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Chesapeake Appreciation Days


Chesapeake Appreciation Days, formerly held at the end of October, was a special event for the Alberg 30s who were involved from the very beginning. At that time, they represented the modern racing sailboat in contrast to the skipjacks, who were still a fleet of actively working oyster dredgers.

Things change. Chesapeake Appreciation Days is no more. The Alberg 30s are considered "classic" boats. And the skipjack fleet has fallen on hard times. With the dwindling supply of oysters in the Chesapeake Bay, few could afford to maintain the boats, much less earn a living. Today, there are only a handful that dredge oysters under sail.

This was an event that brought everyone out for a race. It was exciting to sail amongst the skipjacks.


Offshore Sailing book cover Offshore Sailing by Bill Seifert with Daniel Spurr

We went to a Windjammers lecture to hear Bill Seifert and I was impressed enough to buy the book on the spot. I've heard a lot of people talk about ways to improve a boat, but I've never heard one person suggest so many good ideas that I hadn't considered. Part of the charm is the specificity of the suggestions. Everyone says you should secure your floorboards, hatchboards and batteries. Bill shows good suggestions on how to do so.

The suggestions are very practical for the do-it-yourselfer, too. Many show how to make or adapt inexpensive solutions. Tip #12 on closing the deck blower vents is one that will pay off for me without ever going offshore. I'll implement that one to stop the wintertime storms from finding their way belowdecks.

Besides modifications, the book also includes advice for operating offshore, cooking, boat selection, dealing with bureaucracy, and more.

Bill Seifert has worked at Tartan, TPI, and Alden Yachts. He's a veteran of many Marion-Bermuda races and now runs his own yacht management company. His tips are born of experience--not of book-learning--and it shows. He obviously knows his stuff.



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Last modified: Wednesday 05-Feb-2003