Cormorant dinghy
Questions and answers
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Hello Liz

I found it very difficult to get the boat and trolley back on the trailer and I have
had the trailer modified - ie the "draw-bar" extended and a winch-post added,
plus a short length of tube to take the jockey wheel.

The result - the boat and trolley now comes onto the trailer very easily indeed.

You may not be interested, but, for the record, the modification cost me £80,
plus £11.70 for the smallest winch (250kg) that Towsure sell.  I enclose photos
taken before and after and I am sending you a copy of the
drawing I produced
for the welder - I appreciate that you may not want to alter your trailer but you
never know in the future.

Stuart Jones

11.02.08  Dear Liz
I thought you might be interested to know that I have finally bought no 170!  Is it worth having fitted a
second line of reefing points?
Best wishes, Nigel

11.02.08  Hi Nigel,
Definitely, unless you only plan short day-sails in light winds.  I did after my first year and they give me a lot
more confidence in marginal conditions.  I had them done by Rockall Sails at Bosham, who also made the
original sail and they cost me £30 in 1996, which I thought good value and a lot less than I was expecting
to have to pay.  You would obviously want to find someone local to your area.  The second reef reduces
the sail by two-thirds.

Hi Liz, Somewhere on the net I found a photo of you sailing in past Holy Island and you certainly look well

How high above the first line of reefing points did Rockall put the second line? Presumably you run
additional reefing lines through them down to the boom – as there are on my Crabber 22?

Hi Nigel, Exactly the same distance as the first row is from the foot of the sail - so the first row reduces sail
by one-third; second row by two-thirds.   Liz

Presumably you run additional reefing lines through them down to the boom – as there are on my
Crabber 22?  Nigel

I have a reefing line at luff and leach. For my second reef I rigged a second, for which I had to attach
additional reefing eyes and cam cleats on the boom.  At the luff end I actually use the other end of the
same line used for the first reef.  At the leach I use a piece of light plaited line of a different colour so it is
easily identifiable.  The handbook which used to come with the new Cormorant explains how to set this up
Link).   After my mast broke I had a crab claw gooseneck made to replace
the standard one, as I didn't like those long screws going right into the centre of
the mast, which contributed to the trouble.  Please see photo showing my new
gooseneck arrangement, which also shows the first reefing line running to a
camcleat on the boom.

Don't tie the reefing pennants round the boom, only round the sail, otherwise
you will tear the sail.  Liz

In the photo you also have two dark patches on your mast. Are they to protect the mast where the gaff and
the gooseneck might chafe it?  Nigel

Yes, correct, and chafe they DO without this protection!

Are there any other innovations you would recommend?  Nigel

My boat was built to order, so I asked the builders to install a hatch into the stern buoyancy chamber to
provide more stowage. Because of this I was aware that water was leaking badly through the lower rudder
gudgeon screws. I took it off and re-sealed it with Sikkaflex, which helped, but a year later it was worse
than ever, so in addition to the Sikkaflex treatment I bought longer bolts and bolted a piece of wood behind
the transom, the theory being that the wood would swell when damp and help close the hole. This worked
well and last summer, for the first time, I had a dry stern locker. This would be difficult to do without that
hatch, and you might not even be aware that it was leaking, although there is an inspection hatch near the
floor.  Liz

02.06.08   Hi Liz
I recently bought a Cormorant dinghy (the one advertised in the DCA Spring Bulletin in fact). I am delighted
with it but it is the very devil to recover and I wonder if the combi trailer that came with the boat is not
original. I would welcome your advice.

The combi has two parts, a launching trolley and a simple triangle-shaped trailer. The trailer has no jockey
wheel, but the trolley has a detachable one. Recovery requires one to drag the boat on the trolley over the
trailer, the trolley riding on two rubber rollers on the trailer, and then lift the front of the trolley onto a lug on
the trailer where it locks in place. Trouble is that the trailer is hitched to the car whilst all this this is being
done, (no jockey wheel) and there is insufficient room for me to interpose myself between car and boat to
give the final heave required to lift boat and trolley over the fixing lug on the trailer. There's about a foot
between the stem of the boat and the back of the car.

