EASY TO SAIL. DIFFICULT TO RESIST.
Our engineers combined perfect sailing properties with an enormous amount of space in the BAVARIA VISION 46. It can be sailed safely even with a smaller crew who can be accommodated in either two or three cabins. In other words, up to six people can enjoy all the comfort and space they need to turn a beautiful day of sailing into a perfect day.
OUT OF ITS DEPTH
Thank goodness today’s depth sounders can be set to read something other than “depth below transducer.” I’m always tickled at how charter operators seem to calibrate theirs to “depth below keel, plus a little bit for safety.” These are sensible grownups, and I’m sure their reasons are based on bitter experience, but it makes me feel distinctly patronized. If you think about it, a depth sounder is not a last-ditch guardian against going aground, although it can be used as that; it’s a navigational instrument. Every time I fix my position, the automatic follow-up is to check the depth to see if the charted plot and the sounded reality stack up. Where tide is relevant, I have, or should have, a reasonable idea of height in my head. With the sounder set to “depth of water,” the check is instant. In fog, if all else fails and I’m left with only compass and sounder, it’s “depth” I want to compare with the chart, not how much may or may not be under my keel. With the readout set to “below keel,” there’s always an additional factor to add. That wretched “bit extra for safety” merely increases uncertainty, so it isn’t safe at all. And as for knowing when I’m going to run aground, if my boat draws 6ft, she’ll stop when that’s what the sounder says.
LULL IN THE STORM
Most West Coast sailors know what to expect when a cold front comes thundering through, heralding the end of that miserable, gale-sodden warm sector of a depression. The wind will veer— often to the northwest—the sky clears, and huge thunderhead clouds follow through, slowly thinning out as the action bowls away to leeward. Occasionally, the wind drops completely as the isobars bend behind a cold front, only to kick in again with a vengeance after an hour or three. If things seem suspiciously quiet when the glass first flicks up and the sun comes out, don’t count your chickens. More wind could be brewing up around the corner.
It’s taken me a lifetime of skippering to work out this simple device for better communication. Don’t just give an order to a bunch of folks at the other end of the boat. If you do, you might get lucky, but it’s just as likely they’ll all jump to it, and it’ll be a case of, “after you, buddy,” while the yacht piles into the woodwork. The best plan is to choose the most suitable person for the job and announce the name before you give the order. “Ernie, fend off. Bert, throw that guy a spring line!” removes any chance of confusion. You don’t have to shout either; just quietly make yourself clear.
WIDE BERTH FOR THE DIVER
It’s easy to fail to notice a dive boat and to find yourself far too close. Divers are highly vulnerable anywhere near the surface, and they often seem to hang around quite close to the direct route between two headlands. The “A” flag ( blue and white swallow- tail) means “diver down.” It may be inconspicuous, or we may not have been sufficiently switched on to watch out for it. In any case, if we end up giving the swimmers a scare, we richly deserve the earful of choice invective from an outraged dive- boat cox’n. Watch out! s