to round (out of the more than 50 marks used during the regatta). Organisers provided a

useful laminated chartlet of the Solent to identify them all, and it was swift work to transfer them to the GPS, drawing out a course of about 8.5nM. With a scheduled start at 12:20, just northeast of the precautionary area for large vessel movements, we would have to be careful not to get swept over the start line by the tide. In the event, an hour’s delay meant we crossed the start at slack water for the broad reach down to the North Ryde Middle mark, a few miles off spectacular Osborne House. We made a reasonable start, the tension rising as the countdown ticked away. Being downwind, there was none of the aggressive jostling or luffing which often discourages casual racers, and a blossom of spinnakers broke out around us. We fell into a close jousting battle with a Bavaria 33 to windward. Our large genoa kept thrusting us forward,

Cowes Week traces its roots back to 1826, when the Royal Yacht Club (later rechristened the Royal Yacht Squadron) raced for a £100 Gold Cup. king George IV presented the king’s Cup, which was raced for until 1939. From 1946, other Cowes-based clubs also organised racing around the main regatta, using different marks and sailing instructions. The king’s Cup was replaced by the Britannia Cup and the Admiral’s Cup came and went. Then in 1964, the Cowes Combined Clubs was formed to bring all the racing under a single committee. The regatta has taken place every year except during the two World Wars and is usually held between Goodwood and the opening of the grouse shooting season on 12 August. Where the first event attracted seven yachts, it now counts more than 800 spread across 40 classes. A race village at Cowes Yacht Haven hosts bars, food and a stage for live music, but the social highlight of the week is the Friday night firework display. Dates: 2-9 August 2014 Enter: www.aamcowesweek.co.uk Cruiser day cost: £40 (berthing extra)

OctOber 2013 sailingtoday.co.uk

51


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Cowes Week

‘With our large genoa, we’d surge forward, only to slide back’

Cowes against a swingeing tide was a leisurely affair. With just enough quarter in the wind to keep the gib full, we cracked open sandwiches and admired the view, tucked close in by the Esplanade and its thousands of spectators. Crossing the line a hundred yards off Cowes Parade, mild euphoria set in, followed by a raging thirst.

RICk TomlInSon

The verdict

SUMMER SONG Sadler 34, 1986 LOA: 34ft 9in (10.6m) LWL: 27ft 10in (8.5m) Beam: 10ft 9in (3.3m) Draught (fin keel): 5ft 10in (1.8m) Displacement: 12,800lb (5,800kg) Sail Area (main/genoa/spin) 234/426/895sqft (21.7/39.6/83.1m²)

Struggle upwind

However, this was where our lack of preparation told against us. Slightly overpowered in a stronger-thanexpected 20 knots of true wind, we were slow in the tacks and lost ground laying the second windward mark. The tide was now with us, adding a good knot to our speed and trimming the tacks down to the East Lepe mark off Beaulieu River. A few miles ahead, there was excitement as one of the GC32 catamarans capsized in a gust, presenting a strange spectacle with its hull hanging in the air. The 25 cruisers in Division B had spaced out now, and the run back to

Top: After a reasonable start, we flew downwind with the 140 per cent genoa Below: Rob Gosling accepted the inaugural Sailing Today Cruiser Trophy on behalf of the crew of Skyhunter II

ST Cruiser Trophy Skyhunter II, J-122 Peter Bainbridge’s boat led Cruiser Division B all week, and her performance didn’t slip on the last day. As Commodore of the Royal Thames YC, he should know a thing or two about racing, but the boat really is a cruiser. “We’ve just returned from South Brittany, and have taken her to the Caribbean in the past.” He used a racing mainsail and removed the stern box.

RICHARD lAnGDon

PeTeR mUmFoRD, Beken oF CoWeS

only to slide back as our wind was fouled. Bear away as we might, our foe beat us to the leeward mark, but ran into some bother with a wooden boat that had fumbled its tack. This forced us out wide round the mark, but we picked up and consolidated a position on the beat back towards Cowes.

We knew we hadn’t had a fast race, so we were satisfied with our 16th place after 2hrs 1min. Our elapsed time was slightly flattered by our rating of 0.97 – handed to us by the Island Sailing Club. For boats that haven’t invested in a full IRC rating, this is a simple (and free) alternative. The only downside is that you cannot appeal your rating. The winner on the day was Skyhunter II, a cruising version of the J-122 owned by Peter Bainbridge (see below). “It compares well with the Round the Island Race,” he said. “But it’d be nice to see more cruising boats doing it. I think the day is an innovation that’s well worth pursuing.” Asked if he had any advice for other cruisers considering the race, he said: “Just join in! It’s not scary in any sense. If there were 40 boats on the start all jostling and shouting, it wouldn’t be any fun. There’s no aggression on the line.” ST reader Bob Mechem also enjoyed the day in a boat he’d chartered for the race. But he found the £140 cost of a full day’s racing on Friday hard to swallow, as well as berthing at £10/m during the regatta.

OctOber 2013 sailingtoday.co.uk

53


Above: The aft stepped mast and cutter rig are Prout signatures

Wild geese The Prout Snowgoose 37 and its successors have safely traversed many millions of miles of ocean. Jake Frith investigates these popular cruising cats

The spec (prOut 37) LOA: 37ft (11.3m) LWL: 33ft (10.3m) Beam: 16ft 3in (5m) Draught: 2ft 8in (85cm) Displacement: 5,216kg (11,500lb) Windward sail area 700sqft (64.9m²) Fuel: 17gal (78lt) Water: 90gal (410lt)

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sailingtoday.co.uk OctOber 2013

Opposite: Fit out varies widely as at least 50 per cent of the boats were sold as kits

T

he first Snowgoose, the 34, had come out in 1970, into a world that to an extent still distrusted multihulls. Early racing-orientated cats and tris had been optimised for speed rather than safety or comfort, so the idea of a production built ‘cruising catamaran’ safe enough to take a family across an ocean was quite alien. The Snowgoose 34 though, which later became the 35 due to a change in name only, soon gained a reputation for covering serious distances in comfort and safety. According to Multihull World Brokerage’s Mark Jarvis, the Snowgoose 34/35 was a victim of its own success: “Buyers were using these boats for long term liveaboard cruising, and like all


Prout Snowgoose

The builders CAnvEy COmmunITy ARChIvE

Prout Catamarans

Canvey Island brothers and ex Olympic canoeists Francis and Roland Prout began experimenting with catamarans as early as the 1950s. From kayak hulls lashed together with bamboo

the pair soon developed the hard chine plywood Shearwater. This rapid design, which is still raced today, entered the annals as the first production multihull. By the 1970s it was the large amount of bridgedeck space afforded by the twin hull layout that the Prouts wanted to build on with their new cruising designs. All Prout designs of this era share a relatively narrow

The Surveyor Nick Vass, Omega Yacht Services Providing the Sillette drive, if fitted, has been correctly maintained, there are only a few other potential issues: - Stress cracking on the hulls around bulkheads and hard internal joinery can occur - The optional keel grounding shoes can fall off - The steering rudder arms and rods can corrode - Integral water tanks can lead to osmosis, but this is easily prevented by fitting flexible inner tanks - Poor finishing and confused wiring is quite commonly found, especially on the kit-built boats - I often find voids in the layup of the nacelle transom 

Contact: www.omega-yachtservices.co.uk

beam and a small rig, which keeps them sedate but safe. It has been claimed that more Prouts have circumnavigated than any other catamaran, and even some years ago when the brothers were still involved in the company, one of the marketing slogans was ’35 million miles under the keels of Prouts’. It is thought that this figure is now approaching the 50 million-mile mark.

multihulls they were sensitive to overloading. As the amount of stuff that the average cruising family wanted to take with them increased Prout realised that the range needed expanding to cater for it, so upsized to the Snowgoose 37.” While the Essex company further developed the design, they never took it down the charter route of swim-step sterns and super-wide hulls. The Snowgoose was increased in beam by a foot into the Snowgoose Elite, which launched in 1986. All of the increased beam was taken by the hulls, again improving carrying capacity. The Elite was then developed into the Prout 37, which benefited from further tweaks such as a different aft deck moulding.

We recently sailed 2001 Prout 37 Living Dream out of Itchenor in Chichester Harbour. This 37 has twin 20hp Volvo saildrives, in common with a few of the later boats. The majority of these boats had a single 35 or 40hp single engine powering a Sillette Sonic drive mounted in the centre nacelle. This clever lifting and swivelling drive is often an item of some suspicion for Snowgoose purchasers, but according to Mark Jarvis, it needn’t be. “The Sillette drive as fitted to the Snowgoose 37 is a solid, almost agricultural, piece of kit. We always advise our owners to get between the hulls regularly in their dinghy and give all the grease points some attention.” Many owners find there are benefits to the single engine layout. The drive lifts completely for efficient sailing and the weight of the engine is on the centreline, helping motion in a seaway. Steering with the drive’s foot lever rudder at the helm takes some getting used to, but experienced owners can berth almost as effectively as with twin engines. The nacelle is designed to break waves and reduce slamming and most owners report that it works to a degree. This design also provides lots of deck storage and increased stiffness over that afforded by a trampoline bow. Like many of the Prouts Living Dream carries a cutter rig. This was developed, in combination with the aft stepped mast, to help balance the boat and help it tack without requiring a burst of engine.

