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  #1  
Old 07-10-2013
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Sailed my Walker Bay: Now some Qs

Okay, so I've sailed my WB8 twice. Absolutely loving it!

That said. Since I don't have the PVC stabilizers and am not planning to get them, walker bay says you should use the yellow inflatable that goes under the middle seat. This is not to keep it floating better, rather to displace water, should you capsize, thereby allowing less water in the boat.

The thing is, I hate that thing. Okay, hate is a strong word. But... I am wondering how important it really is to use it? Nobody plans to capsize, of course. And I'll be mostly toodling around the estuary. Am just wondering if not using it will make it impossible to right the boat... say, if it turtles? That is, how necessary is it?

Secondly, the boat def rows better than the inflatable. Not surprising, of course. Having the oars in the boat while sailing, however is a bit of a pain. That, and I must admit, I enjoy sailing it more than rowing it. Anyway, I am thinking of investing in foldable oars. Though, when I came in tonight, the wind just died. So I used the rudder to scull. It was actually way easier for me to dock! That, and I didn't have to set the oars in the locks while the boat was drifting. So... am thinking of going sans oars when I sail and sans sail when I row.

Opinions/ideas from anyone who has a WB and both sails and rows it, are welcome.

Btw, I did tip it a little... at the dock of all places.
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Old 07-10-2013
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Re: Sailed my Walker Bay: Now some Qs

I have one, yet to sail it; but it seems to me they would be pretty fast. The floatation is good just to keep her afloat should you go over.. and you will.. go over that is.. sooner or later. especially if you tie the main sail line. (when in doubt LET OUT!) Be sure to have a pump or bucket to bail... when you right her. BTW,The more floatation you have the less bailing you will do also. I have a set of WM telescoping oars and they are pretty strong. the little wooden ones that come with WB are too short imo.
don't try to bring the sail boom over the boat until your ready to sail again. Also. work out how you will get back in the boat if it goes over too.

The reason it rows easier is the hull shape.

Oh! Plan to capsize.. allot! the you will know what and how much she (and you) can take to prevent it.

Good luck!
Kids can do it!
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Last edited by deniseO30; 07-10-2013 at 01:02 AM. Reason: oh!
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Old 07-10-2013
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Re: Sailed my Walker Bay: Now some Qs

Rig the boat as you would sail it, and take it into knee deep water. Capsize it and get in. Repeat the above process without the yellow thingy and compare how much freeboard you have, or don't have. Then you can decide if it's worth it.

You can also mount your own flotation in the boat in any way that is useful to you. You can screw in rigid pink Home-Depot sheets of foam (cut to fit) anywhere that it doesn't get in the way. You could also affix a cooler with cool beverages and it will do it's duty of displacing water if the boat capsizes. Another alternative is dry bags, filled with more useful things.

As for the oars, can you affix them to the outside of the boat at all while under sail?

One of these might fit the bill for when the wind REALLY dies (it doesn't take much wind to get home)


Telescoping paddle

Enjoy the new toy! I really enjoyed rowing my portland pudgy around this last week I was out cruising. I even was able to row it with 800lbs of people into a 8knot headwind without much difficulty!

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  #4  
Old 07-10-2013
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Re: Sailed my Walker Bay: Now some Qs

Thanks for the quick replies! :-)

When I go out, I assume I'll capsize. What that means for me. I wear my pfd. Stuff, like my iphone is in a water proof pouch, with a lanyard, hooked to my vest. Though, my "cheap" headset will die, should I go in the drink. Which, btw, is why it's "cheap." Much less painful to replace.

I have been thinking about purposefully trying to capsize it, just to get an idea of what I might be up against. This thing weighs about 20lbs more than the RU-260, but is way easier to manage... pulling it up on the dock to wash off, etc. The WB manual says you're supposed to step on the drop board as leverage to tip it back up.

Today, I practiced tacking and gybing... and *finally* get the difference. From what I've read, gybing is what increases the capsize risk. Not surprising from a physics pov. We had almost no wind today, so that allowed me to try the gybing bit out. I still need to understand the points of sail... that is, how to trim the main, etc.

Oh, btw. The sail kit that came with this is a boomless gaff rig. Still not sure how I'm supposed to use the main sheet. It's attached to a ring that freely moves along the transom on a rope traveller. The sheet is then run through one of two clews, depending upon windage (kind of a jury rigged reefing set up). The part I'm a tad confused about is, once I run it through the clew, do I run it back through the ring on the traveler? Or just hold the sheet? What I'm doing right now is to run it back through the loop, but am not sure if that is correct. I searched high and low for the walker bay boomless gaff rig, and even other dinghy boomless gaff rigs, but I think this is an older model, so WB no longer has the manuals avail. And all the gaff rig discussions involved keel boats. They also had booms.

