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July 24, 2020

Vallarta Yacht Club Exceeds Job-Saving Fundraiser Goals

When Vallarta Yacht Club in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico, was forced to close its doors in March due to COVID-19, the members embarked upon a mission to help their employees. Their subsequent fundraising campaign, S.O.S. (Save Our Staff), exceeded expectations and returned more than enough money to keep paying their nine permanent staff through the remainder of 2020.

Previous Staff Commodore Dick Locke said, “We calculated we needed to raise $45,000 USD to meet that goal. Our members met that goal within two weeks of the fundraising program and kept on donating.”

Vallarta Yacht Club entrance
The crew aboard Call of the Sea’s schooner Seaward have fond memories of the excellent hospitality afforded them during their three-week stay at the yacht club’s dock.
© 2020 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

Aside from the satisfaction of knowing their efforts were for a good cause, members who donated were named on a plaque that was to be hung on the wall. “It’s a small club with about 160 members, and a survey told us that staff are what everyone likes most,” Locke said.

In light of health regulations and the club’s scattered membership, fundraising was done strictly by email. “We sent out five or six emails and passed $45,000 in the first two weeks. We were going to follow up the emails with personal calls, but we didn’t need to.” And with the realization that the pandemic-driven difficulties would likely last well into 2021, it was decided to keep the campaign rolling. “We wound up with $71,000.”

Support has also come from the club’s landlord, Paradise Village Hotel, which has forgiven four months of rent — an additional $14,000 worth of assistance, which Dick said has been “a big help!”

Just this week the Vallarta Yacht Club board voted to reopen the club as of August 1. Outside dining and takeout are permitted under local law.

Pacific Puddle Jump briefing inside Vallarta YC.
Vallarta YC is also a great meet-up and jump-off point for cruisers participating in events such as the Baja Ha-Ha and the Pacific Puddle Jump.
© 2020 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

As well as a seven-day-a-week restaurant, the club operates a sailing school for local children and offers scholarships to those who can’t afford the fees. One of the club’s best-known features is its small-boat regattas. They host an annual WesMex International Small Boat Regatta  — considered one of the most important regattas in the Mexican Circuit — and in 2021 the club will host the Optimist North American Championships. The club also hosts cruising regattas such as the Banderas Bay Regatta, which is on the Baja Ha-Ha calendar.

Small boats coming home to Vallarta Yacht Club
Watching the juniors sail in and out provides plenty of entertainment during afternoon cocktails on the deck.
© 2020 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

You can learn more about Vallarta Yacht Club here.

Find Your Back Issues of Latitude 38 to Win a Latitude 38 Hat

Just over a week ago we posted this Latitude 38 archive photo on our Facebook page stating, “We often hear from readers who say, ‘I’ve got a copy of every issue of Latitude 38 stored in my house.'”  So we’re offering a test for those who say they have a complete set of the magazines.

This shot is one of our favorite covers. We’ll select a winner of a Latitude 38 hat from those who can tell us which issue had this photo on the cover — and since you’re pulling out the old magazine, include the event, boat, photographer and sailors too.

Mystery Latitude 38 photo
Mystery Photo. 
© 2020 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Guess Who

“Amazing,” commented Sutter Schumaker when Rob Tryon got most of the answer correct without the help of a back issue in hand. But before we reveal his ‘best guess’ posted on Facebook, we’ll give you a chance to post the complete answer in the comments below.

And we agree with Ronnie Simpson’s comment, “Every time a Cal 40 surfs past Diamond Head Light an angel gets its wings.”

To Lease or Own: A Question on Marina Slips

With the abundance of boats in the Bay Area, we wanted to understand more about the merits of leasing or renting a slip versus owning a slip. Just last year our Latitude-friend Eric Sanford sold his Morgan Heritage, along with the marina slip he’d owned for years. And while the concept of slip ownership is not entirely new, it is something that many of us had not previously considered.

Overnight and long-term berthing both come with a price. And as with most things that have a dollar value, that price invariably increases in accordance with supply and demand, and with general inflation.

Some Bay Area marinas offer boat owners an option to own their marina slip or dock space, just as they can own a condominium. Only in boating terms, boaters have the option to own a ‘dockominium’ — permanent and perpetual ownership of a dock space or slip.

Own or Lease your slip: That is The Question
Whether you rent or own your slip, the Bay Area is a great place to be a boat owner.
© 2020 Monica Grant

As more and more people take to the water it’s possible that existing marina vacancies will decrease. Add to that a lack of new marina developments and the battle to maintain existing slips, and the prospects of finding a slip for one’s boat could well be diminishing. Plus of course there’s the almost-guaranteed factor of rising rents.

Could ownership be an alternative to slip rental?

Exploring Northern California’s Inland Delta Cruising Grounds

What are you doing with your ‘pod’ this summer? The Bay is often visited by pods of whales, and now, due to health concerns, it’s suggested we all travel with just our family pod. We’re hearing from more sailors who are expanding their local sailing explorations of the Bay Area, which includes our warm, sunny, close-to-home Delta cruising grounds.

With this in mind, we invited Don Durant of Club Nautique to share his insights on cruising the Delta in our current July issue: “Let’s begin by eliminating the misconception that the Delta is too shallow for sailboats. We’ve been cruising in the Delta for decades, and Eureka!, our Jeanneau 49DS, draws more than 7 feet. So, with that myth set aside, let’s plan a cruise! I had fond but fuzzy memories of Delta cruises when I was a kid in the ’50s aboard my parents’ Stephens cabin cruiser, so when I had a family of my own and our own sailboat, my wife Judy and I planned our first Delta cruise. My childhood experience was distant and I didn’t know whom to ask for advice, but I was an experienced sailor and former submarine navigator so I figured, “How hard can it be?” It turned out not to be hard at all, but, as with any cruise, planning improves performance. What follows is a guide for an introductory cruise based on my experience and mistakes (yes, I’ve made plenty)…”

Potato Slough
Rafted up with friends or on your own, Potato Slough provides a warm, protected and relaxed escape.
© 2020 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

It’s not far away and there’s plenty for your pod to explore. You can do it on your own, with friends, and as part of the 12th annual Delta Doo Dah. Read the full story in the July World of Chartering.

Boat Pieces Found on Beach
A little while ago we received photos of a piece of hull uncovered on a local beach. The timbered section still wore much of its paint work, but no other identifiable markings were visible.
The Club at Westpoint Breaks New Ground
The Club at Westpoint Harbor hosted a 'pandemic-adjusted' groundbreaking ceremony for its new ecologically sensitive, multi-purpose building last Saturday. Members from across the US joined the board of directors via live-streaming from the new building site.
Meet Latitude's Captain.
How does an engineering graduate move from selling opera tickets to running a famous sailing magazine? Benjamin Shaw recently invited John Arndt to join him on his podcast, Out The Gate Sailing. The result is a rollicking tale of adventures and opportunities that carried this intrepid sailor across the country and to various oceans across the globe.