One of the hopes that I had in choosing this design
to build first was that it would add something to the way that
my family could recreate together. It certainly did that during
its first summer of use. The Waller seems happiest with a few
people on board, and it provides a very roomy and uncluttered
platform for sitting together and sailing.
Fitting the rudder
I've had wonderful sessions with various combinations of family,
some who have been my sailing teachers, and some who have been
intrepid learners with me. If we didn't spend enough time on the
water it was because even the best boat can't organise schedules
for 6 busy adults and their friends and partners to fit in with
each other and the weather. She sails very confidently fully rigged,
or with a reef, or with main alone, or with jib alone. Each reduction
of sail has a different feel on the helm of course, but each has
been a useful alternative for different reasons.
Tiller and extension fitted.
The cabin provides great shelter, storage and
room to sleep two.
The boat keeps you nice and dry in a chop and has loads of useful
storage spaces. The cockpit floor is a fabulous platform for swimming
or snorkelling, and is very easy to get back onto. In fact of
all the aims we set for this boat she has exceeded expectations
in all of them.
The sail plan is generous and will particularly suit someone
who likes a turn of speed, or likes to race, and I recommend her
as a build for people who are used to larger boat sailing but
who would like something more manageable, portable and easy to
store. She points higher into the wind than I thought possible,
but I haven't really done her justice downhill because we haven't
kitted her out with a spinnaker yet. in short she has so much
more potential than I have skills to make full use of, but it
is fabulous to be learning and keeping the old brain from freezing
View of stern
The cockpit arrangement has you sitting high and wide, dinghy
fashion, so it is a boat to sail on rather than in, and she pays
for her liveliness and portability by lacking the stability of
heavy keeled trailer sailers, but that has its benefits too; most
obviously in her ability to get up and plane beyond hull speed.
Seated out there when a gust comes you feel the lift of your backside
and the pull of the lines in your hands in a wonderful direct
and interconnected way. I'll swear it made me feel ten years younger
the first time three of us 'gave her some stick' close hauled,
seeing what it felt like to sink the gunwales. She felt capable,
dry and solid as a rock with three of us above the water. But
I have to admit that I'm not very confident with her sailing solo
Ready for transport for her first sail.
If I had my time again I would try harder to find the time to
learn to sail before I finished my first boat! In glorious middle
age it is a lot to come to terms with in one season, in amongst
life's other commitments. Launching and retrieving a sizeable
boat requires a bit of thought, rigging and de-rigging is much
easier when you've done it before (!), boat handling itself presents
a few challenges, but particularly so when it is a new boat which
has to be sailed.
She's not an awkward boat to handle, but there were a few times
when under motor power, alone in the cockpit in shallow water
with the centreboard up, negotiating a marina. these hulls don't
steer very well! With crew to adjust the board (or the board line
taken back to the tiller) these problems disappear and she becomes
First raising of the sail - without its battens.
The 5hp motor fitted is bigger than we needed, it was one of
those bargains that come along. and you use what you have. Under
power there is very little fuss or wake, she just zips off along
the top of the water at a moderate pace. The one accessory I still
haven't gotten around to using is the fishing rod that I bought
with the best intentions, but still haven't put line onto yet.
But I have started another boat..
Motoring out of the Harbour
Our first attempt at beach sailing. She draws
very little and will float over shallow bars, handling the
shore break very well. Our sail was cut very short though
by the loss of the bottom rudder pintle which had rattled
loose on a long corrugated back road to the beach. This was
a result of my mounting the mast rear crutch on the rudder
mountings. I'm looking at plan B. Didn't sail much, so took
rigging down and had a few trips out into Bass Strait just
on motor power. She handles very well in a swell as a motor