Here is a great shot to start off this column in 2013. Dick Stokes, a semi-retired school counselor, owns two Mariners and keeps them at opposite ends of the country, one in Oregon and the other in Massachusetts. In this picture, Dick's mother, who just turned 85 years old yesterday, is at the helm of #996 sailing out of Oregon. It was a great sail, one where they saw a bald eagle "who decided that we looked like poachers eyeing its fresh salmon brunch."
With all this talk going on about an O'Day Mariner 50th Anniversary Rendezvous going on at the Mariner Class Association, I thought I would post this picture from a rendezvous to New London, Connecticut back in 2010. Although it was rainy and there were only three boats in attendance, we had a great time. We half-sailed, half-motored our way to New London, explored a nearby tall ship berthed for the weekend, and had a pleasant sail back. Here we are tied up at the floating docks near the train station.
This picture is from the 2008 Mariner National Championship Regatta at Surf City, New Jersey. It was a pretty competitive event as only three points separated the three top finishers in the President's division! Newt Wattis (#2604 MY LIGHTNING) took first prize in the Championship division, his fourth trophy. It should be noted that four of the top 10 boats were the old-style Mariner, indicating that the Mariner has maintained its one-design philosophy to make any Mariner from 1963 to the present equally competitive boats.
Jan. 28-Feb. 3
The owner of #2186 GYPSY ROSE, Bill Collins, was thrilled to attend the 2012 Rendezvous to Mystic Seaport. Unfortunately, his aging outboard motor started acting up as soon as the event was underway, and he needed to be towed through the Niantic bridges and all the way up the Mystic River. Once he arrived in Mystic, he went to a local marine supply store and bought a brand new motor, ending his woes once and for all! This picture shows him motoring back down the Mystic River with his new outboard running flawlessly.
Taken back in June of 2009, this shot shows Dave and Leslie Stapleford racing #3237 GREYHOUND on the eastern shore of Maryland. Only a few moments after this picture was taken, GREYHOUND was rammed by a larger sailboat in a misunderstanding of one of the rules of racing (the other boat was at fault). The incident took GREYHOUND out of commission after losing four feet of her starboard side, although the Staplefords were able to get her back in the water after a few weeks of repair work.
Stuart Marine has a number of projects in the shop this winter, including this 1969 Mariner. While Dave Whittier does have new Mariner orders, most of his business relies on refurbishing old boats and supplying parts. Notice the row of winterized outboard motors in the loft and the newer Stuart Mariner on the floor in the background. Dave intends to be a guest speaker at the upcoming O'Day Mariner 50th Anniversary Rendezvous at Mystic Seaport, Connecticut on Saturday, August 10th.
Three Mariners are making their way down the Mystic River having participated in the 2011 Rendezvous to Mystic Seaport. That weekend, the Seaport hosted the WoodenBoat Show as they have for many years, and they plan to do so again this June. In the foreground is Tim and Erin Reiche in #2170 MAGGIE. Tim is doffing his cap to the Mystic bridgemaster (out of sight) who just opened the highway bridge to allow us through. Photographer: Steve Hock.
Feb. 25-Mar. 3
Although the picture itself is a bit wrinkled, it is a fantastic shot of Mariner #125 shooting through the water. Built in 1964, this boat sports the classic features only found in the early style Mariners: small rear deck, open cuddy cabin, and dark blue stripe around the cabin and coamings to match the hull. This picture is from the 1964 O'Day Sailboats catalog.
Richard Ballou, of New Hampshire, owns DREAM COME TRUE, and this picture was taken by Richard's wife from the north end of Three Mile Island. Richard writes, "Three Mile Island is a camp where campers stay in little cabins around the shore in much the same manner as they have for over 100 years. The camp runs for nine weeks each summer, and a whole new group of campers arrive each week. We attended, as we had for years, week nine. Actually, my wife and I met at Three Mile Island!"
Here is a great shot of Stuart Mariner #4178 ROSALIE headed to Cuttyhunk Island, Massachusetts. Owner Edward Childs of Aquinnah writes, "We (my wife Elizabeth and I) were mostly becalmed, as one can see by the picture. We turned on the outboard to get into some wind and eventually made it to Cuttyhunk, about seven nautical miles from Menemsha Pond, where ROSALIE is moored." Picture credit: Mel Snyder.
