Photo of the Month: The North Atlantic can be a very cold place in January. This picture is from the top deck of Arabella as she skirted down the Jersey coast and Delmarva peninsula at the 

start of her delivery to the Caribbean. The first "Polar Vortex" had just blown through bringing high winds and icing conditions. On the third day, Arabella got permission from the weather routers to head out across the Gulf Stream near Cape Hatteras. The water temperature went up to 70 degrees, the ice melted and the Caribbean sailing season got underway! Read more about the trip below.


Greetings from the Commodore

Photo: Commodore Fortenbaugh is joined by Bob Savage (left) and Paul Wilson (right).  These skippers and their teams finished 1-2-3 in the Tuesday Evening Fall Series.


Dear Members - It was good to see so many of you at the Annual Dinner.  The event sold out again with 180 people and there was a great spirit and energy in the room.  Our new committee chairs spoke to the audience, lots of trophies were awarded and after dinner, the celebration continued at a nearby pub until early in the morning hours.


After the dinner, I was reflecting on the thing that unites us all - a passion for the sailing lifestyle.  The social bonds which members have created (as well as the bonds which new members will create) are strong, lasting and deep.  Our club has grown and evolved over the years and it is clear that members really enjoy hanging out with each other, season after season.  The sailing is paramount, but social ties become equally important, especially for veteran members. 


I can't wait for spring and the first days of sailing.  This has been a real winter, with multiple snow storms and floating ice inside North Cove.  It has been several years since we had a winter like this which makes me dream even more about the Caribbean.


There are lots of social and educational events detailed in this newsletter so please read on.


- Commodore Michael Fortenbaugh


Lynn Sexton Appointed as General Manager

 Manhatan Sailing Club is pleased to announce Lynn Sexton has been appointed to the new position of General Manager.  She will help our club reach the next level of organization and customer service.  Her appointment was announced at the Annual Dinner and below are her remarks:


Lynn Sexton - "It is a pleasure to be standing here tonight.  I'll just take moment to introduce myself, explain my new role and ask for your help.  I have spent more than 30 years in the fashion industry, the last eight years in product development at Coach where I was responsible for the monthly development and production of tens of thousands of units.  So, in addition to helping the club operate at the highest level, I bring a fashion sense that may prove useful.


"I have been a member of the club since 2002 racing Tues nights - sometimes in the Gold fleet, but mostly in the silver fleet!!  Often we race as an all women crew.  Ladies, let me know if you are looking for a race boat for 2014.

"I most recently had the unique opportunity of working with Michael on the Brooklyn Bridge Park Marina Request For Proposals.  I have always admired Michael for his vision and creativity.  It was a pleasure to be part of creating a sailing vision for an abandoned pier on the Brooklyn waterfront.  Although we did not win this project, my involvement led me to join the 
MSC team.  I am here to assist Michael with the execution of his vision of community sailing in NY Harbor, and to support the dedicated and talented MSC team. 

"My number one responsibility is to serve you, the members.  So, please call me, email me or stop me on the dock any time with anything I can do to enhance your experience as a member of the Manhattan Sailing Club.  I can 
be reached at lynn@myc.org.  Thank you."

Upcoming Social Events

This past fall, the club made a push to activate more committees.  The Social Committee, under the leadership of Anastacia Stathakis, has grown to be our largest committee and they are putting together a great schedule of events. 


You can always see the latest schedule of upcoming club events on our homepage www.myc.org.  Check the right column for "Latest News & Events."  If there are any last minute changes to an event (such as a snow cancelation), this is where it would be posted.  Events are also publicized on the club Facebook page.  This Facebook is private to members so you have to register at  https://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/groups/52257408910/


Thur. Feb. 20 - Navigational Trivia on the Willy Wall- 6 - 10 pm


Mastering navigation of NYC in the snow will not help you come sailing season! Join us for a navigational trivia game night to get you ready for May. Prizes will be awarded and even if you're not familiar with the topic it is a great way to learn! See you then.


Thur. Mar. 6 - March Birthday Celebration on the Willy Wall- 5:30 -10 pm


Join us on the Honorable William Wall to celebrate March birthdays and bid bon voyage to the sailors departing to the warmer waters of the Caribbean for the St. Martin/St. Barth's regatta.


Thur. Mar. 27 - Chili Cook Off Fundraiser on the Willy Wall - 7 - 10 pm


Do you love to cook, love chili or just want to support a good cause? Join us on the Willy Wall as Manhattan Sailing Club hosts our 1st Annual Chili Cook Off to raise money for the New York Harbor Sailing Foundation. More details to follow and if you're interested in submitting your chili for the contest please email astathakis@gmail.com by March 18th.