The broker Ross Farncombe, Sunbird Yachts Boats from the Snowgoose family have to be one of the most popular choices for a blue-water multihull. They have been around for some time now, so expect to see a broad range of pricing. The last 18 months have seen 21 boats sold at an average of £54,330 from £25,000 to £95,000 for a 2001 Elite. There are over 30 boats on the market at the moment, with prices ranging from £29,000 to £121,000, emphasising the huge differences according to age and condition. At the lower end will be ones that have been home completed by enthusiastic amateurs. 

Contact: www.sunbirdyachts.eu

OctOber 2013 sailingtoday.co.uk

55


On test

‘We hadn’t appreciated just how much more fun messing about in boats can be when you don’t have to worry about collisions’

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sailingtoday.co.uk OctOber 2013


INCREDIBLE INFLATABLES BORED OF YOUR RUN-OF-THE-MILL, INFLATABLE DINGHY? JAKE FRITH LOOKS AT SOME MORE EXCITING WAYS OF GETTING TO AND FROM THE SHORE

D PHOTOS: JOE McCARTHY

Coming in such a variety of shapes and sizes, the latest crop of inflatable craft tick a lot of boxes, but could any of them work as a tender?

uring a long cruise, especially with young family aboard, it can be a challenge keeping everyone occupied in an anchorage once the excitement of the day’s passage has drawn to a close. A standard inflatable is only so much fun for exploring upstream under oars and it’s frankly sociopathic to blast up and down under outboard, or worse, let children do so once the sun has approached the yardarm. So with fingers crossed for an Indian summer, we decided to take a closer look at some inflatable vessels that you could hide down the quarter berth of the average family cruiser. To what extent are these tenders though? Well, looking at the diverse collection of boats and boards we assembled on the beach at Netley, it’s clear that comparing their use purely as tenders would be a distinctly one-sided battle. That’s because the DinghyGo is the only one specifically designed as a tender, with oars, and outboard friendly transom.

I’ve often wondered though, whether inflatable tenders as we know them are the right choice for everyone. Inflatable kayaks have been around for years now and some are pretty efficient and fun to paddle. They are finding increasing use as yacht tenders nearly everywhere except the UK. I’ve also idly pondered whether an inflatable stand-up paddleboard could be pressed into occasional one-man tender duties, albeit on flat water and with limited carrying capacity, using a drybag for cargo. We kept in the back of our minds those with larger boats who might have space for a traditional tender for more workaday functions, plus one of these fun craft. That’s our excuse for testing the planing Tiwal, and we’re sticking to it! The real test here is not which of these craft makes the best tender, but which of them would hold our interest for the longest. Which could offer the most fun, but also deliver on it for a reasonable period of time? Read on for the results... OctOber 2013 sailingtoday.co.uk

57


REVIEWS DINGHYGO 275 Sailing dinghies based on inflatable tenders are nothing new. Many will remember the Tinker Tramp of the 1970s and 80s. It offered a single boat that could be used as a tender, fun sailing dinghy, and stretching credibility a bit far in my view, a liferaft too. I had a Campari inflatable (it’s still in my parents’ workshop) that used leeboards and a small sail to claw its way almost to windward on a good day. Perhaps surprisingly, as it hails from Holland, the DinghyGo, eschews leeboards. But with its stiff multi chambered V-floor and centreboard, it drags sailable inflatable tenders firmly into this century. Putting the boat together was relatively straightforward if one observed the cardinal rules of thumb for constructing any ‘inflatable with extras’. That is: pump up until vaguely the right shape but flaccid; affix solid bits; then pump up hard. With this key sequence observed the only tricky part (fitting the mast heel support board) was relatively straightforward. Rigging controls are minimal, with a single Optimistsized (4sqm), battened, sleeved sail with kicker, downhaul, outhaul and 2:1 mainsheet setup. First impressions on sailing the DinghyGo were good, although it has a small sail which is clearly underpowered for adult sailors in light winds. That, however, is a good thing if you want to send kids off unsupervised; it’s a pretty safe craft. In the light winds we had, we were unable to capsize it unless we literally hung off the wrong side. The stiff inflatable floor has a slot in it for the daggerboard with a flexible gasket round it to act as a case. This gasket rolls up and straps down to the floor like a roll-top drybag when the boat is being rowed or motored – preventing water splashing in.

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sailingtoday.co.uk OctOber 2013

£2,150 When first inserting the painted plywood daggerboard, it pays to be careful not to pinch the gasket. Once it’s in, the board slides up and down, although it would be a tough operation for small children as the flexible gasket clings to it. The only real annoyance is the omission of a kick-up

Above: Packed in its two compact bags Below: The small rig is manageable rather than thrilling Bottom: DinghyGo is a spacious rowing tender too

rudderstock and blade. This makes the boat a pain to use off a beach, as getting pintles and gudgeons lined up even in very slight wavelets is a faff. A kick-up rudder would prevent damage to other components in an accidental grounding. It was a real oversight in our view, as adding a plywood stock, hinge bolt and lifting lines could only have added a few Euros to the price of the boat. This boat though is the clear choice for those with young children. Subsequent to the testing day, I had two- and five-year-old nephews to keep occupied on a trip to the beach, and the DinghyGo proved an absolute hit with its small sail, high sides and stability. Amid a cacophony of cries of ‘faster, faster Uncle Jake!’ I eventually tore out one of the rowing pins from its moulding and ended the day’s excitement, but these are a standard part and easily replaced. We couldn’t really blame the manufacturers under such abusive treatment.

VERDICT: ★★★ ★★ Our testers’ views of this boat differed considerably. Those who could get used to its sedate pace, and enjoy dangling a foot over the side, cruising along, whistling a tune, perhaps with a cooler of beer for company loved it. Those seeking an adrenaline fix tired quickly of it. Although not as close winded or quick as the Tiwal, this boat was reasonable value for everything it offers, able to make decent headway to windward (not always the case with sailing inflatables), and was the only true all-rounder. It rowed well, sailed reasonably and even motored well with a small electric outboard.  www.dinghygo.com


On test

TIWAL 3.2 French company Tiwal, which, like DinghyGo, is currently seeking UK dealers, has employed dropstitch inflatable technology to create this impressively rigid 3.2m planing dinghy. There are two choices of size for the custom-made North sail; a 5.4m2 for strong winds or lighter crew and a 7m2 for heavier crew or lighter winds. We rigged it with the bigger sail, which was straightforward, but due to the complexity of the boat, it took the longest to rig. An optional rechargeable electric pump (£270 extra) made short work of the inflation stage, but we found the manual pump option wasn’t too much of a bind. We felt that not many people would be keen enough to rig and derig it daily on passage, but if you were to be moored up somewhere breezy for a few days, the Tiwal would come into its own left rigged or partially rigged. The boat is technologically impressive, getting its rigidity from an elegant aluminium framework forming the mast support, hiking wings, and providing rigid mounting points for rudder and daggerboard. It struck me that Tiwal could exploit this framework for a broader range of products in the future - perhaps high performance hulls, or even a sandyacht or ice yacht. In terms of excitement generated on the day, the Tiwal led the field, with all testers universal in their desire to take the helm. And it didn’t disappoint: the Tiwal was a stiff, fun little craft to sail, with

£4,990 TOP FOR PERFORMANCE

Above: There were claims the Tiwal planed, but it wasn’t caught on camera

pinpoint reactions. Lighter sailors made it up onto the plane for brief periods in the slightest gusts and in a touch more wind it would have been a complete hoot. Some testers found that the format of the Tiwal as a board that the sailor sits on made for the minor annoyance of lines, principally the end of the mainsheet, slipping off the deck. We were all fans of its soft deck though, which made moving around very comfortable. It’s also a great boat for righting after a capsize, its smooth, low stern making slithering back on a doddle. We found the boom-less sail gathered a little at the clew sheeting point due to a slightly ill conceived and over-complex mainsheet system, but the overall shape was acceptable. The sail would also have benefitted from a couple of camber inducers on this light day, as

Below: Assembly was complex and rightability excellent

getting much draft into it was a struggle. In common with the DinghyGo it suffered slightly from a sticky daggerboard slot.

VERDICT: ★★★ ★★ The Tiwal is startlingly stiff and exciting for an inflatable. Our testers were unanimous on how much fun it was. Not just fun to jump on and have a go, but maintaining long term interest as we honed our techniques. While it would keep a teenage boy (or a grown up who should know better) occupied for a whole summer, it’s less of a familyfriendly all-rounder than some others here. And at up to £5,000, it is not a cheap option, either.  www.tiwal.com

WHAT IS DROPSTITCH? First gaining favour for floors of conventional inflatables, dropstitch is a construction technique where an upper and lower layer of an inflated chamber are held together at a set distance by strong fibres all at slightly different angles. This means that a board-type shape can be created and pumped up to a high pressure. As the pressure increases the fibres stop the board from growing into a cylinder; instead it just gets stiffer and stiffer. In this test, only the Sevylor kayak and Dinghygo did not employ dropstitch technology.

OctOber 2013 sailingtoday.co.uk

59


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On test

SEVYLOR COLORADO CLASSIC Chatting to a major UK distributor of the Sevylor inflatables range, it’s clear that they have been trying to persuade cruising sailors out of their inflatable dinghies and into inflatable kayaks for some years now. Without getting too bogged down with prismatic coefficients and power-toweight ratios, it’s clear that a longer, but narrower canoe with two paddlers will get along much more nicely than a tender under oars with one person rowing and the other getting in the way. Although the Colorado is not new to the range, it’s popular for yacht tender usage, as it packs up small, is stable to get in and out of, and offers good storage space. The Sevylor was a bit more low-tech than the competition here, with a Double I-Beam (think two lilos on top of each other) floor rather than dropstitch, but we found that with online discount they can be had around the £300 mark.

