Yawl owners are no different from other classes in so far that it’s your responsibility to ensure that your boat and all the equipment confirm to the current rules, otherwise you are open to being protested and possible disqualification.

We all know the importance of getting your sails measured, following a rule change at the last AGM, we as a class appoint our own sail measurers and each measurer has been issued with a numbered stamp, this brings us into line with such classes as the Wayfarer and Melges 24. So now when you have sails checked the measurer will sign, date and stamp the sail.

Not being a Yawl sailor I don’t know what goes on from race to race, but I did hear that some masts were damaged and replaced during last years regatta, as yet I’ve not been asked to measure any masts! It’s not just a case of the position of the black bands on the mast, the weight, centre of gravity and height of the jib halyard block are all equally as important. There are also strict rules should a mast be repaired, details of this are clearly explained in the class rules, however should you repair the mast don’t forget it could lower the centre of gravity and that could put you out of class.

Other frequently forgotten points are – do you carry an anchor and warp, minimum weight of the anchor 4.5kg and 18m of warp. Most people are aware of the buoyancy requirements of the hull, but is it securely fixed to the hull and in such a way that should the unfortunate happen the bags won’t burst on a sharp nail or screw. Also don’t forget the buoyancy requirements for the helm and crew, the rules state that adequate personal buoyancy must be carried for all crewmembers when racing, you don’t have to wear it in light conditions but it must be on board.

Good sailing

John Donovan

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