UPCOMING CLINICS (Call or email to reserve a spot, space is limited):

WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR “KNOT” Clinic!   Saturday, Feb. 11th   11am-12:30:    This is an opportunity to perfect your “knottiness!”   We’ll review all the knots from Basic Keelboat, and throw in a couple new ones as well.  We also don’t want to get our lines (or panties!) in a twist, so we’ll cover the proper way to coil and stow lines too! 

REFRESHER CLINICS!   March 25,  9:30am – 12:30pm  & 1:30 – 4:30pm:   Been a while since you’ve set sail?  Can’t quite remember whether to tack or to jibe?  Can’t decide whether to heave-to or heave ho?  Well then this is the clinic for you!   We’ll review a little bit of everything, so that you can shout “Jibe Ho” and mean it!


SATURDAY SOCIAL SAILS:     Part of what makes the Club so great is all the wonderful people in it!  We know that many of you would like the chance to make some new sailing friends, so we are going to start doing some “social sails” for Club members!   We’ve established a regular time when members can join each other and go sailing.   We’ll start with the Saturday afternoon session (1pm- 5pm) and set aside one of the Capri 22’s.  That way folks can sail together then maybe go out for a beer or coffee to celebrate their nautical adventures!   Be sure to call by Friday to reserve your spot, since space will be limited to a maximum of 6 passengers. Looking to sail at a different time?  As always, you can give another member a call.  Phone lists are in the office, or give us a call & we’ll help match you up.

WE’VE RUN OFF TO THE CARIBBEAN!!:    While most of the staff and 14 Club members are in Saint Martin, Alex will be holding down the fort!  If there are a lot of boats going out at the same time, please be patient as he manages things like an air traffic controller!!  You can even bring him a vegan cookie to bump up your place in line!!   

WEEKEND CLUB TRIPS!:     For those that didn’t make it to the Caribbean this year, fear not!  We have several weekend trips planned aboard Splendid Adventure, our Beneteau 393.   The trips start on Friday afternoon and run through Sunday afternoon.  See below for all the details!  

The Captain’s Corner…or “Nautical Nauledge”

MEDITATION on a motor…   As sailors, we tend to look at motors as a necessary evil…a noisy intrusion into our peaceful world.   Well, in the spirit of serenity, we thought we’d give a little insight into our petroleum-fueled partners.  After all, those engines come in pretty handy at times!    The key is to treat them with kindness in order to form a lasting and meaningful friendship.

Here is the best way to maintain “harmonious horsepower:”

  1. MAKE SURE YOU GO THROUGH ALL THE STEPS TO RIGGING AND STARTING YOUR ENGINE  (HINT:  swearing at it isn’t one of the steps!)  Taking time to “connect” with the engine makes a great first impression on it. Things to check include: gear, kill switch clip, choke, fuel hooked up, vented & primed, throttle in the “start” position, and motor lowered into the water.   Different engines have things located in different positions.  If you start at one side and scan your way across, you find everything you need.
  2. A WORD ABOUT THE CHOKE – this is what controls the air & fuel mix and gets things “in the mood” so combustion can occur.  Sounds kind of sexy, doesn’t it?   Well, if you pull the starter cord too many times with the choke out, it can flood the engine, causing it to not start.  NO MORE THAN TWO PULLS, then push in and give a little more gas. If you need to go back to the choke, be sure to throttle back down.  If you leave the choke out once it’s started, it will gum up the spark plugs and cause it to run rough & cut out on you.  Smoothly push the choke in, giving it a little more gas, then slow down the throttle.  

NOTE:  When re-starting an engine you should not need the choke.  Just set the gas a little higher.  It’s already warmed up and ready to go.   Ooh, baby, yeah!

  • ALWAYS THROTTLE ALL THE WAY DOWN BEFORE SHIFTING GEARS! – Make sure to stop in neutral as well.  Failure to do so can damage the transmission, cause seagulls to spontaneously attack you & cause all your hair to fall out.
  • DON’T SAIL WITH YOUR MOTOR IN THE WATER! – In addition to just plain looking bad, it will slow your speed, cause too much side pressure on the motor mount, and risk putting the engine under water.  Is that anyway to treat a new friend?!   Once you’ve got wind in your sail, turn off the engine, raise it up, TURN TO THE SIDE (front of motor to STARBOARD), THEN TILT IT (handle side should be down).    Remember, most motors need to be in FORWARD to tilt and some need to be in neutral.  NEVER FORCE IT, you big brute!  When you are ready to drop sails, make sure to ease them to reduce heeling.  The motor doesn’t want to start out of the water or under water!
  • CHOPPY SEAS ARE NOT A MOTOR’S FRIEND --  when motoring in choppy seas, the boat tends to bounce a lot more, causing the lower part of the engine to periodically come out of the water.  It will be noticeable by the angry sound of the engine when it’s not getting any water…kind of like a swarm of GIANT BEES chasing you down.   If you can sail into some sheltered water before using the engine, that’s good.  If not, make sure to keep as much weight at the stern as possible. 
  • FINALLY, MAKE SURE TO GIVE YOUR MOTOR A PROPER FAREWELL – We all want to maintain that “youthful glow.”  So, when you put the engine away, be sure to give it a final dose of loving care.  Salt water can cause things to corrode and age more quickly, so you want to give the engine & MOTOR MOUNT a good wash with fresh water.    We’ll leave the optional “good-night kiss” up to you!


We know that time & money can get in the way of a long sailing trip, so we are going to be offering several weekend adventures this year.  Trip #1 is listed below.  We will release later trips as soon as this one fills up!   Please reserve ASAP because space is limited.


TRIP 1:   Friday, April 7th at 1pm through Sunday, April 9th at 4pm 

COST:    $785 per cabin (1-2 people) non-club members $835. It includes all breakfasts & lunches, and one dinner aboard, plus boat costs (fuel, dock charges, etc.)  Restaurant meals & liquor are extra. A 50% DEPOSIT  CONFIRMS YOUR SPACE.  Balance is due Feb. 22nd.

TENTATIVE ITINERARY   (of course weather will be the ultimate determiner):

FRIDAY – arrive at boats at 1pm to load all gear & provisions and do a brief orientation. We’ll enjoy an afternoon of sailing on the Bay and brush up on some “big boat” sailing skills. Then it’s back to the dock for dinner ashore and an evening downtown.

SATURDAY – We’ll head out to the turquoise waters of the Gulf today!  Weather permitting, we’ll end up at a beautiful anchorage in Big Lagoon, off the National Seashore or a marina in the exotic land of Lower Alabama.   We’ll enjoy cocktails, sunset, & a splendid feast aboard.

SUNDAY – We’ll head back through the ICW towards Pensacola Beach and Santa Rosa Sound.  Our final day will involve some fun & games on the water, then back to port, a little saltier, a little wiser (hey, it could happen), and a little happier.

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