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Sailing/Racing in SW Florida


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#1 Stuff4Toys

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 04:42 PM

Just thought I would put a plug in here for the Punta Gorda Sailing Club's Spring Series.

NOR and AI's should be on the website soon. http://www.pgscweb.com

If you are interested in getting a tan in, come join us for the Spring Series in Jan, Feb, March

WF PHRF Fleets for Spin, Non-Spin, True Cruising and thinking about a sub 22' class Like 16' - 22' mono's.

#2 Tom Ray

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 10:23 AM

You might want to rethink that 16' limit. Make it that small and I'll try to get a few Sun Cats out there, and then the race committee will have to wait for us to finish! ;)

#3 A Florida Redneck

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 03:07 AM

A one design fleet of Melges 20s? First one arrived at the Charlotte Harbor YC last Sunday.

#4 Tom Ray

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 01:32 PM

Somewhat of a hijack, but this is important to me.

Two Visions for Punta Gorda Bayfront Center

The YMCA and Charlotte Harbor Community Sailing Center are having a bit of a fight over a building owned by the City of Punta Gorda.

The facts are: the YMCA barely uses the building, but rents it out and derives substantial income, which is channeled elsewhere.

The YMCA has no intention of setting up a sailing program, but the Sailing Center is already running an active one.

From the article:

A committee consisting of City Manager Howard Kunik, Community Development Director Dennis Murphy and Finance Director David Drury reviewed the proposals both at a private meeting Tuesday and at an eight-minute public meeting Thursday. The second meeting was scheduled after the private meeting had to be declared “canceled” after the fact to avoid a possible violation of the Sunshine Law.

At the second meeting, the committee unanimously recommended the city grant the Bayfront lease to the Y. The City Council will consider the proposals Jan. 2, 2013.

At the second meeting, it seemed “they had their minds already made up,” said Dennis Peck, president of the sailing center.

The minutes of that meeting indicate Kunik, Murphy and Drury each had commented that the sailing center seemed focused primarily on sailing, while the YMCA was “more broad-ranging in community-based utilization,” as Murphy phrased it.

A focus on sailing is appropriate for the Bayfront Center, however, because the public has no other affordable place to launch their small boats, said Danny McCoy, a sailing center board member who has 35 years experience as a professional international sailboat racer and disabled sailing organizer.

He pointed out fitness programs and community group meetings could be staged “in any building” on dry land.
He also cites the extensive sailing credentials of his center’s board, and touts strides the center has made in establishing a community sailing program with limited municipal facilities. It would “blossom” if granted the center lease, he said.
“(YMCA officials) say in their proposal, ‘We’re contemplating a sailing activity.’ In order to do that, you have to have boats, expertise, a coaching school — and you just don’t do that overnight,” McCoy added. “They threw that in to appease committee members.”

Peck said the Y had taken steps in the past that raise doubts about its sailing “sincerity.” The Y padlocked the building’s Fireside room, which Peck’s group had been using for sailing classes, and forbid the center from temporarily storing its two dozen small boats in the parking after the center’s boat racks were moved for a ramp project.


I plan to interview Dennis about this tomorrow or the next day and post video of the interview and an article about the subject on my website.

It is not yet clear whether the City Council will consider the competing proposals on January 2 or January 8th of next year, but it is already clear from past actions that interested sailors should show up an hour early, just in case they illegally reschedule the meeting again.

#5 Tom Ray

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 11:32 PM

http://www.facebook....-Sailing-Center

Has a good letter from local sailor Roger Strube on this issue.

Roger is in the white shirt on the right in this photo, taken while he was helping build floating docks for the Disabled Sailing World Championships. This is the unit next door, but we mostly used Roger's mini-storage unit, which he has converted into a pretty cool boat building bay.

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#6 Tom Ray

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 11:52 PM

I don't wish to embarrass the YMCA, but here are the facts from today. This is the kids fitness room, also known as the fireside room, to which the Community Sailing Center is supposed to have access, but we got locked out recently.

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Nice sign on the door, but a couple of exercise machines covered by tarps and a pile of junk food is not my idea of a kids fitness room. Does this look to anyone like a good use of a public building?

