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Mark Taylor

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About Mark Taylor

  • Rank
    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 19/02/59

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Troon Marina, Clyde
  • Interests
    Sonata and dinghy racing (RS300, Flying Dutchman & Hornet)

Previous Fields

  • Boat name
    Saraband GBR 8314N

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  1. 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
  2. Thanks Luke....just need to get the logistics of 3 boats from Scotland to Thorpe Bay / Weymouth / Medway for 3 consecutive events!! regards Mark
  3. 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
  4. An Important Class Message

    Chris, Can I also add my thanks for you taking the chair and also to Joe for the work he did. Similarly Martin Hartley has done a great job looking after the technical issues and keeping his patience with the RYA! I haven't done much Sonata racing in the past few years due to work and dinghy commitments but hope to get back out in 2018 season. Saraband has however been used by a number of crews at Tarbert and elsewhere and I think this is something that others should consider.........there are lots of young and older potential Sonata sailors who can be trusted to race your boat if you cannot be available yourself. In my experience they always look after the boat, it comes back clean and with no damage. Insurance companies are fine with it so long as it is not a charter. With regard to events...... 1) The £100 bursary is a nice to have but has never been the decider on whether I decide to race or not. More importantly for me has been if there is sensibly priced (or free!) craning for visitors or a decent slipway if it is a fresh water venue. I really think we need to select those venues that get that sorted for visitors......in my experience Strangford, Sunderland, Whitby and Scarborough all got this right.....the Rhu (Clyde) lifts were expensive with little flexibility by the marina and I haven't sailed at any of the south or east coast venues to make any comment on those. 2) Personally I would suggest we stop the £100 bursary for the majority but increase it to £200 for anyone transiting the Irish Sea, in either direction. Someone suggested we should retain a bursary if there are a number of younger sailors and I could go with that idea. 3) I like 4 day nationals but accept that effectively you still need to take the Wednesday and Monday off if travelling.......which rather diminishes the case for not having the older week long format. Renting houses also easier on the week long events. I will go with the majority on this but probably would favour the week long format. Technical Issues..... 4) I typically sail with 2 male / 2 female and as such probably have less weight on the rail than many boats. Steve Goacher did once suggest that I should consider sailing 5 up, but that just gives me another crew to find plus increases the costs of travel, accommodation etc. As I have got better at sailing the Sonata it is possibly less of an issue than before, but there is definitely an issue at top end of #1 genoa but when the gap to changing to the #3 is too big. There are certainly times when I wish I had a #2 (not allowed) or that the #3 was re-designed to be a more powerful sail than currently allowed.........making it a proper blade #3 rather than a glorified working jib! My 3/4 tonner, now sold, had a much easier transition from heavy #1 to blade # 3 with no noticeable gap in performance. Other boats have updated their rigs and if properly managed and with due notice to allow people to budget for purchase there is little disadvantage to the fleet....for example the Flying Fifteens have decided to change their headsail and have ended up with a boat that looks better, goes well and apparently with lower sheet loads etc. We are ideally placed with Steve Goacher as our Technical Officer to manage such a trial and then adoption. There is one Sonata on the south coast that has adopted a new blade #3 sail, supplied by Sanders, and sheeting to existing genoa tracks. This has resulted in a very favourable IRC rating when taken as the largest headsail. The owner, who's name I forget, reported that the boat sailed very well with it. 5) Two crew for racing seems to me to be a good idea and as others have said, carries little or no advantage in almost any of the conditions we race in. Communications 6) I own race a number of dinghies and the two that are doing well at events and bringing in new members (RS300 and Hornets) seem to have the balance right......the websites provide technical information, classified adds, event calendars and information etc. The Facebook pages provide an unregulated forum for banter, abuse, chivying of attendance at events, loaning of equipment, provision of floor space for travelling crews etc. Both mediums are actively used and updated but have different purposes. In contrast, The FD class has a much more tightly controlled website and Facebook environment, with posts moderated before posting, removing much of the banter and also delaying communication. It's not the only reason the class is failing in the UK but it certainly isn't helping...... The Scottish Sonata Facebook pages were started by the Old School team ( I think?) and have proved a great forum for getting people aware of events, sorting out boat loans, crews etc. I would encourage the wider UK class to have a similar approach to the RS300 and Hornets communication, particularly the RS300, ......an active website to discuss formal / technical matters and the Facebook pages to create a wider social media presence for our class. regards Mark Saraband 8314
  5. What size kite sheets & blocks?

    Goacher Sails sell ready made tapered spinnaker sheets which will address the concerns you have.....thick enough to hold / light enough not to affect the sail trim. They would also advise on suitable block size. PS....well done buying a Snotty!
  6. Rudder Godgeon

    I don't have any spares but was just curious about why / how the existing gudgeons would have failed and whether I should be inspecting mine more closely. Could you advise what the problem is? Many thanks Mark
  7. Well Done Jack!

    Jack, I would just like to echo the comments from Chris......the new look website looks a lot better and hopefully will get more traffic! Best regards Mark
  8. Hello, Hello, is anybody out there?

