Number 19.

February 2004.

At last, my machine is working well, and the printer is going in fits and starts however I feel its time to put out a bulletin for the coming season.    As those of you, (almost ALL our star members, as always) who were at the A.G.M Last month will remember we laid plans for the coming season – we have asked the Sailing Secretary to look into the viability of longer cruises, away visits and planned trips to local sailing clubs on the Thames to name but a few of our activities for 2004.  We now have 12 Stars available for use, And, thanks to the sterling work put in by our Class Captain Bob Saunders (flattery always helps) and the new Sicxaflex Compliment of the Michael Robinson Sailing Trust most of the Stars float and are as water proof as they can be, with a bit of tender care and attention they will improve with use and ought to be seen sailing this season NOT sitting on the fill.  We start this year without any major call on the funds other than new sails for which we need £6.000.00; this sum as you know is the reason for a look at independent fund raising details of which we are looking into at the moment.  You may have seen a document Paul Gladden gave to me at our AGM about fund raising? I have passed it on, would you read it then we can get together and make some decisions.

On the bright side we have a number of NEW members in the Star Class, Guy Bates who is taking his life into his hands and taken over 97, the previous owner Keith Proctor still shows interested in this boat as you would expect after spending almost a year of his life rebuilding her, Marie O, Connell and Anita Spence have joined up with Rachel Sheridan and are refurbishing 98, you should see the new bottom boards Marie and Anita have built. I did hear they would be taking orders!!!! As a mixed girls crew we hope to see them getting a lot of use out of 98 this year, the latest addition to the Stars is Darren Leigh, he has taken over 113 from Adrian.  Darren is very keen to get the boat back up to the same standard as when it won the refurbished award at the Wooden Boat show, I am sure Robbie will be sitting on his cloud looking over him so it had better be good, Star 113 was Robbie’s pride and joy.

I am sorry to say we lost Valerie (the varnish) Iain (the nailer) to a bigger boat “Firkin,” they have moved on to a cruiser but still wish to be members of the Star Class Association as does Adrian who is concentrating on his “ bigger boat”, A “ Friend of Stars “for those of you who have not come across this is where a member of E.Y.C. who would contribute a sum of money to the Star Class in return for the prospect of borrowing a Star as and when they wished to have a sail, it worked very well albeit very few people took up the offer of borrowing a Star, no problem ever arose, I would refurbish Stars 98 and 106 as boats to be borrowed, both used to get through the season fairly unscathed, However, I now only have my Star 106 for borrowing, therefore before we commit to taking money from this scheme would you be prepared to lend you boat out ? Especially having spent weeks repairing and varnishing OR would you help refurbish the spare boats? I must add it would only be competent helmsmen/woman who borrowed the boats. We have three spare at the moment, this scheme used to encourage new members who had a sail and would take over a boat and so expand our membership.  Before I accept ANY monies from anyone wishing to be Friends of Stars I would appreciate your comments perhaps you would let me know either by E mail or when we meet on a Sunday, obviously the sooner the better, In any event it is critical we get new Star members if we are to survive, maybe you have some ideas on recruitment? From the meeting I understand we may be going to the Erith River Festival this year this could well be one source.               ………….


The other member to drop out with very good reason is Robert; he is finding new born babies need more attention than a Star – still look on the bright side he may want to rejoin with his children in the future. You will have seen the Dinghy parking lay out on the fill? Although we have no divine right for these places if you keep to your allocated spot then it will save a lot of argument what goes where.

Other news – we have not heard from our London Correspondence Mary Robinson for a while? I am sure she will be in touch but the last I heard she was a very busy lady looking for new accommodation, our other Mary, Mary Field had some very bad luck with Pegasus 2 the dinghy which she swapped for her Star, Pegasus, was stolen from its site on the Hamble, much to Mary’s distress fortunately it was found abandoned further down river and the Commodore of the club nearby returned her boat BUT minus the engine, it is very sad when this happens as many of E.Y.C. members well know having had their boats broken into and lost several pounds worth of valuable equipment as well as the damage done .   Still we go on and live in the hope that we will get the Mary’s to Erith one of these days and give them a sail in one of our Stars.  I haven’t heard from Stephen Taylor the owner of Star 1 but did get a call from a person in Wales who has the hull and some fittings of a Star asking if we could give any information on its pedigree, as there were no sail numbers or marking this is a mystery

Other information – the Mini Tractor “ Robbie” is currently getting a bit of a brush up and a coat of paint, Bob Taylor gave it the once over and so we hope to run it trouble free for another year, this year is its 12th at EYC.  Anyone in the Stars who doesn’t know how to operate this tractor PLEASE let me know and I will give you the information and a drive around – otherwise a lot of damage could be done by just trying to get it to work

