Tornado Hits Hayling Island – Importance of Tying Down….!!

Putting It Away

We have a rule at our Club that all parked boats should be tied down.  I don’t suppose for a moment we have 100% compliance to that rule. It’s not a rule just for dinghies, of course.

You’d think an FF was heavy enough to be secure probably.  When I had my first brand new fifteen, I had the nose of the boat lift out of the trailer support in a gale – as a result nowadays, I always tie the nose in when parked. Around about ten years ago, in the Datchet Winter Warmup, we had Brett Dingwall’s Fifteen blow clean out of its trailer and bounce down the slope below….  those of you who helped carry it back up will remember.  So we never forget to tie our trailer down when parked.

Now, take a look at this


Flying Fifteen – Berthing Checklist 2… The Tiller Extension…..

For those new to Fifteens, we recently published a checklist aimed at the simple things to do with putting the boat away – the VC called it the “Berthing Checklist”….

A couple of additional things have come up….

(1) Famously I take my jib and main sheets home each weekend – mainly to prevent borrowings – but also to occasionally wash them in the washing machine. You know the tip for this, do you?  You put the sheets into one of those string zipper bags that ladies use was washing nylon socks. This works a treat….

(2) One of the irritating things that can break on a boat, including a flying fifteen, is the tiller extension joint.  It only ever happens afloat, of course, and when leading usually… Having been burnt like this before, I actually have a spare carbon tiller extension aboard at all times in our boat. (weight 125 gms, if you are wondering…!) It was Howard though that pointed out that most of the wear to the joint probably happens when the boat is berthed and under its cover – the joint being stressed badly in that ‘flat’ position. I guess it is worse if you race through the frost and snow of the winter season. He says that in Lasers, they never leave the joint attached between races for this very reason. So from now on, the tiller extension is going to be removed at the end of each race-day and stored in the nice dry clean garage with the kit box.

Flying Fifteen Berthing Checklist….

So you have bought your first Flying Fifteen… you won the race, first time out… and you just cover it up and roll it into the berth until next weekend…. Right?

Your lovely new boat spends most of its time parked up. So are there good ways and bad ways to go about berthing….??!!

First and obvious things are:-

– have you left the bailers down (you’d be amazed at the number of people who don’t)

– have you taken the hatch covers off to air the tanks?

But consider these:-

– Charles Apthorp told us to always tension the rig when you park. Tighten up the forward halyard maybe, or at least set some pre-bend. The rig moves around a lot in the breeze while parked unless it is a little taut. This leads to wear at the gate and critically at the heel. So tighten it up.

– a whole number of the ‘old hands’ use a sacrificial line that runs up to the hounds from the furler drum on the spinnaker halyard. There is then no halyard left in the damaging UV rays from the sun. Perhaps more importantly, if your boat has bags and uses a flyaway for the halyard tail, you dont want to be parked with the shockcord taut. It ages it terribly.

– Bailers are open, but will the boat drain dry??  The best solution is probably this idea…

It’s a simple hitching post. You’ll notice that this one has a cheap height adjuster to get the draining level just right.

Beware of the rudder tip when you are using a post like this – some of ours need a little trench dug under the rudder tip to stop it touching as you hitch.

A hitching post also enables you to take your jockey wheel home out of thieves way. We’ve had a couple disappear in 15 years, but it is rotten when it’s yours.

We did have a period when our Insurance said we had to lock the hitches for security. It means much more if you are able to lock it to a hitching post.

– The VC, ever the perfectionist, also wraps a piece of old towelling around the mast at the point that the cover makes contact. At Datchet our air contains a bit of kerosene from the Heathrow traffic, and this stops it running down the mast in the rain, into the cover or the boat.

– don’t forget the club rule about tying the boat down. I know it seems unlikely but my first FF had its nose blow out of the V support in a gale which was a bit of a shame. So at least make sure the nose is secured to the trailer somehow, and I also tie the trailer down to the ground, and padlock it.