Feb 24th, 2014
Cayo Costa State Park - March -14 - 16
March is the month of the Everglades Challenge and
Cayo Costa! We'll be heading to Cayo Costa on Friday, or even
on Thursday to get ahead of the weekenders and spending the
night on the waters of this pristine State Park that is only
accessible by boat!
The primary launch points remain Eldred's Marina on
the Boca Grande Causeway, just south of Englewood. 6301
Boca Grande Cswy, Placida, FL 33947 (941-697-1431).
And the Bokeelia Ramp at: 7290 Barrancas Ave. NW Bokeelia,
FL 33922 (239-283-0015) Both ramps require some cash to
launch and store trailers, so bring some.
If launching at Eldred's in Placida, you will have to cross
Charlotte Harbor, both going to and returning to Cayo Costa, a
distance of about 8 miles. You will also have to go under a
bridge on the ICW right after launching. Launching at Bokeelia,
you have a shorter sail to Cayo Costa (about 5 miles), but there
are the Jug Creek shoals off the north end of Pine Island that
must be avoided.
Try to arrive at the little cover at the north end of
Pelican Bay on the northeast end of Cayo Costa Island by Friday
afternoon, so we can get together on the beach and raise a toast
to all our WCTSS sailors! Bring beach chairs and hope for good
What we do Saturday is depends on the winds and
weather conditions. We could sail together or in small groups
down Pine Island Sound around Useppa Island or get in one or
two boats and make a raid on the island of Cabbage Key, a short
distance from our anchorage. Cabbage Key is a lovely island
that has a remarkably expensive restaurant, but if you've never
done it, it may be worth the trip! Dollar bills are used here,
instead of wall paper, really. You'll feel like Doc Ford is looking
over your shoulder. After our Saturday wandering we'll return to
the little north cove, or to Punta Blanca Island right across from
the Pelican Bay cove depending on wind and conditions.
Sunday is departure day, and we'll say our goodbyes and head
back to our launch points. Always great to get a hand at haul out
Issue # 161
Ron Hoddinott Editor
Directions to Bokeelia Ramp
Proceed southerly on I-75 to Exit 161, North Jones Loop
Road. exit and continue west on Exit road to second
stop light (U.S. 41). Go straight across U.S. 41 and you
will be on Burnt Store Road (County Road 765).
Proceed southerly 19+- miles to Pine Island Road
(County Road 78). Turn right (West) and go to the
intersection of Pine Island Road and Stringfellow Road
(County 767), which is a four-way stop. Turn right
(North) on Stringfellow.
To Reach: Bokeelia Ramp: Go north on Stringfellow
Road 6.5 miles + - from the four way stop to Barrancas
Street. Turn right on Barrancas and go five blocks to the
Marina at 7290 Barrancas Street.
Ft. DeSoto Daysail - Feb. 8th, 2014
Yes, this did happen, we have photos! But only a few
diehards turned up including Frank Smoot with a very
fast home built trimaran, Art Gregory with his Hobie
Adventure Island, Bob Kratzer with his Junebug, Bob
Wood, and Jeff Carr. As it turned out Bob Wood and Bob
Kratzer rode with me aboard Whisper. Bob Kratzer was
going to launch and christen his Junebug, but the winds
were a bit much for a first sail. Bob and Jeff had already
planned to mooch a ride. so we had four men in a pearl,
and enough wind to make it go. At first there was only
Franks Tri and Whisper on the waters on Bunces Pass.
Hardly any hardy fisherfolk were out and about as it
appeared to be a rather raw day. With all that space
around us you would think we would have no problem,
but somehow a collision occurred between Franks Tri
and Whisper. Some damage was done to Frank’s boat,
but he said he’ll be able to repair it easily. Heck he built
the thing from his mind up! No damage to Whisper,
which weighs about 5 times as much! Suffice to say
lessons were learned and almost no harm done.
Eldred’s Marina - Placida Area - Directions (from the
Go South on I-75
Take Exit 191 - River Road - Manatee Community College
Go East toward Englewood go 5 miles to Hyw 41
Cross Hwy 41 - go straight across - go 5.5 more miles Cross Winchester Road
Turn left on Pine at light - Cross SR 776 /McCall (Publix on
Go 10 more miles to the Boca Grande Causeway
County Park and a Ramp Look for Eldred’s Marina - on Right
By the way, this is the guy who was steering Whisper
when the said collision occurred.
Everglades Challenge 2014!
I found a quote by Theodore Roosevelt particularly
appropriate for our Challengers this year:
"Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious
triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to
rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much
nor suffer much, because they live in the gray
twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."
This year's EC will be one for the books! There will be
over 140 sailors and paddlers on the beach at the start on
March 1st at dawn. Twice as many class four monohulls
are entered in just the EC as their were last year (29), and
the number of class five multihulls has also doubled (44).
