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Draggin’ Up Wins the 2018 Texas Billfish Classic

team draggin up marlin Draggin Up Wins the 2018 Texas Billfish Classic

Draggin’ Up were named tournament champions and won the blue marlin division with their 514 lb fish.

The Texas Billfish Classic saw continued growth in participation and a substantial increase in prize money during its third year. The TBC fleet released eight blue marlin, one white marlin, six sailfish and weighed one big blue marlin. The TBC is one of the fastest growing billfish tournaments in Texas and the only event that allows participants to leave at noon on Thursday and begin fishing right away on the same day.

Draggin’ Up, a 74’ Viking from Houston, was the only boat to weigh a blue marlin on Saturday, Aug. 4 to claim top honors in the Blue Marlin Division. Angler Sam Rasberry’s 119.5 inch blue marlin topped the scales at 514 pounds.

“We were having a slow first day with no bites, so we decided to make a move for second day. We got the bite shortly after 9 a.m.,” said Draggin’ Up Captain Kevin Deerman. “We definitely knew the fish was a keeper after second set of jumps and got the gaffs ready. Great tournament and worked out for us betting heavy in the Blue Marlin kill pots!”

In the Billfish Release Division, Bimini Babe a 74’ Viking, took home top honors with three blue marlin releases and one sailfish, while Tico Time, a 65’ Hatteras, released one blue marlin and two sailfish to finish in second place. Over-Ride, a 64’ Titan, finished in third place releasing one blue marlin.

The Bimini Babe Team was also crowned Champions of the Billfish Classic Cup. This new event was developed to reward competitive teams fishing in both the Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic and the Texas Billfish Classic. Owner Babe Appling, Captain Robert Jones and team left with an extra $10,000 and custom art to commemorate the big win!

The Tuna category was won by Clark Miller from Smoker II with a 93-pound Yellowfin. No stranger to the podium, Kurt Pantle on $EA DOLLAR$ came in second at 90 pounds, followed by Lee Bull on the REHAB at 50 pounds. A nice summer wahoo raised the bar pretty high as Jasen Gast and the REHAB crew pulled up his 51-pound fish, barely topping the second place fish brought in by Tiger Neal on the Smoker II. Brian Wood of Draggin’ Up, came in third at 29 pounds. The Dolphin category was taken with the only qualifying fish at 23 pounds by Chris Gavlick aboard the REHAB.

The Top Lady Angler was Emma Griffith on Over-Ride and the Top Junior Angler Award was presented to Ethan Middleton on the Change Order.

RESULTS:

Blue Marlin
1st- 514.0 lbs. Draggin’ Up – Angler Sam Rasberry

Catch and Release
1st – 2,000 pts – Bimini Babe – Captain Robert Jones

2nd – 1,000 pts – Tico Time – Captain Mike Hester

3rd – 600 pts – Over-Ride – Captain Jacob Dawson

Tuna
1st – 93 lbs – Smoker II – Clark Miller

2nd – 90 lbs – $ea Dollar$ – Kurt Pantle

3rd – 50 lbs – REHAB – Lee Bull

Wahoo
1st – 51 lbs – REHAB – Jasen Gast

2nd – 47 lbs – Smoker II – Tiger Neal

3rd – 29 lbs – Draggin’ Up – Brian Wood

Dolphin
1st – 23 lbs – REHAB – Chris Gavlick

Top Lady Angler
Emma Griffith on the Over-Ride

Top Junior Angler
Ethan Middleton on the Change Order

Texas Billfish Classic returns to Freeport Aug. 1-4

bmarlinjump Texas Billfish Classic returns to Freeport Aug. 1 4

Charity-minded tournament brings billfishing back to Freeport

By Brandon Rowan

tbclogo 150x150 Texas Billfish Classic returns to Freeport Aug. 1 4The Texas Billfish Classic celebrates its third year of bringing highly competitive billfishing back to Freeport. Over the past three years, the tourney has grown steadily and produces one of the most popular and enjoyable tournament formats on the Texas Gulf Coast.

History

The original tournament was formed in the 1980s by many of the bluewater pioneers who put Freeport on the map as a Blue Marlin hotspot in the 80s and 90s. During this time the Billfish Classic was a premier event with a rich history of record catches and great times.

In 2015, Tournament Director Jasen Gast resurrected the Texas Billfish Classic and added much more.

“One of the biggest success stories of the TBC is not the fishing, but what we are able to do on land,” Gast said. “Since 2015, the TBC has donated more than $25,000 to local and regional non-profit organizations.”

The tournament works closely with three charities – the Freedom Alliance, The Billfish Foundation and the Freeport to Port O’Connor Toy Run.

  • The Billfish Foundation operates worldwide to advance the conservation of billfish and associated species to improve the health of oceans and economies.
  • The Freeport to Port O’Connor Toy Run has delivered toys, clothing and Christmas meals via boat to thousands of needy children on the Texas coast since 2006.
  • The Freedom Alliance goes above and beyond to meet the needs of wounded warriors and their families. This includes rehab/recovery funds, customized wheelchairs, care packages to deployed troops and a scholarship fund for the children of fallen heroes.

A Patriotic Tournament

Jasen Gast has owned REHAB, a tournament winning 45’ Davis sportfisher, for five years now and has a history and passion for taking disabled children, veterans and others out on fishing trips. The opportunity to further help the needy came to Gast after meeting the Freedom Alliance’s Pepper Ailor while fishing in Costa Rica.

“I met Jasen during the Triple Crown in Los Sueños, Costa Rica. He wanted to bring a more patriotic aspect to his tournament,” Ailor said.

Since that meeting, the Texas Billfish Classic has already donated thousands to the charity and much more in the way of real life experiences and trips for our nation’s heroes.

“We are not a one and done charity,” said Pepper Ailor, who has worked with the Freedom Alliance over the past 13 years. “We stay in the lives of these heroes and bless the troops with genuine relationships.”

Each year the TBC invites a group of veterans down to Freeport to be involved in the week’s events and also embark on an offshore trip. With no cell phones or distractions, deeper connections are made during the inevitable lulls of a fishing trip and the shared exhilaration during the high excitement moments.

Veteran group after a solid day catching fish during a donated trip on Galveston Bay in 2017. Photo by Pepper Ailor.

Last year’s group of invited veterans enjoyed a great inshore fishing trip. Marine Sgt. Cory, Army Sgt. Bill, Cpl. Jeramie and Master Chief Kevin spent a day on Galveston Bay catching redfish, flounder and trout.

“He has so much fun on those trips! Jeramie’s wife Lindsey said. “He comes back with new friends and so many stories! Thank you for inviting him! He is keeping in contact with several people through text. He just had the best time!”

Great things continue to be born of the relationship between the Freedom Alliance and TBC. Dudley Wood, a tournament participant and owner of the 54’ Bertram Smoker II, even donated a hunting trip to a group of five veterans he met during the tournament last year.

Gulf Coast Mariner encourages our readers to donate and volunteer for the Freedom Alliance and other worthy veterans charities but Pepper Ailor wants to see something greater happen.

