Checking In... September 2013

The Aeroyacht Alpha 42 is the first cruising catamaran with reverse angle, wave piercing bows. © aeroyacht.com

Alpha 42 #1 is Launched

The first Aeroyacht Alpha 42 was launched at South Shore Boat Yard in Patchogue, NY on Monday, July 19. Two hundred spectators watched the boat settled on her designed lines. This high performance cruising catamaran was built at Alpha Yachts in Patchogue and engineered by Marc Anassis, President of Alpha Yachts.

11th Hour Racing Sponsors Jenner & Windsor’s Class40

© Will Lyons11th Hour Racing, a Newport, RI-based program of The Schmidt Family Foundation, has announced their title sponsorship of Class40 sailors Hannah Jenner and Rob Windsor. The newly formed team will compete as Team 11th Hour Racing, aiming to set the example for a more responsible relationship with energy and water resources in the sport of sailing.

To build awareness of the environmental challenges within offshore racing, Jenner and Windsor are implementing 11 bold solutions that will demonstrate their motto: Cleaner. Faster. Better. These include the utilization of a hydro-generator, water-maker and a solar-powered fridge on board their Class40 during the upcoming Transat Jacques Vabre, of which the last has yet to be accomplished in a major offshore ocean race.

Jenner, a native of Soropshire, England, was a member of the winning crew aboard Dorade in the 2013 Transpac and finished third in the 2011 Transat Jacques Vabre. Windsor, a resident of Centerport, NY, placed second in the 2011 Atlantic Cup and the New York Yacht Club Trans-Atlantic Race. Team 11th Hour Racing’s schedule includes three premier Class40 events. As this issue went to press, Jenner and Windsor had finished 8th in the Class40 division in the Rolex Fastnet Race, and were competing in the Class40 Worlds in England. Their season culminates with the Transat Jacques Vabre, a 5,395-nautical mile double-handed race from France to Brazil that starts October 26. Following the Transat Jaques Vabre, Jenner and Windsor will embark on a speaking tour of yacht clubs and sailing centers to share their experiences and how best to apply what they accomplished and learned to other areas of sailing.

“We are proud to have Hannah and Rob representing the mission of 11th Hour Racing as they take on these three challenging events,” said 11th Hour Racing Director Jeremy Pochman. “They are world-class sailors whose enthusiasm and attitude will shine through to make a real difference and minimize their impact.” To learn more about Team 11th Hour Racing and their mission, visit team11thhourracing.com.

Mystic Seaport Launches the Charles W. Morgan

© mysticseaport.orgAfter a nearly five-year restoration in the Henry B. duPont Preservation Shipyard at Mystic Seaport in Mystic, CT, the 1841 whaleship Charles W. Morgan was launched on July 21. The ship, a National Historic Landmark and America’s oldest commercial vessel, was carefully lowered into the Mystic River in a public ceremony to float on her own bottom for the first time since 2008.

The ship was christened by Sarah Bullard, the great-great-great granddaughter of Charles Waln Morgan, one of the original owners of the ship and the man after which she was named. The bottle Bullard broke across the bow was filled with waters from oceans over which the vessel sailed during her 80-year whaling career. Samples were gathered from the North and South Atlantic, the Pacific, and Indian Oceans. Water from New Bedford, MA and Mystic was added to represent her original and current homeports.

“This launch is a milestone in the life of this great ship,” said Steve White, President of Mystic Seaport. “This moment is a testament to the skill and knowledge of the shipwrights without whose hard work and dedication this day would not be possible.”

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy took the occasion to announce a $500,000 contribution by the State of Connecticut to the ship’s restoration. U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal read the text of a U.S. Senate Resolution that bestowed upon her the honor of “Ambassador to the Whales.” The resolution supports Mystic Seaport’s plan of to “reinterpret the Charles W. Morgan as a vessel of scientific and educational exploration whose cargo is knowledge and whose mission is to promote awareness of the maritime heritage of the United States and the conservation of the species the Morgan hunted.”

The restoration began when the Morgan was hauled in November 2008. The focus of the project was to address the hull below the waterline, most of which dated to the ship’s original construction. The final phase will involve rigging, restoring her interior, and installing temporary systems for a ceremonial 38th Voyage in late May 2014.

After a period of fitting out and sea trials based in New London, the 38th Voyage will take the Morgan to Newport, Vineyard Haven, New Bedford and Boston. She will also venture onto the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary in partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and participate in the centennial celebration of the opening of the Cape Cod Canal. The Morgan will continue to be open to visitors at Mystic Seaport while the restoration continues. For more information, visit mysticseaport.org.

America’s Cup Exhibit at City Island Nautical Museum

America’s Cup Exhibit at City Island Nautical MuseumTo celebrate City Island, NY’s long history with America’s Cup competitions, the City Island Nautical Museum has created a new exhibition, offering a rare opportunity for visitors to appreciate, through the eyes of artists past and present, City Island’s contributions to the oldest active international sporting event.