There are so many Adventure Island/Tandem Island boats
in the race, Chief gave them their own class! Some of the
racers on the beach will be entered in the shorter Ultra
Marathon, some in the 300 mile Everglades Challenge,
some in the Ultimate Florida Challenge and some
including our own Bill Fite will be partway through the
Florida Coastal Challenge! Bill and Neil Calore started
this morning, 2-20, from the Alabama line and are on their
way to the start of the EC. They've got eight days to get
From the Squadron, Meade Gougeon has a new
sailing canoe in the EC, larger than year's boat, with more
storage room and room to sleep aboard. Luke Lewkowski
and Bill Wright will be sailing Meade's i550 entry from a
few year's ago with several modifications. I'll be their
shore support going down the coast to Key Largo to meet
them. Squadron member Phil Garland is back this year
with his highly souped up Core Sound 17, ready to take
on all competitors. Last year Phil's boat led the fleet for
quite a while, until the need for sleep overtook them at
Flamingo. Eddie Mack, and Joshua Murphy, both
Squadron members are again sailing their Hobie Getaway
in the EC! So a total of seven Squadron members are in
the competitions this year!
Come down to the start on the East Beach of Ft.
DeSoto before dawn on Saturday, March 1st to see the
race start! They will push off at first light, no doubt to the
sound of bagpipes in the wind. For a really good look
come to the beach Friday between 11 and 4 to see the
boats being inspected and prepped by the competitors.
Afterwards we all meet at the SeaHorse Restaurant - 800
Pass-a-Grille Way - for a great breakfast and recap of
what we saw at the start of the 2014 Everglades
Billy VanDeusen’s ComPac SunCat - set up to Travel!
Care and Feeding of your Trailer
It occurred to me, once again, as I drove back from Port of
The Islands in January, that taking good care of your trailer is
just as important as caring for your boat, especially when your
boat travels farther on the road than it does on the water!
I had just replaced the tires and wheels on Whisper's
trailer, and put new buddy bearing on it, but on the way home
I noticed that the left wheel's hub was leaking grease around
the hub's rear seal. I knew there was plenty of grease in
there, so I wasn't too worried, but when I got home I called my
buddy Jeff Tilson at Discount Trailers (727) 546-2255, and he
replaced the bearings and seals on both wheels.
Keeping an eye on things as you travel is pretty easy. Just
take a good look and put your hand on the wheel hub
whenever you stop for a break. Also check that your tires
have the correct pressure in them.
Low inflation is the
greatest cause of blowouts on the road.
Keep the tires
inflated to the maximum amount of cold inflation that is listed
on the tire. Second most frequent cause of blow outs is old
tires. Trailer tires should not be kept more than five years,
regardless of how the tread looks. Look for checks (cracks) in
the sidewall as well as between the treads! After replacing
your trailer wheels, check the lug nuts after 25 miles, after 50
miles, and after 100 miles on the first trip. After that check
them before every trip. Trailer wheels loosen up after being
replaced. It has something to do with torque as they go
around corners. Last month at Lake Tarpon I had a flat tire. I
must have hit a sharp object pulling into the parking lot, as the
tire deflated before we could get a jack under the axle. I had
a spare and replaced the tire right away, but when I got home
I inspected the tire on the other side of the trailer and found
small checks in between the tread. Tires that sit outside the
Florida sun can deteriorate slowly and it was time to replace
these tires.
I've picked up a lot of tips working with Jeff. DId you know
that if you dip your trailer in salt water when launching and
retrieving, the springs are likely to need replacing every four
years? You can also replace rollers with ones that have
stainless axles, so they don't rust and split the rubber roller!
Small, and actually inexpensive improvements can actually
make you trailer better than it was when it was new. Jeff says
that he's amazed that people don't ask for stainless when
replacing parts. Stainless parts are available for boat trailers,
but are not normally used when manufactured.
Before every long trip, I aways give the trailer, including
the tires, a good look over, and sometimes just replace stuff
with better stuff before hitting the road, just on general
principals. A two speed winch has made hauling out easier for
this older and weaker person.
It might help you too!
Recently Jim Leet, at Marine Concepts (727) 937-0166,
replaced the winch stand, winch strap and rubber snubber on
the front of my trailer. I also moved the winch stand a few
inches farther forward so the boat wouldn't weave back and
forth as I went down the highway.
The other item that you need to pay attention to is your
speed on the highway. Even if everything is new and tight,
and the tires are properly inflated, if you exceed the rated
speed of the trailer tires, you are looking for a possible
blowout. And needless to say, a high speed blowout could
cause you to lose your boat, as well as your life. What many
people do not know is that trailer tires are rated at 65 MPH.
That is straight from the tire industry. If you drive faster than
65 MPH while towing a trailer, you are looking for trouble.
You may get away with it a few times, but it is much more
relaxing to drive under 65 in the right lane, staying out of
trouble and out of other motorists' way.
