Some background on the West Coast Trailer Sailing Squadron:
In 1992, Bob Wood and I took his Mud Hen 17 foot sailboat to Maine by camper and trailer. Along the way we sailed in several lakes and bays, and on the way home we took in the Tall Ships as they returned to Boston Harbor to celebrate the 500th Anniversary of Columbus' discovery of the new world. That we could do so much with such a small boat made a profound impact on me. I had been a large boat sailor for some 20 years at the time. Being able to combine camping and sailing seemed like a wonderful way to see parts of the country and the coastline that I'd never have time to see by water alone.
It took me several more years of yachting and small boat sailing to determine which one I wanted to do the most. Small boats won the battle for my heart. They offer so much more than the larger in-the-water-always type of sailboat. The ability to sail in different destinations each weekend and scan the atlas for different cruising destinations for longer trips really opened up the world of sailing for me. And living in Florida, having extreme shallow draft has meant that I don't have to worry about staying in the channels. Sailing outside of the "shipping lanes" of the intercoastal means a smoother and less congested voyage. Sailing past wading trout fishermen as they stare in amazement has become a favorite pastime for me. The Sea Pearl 21 is my vessel of choice. It is easy to launch and retrieve by myself, and can be rigged, in the water and sailing seven minutes after arriving at the launch site. Others may make different selections of shallow draft vessels. They are all welcome in the WCTSS.
When I bought my Sea Pearl, I thought that I could join an organization and sail with other like minded people. But the organization was defunct. No one was out there organizing such a group.
While attending the 1998 Cedar Key Small Boat Meet in May, I met Steve Anderson. He had started a similar organization on the east coast of Florida, called the Halifax Trailer Sailors. They have about 20 members, and Steve publishes a newsletter, and announces the sailing dates. Several members of this club made it to the gathering at Cedar Key. The seeds of our group were planted that weekend.
Sailing alone has its rewards, but it's also fun to get together to share ideas and sailing lore with other sailors who share the same philosophy - going light and small... but going.
Ron Hoddinott - 1999
typical rendezvous scene on the west coast of Florida
The West Coast Trailer Sailing Squadron is a community of sailing friends. We gather together as a fleet once or twice per month, to cruise or daysail together.
The WCTSS is not an official yacht club of any sort. It is just a way for people who love small sailboats to sail together, share experiences, and make new friends. When participating in our outings all risks are assumed by you. You should only participate in our daysails or cruises if you have the experience to sail your vessel safely, and have a seaworthy vessel.
The cost to join is just $20.00 U.S. After joining you are a member for life.
If you have a small sailcraft, and would like to join the squadron, e-mail Ron at: e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sea Pearl Whisper anchored in Mary Anne Cove - North Channel - Lake Huron.