Mariner #367 starts off the new year with a picture of her cruising along on what looks to be a perfect sailing day. Early-style Mariners, like this one, have the advantage over the later 2+2's of having lower cockpit seats and therefore more comfortable backrests, although the non-self-bailing cockpits and the open cuddy cabins are not desirable for some. Early-style boats have also proven themselves on the racing grounds, winning 14 out of 42 National Championships.
How nice it must be to have your Mariner tied up at your own personal dock! This boat is about to get underway on a lazy autumn afternoon in Virginia - the sailbag and supplies are on the dock, the engine is about to be uncovered and the lines will soon be cast off. This early-style Mariner has a nice custom wooden enclosure for the otherwise open cuddy cabin, complete with ventilations slats for a little air circulation.
While the majority of Mariners are based on the eastern seaboard of the United States, Mariners are actively sailed all over the country (and beyond)! Here is a 2003 Stuart Mariner, #4188 SEA JADE whose home port lies in Washington state. The different manufacturers of the Mariner - O'Day, Rebel/Spindrift, and Stuart Marine - all kept the basic original Philip Rhodes design and only made slight modifications, mostly confined to the cabin.
This picture was taken by Frank Koscheka at the 2006 Nationals held at Narrasketuck Yacht Club on the south shore of Long Island. What a treat for the residents of the waterfront homes to watch a Mariner regatta! The waters of Great South Bay are notoriously shallow, adding another dimension of complexity to the tactics of racing.
Jan. 31-Feb. 6
In 1981, the president of Spindrift (brief manufacturer of the Mariner following O'Day) won the Nationals with a brand new boat (#4037). However, after the regatta, it was found to weigh nearly 40% less than O'Day Mariners, touching off somewhat of a controversy as no one wanted to tell the Class's only manufacturer that he had brought an illegal boat all the way from Michigan. After much discussion, #4037 was disqualified and all participants were moved up one place in Class records.
While many parts of the United States have received a tremendous amount of snow this winter, Canada has been receiving its fair share of snow as well, and Ontario resident Jurgen Braunohler is seen here bailing out the cockpit of his Mariner, #2240 SEA VENTURE. He writes, "Check out [this] photo of the fun I've been having in Elliot Lake (Winter sailing in the driveway, Elliot Lake style)!"
Here is a shot from last summer to remind us all of what's coming. This is Dan Meaney and a friend sailing #2024 on the second day of the 2010 Southeast Connecticut Mariner Fleet Rendezvous. We sailed from the Niantic River, anchored off of Bluff Point beach in Groton, and enjoyed lunch before racing home, sailing along the edge of a thunderstorm.
Four years ago this week my wife and I laid our eyes on ORION, sitting under a winter tarp at Surf City, New Jersey, so I humbly offer her for this week. She certainly needed a little care and attention, but she was in good shape and was launched that summer as-is before undergoing a big restoration the winter of 2007/2008. This website, documenting the projects, began at the same time and now receives about 1,400 unique visitors each week. Who would have thought!
Feb. 28-Mar. 6
Here is Mariner #6 (!), manufactured in 1963 at the Fall River plant within the first two weeks Mariners were ever built. Like the Rhodes 19, she sports a full keel and has been actively sailed up until the last few years. Since then, she has been stored indoors in Libertyville, Illinois and is now for sale. Like many older Mariners, there have been some modifications to her interior, but to know this historic boat even exists is remarkable in itself.
This is a nice shot of Mariner #1117 sitting in the fog at her mooring in Maine. There are a surprising number of Mariners that were bought new in the 1960's and 1970's and are still actively sailed by the original owner. The Mariner truly is the ideal boat for someone looking to downsize from a larger yacht or for a dinghy-sailor hoping to upgrade to a well-performing boat with a "big-boat feel". But you already knew that, didn't you?
