Welcome (May 2017)

Another fun packed month…

In From The Helm this month Capt Kelly talks about Hurricane Preparedness.

Our next exciting event is the SOS at Tigertail Lake, and we have a preview here. You still have time to sign up.

We didn’t have any pure social events other than our regularly scheduled Flip Flops and General meetings, but we did have a busy month with sailing events.  In Sailing Reports this month we cover two extended sails; Sunfest, and the Memorial day weekend trip to Gilberts in Key Largo. Club boats also participated in the Hospice Regatta.

Brian Brown contributes his latest article  Of interest to Captains, which we can all learn from – Anchoring – Safety First – Always.

Welcome New Members for May 2017

Rich Babbitt,
Terry Buker,
Tony de la Cruz (Chong Piper’s new husband congrats to the happy couple!)
Linda DeNapoli
Beatrice Garcia
Sherry Harris
Alicia Lukin
Cindy Shafer

Please say hi to them if you see them at Flip Flops or the General Meeting.

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

From The Helm (May 2017)

From The Helm

by Commodore Kelly Dobbs



Hurricane season is here!

The six month season runs from June to November, with most action occurring in August – October.   We’re expected to have an above-average hurricane season. Not all hurricanes make landfall in Florida, and many storms may not make landfall at all, but it’s important to be informed, be prepared, and be safe.

Now is the time to start your hurricane check list. Whether you live with someone or by yourself, start a plan now.  Get a note pad and pen; place it on the kitchen table or in front of the TV. Work on it during commercials but, Start Now. Search the internet, there are as many hurricane plan sites as there are white cars on I-95 at any time. Read a few taking notes. Apply what you have read, that pertains to you and your situation. If you have a pet, add that in your plan. Don’t wait to start your plan when a hurricane is taking a beat on Florida, start a plan now.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting an above-normal 2017 Hurricane Season with five to nine hurricanes (minimum 74 mph winds), of which two to four will be Category 3 or stronger (minimum 111 mph winds). The forecast calls for a total of 11 to 17 tropical systems (minimum 39 mph winds).


Upcoming SOS June 11 2017

The first SOS of 2017 will be held on Sunday, June 11 at Tigertail Lake, Broward College adjacent to Outdoor World Bass Pro Shops and Tri-Rail Station on Griffin & I95 at 580 Gulfstream Way, Dania Beach, Fl.  You will have opportunities to learn the basics of small boat sailing, knot tying etc. and then put them into action on  American 18 sailboats. Volunteer club Captains will command each boat and members will be assigned as crew. Lifejackets will be provided. Brown Bag lunch, water and punch will be served (alchohol and smoking prohibited within facility).  Some activities will be under shade, some in an air-conditioned classroom.

End the day sharing your sailing stories and socializing with SSSF Captains and Crew at the Marlin Room of Islamoralda Fish Company beside Bass Pro Shops behind Tigertail Lake. Happy Hour is 5pm-7pm. Best fish dip in Broward!

Register online here (sign in first).


Sailing Reports (May 2017)


SSSF kicked off the summer sailing season with an extended sail to Palm Beach to raftup at SunFest, May 5-7 . Three boats participated:

Ryan’s Place – Debi Hallmark, Stan DeKiel, Dot Castell, Gillian O’Neil
The Grand – Kelly Dobbs,Sheila O’Neil
Silver Cloud – MJ Beckman, Jennifer Beckman

Though the there was a bit of rain on the trip up north, it was sunny with mild wind throughout the music-filled weekend. The raftup  displayed our new banners “sailingsingles.org” which generated interest from other boaters.

Captain Kelly rigged his snuba gear for Stan DeKiel to inspect  the bottom of Ryan’s Place. While in the water a neighboring sailboat was in distress with a keel-wrapped anchor line. Kelly and Stan loaded the gear in a dinghy and went to the rescue of “Amazing Grace”, a 48′ Beneteau. Dot explained our banner and SSSF to Captain Scott and invited him to join the club.

SunFest closed with spectacular fireworks on Sunday night, another awesome raftup, and great sailing home.

