Although we have owned
our Huffler for about 9 years and have used her extensively including
to Holland , Belgium and the French coast we have always been
a little unsure as to how she
would handle in rough weather since being in our late sixties
and sailing as a couple we do
not present the strongest of crews, particularly since my wife
is only a little over 5ft., in height
and to be honest our doubts regarding the boat were in reality
doubts as to our ability to
handle her in rough weather.
However, this year on relatively simple passage from Woodbridge
to St. Katherines Dock
in London we were caught in a NE Force 8 in the Thames estuary.
The wave height was, so far
as we were concerned from our poop deck, daunting, with very
steep short seas which seemed
determined to turn us broadside on. Despite the rolling and
pitching the Huffler shrugged off the
waves and after a most uncomfortable 2 hours ploughed on into
the comparative calm of the
This little experience proved to us that the boat certainly
looked after us in bad weather.
Apart from this we have enjoyed many happy hours sailing both
alone and on club cruises
and having altered the rig by the addition of a self tacking
jib, giving us a cutter type rig
have a sail configuration we can adapt for most wind conditions.
I suppose the most significant addition we have made to the
boat was a bow thruster.
Our East Coast marinas are always crowded with very tight turning
areas and having craned
the boat out on one occasion when she was fully loaded we were
surprised to see that we
were 14.5 tonnes on the gauge and the thought of such a weight
being at the mercy
of high winds whilst squeezing into a tight berth gave one serious
food for thought.
However, the addition of the bow thruster makes berthing and
turning in Marinas almost
a pleasure and the boat is so docile we almost renamed her Cuddles.
We often sail in company with up to 15 club boats and find
it amazing at the antics of our friends
in trying to get out of awkward berths when they are pinned
in by wind who, often expect us to help
them get off, leaving us to extricate ourselves after they are
all out, since they have come to
expect the Huffler to be able to extricate herself from almost
any tight situation.
I would without doubt say the fitting of a bow thruster gives
such peace of mind that it should
be considered as a priority addition to the boat's spec.
George & Pat Gooden.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Since the Goodens' wrote the above some months ago, we have
since received the following;
Many thanks for sending Roger & Nick down, without their
help it would have been impossible
to get the tank repaired, our yard wanted to cut it up in situ.
I must say that a number of boat owners
in the Marina and the Club were most impressed at the help you
gave, bearing in mind that we
have had the boat for some ten years.
I am now starting to rebuild the interior of the wheelhouse
and hope to have this completed
in time to join the club cruise to Holland on the 9th June.
Once again many thanks for your help.