Tamesis Club

Training from Home 21


I was trying to find suitable you tube clips to carry on the themes of power boat and sailing for fun, when I came across a couple of recent RYA Covid related releases which tho a bit long are pretty good .
This got me thinking about the RYA in general.
I’m sure they tried to have an input into the Brexit debate but sadly with little obvious success,however they will doubtless prove invaluable in keeping us informed about the inevitable problems that will crop up and possibly even giving legal assistance .
They are currently doing great work providing useful advice on Covid measures like this
Subject: SAFETY BOAT SOLO CREWING TOP TIPS – Club Development with RYA Club Zone
Many of us have benefited from RYA training courses , Stewart and I had a great time learning safety boat techniques which we could pass on to the club like total inversion recovery
Over the years the river has silted up so we need to use a cut down rig for this.
The RYA are obviously a big help in training but are also useful to the club in terms of providing information on important issues like “hooking “ as discussed last week and cold water shock.
They also provide help for [sponsor] our annual  recruiting event formally known as Push the Boat Out.
Sailors sayings  “on the right tack “
Fun with Boats
This is obviously aimed at youngsters and is a bit shouty but has some good stuff


But it’s still about having fun
Big Boat Bits
Incompetent crew
We had the boat safely moored in Enkhuizen
So as the railway station was just beside the marina we decided to go off for the day and where better than Amsterdam.
I managed to find my way from the Dam square to the Princegracht where I briefly lived in 1970 but got totally lost looking for the Rikesmuseum which as it happens was partially closed for refurbishment which was actually an advantage as most of the good bits including the Night Watch were gathered together in a reduced space .
We then went looking for a Richstafel the Indonesian curry dish .
These days there are several different versions on offer including even Mongolian but I think the original is still best .
Enkhuizen is beside the dam separating the Ijeselmer from the Markenmeer which is where we go next .
Yachtmaster quiz
Answer to last weekK  Sailing downwind with a 20 it wind and 6kts boat speed the apparent wind would be 14 kits
New question:  In the context of a hurricane warning what does the dangerous semicircle mean ?
Stay safe
Eric Finlayson

Training from Home 20

Continuing the power boat theme whilst Tamesis 3 is great for lots of jobs it’s not ideal for close up work like rescue or training when we mostly use the dory’s Tamesis 4 or Ariel 1
Ariel 1 has a particularly powerful engine as it was also intended for offshore work at Calshot or on the Solent .
As it was very hard to raise we (Howard) installed a power lift which is great but has to be used with care.
A major hazard in power boating is “hooking” where the boat skids sideways out of a high speed turn

The speed limit on the river is 5kts so this shouldn’t happen but it’s important to communicate before any sudden moves.

Sailors sayings
Copper bottomed has nothing to do with the police but referred to the old practice of sheathing Naval ships in copper to protect them against worms and weed.
Did you “fathom that out”?
Fun with boats
We try to let youngsters learn at their own speed in the Oppies and don’t worry too much about technique but I thought this video was too good not to share
We try to make sure they enjoy it and their favourite game usually ends in a capsize
Big Boat Stuff
Incompetent crew
I was beginning to get the hang of supermarkets in Enkhuizen and managed to get the ingredients for “french/Irish coffee” Using aerosol whizzy cream.
Many places in Holland have some kind of specialist museum , Enkhuizen has lots including a ship in a bottle museum
Spot the mistake
This reminds me of when Roger left me stranded on the towpath just outside Leeuwarden
Yachtmaster quiz
Answer to last week
The letters M&S on a chart mean mud and sand
New question
If you are sailing dead downwind in 20kt true wind with 6kts boat speed what would the apparent wind speed be ?
Stay safe
Eric Finlayson

Training from Home 19

Welcome to lesson 19

It’s still difficult to see when we can safely start dinghy training so I thought we’d have a look at powerboats.
As well as formal RYA training we offer an in house Patrol boat Skipper course.
We have three boats of which Tamesis 3 is best for social distancing.
A handbook has been produced, Andrew Horowitz can provide copies, but here is the relevant page
One of the trickiest and best fun exercise is turning in confined spaces
Doing it between the finger jetties is hard so maybe leaving the fenders on was a good idea.
Here is an explanation of how it’s done
Our youngsters are better behaved than this –
Sailing can be fun
One of the best days I had “sailing” was providing in pool rescue cover for kids in a temporary pool at the BBC club annual festival at Motspur Pk
You also get to go to great places and meet interesting people like these steam punks at Bremerhaven Tall Ships event
Sailors sayings
Listening to the radio I just heard “copper bottomed”
Big Boat Stuff – Incompetent Crew
With a following wind the trip from Urk to Enkhuizen was easy enough for me to start looking at the navigation aids on the boat
I really liked the speed screen so I could actually see the effects of sail setting , I was a bit nervous of touching the others much.
Enkhuizen has a typical modern marina , the mooring aisles are like those shown in the powerboat video
The town is nice and the chandlers is incredible
Yachtmaster quiz
Answer from last week:  The knot to sort out a riding turn on a winch is the rolling hitch and the Test knot in Jaws was the sheepshank which I wouldn’t use for anything
New question – What do the letters M&S mean on a chart
Stay safe
Eric Finlayson

