Race Your Hunter 2018

21-23 September, 2018

What a difference from last year.  In 2017 the water was like glass; this year we had 25+ knots.  But more on that later.

As usual Tom and Kersten Hubbard and Duane Rubash and Gina Rubatino Rubash went all out to make this rendezvous a smashing success.  Friday night was delicious appetizers followed by some folks walking into town and others eating take out in the really nice shelter at the head of the dock.

Arrived by Boat

  • Jim DePretto & Barb Deaton of Fairview.  They also had some friends & family that happened to live near the marina that was able to join the festivities and crew.

  • John Hilton & his friend Rich of New Shoes

  • Michael & Ruth Murray of Wings of Gold

  • Bob and Kris Ridenour of Wanda Mae

Arrived by Car or foot :)

  • Ray & Debra Valpey of Sloe Tango joined us all three days. Ray crewed on Tiburon

  • Buzz & Tish Greenman of Prime Meridian joined us for Friday night

  • Larry & Sue Tughan of Beverly Jane joined us for Saturday

  • Bill & Jeannine Bramstedt of J Michelle joined us for Saturday.  Bill crewed on Tiburon 

  • Ben and Emmilie Stewart of Yikes II joined us for Friday and Saturday

  • Carol Jones of Brigadoon joined us for Friday

Including some drive ins and guests of Fairview I counted 31 folks. 

Ruth and I were almost the last ones to arrive by boat at 5pm on Friday. Wings of Gold  departed Bremerton Yacht Club and motor sailed through Rich passage facing a 3kt flood current but had a very pleasant sail the rest of the way to Des Moines.  Mostly bright sunshine and steady south west winds let us average about 4-5 kts under jib alone.  Have to love days like that. 

The very last arrival was our intrepid Fleet Captain John Hilton and his friend Rich docking at 11pm Friday.  Duane told John that conditions would be much more favorable Friday night than facing strong southerly winds Saturday.  John chuckled when he told me that Duane was watching his every move on AIS, including telling him not to transit Colvos Passage but instead keep Vashon Island to starboard.  Things can get confusing at night.

After a continental breakfast Saturday and the pre -ace briefing four boats ventured into the tempest.  Salish Mermaid crewed by Duane and Mike, Fairview by Jim and Barb, New Shoes by John and Rich, and Tiburon by Tom and Ray.  Once on the starting line John reversed the course which was fine but Fairview did not get the memo.  Sooo three boats headed south and Fairview headed north in accordance with the original briefing held but 10 minutes prior.  Anyway we got him headed south and the race proceeded apace.  Salish Mermaid was in third place catching Tiburon when our jib clew blew out with a bang.  Under main alone our pointing ability was nil as was our speed over the ground, 1.3-1.6 kts.  Gamely we carried on losing ground but upon turning downwind we saw 5.5 -6 kts.  This was fine until we rounded the downwind mark and once again clawed our way to windward at almost 2 kts.  My hat is off to Skipper Duane who never got flustered but took everything in stride.

The winner was New Shoes  ( he who reversed the course at the starting line) followed by honorary second place Fairview whom you remember as the boat that did not get the course change memo.  Third was Tiburon and fourth Salish Mermaid.  When still underway John asked if anyone wanted a second race.   Hmmm. No.

The remainder of the day was spent socializing, perusing the farmer's market, and preparing the chilis for the evening chili cook off.  First place went to Kris Ridenour in the chili with meat cook off.  First place in the meatless chili went to Deb Valpey (it also was the only meatless entry).    Janine Bramstedt delighted us all (and won a new category, Best Dessert) with a pie made from apples in her yard.  Yum Yum.

And again Tom went out of his way to design winners certificates.  Thanks much.

Fairview departed very early Sunday and Wings of Gold left at 0910.  On a maintenance inspection note back at BYC, since I had run at 2900 rpm for almost three hours I thought I would check the engine dipstick.  That was fine but I noticed a bolt in the bilge.  Hmmm.  Upon a closer look I noted that there was only one bolt of four left in my propeller shaft transmission coupling.  And the bolt in the bilge fit perfectly.  A quick trip to Tacoma Screw Monday morning produced the right fasteners which I immediately installed.  Speaking with Bob Ridenour (who used to commission Hunters) he said that there was a time when Hunter Marine had some issues with that.  At any rate my coupling will now get a look each time prior to getting underway.

