This week we’ve come across footage of two large yachts that have had less-than-comfortable experiences at the docks. We received word of the sailing yacht Black Pearl‘s being pushed up against her dock in Montenegro during strong winds. Then, while we were researching the story, we found a video of the motoryacht Go plowing through a dock at the Sint Maarten Yacht Club.
The Black Pearl is a 350-ft three-masted sailing yacht. She has a 49-ft beam and a gross tonnage of around 2,864 tons. But none of this helped her when the vessel’s crew recorded true wind speeds of over 63 knots at her dock in Porto Montenegro.
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The vessel’s captain, Chris Gartner, made a statement that appeared on the ship’s Instagram page. He said, “Unfortunately, during that time we had a few lines part. And due to our lines parting we did go up against the dock.”
Black Pearl and her dock did receive some damage, as you can see in the photos above, but that’s nothing compared to the carnage left behind in the wake of M/Y Go.
Go is a 252.5-ft motor yacht. She has a steel hull and aluminum superstructure with a (nearly) 43-ft beam and a gross tonnage of 1950 tons. Imagine this bearing down onto a simple dock structure while you’re sitting nearby enjoying a quiet coffee. Take a look at the following YouTube videos.
The video below captured Go‘s first encounter with the docks.
We’ve all had that experience: the one where you discover a connection to your sailing life at an unexpected moment, whether it’s a cruiser you met once in some faraway place, an old friend who you didn’t even know was a sailor, or in the case of Carole and Pat McIntosh, a wandering sailor in a laundromat in the middle of Arizona. Pat sent us this story of their recent encounter with a young dinghy sailor traveling through Arizona.
This year Carole and I were not destined to go back to Mexico. Friends told us to go to Arizona and quit our bitching, be warmer than we would be staying at home, and try to make some new friends, even if they weren’t sailors. That’s what we did, and where we are.
Last week we were walking by the laundromat at the Crazy Horse RV Park in Lake Havasu City, AZ, where we are spending a couple of months. All of a sudden I spotted an SUV with a small sailboat tied to the roof rack. So in I went and asked in a loud enough voice to be heard over the noise of washers and dryers swishing and thumping, “Who’s got the car with the sailboat on top out here?”
All the RV’ers looked at me as if they had never heard of a sailboat before. There was silence, except for the noise of about 20 washers and dryers. Then a young man named Jason Durie, who was folding clothes and now trying not to be noticed by the RV’ers, said that that would be his car, and is everything OK? He was relieved when I started asking him questions about his classic dinghy, and exactly what it was, maybe a Fatty Knees? We were having an animated conversation about where he had been traveling and sailing and camping, and his boat.
It is a Montgomery, and it’s the dinghy to his other boat. He has mounted small wheels on the transom like an inflatable dinghy so he has an easier time getting to and from the water, and he says he never has engine problems because he has no outboard! When he runs out of wind, he just pulls out his oars and rows where he needs to go. So far, he has been tent-camping, doing some work on his computer, and sailing along the coast and inland in every body of water that looks inviting. He says he is on a voyage of rediscovering himself.
Jason hails from the Bay Area, where he sails a 1977 Albin Vega 27 Mklll that he is fixing and updating and expects to sell before long so he can upgrade to a larger boat and head out over the horizon. He does a great job of sailing and camping, and he has no problem with taking the Montgomery dinghy out and mixing it up with any other boats around. Talking with him was like a homecoming, because we hadn’t had a boat on the Bay in several years.
In the midst of talking and visiting with Jason last week I have been texting and exchanging emails with the cruisers in Barra de Navidad who are launching this year’s Cruise-In Week (on now). One of the fantastic volunteers, now in her third year of volunteering in Barra, is Elinor Craig of the Island Packet 380 Nakamal. We’ve only known Elinor a few years, but she is a classy and classic cruiser. Her boat is no stranger to Latitude 38, because Elinor’s boat did the 2006 Baja Ha-Ha when her name was Charm, and she was skippered by Doug and Marcy Sanford from Lacy, WA.
Carole and I became friends with Doug and Marcy on the Ha-Ha and still continue crossing wakes whenever there’s an opportunity. This week, “opportunity” happened when they came through Lake Havasu City from seeing kids in Texas and a long stay in Mesa, AZ, and are now heading back home to Washington.
The only boating Carole and I got in was the ferry/sightseeing ride on the lake. For only $2 each it is the best deal in boat rides anyplace!
