messing about in boats

So, What’s Been Going On?

Posted in Sailing by Joseph Moore on June 15, 2010

It’s probably time for a bit of an update. Nervous Tension‘s slowly but surely getting there and yes, my F18 is for sale. I’m sad to see her go, but we just haven’t had the use out of her this season for one reason or another and I’m making a concerted effort to reduce the number of boats and junk that I hoard.

All’s not lost in dinghy sailing though, a friend has recently acquired two National 12s and wants me to show him the ropes as he’s only used to big boats that don’t fall over quite as easily. Bring it on before the summer disappears in a total lack of sailing.


Nacra Inter 18 For Sale

Posted in Sailing by Joseph Moore on June 14, 2010

Nacra Inter 18 For Sale

I’m so bummed out about this, but circumstances change and needs must, so she’s got to go. Take a look at the for sale ad on the F18 website and drop me an email if you’re interested.

Back On The Water

Posted in Sailing by Joseph Moore on November 9, 2009
Deja Vu's new kite sock

Deja Vu's new kite sock and cover

The weather’s been really bad here the past couple of weekends. Gale force winds aren’t very good for relatively novice sailors in a powerful boat. We had a good sail yesterday though – despite the chaos on the water in the second race. Marks had to be rounded to Starboard, with all the good wind on the port side of the course. Cue a lot of crossovers at either end of the course and a several near misses. We seemed to be permanently plagued by a rather unsporting chap in an RS400, but that wasn’t going to spoil a great day on the water.

Deja Vu is sporting her new kite sock and tramp cover, courtesy of Stu at Alverbank Sails. Top work, the kite slides in and out like a dream.

Deja Vu Spotted

Posted in Sailing by Joseph Moore on November 7, 2009

I was killing some time this afternoon browsing the Boats & Outboards classifieds when I spotted one of the Grafham cat fleet Prindle 15s for sale… with a rather familiar mainsail in the background. None other than my F18 – Deja Vu, pulled up on the beach. At least someone’s taking photos of her, even if I keep forgetting!


Prindle 15 for sale, with a lurking F18

A Mixed Bag

Posted in Sailing by Joseph Moore on October 19, 2009

Yesterday’s racing was a bit of a mixed bag. Not much breeze, but it did fill in and there were a few gusts lurking around – one of which caught us unawares as Rich was hanging off the leeward side of the boat and I was too far forward to get the mainsheet off in a hurry. Over we went, right in front of a very disgruntled Laser fleet who’d been kept back after a general recall. Oops…

The lighter breeze earlier in the day saw some really nice windward legs. There’s a warm sense of satisfaction from watching a bunch of people crouched in the bottom of their boats while you zip along flying a hull. Unfortunately with the absence of a kite sock (Which arrived this morning! Woohoo!) we had a go at bag launching it. Would have been fine, but the bag got ripped off on the first hoist and sank before we could get back to it. Bugger. That was a nice bag.

Mega thanks to Stu at Alverbanks for making us a new sock, we’ll have it on the boat next week so I’ll take some pictures of his handiwork. Apologies as I’m really bad with cameras – I can use them fine, I just forget to take any photos.


Posted in Sailing by Joseph Moore on October 12, 2009

I don’t think I’ve ever had such a brown trousers moment as approaching the windward mark in yesterday morning’s race. The wind was picking up and gusting force 6 at times, which is blowy, but not unmanageable (even with our relatively light crew weight for the F18). Fine, til it swung round and our course overlapped with the downwind leg of the RS500’s open meeting course. There’s a group of 3 or 4 boats steaming downwind on port tack while we’re heading up on starboard. The usual rules of sailing would dictate that we should hold our course and they should give way, but with very little distance left between us and them and a gap closing fast it seems we’re expected to post an 8′ wide cat through a 6′ gap in some boats moving fast across our bow.  Not cool. Bear off, aim for a gap, watch the bows dive under the water and scramble backwards (and upwards!). Thankfully the cat’s really well behaved in a crisis – she stayed upright, didn’t pitchpole and nobody got a slice taken out of their hull or their ribs. We got a rather flustered “Oh, sorry!” from one of the boats as we breathed a sigh of relief. What would have been nice was not having to adjust our course or fear for our lives, but I guess that’s a bit too much to ask sometimes.

Anyway, rant over. Sailing should be fun, so remember to keep your eyes open on a busy bit of water and keep safe!

Neat F18 Catamaran Video

Posted in Sailing by Joseph Moore on September 24, 2009

This is probably one of my favourite F18 catamaran vids at the moment. Ok so it’s not got anything extraordinary in it, just a Hobie Tiger buzzing around, but it does make me want to get out on the water which is what matters.

Catamaran Sailing

Posted in Sailing by Joseph Moore on September 23, 2009

Why Two Hulls?

I’d always enjoyed sailing monohulls (and of course still do!) but had a ride on a friend’s Hurricane 500 earlier this year and was hooked. Cats seemed to have everything: speed over the water, plenty of space for lazy days and what seemed like years of ‘thinking time’ to react compared to the Cherub. There always seemed to be quite a bit of banter between the monohull and multihull fleets, with sailors firmly in one or the other. I guess it’s because the boats are so different and people are naturally sceptical of anything unfamiliar.

All I can say really is find someone who has a cat and try it!

Getting Stuck In

Being Cherub sailors we’re used to boating on a budget. We’re also big fans of development and restricted classes, allowing for flexibility and some DIY should there be any breakages. If you’re able to fix it yourself, it’s not always time to groan and open your cheque book.

The boat park at Grafham had quite a few old cats knocking around. A few Darts, Prindles and some rather home made looking Tornados. None of these really fitted the bill of fast, robust and not needing much work to get on the water. In the end we came across a Nacra Inter 18 on the F18 class association website.

So we parted with just shy of £1900 in exchange for a hell of a lot of plastic and metal. ‘Deja Vu‘ had a new mast and good sails, a trailer, trolley, but needed some attention to tidy the hulls up after years of abuse and some fairing on all four foils. Plenty of plans for the winter, but at least we could get sailing in the mean time!

Things To Think About

  • Don’t underestimate just how fast a catamaran will go in a breeze. We were out comfortably buzzing around in a force 5 one afternoon with huge grins from ear to ear, but it’s shocking how fast you can close in on other boats especially in a gust so don’t let your guard drop.
  • If you think you’ve pulled on enough cunningham, you probably haven’t. Pull on some more!
  • Getting off the side onto a properly set trapeze hook can feel like a leap of faith. Don’t be tempted to set them too high.
  • Flying a hull way up in the air looks cool, but isn’t all that fast. Keep it just skimming the water to present the biggest sail area to the wind.
  • If you’re not sure of the best way to do something, ask someone! In our experience cat sailors are a friendly bunch, only too happy to welcome newcomers and offer advice.

There’s going to be a lot more here about Deja Vu as we tune her up and learn plenty more about sailing multihulls. It’s gonna be awesome.