Galati Yacht Sales
Texas Outlaw Challenge
Quantum Sails
Sea Lake Yachts
South Texas Yacht Service
Texas Sportfishing Yacht Sales
Marina Del Sol
Seabrook Marina
Tookie's Seafood

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.

Harvest Moon Regatta

October 25-28, 2018

18739673 745455078948213 7455618149597095002 n Harvest Moon Regatta

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.

Tight Budget? How to get the most out of your current sails

Tight Budget Image Tight Budget? How to get the most out of your current sails

Part of managing a sailing program of any kind–be it cruising or racing–is balancing the budget. From deck hardware to bottom paint and sails, something always needs replacing or fixing. Luckily when it comes to sails, there are a few inexpensive things you can do to help you extend that budget a little further.

1. GET YOUR SAILS INSPECTED

Sail inspections can bring to light not only torn stitches or tired webbing, but also use issues that may be causing damage to your sail. For example, broken stitching on the luff of the sail could indicate too much halyard tension or dimples in your spinnaker could be the result of crew pulling it down by grasping the middle of the sail instead of using the tapes.

Annual inspections should be part of every program with the goal of maximizing the life of the sail. Catching and fixing a few small problems (especially if the sail is older) can also prevent catastrophic failure on the water.

2. RECUT YOUR SAILS EVERY FEW YEARS

All sails stretch and lose shape over time and through use. If you’re experiencing the tell-tale signs of stretched sails–an inability to point, difficulty steering, or lack of power under sail–it doesn’t necessarily mean you need new sails. Many sailors don’t realize sails can be recut to bring back up to 90 percent of their original shape and extend their life at a fraction of the cost of new ones. Typically, one or two recuts can be done over the life of a sail. Recutting sails has been a common practice for pro programs for years, sometimes adjusting and recutting sails between race days.

You’ll want a handful of good sail shape photos to take to the loft along with your sail. And bonus points if you take photos of your sails on an annual basis! Click here to learn how to get the best shots and start your recordkeeping. If you’re curious about the recut process and benefits, click here for an article to shed some light on what you need to know about recuts.

3. HAVE YOUR SAILS PROFESSIONALLY REPAIRED

You might have saved the day with your quick fix when the spinnaker caught on a turnbuckle and started to rip, but did you remember to take it to the loft for a proper repair afterward? Onboard sail repairs are great when you need to finish the sail and get back to the dock safely, but they’re not meant to be a permanent fix. You’d be surprised how easy it is to forget you have a few strips of duct tape holding part of your sail together when it’s packed out of sight and out of mind. As you can guess, ignoring damage will not end well for the sail or your budget.

4. CHECK YOUR RIG TUNE

If your rig tune is out of whack, it can significantly affect sail performance. Before you throw in the towel with your current sails, check to make sure the issue isn’t your rig. Have an expert sail with you to see what adjustments might remedy the problem. This is especially important for cruisers who don’t regularly tune their rigs for conditions the way a race program might. We have more information on that here.

5. CONSIDER SAIL ADD-ONS

There are a number of sail add-ons and updates that can help improve functionality and extend their lifespan. Reefing points, UV covers, and spreader patches are all on the list. Talk to your sailmaker about what modifications can be made to help the sail work better and make it usable for a few more years.

6. LOOK BEYOND THE SAIL

It is important to look at the health and setup of your boat’s entire system in order to get the most out of your sails. Not all systems are created equally, and having the right sail handling system for your needs will help reduce stress on the sails. Roller furlers are great for easily and smoothly using your headsail, especially if you have a novice crew or sail shorthanded. Mainsail handling systems, such as the Dutchman and an in-mast or boom furling system, can also come in handy and help to reduce wear-and-tear on your sail.

Of course, the right system needs to be in good shape. If the sail handling system is failing, you’re at risk of damaging your sail. Similarly, sun-rotted lines or finicky winches pose threats to sails under load, as do sticky tracks and tired blocks. Invite your sailmaker or local rep to your boat for help identifying problem areas or to discuss options for improving your sail handling systems.

You shouldn’t give up on your trusty sails just because you’re starting to experience performance issues or they’re getting older. Call your sailmaker and explore a few of these ideas before you open your checkbook to pay for a new set. If you decide a new set is the right solution, use this information and the expertise of your sailmaker to ensure your sails are setup properly and you’re using best practices and sail care services to maximize their lifespan and protect your investment.

_______

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

1st Annual Ladies’ Night at West Marine Rig Shop

judy mission WM 1st Annual Ladies’ Night at West Marine Rig Shop

Kemah West Marine’s check presented to Judy’s Mission.

West Marine in Kemah hosted Ladies’ Night in the Rig Shop, and a benefit for Judy’s Mission Ovarian Cancer Foundation on Thursday, Nov. 9. It was an evening filled with education, fund-raising and good times to empower women to be confident boaters, to connect ladies with a shared passion of being on the water and to educate them (along with their first officers who attended) about early symptoms of ovarian cancer.

Judy’s Mission Ovarian Cancer Foundation was created in 2010 to honor Judith (Judy) Liebenthal Robinson, Ph.D., a NASA scientist and avid sailor at Lakewood Yacht Club. Despite habitual exercise, a consistently healthy diet, and regular medical examinations, Judy was diagnosed with advanced stage ovarian cancer and died within a year. While battling ovarian cancer, it was Judy’s mission to raise awareness about the vague symptoms and ineffective screening procedures associated with ovarian cancer. She inspired all who knew her; and as a result, friends (many from Lakewood Yacht Club) came together to create the Judy’s Mission Ovarian Cancer Foundation a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Along with lots of food, and spirits provided by cosponsor Railean Distillery of San Leon, West Marine Rigging associates Suzanne Kutach and Randi Miller taught knot tying and dock-line instruction, while Rigging associate Josh Gray (with his wife Angie) spiced up the evening in ‘Pirate’ regalia.

rigging table 1st Annual Ladies’ Night at West Marine Rig Shop

Knot tying and dock line instruction at the rigging table.

