pwllhelilogoloresflagFlag Officers Introduction and News

Croeso / Welcome to this week's club newsletter. Not much to report this week as we await the Welsh Government tri weekly announcement on March 12th. The English roadmap is a little clearer with restrictions around organised sport being lifted on March 29th and the rule of 6 (or two households) applying to outdoors gatherings.  Let us hope something similar is announced in Wales.

Congratulations to WRU -Wales winning the triple crown last Saturday in a very entertaining match - our Commodore reporting several celebratory laps of his living room!  

Work continues on essential maintenance, and a programme of safety boat upgrading has started. The event pontoons are scheduled to have an electrical "makeover" and volunteers are sought for jet washing (max two people at a time)

Let's hope we all get back to the sport we love soon, and using our fantastic facilities and  enjoying a refreshment in the  bar/café with its stunning views of Cardigan bay  and Snowdonia.

Cadwch yn ddiogel ac yn iach - Stay safe and well.


The club has a webcam mounted on the Plas Heli Bridge, and the live images can be viewed here, or at the bottom of the website home page. 

An additional webcam will be installed later this year looking over the Plas Heli pontoons and marina and will be streamed in the member's area of the club website.

Welsh Government  Alert Level 4 

Stay at home - with outdoor exercise starting from home, with up to two people allowed to meet, with travel  restricted to work and essential reasons.

Next update 12th March

Latest RYA Cymru Wales advice here  

RYA News

BREXIT - RYA  Guidance

Border force (customs)  requirements for recreational boats leaving UK waters (for example visiting Ireland) are listed here with links to the forms etc

RYA delighted at Government decision on tax reform of red diesel

The RYA is pleased that following public consultation, HM Treasury has today (3rd March 2021) confirmed its decision to maintain recreational boaters' entitlement to use red diesel beyond April 2022. 

Last year, the RYA responded to the HM Treasury red diesel consultation, making it clear that supply around the coast for recreational boaters could not be guaranteed unless the entitlement to use red diesel was removed from commercial boat operating industries as the cost of installing a second pump for white diesel would not be commercially viable in many harbours and ports. The RYA has always maintained that the simplest means of maintaining supply for all recreational boaters on the coast and on inland waterways is the use of duty-paid red diesel.

As part of the Spring Budget announcement, the Government stated that it is not changing the treatment of private pleasure craft in Great Britain where they will continue to be able to use red diesel and pay their fuel supplier the difference between the red diesel rate and the white diesel rate on the proportion they intend to use for propulsion.

In Northern Ireland however, recreational boaters will no longer be able to use red diesel for propelling their craft. This is to ensure the UK meets its international obligations under the Northern Ireland Protocol of the Withdrawal Agreement. It will also align with fuel used by private pleasure craft in the Republic of Ireland, which the Government believes will make it simpler for private pleasure craft users to access the fuel they need if they sail between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland (and vice versa). 

RYA’s Director of External Affairs, Howard Pridding, commented: “We are delighted with the Government's decision on the continued entitlement on the use of red diesel for recreational boaters. Availability of fuel at the waterside and the safety implications that that may have meant for boaters has always remained our primary concern. We have a long history of engaging with Government on this issue, and we are grateful to HMRC officials who have listened and taken pragmatic decisions.  

“However, we are disappointed that the same allowances have not been granted for recreational boaters in Northern Ireland.  We will work with our colleagues in RYA Northern Ireland and continue to maintain dialogue with Government on the practical difficulties that it is going to present.” 

You can read more about the RYA's lobbying developments with red diesel here.

You can learn more about the results of the red diesel consultation on GOV.UK.

If you have any questions regarding red diesel or any other current affair issues, please visit the Current Affairs page on the RYA website or email: Mae'r cyfeiriad e-bost hwn wedi'i warchod rhag robotiaid sbam. Rhaid i chi alluogi JavaScript i'w weld..  

Gorsaf Bad Achub Pwllheli Lifeboat Station 

2.58155149 2 496x372

Training with the SLARS unit continues with the mechanics training for the maintenance requirements.