Does any of this sound familiar ?  I would have thought that a winch would have
made everything very simple, but there is no provision for one, or room either for
that matter. I am sure the Cormorant was intended for single-handed
launch/recovery, albeit it is on the heavy side. I would very much appreciate any
comments you have. I attach a photo of the "business end" of the trailer/trolley
with the boat in place which may make things plainer. Kind regards and thank you.
David Pickup

05.06.08  Hi David,
That sounds like Martin Corrick's "Penny Black".  Yes your problems and trailer set-up sound very
familiar.  I do this regularly, but without the car.  I take the jockey wheel off the trolley before the final
heave onto the trailer.  I also oil the parts where the two slide together.  It's also important to get the trolley
lined-up straight with the trailer.  I wedge a house brick in front of each trailer wheel to stop it sliding
forward as I heave, and it also helps, if there's a suitable slope available, to turn the whole caboodle round
so the bow is pointing down-hill - so you get a bit of help from gravity.  After that she usually slides straight
on.  However, in my dinghy park berth there is not much slope, so when things don't run smoothly I rig a
three-part block-and-tackle arrangement, tying pulley blocks to both mast support (low down) and beneath
the trolley handle.  This usually does the trick, but if not, then check position of trolley on trailer.  Once
trolley is on trailer I can re-attach jockey wheel if I need to move the whole assembly about.
Hope this helps.

08.06.08  Hi Liz,
Very grateful thanks. Our neighbours have now been treated to the sight of me, armed with a pot of grease
of course, delightedly unloading and loading "Penny Black" on the front lawn. Both my wife and I remember
Martin Corrick, when we met him at the M5 services on buying the boat, saying something about keeping
the car hitched to the trailer but in the excitement we must have confused launching and recovering.
Anyway,all is now clear and a pair of housebricks has been added to the list of dinghy cruising essentials.
Martin was a charming chap, and it was weeks later that I noticed his name on the spine of a book in the
Fiction section of our local library, and quite a good book it was too. Some nice people in the DCA.
Thank you once again, and I hope you have a good sailing season.
Sincerely, David Pickup

23.08.08 Hello Liz,
I sail Cormorant  no 33 "Tosh", mostly out of the Hamble.
With regard to getting the boat and launching trolley back on the trailer, I use a
portable winch; its basically a ratchet handle and drum. I've seen them used for
putting tension on barbed wire fences. Very cheap, hook one end to the
cross beam of the trolley and one end around the tow hitch and forget about
struggling those last few feet.
Max Taylor

24.08.08  Many thanks Max, where can you buy one?  Liz

04.09.08  Sorry I bought mine such a long time ago I had forgotten - Machine Mart -  £16.96
CHP 1250 Heavy Duty Power Puller      

04.09.08   I had a look on the Internet yesterday, and found one very similar to the one Max describes on
a site called priced at £40.54 including VAT and delivery.  The price is
higher than what Matt paid, but that's inflation I suppose.  I ordered one and, to my astonishment, it arrived
this morning!  Very fast delivery.  It's very heavy, and the old block-and-tackle arrangement worked well
enough, but if it speeds up boat recovery time it will be worth the outlay.  I'll let you know how I get on with
it when I've had a chance to try it out.    Liz

30.09.08  Since writing the above I have used my Portable Hand Power Puller a couple of times and
although it works up to a point, the length of the mechanism itself prevents me pulling the front of the
trolley right up to the point where I can insert the pin through the slot, which is in fact the most difficult bit.  
It's a heavy and cumbersome beast, and I think I really prefer my original block-and-tackle method.  Also,
the cable is not quite long enough.  The company does supply a longer cable and anyone ordering a new
one would be well advised to buy this.  If anyone would like to buy mine, please
contact me.  Liz
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