Call for Newsletter Director (October 2017)

 SSSF Newsletter Director Volunteer Wanted

Do you enjoy the Mainsheet, learning about the upcoming Club events, finding yourself and friends in photos of past months sails, socials, and parties, reading the Commodore’s monthly message, the reviews of pasts events, and articles submitted by other members? Many of our members do and would like the publication to continue.
There’s a vacancy on the 2018 Board for Sailing Singles of South Florida and we’re looking for a volunteer to be our Newsletter Director, responsible for producing the Club’s monthly publication.
Are you available to work on a monthly project at your own pace, to coordinate input from other Club Directors, to encourage members to submit informative articles and photographs of past events?
Help us document and publicize Club events ~ Click here to contact Lynette Beal, Chairperson of the SSSF Nominating Committee
 Volunteer to be our 2018 SSSF Newsletter Director!

Of Interest to Captains (October 2017)


by Brian Brown

That old expression…an ounce of protection is worth a pound of cure is absolutely true.  However in the case of your boat’s lines you better ante up up:  An ounce of prevention is worth a ton of cure; your lines could be tasked to hold a ton of weight in a millisecond.  A worn or old line could be life threatening to you, your family and friends.  Its one thing to be docked, another when you’re rolling in ten foot seas and a frayed line splits and something comes loose.

Most people take ropes for granted—did I say that?—errrr…you’d better call them LINES if you’re crew on a boat.  (Don’t ever say ropes or a boater will know you’re a newbie.)  Lines do everything from keep your boat docked to hoisting your sails, rescuing a crew member and more.  To many people lines are replaceable and frequently overlooked…needing not to be looked after properly.  The use of lines—worn or until they break–is a common practice.  For safety’s sake, it’s better to regularly inspect, maintain and replace lines.

Let’s talk about reconditioning and line maintenance first.  Keeping your lines clean and salt water free will extend their life.  OK, so you say that’s impossible when you’re blue boating in the ocean, but just an hour or so spent maintaining your lines will change your mind.

Here’s a great trick for helping maintain lines…wash them in your washing machine.  Use normal laundry detergent but also throw in liquid fabric softener.  Yes…you’ll find that fabric softener—which is liquid wax—will soften the “feel” of the lines almost returning them to their “original” soft and pliable condition.   Next you’re probably asking…”won’t the wax allow for slippage?”  The answer is no.  Try it Mikee, you’ll like it!  You won’t believe the feel of the “hand” returns to your lines…it will be like, wow, they went from stiff and old to feeling almost brand new.  And for you laundry fanatics, please don’t put them in the dryer.

When you can, keep your lines inside and out of the sun.  In most cases both salt water and the sun will break down your lines (it’s a chemical reaction).  After every outing its best to hose down your lines inspecting them for fraying.

Next, let’s talk about dock lines and address chaffing…not the underware type.  Every boat in “resting” mode has to have some sort of line to keep it in position.  Whether that’s at a dock or on a mooring, these applications demand different types of lines.

When your boat is away from its regular slip or mooring, you need to have some designated nylon lines aboard, preferably with spliced eyes, ready for use when you tie up somewhere. We call these transient dock lines.  The eye in the end is easily passed around a cleat or piling by someone on the dock and the bitter end is adjusted on board. There are dozens of combinations of diameters and lengths.

Permanent dock lines are also made of nylon, but differ from transient dock lines in several ways.  First, they must be protected from chafe, the enemy of all lines in constant use. This calls for leather, rubber or fabric chafe gear where the line passes through the chocks, and possibly a chafe sleeve on the eye where it goes around the cleat on deck.  At the dock, lines should be protected from chafe using eye splices and shackles if the dock has rings, or eye splices and short lengths of chain if the dock has cleats.  Permanent dock lines should be cut to fit the particular boat in the slip.

Dock lines should be made from nylon, a synthetic fiber that has a superior combination of strength and stretch.  Nylon is strong (although it shrinks and loses about 10-15% of its strength when wet), durable, and stretchy (three-strand nylon stretches up to 16% of its length when loaded to 15% of its breaking strength), so it absorbs shocks.  Low-stretch lines, like old worn-out polyester double braid used for sailboat running rigging, are less desirable because they transmit shocks from waves, loading up and loosening dock cleats and your boat’s deck hardware. There are three main types of rope construction for dock lines:   three-strand, double braid and Mega Braid.