Gary Haynes of Michigan owns Mariner #1908 BLUE PEARL, built in 1970. Here, Gary's son Ben and daughter Katie help to put BLUE PEARL in the water at Crystal Lake last May. Gary writes, "The boat has had many upgrades over the years... I have sailed it twice from Ludington to Petoskey on Lake Michigan, a distance of over 200 miles. These days it resides at Crystal Lake in Montcalm County, Michigan." Looks like a great spot.
Although Mariner #2376 BLON-DEE III is owned by Art Leiz, Art's sons Jim and Arthur were the ones who brought her to second place during the 2006 Mariner Nationals at Narrasketuck, Long Island. According to champion Newt Wattis, "The well-known stories of the seaweed and shallow water [of the racing area] were true to form and provided additional challenges to all the sailors. Jim [and Arthur] demonstrated their local knowledge to consistently be near the top of the fleet."
Mar. 28-Apr. 3
Taken by Read Howarth, this picture shows the 2008 Riverton Yacht Club's "Fall Windup", typically held mid-October of each year. Read writes, "It was a crisp and windy fall weekend. The winds blew upward of 30+ knots, so racing was halted on Sunday after one race. However, the previous day the sailors were able to complete five races. As always, the Riverton Yacht Club's hospitality was outstanding, with coffee and donuts before each day's racing and a keg on Saturday night."
It is nice to see some new websites popping up of people refurbishing their Mariners. This picture is taken from a blog of a couple young men who have spent a lot of time and effort restoring their older-style boat. The sail number is "4", but their O'Day factory transom plate suggests the hull number is closer to the 100's. The Mariner truly is an ideal boat for all ages.
Steve Hock made a remarkable journey with his Mariner back in May of 2010. Steve and a friend sailed WHITECAP, #3627, a whopping 140 miles over the course of a few days around the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The Small Craft Advisor magazine recently published a six-page article Steve wrote in the latest edition (No. 69, May/June) - it is a great read. Way to go, Steve!
Florida's Key West Community Sailing Center has a fleet of four Mariners used primarily for teaching. The Commodore of the Center, Jens Nielsen, told me over the phone that of all the boats the Center has, the O'Day Mariner is the most popular, and they bought another one just this past Thursday! Plans are in the works to have the KWSC Mariner Fleet affiliated with the Mariner Class Association.
Apr. 25-May 1
Chuck Rubner of Sherrill, Iowa is fortunate enough to keep his Mariner FREEDOM at his own dock on the Mississippi River and sails her on a 32-mile-expanse between locks. He writes, "I sail from May until late October - I love it. My most enjoyable time is when I am on the Mariner. I am always visiting your website when I need info - it is very helpful." The black ball suspended above the foredeck is a "dayshape", an international signal identifying a vessel at anchor.
Here is a shot from April 19th, 2009 when the Riverton Yacht Club had their first race of the season. This great shot of #1249 SILK PURSE was taken as she boils along close-hauled. Owned by David Reily, SILK PURSE races regularly in Riverton's Sunday and Wednesday circuits, and she came in second place for both the Sunday Summer and Fall Series last year (out of 15 and 17 boats respectively). Picture credit goes to Rich Weston (#2290 SWEET CAROLINE).
Taken by Frank Koscheka during the 2006 Nationals, this picture shows the famous "Gold Boat", #2676, skippered by Helmuth "Helmie" Meyhoefer. Helmie, one of only four Life Members of the Mariner Class Association, has won the Nationals a record 14 times. He once held the winner's trophy four times in four years (1977-1980), an accomplishment not equaled by any other racer (he has also come in second place eight times). He still actively races out of Narrasketuck.
David Stone has taken the restoration of his boat, #3647 BIGENUF, to a new level with many custom enhancements and upgrades. Here she is, anchored after an all-day sail. David writes, "After a beautiful April sail in Pensacola Bay and the Sound, we anchored on the south side of Santa Rosa Island in Fort Pickins National Park and walked across the island to the Gulf of Mexico."
Bruce Linder along with girlfriend Kate worked extremely hard last year to refurbish Mariner #2940. This picture was taken last August at the Harriman Reservoir in Vermont. Bruce writes, "Deciding to sail to the back of this cove at Harriman Reservoir was a good idea, but the wind picked up as we started to reach the back. I had my friend Dan (in the photo) go pull the jib down part-way as I released it while Kate took the tiller. We took it all the way down rather quickly and coasted to the back."