 Hospice Regatta

The wind was blowing 20, 25 knots on the morning of May 20, the day of the annual Hospice Regatta. Ryan’s Place was entered in this pursuit-type charity sailing regatta, representing Sailing Singles of South Florida.  Debi Hallmark, captain and owner, attended the skippers meeting the night before. Though everyone was watching weather, the race was to proceed as scheduled in the Atlantic Ocean off Fort Lauderdale Beach, beginning at 11am.
The racing crew arrived at the boat early and Debi assigned positons:
•    Captain Kelly Dobbs – Helmsman
•    Stan DeKiel – Pit Assist and Navigator
•    Karen Foster & Sheila O’Neil – Winch Grinders
•    Debi Hallmark – Sail Trimmer
As we motored out at 6:30 am, all made comments about the wind. How would the wind affect the inlet. What will the seas be like? Is it too windy for the Hospice Regatta? Still motoring to the inlet, we double-reefed the main. As we started out the Hillsboro inlet, the wind was fresh, strong and filled with sea spray. Ryan’s Place handled the inlet seas like a champion.
We reached the starting point an hour early, which allowed us time to trial the 12-mile course, study the current and wind, make adjustments, enter navigation waypoints and judge where we would need more weight on the rail.  The winds and the seas did calm a bit by race time. Ryan’s Place was registered in the Gunk Hole class with four other sailboats, both monohaul and catamarans. The starting line was crowded, as our class of the slowest vessels was scheduled to start last. We passed over the starting line at 11:32am. All boats were required to complete the course by 14:00. The race was a fun pursuit, in which we finished 4th in our class. The captain and crew were proud of our finish and even prouder when we heard the Hillsboro Inlet Sailing Club Race Sponsor identify Ryan’s Place as a Sailing Singles of South Florida vessel when we crossed the finish line!
The evening was spent at a seafood buffet at Coral Ridge Yacht Club, enjoying members from other clubs as well as the co-sponsors: Gulfstream Sailing Club and Lauderdale Yacht Club. After dinner and awards and raffle of donated gift baskets, live music filled the air for dancing the night away, all for a great cause.
Thanks to all SSSF Members who donated beautiful gift baskets, attended the awards dinner, and contributed to Hospice by the Sea Foundation.













Memorial Day Weekend to Key Largo

The Grand, Meridian2, Winem and Silver Cloud made the trip south to Gilberts in Key Largo. Andy Jay made it as far as Key Biscayne but had engine problems… here is what Brian Brown  reported :

“I tried to make it to Gilberts but my engine RPM’s went from 2700 down to 2200…so we camped out about four hours north of Gilbert’s then worked on the engine the next morning.  Couldn’t get it to go any faster so we went back north.

Glad we did…just south of Miami harbor the wind picked up 10-20 and it was flat in the bay.  So we had some really great REALLY heeled over sailing for three hours.  We only had the genoa up and Sue Tracey was piloting.  She got us up to 6.7 knots with just the genoa!”



Of Interest to Captains (May 2017)

Anchoring—Safety First … ALWAYS

by Brian Brown


Scope, slope, chain, line…all can seem pretty frustrating to figure out, but when you add in terrain (the sea bed floor), wind and current and the fact there’s no anchor that can handle every anchoring situation, you’ve got to be super careful where you drop your “hook”.  You don’t want to find yourself a drift while you’re asleep…running into “surprise things” can be very scary; especially at nite and while in a deep sleep.  Word of advice here:  anchoring in a calm protected can be quite different than anchoring offshore or on a large open bay.  Don’t forget the weather–high winds, tides and waves can all make anchoring difficult, if not impossible.
Here’s a scenario you want to avoid…but can happen:  It’s a pitch-black, nasty night with rain blowing sideways, and your concern about your anchor dragging sends you topside again to shoot bearings through lightning on distant landmarks. You escape below only to have your pencil tear a hole in the soaking-wet chart while triangulating the boat’s position…but there are electronic options, discussed below.
First, all the basic equipment surrounding the anchor is called “ground tackle”. This includes an anchor, chain, line and connecting elements. The anchor line, including chain, is called the rode.
Next, your boats size, weight, design and bunch of other elements determine what type of anchor you will need.  For instance, a 30 foot 10,000 pound houseboat needs a larger anchor than a 30 foot 10,000 pound sailboat.
Here’s a chart you might consider using:









