Newsletter 52

November 2023 Newsletter 52

From the Helm: What the Dawgs do is amazing!

by Bob Osborn

It’s hard to believe that by the time that this newsletter is out, nearly 100 boats will be heading south with the Salty Dawg Caribbean Rally, bound for Antigua and The Bahamas. 

Of course, if you are not in the rally, you can follow along as skippers and crew make their way south, at this link.  Be sure to share this with others who might want to enjoy following along.  

Nearly half of the fleet will be making their longest run to date, and to head out to sea on such a passage is a very big deal.   While there are not any hard numbers on exactly how many boats make a major offshore run each year, Chris Parker of Marine Weather Center, the official weather router for the rally, as well as George Day, publisher of “Blue Water Sailing” magazine estimate that perhaps upwards of 1,000 boats make their way south each season from the US east coast to the Caribbean or Bahamas.  These estimates exclude boats that run to Bermuda, a run of about 700 miles or less, about half of the distance to the Caribbean.  

Salty Dawg Midwest Rendezvous

Written by Kristen and Herb Roth, SV Navicula

Lynn and Mark Hoenke SV Roxy hosted the first Salty Dawg Midwest Rendezvous. It was a three-day retreat at their family cottage, The Junipers, on the shores of beautiful Long Lake outside of Traverse City, Michigan. The weather for early October was perfect and they welcomed Lori and Dan Carlson SV Bebe, Joddy and Matt Perry SV Exuberant, Kristin and Herb Roth SV Navicula and Stephanie and Jim Seal SV Hero. Joddy and Matt sailed on Exuberant to Traverse City. The Junipers was festooned with Roxy’s trademark pink flamingos marking the driveway entrance, the shutters, and even an inflatable, illuminated flamingo family. The cottage stood out like a, well, pink flamingo.

Sunday began with sundowners on the porch. Everyone contributed an appetizer and to say it was heavy is an understatement. As a result, the planned hamburgers were placed in the freezer while the cocktails and conversation continued to flow. Sunset was celebrated with Mark and Matt playing a conch serenade to the vanishing sol. Attention then moved to the campfire where some marshmallows were ignited, and others were transformed into gourmet s’mores.

Yacht Brokerage: Sponsor Interview

Meet Josh McLean of David Walters Yachts

Diane MacDonald-Mackenzie had an opportunity to chat with Josh McLean about the History and Current Affairs at David Walters Yachts. 

You once told me the story of how you got involved in being a broker and David Walters - can you share with our readers?

Absolutely. My journey into the world of yacht brokerage was an adventurous one. After serving in the Air Force as an aviator for eight combat deployments, I transitioned into the yachting industry. About two years before separating from the military, I wanted to pursue this career. During my many deployments, I immersed myself in learning about yachts. I read books on seamanship, devoured yachting magazines, and even worked part-time at a Texas marina to understand the industry's sales side.

After separating from the Air Force and moving to Fort Lauderdale, I had the privilege of meeting David Walters, who had been running his boutique-style brokerage, specializing in high-quality blue water sailing yachts, since 1982. Dave recognized something in me and offered mentorship. Our original plan was a five-year transition, but sadly, Dave was diagnosed with brain cancer, which accelerated the transition process. Over the next year, we spent nearly every day together, and I took over the company. It's been an incredible journey, and I'm proud to continue Dave's legacy at David Walters Yachts.

Sponsor Article with Quantum Sails

The Cruiser’s Guide to Mainsail Control

By Gold Level Sponsor Quantum Sails


Mainsail control can be achieved by choosing the right set of tools. The cruising sailor can make use of the traveler, the mainsheet, the boom vang, backstay tension, outhaul or the cunningham to manipulate sail shape. One or a combination of these tools could be the right choice for you, depending on wind and weather conditions as well as your boat’s unique characteristics. 


The traveler has two functions: it controls the boom's angle to the wind and it helps steer the boat, controlling helm and heel angle in puffs and lulls. Set the twist with the mainsheet then use the traveler to position the boom on the centerline for maximum power and pointing, as long as helm and heel are under control. 

Fun times in Nelson's Dockyard

Written by Bill Woodroffe, SV Kalunamoo

The Antigua National Parks know how to throw a party!  Last year, in order to show their appreciation to the Salty Dawg Sailing Association's support of English Harbour and Antigua, they offered to throw us a lawn party.  You don't need to ask sailors and cruisers if they want to party, all you need to tell them is the time and place!

The time was sunset and the place was the historic Nelson's Dockyard in English Harbour.  The location was excellent because many Salty Dawgs were already berthed a few feet away.  Cocktail tables were set up on the lawn between the Copper and Lumber Restaurant and the quay.  Copper and Lumber, and the entire Nelson's Dockyard, is a World Heritage site run by Antigua National Parks.  To take a med-mooring berth there is a unique experience that is not duplicated easily elsewhere.

As the sun set, the evening air cooled, and the tropical island night that one only dreamt or heard mention of, unfolded.  With cocktails in hand, and sporting our casual Caribbean attire, the sound of a steel pan band and their Caribbean rhythms drifted through the gathering.  Cruisers exchanged and compared their passage stories and inquired about their next island to explore.  Old salts and first timers mixed and matched and learned from each other.

The Salty Dawgs in Annapolis

Written by Michael Benjamin, SV Exodus

The Salty Dawgs had a very successful 2023 Annapolis Boat Show weekend.    After a busy first day at the show, over 225 Dawgs and friends attended the Annual Annapolis Rendezvous at the local Elks Club.   Following cocktails and dinner we were entertained by Americas Cup Tactician and ESPN commentator Gary Jobson.   Gary regaled us with his humor,  sailing stories and adventures.  We were so honored to have such a sailing icon as our guest speaker.     We also conducted our first silent auction at the event and raised a substantial amount of funds for our operations, thanks to our sponsors who generously donated many great items.   Thanks go out to Diane MacKenzie for organizing our first such fundraiser.  Many of our sponsors also attended the dinner, including our Platinum Event Sponsor, David Walters Yachts.  

During the 4 day show we registered over 20 new members and renewed quite a few more.   The booth was extremely active throughout the show, even during the Saturday downpours.   

Congratulations to new members, Peter and Debbie Bisio who won the membership drive raffle and received a Standard Horizon handheld VHF radio, generously donated by Charter Rode. 

The show volunteers also had a great time connecting with old friends and welcoming new members.   Special thanks to all of those who volunteered their time at the booth and the dinner.   It’s our volunteers who make our organization so successful.  I think all of them would agree that it was a fun and meaningful experience. 


Meet the Dawgs!

Bob and Linda Boynton

Boat name and type: 

SV Tiger Lily, Hallberg Rassy 46 

When did you join the Salty Dawgs? 

In the spring of 2022 we were in the Bahamas and had decided the next step for our cruising life would be to head to the Caribbean.  While stuck waiting for a weather window we had dinner on another boat in the anchorage where they sang the praises of the Salty Dawgs and the rallies. We had done a passage as crew from New Zealand to Tahiti, but loved the idea of having the guidance and support of the Salty Dawgs on our first major passage on our own boat. We signed up for the Caribbean rally the very next day!

What events did you participate in as a Salty Dawg? 

The first event was the dinner after the first day of the 2022 boat show.  Soon after that we were in Hampton again waiting for a weather window to head to Antigua with the Caribbean Rally.  Once in the Caribbean we joined both formal and informal rendezvous in Dominica, Bequia and Martinique.  It was fantastic to have people you know in these ports to share the adventure. We also joined the Homewardbound Rally in the spring of 2023 to get back to Hampton, VA.