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May 9, 2018

Always a Pleasure

"Do you think anyone is going to finish this race?" "Nah, not really." "Do we care?" "Nah, not really."

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

The first Corinthian Yacht Club Friday night beer can race of the year on April 13 was nearly windless, and it took almost the entire race time limit to reach the first mark. Race abandoned. The most recent one had warm breezes all the way around.

A division start in the May 4 Corinthian Friday night race, with Angel Island in the background.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

If you appreciate the moment, beer can racing is an ideal way to step off the ‘grid’ and get back to the important things in life. Yes, it is a race, and, despite our ideal of simply enjoying the sail, we have to admit that it’s always a little more fun when we do well. But, regardless of outcome, we never want to miss a single one.

San Francisco’s new lighthouse looms over a fleet of beer can racers returning from the windward mark.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

There’s plenty of time left for you to join any of the Bay’s numerous evening beer can racing opportunities. For a comprehensive list of Bay Area evening sailing opportunities, click here.

The DIY ‘LL, Part 1

Way back in December 2017, we asked, "What’s your best temporary fix," or something that you MacGyvered while underway, far from the comfort of a boatyard, chandlery or docks full of sailors’ brains to pick? The question piggybacked on an early query: "Did you tackle a project that you really didn’t think you could manage — a project that you were going to pay a professional to do, before you asked for advice on the dock, watched a YouTube video, and decided to take a shot?"

We’ve scoured our email archives because it’s boatyard season. In the May issue’s feature Yard Work, we celebrate the gradations of boat work. A quick fix and a DIY can be synonymous; what was done as a repair on the fly could easily turn into the way that part of your boat works now. Farther down on the scale and greater in severity are the refit and restoration. But wait, let’s not get too technical — all of this work falls under the category of resourceful boat owners doing what’s necessary to keep afloat and keep having fun.

So here are some of your responses from last December. Thanks to everyone who wrote in. 

"In 2011 I doublehanded my Beneteau 351, Moku pe’a, from Hawaii to Tahiti with my daughter Kara," wrote Bill Leary. "We were 400 miles north of Tahiti and close reaching in 15 knots of wind, when I heard a squeak coming from the llazarette behind Kara’s quarter berth. I crawled back to check it out after she went on watch; the squeak came from the aluminum collar that secures the rudder in place vertically. The collar was rubbing on the Delrin upper rudder bearing as the rudder turned. No problem, a squirt of dish soap eliminated the squeak.

"After analyzing the rudder loads, I decided to secure the top of the rudder post in place using Spectra line," wrote Bill Leary.

© 2018 Bill Leary

"But I was alarmed to find that the two athwartships fiberglass gussets securing the rudder post in place had torn free where they attached to the hull, and the rudder post was moving back and forth. Yikes! if the movement increased, the fiberglass connection between the rudder post and the hull would likely fail, creating a hole in the hull below the waterline. We reefed down, reduced the rudder loads, and limped into Papeete in one piece, but I needed to secure the rudder post. I had more than 3,000 miles of cruising planned before returning home to Hawaii three months later. But I didn’t have the tools, time, or desire to grind out the glass and make a proper repair in Tahiti, so I looked for an easier alternative."

"After analyzing the rudder loads, I decided to secure the top of the rudder post in place using Spectra line and turnbuckles. I tied a piece of Spectra around the top of the rudder post and ran it horizontally to port where I secured it to an existing hull stiffener. I did the same to starboard, tightened the turnbuckles, and I was done! The rudder post was secured in place. I tested it out on a windy sail to Moorea and found no movement at all."

Oh yeah, and a turnbuckle sure helps, too.

© Bill Leary

"I left that temporary repair in place for the remainder of the cruise and didn’t get around to making a proper fiberglass repair until more than a year after I returned to Hawaii."