“Form a genuine relationship with a veteran.” Ailor said. “There is too big a gap between the lives of our defenders and the public sector. Our veterans need to do a better job opening up and civilians need to listen better.

Marty Griffith’s Over-Ride with the tournament record blue marlin at 410 pounds. Photo by Brandon Rowan.

People’s Choice

The TBC continues to be one of the fastest growing competitive billfish events in Texas. The high number of billfish catches in August along the Texas shelf also adds to a spirited weigh-in and awards banquet on Saturday night. Fishing the TBC is known to be hot by day and festive at night.

“He puts on the best as far as I’m concerned,” said Dudley Wood of Smoker II. “He lets us leave during daylight and that is huge. That’s why I quit some other tournaments that start you running out at night. The safety of my captain and crew is paramount.”

“It is a great tournament,” said Shawn Kurtz, owner of Hey Girl, the winning boat of the 2017 tourney. “Jasen has put together a pretty good program. It gets better and better each year.”

New for 2018 is the inclusion of the Billfish Classic Cup trophy. The winner of the BCC will be decided by the boat with the highest total release points from both the Texas Billfish Classic and Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic, and in turn, take home a minimum of $10,000 cash.

This conservation minded tournament also encourages billfish release with the highest minimum in the state for harvesting Blue Marlin at 107 inches.

Don’t miss the hot fishing and festive nights this revived classic brings to Freeport. The general public is welcome and encouraged to attend the weigh-in on Friday and Saturday.

For information or to register for the Texas Billfish Classic visit them online at www.TexasBillfishClassic.com or contact TexasBillfishClassic@yahoo.com

Saltwater Fishing Tips for Summertime Visitors

 

speckledtroutyouth Saltwater Fishing Tips for Summertime Visitors

Abby Gonzalez happily shows off her trout.

By Capt. Joe Kent

Each summer, hundreds of visitors flock to the Gulf Coast for vacation and to enjoy some of the best saltwater fishing around.  Many, however, are not experienced in saltwater fishing and others have had limited experience and have had difficulty catching fish.

Perhaps a few of the pointers discussed in this article will contribute to some successful fishing while here. While a few visitors have never been fishing, others have had experience freshwater fishing which they soon find out is very different than saltwater fishing.

For over 12 years I have been the fishing columnist for the Galveston County Daily News, writing a daily column about Galveston area fishing.  During those years, vacationers have asked a lot of questions about how, when and where to fish and from them we will focus on those asked most frequently.

Among the most common questions are; where to fish, equipment needed and baits.  Following those are questions about when to fish, where to fish without a boat, the best times to fish and fishing licenses.

Gear

Let’s start by addressing the equipment needed.  For inshore fishing (bays and jetties), a medium action rod and reel equipped with 10 to 15 pound test line is the most popular choice.

Among the most popular riggings are popping corks with treble hooks. Popping corks with a leader ranging from say 15 to 28 inches in length using 20 to 40 pound test line work well.  Treble hooks are the most popular, with sizes 6 to 10 being the most common.  My preference is size 8.

Prepared popping corks are available at most tackle and bait shops and my recommendation to the newcomer is to start with one of those.

In the hot summer, when the water temperature is above 80 degrees, fish will tend to be deep thereby making a bottom rig the best choice.  We call this bottom bumping and the rig is fairly simple consisting of a swivel, 15 to 24 inches of 20-30 pound leader and treble hook of the sizes mentioned earlier, or a small kahle hook.

Above the swivel, a slip sinker from 1/8 to 3/4 ounce should be used.  The size will depend on the strength of the current and the idea is to use as small a weight as possible to get the bait near the bottom.

liveshrimphook Saltwater Fishing Tips for Summertime Visitors

Best Baits

Live shrimp and croaker are the two most popular summertime baits and for the newcomer, I recommend live shrimp.  The bait camps can show you how to hook the shrimp, as it is a fairly complicated process of getting the hook just under the horn of the shrimp.

For newcomers, I do not recommend artificial baits.

Where and when to fish are not quite as easy to answer, as weather conditions have a major impact on that choice.  If you are fishing from a boat, there are many spots including the jetties, Causeway Bridge area, East and West Bays, Galveston Ship Channel shorelines and gas well shell pads.  The key for all of those areas is having tidal movement and at least fair water clarity.

Unfortunately, the locations are limited for those anglers without boats.  Fishing piers along the beachfront, Jamail Bay Park, Seawolf Park and a few private subdivision piers are about it.  For those willing to wade fish, the surf can be red hot with action during the summer.  The keys to success are light wind and good water clarity.

Moon phases play into the equation, as days on both sides of the full and dark moons offer some of the best tidal movement.  The best wind direction is a light to moderate southeast wind while the worst winds during the summer are from the southwest and east.  Wind velocity plays a big role in both of the adverse winds, as light winds from either direction are often tolerable; however, moderate to strong velocities are usually just not worth fighting.

A saltwater fishing license and stamp are needed and can be purchased at sporting goods stores, many bait shops and online at tpwd.texas.gov.  Try to get your licenses ahead of time to avoid delays on the morning of your trip.

Hopefully the information above will help you have a productive fishing trip while enjoying the many attractions that the Texas Gulf Coast has to offer.

Yellowfin Tuna Lures After Dark

Tie on one of these proven tuna lures when drifting near semi-submersible platforms in the Gulf of Mexico.

yo zuri bull pop Yellowfin Tuna Lures After Dark

Color: Mackerel. Available in 6 and 8 inch sizes.

Yo-Zuri Bull Pop

Yo-Zuri has upgraded the new Bull Pop with patented Power Body, 3X treble hooks and through wire construction to give it the durability to handle the biggest Texas tuna. The large cupped mouth creates extreme surface commotion that draws fish in from long distances.

wombat laser Yellowfin Tuna Lures After Dark

Color: Laser purple. Available in mini and full sizes.

OTI Wombat

OTI’s Wombat Chugger produces explosive topwater action to excite large tuna and trigger strikes. These poppers come fully rigged and ready to fish with Raptor XH split rings and Raptor 4X treble hooks.

Color: Pilchard. Available in over 10 colors and 3 sizes.

Halco Max 130

Look to the Halco Max 130 when tuna won’t commit to surface lures. This versatile Australian lure can be trolled but is best cast with spinning gear and steady retrieved during your drift.

Color: Black. Available in 7 colors and 3 sizes.

Shimano Pop Orca

Shimano’s Orca popper features a unique “Bubble Chamber” open mouth design based on how a jet engine turns low pressure into high pressure. Water flows through the hole at the top of the lure to create a unique bubble trail and splash. Less effort is required to work compared to traditional poppers.

Hot and Getting Hotter!

Tantuco Hot and Getting Hotter!

Dr. Tantuco and family after a day of red hot speckled trout fishing with Capt. Dillman.

