"as fast as the fastest but no faster"
the new Hartley Wayfarer (Mark IV) is getting rave reviews:
110328:  from Neil McSherry in Dublin
090109:  from Mike McKechnie
090111:  from Liam McGrath
090125:  from Steve Collins
from Jeremy Evans in Yachts and Yachting

Al's note: I'll be happy to read and post further assessments from anyone
who cares to send them to me at uncle-al3854@cogeco.ca
last updated: 28 March 11
----- Original Message -----
From: McSherry, Neil (LIU-Dublin)
Sent: Monday, March 28, 2011 8:50 AM
Subject: Hartley Wayfarer Mark IV

Al – I would like to add to the rave reviews of the Hartley Wayfarer with my own very positive experience.
I purchased pre-owned racing version with full Harken fit out in August 2010 (Boat number 10509). I would rank the before and after sales service, and the sense of fairness in negotiations to be amongst the best buying experiences I have had. With Richard Hartley’s help I was able to tune the boat to my unusual specification of needing a boat equipped to race well but also to cruise and safely take young children out at sea on. It was delivered to Ireland for me exactly as promised, and even had some additional equipment thrown in.
The boat provides plenty of challenge and pace, and has dealt beautifully with heavy sea conditions in the Dun Laoghaire area, with trips up to 5 miles offshore (no kids on that one!). I would recommend Hartley Boats and the Hartley Wayfarer IV without hesitation.  
I hope this is of some use to you readers.
Best regards, 
-----Original Message-----
From: Al Schonborn <uncle-al3854@cogeco.ca>
To: john mellor (W1162)
CC: Michael McKechnie W10377 ; Ray Scragg; Ralph Roberts W9885 ;  Quentin Strauss ; Roger Proctor ; Sarah Burgess ; Richard Haylock W4673 ; Michael Haig ; Liam McGrath W404 ; Poul Ammentorp (home) 
Sent: Fri, 9 Jan 2009 13:55
Subject: Mark IV

... is there anyone who can provide a succinct overview of how well the Mark IVs have fit into the Wayfarer scene - cruising and especially racing - in their first active year? People have asked me this and will likely raise the matter at our AGM. I know that the Hartleys, father and son, won the UK Nationals, but is that a sign of a faster boat? How have other Mk IVs done? Will copy the usual suspects plus others who may have a comment??
Best regards,
Uncle Al  (W3854)

----- Original Message -----
From: Mike McKechnie (W10510)
To: uncle-al3854@cogeco.ca ; john mellor
Sent: Friday, January 09, 2009 5:14 PM

Dear Uncle Al,

I can give you my perspective, as a Mk IV owner who raced at nearly all the 2008 events. It may also be a good idea to get an outsider's view too! Perhaps Quentin.

The first thing to say, having raced against Richard and Mark at Poole in the Nationals, is that they are undoubtedly an extremely competent combination and they would have done very well whatever boat they were in.  Mark fitted out their brand new boat and spent hours doing it, very carefully.  He really knows his stuff and had incorporated some very well thought out controls - and he used them knowledgeably during the racing. Both of them are tall and, during the very strong wind day (Race 2 on the Monday - see photo above) they were able to apply amazing hiking power. Young Mark is very fit as well!  I attach a photo of my boat and Roger Challis' up the first beat of that particular race. We were probably in about 5th and 6th place at the time. Richard and Mark are in the boat over to the right, already 100 yds in the lead!  They were impressive and won that race quite easily.

Secondly, undoubtedly the Mk IV is good in a blow. I think this is all-round ability on all points of sailing when it's windy. My particular Mk IV seemed to overtake others on the beats and stay level pegging off the wind. From my perspective I think this was because, as a lightish all up crew, we found it quite comfortable to hike when compared to the Plus S that we had before; so we could hike it harder for longer.  I did not find that ours went particularly well in very light airs, but as soon as there was 'some wind' it was OK.

Thirdly, the cockpit layout is good and roomier for the crew during races when compared to a Plus S or woodie.  We hoisted and recovered our spinnaker through the hole in the front and found it to be quick and manageable.  However, one doesn't have to do it that way. Ian Porter originally had his Mk IV front hole covered up and used bags, but that was in 2007!  The other cockpit changes include the possibility of a mast-ram to control mast-bend. Overall, I suspect that the jury is out on whether they are better or not.  I used one and found it useful, but the main point to make is that the deck on a Mk IV is lower than on a Plus S and woodie, so the pressure from blocks or mast-ram is exerted lower down the mast which means it is more difficult to control the bend.

To answer your question "is that the sign of a faster boat or not"?  I don't believe so, even though there are some people on the UK scene who think so.  During the whole of the 2008 season, apart from the Nationals won by the Hartleys, a Mk IV did not win one race. It came close with a best result of 3rd, but, as you know there is as much in the 'crew combination' as there is in the boat. The crew, after all, set-up the boat in the first place and then race the race. I think the Mk IV is doing what it was designed to do by Phill Morrison, which is to be "as fast as but no faster than the fastest".

Next year, 2009, will provide more information because three or four established UK racers have sold their old boats and have now bought Mk IVs so we will see how they get on. This includes Liam who I notice is addressed above - he might have a view too, although he got his boat after the national circuit racing was over.

Hope this helps.  If you want any further, more specific, answers to any questions on the Mk IV just ask.

