Wednesday, April 16, 2014


Hello fellow sailors!


Calendar… I wanted to inform you all that the new calendar of events is up at . There is a tab near the top of the website that says calendar. Here is the direct link… . The google calendar on the side bar has been deleted as I continued to have problems with it.


Bonnie Lake… In May the first event is on the 3rd, a paddle and sailing trip on Bonnie Lake. There are limiting factors for boats in accessing this lake… Shallow draft (foot or so), height no more than 5 feet (have to pass under a bridge but can put up ones master after passing under it), and width about 6 feet (Islands may have to keep their outriggers folded for a few hundred feet. To access the lake we have to travel up a creek into the lake for about a half mile. Once in the lake it’s very deep and wide enough to enjoy sailing. You can either access the lake on Saturday with us or come Friday and camp overnight on a volcanic Island. Again visit the calendar page to learn more. I might add this is an amazing trip you will not want to miss… in addition to this beautiful canyon lake there is an amazing water fall.

Lessons… Also in May I have two learn-to-sail classes on May 10th and May 17th… again dates and details are on the calendar page.

Sail Fest… The big event I need help with this year is on June 7th, the Sail & Paddle Fest. This event introduces people to sailing and helps us get new members. I also need everyone to bring their sailboats and Islands. Please if you have a boat please come and give people rides. Last year we had one Keelboat, several Wave’s and Islands, and Super Snark. This year I want to expand the number of boats we have. This event focuses on trailer-able sailboats… monohulls and multihulls.

Splash… This year on August 2nd I am starting the first annual Splash event at Higgins Point on Lake Coeur d’Alene.  The plan is to come on Friday (most will come Friday evening) and camp overnight on our boats (no camping allowed at Higgins Points other than on your boats (nearby camping available). Friday evening we will sail the Wolf Lodge Express… amazing winds. Then on Saturday I will put out some cans and we will do some fun racing. After the racing we will have a pot luck dinner. I know some of us do not sail on Sundays so for those of you that want to sail on Sunday it will be a cruising day. Learn more by visiting the calendar page…

Check out the calendar as there are other events, etc. posted…

SEA SCOUTS… This year we will have a new addition to our club in the way of the Sea Scouts. Finally we will have a youth component and already we have youth members. If you know any youth that would like to join our Sea Scout Ship (called ship not troop) send them our way by having them call me (Miles Moore) at 208-704-4454 or email me at . Our ship is called the Sea Cats!

ACCESSIBLE/DISABLED…Via help of a new members we were able to apply for a grant for the accessible/disAbled sailing program. I am very hopeful this grant will be approved. The program is primarily focused on sailors with spinal cord injuries. The boats used for this program are Hobie Islands as the last few years have proven that the Island is the ideal accessible sailboat. I am trying to build a fleet of Islands with adaptive seats. These boats will also of course be used for the Sea Cats as well. If you would like to donate or help in anyway please give me a call me (Miles Moore) at 208-704-4454 or email me at . Watch this amazing video to see why the Island is so Ideal…

SAIL Marine… The SAIL Marine store is now open on Friday at 10-5. Open Saturday when I have no classes or activities. The first Tuesday in May the store will be open full time… Tue-Friday 10-5, and Sat. 10-2 like last year. Besides myself (Miles Moore) working the store, Corine will help run the store along with Scout Bailey (some of you know him from a few years past from the accessible sailing program). We still have the goal to expand the store by offering more line and parts. I still specialize in trailer-able keelboats, continue to sell Hobie Cats and Hobie Islands, and Super Snarks.

ONLINE STORE… As some of you know we are currently working on a new online store. We are close to completing it. The store address is and we will announce when it opens. It is our hope this store will make it easier for you to order, etc. This site will not just be for Hobie’s but will include items for trailer-able keelboats and monohulls sailing dinghies. In addition the site will have a dedicated pages for Hobie Islands. Once it’s up I hope you will give us feedback, good or bad.

