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  2. Windermere Inlands - February 2018

    BUMP 2!!
  3. Rope sizes for halyards

    Thanks Mark, that's great - will go for 8mm dyneema & the smaller clutch.
  4. I can't find the proposed dates for the two weekend event that will be the 2018 Inlands Championship.......can anyone help me??!! I have some other commitments already in February so keen to either get crew confirmed or not! Thanks Mark
  5. Original Sonata running rigging layout

    Oops....forgot that the spinnaker halyard is the one rope I have on occasions led differently if by myself. I just take it out of the mast cleat and then straight down to a block at the foot of the mast, then back to the cockpit. Having said that, I don't always do it as it is easy enough to get to teh mast and flick it off.
  6. Rope sizes for halyards

    All Saraband's are 8mm dyneema and have proved fine. The sag in the forestay means that I periodically have to chop off some of genoa halyard as I get some chafe off the side of the genoa sheave housing, which does look quite smooth so not sure what else I can do. I just make sure I get the genoa halyard over-long so it has lots to be cut-off! I use Spinlock XS (I think!) clutches which are advertised as the right size for the halyards but in reality have some slippage, especially on the main. I have had to thicken the halyard where it is held by the clutch Mark
  7. Rope sizes for halyards

    I need to replace the halyard cleats on Tango & am trying to work out whether to get 4-8mm or 6-12mm. All the halyards that came with the boat are 10mm, but that seems quite big. What's the normal size for Sonatas?
  8. Original Sonata running rigging layout

    That makes a lot of sense, thanks. My set up at the moment really doesn't work short handed as the kite halyard cleats off high on the mast & the kicker on a swivel cleat just aft of the mast - however, it's very good to know that it's possible to do a set up that would work for crewed or solo.
  9. Original Sonata running rigging layout

    Saraband is also set up with cleats for the kicker and Cunningham that can be used from the rail, plus the pole up haul is on a swivel cleat near the base of the mast. I often sail singlehanded and thought it would be an issue, but it isn't......I just make sure I have long enough tails on all the ropes so they reach the cockpit. I have also seen other boats where they have small eyes at the aft end of the coach roof that make sure the ropes are more securely located, but I haven't felt a need to do that. I would suggest you just get out there and sail your boat "as is" as that will work fine when singlehanded and better when fully crewed with people on the rail. Mark
  10. Class Development

    Peter, Thank you for your comments. Rest assured, you are not alone, there is a significant proportion of the existing Sonata fleet in a very similar position, for one reason or another. 25 years of ownership says a great deal about our wee boats. I count myself as one, having owned BFG since 1976. My current personal view is that there is absolutely no point in trying to sell BFG. I would get pence. I would far rather beach her until either the market picks up, which my plans are aimed at, or give her away. However, currently, BFG is in Poole because Sharon and my children live close by and they can use her which they have done. Our personal use has been limited to the Sonata Southerns, Seaview, Isle of Wight and the RTI this year. Bit of a reduction on our previous racing programme, hey-ho, age, other commitments, etc., impinge. I seriously do think we as a Class need to consider how we best proceed to ensure our survival for the next 40 years. It is not impossible. Others have done it and we have an excellent vehicle in the Sonata to achieve that. Sonatas are almost a "Classic", (not yet quite in the Classic Yachts definition), so lets go for "Iconic". As an aside, my youngest son raced in the re-formed Quarter Ton Cup recently in Cowes. World class competition. Most of those boats are custom-built for that event. Not far off a Sonata's dimensions, with an international following. His boat was an original, much modified, obviously. They got a second in the "Original" class. My point is that, Sonatas could, with some effort, generate something similar. It isn't hard, it requires effort on the part of your NSA Committee, we will do that, but most importantly, it requires the support of the Class. There is an appetite for racing "Classic Yachts", hopefully also "Iconic" yachts. Never more so than now. See the rise of, for example, the company, Classic Yachts of Ipswich, the growth of Classic events all around the UK, let alone, France where they have been doing this for years. As Sonatas, we might not entirely qualify as a "Classic", but we sure as hell qualify as "Iconic" amongst all of the 1970's GRP boats that were made then and have since vanished. My view of the Sonata Class is that we should adapt to the changed needs of our current members by allowing, for example, a 2 - crew minimum. On the other hand, at a racing level, we, NSA, should not do anything that precludes the Sonata as a completely one-design boat. When my Committee have assembled their opinions I will be communicating with the whole Class, well, as many of them as I can via email, to inform them of what we propose. The tone of the email will be along the lines of what we, NSA, can do to ensure the survival, hopefully, growth of Sonatas not only as race boats but as fab little cruising boats, as evidenced by some tales in our "Yarns" section here. Chris
  11. Class Development

