Editor:  Randy Oates

December 2014



In this issue:
Feel Like Christmas?
Commodore's Report
Membership Report
Education Report
Cruising News
Social Events
Events at a Glance
Sunshine Lady
Meeting Minutes

Go to Seafarers Website

Add Seafarers Newsletter
to your favorites



Feel Like Christmas?  

Reindeer pulling a boat may seem a little far-fetched, but if the North Polar ice cap melts, you know...

And who could blame Santa Claus for wanting the PGI lifestyle?   He must have noticed the lack of storm windows, freezing people, and especially chimneys when he flies over delivering gifts.  Do you suppose when he's stepping in off the lanai he might be thinking how nice a workshop here would be?

But I digress.  Have you ever thought what would have happened if on that foggy Christmas Eve Santa had asked Rudolph to guide his sleigh and Rudolph, in a fit of pique about never getting to join in those reindeer games had said, "there must be plenty of other reindeer better qualified?"   Besides the fact that Rudolph would never have gone down in history, we would all have been getting lumps of coal in our stockings ever since, and then how bad would global warming be?  Think about it.

So when the chance comes up this year to help our new Officers and Board (the good reindeer) by leading or working on an event, think of Rudolph and say "yes!" and save Christmas and the planet.  I mean, is that too much to ask?  Really.
To view the past 12 months' newsletters, click here (be sure pop-up blocker is off):
December | January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November |



Commodore's Report: by Eric Norlin

            As I write my final musings for Waypoints, I find myself sinking slowly beneath the waves of my “Commodore-Ship”. BLUB…Blub…Blub…  Hanging below the water’s surface, my term at the helm flashes by with snapshots of the 2014 Seafarers experience. As Old Blue Eyes said, “It was a very good year.” We worked together, got lots of people involved and gave ourselves many colorful memories to carry us forward into 2015. We improved calendar scheduling and communications for all members. There were ample cruise opportunities, many entertaining social events, and a strong sense of being part of an active club. New members came out of the blue, contributing their talents and energies. Every General Meeting included food, which of course, translated into good attendance. Our Regatta was a singular example of what team building can accomplish. It was energetic, creative and FUN!

            Finally, I am reminded of last December when I was elected Commodore. Many of you voiced your support with somewhat tongue-in-cheek wishes of good luck. Well, it has been rewarding experience for me, and I thank so many of you for making it that way.




Membership Report: by Joe Preece, Director

            Our Membership is currently at 306 and as we move into the “Winter Season” we have several couples waiting to join our fabulous club. This would take us up over 310 members and I am anticipating that the Board will have approved this prior to the publication of this month’s Waypoints. Watch for a blast introducing our new members in early December.

            As we approach the end of the year it is now time to pay your annual dues, which are $20/person or $40/couple.  A good way to keep track of your dues payment status is to check at the top of the Seafarers calendar page each time after you have signed in. There is a small notice just below your name telling you if you have paid your 2015 dues or not. This notice will only appear for the member who has logged in. The best and most secure way to pay those dues is to send a check made out to SEAFARERS to my house, 3335 Trinidad Court, Punta Gorda, FL 33950.

            If anyone is still having issues with the Members Only portion of the web site, let me know and we will set up a help session.


joepreece33@gmail.com or 918-645-8372

Education Report: by Joe Longo, Director

            Quite a few years ago the major boat builders got together with the U.S. Coast Guard and they compiled a set of rules to be followed to make boats safer.  One area was a set of rules for thru-hull fittings, types of hoses to use and how to clamp them. At that time thru-hull fittings had to be bronze, they had to be directly connected to a valve, and any hose connected to that fitting had to be of a certain quality (multi layers of fabric embedded in the hose), and be non collapsible.  All hoses connected to thru-hull fittings had to be double clamped using stainless steel marine clamps and clamped in different directions.

            Years ago I worked for Nationwide Insurance and I handled about 90% of that company's marine insurance claims in the state of Connecticut.  I remember a sinking claim that I handled of a new 25-foot fishing boat. The boat was only one year old and was one of the better quality boats at the time. The owner had installed a second live bait well and for his through hull water intake he used a plastic barbed fitting similar to the type you would use for your bilge pump outlet. Connected to the fitting was a piece of garden hose that went to a pump and another piece of garden hose from the pump to the live bait well. Both pieces of hose were clamped using one light duty fuel hose clamp on each end. The overflow from the live bait well was another piece of garden hose connected to another plastic barbed fitting. No clamps were installed on this one because the owner figured that they were not needed on this hose because there was no pressure in this hose, it was only a drain.  What he failed to realize was that this hose was over 4 feet long and the weight of the water in this hose was enough to disconnect this hose from the live well tank.  The day of the sinking the owner had filled the bait well with live bait and turned the pump on to keep his bait alive for the next mornings fishing trip with his friends. The fuel tank was full, lots of equipment on board and he went home for the night. When the owner installed the overflow outlet for the bait well he installed it just an inch above the water line. The overflow hose pulled off the bait well tank during the night and it fell to the bottom of the bilge.  With all of the extra weight in the boat the water outlet was now under water and the water started running back into the boat through the overflow hose.  The bilge pump kept up with it for a while but the battery started draining with the 2 pumps running and with the extra water running back into the bilge, down she went.

