Things to look out for when buying a used Wanderer in
no particular order....
1. Floorboards -
Lift the floorboards
flaking varnish or paint and any resultant rot - especially at the aft
end where the clearance from hull to underside of board is least and
most water collects when under way. While in this area check for missing
board clips/screws that keep the floorboards secured in place. If
you are handy with a jig saw and can source some appropriate ply then it
is possible to make your replacement by using the old one as a template.
2. Hull Condition -
Obviously inspect the
entire hull surface for any damage that might threaten the hull's
integrity. Cosmetic scratches can be repaired relatively easily.
With boards out of the boat examine
of the hull for damage from a badly set up road trailer,
this manifests itself as small hairline 'star' cracks on the bottom of
the boat radiating out from a common point in that region where the port
and starboard road trailer rollers come into contact with the underside
of the hull. The
boat's weight should be carried
along the line
of the keel with the trailer's side
supports only lending stability rather than supporting weight - if set
up wrong with weight on the side supports you can get damage to the hull.
Severe cracking might require
3. Bungs and Buoyancy -
condition of all
to the forward/bow chamber, side tanks [if not an MD version] and
transom - early boats had rather un-inspiring push fit bungs, not
expensive to replace. Water in these
may indicate either a major structural problem
somewhere or, in the case of the bow chamber,
the sealant around the screws
holding the keel band in place has perished and needs replacing
or b) there are keel band screws missing in the region from stem-head to
front of centre board - easily replaced and re-sealed.
Buoyancy tanks should be filled will closed cell foam, polystyrene or at
least stuffed with empty plastic fizz bottles to ensure 'unsinkability'.
There is a possibility that the very early Winton built boats have no
foam or the wrong foam - if in any doubt arrange for a buoyancy test to
be carried out. Make sure you check for the presence and condition of
the aft compartment lid gasket - if this is perished, has gaps [i.e.
does not completely and continuously seal with the entire perimeter of
the compartment] then there is a risk that this chamber will fill with
water in a capsize.
4. Bailers -
that the self-bailers open and close
and appear in good condition. You can get
service packs to replace seals if they leak. Again
WD40 will often ease a sticking bailer.
5. Rig -
With regards to the rig - Jib
halyard wires can fray and fail,
especially where they bend round fittings, check the
blocks in the
foot of the mast and head where the jib and spinnaker
halyards emerges from the mast are all
in good order and free to rotate. All these blocks
can be replaced by a competent DIY'er and WD40 helps free a sticking
block. It has been reported that some early Winton built boats were not
fitted with a 'highfield lever', this is used
to tension the
genoa luff and rig through the jib halyard.
Lack of rig tension really compromises the performance and handling of
the boat, without a highfield lever you will be struggling to get enough
6. Mast -
Sight along the mast for
evidence of kinks, look over the spreaders
to make sure
they are in good nick and there's no evidence of serious
corrosion where they mount to the mast. Shrouds should have no kinks
and no fraying with terminals in good order. Be
aware that the Wanderer mast is sometimes supplied to be 'broken-down'
into two parts for towing. If presented with a two part mast check the
union/joint for a smooth friction fit and presence of fixing screws.
Check all fitments to the boom for general condition, lack of excessive
corrosion and wear. Be aware that some booms where foam filled.
6. Sails -
Lay the sails out somewhere
flat and clean,
check the seams, batten
pockets, mast buoyancy pocket [if fitted to the
main], also around the windows and eyes to see that the stitching
is secure. If you are sailing with family a mainsail with the
standard reef about 100cm or so deep is fine. Slab reefing is usual and
convenient. Roller furling (not reefing) on the genoa is useful to
rapidly reduce sail area and to help with calmly coming ashore.
7. Lines and Sheets
- relatively easy
to replace but modern non-stretch line for
halyards can be surprisingly expensive. Check for
excessive wear on the jib sheets where they are cleated off, if wear is
excessive the sheets tend to slip or jump out the cleat when under load
and especially when wet.
- It is hard to check the centreboard
with the boat on its trailer. However you can make sure the ss
pivot bolt and lock nut are in place. It may be possible to get
sufficient movement on the board to see if the friction adjustment is
set up correctly, if not this is fairly easily adjusted but best done
afloat. Check the condition of the rudder and stock. Examine the rudder
surfaces for cracks, warping and for signs of repair [not easy if blade
is painted]. Especially check the lower leading edge of the rudder
blade for impact damage. Make sure the raise and lower mechanism
works smoothly and that the up and down haul lines run through OK. See
item 9 for rudder attachment to transom checks. Be aware that some
boats may be fitted with steel centre-plates. These add a further
85lbs weight to the boat bringing close to a Wayfarer's weight, plus
extra lines and fitting to be able to raise and lower. The steel plate
can be changed out for the standard wooden board so make sure this is
included and in good condition.
Trolleys - not all trailers/trolleys
are equal... some are well built and
properly balanced, others a bit floppy and difficult to use. All
rapidly succumb to salt water. Look for models with a solid
shape rather than the weaker T shape. A full width roller on the road
trailer to help guide the trolley on is a good feature. Bearings
and not wobbly/noisy when the wheel rotated?
Check condition of trolley wheels and tyres,
including any supplied spares, but especially the trailer road wheels
and tyres which, of course, must be road legal in terms of tread depth
etc. Check the mechanism that secures trolley to trailer for structural
integrity and make sure any pins needed are present. If fitted with an
adjustable mast support make sure this is able to be moved to a
different position to suit your own vehicle - especially if high.
Some people look for docking arms which stand up either side of the
launching trolley and guide the boat on straight.
out and seize up, check the transom track, main sheet blocks, jib sheet
jammers, kicking strap (12:1 is maximum,
6:1 is fine) and all
especially if kitted out for a spinnaker.
Especially check the rudder fittings where they attach to the transom,
these are subject to high forces when under load - make sure all bolts
are present and tight. Check the operation of the aft locker lid hinges
and catches and gasket [see item 3 above].
10. Miscellaneous Extras -
Some boats are
offered with extras which may include - a) Outboard mounting bracket
[check fixing bolts and condition of aluminium dovetail receptacle
fitted to transom], b) Oars [check for equal length, cracked damaged
blades and availability of rollocks], c) Furling Jib/Genoa [check swivel
joints for wear/corrosion], d) Spinnaker [check sail condition and all
associated rigging and hull fitments], Foredeck Spinnaker Opening [used
to launch spinnaker - can let water into boat in a lumpy sea], e) Anchor
[check point of warp attachment and for suitable warp and line length].
condition, what extras come with it
etc. Keep an eye on the
website listings and see
boats of comparable specification, asking price,
which ones sell and take a guess at how much they haggled.
This is not intended as an exhaustive list but rather
a set of common sense guide lines for the prospective purchaser new to
the Wanderer dinghy.
Based on an original list provided by Tim Robertson
and extended and modified by Terry Pullen. June 2009.