Tom, Kersten, Duane and Gina thank you again for a terrific time.  We look forward to next year.  You folks really go all out and it is truly appreciated.


Mike and Ruth Murray

Signature All-Fleet: 1-3 June 2018

Dave Garland and Tom Hubbard catch up

Dave Garland and Tom Hubbard catch up

June 1-3, 2018

Signature Yachts put on a great all-fleet rendezvous in Poulsbo.

There were 12 Hunter Sailboats, along with some Beneteaus.

HAPS was well-represented:

John and Kerstin Hilton (and guests) aboard New Shoes

Mike and Ruth Murray (and John and Stephanie Murray ++) aboard Wings of Gold  

Dave and Mary Weale aboard Dulcinea 

Stuart and Linda Scadron-Wattles aboard Selah

Dave and Susie Garland aboard Endless Options

Larry and Sue Tughan aboard Beverly Jane

Tom and Kersten Hubbard aboard Tiburon

Larry and Connie Wilhelmsen (and family) aboard Pure Sterling


Gary and Joanne Mallett (Anna) drove in on Saturday, as did John and Stephanie Murray and family.

In addition, there were a number of former HAPSters, and HAPSters to be.

The highlighted boat was a 57-ft Beneteau Sense, which, we were told, was on loan from the company, who had placed one on the East Coast of the US and this one on the West Coast, at Signature. It bears logos for King 5’s Evening magazine, and is often featured on the air.

Friday night was a potluck Heavy Hors D’oeuvres, and BYOD on the dock. The food was plentiful and varied. It was a great time to greet HAPS friends we had not seen since Chart Chat, and to get acquainted with some of the people who have been on our mailing list, but have yet to join HAPS. As heavy as the food had been, we saw groups heading up to dinner in town.

Saturday morning dawned with light wind, promising blue skies and temperature in the 70’s. After a continental breakfast provided by our hosts, Robbie Robinson, Signature’s owner, provided a brief history of his brokerage/dealership, of which Hunter is now a chapter. As he brought us to the present tim, he also mentioned the troubles still being felt in the European sailboat market, and the recent import duties affecting the Canadian market for US-built boats.

With a small sea of swag bags at his feet, Robbie mentioned the many supporters of the rendezvous, including CSR, Pacific Title, Trident Marine, and Neal Pryde Sails. The bags included a generous supply of  Team McLube’s Sailkote, and their One-Drop lubricant for ball-bearings. Signature acquired the local franchise for Neal Pryde Sails about a year ago, Robbie noted, “…and we’ve been staying very low-key while we learn what we’re doing.”

As if to prove his point, Robbie them introduced Neal Pryde’s sail guru, Bob Pattison, who heads up Design and Special Projects for Neal Pryde Sails International. Pattison is a Long Island-based sailor who has been sailmaking and racing for 25 years. He brought his considerable knowledge and experience to bear on the topic of sail trim and construction for cruising boats, when to reef and why you should (“Fourteen knots true is all of the power you will ever need on a full rig”) and the ins and outs of furling mainsails (“It’s all about friction and mast bend”). Pattison explained the physics of wind and the consequent design and trim of sails with authority and simplicity. 

He began by talking about the cutter designs of the 1980’s, and the reasoning behind those sail plans. He went on to discuss modern yacht design and the two to three sail inventory, explaining that light and efficient ship designs have changed and simplified sail requirements. Pattison then returned to his comments about cutter rigs, as he introduced the idea of a free-flying “screecher” sail for reaching. As he looked to the future, he pointed out that Beneteau designers are already producing their boats with athwartship (port-to-starbord running) tracks forward of the mast: a key sign that the smaller, self-tacking jib will likely be the preferred headsail, with a free-flying sail such as the screecher the upwind power sail of choice.

After a generous period of Q&A, we adjourned for lunch on our own: some aboard our boats, some heading up the ramp to Poulsbo for the variety of eating establishments in “Little Norway.”

By mid-afternoon, the wind had freshened, and many of us opted for the two sailing trials on two Beneteau models, demonstrating Pattison’s points, and featuring the Neal Pryde self-furling screecher sail. The negative tide proved to be only a slight setback for the 57-foot Sense and its 7’10” draft.