With ‘Rigging Solutions’ donated by the West Marine Rig Shop (Tide-Minder Soft Shackles, Dyneema Cleat- Extender Loops and Shackles, and Sailboat Rigging Inspections), as well as donations from the 2017 Harvest Moon Regatta, $1,255 was raised in silent auction for Judy’s Mission Ovarian Cancer Foundation.

“Although Ladies’ Night was our first event of its kind,” said West Marine Rig Shop Manager Franklin Viola, “The overwhelming enthusiasm and support by local lady sailors will certainly not make it the last!”

HYC Youth Sailor Brings Home the Gold from China

Charlotte Rose HYC Youth Sailor Brings Home the Gold from China

Charlotte Rose – Sanya, China. Photo by Thomas Miya/Sailing Energy.

Houston Yacht Club’s Youth Sailor and US Youth World Champion, Charlotte Rose, recently returned from Sanya, China where she won the Gold Medal in the Youth World Championship competing against 374 of the world’s best youth sailors from 60 nations.

Rose raced against defending champions, Dolores Moreira Fraschini, (URU and the 2017 Youth Radial World Champion, Hannah Anderssohn (GER), pulling out to dominate the 40-boat competition.

“After a tough week of racing the fact I am a World Champion has still not set in. I find myself still astounded by my achievement even with all the best wishes and recognition I have received,” Rose said.

“It was a tough last race to win gold but I did it. I knew what I needed to do and I did it. I am especially grateful for my coaches, Rosie Chapman and Leandro Spina of US Sailing, for believing in me. I am very grateful for HYC for their positive thoughts and support from afar. The utmost thanks goes to my family who have and always believed in me and supported my dream I cannot thank them enough, they earned this gold medal too,” Rose added.

Rose earned her spot in the World Championships as the only single-handed sailor on the US Youth World Team through hard work, determination and finishing at the top in the most competitive national regattas during 2017.

Rose is a senior attending Westside High School in Houston. She has sailed in a wide variety of national and international sailing competitions including representing the USA in the International Laser Radial Youth Worlds competition in Canada, where she placed 3rd in the Under 17 category.

To learn more about the Houston Yacht Club, please visit: www.houstonyachtclub.com

Harvest Moon Regatta Donates to Port Aransas Hurricane Harvey Recovery

Members of Lakewood Yacht Club and the Bay Access Foundation presented a check for $22,638 to the Port Aransas Education Fund, and the Seabrook Rotary Club presented its own check for $2,000 on November 7, 2017.

Port Aransas sustained considerable damage during Hurricane Harvey including the destruction of the new basketball court in the high school gymnasium. The Port Aransas High basketball teams were on hand to accept the check as the funds will be used to pay for a portable gym in the Port Aransas Civic Center until their school’s gym can be repaired.

“Port A has been a gracious host to the finish and post-race festivities of our Annual Harvest Moon Regatta for many years,” said LYC Commodore Jim Winton. “As soon as we heard of the devastation in Port Aransas, we gathered our resources and started thinking of ways to help. The Lakewood community is very pleased to have worked with HMR race organizers and volunteers to raise this contribution through various raffles and our Hurricane Harvey/Port A Recovery Fund.”

If you’d like to learn more about the Harvest Moon Regatta, visit www.harvestmoonregatta.com. Information about the Bay Access Foundation can be found at www.bay-access.org.
unnamed1 Harvest Moon Regatta Donates to Port Aransas Hurricane Harvey Recovery

Check Presentation: Photo provided by Port Aransas South Jetty Reporter Zach Perkins

Sea Star Base Koch Cup Awards

Sea Star Base Galveston recently hosted the 9th Biennial William I. Koch International Sea Scout Cup Regional Regatta Trial, “Aggie Cup”,  Saturday, September 23, on Offatt’s Bayou, 7409 Broadway.

The oldest continuing qualifier for the Koch Cup, the regatta is open to any Sea Scout Crew in a Southern Region Ship, and is one of four races held in Scouting’s Southern Region. Qualifiers from the regatta will compete in the William I Koch International Sea Scout Cup to be held at Sea Star Base Galveston in 2018. Regatta Director is Skipper Dan Wilson, Commodore of Sam Houston Are Council that includes Houston and the surrounding 16 counties.

Admission to the race was open to all Southern Region  and is governed by the ISAF Racing Rules of Sailing 2017 – 2020, Boy Scouts of America Guide to Safe Scouting, posted Aggie Cup sailing instructions and the Official Notice of Racing, the regatta is a Sea Scouts, BSA event. Sailors  compete on  FJ’s, or Flying Junior, which are popularly used to teach young sailors the skills of boat handling and racing.

At the conclusion of the races, following the protest and penalty review, winners were announced as follows:

  • 1st place:  Ship 1000, Andrew Vandling  and Isaac Barkely
  • 2nd place: Ship 45, Ryan Shaw and Kaytlynn Welsch
  • 3rd place: Ship 846, Zander Sexton and Simon Sexton
  • 4th place: Ship 45, Jonathan Franks and Bo Steber
  • 5th place: Ship 45, Esteban Garcia and Amber Steber

Sea Star Base Galveston is a high-adventure aquatic destination offering marine and maritime education programs that foster teamwork, skills, lifetime leadership, and independence in body, mind, and spirit. The Base offers sailing and educational programs for youth, adults, and physically challenged individuals.

