Letters – by Our Readers
I sent you an email back in January of this year with regards to the cover photo that was taken by Bill Wells. I think I found the boat here in the Bay. My wife and I walk the path past Grand Marina in Alameda from time to time. It just so happens on a recent walk that we found your cover girl. I had asked if you knew what kind of boat it was passing under the Golden Gate. I now realize that the name of the boat which was half hidden in the cover photo is Kiwi Cat. Do you know the manufacturer by chance? We enjoy the magazine and pick it up wherever we can find it. Keep up the good work.
Yes indeed, your photo is the same boat as on the January cover. I fell in love with that photo the moment Bill showed it to me. The South Tower of the Golden Gate is so fascinating to me, much more so than the North Tower! I believe most of this has to do with the fact that the South Tower gives a better perspective as to how very powerful the ebb and flood of the Bay can be. I am completely mesmerized every time I am near that tower, but tenfold when the forces of nature cause such huge breaks there. Sorry, I digress. Bill’s photo, as much as I loved it, created a lot of legwork for yours truly. Bill was unaware of the boat’s name, but who can blame an artist for not questioning the subject, and rather giving full focus to the moment of creation. I did however manage to piece the name together using a couple of other angles, but your photo would have been a huge help back then. With the help of not only a personal friend but friend to Bay & Delta Yachtsman, Richard Boland, I was able to acquire the following information. I believe that the boat is part of Kiwi Cat Charters LLC at present. The boat was a boat line that Richard Boland Yachts represented some years back and was built by Oliver Marine Ltd. of New Zealand. Unfortunately, if you are wanting one, you will have to find a used one. From my understanding, they no longer build them. Thanks for the photo and thanks for reading our publication.
I just read your guest writing for the March issue and I wanted to share a few thoughts. Word has it that you will be a regular from this point on. I am looking forward to reading your monthly columns. Why some sail and why others motor their way everywhere, may be found from my experience in both worlds.
Let’s say when you were a kid your dad asked you one day if you wanted to learn to sail. Then he took you to Sequoia Yacht Club and got you sailing lessons in an El Toro. Let’s say you took to it like a duck to water, and after the first series of lessons he bought you an El Toro. It was a beautiful mahogany job made by Aeolus Boat Works in Davenport, #4314. So then he took you twice a month to SYC for their junior program. You loved sailing, blew through the intermediate program and jumped into the advanced program and started racing.
The Small Boat Racing Association (SBRA) took you to Brickyard Cove and you still remember your first time sailing at RYC because it was the first time you felt like you were out on the Bay. Most of the other races were on lakes like Merced, Vasona, Merit, etc. And you were exposed to other boats like FJs, Lido 14’s, Zephyrs, Enterprises and many others.
Then, as you got older, you set your eyes to race with the big kids on an OK Dinghy (this was way before Lasers.) Then the adviser to the advanced program lost his crew at the last minute and you got to crew on a 505! Hanging out on a trapeze, planing, almost out of control blew your mind.
Why would somebody own a stinkpot? We will get to that.
Then, during the summer when you were 17 you went for a two-week sail with your girlfriend and her sister on her boyfriend’s family Cal 29. Guess where we went, the Delta! Warm summer days, skinny dipping and no parents! How could you not love the Delta?
Then you ended up (jump ahead) sailing on the Bay. You were introduced to a guy named Hans Vielhauer. Don’t know how long you’ve been single handing, but Hans was very active in the singlehanded community with his Cal 40. At this time, he was the Cal 20 champ on the Bay and needed a foredeck crew. Where I got really lucky was the very next year when he moved up to a Scampi 30 and we raced the Bay and Offshore series, going out the gate for the first time. We were going around the Farallones in thick fog and navigating without all the fancy gadgets they have now. In those days, there was a MORA Fleet. Midget Ocean Racing Association was only for boats 30’ and under. We did the annual San Diego Race, and then sailed her home twice. Later on I did this race two more times, once in a J-24 (not recommended) then in an SC 27, now that was a blast!
Suppose you lived to sail and ended up racing on Leading Lady in her prime against legends like Hank Easom when he raced his 10-meter Yucca and you first met his nephew Scott. Daddy Cline was always out on Amateur Hour with the El Toro logo on his main. Years later when Daddy Cline owned Leading Lady, he might have been invited to sail with Daddy Cline and might even have gotten to meet Max Ebb. Don’t worry, his identity is safe.
But why would somebody own a stink pot?
Suppose you met someone and fell for them and they for you and everything was great. But she gets horribly seasick. She loves boats, but only in flat water. Even on a buoy on a borrowed Santana 35 on your honeymoon at Ayala Cove she would get seasick. Maybe you see where we are going.
As time progressed, you might have moved away from the Bay Area and moved to coastal Mendocino County. About every other year you would visit the Delta on a houseboat and your sweetie loved it! Suppose you were driving home after one of these trips and your sweetie says to you, “You know what honey? We should buy a boat. If you ever come across a boat that you think would be good for us, go ahead and buy it, you don’t have to ask me again!” Now I ask you, in all your life, how many times has a wife told her husband to “buy a boat. You don’t even have to ask me again, just buy it?” Years later when we were actually shopping for a boat I would tell this story to the broker just to watch the incredulous look on their face. They would then look at my sweetie and she would smile and say “yep, true story.” Blew their minds!
So, the choice might be, a stink pot or nothing? What would you do? Because if you really love being on the water, get out on the water anyway you can. Now I will admit, when I was a snot-nosed kid I was the most obnoxious anti-stinkpot sailor you knew. I couldn’t stand power boats or hoity toity yacht clubs. I couldn’t stand fancy yacht clubs, but I did like their warm showers after a tough City Front race. So, now I am older and mellower, maybe. Maybe I just have a different perspective.
I still don’t like hoity-toity yacht clubs, but I still love being on the water and I like people. Boaters are boaters, they come in all types, shapes and sizes. Thanks for your article in Bay & Delta Yachtsman. Yeah, I know it’s not Latitude 38 and the world you are used to, but it is all the power boat world has. I actually wrote an article for them last summer. Here is the link https://yachtsmanmagazine.com/cruising-stories-by-chuck-artigues/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=cruising-stories-by-chuck-artigues
They paid me the same as they paid you…
BTW, you might have known my old friend Shirley Doell. She had her Dad’s boat Muav there at RYC for many years. She was my girlfriend the first time I ever sailed in the Delta.
Now that you are published, you might want to come up to the Delta for one of the Delta Chambers Mixers. They are held once a month. There’s usually some free food, lots of good conversation and you will probably meet some good boaters too.
So, if you like my story, let me know and maybe someday we can sail together, share a beer at the bar and trade lies, sailing stories and fairy tales. You have a standing invitation to come out on my stinkpot sometime. It might even be fun….
See you on the water.
Thanks for your email. For me, the stinkpot/sailboat reference is just an excuse for banter between people in a boating venue. I will be upriver again this summer. I’ll look for your boat.
s/v Dura Mater
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