END… There is a lot going on this season and I hope we can all be more active than ever. We do have a lot of new members so as a club we are growing. The Hobie Island group is becoming a big part of the club. Have a nice day! I hope to see you all this May 3rd.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Hobie Alter has passed away!

HOBART ‘HOBIE’ ALTER – Sadly we report the passing of Hobie Alter – Above and below is just a little history of this sailing and surfing legend from sources that list most of his design and product accomplishments – but not all as they’re to many to list.
Hobie made products for kids and adults that gave them a passion for the water and the outdoors. Through his products he passed on this passion he had to millions of others who became avid sailors, surfers, fisherman and even aviators.

The video above is just a little history of National Sailing Hall of Famer Hobie Alter (Class of 2011) and the iconic boats he created from his company, which began when he started building surfboards as a teenager. He will truly be missed.
Have a Hobie Day

Hobie was born on October 31, 1933. He passed away on March 29,2014. He is a founding pioneer in the surfboard shaping industry, creator of the Hobie Cat, and founder of the Hobie company. A successful surf entrepreneur, Hobie Alter is widely remembered as the man behind the development of the foam-and-fiberglass surfboard. His label, Hobie, remains one of the top-selling surfboard brands of all time. He is also the creator of the Hobie 33 ultralight-displacement sailboat and a mass-produced radio-controlled glider, the Hobie Hawk.

During summer vacation 1950 “Hobie” hit on an idea to bring together his two loves, woodshop and water. He asked his dad to pull the Desoto out of the family’s Laguna Beach, California garage, and the history of surfing was about to enter a new era.
Hobie began by building 9-foot balsawood sufboards for his friends. Hobie’s hobby had become a business and his dream of never owning hard-soled shoes or having to work east of California’s Pacific Coast Highway was becoming a reality. A couple of years and 40 tons of sawdust later, Hobie opened up Southern California’s first surf shop in Dana Point, California. Then in 1958 Hobie and his buddy Gordon “Grubby” Clark (as in Clark Foam) began experiments making surfboards out of foam and fiberglass. The new boards were lighter, faster and more responsive than wooden ones. Several famous surfers surfed for the Hobie Team, including Joey Cabell, Phil Edwards, Corky Carroll, Gary Propper, Peter Pan, Mickey Munoz, Joyce Hoffman and Yancy Spencer.

Hobie was born and raised in Ontario, California, but his family had a summerhouse in Laguna Beach, where Alter got into the full array of ocean sports. Initiated into surfing by Walter Hoffman, he started shaping balsa boards in the early ’50s. When the family’s front yard became cluttered with the remnants of surfboard production, his father moved him off the property by buying him a lot on Pacific Coast Highway in nearby Dana Point for $1,500. That was 1953. In February 1954, with the first stage of the shop completed, Hobie Surfboards opened its doors after a total investment of $12,000. “People laughed at me for setting up a surf shop,” Hobie remembers. “They said that once I’d sold a surfboard to each of the 250 surfers on the coast, I’d be out of business. But the orders just kept coming.

Alter hired other board-builders, including Phil Edwards and Reynolds Yater. With the introduction of foam-and-fiberglass technology, Alter brought Joe Quigg over from Hawaii to help keep up with demand. Then came the high-volume production shapers like Ralph Parker and Terry Martin, guys who have shaped hundreds of thousands of surfboards over the years. Other Hobie shapers included Dewey Weber, Mickey Munoz, Corky Carroll, Don Hansen. Bruce Jones and the Patterson brothers.

After experimenting with foam for a couple of years, Hobie made a breakthrough in 1958, finally achieving the right skin hardness for shapeability with the right core density for strength. He decided to set up a separate foam-blowing operation in nearby Laguna Canyon and recruited one of his glassers, Gordon “Grubby” Clark, to make polyurethane surfboard blanks. Almost immediately, Gidget was released, and surfing (and the demand for surfboards) boomed. “If that movie had come out in the balsa era,” says Alter, “no one could have supplied them.”

The new foam boards were called Speedo Sponges and Flexi-Fliers, and Hobie was soon manufacturing 250 a week. Clark eventually took over the foam operation, renaming it Clark Foam, and he’s serviced the lion’s share of the world’s surfboard blank market ever since.