By Capt. David C. Dillman

galvestonbaycharterfishing.com | 832-228-8012

Summer has finally arrived here along the Texas Upper Coast. This June, the Galveston/Houston area broke record or near record high temperatures on several days. But the trout fishing in June was really good. As the heat sets in the next two months, the trout action will only get hotter!

As the doldrums of summer set in, the water temperature rises in the bay. This rise will cause trout to seek the deep water structure Galveston Bay affords them. In July, the area known as the Exxon A-Lease should be loaded up with trout. The deep water structure of shell pads near these numerous gas wells will hold the fish to this area. Any given well in this location can be productive but some wells are better then others.

The shell pads located adjacent to the ship channel will see its share of trout too. Some of the oyster reefs are marked by PVC pipe. Some reefs must located using your depth sonar. Channel markers 50-62 are popular areas to fish in July.

In August, trout will begin their annual migration north. There will still be plenty of fish in the areas mentioned earlier. Some fish will move farther up the channel, staging on the reefs from markers 66-72 and around the tip of Atkinson Island. The wells located in the middle of Trinity Bay will also see an increase in the population of trout. These wells, just as the wells in the A-Lease, provide good structure for the fish. Trinity is a big open bay that can get rough, so plan fishing the open water there according to the wind speed and your boat’s capability.

Live natural baits work best in the heat of July/August. Live croaker and shrimp are the baits of choice this time of year. Croakers should be fished on the bottom, while shrimp can be used on the bottom or under a popping cork.

Eagle Point Fishing Camp in San Leon offers easy access to all of these areas and has a great supply of live bait during this time of year. They can be reached at 281-339-1131 for updates on conditions and bait. Enjoy the heat of the summer and its hot fishing! Remember to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated!!

Zodiac Open 5.5 RIB

5.5 Zodiac Open 5.5 RIB

A true Swiss Army knife,the Zodiac Open 5.5 RIB is perfect for a wide range of recreational activities. Photo: Romain Sandt

Zodiac-Nautic Introduces the New Open 5.5 RIB

Z Marine North America (Zodiac Nautic), a subsidiary of world-leading inflatable and Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) manufacturer Z Nautic Group (Zodiac), has announced the launch of the new Zodiac OPEN 5.5 in the Americas. The versatile, 17’7” RIB made its debut at an exclusive, day-long media event in greater Charleston, S.C., home to the facility where Zodiac RIBS are assembled in America.

An adventurer-style Rigid-Hull Inflatable Boat (RIB) with sleek lines, the new OPEN 5.5 offers a perfectly ergonomic cockpit and an exceptional reinforced deep-V hull, with control and stability even in rough conditions.

“The Open 5.5 fully expresses Zodiac’s DNA. Its versatility makes it a unique concept, matched nowhere else on the market, in line with its new slogan: ‘Keep Exploring’,” said Dominique Heber-Suffrin, CEO of the Zodiac Nautic Group.

“With its highly stable hull and tube, the OPEN 5.5 offers comfort and extra-large cargo storage. Its versatility and performance make this RIB well-suited for a variety of activities, including fishing, diving, water-skiing and cruising,” said Zodiac Nautic North America President Gary Durnan. “This is a real Swiss-Army knife of a boat.’

For more information, please visit www.zodiac-nautic.com

About Zodiac

For 120 years, Zodiac has been making every moment on the water an unforgettable adventure. With extensive production, distribution and customer service operations worldwide, Zodiac is the world’s largest and oldest manufacturer of RIBs, inflatable boats, life rafts and safety equipment. With over 1 million boats sold, Zodiac is positioned and ready to help you Keep Exploring!

Marina Bar & Grill at GYB

sunset Marina Bar & Grill at GYB

Enjoy a great view of the water from Marina Bar & Grill located at the Galveston Yacht Basin.

By Xander Thomas

new haven for fishermen and boaters has come to Galveston Island. Marina Bar and Grill opened just over a year ago on the Galveston yacht basin, and is an ideal spot to relax for anyone out on the water for the day or for folks looking for a bite or a beer in a calm, friendly atmosphere. Owner, Paul Murdoch, says they do see the sailors and anglers often.

“They love it here” said Paul Murdoch, “they can come in from fishing and they don’t have to leave the basin to get something to eat and have a beer”

MarinaBar3 Marina Bar & Grill at GYB

Enjoy an ice cold beer after a hot day out on the water. Photo by Xander Thomas.

Opened in mid-2017 by husband and wife duo, Michele and Paul Murdoch, Marina Bar and Grill is a small, outdoor place where people can look out on the water, have a few drinks and watch the yachts or listen to the birds.

The menu is comprised of mostly hearty foods, like burgers, fish n’ chips, po-boys, chili and pastas, and includes some appetizers for less hungry guests, too, but most of these are heavy snacks as well. For those up a little earlier in the day, there is a breakfast menu also made up mostly of foods meant to stick with you through a busy morning.

He did inspire them to bring in an authentic version of fish n’ chips from Scotland. Although he says it is spicier than what you will find across the pond.

Paul says that there wasn’t really a reason why they chose the yacht basin specifically; or even Galveston; except that it’s where they live. He says the location was chosen just because the property was up for lease when they were ready to open their restaurant. Of course, the beautiful view of the water didn’t hurt their decision.

“We just fell in love with it” he said, “and the chance came to open up this place, we just took the chance.”

Interestingly, Paul was not even much of a cook himself to begin with, but Michele says he turned out to be a great chef! He just thought it was an interesting idea to open a restaurant. Michele, however, came up with some of the recipes that they used for the menu, like the fried brussels sprouts and the crab and jalapeno hushpuppies.

It isn’t to say that Paul has no credit in the menu; he did inspire them to bring in an authentic version of fish n’ chips from Scotland. Although he says it is spicier than what you will find across the pond.

“The only people not turned on by it are people from the UK” he said with a laugh, “it’s too spicy for them!”

He did it this way because, as he says, Texans love their spicy foods, nothing bland for us here!

So what is it on the menu that Paul recommends?

“Everything’s really good” he said with confidence. “There isn’t anything that doesn’t sell”

But if he must give a recommendation, he says that you can’t go wrong with the fish n’ chips, or for the smaller appetites, go for the hushpuppies or gator bites.

Aside from good food, he also promises a quick meal if you don’t have the time to wait.

“Not everybody wants to come and sit and take an hour for lunch” he said, “it’s not fast food, but it’s quick food.”

Along with a great meal with a nice view, though, a major draw of this spot is the calm and quiet. Since they are not on the “tourist trap travel” as he calls it, the patrons here enjoy a break from the hustle and bustle that can be other parts of the island.

“Just try it out, I guarantee you, you’ll like it” he said, “You’ll come back.”

Marina Bar & Grill is located at 715 N. Holiday Dr., Galveston TX, 77550.

The Galley: Summertime Herbs & Grilling

By Betha Merit

Summer is in full swing! Time for grilling and refreshing drinks by the pool. Fresh herbs abound, perhaps in your own garden. Each of these recipes employs a different savory choice for a palate awakening experience. It’s a great way to discuss the nuances of herbal flavors, and discover which are the favorites.