Three-strand line has a knobby finish, is easy to splice and is the most affordable.  Double braid is somewhat stronger for a given size, has about half of three-strand’s stretch, and is available in many colors so you can color-coordinate your dock lines to match the color of your trim or canvas.

Mega Braid is a 12-strand single braid.  Single braids are very supple and limp, so they are easy to coil and handle.  Mega Braid is frequently the choice for boats above 70′ and it’s harder to splice.

Many boaters will want lines which match their canvas work, or trim color.   Double braided dock lines are available in six colors plus white and white/gold.  Its recommended that 1/8″ of line diameter for every nine feet of boat length.  Larger lines will wear longer but stretch less.

Boat Length
Up to 27′ use 3/8″
28′ to 31′ use 7/16″
32′-36′ use ½”
37′-45′ use 5/8″
46′-54′ use ¾”
55′-63′ use 7/8″
64′-72′ use 1″ or more

Last, transient dock lines should be about 2/3 of the boat’s length when used on the bow and stern.  Spring lines should be equal to your boat’s length.

Welcome (August/September 2017)

It’s been an eventful couple of months thanks to Hurricane Irma, hence this newsletter is a bit late.  We had to reschedule some sails due to inclement weather. A couple of boats ventured out for the Silly Sunglasses sail. Then we had an awesome “Pirates” themed weekend sail/beach party Labor Day weekend at Peanut Island, which you can read about here.  More Social News on upcoming events here.   Our featured Captain this month is Debi Hallmark, read her story here.

We learned of the stunning loss of our friend Rich Hustins August 30th; members gathered at Flip Flops the next day in shock and disbelief. We report on the Celebration of Life ceremony for Rich held at Flip Flops here.  And then on September 11th (yes, 9/11), after watching its slow and devastating progress across the Caribbean and being tortured by endless forecast models alternately raising then lowering hopes,  Hurricane Irma’s winds and rain finally reached South Florida and disrupted our lives seemingly forever; we still get a daily reminder weeks later as we navigate trash piles, utility vehicles and dump trucks in the street. Due to the storm we had to postpone the memorial service and burial at Sea for our friend Rudy Sprenger. The service will now be held October 28th at 2:00 PM at Christ Church 4845 NE 25th Ave Fort Lauderdale FL 33315 with burial at sea on the 29th.

We also had to cancel socials and re-arrange our meetings as Stingers and Flip Flops had no power. We thank the Downtowner for hosting our September board meeting at short notice. We are thankful that our part of South Florida was spared the worst of Irma, and send our wishes for a speedy recovery to those less fortunate in the Keys, the West coast of Florida and further north, and to those battered by Maria.

For boat owners current and future, this month the ever practical Brian Brown shares his advice on Service Logs.

Amazingly, we are past the season of Nominations for the Board of 2018;  you can learn of the 2018 Nominees and read Capt. Kelly’s reflections here.  And a reminder if you have something marine related to sell, or an article to contribute, an experience to share, please contact the Editors by the 20th of the month.

Doug Noble and Gillian O’Neil,
The Newsletter Team
Photos to

If you have had a birthday and missed receiving your gift, see Cheryl Lutz at a General Meeting. We hope you all have/had awesome birthdays!


From the Helm (August/September 2017)

From The Helm

by Commodore Kelly Dobbs



Well, here we are, at that very important time of the year where the Nominating Committee is seeking members to volunteer to serve on the 2018 SSSF Board. Consider also volunteering for a standing committee: Financial Audit, Pink Book, and Nominating. Throughout the year lend your special skills to a sail, training, a social or other activities.

Before you volunteer for the Board or any committee, or before you vote, read the Sailing Singles of South Florida By-Laws and the Policies and Procedures. For Board Members, those pages state our club mission, officer job descriptions, duties, and what you will be expected to do to manage and promote your club. Additionally, duties and responsibilities of Captains and Crew are stated in these pages. These guidelines and rules set by past and present members have guided this club for nearly 30 great years of sailing, socializing, learning together and making new lifelong friends. THEY WORK!

