Welcome (June 2017)

Another long hot and humid Florida summer is here, and snowbirds have headed for cooler weather. Your Commodore, Capt. Kelly has been busy delivering boats and cruising the Abacos so there is no From The Helm article this month. We hope he has fair weather and good winds.

In June we held a successful SOS at Tigertail Lake. In Social News you can read about upcoming events.

This month in Meet the Captain, we feature Patrick O’Brien. And Our resident Mr Fix’It Brian Brown writes about replacing your boat’s lighting with LEDs to save battery power (and a trip up the mast!)

Member$hip $avings!  If you know $omeone $itting on the fence about membership please let them know that new members can join mid year (on or after July 1) for $60, saving $40 over a full year membership. This takes them through December 31st 2017. Click here to join.

We welcome your constructive feedback and suggestions for ways we can improve the newsletter. We encourage you to submit for consideration any articles relating to sailing or topics that may be of interest to our fellow members. Please continue to email us photos you have taken at our events. Deadline 20th of each month. And we welcome your suggestions for articles.

Gillian O’Neill and Doug Noble,
The Mainsheet Team
Send photos to photos@sailingsingles.org

Sailing News (June 2017)

Cheeseburger in Paradise Raft Up July 15th

Watch out for the registration email. Talk to Sheila if you think registration should be open earlier.

SOS at Tigertail Lake

The first SOS of 2017 was held on Sunday, June 11 at Tigertail Lake, Broward College.  It was a great success!  Tigertail Lake is adjacent to Outdoor World Bass Pro Shops in Dania Beach, Fl and Broward College offers classes in rock climbing, SCUBA, and sailing at this facility.

SSSF members had opportunities to learn the basics of small boat sailing, knot tying etc. and then put them into action on comfortable  American 18 sailboats. Volunteer club Captains, James Bradford, Stan Dekiel and Kelly Dobbs commanded the boats and members were assigned as crew. Members enjoyed the immediate hands on experience, many using a tiller for the first time. The weather cooperated and it was dry all day.

Lifejackets were provided by the facility and a brown bag lunch was served. Crew Essentials with Max Goldstein: Knot tying and other basics were held under an awning and Crew Tips were taught by Sheila O’Neil – crew etiquette, toilet training and other fun facts were held in the comfort of an air-conditioned classroom.

After class was dismissed, we had fun sharing our sailing stories and socializing with Captains and Crew at happy Hour in the Marlin Room of Islamoralda Fish Company (beside Bass Pro Shops). Unfortunately the restaurant was out of their signature Fish Dip which disappointed some.

Thanks to Sailing Director Sheila O’Neil and her band of volunteers setting up and tearing down, and our volunteer captains and instructors for a successful day!


Meet Captain Patrick O’Brien (June 2017)

Patrick O’Brien first started sailing when he was 26.  He met a nice Irish lass in Brooklyn, who said she enjoyed sailing, so the next weekend they drove down to the Jersey shore, rented a Sunfish and managed to capsize 4 times in a 3 hour rental.  She was not impressed!  He bought a book, Basic Sailing, read it, drove down to the Jersey shore the following weekend and capsized only twice.  So, he reread it and sailed, reread it and sailed and reread it and sailed till he eventually learned to keep the boat upright.

Later that summer, he rented a 12’ Triumph trimaran on the south shore of Long Island and the rudder fell off the boat while he was miles from shore.  But, he had read about the center of effort and the center of lateral resistance and managed to steer the boat back across the bay, tacking his way up a canal and to the dock by putting his weight on his forward or aft foot to create lee helm or weather helm.  He was EMPOWERED!!!!

That winter he bought his first sailboat, a 14’ Seagull sloop, and was immediately transferred from New York to Ft. Belvoir, Virginia.  He sailed once on the Potomac before being transferred back to New York and relocating his boat to the Jersey shore.  The next year, he upgraded to a 16’ O’Day Daysailer, which he raced for two years on Long Island sound.

Patrick requested a transfer to Florida, so he could sail year-round but instead was appointed the Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Customs in Charleston, S.C.  Well, that was good for 10 months of sailing a year, so he upgraded to a Catalina 22, which he cruised and raced in the Charleston area for three years.  He next upgraded to an Irwin 25 keel-centerboard sloop and requested a transfer to Tampa.  Instead, he was transferred to Washington, D.C. and cruised and raced on the Potomac for 5 years.  He then requested a transfer to Miami and was sent back to New York City as the Special Agent in Charge of Customs there.

He cruised and raced for 2 years in New York and New Jersey until his final race.  He was doing well in Newsday’s 205 nautical mile Around-Long-Island-Regatta until a violent storm hit around midnight when he was just off the eastern tip of Long Island.  Six boats were dismasted and Patrick lost the centerboard on his boat.  Without the centerboard, he could not make any progress through the waves and wind for the 5 miles to Montauk Point and had to withdraw from the race.

That was the last straw!  He sold his boat and 3 months later was appointed the Special Agent in Charge of Miami.  That was in the heyday of the Miami Vice days and he had no time for sailing.  He had given it up – he thought for good.

He first joined Sailing Singles in 1999 but was never invited aboard a boat and soon quit.  Years later, at the urging of Doug Long, he rejoined in 2012 and was  invited by Marie Alcazar and Rich Hustins to the Lake Boca Circle raft-up aboard their board, Tranquility.  He had a blast and tried to get on as many sails as he could.  But, the boats were owned by men and they wanted women as crew, so Patrick had few opportunities to go sailing.  However, Dick Linehan did take him aboard as crew on the Enterprise for a Columbus Day Regatta and Debi Hallmark invited him aboard Ryan’s Place for a Memorial Day weekend cruise to Bimini, followed by a cruise to the Abacos a couple of months later.

