From Border Run to the Power Squadron: A busy month for Sea Scouts

Power Squadron Course

Recently, the three Sea Scout ships based out of the Newport Sea Base have been participating in a four-week Power Squadron course. This course will teach the scouts many basic nautical terms, rules, and concepts. This course is designed to prepare potential US boaters to take the American Boating Course test and safely operate boats in a variety of situations. The Power Squadron Course is also an Ordinary elective.

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A couple of Renegades pose atop the work area in the sail loft

Sail Loft Visit

A few weeks ago, Ship Ninety Renegades substituted a sail loft field trip instead of their weekly Wednesday meeting. After the business portion of the meeting was out of the way, Mr. Kettenhofen, a mate for Ship Ninety, explained the different uses of several sewing machines. Two of the sewing machines used the straight or running stitch and made anything that would not be strained, such as a sail bag or pouch for spare line. The next machine utilized a zigzag stitch, which is commonly used for high quality sails. The final machine employed a three step zigzag stitch. This stitch increases the strength of the stitch and can be used to make heavy-duty sails. One particularly surprising characteristic of the final two machines are their amazing capability to punch through several inches of thick material. Obviously, this is important when hemming the edges of the large sails because the strands of Kevlar or carbon are concentrated in one area. Often, the corners are significantly thicker than the middle of a Kevlar or carbon sail.

After the sewing machine demonstration, the scouts listened to a short talk about how the draft of a main sail is determined. This section included a comparison of modern and past sail assembly processes. The three factors a sail making must consider are heat, pressure, and time. Different sail makers control and tweak these factors in order to create, what they believe, is the most efficient and effective product possible. The entire system is completely fascinating. The final portion of the field trip was interactive. The scouts were allowed to walk across a main sail from a 60 foot racing yacht, Dare. Then with the help of some string, the draft of a main sail was demonstrated. The field trip proved to be rather educational and piqued the interest of many ship members.

Del Mar

These past few weeks Del Mar, ship 711, has been extremely busy with ship activities such as work parties.  Ship 711 has been repairing and cleaning both the ship and our sail inventory. In January, our ship Del Mar was pulled out of the bay for a routine hull cleaning and inspection.  Though the wind has not been the best, we have managed to sail out to the ocean almost every weekend. In recent weeks, the ship has recruited several new members. Furthermore, the many scouts have completed advancement requirements. Overall, the first two months have been a very good start to a potentially productive new year. Our goal is to continue sailing and having great experiences on the water.

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The IMX makes the front page of “The Current” The Newport Sea Base Youth Racing Team poses for a group photo

Border Run 2014

Last weekend, the Newport Sea Base Youth Racing Team participated in the beginning stages of the annually held race-Border Run.

The course of this race stretches from a start line positioned by the Newport Pier to a finish line at the mouth of San Diego harbor.

The course is notorious for light conditions and many participants will not finish.

The NSBYRT team raced in this event for the past three years, finishing only once.

The trek is almost 70 miles and can last anywhere between 10 and 24 hours depending on wind strength and direction.

Though the team dropped out of the event, it was definitely a wonderful experience.

Some of the highlights include: seeing Dennis Connor at the start, watching Groupama’s trimaran fly a hull in the ridiculously light conditions, and taking selfies at the top of the mast.

The team is slatted to race in Island’s Race in a few weeks and we are all crossing our fingers for favorable conditions.

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