We have survived for thirty great years because of the foundation laid out by members; all volunteers with a passion for this club and what we share together.

Please support your club by do a little reading, volunteering and voting in the elections. Get involved all year long, volunteer for a committee, you will like it.

Fair Winds,

Cmdr. Capt. Kelly

And the Nominees Are (drumroll) . . .

As this issue of The Mainsheet is being published later than anticipated, we can now announce the Nominations for our 2018 Board were announced at the September General Meeting. Per the Bylaws, their appointment will be ratified at the November General Meeting.

Commodore: Stan Dekiel

Vice Commodore: Lynette Beal

Treasurer: Nikki McSweeney

Secretary: Terry Patterson

Fleet Captain: Brian Brown

IT Director: Karen Foster

Newsletter Director: Kim Golodner

Sailing Director: Debi Hallmark

Social Director: Arlene Sprenger

Membership Director: Susan Tracey




Rich Hustins Remembered (August/September)

Celebration of Life for Rich Hustins

By Doug Noble and Gillian O’Neill

On August 30th our friend Rich Hustins passed away as a result of a car accident. Rich was an SSSF Captain from 2003 to 2017.

There’s music in the heavens tonight as our dear friend, long-time SSSF Captain and Club DJ will be dancing with the Angels.


On September 28th at Flip-Flops, many past and current members of Sailing Singles gathered along with some of Rich’s family members, at a celebration of life for Rich, hosted by long time friend Marie Alcazar, to share memories and express their grief at his untimely death.

Ken Bloemker was master of ceremonies.  He related Rich’s history in the Navy as a nuclear engineer, and told us quite a few humorous stories of their friendship and shared boating experiences. Many other captains who were present had similar connections with Rich, including helping with boats and visits to the VA when one or another needed help.  It was great to see so many old friends show up – even from out of state – to celebrate Rich’s life.

His son, Dana, was present along with other family members, and described growing up with “Dad” Rich. Dana shared many happy memories of his father during their early years together.

Max Goldstein prepared a slide show of photographs going back to the time when Rich first joined the club and the images bought back good memories to all of us who have been members for a long time.

Marie Alcazar read a touching letter, from which I share:

“May the wind always be at your back and a smile always on your face.  Anyone who ever had the chance to meet you was truly blessed.  Your positive attitude was contagious and your outlook on life inspirational. Thanks for always being there for me.  You will always be in my heart.    Good people go only too soon.  Goodbye my dearest friend… til we meet again.”

For many years Rich and Marie owned the Irwin 42 “Tranquility”, and many members enjoyed their hospitality onboard. He received an Outstanding Service Award in 2009 and he and Marie were Co-Captains of the Year in 2012. More recently he purchased a 26 foot Carver named “Rich’s Folly”. Rich was the life and soul of any party he attended. He will be missed by many of his good friends in the club for his sunny good humor, and his love of music which he played for our enjoyment at our Thursday night socials.

Commodore Kelly Dobbs of Sailing Singles presented Dana and the family with a pennant with 8 stars, and performed an 8-bell ceremony which brought tears to many eyes.

Farewell and Fair Winds, Rich.  Thank you  for the time you spent dancing with us on land and at sea.

Some photos from the Celebration of Life at Flip Flops (thanks photographer Gabe Forray -he has many more pics than we have room for here, ask him.).



Meet Captain Debi Hallmark (August/September 2017)

Meet the Captain: Debi Hallmark

By Gillian O’Neill

Debi Hallmark “Sailor Debi” grew up in Erie, PA. She is the center of a large extended family which consists of her children, grand children and great grand children. Some still live in Erie, but they are also spread over many states, so when you add in other relatives, Debi puts lots of mileage on her car traveling to family celebrations. Many family members enjoy sailing, and most recently her 6-year old great-granddaughter and 8-year old great-grandson sailed back to Deerfield Beach from The Abacos. However in this case, one was seasick, and both complained they were bored in spite having their iPad on board! Maybe later… in a couple of years…


Debi arrived in South Florida in 2006 and joined Sailing Singles that year. A power boater for most of her life, she speaks with nostalgia about a wooden boat she owned “Windaleigh”, a 33 foot Cheoy Lee.