Pwllheli Shannon Lifeboat  13-39 was out in Poole Harbour recently on sea trials and was captured escorting Pip Hare's "Medallia" IMOCA 60 as she returned from her outstanding round the world - Vendee Globe Race. Very well-done Pip on a fantastic race



CRUISING - Furlers

With more boats carrying a gennaker or cruising chute for reaching, recent developments in furling have made sail handling simpler.  Below is a recent article by which explains all!

Top down furling vs Bottom up furling - what's the difference?

top down and bottom up furling

Top down furling and bottom up furling are expressions used primarily for continuous line furling systems using a torsional cable/rope, around which the sail furls. As opposed to a traditional foil furling system, used on cruising boats, where the jib/genoa is hoisted in a luff groove in the aluminium foil and the sail furls around the full length of the foil.

Bottom up Furling

Continuous line furlers have evolved in line with the popular growth in the use of Code Zero sails. The Code Zero is a relatively deep, lightweight, reaching sail. It is referred to as a "straight luff" sail where reasonable luff tension is required to enable pointing. The torsional cable is enclosed in a pocket which runs up the luff of the sail.

The sail is lashed to the thimbles of the cable at both the tack and head. The cable sits with the sail in the sail bag, already tightly furled. When it comes time to deploy the sail, the cable thimbles are attached to the furling drum at the tack and a swivel at the head, hoisted as a long sausage and tightened. To unfurl, the continuous line drum is allowed to spin freely until the sail is fully deployed. When it comes time to furl away the Code 0, as the furling drum starts to turn, it starts to wrap the bottom of the sail around the cable first and the furl gradually works its way up the luff of the sail - hence the expression "Bottom up".

 furler system information

Image courtesy of Ronstan

Top down furling

The emergence of top down furling is a much more recent phenomena. As Code 0's became more popular, so too did asymmetric gennakers, particularly in racing circles where they were looking to optimise their downwind sailing angles. Asymmetric gennakers are really an extension of the code zero, they just get deeper and lighter as the desired sailing angle becomes lower. However, there is one fundamental difference between a gennaker and a code 0: as you sail deeper you want the whole sail to be able to rotate around the forestay plus you achieve greater sail area with more positive luff curve compared to a tighter reaching sail which requires a straight luff. Therefore, Gennakers require a free flying luff which is independent from the furling cable.  

The traditional method for dousing a spinnaker was a snuffer but with the increasing use of bottom up furling for code zero's, and their similarities to asymmetric gennakers, people started to experiment with continuous line furlers. Initial attempts at standard bottom up furling proved disastrous. Due to the depth of the centre of the sail, compared to the corners, the furl would start at the bottom, but before the centre of the sail was furled away, it would also start furling from the top down, leaving a large pocket of air trapped in the middle of the furled sail.

There is plenty of debate about who actually started the top down furling craze but the solution to effectively furling away these deep downwind sails was to allow the furl to start at the head and leave the tack of the sail to rotate freely at the bottom, unconnected to either the cable or the furling drum. The result: the furl is transmitted from the drum, along the full length of the furling cable and starts at the head of the sail and all the air is squeezed out of the sail as the furl travels down the cable to the tack.

Karver Systems KFS top down furling unit

  • Image 1: Bottom up - Tack of sail is lashed to bottom thimble of torsional cable (Image courtesy of Facnor Furling Systems)
  • Image 3: Top down - Tack of the gennaker remains still, on a free floating swivel, while the drum turns and transmits torque to the head of the sail. (Image courtesy of Karver Systems)


  • Bottom up furling
    • Straight luff code zeros and staysails - reaching sails
    • Torsional cable contained within a luff pocket in the sail
    • Sail attached to both top and bottom of the cable
    • Furl starts at the bottom and works its way up the luff of the sail
  • Top down furling
    • Loose luffed asymmetric gennakers - running sails
    • Sail is attached to the cable at the top but allowed to rotate free from the cable or drum at the tack
    • The furl starts at the head of the sail and works its way down the cable

Boredom Buster Video - Commanche - Breaking the Atlantic Record


  2021 Membership Rates


Membership of CHPSC for 2021 

The membership year is from 1st January to 31st December.