    H
  12. I've read that Sonatas were originally configured with all lines coming back to the cockpit. Mine has since been modified to allow several controls to be operated from the foredeck & rail. I'm keen to race two-handed so would like to go back to the original layout. Does anyone know where I might be able to find a photo and/or description of this? Or of any other system that would be suitable for single/double-handed sailing?
  13. Class Development

    Absolutely, Euan. I have a fond, no, wrong word, lasting memory of you vanishing off on Port tack into the mists of the Clyde whilst us lot, Mark, Steve and various others pursued what we calculated to be the correct tactic of getting closer to the windward mark on Elvestrom's theory, only to discover, when we eventually got back in sight of each other that your 'flyer' had got you a lead of several hundred yards! I never did get the hang of racing on the Clyde but Sharon and I had a great time trying. I sure have no intention of threatening the OD status, just suggesting ways it might be made more accessible. Chris
  14. An Important Class Message

    Here is an update on the above two topics. Fleet Reps. I now have three including, importantly, a Medway one promised. More needed, please. Shirts. I have found a uniform/sportswear company who do a large range of suitable clothing, tees, polos, rugby, fleeces, etc. They will put our overall design on anything, post it on their website for us to individually order off with personalisation if required. Sounds very simple to me. If the costs are ok, I will organise that. Sailplan/NSA Sonata. These are two big topics and I need a bigger spread of oipinion. I have now got the membership database from Catherine and will email it to point members at this forum. Also I have written a "begging letter" to SBS Trailers to see what we might be able to buy one for, imperative for the NSA boat and potentially, a killer expense. Subs. Whilst mailing the whole membership, I will include a plan for paying these at a new rate and in a new way. I need our Committee's approval for this, so, wait and see. Also, the opportunity to buy flags, car/boom stickers. Windermere Winter Opportunity: initially raised by Catherine and I have subsequently chatted to Stephen McGibbon, Secy of the Winderemere Cruising Association, who for 40 years have run the Windermere Winter Series and is keen to invite Sonatas. Could be our "Inlands" this winter. Also, probably the only opportunity to trial either a blade jib or a furler against our existing rig before next season. Plus, we need some PR output ASAP and it would be that too. How about it, chaps? Stephen said that there are "normally a good showing of Sonatas", the SBS 20's are having a Championship within the WWS, sounds very good to me. Photos Reminder. Please have a search. What I need to make a "Gallery Page" on the website is hi-res pictures for Press Use. "Lifts" from electronic media don't work for printed press. They should be either pro or very good pics that portray Sonatas well. I can receive them in a variety of ways. If pro, I will need to either credit the taker or pay a fee to use. They are out there, Jack has used lots of them on the site here, but, again, all at lo-res. On the Membership Database is a description and brief history of every boat listed. Would that be of interest to have published? I must admit, I had no idea we had that. It's an archive, also useful for a potential purchaser to find out the history of a boat. I would make it accessible so current owners could add or amend if necessary, bit like Wikipedia. Any comments?
  15. Thanks Luke....just need to get the logistics of 3 boats from Scotland to Thorpe Bay / Weymouth / Medway for 3 consecutive events!! regards Mark
  16. Mark Craning will likely be on the 19th or before. Likewise craning out will be on the 25th. I will take up the request for boat storage with the club. Would anyone else be looking to store boats ahead of the Nationals? Luke
  17. Luke, Thanks for the early notification of dates etc. Is it too early to advise if craning in is on the 19th or 20th and secondly, can boats on trailers be left at Medway YC a few weeks beforehand? Reason for questions is we are finishing another nationals at Weymouth on the 19th! Thanks Mark
  18. Fellow Sonateers As you may have seen from the latest post by Chris, The Sonata Class at Medway Yacht Club have now confirmed a date for the 2018 Nationals. It has been agreed that a 5 day event will be held from 20th August to 24th August 2018. We will be encouraging as many visitors to attend as possible, and hope to exceed the MYC 2012 Nationals turnout of 23 boats! We are currently negotiating a raft of benefits for visiting boats including: Free Mooring Free Caravan / Tent Pitches Free Crane In & Out Full Social Programme Further details will be announced soon. Luke Watersong Medway Yacht Club
  19. Class Development