Many offshore fresh catch options are available, including red snapper, mahi-mahi, tuna and cobia. And of course veggies are offered everywhere, from the supermarket to the farmer’s market. Enjoy these recipes one at a time or all together, if your tastebuds dare.

strawberry basil vodka soda The Galley: Summertime Herbs & Grilling

Strawberry Basil Infused Vodka Soda

  • 3 strawberries sliced
  • 3 basil leaves plus more for garnish
  • 1 ounce wild strawberry vodka
  • 6-8 ounces club soda
  • Ice

Place strawberry slices and basil in bottom of glass. Add vodka and muddle well with a wooden spoon. Let sit for a few minutes. Fill glass 1/2 full of ice, then fill with club soda. Splash with more wild strawberry vodka. Stir and enjoy.

tuna steak The Galley: Summertime Herbs & Grilling

Garlic & Thyme Tuna Steaks

  • 4 tuna steaks (6 oz. each)
  • 2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 1/2 tsp minced fresh thyme
  • salt & pepper

In a resealable 1 gallon plastic bag, add lemon juice, oil, garlic and thyme and mix. Add the tuna and seal bag, turning over to coat. Refrigerate up to 30 minutes, turning occasionally.

Remove tuna from bag, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drain and discard the bag. Grill tuna, covered, over medium-hot heat or broil 4 in from the heat for 3-4 minutes on each side for medium-rare or slightly pink center.

Grilled Asparagus

  • 1 pound asparagus, stalks trimmed
  • 3 TBSP butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 TBSP chopped parsley
  • salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste
  • lemon wedges

Preheat grill to medium high heat or an oven to 425 degree F. Divide the asparagus evenly among squares. Sprinkle with chopped parsley, salt, pepper, and garlic powder to desired amount. Divide butter pieces among each square. Fold the foil into sealed packets. Grill for 15 minutes, flipping once. Or bake in oven for 12-15 minutes.

Carefully open the foil packets and stir to make sure the butter and seasonings are evenly coated. Squeeze with lemon wedges if desired.

Creamy Cucumber Dill Weed Salad

  • 2 large cucumbers, halved and sliced
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup sliced red onion
  • 1/4 cup greek yoghurt, plain
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon dill weed
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon honey or sugar

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Let salad chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Down South Lure Weedless Rigging

DSL flounder Down South Lure Weedless Rigging

By Brandon Rowan

This is a great way to rig a Down South Lure when fishing for flounder that are super tight to rocks, pilings or heavy shell. Fish as close as you want to structure with confidence and lose less tackle. Just be sure to tuck the barb of the hook back into the plastic and set the hook like you mean it.

bobberstoptung Down South Lure Weedless Rigging

STEP 1

Pull your rubber sinker stop onto your line. Add your tungsten bullet weight (1/8 oz., 1/4 oz. or 3/8 oz.) and slide both up your line, giving yourself plenty of room to tie on your hook.

STEP 2

Tie on a Gamakatsu 2/0 EWG worm hook with your preferred knot.

STEP 3

Push the hook into the head of your Down South Lure, about the length of the hook’s offset shank, then push the hook through the underside of the lure and thread up onto the shank.

STEP 4

Lay the hook against the plastic and visually mark where to push the hook back up through the lure. Push the hook through the belly and up through the top of the lure. Bury the tip of the hook back into the plastic. The lure should lay naturally when rigged correctly. Slide down your rubber stop and peg the weight to the lure. This keeps the entire rig compact and less likely to catch rocks or other snags.

Gulf Coast Marine Powers into Clear Lake

gulfcoastmarine Gulf Coast Marine Powers into Clear Lake

By Rick Clapp

Well-known boat dealers Gulf Coast Marine have come to Seabrook. This legend of the marine industry, trusted since 1954, is now located on the shores of Clear Lake.

The Holmes family and owners of Gulf Coast Marine are very proud of their impeccable reputation in selling premium center console fishing boats with ‘moves’ like Everglades, Contender, World Cat, Sea Hunt and Tiburon.

Gulf Coast Marine prides themselves on customer service, repair and working long term with their valued customers. They are very excited to be working with their experienced and highly trained staff of their own and the Endeavor Marine Group.

According to marine maven and manager Richard Branscomb, their goal is find you the premium boat that is perfect for you and your needs. They also want you to enjoy what they call the ‘Ultimate Boating Experience.’ They have been delivering this promise since the first day that the esteemed Bill Holmes Sr. started this business 64 years ago. Son of the founder, Bill Holmes Jr. continues to carry on the family integrity in boating and marine sales. There is no substitute when it comes to their reputation and good name.

They have three locations; Corpus Christi, Hitchcock and now Seabrook. The Holmes family had the vision to see and understand the affluent Seabrook market. Our region is the third largest boating community in the nation. Their goal is to be the best boat sales and repair on Clear Lake.

Gulf Coast Marine will work closely with the talented team at Endeavor Marina. The soft opening for the Seabrook location will be early this July.

The Holmes family has made a major commitment to our community. It will enhance and increase our economic development and our image in the marine industry. They also promise to support local community programs.

Look to Gulf Coast Marine and enjoy the ultimate boating experience they will provide.  Visit them online at www.gcmboats.com

What is that noise?! Troubleshooting boat problems

boatcoach 227x300 What is that noise?! Troubleshooting boat problemsBy the Boat Coach

Have you ever wondered what that strange new noise might be while starting up the engine or underway? We all have. How to deal that situation starts with really paying attention and recognizing what are normal sounds on your boat.

Let’s start the engine: be sure that the gear shift is in neutral (neither forward or aft), run the blower to evacuate the engine room of fumes, then turn the key to START. Some engines will need a bit of throttle to start and then quickly back to idle. So far, so good. Now, listen: did anything sound out of place? Shut down and start again if you need to. What noise is different that the last time you started the engine? Any screeching or knocking? While still tied to the dock, or anchored, engage forward gear/neutral/reverse-about 5 seconds each to confirm each gear is working properly.

If a strange noise continues, it’s time to look in the area that it seems the noise is coming from. Check the engine room, exhaust area or access other areas as required. Run through the routine again; watch the prop shaft while turning and listen to the noise until the general area may be identified. It also helps to have assistance when troubleshooting. Often it takes two persons; one to operate the controls up top and someone in the area of noises to find a problem.

It is also time to inspect anything that can be accessed. Check a list of items from loose hose clamps, cooling water strainers and fluid levels in the engine and transmission. All are easy to do once you familiarize yourself on how it is done. Do the instruments on the dash actually show the conditions at the equipment? These should be adjusted to display the accurate indications.

If all else fails, The Boat Coach is here to help. Call or text Tom the Boat Coach at 713-254-3105

 

Fighting the Good Fight Against Sail Stretch

sail stretch Fighting the Good Fight Against Sail Stretch

Stretch is an unfortunate reality of woven sails. Quantum’s David Flynn takes a deeper dive on the topic and explains why it’s a problem, how it happens, and how to fight it.