The fantastic pictures taken by Oly Shooter just keep on coming! Oly, owner of #1071 Sweet Kate, went sailing last fall with fellow Mariner owner Bob Chandler who sailed his own #3048 Sway on Percy Priest Lake, Tennessee. Bob writes, "We sailed two October days back to back. Both boats pulled up their centerboards and explored islands on the lake. Oly happened to be taking photos, and caught us in action on our return to the dock. Two perfect days!"
Barry Waldman, owner of #3306 QUIXOTIC, sent me this picture shortly before he died of cancer in 2010. Even though he only owned his Mariner for a short time, he thoroughly enjoyed sailing and was very enthusiastic. This great shot was taken on Canyon Lake, Texas, a reservoir completed in 1964 and a center for recreational boating.
Here is another nice shot from multiple O'Day boat owner Dick Stokes! Besides owning Mariner #996 (pictured) on the west coast and #3684 on the east coast, he also owns an O'Day Daysailer, seen on the right side of the picture under the green cover. Dick writes, "I've sailed more in the last three and a half months than I have almost any previous year. Wet moorage ten minutes from home is such a gift!" Dick keeps his west coast boats at Willamette Sailing Club.
When the O'Day Corporation decided to end production of the Mariner in 1979 after a remarkable 3,771 boats, Rebel Industries' Spindrift One Designs bought the molds and continued production for only a few years before selling the molds to Stuart Marine in 1983. This Spindrift Mariner shown here is hull number 4000, the very first one made by the company in 1980.
Like last week, this "Picture of the Week" comes from an old advertisement - this one from the 1978 O'Day Daysailers brochure featuring Mariner #3507. Still attached to the mooring, perhaps this couple has just set the sails and are preparing to start the outboard to get to windier waters. Or maybe they just returned from a pleasant afternoon and are about to take the sails down and button up their trusty Mariner, already looking forward to the next outing.
The third installment of "Picture of the Week" pictures from past advertisements comes from a 1971 ad featuring Mariner #2115 MUSICALE. A closer look at this picture reveals interesting sail-handling arrangements; besides the genoa sheet led through a track block and then up to a snubbing winch on a bracket and cam, there seems to be a second fairlead and cam mounted on the coaming another foot aft. One wonders how this sailing trip with a party of six has actually been going since no one seems to be smiling!
Apr. 29-May 5
Here are three mid-style Mariners at anchor during the 2012 Rendezvous to Mystic Seaport. Of the seven participating boats, five were the mid-style, built during the short period from 1969-1971. Bill Collins (left) has just finished covering the main and putting the jib in its bag onboard #2186 GYPSY ROSE, Tim Reiche (middle) has hoisted a small anchor light on the headstay using the jib halyard onboard #2170 MAGGIE, and I have done the same onboard #1922 ORION (right) as well as put up the awning for the night.
Back in 2009, I sailed with my wife to Mystic Seaport and anchored overnight before heading back the next morning. Here, we have finished packing away our things and have come up to a nearby floating dock to hit the Seaport heads one last time before leaving. The Seaport strongly encourages visitors to come by boat and specializes in catering to transients. It is wonderful to stay overnight in a protected anchorage in such incredible surroundings. Notice the beautiful L. Francis Herreshoff-designed ketch ARAMINTA in the background.
After taking a week off, here is a new picture for this column taken back in 2006 during the Mariner Nationals at Narrasketuck Yacht Club. Winds started pretty light for that regatta but eventually picked up to become quite breezy. In this shot, Paul Coward in #584 is in the lead and is trying for his fourth Nationals victory, although skipper Newt Wattis in #2604 (not shown) would end up winning this race to claim his third trophy. Paul went on to win the following year's regatta at Brant Beach. Picture credit: Frank Koscheka.
May 27-June 2
While David and Maureen Anderson currently own #2540 MOONRACER, Maureen's father bought #580 SEA BARB brand new back in 1966. Her family sailed and raced SEA BARB for about four years, and this picture was taken during the "inaugural cruise in the summer of 1966 from Marblehead to George's Island in Boston Harbor. My dad and brothers anchored near the Mystic River bridge and slept on the boat. This boat was my dad's pride and joy!"
