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Thread: Come join the 150th Annual Master Mariners Regatta - May 27th

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    Default Come join the 150th Annual Master Mariners Regatta - May 27th

    Come sail the Master Mariners 150th Regatta. One of the oldest and the largest classic yacht boat races in North America. San Francisco Bay, Memorial Day Weekend

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    Default Re: Come join the 150th Annual Master Mariners Regatta - May 27th

    I'll be aboard defending Champion Vectis this year instead of Lively Lady. Ocean 2 gets a break from me and my winning boat.

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    Default Re: Come join the 150th Annual Master Mariners Regatta - May 27th

    There is nothing you can do with an ape/human hybrid. They'll rip your arm off.

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    Default Re: Come join the 150th Annual Master Mariners Regatta - May 27th

    There is nothing you can do with an ape/human hybrid. They'll rip your arm off.

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    Default Re: Come join the 150th Annual Master Mariners Regatta - May 27th

    There is nothing you can do with an ape/human hybrid. They'll rip your arm off.

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    Default Re: Come join the 150th Annual Master Mariners Regatta - May 27th

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    Default Re: Come join the 150th Annual Master Mariners Regatta - May 27th

    Thanks for the great photos, Ted. I have to mention, however, regarding the text of the poster, the proper term is "well-found," not "well founded." Sorry, but the nautical grammar Nazi sometimes gets the best of me.

    Also, what happened to the workboats? Are you only accepting yachts these days?

    Somewhere back around 45 years ago, when Bill Vaughn, Kermit Parker, Ed Gibson, Mike Douglas, Jim Norton, and I first incorporated the MMBA and began the modern Master Mariners Regatta, we defined eligible vessels as "Vessels designed or built prior to December 7, 1941, or designed and built in such a fashion as was commonly practiced prior to that time." (Or something very close to that...) I spent a lot of time crafting that that definition. The operative word was "commonly." Bill Vaughn had run the regatta informally as fundraiser for the SF Jaycees' "Maritime Day," (back when the maritime industry in San Francisco was a major part of the local economy,) and it became very popular. When we created the MMBA, we had a lot of applicants with plywood, and even ferro-cement boats demanding to participate. When we denied them admission, they got all pushed out of shape and we were taking a lot of heat for being "elitist" and "arbitrary." (Shades of the WB Forum, no?) This was rather ironic, since we had created the organization and were being told how to run it by people who weren't even members, as if they had some "civil right" to join our club. We carefully selected December 7, 1941 as the pre-WWII "cut off date" because we wanted to limit the participants to traditional vessels of some historical provenance. The qualifier "or such a fashion as was commonly practiced" before the start of WWII provided us with a "rule" to justify refusing to admit plywood and ferro-cement boats. Even though there was some slim evidence of some plywood and ferro-cement vessels before that time (e.g., they even built some cement ships during WWI,) these weren't "commonly practiced" construction techniques.

    The MMBA has come a long way from those early days, and, I suppose, more democratic. The guys who were its founding board of directors are all dead now, except for Mike Douglas and I. I suppose those who have "slipped under the mainsheet" will be watching the race from "the best seats in the house." Fair winds and calm seas to all!
    Last edited by Bob Cleek; 05-17-2017 at 04:06 PM.

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    Default Re: Come join the 150th Annual Master Mariners Regatta - May 27th

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Cleek View Post
    Thanks for the great photos, Ted. I have to mention, however, regarding the text of the poster, the proper term is "well-found," not "well founded." Sorry, but the nautical grammar Nazi sometimes gets the best of me.
    Ha! Lifted the text from the MMBA site. You should know that some traditions must continue with a little grammar error as part of the working man lore and narrative.

    Thanks. I do love this photogenic sailing event despite the warts and callouses.
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    Default Re: Come join the 150th Annual Master Mariners Regatta - May 27th

    If the cutter Freelance sails could you take a photo? Thx
    "It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so."

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    Default Re: Come join the 150th Annual Master Mariners Regatta - May 27th

    Quote Originally Posted by rbgarr View Post
    If the cutter Freelance sails could you take a photo? Thx
    . . . and Elizabeth Miur too please.
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

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    Default Re: Come join the 150th Annual Master Mariners Regatta - May 27th

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    . . . and Elizabeth Miur too please.
    And all the rest, too, pretty please?

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    Default Re: Come join the 150th Annual Master Mariners Regatta - May 27th

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Hoppe View Post
    Over 80 people attended the luncheon with excellent wine. It takes a lot to pull this event off.