In order to get a handle on the basics of sailing she read “Sailing for Dummies” several times. Shortly after, Debi bought her second sail boat – a Morgan 30’ Sloop – which she christened “Ryan’s Place” and she continued learning more and more about all aspects of sailing. She soon realized that knowing how to sail her boat was only half the experience of boat ownership. As she quickly found out, the other part is the cost of parts and maintenance. So with lots of hard work and some help from her friends Debi gradually developed the necessary expertise in boat repairs which has not only saved her money, but invaluable when at sea and she needed to find creative solutions for unexpected problems.

Debi and Stan

Many people in the club have sailed with Debi, even those who recently joined the club and those who didn’t even know how to sail. She says the only thing she requires is that a member be interested in sailing and willing to learn.   In addition to sailing, Debi has served on the board of Sailing Singles in several capacities including: Commodore, Vice-Commodore, Sailing Director and Social Director. She is always willing to participate and help whenever she can. Debi is usually accompanied on her sailing trips by her friend, fiancé and co-captain, Stan DeKiel whom she met shortly after joining Sailing Singles.


When asked about some of her best sailing trips, Debi unhesitatingly said her first trip to the Marquesas and Dry Tortugas as part of a group of captains and their crews which included James Bradford, Jim McBrayer, Fred van Everdingen and Dick Linehan. Having a float plan helped keep the group together. She said it was some of the best sailing, and despite her sailboat being the smallest, she arrived 30 minutes ahead of the other boats one time, which she counted a “win”. Debi loves to race and is quite competitive.

She recalled one time in the Abacos as a new boat owner when four women spent a week with only a tank of 20 gallons of fresh water and never ran out. She has some hints on how to make that work. Just ask her. During that trip she did not have a windlass and she thinks her crew must have lowered and raised the anchor “hundreds of times”. They became known as “the four women from Fort Lauderdale” throughout the trip.

Then there was the trip to Cuba. Debi was part of the crew of “The Grand” which participated in the 2016 Miami to Havana sailboat race. It was the first time this race had taken place in 50 years and it generated a lot of excitement. Debi says it was a memorable and grueling experience due to the length of the sail and some really bad weather.


  • A recent trip to the Bahamas took 24 hours because of a terrible storm. She took down all the sails, and learned it would have been better to have at least kept the jib up.
  • The Hillsboro Inlet can be dangerous. Once when approaching the inlet, and the sails were already down, the engine failed. While waiting for Tow Boat US she dropped the hook, which prevented the boat from crashing on the rocks at the entrance. It was a close call.
  • Always bring spare parts. She had them with her on a trip when the back stay on “Ryan’s Place” snapped, and members of the group helped her fix the problem.
  •  Once you think you’ve managed to fix something, something else breaks, so she keeps on learning.


  • Safety: Listen carefully to the captain’s instructions, then wait for the signal to proceed.
  • Housekeeping: Keep gear in assigned space on board. Clean up after yourself. Be sure to take whatever you bring off the boat when you leave. The captain is not responsible for finding forgotten items.
  • Crew Chief: Each crew member provides all meals for one day or provides the same meal for each day of the trip. Each person takes turns cleaning up the galley.
  • Clothing: Pack lightly. Keep to the rule of 4/4/4 as closely as possible (4 swimsuits, tops and shorts).
  • New Members: Be aware of the club’s basic policies and procedures. It really will help you.
  • …Don’t jump ship! It can make it more difficult for a captain if other crew members are not experienced sailors, and besides, it’s rude.
  • … Don’t hit anything.
  • … Don’t go aground.
  • … No, Non, Nyet, Verboten: Umbrellas, suitcases and ice chests with wheels on any boat.
  • … The list will get longer depending on the length of the cruise!


Is there a trawler in Debi’s future? Maybe, who knows, only time will tell. But one thing she is certain about…she wants to go cruising.