In May of last year, Chris Albert in #2714 DOG DAZE joined me and photographer Steve Hock in Orion on a three-day trip to Shelter Island, New York. On the second day of our trip, we sailed past Cedar Island Lighthouse which has been standing guard over the entrance to Sag Harbor since 1839. Gutted by a fire in 1974 and abandoned, a movement is afoot to raise funds to have it restored. In the meantime, Chris has made many updates to his boat, including brand new sails, new hull gelcoat, and even a name change to Flotsam.
Charles "Bird" Fleming, of Atlanta, Georgia, has many old boats he has been restoring as part of "Bird's Boat Yard". The latest addition to the fleet is Mariner #1513 LITTLE GREEN BOAT, shown here following its first launch since being restored. The scenery looks more like the coast of Maine than Georgia! Charles prepared LITTLE GREEN BOAT for the Rudder Club Mug Race in Jacksonville, Florida this past May, a 30+ mile warm-up for the Florida 120 about a week later. Out of 71 participating boats, Charles came in 36th - not bad!
Photographer Steve Hock snapped this great portrait of Ed Wise and his boat #2862 CHRISTINA T anchored at Reed Creek, Maryland last summer. He sure looks like a proud skipper! CHRISTINA T is both a racing and cruising veteran, as Ed once participated in numerous regattas before switching over to becoming a cruiser. Both Steve (#3627 WHITECAP) and Ed have gone on several extended cruises together, and there is talk of perhaps another multi-day excursion in the southern Chesapeake Bay sometime this summer.
his past weekend, I sailed from Niantic to Essex with a friend and fellow Mariner owner and stayed overnight on a mooring at the Brewer Dauntless Marina. It was a great sail with perfect winds and good weather despite numerous forecasts that ended up being completely inaccurate (big surprise). After riding the launch to the marina and saying goodbye to my friend, I explored the familiar town on my own before taking the launch back to ORION. Once there, I was treated to this beautiful sunset at the end of the day. A great trip!
Matt Schiemer, owner of #2014 ODISEA, recently participated with his Mariner in the "Texas 200" event, a week-long, 200-mile cruise from Port Isobel to Magnolia Beach. Matt writes: "We were on the last leg, which was a real beauty. It was about the last ten miles and it was dead downwind to the finish line, wing-and-wing. We had been doing some laundry earlier in the day (things were getting a little funky on board as you can imagine), and we decided to hang some of it to dry on the boom and whisker pole."
July 15-Aug. 18
Here is another picture from the Essex trip I took a couple weekends ago. Notice the chunky-hulled sailboats in the background with straight sheers and high freeboards. Quite a difference when compared to the eye-catching, beautiful design of the great Philip Rhodes. They just don't make them like the Mariner anymore, do they? (Well, actually, yes they do.)
Finally! After a month-long haitus from working on this website, I'm getting back into the swing of things with a fantastic picture taken by Steve Hock during last week's O'Day Mariner 50th Anniversary Rendezvous to Mystic Seaport. It was a phenomenal event with 18 participating Mariners and a turn-out of 60 people. This shot is of Bill Eggers and #2280 JULIE B as he and his two daughters, Jillian and Bridget, sail home from Mystic on Sunday afternoon.
Aug. 26-Sept. 1
Matt Cooper, of Grand Haven, Michigan, grew up sailing Mariner #456 as a teenager. After college, though, as Matt writes, "Life transitioned. Marriage, career, mortgage, a child, graduate school, graduate school again, etc. etc... fill in the blank. And then we were boatless." A few years later, Matt started "dreaming about the perfect next boat for our little family. A Mariner was the obvious choice." He purchased a 1974 2+2 (pictured above), and this photo is him with his wife's family on Burt Lake, northern Michigan.
Last month's Mystic Rendezvous had a gathering of 17 Mariners of all vintages, and this shot by Steve Hock shows three different boats waiting for the Mystic Railroad bridge to open as we were all headed back to Niantic. The boat on the left is Chris Albert's #2714 FLOTSAM, built in the mid-1970's; the middle boat is Dan Meaney's #2024 CLEW SEA NUF, built in 1970, and the boat on the right is the famous #20 LORELEI, owned by Bill Snyder. LORELEI was built in the very first few weeks of production and is the oldest known centerboard Mariner.