For information on upcoming regattas or SSBG Community Sailing programs go to www.ssbgalveston.org or call (409) 572-2560.

IMG 9119 1024x683 Sea Star Base Koch Cup Awards

Koch Cup Regatta Trials, 1st place – L – R: Dan Wilson, Commodore of San Houston Area Council, Andrew Vandling and Isaac Barkely

IMG 9117 1024x683 Sea Star Base Koch Cup Awards

Koch Cup Regatta Trials, 2nd place – L – R: Kaitlynn Welsch, Commodore Dan Wilson, and Ryan Shaw

Koch Cup Regatta Trials, 3rd place – L – R: Zander Sexton, Dan Wilson, and Simon Sexton

Koch Cup Regatta Trials, 4th place – L – R: Jonathan Franks, Bo Steber, and Skipper Dan Wilson

Lakewood Yacht Club Hosted J/105 North American Championships

unnamed 300x200 Lakewood Yacht Club Hosted J/105 North American Championships

Day Two of J/105 North American Championships by LYC member Kim Payton.

Last week, 22 J/105s representing clubs from across North America, Bermuda and beyond raced on Galveston Bay to determine the 2017 North American Champion.

Lakewood Yacht Club also hosted the first J/105, Fleet 17 Fall Invitation Regatta last month to help local boats prepare for the North American Championships. Hosting the invitational must have paid off; three local racers took the top three spots.

The top five finishers were:

1st – Mojo, Steve Ryhne of LYC

2nd – Deja Voodoo, Bill Zartler of LYC

3rd – Radiance, Bill Lakenmacher of LYC

4th – Sanity, Rick Goebel of San Diego Yacht Club

5th – Good Trade, Bruce Stone of St. Francis Yacht Club

Complete race results can be found at www.j105nac.com

Sailors, volunteers and guests gathered in the LYC Ballroom for cocktails, dinner and dancing on Saturday, Oct. 28th. Live entertainment was provided by The Anchormen. The Awards Ceremony was held in the LYC Lounge on Sunday.

John Barnett, Chairman of J/105 North Americans, commented on the support staff and sponsors. “We could not have pulled this event off without the help of all our dedicated volunteers and generous sponsors.”

Sponsors for this event included City of Seabrook, Bay Access, Upstream Brokers, Seabrook Marina, nue Vodka, Layline Petroleum, Leeward Yacht Club, Hayes Rigging, Davis Marine & Electronics, J/Boats Southwest, George Ocean Rum, Blackburn Marine, OJ’s Marine, Quantum Sails, YES Marine, UK Sails, Calamity Gin, Little Yacht Sails, True North Marine, JR Ewing Bourbon.

Visit www.j105nac.com for details. Or, for more information about J/105 Fleet 17, contact John Barnett at J22B@comcast.net or 281 414 4010.

2017 A-Class North Americans

cat A 2017 A Class North Americans

By Bruce Mahoney

The 50th Anniversary of the A-Class North American Championship was held in San Diego Bay on Oct. 5-8. Hosted by San Diego Yacht Club, the event was held on the Silver Strand State Beach which is halfway down Coronado Island. The sailing area was well protected with flat water and great racing conditions for the Classics and Foilers alike.

San Diego is a long way from the larger East Coast fleets in the US, but the A Catters saddled up and headed west to support the Californians. We had 32 boats racing from all over, including Mischa and Eduard from the Netherlands, Larry Woods from the Toronto area, a container load from New Jersey, a 6 boat trailer from Atlanta, and many smaller rigs coming from Florida, Louisiana, Texas and all over.

Ben Hall a.k.a. “The Admiral” drove 2,500 miles with Bill Vining from Tampa, Florida to get three boats from the Sopot Worlds there just in time, and he wasn’t even sailing! It was another good example of the quality of people in the A Class.

Due to the flooding in Houston from Hurricane Harvey, there was a fair bit of debris in the water at home. My training partner Benn Hooper and I decided to head out early to sail in San Diego to keep the boats in one piece. We drove 24 hours straight through and sailed for 6 days prior to the event. Mischa joined us and we spent a lot of time on setup and techniques to maximize our performance, with Benn in the Classic as a good benchmark.

Ben was on his recently modified Classic LR5 with the long leech version of Mischa’s Decksweeper, while Mischa and I pushed the F1’s with a smaller head design. It was a bit of a gamble in the short term as San Diego is not thought of as a windy venue, and conventional wisdom pointed to light airs being the Achilles heel of a small headed sail. It was great testing though and the new sails performed well across the range.

As always when I get the opportunity to train early with good people before a championship, I could pack up and go home the night before the regatta and be perfectly happy, as I find it really satisfying to learn so much and progress in how to sail these amazing boats.

After some good battles with Mischa and Matt, I was fortunate enough to come away as North American Champion…

We pulled off the regatta with Foiling conditions throughout, except for small sections of a leg or two. The breeze was on average 7-12 knots, some less and more on the last day. There was only a bit of short chop on the last day near the bottom when the breeze was up in the mid-teens. The pressure was always changing just a little bit throughout the trip, so you really had to stay on your toes with the mode and setting changes. Often times you weren’t in exactly the ‘perfect’ setting, so learning to keep the boat ripping while managing that aspect was a big part of the regatta.

The SDYC Race Committee did a great job getting off 11 good races over four days. They kept us apprised of their intentions and were great with communication, which we all appreciate.