Training from Home 18


This week I’m just going to bang on about the fun side of sailing
We usually try to sail up to Hampton Ct about now.
Getting under the bridges is tricky but not as hard as this
Subject: How to Get An 85 Ft Mast Under A 65 Ft Bridge

Take a look at this video on YouTube:


One of the bridges is particularly nasty
Kingston Railway Bridge
When we had a flubber we tried leaning a pair of boats over it and nipping quickly through but with the dory the gunwales get damaged so we revert to towing up with the masts dropped then re-rigging.
One way or another we try to get everyone to the pub at the same time.
There is a nice little beach to land on at the pub.
Lots of keen racers go to Salcome for the various fleet regattas .
In my old club many of us just went for fun.  I took a Topper just to get from Mill Bay to the yacht club for lunch
We also took the Topper to Calshot, but didn’t always get good wind.
Sometimes it’s good to be on your own, sometimes it’s good to be in a crowd.
When Norderney is so crowded you need to raft up with the Grimsby lot.
Don’t forget the Cadets sail at Tammy on a Saturday and we plan to start ladies social sailing on Thursdays.
So big boat or small , coastal or inland , fair wether or foul
Sailing can be fun
Stay safe
Eric Finlayson

Training from Home 17


The RYA are considering the latest changes to lockdown rules and say they are liaising so maybe they’ll have as much luck as the cricket lot tho I think the emphasis has to be on finding safe ways to do things rather than loopholes to exploit .
Anyway I was looking for a good video on the upwind leg of a race when I came across the following which I liked so much I’m sharing it

Take a look at this video on YouTube:


For some reason that lead me on to thinking about sailing for fun, just messing about in boats!
Traditionally clubs relied on racing to keep an active membership, a few years ago RYA training devised the “Pathway “ scheme which lead to us doing seamanship skills and start racing advanced courses.
More recently the dreaded “focus groups” are looking at different ways to boost membership and retention.
One way we looked at was to have a ladies social sail possibly on a Thursday evening , sounds like a good start.
Anne embodies this spirit
And this lot seems to be having fun!
I plan to take this further when we have the chance.
Sailors Sayings
At the moment “in the doldrums “ seems to sum it up
Fun with boats
Back to the Oppie handbook
We do try to have a bit of fun as well, a popular game is a version of Simon Says which always ends with mass capsize
Big Boat Stuff
Incompetent Crew
I’ve always been interested in languages but when I was in Amsterdam with the petro chem lot the feeling was that it wasn’t worth trying to learn Dutch as they all spoke such good English.
However I think it’s always useful to be able to say hello, goodbye, please and thank you.  Any basic phrase book will give you the basics and I think lists of food helps a lot in supermarkets and restaurants..   My mate Roger had never been able to buy bacon in Holland because he didn’t know the magic word Spek!
The Dutch coastguard give a useful daily forecast at about eight when having beaten the rush to the showers we would be having breakfast.
Here is a sample.
Take a look at this video on YouTube:
So with the promise of a good wind we set out for Enkhuizen
Yachtmaster Quiz
If you need answers to last weeks quiz please let me know
When clearing a riding turn on a winch which knot would you use?
In Jaws which knot did the shark hunter ask the marine biologist to demonstrate and what would it be used for?
When we were talking about bilge keels the other week the graphic also showed yachts with lifting keels.
I looked this up in The Riddle of the Sands and sure enough Dulcibella has a centreboard under the table , she also has a pair of small bilge keels making her ideal for the waters between the Frisian islands and the mainland.
Not sure if this comes out in the film.
Stay safe
Eric Finlayson