Saturday evening we held a potluck supper, with plenty of choice for all, and libations provided by Signature Yachts. This proved to be only the start of their generosity, however. A post-prandial drawing for prizes included gift certificates to West Marine, Anthony’s, and a candle-powered LED lantern from Fisheries Supply, as well as  “water” bottles from CSR ( Tori: “I’ve never known the guys at CSR to sail with actual water in those bottles”)

Most PNW rendezvous end with a desultory continental breakfast in cold drizzle. Not this one: There were blueberry pancakes, breakfast sausage, and melon, in addition to orange juice, coffee and muffins. Since many of us did not have to leave for an early tide, we had seconds, warmed up our coffee, and lingered in each other’s company, discussing our plans for the season ahead, and vowing to meet again.

We’re now saving the date for the 2019 Signature All Fleet: May 31-June 2.

Stuart Scadron-Wattles

HAPS Comms

HAPS Port Ludlow: May 2018

May 2018

HAPS does it again!

Port Ludlow proved itself to be a delightful rendezvous setting.

Dave and Mary Weale aboard Dulcinea arrived a day early in true host fashion to assure that all was ready. Also in attendance were:

John and Kerstin Hilton aboard New Shoes

Gary and Joanne Mallett aboard Anna

David and Sara Tideman aboard Humuhumunukunukuapua'a  (we will learn to pronounce this correctly)

Rick and Ann Giles aboard Fre’ Moment

Most attendees arrived mid to late afternoon, with plenty of time to prepare for “heavy hors d’oeuvres” as Dave Weale referred to them.  We gathered on the “party float” in the lovely spring sunshine. True to Dave’s plan, we were too full for dinner.  After an hour or two of visiting, the sun set and the evening chill sent us back to our boats for the night.

Rick and Ann Giles arrived at just about bedtime for many of us old timers.  Guided by New Shoes’ anchor light, they found their slip in the darkened marina.

We all awoke to sunshine and after morning coffee indulged in Mary Weale’s infamous blueberry pancakes and ham.

During the morning’s conversation we learned that Port Ludlow has quite an extensive trail system (26 miles) and even a waterfall.  After a stop at the Marina office to pick up a trail map, off we set to explore the woods.  The trails were wide, which made for easy conversation and an ideal opportunity to get to know one another individually. Interpretive signs along the way directed our attention to native flora and fauna, and historic details that contributed to the development of Port Ludlow.

Returning from the woods we stopped to check out the local art gallery which features only local artists, and pick up a few things at the small market nearby.  For those that are new to Port Ludlow, there are actually quite a few businesses in the town.  It takes a bit of looking to find them as they are located in little clusters set in amongst the trees.

Back at the marina it was time for lunch and another round of activities.  Dave Weale displayed his competitive nature by organizing a wind-up toy race.  The course measured 24” in length.   The selection of toys was amazing, and after much discussion and argument the field was narrowed to four fish.  Racing was intense, and the winner was … uhm, you’ll have to purchase a calendar at the annual meeting to find out!  Dave followed up with a session of knot tying.

Meanwhile, Rick Giles brought his new to him Walker Bay 10 sailing dinghy and the warm sunshine and pleasant breeze made us eager to give it a try.  After pumping up the tubes, and sorting out some rigging, the dinghy was sailing smartly about the marina.

As the dinner hour approached we gathered our potluck contributions and headed up to the Port Ludlow Marina gazebo.  No sooner did we begin to set the tables when the sound of rain drops grew louder.  We opted to take shelter in the large tent structure nearby.  We had an enjoyable dinner of soft tacos, with salad and lemon bars, and watched the rain develop into a full on thunderstorm.  Thanks to smart phone technology we were able to consult the NOAA weather app with real time radar to determine the most advantageous moment to scurry back to the warmth and comfort of our boats.

Sunday morning no one was in a big hurry to leave so we had a leisurely breakfast aboard Dulcinea and continued visiting, touring one another’s boats and so on. One by one we said our good byes, and began our journeys back to home port, secure in our sense of being surrounded by nice people, having a nice time in nice boats.


John Hilton

HAPS Fleet Co-captain