Last month's O'Day Mariner Rendezvous at Mystic generated a lot of interest with the public who visited the Seaport. We were fortunate to have been placed at the floating docks that were not only right outside the Visitor's Center but right next to the Seaport's launch that ferried people from one end of the Seaport to the other. Visitors had to walk right by all the Mariners in order to get on the launch, and many people asked questions about the Mariner and the event itself. Photo: Steve Hock.
A couple months ago, Lee Prim, of Mobile, Alabama, was on the hunt for a mid-style 2+2 Mariner. Despite the lack of Mariners in the Gulf Coast region, he found his dream boat on Craigslist 100 miles away: #1417 DULCINEA. Although he is "not that enthused" about the bow pulpit or high stern rail, he is very enthusiastic about owning a Mariner, and members of the Mariner Class Association have celebrated his purchase and offered advice and assistance. Here is DULCINEA ready for a beautiful afternoon sail.
Here is another great shot from the camera of Steve Hock, this time featuring #2170 MAGGIE at the beginning of August with owner Tim Reiche at the helm on Lake Nockamixon, Pennsylvania. Tim and wife Erin trailered MAGGIE up to Niantic, Connecticut to take part in the O'Day Mariner 50th Anniversary Rendezvous to Mystic Seaport. Erin won the unofficial award of "Bravest Sailor" as the event was only two weeks before the due date of her first child! Son Owen was born on schedule - and thankfully not during the Rendezvous!
Sept. 30-Oct. 6
And the great pictures from Steve Hock just keep on coming! For five days in September, Steve (#3627 WHITECAP) and Ed Wise (#2862 CHRISTINA T, pictured here) made a 135-mile journey around Virginia's Lower Peninsula. Beginning at Jamestown and making calls at Pagan River, Hampton, Langley Air Force Base and Purtan Bay on the York River, they ended at West Point, Virginia. Contrary winds dogged the route and much motoring was required. Regardless, "hanging on the hook", the many bridge passages, and beautiful scenery made for a wonderful and memorable trip!
Percy Priest Lake, in Nashville, Tennessee, is where Oly Shooter and #1071 SWEET KATE call home. Although Oly has not sailed much this year "because 'life' has gotten in the way", he did manage to squeeze in a sail just a couple weeks ago and took this picture. He shot this photo with a "7mm fisheye lens which gives an interesting perspective to the photo. Notice the beautiful, clear water in Percy Priest Lake. We've had more rain than normal this year and the water is just lovely." Nice looking boat, too!
Riverton Yacht Club hosted this year's National Championships a month ago, and the Mariner Fleet races there every Wednesday and Sunday afternoon. Photographer Byron Campbell snapped this great shot from the upriver dock during the Sunday series on September 8th. #1534 FROGGER (Dave Oldham) is in front, followed by #2778 DOUBLE TROUBLE (Dan Walsh), then #1249 SILK PURSE (Dave Riley), and #664 MARE (Harry Mayer).
Brothers John and Howard Hoover participated in the 50th Anniversary Rendezvous this past August in #3501 SIRIUS. They weathered Friday's storm and arrived in high spirits for the event, and although both brothers are pretty tall individuals, they found sleeping overnight in the cabin to be fairly comfortable. Notice the cockpit awning they put up - it looks great! A month later, John took Sirius to the Riverton Yacht Club to compete in the Nationals, even sleeping onboard again during the weekend. Picture credit goes to Stuart Watson.
Oct. 28-Nov. 3
I always enjoy a great sunset shot taken from a boat, and this one by Rob Jones of Fork, Maryland certainly does not disappoint. Owner of #2026 NUNYET, he snapped this photo on a recent overnight excursion to Dundee Creek in the upper Chesapeake. Not that long ago, Rob restored his mid-style boat to truly like-new condition - just look at the reflections in the superbly varnished wood trim. A beautiful boat!