    Hi Chris nice to see you back at the helm even if temporarily.... some interesting ideas may be a threat to the OD status but so is reduced numbers. good luck for the year ahead Euan wicked wookie
  20. Class Development

    Hi Chris, Thought I might be walking into that one. Not exactly that sort of chap at present I'm afraid. I tend not to have time to commit to much - infact I have resigned from Rear Commodore Race at Whitby Yacht Club (that's where I'm based!) this season as I didn't have time to do the job as I would like. However, my time on committees has given me insight into these things and how frustrating it is when no-one has time to help or even respond, so I will try to give what assistance I can. I'll try get you some info about the Sonata situation in the NE. It is the same Tiger Rag. I have old log books written by Sandy Woodward. It was in fact Sandy who eventually decided he was too old to cope with the big one-design genoa and so fitted the furler and went into handicap racing. Next owners (a group on the Solent) continued this, with some success too - winning 1/8th ton cup. It was back at West Mersea when I bought it, off a lad who'd fulfilled his dream of moving up to a yacht from dinghies only to get disheartened by a lack of crew! Nat
  21. Class Development

    Now in my mid seventies and having owned and raced my Sonata for 25 years I find it increasingly difficult to get crew and whilst I am reasonably happy to take new crew out and training them up I still find it difficult at times to get 4 of a crew and when I do have 4 there is usually a combined crew age approaching 250 or over. I rather doubt that I will ever do a regatta again unless it was a single day event. I also want a fairly simple rig e.g. furling genoa as I would like to do more cruising and often single handed so anything that makes short handed sailing easier I would agree to. The numbers racing on the Clyde East Patch have been falling away and we turn a blind eye to boats sailing with a crew of 2 and on one occasion a furling genoa but it would be nice for them to be legal even if it is only a local class rule to get more boats involved in racing. I do realise that these suggested changes are only due to my personal situation and we are really looking at getting more young people into racing but then the Sonata is probably not the favourite boat for young people today. Peter Booth Firebird GBR 8717N
  22. Class Development

    Thanks, Nat, You obviously are keeping a close eye on our website, brill, wish I could say the same about a lot of others. Hey Ho! I take your points. Agree with them. Just remind me where you sail from, you are exactly the sort of chap I desperately need to feed me info and stuff from your area. Up for it? If Tiger Rag is the same boat as I knew, here's a bit of history for you, if you don't already know it. First I knew her was as a Medway boat, one Mike Clarke, that, probably 15 years ago. Next was Sandy Woodward, he of Desert Storm fame, he was the man. He kept her in Chichester Harbour at Sparkes Marina. I raced against him at Cowes. On one memorable occasion when I had rights on him at a mark, I asked for "room". ("Water" in those days). He responded "You have enough". As he could, in all probability, have summoned an Exocet from Portsmouth to make his point, I shut up and clipped the rounding mark as close as I dared. Smashing bloke, I have a couple more stories about our encounters, unfortunately, as I was strongly advised by his crew, Naval officers to a man, subject to the Official Secrets Act. No idea who you bought her from. If, indeed, the same boat, add it to your archive! Chris
  23. Class Development

    Hello again, Thanks again for your efforts here Chris. I agree with your point that relaxing the rules risks upsetting the keen races and actually wouldn't want to see them relaxed too far, even though I'm very much in the club racer group. So before any keeno racers get upset, here's my thoughts. Many club racers are already sailing with 2 and so are out of class even if their boats are standard. This means they can't join in any class events even if they are on their doorstep without having to find extra crew, and if a club has a one-design fleet they're not technically in it. This may well stop them committing to events. eg. I've been looking at Windermere winter racing - that's a series I'd like to do in future - but it would be just the wife and me so we couldn't join the one-design class they're hoping to have. I don't really think the boats need changing, it is possible to race with 2 without extra gear. Although I've been racing with my boat rigged as when I bought it (which includes a furler) I regularly race against a 2-handed but otherwise in class sonata, and my intention was to go that way myself next season. (At present, by the way, I can't touch the standard boat to windward until he gets over-pressed - only then is being able to quickly lose some sail useful. To be fair he is more experienced and basically out-sailing me though). So basically, I strongly favor reducing the minimum crew to 2. But I think that allowing furlers etc. needs careful consideration. An in-between sail size would help lighter crews and may be a better option. Nat.
  24. Class Development

