Rigging for Single-handed Sailing
a mini-discussion with Patrick O'Connell of Cyprus
----- Original Message ----- 
From: Patrick 
To: uncle-al@home.com 
Sent: Saturday, June 30, 2001 12:17 PM
Subject: Singlehanding my Wayfarer

Hi Uncle Al,
love your WIT web-site ... great stuff !!!
I've been dinghy sailing for a couple of seasons in Cyprus ( the seasons are long )  I've just bought my first wayfarer ...it's a GRP Model 2, about 10 years old I think... and I've got a couple of basic questions about singlehanding the wayfarer for coastal cruising ... I've searched through your WIT web-site, but I think my questions are too basic to be addressed on the site  !!!!   
If you're single-handing and rigging for coastal cruising, you want to make doubly sure that your W is at least up to the buoyancy requirements set out in the Class Rules, and has all the other recommended safety gear that others can advise you on better than I. Actually, now that I think of it, the famous Frank Dye often singlehands and would have very valid views on the subject, having sailed his W from the south of Florida into the St. Lawrence River over the course of a dozen or so summer.I have copied Frank on this e-mail although he may no longer be in England since lately he has been sailing his summers in Canada.
cleating the jib\genoa - I guess that I should add some aft cleats for the jib\genoa ? 
You may or may not want to install aft jib/genoa cleats. To properly balance an empty for racing W, a singlehander should usually sit at about the main thwart, and from there it is not that difficult to cleat my jib in its standard position. To sit and steer from that position you do however need an extension tiller that is at least 3 feet long or so. If you rank comfort well ahead of performance, you could certainly install (a second set of?) cleats further aft. I have not done or seen this, and so, have no valid advice to offer.
cleating the mainsheet - the main is on an aft traveller , at the moment there is no main cleat - I'm assuming that I would need to cleat the main for single-handing - and I'm trying to figure out where to locate the cleat - a single central cleat aft ?
To me, a centred swivel cleat is an absolute essential. Learn To Sail books always tell you not to cleat your main, but my (vast) experience has been that you almost always feel a gust for about a second or so before its effect translates to the sail and to heeling the hull. Thus it is OK to cleat even in gusty conditions, provided you have the sheet in your hand and are ready to uncleat.
You might want to check out my suggestions re: mainsheet at http://www.wayfarer-international.org/WIT/race.related/RiggingTips/UncleAl/Mainsheet/mainsheet.html

securing the tiller - bungies ?
I know next to nothing about this but I saw a system with a bungee (1/4"??) stretched across the boat just forward of the aft bulkhead on Dick Harrington's cruising Wayfarer during our North Channel cruise two weeks ago, and Dick just twisted it into a loop and put the loop around the tiller to keep it (relatively) steady. 
I'm sorry if these questions seem daft, but my local sailing club is saying that singlehanding a wayfarer is impossible, and they have no experience on how to do it !!
any help would be great ...

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Al Schonborn 
To: Patrick 
Cc: Dye, Frank & Margaret W8448 
Sent: Monday, July 02, 2001 6:18 AM
Subject: Re: Singlehanding my Wayfarer

Hi, Patrick!

Thanks for the kind words. Your questions are by no means "daft", and I will give you my best answers in red lettering below. In case they might help anyone else, I will ask your permission to post this letter in "Weekly Whiffle" and /or on the WIT site. Hope that's OK with you!

Singlehanding a W is most certainly possible and, in my experience, not overly difficult. However, I have to admit that my singlehanding has been limited to tootling around while a crew was ashore getting lunch - and, one time, when my wife/crew was too cold to sail in a late season race and I single-handed in 8-12 knots. Gybed the spinnaker and everything but was DSQ for too few crew. So - it certainly can be done! Before I get into what I would suggest to rig for singlehanding, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/wayfarerdinghy is our Wayfarer e-group which is free and where you can communicate with a wide cross-section of W sailors all over the place, many of whom will have more singlehanding experience than I.

