Archive for the ‘Sailing’ Category

Come Sail Away (or What is a “Sail Out”)

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

“I’m sailing away,
Set an open course for the virgin sea,
‘Cause I’ve got to be free,
Free to face the life that’s ahead of me,
On board, I’m the captain, so climb aboard,
We’ll search for tomorrow on every shore, …”

Styx 1977

And at HMBYC, you have many opportunities to explore new horizons.  We caught up with Leann Nassar, our volunteer Cruise Out Coordinator, who tells us more about exploring the Bay…

What exactly is a “sail out” that I hear so many people talking about?

A “sail-out” (also known as a “cruise out”) is when club members take their boats and visit other yacht clubs (generally arriving by sea, but land yachts are also welcome!) over a weekend.


Usually the other yacht clubs are a day trip away (maybe two days if going up the Sacramento Delta).  We talk about “moving the party from HMBYC to somewhere else.”  Once the boats and others arrive (Saturday), then a cocktail party and open boat visitation starts around 4pm – cocktails/wine/snacks.  Folks move from boat to boat visiting with each other and seeing the different kinds of setups (galley, sleeping quarters, navigation stations, etc).  Some of the clubs we visit have restaurants and the party might move on to dinner.  Other clubs just have a bar – and that creates a different kind of fun!

Wow, that does sound like fun, but I don’t know much about sailing and I don’t have a boat…

There are many ways to participate in a “sail out” or “cruise out.”  For novice sailors, it’s always possible to catch a ride on someone’s boat and be a crew member.  All of the captains are experienced teachers and enjoy introducing Bay sailing to newbies!  If timing doesn’t work, then arriving via carpools in land yachts works well too – especially if staying over night in the area near the club.

So, any good inside stories about these sail outs?


“What happens on the cruise out, stays on the cruise out!”  Often, the coordinator for that event will arrange some kind of special activity.  Petaluma is a great destination with lots to do (cheese factory tour, historical museum docent walking tour).  Benecia is great for antiquing.  Encinal had a great outdoor wedding last time we were there (no one we knew).   And Encinal has an outdoor pool that we coastsiders really enjoy.  Some people even reported tan lines last year!

OK, I’m hooked.  How can I get involved?

The best way to get involved is to send an email to and ask to be added to the mailing list!  And then, SHOW UP!  Last year, I traded my spot on our boat for wheels – two people sailed back from Petaluma to Pier 39 and I drove their car to our house in HMB.  It was a GREAT weekend for many reasons.  You really get to know your fellow members in a new environment and get to experience the best of boating on the Bay.

Any ideas where we’ll be heading this year?

The best destinations are Petaluma and Encinal (on Alameda) in my opinion.  This year, we will talk about Vallejo, Tiburon, Benicia, and others as possibilities.  Petaluma is tide-dependent, so we look ahead at the tide charts to decide on a date.  If you want to help decide, please come to the planning meeting on Tuesday, January 21 from 8-9pm at the club (and an after dinner glass of wine!).

Thanks Leann for sharing your experiences.  And members at any experience level, please take advantage of these opportunities to craft your own journey.  Feel free to share your sail out experiences or comments below.





Why are the Cal 20’s out of the water?

Sunday, January 5th, 2014




Many of our members have been curious about the mysterious appearance of our prized keelboat fleet “on the hard”, or out of the water in the past few weeks.

This time of year provides a great opportunity to learn even more of the pleasures of sailing, which include an up close and personal view of the undersides of the boats and what it takes to keep them in top shape for the sailing season.  We asked the experts to tell us more.  Thanks Dave Morris for the inside story.

Tell us a bit about our sail boats that are in the yard right now—



“We have a fleet 9 keelboats (boats with a permanent keel or counterbalance that keep the boat stable under sail):   8 Cal 20s and 1 20′ Impulse.  We bring all but 2 or 3 into the yard at a time for repairs and maintenance.


We leave a couple in the inner harbor for member use.  If no maintenance was done to the boats things would break, bottoms would become fouled and eventually they would end up on the bottom of the harbor.”



So who does the maintenance?

“We have a “sponsorship program” that pairs boats with sailors (and non-sailors who want to learn more).  The sponsorship isn’t a financial sponsorship, but sponsors work to keep the boats in tip top shape and they get first dibs on sailing the boats in sponsor races during the sailing season.


The club provides the tools and materials to maintain the boats while the sponsors provide the energy to maintain the boats in a safe and seaworthy condition.  The sponsors get to personalize the boats to some extent.
That is why the boats are rigged slightly differently among the fleet.   Sponsors and their helpers (all hands welcome) perform the maintenance.  The majority of the work is done during the winter months when we normally have strong storms and need to move the boats to the inner harbor for protection.  During this time we bring the majority of the boats into the yard for bottom cleaning, painting and general repairs. ”

Tell us more about the racing season—


“During the sailing season of April- October we have monthly Sponsor’s races.  These races are free, low key and fun.  All members are invited to participate but the sponsors get first choices on the boats since they put in the efforts to maintain them.

We also have a C-15 fleet, Laser fleet and Optimist fleet.  As with the Keelboats they all need maintenance.  They don’t just magically repair themselves.  If you are interested in becoming a sponsor of a keelboat contact Dave Slater or Dave Morris at    C-15s”


And this is a great time to learn more.  This Sunday, January 12 is the annual HMBYC sailing brunch from 10-1 at the club.  Whether you are experienced, novice, aspirational or just curious, join us, learn something new and meet some great friends.