Winter Educational Seminars

Since our club boats are put away for the winter, this is a great time to improve our sailing knowledge.  The club organizes a series of FREE educational seminars on the Honorable William Wall.  All seminars will begin at 6:30 p.m. with the doors of the clubhouse opening at 6 p.m.  Members are encouraged to come down to the club, listen, ask questions and learn.  Also, if you wish to suggest a seminar or volunteer as a speaker, please send an email to lynn@myc.org


Tues. Feb. 25 - Secrets to Winning Races at MSC


Racing is an important and very social part of our sailing club.  Every year, new members join the racing program and more teams are formed.  This seminar will focus on some of the secrets to winning races at the club.  The discussion will cover advanced tactics as well pre-season preparation such as sanding the bottom.  

Speakers: Commodore Michael Fortenbaugh and his team of Alan Wolf, Danielle Gallo, John Elliott and Sandy Krasovec.  Last year, this team completed a hat trick by winning the Spring, Summer and Fall Tuesday Series.


Tues. Mar. 4 - Understanding the Outboard Engine


Sailors often view the "iron horse" at the back of the boat with fear and contempt.  Actually, the engine is your friend and the more you know about the engine, the friendlier it becomes.  This seminar will discuss engine basics and get you familiar with how it operates, the major components and the common operating errors.  This seminar will be held on the upper deck of the HWW.  There is heat but please also wear warm clothes.  

Speakers: Angelo Valitutti and Brendan Randell.  Angelo and Brendan are in charge of J/24 maintenance for the club.  They are experienced with all aspects of the outboard engines, including fuel, lower units and replacing the powerheads.


Tues. Mar. 11 - Basic Navigation and Reading Harbor Charts


If you are new to sailing in the harbor or have not ventured outside the area by North Cove, this seminar will guide you around the harbor and discuss basic navigation.  The seminar will be based around a chart of the harbor allowing participants to virtually navigate.  The discussion will center around what you find in these locations, including currents, commercial traffic and other items involved with navigation.  

Speakers: To be announced


Tue. Mar. 18 - Understanding Tides & Currents, Eldridge Tide Book


New York Harbor has good currents.  These can be your friend or foe.  Experienced sailors make the currents their friend and in return, the currents let you cover more distance than normal.  It's always a great day when you can sail down to the Verrazano Bridge on an ebb and head back just as the flood begins.  This seminar will be based around the Eldridge Tide Book.  You will learn how to read the book, predict the harbor currents and discover some of the other information packed into this publication.  

Speakers: To be announced


March 25 - Basic Racing Rules


For new racing sailors, it can be quite intimidating when teams call for buoy room.  There are many rules which cover racing.  This seminar will be for new racers and start with the basic rules of starboard-port and windward-leeward.  The discussion will then progress to more complicated rules.  (There may also be an advanced rules seminar at the club this spring so advanced racers should keep an eye on the schedule.)  

Speakers: To be announced



Blue Water Society Dinner - Wed. Feb. 26

The Blue Water Society recognizes members who have completed significant ocean voyages.  In order to be inducted in this society, you must have completed an ocean voyage on a sailboat which included at least one overnight sail out of sight of land that tested your "mettle."
For example, if you've completed a Newport - Bermuda Race or have delivered a boat back from Bermuda transiting the Gulf Stream, a journey of several days, you would qualify for induction into the Blue Water Society. If you sailed on a boat from Block Island to Newport stopping overnight in Cutty Hunk for lobster, you would not.  If you sailed overnight along the Jersey coast as part of the club's old "Great Race," you would not qualify (because you could have swum to shore at any time), but if you sailed overnight from the island of Barbados to the island of Martinique, as several members did in 1994, you would qualify.
However, if during a short trip, say from Block Island to Newport which normally would not qualify, you were cast adrift by a waterspout, blown out into the Atlantic, survived for days on end only on the Merlot, brie and crackers you stowed in your ditch bag, were subsequently picked up by a Panamanian tanker and taken to the Azores where you finally managed to hitch a ride home, then that's another story - you would qualify. Blue Water Society
As you can see, one of the prime ingredients to acceptance is the ability to spin a great yarn.  Final acceptance into the Blue Water Society is only granted by King Neptune, who is channeled through Jean Yves Noblet. Therefore, if you believe you qualify for induction into the Blue Water Society, please submit details of your blue water experience along with dates, boat and captain's name to mike@myc.org or:

King Neptune
c/o Manhattan Sailing Club
385 South End Ave #6H
New York, NY 10280

Each winter, members of the Blue Water Society gather for their annual dinner. This year, the Blue Water Society Dinner will be Wednesday, February 26.   The dinner will be held again at El Quiote Restaurant, 226 West 23 St.  Seating for dinner will be at 6:30 p.m.  The cost of dinner is split among all attendees.  If you wish to attend the dinner, please RSVP to lynn@myc.org

This is a great annual event at the club and is filled with drinking, eating, laughing and making merry. New Blue Water Society members are asked to tell their story before being presented with their medal and inducted into the society.


