Subject: Re: Mom said !

From: Richard C Harrington <>

Date: Fri, 22 Mar 2002 23:26:31 -0500





You are a charmer.  How is it that you never made it into politics?

Thanks for brightening up my day with your wit, though some of it

obviously is at my expense.  I'm going to send you my account of my

crossing the Irish Sea with the two British Wayfarers last August.

(Better yet save me the trouble and log onto our USWA web

site--<> then go to cruising and click on "Where Vikings

Once Roamed".)  I'm sure you'll find the story more than interesting.

But I'm also sending your comments to our (new and excellent) USWA web

master, Robin Moseley, for others to see.


Naturally you are correct about 'never say never' and that sort of thing.

 But you surely appreciate the point that I was making--when sailing in

an open boat, e.g., a Wayfarer, everything needs to be kept very simple

and navigation (as you agree) needs to be done mostly in advance.  This

is particularly true when you are single handed.  In Maine fog is very

prevalent.  There is nothing so unnerving as having fog sudden drop down

upon you when sailing its rugged and rock strewn coast.  Often, contrary

to popular belief, the wind can be quite strong.  Also the effects of

strong tidal currents add to the difficulty of navigating.  A cool head

is of upmost importance and advance preparation helps immensely.  Your

hand bearing compass device looks interesting and is, I'm sure, more

accurate than my glancing over the top of the compass card.  But I can

still come pretty close in reading bearings this way and there is no muss

or fuss.  It is not a bad habit to learn and the more one practices it

the better one gets.  Naturally I'm not looking for the same precision

you are so that I can drop my fishing line behind a rock and into a

"fishing hole".  Thanks also for agreeing with me that the usefulness of

the GPS is much exaggerated.  The marketers have made a lot of money on

that one!


If you can provide some sketches of the cutouts your folks have made in

the forward FRP cockpit combing hull skirt to accommodate the oars I

think it would be of interest to some people over here.  I disagree

however with stowing the oars on the floor along side the CB trunk.  When

cruising for an extended period of time there is enough stuff stowed upon

the floor to hinder access to the oars.  (The Wayfarer World is a

different situation since the cockpit space is larger, i.e., not aft

stowage compartment.)  My oars are very easy to get at quickly.  Also,

because of the geometry created by the center thwart the oars need to be

shorter in order to angle them under the thwart, as opposed to being

stowed above the side benches.  Usually 8 foot oars are as long as will

fit in along side the CB trunk, where as I can stow nearly a 9 foot long

oar.  That extra foot makes a BIG difference.


Ken, It's great to hear from you.  Keep the banter going--DICK




On Wed, 20 Mar 2002 23:36:04 +0100 "KEN/K.H.Jensen" <>



> Dear Dick "Blue Mist" Harrington,


> Very pleased to read "SKIMMER"  Winter 2002 and your writings, but a

> few things made me sort of wonder and think of my Mom:


> "Never say never "  said Mom.


> Ref. page 10. Qoute:  Sailing single handed there's no way you will

> ever get to use a hand bearing compass. Unqoute.


> With ref. to the enclosed attachm. I feel you're not totally right

> on that point. The shown equipment of mine is by now near 25 years

> of age and has served me well. Most probably new gear is out today,

> but this one works in a seaway. Well, on the open sea-crossings

> there is of course little use of it, when the land behind is

> dropping below, and the landfall, solid ground is'nt up yet.  


> Coastal, fjord and lake sailing is of course a different matter. In

> these days of old age my(checked over the bow against the fixed

> compass on different courses for comparison) bearing compass is

> mostly used to pinpoint/locate good fishing grounds. Having taking a

> bearing I let the compass hang, while I note the bearing taken, then

> grab the compass to take a cross-bearing, which is also noted.

> Plotting is normally done at home in order to study the bottom

> condition, and in preparation for next time out.


> A big submerged rock where the water depts drop an added 25-50% from

> e.g. about 20-35 meters over the rock down the sides is often a good

> place for lee-side(of the current) fishing.  So look at the map at

> home, plot and note the bearings, then go searching,

> locating+fishing. All of this can naturally be coordinated with the

> GPS, which I do'nt have yet(still too young/poor for that!).


> The "Denmark Course Plotter" is a new name to me, but I believe we

> used it in the USAF(14 months there when NATO was formed).  Is it a

> ruler of about 30 cm of length with a half disc(with 0 - 180 and 180

> - 360 dg.) on the side of the mid-point?  The ruler has different

> scales: Nautical miles, st.miles, km and centimeters on the

> side-edge. A thin nylon-string(my modification) from a 2 mm hole

> drilled through the centre(from where the course/bearing-angles

> spread out) enhance the utility of this nav.tool.  The string packs

> easily and can be equipped with small knots 1 n.m. apart, related to

> the map-latitude you are working.


> Ref. page 14. Qoute:(this location only works on a "woodie",  re.:

> oar stowage) Unqoute.

> You're right but not totally though, my good seaman("it´s the

> thousand-and-one finer practical points that makes the real seaman

> stand out in relation to the daysailor".  Knox-Johnston, I believe

> said so) as you are in my mind.


> In 1967 early spring having shown Frank Dye's film

> "Summercruise"(read about it in Danish 

> ) for W.PR many times, I had to cut

> out the glassfibre "hanging knee"-support for the forward

> side-benches as we were preparing to join the around Zealand

> Race(around 'Sjælland' in Danish) of 220 n.m.,  because I could'nt

> stomach a crew being down below one of the forward side-benches for

> rest as Billy Brockbank/Frank D. on W48 - in case of a capsize/roll

> over!  Kattegat and the Baltic Sea can be very nasty!  By Golly what

> roominess we gained forward of the main-thwart, plus oar

> storage(like on "Blue Mist") in our W-glassfibre Mk.1!


> All Scandinavian W.s of type Mk.1 gradually did the same

> cut-away(improvement)adjustment. Completely illegal and Ian Proctor

> looked sternly at me, forefinger raised, covering a smile, and we

> were given a dispensation for Internat. Racing without the forward

> side-benches.  Not long after I moved my 8 foot oars down -

> CG-improvement - on the floorboards, one on either side of the

> CB-casing, blade-tips forward under the king-post and secured aft by

> a shockcord. A quick flip, lift and pull aft and you got an oar in

> your hands - ready for use !

> Best

> W-regards sincerely yours  Ken (W1348 "Maitken")