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SBYC in the News

March 1998

For once, this "Spring" newsletter does not seem to be a misnomer. The balmy weather must certainly be tempting you to remove that boat cover and get to work. I look forward to a good, long season at Sandy Bay Yacht Club. In anticipation of a strong and early start to the sailing year, the Board of Governors has met monthly throughout the winter preparing budgets and plans. I am pleased to report on two major, upcoming improvements to our physical plant.

A new crane has been ordered to replace the 1930's vintage big crane. This is the most significant capital project undertaken by the Club since the building of the Clubhouse. The crane will provide a safe, reliable and fast system for launching boats and should serve us well in the years ahead. Thank you to each member who has given so generously to make the new crane a reality. While we are well on our way to reaching our goal, we need to continue our efforts to raise funds in order to pay for the crane as quickly as possible. If you've planned to give but haven't gotten around to it yet, please know that it is not too late. The second major project that will be underway soon is the refurbishing of the lockers. The Board has committed to reshingle the lockers and replace the windows. The doors and surrounding siding will be replaced when we are more certain of the Club's financial picture after the crane fundraising is complete.

The final piece of good news is that the Board passed a budget with the lowest increase in dues and fees in years - just 2%. We must carefully watch our spending this year, so that resources are devoted to paying for the capital projects, however, we anticipate no reduction in any of our programs or services.

The following pages of this newsletter contain important information and reports from new and returning SBYC committee chairs about the 1998 sailing season. The Club is fortunate to have a terrific group of Board members this year. I know you will be pleased with all of their contributions of time and talent this sailing season.

Charlie Clark, Commodore


The Club continues to be in an excellent financial position as it faces the year ahead. Our budgeting and spending has become well disciplined and our continuing program of setting aside reserve funds to meet anticipated capital needs is serving the Club membership well. The greatest financial challenge the Club faces is paying for the crane in a timely fashion so that this burden does not hinder future anticipated capital needs.

John Harper


The newly constituted House Committee is acting quickly to award contracts for and to oversee two major construction projects, installation of the new crane and residing of the club lockers.

Based on concerns voiced by a number of members, the Committee reviewed the need and potential options for replacement of the large crane. After consulting with a marine planner, waterfront businesses, crane manufacturers and club members, we decided to follow up with a proposal offered by Connelly Construction to install a Pine Hill Equipment crane similar to those at Pleon in Marblehead. Although more costly than initially envisioned, the new crane will be smoother and easier to use, and will provide safer and significantly faster service for boats owned by the club, its members and the Town of Rockport, as required by our lease. The existing small hoist will remain as a backup. Weather permitting, we hope to have this project completed in mid-May.

Initially, we had hoped to have the locker project completed this year. Our desire to use natural siding, instead of cheaper alternatives proposed by some contractors, raised the cost significantly. Nonetheless, we believe that preserving the aesthetics of these structures is important given their prominent location in town. Because of the other large capital project also underway this year, the crane, we have divided the locker project into two phases to be performed over two years. Ron has been budgeting this item for two years, and between reserves and budgeted amounts for this project in this year's budget, Phase One will be fully funded. After consideration of various proposals and bids, we awarded the contract to Chris Krenn. (John Krenn was not present at meetings regarding the awarding of bids.)

Phase One includes reshingling the "public" side of the lockers and gable ends in natural cedar to match the Clubhouse, and window replacement with fixed units (although they can be modified to open by individual users). Phase Two will involve resizing and replacement of the locker doors and shingling and trimming between the doors, and will be done next Spring. (Alas, this will require cleaning out lockers again next year.)

We are working to have these two major projects completed before the beginning of the season. Any owners of vessels which can only use the large crane who are concerned about launching before mid-May should contact Ron, as we do anticipate an interruption of service between the removal of the old crane and installation of the new one. We hope to have lockers available by mid-May as well, or Memorial Day at the latest.

We are also looking for a suitable home for the old stiff-legged derrick. Anyone with suggestions should contact me.

Stephen M. Ouellette


"Open House" coffees in June will again be advertised to give potential new members a chance to visit with us. On the membership committee this year are Bob Bradford, Dottie Carroll, Nancy Fritch, Pamela Jacobson, Cheryl Keating, Jo-Ann Lavigne, and Shelley Vasallo.

Jo-Ann Lavigne
Membership Info

Long Range Planning.

The Long Range Planning Committee would like to thank all of the members who participated in the survey last year. At final count 197 surveys were returned and many people had provided thoughtful comments that will help the Long Range Planning Committee in the next phase of its work.

The numerical results are too voluminous for this letter. The committee will post the actual results of the responses to each question on the bulletin board. However, the results show several trends that we will summarize here. In addition, we will summarize some of the major trends in comments. The summary is not intended to be all inclusive.

First, there was a general agreement that dues should be kept low and affordable to encourage membership. Boat owners also expressed a desire for the dues to remain as moderate as possible. Many people did not understand the current dues structure. For example, members did not realize that people paid for locker and other services. To address this concern, we have asked the club manager to post the dues and charges on the bulletin board.

