Retirement Announcement

After 21 years at the helm of the West Coast Trailer Sailing Squadron, I have decided it is time to relinquish the helm to a younger and more energetic captain.

There are a couple of reasons that have led me to this decision. My wife and I love to travel, and we would like the chance to visit the great Southwest.

We’re looking at the so-called shoulder seasons when the weather is cooler, which would have us away from Florida during our best sailing months of October and November, or April and May.

Also, I’m not getting any younger, and my bucket list of travel destinations is calling. I still want to sail with the Squadron, but as a member, just like you.

Your new Squadron Leader will be Dan Roeder. He has demonstrated that he has a lot of new ideas for the Squadron including destinations and activities that will keep the Squadron growing and thriving into the future.

He’s committed to making the WCTSS everything that it can be. His leadership at Cedar Key, and Lonnie Paulalooza this year demonstrated what he can do for us. Dan will lead us into the next decade and beyond.

So look for the changes in the months ahead. Dan will be taking over memberships, sales of merchandise, website design and Facebook administration.

The transition may take a few months, so please be bear with us. I’ll continue to maintain our web site until Dan gets a newer one up and running.

Some background on the West Coast Trailer Sailing Squadron:

In 1992, Bob Wood and Ron Hoddinott took his Mud Hen 17 foot sailboat to Maine by camper and trailer. Along the way they sailed in several lakes and bays, and on the way home, took in the Tall Ships as they returned to Boston Harbor to celebrate the 500th Anniversary of Columbus' discovery of the new world. That they could do so much with such a small boat made a profound impact on them. They had been large boat sailors for some 30 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!

It took Bob and Ron several more years of yachting and small boat sailing to determine which one they wanted to do the most. Small boats won the battle for their 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. And living in Florida, having extreme shallow draft has meant that they din'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 became a favorite pastime. The Sea Pearl 21 was Ron's vessel of choice. Bob Wood chose the Edey and Duff Dovekie. Both were easy to launch and retrieve alone, 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.

The Founding of 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.

If you have a small sailcraft, and would like to join the squadron, e-mail Dan Roeder at:

Sea Pearl Whisper anchored in Mary Anne Cove - North Channel - Lake Huron.