Sailors Ball Date Set - Friday, May 2

The Social Committee has set the date for the Sailors Ball as Friday, May 2.  This is the big annual black tie party which celebrates the start fo the new sailing season.  The Ball raises money for our kids sailing programs so it is very important that members support and attend the ball.  There is also a VIP dinner before the ball with Dennis Conner.  Please mark your calendar and let your friends know.

Arabella Sails to the Caribbean

Our Flagship Arabella headed down to the Caribbean for a few months of sailing in the warm sunshine.  And a good thing too because right after she departed, New York has been subjected
saw record low temperatures and polar vortexes!  Arabella prefers the sunny skies and warm consistent trade winters of the British Virgin Islands.  Days 1 & 2 of the delivery were exciting as Arabella skirted down the Jersey coast and the Delmarva Peninsula while strong westerly winds blew in the first cold snap.  From Cape Hatteras, Arabella headed across the Gulf Stream and steered a course to St Thomas.  The delivery took just over 7 days which is slightly longer than normal, attributed to the extra distance sailed and head winds.  The sunrise over the ocean was as god as expected.  And the arrival in St Thomas made the whole trip worthwhile.  Doing a delivery on Arabella is a lot more comfortable than a smaller boat!




 Another Record Turn Out for Annual Dinner

It was another sold out Annual Dinner when members gathered at the Down Town Association in December.  What a great evening beginning with cocktails in the main bar downstairs.  This was followed by the seated dinner in the 3rd floor dining room.  Trophies and recognition gifts were presented to many members.  And after the dinner ended, many members continued on to Stone St where the celebration continued into the morning hours.  Congratulations to these members for winning the special prizes, Commodores Award to Vice Commodore John LaGrassa, Jon Overton Memorial Award to Fleet Captain Chair Peter Abelman and Sportsmanship Award to Andy Zangle.



New Years Eve on the Clubhouse - 21 Cork Salute!

A new tradition was started this year - the 21 Cork Salute.  On New Year's Eve, members gathered on the upper deck of the Honorable William Wall and let pop a Moet & Chandon salute to 2014!  Before the salute, the Commodore provided some guidance as well as safety tips.  Then at the count of midnight, the corks flew.  It was a great way to pop in the New Year!  We hope to see you at next New Year's Eve party!
Holiday Train Garden Delights Lots of Visitors


Thank you to all of the member volunteers who helped build the Holiday Train Garden!  Steve Norring was our main coordinator again.  The train display was built on the upper deck of the Honorable William Wall.  This year, the display included seven Lionel trains running at the same time.  There is about $15,000 in train equipment on display.  For two weeks, this Holiday Train Garden delighted kids young and old around North Cove.  Pictured above are members Krystyna and Finn Marable.  It was good to see the train garden running again this year because it was not organized last year due to the hurricane and lack of electricity.  We hope you will consider getting involved next winter to help create the biggest display ever!


Skipper Certification Report - Joe DiFranks

Now that the sailing season has ended for the club, that doesn't mean that learning has to stop for all those wanting to be skippers or those newly minted skippers.  Learning how to be a sailor is a lifelong never ending endeavor. I would suggest you get a copy of Annapolis Book of Seamanship or Chapman's Piloting and Seamanship and whenever you get the itch to go sailing this winter, open the book up instead and read a chapter or two.


Learn some basic weather forecasting. What is progression of clouds during the approach of a low pressure, buy-ballot law, wind circulation around lows and highs, how to read a barometer.  Learn how to read a chart other then the few symbols required on the skippers test. Even though we pass bell and gong buoys constantly can you describe what the difference is between the 2 - both physically and sound wise. Learn how to figure compass deviation. There is a wealth of information for the harbor in the Coast Pilot, read it. Learn how to use the current tables using the Narrows as a reference station. The Upper Bay, the lower Hudson River and East river up to the Brooklyn Bridge is our playground - you should try and learn it as best you can.  Anyway, you get my point. There are plenty of things to learn during the winter months. It takes a lot of effort and hard work to become a skilled sailor.


Now the off-season is here if you use an inflatable life jacket it's a good time to check the dobbin and CO2 cartridge and make sure they are in good working order and they aren't out of date.  Feel free to contact me with any questions.


Tradition & Etiquette Committee

The Club is asking for volunteers to serve on a "Tradition and Etiquette" Committee.  The idea for this committee comes from our club's recent trip to Yacht Club de Monaco to race at the Primo Cup.  Yacht Club de Monaco has a beautiful yearbook and one of the sections is devoted to yachting tradition and etiquette.  The book explains the proper dress for certain occasions as well as other club traditions such as which flag to fly on which of Arabella's masts.  Our club would also benefit by recording these traditions.  Every year we have many new members join our organization.  If we wrote down our traditions, then all members, new and old, would be able to read and learn them.  If you would be interested in participating in the Traditions & Etiquette Committee, please send an email to Commodore Fortenbaugh at mike@myc.org.  




Seen at the Club