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Walking on water ?


Having recently taken over the role of club measurer and ever since been pestered by our web designer Eric here goes with my contribution!

First of all I must thank Tom Wilkinson for his untiring efforts as club measurer in the past. All those who have had the benefit of having a boat measured by Tom will know that his very high standards will survive the most stringent of scrutiny. My aim is to emmulate Toms example and hopefully carry on where he left off.

Potted  Biography

I thought some of our members might wonder how I am qualified for this role other than the fact nobody else wanted to take it on! So here is a very brief potted history of my credentials, model yachting that is!

I started building model yachts over 50 years ago, joining the now defunct Basildon Club, where I also designed and raced my own Marblehead,  which club relocated and changed its name to Chelmsford, where for several years I was Treasurer.  I sat on the national committee representing the Eastern region. In 1990 I entered the first ever IOM Nationals hosted by Brentwood club where in an entry of some 48 boats I finished 8th with my Bikini design by Graham Bantock. (the event was won by Phil Playle and my son Simon was the Junior champion).
On moving to Worcester I was a member of Bournville club where my love affair with six metres started and has never diminished. I also raced vane Marbleheads and 36's at local and National level, (I still have a vane 36). In 1992 assisted by my wife Beryl I was race officer at Fleetwood for the Vane Marblehead Nationals with an entry of over 40 boats.
During this time I built the prototype Ragtime design by Graham Bantock for Marine Modelling which was serialised and the prototype Petrel R6M by John Lewis which was again serialised in Model Boats who commissioned the design.

At this time the Model Yachting Association wanted to drop affiliation to the 6M class and a few skippers (around a dozen) formed the Six Metre Owners Association. I published a quarterly newsletter and over 7-8 years our membership rose to around 110 (this was in the days of snail mail), with active sailing in all districts. Needless to say we were successful in promoting  the class which  is still recognised by the MYA.

Whilst in Devon my model sailing went into decline as I was heavily involved in coaching rowing with a squad of over 30 of all ages at my local club 'Dart Totnes' which culminated in a J16 girl crew in my final year emphatically winning the South Western championship by winning all their regattas in the south west and beyond. At this time I was also writing a regular review column for 'Watercraft' an international boating publication.

Some 8 years ago Beryl and I returned to East Anglia where my interest in model sailing was re-kindled when I joined Broads RYC. Finally I have to admit that building is still my main interest, and more recently sail making.


As skippers we are all required to have new boats measured and registered within six months and new sails should be measured as soon as practical when purchased for an existing boat. This task is not too onerous provided skippers follow some basic checks prior to presenting their boat and/or sails for measurement.

  1. Obtain a registration number from the current class registrar
  2. Ensure that registration number is prominently displayed on the deck as well as being permanently affixed to the interior of the hull where it can be checked.
  3. A check weight of the keel and fin (one metres) to ensure it complies with the rule.
  4. A check of the total weight in sailing trim (including batteries), adding additional trimming ballast where necessary.
  5. All sails have their class (or personal No) attached and class logo (all classes).


I have a fairly well equipped workshop and can help rectify any small matters of concern. Do not think that because you have been wealthy enough to purchase a new commercially built boat none of the above checks are necessary. Tom can confirm that on the only two occasions I have submitted new commercial boats for measurement that on one the keel was considerably overweight and on the other the bow bumper had to be filed down in order that the hull was within the one-metre allowed! So be warned!


The current measurement fee levied by the club is £15 for a hull and up to three rigs at time of initial hull measurement.
Subsequent sails are measured at a fee of £3 per suit.
I will collect these fees at time of measurement and forward the same to our Treasurer Peter Sutton.

The Future

If you have read this far congratulations! You will also be aware the my favourite class is the 6M and to help promote the class locally I have taken on the task of fitting out my workshop, which because of space constraints is now in my garage in order that I can measure sixes and assist builders /owners at a local level. I have a request in with Henry Farley to spend time with him when he is measuring the class in order that I can be approved as an MYA measurer for the class. I am building a measurement tank and dry measurement jig and hope to have this all up and running early in 2018.

Finally I wish all our members good friendly and competitive sailing for the future.

Alan Bright
01502 470782



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