The kayak sits on dry land with reverse rocker, which once the paddlers get aboard translates into flat or slight rocker as it bends in the middle! The boat’s flexible plastic chambers are semi-permanently covered and protected from UV and chafe by a zip-on nylon and chafe resistant fabric jacket. The valves for seats and floor are the clear, rubbery plastic sort often found on inflatable beach toys, but they do the job. Our first impression on paddling with two aboard was that this kayak really slides along quite well. Initial concerns that its lack of a dropstitch floor would make it floppy and horrible to paddle were unfounded, and even without the optional directional skeg, it tracked along straight and true. Within about half a minute of paddling though, both paddlers were soaked through. It’s not the boat, which has decent freeboard and is perfectly dry, but the two-piece paddles which were supplied with it.

£350 TOP FOR VALUE

Above: Quite a turn of speed but oh boy, was it wet Below: The seats were adjustable and attached to the floor with Velcro

RED PADDLE CO 12FT 6IN EXPLORER Those not yet familiar with SUPs, or stand-up paddleboards, might wonder what it’s doing here. For a while, SUP enthusiasts have realised that these surfing-derived boards are also great for cruising up rivers and canals, as they are fairly long and efficient and a great form of exercise. The view, as you’re standing up, is also superior to that from a kayak or rowing. As soon as inflatable boards

Left to right: Easiest and quickest of all the craft to construct, the paddleboard was easy to balance on and rapid

started appearing, we at the ST office began wondering whether it would be possible to get away with one as an occasional yacht tender. Our first stop was Drew Wood at ActionVan (www.actionvan.biz) the River Hamble’s resident SUP expert. He’s been selling them for years and hires them out for those who want to give it a try on the upper Hamble’s tranquil waters. It soon turned out that he’s also a great believer that

VERDICT: ★★★ ★★ It was the smallest of all our craft to stow, one of the easiest to rig up and the most accessible for beginners to get the hang of. This would definitely be more use and fun for exploring upriver than a traditional tender. At £350 we’d buy one of these, but we’d invest in better paddles.  www.seamarknunn.com

£879 every cruising yacht should have an inflatable SUP aboard. This was the easiest and quickest of our craft to set up and very straightforward to roll up and put away. When something only takes five minutes to set up, it’s going to see plenty of use. In the light wind conditions, the board could actually be propelled quicker than some of the sailing craft, if the paddler didn’t mind the exertion.

VERDICT: ★★★ ★★ If you had access to a surf break, it would also be possible to catch a few waves, which would lead it to score very much more highly on fun. It grew on us over the time we had it, and those of us who are fortunate enough to work from the Swanwick office spent many a happy lunch hour exploring the river on this interesting craft.  www.tushingham.com

OctOber 2013 sailingtoday.co.uk

61


On test

STARBOARD 10FT WIND PADDLEBOARD The board comes with no rig, but Tushingham, the board’s importers, obliged with a 5.5m2 rig. Even with this relatively small sail, in the right hands, and with enough pumping, the board could keep pace with the 7m2-sailed Tiwal. Also, for the more experienced windsurfers it was quite a fun, stable board to perform some simple light wind tricks on, such as nose spin and helicopter tacks although we eventually managed to pop the rig out of the board, rewarded by a tricky upwind sail back to the beach with board and rig separated. Its upwind performance was an area that divided opinion; some could just not get it to point very well at all, while others could get it upwind acceptably, if not sparklingly. It did have a relatively small fin and quite bendy centreboard but windsurfers are not at their best clawing to windward in light winds so we can’t be too harsh on this aspect of its performance.

A few decades ago, when windsurfing hit its boom years, many cruising yachts would sport a Dufour Wing or a Bic 250 stowed along the rail. The Starboard is a shorter, fatter version of the paddleboard, with holes through it for inserting its fin, centreboard and mastbase. This is a beginner windsurfer of the latest wide style, and thanks to this sort of new kit, learning to windsurf is now a complete doddle. In our test, we had one complete beginner (albeit a good dinghy sailor), up and sailing it in about two minutes. Assembling the craft takes longer than the paddleboard on account of rigging the sail, but it’s all clever stuff. The appendages are moulded into shaped bungs that fit through the board when limp, then are held tightly in place when the board is pumped up. With all its components, it fits neatly into one bag.

£1,129

Above: Surprisingly stiff board but with a short, bendy centreboard Below: So wide it needs a handle in the middle

VERDICT: ★★★ ★★ If you were one of those early pioneers, cruising with a windsurfer lashed to the stanchions, then this new take on the technology could deliver much more fun and with less of a storage issue. Intermediate and upwards windsurfers need not apply.  www.tushingham.com

HOW THEY MATCH UP THE SCORING First, we put them all together against the stopwatch with nothing more than the manufacturers’ instructions. We then hit the water and ranked them on ‘Fun Factor’, to cover initial excitement and also ‘Long Term Fun’, in order to weed out those that we felt we might tire quickly of. We also scored them on ‘Tender Performance’ in case there’s only space for one inflatable aboard. Finally, in our view these sort of craft should be accessible and enjoyable by all aboard; indicated by ‘Family Appeal’.

DINGHYGO

TIWAL

SEVYLOR

RED PADDLE CO.

STARBOARD

275

3.2

Colorado Classic

12’6” Explorer

10’ Wind SUP

65kg

75kg

23kg (ex paddles)

17kg (ex paddle)

23kg (ex rig)

110x80x40 + 130x50x30

130x45x45 + 150x40x40

70x30x40

86x30x40

110x40x30

19mins

38mins

12mins

5mins

9mins

FUN FACTOR

★★★ ★★

★★★ ★★

★★★ ★★

★★★ ★★

★★★ ★★

LONG TERM FUN

★★★ ★★

★★★ ★★

★★★ ★★

★★★ ★★

★★★ ★★

TENDER PERFORMANCE

★★★ ★★

★ ★★ ★★

★★★ ★★

★★★ ★★

★★★ ★★

FAMILY APPEAL

★★★ ★★

★★★ ★★

★★★ ★★

★★★ ★★

★★★ ★★

TOTAL

14

14

12

11

10

PRICE

£2,150

£4,990

£350

£879

£1,129

www.dinghygo.com

www.tiwal.com

www.seamarknunn.com

www.tushingham.com

www.tushingham.com

MANUFACTURER MODEL STORED WEIGHT (KG) STORED DIMENSIONS (CM) CONSTRUCTION TIME (MINS)

CONTACT

62

THANKS TO Beau and Mathew at www.solentcharters. com for the photo boat, Drew at www. actionvan.biz for the advice on SUPs and Netley Sailing Club for the fantastic venue

sailingtoday.co.uk OctOber 2013


The new Dehler 38. Made for those who know. Quality leaves a fingerprint. Dehler 50th Anniversary / 1963 - 2013 // For free: Elvstrøm FCL-Performance sails // 50 % discount on „all inclusive cruising pack“ // 50% discount on Pauger Carbon rigg

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test bench Jake Frith, Sam ForteScue and GuY FoaN puT The laTeST gear Through iTS paceS

Sevylor SBM30 electric outboard motor We had our first look at this motor back in ST158 in June 2010. While it performed well for such a small, cheap and lightweight motor, we had some misgivings about its likely longevity. Misgivings, it has to be said, that were sown by the manufacturer’s own recommendations. The brochure still states at the foot of its bullet point list of features: ‘Freshwater use or rinse in fresh water after use’. We worried that it said this so prominently and therefore also wondered just how

quickly it would self-destruct if we did not adhere to these recommendations. So, we used it for a couple of months back in 2010, then stored it in a garden shed for three years with only sporadic seasonal use. at no point did it see a freshwater hose. This is just about the most damaging sequence of treatment you can give anything mechanical or electrical, and, to our surprise, it still works perfectly. Some of the black paint is beginning to lift from the aluminium parts, but clearly the hub motor, which is vulnerable as it is immersed in operation, is still well sealed. it’s producing as much power as ever, but to recap on our original findings, this was the problem. it produces just 14kg of thrust.