May 30-June 5
#1471 ANTIGUA is owned and is being restored by Ben Johnson who writes, "I sail her off of a beach where my grandparents own a house. This stretch of the beach is famous for the Brewster Flats, so-named because when the tide goes out, it goes all the way out - up to a mile, in fact, exposing long stretches of open sand. For most of low tide my boat sits high and dry on the sand, making the centerboard-model Mariner with its 10 inch draft a perfect boat for the flats."
Entitled, "Heading Upwind", this great picture was taken at the 2004 Mariner Nationals at Surf City Yacht Club (New Jersey). That year, the winds on Saturday were gusting to 25 knots and the conditions proved to be challenging to say the least. One mast was broken, several boats were disabled and one even sank (!) at the leeward turning gate. The rescue boats certainly got a workout that weekend!
This picture was taken in March of 2010 and features Zach Katzenmeyer's Mariner, #3595, beached inside Perdido Key at Orange Beach, Alabama. Zach said that it was his "first sail in the Mariner and the first sail since my eleven-foot Snark probably a decade ago. Needless to say, the Mariner left a great impression on our Spring Break!"
Paul DiMarco is pictured here sailing with his wife Gail a couple weeks ago in #1357 LAISSEZ-FAIRE during a Massabesic (New Hampshire) Yacht Club race. Paul writes, "In summer of 2010, my family and I took an excellent "Learn to Sail" program at the Club. We have since joined the Club, and... we try to get out sailing at least once a week on her, including the club races on Sundays. I get many compliments from other sailors on the lake about how nice my Mariner looks."
June 27-July 3
This past weekend, a fleet of five Mariners and their owners and guests motored and sailed from the Niantic River eastward up to Mystic Seaport, a distance of about 14 miles. We attended the WoodenBoat show, stayed overnight on our boats and sailed back the next morning. It was a wonderful and memorable trip!
Here is another shot from last weekend's Rendezvous at Mystic Seaport. Here is Tim and Erin Reiche's #2170 MAGGIE at anchor along with Chris Albert's DOG DAZE - notice MAGGIE's new cockpit cover from the Sailor's Tailor. While some may find it creepy, we anchored just a short distance away from the beautiful Elm Grove Cemetery, nearly in the exact same spot where my wife Liz and I anchored a couple years ago. Thanks to Steve Hock for the photo.
The Mariner Fleet at the Riverton Yacht Club (New Jersey) races every Sunday and Wednesday night, and this picture was taken during the Wednesday, June 1st race. Taken by photographer Byron Campbell, he writes, "The Mariners are headed for the finish line (right in front of the Pier), and it looks as if FROGGER (#1534 Dave Oldham and Fred Linden) is the leader. Harry Mayer in the dark green boat (#664 MARE) actually tacked and beat FROGGER to the line."
The recent Southeast Connecticut Mariner Rendezvous to Mystic Seaport provided many excellent pictures including this one by Steve Hock. Taken from Orion, you can see Dan Meaney's #2024 on the left and Tim and Erin's #2170 MAGGIE on the right. We are passing through the Mystic River's swinging railroad bridge, and Mystic Seaport's beautiful wooden schooner Brilliant is following us. What a great experience that weekend!
This picture is courtesy of the Key West Community Sailing Center and shows one of their five Mariners wing-and-wing. The purpose of the KWCSC is to teach sailing to children and adults alike, and their Mariner boats are by far the most popular. The KWCSC Mariner Fleet has become the Mariner Class Association's newest official Fleet, and at least a couple members of the Center plan to make the trip northward to New Jersey to race in the Nationals next month!
Here is LORELEI, Mariner #20, looking like she might have just rolled off the production line. Having had her ups and downs over the years, a group of dedicated sailors from the Surf City Yacht Club have labored the past few months to restore her to racing condition, and what a great job they have done! She will be in the care of SCYC for the immediate future and plans to participate in local races and the various Nationals.
