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Dart Sailability Wrinkles

Updated: Sep 17, 2018

Useful information for all sailors..........

The latest 'wrinkle' explains how to 'Reef an Access Dinghy', very useful information for all sailors, so.... We are creating a monthly article outlining different aspects of seamanship with particular reference to how we work at Dart Sailability. The plan is for past articles to be saved here so that they build up into a useful reference handbook.

Wrinkles - past and present

We are creating a monthly article outlining different aspects of seamanship with particular reference to how we work at Dart Sailability. The plan is for past articles to be saved here so that they build up into a useful reference handbook.


Wrinkles so far:

8. Access Reefing

7. Mooring - to a Pontoon

6. Mooring - Cleating ropes

5. International Regulations to Prevent Collisions at Sea (IRPCS, or ColRegs) - Sail

4. Towing Access Dinghies

3. Knots - Round Turn and Two Half-Hitches

2. Marking a Waterline

1. International Regulations to Prevent Collisions at Sea (IRPCS, or ColRegs) - General


 

8. Access Reefing


When wind strengths get up, or if a new sailor needs a more gentle experience when learning, then this is the time to reef. A boat sails more efficiently when upright or nearly so and there is no advantage to be gained in maintaining full sail if the boat is heeling at 45 degrees or you are constantly having to spill wind. If in doubt, reef before you start - it is much easier to take out an unnecessary reef on the water than it is to reef when the wind gets too strong.


Reefing an Access is easy as both sails can be rolled round the masts by pulling the furling/reefing lines. If the Access is set up properly, both sails will be coming back from the starboard (right) side of the mast. To reef, pull on the port (left) reefing lines (the inner one for the main and outer one for the jib). When reefing the main, the outhaul first has to be slackened off, as well as the main sheet, as the boom needs to be allowed to rise. When the sail has been reduced sufficiently, it should be 'anchored' by hitching the reefing lines into the little jam cleats on the rear port side of the central console. This will prevent the sail unfurling again when sailing. (This does not work if the sails have been furled on the wrong side of the mast). Once the main is reefed, the outhaul will need to be tightened again. If reefing the main, take an equivalent amount off the jib as well to maintain the balance of the boat.


 

7. Mooring - to a Pontoon

The standard way to tie up involves three pairs of ropes - see diagram below:-

Bow Line and Stern Line. These lead forwards and backwards from the bow & stern to the pontoon and prevent the boat drifting back and forth with the tide. For our small boats on our sheltered pontoon, this is normally all we use, though it does allow the boat to 'saw' against the pontoon and the Hawk could benefit from springs (see below) to stop this happening when on the pontoon. Boats should be well-fendered against the pontoon.


Bow and Stern Springs. These lead back from the bows and forward from the stern to the pontoon, usually crossing over each other. They prevent the boat 'sawing' against the pontoon.


Breast ropes run straight from the bows and from the stern to the pontoon to hold the boat against it.


The ropes should not be bar tight, but have a little slack in them. As the pontoon rises and falls with the tide, this does not make a problem, but against a fixed quay, breast ropes would not be used and bow and stern lines and springs would need to be at least three times longer than the tidal range or adjusted frequently to prevent the boat being left hanging when the tide falls (or being pulled under when it rises) either of which could quite spoil your day - and your boat.


Note that where two or more boats are 'rafted' side by side on the pontoon, bow and stern lines should be run from each boat to the pontoon. If the outer boat(s) are just roped to each other, it can put a lot of strain on the inner boat (and make it more difficult to take out the inner boat). We make an exception to this rule with our little Access