16th Annual International Wayfarer Rally
Royal Victoria Y.C. at Fishbourne, Isle of Wight * July 24-31
Report by
Monica Schaefer

Hurry up and relax - from racer to cruiser in 90 minutes.

On a beautiful Saturday at the end of July after a week of fun, excitement and the rigours of the Championships in Weymouth, my daughter Marina and I set off to join the International Rally in the Isle of Wight. We had decided to make the most of our travels to the south coast of England by turning our visit for the championships into a summer holiday and thought what better way than to try a bit of cruising around one of the most famous sailing venues in the world in the company of other Wayfarers. We have cruised extensively in keel boats but not in dinghies and we had an additional challenge: our boat Liquidasset is a sleek Mark IV racing boat that doesn’t normally carry any excessive weight or handy cruising luxuries such as a bailer for comfort breaks or anchors for lunch stops. Thinking that a few extra bits might be necessary, we contacted Mark in Hartley Boats before we left our home in Ireland, and sent him a wish list of items we thought would be needed to convert our racing machine into a luxury liner.

The box of goodies duly arrived and now all we had to do was fit them. The conversion from racer to cruiser was surprisingly easy and only took about an hour and a half. It went something like this: a folding grapnel anchor in a neat PVC pocket was attached to the mast tabernacle with heavy duty cable ties, a second pocket housed 3m of chain, about 40m of 10mm anchor rode was then attached securely to the anchor chain and the other end to the mast.

As there are no fairleads on our decks we threaded the anchor rode, along with a forward shore line, through a 20mm nylon “O” ring, shackled to the forestay just above the jib furling drum, to prevent chafe. A stern line was then secured to the aft toe strap anchor point and lead though the aft spinnaker block.

We swapped our racing sails for cruising ones and added a simple roller furling system. Later we found that a spreader was needed, between the forestay and the jib to prevent entanglement when furling the jib. Ralph kindly provided such a spreader which sorted the problem.

We rigged simple slab reefing lines and added a masthead flotation patch to the main. Hartleys supplied us with a mesh triangular “parcel shelf” for storing gear securely under the foredeck and some large dry bags which were terrific for stashing dry gear.

They supplied a flares dry box for keeping communication and other small valuables in and large dry barrel for stuff like the charts, sunscreen and first aid kit. A set of oars and detachable rowlocks would provide auxiliary propulsion should we need it.

Neoprene cushions were drafted in to double up as fenders, but these proved to be inadequate when we were tied up alongside a jetty. Some real fenders were kindly loaned to us by Blue from RVYC for which we were very grateful. A large “oppy” style bailer and a sponge came aboard and like everything else got tied on - just in case.

As this was to be a shore-based cruising event, we could have just brought the land tent and camping equipment but because I had a hand in the design of the Mark IV boat tent (above), I felt I just had to go for the full experience and sleep on board at least once. So the boat tent, sleeping bags and air mattress were also part of the inventory.

The VHF and the GPS were attached to our buoyancy aids and we were ready to go. Practically all of the extra gear fitted neatly up under the foredeck and surprisingly, the boat still looked spacious and neat with everything on board. Perhaps the weight forward explains why even when we were sailing with three up or sleeping on board, the transom flaps never let in any water as they were well clear of the waterline!

The cruising rally was based at the Royal Victoria YC in Isle of Wight where the staff and members didn’t just look after us, they adopted us. Not only did they open up all of their club facilities to us, they also put on wonderful catering and evening entertainment and provided us with extra fenders and other equipment as needed.    
The weather was good and we had a great time at the rally. The sailing area was varied and interesting. We had some great sailing and beautiful reaches under spinnaker, singing sea shanties and sharing stories. We met some really terrific people in Benbridge, Hill Head, Calshot and Portsmouth - everyone looking after us really well.  We completely chilled out and sank nicely into the cruising mode (and the mud) and even slept very comfortably in the boat tent.

The camaraderie in the group was great and we learned some intriguing lessons (see below) from a great bunch of people. We thoroughly enjoyed the week and the cruising experience. Our racing dinghy turned out to be a great little cruising yacht. The conversion to cruising was very easy, as was the return to racing mode.

Cruising around the IOW in the company of the Rally was to all intents and purposes very tame. I am sure if we were going on an extended cruise in more difficult circumstances, there would be further cruising equipment and adaptations required, but the simple adjustments that we made on this occasion were perfectly adequate for the conditions in this instance. It just goes to show that even a die-hard racer can quickly and easily convert to cruising without too much fuss or expense.  