    Your current Chair here again with another long one. I have started a new topic because this is a separate, if linked subject to my previous post. Please continue to respond to that. This post is about how we might alter some rules to increase our appeal. It has been prompted by feedback and personal observation. There are issues. The first, that I am sure will prompt adverse comments from the keen racing fraternity is that the suggestions below, and they are only suggestions, are potentially aimed at altering the "ethos" of the Sonata Class, dividing those who can/want to compete at top racing level away from a sort of "Club Class" that is more of a Cruiser Fun Race level. Well, I don't think so, but I stand to be corrected. Going back, Dave Thomas designed the Sonata as a 'family' boat, capable of family cruising as well as racing, hence the "toilet and cushion" rules we still retain, plus the fact it won't plane because he stuck a big Vee in the hull shape aft of the keel. That was the original ethos. It has changed, over the years, mostly because what he actually designed was a very cute One Design race boat, that's how it has developed, particularly in later years. Actually, I think, where the Class is at, is that it has generated a core of very dedicated and supportive racing members, the most dedicated of whom travel to race events, another tranche who race competitively at Club level, don't travel much, and, behind them, there surely are a much larger bunch, there were 400 plus made, who are still owners but either potter with their boats or have abandoned them to barns or yards where they languish. This last, large group are not NSA Members, why should they be? A big difficulty is finding them and the boats and being able to communicate with them. I have a plan for that. How then might we further encourage my previous post's aim of at least halting the decline of NSA membership, that, undoubtedly being key to the Class survival? Not boasting, but, look around, any surviving class has an active Association behind it. You need us, to keep the Sonata Class alive for the next 40 years. My prevous post touched on the difficulty, these days, of sourcing a 4-person crew for a small, not particularly sexy boat to either regularly race Club or do Events over an extended number of days. SUGGESTION 1. Reduce the min number of racing crew to two. (Retain the upper limit of 5 plus the requirement to start and finish any "Event" with the same number of crew). To enable this, allow a furling headsail and, possibly, also, self-tailing winches. What this would do is allow the possibility. Certainly, I think, let couples race at Club level as a man and wife/partner team, pair of mates, without disadvantage and in control. Sail technology regards furlers has moved on massively. Dragons have always had furling headsails. Financial advantage is one sail opposed to two. Financial disadvantage is one-off cost of a furler, self-tailers, if that too. Race advantage, well, who knows? The classic dilemma at the warning signal, 1 or 2 would be eliminated. Roll it in or out all around the race course at will. Our rules state that "If it doesn't say you can, then you cannot". Put in "Can" to furlers and, maybe, self-trailers, 2 min crew and nobody has to do it, but they could if they wanted to. There was, I think, a perception that bilge keel Sonatas were of inferior performance to fin keels. That was squashed at the Poole Nationals. Maybe the same might apply to furlers. SUGGESTION 2. Introduce a "blade" sail between 1 and 2. The original sail plan of a Sonata allows an intermediate sail, see Rules, not, visibly, a blade, nonetheless. The gap between 1 and 2, which is effectively a working jib, would be bridged with a sail that a lighter, maybe smaller crew could manage in over 12 knots. We all know that the decision to carry a #1 in marginally heavy airs is taken more on the basis of the ability of the crew to still tack quickly than keeping the boat on its feet. Sail controls and a beefy, experienced crew enable that, in my experience, and, if you are fortunate enough to have such a crew, you will always err on the side of the #1 because it is quicker. I know I have been stuck with a #1 up in ridiculous amounts of wind because of that decision making process. But what about the lighter, less experienced crews? Again, it's introducing a possibility. You don't have to buy one, or use one. Financially, it brings more expense but this could be balanced by using the #1 less, making it last more than one season. It's an alternative to suggestion 1 above. I have become involved in some Classic Yacht racing recently. In the Sonata we almost have a "Classic". Believe me when I say that the competition is as intense as on any other race course but owners have adapted and improved their craft with modern technology and equipment to keep them competitive and manageable by, often, family crews. That thinking might be usefully employed by us to encourage, or, re-encourage membership and participation. Please let me have your thoughts. Chris
  25. hi there. looking a good 4 wheel road-legal trailer for my fin keel sonata. I have a 4 wheel 'vintage' trailer that could be used for a yard trolley/cradle - maybe could part exchange? let me know if you have anything. cheers, david tottenhouse@email.com
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