Alter was a surfing competitor in his younger days. He won the second Brooks Street contest in Laguna in 1954 and placed third and fourth at the Makaha International Surfing Championships in 1958 and 1959. He achieved success as a tandem surfer, placing second in the event at Makaha in 1962. Alter added to his personal notoriety by making the Guinness Book of World Records in 1964, surfing the wake of a motorboat 26 miles from Long Beach to Catalina Island.

After sailing on the Woody Brown’s Manu Kai, Alter patented the idea.[3] Brown did not contest this, just as he had refused to contest Tom Blake’s claiming of his invention of the surfboard skeg. Alter’s subsequent Hobie Cat became the nucleus of a very successful worldwide catamaran business.

Alter sold Hobie Cat to Coleman in 1976, and his sons Hobie Jr. and Jeff carry on the family tradition, operating Hobie Designs and overseeing the company’s licensing operations. Today, Alter divided his time between the mountains of Idaho (where he skied in the winter) and an island in the Pacific Northwest, where he anchored a 60-foot, foam-core, twin-diesel power catamaran he designed and built himself.

Alter began making skateboards in 1962 and by 1964 he teamed up with the Vita Pakt juice company to create Hobie Skateboards. Alter went on to sponsor the Hobie Super Surfer skateboard team. 

From the Hobie Class Association

Hobart Alter was originally from Capristano Beach, Southern California. In 1950, a restless californian high school student brought together his two loves-water and wood shop. His Dad backed the DeSoto out of the family’s Laguna Beach, California garage, and a young Hobie Alter (nee “Hobart”) started building surfboards.

Hobie began by building beautiful 9-foot balsawood icons for his friends. They worked well! Hobie’s hobby had become a business and his dream of never owning hard-soled shoes or having to work east of California’s Pacific Coast Highway was becoming a reality.

A couple of years and 40 tons of sawdust later, Hobie opened up Southern California’s first surf shop in Dana Point, California. Then in 1958 Hobie and his buddy Gordon “Grubby” Clark (as in Clark Foam) began experiments making surfboards out of foam and fiberglass. The new boards were lighter, faster and more responsive than anything else in the water.
Demand skyrocketed, production cranked up, and everyone wanted to be on a Hobie surfboard. In the 1960′s, while the Beach Boys were making records, the legendary Hobie Surf Team was setting them. Hobie’s lineup virtually comprises the surfing hall of fame; Joey Cabell, Phil Edwards, Corky Carroll, Gary Propper, Peter Pan, Mickey Munoz, Joyce Hoffman and Yancy Spencer among many, many others.

In 1967, it all started as if in a dream with a drawing in the sand at a beach party – Hobie Alter, Wayne Schafer, Sandy Banks and the number one surfer in the early 60′s, Phil Edwards. Hobie Alter then made that dream a reality with the design of the Hobie Cat 14. Hobie wanted to make a boat that you could easily launch into the surf from the beach, sail, and bring back through the surf. And it was this 14-foot fiberglass single-handed catamaran with asymmetrical hulls that single-handedly changed the course of sailing.
Hobie and his friends started out a small series production in California. Shortly after production started in 1968, a full feature spread appeared in Life Magazine: “The Cat that Flies”. The publicity that this generated caused the instantaneous popularity of this baby beachcat.

Somewhere around this time the Hobie 10, 12 and 3.5 were designed, but did not remain in production long.

In 1969 Hobie released the Hobie 16 – a two person 16-foot version of the hobie 14, which he called appropriately, the Hobie Cat 16. The boat was an immediate success, and lent considerable impetus to the Hobie movement. The Hobie 16 became the most well known catamaran, and is still very popular. The Hobie 16 can be found today in most countries of the world, and is an official ISAF full international class.