The battle for the Classics division was never over, with a different leader at the end of each day. Craig Yandow came out on top, and there were a lot of tight finishes across the line throughout the week. Great to see some new energy in that group and I believe the US will send a good Classic contingent to Australia for the Worlds.

Matt Struble sailed a solid event in the eXploder I used in Poland, and thank you again to Emmanuel Cerf from eXploder USA for helping me at the Worlds and Matt here at the NA’s. Emmanuel is a great promoter of the class, and motivates our sailors to get to our events. He is the man behind the 2020 Worlds in St. Petersburg, Florida. Be sure to put that on your long term planning, as it will be truly first class.

Mischa won the event as Open Champion, with his blazing speed and complete command of the boat. It was great to have another fun mission with him, and we hope in the future to have more international competitors here to raise the level even higher. The perpetual trophy for the Open Champion has gone missing (if you have it, send it back…), so the Regatta Organizers did a cool thing with a Multihull Elapsed Time Trophy that they award each year. By their reckoning, having won 9 of 11 races means Mischa completed the regatta in the lowest elapsed time, so his name is now on the trophy with ORMA 60’s and other offshore Multihulls.

After some good battles with Mischa and Matt, I was fortunate enough to come away as North American Champion, and looking at the trophy my 2 wins pale in comparison to the multiple winners over the 50 year history of the class in the US. The trophy has the winning skipper and boat type which we will post shortly on our US Class website. Apparently even Hurricane Andrew has a victory in 1992, but no boat type was listed. It’s pretty cool to think for half a century A Cat sailors have been throwing boats on trailers and traveling around the country for the fun of it. I’m happy to be one of them.

The 2018 North Americans will be at the Sandy Hook Bay Catamaran Club in New Jersey. The club is just across the water from New York City and has hosted the Atlantic Coast Championships the past few years. It should be a great event. From there the US Fleet will be loading containers to head down under to Hervey Bay for the 2018 Worlds. Come and join us!

Houston Yacht Club Plans Annual Turkey Day Regatta

hyc Houston Yacht Club Plans Annual Turkey Day RegattaRegistration is now open to race in the annual Houston Yacht Club Turkey Day Regatta  Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 18-19.   The regatta is open to all boats and classes for racing Windward-Leeward or Pursuit.  Prizes are turkeys.  The number will be based on the number of registrants per class. Our annual “Grog” party will follow racing on Saturday.

As part of the Competitors’ Briefing on Friday, Nov. 17, all racers are invited to attend a presentation by HYC Member and Laser Radial Youth Women’s World Champion, Charlotte Rose, who will share her on-the-water racing experiences and upcoming 2017 Youth Sailing World Championship in China later this year.  She has been nominated for the 2017 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year.

The awards ceremony on Sunday, Nov. 20 will feature our chef serving up turkey and trimmings for the racers at the trophy presentation.

See the HYC Web Site for the Notice of Race for the schedule of events.  Boats may enter the Regatta through Regatta Network.

For further information, contact Event Chairmen James Liston jtliston@aol.com or Madonna Breen mbreen@embarqmail.com.

8th Annual J/Fest Southwest Regatta in the Record Books

 

unnamed1 225x300 8th Annual J/Fest Southwest Regatta in the Record Books

A J/Boats Legends Celebrity Racing Event was held on Clear Lake on Friday, October 20th in celebration of 40 years of J/Boats. Photo by LYC member Andrea Todaro.

Lakewood Yacht Club hosted the 8th Annual J/Fest Southwest Regatta October 21-22, 2017.

Although the competitors were held onshore Sunday due to storms, the race committee ran a full day of racing on Saturday for 72 boats in a building breeze. The Judges had work to do on the water and onshore; after all was done, this year’s top finishers in each class were:

J/22 Hayes Rigging, Kevin Hayes, of LYC

J/24 Miss Conduct, James Freedman of DCYC

J/70 Hoss, Glenn Darden of FWBC

J/105 Sanity, Rick Goebel of SDYC/CRA

J/109 Hamburg, Al Goethe of LYC

J/PHRF Spin (Sym) Press to Meco, Glen Stromme

J/PHRF Spin (Asym) Second Star, JD Hill of LYC/GBCA

Full results are available at www.lakewoodyachtclub.com.

This year’s festivities also included a celebrity racing event on Clear Lake that spectators enjoyed watching and listening to humorous live commentary on from the newly opened BARge 295 in the location of the old Turtle Club. On Friday, Oct. 20, at 1600, J/Boat legend racers Jeff Johnstone, Scott Young, Farley Fontenot and Jay Lutz set off to measure their racing prowess on loaned-out J/24s in honor of J/Boats celebrating 40 years in the making.

Sailors, volunteers and guests enjoyed the annual Saturday night party, which included live music poolside by Jerry Angeley and by the LC Roots Band in the LYC lounge as well as a Frogmore Stew traditional shrimp dinner in the grand ballroom.

The LYC bar and lounge were at full capacity for the awards ceremony Sunday afternoon.

For regatta information or questions about next year’s event, visit www.jfestsouthwest.com.

What’s in a Sail Check?

sailcheck header What’s in a Sail Check?By Quantum Sails

Your sails are an investment and with proper care, you can expect years of satisfaction and enjoyment. Quantum’s Global Director of Client Care Charles Saville describes what our professionals look for during a multipoint inspection.

Annual inspections and sail care not only maintain sail performance, but also help extend the lifespan of your sails and eliminate potential disasters. Getting into the habit of getting a sail check-over every year is the first line of defense against small problems turning into bigger, more costly issues later on.