Yachts built on City Island led a 110-year string of 24 successful campaigns to defend the Cup, beginning with Magic, an 84-foot schooner that had been rebuilt in the David Carll Shipyard in 1869, and ending with the 12 Metre Freedom, built at the Minneford Shipyard in 1980. Every contender from 1903 to 1958 carried its inventory of sails made by Ratsey & Lapthorn, which had a loft on City Island from 1900 to 1982. Ironically, in 1983, when City Island no longer had a connection to the defense of the America’s Cup, the USA suffered its first loss of the trophy.

The exhibition, curated by Cheryl Brinker, features works by local City Island artists, objects from the museum’s collection, and photographs of these elegant sailboats. Also on exhibit will be a selection of hand-colored etchings of America’s Cup boats by Mark Whitcombe.
Between 1935 and 1980, twelve 12 Metres were built on City Island, five of which successfully defended the Cup for the New York Yacht Club, and these will be the primary focus of the show. Ten of these yachts are still sailing in Europe or out of Newport, RI.

A reception will be held on September 15 at 2 pm at the City Island Nautical Museum, located at 190 Fordham Street, which will exhibit the works through the fall. The museum is open Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 5 pm and by special appointment. For more information, call 718-885-0507 or visit cityislandmuseum.org.


DogsAhoy.com, a Newington, CT-based online retail store for dog lovers, is open for business. DogsAhoy offers a unique selection of items for dog owners, including many that can be personalized with their dog’s name, as well as products and prints featuring the work of renowned artist Stephen Huneck.

DogsAhoy offers canine life jackets, dog-inspired artwork, personalized fleece throw blankets, front-leading harnesses, leashes, and a large selection of fun and durable toys. Every item is hand-picked with fun and safety in mind. The company is continually expanding its product line, including many that cannot be found anywhere else. DogsAhoy accepts all major credit cards and currently ships to dog friendly families throughout the United States. To learn more, visit dogsahoy.com.

NESS Teams Up with New London Middle School

New England Science & Sailing (NESS) in Stonington, CT and the STEM Academy at Bennie Dover Jackson Middle School of New London have formed a partnership to advance STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) curriculum for over 100 middle school students in 2014. The plan is part of NESS’s scholarship outreach and an Inter-District Magnet School Operations Plan to dramatically increase the likelihood of academic improvement for New London public school students. “We are thrilled to continue and deepen our relationship with New London Public Schools through NESS’s unique blend of science and sailing,” said NESS President Spike Lobdell.

“Sailing is a great platform for not only building self-confidence and leadership, but for exploring real world applications of STEM concepts,” said NESS Executive Director Cindy Nickerson. “NESS hopes to inspire students to pursue STEM careers by establishing connections with the ocean environment by investigating issues and enjoying being on the water.”

NESS’s curriculum includes the US Sailing REACH program that includes classes on buoyancy, wind power, and water quality while teaching students how to sail, kayak, and conduct marine science experiments. The NESS campus is located at 70 Water Street in Stonington Borough. 

Visit nessf.org for more information.

Sandy Boater’s Guide App

Sandy Boater’s Guide AppA new, free smartphone app provides boaters along the New Jersey coast, Long Island and Hudson River with updated map-based information on more than 250 marinas, boating facilities, waterways and inlets that are back in operation after Superstorm Sandy.

The app can be found at WaterwayGuide.com/superstorm-sandy , as well as iTunes and Google Play. Waterway Guide editors continually update information from boating business and facility managers via the Waterway Guide’s Superstorm Sandy Resource Page, and through email at SuperstormSandy@WaterwayGuide.com.

UK Sailmakers Loft Owners

Buy UK International UK Sailmakers International (UKI), the owner of the UK Sailmakers name, trademarks and proprietary sailmaking software, was recently purchased by a large group of UK Sailmakers’ loft owners. With the individual lofts becoming owners of the brand, the global group of over 50 lofts will grow stronger and attract more lofts to the group in major sailing centers around the world.

With the lofts becoming partners in the company, more personal capital will be invested in making the group stronger as profits from the company will be reinvested to strengthen the brand. Charles “Butch” Ulmer, the company’s founder and owner for the last 38 years, will be part of the new ownership group and will continue to own and operate the City Island, NY loft. 

The legacy of UKI dates back to 1946 when Ulmer’s father, Charles “Buster” Ulmer, opened the first Ulmer Sails loft on City Island. Ulmer Sails played a major role in various America’s Cup campaigns as the company developed innovative design technology and manufacturing techniques. Ulmer Sails subsequently transitioned to UK Sailmakers. “For the first time, a group of independently- owned sail lofts will control the reins of their central organization and have a say in how that organization operates,” said Ulmer. “I expect that having such an experienced group of sailmakers involved in the company’s management will enhance our product line and positively impact what UK Sailmakers delivers to our customers. I am looking forward to my new role as an advisor to the new management group.” 

For more information, visit uksailmakers.com.

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