‘Tis indeed a small world we all sail in. Sailors make up a community that seems a bit unique: Maybe it is “rediscovering” as expressed by Jason. Part of the glue that holds the cruising community together is what Elinor and others are doing in Barra, “Z” town, and lots of other places — they are giving of themselves to help communities they visit. And for sure, part of that glue is the continual weaving of the fabric of longtime friendships that overlap and connect, and then re-connect us in ways that keep surprising us.
Thank you, Latitude 38 and your whole crew, for being an important part of that “glue” that keeps the cruising and sailing communities unique, fun, and viable. – Pat and Carole McIntosh, Ramblin’ Rose, WWP-19, Folsom Lake, CA (temporarily in Arizona).
What’s the strangest place you’ve met sailing friends, old or new? Tell us about it here: [email protected].
Gary Clausen of Twin Rivers Marine Insurance has been serving the needs of his clients throughout California for many years, from the offices located at the Antioch Marina in Northern California. Those who know Gary personally, know that in the ’70s he was involved in the boating industry in Southern California. It was at that time that a dream started to materialize into the idea of having an office there.
We are honored to announce the realization of this dream with the opening of the Twin Rivers Marine Insurance second location on the Balboa Peninsula. Although numerous Southern California clients were represented from the Bay Area offices, Gary felt it was time that these clients were given the same personal face-to-face service that his NorCal clients receive.
The new office next to Balboa Boat Yard will be managed by Roy de Lis, who in his own right is already well known to the area and is a great fit with the Twin Rivers family.
The office, located at 2600 Newport Boulevard, Suite 106, Newport Beach, CA, 92663, will be open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. to assist with all your marine insurance needs. Roy can be reached at (800) 259-5701.
We heard from Long Beach Yacht Club (LBYC) dockmaster Chase Young that the club had been successfully expanding their club-owned fleet of Solings available for member use. Knowing it’s something many clubs discuss but few manage to do successfully, we asked if he could share a few notes on their program.
Chase filled us in, describing how they initially acquired two boats that were donated around 2011 with the intent to use them for match-race practices. The program grew, more than the club could have imagined. and ballooned to a total of six boats by the end of 2017. At that time they began using the boats for adult learn-to-sail programs and their summer, weekly Wet Wednesday race series.
The Wet Wednesdays were such a hit that they ultimately split the fleet in two and ran two separate races every Wednesday evening. Fast-forward through 2019, and the club obtained two additional boats, one by purchase and one a donation, growing the fleet to a total of eight boats. Then it came time to get them all up to snuff. Chase says they have now gone through the entire fleet and installed new bulkheads, masts, booms, standing rigging, running rigging, etc., with the notion of a multi-use fleet in mind. They’ve also created a handbook for members to use and abide by so everyone knows the goal for the fleet, the usage policies, etc..
The club plans to use them for junior sailing clinics and racing, adult introduction to sailing and racing, match racing, team racing, and outreach through the Long Beach Sailing Foundation, as well as day-charters for club members who are checked out through the assessment process. So far, they have checked out nearly 10 sailors while adhering to “Same Household” rules that require members to only utilize family members of the same household as crew while completing their on-water assessment.
One of the great reasons to join a yacht club is access to the water. It may be that a club has marina slips available to members, but not always. However, they often have junior programs, group sails, crewing opportunities, and many other programs to help people learn and participate in sailing. Club-owned boats are another step up and a tremendous bonus for clubs and members that can manage it. We think the Soling is a great boat for Alamitos Bay since it’s a relatively small, simple boat for getting the feel of sailing, yet still a stable keelboat for adults of all sizes.
We know many clubs have tried club-owned boats available for member usage, but it remains a challenging program to manage. It takes a dedicated team to develop the guidelines and to manage the ongoing maintenance and processes that keep people safe and the boats in good shape. The Long Beach Sailing Foundation manages the fleet of Catalina 37s used in the Congressional Cup, and in the Bay Area, the St. Francis YC owns and manages a fleet of J/22s. However, we think it remains a rarity for clubs to successfully manage club-owned sailboats. Many clubs own boats for junior programs and race committee boats and find that’s enough.
We’d be interested in hearing from other clubs with boats available for members — what kind of boats, how many, and how long the program has been going on. If your club has sailboats available, let us know how it’s going and what you’ve learned. It’s not necessarily easy, but the success of Long Beach Yacht Club’s Soling fleet indicates it’s clearly possible and appreciated by members. If your club has tried it, is planning to try it, or has it working now, email us here.
We predict that March will come in like a lamb and go out like a lion. And we’re not talking about the weather.
Race Cancellations in the Bay Area
We’ll start with the bad news. But stay with us — there’s plenty of good news to follow.