To provide the highest level of sail care, we believe it’s not enough to simply identify the needed repairs. Our service technicians are trained not only in the painstaking process of inspecting a sail, but also collecting additional information to help identify the source of the problem. Making the repair is a good start; helping you address the root cause is even better. Reducing future repair costs and downtime is the ultimate solution and an example of how Quantum’s service team goes above and beyond to provide exemplary service.

So what exactly goes into a Quantum sail check?

  • Inspect all attachment points of the sail. Take a close look at corner attachment points, luff tapes, luff hardware and reefing systems. Investigate any chafe or damage at these points, and evaluate suitability for use.
  • Look over all edges of the sail. So much can be gained in understanding the life of a sail by examining its leech, which can provide insight into any stretching or misshaping, or potential UV damage. We inspect the entire perimeter to gain a better understanding of the sail’s history, which in turn helps shape our recommendations for repair or upgrade.
  • Evaluate entire sail for chafe, tears and damage, including not only the main section but also batten pockets, leech reinforcements, etc. We look to see if there’s a pattern to the chafe, evaluate why it’s happening, and not only fix the sail, but also advise you how to prevent the damage in the future.
  • Assess entire sail for UV damage. Some exposure is normal, so our trained technicians understand when exposure has developed into a larger problem.
  • Examine all accessories on the sail for proper function and continued use, including draft stripes, Dutchman Systems, batten pocket tensioning systems, control-line pockets and cleats, etc. If it’s on the sail, we’re going to inspect it.
  • Evaluate the cloth. We look at where the sail is in its lifespan, evaluating how the lamination is withstanding use. By judging how the material is holding up versus the age of the sail, we can give you a better understanding of its remaining useful life.

The best way to ensure you get the longest life out of your sails is to have them checked annually for the above criteria. When problems are identified early, there’s a higher chance that our sail experts can make the necessary adjustments and repairs to prolong the use of that sail.

Sail checks can also indicate other potential rigging or tuning issues based on evidence of wear. A simple annual sail check can save you money by avoiding replacing sails more often than necessary, and ensure you don’t lose valuable time on the water waiting for replacement sails.

Are you due for a sail check? Contact Quantum Sails Gulf Coast at 281-474- 4168 or gulfcoast@quantumsails.com to schedule an inspection at Quantum’s Seabrook location now.

Houston Open One Design Regatta

 

2016 HOOD Regatta Photo Houston Open One Design Regatta

image003 Houston Open One Design RegattaAt the Houston Yacht Club Sept. 23-24

All one design sailors mark your calendars for the HOOD Regatta. The Houston Open One Design Regatta is Sept. 23-24 at the Houston Yacht Club. Our sponsors for the 2017 event are Mount Gay Rum, Quantum Sails, Dripping Springs Vodka, Bloody Revolutions, KO Sailing, City of LaPorte and West Marine. We are expecting as many as 100 boats and 350 sailors to participate. Classes anticipated to sail are J22, J24, J29, J70, J80, J105, J109, Pulse 600, RS Aero, and Ensign. There will be a youth line, as well. The racing will take place on three race courses on Galveston Bay.

The Skipper’s meeting will be held Friday night, with racing on Saturday and Sunday. Awards will be given out on Sunday afternoon. Each boat registered will receive a skipper’s pouch from Quantum Sails and a tech shirt. This will be the largest regatta on Galveston Bay this year, so please don’t miss it.

Check the HYC website, www.houstonyachtclub.com or regattanetwork.com for the Notice of Race and registration information. For more information, contact regatta chairs Ken Humphries at k.humphries@humphries-const.com or Joanne Humphries at humphriesj@hotmail.com.

10 Things You Can Do to Make Your Sails Last Longer

sailcare 10 Things You Can Do to Make Your Sails Last Longer

By Quantum Sails

1.  KEEP YOUR SAIL OUT OF THE SUN WHEN NOT IN USE.

If you have furling systems, this may be just a matter of furling sails when not in use. For non-furling sails, this means covering or stowing sails. There are cover options for both mainsails and headsails, allowing the sail to stay rigged and protected between uses. When no cover is available, sails should be removed, flaked, bagged and stowed below deck or off the boat.

2. SUN COVERS: SEWN-ON PROTECTION. 

Most owners use sewn-on sun covers to protect furled sails. Sunbrella and WeatherMax are the fabrics commonly used for sun covers. For racer-cruisers and some racing sails like furling code zeros, there are lighter weight options such as UV-treated Dacron®. While there is a gain in weight savings, these materials are not inherently UV resistant. Over time the UV treatment can wear off, with the lifespan of the treatment affected by boat location and amount of time in the sun. In high exposure areas, treated covers may have a lifespan of only a couple of seasons.

All sun covers should be inspected regularly and repaired if damaged. Generally speaking, covers should be re-stitched every three years or so to prevent more extensive damage to the fabric that can occur from flogging due to compromised stitching.

To provide maximum protection for your sails, sun covers require care and maintenance. Remember, if you can see the sailcloth below the cover…so can the sun! Click here to read more about keeping your sails safe from UV rays.

3.  KEEP YOUR SAILS CLEAN.

After sun, the second-worst enemy of any sail is salt; but other types of dirt and debris can be just as damaging. Periodic sail washing is key to maintaining your sails. A couple common-sense rules apply to frequency: 1) a sail that has been exposed to saltwater should be washed sooner rather than later, and 2) all other varying degrees of grime should be removed when possible. A genoa or staysail probably needs washing, or at least a rinse, more frequently than a mainsail that is stowed under a cover on the boom or furled when not in use. Not sure if your sails are salty? Run a finger along the foot and have a taste…you’ll know right away!