Training from Home 16

Welcome to episode 16

Amongst many things raised in discussion about how to start training is the idea of having parents rather than instructors help youngsters rig launch and recover.
As you may know this is something we have actively encouraged not just at the early stages but continuing.
We’d also try to send parents pictures from training sessions with comments on technique etc.
This video shows the proper seating position in an Oppie which we don’t insist on to begin with and talks about adjusting the sail controls on different points of sailing.  We might go into this more in future sessions.
Wherever you sit sailing can be fun
PS.  When I mentioned push push pull pull I should have stressed that you push the tiller away as well as the boom then pull them both in to sail away.
Sailors Sayings
Changing habits during lockdown reminded me of the advice not to drink before the sun is below the yardarm!
Fun With Boats
I pick up any teach yourself sailing books I come across in charity shops etc.
There is a really good one (which I think I lent somebody) which helps parents teach their children in Oppies.
The following is one of the clearest explanations of the difference between a tack and a gybe –
Big Boat Stuff
Incompetent Crew
As I mentioned my duties include shopping and cooking which I really enjoy .
We would always have a big breakfast .
The evening meal we often took on deck
And I even had a go at swabbing the decks although we didn’t have a holystone !
Yachtmaster Quiz (All welcome )
Last weeks answers are
List indicates a boat isn’t perfectly balanced which  is ok in small measures but lots means the centre of gravity is too high so the boat is unstable.
Full diesel tanks allow less air in contact with the fuel and minimises condensation and the growth of diesel algae.
We quite often get asked to train people with extensive big boat experience so developed a Yacht to Dinghy conversion.
The answers to this quiz are in the handbook but google might help If you don’t have one
Stay safe
Eric Finlayson

Saturday Standup Paddleboard Solstice

Saturday SUP Solstice saw over a dozen participants enjoying a gentle meander to Kingston Bridge and back. It turned out to be a fine evening with the small river current not deterring anyone from completing the trip with a relaxing drift back to Tamesis. We are going to be planning more journeys in the near future with possibly a picnic break between legs. 
Links to the photos below
Andrew Horwitz

Training from Home 15

Welcome to lesson 15.

We continue to think about how to start training again as the Government considers relaxing the lockdown rules.
One of the main areas of concern is the provision of safety cover particularly in a capsize situation.
Capsizing is pretty much a part of sailing and usually of little concern, although the first time I did it was in the Red Sea, sailing a Sunfish which is like a slightly bigger Oppie.
We were sailing in The Creek near Jeddah and had decided to venture out beyond the coral reef to find better wind.  Neither of us knew what to do but as the sharks live on that side of the reef we found out pretty quickly.
Anyway there are a number of things you can do so as not to capsize:
Spill wind, just let the mainsheet run out between your fingers and pull it in again after the gust
Lift the centre board a little, this causes more leeway but reduces the heeling effect.
Use a smaller sail.
Reef the sail either by wrapping it round the mast or the boom

Using mast head buoyancy cuts out the risk of a total inversion.  You can see a sausage shape at the top of the sail (pictured below) on the 2k (note it is biodegradable so needs to be dropped after use).


This video is for single handlers. Two person boats use the scoop method pictured further down.

Note at the end he explains how to get out of “irons”.  We teach that as push push pull pull.  Push the boom away from you till the boat turns and the sail fills then pull in the sheet to sail off


Two handed scoop method


Sailors sayings:
Answers from last week
Hand over fist is how you pull in a sheet or other line
This week  .. loose cannon.
Fun with Boats
Let’s move on from model boats to the real thing.
A great boat to start on is the Optimist , learn the names of the parts from this
Big Boats Bits
Incompetent Crew
Whilst Roger looked after the navigation etc and did any running repairs I had a number of jobs.
We had a kitty to cover drinks and meals out plus general shopping.
It’s handy to have a separate purse or wallet and unless you are a big tipper you need to work at getting rid of excess small change.  Not sure how contactless will change things.  If you are used to Lidl and Aldi you shouldn’t have trouble with the supermarkets.  What I found was that it was easier just go go systematically up and down the aisles picking up items from my list rather than look for things in the order they were listed.  That way I often found new things to try.
I also did the cooking and a bit of interpretation.
Yachtmaster Questions
Answers from last week:
The light sequence of a Westerly Cardinal buoy is a sequence of nine flashes and indicates safe water to the west.
A bilge keel boat has shallow draft but is less efficient to windward.
Thanks to Chris for this diagram
Also note the comment at the top on long keel being hard to manoeuvre
This defect can be minimised by bow thrusters.
“If the wind’s too strong
And it’s all gone wrong
Who ya gonna call?
Bow Thrusters !”
New questions
What is the difference between list and loll?
Why should diesel tanks be kept full?
Hope the attempt to race next week goes well .
Stay safe
Eric Finlayson

Training from Home 14

Welcome to Lesson 14
This week I took part in an RYA webinar about how to restart training.
Based in the existing rules this is going to be pretty difficult.
Teaching could be possible either one to one or with up to five students, mostly on single handers although families might use larger boats.
With toilets closed sessions might be limited to one hour.
Difficulties on rescue boat distancing might mean extra care on the water i.e reefing or sailing in a safe space.