Best wishes,

Mike McKechnie (W10510)

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, January 09, 2009 6:49 PM

Wow, Mike!! This is great!! Exactly the kind of thing people will want to know over here!! Thanks for such a comprehensive assessment!! I will post this in my upcoming Weekly Whiffle and on the WIC site. Lovely picture, too!!
Best wishes for a happy, healthy 2009!!!
See you at the Worlds!!
Best regards,
Uncle Al  (W3854)
----- Original Message -----
From: Liam McGrath
Cc: many
Sent: Sunday, January 11, 2009 1:42 PM
Subject: the Hartley Mark 4

Dear Mike/Al,

I, too, would wish to endorse your very positive impressions of the Mk 4 Hartley Wayfarer. We purchased ours at the end of the traditional 'Circuit season' and have had the opportunity to race against other good Wayfarer sailors only a couple of times.

We have however raced it in a very competitive handicap fleet and have been delighted by our experiences. We put the boat together exactly as Richard and Mark Hartley recommended. We raced her in our first sail; it was a disaster because I sailed straight over the spinnaker at our first drop! This was because I had not taken in the slack on the downhaul before beginning the drop into the shute. Since then we have found the spinnaker much quicker and easier to use than we had hoped, gaining us crucial boatlengths over the length of a race and giving us much more confidence to fly the kite in those tight reach situations especially where a throw round was required previously.Those horrendous 'hourglass twists' which take forever to sort are pretty much a thing of the past.

We have raced against Robin and June Barker a couple of times....they are very good Wayfarer sailors! The Mk4 seemed to go better upwind and to Robin's frustration, his strong point, downwind sailing in their boat Chough did not see him overhaul us as he would previously have expected when racing against us in both the Plus  'S' and woodies we have had.

I think we must acknowledge the Mk 4 is quick to plane and then holds it for longer than our previous boats. For me, and key to my enjoyment of the boat is its amazing stability and assured handling, especially when going really fast offwind. I don't get the feeling I used to, of a boat with too small a rudder and a critical mass which if I oversteered one way or another too much, the boat would take over and go its own way, usually on to its side. The Mk 4 is very positive and goes where you want it to without any tendency to take over. 

We love the comfortable hiking position, we love the amount of room in the boat, the fact we can get well forward in the light stuff, in comfort. We love the absence of a bucket, and yes we have capsized twice now. On one occasion, we were up and away with all three sails and drained out quickly enough to go from first to last and back up to fourth before getting to the finish. In the old boats, we would have been race over, DNF. On the second occasion, in a vicious Force 6/7, we were blown over with several other boats around us (huge gust), and with wind against tide, stuck the mast into the mud. The mast gave up. The Hartleys had a new one down to us, from Derby to Devon, by the end of the week, so we were able to carry on and win the series by sailing that weekend. Well done to them! We also love the fact that the rigging systems all work so well.

Put simply, the Mk 4 Wayfarer is the best boat we have ever owned. We have had RS 400, various Merlins, Hornets, Dart 18,  and seven previous Wayfarers including most of the designs. Our new Wayfarer seems to give us the best bits of all the others and more. Granted we are not as lithe as we used to be, but this is an exciting and very competitive boat. We regularly cross the line in front of several sailors who are used to winning in other fleets, and now racing in the RS 200 fleet, they wonder why a 'Waybarge' is getting to the finish before them. We have always done very well in our Wayfarer at the club and won several major handicap events in the past, but always underperformed at the Wayfarer Open Meetings we have staged there. Our Handicap colleagues are chuntering, we seem to be going very well! But as yet, the jury is out on whether our current good form is down to our renewed enthusiasm, competence and excellent teamwork, or is it down to the boat???

Phil Morrison has done exactly what his design brief intended, and in our view he has done a great job. It would be difficult to see how to develop the Wayfarer in any better way, given design constraints, and at the same time produce a boat which has to be the best chance for the class to remain contemporary, without losing the original concept.

Roll on next season. We are longing to get back out in decent sailing weather and just enjoy competing with our Wayfarer friends again. We are especially looking forward to the Falmouth Nationals. This boat could have been made for just such a location.

----- Original Message -----
From: STEVE COLLINS (W10508)
Sent: Sunday, January 25, 2009 11:50 AM
Subject: Wayfarer Mark IV Series

Dear Uncle Al
I am pleased to add my endorsement to Mike's and Liam's. My wife and crew, Kathy, and I have been credited with boosting Hartley's sales by capsizing W10508 ten minutes before the start of one of the races in the 2008 UK national champs, righting it and sailing it dry before the five minute gun. And all without a bucket!
I wrote an article about our experiences at Upper Thames Sailing Club  in which I wrote that the Hartley Wayfarer is best boat to right after a capsize which I have ever sailed (reprinted in Wayfarer News Issue 113 Summer 2008).
There is also an excellent review of the new boat in the latest hard copy version of the Yachts and Yachting magazine published in the UK which sings the praises of the new boat, but also compliments Mike MacNamara and his classic wooden boat.
It is true to say that everyone who has bought a new Wayfarer from the Hartleys (both racing and cruising versions) are delighted with both the boat and the after-sale support from Richard and Mark.
With regard to whether the new boat is faster than the classic Wayfarer, Liam clearly believes that his new boat is faster. And because he believes this, he probably will sail faster. However, I think that he will find it just as tough to get to the front of a competive national circuit series event in the UK in his new boat as he did in his wooden one, when the 2009 season kicks off.
I think it also true to say that everyone who competed against Richard and Mark at the UK National Champs in 2008, were impressed by their sailing ability - in particularly their ability to sail up the beat in a force 5-6 as if they were sailing in a force 3 breeze, and then fly their kite within seconds of rounding the first mark onto a close reach.
The great news now is that anyone can go out and buy a boat which is exactly the same as the boat which won the National Championships. This has not been the case in the Wayfarer Class in the past.
Good sailing! See you in Weymouth in 2010.
Steve Collins
W10508 'Red Fox'
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