This absolutely beautiful photograph was taken by Steve Hock during a get-together on Chincoteague Bay (Maryland). After a day of heavy-weather sailing and a night of two thunderstorms, the group anchored on the second day off of Assateague Island and ate lunch under the shade of a tree on shore. That night they were hit with another thunderstorm but managed to return the next day on one long close-hauled tack.
The 2011 Mariner National Championship was held this past weekend at Brant Beach Yacht Club in New Jersey. While light winds delayed racing on Saturday for a while and thunderstorms threatened Sunday's racing, all the races were completed with great success. 24 boats competed, including ORION (although we did not do very well this year), and a good time was had by all.
Mark Campbell's #413 EASTER is waiting for him at the end of his dock, ready to go for an evening sail. The gangway to the dock seems to invite you to walk down the steps to where the Mariner is beckoning. As I have mentioned before, I am a sucker for this kind of shot - who would not want their own private dock, their boat ready to go at a moment's notice?
Aug. 29-Sept. 4
There was a constant threat of showers and thunderstorms on Sunday of the National Championships, but two more races were squeezed in before the downpours came. I had retreated with ORION Saturday night to avoid having a five-hour drive home in the pouring rain on Sunday, and while I know I made a good decision, I did miss participating that final day. This is a great shot by Scot Ellis of Brant Beach Yacht Club.
David Anderson of Waterboro, Maine, completely restored #2540 MOONRACER to like-new condition. Here she is, according to David, "anchored at Damariscove Island, Maine (a nature preserve) after her first venture offshore (a ten-nautical mile sail from Pemaquid Harbor). Damariscove Harbor is about a half mile long and very narrow. Wife swam and daughter stayed onboard while son and I explored the island."
Ben "Jamey" Duffey of South Carolina is lucky enough to keep his Mariner #3755 on a lift in Murrells Inlet. She is a true cruiser - notice the bow pulpit, bimini and roller-furler jib. Jamey writes, "She is ready, willing and able to sail whenever we want. Many people know the boat and like her looks, it's surprising how many. We actually have folks come into our little canal area just to see the boat."
Built around the same week ORION was built, #1933 is owned by Howard Forder of Toronto. He rescued this boat after "five years to get it from holes in the hull, horrible paint jobs with house paint and general grunge to get it sailing today. It glided into the water in May this year." She resides at Scarborough Bluffs Sailing Club on Lake Ontario.
Sept. 26-Oct. 2
When Wayne Depew purchased his 1967 Mariner, she was "a very misused boat." According to Wayne, her "ribs were all rotted, bunks rotted, the rubrail was in bad shape (leaking on the starboard beam from a collision), hull severely blistered, etc." He brought her to Stuart Marine who did a complete restoration from top to bottom. It was a tremendous amount of work, and she looks brand new!
Here is David Stone's #3647 BIGENUF at the Blue Angels end-of-the-season flight show on July 9th. David writes, "Thousands of boats were anchored closely together at Soundside Beach from the shore to half a mile out. Once in shallow water, I waded, pulling the boat backwards, right up to our front row spot on the beach and put up the awning."
This great shot was taken by Scot Ellis at this year's Nationals in Brant Beach, New Jersey. ORION is in the middle of a boat sandwich racing downwind toward the leeward mark. We all came within mere inches of hitting each other with our hulls and spars, but no contact was made, and ORION sneaked ahead to get to the mark first. While we lost ground on the next leg and did not fare very well overall in the standings, we had a fantastic time.
One of the first Mariners I saw when I was searching for one to buy in 2007 was this boat right here, #1767 TXONI. A mid-style keel Mariner, she was for sale in a nearby town at a decent price, but I hemmed and hawed for too long. When I called to check out the boat, she had been sold two weeks prior. ORION entered the picture only a couple months later, and I am glad I waited! Nevertheless, the new owner of #1767 worked hard to restore her to full glory, and the results are evident.
