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community weblog - [ Sailing ]

Boat co-ownership: sharing the costs

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Lou Sandoval, right, of Karma Yacht Sales in Chicago, has been in four boat-owning partnershipsWhen Jon Mossberger's boat needed $5,000 in repairs, he was thankful he co-owns it with seven fraternity buddies, reducing his share of the expense to $625.

He was less happy to hear that the steering mechanism in the $70,000 boat had been damaged because of a co-owner's lack of experience using it.

"That was frustrating," he says.

Mr. Mossberger, 31, shares a 2002 Chaparral 280 Signature and goes out on Lake Michigan with his friends nearly every weekend.  more...



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Beau Geste finishes Mackinac race first in rainstorm

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Beau Geste approaches the finish line in the Bayview Mackinac race Sunday. Other boats are expected to finish today.   (MARCIN CHUMICKI/Bayview Mackinac race)MACKINAC ISLAND -- Beau Geste, the 80-foot maxi out of Hong Kong, was the first to cross the finish line in the Pure Michigan Bayview Mackinac race at about 6:10 p.m. Sunday, ahead of Doug DeVos' 86-foot

Windquest.Windquest finished at 8:18 p.m.

Beau Geste crossed in a driving rainstorm, with visibility so bad it was difficult to see the boat until it was close to the finish, even with its 130-foot mast and sails.

Owner Karl Kwok said he wouldn't worry about whether he corrected to win until later.  more...


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Mackinac race: Local boats near finish

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MACKINAC ISLAND-BOUND: A crew member of Port Huron's Mattali waves Saturday at the start of the Port Huron-to-Mackinac race. As of press time Sunday night, Mattali was near the top of the fleet on the Thunder Bay Course of the race.Mattali owner Scott Jones has worked on night sailing this summer in hopes of better performances in the annual Port Huron-to-Mackinac race. 

Jones of Marysville got the opportunity to test that pre-race practice Sunday night in the 86th running of the Mackinac race.

Mattali was near the top of the fleet, along with four area boats, on the Thunder Bay Course as of press time Sunday night.

Beau Geste of Hong Kong was the first boat to the island as it crossed the finish line at 6:07 p.m. Sunday.  more...


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Mackinac race sailors torn on GPS use

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FIT TO BE TIED: Jack Crawford, right, of Grand Haven is seen behind Thomas Beebe, also from Grand Haven, as Beebe ties a bumper to a post at the docking site of Windancer on Tuesday on the Black River. Beebe will be Windancer's bowman during the Port Huron-to-Mackinac race.Paul Latham doesn't have a problem with friends and family knowing his whereabouts during the Port Huron-to-Mackinac race.  But, having other competitors in the sailboat race track his course is an entirely different story.

Mackinac race sponsor Pure Michigan equipped race boats with GPS units last year so their courses could be charted between Port Huron and Mackinac Island. People could follow the boats on Pure Michigan's website -- michigan.org/gps -- and will be able to do the same this year. Last year, the website received 70,770 hits during the five days surrounding the race.

Like Latham, many sailors see pros and cons with the system.  more...


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Bernida gets second wind

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GOOD AS NEW: Bernida, a 32-foot sloop, sailed in the first Port Huron-to-Mackinac race in 1925. The boat was found in Frankfort and has been restored.DETROIT -- In its prime, Bernida was a classic racing machine that outperformed a dozen boats in the first Port Huron-to-Mackinac race in 1925. The 32-foot boat, an R-Class sloop with an open cockpit -- no cabin for the crew -- won again two years later.Lost for decades, the Bernida, restored to all its former glory, will be on display in the Mackinac Island marina this summer. Its owner hopes to race it to Mackinac Island in 2011.   more...


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Cooper Jr. returns home for annual race

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Steve
CooperSteve Cooper is one of the more accomplished sailors in the Blue Water Area.

But despite having sailed in 45 Port Huron-to-Mackinac races, he said both of his sons -- Steve Jr. and Eric -- are "beyond where I am" when it comes to sailing.

He went so far as to say Steve Jr., 30, would be a "sought-after professional" sailor if he weren't working.

"He's intelligent, he's aggressive and he's agile," Cooper Sr. said.


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Mackinac race ratings can be confusing

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Don't feel bad if you don't understand the handicapping and rating system in the Port Huron-to-Mackinac race.

Not many people do.

"It's confusing," said Nick Ward of Fort Gratiot, who will crew on Fine Line. "It can even be confusing for people that race."

A lot goes into the rating systems, which help decide the winners of those coveted pennants given away on the island. A boat's rating is combined with its time to the island to create a corrected time, which determines the winners.  more...