Boss Alex 99 polarised sunglasses after losing a relatively cheap pair of polarised sunglasses overboard during this month’s group test, i soon set about finding a replacement. i recently discovered that not all polarised lenses block glare as they

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should and a polarising filter is no guarantee of an effective glare-blocking lens. The alex 99 range from hugo Boss boast high-quality polarised lenses making them ideal for spotting wind on the water, and as the official glasses worn by the crew of the open 60 Hugo Boss, this is hardly surprising. The stylish wraparound frame is comfortable and lightweight and earpieces can be heated and adjusted to ensure a tight fit. My tip would be to wear them on a lanyard, as it’s all too common for a sailor to lose their glasses! although the alex 99 glasses are fairly pricey, you

£128

top right: We’ve now taken to washing it after saltwater use Above: Some paint has lifted in places Below: 2.8 knots with a 2.75m inflatable, so we’ll not be setting many speed records

compare that with the 2.5hp four-stroke outboards commonly used on tenders that we tested in June 2011, which gave between 30kg and 40kg. We achieved 2.8 knots two-up using the SBM 30 on a 2.75m dinghygo inflatable, which is fine out of the wind or tide. We also found that at the fastest of its five speed settings, its 12V motor was gobbling 29a out of our 105ah deep cycle lead acid test battery. Working on a rule of thumb of 50 per cent maximum discharge, our total run time before recharging would be 1.8 hours. at speed four on the twistgrip control, current draw was only 15.9a, almost doubling the run time, but speed dropped to a rather sedate 2 knots. in use, the experience is almost completely silent, save a slight hum on level five and a chuckle from the bow wave, which makes it a very pleasurable, if somewhat eerie device to use. JF verdict: H H H H H www.seamarknunn.com

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video inspection camera on first consideration, this device would raise questions about whether it warranted the space it would take up aboard a yacht. it’s a frankly medical looking camera with a flexible metre-long proboscis, four tiny led lights and a camera lens at the business end. The device can capture stills or video on its Micro Sd card. We had it in the office for a few weeks, while we scratched our heads about what we could ever use it for. Soon the possibilities started coming in hand over fist. First, i ended up with an almighty jam-up while reeving a new nav light cable down my mast. The camera was eagerly pressed into use, its small head fitting easily through the topping lift exit slot. While we eventually found the issue (a bight of the cable had passed the wrong side of the main halyard), we could not make much of the screen in the bright sunshine. regardless of how we adjusted the brightness and contrast, it is one of those displays that forces you to create and climb under a makeshift T-shirt hood to view it, like some kind of Victorian photographic pioneer. Then a local ST reader popped by our office to canvass our opinions on how to find out whether his fuel tank was rusty inside or not. The galvanized steel tank was rusty on the outside, but was it oK inside? For this (not in direct daylight) job, the camera was perfect with its 4-level torch brightness turned up to the maximum. While bits of the tank could have been looked at through the filler inlet and the gauge sender hole, we

What other way is there to find out what’s going on inside your mast, engine or fuel tank?

couldn’t think of any better way of checking the inside top corners. We thought it would be similarly useful for seeing corners of the engine installation, or even inside the engine itself, such as to check for scored bores. using the camera takes practice; it’s a bit of a job to know which way is up as the lens obviously twists and turns in relation to the screen unit. Still, it’s rewarding once you work it out, and if you get very good with it, perhaps you could get a job in the nhS? JF

Lomo dry bag rucksack £27 This is a usefully robust bag, made from tough flexible pVc material with welded seams and a roll-top design. The heavyweight construction was originally aimed at walkers, with all the scrapes and scratches that implies. Then lomo realised it would also make a good sailing dry bag – ideal for wet trips in the tender and capable of resisting a soaking, as we discovered. The bag is comfortable to wear, with foam pads at chafe points on the back, and waist and chest straps. it has a useful carrying loop and two further loops for attaching gear (the literature recommends ice axes!). and at 40lt, there’s lots of room inside. as with most dry bags, though, don’t expect the roll-top to keep all the water out if you dunk it for an extended time. We also tried a selection of lomo’s more conventional roll-top dry bags. Starting at just £7 for a pack of three different-sized (but all fairly small) ultra-lightweight bags, these would be a cost effective way of keeping smaller items dry aboard. Made from ripstop nylon, they won’t be massively durable. lomo also makes a 3-litre Maxiview bag from a translucent Tpu material so you can see what’s inside without opening. SF verdict: H H H H H www.ewetsuits.com

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Books & apps

West of Scotland Sailing Map With heritage railway poster looks, the map covers the area from Campbeltown to Stornoway. It’s not very water resistant and glosses over crucial navigational detail, but as the publisher points out, it is not intended as a chart to put to sea with – more as a planning tool. The map should allow west coast sailors to dispense with the bulky road atlas they keep in the chart table and it marks a host of useful points, from anchorages and marinas to pubs and diesel. SF  Publisher: Rivers Publishing  Price: £9.95

TIME OUT OUR PICKS OF THE BEST NEW BUNKSIDE READING, FILM AND SMARTPHONE APPS GMDSS A USER’S HANDBOOK Now in its fifth edition, the GMDSS (Global Maritime Distress and Safety System) user’s handbook remains the go-to book for those wishing to take their General Operator’s Certificate, Long Range Certificate or Restricted Operators Certificate. It is written clearly and is thoughtfully laid out. Brehaut manages to explain the operation of the system as a whole, the procedures involved as well as the various syllabi of the courses. TH Verdict: Not exactly a thrilling read, but certainly one that does the job. Our only complaint would be that over the years, some of the pictures used have started to feel dated. They illustrate their points well enough, but you are aware this is a book in its fifth edition.

Love with a Chance of Drowning When this book arrived in the office I was convinced I would detest it. Or at least be less than interested in it. Clearly, I am not the perceived target audience, as the cover all but screams ‘30- to 50-year-old female holiday book’. Although the old adage says to “never judge a book by its cover” I am a firm believer that this is one of the best initial impressions one can get of a work. Unsurprisingly the cover does not lie and a feminine book probably best read on holiday is what we end up with. One caveat, and it is a big one, is that the writing is excellent and by the time we are into the boating/adventuring stuff in the second half, I found myself interested and even suppressing the occasional guffaw. TH Our favourite bit: “…this bizarre customs experience. It’s far different from an airport, where I always wonder if I’m going to get unlucky with a gloved hand.” Verdict: I grew up as the only male child in my house and so can say with confidence this is better than 99% of similarly targeted books. Plus, being an actual memoir does lend the story a certain air of credence.

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Seamanship

AtlAntic sAfety Toby Heppell learns abouT oceangoing safeTy gear in parT ii of His briefing aT sailing rallies’ recenT TransaTlanTic forum

S

sailing across an ocean requires more rigorous safety preparations than even the longest of coastal cruises. Within the first couple of days away from land, you and your crew quickly become your own primary source of rescue. Alarm at the prospect of being the only boat out there was a major driver for signing up to a rally among the audience at Sailing Rallies’ Transatlantic Forum earlier this year. Certainly, the presence of an organiser in addition to many other boats en-route can create an air of increased safety. But the audience was reminded that in a storm or collision, they would still be the ones that had to deal first with any problems.

Preparation

RORC and ISAF produce what many see as a definitive guide for the safety kit you should have on board – the list is long and runs to more space than we have here. Though conceived

At the Transatlantic Forum, where the audience were encouraged to contribute their own thoughts and ideas, it quickly became obvious that one sailor’s ‘never put to sea without it’ safety kit is another sailor’s nightmare waiting to happen. It is, then, imperative that before setting out on any long cruise you acquaint yourself with your boat inside out. Check over everything personally and make sure you are happy with the selection of safety kit, as well as its operation. You should definitely climb the mast and thoroughly check halyards, which should, in turn, be replaced at the slightest sign of wear. Although worn halyards can last a long time during regular short cruises, Sailing Rallies chief executive John Simpson was keen to point out the additional friction and wear from sails that are up in 15 knots with rolling seas for days on end. Checking standing rigging is also a must and can be done while up the mast looking at the halyards. A good tip for checking wire rigging is to run a cotton ball along the length of the wire - this gives a good indication of any loose strands. There was general consensus in the room that at least one member of the crew should have an idea how to do basic servicing of key equipment such as the engine, and toilet. All crew should have done a man overboard drill together and should know how to use the liferaft. Spares for anything that is

Empty oceans... As soon as a crew ventures a few days out into an ocean they quickly become their own rescue service, making preparation key

likely or even possible to break should be carried, where possible.

Liferafts and Grab bags

‘You and your crew quickly become your own primary source of rescue’ for offshore racing boats, the guide can be used extensively by cruisers too. Rally organisers publish their own lists, with which you will have to comply if you sign up. But it is worth viewing these as a minimum and not exhaustive. 68

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A small nick in rigging wire can easily deteriorate over time

If more than one liferaft is needed to accommodate your crew, it will require its own separate grab bag filled with the same contents. Liferafts must be serviced semiregularly – service dates will be printed somewhere obvious on your liferaft. In recent years a number of companies have afforded customers the option to come and watch their liferaft being inflated – as it needs to be for servicing. A few of the audience had done this and, to a


Grab baG liSt  Sea anchor and line  Waterproof hand-held VHF transceiver  Waterproof torch and spare batteries  EPIRB  First aid kit including medicine for

pre-existing medical conditions  Plastic drinking vessel with water  Two glow sticks or floating lamps  One signalling mirror and one whistle  Two red parachute flares and two red

hand flares  Food and fishing equipment  String

containers was an idea put forward by experienced liveaboard Jane Russel, whose talk touched on safety but focussed on crew happiness. These become “grab water” containers, with neutral buoyancy making them easy to handle in the water.

Man Overboard

Many have a specific man overboard bag stored within arm’s reach of the companionway – for throwing to anyone who falls over the side. Items this might contain are flares, a torch or perhaps flippers to assist with swimming. Essentially, we are looking at anything that might help the person in the water identify him or herself and improve in-water movement/survival. The bag should not contain items that are particularly heavy (you will man, strongly recommend others do so if possible. Nothing beats actually having previously inflated the raft when it comes to using it in anger. Grab bags should be stored in an accessible and safe place. They need not fall to hand from the deck while on watch, but should be easily accessed and brought up on deck in case of emergency. It is worth keeping a note of the use-by dates of all the products in a grab bag and making sure you replace regularly. One of the biggest challenges for survival in a liferaft is securing fresh water. Dividing up water you carry and storing some of it in large plastic

Liferaft traininG Unless you have tried this, you might be surprised how tricky it can be to get into one - even in a pool!

