point to point tips wanted
Tagged: point to point
September 19, 2017 at 9:43 pm #9821
Pondering going into a point to point race next summer on Lake of the Woods in Canada. It’s a keelboat race primarily, but there are a few dinghies. The dinghies are supported by a houseboat fleet, which has bunks for sleeping, and can carry a lot more gear than the boat. Breakfast and dinner would be on the houseboat. Lunch on the Weta, and any calls of nature would be back on the houseboat. Distance is about 20 miles per day, over 5 days. A tow can be arranged for no wind days or high wind days. Apparently a Weta was sailed in the race for 2 or 3 years, about 10 years ago.
Looking for tips on how to carry gear in the Weta. Mine is a 2007, so no hatch for internal storage.
And looking for a gear list for point to point.
* Handheld VHF radio in a drybag.
* Small cooler for lunch and drinks.
* Foul weather gear, PDF, hat, sunscreen, bugspray etc.
* Maps in a clear drybag.
* Anchor and rode. Looking for suggestions! (I have a 5 lb mushroom anchor, but is this enough?)
I’ve done this in the past on a keelboat. Am I overestimating the Weta’s ability to do this kind of point to point race?
September 22, 2017 at 7:18 am #9822
I think the first thing to do is to add a hatch for storage since you’re really limited for space in the cockpit as the only area where stuff doesn’t get in the way is between the main sheet block and the transom bar – a good location for a cool box that has a sealed lid and can be used for stuff you need in emergency and/or drink food you need during the trip but you don’t want lots of weight at the back of the boat as it doesn’t have much buoyancy there anyway and if the boat is stern heavy it will be slow from drag.
I would look at the mods made for the Everglades Challenge by Linda Wright in particular as that is a 300 mile unsupported race (with 2 checkpoints) – her setup was developed over 2 years with the assistance of multihull guru Randy Smyth and she has completed the race twice.
It included a larger, reefable mainsail, rotating mast (to make it easier to reef), larger self-tacking jib and deeper cut gennaker. She also had two smartphones in waterproof cases with battery packs to charge them up. The battery packs are a good idea if you can’t rely on power sockets at rest stops and they can also be charged in the vehicle (if you speak nicely to the driver) who will be taking your gear.
Linda can be contacted via her Facebook profile here
You could also look at the WaterTribe forums and Facebook Page for advice since they are all marathon or ultra-marathon racers in small boats and kayaks. Particularly for gear recommendations such as dry suits, GPS, maps etc http://watertribe.org/forums
If you boat doesn’t have a hatch its not difficult to add one and you could add a standard 6″ round hatch which are standard on the Weta but if you want easier access, a stronger, faster seal (you don’t want to get water splashing through the hatch if you have to get something out) and easier stowing, then consider adding a clear plexiglass hatch similar to those you’d see on the foredeck of a yacht. Alternatively, you could add a Kayak hatch which are very well sealed, designed to remain sealed when inverted and available in a range of sizes and shapes.
2. GPS or Mobile Phone
I’d consider using a GPS rather than maps – although you need the latter for backup. It’s much easier to follow a GPS arrow rather than trying to read the map when it’s windy and maps have a habit of blowing away. You can also run Navionics and other mapping apps on a Smartphone and since the courses are known in advance, set waypoints for your preferred route (and alternaative routes for different wind direction/strengths).
3. Dry suit
Twenty miles isn’t that far (as long as there’s some wind) so you could probably get away with a wetsuit but most endurance racers, particularly on a very wet boat like the Weta and in cold water as in the lake, wear a dry suit. It’s not so much the water hitting you as the windchill it causes as on the tramps you’re fully exposed and also because on a Weta you’re not working that hard to generate body heat compared to some other dinghies.
4. Use the harness
It’s optional but it is helpful for marathon racing with long upwind legs since it supports your torso when you’re hiking out especially when sitting on the floats. It also means you stay connected to the boat if you do capsize but practice releasing the quick release as you go over as you don’t want to stay hooked on when capsized. Oh and practice capsize recovery with the boat fully loaded – it’s not hard but there is a knack to it – especially making sure you flood the leeward hull so that it becomes the windward hull full of water when you right the boat and thus prevents you capsizing again while you sort out sheets etc.
5. Use mods from the forums
Take a look at the WMG mods – particularly the “bridle” for the main sheet which allows the tiller to pass under it (like the Laser) and consider lengthening the tiller too. This means you no longer have to let go of the tiller during a tack which is both safer and faster because you don’t have to go to the stern to retrieve it.
The forward turning blocks for the gennaker sheet and crossover jib sheets help to keep the sheets out of the way of your feet and also means that all controls are in front of you. And because you don’t let go of the tiller (see above) you can face forward during the tack and prevent overtaking.
You can hove-too in a Weta which creates a very stable platform that will gradually drift (if you keep the daggerboard down) but its’s not an ideal position to make changes to the sails as they are stil under pressure. I’m not sure how deep the lakes are but instead of carrying a long anchor line and chain, consider a drogue which will hold the boat head to wind while you make adjustments (e.g. Reefing).
7. Tow/Acnhor yoke
Create an anchor/tow-yoke with a loop of line tied to the front AMA arms that is longer than the boat when extended. It’s held on deck on the bow with bungee until deployed. Once you release it, you can clip on your anchor line or drogue (with some spare line to ease retrieval) and it will hold the boat head to wind – and also make the boat easier to tow if you have to be towed in.
4. Camera – photos or it didn’t happen!
While you can use the Smartphones for quick shots while sailing and when docked, it doesn’t give you much action footage and you have your hands full sailing a Weta most of the time. So consider adding a pole-mounted action camera on the stern. The good news is that there’s now a camera which will last 6-7 hours that costs only $100. The Warrior G1 is available on Amazon and other fine retailers.
Action Camera recommendations
Action Camera Mounts
Hope this helps
- This reply was modified 10 months ago by Paul White.
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