The number one enemy of woven sail performance is stretch. Of course, the definition of performance may vary for cruising sailors, but performance is really more about control over heel and weather helm and optimizing upwind angles and less about boat speed (though that is not a bad thing). Performance is also very much about the functionality of the systems you rely on to make sailing easier–the furling system for your headsail or the in-mast or in-boom system for your mainsail. Stretched sails threaten the functionality of all these systems and ultimately your sailing experience.

WHAT STRETCH DOES TO PERFORMANCE

If your sails stretch and the shape becomes fuller as the breeze builds, all sorts of bad things happen. When sails are too full, they become harder to trim and will cause you to heel more than you should or want to, and the boat becomes difficult to control. Balance is lost and you get more weather helm, causing you to have to fight the helm.

Bad sail shape also compromises your ability to sail upwind. Full, bloated sail shapes are a particular liability if your destination happens to lie to weather.

Stretched sails can cause issues with your sail handling systems. I challenge you to find a cruising boat that doesn’t use at least a headsail furling system and depend on one sail to be big and powerful in light air, but flat and small in heavy air. Nowhere is there a better case for less stretch. Have you ever had an in-mast furling system jam up as the sail bunched and creased, making it impossible to roll in or out? The culprit was probably stretch. In-mast sails must remain flat and smooth or they won’t roll up properly in the small cavity provided. In-boom systems also have a small space in which to stuff a lot of sail. They rely on precise boom-and-batten angles to get everything to line up and fit in. If the leech stretches and the angles change, the system doesn’t work.

Think about the wasted effort of pulling on the furling line when your sail is stretched. The sail has to stop stretching before anything moves. Everything works better with less stretch. (Think about that for control lines as well). In the end, the functionality of all furling systems is compromised by stretch.

WHY WOVEN SAILS STRETCH

If you look closely at your woven sail material, you will notice hundreds of small, woven fibers. The fibers go over and under the fibers running in the opposite direction. This distortion is called crimp.  When the sail is put under load, the fibers have to straighten out or stretch before they can begin to bear load.

Since stretch is a function of load, the bigger the boat the higher the loads, and the more difficult it becomes to maintain flat, clean shapes–especially over the life of the sail. There are very few woven sails built for boats over 70 feet today. The loads make composites the only reasonable option.

HOW TO BATTLE STRETCH

The good news is you can combat stretch; the bad news is that it is a never-ending battle. Every time you hoist a brand new woven sail, it will stretch. The more load you carry, the more it will stretch. The way to prevent your sails from becoming too stretched is to monitor their sail shape with photos, and work with your sailmaker to have the sail periodically recut. As long as the sail material is in good condition, a sailmaker can remove the excess fabric and bring it back to approximately 90 percent of its original shape.

If you’re in the market for new sails, composite–or membrane–sails are an excellent choice for cruisers. They are more costly upfront, but they resist stretch much better than woven materials as they are made with unwoven, bigger fibers. These fibers are protected with classic woven polyester (called taffeta in the trade) exterior skins. These lightweight outer layers protect against chafe, wear, and UV damage. There is usually a layer of polyester film inside, too. The film is equally strong in all directions, so it can help support the off thread line, or bias loads.

Whether you opt for a modern composite sail or stick with the trusty woven variety, following sail care best practices is always important. Here are some tips to help battle stretch and keep your sails lasting as long as possible:

  • Protect your sails from unnecessary exposure to sunlight and heat. The sun might not stretch your sail, but UV rays are a sail’s nemesis and can burn the material, rendering it unusable and disqualified for a recut when the time comes.
  • Avoid prolonged luffing and flogging. Flogging must be avoided since it will shake out the resin that holds the weave together.
  • Motor with your sails down unless they can be filled.
  • Never back a genoa against the spreaders when tacking.
  • Use the correct halyard tension. Halyard tension changes as a function of apparent wind velocity. Add just enough tension to remove horizontal wrinkles as the apparent wind increases. Ease when the apparent wind velocity drops.
  • Protect from chafe. Make sure spreader and chafe patches are in the right place.
  • Take sails off the boat when it is out of the water or not in use or for any extended period of time.
  • Periodically rinse sail with fresh water. Annual professional servicing and washing is recommended.
  • Store sails dry. Be sure roller furling sails are well secured when leaving the boat.

As your sailmaker, we’re here to help you fight the battle against stretch and make sure you get the most out of your investment. We are always a phone call away to arm you with information and help guide you to the best solutions.

Contact Quantum Sails Gulf Coast at gulfcoast@quantumsails.com or 281-474-4168 to learn more about how to combat sail stretch. You can also visit QuantumSails.com for more great tips and tricks to help you meet all of your sailing challenges.

Columbia Fishing Gear

Outfit your next fishing adventure with state-of-the-art gear from Columbia.

mega vent2 Columbia Fishing Gear

Megavent™ II PFG Shoe

It dries quickly, drains water easily, and laces up fast. The latest Megavent™ hybrid shoe is made for the professional angler who needs an outsole that grips when wet, an upper that resists stains, and an overall design that performs when the excitement hits.

columbia pant Columbia Fishing Gear

PFG Blood and Guts III Convertible Pant

With a quick zipper pull, these pants convert into an 8.5″ inseam short that lets you adapt to changing conditions. They’re crafted from a lightweight yet durable nylon ripstop fabric that repels angling stains, resists harsh UV rays, and dries fast so you won’t get soggy.

Flycaster LS Hoodie

New from Columbia, this long sleeve shirt with Omni-Wick and Omni-Shade UPF 30 technology has a built-in hood that will keep you cool and protected.

PFG Mesh Snap Back Ball Cap

Built with a cool-wearing mesh back and moxie fish flag graphic, this hard-working PFG ball cap keeps the sun off your face as you reel ’em in—or run errands around town. A classic adjustable snap-back closure lets you dial in the perfect fit.

2018 Texas Outlaw Challenge

outlaw challenge 2018 Texas Outlaw Challenge

Countdown to the “Biggest Performance Boating Event in Texas” has begun!

One of the most respected and popular speedboating events in North America, the Texas Outlaw Challenge will kick off its 11th Annual event June 20- 24. The 2018 event is again upping the ante with more excitement and public events. The event of the season features million-dollar performance powerboats and offers the opportunity not only to see, but to hear the roar of thunderous horsepower, and feel the chills and adrenaline pumping through your veins as you experience performance power boating at its best.

IOGP 2018 Texas Outlaw ChallengeThis significant Texas performance boating event has the support of seven local Texas cities and city councils, including Seabrook, Nassau Bay, Kemah, El Lago, Pasadena, Clear Lake Shores, League City and Galveston, and is a U.S. Coast Guard Permit approved event.

The Texas Outlaw Challenge supports the local community and businesses with a substantial economic impact that is estimated well over $1 million each year. A more significant impact to the economy is anticipated in 2018 with the added attractions of Formula One racing and expanded public events – a fantastic boost to the local economy.

