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Super Moderator
Farr 11.6 (Farr 38)
10,708 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Back around 2009 former Sailnet Moderator CruisingDad introduced this thread so that everyone knew who the moderators are. It has gotten updated from time to time but here is who we currently are......

Who am I? Well, I am an architect (buildings) with my own practice in Annapolis, Maryland (Halpern Architects). I have a masters degree in Architectural Structures which is an architectural degree that is more heavily engineering biased than the average garden variety architectural degree.

A maintenance Day on 'Synergy'

I have some informal training as a yacht designer and have designed and built a few boats, and worked for naval architects and yacht designers at different times in my life, Below was a schooner that I designed back in the 1970's.
Naval architecture Water Triangle Slope Line

Rectangle Slope Parallel Font Circle

BUT I do not consider myself a professional yacht designer. I have also worked in boat yards and as a consultant to boatyard owners, designing repairs and alterations to yachts. My mother had two companies that built and imported boats from Taiwan, which gave me a lot of insights into the boat building industry.

I first started sailing in 1961 and more or less have sailed ever since. In 1963 or 1964, a family friend went sailing with my dad and I and wanted to take a picture of our boat under sail. The picture below is one of his that was taken that day, with my Dad steering and me trimming the genoa.

Windrift 1963-64

When we put our friend on the fuel barge to take the pictures, my dad let me bring the boat into the dock for the very first time. Our friend snapped this picture of me during that maneuver looking at the closing gap between the boat and the dock. I was probably somewhere between 12 and 14.

Jeff Sailing as a 12 -14 year old

I enjoy most types of sailing. I currently sail on the Chesapeake Bay but have sailed on much of the U.S. Atlantic coast. In a given year, I typically will daysail, race (both my own boat and other people's boats), and cruise (both my own boat and other people's boats) and can be out on the water as many as 100 days a year. I do a lot of single-handing. While I have cruised offshore, I strongly prefer coastal cruising. While I have raced dinghies and very high performance boats, I prefer racing 22 to 40 foot keelboats. I have owned wooden boats and enjoy sailing on traditional watercraft. I have a pretty strong background in yacht and working water craft history and have owned a few wooden boats.
Water Sky Boat Vehicle Mast

Indian- Sarasota 1975
Watercraft Boat Naval architecture Sky Vehicle

Indian- John Holmes Boat Yard- Nokomis 1976
Boat Watercraft Naval architecture Vehicle Boats and boating--Equipment and supplies

Diana- end of restoration- Dinner Key- 1973

These days I prefer to own modern performance cruisers.
Water Sky Boat Watercraft Naval architecture

'Synergy' Hardening up onto a close reach.

In a general sense, I have a preferences for boats that perform well, and that offer excellent sailing capabilities (performance, ease of handling, comfort, and seaworthiness) across a wide range of conditions. I pick a boat based on how she sails with all the rest being negotiable. I really am not a fan of 'heavy weight offshore boats'. (Duh!)

I currently own a Farr 38 (Farr 11.6) which I daysail, race and cruise single-hand. The Farr 11.6's are hard to classify boats and not exactly your normal off-the-rack cruising boat or racing boat. They were built as fast offshore cruisers but have had a very successful racing record. They also have a remarkable record as short-handed offshore cruisers. My boat was single-handed into the States from Cape Town, South Africa.
Water Cloud Sky Boat Watercraft

Synergy beating out of Maryland Yacht Club after a SailNet rendezvous.

I have owned over a dozen boats with family members owning over a dozen more. I race on a variety of boats over the course of the year and sometimes help out with deliveries, or help a new owner 'sort out' a boat that is new to them. I also like sailing up to boats from astern and observing their sailing abilities, meaning relative speed, stability, leeway, and motion. All of that combined gives me a relative sense of how boats are built and how they sail.
Water Watercraft Vehicle Boat Naval architecture

Synergy hardening up onto a beat in building breeze.

Many of my friends are yacht designers, sailmakers, and marine surveyors who also give me an inside track when I am researching a topic.

