Sailing News

Great Lakes Cruising Club’s 2007 Rendezvous

The Great Lakes Cruising Club’s (GLCC) 2007 Rendezvous will be held at the western end of Lake Superior. The event is scheduled from July 15 through 18 at the 430-slip Barker’s Island Marina, Wisconsin, in the twin ports of Duluth and Superior.

The annual Rendezvous is the GLCC’s premier event. A fleet of up to 100 boats is expected to participate, most of them making the long voyage from the lower lakes. Other members will arrive by car, and some will be bringing their trailerable boats along. “Whatever way they come, it’ll be an adventure,” said Rear Commodore Duane Flynn.

The Rendezvous Committee, under the leadership of Flynn and Retired Rear Commodore Monnie Goldfine, is planning an extensive program. It will include sightseeing, educational seminars, demonstrations, sports events, social functions, and business meetings.

It was the resounding success of the 2001 Rendezvous that was the major reason for the event’s return to Superior-Duluth. “As hosts, we found it so rewarding to hear the comments and responses illustrating the thrill, enjoyment and surprise of those, who took the time to come here in 2001,” Flynn said.

A considerable number of the club’s members have indicated that they will take the time to cruise the North and East Shore of Lake Superior after the event. They will - either individually or as groups - visit many of the small harbor towns and wilderness anchorages along the way.

The GLCC was founded in 1934, so cruisers could better share information about their destinations on the Great Lakes and their tributaries. That still remains the primary function of the club, which today has well over 1,500 members in the U.S. and Canada. Its expansive collection of harbor reports is widely regarded as the authoritative cruising guide to the Great Lakes.

Go to the website for the latest information on this summer’s Duluth- Superior Rendezvous. There you’ll find information about all rendezvous events, links to other sites helpful for your trip to and from Duluth Superior, a Q&A link for submitting questions about the event, and more.

Vanguard Sailboats is Acquired by Gavel Securities for Undisclosed Sum


Vanguard Sailboats Inc. announced April 17th its acquisition by Gavel Securities Inc., the parent of Performance Sailcraft Europe Ltd. (PSE) and Laser Sailboats Ltd. (LSB), effective immediately. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Former Vanguard president Chip Johns is to stay on as a consultant during the transition period. He and PSE President David Graham — now Vanguard’s president — had been speaking for some time “about the great value of merging the two companies,” Vanguard said.

The transaction “will create opportunities for employees, the industry and most importantly, the sport of dinghy sailing,” Graham said in a statement. “Vanguard/PSE have many successful classes other than the Laser class … Sunfish and Laser SB3,” he added. “This transaction will allow further development/distribution of all classes.”

“Combining the two well-respected builders from the two continents will be incredibly positive for the growth of dinghy sailing,” said Johns. “The combined companies will be able to focus more resources on promoting and growing the sport.”

Laser Class President Heini Wellmann and Executive Secretary Jeff Martin issued a statement praising the deal. “We welcome the transaction because it will strengthen and simplify the one design aspects of the Laser class,” they said. “It will also help to further develop the class throughout the world and in particular has the potential to further the growth and distribution of the Laser class in developing countries.”

Additional information is available at and

Shorewood Yacht Club to Dock Fire District’s Rescue Boat

Shorewood officials narrowly approved a plan that will move the Excelsior Fire District’s rescue boat to an exclusive dock at the Shorewood Yacht Club.

The plan, however, calls for Fire District officials to access the boat from Timber Lane, a provision that two Shorewood City Council members disapproved of.

At its April 9 meeting, the council voted 3-2 to approve the conditional-use permit necessary for the Fire District to park its boat at a new dock to be built this season at the Yacht Club. The dock will extend 80 feet from shore, with access to the dock from Timber Lane, a narrow residential street west of the Yacht Club’s entrance.

Fire District officials lobbied for the Timber Lane access, saying it would provide a faster response than using the Yacht Club’s entrance and existing docks.

Coast Guard Auxiliary Reminds Boaters About New Rules For Emergency Beacons

Boaters Must Not Operate 121.5/243 MHZ Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs) after December 31, 2006.

The Coast Guard Auxiliary is joining with the United States Coast Guard to remind all boaters that beginning January 1, 2007, both 121.5 and 243 MHz Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs) are prohibited from use in both commercial and recreational watercraft. Boaters wishing to have an emergency rescue beacon aboard their vessel must have a digital 406 MHz model.

The January 1, 2007, date to stop using 121.5 MHz EPIRBs is in preparation for February 1, 2009, when satellite processing of distress signals from all 121.5/243 MHz beacons will terminate. Following this termination date, only the 406 MHz beacons will be detected by the International Cospas-Sarsat Satellite System which provides distress alert and location data for search and rescue operations around the world.

