Monday, 9 July 2012

Frigging in the Rigging, around Thanet with a Dingy.

To be honest I am really too old now for dingy sailing, you really need to be young and bendy to do this sort of thing, however I promised to teach the youf of today how to sail a dingy and so today I am recovering from bending in ways I no longer bend.

A fairly large problem when teaching someone to sail a dingy in Thanet is the lack of non tidal water, there are no inland lakes and a technical error could involve being swept away by the tide.
A bit of a discovery here is Walpole Bay boating pool, as you can see from the picture it is big enough. The top of the pool appears about 2 hours after high tide at Margate which means that the pool is usable from about two and a half hours after high tide to about two and a half hours before.   
At the other end of the car park is Jetski World, café toilet and jetskies at about £50 per half hour, there website is pleasant people, didn’t get a chance to try the café but will do. I managed to buy a wetsuit there that fitted my frame short and fat, euphemistically labelled large short.

Rules and regulations are fairly limited for unpowered watercraft, I got third party insurance at £19 and joined Thanet council’s water users group £30, neither of these things is compulsory, but at the very least I would recommend the insurance.  

If you have limited time slots the water users group means you get a key to the slipway barriers, which seem to be locked or unlocked in a fairly arbitrary fashion.
 Dingy sailing is a bit like riding a bicycle, you can only really learn to do it by being pushed off and messing things up until you get the knack and I would say a great many of the accidents and boat wreckings that happen to larger boats are caused by people operating them not acquiring this basic skill.

The basic imperatives of keeping away from a lee shore and if you can’t change directions by turning to the wind do it by turning away from it soon become apparent. 


  1. I am sure I still ache from being crew for a boat club race thirty years ago I was completely clueless but did manage to avoid that pole thing that waves around. I can even now after all these years feel those wooden seats bashing my bum. I must say my lasting memory is the sun light on the waves all faceted into zillions of little diamonds of light.

  2. Don the youf of today learnt an important lesson, which is don't sit on top of the dagger board when approaching shallow water. it suddenly comes up like a dagger underneath you.


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