And since I first posted this in April 2009, I have gotten married to my lovely wife Barbara, who makes me smile, makes me laugh, and makes me think, but not necessarily all at the same time. We just celebrated our 11th year anniversary.
Wedding dress Bride Smile Flower Bridal clothing

My lovely bride, Barbara and I

That is who I am. Now how I ended up as a moderator on SailNet back in 1996 is another story but for another day......

Donna_F pointed out that newest of the photos above is from June of 2010 so here are some more recent photos taken (2019) racing on Skybird, a Tartan 101 with wind in my hair, a smile on my face, and a song in my heart:

Jeff Sailing 2019 ,

In recent years I have been very active with CHESSS (Chesapeake Short-handed Sailing Society) where I was a founding member and where I have served on the Board of Directors since its first meeting. These days I do a lot of single-handed racing and cruising. This picture was taken at the finish line winning the spinnaker class in the 2020 Poplar Island race.

Poplar Island Race- Synergy at Finish Line 2020-06-27

Lately I also have been doing a lot of mentoring people who are getting into our sport; helping them learn to sail or improve sailing skills, pick the right boat, or to restore and upgrade their boats. (I have recently appeared in the 'Sailing Nervous' video series on YouTube helping a friend repair his boats)


Premium Member
5,928 Posts
I suppose since I'm still a moderator after five years, the others decided to keep me around so I should update my post.

Let me clear up a few things first: 1) My initials are D and R. I am not a doctor and 2) I am a female. Really. Sorry to those who spent time in the chat with me thinking they were talking to a man.

I started boating around 1999-ish. I was already kayaking (touring) and at some point I made up my mind to learn how to operate larger boats. No lightning hit, no AH HA moment flashed, I just drifted into the thought. I didn't know whether it would be power boats or sailboats. A guy I knew took me offshore on his powerboat so I could see what that was like. Meh. It was fun, but my world wasn't rocked. I wasn't as interested in the boat as I was the ocean around me. When we returned to his dock he spent a good bit of time adjusting his dock lines to account for the tide. Now THAT intrigued me.

My next step was to take a United States Power and Sail Squadron (USPSS) boating course. I loved all nine weeks of it. The instructors were engaging and helpful. There was a group of USPSS members sitting in the back of the auditorium and they were introduced as the sailors. The instructor's tone implied that they inhabited a culture all their own. I wanted to be them.

Near that time I also thought about joining the reserves. I was interested in either the Navy or the U.S. Coast Guard. Unfortunately, I discovered that I was too old. That's when I discovered the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. The Auxiliary is the volunteer part of Team Coast Guard. Cool. I had a history of volunteering: ten years with American Red Cross Disaster Services, ten years with a land SAR team (I started their swift water rescue unit), various other organizations. The Auxiliary seemed like a natural fit so I joined. Since 2000 I've been an Auxiliary boating safety instructor, member training instructor, and coxswain.

When I started kayaking, took scuba lessons, water and ice rescue training and then sailing lessons my parents wondered what motivated me. But I started swimming before I could walk so the water is what I love.

Today I volunteer with other boating organizations such as the Seven Seas Cruising Association (SSCA) where I am their Rock Hall, MD Cruising Station and through one of the sail clubs we belong to, I am a delegate and board member of the Chesapeake Bay Yacht Clubs Association (CBYCA). Update: John and I now belong to Cruising Association based in the UK and are full members of Ocean Cruising Club.

My first sailboat was a 1972 Venture 2-22 with a barely working Tohatsu outboard. I found the boat for sale on the front lawn of an RV dealership near my home. I asked an experienced Auxiliary member to look at it and see if it would at least float. He crawled in and around it, gave the thumbs up, I wrote the check, and I hauled it home. I had never towed anything in my life so thank goodness I live in the country.

