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Old 05 July 2009, 17:31   #1
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Cruise with Sailors?

Hi

I would like to know if anyone would be interested in cruising with a group of relatively fast sailing dinghies?

Our performance is not as fast as a RIB and rather depends on the weather as we need a bit of breeze to get up to speed, but we can sensibly manage 8kts upwind and 15+kts downwind if the conditions are right - 21kts is our peak velocity. I know that sounds a bit slow to you but we reckon we could get a fair distance in a day. We've been talking about doing a bit of distance but this would be dependent on having a couple of decent RIBs with us to help with any equipment failure and carry a bit of kit (our 4m sailing club rescue boats are just a bit too small). We were thinking of a trial run in the clyde estuary and if that goes well going from Oban up the Sound of Mull as a future adventure.

Thoughts or comments?
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Old 05 July 2009, 17:46   #2
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What sort of dinghies?

I've done a wee bit of dinghy cruising in my time - and in theory you can be self sufficient - and a 4m RIB would cope with anything the dinghies would. The only problem being that if the wind dies a 4m with a 40HP isn't going to tow many dinghies - or if it really turns nasty it won't be able to cope with properly managing the fleet.

The thing to bear in mind compared to RIB cruising is that you obviously can't head directly into the wind - which means that 8 knots is actually probably something like the equivalent of 4 knots if you could go as the crow flies.

Planning and preparation are absolutely critical. You will also probably be much more restricted by weather than RIBs and not just in terms of bad weather (this was one of the reasons I moved over from sailing dinghies - when its really nice weather and you want to be out on the water - there is often not enough wind to make any real progress).

Unfortunately my boat is no bigger than your clubs own - otherwise I would have been interested. Which club is it?
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Old 05 July 2009, 18:20   #3
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Skiffs

Thanks,

I agree with much of what you say. For the most part we would expect to be self supporting but if a forestay breaks it's not an easy fix on the water and it's hard to get anywhere. I would also anticipate we'd potentially take more sailors than boats and rotate as it can be quite hard work in a blow!

My home club is Prestwick but there are SSR members from all over Scotland (Quite a few in Dalgetty bay some of whom you'll probably know). We are a group of various skiffs 50% 'Musto Performance Skiffs' (hence MPS) but also a foiling Moth (boy can that thing fly!), 49ers, I14s, RS800 that sort of thing. We have a series of races throughout Scotland but fancied trying a cruise.

Our site is www.scottishskiffracing.com and here's a few others that may be useful to get an idea...

www.mustoskiff.com
www.international14.org
www.rs-association.com/rs800/
www.int-moth.org.uk

Thanks again for your interest. Keep an eye on the thread as you'd be more than welcome to join us if you wanted to.
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Old 05 July 2009, 18:50   #4
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OK - I guess none of those boats were developed with "gentle cruising" in mind, and I certainly wouldn't want to take one of them out in all but the most sedate conditions without some safety support!

I'm not sure if the Glasgow Schools Sailing Club are still on the go - but if you can find them this is the sort of thing that might interest them. They used to have a fleet of Kestrel dinghies (relatively slow) that they would take on day cruises and occasional weekends in Loch Lomond and the Clyde Estuary. They had a displacement boat with an inboard diesel and a cuddy which was ideal for carrying gear for 20 people and towing everyone home when becalmed etc! They also had reasonably large RIB for rescue work. Last I heard they were sailing out of the outdoor centre at Blairvadach (nr Rhu) but that was several years ago.
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Old 06 July 2009, 04:34   #5
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If you want to organise a race up and down Loch Ness as they did for the cats a few years ago http://www.sailshots.co.uk/NessMonster/index.html
I will come and photograph it (also bring my RIB)
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Old 06 July 2009, 07:54   #6
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I so thought this was a thread trying to 'pick up' sailors - thats not why I looked at it ! I'm the other end of the country ( tho from a sailors town orginally - Pompey) - but best of luck.
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Old 21 July 2009, 05:28   #7
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we've done quite a lot of "cruising" in cat's over the last few years (Hurricanes, F18's, Tornado's) including a few big channel crossings. Last year we made it to Alderney from Essex, shame we didnt quite make Jersey.

We're a bit quicker than you. plus we can sleep on the tramps... but essential the same thing!!

My advise would be for long distance crusing, one RIB to two dinghies and lots of spares and tools. We've had shrouds, sails, rudders and crew break, and it's best to be as self sufficient as you can. When towing in and out of marina, or when the wind dies, two cats with the one RIB works well.

We use a 6.5m rib as a support boat, and it can only just keep up in a F4/5 mid channel. Nothing smaller would be suitable for us.

http://thamesraiders.blogspot.com/

I'd be pleased to help and give advise if you're up to anything similar.
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