Important life lessons:

We learned that 
- the hills in the IOW are more “steepy” than those in Holland and that the Hans and Lous make very good coffee the morning after filling you full of lashings of wine the night before.

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- even though the sign warns of deep water, the tide goes out very quickly and far in the IOW and that my Wayfarer looks worryingly precarious when it is balancing on its centreboard in a mud flat. Thanks, Tim, Ros, Rob and Jenny for your help and ingenious Spanish windlass rescue solution.
- boat rollers are wonderful for getting efficiently up a shingle beach and they make great fenders, too. Ann and Dennis with their beautifully kept 50-year-old woodie Emma were always happy to share their cruising expertise and their boat rollers.  
- you are never too old for dinghy sailing or to tell a good story. Best regards to Tony, a seasoned sailor from South Africa, who is still pushing his boat out after four score years!
- James and Clare have sailed keel boats but are only now discovering the Wayfarer, proving it's never too late to learn. Best of luck, guys, in the Cape Verdes.
- Kate is a true teenager; she can curl up on the deck and catch a few ZZs at every possible opportunity and Dave, her Dad, always full of cheer, sails on regardless.
- preparation is the key to a successful cruising rally. Well done, Jenny and John, for such wonderful organisation and your comprehensive daily briefings.
And finally the most important lesson form our commander-in-chief: if you drink too much whiskey, you become “tippie” and your tipple becomes  “wixi”. Cheers, Ralph!

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Other racers heard about our great time on the IOW and decided to go there the following week to partake in a small local event called “Cowes Week” or something. Apparently so many of them turned up they had to bring in the big guns to get them all organised!
Monica Schaefer W10606 Liquidasset

----- Original Message -----
From: Monica Schaefer
Sent: Saturday, February 26, 2011 6:22 AM

Hi Al,
In light of all the limericks and chatter about new boats, I thought you guys would enjoy this song/poem that the East Down guys put together for the Irish contingent to sing(?) in Weymouth last year, it goes to the tune of an old Val Doonican number called Paddy McGinty's Goat but I think it you will get the gist if you just recite it as a poem. Enjoy!    Monica

A wee Irish Ballad about Paddy McGinty’s acquisition of a new Wayfarer:
Patrick McGinty, an Irish man of note,
Fell into a fortune, so thought he’d buy a boat,
With all of this money… he could afford a liner
But someone recommended him to try a 49er
So he went to the yacht club, and took one for a spin,
He tried his best to tame it, but didn’t really win,
It’s just too skittish and it’s shaped like a dish,
The next thing poor old paddy knew, he was swimming like a fish.
Now Patrick he thought – I need to find something safer,
Not hanging from a wire, while surfing on a wafer!
So he went back to the yacht club, where he saw a likely lad,
Whose name was McNamara… and he told him what he had.
A Wayfarer, a Wayfarer, it’s all the boat you need,
T’will give you lots of fun, but not such scary speed.
There are lots of jolly Wayfarers back home in Ireland
Who are always very friendly and they’re sure to lend a hand.
So he sent him off to England… a Wayfarer to find,
He’d been told to see the Hartley boys so that was in his mind,
They showed him the factory, to see the boats being built,
But when he saw the price of it, it nearly made him wilt!
Now Patrick being an Irish man, he took them to the pub,
He filled them with Guinness with lots and lots of grub,
A deal was swiftly struck with them… a clever cunning plan,
So Pat became a member of the growing Hartley clan.
Now sailing is a high tech sport, which is lots and lots of fun,
With tacks and beats and reaches too, Gybing on the run,
Spinnakers, mains and gennies, sheets and halyards too,
But there is no where in the blasted boat for going to the loo!
Now Patricks boat is painted green – an Irish man through and through,
Fourty-seven shamrocks .. on the spinnaker….clew to clew,
It’s been blessed by Bishops, Priests and Monks and with holy water too,
Now the only thing that’s missing  is a half way decent crew!
Now Patrick practiced hard to get his racing up to scratch,
He went to Weymouth worlds where the fleet would meet his match,
But Patrick, with his “Lucky” boat couldn’t put them in their place,
He ended at the back of the fleet – one hundred boats to chase!
But if you go to Dublin for the Championships this year,
You’ll have no trouble finding out which way you need to steer,
Just follow Patrick McGinty – and his mighty Irish band
And all the other crazy crew that come from Ireland!