I bought how to books which was the start of my sailing library. My father helped with the woodworking as he was a carpenter and had a garage full of tools, oils, varnishes, and wood scraps. I spent many a summer evening after work and weekends listening to jazz while I scrubbed, scraped, removed, painted, fiberglassed, and generally gutted the boat from the inside out. Big materials fail: while the mahogany rudder my father copied from the original looked awesome, it's HEAVY. But, my father made it for me and I don't regret it. Besides, the boat had not yet left my driveway so I wasn't at the point where "performance" was part of my sailing vocabulary.

Then I got to the electrical system. I bought a book, of course. A week into reading it and wondering if I'd turn the boat into a ball of fire on the water, I was introduced to John, a former electrician's mate in the Coast Guard. Instead of courting me with flowers and fancy restaurants he offered to re-wire the boat. KEEPER!

Six months after my parents, John, and I towed the boat to Rock Hall, MD to its new home in a slip, my father died of lung cancer. Before he was diagnosed I asked him if he was going to sail with me. His response was that while he had fun working on the boat, he was not setting foot on a boat where he had to depend on wind to get him back to the dock. He had dragged home his own derelict boat to work on, a powerboat. My father had also joined the Auxiliary so we had some fun times and I have great memories.

John and I sailed the Venture for two seasons before deciding that we were tired of stooping in the cabin and wanted a boat with more comfort and range. We gave the Venture away to a couple that took one of my sailing classes and who I knew had the skills to keep it up. He is a carpenter, she is an accountant. All bases covered. We've since become friends.

There are a few things that I always tell my students during the first class:

Always carry a notebook. Sailors always have information they like to share. Sometimes good, sometimes bad, but write it down so you don't forget and can investigate further later. Besides, you'll kick yourself for not writing down that potential nugget when you had the chance.

Never think you've learned everything there is to know about sailing and sailboats. There is always more. It's kind of like getting to the end of the Internet: It won't happen unless you've closed your mind off to new information. I've learned from novices asking questions, from an old sailor with experience to spare, from books, from people in this forum.

Now John and I are several years into owning a 1980 Catalina 30 and I have started our Next Boat research. We love Halcyon and it is perfect for Chesapeake Bay and coastal sailing. We sail frequently with friends and family. My now 82-year old mother has become the perfect boat ballast, er, guest: she doesn't get nervous sailing in heavy weather (pops her head out of the cabin every so often to make sure neither of us has fallen overboard), sleeps better on the boat than at home, and is willing to go anywhere. During her first sail when she claimed her cockpit seat, she quickly hosed my idea that she'd be our galley wench when on board but, oh well.

John and I did our first charter in 2012 and fell in love with the British Virgin Islands. We had made a goal to return as often as possible. We also have offshore plans (Caribbean and the eastern coast of South America) for the Next Boat. Update: Since I wrote my original post John and I have returned to the Caribbean several times to charter. We've also sailed offshore from Annapolis, MD (in January scraping ice and snow of the dock and deck) to the Virgin Islands via the Atlantic Superhighway: Head to the 65th meridian and turn right until you hit an island. Our offshore plans on Next Boat have changed to start with Grey Goose Island in the Hudson Bay (drink a shot of Grey Goose vodka and get the hell out because: cold) and Tristan da Cunha in the south Atlantic. The latter was a challenge issued by a retired British Navy captain with whom I had too much to drink. We decided that Next Boat will be a Malo in the 40-42 foot range.

I work in IT and John does industrial calibrations and electrical work. Our jobs keep the boat floating and good food and beverages in the galley but unfortunately our vacation time doesn't allow for a lot of weeks away. We live in southeastern Pennsylvania with a two-hour drive to the boat.

Being a SailNet moderator has been fun but not without its challenges. Just like real life. There are many different personalities in this forum who don't always get along but for the most part try to respect each other. Almost like real life. My forum mantra is: Attack the idea, not the person. My sailing mantra is: Be safe, have fun, make friends.

Darn. I left no room for pictures. Again.

Beneteau 393
9,588 Posts
Being Australian we know 2 things: Drinking and the water.