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Meanwhile, out on the adjacent water...

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That converted pontoon barge can lift and carry two 2.4 mR sailboats. I got to sail the one in the picture today, which was good fun, but I was not the only kid who got to play in boats today thanks to the Charlotte Harbor Community Sailing Center. Some of them were even under the legal drinking age! ;)

Just another Wednesday. Who is making better use of a valuable waterfront property owned by the public?

#7 Tom Ray

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 12:54 PM



Dennis is a bit too smart and polite to say some things that need saying about this, but I'm not.

The bottom line is that the YMCA barely uses that building and does not use the boat ramp on the property at all. They rent out the building and use the funds generated elsewhere, doing nothing to promote public access to the harbor for recreational or educational purposes.

If they had an interest in actually using the water access that the City property is providing to them, they would have taken real steps in that direction in the past several years. They have not.

The lease should therefore be awarded to a non-profit organization that will use it to promote public use of our beautiful harbor and will return any rental income to the facility for improvements in public recreational and educational uses of the harbor. That organization is the Charlotte Harbor Community Sailing Center.

I hope to see any sailors in the area at the January 2, 2013 City Council meeting, where we will have the opportunity to make this case.

Edit to add: Dennis mentions being locked out of the room we use as a classroom for the sailing classes. That's the room in the pictures above. Pisses me off. :angry:

#8 Tom Ray

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 01:42 PM

Did I mention that the Center also provides access for development of high tech wingsails for Sunfish? ;)

#9 Steam Flyer

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 01:47 PM

... ...

The bottom line is that the YMCA barely uses that building and does not use the boat ramp on the property at all. They rent out the building and use the funds generated elsewhere, doing nothing to promote public access to the harbor for recreational or educational purposes.

If they had an interest in actually using the water access that the City property is providing to them, they would have taken real steps in that direction in the past several years. They have not.

The lease should therefore be awarded to a non-profit organization that will use it to promote public use of our beautiful harbor and will return any rental income to the facility for improvements in public recreational and educational uses of the harbor. That organization is the Charlotte Harbor Community Sailing Center.

I hope to see any sailors in the area at the January 2, 2013 City Council meeting, where we will have the opportunity to make this case.


It's kinda smelly that the YMCA is taking revenue from a publicly owned asset. Did the taxpayers get a chance to say yes or no to this arrangement? In general the YMCA is a great organization (I volunteer with them too) but this sounds like one too many good ol'boys putting their fingers in the pot.

We are too far away to come to any meetings but I will email a couple of my friends down there and write a letter if you think that would help... you still have my email addy right?

One of the issues that might help to point out is that access to public waterways is far less than it used to be, and that is one factor which is killing off sailing and hurting other nautical sports. Your program is a great way to address this and an appropriate use of public assets.

FB- Doug

#10 Tom Ray

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 02:21 PM

Doug,

The Sailing Center would also get revenue from renting out this facility if awarded the lease. It's allowed and many different people and organizations like to rent it out for a variety of reasons, as Dennis mentioned in the video. That should continue. The difference is that the YMCA directs almost all of that money to their other facilities and activities in the area. The Center has no other facilities and would use any money generated to improve the facility, the fleet of boats, and other things needed for current and future boating activities at the Bayfront Center.

I'm not sure how much a letter would help, but it could not hurt. I have permission and plan to append Roger's excellent letter to the piece I write on my website.

#11 DaveK

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 02:43 PM

I bet the YMCA wins.... we have, had, a public park around 300 acres with baseball fields where they came in and built a couple cabins. The next thing you know, the place is huge with swimming pools, day care, workout and injury rehab facilities. They even control traffic in and and out. YMCA has money.

#12 Tom Ray

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 06:33 PM

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#13 Tom Ray

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 02:52 PM

In Support of Better Use of the Punta Gorda Bayfront Center

#14 Tom Ray

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 12:32 AM

Small boat sailing today.Attached File  image.jpg   117.06K   5 downloads



#15 Tom Ray

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 12:42 AM

And unintentional cowdog surfing...