4.  HIDE THEM FROM THE ELEMENTS.

Sailmakers generally refer to the life of a sail in hours or seasons, rather than years. The lifespan is affected by the amount of time sailing and the level of care given to the sails. In the mid-Atlantic region, the main sailing season can begin in early spring and extend late into the fall. A sailing season in the upper Midwest, for example, is much shorter, thus extending the life of a sail. The lifespan of sails that spend the sailing season furled on your headstay, in your mast or boom, or left on the boat to endure the frigid months of winter, will be much shorter than the life of sails that are properly protected or stowed.

If you know your sails are going to be sitting idle on the boat in a marina for at least a month or more during a sailing season, you can extend sail life by taking the sails off of your boat and stowing them. If your schedule prevents you from doing this personally, contact your local Quantum loft for sail removal and storage – part of our full array of sail care services.

5.  INSPECT YOUR SAILS REGULARLY AND HAVE AN EXPERT DO SO, TOO.

At least once-a-year sails should get a check-up. To do this yourself, find a dry place in good light where you can lay them flat, then work your way over every inch of the sail, looking for trouble spots such as abrasion or loose stitching. Small problems can turn into bigger problems later, so be sure to note even the smallest details. Alternatively, you can drop off your sails at a nearby Quantum loft for our multi-point inspection. Even simpler, with one call we can handle sail removal, transportation and inspection for one sail or your whole inventory.

6.  TAPE UP THAT TURNBUCKLE!

If you’ve ever scraped your finger on a piece of hardware, then you know it’s sharp enough to damage your sail. Even seemingly blunt objects (like a spreader) can damage sails on a tack, so take a look around (and up) to see what can or should be covered to protect your sails. If you have an extra piece of spinnaker cloth, wipe it across every surface of your boat and rigging. If it snags, put some tape on it. Rigging tape, self-fusing silicone tape, leather and other protective coverings are relatively inexpensive ways to protect your sails.

7.  READ THE WRITING ON THE LEECH.

Even a well-protected spreader-tip or navigation light can wear a sail tack-after-tack. For these areas, a spreader-patch (or navigation light-patch, etc.) might be the answer. Quantum service experts use a variety of materials for these abrasion-resistant patches, ranging from pressure-sensitive-adhesive-backed Kevlar for a racing genoa to Sunbrella® cloth for cruising sails.

8.  FIX IT NOW INSTEAD OF REPLACING IT LATER.

A lot of catastrophic sail failures can be traced back to a small repair that was never made.  When you notice a small hole or a chafed spot that’s getting increasingly worse, save yourself serious head- and wallet-ache by addressing the problem while it is still small. Our service experts have heard more than a few people come into the loft with a shredded sail saying, “I’ve been meaning to get that spot patched”.

9.  BAG IT!

Pretty simple here. There’s a good reason new sails come with a sturdy bag and it’s not just another place for a logo. That bag is a much cheaper sacrificial covering than the sail inside of it. Take a look at an old sail bag that’s scuffed and torn-up, now imagine if that were your sail. Not good. It can be a pain to keep track of bags, but used regularly, they can really earn their keep.

10.  IF YOU DON’T KNOW…ASK.

Curious about some sail-care method you’ve heard somebody touting on the dock or trying to figure out if your sail could use a new piece of webbing on the tack? Feel free to call the service team at your local Quantum loft. We’re happy to field your questions and provide helpful pointers. Consider us a member of your team.

_________

Contact Quantum Sails Gulf Coast at gulfcoast@quantumsails.com or 281-474-4168 to learn more about protecting your investment. Visit QuantumSails.com for more great tips and tricks to help you meet all of your sailing challenges.

History of the Houston Yacht Club

HYC1 History of the Houston Yacht Club

Invitation to the Centennial Celebration of the Houston Yacht Club, 1997. Artwork by Al Barnes. Photos: HYC Archives.

Sam Akkerman, author of the book From Buffalo Bayou to Galveston Bay: The centennial history of the Houston Yacht Club, 1897 to 1997 on how it came to fruition. 

akkerman History of the Houston Yacht Club

Sam Akkerman

How did you get started on this project of writing the book?

I became involved in researching and writing about the history of HYC around 1995, two years before the club’s 100 year anniversary celebration. I was invited to attend one of the Centennial Committee meetings where Fleet Historian Tynes Sparks spoke and explained that one of the committee’s goals was to publish a book on the Club’s history and he needed help.

He had boxes of old photographs, clippings, and collections of stories he had been putting together for years. Few early records still existed, but Tynes knew the Club’s legendary history was worth telling and that documentation existed at the Houston Metropolitan Research Center (HMRC).

 As an English major who had always enjoyed research and writing, I was intrigued. Tynes and I scheduled a visit to the HMRC.

On that initial visit we found a Houston Post article describing the first formal meeting of the Club, February 2, 1898 at the Binz Building, Houston’s first skyscraper. It was a thrilling find and I quickly became fascinated by the Club’s history stashed away in that building.

Because the Club’s founders were prominent Houstonians, I read everything I could find on the city’s history and the early 20th century development of the Galveston Bay area as a summer destination for Houston residents.

I located and interviewed many children and grandchildren of the founders and early members. They were all aware of their families’ connections to HYC and generously shared photos and stories.

What surprised you the most as you gathered information about the history of the club?

Many discoveries were made along the way. When I started, we knew that the Club originally met and kept their boats near the foot of Main Street in downtown Houston. Research enabled  us to document specific locations: for a while a wharf was leased at the foot of Travis Street and meetings were held in a ‘tin shack’ near today’s Spaghetti Warehouse.