    Priceless Master Mariners Trophies, Room and More.






    The flood was beginning to come in as see on the video

    As you can see there was much more than a regatta but a tradition. It would not be possible without Sponsors. Wooden Boat Magazine has been sponsoring this regatta for a very long time. Without their help and support this would not be possible. Special thanks to them and our generous others.
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    Default Re: Come join the 150th Annual Master Mariners Regatta - May 27th



    The name tags for the MMBA luncheon at the St. Francis were designed by me and used the artwork that hangs at the Inland Boatmens Union (IBU) in the union job call hall in San Francisco. This picture was painted at the time the Master Mariners Benevolent Association was the only welfare system for mariners and their families. It is the reason the organization was created and spawned the IBU which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year.
    Last edited by Ted Hoppe; 05-20-2017 at 10:26 PM.
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    Default Re: Come join the 150th Annual Master Mariners Regatta - May 27th

    There is nothing you can do with an ape/human hybrid. They'll rip your arm off.

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    Default Re: Come join the 150th Annual Master Mariners Regatta - May 27th

    There is nothing you can do with an ape/human hybrid. They'll rip your arm off.

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    Default Re: Come join the 150th Annual Master Mariners Regatta - May 27th

    Thanks Ted! Wish we could be there this year but we are not able to bread loose from our roofing job in Port Townsend. Is that schooner in the next to the last picture, the LFH "Joanne" aka "Brigadoon"?
    Jay & Annie

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    Default Re: Come join the 150th Annual Master Mariners Regatta - May 27th

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Greer View Post
    Thanks Ted! Wish we could be there this year but we are not able to bread loose from our roofing job in Port Townsend. Is that schooner in the next to the last picture, the LFH "Joanne" aka "Brigadoon"?
    Jay & Annie
    She is! Good eye. She is lovingly kept, quite solid and most seaworthy. I have learned to give her room this pat year... Whew!

    Last edited by Ted Hoppe; 05-22-2017 at 02:28 PM.
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    Default Re: Come join the 150th Annual Master Mariners Regatta - May 27th

    It is Joann/Brigadoon of Boothbay, but with a main topmast rig designed by Murray Peterson, I believe. I'm not sure exactly when she got the Murray Peterson rig, but I believe she had it back when Stirling Hayden owned her. The brokerage I worked for sold her to Dino Valenti of the band, Quicksilver Messenger Service. (At the same time, we sold Quisset (Murray Peterson's Coaster II IIRC) to his band-mate, Gary Duncan. Terry Klaus bought her from Dino and put a ton of money and time into a complete rebuild and has maintained her impeccably since then.

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    Default Re: Come join the 150th Annual Master Mariners Regatta - May 27th

    Glad to see the trophy I made (with the Bliss taffrail log) is still in circulation and not gathering dust in somebody's garage! The same goes for the "Deadeye" trophy. Ed Gibson snagged that deadeye at low tide from the hulk of a doghole schooner on the Sausalito mudflats back when. I believe the "fish" on the Lyle Galloway trophy came from Bill Vaughan's "stash," as did the Bliss taffrail log. Lots of old history there. Thanks for the memories!

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    Default Re: Come join the 150th Annual Master Mariners Regatta - May 27th

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Cleek View Post
    Glad to see the trophy I made (with the Bliss taffrail log) is still in circulation and not gathering dust in somebody's garage! The same goes for the "Deadeye" trophy. Ed Gibson snagged that deadeye at low tide from the hulk of a doghole schooner on the Sausalito mudflats back when. I believe the "fish" on the Lyle Galloway trophy came from Bill Vaughan's "stash," as did the Bliss taffrail log. Lots of old history there. Thanks for the memories!
    Those Trophies are really something special and highly coveted. The St. Francis has a special display case for them. It is always a big deal to get them. If there is anything you ever made Bob that was so coveted, it is those trophies.

    When i joined the organization years ago, i did get a chance to spend time with Bill Vaughan at MMBA get togethers. He and the others men and women have told me wonderful some backstories over the years. And later I learned a bit more for you. The folks today that run the organization are fine people and have good intentions but a bit different from when when it was younger. I got a chance to see what this was and understood the history behind the organization and the reconstitution of the club form this motley collection of people. This past year, i did some deep research into the MMBA from the 1860-70s as well as followed the trail on the race until the late 1890s when steam killed the sailing competition. Those mariners and families really did count on this race as a small insurance policy for themselves. Everyone wore their finest company clothes and women making dresses which match their boats colors. Bill Vaughan knew this as i am sure you did. This regatta was everything. Things are different now - it is run on Memorial Day weekend as it was set up in the 1960s rather than the 4th of July. The MMBA spirit over these 150 years flickered but still is quite strong. One of our best friends and kindest hearts, Patty Henderson, passed this year leaving us heart broken. She was our club mother for decades. She is the one who encouraged me to stick to tradition and hold the history for new members as well as welcome those who loved these old boats. Me and many others miss these great people long gone who were quick with a story, freely giving time and materials to make our boats work and warm stew to keep us late into the night. They all sail with us this year.

