Archive | August, 2017

Your New, Reliable Boston Whaler

The repowered AYC Boston Whaler parked at the Scorpion Bay restaurant dock. Photo: Mike Ferring

Remember the smoke that billowed off the aging, often failing motor on the transom of the AYC Boston Whaler?

Gone.

You have a new, 175hp Evinrude E-TEC pushing the old girl now and it’s a beauty. With lots of work by Lake Pleasant Lake Captain David Newland, with the work of Gene Walentiny and the Valley Marine team, the Yamaha is gone and the Evinrude glistens.

David and Commodore Mike Ferring took the boat out for a test run Sunday (8/27) and she performed beautifully, standing up on plane with a nice nudge of the throttle. The former lagging steering is now tight and quick.

An Evinrude E-TEC 175 now pushes the AYC Boston Whaler. Photo: Mike Ferring

Your club has invested around $22,000 in the upgrade, believing that safety and efficiency on the lake are our most important priorities. The new motor comes with an 8-year warranty.

In addition to buying the motor and the attendant controls and gear, David has put in sweat equity—lots of sweat—fixing systems, replacing the rub strip, and generally sprucing up the boat. He found several problems lurking beneath the floorboards, including a few gallons of oil that were supposed to be polluting the air but were in fact gurgling down below from a split connector. David also managed to sell the old motor for $600, which he invested in other fixes.

You’ll also recall that the AYC pontoon boat was damaged during the monsoon that clobbered Pleasant Harbor Marina. David has worked through the repairs and the insurance settlement so that the boat and the damaged trailer will be ready in time for the start of the fall racing season.

Commodore Mike Ferring and Lake Captain David Newland try out the new power on the AYC Boston Whaler. Photo: Maryellen Ferring

Jump Into the Busy September AYC Calendar

AYC’s September calendar is locked and highly loaded, with every weekend and some weekdays marked for action. Here’s a quick rundown:

Friday 9/8: Crew-Skipper party (or just call it a party-party) from 5-7pm at the Bluewater Grill at 1720 E Camelback in Phoenix. AYC will buy some hors d’oeuvres; you buy the beverages. Shake or stir. This is a chance to mingle with AYC members and if you need crew or you’d like to crew, a chance to find somebody with the right background, commitment, and personality to set you up for the fall.

Saturday 9/9: ASF Work Party. Starting at 8am we’ll gather at the Tempe Town Lake boat corral to spruce up the Arizona Sailing Foundation boats for the fall classes. Please help!

Saturday 9/9: The first class for ASF Junior Performance Sailing. This is a new approach, offering race training and race experience for young teens.

A little personal coaching from the safety boat on Tempe Town Lake. Photo: Mike Ferring

Sunday 9/10: Sunday afternoon Tempe Town Lake will be bristling with action, with ASF Opti and Junior Performance classes and the first day of racing and RC training. Racing begins at 3pm. This same program happens again on the following Sunday, 9/17.

Tuesday 9/12: The monthly meeting features some members who raced or cruised in interesting places, headlined by Mike and Jo Grijalva’s Transpac race and Chris Smith’s run in the Chicago to Mac.

Tuesday 9/19: High School Sailing begins its every-Tuesday sessions through the fall, beginning at 4pm and going until dark.

Thursday 9/21: The free Introduction to Sailboat Racing class from 6:30 to 9pm. Learn the basics of racing or bone up on how AYC does it compared to where you’ve raced before.

Saturday and Sunday 9/23 & 9/24: The first weekend of Lake Pleasant racing, beginning Saturday at 12:30pm and Sunday at 9am. PHRF Spin fleet is on Race Committee. After the racing, explain what really happened on the race course over a beer at Spinnaker Point. This year there will be no fleet dinners on Saturday nights, but plenty of post-race beer and nachos.

Saturday 9/30: From 10am to 1pm it’s come-have-fun time at Tempe Town Lake. We’ll launch some boats, play sailing games, toss some corn hole and horse shoes, and barbecue some burgers and brats.

A Wild Wyoming Sailing Rodeo

Tempe Town Lake racers know Rich/Dick (“either,” he says) Krebill as the guy who single-hands a tomato red C14 (Tomato Sloop) around the marks, since wife Peggy gave up her crew spot. In the summer they retreat to a no frills (and no power, running water, phone, you name it) cabin they built in Wyoming. They also sail a Catalina 22 in this beautiful and remote spot, racing in an annual regatta. This year Rich and pal Charlie Kulp won in a wild, storm-tossed event that was nicely and entertainly reported by non-sailor Terry Allen on PinedaleOnline.com. Reprinted here with permission.