Another important ‘discovery’ was realizing the true significance of our early membership in the Gulf Yachting Association (GYA). In 1920 we became a founding member of the venerable southern boating organization that promoted inter-club competition in affordable one design boats from Florida to Texas. A bay home was needed for the boats, practices, and competition required by the amateur, family friendly, GYA program which the Club embraced wholeheartedly. I  believe the mission HYC fulfills today was shaped by that program.

And I must mention the oft forgotten role the Club played in the early development of the Houston Ship Channel. The members were not only vocal in their support but their yachts were used to tour dignitaries and visitors who had the power to influence the legislation to dredge the Bayou and Bay into a waterway that would accommodate ocean going vessels.

This focus of the Club continued until World War I. By then the Port was well on its way to becoming the giant we know it as today.

Madlin Stevenson and friends on an R-boat in the Houston Yacht Club harbor in 1929.

Is there a favorite story about some of the members that made you laugh out loud when you were doing research?

Humor reigned throughout the years. Choosing one incident is impossible. Theme parties with elaborate costumes were the norm after World War II. Props might include a live donkey in the Porthole bar or an old footed bathtub for serving “bootleg gin.” Beginning in 1936 the Dumbbell Award was presented periodically to recognize boating mishaps. Recipients and their ‘dumb’ mistakes were carefully recorded in a small gold stamped binder.  Helmsmen, not crew, falling overboard seem to have been quite common.

Where did you grow up and when did you become a member of the Houston Yacht Club?

I was born in Louisiana but grew up in Texas.  My family moved to Houston when I was 12.

In 1989, my husband bought a catamaran and we were sailing it one weekend when we saw a long line of Sunfish being towed behind a motor boat. Each boat had a young skipper on board, relaxing as they cruised along under tow. We learned they were HYC Ragnots (as the Club’s youth are called) and they were on their way across the Bay to an inter-club regatta. My daughters were 9 and 12, a perfect age to become Ragnots and the next summer I was one of the moms in the motor boats towing kids across the Bay.

Is there a favorite time period in the club’s history that really stands out in your mind?

The early years of the Club are among my favorites to study. Members had a fleet of amazing long, sleek luxury yachts which would rival any port in the south. They were prominent businessmen who worked tirelessly to promote the city and ship channel. Yet they commissioned a fleet of small one design sailboats for fair competition. Their younger members formed the Launch Club Canoe Division and explored islands in the Bayou that have long since disappeared. Their cruises were intended for family members and their regattas were events designed to be enjoyed by all ages, boaters and ‘landlubbers’ alike.

Are you currently working on any other projects?

We are proud to have a very well documented article on HYC’s history accepted and included in the recently launched Handbook of Houston, a publication of the Handbook of Texas Online, the most highly respected resource of state history.

Another months long project completed this spring is a permanent exhibit at the Club that honors HYC’s nationally recognized reputation for excellence in race management. Our research documented the national, international, and world regattas that HYC has hosted in the last 120 years. This information was then incorporated into a striking professionally designed display in the Club’s lobby. The project commemorates our 90/120 Celebration – this year the clubhouse is 90 years old and the organization is 120 years old.

Tell me a little bit about your relationship with Rice University.

In 2010 a large portion of our archives was digitized as part of an online exhibit that includes materials from Rice University and the Houston Area Digital Archives at the Houston Public Library. The exhibit, Business and Pleasure on Houston Waterways, explores the relationship Houston has with Buffalo Bayou and Galveston Bay. It was an honor for us to be included in this project and it also provided us with a unique opportunity to preserve our archival materials – the scanned images are safe – permanently stored and accessible online. As well, it  provides another method of sharing our history.

View overlooking lawn, wading pool, signal mast and harbor of the Houston Yacht Club during the Annual Regatta of 1954.

The Houston Yacht Club has a long tradition of bringing families together who love boating on Galveston Bay. In your opinion, is this still the best way to describe the mission of the club today?

Yes. Bringing together families who love the bay does describe what HYC is all about. As the older Ragnots leave for college, a new generation sails out to claim their own place in the cluster of Optis at the start line. Experienced sailors teach the sport and share their boats with novices. New volunteers join the long time volunteers who organize the programs and events for all ages and the well run regattas that make Galveston Bay a nationally known recreational boating center.

100+ Years of Sailing: A History of Sailing Clubs on Galveston Bay

hyc 100+ Years of Sailing: A History of Sailing Clubs on Galveston Bay

Houston Yacht Club   

Organized in 1897, the club was located on Buffalo Bayou in Houston. It was known as the Houston Yacht and Power Boat Club from 1905-1906, and the Houston Launch Club from 1906-1926. In 1927 the club went back to the original name Houston Yacht Club.

Always more than simply a social or boating organization, during the early years it was identified with some of the most fundamental developments in Houston’s growth.

The present day club house was built in 1927 in La Porte. Hurricanes and fires have left their mark on the original building but she still stands today. A charter member of the Gulf Yachting Association, the club is now over a hundred and twenty years old.

seabrooksailing 100+ Years of Sailing: A History of Sailing Clubs on Galveston Bay

Seabrook Sailing Club

The club was founded in 1934 as a means to enjoy sailing with friends in Galveston Bay. That philosophy continues today. The original club was located along the Kemah waterfront.

In 1950 the club purchased the property at 1020 Todville Rd. in Seabrook. Hurricane Ike destroyed the club house in 2008. The new club house was rebuilt and completed through dedicated club members.

Early Members: Earl Gerloff and Martin Bludworth

Texas Corinthian Yacht Club 

Founded in 1938 to educate its members and their families in the art of sailing, seamanship and boat handling.