The announcement this week that youth sports can resume in some California counties comes too late for the PCISA high school NorCals next month. St. Francis and San Francisco Yacht Clubs had planned to run those on March 13-14. PCISA says they’re committed to resuming competition this spring — but only in compliance with state and county regulations.
St. Francis Yacht Club has also canceled their Race Clinegatta scheduled for March 6-7 and Spring Dinghy on March 20-21. The San Francisco Cup, in which StFYC will host SFYC, stays on the calendar for March 27-28. San Francisco YC canceled the BAYS Winter regatta weekend of March 6-7. Intraclub races at both clubs remain on the schedule for now.
In the Caribbean, St. Maarten YC has canceled the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta on March 4-7. St. Barth YC has canceled the St. Barths Bucket Regatta on March 18-21 and Les Voiles de St. Barth on April 11-17. The BVI Spring Regatta on March 24-April 4 has been canceled. Antigua Sailing Week on April 24-30 has likewise been cut.
Looking farther out, Alamitos Bay and Long Beach YCs have canceled the 2021 Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week. Citywide pandemic restrictions have prompted the decision, according to event co-chair Steve Mueller, including constraints on dock space and parking lot permits, which would limit the participation of several classes of boats. “If we are forced to eliminate a lot of our competitive classes, and can’t have our traditional parties, it just won’t be Long Beach Race Week! As we cannot run it in the fashion it deserves, and history demands, we regrettably have decided to cancel.” June 25-28 had been the intended dates.
March Midwinter Madness
Several Bay Area midwinter series conclude in the month of March. Among them are series that would normally have concluded in February, but due to the December-January postponements, added dates for next month. Those are Corinthian YC’s Midwinters on March 6-7 and RegattaPRO’s Winter One Design on the 13th.
Spring Regattas in the Bay Area
Encinal YC in Alameda will put on on a five-race day for the Mercury fleet on March 6 to kick off the spring NorCal Series. EYC’s parking lot, boatyard and hoist will be open to all Mercury sailors. Wear your mask and observe social distancing. The outdoor bar will be available for post-race gathering. EYC is cashless, so plan on using plastic to buy drinks.
The Yacht Racing Association has just announced their newly revamped Shorthanded Sunday Series, to be run on March 14, May 2, May 23 and July 11. “This four-race series, with spinnaker and non-spinnaker divisions, will consist of longer-leg courses ideally suited to doublehanded crews. It will be open to all boats with a current PHRF certificate and YRA membership. One-design classes that get at least five boats to enter will have their own division.” Registration is open on Jibeset.
The YRA also announced that the Great Vallejo Race will move from May 1-2 to August 21-22, “with the hopes that by mid-summer the pandemic will be well in hand, and most everyone will be vaccinated.”
Santa Cruz YC will run a doublehanded Three Buoy Fiasco on the 13th. Their Winter Weather Window Timed Race is still open through March 17.
It looks like Richmond YC’s Big Daddy Regatta will be a Saturday-only regatta this year, with racing on the 20th.
The Singlehanded Sailing Society will offer their third race of the 2021 season, Round the Rocks, on March 27, with a skippers’ meeting the previous Wednesday evening. If you’re interested in the SSS Singlehanded Transpacific Race, note that the entry fee goes up after March 15.
Sausalito YC will run their Jaws Pursuit Race on the 27th, and we predict that they’ll cross paths with Round the Rocks at some point in their race.
Island YC may have lost their Alameda Marina clubhouse, but they haven’t lost their spirit, or their ability to run events. Their Sadie Hawkins female skippers’ race will take to the Estuary on Sunday the 28th. Normally a full-crew race, this year’s edition will be for single- and doublehanders only.
On Folsom Lake, FLYC’s Spring Series will begin on the 13th, and they offer up the Trans-Folsom on March 28.
Roll Out the Beer Cans
We’re really on a roll now! Daylight Saving Time will start on March 14. Some clubs will take advantage of the extra daylight to kick off their beer can series ASAP.
In Santa Cruz, Tuesday Night Races kick off on Tuesday the 16th, followed by Wednesday Night Races on Wednesday the 17th.
Also on March 17, Monterey Peninsula YC will begin their weekly Wednesday night Sunset Series with the Rick Srigley Memorial Race. Srigley, you may recall, perished when he fell from his Moore 24 during the first Sunset Series race in 2019.
Normally starting in April, RYC’s super-casual weekly Wednesday Night Beer Cans will get a jump on the action on the 17th.
Throughout February, the return to yacht racing has been gentle and careful, but by April, with the return of weeknight sailing, we expect to be in full roar!