Print Page | Close Window

pleasure v racing

Printed From: Yachts and Yachting Online
Category: Your ideas for this website
Forum Name: Your thoughts for
Forum Discription: What do you think we should be featuring on
Printed Date: 21 Jan 20 at 6:25am
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 9.665y -

Topic: pleasure v racing
Posted By: headfry
Subject: pleasure v racing
Date Posted: 10 Dec 04 at 4:45pm

Pleasure v racing

Anyone out there ever sailed something thats built for racing, but just had a jolly little sail in her? I am not sure how to word my question, ..... so a little patience please

Anyone ever used An RS 400 for one of those nice lazy summers day type of sails. Can a 400 be used in this way....... or is it just a flat out boat?

I want to have fun as well as race, so far all I hear of 400's is wild, wild, wild. Yes, I want wild, but a lot of fun too and the odd lazy mooch round the pond or coast.

Please don't suggest a Wayfarer etc., they are lovely but, not for me.The 400 is the one for me, just want to know what I can expect!

Posted By: Harry44981!
Date Posted: 10 Dec 04 at 4:54pm
You should retitle the thread ''pleasure and racing'' cos they usually happen at the same time (mostly) But im sure you could do that lazee stuff in a 400 if you wanted.


Posted By: Jon Emmett
Date Posted: 10 Dec 04 at 6:14pm
Personnally I only ever race or train. I have never simply gone out for a 'potter' about! Training hard means you enjoy the racing more!!!

------------- -

Posted By: redback
Date Posted: 10 Dec 04 at 11:59pm

I'm sure the 400 is great for cruising.  Its always nice to have something which can buck the tide in light winds just so long as when it blows up you can handle it.  Practice getting the main down and tidied up whilst afloat and then if you are upwind when it begins to blow you can always drop the main and get back under jib alone.  At the same time check out how high you can sail the boat with just the jib.

Finally always tell someone responsible where you are going so if you have to land, or break something or even have to abandon getting back they can find you easily before they launch the helicopters!

Posted By: Garry
Date Posted: 11 Dec 04 at 7:43pm
There's no reason why you can't do both although it's easier on some boats than others. When I sailed at Weir Quay we used to have organised cruises (so you got the advantage of safety cover and company). With something like a 400 you might need to find a way to take the power off as the wind gets up. Reefing used to be the thing to do but that's not possible on most modern boats that have been primarily designed for racing. Maybe someone knows if you can use a 200 sail on a 400 and how much power you loose as a result / balance etc.


Lark 2252, Contender 298

Posted By: Sarah B
Date Posted: 13 Dec 04 at 8:41am
Most of my sailing recently has only been racing or training, but "pottering" is possible. They are the kind of days when the wind is nothing special, but you just want to get on the water with no particular objective in mind other than to have fun . There is no point in sailing if you can't have fun every so often!

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.

Posted By: Jon Emmett
Date Posted: 13 Dec 04 at 9:56am
The problem with pottering is that you will be sailing in a way which is easy and not 'fast' and your body remembers this and may revert to this style when racing. You need to teach yourself to concerntrate fully when sailing, as if you are used to the occassional potter you may 'switch off' when the wind is nothing special but you still have to race. Of course sailing should be fun but you need to decide just how serious you are about racing! (Then perhaps go to the gym when you do not feel like training seriously).

------------- -

Posted By: headfry
Date Posted: 13 Dec 04 at 12:41pm

Thank you kind sailors for all your advice given. It has helped enormously.

My reasons for wanting an RS 400.......

I just love the look of them!

I need a boat that I can 'grow' into and not out of! as I will get far to attached to my boat never being able to sell her in order to 'up grade.' 

Most of my sailing will take place on a reservoir where the wind can be lacking in the summer months, though very good in the winter season!

At my current stage / skill level, racing is something for the future!  But must be done as I have had a small taste of it (as a crew) and need more! ohhhh much more.

The idea is to start of on very calm days and work up to the stronger winds. I want to use my boat for all aspects of sailing, not just flat out, but to enjoy the relaxing feeling of playing around on the water. I am not driven by wining races, though I do want to race my boat and will give it my best shot, for me it must about enjoyment. 

Have any of you ever just bought a 'racing' boat because you like her, or is it just about wining races. I know that I am taking the bull by the horns so to speak, but what fun to be had learning the 400.

I can only afford to but 2nd hand, but my boat will be looked after as if new and very much enjoyed.... 

Closing questions..... I have only ever been out in a 400 a total of  3 times with winds between  5-6 some said 7!   What is the 400 like when in light winds? if you are not hiking for England where do you sit? if becalmed how stable are they? if you move about do they roll a ridiculous amount? if you wanted to 'stop' so to speak can you, do they fill with water? making R+R and sandwich eating impossible! sorry for they totally strange questions, but need to know what I can and can't expect or do.