I know we would be lost without it, the Star Class 5hp Seagull is re-furbished should you want to take it away when cruising and the rowing dinghy ”Bertie” has also been given a new coat of paint bringing all our equipment up to speed

You will know doubt be aware there is a Boat Jumble on Sunday 15th February 2004 at the Hop Farm.  We usually gets good supply of vintage fittings for Stars as well as some good modern equipment, if you have anything you need to have replaced please let me know as soon as possible, currently we need Jockey wheels for the launch trolleys, a new large bilge pump, belts for fastening in the buoyancy Bags, half inch and 1 inch shackles for the shrouds and forestay, I have asked for 5 new sail bags, and we have the new replacement buoyancy bags and a roll of half inch main sheet, if you think of anything else we need please let me know as soon as possible,

Our Class Captain Bob Saunders is looking for a tide and date when we can have a Star shake out, will be around April ish time, I will attempt to notify every Star Steward/owner and so we can get as many Star afloat this year HOWEVER as soon as we get a date please make every effort to get your boat seaworthy Sails OK, Main and Jib sheets OK Battens ready Warps tied on Buoyancy bags blow up otherwise we have the situation where we get the boats in the water but everything is delayed looking for bits to boats – may I suggest you check ALL your equipment ,A S A P….I have made a list of what you should have as an addition to this News Letter.

On the subject of preparation you will recall we agreed how unfair it was not to be ready to sail when we have a planned day out therefore causing Peter Dornan in the support boat to leave late and usually miss his lunch and in some cases doesn’t even get to the planned destination the plan therefore is in future we LEAVE the club at what ever time has been agreed, all the more reason to check you boat is up to speed …….

Page 3

………….   With all the equipment it should have – if not PLEASE ask, we have spares We also need volunteers who will drive a motor support boat when Peter is not available, if you have any doubt about driving such a boat we can arrange a Motor Boat course for you.    One other item for your decisions, we can no longer support the Snipe Sailing Boat, the cost is a drain on our funding, although the boat was primarily for ANY member wishing to go for a sale they could borrow it, we also used it at the Erith River Festival or shows we attended allowing potential members and children to sit in a dry boat without causing too much damage as the boat is PVC any damage was minimal, We are, as you would expect obliged to pay mooring fees for this Snipe we already insure it and I have been maintaining it over the past three of four years.  Should we then sell it off to the highest bidder? Say around £100.00? It has two suits sails both in reasonable condition

I have” E” mailed as many of our members concerned with Stars as I can, this save a lot of expense on stamps and paper, there are hard copies on the Ship and Dinghy shed as well as for members who are not on line.

STOP PRESS……….I have just received information which will concern all the dinghies,

The new Rib is in situ and will be getting an OFFICIAL launched April sometime, it will be on a Sunday and we are asking ALL dinghies to get afloat for this event which will be attended by representatives from Michael Robinson Sailing Trust, Bridge House Trust, London Borough Bexley, and the Press to name but a few so PLEASE support us here, all of these visitors have contributed to the new rib.    I am also reliably informed Paul Gladden is to run an adult sailing course for members in the very near future, if you want a place telephone Paul or myself as soon as possible to BOOK the places are limited to around 8 people.

Good sailing – lets make this the season of the Stars…………..  106.

NB Although this is the Star Class Newsletter with the introduction of E mailing at a fraction of the cost of posting I have included other interested members in the mailing list.


If you haven’t got all these required items please ask we have spares.

1, Mainsail, Mainsheet with shackle and three battens. Blocks already fixed to the horse

2.Jib and Jib sheet, with Inglefield clip or shackle

3.Main Halyard and Jib Halyard should already be affixed with Inglefield clip or shackle

4. Buoyancy bags sited under forward and read thwarts and tied in with correct strops

5. Bailer tied on to stringer

6. Anchor with around 30 feet of warp tied on, could be carried in an upturned bucket       tied to stringer

7 Oars stowed under forward thwart OR can be used as seats Rowlocks tied to stringer

8.Down Haul and kicking strap with Inglefield clips or shackles

9 Boom with Inglefield clips or shackle fittings to take your mainsheet

10 Mast already in situ with halyards already fixed and with shackles /

11 Rudder, Tiller, and Extension.

12 Bung and a spare pushed into stringer

13 Shrouds and Forestay tied tight with correct cord – NOT string.

14 Painter, tied on and at least three quarter the length of the boat overall

15 Personal Buoyancy aid / life Jacket

© Erith Yacht Club