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
    Cruising (GK34) and dinghy racing (RS300 & Graduate)

Previous Fields

  • Boat name
    Saraband GBR 8314N

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502 profile views
  1. 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!
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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 for the formal stuff (eg rules) Mark Saraband 8314N
  5. 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
  6. 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!
  7. 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
  8. 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!
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. Obvious way to go if you need to replace the old stuff......reality with dyneema is that it is more than strong enough even in small sizes so the 2 issues to consider are what size are you comfortable handling with hands and then also what is the size of your existing cleats or clutches, because if you go for a line that is plenty strong enough and also ok for your hands, you might still find it is too small for your existing hardware, so that needs changing. For example, Saraband's main halyard is 6mm dyneema, but even with the smallest Spinlock XS clutch, there is a little creep as the race progresses..........which we overcome by having to put a half hitch back around the standing part of the halyard, rather negating the purpose of the £40 clutch!! Interestingly the same size rope and clutch doesn't slip on the headsail, probably due to lower loads?? Other advice is also to make sure you have them long enough that you can cut back the ends and move the chafe points on the sheaves and also in the clutches / cleats. I reverse the halyards every couple of years and also take 6-8" off them at the same time just to move the wear points around.....shackles are only tied on! Saraband's halyards all over 10 years old.
  13. Rich, Thanks for being interested in the Sonata and possibly joining our fleet.....where are you based and do you have any idea where you would keep the boat? Regarding the specific question you ask, there are some required items listed in the class rules but no restrictions on where anything is sourced from, so you can do Barton, Lewmar, Ronstan, Harken or home made without any restrictions. Most racing boats now have the full width mainsheet track, with the posher ones having it custom curved. Masts are predominently Selden (was Proctor) but the odd IYE mast survives and there are a few Z Spars around......most of the fast boats are on Selden, just because that is what is usually in stock when you break the previous mast. The association own a brand new mast which is available so you don't lose too much of the season awaiting a new mast......there is at least one instance of someone re-rigging his boat mid event after a breakage! Sails generally come from Goacher, Nicholson & Hughes and Hyde, although there are other lofts also cutting Sonata sails. Certainly the 2013 Nationals at Strangford Lough had race winners from both of the first two lofts. Basically, as long as the basic systems (kicker, outhaul amd backstay) work easily and have enough purchase then it really does come down to time on the water and going the right lots of time getting the bottom. keel and rudder smooth! Hope this helps!! Mark Saraband 8314
  14. Sonatas have done it before and in fact I think So did it with Neil McLure et al. Doug Patton certainly did it perhaps 3 years ago. Sonata has the usual handicap problem v other boats..........generally if there is a good beat then they do well but if it is a passage race with a lot of downhill then they suffer v things that surf better. Depending what class you are in it is the Trapper 28 (or 400??) that is the real bandit boat folowed by the Sadler 25s.....I'd be surprised if you lost to a C27.If is light you should do well on most of teh courses. We normally stay in Oban marina as it always seems less of a hassle than Dunstaffnage unless you have your own car up there. There are buses but the ferry across from Kerrera is frequent and makes it feel more like a holiday. With the exception of Craobh there is always access to shops for food and drink so I wouldn't over-burden the boat with weight. Similarly carry enough fuel to get in or out of the harbours but if the wind drops and it is a long tow then there is always something bigger that will tow you. We have certainly towed Neil's 707 up to Tobermory! You will have no problem finding a space on teh pontoons at Tobermory.....there is always a gap to squeeze a Snotty into. There are a number of boats that act as mother ships to racing fleet so if it is manky you can sometimes arrange to sling your gear on there for the actual race so that keeps weight down and the sleeping bags dry........ We will be up there with our cruiser (Strike 3) in Class 5, although class splits not yet finalised so that could change. I assume your attending WHYW doesn't impact you going to Strangford for the Nationals?? We have entered Strangford but have yet to sort somewhere to stay.....something we will do before going up to WHYW. See you at Craobh!!
  15. My understanding is that rule changes have to be approved at the AGM which is typically but not always held at the National Championships. So, discussion on this forum very useful for socialising ideas and getting broad consensus on what we want to happen (which I think we have on all of the points raised in the above topic stream)and should allow us to draft the revised rule(s) and put it on the agenda for the AGM. I would hope that the AGM vote would be more of a formality given the quality of discussion on the forum but the problem with democracy is you can't always be sure of the outcome of putting it to the vote! If I am wrong on my interpretation of the constitution then apologies and happy to be corrected!! regards Mark