OK, let’s get back to the discussion of SCOPE.  It’s somewhat scientific; but remember that wind, current and the bottom surface all play a very important part in this discussion.  To establish the right scope you will need to determine how much anchor line, or “rode”, you will need. It is recommended that you use a scope of 7:1, meaning that for every foot of water depth, you should use 7 feet of rode.  Scope=A/B
A=the rode length and B=the depth from your cleat where you’ll tie off (or windlass).
For example to anchor in ten feet of water you need 70 feet of line.  Here’s another chart that will help:

Now, the next part is so very important.  STAYING PUT!
It’s best to take immediate bearings once your hook has grabbed.  Take two visuals, look at points on the shore, and take note.  Those points could be a flashing beacon, or a high rise building, or just a dip in the horizon.  Keep your eye on that point for a while to make sure you’re not dragging the anchor.  But another way to check and see if your anchor is set properly is just to put your hand on the line.  If the line is “vibrating” and not solidly taunt, then you are dragging your anchor and you have not properly set your hook.
If you’re into using electronics there are many apps for anchoring.  NAV-X AND Drag Queen are the ones I use.  Yes, you read right, Drag Queen.  I run NAV-X on my ipod (in a waterproof case) and Drag Queen on my iphone.





Anchor types…best to discuss with your boat maker (or a knowledgeable person) before buying. Lightweight ones are Danforth.  They are primarily used for recreational boats. Kedge of Navy Anchors, the traditional style of anchor, generally used for very large ships, it relies on weight for holding power. Grapnels Anchors, very inexpensive but little holding power.
Plow or CQR/DELTA Anchors, looks just like an old fashioned plow.  Very good holding power. Claw or “BRUCE” Anchors, unique shape of the claw allows a 360 degree turn without breaking out. Has similar performance to plow anchors, at a lower weight. Mushroom Anchors, used for moorings, and small boats but not for large ones.  Buoys and beacons have Mushroom Anchors.
Some tips…
Straight chain is better than a combination of chain and line but if you want to use line because it’s lighter and easier to haul, then don’t scrimp on it.  Get a very good quality.  If you’re going to use line, use at least 10-15’’ of chain connected to the line/anchor.
Another BIG tip:  SPRAY PAINT (IN NEON) ON THE LINE EVERY TEN FEET so you know how much line you are letting out.  One mark for up to 50’ and then two marks to 100’ and three marks at 150’.
Last, make sure your crew knows how to avoid the pitfalls of launching an anchor, even if you think it’s the most simple thing.  If, for example, your crew’s foot is accidentally wrapped around the line when they throw the hook over, they could go with it.
After about a third of the line you need is out, give the anchor a tug to see if it’s set.
WATCH OUT WHEN YOU GO TO CLEAT THE ANCHOR LINE AFTER YOU’VE THROWN IT OVERBOARD, BECAUSE THERE’S USUALLY A LOT OF TENSION ON THE LINE AND FINGERS CAN GET SMUSHED.  As a Captain you have the responsibility to show your crew how to use the cleat to slow the line down from running, without burning their hands or fingers.  The best way is to put half a wrap around the cleat immediately after you toss the anchor…
Last, poor communication between the Captain and the crew on the foredeck can get someone hurt.  It’s much harder to hear when you’re the crew and the Captain is at the wheel, so it might help to have a relay person mid-deck to relay the communication between the Captain and the Crew.
Safety first, and dropping an anchor, while seemingly simple, can be a dangerous event if the crew is not properly trained.  And, by the way, I am out of words for this article, but hauling the anchor requires special training too.

Advertising – May 2017

Post Classified Ads or Promote Your Business

Got something to sell, preferably marine related? Free classifieds up to 60 words and one photo per item may be posted in the Classifieds section. Real Estate ads are $50/year.

Promote your business to the membership: Business card size ads for $50/year. Double size biz card ads (square or wide) for $80/year.

Email artwork to newsletterdirSSSF@sailingsingles.org