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Farr 11.6 (Farr 38)
10,201 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. 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, 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 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. These days I prefer to own modern performance cruisers.

'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.

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.

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 10th year anniversary.

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 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 ,
Below This is me sailing while doing my best Young (Dr.)Frankenstein imitation.
Jeff Sailing September 2018

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 torestore and upgrade their boats.



5,930 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.

8,539 Posts
Being Australian we know 2 things: Drinking and the water.

I was born in Adelaide, South Australia. In my room I could hear the waves breaking on the beach outside.
In Sydney at 12 we hit the harbour in my Dads Endeavour 26. We raced Saturdays in the big boat, Sundays in the club Moth skiffs and Fridays nights in the beer can social, all year round. 16 or 17 in another boat we were 2nd in the IOR ¼ Ton Worlds, 3 crew, me on the foredeck. Then it was offshore doing everything up and down the Australian east coast where the waves are big and we learned to heave over the side while changing sails in storms at night.
Bit of a gap as work reality hit until 1993 sabbatical saw Turkey for a few months instructing a German guy how to sail and cruise.
1998 raced from Ashkelon, Israel through the Mediterranean, Palma, Lisbon, Canaries. Raced as Mate of a Swan 651 from Canaries to Brazil and Argentina.

Then went back to work till I chucked it in early 2008 few to the Caribbean bought an ex-Sunsail Beneteau 393

Sea Life in London 2019

From 2008 a west-about circumnavigation via Panama, Galapagos, Marquesas, Australia, Asia, Red Sea, Med, Atlantic back to Caribbean. Solo from Nice, France.
Last few years have been sliding between the Caribbean and the USA 3 times including 3 whole summers in New York, plus land travel including riding a bicycle 1000 miles/1,700 kms through the middle of the USA.
May 2017 headed to Europe last 2 winters in London and Summer in France, Belgium and Netherlands. Next summer, who knows?

My philosophy on life is to only do things that I enjoy and in a way I enjoy them.
Philosophy for sailing is to Go Now, Fix Later. To always have the boat ready to weigh anchor at 5 minutes notice to be offshore for at least a week. To do that the boat is always fully fuelled, provisioned (hard rations), water loaded, kit working.
Philosophy for Forums: By writing stuff down I reinforce it on my own mind. A forum needs to be super comfortable for people to say what they like honestly and in good humor and not to be hassled by those who do so without good faith.

As a new moderator here I am open to anyones thoughts or problems: If you are not enjoying it please sneak me a message and I will see if I can help.

P.S. Also tell me if I get grumpy. Life is about fun.


Super Moderator
5,106 Posts

I have been slow to get around to this.

Figured I would start with my sailing history.

My dad was a pretty decent sailor and passed on a lot of what he knew to me.

I would say my first sailing experiences were on the family boat which was a 1974 Grampian 23. I have no pictures of the Albatross, but wish I did. We kept her at Port Credit Harbour Marina on Western Lake Ontario. We did some big trips on her, family of 5. We made the 160 mile trip down to the Thousand Islands and return for the first when I was about 8. Lake Ontario is a pretty good sized Lake, but I don't remember having too many problems. After a few years on Lake Ontario Albatross was moved up to Georgian Bay where the adventures continued.

My first boat was a mahogany Fireball my dad picked up for me, with trailer for $125. We kept the boat mast up in Goderich Ontario where I sailed the big waters of Lake Huron and trailered her with my friends for "camp cruising" on Georgian Bay, which I had an idea of from family trips. I have no decent pictures of my Fireball either.

Skipping a bit, I joined the Canadian Coast Guard as a dish washer and eventually working my way up to Captain of a research ship. During this time I owned my Fireball, but she fell in to disrepair as my interest had turned more to hunting and fishing from my power boat.

Mid 30's I left the Coast Guard after a decent career as dishwasher>deck hand> quartermaster>navigator>Captain.

My only boat at this time was a 14 ft Coleman Canoe. Having fond memories of my dads boat when I was a kid, I went in search of his dream boat, a Grampian 30! I bought mine used for not a whole lot of money, gave up my apartment and moved aboard. I do have pics of the Black Pearl :)

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After some time I met my wife and we had a little one on the way. We decided that if we were going to continue to live aboard we would need a bigger boat so the baby we had it's own cabin. How little we knew about babies! Of couse they don't need their own cabin but we thought they did.

We then upsized to a Fantasia 35. Nice boat to live on, but was certainly not the sailor the Gampian was. Any way we first bought and lived aboard the Van in Toronto, then moved to Niagara on the Lake, Gananoque and finally Prescott on the St Lawrence River.

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Enough was enough, winters are much harsher in Eastern Ontario so we sold the Van, used the money to buy a house and got in to trailer sailing. Which is where we are now.

We cruise were we can and I do a bit of racing. My big boats have been replaced by a bunch of smaller boats including 2 sailing kayaks, a sailing canoe, a Rhodes Petrel 12, a Prindle 16 set up for adventure racing and a Bay Hen 21 which we use for all family activities from camping, to fishing, day sailing and cruising.

Bay Hen

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Me :)

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