Anchoring/pulling up on rocks
December 28, 2017 at 11:22 pm #10012
I’m planning on buying a Weta but I have a question about how you guys and gals do if you want to stop for the night on for example an island. I should mention that i haven’t seen or felt a Weta IRL, with might explain the maybe stupid question.
I live in Sweden and I sometimes like to go away by my self sailing for a couple of days, tenting in the night. My present boat is a rotomoulded RS Quest wich is almost unbreakable and I can lift/drag it up myself on the rocks which here often are quite rounded. Sometimes there are also sandy beaches but more often you will find “beaches” of golf-, tennis-/footballsized round stones.
With the Quest i don’t bother about big scratches, but since the Weta is made of thin gelcoat/fibreglass I guess that bigger scratches can be a problem also from a technical standpoint, and not only an aesthetical issue?
So you clever people here on the forum, do you have any suggestions?
I suppose I have two solutions, either anchoring (not practical) or lifting the boat up on the shores/rocks. I thought of one idea; to bring a small folding kayak wagon (maybe strapped under the trampoline) to slip under the rear of the boats main hull and securing with straps when getting closer to the shore. Would it be possible to lift (one man) in the front and roll the boat up or do you think it will be too heavy?
Would there be a problem with the big load on the hull in the rear since there would be only two small foam covered aluminiumrods supporting the boat? See pic.
Thanks in advance for any good advice regarding this.
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December 29, 2017 at 3:02 am #10019
You could do some nasty damage to a Weta by dragging it up a rocky beach.
However, I have a few suggestions for you.
You can anchor a Weta if you have a yoke attached to the float arms either side with a loop that extends beyond the bow. Tie a carabiner (or similar ) 3m from the end of the anchor line, so you have some line to retrieve it), and then clip the anchor line to your yoke. You may need to add a stop-knot in the middle of the yoke to stop the bow from twisting around.
This yoke can be fixed in place on the deck while sailing using a shock cord loop to hold it up out of the water. It’s is also good for towing or deploying a drogue if the water is too deep to anchor and you need to stay head to wind to drop the mainsail.
If you need to hold the boat at the stern to stop it “hunting” in the wind you could take a canvas bucket or bag full of stones/sand and tie a line from it to the rudder crossbar.
I use a plastic Kayak anchor for temporarily anchoring the boat when launching from a sandy beach in an offshore wind (to stop the boat blowing away while storing the trolley) but you’ll probably need a folding grappling-style anchor for the rocky seabed.
Use the rollers for the main hull but you’ll need to protect the floats with pool noodles because one of them will always touch the ground when you’re moving pulling the boat on the rollers.
I couldn’t find any rollers online in Sweden (although I found some inflatable fenders which would do) but they are available from Italy. You’d need at least 3 – so two can support the boat while you position the next one ahead.
I suggest hollow pool noodles with some shock cord threaded through them around the float (see fenders below) but slide them round so they are underneath.
Pool Noodle Rollers
If the beaches are relatively flat you can get away with using pool noodles themselves as rollers – protect the floats as above. You could also use longer noodles to protect the main hull if you have to beach the boat while you sort out your rollers.
To give you a stable platform while you get your achor/noodles/rollers ready when you’re about to head into a beach or anchor it’s best to put the boat Hove-To by backing the jib (or just tack and don’t uncleat it), easing the main completely and locking the tiller hard over so the boat wants to head up into the wind (lock the tiller by wrapping a couple of turns of the spinnaker sheet around the tiller extension).
If you want to store stuff inside the boat the normal 6″ port can make it difficult and the thread is prone to damage. Consider replacing it with a larger Kayak hatch or a small square hinged deck hatch but ensure it has a watertight seal because it protects the watertight compartment if you capsize.
December 29, 2017 at 12:50 pm #10032
Thanks Paul for a very good answer!
Both alternatives complicates my idea of a simple yet thrilling boating life in a lightweight boat. I guess I have to try them out to see what works best.
