Apr 11. 2017

Brad WillauerBy Kathy Large

Seventy-three year old Brad Willauer is one of the veterans of the Marblehead to Halifax Ocean Race. He has been participating since he was a teenager, usually working the foredeck on someone else’s boat. Now, after participating in MHOR at least ten times, he will be skipper of his own crew for the first time in this event in July. And he has a few strategies in mind that have proven successful in other offshore races.

Willauer purchased his first boat large enough to participate in the race in preparation for his retirement from the financial industry back in 2004. Since then, he has been cruising and racing for extended periods of time in the Caribbean each winter including participation in the Newport to Bermuda, and the Marion Bermuda Races. Breezing Up, a J/46,is back in New England and he plans to be on the start line of the Marblehead to Halifax Ocean Race 2017 with a family crew.

The Willauers take it as a matter of pride their ten member crew is “all in the family”. “They are all good sailors and well-experienced. Four of them are members of the Cruising Club of America (Brad Willauer is vice commodore of the CCA), and we also have a couple who are licensed coast guard captains,” he said. Willauer’s own sailing resume includes racing in the Caribbean, Transatlantic (Bermuda to Spain) and cruising in the Mediterranean, Thailand and British Columbia.

Breezing UpBreezing Up

His crew includes his children Ben and Tori Willauer, a son-in-law, Tony Fitch, nephew Charlie Willauerand his three sons Cory Cramer, Charlie Willauer Jr, and Pete Willauer plus nephew Langley Willauer and his daughter Nora. The Willauers claimed podium finishes in four Newport to Bermuda races including first in the Cruiser division in last year’s race. The dedication to making sailing a family experience has also won the Willauers the William Glenn Family Participation trophy in the Newport to Bermuda Race on two occasions.

Willauer believes the younger crew know the most about the boat and the technology on board and they are eager to do more sail changes, which is why he likes a mix of ages on board. “They know everything!” His own confidence about the boat and its capabilities are strong. He lived aboard Breezing Up for extended periods of cruising in the Caribbean so he is confident to make the call about which sails should be up and what boat speed they can hit, depending on the conditions.

“We have a lot of fun…we have a great time together. Our family is close in general, anyway. They all work hard.”

Willauer has adopted a practise that no doubt makes everyone sit up and pay attention. All crew members steer the boat with the helm changing every half hour.“This practice makes for a happy ship.”
He says he remembers sitting on the rails of other people’s boats in 10 or 12 prior Bermuda Races, knowing him and other younger sailors on board could likely do a better job than the old guard, who often held onto the helm for long periods of time.

“Finding the groove is a special skill, keeping her in the groove requires intense concentration,” according to Willauer. That’s why everyone knows they should only speak to the driver on business, no chatting.
“Some are better than others in handling the job but we don’t make note of that in any way.”He admits some severe conditions cause him to alter this routine – such as driving with a chute on the upper limits of apparent wind or near gale conditions.

Another tried and true strategy - they all share the cooking, including the skipper. They have all learned how to cook for offshore sailing for one simple reason: “Good food is important for morale,” says Willauer.

PaintingIt isn’t just this generation of the Willauers that devote their time to sailing. “Sailing is what we did as kids. My older brother Peter and my father were very good sailors and I learned from them.” His brother Peter competed in national championships and later founded the Hurricane Island Outward Bound School in Maine. The family has a deep connection to the summer community at Prouts Neck, Maine where his great-great uncle Winslow Homer had his painting studio. Breezing Up is Willauer’s third boat named in honour of Homer’s famous painting.Breezing Up is in the collection of the National Gallery of Art which describes it as “one of the best-known and most beloved artistic images of life in nineteenth-century America."

The Marblehead to Halifax Ocean Race is a 363-nautical mile offshore race sponsored by the Boston Yacht Club and the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron. The 37th biennial race starts in Marblehead on Sunday, July 9th following a course across the Gulf of Maine and along the coast of Nova Scotia to Halifax.

One of Brad Willauer’s memories of past Marblehead to Halifax races involves some winning insight by his brother Peter.

“He won the race with a boat called Madcap. He realized that he could pick up a thermal along the shore of Nova Scotia. There was a high pressure system and most of the fleet was flopping around with no wind. For about 60-80 miles, he sailed close to the Nova Scotia shore and that extra bit of wind made the difference.”