As of 1971, he boats were manufactured by Coast Catamaran Corporation in Irvine, California, at this time they went public. In January of 1976, the Coleman Company, world renowned manufacturer of camping and outdoor products, agreed to purchase Coast Catamaran Corporation and this is when production took off. In 1979 Coleman moved production to Oceanside, California where Hobie Cat is still based today. Tony Wilson purchased Coast Catamaran from Coleman in January 1989, changing the name back to the Hobie Cat Company.

The Hobie 18 in 1976, Hobie 17 in 1985, Hobie 21 in 1987, Hobie 18SX in 1989, Hobie 17 Sport in 1990, Hobie 20 in 1991, Hobie 21 Sport Cruiser in 1992, Hobie Wave in 1994, Hobie TriFoiler in 1995, a long gap in production, then the Hobie Getaway in 2000.
Today, Hobie Cats are manufactured in 5 corners of the globe:
  • Hobie Cat USA - Oceanside, California (for north America and the Carribean);
  • Hobie Cat Brasil (for the South American market);
  • Hobie Cat Europe - Toulon, France (for the European market);
  • Hobie Cat Australasia - Australia (covering Australia and Asia);
  • Hobie Cat South Africa - Montague Gardens, Milnerton, South Africa
At one point manufacturing was done in Japan, however not anymore. Hobie Cat USA has recently (end of 2001) taken over operations in Australia.

Other Hobie innovations have followed over the years:
R/C gliders like the Hobie Hawk – a mass produced radio-operated glider airplane with a wingspan of 99 inches.

In 1964, Hobie Alter teamed up with the Vita Pakt Juice Company to create Hobie Skateboards and accessories.

In 1984 Hobie Alter introduced the Hobie Skiff. This powerboat was able to hold up to a 50 hp engine, was self-bailing and had great capacity.

Also 1984, the Holder 14 monohull was introduced, it was updated and re-released in 1986 as the Hobie One-14.

60′ ocean shredding power cats, float cats, Alpha Sailboards and then Hobie apparel and sunglasses were additional innovations.

The Hobie 33, a monohull, was another venture of Hobie Alter. 187 Hobie 33′s were built between 1982 and 1986 and can be found throughout North America. Hobie 33 North American Class Association. Yours truly, webmistress, sails on Rhumb Punch, a Hobie 33 in Toronto, Canada.

Hobie Sr. was residing in Idaho, where the family is busy with Hobie Apparel with sons Hobie Alter Junior and Jeff Alter. I am sure Hobie Alter Sr. is proud as can be of his three children, for they are all outstanding sailors… the tradition continues.

An Interview by CNN/Money of Hobie Alter Jan 16 2014
Foam and fiberglass. If you’re not a surfer, that combination means little to you. But if you like to ride the waves, you can thank Hobie Alter, the man who combined those two materials. That breakthrough made boards 20 pounds lighter and easier to use, as well as simpler to manufacture. It helped transform board-making from expensive balsa and fiberglass projects that you shaped and sanded in your garage into an economical, mass-production process in the 1950s.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A Little Bit of Sailing News!

For those of you that remember the days of the Sunfish craze... here is a video of these fun boats from days gone by...

For those of you wanting to live in the 21st Century here is a video of another new foiling cat that is in development. As I talked about in my previous article... foiling is the wave of the future. Click here to view my article

Also related to local sailing news the Lewis & Clark Sailing Association has started its Frostbite Series. Their first event is on Feb. 22nd but their marina is still full of ice so of course the first race in the series was canceled... Learn more by clicking here! The banana belt (Lewiston and Clarkston area) is always the first place sailing starts in the Inland Northwest then it warms up in the desert (Tri-Cities and Moses Lake/Potholes Res.), and then finally warms in the Lake Coeur d'Alene/Pend Oreille area. Honestly the sailing season is fast approaching in spite of seeing that annoying white stuff outside.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Shilshole Bay Rescue

I normally write an article the beginning of each new year about being prepared when going sailing however this time I am supplying this article by my friend Laura of Seattle.  Laura is a world class sailor and is always prepared. This article should be very convincing to anyone that reads it on why we need to be prepare before going sailing and even more so when the water is cold.