OctOber 2013 sailingtoday.co.uk

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be throwing it towards the MOB) nor should it contain anything difficult to work with in the water. Some at the forum were clearly not fans of flippers for this reason – though many recommend them – while all suggested avoiding lengths of rope or similar that might tangle round feet. It is worth practicing a man overboard drill with your crew to speed the process up if it ever comes to that. Many suggested designating one person on deck whose sole responsibility is to keep eyes on the MOB, though obviously the fewer crew the less feasible this becomes. With sodden sailing kit, a casualty becomes significantly heavier, so practice a number of techniques to get a MOB back on to the boat and see if the smallest person aboard can rescue the largest person with any particular technique. Larry Jeram-Croft, presenting the safety talk, recommended ensuring guardwires are attached by string at one end, making them quick to cut in order to help retrieve a person from the water.

away for a while? Don’t forget to check service/expiry dates of all safety equipment, and that it will remain valid for the duration of your trip. Of course, servicing can be easily done overseas, but if something is nearing its service date, why not get it done at home before leaving to reduce stress when once your voyage begins? the same goes for prescription medicine and any other products that may be difficult to get hold of abroad

rig Cutters

Interestingly it was the subject of rig cutters (see group gear test, next issue) that saw some of the most diverse opinions as to best practice. Jeram-Croft started by explaining that bolt croppers are almost entirely useless when faced with the diameter of rigging wire (7-10mm) seen on most boats over the 30ft (9.1m) range. However, it remains important to cut away rigging as quickly as possible should you be dismasted, to reduce the risk of it holing your boat. Jeram-Croft recommended a hacksaw as a simple, effective way of cutting through rigging – though he warned it involves a lot of effort and accurate sawing in a seaway can be difficult, to say the least. You will

Worth a read How to cope with storms – by Dietrich von haeften Price £15

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sailingtoday.co.uk OctOber 2013

next MOnth we put a variety of rig cutting options through their paces

You must be able to take responsibility for your own safety in all conditions

also find you are blunting the blades very quickly, so a number of replacements, probably taped to some part of the saw itself will prove to be important. It was generally felt that bolt croppers’ propensity to roll off thick wire as they come together instead of satisfactorily chomping their way through it was their main flaw. One suggestion from the audience to prevent this was to create a hollow in one side of the croppers’ jaws, thus leaving a spot within which the wire can sit. Somebody else pointed out the obvious flaw in that the croppers will then not cut all the way through the wire. After some debate a hybrid technique was identified, using bolt croppers with a nick out of them combined with a hacksaw for the last strands of wire, though Jerham-Croft remained unconvinced. Most agreed that although a set of hydraulic bolt croppers costs around

the £1,000 mark, these beasts are the most effective option.

riding out a storm

StOrM SaiLS: These are not just small sails but are specifically built to offer a minimal sail plan to stormforce winds and help a boat maintain way – see Jake Frith’s piece on setting different types of storm jib in September 2012 (ST185). They are usually brightly coloured, should be made from extremely hard-wearing canvas and be easy to hoist. As Jake suggests in his piece, if you are planning a long cruise you should absolutely make sure you and your crew know how to bend on the storm sails – and have actually done it. Again, we can turn to our racing cousins for strong ideas on safety and storm sails. Since the 1979 Fastnet Race disaster it has been a requirement that any boat entered into the race sails across the start line under storm sails alone. Although


Seamanship

this is not required by rallies, it shows the importance of being able to set storm sails and make way with them. DrOGueS/Sea anChOrS: Though materially similar, drogues and sea anchors are different beasts. A sea anchor is usually much larger than a drogue and is intended to keep a boat almost completely stationary in the water. Typically, they are set off the bow and hold a boat head to wind waiting for a storm system to run over them, preventing knockdowns from ending up beam-on to the waves. Drogues work in a similar way but are smaller and set from the stern as a boat runs before a storm. They control the speed of a yacht and if attached correctly on a V-strop will keep the boat running with little need for steering input. Jerham-Croft pointed out that it is often recommended to use a string of drogues. This helps prevent snatching if one drogue breaks the surface and the yacht accelerates, before the drogue submerges again, loading up the lines and fittings holding it onto the boat. This is a particular problem for catamarans, he pointed out.

Above: A drogue is used to control speed, downwind Right: Testing a storm jib in normal conditions

FirSt aid For long-distance cruising, boats should have at least one member of the crew trained in first aid, though Jeram-Croft recommends many more safety courses, including the RYA’s Sea Survival and Ocean Safety. Jane Russel, meanwhile, provided a list of medical books and advice pamphlets that can help to identify various illnesses on board and advise on administering the correct drugs. Below are a couple of free options and a relatively cheap option from the World Health Organisation – many more books exist on the subject: Ship Captain’s Medical Guide www.mcga.gov.uk Health and Safety guide from the MCA the Ship’s Medical Chest and Medical aid at Sea www.fas.org/irp/doddir/milmed/ships.pdf A large PDF file produced by the US Department of Health – commercially minded World health Organisation information for travellers www.who.int/ith/en/ Downloadable booklet, aimed at all travellers.

Backup rudder

Failure to carry some sort of backup rudder is a significant bugbear for Jerham-Croft, and the more experienced sailors in the audience agreed. He said that everyone should give thought before leaving to how they would fashion a jury steering device. It wasn’t enough to count on some untried combination of oars and locker fronts from below. Many pointed out that some form of self-steering is an absolute must and although autopilots are a great invention and can certainly sail a boat smoothly, almost everyone would opt for a windvane for self-steering. Their ease of use, repair and maintenance appealed where an autopilot can be something of a mystery to fix. Many windvanes also have auxiliary rudders that can take over if the boat’s steering gear is damaged. Though an excellent belt-and-braces option, a windvane couldn’t supplant the need for a jury rudder, however.

Lightning

Thanks to our significant reliance on marine electronics and its vulnerability to stray currents, lightning can be a serious threat. John Simpson recommended taking backup plotting or GPS equipment and advised sailors caught in a storm to hide their electronics in the oven, which acts as a Faraday cage and leaves its contents unharmed (does it need mentioning that the oven should be off?) A boat with a keel-stepped mast is naturally earthed but, with deck stepped masts it is worth earthing in some way or another from mast through to keel. Common advice is to wrap a length of anchor chain around the mast and dangle it over the side to earth in the water. There are also some masthead static dissipators available. SaiLinG raLLieS will run its first transatlantic rally over Christmas this year, leaving Lanzarote on 16 December OctOber 2013 sailingtoday.co.uk

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Cruising clinic SPINNAKER

I’ve always led my spinnaker guys and sheets through blocks amidships – it seems to make the sail easier to control. But a racing friend recently told me I should run the lines through a block as far aft as possible. Why is this? Hugh Bloxham, Crawley Your friend is right! Your spinnaker will have been designed to obtain its fullest, most powerful, shape when sheeted from the aft end of the boat. Many of us use a ‘barber hauler’ arrangement (left), anchored in the midships, to fine tune the sheet height and also to pull down the sheet angle ‘hard’ in order to de-power the sail when the breeze is up. It sounds as though you are running your kite in it’s ‘de-powered’ condition all of the time so inevitably it will seem quite docile. Remember that a spinnaker guy must run through a block on on the mid-ships side deck to effectively control pole height. Rob Gibson, principal of Poole Sailing

Pristine propeller I have a 3-blade bronze propeller on my Westerly Seahawk and every season I struggle to prepare it for six months in the water. I’ve tried several different antifoulings, Lanolin, paint. What works best in your experience? Martin Tapper, by email Normal antifouling should not be applied to bronze propellers as it contains copper and causes

galvanic corrosion. Seajet produces Peller-Clean and International makes Trilux antifouling paints that do not contain copper. I have tried the Seajet myself and found that it worked well. Lanolin (sheep wool oil) grease can work for a short time but it is hard to apply and wears off. In theory ultrasound should also prevent prop fouling. Nick Vass, Omega Yacht Services

YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED get in touch with our experts! facebook.com/ SailingToday twitter.com/ SailingTodayMag editor@sailing today.co.uk

OUR EXPERT PANEL THIS MONTH

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ROB GIBSON

NICK VASS

STUART CARRUTHERS

Principal of Poole Sailing and author of Sail Trim for Cruisers

Surveyor and owner of Omega Yacht Services

RYA cruising manager and expert on rights of navigation

sailingtoday.co.uk OCTOBER 2013

Wind farm no-go Charlie Trott There seems to be some confusion about whether yachtsmen are allowed to sail through wind farms. What are the rules that govern navigation between turbines, and are they the same throughout the North Sea? Confused of Brightlingsea… by email

There are no rules that prevent navigation through wind farms in UK waters. However, developers will almost certainly request safety zones during construction and decommissioning. Under UN law, these zones may not exceed a distance of 500m measured from the outer edge; but this effectively excludes all but authorised vessels. But developers are also keen to implement blanket 50m safety zones around wind turbine towers during normal operation. The Greater Gabbard wind farm is the first and only development to be granted a 50m operational safety zone by DECC; this was done without consultation with stakeholders such as the RYA and, it would appear, without the advice of the MCA. We do not believe that this will improve navigational safety. Every state has developed its own rules which may permit, exclude or set certain conditions for transit depending on wind strength and visibility. Stuart Carruthers RYA cruising manager


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Riding Light colin jarman considers how far we should burglar-proof a boat and investigates the nonnavigational qualities of paper charts Breaking in without breaking up?

system, even a TV. To be able to unplug and remove such ‘advertisements’ must help a little, although you couldn’t be expected to shin up the mast and bring down the radome at the end of each weekend. Just what thieves are looking for, however, can be a bit of a puzzle. I’ve mentioned some of the obvious items, but a friend’s boat was broken into recently and the robbers took two mooring warps, a torch and, of all bizarre things, one bunk cushion.