“I have great memories of my visits to Halifax, especially early on, crewing on Salmagal III, a boat built by Arthur B. Homer, the chairman of Bethlehem Steel. “I have really fond memories of going down into the Arm and receiving the warm hospitality from people like Sally Norwood, once we came ashore. I didn’t get to stay long in those days… I would usually head to the airport for the first flight back to Boston. But the reception was really terrific!” In earlier times, individual Squadron members volunteered to act as hosts to each arriving crew.

The fog used to be extremely challenging, especially coming into the finish line at night.

“One memory I have is from the 1970’s. I was working on navigation and we were coming in to finish in thick fog at night. We had the spinnaker up for the last ten miles and were making between 8 and 9 knots. There was no radar on the boat but we knew where we were going. We had passed Chebucto Head. In those days, we were running exact courses and timing with a stop watch. But the noise was tremendous so we decided we needed to douse the chute so we could slow down the boat and hear the signal that we had actually finished the course. And in fact, that’s what happened, we slid across the line and we heard the signal boat…but it wouldn’t have happened without pulling that sail. Modern navigation makes all these things so much easier!”

Breezing Up and crew are already registered for MHOR 2017. Skippers can register through the Race website www.marbleheadtohalifax.com.

 

Lifestyle

  • Prev
Classic boat restoration expert and wooden boat builder Stan Hunter recently sent us this great ...
In Mid June, a floatplane plunged into Constance Bay on the Ottawa River after two planes collide ...
Winter is a fun time for sailmakers in Canada. We grind through mountains of repairs and have an ...
The seasoned sailor mapped out an ambitious course around the world — aboard his 28-foot ...
Clean wake: A concept amongst cruising sailors that stresses the impact that individual behaviour ...
This line-up of Beneteaus can to us from our friends at RCR Yachts in NY State where they are ...
As another harsh Victoria winter came to a close, the deck repair and refinishing continued with ...
The Peterborough Canoe Company was formed in 1892 and began production the following year after ...
On one of the sunny days we had recently, Kyle MacTaggart in Honey Harbour ON fired up the Merc to ...
For all those OnBoard subscribers who have followed along with the maintenance, repairs and ...

Cobourg Yacht Club - 2015 Sailing instructorsKatherine Stone

Like many other harbours on Lake Ontario, Cobourg has seen its fair share of changes. Screams used to be heard from kids piled into a toboggan on wheels that went hurtling down a wooden slide into the harbour. Above it all was the bustling din from the waterfront of ship’s whistles, train engines, foghorns and thundering coal cars. It is now a rather serene place for the locals and visitors to enjoy various watercraft. Fortunately, the beautiful beach that lines the waterfront is still a star attraction for the town.

Located 95 kilometres east of Toronto and 62 kilometres east of Oshawa on the north edge of Lake Ontario, United Empire Loyalists first starting arriving in the area as early as the 1780s. The first settlement in 1798 was called Buckville, later renamed Amherst, then called Hamilton (after the township) and also nicknamed Hardscrabble. It wasn’t until 1819 that they finally settled on the name of Cobourg, which was incorporated as a town in 1837. In the late 1820s large schooners with passengers and cargo had to anchor well off shore, as there was only a landing wharf. A group of Toronto businessmen formed the Cobourg Harbour Company which built the wooden Eastern Pier from tolls charged for the use of the harbour.

Read more: Cobourg Yacht Club...

DIY & How to

  • Prev
Wrapping your hull with marine vinyl wrap instead using traditional marine paint seems like a new ...
Boating safety is always—always—a critical consideration whenever you push off the dock, but with ...
Building on our last two editions (Sealants, and Fibreglass, respectively), Gelcoat is the next ...
After a successful R2Ak and regatta season in 2019, I felt that Pitoraq was due for a major ...
Pause for a moment and ponder this question. How much is your life and your safety at sea worth? ...
Last edition we talked about sealants to perform tasks like bedding and sealing. Other tasks like ...
Over the winter, a many-thousand pound fiberglass, wood or metal shell is held in position by only ...
Since the late 19th century, a debate has raged on the relative merits of diesel fuel over ...
This bag does more than hold your anchor and rode in one tidy little pile. After you’ve anchored ...
Purchase your copy of the BRAND NEW Ports Georgian Bay 2020 Edition at the Toronto International ...

