Thanks to the Galley Bitch for this guest post! – The Skipper
So the second week of our very late April trip – it was so late it ended in May – was at the Hartley Boats regatta held at Sunsail’s Vounaki base.
As we are the Swiss sole distributor of the Hartley boats, it was a great opportunity to check them out in varied conditions. Wind. No wind. Far too much wind. All from a pleasant beach with a bar on tap.
We stopped on shore at a great hotel call the Thalassa, very dog friendly and with great views and very helpful staff.
Instead of a daily break down here are a few thoughts on the week:
Great little boat, a bit small for me, had a hard time getting my six pack 😉 between the rudder and the main sheet. But as an introduction, it was easy to sail and responsive. Brilliant for kids and ladies shouldn’t have a problem with space.
Hartley 12 / 12.2:
Great fun and sails so well. We had not received ours in CH yet so this was a good time to check them out and to see whether there was a difference between the two variants. There was; the .2 is more like .5 – opens up opportunities for multi-sail sailing.
What a boat, you do not stop for a second on it. To be honest it was too much boat for my rusty skills at the beginning of the week (got me wet a few times) but I kept at it and it is really rewarding. It is most definitely a race boat not a cruising boat as you are having to adjust all the time, no time to sit back and enjoy the view (but if you want to do that why are you not in a 12 or a Wayfayer?).
As this was a known quantity to us, we only gave it a few sails but thoroughly enjoyed it. The skipper did have a day or two with the spinnaker out, and it’s a very powerful sail when it’s gusting a 5. For those of us who learnt to sail in heavy wooden Wayfarers back in the day and remember it as a slightly ponderous creature, the modern Mark IV can provide all the excitement you could want!
We did try a few of the lasers and you can call me biased, but they were not as much fun and they felt old.
Greek roads, helpful people and value for money:
Greece is going through a bit of a cash flow problem at the moment and the local roads are particularly poor. After a night’s rain we drove off to the supermarket for a bit of a shop and did not see a pothole in the pool of water on the road. BANG, HISS, oh bugger, flat tyre (when looking at the pothole after it had dried up it had major depth, with sides so vertical that base jumpers were eyeing it up). We got the space saver spare on and back to the hotel to ask where there was a garage/tyre centre, fully expecting to have to travel hours only to be told they do not stock our tyre size.
Not at all, Dimitri at the hotel told us it was 10 minutes away and he could take the wheel (and me) there to help out. So off we went. I’m sorry to say I was expecting something in a bit of a back street (which it was) but what we got was a very professional repair done on the tyre, taking 40 minutes and using all recognised named parts for the bargain price of 7€. Yes 7 not, as I thought, 70 (I’ve been in CH too long).