From The Helm (November/December 2017)

From The Helm

by Commodore Kelly Dobbs



I can see the final destination from the helm.

This year has been amazing for our club. I think I have met almost every member of this club. I have worked with some amazing board members who moved this club into the next phase of progress for its members.

Vice-Commodore, Sheila O’Neil was always ready to step in when I was away; she developed the General Meeting presentations from our Board Minutes each month, created our new Member Orientation package, and produced two outstanding Sailing Orientation Sessions (SOS) this year, each with interactive informative sessions, hands-on activities, and a boat-on-the-water learning experience.

Your Board Secretary Cheryl Lutz did an outstanding job of not only meeting minutes but helped our club grow through Meet-Up, an online meeting place where she directed potential members to club socials at Flip Flops, and answered questions to engage those interested in sailing. Also, Cheryl handed birthday gifts to members at our general meetings. If you had a birthday this year, (who hasn’t), see Cheryl for belated birthday wishes and your gift.

Our Newsletter Editor Gillian O’Neill and IT Director, Doug Noble worked together to create a blog format for The Mainsheet which is easily read from mobile phones and other devices. Gillian reported on all club events, profiled our Captains, took photos at all events and also encouraged members to contribute photos and articles.

We all had a great time this year, thanks to our Social Director Dot Castell who offered a variety of venues, entertainment, and a choice to cook or contribute to the meals for our social events. Just look back on the fun we had at Feeling Lucky, Wacky Tacky Hillbilly Picnic, Summer Beach Party, Pirates of the Caribbean Island Party, Boo Crew Halloween Party, cake at Flip Flops, Thanksgiving Social, Holiday Party and yet to come, the Change of Command!

Keeping track of registration fees and dues was streamlined this year by our Treasure John Konheim who expanded our accounting to handling payments on line. All payments generated an email confirmation to members and immediate transfer of credit card payments to our SSSF bank account.

Membership Director Ben Nahabedian greeted members and guests at almost every meeting this year. He grew the club by nearly 50 new members and helped ensure our returning members had waivers in place to participate in club events.

A special Deckhands Program was established this year by our Fleet Captain, Susan Cohoat to show our appreciation of our Captains and to thank them for allowing us to be their crew. Susan also organized our extended sails to the Keys, Palm Beach, and the Bahamas.

Our Sailing Director Sheila O’Neil organized monthly sails and raftups always scheduled for the second weekend to make it easy for all to participate. Each club sail had a sailing objective for Captains & Crew to learn more about sailing while on the water, and each sail had a themed raftup for fun. A major contribution Sheila made to the club this year was configuring our website,, to allow online renewal and new member applications, registration for club sails and socials, recording captains sail credits, calendar display of all club activities and even paying your dues, guest fees and party contributions on line.

Our IT Director, Doug Noble, ensured our website was secure with all the new online payment activity by monitoring and installing special security certificates. Additionally he published our Pink Book Directory, maintained our club email and website services and kept our image and information on Facebook up to date.

Wow, way to go 2017 Board Members!

There has been a lot of good times and some sad times. The club lost three great Captains: Shel Miller, Rudy Sprenger, and Rich Hustins. Your Commodore designed a special SSSF Burial at Sea burgee with a pink border surrounding a field of 8-stars on a blue background signifying the 8-bells that sound for “end of a sailor’s watch at sea”. It was my honor to develop an SSSF Ceremony and to officiate the Celebration of Life and Sea Services for our members.

Thank you Sailing Singles of South Florida for having trusted your fellow members who served as your 2017 Board to run your club and promote our club purpose: bringing together single adults who sail, or wish to do so, in order that members can meet others with similar interests, participate in sailing and social activities, share information about sailing and learn safe boating practices.

Tight Sheets,

Commodore Capt. Kelly