Andrew AlbertiIn the past two issues we have been doing an overview of the right-of-way rules. In the first, we did a review of Section A of Part 2, in the second we did a review of the definitions. This issue, we will look at Section B of Part 2, General Limitations, which is essentially limitations applying to boats that have right of way according to Section A.

GENERAL LIMITATIONS

14 AVOIDING CONTACT

A boat shall avoid contact with another boat if reasonably possible. However, a right-of-way boat or one entitled to room or mark-room

Read more about the right-of-way rules.......................

 

  

Boat Reviews

  • Prev
New at the end of 2019, the 58 Salon Express design features large windows to flood the living ...
No wonder this is one of Regal’s best-selling boats; the Regal 33 Express offers amazing ...
The newest member of Beneteau’s Gran Turismo line is the GT 36 and this yacht brings the style and ...
With a philosophy of quality and 'doing things right Ranger Tugs launches the all new R-25 at the ...
The new Beneteau Swift Trawler 41 renews the spirit of the practical seaworthy cruiser. The ...
The Canadian Yachting test crew last week had the opportunity to run the Bavaria S36 HT at St ...

CY Virtual Video Boat Tours

Virtual Boat ToursWe all love boats and nothing can break us up! So, what better way to spend our time than looking at interesting boats and going aboard in a virtual ride or tour. We have asked our friends at various dealers and manufacturers to help us assemble a one-stop online resource to experience some of the most interesting boats on the market today. Where the CY Team has done a review, we connect you to that expert viewpoint. Our Virtual Show will continue to grow so visit frequently and check it out. If you can’t go boating, you can almost experience the thrill via your screen. Not quite the same, but we hope you enjoy our fine tour collection.

 

Read more about the CY Virtual Boat Tours....................

 

Beneteau Oceanis 30.1As boat builders clamber to create ever-bigger platforms for ever-more generous budgets, the entry-level cruiser has become an elusive animal. Sure, if you want to daysail, there are plenty of small open boats from which to choose, but if you want a freshly built pocket cruiser, you’re in for a long search. Enter French builder Groupe Beneteau, which identified this gap in the market and set about creating the Oceanis 30.1, an adorable little cruiser that resembles her larger siblings in all but length and price. With all she offers, it wouldn’t be a stretch to call her a mini yacht.

Read More about the Beneteau Oceanis 30.1..................

Destinations

  • Prev
On May 19, the New York State Canal Corporation today announced an updated opening schedule for the ...
If you have four hours to enjoy a fine tour of one of Canada’s most interesting waterways (let’s ...
Boom & Batten Restaurant is suspended over the water adjacent to the Songhees Walkway and ...
Provincial Boat Havens are those special places to drop anchor in British Columbia’s West Coast and ...
NW Explorations, a Bellingham, Washington-based yacht charter, brokerage, and marine services ...

KingstonBy Amy Hogue

Cruise into the city of Kingston, Ontario, and it will quickly become clear that this city and surrounding waterways have something special. Built around the northern shore of Lake Ontario, Kingston is the place to go if you love to explore new waterways, fantastic views, and exceptional boating opportunities.

Sitting at the intersection of three world-class Canadian bodies of water, Lake Ontario, the St. Lawrence River, and the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Rideau Canal (Cataraqui River from Kingston to Newboro), the water’s influence is deeply woven into Kingston’s culture and history. 

Read more about Kingston...........

 

Marine Products

  • Prev
Wet decking can compromise passenger safety on boats, particularly when boarding or disembarking. ...
Anyone who has repeatedly used a rag to clean gelcoat, paint and delicate surfaces has seen the ...
The new Mercury Racing 300hp Five‑Blade CNC Cleaver propellers are designed expressly to maximize ...
Beneteau may have outdone itself with introduction of its new Gran Turismo 36, manufactured in ...
Yanmar Power Technology has announced the development of a hydrogen fuel cell system for maritime ...
Kevin Monahan is a retired Canadian Coast Guard officer with more than 20 years of experience ...
The new 2020 PORTS Georgian Bay, North Channel & Lake Huron Guide is available for purchase at ...
Professional boatbuilders don't want to have to redo a job any more than a DIYer. Many choose Life ...
Since its introduction last year, the JBL by Harman Marine BassPro 10" Powered Subwoofer (JBLMBP10) ...
After decades of perusing charts and guidebooks as part of planning a cruise, it was a totally ...