Stuff happens. Being prepared gave this story a happy ending.
  By Laura Sullivan

Where do I begin? Peter Nelson and I have been training for the upcoming Hobie 16 Worlds which are being held at Jervis Bay, Australia on January 31st - February 15th, 2014. Our day of training was planned for practicing getting off the start line and ended up with me having to be rescued. How plans change when stuff happens.

Our process is to check the weather reports for 20 knots of breeze, and hopefully waves and current. Those are the conditions we feel we need to train for to compete in Australia. Thursday looked like the perfect day – with 10- 20 knots from the South at West Point Buoy in Seattle, WA, where it tends to be gusty, and some wild waves.

Since we are practicing in winter here in Puget Sound, with far fewer boats on the water, and in tougher conditions, it brings more risk. You’re more likely to separate from the boat, in high wind, big waves, and current. It only takes a second to land in the water and separate from the boat. The big wind, waves, and current push a capsized boat away faster than most people can swim, because of that we decided to carry a marine radio.

Before I left the driveway to pick Peter up and go launch the boat, I checked the marine radio to make sure it was in working order. I set it on channel 16, and locked it onto the channel, so it couldn’t accidentally be changed by mistake. Knowing if you are in a winter emergency, you probably will have very cold hands that aren’t working well, and you don’t want the added stress of figuring out how to use an unfamiliar radio and change it to channel 16 – the marine “all hail” channel – which is monitored by the Coast Guard.

Our training location which we selected for the day was outside of Shilshole marina, Seattle, WA. This is also a highly-trafficked area given its proximity to both the marina and the Ballard locks.

During our straight line sailing warm up practice, what we were finding was a significant rudder cavitation problem as well as some lee helm which showed up with a vengeance in 20+ knots of breeze.

We were out on the wire, double- trapped, and the rudders were cavitating. We were trying to figure it out what was causing the problem. Weight distribution? A rudder set-up issue? And how to quickly solve the issue when it occurred.

Ahead of us was what we call a hamburger buoy – a large round, layered mooring buoy for freighters that looks a lot like a hamburger. It’s located at the entrance to the Ballard Locks. It was on a reaching angle to our sailing, so we pretended it was the offset mark which we would be working with at the Worlds. I came in off the wire, and traveled the main and jib out for the reach - waiting for Peter to come in off the wire and head down wind. I was focusing on the bows and sheeting the main and jib travelers. In a nano-second I was thrown from the boat when she lurched unexpectedly to leeward. The next thing I knew I was in the water being drug by the boat, holding onto the jib sheet. A big wave swept over me, and ripped the jib sheet from my hand. I was now floating all by my lonesome (Shucks).

I looked up to see the boat sailing away with Peter looking back at me. No big deal. I knew he’d turn the boat around, and pick me up. Instead, the boat flipped over backwards when he turned upwind single-handing it. (Double-shucks, big problem).

I began swimming to Peter and making some progress. I was encouraged. The next time I looked up from swimming, he was being blown away faster than I could swim. At that point in time, I floated in the water for a few seconds – knowing he’s getting farther and farther away each second I delay my swimming. I realized reaching Peter and the boat was no longer an option. (Deep breath – and discouragement).

It felt as if the water was pushing me –ever so slightly - in the opposite direction – which should mean the flood was on. Because it was so subtle, I looked closely at the water in the bay, the waves were building. Why was that important? It meant that my best chance for getting anywhere was to swim with the flood and not against it. For me, it was a tough decision to swim away from Peter and the boat – my lifeline - and head back to the hamburger buoy.

For Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps, it might not have been a big deal to swim to the buoy. However, he wears a skimpy, Speedo, in a heated swimming pool and I was wearing a layer of thermal gear, full double-thickness fleece liner, dry suit, harness, and life jacket, balaclava, thermal gloves, a knife and a whistle in comparison. (UGH!! Not fun.).

I yelled to Peter to “Get the radio and make the call!” and then I turned and started swimming in the opposite direction. That’s a tough decision to make because now I was on my own. No time for a pity party. I need to start swimming now - inch by inch.