Your help and patience is asked once more, thanks!

Posted By: Lucy Lee
Date Posted: 13 Dec 04 at 2:17pm

It is really nice to hear someone talking honestly about liking all aspects of sailing, not just beating the cr*p out of each other on the startline! I don't think your questions are odd at all.

I got into sailing my current boat (Cherub) because I loved the blasting. I have been completely indifferent to racing since some rather off-putting incidents as an 11 year old when club racing my mirror.

What I hadn't bargined for was the fact that my helm (& husband) loves his racing. So for the sake of domestic harmony I agreed to participate in the racing. What has been a complete revelation is that fact that in the boat we have the emphasis is on getting maximum boat speed more than close boat-on-boat tactics which, luckily, suits me fine!

I'm sorry to say I have never sailed as RS400, so I can't answer your questions. Have you contacted the class association? There should be an area representative who you could talk to or go for a test sail with.

Fly Cherub!

Posted By: Rob.e
Date Posted: 13 Dec 04 at 8:09pm

Last season (or so) I met one of our (Pch SC's) best 400 sailors, c/w wife and two young sons, on the beach at Seaview IOW, they having just cruised across! The 400 is ok in light winds, as you have a crew to balance you, they don't significantly fill up if you stop, and IMHO going out and having fun in any boat is the best way for a beginner to learn, as I did many years ago in my Laser. After every race, as a youngster, I played in it, much to the disgust of the old blokes. I can remember being roundly condemned for sailing it rudderless, or four up, or capsizing all over the place just for fun and ruining the sail, or whatever. I think I'm a much better sailor for it, and still enjoy dinghy cruising.

My advice is "Go for it", the 400 is vice free and forgiving. The only problem is it needs a bit of weight in it, and you don't want to learn to sail it on it's ear. Keep that mast vertical and you won't do your sailing any harm.

Posted By: redback
Date Posted: 13 Dec 04 at 9:22pm

In light winds they go very well indeed and in strong winds it is quite amazing how much you can de-power that rig.  Do you know about "heaving to"? Leave the jib cleated, tack, don't sheet in the main too much and let the boat settle down with the tiller pushed to leeward.  She'll practically stop and lie across the wind with only moderate heeling force (even in strong winds) - perfect for eating the bacon buttys and having a drink.

Enjoy cruising but you must race its the way to really improve you're skills.  Its very easy to tack and gybe when cruising but to do it under pressure is the ultimate test.  Also its only when competing with other 400s that you can measure how good you are at sailing it.

Posted By: JimR
Date Posted: 14 Dec 04 at 3:01pm

I agree with rob.e

As a 400 owner myself I am biased, but definetely "go for it", you won't regret it.

We lake sail our 400 and often go out on a non-race day just for the hell of it. Windy or not, the boat is manageable & has never given us cause for concern. Just make sure you know how to self-rescue after a capsize, and sail within your own limits.

Light winds are actually great for practicing roll tacking & gybing skills & teach you a huge amount about boat trim & balance. Just enjoy yourself! That's what it's all about, isn't it?

Posted By: headfry
Date Posted: 14 Dec 04 at 4:29pm

I can't thank you all enough.....THANK YOU Clap

I was so close to being put off buying my 400 because of people saying you must race a 400 that's all a 400 is for. But I wan't to sail in all it's aspects. Pleasure and race!

I admire those who strive to, and achieve winning.  Though we maybe few, some of us want a pedigree boat just for pleasure.

Thank you again, faith in my choice has been restored!  a happy Headfry!

Posted By: Matt Jackson
Date Posted: 14 Dec 04 at 6:02pm

I don't think it's really an issue of Pleasure OR racing is it? I rarely go afloat unless there's a race on but for me that is the pleasure.

However, when I got my first Contender (a few years ago now) I started a lot of races but if the race officer got the reach just right, me and my mates would just keep going well past the mark... sometimes miles past!

Graduate 2157, Laser 147050

Posted By: Rob.e
Date Posted: 14 Dec 04 at 7:54pm
Just get out there and have fun! The Solo's at HISC go for a cruise every Thursday you know, and they where still out last week. They can do it cos they're retired, but you really have to love sailing to carry on this time of year. I think it's great! Where do you sail BTW?

Posted By: headfry
Date Posted: 15 Dec 04 at 5:21pm

Hi Rob.e

I sail on Farmoor reservoir in Oxfordshire, I will try to sail through the winter if it's not too windy or bitter!

No where to cruise to on the 'pond' so perhaps when a little more experienced a few trips to the coast would be nice.


Print Page | Close Window

Bulletin Board Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 9.665y -
Copyright ©2001-2010 Web Wiz -