Re: Snow Falling On Potter Rails
Sat, 25 Dec 1999 14:22:21 EST

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West Wight Potter Website at URL
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In a message dated 12/25/99 10:48:09 AM Pacific Standard Time, writes:

<< I've learned a lot from all sides of the rail debate. Even though
topic has been beat to death, it was quite a long time before I learned
about the two deciding factors for me, which may or may not be of concern to
others. Namely, interference with headsail shape and rowing, however
slight. If I were a weekend cruiser or had a very bad back or liked the
look, I might have a totally different opinion. >>


If a person has an option, such as rails or a bimini, he probably at one time
did not have the option. Thus, he can give you an idea of what the benefits
where with and without these add-ons and may even be able to give you a good
idea if the benefits out weigh the cost. If a person is putting forth his
opinion of what he thinks the benefits, or lack of benefits, are on something
he has never used, his opinion becomes a guess, not an educated opinion.
That is unfair to the person asking for help. It's OK to say, "I've never
used 'so-and-so' but my guess is that I don't need it,", but to say, "I've
never used 'so-and-so,' I don't need it, so neither do you." does more harm
than good to the person trying to gather information.

Back to the pulpit and rails. I cannot speak about rowing. I do not have
oarlocks. I would like to. I just looked at the oarlocks on the IM page and
they look pretty neat. They show them on a boat with rails. The only thing
that keeps me from installing them is that it looks like a lot of work to
install a backing up underneath the coaming. I'd love to see some oarlocks
that clamp onto the cockpit rails. Oh, I just thought of another big
advantage of the rails besides other's that have been mentioned. I clamp my
propane barbecue to the rails. With limited space for cooking on the P-15,
that barbecue is really a lot of fun. All the cooking is done from the
cockpit without taking any cockpit space. The only drawback here is that as
much as the P-15 rocks at anchor, if you move about too much while cooking,
the pot will slide off and the trout will get your coffee. I hate it when
that happens.

As far as the bow pulpit is concerned, as Harry mentioned earlier today, it
does not get in the way of the head sails at all. I use the standard jib that
came with my P-15 and a 150 percent genoa. Neither is affected one iota by
the bow pulpit. I do not use a whisker pole so I cannot say if that would be
an issue. I keep two anchors attached to the bow pulpit. When the water's
gotten really rough and I have a bow anchor out, I've had to climb to the
foredeck to pull it up. I cannot imagine doing that without the pulpit. When
I'm bouncing around on the foredeck I brace myself solidly between the pulpit
and the mast or hang my feet over the bow and hang onto the pulpit to brace
myself while weighing anchor.

I tow my P-15 with a minivan and when I try to raise the tailgate with the
boat there, I cannot put the gate up all the way. I just lay a towel on the
tailgate to prevent any damage to the van's paint and let the gate go up to
the pulpit. Actually, the gate strikes the shank of one of the anchors.
That gives me enough room to get to whatever I need to get to in the back of
the van.

These opinions are based on my experiences. Since no two people are the
same, no two boats are the same and no two days of sailing are the same, I
cannot speak for others. I, personally, feel that if you're going into rough
water in a little boat, you need all the extra rails to grab that you can
have. For me, the added railings are invaluable. Wouldn't leave home without


P-15 Lollipop
N. Lake Tahoe, NV and
Monterey, CA