Saturday, July 14, 2012

From the Commodore

Hi Everyone:
The summer is just flying by! 

My family attended the Driftwood Yacht Club Make-A-Wish Fundraiser in June.  We cruised in and the harbormaster was terrific – we had some engine issues and he helped us with docking.  What a peaceful harbor.  It looked like Driftwood YC was able to raise quite a bit of money for the charity.  We were glad we were able to attend, and enjoyed catching up with Steve, Bonnie and Terry. 

We had our Co-Founder’s Event with River View Yacht Club on June 23rd.  Rear Commodore Jo Daniels coordinated the galley detail.  Thanks go out to Jo, Dave Peck and Joel Curtis-Brown for making the awesome pasta.  Janice and Kim decorated and Carolyn made an IPod playlist for the event.  Thanks to everyone who helped out and participated in the event.  River View was very generous with us when it came to sharing the profit and insisted we keep a larger portion of the proceeds.  One of their members said how nice it was to see their clubhouse full with people talking, laughing and having a good time.  We agreed that CIYC would “pay it forward” sometime in the future when another yacht club needs a helping hand.  Thanks River View!!

It sounds like almost everyone had a great 4th of July.  Some were at Mandaville, some at Stockton and some on the docks of their marina.  We had a great time at Cruiser Haven enjoying the new “ghetto” at Cruiser Haven.  The final area will be twice as big and there is an awesome swimming area and dock ladder.  Thanks Kevin!   And thanks Janice who made the improvement requests along with supplying many potted plants – ask her about winning an arm wrestling contest . . .

Upcoming Events:

August 4th – Glen Scrimger memorial go-fast poker run headed up by Nancy and Al Laughlin.  Al and Nancy sent out an informational e-mail.  Meet at Cruiser Haven at 10 a.m. and the cost is $5 per member.  Contact Al if you have questions.

August 10-12 – Mildred Island Anchor-out.  Contact Chip if you are attending and if you have questions.  Flyer is posted on the website.  We invited River View members on this cruise-out in appreciation of their support.

The Bethel Island Chamber of Commerce is hosting their annual 50’s Bash on August 11th.  This may be an alternative for you if you can’t attend the anchor-out.

August 31 – September 3rd – Cruise-Out to Commodore’s Island hosted by Marsha and Curt Hayes.   Marsha has sent out e-mails.  Currently there is a waiting list to dock on the Island, or King Island is another option and is very close.

Check the calendar on the website for all event dates.

See you on the docks or on the water . . .


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Lil’ Toot: From a Rotting Hulk to CIYC’s Newest Yacht

Any active member of CIYC from about 2008 to the present would have noticed a very old boat being rebuilt in a Taylor Road front yard. That boat belongs to the club’s own Glenn Peck and Marsha Fine.  Now almost completely redone and re-named, that impossible dream is back in the water and looking absolutely terrific.

How it got from where and when it was born to today, the early summer of 2012, is a story that needs to be told. But the story isn’t just about an old boat.  It is also about a unique man, our long time club board member, Glenn.

As far as Glenn knows, the boat was built in 1919, a long time before Marsha was a glimmer in the eye of Ray Fine.  Anybody who knows really old SF bay-built boats knows the family name Seeno. This family was, and remains a big name around Pittsburg.  First as in fishing, now as community leaders and land developers, the Seeno’s have seemingly always been players. When they built this boat, they were the biggest names among Pittsburg-Martinez area Italians, but for the even more well-known Di Maggio family—yes, that would be Joe Di Maggio, the Yankee Slugger (but I digress.)

The boat’s history is not well known beyond her early fishing life after she was launched.  It is known that she had a tow boat role in the 60’s-70’s for the largely rundown but oddly fascinating houseboat fleet of hippy-era Sausalito.  More recently, the boat kicked around Bethel Island for decades, often berthed somewhere around Taylor Road’s Anchor Marina.  Recognized as historically relevant to the curators at San Francisco’s Maritime Museum, it was surveyed by a national expert in such vessels several years ago for possible museum acquisition (his name is Bill Doll, a former CIYCer.)  Doll’s recommendation to the brass at the museum, “give this one a pass; it’s done.”  “Done” pretty well sums it up, but not in Glenn’s eyes.

Glenn lives a few doors away from Anchor Marina and for a long time dreamed about this “prize.”  He got together with a neighbor and set up an arrangement to acquire the boat.  One was to put up some working capital and Glenn took on the task of rebuilding the then 90+ year old boat. Putting up some money was the easy part.

While he can probably tell anyone who had the time to listen exactly everything that needed major work, this tale doesn’t need those facts.  All you need to know is that “relic” puts too much shine on the situation.

Glenn decided not to restore the boat to its original condition.  The wheelhouse had been added at some point, the original engine and interior were gone and so many other changes made that the decision was made to remake the boat as a character of its former self.  The idea was to rebuild it strong and shiny, add two sharp-toned whistles (made from scratch) to make it really cool and make sure that it would catch eyes.  Big challenge, as you can see.

The boat was known to many who travelled Taylor Road during this period as the “see through boat,” (to some wags the “SS Sea Threw”) where all planks had been removed and
major work done on ribs and all the other things that get hidden like, stem pieces and keel bits, it was soon to be re-planked with new wood and made water proof with old timey cotton batting.  These planks were not just sticks of wood from Home Depot.  Glenn purchased the finest Port Orford cedar and white oak from a supplier of rare wood to boat restorers.  Working with Herman Campos, another well-known wood boat man from Bethel Island, Glenn then moved to the final finish stages. 

This is where Lil’ Toot finds itself today.  Almost four years in, back in the water on Glenn and Marsha’s home dock, with a fine new diesel engine, new interior, chrome and bright work galore and a spanking new CIYC burgee for all on the island to see.  When asked why he didn’t just patch a few holes and paint it, he said “then it would have been unremarkable.”

What do you say?  Is it remarkable?  What a boat, what a story and what a talented guy.  Congratulations Glenn!

Ted Lyman