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#16 Tom Ray

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 02:57 AM

Launching one of the boats that was donated this year to the Charlotte Harbor Community Sailing Center.

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#17 Tom Ray

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 09:59 AM

I thought I'd update this one, since it has a (sort of) happy ending, so far at least.

 

The Charlotte Harbor Community Sailing Center did indeed get kicked out of the Punta Gorda Bayfront Center by the YMCA and the entire fleet, consisting of a few dozen boats with a combined value of many hundreds of dollars, landed in my driveway. That's not the happy ending.

 

The YMCA has put together a sailing program of their own, and they start a summer Kid's Sailing Camp on Monday. Many of us did not think they would do this, but they have. On the minus side, they have a newly-certified instructor who has not run such a program before and they had some trouble getting boats so they only have a few and some don't have rigs. OK, so it's not top notch, but they're doing something, which is better than nothing.

 

As for the Sailing Center, that organization has reached an agreement with the county to operate out of the Port Charlotte Beach Park. Apparently, they are going to give us a fenced area, so the fleet can move out of my driveway. Along the way, the Edison Sailing Center in Fort Myers was about to give some Opti's to the YMCA program, right up until some people from the Sailing Center informed them of our little conflict. So now the Sailing Center has some new-to-us beat up old Opti's. No, we can't all just get along, apparently.

 

The Sailing Center's first Summer Kid's Camp at the new location starts on Monday and I will be there all week.

 

Unfortunately for both programs, the weather does not look promising next week. Still, a total of three youth sailing programs in the area (counting one run by the Charlotte Harbor Yacht Club) is better than two, which is what we had before.



#18 Steam Flyer

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 12:02 PM

I thought I'd update this one, since it has a (sort of) happy ending, so far at least.

 

The Charlotte Harbor Community Sailing Center did indeed get kicked out of the Punta Gorda Bayfront Center by the YMCA and the entire fleet, consisting of a few dozen boats with a combined value of many hundreds of dollars, landed in my driveway. That's not the happy ending.

 

The YMCA has put together a sailing program of their own, and they start a summer Kid's Sailing Camp on Monday. Many of us did not think they would do this, but they have. On the minus side, they have a newly-certified instructor who has not run such a program before and they had some trouble getting boats so they only have a few and some don't have rigs. OK, so it's not top notch, but they're doing something, which is better than nothing.

 

As for the Sailing Center, that organization has reached an agreement with the county to operate out of the Port Charlotte Beach Park. Apparently, they are going to give us a fenced area, so the fleet can move out of my driveway. Along the way, the Edison Sailing Center in Fort Myers was about to give some Opti's to the YMCA program, right up until some people from the Sailing Center informed them of our little conflict. So now the Sailing Center has some new-to-us beat up old Opti's. No, we can't all just get along, apparently.

 

The Sailing Center's first Summer Kid's Camp at the new location starts on Monday and I will be there all week.

 

Unfortunately for both programs, the weather does not look promising next week. Still, a total of three youth sailing programs in the area (counting one run by the Charlotte Harbor Yacht Club) is better than two, which is what we had before.

 

 

Glad to hear things are moving forward. Despite the conflict I hope the YMCA program has some success; more kids should be getting out on th water.

 

Optis are good little boats for teaching IMHO; better for basic sailing than Sunfish even though Sunfish are much faster and more exciting. Looks like you also have at least one sloop (looks like an AMF Apollo) which we'd love to have, our latest 'acquisition' is a Seaward Fox which we are not sure how to use.

 

 

FB- Doug



#19 Tom Ray

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 04:34 PM

Yes, there is an old Apollo that was donated a few years ago and is actually in pretty decent shape. There is also a really old Precision, either a 14 or 16, not in as good shape but sailable. We use Sunfish and prams for teaching, depending on the size of the kid. I think about 15 of the Sunfish and a dozen or so of the prams are currently usable.

 

It rained 3 inches here yesterday and is sprinkling as I write, and the low pressure in the Gulf isn't supposed to get here for another day or so. Hoping the forecasts are seriously wrong.






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