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Nautical News April 2008- Vol. 110 No. 4

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Fendship-sloop.jpgCOMMODORE’S CORNER

The 2008 season is off to a good start. During the March meeting we were treated to examples of incredible craftsmanship. Dick Pretel, whose assistance in the restoration of the Margie was invaluable, brought one of his hand-built model engines to the meeting. It was a real treat to see a self-starting model of an internal combustion engine actually run. And what eye candy-a beautiful piece of work.

The 2008 season is off to a good start. During the March meeting we were treated to examples of incredible craftsmanship. Dick Pretel, whose assistance in the restoration of the Margie was invaluable, brought one of his hand-built model engines to the meeting. It was a real treat to see a self-starting model of an internal combustion engine actually run. And what eye candy-a beautiful piece of work.

We were also treated to a penultimate stage in the restoration of the Margie. The restoration is beautifully executed, and as one member of the restoration team testified as to its difficulty, “It would have been easier to build a whole new Margie from the keel up.” The only thing left to be done is to install a new distributor, and the Margie should be ready for sea trials.

When she once again hits the open water, the Margie will be a fully operational testimony to the rich heritage of our club and to the innovation and craftsmanship of its members, past and present. Ed de Gear, who built the Margie and donated it to the club, built her with the first (and perhaps the only) variable pitch prop to ever sail the waters of Spreckels. Don Ciucci, Matt Ciucci, Ken Valk, John Garis and Dick Pretel brought the Margie beautifully and exquisitely back to life. Our collective and fervent prayer should be that the extreme craftsmanship and love of our hobby, as demonstrated in this project somehow can be passed on to the next generation, as it has been in the Ciucci Family, from Nello, to Don and now to Matt.

Unfortunately I had to leave right after the meeting, and was thus unable to participate in, or observe the opening day events. Judging from how quickly all the food disappeared, however, and the participation in the Rag Top-Stink Pot Regatta, a good time was had by all. Thanks for the great spread go to Alan Warren, my Star 45 sailing buddy, who inadvertently has become the unofficial club caterer. I also extend my thanks to Mary Rose Cassa, Vice Commodore and Lee Duvall, Power Squadron Officer for all the things they do as fellow board members, but on opening day in particular, for organizing and acting as joint OODs for the Rag Top-Stink Pot Regatta. I understand there were nineteen or twenty participants, more than I can ever remember competing in this joint Power/Sail Squadron event. Mary Rose has written a full report on the R.T./S.P, which is published elsewhere in this newsletter. Hopefully the participation on opening day is somehow indicative of an ever-growing unity and camaraderie within our club.

One of the outcomes of last year’s member survey was an expressed desire by the members to feature, as a part of our monthly meetings, programs that would be of interest to them, mostly covering subjects nautical, but not exclusively so. Al Block, with the able assistance of Ed Schoenstein, volunteered to take on the responsibility for scheduling and arranging these programs. The first such program, arranged by Ed Schoenstein, will be presented at our April 12th meeting. Our guest speaker will be Mr. John H. Hill , Curator-in-Charge of Aviation at San Francisco Airport Museums, who will treat us to the story of the China Clippers. Many of us are fascinated by history. Why else would we have such an abiding preoccupation with steam and sail powered vessels? So, this should be of interest to most. Let’s show Mr. Hill that we are a first class organization by attending the meeting and giving him our courteous attention. After all, this program is indicative that your voice has been heard. (I may just wear my China Clipper gold wristwatch on that day, which was manufactured by the Gruen Watch Company, and given to China Clipper pilots and navigators by Pan American Airlines, so that they would be well equipped to perform their duties.)


On Sunday, May 4th, the Club will be holding its first annual Ken Reilly Memorial Springer Regatta. It will be a two-part Barge on and Free Boat event. There will be two classes, Classic and Super. As we all know, Ken was a highly respected member of the model yachting community. As evidence of the respect and regard with which Ken was held, Karl Kalb, owner of Microglass, Victor Baca, Publisher and Editor of the “Model Ship Journal” from Washington State, and Bob Herrera, former long time member of our club, master modeler, and a great friend of Ken’s from Los Angeles all have all indicated they will attend. What a nice and lasting tribute to one who gave so much to our hobby and our club.

Let’s have a good turn out for Mr. Hill at our meeting on April 12th and in memory of Ken Reilly on May 4th. I’ll see you at both events



Jim Forbes, Commodore