Meade’s Island Rendezvous - Feb 14th - 16th
Tim Webb sailed his O'Day DS2, Red Witch, out Friday
night and spent the night on the island alone. Tim left two
bags of firewood for the rest of us. Thanks Tim. He would
have stayed longer on Saturday, but he'd busted his trailer
while launching and had to find a way to fix it to get home.
I launched at Sunset Park and sailed south with a NW
wind of about 20 with gust to 25 this morning. Whisper hit 10.8
without surfing, and stayed above 8 the entire sail to Meade's
Island. A new Squadron friend accompanied me, named Ray.
He had heard about the Squadron on our web site, and felt
like he was meeting old friends! Ray has two sailboats in NJ,
where he sails in the summer. One is a Siren, like Oggies, and
When we got to Meade's Island, Simon was ripping back
and forth in his Goat Island Skiff with only one reef in. He was
wearing a wetsuit! As we sat there eating lunch we spotted
Dimitri coming out with his MacGregor 26x. He went south to
watch for Jose' who was bringing Luna, their Sanibel 18, north
Wrist Bands for Cedar Key Cookout
I've contacted Ken, the chef who made the food for the Cedar Key
Cookout last year, and he's agreed to do it again this year.
The date will be the Saturday of Cedar Key - That's May 3rd - out in
front of the Gulfside Motel - next to the Island Place - about 5:45.
Like last year, I'm going to pre-sell the wrist bands for the cookout at $15
each. I'll hold them in a strong box with your name(s) on the envelopes.
All you have to do on Saturday evening is stop by the WCTSS table and
pick them up, put them on, and go through the line. Ken is working up a
new menu this year, and I've asked that he have at least one dish that is
meat free. Also, if you wish to bring a covered dish, either a salad, or
dessert, or a bag of chips, please do. Everyone looks forward to what
extras you'll bring!
I'm starting this later than last year, so please order your wrist bands!
Send a check made out to me (or cash) for $15 each to:
Ron Hoddinott
12492 104th Ave
Largo, FL 33778
Florida Small Craft Festival at Sarasota Sailing
Squadron - April 19th - 21st.
This is the old Cortez event, updated and improved by moving it to
Sarasota Sailing Squadron. Great place for it too! Lot of boat eye
candy here and a chance to got out sailing with your boat or on
other people's boats by invitation! Like other such events, to fully
participate you must register and pay an entrance fee for the whole
weekend. Camping on their grounds is included however. Here is a
schedule of events:FSCF Events As you can see, Saturday is the
big day, but if you're bringing your boat you are expected to
register. Register here:PreRegistration (last year's form)
Crystal River Boat Bash - Saturday April 26th
from the Clearwater Sailing Center where Mateo was racing.
Then we saw Eric and Jane come out of Pop Stansell Park
with their Houdini! They landed and before we knew it, Ric
was sailing up in SeaCups, his Hunter 260! So by the time
everyone was ashore we had six boats there. Tim had already
packed it in, as he had trailer trouble that he had to work out
before his long drive home. So eight boats made it to the
island including Meade Gougeon,who sailed out from his
place after he got back from a regatta in St. Pete about 4 PM.
Meade spent the night practicing for the EC. I had to get
home, so I left the island about 2pm.
It was sure great to see Jose' and Cecillia again, and Juan is
getting so tall! They brought another "parent" with them from
the CSC, named Kent, who was from Nova Scotia. So we had
quite a mixture of nationalities on Meade's little island today,
Dimitri, who is Greek, Kent from Canada, and Jose' and
Cecillia from Uruguay, Simon who was born in Poland, Ric
who was born in Cuba, and the rest of us plain old Americans!
The CRBB hosted by the Crystal River Boat Builders is a laid back
event, where you can camp for the whole weekend or just come on
the BIG DAY, Saturday. there will be historic exhibits, music, food
available, and a place to park your RV (call ahead) or tent. You can
bring your boat on a trailer, or launch it and sail/motor it to the site.
The ramps most use is across the river at the Ft. Island Trail Ramp.
If you haven't yet seen Spirit, the 37 foot Civil War Scow that the
CRBBers built, make this trip a MUST! They also appreciate
donations to help pay for the upkeep and coninued building and
improving of the vessel. They plan to sail her to CEDAR KEY this
Download an Entry Form for your boat or camping at
The Tampa Hospice Cup Regatta - Also on the April26th weekend.
If you want to get your motor running and head out on the highway
of adventure to see and do something different this year, consider
registering in the "Just for Fun" class over on Davis Island. The old
Morgan Invasion was rolled into this event, and the Davis Island
Yacht Club sponsors it now. Tim Horstman suggested that they
would really like to see some of our boats in the Just for Fun class,
since that's why we roll anyway! Just for Fun Class doesn't actually
race but sails somewhere (Fantasy Island??) and then returns for the
festivities. Tim entered his SeaPearl in a racing event last year, and
surprised everyone on the big boats. They wanted to know all about it, and
he had a grand time. Who's up for this?? Let me know, so we can plan
together. I know Choices, choices!!
Hospice Cup Just for Fun Fleet Facts