            Years ago I had a situation on my own boat when I returned from a weekend outing, unloaded the boat, got in the car and headed home. Around 3 in the morning I received a phone call from the guard at the marina that an alarm was going off in my boat. I headed down to the marina to find about a foot of water in the bilge. A few years before I had installed a high water alarm which now paid off. I also installed a back up bilge pump, which was about an inch above the main bilge pump. During a very rough ride home (5 hours of 3 foot waves) one of the bilge pumps broke free from its mount and fell over on its side and the float switch was stuck on. Also during the 5-hour trip home the stuffing box on the port side propeller shaft loosened up and the spinning propeller shaft completely unscrewed the stuffing box cap. Now there was a 1/4-inch space around the shaft where water was poring in. My second bilge pump (back up) quit because the 2 pumps being on for so long overheated the fuse. The fuse didn’t blow it just got so warm that the metal piece inside the fuse pulled away from its end cap and the 2 pumps stopped working. After that I realized that the back up pump had to have its own power supply to truly be called a back up. After that situation I never leave the boat without first checking the bilge and testing the bilge pumps. The high water alarm is a simple bilge pump float switch connected to an electronic boat horn or you can buy one that connects to your boat horn. All parts are available at West marine or on the Internet.

            Now when I do my pre-cruise checklist I lift the float on the high water alarm to make sure the horn goes off.

            Remember, Safety on the Water is No Accident



Cruising News: by Jack Gardner, Director

Past Cruises

            November 7th Regatta:  I was up North but I have heard that it was a resounding success.

            November 18th Ron and Judy Stafford led a Lunch cruise to Capt’n Conn’s. As luck would have it, the boat cruise was cancelled and turned into a auto trip because of horrendous weather. They had 47 Seafarers signed up originally, but that number shrank to 21 the day of the cruise. In spite of the bad weather, everyone had a great time and good food.

Future Cruises

            December:  There are no marina or lunch cruises scheduled for December. Originally we tried to get a lunch cruise set up. Unfortunately it was almost impossible to fit one in between all the Christmas parties and folks leaving to go north for the holidays.

            January 15-18:  A joint Seafarer/ Mariners cruise has been set up for January 15th thru the 18th. The final destination is to Marina Jack’s in Sarasota. Since that is two days travel for many of our boaters, the cruise is being divided into a couple of days. Mike and Arlene Epting are working out the details with the Mariners for Marina Jack’s.

            January 26th:  Randy and Sam Oates are leading a lunch cruise to Boca Grande Marina on Gasparilla Island. The docks have all been redone and the food is always outstanding. Look for more details on our online calendar.

            This past year, we didn’t get sign-ups until just a week or two before many of the cruises. Please sign up early so the cruise leaders have enough time to plan properly. There should be more info on our website soon. Since this is my last Waypoints article I would like to thank Marji Cyr and Mike Clark for the outstanding job they did as assistant Cruise Directors for the club this year. Asking friends to help out and lead cruises is never easy. These two took on the responsibility and never looked back. I would also like to thank Harry Ensley for volunteering to take on the job as Cruise Director for the coming year. Best of luck Harry.


Please note new email: 4jackgardner@gmail.com


New Year's Cabbage Key 3-day Cruise
December 30-January 1

Joint Cruise to Sarasota
January 15-18

Lunch Cruise to Gasparilla
January 26

Social Events: by Walt Zink,  Director and Bev Riggs, Co-Director

            What do chipmunks and cowboys have in common?  They both can sing, and boy did they at the 2014 Seafarers' Regatta at Burnt Store Marina.  Ginger Crumbaugh and her committees did a fantastic job.  Although, maybe we should have had a rain dance Saturday afternoon to ward off the rain!  In spite of the weather, everyone had a great time and agreed it was one of the best regattas ever.

            Thanks to Marlene Hofer and Carol Nieberline for the fantastic Thanksgiving feast after our November meeting. Sharing good times with friends is what it's all about.  Click here to see Bruce Tompkins' fantastic video of the event.

            We are going to a matinee performance of “The Phantom of the Opera” on January 29, 2015 and will enjoy dinner after at The Prawn Broker. The play cost is $76.58 per ticket and we have reserved a block of 20 seats.  Elise Gowan must receive payment for the tickets no later than November 28.  See our Seafarers’ website for more details and to signup.

            Where has the year gone?  The annual Change of Watch party is at the Isles Yacht Club on December 12. Details and signup are on the Seafarers' online calendar, and Terry Miller must have your check by the December 5 deadline.

 Bev Riggs


Change of Watch Party
December 12

Phantom of the Opera
January 29


 Events at a Glance  


Social at St. Andrews Country Club 5-7 pm
Change of Watch, Isles Yacht Club, 6 pm cocktails, 7 pm dinner
PGI Lighted Boat Parade
3-day New Year's Eve Cruise

 The Sunshine Lady - Cynthia Cowdrey

Cynthia Cowdrey is the Sunshine Lady for the Seafarers.  So if you hear of anyone who is ill or is hospitalized, or of anyone who has lost a family member, you should contact her. 

Her email is ladyofpalmas@hotmail.com and her phone number is 941-575-5671



Membership Meeting Minutes -- Click here to view.


  Original Newsletter Layout Design:  John Magnin                             WEB Hit Counter by Digits counter