Choosing charts

There is often discussion in clubhouse bars and during tea breaks at night classes for navigation about the pros and cons of Admiralty versus Imray charts. The discussion usually centres around coverage of a particular cruising area, the scale of individual charts in a folio, the data included on large or small scale charts and the longevity of the paper they’re printed on. Everyone has their preference, as you would expect, but I wonder how many people have been to a chart agent or chandler and bought their passage charts mainly for their ability to deflect drips from a bunk and how long they’ll last in such use? Oh yes – I have, and I lived in a chart ‘tent’ for weeks on one prolonged delivery, so I’ve real experience for you to benefit from. Imray charts, with their waterproof ‘paper’, win hands down, but I’d go for Admiralty ones if you’re looking for curtains. They block the light out better, being printed on heavy paper stock, but always hang them with the chart side inboard – it gives you something to look at while you wait for the kettle to boil. And while we’re on the subject of non-navigational use of charts, Imray ones are again better for twisting into funnels for filling fuel tanks, but Admiralty charts make better gaskets. Anyway, the choice is yours, but either brand is more versatile than a ‘chart cartridge’ pulled out of the plotter. Colin jaRMan

Theft from boats is horrifyingly common, so perhaps we should be looking a bit more carefully at our boats for security and to reduce the ‘invitation’ they present. I’ve no doubt, although I’ve also no proof, that a lot of burglaries take place ‘to order’ with the thief targeting particular items – probably electronics. The obvious solution is to remove the market for such stolen items, but no one has yet come close to finding a way to do that, so we must look at prevention of the initial crime. Fairly obviously, a hatch left open is an invitation to chancers as well as those with planned theft in mind, but just how well should a boat be secured? You can’t prevent a break-in. If someone wants to gain entry they will; the question is how hard should you make them work? My point is that if a padlock and hasp can be cut through with bolt croppers or a hacksaw, entry is gained and possessions lost, but the repair bill is not enormous. On the other hand, if the burglar has to get out his chainsaw and cut the entire forehatch out of the deck, the bill will be serious indeed. There has to be some middle ground that will satisfy the requirements of the insurers, but will not require excessive repair work. What is that middle-ground system? I really don’t know, it probably needs to be defined by a group of insurers, but I doubt they would be prepared to give such advice, because they would then be bound by it. Aside from locking the boat, what can we do to deter or at least not draw the attention of thieves? It’s a hassle to put gear and equipment below when you leave the boat, but warps, fenders, a dinghy outboard, a liferaft and an array of electronic instruments on show must be asking for trouble. Instrument repeaters without the ‘body’ of the system may not be particularly valuable, but they indicate the quality and value of items that might be found below decks. For example, a top end chartplotter and set of repeaters on each of two wheel pedestals must be a good sign that in the cabin there will be the other ends of the instruments and possibly a decent radio, radar, sound

‘Charts can be so much more than mere navigational tools’

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Your view Have you ever created a ‘chart tent’? www.facebook.com/ SailingToday www.twitter.com/ SailingTodayMag editor@sailing today.co.uk

Colin Jarman helped launch Sailing Today in 1997 and lives and sails on the East Coast. Read his Riding Light blog online at www.sailingtoday.co.uk


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Pint sized

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Low water Drifter This neatly designed trailer-sailer’s traditional looks and easy handling impressed Sam Fortescue

D

all pictureS: guy Foan

The Drfiter 22 is a modern rework of the original John Watkinsondesigned Drifter that brings her into the trailer-sailer age

rascombes have had something of a split personality since the licence to use the name parted company from the original moulds. These last are owned by Honnor Marine, which produces its Devon Originals line of luggers, while Churchouse Boats in Hampshire owns a later set of moulds (which it claims are better) and the Drascombe name. The very first Drascombe was a 19ft (5.7m) lugger designed by John Watkinson in 1968 and built in ply. He took the boat to the London Boat Show, where it sold 12 times over, and he began producing glassfibre versions the following year. More designs were launched, including the 21ft 6in (6.6m) Drifter in 1987. A few decades later and over 5,000 examples of Watkinson’s designs have been built. Churchouse has expanded the Drascombe range with several new boats, including the Drifter 22. She was drawn in 2006 by naval architect Paul Fisher, who was asked to create a boat that fitted into the range, but larger and with basic accommodation. “In reality, Paul started with a blank sheet of paper, but we wanted people to look at it and say ‘that’s a Drascombe’,” explained ex-director Stewart Brown, who recently handed the business to a stepson. There’s nothing fancy about these little yawls. They have a pleasing

classic look to them – hard chines in the hull, wooden spars, tan sails and a bowsprit and bumkin. She has a gentle sheer with a nice iroko toerail and rubbing strake. Her relatively high cabin top and cockpit coaming give her a sturdy look. In fact Stewart says she’ll heel to 72° before water laps over the side. We couldn’t test this in the gentle 8-10 knots on offer in Chichester Harbour, but she should self-drain into the outboard well, as the cockpit sole is above the water. Another nice touch is the fold-up washboard, which battens down to the sole when not in use, but hinges up to help keep water out of the cabin on a sploshy day.

Simple interior

Below, she is designed to a budget, but well thought through and Churchouse will fit her out to any specification. There is generous sitting headroom throughout: Stewart is a tall man. A wooden infill at the for’ard end of the cabin turns the twin seats into a decent 6ft 6in (2m)-long V-berth, and there’s stowage beneath. On the port side, there’s a galley, with a sink fed by hand pump from two jerrycans stored in a cockpit locker. There’s also room for a simple gas hob – Stewart prefers the one-ring aerosol-powered ones. To starboard is another cabinet with two top-opening lockers beneath. One contains a little fridge, the other acts OctOber 2013 sailingtoday.co.uk

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Drascombe

as a larder, but could be used for anything. The top provides a flat space to unroll a chart and get to work with the dividers. Certainly, you could do some interesting navigation in this boat. Her gunter rig means she’s never going to break any upwind records, but she’s sturdy and easy to handle alone. Several of the Drifter 22s built so far have been sold to Dutch sailors, while many have made long coastal passages and crossed the Channel. My only niggles were related to the running rigging. The main halyard and peak halyard are led back to the cabintop, but they are still hard work. And though the lone single-speed winch (on its binnacle in the middle of the cockpit, itself an option) makes a good turning block for the jib sheets, it is still quite a palaver to stop them off into their cam cleats. For the uninitiated, the mizzen can be another source of difficulty in a blow. When the bow drops off a big wave, shielding the headsail, the mizzen has the tendency to make the boat broach. “If you’ve got the tiller

‘She’ll never break any upwind records, but she’s easy to handle’ in your teeth and she’s still rounding up, let the mizzen fly,” Stewart says. But these are small matters. She tacked and gybed well during our test, even after we ran her aground on one of Chichester’s many shallows. She has twin drop keels, acting like

Above: With one hand on the helm, it’s still simple to raise or lower the drop keels, while the rudder plate is on a light line Below: Her simple interior can be endlessly customised, but should do fine for weekending

in it. He also says a 6-8hp outboard provides plenty of power, mounted in her inboard well, although she could take a 9.9hp electric starter as well.

Fully trailable

leeboards in a barge, and will happily pivot around one if you do dig in to the bottom. Each keel weighs 75kg and is raised and lowered by a simple but clever ratchet mechanism. Acrylic sight boxes inside the for’ard lockers allow you to quickly see how far up or down each keel is. With keels and rudder up she draws 1ft 4in (40cm), and Stewart reckons she will happily dry out horizontal if the mud has any give

The boat goes from trailer to rigged in about half an hour. You’ll need a big family car or a 4x4, though, as her towing weight is just shy of 1,800kg. Churchouse sells a swinging cradle trailer, which allows recovery of the boat without wetting the bearings. The mast is tabernacle mounted, folding down fairly easily using a telescopic pole in an A-frame rig. As Stewart says, all this matters because the boat is designed in part to appeal to older sailors. The other key market seems to be sailors with young families, keen to get afloat.

verDict Drascombe Drifter 22 LOA: 22ft (6.7m) LWL: 19ft 3in (5.9m) Beam: 7ft 3in (2.3m) Draught: 1ft 4in/3ft 5in (40cm/1.1m) Upwind sail area: 234sqft (21.8m2) Towing weight: 1,800kg (3,970lb) Price: £30,000 inc Vat (basic ex trailer) Builder: churchouse Boats Contact: www.drascombe.org.uk

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An elegant and fun boat to sail, she would make a slightly spartan weekender for the basic package price. a better option might be a cockpit tent. But for a few small niggles, the rig has been well thought out and she feels exceedingly safe and sturdy. PerFOrmAnCe: HHHHH ACCOmmODATiOn: HHHHH LOOkS: HHHHH


Technical

Snuff or furl? downwind sails can be a source of nerves for cruising sailors. Jake Frith looks at the two most popular handling devices

W

e’ve all been there; the wind is building, but we’re heading downwind so it catches us unawares. We have the realisation that it’s time we got our spinnaker or cruising chute down, preferably about 10 minutes ago, but its sheets are bar tight and we don’t want it to twist or fill with wind again when halfway down, potentially pulling the boat into a broach. These are the times when we are sometimes told that one of the many spinnakerhandling devices on the market can really save our bacon. One of the first points to make here is that there is a common misconception that a handling device, whether it be a furler or a snuffer type, can immediately and neatly douse a fully powered up sail. The reality is that no technology can totally make up for bad handling techniques or poor seamanship.