    For the day to day stuff about who is doing what, who is going to which events then Facebook works better than most other media and the West Coast Snottas page has been great.......even if my boat has done more races without me than with me this year! Having either a UK Snotta page or one for Poole, one for the Medway that we could all follow might be the way forward........keeping links to sonata.org.uk for the formal stuff (eg rules) Mark Saraband 8314N
  9. Sonatas and Electronics

    Chris, Sorry for the delay in response. Personally I would be quite happy if we took a very relaxed view on what we allowed from an electronics perspective. I have long been of a chart and Douglas Protractor persuasion and certainly kept that position on board both of my boats, telling myself that I would not move to a GPS plotter until at least both my lads had a rudimentary knowledge of the basics of chart work. They now have that, but the reality is that they always had far more information on their phones with a Navionics app than I will ever carry inside my chart table. The apps are cheap, regularly updated and when rock-hopping against the tide are more user friendly than a chart flapping in the wind etc. Phones are already banned in many sailing instructions from being used during a race, on the grounds they might be used to obtain external information, but as you suggest, who is to know whether the person on the rail is using a standard Casio stopwatch or a GPS watch with boat speed, VMG etc? Other electronics are proportionally cheaper than they used to be, use less power than their predecessors and are more reliable. Again, I can see little ongoing argument for saying we should exclude them from the class. The fast sailors will still be fast, with or without the instruments, and the less fast sailors on't be able to hide behind equipment restrictions for their lack of skill or practice! The biggest risk I see to the class moving forward is failing to attract more people into the class and anything we can do to assist people to make that move the better. Many of the people who might aspire to helm a Sonata might also crew on bigger more exotic stuff where electronics for VMG, lay lines, start line etc are routinely used so allowing them to use those bits of kit on a Sonata and practise their skills would be valuable. Lets have a sensible rule on electronics that shows we are of the 21st century..........personally I would propose we have no restrictions on electronics! Mark Saraband 8314N
  10. Wanted Hinges

    By running gear for the main sheet, do you mean the wheeled car that runs on the standard X track mainsheet traveller fitted as standard by Hunters.......if so I might have one but will need to remember where I hid it!
  11. New Sonata Owner with questions

    Tim, Welcome to Sonatas and welcome to the forum! I'm not sure I can answer your specific question and suspect you would be better giving Martin Hartley, the class technical rep a phone call or drop him an email. His contact details are on the website. He should have the records which will hopefully unravel some of your questions. It might be that some more information on any previous names might be required. I am however slightly surprised / concerned that your boat only has a 3 digit sail number because typically Sonatas have a 4 digit number and, because it was a National One Design class, the RYA kindly allocated most of the 8000 series of numbers to Sonatas, followed by N. You suggest that the mainsail is not original to your boat but it is still rare to find a Sonata mainsail without the 4 digit 8000 number. Is there any chance the mainsail isn't off a Sonata (eg could be a Hunter 23 sail)......does it have the Sonata insignia on it? My first Sonata was 8025N which we bought and then found she wasn't measured. We didn't know the hull number but were told the moulding number was quite often written in felt pen on the inside of the transom, so its a case of going down one of the quarter berths and seeing if you have one there.........we did that and found it was something like 15. You think it was hull 17 that you have bought, but as my experience shows, there appears to be little correlation between hull number and sail number. In part I believe this is because a lot of boats were finished from kits so there could be differences in timescales between moulding and completion and then sail registration. From your questions it sounds as if the boat didn't come with a measurement certificate, otherwise there wouldn't be uncertainty on the correct sail number! If it doesn't have one then again Martin is the person to talk to and he has a very pragmatic approach to getting 30+ years certificated, which is both good and realistic! Not much else I can offer other than to say that if you are in Cumbria there are lots of people locally (eg Steve Goacher, Jack Seed) who know much everything there is to know about Sonatas so you will be in good company! Hopefully we might meet at an event somewhere regards Mark Saraband 8314N
  12. Lifting Keelers at the Nationals

    If that means there are 4 lifting keelers already interested then that certainly will make a race of it, with or without a separate start!
  13. Whilst at a RS300 open meeting at weekend a number of people sailing out of Christchurch and who also own Sonatas expressed an interest in doing the nationals at Poole........however it turns out that they are all lifting keelers. They reckon there are quite a few of these littered around the Christchurch, Chichester , Poole harbour areas mainly due to the lower cost of shallow water moorings etc. I can't recall any lifting keelers ever going to the Nationals but i wondered if there was an opportunity in 2016 to either put on a separate start for lifting keelers, if enough enter, or otherwise let them start with the main fleet but then split out the results. If it is a success in 2016 then we could see what we do in future events. Benefits are we will have more entries and also get to know some new people! Sailmakers and Seleden might also benefit if there are some new sails or equipment purchases. They will all need to join the association as well so that will help our revenues. So...................any views, either way? Mark Saraband 8314
  14. Spinnaker for Sale

    Hyde spinnaker for sale White with yellow stripe Supplied with side launch bag. RYA Measured New in April 2014 and used for 3 races in light airs, honestly!! List price £740, looking for offers around £500 Mark Taylor Saraband 8314 0797 1114461
  15. Silvers boatyard have offered free craning in and out for any Sonatas attending the GSS regatta which is also of course the 2014 Scottish Sonata Championship. Rhu Marina are also offering berthing at a discounted rate of £20. The Scottish Sonata Championship is being held on 13th and 14th September out of Rhu Marina and there are a number of great social events..........including a FREE BAR on the Friday evening......and that is NOT a time-limited bar either!! So, if you want a chance for some excellent racing and social activities on the same waters as the 2015 Sonata Nationals, please let us know and come and join us!!! Mark Saraband 8314