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Mark, rules, light wind are order of day for Port Huron to Mackinac race

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Sailboats compete in last year's Port Huron to Mackinac race.   (ERIC SEALS/DFP)The mark will be in the right place, which everyone will like. The IRC rating rule is the order of day, which not everyone likes. The initial weather forecasts call for a lighter air race -- which no one will like.

But they'll race in the Pure Michigan Bayview Mackinac event no matter what.

"You do the race for the challenge. And you're with a group of people that you enjoy being with, have a good time with and you want to take the adventure together," said Dan Gidcumb of West Bloomfield.   more...


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Port Huron-Mackinac race perilous, full of horrors

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Stosh Popowich, 64, of Harrison Township holds the jib sheet as the crew looks at the sail adjustments on the sailboat Burden IV on Lake St. Clair on Tuesday, July 13, 2010.   (ROB WIDDIS/Special to the Free Press)No one has ever died in the Port Huron to Mackinac race. But that doesn't mean there haven't been plenty of dangerous moments on Lake Huron. Gordon Lightfoot's boat, the Golden Goose, was struck by lightning. A sailor from Night Train fell overboard and got tangled with the lines and sail, bobbing like a tea bag in stormy waters. Burden IV caught fire. Monkey Face nearly capsized. In 1926, only four of the 12 boats that started the first race finished because of storms. more...


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Pure Michigan Bayview Mackinac Race

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2010 pure michigan bayview mackinac raceThe Pure Michigan Bayview Mackinac Race will begin on Saturday, July 17 – recognized as one of the most challenging freshwater boat races in the world. Join the excitement of the Port Huron to Mackinac Race as boat racers sail Michigan's Great Lakes to reach their final destination, Mackinac Island. External Link It’s all Pure Michigan from start to finish!

Celebrate the start of the race in Port Huron External Link. Then follow the course of the Port Huron to Mackinac Race as they head north along the shores of Michigan’s eastern coast. Join the festivities at the finish line on Mackinac Island. Where the hospitality and celebration is always second to none.  more...



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Chicago to Mackinac: The Oldest Freshwater Yacht Race Knots Up for 2010

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A skyline of spinnakers will set sail on July 24 as 375 boats search for speed in the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac. The oldest annual freshwater race in the country, the Chicago Yacht Club’s 333-mile open water adventure crosses Lake Michigan and ends in the waters along Mackinac Island.  To get an insider’s perspective on this famous boat race, MyNorth touched base with Chicago Yacht Club’s Christie Denson.   more...


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Cove course a hit with crews

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When sailors voice their opinion about Port Huron-to-Mackinac race courses during the years, Bayview Yacht Club race officials listen.

After the 2008 Mackinac race, crews spoke up about a longer race and two separate race courses.

Bayview officials responded to the race surveys and a year ago brought back the popular Cove Island Course.

"The Bayview folks want what's best for the race and the sailors," said Chris Benedict, a Port Huron native who lives in Plymouth.   more...


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Race officials happy with entry numbers

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WARMUP: The crew of Rowdy races on Lake Huron for the 2010 Great Lakes IRC Championship. Rowdy will sail in the Port Huron-to-Mackinac race.If 300 boats entered the Port Huron-to-Mackinac race, officials would be overjoyed and amazed.

With 209 entries in the 86th running this year, officials still are pretty happy.

"With the Michigan economy the way it is, I think it's a good number," 2010 Mackinac race chairman Tom Burleson said. "I'm happy with where we are at."

The Port Huron Yacht Club has 23 boats in the Mackinac race; eight entrants are from Sarnia Yacht Club.   more...


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Mackinac race will be a Fair family affair

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ALL'S FAIR: Larry Fair of Fort Gratiot sails Gale Runner in a doublehanded sailboat race. Fair and his son, Steve, will sail in the Doublehanded Division of the Port Huron-to-Mackinac race. The two have been sailing together for three decades and have completed 12 long-distance Huron Doublehanded Challenge races to Rogers City.Fathers and sons bond together on the golf course, ball diamond or family vacations.

How about three days in close quarters on the lake?

That's what Larry Fair and his son, Steve, have done the past 27 years.

The Fairs will make their Port Huron-to-Mackinac race debut Saturday aboard Gale Runner in the Doublehanded Division.

"What makes this so special is that I'm doing the race with my dad," said Steve, 39, of Port Huron Township. "We both love being on the boat and sailing.  more...


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Learning to Sail Part 1: Around the Boat

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Learning to SailThough you can learn the basics of sailing in a matter of hours, and easily learn to handle a boat in good conditions in only a matter of days, the full set of skills required for commanding a variety of boats in a variety of conditions is something learned over a lifetime. A good sailor will learn something every time he or she sails. From the first moment you hoist the canvas, to the last time you tie your boat up to dock, you are constantly being taught - about your boat, about your own limits and those of others, and about the wind and sea itself.  more...


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