The Texas Outlaw Challenge responsibly supports several local charities, donating over $100,000 since 2008 including $50,000 donated to Harvey Relief through generous event participant and sponsor donations. These proceeds help the following local charities: Shriners Children’s Hospital, The Bridge Women’s Shelter, Boys & Girls Harbor, Clear Creek Environmental Foundation, Kemah Lions Club, Seabrook Rotary, Seabrook Marine Group, Galveston-Houston Families Exploring Down Syndrome, and various Veterans groups.

The five-day high performance packed event features over 250 performance boat teams totaling over 500,000 Horsepower that will be powering into the area from coast to coast including international participation from Canada,Europe, and Dubai, to name just a few.

Huski Chocolate Superboat debut.

There will be two BIG additions to the Texas Outlaw Challenge this year.

First, the selection of our Clear Lake community to host the season opening event of the International Outboard Gran Prix Formula One boat racing circuit. Second, the unveiling of a new Superboat Unlimited race team from our hometown. Superboat Unlimited features the largest and fastest boats on the international circuit.

The team unveiling will be featured on the evening of Thursday, June 21 at the Stampede Street Party that is open to the public in the Kemah lighthouse district.

Except for race participants, the entire lake will be declared a no-wake zone during scheduled 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. race activity on Friday and Sunday. We’re expecting a massive increase in water spectating and on-shore viewing.  Spectacular viewing locations will be available by ticket purchase.

Saturday will feature the Gunslinger Power Run and Boat Parade.

In between it all, check out the High Horsepower Car Show featuring exotic cars, vintage muscle, extreme race cars and participation in the Steel Horse Stampede Charity Bike Rally, both held on Saturday.   

Sunday, the highly anticipated Formula 1 Finals in Clear Lake will be on display with great spectator ticket viewing areas at Water’s Edge, Villa Capri and Endeavour Marina. Pre-purchase tickets online at www.TexasOutlawChallenge.com.

Don’t miss this fantastic 5-day Texas Outlaw Challenge horsepower weekend!

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

Wednesday, June 20

Welcome Outlaws – You’re in Texas NOW! – Sam’s Boat.

Thursday, June 21

6 pm – 11 pm: Stampede Street Party & Offshore Performance Display in Kemah. The highly anticipated, unveiling of the New Super Unlimited local racing team. Million Dollar Boat displays featuring cars, trucks, and boats. Walk the streets of Kemah, enjoy great Rock the Dock Entertainment at the Boardwalk.

Friday, June 22

9 am – 1 pm: Formula One – Pre-Qualifying Races and Radar Run Shootout. ESPN 2 will be featuring coverage of the Formula One Races on Friday and Sunday.

9 pm: Kemah’s Fireworks Display. Continue the evening with live bands, bars, saloons and local shops.

10 pm Miss Outlaw Bikini Contest at Cabo

Saturday, June 23

Gunslinger Poker Run

Register your performance boat and join the Outlaws on the water.

Sunday, June 24

IOGP Formula 1 FINALS

Tickets for spectator events/viewing will be available online. Pricing from $10 and up depending on the venue.

For more information, updates, registration and to buy spectator tickets online visit us at texasoutlawchallenge.com

Kayak fishing with Marine Corps Veteran and Hurricane Harvey Hero Donald Justin

Interview by Brandon Rowan

donald justin 300x298 Kayak fishing with Marine Corps Veteran and Hurricane Harvey Hero Donald Justin

Donald Justin fishing in Iraq.

Where are you from?

I was born in Hagåtña, Guam but I grew up all over America. My dad was in the military my whole life and then I joined the military myself. I settled down here in the Galveston Bay area after I retired.

What branch of the U.S. military did you serve in?

I was in the Marine Corps. I finished service there and then joined the Army and was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division. I was trained as a combat diver and paratrooper. I jumped out of planes and all that fun stuff. I was a machine gunner in Iraq, too – not much use for a diver in the sand. I deployed to Iraq five times between 2005 and 2011.

What do you do now that you’re out of the service?

I kayak fish a minimum four to five times a week. Sometimes I can go two to three months without missing a day of fishing.

I like to fish. It’s relaxing when I go out there. Sometimes if I spot a school of redfish I won’t even cast to them, I’ll see how long I can follow them.

But I don’t eat fish. I ate fish every day growing up, a couple times a day. I’ve fished my whole life, starting in Guam. I’ve fished all over the United States and even in Iraq.

What’s there to catch in Guam?

Mostly pelagics but also different kinds of snapper. Guam is smaller than the city of Houston and surrounded by very deep water. You can fish in 1,200 feet of water from a pier and catch tuna. The Mariana Trench is just off the shore of Guam.

What’s your favorite place you’ve ever fished?

Florida Keys. I go there twice a year. I take my wife and kids and they do “wife and kids stuff” and I go fish. My favorite place in Texas is the Port Aransas area. It’s pretty good for kayak fishing because you get other stuff besides just redfish and trout without going six or seven miles offshore like in Galveston. I just picked up a Hobie Tandem Island just to go past the breakers. I’m on a mission for kingfish this year.

Do you have a favorite fishing moment?

The first time I got my son on a fish. He had just turned 4 years old and it was just a little 15” rat red, but he brought it in on his own. He casted and reeled it in all by himself on a spiderman pole and chickenboy lure.

heroes on water Kayak fishing with Marine Corps Veteran and Hurricane Harvey Hero Donald Justin

Heroes on the Water provides no-expense kayak fishing trips for veterans.

Tell me about your involvement with the community and veterans.

For the past few years I’ve been a member of Heroes on the Water – Southeast Texas Chapter, which organizes kayak fishing trips for active-duty military and U.S. veterans. They bring the kayaks and all of the fishing equipment; they supply everything. The only thing veterans need to bring is a fishing license. They started in Texas but there are chapters all over the states.

Veterans can relax out on the water for a little peace. They don’t necessarily have to fish; some just paddle around to take a break and clear their minds. Heroes on the Water concentrates on disabled veterans, but all veterans and service members are welcome.

I fell into it because it gives you a chance to be normal and meet people who have gone through the same things you have. I go out for every event I can. They need experienced people and sometimes we lack enough volunteers.

How can a veteran or volunteer get involved with Heroes on the Water?

They can visit heroesonthewater.org for information on the closest chapter, and most chapters have a Facebook page.

I understand you put your kayak collection to work during Hurricane Harvey.

Yeah, me and two neighbors on kayaks, and a handful of neighbors on big lifted trucks, got a couple dozen people out of their homes. The water was so high in some neighborhoods that we did rescues out of second story windows

Right on. In what areas did you perform rescues?

Friendswood and Dickinson. Boats were awesome for rescue but there were dry patches in some neighborhoods. So boats would tow us as far as they could go, and we would go get people and bring them back to the boats. We even rescued nine border collies that are featured in Alpo ads and commercials.

Border Collies being rescued by Donald Justin after Hurricane Harvey.

