News From the Helm -September 2018

BY MICHAEL ROBERTSON

WE WANT FANCY

If you’ve done any fancy rope work on your boat, send us a great photo of it. Maybe you’ve wrapped your wheel or boathook handle. Maybe you’ve wrapped your keel-stepped mast to serve as the cat’s scratching post. Maybe your compression post is dressed in fancy macramé. We really want to feature it in an upcoming photo spread. Get creative and make it pretty, use morning or afternoon light, show us your stuff. Send photos to michael_r@goodoldboat.com


FREE GOOD OLD BOAT!

Interested in a sound Albin Vega 27? She’s on the hard in Old Saybrook, Connecticut, and reader James Villa is giving her away to a good home. Of course, there are plenty of old sayings about free boats, but this is the real deal. I’ve been emailing back and forth with James and he seems very candid about what he’s offering. He wrote, “Her USCG documentation is up to date. She’s sound in hull, decks, and standing rigging. She has good halyards and hardware. She has an MD7A Volvo 13-hp diesel inboard which was winterized professionally four or five years ago. She is equipped with a roller furling genoa that’s in good shape.”

Unfortunately, the boat’s mainsail and dodger were stolen while she sat in storage. James also notes that she needs cleaning and a new head liner in the V-berth. He says that the interior cushions need re-stitching, but that they are usable. She also needs a new wood cabin sole, including bilge and battery covers. Having been sitting, she’ll require new batteries.

But James adds that, “yard fees all will be paid to date. She is a great and kindly sailor, a Discovery 1978 Series III Vega, last of the breed ever made!”

Still interested? Contact James at jamesvega@gmx.com 


SEARCHING FOR JEZEBEL 

Reader Cathryn Smith isn’t giving a boat away, she’s looking for one, an Allied Seawind Ketch 30 named Jezebel. Her family owned the boat during the time she grew up on the shores of Long Island Sound. That was 45 years ago.

Cathryn believes the boat was purchased new from Yacht Haven in Stamford, Connecticut, in January of 1966. She thinks that’s the same place from which her father (Robert Smith) sold the boat through in 1972. She says her family kept Jezebel at the Rowayton Yacht Club.

“I currently teach English at the local community college where I have worked for 30 years. I sail on Lake Ontario and every time I go out, I look for Jezebel.”

Cathryn’s been pursuing leads for years with no luck. If anyone has any thoughts or ideas concerning the whereabouts of Jezebel, contact Cathryn at csmith2@monroecc.edu


10th (AND FINAL) SIPPY CUP

Walden Rigging of North East Maryland has for a decade hosted the Sippy Cup fun race (as well as the Big Gulp). This year it ran from Annapolis to the upper reaches of the Chesapeake. It’s been a huge success and we’re not sure why it’s over, but it’s over—and the 10th running seems to have been a perfect time. Following is an excerpted recap by Suzanne and Dobbs Fryberger.

***

Shortly before 5am on the morning of August 4th, intermingled with those of deadrises and fishing boats, the running lights of 14 sailboats could be seen venturing out of Swan Creek and Rock Hall Harbor. Rendezvous was at 5:30am near the southern tip of Swan Point Bar, and we were all motoring into a SW 15- to 20-knot breeze and 2- to 3-foot chop. On Grace, Suzanne squatted on the bow, spot-lighting for crab floats and debris. It was a wet, wild ride, made easier by being in good company. We knew we were approaching the Catalina 27 Child of the Wind when we heard the barking of Etta James, the boat’s Jack Russell. With the conditions, it took longer than expected to get on-site, so Suzanne made announcements as Dobbs motored us toward the start between green “3” and red “4” of the Swan Point shipping channel. We ended up postponing the starts until 6:20 and 6:35 to get everyone there. Even with dark clouds, gusty squalls, and light rain, racers looked enthusiastic and ready for a great sail. We managed two good starts, and the race was on! The wind direction, speed, and flood tide combined to make the trip up the Bay a reaching drag race of constant trimming for best speed.

It’s fun sailing amongst similarly-rated boats crewed by sailors who are competitive and easy-going. All boats stayed relatively close together throughout the race, which started on a port tack beam reach, became a broad reach, and 28 miles later finished close-hauled as the wind veered. Through binoculars, we watched as the Big Gulp fleet finished, a few miles ahead at red “2” of the North East River, just north of Turkey Point. It was an exciting close finish without correcting for handicaps, and even more exciting to score later. While the Cal 39 Allegra finished 20 minutes ahead of the rest of the fleet, she had to give most of them 20-22 minutes in corrected time. This put Hances Point Yacht Club’s own Ariel II, sailed by John Diffley and crew, 4 minutes ahead and winners of the Big Gulp trophy.

Grace led the Sippy Cup fleet with Long-Winded, Winsome, and Juan Fine Day right on our heels. Over time, the 21’ San Juan fell astern, though doing very well for herself – she’s the smallest boat to have ever raced in the Sippy Cup. Long-Winded was the surprise. Even with a crew new to racing, they stuck to us like glue for the entire race, ultimately finishing 5 minutes behind on corrected time. Winsome finished 6 minutes after them, and then the rest of the fleet crossed the line over the next hour. Long-Winded and Buff-A-Duck had a side bet going that the loser would wash the winner’s boat, decked out in a Goodwill dress of the winner’s choice.

Racing complete, the racers retired to Hances Point Yacht Club for camaraderie, dinner, and music. Dobbs used the club’s pontoon launch to ferry sailors in the mooring field, anchorage, and nearby marinas to and from shore throughout the evening. The club’s power mysteriously went out at 5pm, so the party happened in daylight and then candlelight. HPYC’s dedicated volunteers went straight to work setting up boat generators to keep water flowing to the amenities and power to the band’s equipment. Somehow, even the porch lights were included. The food was delicious, the music a perfect complement to the setting sun, and we saw smiles all around. Magical events like this don’t happen on their own – it takes the racers who come out to play, the organizers and volunteers who support them, and the community who celebrates their success. We are grateful to have had all of these for the last 10 years. –Suzanne and Dobbs Fryberger


SAILABILITY INFO WANTED

Good Old Boat founders, Karen Larson and Jerry Powlas, are retired and you can guess how they’re spending their wealth of free time. Yep, you guessed it, and they have two sailboats to do it with. What they need now is information, specifically, the couple wants first-hand knowledge about the sailability of two lakes they have their eyes on: Fontana Lake in western North Carolina, and Grand Lake O’the Cherokees in northeast Oklahoma.

They want to know, about either lake:

  • Might a good old couple with a 30-foot trailerable sailboat find happiness sailing on this lake in the spring?
  • Will this lake accommodate a 5-foot draft?
  • Is this lake crowded during the spring season with houseboats, cigarette boats, or bass boats?
  • Does the lake offer launch ramps that can accommodate a large trailerable sailboat?

If you have any insight, please email karen@goodoldboat.com. She welcomes your thoughts. And maybe you know nothing of these lakes, but have you own idea of a warm-weather lake you think they might enjoy sailing during the months of March, April, or May? They’d like to hear from you too.


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