Waples Wines Northern Travellers Tip 6….Travelling for the First Time !!

“When travelling for the first time or as part of a new team here are a few tips to make packing the boat up and rigging run smoothly:-
  • Owners are fussy and like things to be carried out in a certain way, take time to work out how they like things done, then commit them to memory and try to follow the routine every time.
  • Work on opposite sides of the boat – and work methodically through everything coming together for the two person jobs, such as taking the rudder and mast out.
  • Have proper straps and padding for everything not an assortment of bits of string of indeterminate length.
  • Leave as much as possible on the trailer (tied out the way) so you don’t have to find it later”.
Helm, Keith Jamieson ƒƒ3903   

First Flying Fifteen? – Towing it Home – Part 2……

Yesterday we looked at securing the bow, now lets think about midships!!

You will see boats with extra long straps over the top, securing the boat like a dinghy.  You don’t want too much pressure in that – part of class folklore is that boats that do a lot of towing develop cracks along the gunwhale surface as this tie-down strap applies pressure at the edge of the boat, leveraging the overhang of the gunwhale design.





What most people do instead, or sometimes as well as, is secure the main weight of the boat by the keel. Hopefully, your kit of straps from your sailmaker includes an assymetrically padded strap that enables you to secure the keel very firmly to the trailer. The assymetric padding is to position over the top of the keel – which is very fine – to protect it.

If you want to put the top strap over then, just thing of it as being there to stop the boat wobbling around. If you have a Hayling Trailer, you should move the side chocks in to achieve the same effect. With the keel firmly secured, the boat is not about to part company with the trailer in any event.

First Time Fifteen ?? – Securing the Trailer….. Part One

So you have just bought your first flying fifteen and are thinking about the long tow homeward??

If you’ve only had dinghies before you might be tempted to make sure this heavy brute is well tied down.  Actually, if you’ve only towed big boats before, you may think the same. So what do we do??

Well, lets deal with the basics. Ratchet straps are great, but you only need two, or three maximum. Straps, specially made for FF’s and available from sailmakers are a great idea too. We shall deal with the light board later, but lets figure out how the pro’s tie them down.

First – the bow is dead easy, but you will either want to go through your mooring eye, or maybe have a little bit is string attaching the tie down strap to the mooring. Otherwise, the strap wriggles forward and slackens off as it goes – you don’t want that.

We shall deal with the securing the boat at the wheel axles in the next blog post.

Going to Garda?? – Read This ….!!!

I have been informed today that when driving a boat trailer in Italy you will need a a fully reflectorised square panel 50cm x 50cm.  These can be bought at service stations or on the attached link  (thanks to Helen Selden for finding this link)


So you know  The AA says:

Any vehicle with an overhanging load (e.g. carrying bicycle at rear) must display a fully reflectorised square panel 50cm x 50cm which is red and white diagonally striped, a fine may be imposed if the sign is not displayed. This also applies to vehicles such as cars/caravans carrying bicycles at the rear.

The police can also do spot checks on cars in Italy so you need to carry a proof of ownership document (original) and a letter from the owner stating you can drive it if a company car plus a  tax disc and insurance.

And in France you need high visibility jackets and 2 breathalizer testers

(note from Helen Selden – I think it’s a high-viz jacket for all people in the car and not just the driver)…

John Hanson

FF Towing Vehicles….

It’s funny how some articles in the blog attract comments and some don’t…  Can you guess which blogs in 2011 attracted most comments??  The ones about cars….. ha!!

So it was with some interest that I read the article in the January edition of Y&Y (published in December, page 68) headed “Vehicles for Towing”. It’s a good article – look out for it.  They cover all the major issues to look for. It turns out that quoted weight towing limits for cars are for a specific incline, namely 1:16 or 6%.  However, on an incline of 15%, which is 1:6, what happens to the maximum towing weight? In their example, a Saab, it falls from 1600kg to 1000kg – blimey….

Why all the fuss? Well, how steep is your slipway??  At our Club, our friendly convention when the water level is low is that first team out get the car and pull the whole fleet out. Our slipway at low water levels is pretty steep – and we recently reduced a brand new Volvo estate to a clutch smoker resting at the top of the slip….. (I hope it has recovered, Ian!!….) The last part of our slip is probably a lot steeper than 1:6….

The article also mentions that some car models, especially small cars (Ford Ka mentioned) have no type approval for towing….. I didn’t know that.

The weight of an FF Hull, keel, rudder and mast is around 330kg I think. I don’t know the weight of an FF trailer do you? (Ian Preston will know…)  Y&Y suggests an SB3 trailer is 215kg, so lets suppose an FF trailer might be 170kg. Then allow maybe 30kg for kit, as proposed for the SB3. So we might be 530kg all up when we tow… Better keep that number in mind….



Garda – Transportation Options….

We got to chatting in the bar last week about options for people wanting to get to Garda in 2012.  To be honest, it’s a fair way. ….

John Hanson came up with an interesting idea – hiring a flat bed truck, putting some fifteens on the truck (how many depends on truck size obviously) and tow one behind. This might be as small as a single boat size flatbed truck, but maybe bigger. Then some teams could fly down one one team drive all the kit down.

It seems that in August you can’t drive trucks on a Sunday in Italy, says John, but given the Garda NOR that should be OK.

If you would be interested to chat with John about this idea, then email us at datchetman@flyingfifteen.com and we’ll forward the email to him.

Flying Fifteens – Tow Car…

At our last visit to Goacher Sails I got a smile from the fact that you can’t get an FF mainsail in the back of the Company van !!… Not without folding the end a little. The van is too short!!

It rather reminds me that when Howard and I were racing a Dragon, a big issue in that Class is how many cars can legally tow one. The boat is 1700 kg, but the all up towing weight with trailer is around 2450kg. You can look up these details in What Car magazine, for example  – take a look and see what I mean. There’s only around half a dozen vehicles that can do it. That’s how I ended up with two Range Rovers in a row…. In our Dragon Club we used to have a list circulated between the boat owners as to which cars would give you a legal tow. Going to a Dragon Regatta often looks like arriving at a 4×4 drivers convention…..

The Fifteen is great of course because the all up towing weight is never going to be a problem really. However, what about carrying FF mainsails??  Thinking of the Goacher Company van I am reminded that a Dragon genoa wont even go in a Range Rover without folding the end of the rolled sailcloth over.  I really, really don’t like putting a fold in the end my rolled FF mainsail….I reckon you need 115 inches of storage length…

So what cars are on the buyers list  that can accommodate an FF mainsail. Lots of estate cars presumably?? BMW 5? BMW 3 maybe not? Merc E and C? Ford Mondeo? Subaru? ….The local car dealers around here are used to me turning up and trying to get a main into the back of their product without a fold.  Maybe yours are too.  So what cars do we know are good for the job? I’ve seen my sails go into the back of:-

  • – VW Sharan MPV
  • – Range Rover
  • – Toyota Land Cruiser Amazon
  • – VW Passat
  • – BMW X5
  • – Merc C Estate

I think Mervyn gets his in the length of a Mercedes CLK coupe, because the back seats will fold flat and the main will go through and sit on the dash. Very clever. … I’ll check with Mervyn if the sail is not folded…

We’re going to need some help with this…. There will be more cars for “our list”…. What have you tried that we can add??  The criteria is that we can get a rolled mainsail in the car without a fold…. ?? Nominations please to datchetman@flyingfifteen.com