So, I guess I'll just have to do it Samuel Beckett style: "Try again. Fail again. Fail better."

Btw, love that vid. Have already watched it several times. :-)

Last edited by shadowraiths; 07-10-2013 at 01:22 AM.
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Old 07-10-2013
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Re: Sailed my Walker Bay: Now some Qs

MedSailor, excellent ideas wrt dry bags, cooler, and foam sheets. Those telescoping paddles look great as well as your idea wrt hanging the oars on the outside of the boat. Since I am in the proc of adding a couple of cleats on each side (similar to the ones in the vid that denise posted), that would make it easy to suspend the oars over the side and, importantly, out of the way while I don't need them.

As for practice capsizing. We have a little protected area where I can do just that. Well, actually there are several areas. Will just have to let my dock mates know I'm practicing so they don't go diving in to save me. lol
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Old 07-10-2013
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Re: Sailed my Walker Bay: Now some Qs

I have never seen a gaff rigged Walker Bay, even on their website. They do tend to have the boom angled up from the gooseneck quite a bit. The WBs I have sailed use a pretty conventional mainsheet setup. The way I rig them the sheet goes from a block at mid boom, along the boom to the end, down to the "traveler" bridle on the transom and then back up to terminate on the end of the boom. That gives you a simple 2:1 purchase. It is a very small sail so you don't really need purchase, but it makes it a bit easier to hold the mainsheet. The WBs I sail do not have cleats for the main sheet, and that is a good thing! The boats are very tender and if a gust hits and the sheet is cleated you will probably be swimming.

They probably recommend extra flotation bladder because the boat does not have flotation tanks. Perhaps they are concerned that the boat could actually sink if you have a big wipeout.

Some kind of alternate propulsion would be a good idea if you are going any distance because the boats do NOT sail well in light winds.
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Re: Sailed my Walker Bay: Now some Qs

Quote:
Originally Posted by SchockT View Post
I have never seen a gaff rigged Walker Bay, even on their website.
If you scroll down this page, you will see the following gaff rigged walker bay 8, with a make-shift boom.


Notably, my rig does *not* have a boom, so there is no block at mid boom, bc there is no boom. Just the two clews. One at the sail tail, and one a bit further up for reefing. Also, the sail fits over the masts like a sock, so there are no halyards either. And finally, since there is no boom, there is no boom vang. Though, the sail tension on the mast is kept by a sheet attached at the sail's base, run through a cinching cleat at the base of the mast.

Last edited by shadowraiths; 07-10-2013 at 06:41 AM. Reason: fix image link
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Old 07-10-2013
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Re: Sailed my Walker Bay: Now some Qs

I would make sure the dinghy has a positive flotation without that bag. Having it sink on you is a major bummer. If the bag bothers you see if you can fit a piece of Styrofoam instead. I would not go out sailing in an open dink if I knew it might go to the bottom. Sooner or later you will capsize - even if you are careful - because wind and waves will play tricks on you.
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Old 07-10-2013
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Re: Sailed my Walker Bay: Now some Qs

Quote:
Originally Posted by shadowraiths View Post
If you scroll down this page, you will see the following gaff rigged walker bay 8, with a make-shift boom.


Notably, my rig does *not* have a boom, so there is no block at mid boom, bc there is no boom. Just the two clews. One at the sail tail, and one a bit further up for reefing. Also, the sail fits over the masts like a sock, so there are no halyards either. And finally, since there is no boom, there is no boom vang. Though, the sail tension on the mast is kept by a sheet attached at the sail's base, run through a cinching cleat at the base of the mast.
Well there you go then! I wonder why Walker Bay doesn't show that rig on their website?

I would think that the conventional rig would be MUCH better! Is that kit brand new? Can you exchange it for the Bermuda style sail?
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Last edited by SchockT; 07-10-2013 at 03:31 PM.
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Old 07-10-2013
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Re: Sailed my Walker Bay: Now some Qs

Definitely practice capsizing and righting the boat, and getting back in after you've capsized it. The sailing club I'm in has Catalina Capri 16.5 daysailers and we frequently do capsize drills. They have lots of built-in flotation.

And yes, do tell your dockmates! I heard a story that before I joined the club a bystander panicked and called 911 because they saw several sailboats capsized and figured something must be really wrong on the water
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