Capital Reserve funding and the overall club solvency were also commented on frequently. Many expressed support for a reserve fund for the club and some suggested that members may want to donate to the club as part of their final will. The Long Range Planning Committee will address this issue in its future work.

There were varied opinions about the provision of scholarships and about supporting a high school sailing team. Although many saw a benefit to helping young people become involved in sailing, concern was expressed about the expense of the support.

The issue of space at the club also brought out a wide variety of suggestions. People provided ideas regarding dry sailing space, enlargement of the club building, and suggestions for looking at other space such as Granite Pier as a possible location to support regattas. All of these suggestions have been shared with the Board members and will be considered by the committee as they progress with their plans.

As indicated earlier in this writing, all of the comments have been given to the Board for consideration. The Long Range Planning Committee will begin the task of developing a plan for the club and make recommendations to the Board. The survey will serve as the springboard for the Long Range Plan. Again we thank all of you for your participation and effort.

Polly Brown

Race Committee.

The Race Committee is looking forward to the 1998 racing season with great anticipation. In preparation for the upcoming season there will be two meetings. The first will be a meeting of the Race Committee to be held at the Club during the weekend of May 16 & 17 just prior to the start of the Memorial Day Series. The exact date and time will be announced later. Last year's race committee members as well as any interested new participants are invited to attend this meeting. Since adopting a "volunteer" race committee several years ago our personnel needs have steadily increased. We are looking for a few volunteers from each of the fleets to help run the races. Race committee participation is a great way for sailors to broaden their racing experience. We will also be forming a new Protest Committee. Anyone who is interested in joining either committee should let me know.

This year we are planning to run a second starting line for the Lasers, 420s and Optimists at least one day each weekend. Several times last season we ran a second line which was met with great enthusiasm. This second line will further increase the personnel needs of the Race Committee. It has become obvious over the last few seasons that these classes have different race requirements than the larger boats. Shorter courses and multiple races are the preference of these smaller boats.

The second meeting will be for skippers and crews of all classes to be held at the Club on Saturday, May 23 at noon. This is a great time to raise any questions you may have or make any suggestions on how the Race Committee can cater better to the needs of each fleet. Any club members interested in becoming crews are invited to attend. There will be a sign-up sheet for potential crews posted on the sign-up bulletin board inside the Club.

As you can see from the enclosed race schedule there will be the usual full calendar of regular races, regattas and special events. Besides listing the many SBYC races there are a multitude of regional regattas and special events of interest outside of Sandy Bay including several associated with Gloucester's 375th anniversary this year.

The Race Committee is hoping for increased racing participation this season and is looking forward to seeing you on the starting line!

Steve Engel

Fleet Captains.

The sailing season is a short three months away! The captains for the respective fleets are:


Susie Kinder and Gerry Lavigne

Cruising Class  

John Paradis

Flying Scots

Margot Hintlian & Ralph Block


Greg Wilkinson

Power Boats

Ron Brown

Rhodes l9s

Kirk Williamson


John Safford


Dot Christopher

In 1998 the sailing season begins with the Skipper and Crew meeting on May 23 at noon. The racing begins with the Memorial Day series and concludes with the Peter Vincent Race and Gusto Cup in the second weekend of September. SBYC will host the Ned Hay, Ned Cameron and Wheeler Cup regattas this summer.

This season the Fleets will offer a seminar series on Sundays. Some of the topics include: Boat Preparation and Tuning, Starting Strategy, Upwind Strategy, Downwind Strategy, Sail Trim (Jib, Genoa, Mainsail), Spinnaker Sets. And Weather, Current and Wind. In June we will post a schedule of seminars on the bulletin board.

Ed Desmarais

Sandy Bay Junior Yacht Club.

With Courtney Wilkinson as the Commodore for the Junior Yacht Club, Matt Greely as Vice Commodore and Andrew Greely as Treasurer, the Junior Yacht Club is sure to be very active and successful this year.

Plans are already underway for a separate "Junior Newsletter". Efforts will be made this year to enhance the relationship between the Junior and Senior membership. This is one of Courtney's goals. The Spring Newsletter is also her idea and a great one! We're looking forward to the sailing season.

Jean Brown-Bakrow

Social Committee.

We've already been having lots of fun at the winter dinners that have kicked off 1998. Thanks to everyone for supporting these dinners and for being gracious enough to take home a few dirty dishes! The Social Committee will be soliciting new helpers this year. Please let me know if you would be able to spend an occasional hour to help the committee. We make setting tables fun! The Social Calendar includes a new event - the family cookout - which we hope will include a pintsized calypso band. Also, pencil in August 21 on your calendar. We are in the planning stages of another SBYC "first" to be held at the Golf Club. Watch the bulletin board for clues.

We look forward to seeing all of you at the Country Club on April 17.

Molly Clark and Committee

Sailing Program Program Team.