    Patty Henderson



    Dennis Peitso, from a family of great brothers, a giant of a sailor and good friend.

    September 22, 1947 ~ March 8, 2017



    Dennis was a NAVY veteran and served four tours in Vietnam. After his service his wanderlust took him on many international adventures. He completed advance studies in Chinese languages and culture. Later, back in the Bay Area he returned to his farming roots. Dennis and his second wife Andrea began farming organic lettuces, greens, and herbs first for Alice Waters/Chez Panisse, and later in SoCal for Wolfgang Puck/Spago and expanded to sell at farmers’ markets and to many high-end restaurants and hotels. He later turned his business over to his son Nate. All his lifeDennis and his brothers had a love for sailing and he lived most of his life on the water. In recent years he and his brothers raced Bluenose actively in SF. In SoCal he was involved with Bloodhound for many years, and recently restored Mayflower.
    Last edited by Ted Hoppe; 05-23-2017 at 12:05 AM.
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    Default Re: Come join the 150th Annual Master Mariners Regatta - May 27th

    Bill Vaughan was quite the shipmate. He sailed competitively at UC Berkeley. He owned Billikin, a 1914 (IIRC) SF Bay "pumpkin seed" yawl when he and Roger Olmstead revived the race. Roger was a professional historian who, with his wife, Nancy, wrote many works on local maritime history. Their "magnum opus," which, sadly, was published in a very limited edition, was the archaeological impact report for the San Francisco peripheral sewer projects that were constructed around nearly the entire shoreline of the City back in the late '70's and early '80's. This multi-volume work covered the entire history of San Francisco's original shoreline from pre-Columbian times to the present. Full of maps and photographs, it listed every building and every business that ever sat on every square foot of land that the huge sewer project was going to dig up, including, of course, all the known hulks buried beneath the Embarcadero. Roger also wrote, Scow Schooners of San Francisco Bay, as his master's thesis, which still stands as the definitive scholarly work on scow schooners. It contained an entire chapter on the Master Mariners Benevolent Association. After Roger's passing, with a bit of arm-twisting on my part, Nancy condensed and edited this work and published it under the same title. (I'm not sure if the chapter on the MMBA made it into the published book. I have a copy of Roger's original thesis, but somebody borrowed my copy of Nancy's book and... another lesson learned about loaning books!)

    It was Bill and Roger who came up with the idea to recreate the MMBA "regatta." It was originally a "regatta" for the classics on the Bay. However, it quickly evolved into a "race" as informal wagers were placed between skippers with an excess of testosterone, sometimes with regrettable results when the "hot shot" racing crews they recruited discovered that old gaff-rigged wooden designs didn't respond to the helm like the one-design racing dinghies they were used to! Parenthetically, it was the younger racing crewmembers and their hard partying after the races who earned the organization it's early reputation as the "Hells Angels of Yachting." Nevertheless, a good time was always had by all, save, perhaps, a few waterfront bar owners! By 1976 or so, the MMBA had been "86'd" from just about every waterfront venue on the Bay and we had to have our after-race party at Dunphy Park next to the Napa Street Pier in Sausalito. Again, it was Bill who was a member and officer in good standing at Encinal and Oakland Yacht Clubs, who "went our bail" and found us a "probational" after-race venue at Encinal. (We had to guarantee to ensure "yachtsmanlike" behavior and cover the cost of any damages to the club!) Somewhere along the way, some years later, the MMBA joined PICYA, the yacht club umbrella organization, and became "legitimate" and outlaw yachtsmen no more. Unfortunately, to my way of thinking, the pendulum swung the other way a bit too far. At one point early on, ABC TV and Budweiser made us a very lucrative offer to name the regatta the "Budweiser Master Mariners Race" and feature it on ABC's Wild World of Sports. A vocal faction of our "respectable" members put the kibosh on that because "we don't think the MMBA should be associated with alcoholic beverages." Sheesh! (We did end up getting a feature article in Sports Illustrated about that time, though.)

