February 5th Newsletter: Winter Sailing in the Ensigns!

John K heading out on Intrepid

As the days get longer, we are seeing more really lovely opportunities to go sailing, and members are starting to go out.  Certainly this winter has been far warmer than the last two winters. Winter sailing in the Ensigns is often wonderful but preparation is key.  In the winter the Ensigns are inside on the first pier as you drive in.  Park across from Cove Mini-Golf.  

Bear in mind the winds have more force in colder temps.  For example – in 30 degree temps the wind has 5% more force then when it’s 60 degrees out.  By no means should you go out when the winds are over 15 knots or the gusts are over 18 knots. Look at the marine forecast, the weather discussion (especially the aviation section for the max gusts) and also check the buoy reports if questionable. I normally check the New Haven and King’s Point reports.   

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January 31st Newsletter: STIR / Newport-Bermuda Racing and Bareboat Class – Sign up Now!

Varuna on her way to another win in 2017.

Bareboat Class + STIR Racing in the Caribbean

Two students are signed up for the Bareboat Class that starts on Sunday, March 22nd, with one space left (the class was full, but one couple had to drop out last week).  Interested in doing a bareboat charter and experiencing a variety of the Caribbean Islands?  Ready for the Caribbean warmth?!!  If so, our Bareboat Class will give you all the needed skills to sail or Charter in a beautiful and interesting environment.  It’s also possible to take the class with a 2nd person joining you as an observer.  

The class is an intensive 4 day program covering everything from clearing in and out of the foreign country (the British Virgin Islands) to Med Mooring, with lots of navigation practice, reefing, anchoring with one and two anchors and docking.  We even cover little tricks like bringing a dingy through the surf.  Plus there’s time for relaxing and enjoying the great food and drinks the Virgins are famous for.

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December 12th Newsletter: Varuna Arrives in Bermuda and Off to St. Thomas

This passage to Bermuda was unlike any other in that there was no weather window for crossing the Gulf Stream in the usual Montauk to Bermuda route with winds less than 30 knots.  Given that the winds in the Gulf Stream region are generally 10 to 15 knots more than the surrounding winds this meant a no go.

Passing through New York City

The only good option we could find was to go through New York City, follow the coast line down New Jersey, and then slowly begin to peel off to a Gulf Stream crossing east of Norfolk which showed much lighter winds on Friday, in the range of 10 to 15 knots.  And so we were off.  

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November 14th Newsletter: Italy Trip, Mystic Delivery & Ocean Passage South!

The Sly / Grand Soleil 42 in Viareggio.

This past weekend I flew to Italy with a former SSC student and member, James C, who has become one of the most successful racers on the Long Island Sound in his Hanse 375.  James has been looking for something faster, better in light air and larger for cruising with his growing family.  

We have looked at Swan 45’s and 42’s (phrf -3 – too deep and large in the case of the 45) and Xp 44’s (PHRF 18 but too large and too deep), and a number of other options including the Hanse 430e (phrf 63),  J133 (both somewhat slow compared with the benchmark of a Club Swan 42).   I started looking for boats in Europe and came across the Sly 42, which was part of Grand Soleil.  The numbers looked great and according to owners she is actually faster than a Swan 42 upwind.  She would fit in Jame’s club, both for length and draft. Unfortunately, none were ever imported into the US, so we flew to Italy.

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