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Herreshoff, Hickman and Hunt: 100 Years of the American Runabout

By Tom Darling

Herreshoff, Hickman and Hunt: 100 Years of the American Runabout

Imagine this. You are looking at a boating industry magazine and see an article from the National Marine Manufacturers Association. It reads: “Powerboat sales are still booming in 2021. Retail unit sales of new powerboats in February 2021 were up 34% compared to the same period last year.” Everyone saw it. No one saw it coming: The Great Powerboat Drought of ’21. In the year of COVID, sales of small boats and engines were off the charts…

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Women on the Water: Veronica Brown

By Joe Cooper

Women on the Water: Veronica Brown

Veronica Brown is the Director of Experiences and Events at Safe Harbor Newport Shipyard in Newport, RI. We chatted over coffee at Belle’s in early November. Coop: Veronica, thanks for the coffee. Where did you grow up, and was sailing a ‘thing’ in your family? Veronica Brown: I grew in Bath Maine. My dad was in the Merchant Marine and mum was a politician, so despite that background, I did not grow up sailing. Coop: Hummm, OK,…

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75 Years of UK Sailmakers, Part 2

By Chris Szepessy

75 Years of UK Sailmakers, Part 2

An interview with Butch Ulmer This is the second installment of our conversation with Charles “Butch” Ulmer about the history of the company founded by his father in City Island, New York in 1946. Part 1 can be found at windcheckmagazine.com/article/75-years-of-uk-sailmakers/. WindCheck: So, you started working full time at Charles Ulmer, Inc. in 1965… Butch Ulmer: Yes. I had worked during the summers in high school and when I returned home after leaving the Navy, I went…

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Trash to Treasure: The Renaissance of the Graves Constellation

By Chris Szepessy

Trash to Treasure: The Renaissance of the Graves Constellation

Story & photos by Greg Anthony We had just crossed the finish line. As I rounded the boat up for the 5-mile beat home, the elation of saving our time on “Z” and flat out finishing ahead of all our other fleet members turned to dread. It would be dark in 15 minutes, it was blowing 15, and the Mt. Hope Bridge, 4.5 miles to windward, was disappearing in the approaching fog bank. Lights on the bridge…

Community

Women on the Water: Joan Porter

By Joe Cooper

Women on the Water: Joan Porter

When you ask one of “The Women” to do an interview and she says, “Sure, come on over,” well you do. “Over” in this case is the west facing deck, overlooking the Sakonnet River, in Tiverton, Rhode Island of the home of Joan Touchette Porter and family. Coop: Thanks for the coffee. Joan Porter: (Laughs) It’s easier that way. Coop: Was sailing a “thing” in your family as a kid? JP: (Pointing to a ramshackle 30-footer on…

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75 Years of UK Sailmakers

By Chris Szepessy

75 Years of UK Sailmakers

An interview with Butch Ulmer If you’re reading this magazine, there’s a good chance you’ve sailed on a boat with sails built by the company known today as UK Sailmakers. Founded in 1946 in City Island, New York by Charles “Buster” Ulmer as Charles Ulmer, Inc., UK Sailmakers is one of the world’s oldest groups of sail lofts. We had the pleasure of sitting down with Charles “Butch” Ulmer to discuss his father’s founding of the company…

Community

An Excerpt from Fastnet: One Man’s Voyage

By Chris Szepessy

An Excerpt from Fastnet: One Man’s Voyage

By Roger Vaughan Editor’s note: On August 14, 1979, a rogue storm in the Irish Sea overtook the 303 yachts competing in the Fastnet Race. Twenty-four boats were abandoned including five that sank, and fifteen sailors lost their lives. Roger “Fingers” Vaughan was aboard Jim Kilroy’s 79-foot maxi sloop Kialoa. Driving was exhausting. The helmsman needed encouragement. He faced painfully into blowing scud that stung like sand, looking for the optimum path through confused seas that lifted…

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From the Herreshoff Archives

By Chris Szepessy

From the Herreshoff Archives

  Editor’s note: Our friends at the Herreshoff Marine Museum & America’s Cup Hall of Fame in Bristol, Rhode Island are celebrating their Golden Jubilee year – the 50th anniversary of the museum’s founding, and WindCheck is honored to be the official Jubilee Media Partner. We’re changing course for this month’s Golden Jubilee feature with a look at a few of the museum’s countless archival images. Most of the photographs shown here appeared in The Chronicle, a paper newsletter…

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Women on the Water: Robbie Benjamin

By Joe Cooper

Women on the Water: Robbie Benjamin

For those seeking inspiration for women in sailing, one might do worse than look at Robbie Benjamin, longtime presence around the Newport, Rhode Island waterfront, and one of only two women commodores of a yacht club named for a woman, the Ida Lewis Yacht Club. I spoke with Commodore Benjamin at Safe Harbor Newport Shipyard in early August. Coop: Was sailing a thing in your family? Robbie Benjamin: Well, being around boats, yes. My family roots are…

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Bullseyes, FIS 31s and H-23s:

By Chris Szepessy

Bullseyes, FIS 31s and H-23s:

The Herreshoff Legacy Lives On   By John Burnham By far the most distinctive trophy in the Fishers Island Yacht Club (FIYC) for the last 55 years is a scale model of a 15-and-a-half foot Bullseye in a glass case. Awarded to the club skipper who finishes first in the summer series each season, the trophy is named for its former owner, H. Lee Ferguson, and houses a model of Ferguson’s boat, Peregrine. Known as Lee, Ferguson…

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