Push The Boat Out – Camping and Fleet Dinghy Cruising in Poole Harbour

7 day camp on the edge of Poole Harbour
Adventurous and local dinghy sailing, weather permitting
Open to members from other organisations

Friday May 31st to June 7th

Camping at Poole Camp

Cody Sailing Club offer the opportunity for members of the Dinghy Cruising Association, GP14 Class Association and Combined Comet Trio Association to join us on our 42nd Poole Camp this year. The camp runs at the end of the Hampshire Summer half term, May 31st to June 7th, primarily because that’s the period for the Spring Tides and allows us to launch from the camping field.

In order to encourage participation in dinghy cruising we have extended free temporary membership to members of the DCA, GP14 CA and CCCA for just this camp.

The campsite is a commercial camp site run only for groups, and has a commercial nightly fee of £5 (to be confirmed for this year) per person. There is a flat £4 per person charge (irrespective of the number of nights you choose to stay with us) that Cody charge for using the waste facilities that we hire in. Tents only, no caravans or motor homes are allowed. Water is available from a tap in the field, and we hire in waste disposal. If you want to share a club portaloo in a loo tent you need to let me know. Nearest shops are in Corfe Castle and Wareham. Detailed directions will be sent to those who have expressed an interest.

Dinghy Cruising and Independent Sailing

The launch beach

We enjoy fleet dinghy cruising, and it is well known that members of the DCA are much more used to individual sailing.

There is no requirement or expectation that members of the DCA join in with our fleet cruising. You are welcome to join us, and not as you wish.

We sail as a fleet (or two separate fleets) and in order to sail together we need a fleet to have boats of roughly the same speed. If you wish to join us on our ‘Gold Fleet’, you’d need a vessel that is no slower than a Wanderer. We may also run a “Silver Fleet” if there is enough interest for slower boats and single handers, which will have a closer destination.

For close destinations we typically sail as a single fleet – Pottery Pier and Arne are places where we don’t split up – there’s enough fun to be had in the faster boats along the way that we’ll sail as a fleet and arrive at the same time.

Adventurous daysails include Swanage, Shell Bay Marine, round Brownsea, threading the islands, Rockley Point, Wareham, Studland, Bournemouth, Jazz Cafe Sandbanks and so on…

Social

In the evenings we sometimes gather as a single group and have a communal cook-up on individual BBQs which turns into a camp fire, and we sit around and chat, or we’ll invade each other’s tents and chat if the weather is wet. We might go out for one evening to a local pub as a group.

Daysail to Bournemouth Pier

Safety

In common with the many dinghy cruising organisations we do not run a safety boat. Many of us carry VHF Radios, mobile phones and orange smoke flares for attracting the attention of emergency services if we need to. Sailing as a fleet, mostly with 2 or 3 crew means that if there is someone in difficulty we generally rally round to help. We also help each other with launching and recovery. We expect you to have sufficient experience and a sufficiently seaworthy vessel to manage the risks of a given cruise yourself, and have published recommended minimum standards for your competency and equipment.

The fleet in Poole on a quiet cruise, coming back from Rockley Point

Launching and tides

Over the past 41 years that Cody has been using this venue, the creek that we launch into has gently silted up. On neaps, if there is a meteorological very high pressure, or strong winds from the West to suppress the height of the tide, on some days the water no longer gets high enough to allow dinghies to launch. During the height of Spring Tides there is plenty of water.

The tidal prediction for the Spring Bank Holiday is for neaps – there will be no water to launch into – even for kayaks. We have moved the camp to the weekend and week after the bank holiday to when we are in Springs, and the predictions suggest that we will have water to launch into on Friday.

Friday, sail at 08:00 and spend the whole day out, returning after 18:00, or return at noon but you might need to land the dinghy on the mud, anchor it for the afternoon and sail it or put it on the trailer in the evening.
Saturday, sail at 08:00 and spend the whole day out, returning after 18:00 or return at 13:00 and mud anchor it for the afternoon, ready to sail in the evening as well
Sunday, sail until 13:30 or recover after 19:00

The tides for the rest of the camp are good for a wide variety of daysailing and local sailing.

If you are interested in attending this event, please contact the address below.

We will send you full details of the location and other finer details, including full details of how to approach the camp (which you will only be able to do as a pre-agreed participant).

If you have any questions, and would like to know more, please let us know your phone number or skype address and we’re very happy to talk to you, so that you can get the best from the event.

We will only go if the weather is not forecasted to be torrential continuous rain and gales for the week. We go only if there’s every chance of sailing and the camping is not a test of continuous tent waterproofing.

If you want to talk to the organisers, and for more info please contact us on the address below.

Recent Posts

Proctor 1974 Penultimate National 18 Capsize Test – two people

In order to be confident in sailing the National 18 as a day cruising boat with two crew, we wanted to be assured that it was possible to recover the boat from capsize with two people. The National 18 is a three person boat, so I was not sure whether a recovery with only two people was possible.

We took it to Bough Beech Reservoir and under the watchful eye of their club safety boat driver we conducted the experiment. The boat was cleared of all loose contents and made ready for capsize. There was no wind so we got deep enough by a tow in flat calm conditions away from the shore.

Preparing for capsize

At the moment of capsize, before the inside filled with water, the boat sat very high.

Just before the mast hit the water

And sat at rest for a moment (while, I imagine, the mast filled with water).

Now full, the boat settled bow down. The centreboard was too far above the water to be got on (righting lines would absolutely fix this, but would not, overall, help with righting the vessel with only two people)

This is the moment when I realised that the downward pressure of the rigging hugely overwhelmed my weight hanging on the end of the centreboard – I was being lifted powerfully out of the water.

The moment I realised that my weight was not even close to being enough to prevent inversion

Despite both of us hanging off the hull, the mast was heading quickly to inversion.

Both crew attempting to keep the boat level, and failing. The boat was well on it’s way to inverting.

At this point it became clear that two people are simply not enough to keep this National 18 with it’s mast level with the water, and the experiment was stopped and a third person joined us in the water to right the boat.

The boat became almost completely inverted, with the air escaping from the hull and centreboard as it settled with the waterline at floor level, and it was possible to get on the hull and onto the centreboard. It took the weight of two people on the centreboard to raise it, one standing and leaning back and the other hanging on to the end and pushing down.

Unfortunately, we had no one scooped in the boat for the first righting and it proved a point that I had speculated; with a ton of water above the buoyancy tank it would be unstable until drained., The weight of the water above the buoyancy made it highly unstable and it immediately capsized.

We established that it’s critical to have two on the centreboard to raise the boat and the third person must be scooped into the boat to dynamically stabilise it while it self-drains for about 30 seconds. The floor is about 2cm above the water line and the centreboard slot is level with the deck, so the water drains very quickly through the slot – a great safety feature.

It was easy to get back in. On shore there was little water in the buoyancy tanks.

Note: This experiment cannot be used to extrapolate to all National 18s. This is a 1974 Proctor hull which has been fitted with full length under floor buoyancy at the level of the centreboard case. We had no masthead buoyancy, and no righting lines, it was exactly as we raced it.

Conclusion: This National 18 cannot be raised from capsize by only two people. With both crew on the centreboard the boat will right and immediately capsize due to the instability due to the water above the buoyancy tanks. One person on the centreboard is insufficient weight to counteract the weight of the mast.

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