2015 FBYC Offshore Spring Series #3

Name put on the boat.

This was the 3rd day of racing for No Quarter in FBYC’s Spring Series. There was a little wind – and a LOT of fog.

Ron & Katie

In the first race we had a good start – in fact it was too good and we were over early and had to dip and restart.  Inevitable was punched out and never looked back.  We closely trailed E.L.E. all the way around and settled for 3rd of the five J/70s.  This was Ron and Katie’s first time on a J/70 and they settled in pretty well learning the location of everything and the coordination.


E.L.E. going downwind with the other fleets ahead.

Unlike the first race where the fog lifted enough to see most of the course – the fog came in and got pretty dense just as we were starting the 2nd race.  Upwind we had a feel for where the mark would be and just stayed in the center of the course – keeping an eye on the bigger boats that had electronics and watching them ghost in and out of the fog bank.

Ghosting in an out of the fog

We were lucky to find the top mark pretty easily.  We weren’t so lucky in finding the leeward mark.  We ended up missing it by 3/4 mile to the east and ended up sailing almost a mile past it before the RC finally radioed a location for us to beat back to.  By the time we found the leeward mark – the J/70 that had stayed on the course was just about finishing and were racing one other boat right next to us.  The other two retired.  We persevered thanks to having chart plotting software on my iPhone.  Even with the fog it was still pretty good sailing conditions and definitely made it more fun by adding a navigational element to a 1.25nm buoy race.


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2015 FBYC J/70 Spring Regatta

On Sunday No Quarter was among the 5 other J/70s sailing at FBYC in the Spring regatta.  We started out with pretty nice wind – not quite hiking, but solid without any big holes.  With John, Holly and Mark aboard we had good starts and sailed consistently finishing 2nd in almost every race.  In the last race we got a little behind and ended up 3rd – and loosing the tiebreaker for 2nd to finish 3rd overall.


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Laser Sprinter Van

Sprinter & Laser

After 20 years of hauling Lasers around on a trailer and later on top of a car – I’ve finally arrived at the ultimate Laser hauling vehicle – a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van.  The rear part of a 170″ wheelbase Sprinter is 14′ and just the right size for a 13′ 9″ Laser sailboat.  Not only does the van carry the boat – but it’s also got a queen bed, seating for 5 and plenty of space for all of the gear to go along with.

Laser in Sprinter Van Rear

As with sailing, as with life – there’s just not enough time to do everything and the ideas for this van were born over the last 5-6 years ago as I came up with ways to make going sailing easier. I sail almost every weekend April-September – and my boat lives in Richmond – far from the water where I sail.  So every event is a travel event for me whether I’m going to Deltaville, Annapolis or beyond.  Every Friday night I spend 1-1.5 hours loading the boat and pulling all of the gear out of the shed.  Same goes for Sunday night after a long day on the water and a long drive home – another hour+ of unloading gear before catching some shut-eye.  With the van – all the gear stays loaded and ready to go and I only have to pull cooler/food and clothes out.  I also save on tolls and the hassle of maintaining a trailer.

Sprinter looking aft

Key features

  • Laser
  • Room for mast/boom and spares
  • Protective storage for blades and other Laser gear (and spares)
  • Bed for napping on long trips or ‘tin tenting’ at venues with camping
  • Seating for 4-5 for sailing and non-sailing road trips including ECU tailgating
  • The ability to tow a J/70

Loading Hoist, Rail and Sling

Sprinter Laser Hoist & RailSprinter Laser HoistSprinter Laser Sling hardware

To load the Laser – there’s a jib track run along the roof of the van.  The track has a slide with a pulley that I can attach to the bow eye of the Laser (yes, I know this not recommended).  To load the laser the front of the boat is hoisted on the pulley system.  I lift the stern walking the boat into the van with the front of the boat/pulley sliding over the bed and the seat.  I use the sling to cinch the boat up to the roof and then ratchet it in for travel.

Spar Holder

The spar holder sits above the boat and holds 7 sections.  A bungee with a hook holds the spars in place for travel.

Blade Drawer

Sprinter Laser Blade Drawer

The blade drawer has room to fit 2 sets of parts.  The blades sit on their edge to prevent risk of them warping in a hot vehicle and the inside is wrapped in carpet to prevent scratches.