If I would like to anchor for example with the front close to a cliff, wouldn’t it be easiest to tie an anchor line to one of the rear beams and an other line from a front beam to the landside?
A bit off topic maybe:
Before I came across the Weta on the internet I had first been looking at some other boats. The reason why I want to change to something else than my RS Quest is that I want some development in my sailing experience plus a quicker boat. I am not interested in bigger boats, been there done that!
Laser could be fun but then I would never be able to bring enough stuff or a friend. And definitely not wife and kid.
Windrider 16 is rotomoulded but seem less fun. Hobie Island seems to be the perfect explorer but is maybe too much kayak and too little sail racer.
So the Weta seemed like a good compromise, but this problem with stopping on an island makes the Weta a bitt less interesting.
Anyone out there that could convince me that the Weta is worth the trouble?
December 29, 2017 at 11:42 pm #10033
Any fibreglass hull is liable to get scratched if it meets a rock – Gelcoat just isn’t as forgiving as rotomoulded plastic and I agree with your summary of the alternatives. The Weta is the most fun I’ve had in a small boat.
If you want speed and performance that you can use in any conditions get a Weta (I’ve raced in 36 knot winds with the full rig). They’ve also been used for marathon races including the 300 mile Everglades Challenge.
I also used to launch and retrieve my Weta from a pontoon accessed via a gantry 2m wide. The drop to the water was 20cm so while launching was easy enough – returning to the dock and retrieving the boat was a challenge!
I’ve sailed in a yacht around the Swedish archipelago so I know the conditions a little and, as there is little tide, anchoring would work in most locations if you can get out of the wind where a line around the ama arms would do as you suggest for a short time. But you still need to keep your floats from rubbing against the cliff with the noodle fenders. When I tied up to the dock I found you needed to keep lines from both float arms very taught – otherwise the boat would twist around in the wind (especially with the sails up) and either the bow or stern of the float would rub against the dock. The only way to prevent this would be to have a second anchor (see previous post) which kept the boat away from the land.
I sailed with the French Weta fleet in the Mediterranean and they all had a rope yoke ready to deploy on the front deck – mainly so they can get towed in if the wind drops.
But in your situation, I would start with pool noodles for rollers and fenders as it means you have a two-in-one solution – especially if you can get hold of Jumbo Noodles which have a 12cm diameter. Noodles are cheap, lightweight and easy to store below deck.
December 30, 2017 at 2:39 pm #10036
Thankyou again Paul for your fantastic engagement and very good advices.
I think I will follow your advice and start with the pool noodles, and if that doesn’t work i will try inflatable ones. Also, after thinking a bit more about it, maybe it doesn’t have to be such a big problem having to anchor the boat.
I think of getting a small folding 0,7 kg anchor like on the pic, and also lots of 6 mm anchor line. I will in that case probably try to find some kind of black net bags to attach to the akas for keeping the ropes and anchor in place. See pic, this is for bikes and too small but something like that might work.
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December 31, 2017 at 2:30 am #10039
I just keep my anchor with the rope in a mesh bag with a drawstring below deck – which helps with weight distribution and prevents it from damaging anything (for your situation, having a bag you can fill with stones for a second anchor could be really useful).
If I think I’m going to use it, I set up the anchor bridle (better name) while rigging the boat and use the shock cord to keep it on deck out of the way – although you can set it up on the water*.
To deploy, retrieve the anchor from the hatch and clip the carbine hook to the anchor bridle, unclip the shock cord to release the bridle and throw your anchor out, tie the tail of the anchor line around the float arm and you’re done.
Linda Wright also used an anchor bridle while sheltering from 30 knot winds during the 300 mile Everglades Challenge. Her boat was modified for a reefing system but I think you could achieve similar ease of depowering with the optional furling jib if you’re not familiar with handling the boat in strong winds.
*If you need to go to the bow when out on the water it’s fairly easy to stand on the deck when the boat is hove-too as long as you have some grip on your shoes/boots but sitting astride the deck is safer and easier.
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