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Farr 3.7 Test Sail at Draycote Water Sailing Club

by Dave Barker 25 Sep 2012 06:46 BST 23 September 2012

Picked up the Farr from Daryl for a trial spell at Draycote.

First impressions: Boat looks great, lots of admiring comments, it helps that Sacre Bleu is well tricked out. Probably had as many comments about the box trailer as the boat. Rigging is very simple, but I don't get this no halyard deal, especially when coming back ashore between races and having to roll the boat over. I found hoisting had to be a two man job, one feeding, one hoisting. Mine will have a halyard!

Sailing: Sunday started F2-3 and built during the day to some solid F5 gusts which proved to be perfect demo conditions. My first impression sailing away from the beach was, goodness, this boat is tiny! Not space wise, it has a lovely wide open cockpit, but it is a short boat and quite sensitive to positioning. This was my first time trapezing in probably 20 yrs and my firt trapeze helming which was interesting. The Farr is very stable and can be easily balanced with increasing sheet loads as you step out on the wire, it is then very comfortable and responsive. It didn't feel like it pointed very high, but as the wind built you can load up the kicker and feel the extra power building thru the fully battened main, comparing against other boats then showed the pointing to be comparable.

Coming from a fine entry RS300, the fuller bows make a lot of noise, and on a fast tight reach, the spray makes it quite a wet ride. On a fast deep reach as the wind built I thought I try a gybe, it was a breeze, and the light weight means it is so easy to make body weight corrections to recover any errors. For me this was a joy, sailing a boat in strong wind, that I did't feel overpowered in. I had a couple of screaming deep reaches in some strong gusts that had the whole boat humming and me shouting 'Whooppeee' until I let it come over on me a fraction too much and ended up getting T-bagged, with the rig swinging back up and me being dragged alongside the boat.

I found it quite hard to right, mast filled with water, slippy hull and raked daggerboard all conspired, I might have to resort to righting lines on mine if I keep venturing out in the windy stuff !. Once it rolled right over on top of me as I righted, but it was possible to stop this by being a lot more agile getting across.

The biggest issue I had was with the 1.8m tiller extension. This is too long to go past the shrouds and lowers, so if I held it across in front of me, then came in off the wire, it got trapped between me and the shroud... swim! I also found that with full kicker on in the stronger stuff it was very easy to get into irons if a bit slow when tacking, then difficult to get going again (goes well backwards!). More practice needed.

I raced a Supernova and Laser 2000, we were all similar speed upwind, although I think with better helming the Farr would be quicker, it was slower deep downwind, but left them for dead on a powered up tight reach.

A great day's sailing - good job really as I'm pretty committed to to this boat now!

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