Sunday, July 26, 2009

Socialist Sailing, Gibson Island style

I asked Tom Price in this post to send along how they do it and lo and behold, he kindly delivered;

  • We have seven boats plus one privately owned.
  • Fleet dues are about $300/ yr for the initial 24 folks who each paid a $1500 initiation fee (to buy the boats and the fix-em-up). For members who came in after the boats were capitalized, they pay a higher yearly fee - $450. The yearly maintainance fees take care of bottom cleaning, painting, sail and boat repairs, fittings, line etc for continual upkeep. We find that we can't afford our own boatyard fees so we do our own work or subcontract wherever possible (rather than pay the Gibson Island Yacht Yard prices for work on the boats).

We put together a fleet of seven 210s for about $6,000 each. That includes new Jenkins sails. Split between the 45 or so members this isn't bad. I’ve put untold hours into getting the boats going and had lots of help. It's what I wanted to do. I've enjoyed it.

Our biggest problems are getting members out to sail. We sail the boats doublehanded to maximize the number of boats out. On occasion, we have had a great turnout. The boats, to be honest, are pretty crappy, condition wise. As a sailboat, they are lovely. If I were doing it again, I'd get better 210s to start with. That said, they've held together just fine and seem to be reasonably equal in speed.

We host a 210 Class event each year and have about a dozen boats racing on the river. We differ from the class in that we only use blade headsails. For that regatta we ask the visitors to just use blade jibs only. Our boats actually do pretty well (probably because we are used to sailing with the smaller blade jibs). Last year we had a huge squall come through and we sank one of our boats on the Magothy River …. two of the out-of-towners swamped but they had floatation and easily bailed out. Ours went down in seconds. We refloated it and all survived.

Any “Earwigoagin” reader is welcome any time to come sail a 210. Most activity happens in the Fall and Winter (after all our other boats are put away). Come join us for more socialist fun, Comrades.


Some pics.

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