The original clubhouse completed in 1938 was destroyed by Hurricane Ike in September 2008. The new club house and rebuilt grounds were dedicated Jan. 1, 2010.

Founding Members: Albert Bel Fay, Ernest Bel Fay, Jack Garrett, William Stamps Farish, and William McIver Streetman

Galveston Bay Cruising Association 

GBCA traces its origin back to 1947 when a small group of sailboat racing enthusiasts informally organized the club.  The club existed and prospered as a letter head organization, without elected officers, bylaws, dues, or a home.

The Club was formally organized in 1954 with elected officials, bylaws and handicap races. The Friday night Rum Races are some of the most popular races run on Galveston Bay.

Early member:  Rufus Bud Smith

Lakewood Yacht Club      

Founded in 1955 the club sits on 38 acres with water frontage on Clear Lake. It has four covered sheds and numerous docks. The original club just catered to power boats, but over the years sailboats kept showing up and the club kept growing. Lakewood Yacht Club will host the J-105 North Americans this fall.

Founding Members: Sterling Hogan Sr., Captain WR Parker and JD Kirkpatrick.

2017 AND BEYOND: THE FUTURE OF SAILING

Learning to Fly with Next Generation USA

Whether you are a seasoned sailor or just getting your feet wet, you can’t help but look in awe at the America’s Cup boats – fast, foiling multihulls with a wing instead of a sail.

The United States, represented by team Next Generation USA, is one of 12 countries entered in the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup.  Each team is allowed seven days of practice on the AC45F prior to the event in June.  That’s it, just seven days on a boat unfamiliar to anyone outside a small circle of America’s Cup Teams.

The AC45F is sailed with six crew members and each one has a critical job.  The wing controls the overall power of the boat, so it is in constant motion.  In order to get foiling, the boat needs to be going at least 16 knots and all of the crew must be on the windward side.  Getting up to speed is like taking off in an airplane. The adrenaline is pumping but no one seems concerned that they are screaming downwind, six feet above the water on a 45ft carbon rocket.

Next Generation USA is more than just a group of young sailors. These guys are the face of our country and they will be representing the USA at the highest level of sailing.

Members of Next Generation USA

  • Carson Crain Skipper/Helmsman
  • Matthew Whitehead Wing Trimmer
  • Scott Ewing Soft Sail Trimmer
  • Preston Farrow Grinder
  • Ian Storck Grinder (spare)
  • Markus Edegran Bowman
  • Reed Baldridge Tactician

Don’t Let Your Sails Get Burned

silken 2015 06 03 0499 Don’t Let Your Sails Get Burned

By Quantum Sails

Nobody likes getting sunburned, and neither do your sails. What happens when the sun burns your sails?

If not properly protected, sunburned sails can tear while in use, stranding you and your family. Ultraviolet (UV) covers can help protect your sails and your sailing season. Even seasonal UV exposure in the Northern latitudes can cause serious problems in a short amount of time. Quantum Sails Pacific Loft Service Manager Emre Kalaycioglu has a lot of experience helping customers. Here are his tips.

WHY ARE UV COVERS IMPORTANT?

If you have a furling genoa or mainsail, you probably keep it on your rig for an extended period of time. However, the elements – especially the sun – are harmful to your sails. Over the years, the sun will begin to burn out the sail’s leech, and sunburn will appear on the sail. These sunburned areas weaken over time. While sailing, stress on the sails can cause the threads to break in the weaker areas. A proper UV cover can protect your investment from the damaging UV rays of the sun.

HOW DO I TAKE CARE OF THE UV COVER?

A common misconception is that when a UV cover is installed it will last forever, but the sail cover actually needs to be maintained to last.

Something that most people overlook about their UV covers is how often they need to be re-stitched in order to last. While the UV cover can last anywhere from 4-8 seasons – depending greatly on exposure and maintenance – the thread may only last about half the lifespan of the cover, as it degrades faster than the cover itself. Bringing your sails into your local Quantum Sails loft to have the covers re-stitched will increase the lifespan of your UV covers and ultimately your sails.

Another common mistake most sailors make is keeping their sails hoisted on the boat for an extended period of time. It’s important to drop your sails and, whenever possible, keep them in a cool, dry place between sailing trips. To prevent the UV cover from deteriorating, wash your sails with fresh, clean water on a regular basis, then let them dry completely before refurling (washing and drying is very important for your sails, especially after a rainy season).

When leaving the boat, take extra caution to make sure your sails are set and won’t come loose with any strong winds. An extra sail tie could help prevent your sails from flogging, which will protect your sails and UV cover from extra wear and tear.

WHEN IS IT TIME TO SERVICE?

UV covers degrade with UV exposure and use. While a UV cover in New England may last anywhere from 6-8 seasons, that same cover in the Caribbean may only last 3-4 seasons.

It’s important to check over your sails at the beginning and end of every season. See if there are any chafed or damaged areas on your sail and UV cover. Be sure to check the side of the sail opposite the UV cover. If you see any color change on that side, it’s time to replace the UV cover as soon as possible, as the discoloration means the current UV cover has expired and is no longer protecting your sail against the sun. Delaying that replacement can cause extensive damage to the sail.

WHAT MATERIALS DO YOU SUGGEST FOR A UV COVER?

At Quantum Sails, we recommend Sunbrella UV Cover fabric. Our sewing machine thread we generally use is 138 Dabond thread for sewing UV covers – it’s thicker than what our competitors use, and thus lasts a little bit longer. We can also use UV stable thread, such as Tenara or SolarFix thread, but it’s considerably more expensive, so may not always be the best option.

For more great sailing tips and tricks or to learn about Quantum Sails, visit www.QuantumSails.com.