However by the time we are able to start the rules (particularly the 2m rule) may have been relaxed so we’ll follow the guidance and keep you informed.

One of the first big race meetings I took part in was a six hour relay race at Littleton.
Sailing an Enterprise I was outmanoeuvred at the start by an embryonic Ben Ainslie in an Oppie and told to do a 720 degree penalty turn after the gun.
Two general recalls, three starts and 2160 degrees rotation I was almost too dizzy to start at all.
The first general recall would probably have cancelled my penalty.
My advice for beginners is to stay out of trouble at the start and concentrate on boat speed.
Once you get better you can get into the competitive stuff as shown on this video
This video uses models but has some good stuff
Subject: 5 – Starting Strategies Episode Three – The Dinghy Start
These boats in a pursuit race show good balance trim and sail setting , look at the tell tales
“To Finish First ..First you have to Finish “ so capsizing is not a winning strategy, we’ll talk about that next week.
Sailors Sayings
Last Week’s answer:  I learned the origin of Bogey Men in a recent news article about a boat full of performance artists stuck on the Pacific due to Covid.
Apparently one of the cast is descended from a tribe of Indonesian pirates called Bugis
Hence Bogeymen
New one – answer next week:   Hand over Fist.
Fun with Boats
You Tube – How to Make a Paper Boat
Big Boat Stuff
Incompetent crew
Urk is strongly religious with a long fishing tradition.
Sadly the fishermen’s monument lists members of several generations of the same few families being lost at sea.
They do have a thriving race fleet
On another occasion we met them apparently sailing all the way (30 odd miles ) to Enhuizen and back?
Fishing is still big business and one of the major employers is a haulage company.
The drivers regularly use the bar and other facilities at Roger’s club in Grimsby so every couple of years they throw a party for any of the club who can get over to Holland
There is a fantastic fish barbecue and unlimited booze which we tried to repay with some music.  The firm also have a choir so this developed into a lengthy session.
Next day we were all pretty wrecked so chilled out in a local pub by the waters edge ,  just of shore there is a partiality submerged rock known locally as the “Oublie Boublie Stane “.
Apparently children are told that’s where babies come from!
Yachtmaster Quiz
The horse latitudes are between 30 and 40 degrees north and south
Bleeding a Diesel engine gets air out
Next Week
1 What is the light sequence of a Westerly Cardinal mark ?
2 What is the disadvantage of a “bilge keel “ ?
 Stay safe
Eric Finlayson

Training from Home 13

Welcome to Training from Home 13

The RYA syllabus has a very short introduction to racing as follows:
There are two basic types of races, class or handicap.
In class racing everyone uses the same type of boat, Topper, Laser, Merlin etc, everyone starting at the same time and doing a certain number of laps round a course usually finishing at the original start line.
There are two types of handicap either a pursuit race where the slower boats start first and the race finishes after a set time, or a mass start with finishing times being arithmetically adjusted according to something called the Portsmouth Yard Stick.
Because Tammy is such a keen racing club we felt we should be able to offer more detailed Race training so got our RYA contact to run a course for our Instructors.
We can now run Race Training and award certificates.
Racing is a great way to improve skills and make friends.
At first you won’t expect to keep up with the “go fast guys “ but wind up racing against other beginners at the back of the fleet.
Some race meetings are “open” where sailors from other clubs join us.
These are Thames Raters from [Thames SC opposite] Ravens Ait, Surbiton.
Many members regularly go to Salcombe for their Summer regattas.

We’ll go into more detail in future sessions but the following video explains the basics

Subject: The Essential Guide to Sailboat Racing
Take a look at this video on YouTube
Sailors Sayings:
Hunky Dory is a corruption of a Japanese street name Honcho Dorii which was famous for its Geisha houses
The new one was news to me … Bogey Man
Fun with boats:
Big boat Stuff
Incompetent Crew
We made an early start sailing South from Lemmer heading for Urk (pronounced Urik) to be in good time for the party
Urk is a working fishing port and we have to raft up in the harbour
Before the construction of the dam we passed thru at Den Oever Urk was an island and used to be cut off by ice in the winter
Supplies were collected by volunteers dragging a boat over the ice ( and welcomed on return like an Ocado delivery during lockdown.)
Yachtmaster Quiz
The advantage of DSC VHF is that pushing one button sends both a distress signal and position if the GPS is activated
In weather forecasts the term later means more than 12 hrs
Next week
Where are the horse latitudes?
When bleeding a Diesel engine what are we bleeding?
Stay safe
See you next week
Eric Finlayson