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So far Jim Heumann has created 111 blog entries.

Dungeness Bay Dinghy Regatta Sunday August 18th

Many of you may know of Leo Goolden a boatbuilder, sailor and writer from Bristol, England who is currently living in Sequim and is “on a mission to rebuild a 107-year old English sailing yacht called Tally Ho“. If you haven’t seen his YouTube videos they are well worth watching.  Leo is sponsoring a casual small boat regatta/picnic this coming Sunday at Cline Spit, Dungeness Bay.  All are welcome.  It should be a blast.

By |2019-08-15T21:07:11-07:00August 15th, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Bertram Levy’s Murrelet: The Wooden Boat Tradition is Alive and Well in Port Townsend

By Roland Nikles

Port Townsend, Washington, is proud of its wooden boat tradition. At the twilight of the commercial sailing era it was a bustling seaport, strategically located at the entrance to Puget Sound. Shipyards, boatwrights, foundries, shipping agents, a majestic customs house on the hill, and a busy waterfront have left their mark. Today Port Townsend identifies as a Victorian sea-port and arts community. The wooden boat tradition has shifted from the utilitarian to the aesthetic. 


By |2019-08-05T12:47:26-07:00August 5th, 2019|PHRF, Wood boats|0 Comments

T-bird Internationals 2019 – Day One

Steve Scharf has reported from the 2019 T-bird International Regatta in Boston that it was a light wind day, but after a one hour delay they got off three races.  Eleven boats participated and the Raven crew got a seventh, a first, and a third putting them in second place at the end of day one.  You can see the results on the regatta web site.

By |2019-08-01T21:41:58-07:00August 1st, 2019|Club News, Racing out of the Bay, Thunderbirds|0 Comments

Three Modes of Sailing in Port Townsend

by Roland Nikles


We will not speak of motoring from Point Wilson, past Partridge Bank, to the San Juan Channel in order to arrive at our destination in five hours. We leave this to trawlers. We will not speak of furling the genoa because we wish to go where the wind blows from. And we will not speak of starting the engine when the wind is fickle and light. These are not modes of sailing. In a warm breeze we stand on the high side and watch with wonder as the boat ploughs balanced to windward across whitecapped seas. We concentrate and adapt to ever-changing conditions. Patience is tried as the sea flattens and the boat ghosts along. Shins are bruised as the wind kicks up and we wrestle a reef into the mainsail and change jibs. We plan for currents, plot our progress on charts. The compass light glows red at night. We listen and peer as we navigate through fog. Arriving late at our anchorage we pirouette into the wind, drop anchor and back the mainsail. We clean up. Exhausted. Cook a meal. That is the cruising mode of sailing.

One Design Racing

Four o’clock Wednesday. Race day. There is a stir of activity on Thunderbird row on A-dock.  Sail covers are folded away, genoa and spinnaker sheets are led through their blocks. Tiller extensions are clipped fast. A quick pass across the rudder with a long-handled brush puts the mind at ease. Nine boats and crews are readying to play tonight. A good showing. Marine forecasts, tide charts, Windexes are eagerly consulted.  Heartbeats quicken. By 5:00 p.m. the race committee is on its way out of the harbor, inflatable yellow and red marks in tow.  Tension rises ahead of the 6:00 p.m. warning signal, looming like a deadline, an examination. Boats sail up and down the line in close quarters, to check how the line is set, the oscillations of the wind, the favored end of the starting line. Four minutes before the start the racing rules take effect. “Up, up, up!” “Starboard!” “No room!” Everybody maneuvering in the chaotic start box to earn a spot on the line in clear air at the sound of the horn. Accelerating off the line to be in a good position upwind at the first cross requires experience and skill. Congestion at the windward mark. Crews are on high alert to avoid collision. To duck. To tack.  One coordinated movement:  the foredeck person sets the pole, the pit-person pulls on the guy, the trimmer lifts and tosses the spinnaker up and forward, the foredeck person leaps on the line, hoisting. Woosh! The spinnaker fills and the boat accelerates. It’s a game of inches among boats more or less equal in speed that can result in surprising variations. Mistakes are quickly exposed. It’s tense. It’s exhilarating. It’s sailboat racing. 


Performance Handicap Racing Fleet provides a well established way to compare the relative speed of boats of diverse size, design, and features. It’s sufficient for bragging rights on the race course. Skippers must apply for a rating and pay a fee and the handicap is assigned based on the past performance of similar boats over time. Except this is Port Townsend. No one is turned away. Show up for the races on Wednesday evening and you will be assigned a number. Every boat is compared to a hypothetical very fast boat with a rating of zero. Most cruising racing boats on the water are slower than this hypothetical baseline boat by 50 seconds to 250 second/mile. In the Pacific Northwest, for example, most Thunderbirds have a PHRF rating of 195: three minutes and fifteen seconds slower than the baseline boat over a mile.  More than 200 sailors love their boats enough to pay monthly moorage in excess of $200.00/month in Point Hudson Marina and Boat Haven. Those boats need exercise. Come exercise your boat in the PHRF fleet on Wednesday nights. It’s cross-training for cruising done right.

By |2019-07-19T22:20:00-07:00July 19th, 2019|Interesting Articles|0 Comments

Board Meeting Minutes Now Online

In an attempt to communicate better, the minutes of PTSA board meetings will now be published here on this site. Minutes from last night’s meeting are now available for your reading pleasure.  The page with the minutes can always be found under the “About” menu.  Many thanks to Heidi Eisenhour for making this happen.

If you have questions or comments about the minutes your feedback is always appreciated.  Send email to info@ptsail.org.

By |2019-07-11T21:24:56-07:00July 11th, 2019|Club News|0 Comments

Open Board Meeting Tuesday 7/9/19

There is an open board meeting on Tuesday July 9th at 6pm at the Northwest Maritime Center.  This meeting will continue the great discussion from the last one, but with the goal of coming away with concrete plans and defined responsabilites. We need your help.  Please consider attending.

And don’t forget, Racing starts back up on Wednesday!  After two weeks off, the Catspaw Series begins on July 10th at 6pm.  Remember these races are not just for the Thunderbird class.  If other boats come out the race committee will provide a separate start for them as well.

By |2019-07-08T13:36:37-07:00July 8th, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Penalty Turns

There has been some confusion about when and how many turns to do if you commit a foul on the race course.  Here is a brief synopsis from the Rule Book.

If you foul another boat by violating one or more of the rules in Part Two of the racing rules you must do TWO turns.  The rules in Part Two are the basic ones like port/starboard, windward/leeward, hitting another boat, giving room to the inside boat at marks, etc.

If while rounding a race mark you hit that mark you only need to do ONE turn.

If you did both, broke a rule in Part Two AND hit a mark in the same incident, you only need to take TWO turns (not three).

When do you have to do your turns you ask? After getting well clear of other boats as soon after the incident as possible, a boat takes a One-Turn or Two-Turns Penalty by promptly making the required number of turns in the same direction, each turn including one tack and one gybe.

That’s it.  We don’t have protests in PTSA races, so everyone is on the honor system.  It’s up to you to determine if you have committed a penalty and do the right thing.

By |2019-07-07T11:20:14-07:00July 7th, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments