Introducing myself

Discussion forum for the Otter class of sailing dinghy

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Introducing myself

Post by Titch »

Having been away from the UK for a few years and hence away from boat owning, when I got back I promptly joined the Dinghy Cruising Association. And then bought a Laser to go racing in. Two mutually exclusive actions!

The Dinghy Cruising Association is as fine a body of slightly eccentric adventurers as one could ever wish to meet and they have one thing in common: they sail small cruising boats. All I had was a Laser!
I had plans to build a boat ( still do) then I came across Otter 543, complete with old but serviceable sails, a cover that almost fits, a trolley which is far too long and has both wheels dodgy. Proctor ( Bermudan) mast and boom. Blue gunwale and inside over a white hull. All going for a song.

Well, now I am her proud owner. And a proper DCA member with a cruising dinghy to my name!
My assessment is that in her long life she has never been sailed much; there are few signs of use, just ageing in storage.
Unfortunately she was most recently stored outside without a cover and the rain and sun have done what they do to the varnish, especially the rudder and Centreboard. It remains to be seen if they are actually sound, repairable or if I'll have to buy a sheet of marine ply and make new ones.

I sail in Chichester harbour, mainly, except when I am racing my Laser on the masters circuit, when I could turn up anywhere on the south coast.

That is all a long way of saying ........"Hi".

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Re: Introducing myself

Post by aptanet »

Hi, not too far away from me. I met somebody from the Dinghy Cruising Association at a local RYA meeting a month or so back. Reminded me of my initial plans to use my Mirror for cruising round Langstone and likely Portsmouth and Chichester too. I had an old tent and was planning to carry boards to create a bed with. That's about as far as it got though, as I managed to purchase an old 17ft Silhouette for the same amount as I could sell my Mirror for, and that started me on cruiser ownership. She had her original cotton sails and a slight leak, but got me going.

I'm about to embark on the task of making a couple of new centreboards myself. I've just removed the one from one Otter (the oldest of our two) with the intention of sanding it down and giving it some new coats of varnish, only to find that the top layer of the ply seems to be coming away on one side. I planned to use it as a template for my other, newer, Otter as that has the remnants of a snapped rudder in. Just need to get it out to compare. They have different mounting points, but I'm hoping the rudder itself is the same shape and size.
Paul Tansom
Sailsite Forums Administrator
BDMLR Marine Mammal Medic
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