My family was affected and actually my own border collie, Murphy, rode in my kayak that day. It was a real bad time but great to see so many good people come together. Were you affected by the storm?

I live in Webster and my whole neighborhood lucked out. Everyone came together though; cooking for people, collecting donations and opening their doors. I had three people that we didn’t know live in our house for four months. Their son has special needs and there wasn’t a place for them.

Well, aside from helping others and fishing, what else are you passionate about?

Old BMWs. I have 22 various BMWs. I’m driving a 1990 BMW today that’s probably nicer inside than most 2018 models; no stains, rips, tears…everything is flawless.

Wow, is that your favorite BMW?

No, that’s the only one I’m willing to put miles on. My favorite is my 1991 E30 318is; it was only available for one year here in the States. It’s a slick top, turboed and has everything done to it. I’m giving it to my son one day. (without the turbo).

Is it time to lower the limit on speckled trout?

blumentrout Is it time to lower the limit on speckled trout?

Speckled trout. Photo by Garrett Blumenshine.

By Capt. Joe Kent

Almost every time the subject of lowering the number of fish anglers can retain crops up, a controversy arises that seems to draw a line in the sand.

Part of the problem is that there remain a large number of anglers who grew up fishing under no size or bag limits for saltwater fish.  Fifty years ago anyone would have been laughed at if they suggested placing a limit on the number of fish an individual could keep, let alone place any size restrictions on the catches.

After all, there was an endless supply of finfish and shellfish swimming the coastal waters and there was no way fishermen could even dent the populations.

Unfortunately, it did not take long to prove otherwise, as freeze events and overfishing by both commercial and recreational anglers began taking their toll on our stocks of trout, redfish and flounder.

Toward the end of the 1970s, when the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) was compelled to take action, the bag and size limits imposed were met with resistance by many in the fishing community.

That mentality continues to exist and was noticeable as recently as seven years ago when the TPWD held public hearings soliciting comments and opinions from anyone affected by any change in the bag limits for trout.

One meeting that was held at the TPWD Dickinson Lab almost got out of hand, as guides, marina operators and others were quite vocal in their opposition to any reduction in the number of trout allowed.

While the TPWD passed on the concerns expressed for the upper Texas Coast, they did recommend and had approved by the commissioners a reduction from 10 to five trout for anglers fishing the lower and middle coasts.

As an outdoor writer and columnist, I have been noticing an increasing number of sportsmen, including fishing guides and others with commercial interests in fishing, supporting a change in the rules.

Many of those same individuals were among the loud protesters at the hearings mentioned earlier.

I asked several of those I personally know what brought about their change of attitude?  Universally, they said that it was concern over the long-term survival of our stocks of trout.

One well-known fishing guide pointed out that the problem was of an environmental nature and that while recreational fishermen had a minimal impact, the solution required sacrifices on all ends.  There is not much individuals can do about devastating floods or severe droughts; however, they can do their part as stewards of our wildlife resources.

Each year there are increasing numbers of anglers fishing the Galveston Bay Complex and we are at the point that our resources of trout and other fish just cannot handle all of the added pressure.

At this point trout appear to be the only finfish about which there are concerns.  Reds have a three-fish slot limit and seem to be thriving well around the Galveston Bay Complex.

Several years ago the bag limit for flounder during the majority of the year was reduced from 10 to five and all indications are that the stocks are rebounding well following that change.

While anglers have a voice in the matter, the answers are going to have to come from the TPWD.  If the parties are in agreement, the process should be fairly easy to get initiated. The legislative procedures will begin to get the regulatory changes into law.

Thoughts on the call for a trout limit reduction

By Capt. David C. Dillman

galvestonbaycharterfishing.com | 832-228-8012

dillman fishing Thoughts on the call for a trout limit reduction

Mickey and Pat Carr

Galveston Bay is the seventh largest estuary in the United States. The surface area of the bay is 600 square miles with a average depth of ten feet. The bay complex has survived floods, freezes and pollution and still continues to thrive. Changes to the bay have occurred ever since “Moby Dick was a minnow.”

In the past few years, the bay system has seen its share of droughts and floods. Ever resilient, the bay system rebounds and so does the fishery. No matter what “Mother Nature” throws at it, the bay system rebounds. This resiliency is what makes Galveston Bay such a great fishery.

There has been a recent increase in calls for a reduction in the bag limit for speckled trout. The influx of freshwater into our bay system over the past two years has made trout easy targets for some. A situation known as a “stack up” of these fish occurred in the bay and many trout were taken by anglers in the know, many of them being charter boats. Fearing another “stack up” situation this year from the recent rains and runoff this April, some anglers and charter boat captains are calling for a reduced limit of trout. The current limit is ten fish per angler and on charter boats the captains limit is excluded. A five fish limit is what this group is seeking.

dillman fishing2 Thoughts on the call for a trout limit reduction

Dick Daugird with grandkids Wade and Walker Winters.

A article that was in the Houston Chronicle dated April 4, 2018 deemed our fishery “fine and dandy” according to Glen Sutton of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. So why are some anglers and charter boat captains “beating their drum” for a reduced limit? Some of this group believes the trout population has suffered over the past couple years due to them being stacked up in one area for a few weeks. I do believe they became easy prey for some anglers, most of them on chartered boats. The question becomes, what type of conservation should be in place to protect our trout fishery?

Fact is, the average angler seldom, if ever, catches a ten fish limit of trout. They just want to go out and enjoy their fishing experience with the hope of catching a ten fish limit one day. Anglers on charter boats go out with the expectation of catching their trout limit. The captain, as the law is written, can contribute to the boat limit of speckled trout. I think we all can agree there is an abundance of charter boats on Galveston Bay. These same charter boats take a majority of trout from the bay system. So maybe we need to find a way to reduce the catches of trout on chartered boats. I know good and well that a captain fishing along with their customer catches and retains an unequal amount of trout most of the time. This ensures the captain of a quick day and full limits for the boat.

What I would propose, is that a captain CANNOT retain any fish on a chartered trip. They can fish, but with no retention or “boxing” of fish. After all, I feel the customers should be the ones catching their own fish to take home, not the boat captain.

I feel no one user group should dictate what the fish limits should be unless it is agreed upon by the majority of fishing license holders or TPWD officials and biologists.   

The Galley: Savory nuts, wine and brie

Sometimes you want to entertain light. You’ve had a big mid-day meal and the party continues. That’s when you plan a fun wine tasting and include nuts, cheese and apples for substance.

Plain nuts are fabulous on their own, but savory nuts add a bit of spice, salt and aromatic zest. They also show a little TLC for your guests. The following recipes pair well with Brie. The creamy butteriness balances the spice. Wines that pair well will be more sweet, without tannins. Examples are Riesling, pinot noir, rosé, or bubbles! A jar of rosemary-herbed Spanish Marcona almonds are an easy third nut option.

baked brie The Galley: Savory nuts, wine and brie

Baked Brie

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place 1/4 wheel brie on a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper. Optionally, you may drizzle with  honey. Bake 5 to 7 minutes, or until cheese starts to ooze but not melt.

spicy pecan recipe The Galley: Savory nuts, wine and brie

Hot & Spicy Pecans

  • 2 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cups pecan halves
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, mix butter (melted), Worcestershire sauce, red pepper, salt and garlic powder. Stir in pecans and gently toss with chili powder until coated. Spread pecans on a baking sheet and cook 30 minutes in oven. Stir every 10 minutes.