As a new director taking over a successful program, my Program Team has been a great support:

Structure, Schedule and Budget

Dick Wilkinson and Ron Petoff

Transportation and Regattas

Sue and Richard Aprans

PR and Publicity

Daphne Congelosi

Adult Program

Maureen Wilkinson

Board of Governors Liaison

Dick Wilkinson

Curriculum and Feedback

Greg Wilkinson

Registration and Forms

Leslie Cooney and Bill McKinney

Parent Involvement

Claudia Greely


Rob Van Buskirk

Program's value: Here's evidence from our students of what they get out of the program- "Winter is going great, but all the time I think about sailing in the summer at SBYC." "Good sportsmanship, for me, is the biggest key to success in the sailing world, or any sport for that matter." "To be a good role model means to have unique qualities that others strive to emulate. . . One person really stands out for me right now, [he names his sailing instructor]." The program served 156 such kids and 39 adults in 1997, it deserves your support.

Junior Program: The past years' successful structure will form the core of this year's program, young kids - Opti Beginners, Opti Boat Handling, Opti Racing. Older kids - 420 Older Beginners, 420 Boat Handling, 420 Race Team, Lasers.

However, we will make some changes. Since only a minority of kids entering sailing ever go on to racing, we're making the Boat Handling classes successful ends in themselves as well as conduits into racing. Also, we're expanding Laser classes from two to five hours per week. Further, we've listened to your comments about behavior. We plan to make behavior expectations and consequences better understood. Finally the scope of our recognition program will expand to encourage the idea that all students can be successful in a variety of ways.

Adult Program: As a 1997 adult racing class student, I can attest to the challenge of learning the exacting skills needed to win races but particularly to experiencing the fun of sailing. This year we're expanding the program in two ways. First, we'll attempt to fill one boat with older teens. Second, we'll reduce the shock of going from beginning sailing to racing - and provide a fun alternative to racing - by starting an Advanced Boat Handling course. We'll mark success in all three levels with more formal certification.

We still need adult instructors. I'd welcome a call, or you could phone Maureen Wilkinson. Also, we'll soon send a few of you a questionnaire on the 1997 program. Please return this promptly.

Donations: A key strategy this year is outreach. Here's what a 14-year-old local kid hanging around Dock Square said: "Oh, yes, I'd like to learn to sail, but you know, that yacht club just isn't for me." We need to try harder to offer the program's benefits, especially to older beginners, who would fill vacant positions in 420s. We plan elementary and middle school days, as well as major newspaper articles.

This is likely to call for more than the 11 scholarships offered last year. Thanks mostly to your constant support, in the recent past the program never had to turn a kid away for lack of tuition. Also, you won't forget our tradition of awarding a $1000 scholarship to a Rockport High School graduating senior.

In addition, we're going to make it more likely that our Optimist sailors will win races. The last two years' experience shows that the sails we bought are fine for training but can't stand up to those of the competition in racing. Therefore, we're buying sails and spars for the racing team to use.

To help finance both scholarships and this investment, we're budgeting $2,500 for donations this year. Your tax-deductible donation of $150 will pay for one scholarship- $500 will buy a set of sails and spars. Please make out your check to SBYC: Sailing Program and Scholarship Fund and send it to the club. Or call me at 546-9209.

Cameron Smith
Sailing Program Info

Power Boat Committee.

A new committee has been established this year to help further the enjoyment and interests of the power boat owner/operator at SBYC. Suggested activities at the present time include a family outing at Wingaersheek Beach, getting there by boat, of course, and a fishing tournament. Suggestions for other activities will be most welcome. Ron Brown has been appointed Chairman of this committee and has asked that any member willing to serve on the committee or with suggestions for activities contact him at 283-8817 or e-mail

Ron Brown

Harbor Department.

Another season is just about here and once again the Rockport Harbor Department would like to urge all of you to start the season off safely. First, with the care and maintenance it takes to get your boats ready for another season and second, inspecting and maintaining your mooring gear. All of these things can prevent a disaster as the season goes on. The Harbor Office hours are 7-8:30 p.m. on Thursday evenings year round at Town Hall. Check out our new online website. Ron designed it and it is awesome!

We look forward to seeing you all back this season.

Rosemary Lesch and Scott Story


SBYC has a revised website posted, and we hope you will have a look! This site provides a lot of information which should be of use to all of our members including an Overview and History of the Club, Racing Schedule and Race Results, Sailing Instructions, Social Calendar, Club News, Club By-Laws, Photos, and more. There are also a ton of Marine, Local and Reference Links as well as Internet Search Tools. We would also like to provide a page of links to our members' websites, so if you have a page posted, please let us know! Bookmark it and visit often since it will be changing constantly.

Website address

Ron Petoff




Sandy Bay Yacht Club, P.O. Box 37, 5 T Wharf, Rockport, MA 01966 USA
(978)546-9433 Clubhouse, (978)546-6240 Office

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