Sailing News (August/September 2017)

Peanut Island Labor Day Weekend  Sail and Beach Party “Pirates of the Caribbean”

by Sheila O’Neil, Vice Commodore

In the pre-dawn hours of Sunday morning on September 3, our SSSF Pirates began preparing for the assault on Peanut Island to secure the beach. Cmdr Capt. Kelly, VCmdr, Sheila O’Neil, and Fleet Capt. Susan Cohoat packed the “Pirate Bar” pontoon with several coolers of ice, water, tents, chairs, a 5′ grill, and other provisions for the awesome grilling and events of the day. They beached the pontoon near channel marker 42, carried all provisions ashore, and staged a shipwreck scene with a pirate flagged mast, trunks with jewels, silver and gold, barrels of rum and crates of whiskey.
Other SSSF Pirates and Swabs began arriving mid-morning from the boats that participated in the extended sail:
  • Ryan’s Place – Capt. Debi Hallmark
  • Skeeter – Capt. Tom Mestrits
  • The crew of Val Hal joined the party in the afternoon.
At 11:00, Capt. Kelly began to shuttle SSSF members from Riviera Beach Marina to the island for a day of fun and sun.
As our members arrived on the island, they checked in at the “Ahoy SSSF” tent and selected a treasure from the Pirate Chest.
Our Guest Chef, Kelly M. Dobbs, grilled up delicious shrimp and colorful veggie kabobs, prepared coconut rice, and a tasty tropical salad with mango dressing. Meal was complimented with Banana Nut Bread and tropical fruit drink. The Pirate Bar was docked a few feet from shore with members’ adult beverages and ice!
A snorkeling excursion to the southeast corner of the island began in low visibility water but swimming to the outer rocks revealed a visible variety of tropical fish.
The most outstanding SSSF Pirate costumes:
1st Place – Jean Marie Gordon & Max Goldstein
2nd Place – Camille Galindo & Jerry Adams
3rd Place – Debi Hallmark & Greg Womack
Thanks to all that helped cleanup our island area and carry items back to the pontoon. And special thanks to Capt Kelly, Sheila and Susan for their sunrise to sunset efforts in producing yet another memorable Peanut Island event on Labor Day weekend. Here are some pics!

Silly Sunglasses sail August 12th.

SSSF Members anxious to sail in the summer breezes traveled to Miami and Palm Beach Gardens to participate in the Silly Sunglasses Sail. On August 12, wearing their glitter glasses, blinking lights glasses, upside down glasses, and more enjoyed a day of silly sailing and snorkeling. Participants included:

Winim – Captain Richard Harper (sailing out of Miami) with Cathy Harper, Bea Garcia and Art Herrera.

The Grand – Capt Kelly Dobbs (sailing out of Palm Beach) with Sheila O’Neil, Camille Galindo, Anne Ekstrom, John Konheim and Cindy Kehoe.

Of Interest to Captains (August/September 2017)

Service Logs… a tool well worth investing your time in keeping

By Brian Brown


You are about to buy, or have the boat of your dreams. In both cases you’ll need to see/or maintain the service logs. Let’s talk about the “about to buy: scenario first.

You’re standing in the marina about to buy, you decide to schedule a sea trial and survey as you continue to look the boat over. Casually, you ask, “what is the boat’s maintenance history?” The seller replies, “the marina takes care of my maintenance.” At this point, you still don’t know any more about the boat than before you asked the question; but you SHOULD get in contact with the marina because somebody there knows what condition that boat was in while they were working on it.

Contrast that with the seller who presents you with a service log and discusses the past maintenance history with you…and you’ll be very happy.

Obviously, a service log can be forged (but for the most part I wouldn’t think so) and does not guarantee that the boat has been maintained properly or at the recommended intervals. However, it gives you a place to start and can provide an insight into a boat’s past. For instance, if you see the zincs have been replaced every six months while the boat has been sitting in fresh water that should ring an alarm bell of potential electrical problems. Why? Well that’s for another article.

