Sailing capabilities

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Keith - Tue 21 Feb 2006 10:42:28 I have the chance to purchase a Manta (no traier)..any ideas on capabilities? I live on Anglesey and would like to go to Ireland/IOM etc but get the feeling from the present owners that they have only sailed in sheltered waters


Donald Wright - Tue 07 Mar 2006 00:42:30 I sail from North Berwick on the Firth of Forth, almost always single handed in my Manta 19 "Lazy Daze". She is a good single handed boat and after being out in the suall described at - 28k

I have complete confidence in her abilities. I was single handed when hit by this squall while sailing towards the island of Craigleith (not racing). The description in the press did not really do it justice... It was a howling gale with hailstones which covered the cockpit with ice in seconds flat. I had started out with the maisail reefed (thank goodness) and quickly rolled away the genny completely. In an effort to avoid the worst of it I crash gibed and bore away towards the south west as the squall went south east. I started the engine, a 5hp Mariner 2 stroke, let fly the mainsheet and headed into the wind. Well that was the plan. The wind was so strong that even with the mainsheet fully out and the engine going I could not force the bows fully into the wind. She did manage however to hold her own and at no point, apart from the crash jibe, did I feel at all in danger. Afterwards there was no damage or breakages. Having said all that, I did renew all the standing rigging and some of the running rigging when I bought her about four years ago and boy am I glad I did. She is not particularly close winded compared to the local Medinas or Junos so as a racing platform may not be the first choice (but maybe I'm not such a good sailor!). But as a good, easily handled, keel boat for the less experienced (like me in sail boat terms) she would be hard to beat. A great advantage I think is the stub keel which provides the ballast but also allows a much greater degree of control when entering or leaving a shallow water berth with the centre plate raised.

Go for it

Alan - Thu 14 Sep 2006 23:16:40 You've probably tested it out by now. But it's always best to start off with little adventures.
I live in Cumbria.
My Manta has been off the water for a few years - too small for the family and needed a new trailer. - Her last trip was from Barrow in Furness to Conwy, round Anglesey and back. It was a few weeks before the boat could return because of strong winds (we went home by train) and I came back when the wind settled and I sailed back single handed - a 23 hour trip.
On the way down the weather was stronger than forecast and we found ourselves 10 miles off Blackpool in 30 knot winds. despite this she made nearly 50 degrees to windward. We took a wave over the top - the hatch slid forward when the wave stopped us - a powerful hand operated bailer is essential - as lots of water went below - don't count on electricity when that happens. Foam bouancy is reassuring at that point. I don't see the Manta as the right boat to be in in force seven winds. If it had been forecast I wouldn't have been there - but it's YOUR experience that counts. The Manta is a very light boat and bounces over the waves or gets stopped by them. The fine entry works well in a chop but if you run into solid water the boat will stop. The wave will keep going and you will have to pump quite energetically.
On another trip we maintained a reach to Ramsey from Ravenglass in a northerly 6 - short fetch because of the Scottish coast - we broached when a wave broke under the rudder but came up quickly AND REEFED.
I have also sailed from LochGilphead to East Loch Tarbet in a 33 knot wind we planed down waves at 7 1/2 knots (according to a very unreliable Wasp log - but our average speed agreed with it). Again this was a northerly with a short fetch. Everything becomes much Hairyer if the waves get bigger and break less predictably.
The message is if your boat is well maintained - all keel bolts checked - the drop plate inspected and well installed - sails and standing rigging in good order she will respond to your ability.
I'm looking forward to getting back on the Irish sea and see Isle of Man as well within my reach but I'll build up slowly after a few years off the water.
Always remember that the reason the Manta is fast is that she is light, which means she won't carry her way through steep, short waves. She will come up over them provided you keep/pump the water out.
I carried an Irish flag when I went to Isle of Man but the weather was never good enough to make the rest of the journey.
A sobering experience was a trip to I of Man when My wife went by ferry. Delays caused by off shore damage resulted in me being 12 hours late ( I didn't have a radio then) and my wife called the coastguard.
If you haven't tried it already try a little bit first - with a very good forecast. If you do get caught out the boat will cope if you can.


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