Subject:  Re: New Wayfarer cruising sailor in Narragansett Bay

From: "Richard C. Harrington" <>

Date: Wed, 1 Aug 2001 11:54:46 -0400





I've enjoyed again reading your note.  Yes, there are many mutual

feelings that you are expressing common among us dinghy cruisers.


I'm giving you the names of several others from whom you can seek out

ideas.  Jim Fraser from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia;  Craig Stebbins from

Seattle, WA;  Ken Jensen from Norway and Ralph Roberts from the UK.

Close by to you are Tom Erickson, living in Gardner, MA (west of Boston)

and Tom Graefe living in Norwell, MA (south of Boston).  Roger Stafford

sails on Narraganset Bay.  All of the above I have put on the 'cc'.


If you haven't read it Margaret Dye's book, "Dinghy Cruising", Adlard

Coles, 1992, it is a good place to start.  Another book that I

particularly like, though it's not specific to the Wayfarer, is David

Seidman's, "The Complete Sailor".  The UK Wayfarer organization runs a

great weekend cruising conference around early April each year which is

excellent.  If you can get to one of our cruising rallies, meet some of

the people, and see some of the boats, I think you'll find much that will

interest you---not to mention all the comradery and fun.  Next year's

rally is tentatively slated for Lake Champlain again, but this time at

the island region near St. Albans.


To get into some of your questions.  Personal experience and preference

among cruisers, as you would expect, varies.  So what I tell you should

not taken as gospel.  Most of us cruisers, with the notable exception of

Ken Jensen, prefer slab reefing the main.  In my case the 1st set of

points run just below the 1st batten and the 2nd set of points about

2/3's up between the 1st & 2nd battens.  I find this to be a good

combination.  (Be sure to be specific as to where you want them with your

sail maker, they are famous for screwing up this sort of thing.)  In 18 -

20 knot winds with a single reef in the main and the genoa I usually feel

comfortable.  If seas are running maybe go with the smaller jib.  (Note:

I've been criticized by certain Brits for being too slow to reef.)  Over

20 I'm probably down to the small jib, and over 25 down to just a double

reefed main.  I've sailed short passages in conditions with gusts over 30

(according to the Maine weather reports), but it is hairy and no fun.  I

still like the two jib combination, but if you were to do a survey you

will find most cruisers now using roller furling (reefing) jibs.  The

small boat roller furling gear is now pretty good.  I use a quick release

Wichard shackle at the jib tack (bow) and if I think things are going to

pick up I'll shackle in both jibs and tie down the unused one.  I also

use a quick release 'ball & loop' widget (a Ralph Roberts invention) on

the jib sheet.  With the 'no-hank on' jibs I can change jibs real fast.

My mainsail slab reefing employs the English system of jiffy reefing,

which is fast and can be done on the fly from a position next to the

mast.  By permanently stringing light shockcord (equipped with small snap

hooks on one side) through the reefing points the need for reefing ties

is eliminated.  Again the Brits come through!  You will need to see

photos to understand exactly what I'm talking about.


Having raced some in the past I have some racing type stuff on Blue Mist.

 I like this because, as you say, controlling sail shape (flattening to

de power and loosening to add power) helps considerably in improving

overall boat performance and boat management.  So, therefore, I use a

wire halyard with muscle box on the jib/genoa and a 10:1 boom vange.

This permits me to flatten the sails, reducing heeling forces in heavy

weather, and to point better.  My jib leads run to tracks on the forward

seats and not to the side deck.  No one ever sits on these seats anyway.

Also, I no longer use the aft side benches.  For many rears I refused to

give them up.  Them one time I decided to give it a try.  End of story!

The boat is much roomier and easier to maneuver within without them.


OK, that's a few of my thoughts for a beginning.  Let me know where you

want me to go from here.


Happy sailing---DICK



On Fri, 27 Jul 2001 10:57:05 -0700 Bruce Leonard <>



> Dick,


> I am buying Jim Brown's Wayfarer #9665.  I've sailed for years mainly in

> Thistles and Lightnings.  I have raced both, but racing is not my forte.  I

> do love to day sail and cruise, particularly alone, single handed.


> I have been out of sailing for about 10 years. Now I'm very excited about

> sailing my almost new Wayfarer.  I have actually been aware of the Wayfarer

> for a number of years and almost bought an old woodie 8 years ago.  I must

> tell you that your cruising articles on the web were instrumental in getting

> me back out on the water.  There is a spiritual part of sailing that has

> always drawn me to it.  Launching a centerboard boat off of a beach or ramp,

> jumping in, hauling in the mainsheet and sliding quietly and smoothly into

> the distance never fails to turn me on.  I sense from your articles that

> "the getting there" is as important as where you are going.


> I'm wondering if you have any articles about single handing a Wayfarer.  I'm

> particularly interested in what sail combinations you use at various wind

> strengths. I assume that Under 15 knots,  you sail with full main and genoa.

> Or Do you sometimes use the working jib instead of the genoa.

> I prefer to sail with a Jib.  Aside from pointing better, I feel more in

> control of the boat.


> As an experienced single handed sailer, what ways have you found to keep the

> boat as flat as possible up wind.  How and when do you employ the vang and

> the traveler. 


> If you have time to answer , I would greatly appreciate it.  Hope you meet

> you sometime soon.


> Bruce Leonard


> 121 Maple Avenue

> Riverside, RI 02915


> 401-524-6048


> <>


> >