My wife and I traveled to Maine last week and stopped in to see Dave Whittier at Stuart Marine. Dave (right) has mainly been working on restoring and servicing both Rhodes 19s and Mariners, including this 2008 Stuart Mariner VONGOLE. It was great to tour the shop and talk a bit, and it is nice to see that he seems to be weathering the struggling economy and is continuing to provide us Mariner owners with parts and service.
Oct. 31-Nov. 6
Since New England was recently hammered by a nor'easter, I thought it might be appropriate to post a picture of a casualty from Hurricane Irene. This poor Mariner was left on her mooring in hopes that she would come through unscathed, but alas, she was resting on the bottom by the time Irene passed by. Fortunately, Mariners are solid boats that do not require much effort to fix when they are broken. The partially-submerged outboard engine, however, might be a different story...
Paul DiMarco of New Hampshire has owned #1357 LAISSEZ-FAIRE for the past couple years, and here she is on her mooring as the sun comes up sporting a Sailor's Tailor cockpit cover. She is one of the last open cuddy cabin Mariners before O'Day started the "2+2" with an enclosed cabin and added quarterberths. Paul says that he raced her regularly this past season and she held her own against boats with much lower PHRF ratings.
Alan Hlavenka is a professional photographer based on Long Island, New York who is also a Mariner owner and a member of the Narrasketuck Yacht Club. Alan happened to be in Mystic, Connecticut the same weekend the Southeast Connecticut Mariner Fleet's 2011 Rendezvous took place at Mystic Seaport. He saw the five Mariners anchored nearby and took a snapshot of Ed Wise's #2862 CHRISTINA T and ORION.
Bob Chandler found his 1975 Mariner, #3048 SWAY, on Craigslist and brought her home to Nashville, Tennessee to fix her up. This photo, taken on Percy Priest Lake by another Mariner owner, Oly Shooter, shows Bob and his family after "a great day of family sailing." Bob goes on to write: "Our usual day of sailing ends with us anchoring in a cove, having a picnic, and cruising back to the dock. Sailing is such a great family activity and the Mariner is perfect."
Nov. 28-Dec. 4
Harry Mayer has owned #664 MARE for many years and is an active participant at the Riverton Yacht Club in New Jersey. A past Fleet Captain, he came in first place for Riverton's Sunday Summer Series, won the President's Fleet division at the Mariner Nationals in 2010 and was awarded "Most Improved" at the 2011 Nationals. This photograph is courtesy of Byron Campbell.
Here is a great shot of Drew Thompson sailing #3214 SWELL (as Drew says, "Add water, maybe it gets bigger") with spinnaker flying at the beginning of July. Like many Mariner owners, Drew spent a long time repairing and upgrading, including adding seven layers of fiberglass to the centerboard trunk to reduce flexing. He has ordered an asymmetrical spinnaker and looks forward to trying it out in his home waters of Ontario.
Oly Shooter's #1071 SWEET KATE was captured when, as Oly writes, "My wife and I were sailing on Percy Priest Lake in Nashville, Tennessee. It was only our second time on the boat. We had been working on the boat for the previous three months and this was our 'shake down' sail. The Mariner is the perfect fit for us. We find the boat to be very stable and easy to handle. She sails well and has those lovely classic lines that we admire so much."
This is a great picture of Mariner #436 sitting at her mooring as the sun is on its way down. A 1965 boat, the coamings and the cabin top still retain the original blue they were painted when they rolled out of O'Day's factory in Fall River, Massachusetts. Notice, however, the attractive wooden rubrail and the cabin enclosure fabricated by her owner. Also like the original boats, the mainsheet is set up as a "Crosby" style where individual blocks are mounted on the aft end of the boom and near the transom.
Dec. 26-Jan. 1
For this year's final "Picture of the Week", I humbly offer my own ORION once again. Taken in the middle of November, 2008, she is sitting at her mooring in the fog shortly before being hauled out for the winter. Orion is the only boat left on the Niantic River. This peaceful picture shows a fairly colorless landscape save for the boat and channel buoys in the background.