Wind, less wind, lots of wind

We’d got to the lake on Friday, after I’d spent the previous week of so working out how to rig the spinnaker correctly and how to hoist and lower it. However, a bit too much rain forecast and I’d got some work to finish.

So, it was a breezy Saturday that saw Tamara and myself, along Jace, Anita and Ieuan, going for a bit of sailing, and the Mirror was also rigged.

It was a calm morning but the wind picked up before lunch, to make it a little interesting. We’d got Ieuan in the boat and got the spinnaker up but it was a little tricky exercise in slightly cramped conditions.

Jace and Anita capsized the Mirror and we got the Scorpion down to lend assistance and though they’d righted the boat, but Anita was still swimming behind. No bother and we got her back in the boat.

Drying and cleaning the joint

Apres lunch and things got even more interesting and a couple of others who were at club thought the better of it and headed back in, as Tamara and I headed out. All fine, that was until we gave the spinnaker a go and we capsized going down on a run. With a little bit of assistance from the Acorns rescue boat, eventually got the mast out of the mud, minus the burgee, but the boat was full of water, and so was one of the tanks it seemed.

The trip back to the club was more appropriate for a submarine, and not made any better by the back of the centreboard coming away in my hand, Crap. I then made for the front deck, so as to stop the boat sinking any further and we steadily made for the shore.

Evening by the fire

Whilst thinking about preparing dinner, my mind focused on the repair and with some expert input from Jace, went for the epoxy and screw approach to enable the fix. All to plan and then lit the woodburner to get the front room to dry and give the mend a chance to dry out.

Lively on the pontoon

Sunday was race day and decided that Tamara would helm and I’d do battle with the spinnaker. Some mixed sailing and lightish winds, where some excellent runs were spoiled by the weed and general getting stuck. Some things did come from this:
– the Scorpion isn’t the best in lighter winds, even with the new set of sails
– the spinnaker works and seems to work well on runs and dead runs
– that we’ve still some way to go in terms of racing speed and technique (though the starts are pretty fair)

Going well

Monday was meant to be the second day of racing, however the wind picked up just before going out for the first race and it was called off. Probably the right thing to do. Decided, with the help of Henry (a newer club member) to take the boat out anyway, as a Laser and 3 Flying 15’s went out also. Some entertaining sailing, which wasn’t as bad as it seemed from shore. Some good gusts, but manageable and no one out there capsized.

And the centreboard repair held up also. Excellent. Also taping up the rear flaps on the transom makes a lot of sense; it produced a waterfall effect at one point and was greatly improved with the assistance of gaffer tape.

Scorpion 1627 'Classic Rock'

An environmental alternative ?

The Llangorse Sailing Club is located in one of the nicest spots you can think of in which you can put your boat into inland water. With the acquisition of the Mirror dinghy it was clear that the girls (in particular Tamara), where happy with the idea of having a boat. Taking the mirror out with force 4 gusts last week, with Tamara at the helm also confirmed that I liked the idea.

After seeing an old (and one in need of repair) Scorpion at the club, the listing of one on eBay last week also looked tempting. Though old and not too competitive (but that’s not the point)


I bought the boat via ebay, at a very reasonable price, both in terms of the prices for dinghies generally and the guide prices on the Scorpion Association website . It’s a wood built boat, but the previous owner had done some really good modifications and remedial work, so the boat is now in good condition. Wood boats do need maintenance and they do decay, but at least you work on them and fix things. The rigging is good and there are two good sets of sails, one set hardly used.

The boat was made by Westerly in 1975, so not quite pre74 like the bikes but its of the right vintage and it really looks good. It’s also named “Classic Rock”, very apt given my taste in music.

I need to complete the re-rig, in particular the spinnaker rigging isn’t trivial and I did take some pictures of the rig prior to dismantling at Island Barn Reservoir so hopefully this will help.