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Mark Taylor

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Everything posted by Mark Taylor

  1. It is very unlikely that you would ever break a furling line at 1/4 or even less, depending on the material. One consideration if you are using it for reefing, not just furling, is whether the existing cleat will securely grip the smaller line. Nothing worse than a furling line that slips in the cleat as it will only happen when there is already lots of pressure in the sail, so the last thing you want is more sail being unfurled! The bigger issue, particularly on small boats and if winches are not used, is whether the size of rope is too small to comfortably pull, considering also if you wear gloves or not when sailing. You might find 1/4 inch fine for strength but too painful to pull with bare hands Mark
  2. If it has been measured there should be a sail number engraved (or often drilled) in minimum 20mm numerals into the top edge of the transom......if that isn't there then the boat can't have been measured and that makes life harder for trying to find original details etc. Quite a few of us have been successful in finding a moulding number, as Hunter often wrote the number on the inside of the transom using a felt pen. I think the association secretary (Catherine Hartley) might have a list that correlates moulding numbers to sail numbers. My first Sonata was GBR 8025 and we bought her unmeasured, but found a moulding number which I think was actually 15...........I never did find out why there was a mis-match but can only assume the first owner bought boat 15 but was late registering, so got sail number 25??? Regards Mark Saraband GBR 8314N
  3. The bottom end of Saraband's luff rope sits just above the bottom of my cutout........when lowering the main I have to remember to flick it to one side or the other to make sure it doesn't drop into the lower part of the luff groove. I am always surprised that when I bang on the cunningham that I don't have an issue with it catching on the lower edge of the cutout, but in 17 years, it hasn't, yet!! One thing that might help is that quite a few of us have dispensed using the tack pin and now have another heavy duty slider that drops into the mast groove. That enables the headboard to get to the black band without over-tensioning the luff, although be careful you don't over hoist it past the line. That will then lift the tack 1-2" and you have sorted your problem. On my Goacher main I found I had to have teh slider tied about 0.5" off the luff rope otherwise it pulled the tack too far forward Particularly on the Goacher main it makes the tack area of the mainsail look a lot better, removing for example that line that is going down left to right in your picture, just below the existing luff slider. Some people have a light line that ties the now free floating tack down to the tack pin, others including Steve Goacher himself, just let it float free, sliding up and down the groove as required. Hope that helps. Mark Saraband 8314N
  4. Masthead aerial and tricolour light on Saraband have both wires internal to the mast. Took a bit of juggling to get them down but mostly pulled down using a line pulled through mast with main halyard. Bottom 2 feet was the hardest, as teh main halyard came out about that far above mast step, so had to drop a mouse down the last bit. I taped the two wires together inside the mast but probably wouldn't do that next time as it meant I had to remove both when I had to replace the VHF aerial wire after it snagged when dropping the mast and got broke too short to solder a repair.
  5. Sidney......can I also suggest that you post this on the Facebook pages Sonata Sailing and also Sonata Sailing Scotland as I think (hope!) you will get a faster response as those pages are read more frequently by current and past Sonata sailors. best regards Mark
  6. Its on Facebook on both Sonata Sailing & Sonata Sailing Scotland Steve Goacher / Catherine Hartley have also been emailing those who have expressed interest so suggest you contact them as well. Hope that helps Mark
  7. For those not following the Facebook thread on this, the Inlands will be at Windermere on 10th and 11th March and looks like we could be into double figures for an entry, which is great given the time of the year!! Thanks to Steve Goacher for getting this arranged
  8. 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
  9. 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.
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. Thanks Luke....just need to get the logistics of 3 boats from Scotland to Thorpe Bay / Weymouth / Medway for 3 consecutive events!! regards Mark
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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!
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. 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!
  21. 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
  22. 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!
  23. 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
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