Jim Nash said that his first large boat repair was replacing about a fourth of the plywood bottom of a Philippines-built Thunderbird (Hull# 656), then glassing while the boat was upright. But that was just the start of his repairs to the Thunderbird. "Earlier, on the first voyage from Oahu to Lanai, the mast broke south of La’au Point, Molokai, when a lower shroud gave way after a hard night sailing from Kaneohe. Retrieving the pieces of the mast, I then had to pull the outboard from stowage in the starboard lazarette. The two-cylinder 7.5 horsepower motor would only run one one cylinder despite many attempts, making for slow going. It was a great sail/motor, but I wouldn’t choose to do it the same way again — except we caught fish enough to share wherever we moored or anchored."

And finally, Paul Brogger from Tenino, Washington, said that he was proud of his "DIY painted(!) faux-teak deck I put on my San Juan 28."

Is there anything that blue painters’ tape can’t do?

© 2018 Paul Brogger

Whether it’s a well-tied piece of Spectra, fiberglassing the bottom of a boat, or redoing your deck, Doing It Yourself requires equal parts of ingenuity, commitment and confidence in your skills. We’ll bring you part 2 of the DIY ‘LL in an upcoming ‘Lectronic.

Paul Brogger’s San Juan 28 Mid-Life Cruises lookin’ good with its non-teak teak-looking deck.

© 2018 Paul Brogger

Delta Doo Dah Kicks Off This Saturday

Sailboats and houseboats fraternize in Potato Slough’s Bedroom 1. What do they have in common? Toys — like paddleboards and kayaks — of course!

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Latitude 38’s 10th annual Delta Doo Dah cruising rally kicks off this Saturday, May 12, with a Delta Cruising Seminar & Party. The event will be hosted by Richmond Yacht Club from 6 to 9 p.m. Presenters will be Craig and Ann Perez of the Express 34 Marrakesh and RYC; Doodette Christine Weaver of the Laser 28 Stink Eye, RYC and Latitude 38; and Tom Lueck of the Hunter 41 Sir Leansalot and Stockton Sailing Club.

Toys, toys and more toys. Craig Perez shows his off at last year’s kickoff.

©2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Breakout sessions will cover anchoring skills, Delta destinations, and the bash downriver from the Delta to San Francisco Bay. RYC’s bar will be selling drinks (bring cash), and the club will provide delicious — and free! — appetizers. Pre-ordered Delta Doo Dah X burgees and caps will be available to pick up; extras will be available to purchase; and gear from previous years will be on sale. 

Keep your cool with Delta Doo Dah X hats.

©2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC
Thanks Mr. UPS Man! The Delta Doo Dah X burgees arrived today.

©2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

We’ll have giveaways for everyone and door prizes for many lucky sailors. Prizes include:

  • BugBand: a variety of DEET-free mosquito repellent products.
  • California Delta Chambers & Visitor’s Bureau: four California Delta shirts and four tickets to the Taste of the Delta event on August 4.
  • Latitude 38: two theme-related surprise door prizes and one of our new sports team-inspired hoodie sweatshirts.
  • Mini Firefighter: four of these smaller, less-messy supplements to your USCG-required fire extinguishers.
  • OPB-YC: four pairs of sailing gloves.
  • Owl Harbor: a stylish turquoise canvas tote bag filled with equally stylish prizes.
  • And possibly more on the way. (If you’d like to donate a prize for the drawing, contact Doodette Chris.)

To be eligible for the prize drawing, you must be signed up as an official Delta Doo Dah entry. Registration is free, and we won’t sell your data! Learn more and sign up online at


There’s no need to RSVP and no charge to attend the Kickoff — just come meet your fellow cruisers!

An event coming up this week escaped inclusion our May Calendar, but we hope this mention will get to you in time to attend a special event at Spaulding Marine Center in Sausalito this Thursday, May 10, 7-9 p.m.
There’s so much crap on my boat that taking it all out, piling it on deck, then shoving it below again reminds me of a posse of clowns getting out of a VW Bug at the circus.
There’s often a lot of bluster about growing sailing, so it’s a welcome sight to see a new community program join the Bay Area’s collection of dedicated sailing programs.