Irish Rover

Patrick was bitten by the boating bug again, but he wanted more comfort and less hassle with the wind and bridges, so he went the way of many old time sailors and bought a trawler – a Mainship 34, which he christened the Irish Rover.  Many of us have enjoyed parties aboard the Irish Rover, when Patrick was not on one of his trips across Lake Okeechobee or down the Keys or over to the Abacos with our favorite crew, the Pogo.  Then last year, he upgraded one last time and bought the DEVOCEAN, a Sea Ray 47 motor yacht.  Patrick christened that boat as well and will soon be rechristening it from DEVOCEAN to the IRISH ROVER – the name says it all.

Patrick dockside with DEVOCEAN

Social News (June 2017)

Summer Beach Party – Save The Date

July 29th – 11 am to 5 pm. Hot dogs, hamburgers and fixin’s will be provided, BYOB and bring your bathing suit. Location: Beach at 1900 S Ocean Blvd, Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, FL. Watch out for registration email or check our calendar.

Starlight Musicals

Once again Starlight Musicals will be held at Holiday Park in Fort Lauderdale this summer and SSSF will have a tent where you can socialize with your friends while listening to music under the stars.

6/16 – Jaded- Aerosmith tribute Band
6/23 – Tim Charron Band- Country
6/30 – Jimmy Stowe- Buffet Music
7/7 – RD Project- Latin
7/14 – Across the Universe- Beatles
7/21 – Classic Rock Therapy- Classic Rock
7/28 – Fabulous Fleetwoods- Southern Rock
8/4 – Brass Evolution- Chicago Style Music

Bill Roberts and Lynette Beal will have a Tent and Table in the NW corner of the Park with the Pink Flag and an SSF banner.  SSSF Members are encouraged to attend and bring a dish to share, beach chair, and BYOB.  Concerts begin at 7 but people are encouraged to get there by 6-6:30pm.  Parking is free – enter by Parker Playhouse.  Wheeled coolers make it easier.

City of Fort Lauderdale website

Map: https://goo.gl/maps/1chi8M1fWY92

Of Interest to Captains (June 2017)

Boat Lighting—Reduce Battery Drain with LED Lighting.

By Brian Brown


Right off the top you can choose to spend a fortune on boat lighting at West Marine or you can shop it on the internet at the Marine or RV websites.  But having adequate and good lighting is really a plus.  The key things to look for are brightness and low voltage consumption.

Let’s start from the top down.  For you sailors you generally have to have two mast lights–anchor and steaming—and even if they are fitted with the old style bulbs/sockets you don’t have to change the sockets out.  Instead, buy LED’s bayonets bulbs and you won’t have to worry about battery drain.  Yeah, they are three or four times the cost of a regular bulb, but you’ll be so happy when they don’t drain your battery…I’ve left my anchor and steaming light on for a couple of days without bottoming out the battery.

Now let’s move to the deck and cockpit.

Many people have opted to use spreader lights which are a big boon when working or moving around on deck.  Having them actually makes the deck safer!  The problem is the old style ones draw way too much current and keeping them on overnite can drain even a pretty good sized battery.  But a 15 watt LED equals 100 incandescent watts and draws only 12.4 watts.  A regular incandescent bulb draws 100 watts.  That’s a big difference!

Another plus for upgrading, the shapes of the fixtures for LED’s are much more flexible in size and can fit more applications than the old style bulbs.  That includes spreader lights.  The rectangular ones fit right under the spreader bars whereas the old styles were round and stuck out past the spreader bars.

Now let’s talk about your running lights.

You are required to have a bow light and stern light at minimum.  Again, you can purchase LED’s for old fixtures but the new ones with fitted LED’s are fabulous.

Alright, it’s a pain to run wires from the battery room/area to anywhere on the boat but let me tell you, having cockpit lights is really a great thing.  You can mount them under the pedestal or right under the lip for the seats…or if you’re really creative…run a wire through your bimini supports/struts and clamp a few on there.  Again, LED’s beat anything else on the market for style, durability and long life.  By the way, most LED’s last for 50,000 hours.  Incandescent bulbs last for 1,000 to 2,000 hours.

Working our way into the cabin, I strongly suggest that you replace every incandescent or fluorescent light in the cabin with LED’s.  I did that and I can leave all of my cabin lights on all nite long and the battery does not drain down so that I have to worry about not starting my engine.  I have ten lights…so that goes to show you how little LED’s do consume.  I found several places to buy marine grade LED’s and superbrightleds.com is one and they are also very very inexpensive and have a great warranty policy—no questions asked just return the defective lamp and they’ll replace it no charge (you pay the freight back).

What are the other reasons for using LED’s?  I find that the color of the light is generally brighter than incandescent bulbs.  Brighter light means better light…especially in a boat where there are many dark areas.  As I get older I can see better—and without my glasses—if the light is bright enough and LED’s do a much better job at it than incandescent or fluorescent.

What types of LED’s are available?  Many.  Marine spotlights (they come in 10,000-1 million candle power and last for hours), decklights, LED accent lighting, almost all current marine bulbs are replaceable, underwater lights, dome, puck and recessed light, exterior lights to highlight the sides of your boat and more.

Safer, better, more long lasting, LED’s are great and really do a better job.  The one thing you’ll be tempted to do after you see how little voltage they take is to put them everywhere…in from the engine compartment, to the ice locker, to storage…anywhere you can run a wire you can put a low consumption LED.  By the way, my interior lights were $19 at SuperbrightLED’s and at West Marine similarly styled ones were $80 plus.

Hope you had a Happy and Safe Fourth of July fellow members.  I’m always looking for interesting topics so feel free to suggest some.  See you in the next Mainsheet.