The regulation applies to all Class A, B, and S 121.5/243 MHz EPIRBs. It does not affect 121.5/243 MHz man overboard devices which are designed to work directly with a base alerting unit only and not with the satellite system.

This change, in large part, was brought about by the unreliability of the 121.5/243 MHz beacons in an emergency situation. Data reveals that with a 121.5 MHz beacon, only one alert out of every 50 is a genuine distress situation. This has a significant effect on expending the limited resources of search and rescue personnel and platforms. With 406 MHz beacons, false alerts have been reduced significantly, and, when properly registered, can usually be resolved with a telephone call to the beacon owner. Consequently, real alerts can receive the attention they deserve.

When a 406 MHz beacon signal is received, search and rescue personnel can retrieve information from a registration database. This includes the beacon owner’s contact information, emergency contact information, and vessel/aircraft identifying characteristics. Having this information allows the Coast Guard and Coast Guard Auxiliary, or other rescue personnel, to respond appropriately.

In the U.S., users are required by law to directly register their beacon in the U.S. 406 MHz Beacon Registration Database at: or by calling 1-888-212-SAVE. Other users can register their beacon in their country’s national beacon registration database or, if no national database is available, in the International Beacon Registration Database at

Congressional Extension Of Sales Tax Deduction Includes Boats

Thanks to action taken by Congress in December, tax filers who made a large purchase in 2006, such as a boat, may deduct state and local sales taxes paid if the tax rate applied to the boat was the same as the state’s general sales tax.

“Some taxpayers may be confused because the usual extension of these provisions were not approved by Congress until after the IRS had already printed its forms in November for the 2006 tax year,” said Elaine Dickinson, assistant vice president of BoatU.S. Government Affairs.

“We’ve been hearing from our members that even their own accountants are unaware of the extension since it did not appear on the printed 2006 Schedule A (Form 1040),” said Dickinson. A notice on the IRS Web site,, outlines the so-called “extender provisions.” It also lets taxpayers know that returns with these deductions will not be processed until Feb. 3 to give the agency time to incorporate the latest legislation into its processing systems for ’06 returns. To get the deduction, filers must itemize their deductions.

“Taxpayers may deduct either sales taxes or state income taxes, but not both,” said Dickinson. The deduction for state and local general sales taxes may be claimed on Schedule A (Form 1040), line 5, “State and local income taxes.” Enter “ST” on the dotted line to the left of line 5 to indicate you are claiming the general sales tax deduction instead of the deduction for state and local income tax, according to the IRS.

For more on state tax deductions, you can download IRS Publication 600, which includes state-by-state tax tables, by going to or by calling 1-800-829-1040, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekdays.

BoatU.S. - Boat Owners Association of The United States - is the nation’s leading advocate for recreational boaters.

Gap Is Closed With Opening Of TowBoatU.S. Saugatuck, Michigan
On-the-Water Response Times Expected to Drop

TowBoatU.S., part of the nation’s largest on-the-water towing service for recreational boaters, has opened a new port on Lake Michigan’s southeastern shore, TowBoatU.S. Saugatuck. Owned and operated by Capt. Richard Lenardson, the new port is located between TowBoatU.S. Muskegon and TowBoatU.S. South Haven. This brings the total number of TowBoatU.S ports in Michigan to 15 and it is the third for Lenardson.

Previously, boaters had to wait for assistance to arrive either from Muskegon or South Haven, a distance of a dozen miles or more, potentially in rough weather. “We’ve closed the gap between these two ports and given the Saugatuck region it’s own dedicated response vessel which will greatly reduce response times,” said Lenardson. “There’s a lot of demand for on-the-water towing services in this area and we hope to continue to grow BoatU.S. membership as well,” he added.

A native of Bridgman MI, Lenardson opened TowBoatU.S. St. Joe and TowBoatU.S. South Haven just last year. TowBoatU.S. Saugatuck has a 22-foot Sea Ark stationed at Tower Marina — located just 10-minutes from the open waters of Lake Michigan. The response vessel can be identified by it’s distinctive red with white bow stripes and “TowBoatU.S.” lettering along its side. The boat carries a full complement of towing and salvage equipment including extra fuel, pumps, airbags and battery “jump packs” to handle every breakdown from running out of fuel to running aground.

Similar to a roadside auto club, BoatU.S. offers on-the-water assistance plans starting at around $37 a year. Without a towing plan, boaters face costs that nationally average about $600 per incident.

Boaters in need of towing assistance can reach TowBoatU.S. Saugatuck by calling the company directly at 269-266-2125; by VHF radio on channel 16; or through the BoatU.S. toll-free Dispatch Service at 800-391-4869 or visit for more information.

All contents are copyright (c) 2007 by Northern Breezes, Inc. All information contained within is deemed reliable but carries no guarantees. Reproduction of any part or whole of this publication in any form by mechanical or electronic means, including information retrieval is prohibited except by consent of the publisher.