2021 Fee Structure 

Primary Member - £65

Joint Membership - £115

Racing Skipper - £125

Joint Racing Skipper  - £180

Associate Member - £75

Student/Apprentice Member - £30

Youth Member - £20

Dinghy Storage

Small (Optimist/Topper) £55 (£48 early payment)

Medium (Laser) £65 £55 early payment)

Large (Merlin Rocket) £85 (£75 early payment)

Multi Hulls (Dart etc) £95 (£83 early payment)

Road Trailer £50 or £75 for 2 stacked

Box storage trailers under 10 feet £60 (£75 for larger box trailers)

You can purchase a club burgee or pay for your club calendar postage as part of your membership process!

The centre is closed in line with Welsh Government Alert Level 4 restrictions. New opening hours will be posted as soon as  restrictions are eased, and our bar and catering partners have assessed what they can offer. 

In order that the club and centre can open re-promptly, there is some essential maintenance work being undertaken on the infrastructure of Plas Heli and both Plas Heli and CHPSC equipment by the Directors and Flag Officers, in line with Welsh Government Regulations. In addition, a review of the facilities is currently underway.

When restrictions are eased a little, we will be looking for additional volunteers to ensure a smooth return to club activities. All voluntary activities will be managed to keep members safe, and all within allowable guidelines.

J24's for sale - expressions of interest

A project is underway to look at the feasibility of replacing  the two academy J24's with a lift keel sportboat, to use for race training, club racing and for CHIPAC sailors to transition to keelboats. It will also be available for charter into class events in the UK and Ireland, representing Wales. 

The two J24's, with one good quality trailer, yard cradle and a good set of sails are available for sale as a package, please reply to this email if interested, or email Mae'r cyfeiriad e-bost hwn wedi'i warchod rhag robotiaid sbam. Rhaid i chi alluogi JavaScript i'w weld.

New codes on all gates - please don’t pass on these numbers. Anyone with a genuine need to access the pontoons, compounds or other gated areas will be provided with the code, combination or key. Email Mae'r cyfeiriad e-bost hwn wedi'i warchod rhag robotiaid sbam. Rhaid i chi alluogi JavaScript i'w weld. for details, or talk to one of your Flag Officers. The Plas Heli event car park on the quay is also available for members parking, should the main Plas Heli car park fill up - for a parking permit see instructions below.

Track and Trace is a Government requirement, please record your details on the sheet provided at the entrance to the  bar, or send an email to Mae'r cyfeiriad e-bost hwn wedi'i warchod rhag robotiaid sbam. Rhaid i chi alluogi JavaScript i'w weld.. It is a Welsh Government recommendation that you also use the NHS app, via the QR code below. 


2021Flyer 2


Plas Heli, the Welsh National Sailing Academy and Event Centre, has been awarded the venue rights for the 'IRC Welsh National Championships' for 2021 and 2022.  The Championship is hosted by Plas Heli, and organised/managed by CHPSC and the RDYC.

We now are recruiting volunteers for event planning purposes and if you would like to contribute, or have any suggestions to enhance the event, please reply to this newsletter. The first planning meeting was held last week via "zoom" to agree the format of racing and framework to publish the Notice of Race. This is now complete and published with the online  entry open at the event website here

Thought for  the Day:

"there is no elevator to success, you have to take the stairs"


 For more information, membership links and the latest weather and webcam

go to:


Plas Heli Quayside Parking

The parking area on the Plas Heli Quayside is available for paid up CHPSC members and to authorised pontoon users.

The parking area is accessed through the gate adjacent to the old club building

The code to the gate is changed regularly and can be obtained through the website  > Facilities> Parking.  For convenience follow this shortcut link here

Fill in the details – put a tick in the box to confirm that you are a CHPSC member (have your 2021 membership number ready)

Then in the payment bit – use ‘I am a paid up CHPSC member and request permit for parking’ - Then Submit

You will then receive an automated return e-mail with instructions

Please make sure the gate is closed and locked at all times and that the padlock is never left open or with the code left on the dial

Note: the members parking area outside Plas Heli is temporarily closed due to some recent anti social behaviour, and will be re-opened at Easter, or when the centre re-opens


1000 Characters left

pwllheli logo low res