Snuffer

1

Mouths

2

A snuffer will work with either a symmetric or asymmetric spinnaker but requires a crewmember to be up on the foredeck

The bell mouth part of a snuffer is probably the most debated part of the system. Different sailmakers swear by different materials, designs and approaches and all have their merits

All the products on the market require a fairly lightly filled sail before they can roll or snuff it, so the key spinnaker skills such as positioning the boat to partially blanket the kite with other sails are still a fundamental part of the process. A powered up cruising sail can’t really be snuffed or rolled, and even if it could, it would be 80

sailingtoday.co.uk OctOber 2013

Joe McCArThy

‘A powered up sail can’t really be snuffed or rolled’

1


2

Roller furler

Spinnaker snuffer

A tack roller drum with a continuous furling line leading back to the cockpit which rolls the sail round a torque rope from the luff backwards

A long, hoisted bag with a flared end and lines to raise and lower the bag to launch and douse the sail

operated from the cockpit  Can beAllows sails easily rolledveryto large Can be make gybing easier  expensive, complex and  sometimes temperamental requires a bespoke sail NotSometimes suitable for symmetrical spinnakers 

Cheap and simple Can be bought off the shelf, one size fits all Works on asymmetrics and symmetrical spinnakers Additional loose lines aloft can tangle requires somebody to be on the foredeck Can affect sail set if poorly configured

  

an inelegant and forceful process putting undue stress on this lightweight sail and its necessarily delicate handling kit.

Snuffers and socks

Full systems

The best value and performance can often be had by purchasing a complete system, including a sail to go with it. Crusader Sails’ Magicfurl roller system, for instance, has three brailing lines from the sail to the torque rope; a system which works best with its own sail. Most of its sales are full sail and system packages – often made to sailors who have unsuccessfully tried to mix and match their own systems first

Spinnaker snuffers come in two flavours: the deck snuffer, popular on sportsboats, dinghies and catamarans flying asymmetric spinnakers; and the hoisted snuffer, more popular for symmetrical spinnakers and cruising yachts. We’ll mention the deck snuffer here briefly as it’s undergone a recent resurgence in popularity, with cruisable, modern mini-racers like the Elan 210 and Seascape 18 choosing to tame their downwind sails in long, deck-bag snuffers. The maximum boat size for a deck snuffer is about 25ft (7.6m). Above this, the size of the sail means that a large part of the deck is given up to its sail bag, which is often more than half the length of the boat. That said, a deck snuffer is a smaller device than a hoisted snuffer, as it does not need to be the length of the sail’s luff; the sail either concertinas within the bag, or pulls through the bag for storage in a more conventional sail bag behind.

top-down furler Probably the most common form of downwind sail furler. the drum turns the top swivel via the torque rope, and the sail is wound away from the head and down the luff.

A hoisted snuffer, or spinnaker sock, may have a similar mouthpiece to a deck snuffer, but as the whole sail is hoisted ‘en sausage’ before unsnuffing, its bag needs to approach the full length of the sail’s luff. Some opt to have it a little shorter if it’s for a symmetrical spinnaker, keeping enough of the foot of the sail free to position the sheets and guys on the pole before unsnuffing the sail. Socks come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are usually made by sailmakers. They all consist of a long tube of light fabric, with some kind of stiffer hoop or mouthpiece that pulls down over the sail to contain it within the fabric cylinder. The sail is hoisted and lowered within the sock, during which it is a low windage tube and completely powerless. This gives the novice or shorthanded crew all the time they could wish to ensure all the lines are led correctly and have the right amount of slack in them, there are no twists and everybody is ready before un-snuffing the sail. The mouth type is probably the most enthusiastically discussed variable in competitor designs, varying from light carbon and foam laminates, through flexible wire OctOber 2013 sailingtoday.co.uk

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Technical

Bag iT oR Bin iT

1

3

the simplest and most popular spinnaker handling device of all, of course, is the sail bag. you can’t really count here the lightweight drawstring sailbag as a handling device, but many sailors have found that a well designed and positioned launch bag can be enough to tame a small boat’s downwind sails. on my own 18ft (5.5m) cruiser, I soon realised that a custom-made bulkhead launch bag would be perfectly adequate and save using a more complex handling system. It was a fun project to think about and sketch out and only took two evenings with a reasonably hefty household sewing machine. The only real pitfall would be to neglect to use UV resistant thread and material.

2

One size fits all A snuffer will work with a range of downwind sails. here a standard Seateach snuffer unleashes one of its high-tech Parasails on a hallberg-rassy 352

stitched into the sock mouth, to whacking great trumpets of GRP. The first question for me when it comes to snuffer mouth design, though, is whether there will be a crewman within range on the foredeck while this large component is flailing about at head height. Other choices surround sock material, with some sailmakers recommending mesh panels to help keep mildew at bay for sails that are snuffed and stored damp. This design also prevents the sock from remaining awkwardly inflated when it’s packed away. There are differing views on whether

4

to run the hoisting line inside or outside the sock. A good option is to ask the sailmaker to run it through a small fabric tube, coloured differently to make it easier to detect twists in the sock when hoisting the sail. Just as there is a certain size at which a deck snuffer becomes untenable, many experts suggest that there is also a bottom-end size limit for a hoisted snuffer. There is disagreement as to where this size limit lies; some say about 35ft (10.7m), some suggest smaller. It isn’t that a hoisted snuffer won’t work on a 20-footer, it’s more that it become necessary once sails get down to the sort of size where one crewmember can simply grab handfuls of it and shove it into a bag in any conditions. For very small cruisers the additional hoisting and dousing lines can also create more hassle and tangles than the system alleviates.

Key to any such system is that it is held open on its own; in this case with a strategically stitched in length of heat-bent PVC plumbing pipe (above). This means that it forms a semi-solid bin lashed in place so that the bag doesn’t follow the sail up when hoisting. When snuffing, it leaves me both hands available to pile the sail rapidly back into the bag.

To prevent premature launch, some bags use a Velcro top closure; I went for a simple bungee across the top. I also opted for a D-shaped design so it sits close to the bulkhead without taking too much space up, and my design, thanks to clip hooks can be repositioned either side of the companionway within seconds for hoists or drops on either tack.

OctOber 2013 sailingtoday.co.uk

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Technical

feeling the burn

Roller furler 1

A key principle to take on board when thinking about any spinnaker-handling system is that spinnaker nylon has little or no UV resistance. Some deck snuffers, for instance, provide a temptation to leave the sail snuffed tidily away in its bag on deck. But only a few shafts of sunlight finding a way through the bag over the course of a summer can ruin the sail.

This Dolphin Sails asymmetric chute on an oyster 46 uses an elegant Karver top-down furler on a removable carbon bowsprit. Note how the furling drum twists the torque rope, not the tack of the sail

2

rollin’ rollin’ rollin’

If your light-wind sail wardrobe consists of an asymmetric spinnaker, cruising chute or gennaker, you still have the aforementioned snuffing options available to you, but you may also be able to roll the sail away from the comfort of the cockpit. Not long after roller furling was introduced for genoas, it was worked out that even a loose-luffed sail like an asymmetric spinnaker hoisted alongside a luff rope could eventually be rolled up if you twisted that rope enough times by using a furling drum at its foot and a swivel at its head. There are variations on the theme; some torque ropes have rubbery or segmented coverings to help grip the sailcloth, for instance. Many are top-down roller systems, where the tack of the sail is not rolled, but connected to a swivel at the drum. The roller turns the torque rope which is connected directly to the top swivel. The roller has cam cleat-type teeth and an endless line, as a lot of rolling can be required to first take up the twist in the torque rope and then begin to roll the sail up. A genoatype rolling drum would simply run out of turns. Many roller systems have a real knack to them. However, once hoisted and properly set up, a good asymmetric furler system is poetry in 84

sailingtoday.co.uk OctOber 2013

It might also be tempting to leave a furled asymmetric rigged and ready for use, but as the sail is too light to carry a sacrificial strip, you would need a UV sock that can be pulled over the sail, and these are sometimes a fiddle to fit. The best conditions for storing any sail are dry and below decks, out of sunlight – doubly so if it’s a lightweight downwind sail.

3

4

motion, furling and unfurling even a large, broad-shouldered sail in seconds. Tension on the torque rope and the sail’s sheet when rolling can neither be too slack nor drum tight as the sail usually likes a little wind in it to make a neat roll.