Even today few boat manufacturers supply new customers come with a service log, or if they do it is likely to be inadequate. When purchasing a used boat a service log is even rarer. Regardless of the situation, if you have a boat, you should have a service log!

This article will give you an idea of the minimum information that should be in your service log. Additional items can be added as you desire. Basically, any maintenance accomplished needs to be accounted for in the log. You should keep it organized, neat and up to date. Not only is this manual a great way for you to keep up with maintenance tasks, but potential buyers, surveyors and brokers will consider it an asset as well.

I recommend maintaining the service log with your computer where you can easily update and arrange items as needed—your dry land copy. Then print a copy and place it in the service log 3 ring binder; put your pages into clear plastic sleeves…that will help keep water and greasy fingers off for your on board copy. The computer program you choose to manage your log is up to you, but most spreadsheet programs handle the task very well, and make a folder scanning in documents like service manuals, etc. For example, you add a DC-AC power converter…make sure you keep the operators manual.

The layout of the log is left up to you but as a minimum, I recommend separate sections for the boat’s specifications, maintenance history, manuals and receipts, etc.  For example, keep your two way marine radio manuals, etc., safely and when they were installed. Even though you think you know how to operate all the buttons, you still might just want to return it someday for repairs.

Specifications Page

The first page of your service log should be the specification’s page. This page should contain all the specifications of your boat to include the registration number, boat name; date purchased, and all the maintenance-related part numbers and fluid types. Each time you have to purchase a part or discover a part number you should record it on the specification’s page. This will provide you with a quick reference for locating those numbers when it is time to perform routing maintenance. You can also just place the part manuals—highly recommended—into the plastic sleeves previously mentioned. For example, I keep EVERY new item’s manual there…from my gas grill, to bilge pump manuals.

Maintenance History

The next section to include in your service log should be the maintenance history for the boat. This is the place to log both routine and non-routine maintenance items such as oil changes, impeller replacements, component repair, etc. Regardless of whether you perform the maintenance or have someone else to do it, this is the place to log what was accomplished.  Patterns develop and if you are replacing, for example, the zinc regularly in fresh water, you’ve got a problem. This kind of stuff can also help a mechanic diagnose a repair…so think how much time that could save you…and money too.

Food for thought…when you go to sell your boat you can show your logs–people will be able to see that you cared about maintenance. That adds value…and provides a high level of security.

Receipts Section

In this section, you should keep a photocopy of any maintenance-related receipts. Keep the originals in a safe place at home. This should give you good idea of what should be in a service log. Attached you will find an example that can be used as a template to design your own.

Adding New Toys to Your Boat

We all have added a new toy, from an electric winch, to a windlass, even a new radio. Keeping all of that information handy, including the manuals, is essential. From a mini fridge, ice maker, new head, etc., keeping all of those changes will help you in the long run.

I even keep little things like pawls in the plastic sleeves labeled for each winch. And it doesn’t hurt to keep the disassembly and assembly manuals there too. Last, if you have all the diagrams of your boats construction, wiring, plumbing, etc., on board in your three ring binder with plastic sleeves, you’ll find its wonderful when you have to make repairs anywhere you are.

That’s my 1,000 or so words on the subject. Have a great time boating.



Welcome (July 2017)

Hello once again, single sailors. It’s time for our look at all that happened in July, and what’s ahead.

In From The Helm, Capt Kelly reminds us to help clean up after a day on the water.  If we all pitch in, we might get invited back!

We are sad to report the loss of Rudy Sprenger, a long standing member, husband of Arlene and a former SSSF Commodore.

Our featured Captain this month is Fred van Everdingen, new owner of Meridian 2.

Pink Books are available. See Ben at Flip Flops for yours.

Sailing News covers the Cheeseburger raftup, Captains Appreciation day  the upcoming Silly Sunglasses August Raftup, and Peanut island on Labor day weekend.  Our Social News report covers the Beach Party.

And last but not least, Brian Brown has contributed a great article with tips for  Buying A Boat.

On the fence? If you know someone thinking of joining or re-joining SSSF, they can join for thje remainder of 2017 for $60. Click here.

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

Gillian O’Neill and Doug Noble,
The Mainsheet Team
Send photos to