On 22 March 2023 the Waldringfield and Haven Ports Squib Fleets organised a Weigh-In at the premises of EYE Ltd at Levington, East Suffolk .

It took about three hours to give five Squibs a thorough health check. Four boats were officially re-weighed for new certificates by an NSOA maintenance measurer and the other one had an unofficial weight check .
A series of other measurement checks were also done by Tim O’Leary, our local RYA Squib Measurer.  These included:

  • Mast COG
  • Mast Weight
  • Anchor weight
  • Anchor Line
  • Paddle
  • Keel checks ( with the NSOA gauge) .

5 boats in about 3 hours
Here’s how it came about
The idea of having an official weighing came about following a discussion within the Waldringfield Squib fleet late in 2022.

Feedback to our Squib class captain from Dick Batt and the NSOA Committee highlighted a mood in the class for closer attention to the Class Rules at club level as well as at open events. There has certainly been a perceived shortage of measurers in recent times but in fact most measurement checks can easily be made by the owner. Re-weighing is the principal exception.

In our own discussions we had highlighted the issue of “services “ that we felt a class association should offer to members and one that was felt to be particularly important was access to measuring and re-weighing for Squib fleet sailors, not necessarily just those attending National Events. Rather than just saying “Somebody needs to do something” we decided that we could do something ourselves to assist the Class.

Following local discussion with colleagues at HPYC , we agreed to set up a local weighing day, initially because several local Squib owners thought that their recorded boat weights needed to be checked. It’s well-known that a Squib’s weight can change sduring its long life.

Pete Greatrex ( WSC) agreed to take the idea forward, the first task being to find a measurer. A call to Tim O’Leary at Felixtowe Ferry SC confirmed that he is still on the NSOA Measurers list.

Next, a suitable multi-boat weighing facility was needed. A quick call to Tom Markwell at EYE LTD  our local marine mooring and bouyage management company found an equally positive response . Yes they could accommodate up to 6 boats and provide a high-lift fork lift truck together with load cell and driver for a very reasonable fee. Problem 2 solved .

Load cell accuracy is a regular source of controversy when boats are being weighed. EYE generously agreed to send their load cell away to be recalibrated shortly before our proposed weighing date and it came back with an accuracy of +/-1.00 kg at our class weight target .

We had been liaising with the NSOA Committee about on having a weighing day and the Committee has been very supportive of the local initiative. This parallels plans at Portsmouth Sailing Club and in Ireland. Like them we wanted to extend the activity by introducing an series of measurements in addition to the basic weight check so our day was a perfect test run for developing measurement template / checklist for regular use elsewhere and at events .

Tim worked closely with Chris Henderson, the NSOA Chief Measurer, creating a checklist covering another 8 checks: mast weight and COG , black bands, spinnaker pole, rudder , anchor, paddle, seats and the aft edge of the keel .

Tim undertook to assess the boats presented on a number these points, and the ease or otherwise of doing the checks .

On the day, we positioned the boats static in a line, lifting the boats using a forklift truck. This worked extremely well. Thanks again to Tom Markwell at EYE Ltd.   Tim O’Leary set up a separate area with weighing scales to check masts and anchors etc . So we had the two weighing activities operating simultaneously.

Boats were first weighed without correctors. Aboat under weight had to add correctors there and then and be re-weighed under Tim’s supervision. We did two lifts for each weight check and took the average reading. There were some small variations of around 1 kg .

We had spare lead and cutting facilities available if required, so that correctors could be reduced or additional correctors cut .

The whole operation took between 2-3 hours. The mobile crane cost £120 and the measuring £60 . So the cost per boat was pretty reasonable.

Finally, Tim collected the old certificates and the fees for the RYA. He has kindly undertaken to progress the re- certification process with the RYA.

Thanks again to all concerned. We all sign the declaration on our certificates and commit to keeping our boats ‘legal’.  Here in Suffolk we have proved that this is really not so hard to do.

Peter Greatrex. Waldringfield Sailing Club.                                                          March 2023