By Terry Allen

Race Start. Photo: Terry Allen

Little Shay Paravicini and I had a discussion about pirates during the Pinedale Boat Club’s Annual Sailing Regatta on Fremont Lake.

“They go, Aarrgghhh,” she said. “We have a pirate boat and I’m a pirate girl and pirate girls go, Aarrgghhh! Daddie’s a pirate and he likes to eat fish and drink beer and rum, but he isn’t racing today, Jason is the only pirate in today’s race.”

Lucky for me, Jason “The Pirate” Essington had invited me a year ago to come along for this year’s race, the 47th. They have held this race every year since 1970. His boat is named, Opa’s Dream. Opa is German for “Grandpa.” Opa’s Dream is Bert Reinow’s old boat, he left left it to his god daughter Leslie Hagenstein. Jason maintains and sails it to keep Bert’s dream of sailing on Fremont lake alive. Opa’s Dream weighs about 5000 pounds and the next heaviest boat in this race weighs about 2000 pounds. It takes more wind to get us going, but it is real good in the unpredictable squalls that kick up here.”

While I was waiting for the race to start I talked to a few other racers. David Pendell sails Rosie. “I used to sail Nirvana, but used to spend too much time upside down, bailing and other situations, so we got Rosie, who is more understanding of older gentlemen. Oh yeah, at last year’s race we saw a funnel cloud.”

I got a news tip from Allan and Sharon Holmes who summer at the cabins in Sylvan Bay, telling me about Richard and Peggy Krebill who have summered at Sylvan Bay for 50 years. “They are in the 80’s, and they sail a boat with a frowny face on it,” Allan said.

I never did find a frowny face anywhere, but I did find Rich and Peggy Krebill who have sailed this race for about seventeen years. Turns out they live in a home they built themselves with lumber they had cut at the old mill that used to be out in Daniel. “We don’t have hot water in the cabin,” said Peggy. “We use a solar shower. If we get a sunny day we get a pretty hot shower right out of the bag. If we don’t get a sunny day, then we warm up some water on the wood stove. That is the stove we cook our food on, too. That stove used to belong to the American Legion and my Mom bought it for us when the Legion got a new one.”

Jason gave me a heads up to go to the head if I needed to because it might not be easy out there. Once I got in the boat he gave me three spots I was allowed to be in and told me not to be offended if he yelled at me. I’m used to this advice as I get the same advice from cowboys when I do rodeo and branding stories. So far I ain’t walkin’ funny, so I’ll keep listening.

The start of the race is sort of like Musical Chairs for boats. You get a five minute blow on an air horn and in that five minutes all the boats run all over the place close to the orange mark buoy and try to be right at it when the start horn blows. It gets pretty tight and it’s a little like bumper cars, but no one yelled at anyone too bad. I couldn’t tell exactly where the line was but everyone seemed to know who got across the start line first and that’s when the beer came out and the trash talking started. We were in the doldrums just like Magellan and the insults were creative. Jason opened a beer for me with his wedding ring. “Titaniun,” he said. “Gold ain’t much good for opening beer.”

Winners Rich Krebill and Charlie Kulp. Photo: Terry Allen

We were looking for “texture” in the surface which indicates wind, but it took a long time coming. Every time a dark front with a little lightning moved in, we thought we’d get going. But it didn’t happen…until it happened suddenly. One minute we were commenting on David Payne’s big fat toes and the next we were grabbing at anything with an edge so we wouldn’t go over the side. Someone turned cowboy music up loud and there were cowboy whoops and “yeehaw’s” all over the fleet as the wind almost threw everyone off their feet. I crashed into one side of the cabin or the other until I learned to anticipate the changes, but I cracked a few body parts pretty good in the process.

Luckily, my camera has never left my hands in spite of all the spills I’ve taken over the years, so I just kept shooting as I scrambled. Unfortunately, I must have bumped my head so I can’t remember how I ended up leaving my camera in the cabin and joining Jason and David pulling sail lines. It ain’t easy pulling on those little skinny twiney things. As I pulled my line I watched my camera roll around the cabin floor and then it was joined by my camera bag…which spilled out all the lens’s, batteries, filters and mixed together on the floor with beer bottles, radios, life jackets, Cheetos, bikini bottoms and lake spray. Damn, I was missing some good shots…so I scampered down there and got back to work.