Sprinter Bed looking aft

The bed in the van was custom sized to fit – it’s 70″ long and 60″ wide.  That’s the same width as a queen and 5″ shorter than a double. That way the length of the bed goes across the van side to side – saving valuable fore/aft room in the van for gear.  This wouldn’t work for someone taller.  The bed is raised about 20″ off the ground leaving room for the blade drawer and more space for rolled sails and other gear underneath.  On top of the bed is a Sunbrella duvet cover to keep the bed dry should a dripping boat be hoisted overhead or wet clothes be thrown on top of it.


Sprinter Curtains

These curtains have magnets holding them in.  They have a bit of cotton filler for some insulation and are black so they are completely unnoticeable from the outside.


The van also features a roof air vent with a thermostat to hopefully keep the van a little cooler on hot days and nights.  In the future I’ll consider installing insulated walls, a house/shore power system and an AC/Heat Pump unit.

This has been a fun project and I’m looking forward to many years of fun and sailing with it.  Thanks to my Mom for help on the curtains. Dad and neighbors for help building and the Sprinter Forum for ideas.



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2015 District 11 Championship

My first race of 2015 and why not do it at a District Championship.  Severn Sailing Association held the District 11 Championship in conjunction with their Sunshine Open Regatta.  27 Lasers and 16 Radials were out in what were nearly frostbite conditions on the first day.

I started with a great race sailing in 2nd most of the way around the course and loosing a spot on the final leg finishing 3rd.  I’d go downhill from there, but not before a few top 3 roundings before giving up spots downwind.  I met my goal of all top 10 finishes.

Back on short after 4 races I warmed up and enjoyed the dinner and band.

Sunday was a little better wind and we sailed 2 more races.  i had a tougher go of it finishing 1 in double digits followed by an 8 to finis 6th overall.

No pictures this time but results can be found here.  Big thanks to SSA for hosting, congratulations to Luke who sailed a great regatta to win it and thanks again for Steve for the place to stay.

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No Quarter Laser (rev2): Maiden Sail

To make a long story short-  last years new Laser had an issue and so was replaced – and today I took that new boat out for a shakedown and some practice in preparation for the 2015 Laser District 11 Championship at SSA next weekend.

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Maiden Voyage


Saturday was the maiden voyage for J/70 No Quarter #781 at Fishing Bay Yacht Club for the Opening Day Regatta.  After being launched and splashed with Coors Light the boat was rigged, sails raised and we headed out to join the 4 other J/70s and 26 total boats taking part in the Opening Day middle distance race finishing 4th among the J/70s.


The boat worked great – the crew performed admirably – one thing was clear – this skipper needs more time at the helm.  I’m looking forward to many more J/70 races!



Andrea Winner Photos

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A New Era

J70 781

Say Hello to the new No Quarter!  J/70 #781 arrived at Fishing Bay  Yacht Club on Saturday and will be put together on Sunday to be ready for Opening Day next weekend.

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2015 SSA March Soling Frostbite

The frostbite season was significantly shortened due to all of the cold weather we’ve had.  Was able to get out for one day of Soling frostbiting at SSA.


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James River Rapids Snow

I had always wanted to see the river after a snow and finally trudged my way all the way to Pony Pasture Rapids Park to get this shot around midday today:

Snow on Rocks at Pony Pasture at the James River Park System

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2015 Davis Island YC J/70 Winter Series III: Sunday

Today was expected to be a light air day and that’s what we were delivered. Racing was moved up an hour and after a couple false starts we got a race started in a 6-8 north east breeze.

J/70 Winter Series day 2

Our start on Spice wasn’t too bad near the middle of the line and we picked our way up the first beat. Near the windward mark we were around 20 but called a thin Pauline and stalled near the make while 5-8 boats went right around us. That further reinforced something we had learned yesterday – when j70s are blanketed they have no power so when in a clump at the windward make it pays to over stand and come in on the outside.

Around the top mark we jibed early going out to the left and that became a kiss of death when a 40 degree shift came in. We limped around the rest of the course while the wind died with only a handful of boats behind us.

All in all it was great to get out of Richmond for a warm weekend of sailing. Thanks to Holly for having me and I enjoyed sailing with Brian and Lud. I also got a lot of homework done on the j70 and am looking forward to having a boat of my own this spring.

Results | Pictures | 2015 Quantum J/70 Winter Series 3 Website

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