    It's interesting to note that when the MMBA began in its modern form back in the late 'sixties, classic wooden boats were not a popular thing, save for a very few devotees who, often, like the Ford family with their 1906 Stone schooner Yankee, had owned their boats for many years, or others, such as myself, who became initially interested in classic wooden boats simply because we couldn't afford the new fancy plastic boats everybody wanted back then. We sought out the "old time" boatbuilders like Donny Arques, Myron Spaulding, Lester Stone, and Bill Garvey, and picked their brains as best we could. Meanwhile, the "wooden boat thing" evolved around us, actually, and, like classic cars, increasingly became a "lifestyle of the rich and famous," so to speak. That evolution had its effect on the MMBA, which for a time, at least, saw members jockeying for bragging rights over "whose boat was older" and "whose boat had the most famous prior owner," and so on. Nevertheless, it survived and prospered. Unlike classic cars which can be stored in a barn and survive years of inactivity, wooden boats, as we all know, begin to deteriorate even before they are ever launched and, if they are to survive, require constant and now increasingly expensive maintenance. Anything "boat" was always expensive, but as time has passed, they have gotten ever more expensive, particularly now when the environmental regulations and economies of manufacturing scale make sourcing fittings, materials, and supplies difficult, the yards no longer can afford the liability of letting trusted customers work on their own vessels on the premises, and berthing costs are near-prohibitive because the politicians and developers see waterfront industry as "blight" and have turned so much of what used to be our "working waterfront" into condos, hotels, bars and restaurants decorated with bogus "nautical" décor. If it hasn't already, expect MMBA will be seeing an erosion of the "big boats" that used to make the race so spectacular. Bill Vaughn's Alden-designed Herreshoff-built 57' ocean racer,Evening Star, seems to have dropped off the radar. When Bill became totally blind and his wife, Sondra, was also incapacitated, Evening Star languished and deteriorated. Hard as I could try for Bill, we couldn't find anyone to adopt her and she went on the harbormaster's auction block, reportedly selling for less than a grand. (The Herressoff bronze steering pedestal, "coffee grinder," and anchor winch alone were probably worth fifteen times that!) Back in the day, it wasn't uncommon to see a race with boats like Evening Star,Barlovento, Orient, and Baruna going neck and neck in the Ocean Racer class. Only guys like Larry Ellison can afford to maintain boats that size anymore, let alone find crews competent to sail them as they were intended.

    So it goes. Thankfully, there are folks who keep the old ones sailing and we all celebrate that once a year on the Sunday before Memorial Day.
    Last edited by Bob Cleek; 05-23-2017 at 04:31 PM.

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    Default Re: Come join the 150th Annual Master Mariners Regatta - May 27th

    Thank you Bob. That was a great history with lots of added color. Super! This narrative you laid out was told to me in a drips and cup by many including Bill Vaughan, the others who drifted away due to circumstances and from the MMBA large scrap book i saw that Bob Rodgers has. The rest of the pieces have been lost to the passing of time.

    As for Evening Star, I think i saw her last week in Berkeley. (I secretly coveted her myself but did not have the means to get her from the mess she was in and fix her as she deserves. I understand the folks that have her currently have done much to save and restore her.) If you look at the photo below, the boat on the right I believe is Evening Star with a redone hull with much of her bronze jewelry still there and in boxes below the decks.

    Last edited by Ted Hoppe; 05-23-2017 at 09:42 PM.
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    Default Re: Come join the 150th Annual Master Mariners Regatta - May 27th

    Yes, that's Evening Star. She was originally built for Henry Ford's son, IIRC, and won the Mackinaw race right after her launch. It looks as if her teak planked decks have been covered with something. They were in need of replacement. There were short deck planks cobbed in just forward of the forward sheet winch pads to fill the holes where her two .30 cal. machine guns were mounted during the War when she was "drafted" by the Navy and served on submarine patrol off the East Coast.

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    Default Re: Come join the 150th Annual Master Mariners Regatta - May 27th

    There is nothing you can do with an ape/human hybrid. They'll rip your arm off.

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    Default Re: Come join the 150th Annual Master Mariners Regatta - May 27th

    What song is that? So familiar....
    "It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so."

    -Mark Twain

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    Default Re: Come join the 150th Annual Master Mariners Regatta - May 27th

    Quote Originally Posted by rbgarr View Post
    What song is that? So familiar....
    No music.

    There is nothing you can do with an ape/human hybrid. They'll rip your arm off.

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