Jason and David were shouting Viking songs into the wind as they stood at 90 degrees off level or is it 45? Hope you like that shot. Somehow, in spite of the waves coming over the front of the boat, they kept their eyes on the second marker and kept steering toward it…tho Dave did ask me to clean his glasses at least once.

After awhile we looked around us and it seemed a few boats were giving up and dropping their sails or trying to. It felt good to be in Jason’s boat. He and David worked together like they’d been handling this stuff all their lives, so I felt totally secure. Never had a moments misgiving. I was a little disappointed that we turned around, too…until I realized we had capsized boats and people overboard in the race.

Teamwork gets the cat back on her feet. Photo: Terry Allen

Riley Bennett had flipped and his mast was pointed toward the bottom of the lake. Riley Wilson on his little Butterfly was nowhere to be seen; Howard Bartlett had been thrown overboard and had been in the cold water twenty minutes since he’d last been seen. We also were unable to raise the boat with the Merman and his Mermaids from New York on the radio. Every boat that could get underway joined to the search and rescue.

Jason was on the radio trying to account for everyone but I couldn’t figure out a single word that came thru that radio. It sounded like a heavy metal song mixed together with sounds of someone getting murdered and finger nails on a chalk board.

Eventually everyone was accounted for; Riley was able to get his boat halfway up with the help of two boats pulling on opposite ends and then dragging him to Sandy Beach. Monte Bolgiano said they were so far over water was coming into the cockpit of his boat, Time Traveler. I was glad we headed in when we did. I found myself pretty focused on weighing my barfing options…a small plastic bag or crowd Jason and heave over the side. Then I’d look at the horizon and try to take my mind off it. Stepping onto dry land got me on the road to recovery, but I needed something more.

I found Howard “twenty minutes in the water” Bartlett all bundled up in the lodge and he admitted he was hypothermic. “One boat came close and I held up my hand in the waves, but there was so much rain, hail and wind they didn’t see me as they went by,” he said. So just like the movies I went up to the bar and brought us both down a Jameson Whiskey. I know, Kenna Tanner…I forgot. Whiskey isn’t a good way to fight if off since it will pull the cool blood from your extremities into your core, further lowering your body temp. That is why we have people like you and Tip Top Search and Rescue who train and train and train…so they won’t make things worse for their friends like I just did. But, we liked it anyway, didn’t we Howard?

So guess who won the race?

Eighty-one year old Richard Krebill and his buddy, seventy-year old Charlie Kulp. I sat with them and Peggy and told them of my high time on the lake and asked them what their secret was. “Well, we didn’t have any beer,” said Richard.

I’ll just leave that there, since I didn’t pursue it with Richard either. Some topics we just can’t entertain.

Update from Jason: “The airport reported at 4:35 on Sunday that we had NW winds at 29mph with gusts to 48mph. The north component to the wind generates pretty good sized waves on Fremont lake, we probably had 2 to 3 foot waves.”

When the storm rolled in, it got tippy out there. Photo: Terry Allen

August Meeting: The Future of Sailing

Launching the Opti. Photo: Mike Ferring

What is the future of sailing? I think we can agree the answer lies with the kids trimming the sails at an ASF Opti I class and their older brothers and sisters in Bics, Lasers, and anything else that sails to the wind.

What draws them to sailing when the competition is a fast-moving massive multi-player online game?

In August, we’ll find out what Colin Gibbs and Cedric Lorch think the answer is. We’ll hear from them and from dad Rob Gibbs and others who are putting together sailing programs for kids. This fall, the Arizona Sailing Foundation (ASF) will launch a racing program for juniors, mostly in Bic O’Pens, and put them on the Tempe Town Lake race course at the same time as the adults. Can sailboat racing hold its own with the latest app?

The meeting is Tuesday, August 8, beginning at 7pm (but arrive early for dinner). Monthly meetings are held at the Caddy Shack @ Rolling Hills Golf Course, 1415 North Mill Avenue, Tempe, AZ 85281-1205 (map) and both members and non-members are welcome to attend.

The AYC Sailing and Racing Library

AYC Honorary Life member Mike Yarnell has boxed up a library of classic sailing and racing books and is offering them to club members to borrow or buy. We’ll have them at the August 8 monthly meeting for you to check out.

Here’s Mike’s very organized list of the books as an Excel file.

One of the books available in the Yarnell lending library.