I swam for awhile and checked to see if I was making progress. Yes I was making progress – I was encouraged. I was 1/3 of the way there. Seagulls were flying over the top of me – circling as if I’m some sort of food source.

Inch by inch – I swam some more. More progress. Inch by inch I swam some more. NO PROGRESS!!! I was taken by surprise –and figured there had to be an eddy there that was trying to prevent me from getting to MY buoy. I decided to totally concentrate on my best swimming ever, and hoped the eddy wasn’t a big one. I swam – checked my progress. YES! I was making progress once again. I only had 1/3 of the way left to go.

As I approached the buoy, I realized there was a new current affecting me. It was pushing me away from land, away from the buoy and out to the bay. This current had to be from the outflow of the Ballard Locks. (I talk to myself a lot in these situations!). I said “I’ve come this far, and I’m not going to let THAT happen!” I was close enough and wanted to get all this laborious swimming over with, so I put all my focus into my swimming.

Yippee! I made it! I was now hanging onto the buoy which has a huge rope of wire anchoring it. The top of the buoy was about 5’ above my head. “How do those sea lions jump up there!”

I tried to climb up half-heartedly- testing my strength. I decided to wait a couple of minutes before the real climb would begin. I looked over my shoulder and saw blue flashing lights which never looked so good!

The Seattle Police Harbor Patrol has arrived!!! Their timing was impeccable as I had just torn a hole in my drysuit on the wire rope anchoring the buoy and was taking on water really fast. The Seattle Police Harbor Patrol hauled my fish like carcass onboard. They ushered me inside the cabin for warmth and safety. The EMTs were all over the radio asking repeatedly how I was. Was I cold? Was I shivering? I was fine – now soaking wet inside since my dry suit was torn. Luckily, that happened during the rescue and not during the swim. They gathered up the lines onboard and off we went to take care of Peter’s situation.

With the Hobie 16 floating on its side, the trampoline had considerable windage, pushing Peter and the boat further North with each breath and puff of wind. Peter was standing on the hull awaiting our arrival.

The Seattle Police Harbor Patrol wanted to bring him onboard, however, Peter wouldn’t leave the boat, so the Harbor Patrol threw him a line where they righted the boat. We stood watching over him, as he gathered the sails, righting line and tiller and got the boat in order to sail. Peter single- handed the boat back to Shilshole while we followed closely.

Peter and I figured I had been swimming in the frigid waters for over 30 minutes. Without the proper sailing gear, I could have died in 5-10 minutes.

Why does this story have a happy ending? We were prepared and reduced our risks.

We made a conscious decision to mitigate our risks by sailing in a high visibility area – Seattle, near the marina and the locks. There are other high wind, big waves and current areas to sail. However, they’re not in a highly populated area and we’d have less chance of getting help if needed.

Capsizing is usually no big deal. I’ve capsized in less than 5 knots (fooling around), and in 37 knots. The results at those speeds are slightly different, however, almost always the same. Getting the boat righted and back sailing is a step by step process. We train to push the limits, we train to handle the limits and know what’s going to happen. If it happens, it happens pretty much the same every time.

We mitigated our risks by sailing.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Sailing in Video Games?

I have told my boys I will play video games when there is sailing in them (sarcasm added)... well they might have caught me now that Assassin's Creed video game has sailing in it (kind of). In addition one has to deal with rogue waves and waterspouts, and cannons a-blazing. Check it out!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Amazing Small Sailboat EVENT!

I just discovered an amazing new event for small boat sailors in the Pacific Northwest... It is called Pocket Yacht Palooza an event that includes a boat show and regatta/cruise. It take place in July 19-20 (2014) at the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend, WA. The event primarily includes trailer-able Keelboats, but also includes row boats, etc.

I will be attending with my wife and family with my Compac16, Super Snark, and Hobe Tandem Island. If you decide to attend (I highly recommend it) please let me know as I would like to give the event organizers an idea of how many are coming from the Inland NW.

For more info click HERE!

Here is the flyer and pictures from last years event....