Curried Cashews

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 1/4 cups roasted cashews, salted
  • 2 Tablespoons curry powder
  • salt to taste

Melt butter in a sauté pan. Add nuts. Cook slowly over medium heat until cashews are browned. Move to a plate covered with a paper towel to dry. Sprinkle with the curry powder.

Something for every boater

quantum loft Something for every boater

The Quantum Sails Seabrook team discusses the designs for a custom sewing project. From left: Rese McLaughlin, Farley Fontenot, James Berry, Alan Woodyard. Photo by Brandon Rowan.

It’s no secret that the team at the Quantum Sails Seabrook loft share your passion for all things sailing and boating. We take pride in working as a team and in the services we offer; going far beyond new sails.

Many people don’t think about swinging by their local loft unless they need new sails or [gulp] they need something repaired. However, there are a vast number of services beyond setting you up with a handsome new set of sails or your annual service that you may not be taking advantage of to help you get where you want to go, even if you prefer powerboats.

Quantum’s high standards don’t stop at our sails, it extends to every person that puts the green Q on their business card. Our team members are truly experts in their fields and work together every day to help you with any need, big or small. Here are some of the ways you can use your local experts to meet your next challenge.

woodyard sail Something for every boater

Quantum Sails Seabrook Loft Service Manager Alan Woodyard fabricates a canvas boat cover for a local power boat.

CANVAS AND CUSTOM SEWING PROJECTS

Quantum designs custom canvas for sailboats and powerboats and even for on-land projects for companies such as NASA. We come to your boat, meet with you and see what your needs are via private interview. The pattern and frames are then custom created to your boat. We finish the job with a personalized installation and work to make sure everything is finalized to your exact standards.

Our canvas is sewn with SolarFix PTFE Thread which is guaranteed for the life of the fabric. We create every kind of canvas need for boats such as biminis, enclosures, hatch covers, dodgers, sail covers, and Roller furling covers. We also make sun shades for parks, ceilings for museums, and ceiling shapes for our local library and churches.

A specialist in advanced fabrication techniques from the Hood Marine Canvas School, Alan Woodyard will make sure your new canvas is the perfect solution for your boat.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT SAIL FOR THE CONDITIONS

Reachers, runners, Code 0s, jib tops, genoas, windseekers, and staysails—that’s just a tiny sample of the type of sails that can make up your inventory. How do you know which one to use and in what conditions? And does the sea state matter? Ask us to come out for a sail and help you build a crossover chart to get the most out of your sail inventory so you have a better chance of winning that top regatta or a successful weekend sail with the family. Don’t forget, if sails are sun rotted, or too stretched they won’t do you much good, we can also help make sure everything is in tip-top shape for when you need it.

Quantum Sailmaker James Berry puts the final touches on a sail repair project.

PROLONGING THE LIFE OF YOUR SAILS

We take great pride in helping you prolong the lifespan of the sails you already own. Regular sail maintenance and evaluation in the offseason can prevent a costly sail repair later and will help your sails last as long as possible. Additionally, before you open your checkbook for a new sail bring your sails to us to look over. There might be some adjustments or repairs we can make to buy you some more time, particularly with our Precision Recuts. Precision Recuts give new life to your sails by restoring up to about 90% of their original shape at a fraction of the price of a new sail.

DIALING IN THE LUFF CURVE FOR PEAK PERFORMANCE

Take a picture of your mainsail and genoa when it’s brand new, and hold onto that for future reference. As a sail ages, sail cloth naturally stretches making the sail deeper, which in turn makes it less efficient. It’s great if you have the budget to replace your main every few years, but it’s not always necessary. A small adjustment can make all the difference in performance.

Quantum Sail Scan powered by VSPARS is a simplified version of the very powerful VSPARS real-time sail-scanning tool used on grand prix programs like Quantum Racing. Any photo uploaded to the program creates a digital version of your sail, allowing us to analyze the flying shape and determine where it may need to be recut. It’s a good idea to have the luff curve on your mainsail and genoa evaluated every three to five years.

These photos can be taken to your loft for tips on adjusting your trim and rig settings to get the best flying shapes.

ON-THE-WATER COACHING

Many of our customers are first-time boat owners. We’ll deliver your sails, and then go out sailing with you to get it set up and trimmed for performance. We’re available for on-the-water coaching to help you dial in crew work and communication. Farley Fontenot, the co-founder of Quantum Sails, has coached everyone from the J105 Local North American Champion to the 2018 new Swan 78 from Hamburg, Germany.

BUILDING A CUSTOM SAIL REPAIR KIT

Your sail repair kit should be unique to your boat and type of sailing. We’ve got a good starter list, but spend some time talking to the team at your local loft and we can line up the perfect kit for you. They can also give you tips and tricks on how to handle the most common repairs you’ll likely see during your adventures or regattas. You can also check out our photo guide to some common repairs and how to fix them.

At the end of the day, anything you need from sails to advice, our entire staff such as Rese McLaughlin, a 30 year veteran of our loft with a focus on spinnakers and James Berry, our highly trained and experienced service tech, are here to help you every step of the way – so be sure to use our expertise to help you meet your challenges.

Meet Tom, The Boat Coach

boatcoach 227x300 Meet Tom, The Boat CoachMy first encounter to boating was being drug up and down the San Bernard River near Churchill bridge behind a Yellow Jacket 15’ runabout trying to mount the skis – yes, two skis.

I graduated to boat building during 11th grade summer break when my best friend and I decided to create a sailboat with no plans or even pictures. Remarkably, it turned out to look about right for a Laser.  The designer, my buddy, was a little ahead of his time and went on to graduate UT as an aeronautical engineer and a career at NASA

I was addicted, and from then on I cannot remember ever not owning at least one boat. There was always something to be installed, repaired or improved on any boat I owned. My passion crowded the need for 100% adherence to my real job. But it was easier when I bought a Offshore 27 Choey Lee sloop, had it trucked into Houston and planted in my driveway for a major refit, including refreshing the mast and rigging.

Can you imagine the West University ordinance police if that was tried now! But still it was not the boat I had in mind for what I had in mind.

I had upgraded to a 40’ Valiant and proposed to my girlfriend that we take off and spend a year cruising the Caribbean. She said ‘let’s go!’ and off we sailed for a year across the Gulf, the Keys, Bahamas, DR, Virgins and Windwards and Leewards to the Grenadines. 

When you’re out on a trip like that, you might need to know how to fix whatever went wrong.      

For boat consulting, call Tom at 713-254-3105. First 12 callers to make an appointment get one hour free.