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SMALL SAILBOAT REVIEW

THE WAYFARER 15 Feet, 10 Inches Day Sailer, Racer, Cruiser By John Gordon

The Wayfarer was designed to day sail, race and cruise. Photo by Mike Murto.

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ngland’s Ian Proctor originally designed the Wayfarer class vessel because he wanted to provide a seaworthy sailing dinghy that not only could race around buoys with the best of them, but could be used for day sailing and even cruising. Although the class has undergone a series of modifications since the first wooden Wayfarer was produced in 1957, Proctor achieved his goal. Its Portsmouth rating is 91.6, which goes up to 94.0 in Beaufort 1 air and drops to 91.7 in Beaufort 2-3 wind and to 90.5 in Beaufort 4 conditions. The 16-foot Comet, two inches longer, has a line of 91.7, 95.2, 92.1 and 89.7. And a Snipe, four inches shorter, has ratings of 91.9, 94.8, 92.5 and 91.4. This is one way of saying a Wayfarer can keep up with the Joneses. It is not impossible for one to whip a Fireball, an International 14 or even a Flying Scot, which is somewhat larger. And while many Wayfarer skippers don’t put their boats in the water unless it is for a serious regatta, others also enjoy the vessel’s day-sailing capabilities. It is roomy and comfortable, and while you might take a little spray in the face on a breezy day, it is very stable. This is a boat that has crossed the English Channel many times and has been known to sail between Scotland and Iceland. Yes, Iceland. Thus, some families may buy a Wayfarer, load it with camping gear and go for a cruise. Proctor was looking at Great Britain’s Solent when he 100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEED

first pictured his design, and the vast majority of Wayfarers in the United States come from the UK. However, some came south from Canada before a fire destroyed the molds. Ironically, the colonial constituents of the class are predominately inland sailors. The class commodore, Jim Hefferman lives in Chapel Hill, NC, three hours from the Atlantic Ocean. Michele Parish, secretary treasurer for the class, lives in Charlotte, NC, even farther from salt water. Don’t misunderstand. This is not a North Carolina regional boat. It just worked out that way. Parish and her husband, Richard Johnson, moved down from Michigan where Nick Seraphinoff, vice commodore and racing captain, resides. Other key areas include New York, Illinois and the state of Washington. And, of course, Florida is a hot spot, but most of the 500 Sunshine State sailors live on inland lakes. Area Representative Mike Murto of Leesburg, belongs to the Lake Eustis Sailing Club, which will host a major Wayfarer regatta on Feb. 5-8. So, what are the dimensions for this sturdy little vessel that Murto says can hold its own in 25- to 30-knot winds? Length overall, 15 feet, 10 inches; beam, 6 feet, 1 inch; draft, 8 inches to 3 feet, 10 inches; weight, 365 pounds; main sail area, 95 square feet; jib, 30 square feet; Genoa, 46 square feet and spinnaker, 125 square feet. The 56-inch-by-92-inch cockpit is protected by 9-inch

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42 January 2010

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