I've been sailing since I was 12 and in 1998 raced from Ashkelon, Israel through the Mediterranean, to the Canaries. Then raced as Mate of a Swan 651 from Canaries to Brazil and Argentina.

2008 few to the Caribbean bought a Beneteau 393

Sea Life in London 2019

From 2008 a west-about circumnavigation via Panama, Australia, Red Sea, Med, Atlantic back to Caribbean.
Last few years have been sliding between the Caribbean and the USA 3 times including 3 whole summers in New York. Europe spent 3 winters in London and summers in France, Belgium and Netherlands. Now back in the Caribbean.

Shorts Smile Tree Outdoor furniture Thigh

My fiancée Marjorie

On SailNet I am open to anyones thoughts or problems so please send me a message and I will see if I can help. How can we make SailNet better?


Super Moderator
4,608 Posts
It has been a long time since I needed to write up a résumé, so I will try to be short. I do not have lots of pictures. My background ranges quite broadly while staying mostly close to home. I am a retired French teacher, after spending 19 years with up to 200 third, fourth and fifth graders in eight classes a day. Before that I was in the air travel industry for about 20 years in the New York tri-state area. I worked in both passenger and some cargo sales at different international airlines, marketed travel software nationwide and also handled client relations at a corporate travel agency in Manhattan. Between paying jobs I also did a stint as a yacht broker.

My sailing background is steadier. We started learning to sail on Long Island Sound in Blue Jays, then moved on to Lightnings and bigger boats. I skippered my family’s Soling on weekends, and crewed on Solings at C.O.R.K. I got asked to crew on the Marblehead-Halifax race, then Newport-Bermuda races. Studying in France gave me the chance to sail in the English Channel and at the Pre-Olympic Regatta at Hyères. I taught sailing for two summers before serving as watch captain on an Ohlson 38 cruising to Europe. We toured Ireland’s East coast and touched at Scotland, Man, the Scillies, Royan, and Arcachon before I had to get back to school. I joined up again to bring the boat back from Tortola to Connecticut via Bermuda the following spring.

Boat Watercraft Water Sky Vehicle

Blue Jays heading home after the regatta. You can also see one of the 16 Solings in the fleet being drysailed, just above the clubhouse porch.

Water Shorts Boat Watercraft Boats and boating--Equipment and supplies

Soling on a daysail.

Motor vehicle Hat Standing Shorts Tree

Transatlantic crew. I like to steer.

A job and an apartment in NYC allowed me to continue sailing on weekends and to build a rowboat on the East River by Gracie Mansion after work. Newport-Bermuda races continued. Marriage and a mortgage in the suburbs put boat ownership on the back burner, though we crewed on J/24’s and Sonars in our new location and I found time to build a cedar-strip canoe in the living room.

Children called for a bigger house, which we found back in my home town. My father conspired to give me a Pearson Resolute – the ultimate family daysailer - for my birthday. Nineteen feet of solid keelboat, with bench seats perfect for as many five year-olds as you would want for a birthday party. For a sailor used to racing, it was torture: tired, old, slow and sluggish. I added two Chicago-Mackinac races to my résumé. Within a few years we found partners with goals like ours and bought a J/36 together. It offered stellar performance for racing as well as sufficient accommodations for cruising and moody adolescents. We sailed Eclipse with our partners for 24 years, winning silverware and cruising the East Coast from New York City to Northeast Harbor, ME. In the off seasons I built cedar strip-epoxy kayaks for my wife and me. I also acquired an International 505 dinghy – a boat that I had first seen in Normandy, 40 years earlier. More recently I volunteered to serve on the YRALIS PHRF Committee, where we determine handicaps for boats that want to race from about 60 yacht clubs on Long Island Sound.

Water Boat Sky Watercraft Sailing

J/36 Eclipse, racing. We had the name written in large letters so people would be able to read it without binoculars when we finished. Not sure that would have worked in this race.