Here is another fantastic shot taken by Steve Hock during his 135-mile adventure around Virginia's Lower Peninsula back in September. Steve sailed in his boat, #3627 WHITECAP (left) while fellow Mariner sailor Ed Wise accompanied him in #2862 CHRISTINA T. Steve writes that he took this shot of the two boats "docked in Carousel Cove at the Hampton, Virginia piers. That's the Hampton Air and Space Museum in the background. Great marina with nice facilities and central location. The whole area had great views all around."
A lot of pictures featured in this column are taken by Steve Hock, owner of #3627 WHITECAP, and this is a picture of him as we were sailing to Greenport, Long Island last summer. Many people do not know that Steve was a combat photographer for the Air Force, working for the 601st Photo Flight during the latter part of the Vietnam War. His stories are rather incredible, one of which is posted here. On this Veteran's Day, I salute you, Steve, and thank you for your service - as well as for all the great pictures you have contributed to this website!
Lee Prim took this great sunset shot of his Mariner, #1417 DULCINEA. Featured here in this column back in September, I could not resist another sunset picture, so here is DULCINEA anchored just off of the beach with a home-made cockpit awning up, ready for the evening. The previous owner must have been concerned about safety as #1417 sports a bow pulpit, a rather high stern pushpit, and sturdy handrails along the top of the cabin on both sides of the boat. Lee, from Mobile, Alabama, is excited about his "new" Mariner!
Nov. 25-Dec. 1
During the Mystic Rendezvous in August, most sailors elected to sleep onboard their boats. This picture by Eniko DeMarco shows at least seven Mariners with different styles of cockpit covers, ranging from awnings to tent-style enclosures. Although Eniko and her husband were not able to take part in the event with their boat, she writes that it was "truly a highlight of our sailing careers. Good to be in the company of so many who share their love of the Mariner." How many Mariners do you count in this picture? I count twelve...
Bradley Utzka, of Jacksonville, Florida, bought #423 in January of 2012, although he "really had no idea what I was purchasing. I just wanted a winter backyard project. It was more work than I bargained for. Thanks to Don Casey's Sailboat Refinishing, the deck and hull came out very nice." He ended up naming his boat RESTORE ME - very appropriate after the many months of restoration which included all new interior woodwork, a custom companionway enclosure and electrical wiring. This photo is from his first sail on November 25th, 2012.
Although #272 SIMPATICO is owned by Russ and Elsie Schuss of Pennsylvania, she is being skippered in this shot by a gentleman "trying out" the Mariner to see how it performs. He enjoyed it so much he ended up buying a Mariner of his own! SIMPATICO, built in the early part of 1965, took part in the Rendezvous event from August and was sailed expertly by her owners. Russ is the Lake Nockamixon Mariner Fleet Captain and has organized a few Fleet events and encouraged the growth of membership. Photo credit: Steve Hock.
One of the aspects of the O'Day Mariner that makes it so versatile as a pocket cruiser is its 10" draft with the board up, allowing it to be safely beached. Robert Chandler of #3048 SWAY and Oly Shooter of #1071 SWEET KATE are taking advantage of that feature in this shot as they land near a campsite on Percy Priest Lake, Nashville, Tennessee. (SWEET KATE is sporting a hand-me-down racing mainsail from #584). Images of both boats were used extensively on memorabilia celebrating 50 years of the O'Day Mariner.
Besides promoting the Mariner and encouraging similar events, the Mariner Rendezvous back in August served a very important purpose: supplying me with lots of pictures to choose from for this column! Taken by Alice Hawrilenko from the Mystic River Highway Bridge, twelve Mariners are waiting for the bridge to open for the return trip on Sunday morning. The patches of wind you can see on the water eventually picked up to nearly 15 knots by the time we reached the starting point of Niantic Bay about four hours later.
Dec. 29-Jan. 5
A tradition for the past few years, I end this year's column with a picture of ORION. This shot was taken by Eniko DeMarco at the August Rendezvous as ORION was tied up at the floating dock with all the other Mariners. I thought this was a pretty neat photo - be sure to check out all of her other pictures from the event here.
So ends yet another year of "Pictures of the Week", and I wish all the viewers of this website - the regulars and the first-timers - the very best for 2014.