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Lakewood gearing up for two August regattas

July 30th, 2018

baycup Lakewood gearing up for two August regattas

Lakewood is gearing up for two big races in August — the Bay Cup II and Heald Bank Regattas, which provide the perfect opportunity to compete against your peers on the bay and offshore as well as a chance to tune up for this year’s Harvest Moon Regatta in October.

Lakewood will host Bay Cup II Aug. 4 along with the post-race party that evening. Liquid trophies will be awarded by Southwest Spirits, and artist Robert Greaney will perform for the crowd.

The Heald Bank Regatta will be raced Aug. 17-18, followed by a celebration at the club. Andy and the Dreamsicles will provide the live entertainment.

The fun doesn’t stop in August. Follow up these races by participating in the Harvest Moon Regatta Oct. 25-28. HMR is returning to its usual format and will race from Galveston to Port Aransas.

Primary sponsors for Bay Cup II and Heald Bank include the City of Seabrook, Blackburn Marine, Davis Marine Electronics, True North Marine, Mariner Magazine, Upstream Brokers, Sea Lake Yachts, Keven Severance Insurance, OJ’s Marine, Little Yacht Sales, RejeX.com and Texas Coast Yachts.

Bay Cup II Regatta
Racers can register at www.lakewoodyachtclub.com under the Regattas tab. The registration fee for Bay Cup II is $75 and includes entry into the Skippers’ Meeting on Aug. 3, as well as a meal and two drink tickets to be enjoyed at the post-event awards party. A $5 discount is available to U.S. Sailing members. The entry fee is payable by credit card or yacht club reciprocal charge. Aug. 1st is the registration deadline.

Bay Cup II is the second in a two-race series. One or more distance races will be sailed in either Trinity Bay or Galveston Bay. Potential classes include PHRF Spinnaker, PHRF non-Spin, Cruising Spinnaker, Cruising Non-Spin Classic Canvas (using only Dacron sails), Multihull and One Design class(es).

Non-racers and other out-of-town guests can enjoy an array of nearby activities in Seabrook and the surrounding area, which offer a variety of entertainment. Walk the trails in Seabrook, visit Space Center Houston, check out the wildlife at Armand Bayou Nature Center or experience the dining and amusement options at the Kemah Boardwalk.

Overall trophies for the Bay Cup series will be given out at the post-race party on the evening of Aug. 4 in the LYC Ballroom. Robert Greaney will provide live entertainment while guests socialize and savor great food and tasty drinks.

This year’s sponsors include City of Seabrook, RejeX.com, OJ’s Marine, Little Yacht Sales, True North Marine, Texas Coast Yachts, Blackburn Marine, Upstream Brokers, Davis Marine Electronics, Kevin Severance Insurance, Sea Lake Yachts, Mariner Magazine, Bay Area Houston Magazine and Southwest Spirits.

Regatta proceeds benefit Bay Access, a not for profit charitable organization fostering amateur racing and sailing on Galveston Bay.

For further information, call LYC at 281-474-2511 or David Comeaux, Bay Cup I Regatta chairman at davidcomeaux@live.com or 832-993-5933. For visitor information, visit seabrooktx.gov

Heald Bank Regatta
The Heald Bank entry fee is $80 and includes access to the Skippers’ Meeting on Aug. 16 and a ticket for dinner and two tickets for Texas Navy Rum at the post-event awards party hosted at LYC Aug. 18. A $5 discount is available to U.S. Sailing members. Don’t miss the Aug. 11 registration deadline.

Heald Bank is an offshore regatta open to all boats of the PHRF Spin, PHRF Non-Spin, Cruising boats with a PHRF Rating (non-spin or with Spinnaker), One-Design, and Multihulls.

The Buccaneer Bash dinner and awards party will follow the race at LYC, which will include a “Pirates’ Pig Roast,” live entertainment by Andy & the Dreamsicles and plenty of Texas Navy Rum.

Sponsors of the 2018 Heald Bank Regatta are the City of Seabrook, Texas Navy Light Rum, RejeX.com, OJ’s Marine, Little Yacht Sales, True North Marine, Texas Coast Yachts, Blackburn Marine, Upstream Brokers, Davis Marine Electronics, Kevin Severance Insurance, Marine Outfitters, Sea Lake Yachts, Mariner Magazine and Bay Area Houston Magazine.

For further information, call LYC at 281-474-2511 or Heald Bank Race Chairman Bob Hunkins 281-216-4082 or rdhunkins@verizon.net.

Additional visitor information and accommodations near the club can be found at www.seabrooktx.gov

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

March 1st, 2018

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.

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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.

Sea Star Base Koch Cup Awards

November 6th, 2017

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

What’s in a Sail Check?

September 6th, 2017

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.

Team Next Generation USA named to represent USA in the 2017 Red Bull Youth America’s Cup

January 17th, 2017

IMG 4097 Team Next Generation USA named to represent USA in the 2017 Red Bull Youth America’s Cup

Team Next Generation USA

America’s Cup Event Authority along with Red Bull Sports Directors, Roman Hagara and Hans-Peter Steinacher, announced today that Next Generation USA would be the team representing the United States of America at the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup event in Bermuda in June.   The team is made up of six sailors, ages 20 – 24, with many different sailing backgrounds and experiences.  Helmsman Carson Crain and wing-trimmer Matthew Whitehead, a veteran from 2013 Youth America’s Cup, are fresh off Olympic campaigns in the Mens’ RS:X windsurfer and Nacra 17 multihull.  Tactician, Reed Baldridge and bowman Markus Edegran have recently completed successful college sailing careers and are pursuing sailing as a profession.  Scott Ewing, soft sail trimmer, is a multi-talented skiff and multihull sailor and Preston Farrow brings experience on the GC32 and knowledge of the Bermuda venue to the team.  “On this boat, the name of the game is teamwork.  Communication, co-operation and confidence in our abilities will be our strengths,” says Crain.

Next Generation USA has a full schedule of training for the next five months leading up to the Youth America’s Cup.  Their coach, Iker Martinez, a multiple world champion and Olympic medalist, adds, “These guys are willing to put in the hard work to get to the top.  They recognize that success at this event requires more than just sailing ability.”

The 2017 Youth America’s Cup is held in conjunction with the 35th America’s Cup and will take place June 12 – 21 in Bermuda during the America’s Cup event.  Sailors will compete on the AC45F boats used in the Louis Vuitton World Series events around the world, including racing in New York Harbor and Chicago in 2016.  All teams will take part in a qualifying series and the top eight teams will compete in the finals, June 20-21.

For more information:

http://red-bull-youth.americascup.com

http://nextgenerationusa.org