Water Boat Watercraft Vehicle Boats and boating--Equipment and supplies

Cedar strip kayaks. One is a Caspian Sea, the other a Great Auk. About 25kg each.
Water Sky Boat Watercraft Mast

Étoile is International 5o5 USA8172, a tack forward Parker-built boat.

Seeking improved creature comforts in 2021 led us to getting a “new” boat in June, still with our same partners. Arcadia is a 1996 Sabre 402. For Christmas she got new North 3Di sails, so we are excited about racing next season, though we are planning a cruise to Martha’s Vineyard too.

Cloud Sky Water Boat Watercraft

Arcadia, doing 8 knots under a reefed main and 130% Genoa in 20-28 knots of puffy NW breeze. The new sails are black, so we hope to win more than the two races we did last season.

Super Moderator
4,125 Posts
I guess it's my turn as the newest member of the " Mod Squad" If you recognize that reference to an old U.S. TV series you may be as old as I am, or watch a lot of re-runs.

Anyway, I'm an East Coast Guy. A city boy, born and raised in Newark , N.J. The Boy Scouts helped open my eyes to the Great Outdoors; camping, hiking and fishing became an early passion. They also probably kept me out of trouble! Our leaders were mostly Veterans who came home and became police and firemen in town. They were tough and taught us self-reliance and discipline among many other useful things.

In College, I shared a house on 3 acres with 3 other roommates and besides hiking and camping in the White Mountains, the Adirondacks, and the Catskills, we all had motorcycles and did some touring. There were canoes, in the toy shed, and one of my roommates bought a little cartop foam filled sailboat called a " Sunflower" . I think I was hooked on Sailing from that point on. From there it was an 18 footer, then a 22 Catalina, a 29.9 Bristol, which brings me to my current and probably last sailboat a 34 Sabre. That evolution took about 50 years.

I started on the lakes and reservoirs in N.J. Then moved to Barnegat Bay. I sold the Bristol to my former roommate, and was boat less for about 10 years. During that time, I raced on a 33 Hobie ( mono) at a local club, Sailed with friends, and sailed with a high school friend on the Chesapeake Bay out of Annapolis, on the Sabre that I now own. We did a lot of sailing on the Chesapeake, from one end to the other. We probably made the run from Annapolis to St Michaels 100 times. ( more often than not, at night)

We set out on the Bermuda Ocean Race one year, and had to turn back at the halfway point. ( tough decision, 2 sick crew members ) Two years later Tempest made it to St Georges. A few years after that, I helped take her to Florida for the winter. The Following season, I bought the 34, when my buddy moved up to a 386. That was 17 years ago. We brought her up to the Raritan Bay where I keep her. Since then I've cruised her in the LIS, and to Block Island Etc. and locally, and sail on the 386 on the Chesapeake, and when it comes North.

I retired from my full time career in University Foodservice in 2009, ( after 25 years) then taught in the Nutritional Science Dept. for 5 years after that. I also taught ASA classes all levels for a few schools off and on for about 8 years, as well as the N.J. Safe Boating class. These days, I drive a launch 3 days a week at a local yacht club, and teach food safety classes for Supermarket chains. So much for Retirement!

I actually started my career in Parks and Recreation, and worked for a County Park Commission for 9 years. We had 2 Ice skating rinks, a popular zoo, a few golf courses etc. A change in direction found me going back to school to attend the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y. Did the Chef , restaurant and club, thing for awhile, then ended up in the University where I managed the Capital improvements of Dining Facilities. ( design and construction etc.) and my department purchased everything you can't eat. ;-) I got to travel all over the U.S. During my career, then tacked on vacation time to those trips. Once while in Reno at a conference, We ducked out and drove to Lake Tahoe, and rented a sailboat for the day! ;-)

I've been on this Site, I think since '07, and have found it a great learning resource! I have benefited from it all. The cumulative knowledge and experiences of the membership never ceases to amaze me.

I suppose, I need to post some photos at some point, but at the moment I need to cut the grass, and do some yardwork outdoors. I just spent the last two days re-doing the teak etc. on Tempest, and the lawn is calling to me.
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