Notes from the Net Rail

January 2018

posted Jan 1, 2018, 2:01 PM by PacificNorthWest MultihullAssoc

Hey! Its a beautiful New Year in the Pacific Northwest!

I am not normally a big New Years Resolution type person, but this year seems a bit different now that I have a new goal... and that is to add my efforts to yours in order to help continue NWMA's place in the Northwest sailing scene.  To that end, I'm going take a minute to reflect on why I am a member of such an awesome club!

I suppose the question comes down to "Why join any club?".  Surely I could sail without a club.  I could probably build/repair my boat without a club  I could even reap the benefits of membership by riding the coat tails of others who are actual members of a club... and you will not hear any preaching from me as I think there is certainly a place and time for this last one.  As a young man I spent the years during and after college learning to race and honing my sailing skills on other peoples boats. looking back, this was an experience essentially created and given to me by folks who were card carrying members of a club.  They paid the club dues; they paid the race dues; they provided the boat.  Now here I am, completely blissed out on a mountain of sailing knowledge and skill.  What those folks were doing, unbeknownst to me at the time, was a kind of "Paying it Forward".  They did their part to guaranteeing that sailing in the Northwest would continue to be enjoyed by all those who cared to partake.  Now that I am older I can see and understand what they did.

All this makes joining a club sound very altruistic... and maybe that is a part of it for some folks but I think the NWMA has a little something for everyone.

You may not realize that your dues "do" something other than just pay for a club activity or two.  There is, of course, the joint buying power of the NWMA.  The most visible under this heading is the discount our members currently receive at Fisheries Supply.  A wise man told me when I first joined that I would save far more than my NWMA dues in discounts earned.  He was right by a substantial margin.  Some may not know that a mission of the NWMA is to enable bulk purchase materials supplies and gear.  This option is still available to members.  Another benefit is access to grant money.  Many folks are not aware that membership in the NWMA gives access to grants (through PIYA) to championship regatta events.  This can help cover things like travel and regatta entry fees.  These are a few things that NWMA can do for you.  

Not to worry.  NWMA is not just self serving.  We also help you do for others through education, outreach and support for youth sailing 

We help educate the public through our monthly presenter series.  These speakers are based on our members interests and help sharpen our skills and increase our knowledge.  The great thing is that the presentations are open to the public and they expose our wider community to our club and the fun of multihull sailing.  There are upcoming on-the-water safety workshops and of course, the ever present freely shared knowledge base of our members. Outreach is a core mission of the NWMA and as the new year unfolds there are many joint events with other clubs and community organizations for us to participate in.  Participating in the greater sailing community not only strengthens our club through cross-pollination (who can resist a multihull once exposed) but also helps support the regional sailing and boating community at large.  Some of you may not know that we support youth sailing through PIYA and also through donations to organizations such as Sail Sand Point to which we supplied Hobie Waves.

Sounds like too much effort?  Not really.  The best part of belonging to NWMA are opportunities and events that enable you to kick back and hang out with like minded folks.  

Find your niche within the club, whether it be building, cruising, racing or social.  Share (or take in) a few sailing stories.  Seek out and gather information that you are interested in.  Teach your skills to others.  Meet new people.   I am not aware of many other clubs who's meetings begin with a potluck before the official meeting starts.  What a spectacular way to create a sense of community... and such a good way to sample the conversations around the room!  I think it is a good indicator of how folks feel about the club by the distance they are willing to travel to participate in this; some coming from as far as Vancouver BC or the South Sound.  A good group of folks connected by the power of common interest.

So many good reasons to join the Northwest Multihull Association!  

In the end, the main reason I am a member of the Northwest Multihull Association is that I get all the above and more... all while having fun doing something that is one of the deepest parts of me.  Kind of hard to explain, but my guess is that a lot of you know what I am talking about.


December 2017

posted Dec 8, 2017, 10:10 AM by A Rice   [ updated Dec 8, 2017, 10:28 AM ]

Where do you sail your boat from? 

Not geographically, but physically.  

Personally, I think one of the coolest things about multihulls is that you to get a different perspective while sailing than you do on a more typical boat.  Don't get me wrong, on a cold day I like a cockpit dodger or an inside steering station as much as the next person but my favorite spots are far away from the cockpit or cabin.  The bow is a good hangout but the sprit is better.  The kids have figured out that it's big adventure to shinny out to the pointy end as soon as they see a freighter wake headed our way; wanting-but-not-wanting to get dunked.  Wish I could sail it from there!  Since I have not figured that out (yet) the all time favorite helm position for me is standing on the net rail with one hand on the hiking stick and the other on a cap shroud.  Floating above the water on a magic carpet.  Sailing upwind with breeze in the hair, an unobstructed view of the surroundings and maybe a small feeling that they should have cast your self instead of Kevin Kostner.  Magic in a way but more like a combination of wizardry and sentient animal.  Magic and magnetism.  

People like you and I are drawn to our type of craft and you have probably seen the effect yourself.  Tied to the dock you get random folks going way out of their way to see the boat.  Motoring through an anchorage they come with a sudden swerve like a lodestone to magnetic north.  One time a young man yelled at me from the Fremont Bridge while I was waiting for an opening.  Two minutes later he had run to the end of the bridge, through six feet of laurel hedge, down thirty feet of mud bank, across the bike path and out onto the rocks to get a closer look.  

You'll know your fellow multihull enthusiests when you see them and when you do, tell them about the NWMA.  Invite them to come along... to a meeting, to an event, on a sail.  Introduce them to the shared interests, diverse knowledge and fun that is the Northwest Multihull Association!

I look forward to meeting our new friends!

Your NWMA Commodore

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