Verdict

Any system will reward practice. None of them are likely to shine if

get in touch Do you use a spinnaker or cruising chute handling device?

facebook.com/ sailingtoday twitter.com/ sailingtodaymag editor@ sailingtoday.co.uk

never used before and expected to tame an unruly sail in a serious blow. Pick a moderate wind day and spend half an afternoon getting the knack of any handling system through multiple launches, and the experience will repay. If your boat is under 30ft (9.1m), consider looking first at refining your skills or using a better launch bag before plunging directly into a more complex (and expensive) system. And if you’re in the market for a full handling system for a larger boat, it is well worth looking at a deal from a sailmaker that matches it with a new sail at the same time. It might work out cheaper and easier in the long run, and if it doesn’t work, you’ll have more comeback. Clunky homemade systems can be a false economy.


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Dufour 38 Classic - 2000, 2 cabin layout, Radar, Plotter, Sails replaced in 2005, Good spec, £65,950

CE

D

Barracuda 41ft Mediterranean Centurion 1990 £40,000

Skimmer X79 26ft ........................................................ £4,500 Motor cruiser 18ft c/w Suzki 60 & trailer .................... £2,950 Cygnus Cyfish 33 1985 2 Volvo AQAD41 diesel ...... £78,000

Opening times Mon-Fri 8am ~ 5pm: Sat 9am to 1pm

86

Bavaria 31 - 2008, 6 berths, Volvo engine, Radar, Heating Lightly used - £51,000 E D IC CE PR DU RE

Chandlery Shipwrights Engineering Electronics Cranage Moorings Storage Brokerage Osmosis Treatments Interspray Centre Main Dealer:

sailingtoday.co.uk OCTOBER 2013

Westerly Konsort 28’ Launched 1980, Bilge Keel £19,950

Colvic 29 1976 Wheel steering, High volume hull, £11,500 ono

Slender 20’ 2004 Honda 4, fin keel c/w trailer .......... £4,750 Tamarisk 1983 24’/30’ with bow sprit ...................... £11,500

WINTER STORAGE BOOKINGS FOR 2013/14 NOW OPEN

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Beneteau Oceanis 440 1991 Year Model, Wheel Steering, Winged Fin Keel, Perkins Prima 50 hp Diesel Engine, B & G Tri Data Instruments, Phillips & Garmin GPS, Furuno Radar, Simrad Auto Pilot, AIS, Navtex, Panda Generator, Eberspacher Heating, Cruising Chute & Snuffer. Lying Eastbourne £75,000 Beneteau Oceanis 46 2008 Year Model, Deep Fin Keel , Twin Wheel Steering, Yanmar 4JH4TE 75hp Engine, Blue Hull, Teak Decks, Furling Genoa & Mainsail, 3 Cabin Exclusive Version, 2 Heads, Electric Anchor Windlass, Bow Thruster, Raymarine E80 Chart Plotter in Pivoting Cockpit Navpod, Raymarine VHF Radio, Raymarine Radar, Eberspacher D5 Heating. Lying Eastbourne. £139,950.

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Bavaria 36, 2003 Year Model, Shallow Fin Keel, Wheel Steering, Volvo Penta Sail Drive 29hp Engine, 3 Double Cabin Version, 1 Heads, Raymarine C70 Chart Plotter, Raymarine 2KW Radar, Raymarine ST4000 Auto Pilot, Raymarine Tri Data Instruments, Simrad RD68 VHF Radio, Electric Anchor Windlass, Webasto D4 Heating. Lying Brighton £59,950

Island Packet 440 A Luxury Blue Water Cruiser, 2007 Year Model, Long Keel, Wheel Steering, In-mast Mainsail Furling, Yanmar 4JH4 75hp Diesel Engine, Bow Thruster, Electric Windlass, Raymarine Auto Helm, Raymarine E80 Dual Station £299,950

Sadler Starlight 35 1992 year model, 6 Berths, Volvo Penta 29hp Diesel Engine, Electric Windlass, Lowrance GPS Chart Plotter, Furuno Radar, Tac Tik Wind Instrument, Autohelm, DSC VHF Radio, Navtex, Mukuni Cabin Heating, EPIRB, Life raft, Avon Dinghy. Preveza - Greece £49,500

Southerly 38 2010 Year Model, A Luxury Blue Water Cruiser, Electrically Operated Swing Keel, Twin Wheel Steering & Rudders, In-mast Mainsail Furling, Yanmar 3JH3-E 40hp Diesel Engine, Bow Thruster, Electric Windlass, Raymarine Auto Pilot, Raymarine E90W Chart Plotter £295,000

Beneteau First Class 7.5 2005 model year Beneteau First Class 7.5 racing yacht. inventory includes outboard engine two mainsails, two roller genoas and an assymetric spinnaker. Lying Brighton. £16,000

Freedom 30 1990 Year Model, Long Shallow Keel, Wheel steering, Cat Ketch Rigged with Carbon Fibre Masts, Nanni N2 14hp diesel Engine (New 2012), 4 Berths, Stowe Tri Data Instruments, Garmin GPS, Icom VHF Radio, Auto Pilot, Saunders Main Sail & Mizzen. Lying Eastbourne £27,950

Bavaria 300 1990 Year Model Shallow Fin Keel, Wheel Steering, Volvo Penta Sail Drive 18hp Engine, 6 Berths, Garmin Chart Plotter & GPS, Raytheaon Tri Data Instruments, Autohelm Auto Pilot, Webasto Heating. Lying Brighton £29,950

Contessa 35 1976 Year Model, Fin & Skeg Keel, Tiller Steering, Nanni (2006) 37hp Diesel Engine, Raymarine S2 Auto Pilot, Garmin 128 GPS, Icom DSC VHF, AIS Transponder & Hammer Head Tablet PC. Lying Eastbourne £27,500

Fisher 25 1987 Year Model Pilothouse, Long Keel, Tiller steering, Yanmar YM30 (Only 54 hrs – Fitted 2012), Stowe Tri Data Instruments, Furuno GPS, Autohelm Wheel Pilot, Without Doubt The Best Example On The Market. Lying Eastbourne £37,500.

Oyster 26 1980 model year, Bermuda Sloop Cruiser/Racer, 5 Berths, Fin keel, Tiller Steering, Volvo Penta Sail Drive, Autohelm Auto Pilot, Magellan GPS & VHF Radio. Lying Eastbourne £14,500

Westerly Griffin 1979 Year Model, Fin Keel, Tiller Steering, Mitsubishi 17hp Engine (Replaced 2008), 6 Berths, Standard Horizon 300 Chart Plotter, Icom DSC VHF Radio, Navman Wind & Tri Data Instruments. Lying Eastbourne £16,000

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nauticat 33 1975 1GM Yanmar diesel. Survey Report available with full set of sails. Moored at Fareham, Hants.  For full specification telephone 01329 282820

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Javelin 30 5 berth cruiser

beneteau first 35

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Lightly used and an excellent example of this popular fast cruiser. 3 cabins, very comprehensive inventory includes safety equipment, dinghy etc. Berthed on the Turquoise Coast with idyllic cruising grounds.  PRICE: £49,500  Contact for full details: 01923 262212 / design@barrykemp.co.uk

yarMouth 23 Gaff riGGeD cutter

1986 MooDy 34

Good condition ready to sail. Well maintained inside and out. Well equipped. Fully serviced Beta 13.5 diesel engine warps, fenders ,crockery and glassware Gas cooker, sea toilet.  Price: £21,000 ono  Contact: 01983 884633 / philip.dodd755@btinternet.com

Centre Cockpit, Bilge keels, new rigging 2007. Copperbotted, built-in Autohelm 5000, Thorneycroft 35hp diesel engine, hot water via engine calorfier, Mikuni heater, mains wired.  Price: £44,500  Contact: 01252 852564

nicholson 32 Mk Xi (1981)

Based Levkas Greece 7 berth, fully equipped, professionally maintained 5 share syndicate bargain  Price: £6000 share  Tel for full details 07941331690

atlantica 375 Dutch built 1988. Last of this famous line of classic ocean cruisers. 2012 Beta 43hp diesel, new wiring, batteries, solar panels, charger and inverter, pressurised water and much, much more.  Price: £24,950  Contact: 07711 717653

OCTOBER 2013 sailingtoday.co.uk

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Dispatches Norway to the ScottiSh weSt coaSt | Martha Maria

After five years cruising in the Baltic, Martha Maria left Bergen in early June, heading for the skipper’s spiritual sailing home on the Scottish West Coast. The daunting 180nM leg of open North Sea between Bergen and Lerwick turned out to be a straightforward 44-hour passage, 40 per cent covered under sail. The brief night hours were easily handled with two-hour watches. Shetland’s unique feel and cruising possibilities fascinated us and we explored the spectacular west coast in settled weather. We weren’t so lucky on the 60nM passage to Orkney, departing Scalloway in early July, hard on the wind into an uncomfortable sea after several days of strong southwesterlies. Fast tidal streams have to be reckoned with for almost every passage among the Orkneys, but just like Shetland, we found excellent cruising here with lots of interest both on the water and ashore. After a week we reached the delightful port of Stromness and prepared to be flushed out of Scapa Flow across the Pentland Firth and down to Wick. Then it was motoring down to Inverness to enter the Caledonian Canal. Loch Ness provided an unexpected test for our tacking ability as strong winds swept the Great Glen. After four days of canal sailing we were out among the inspiring island and mountain scenery of the West Coast. It felt great to be home again.

Martha Maria Vancouver 27, 1979 LOA: 27ft (8.2m) LWL: 22ft 11in (7m) Beam: 8ft 8in (2.7m) Draught: 4ft 6in (1.4m)

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Sailing Today October 2013