Best wishes for good sailing wherever you are planning to sail!! Is it in Cyprus - or where? Best regards,

Uncle Al (W3854)

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Patrick O'Connell 
To: uncle-al@home.com 
Sent: Monday, July 02, 2001 10:09 AM
Subject: Hi from Cyprus

Hi Uncle Al,
thanks for your reply...yep I'm planning to sail in Cyprus... I relocated here a couple of years ago from London ... and I'm not planning to go back to that rain and smog !!!
Cyprus is great for dinghy sailing... no tides, shallow waters for a long way out ( not too shallow for the W, but very bad news for those posh yachts and gin-palaces !!! ), regular and predictable winds ( in the summer mainly onshore breezes starting at about 10 am, probably force 2, strengthening thru mid-late afternoon to force 4ish ), pure blue skies from May to October, it's nearly as warm here at Christmas as it is in London in summer , an uncluttered sea ( Cypriots tend to prefer the mountains to the coast ) ... plus lots of decorative tourists along the beach most of the year ( excuse the gross sexism !!! )...and the coast is "free" - i.e. all coastal developments , private and commercial, have to stop before the beach, which remains public property - so no shortage of places to beach for the night....
...on the other hand, the supply of spare parts for dinghies is very limited, even though I live in a coastal town with a yacht marina ...the mainsheet cleat is my first priority right now , cuz i just don't have one !!!... I've tried all 3 chandlers in town this morning ... none of them have any type of jamming cleat in stock ... and they haven't heard of a swivel cleat ... 
Currently, the mainsheet is transom-traveller-mounted and fed thru a double pulley block ( I think this is called a "fiddle" ) ... there is no cleat at all ... so I am permanently holding the mainsheet and the tiller .. I'm sure this is o.k. for racing, but for cruising it's a real pain ... I've seen a similar fiddle on the web which also has a jammer cleat built-in, this seems like it could be a very good solution, as installing it wouldn't affect the existing rigging in any way at all, and the stress points on the boat would remain as they are now , but it's £120 and would take weeks to ship from the UK... so I'm thinking of a simpler solution ... mounting a "traditional" cleat ( the 2-prong cleat... round turn, figure of 8 & half-hitch to secure the sheet ) centrally and vertically on the aft bulkhead\stowage\buoyancy  locker... ) at a total cost of around £1 ( without fairlead ) or £2 with fairlead !!! ... I've got 3 questions about this .. 
(1) Is this a strong enough location for the cleat ? .. I don't want the main to rip the buoyancy out !! 
(2) Fairlead ... is this essential, and if so, should it be located above the cleat vertically, or on the top edge of the buoyancy chamber horizontally ?
(3) It's going to be slower to uncleat than a jammer cleat, and so I guess it could be considered more dangerous, but it doesn't seem any more dangerous than the current arrangement when my tiny mind is getting overloaded with controlling the mainsheet AND the tiller when it's blowy !!!??
As mentioned below, I would really suggest going for the Barton Swivel Block/Cleat if you can afford it. I'm totally averse to spending more than I have to but I think this one is definitely a worthwhile expense. What you suggest is likely OK although I'm no expert and the risk about ripping out the buoyancy that you mention would make me nervous to the point of trying to reinforce the area where you want to mount the cleat. And hell, by the time you've done that and considering all the extra effort you'll need to put in while sailing, 30 pounds seems a small price to pay!!
I'd be delighted to be included in Weekly Whiffle and thanks for copying Frank Dye in too .... though I'm new to sailing, I've done a LOT of research on the net about the W, and Frank and Margaret Dye's names and books have come up all over the place .. I've asked my local bookshop to order copies for me ... Cyprus is still at the back of beyond in some ways .. at least when it comes to English-language books and dinghy parts !!!
Great! You'll be in there tonight or very soon thereafter - I think I'll find this correspondence a spot in the Weekly Cruise News and also in the Wayfarer Institute.
My goal is to be able to sail in any ( or at least most ) of the wind conditions in Cyprus seas ( there are no inland waterways ) and to be able keep the boat flat when desired on any point-of-sail ... so I'm going to get some reef points in the main and think about a storm-jib ( I'm about 150 pounds weight ) .... but first things first !!!!
I don't know much about reefing. From the conditions you describe, reefing won't often be necessary, but it's always a good thing to have, especially for singlehanding!
cheers ... and thanks again for your help...

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Al Schonborn 
To: Patrick O'Connell 
Sent: Thursday, July 05, 2001 12:16 AM
Subject: Re: Hi from Cyprus

Hi, Patrick:

I'll just go through your letter and answer in red again (where necessary!) Sounds like you have found a lovely place to sail a W all right. I scanned through your letter quickly a couple of days ago and what stuck out was your need for a mainsheet swivel cleat.  I would really recommend you use the system as I outlined in my WIT article. Best wishes for great W sailing,

Uncle Al (W3854)