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Finding Sailing Friends at Svendsen’s Spring Fling Marine Expo

The Svendsen’s Spring Fling circus blew through town along with the weather on Friday and Saturday. Friday was sunny and breezy, causing a few of the carefully arranged and secured tents to rearrange themselves in the wind. Regardless of the weather, the event was a great opportunity to shoot the breeze with old friends, make new ones, and find expertise and deals on the equipment you need for summer sailing or for heading south in the fall. And while we’re connecting with sailors, Latitude 38 is also appreciative of the opportunity to connect with so many of the advertisers who make Latitude 38 possible. We remind you to thank them for their support of the monthly magazine, ‘Lectronic Latitude newsletter (the one you’re reading right now) and Good Jibes podcast.

Paul Kaplan
Paul Kaplan was there at the KKMI booth and stopped to tell us why the zincs we had holding our magazines in place were more toxic than the aluminum version.
© 2024 John

On blustery Saturday we put a bunch of zincs on our magazines, but also learned why we should all be switching to aluminum for the sacrificial anodes on our prop shafts. Apparently the traditional zincs contain toxic cadmium, which builds up in marinas, making it more expensive for the marina to dispose of dredging spoils. As Paul Kaplan explained, if we all switch to aluminum we’ll be helping the environment and, hopefully, helping make it more affordable for marinas and waterways to be dredged in the future.

We also talked with Michael Tosse, who agreed aluminum is the way to go. It’s not something we’ve ever thought about. When the diver says we need new zincs we get new zincs; it’s what we know. Now we’re planning to ask our diver to replace our zincs with aluminum … but this so much harder to say. We’ll figure it out. It’s just one of many good tips we picked up at the show.

Amanda Pangelina & Kurt Bodner
Circus ringleader Amanda Pangelina from Svendsen’s with Kurt Bodner of Wichard.
© 2024 John

Svendsen’s manager, Amanda Pangelina, organized the show, which adapted quickly between a breezy Friday and somewhat rainy Saturday. Her smile was ever-present as the conditions shifted across the two-day event. Exhibitors were happy when she managed to move the whole shooting match inside for the rainy weather on Saturday. Having worked at many outdoor boat show events, we are always appreciative of those who make it happen — it’s much harder than it looks, and Amanda and the Svendsen’s team were on hand to help at every turn. The devil is in the details, and they got them handled.

Richard & Connie Cerrito
Richard and Connie Cerrito are looking at buying their first sailboat.
© 2024 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

While we talked with many “old salts” who were visiting the show, it was great, and interesting, to connect with those just getting started. Richard and Connie Cerrito were in Alameda from Modesto and planning to spend the afternoon looking at sailboats in the 35- to 40-ft range. How did they get started? They actually haven’t started sailing, yet. They got interested in sailing when Connie bought an inexpensive Cal 2-27 in Berkeley Marina to stay on with her daughter when she was going to the San Francisco Ballet. That little taste of periodically staying on a sailboat during the ballet years turned into an interest in learning to sail. It also reminded Connie how nice and cool it is on the Bay during the summer, compared to the heat of Modesto. They’re looking at learning to sail on a little larger, more comfortable boat they plan to keep in the Estuary.

Pat and Carole McIntosh
Pat and Carole McIntosh packed the house for their “Know Before You Go” Mexico cruising seminar.
© 2024 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

Pat and Carole McIntosh’s “Know Before You Go” Mexico cruising seminar was a hit with attendees on Saturday. A few attendees had already done a Baja Ha-Ha, and many were planning to go during this fall’s 30th Annual Baja Ha-Ha. (You can download Pat and Carole’s book Cruising Notes from our Heading South page.) One of the great things about the Baja Ha-Ha is learning from those who have gone before, while sharing the current year’s cruise with those going for their first and those who have been on many Ha-Ha’s in the past.

Ron Harbin - Morro Bay
Ron Harbin has a secret that he always discloses before his prospective crew jobs.
© 2024 John

We met Ron Harbin at the show, and the name sounded familiar. As we chatted with him, he let us know we’ve seen his name as a frequent caption contributor to our monthly Caption Contest(!). He also told us that with 50,000 sea miles under his keel, he’s been working as a paid delivery crew — though many captains have been a bit hesitant to take him aboard since he truthfully tells them he’s turning 80 soon. You’d never know it. The Vietnam War Navy vet looks as fit as any 50-year-old sailor we’ve seen. There’s a lot of valuable experience in those 50,000 miles, and he says he really enjoys the midnight watch! By the way, we have 37 entries in this month’s Caption Contest(!) — have you added yours yet?

Tammy Walker and and Ken Chin - Olson 911S Kowloon
Tammy Walker and and Ken Chin of the Olson 911S Kowloon have just moved to the Bay Area and are learning to get comfortable with the breeze while sailing out of Richmond Yacht Club.
© 2024 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

Ken Chin and Tammy Walker are new to Bay Area sailing, but not the Bay Area. They moved down from Seattle with their red Olson 911S Kowloon, as Ken was making frequent trips with his architecture career working on some projects in the Bay Area, including the Salesforce Tower. They say they’re used to currents in the Northwest, but not the breeze we have here. The Northwest has particularly light winds during the summer, when our breezes are at their peak. Fortunately they’ve been learning their way around the Bay during the “calm” winter months. Though it wasn’t calm on Friday as tents were blowing around the show parking lot, and the stormy Doublehanded Farallones on Saturday had its challenges. The show weathered it all — and as always, it was great to get together with sailors and talk sailing.

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From the Magazine
How do you bring more sailors to the sport of sailing? Start early and start small. Martha Blanchfield writes about kids who are born into sailing families.