Minutes from January 19th, 2010, Y-Knot Board meeting at Clifton Park YMCA, 6:00 P.M.
In attendance were Scott Stewart and Don Miller (co-Vice-Presidents), Keith Edwards (Camp Chingachgook liaison), John Kershko, Trish McCluskey, Spencer Raggio and Dan Byrnes (Secretary). Dave Whalen participated part of the time remotely.
1. Don welcomed John as a new member. He and his daughter had volunteered this summer, made terrific contributions then and we’re very pleased to have John on board here.
2. Scott moved to accept the minutes from Nov. 7, 2009 and Spencer seconded, passed unanimously (new member John abstaining).
3. Treasurer’s Report
Scott asked whether we were going to break “away” regatta expenses out from the miscellaneous category, so we could track them separately and possibly fund them better. Scott mentioned the Nyack and Burlington regattas and the Mobility Cup as examples. Spencer suggested that Treasurer Rick Irvine speak to Camp Director George Painter about breaking those items out a little differently.
The 2009 cash flow statement shows a loss of $632. Spencer estimated that traveling to “away” regattas cost about $4,000 for transportation and expenses. Last year, membership fees and donations were down from the prior year, but 2008 donations included an unusual $5,000 item from Nyack Yacht Club. Don and Trish raised the question of whether there wasn’t anything like that last year, and Keith said he would check with Aimee, who does the books and thank you letters, and get back to us. Spencer moved the Treasurer’s report be accepted, Scott seconded and it was unanimous.
4. Committee reports
Two committee chairs are still open: membership and publicity/promotion. Technically Program Director is open too, but camp staff is filling in for that and that is working fine.
Next meeting, Dan will have a hit list of transportation companies and other transportation-concerned organizations to contact about promotion this spring, including possible site visits recruiting interaction with the drivers. Dan proposed making a publicity tool (pro forma press release) out of the establishment of the 11 sailing dates and the 3 racing clinics to create a reason for contacting the organizations on that list. Keith said Aimee has resources for the distribution list, and Spencer said he does, too. We’ll have this organized by next meeting.
Regarding fundraising and merchandising activities, the calendar idea has been talked about this year, but we needed winter photos a few months ago to make the deadline for this year. (Let’s all go out and get winter photos.) Pens and other merchandise will be discussed more next meeting.
George has proposed fundraising to pay for the new dock area–maybe a special event. Would the board like to host a special event? He is trying to fill a gap of about $40,000 on a $180,000 budget. Would we consider: dinner and sail, silent auction and a sail? Do we want to sell boards on the dock? Do we want to setup a PayPal account to make a virtual program do-able? Spencer mentioned that a local company called Change Roundup will let people sign up so that if their charge on a credit card is, say, $18.33, the item will be rounded up to $19.00 and the change will be contributed to a not-for-profit of your choice. We could put out a call for funding that way. There’s a lot to tie in. We agreed to pick it up next meeting.
Spencer said at future regattas we’re going to be giving out a participant ID on a lanyard as a give away.
5. Old business
Keith said that the new single-boat boat trailer is scheduled to complete retrofit work this spring. The critical path item is 12-inch bed support and its welding requirements. It may become a work weekend project for April 24 and 25.
The autohelm won’t break again — or require a sawed-off crescent wrench wrapped to the control with bicycle tire clamps to couple the piston to the steering mechanism. Since there are no clamps, chafing on the gel coat will no longer happen. Great job, Keith!! (Note that the autohelm is critical particularly for sip-n-puff steering interfaces used by high order quadriplegics, but as we saw this summer it’s also really useful for sailors other than those with spinal-cord injuries. This is really cool to get this system back in service.)
An “away” regatta policy was drafted by Spencer, called the Regatta Policy for Loaning and Transporting Boats. This year, the Mobility Cup will be in Vancouver. Canadian Rail Co. would offer free shipping, but we’d have to do considerable work to load and secure our boats, and the rail company can’t guarantee departure or arrival. That precludes the Mobility Cup for this year. There are plans for Burlington and Montreal. If they do something in Marlborough or Newport, now, we might be able to use the policy to decide to go. In New York City, Larchmont is also active. Y-Knot would also like to help sailors with traveling expenses for these events.
Dave Whalen said he had researched a Sonar with a gimbal seat — a Strahle seat. Dave said he’d like to look into whether using this device would help Y-Knot sailors participate at Nyack or Larchmont. Dave gave a great report about how much he enjoyed racing this summer up in Toronto, with Don Miller and Pete Hogue assisting. (He got to see a Yankees away game, too.) We need to look at getting the right harnesses. More research is available from the U.S. Sailing Web site.http://www.ussailing.org/swsn/technical-adapt.htm
We are planning to reserve 3 dates this summer for the sail racing clinic. The goal is to set aside 3 boats for racing practice. We will do brushing at all 3 sessions, and the 2nd session will also cover windward and leeward roundings. The last session will practice starts and finishes. The goal is to have a pathway for new sailors to come out over the summer and feel comfortable in the fall regatta, rather than having the sailor’s first experience with starts, roundings and finishes be the regatta. If more than 3 people want to do it, we can talk about moving the session into the morning. We do not want to take away from regular sailing, so we do not plan to use more than 3 boats. Keith brought artistic renderings to show what we are planning to do. George says we are 80% approved. Bathroom facilities will still be up the hill. Dredging permit has been approved and will probably happen in the spring. This will make it lots easier to use all six Martins.
Don said we will operate at least one shuttle bus between Albany and Lake George, with a goal of operating one for all sailing dates next year. Don got a lead on a bus (ReadiVan, from a nearby senior assistance program) and they are going to lend it to our program to shuttle people from Albany up to Lake George. It has room for one wheelchair. We’re going to look at shuttling from Stuyvesant, maybe the Bruegger’s Bagels. Don proposed staffing it with volunteer help from the organization lending us the bus. Dan reminded the board that (he’s heard) we’ve done it with volunteers in the past and it ran out of steam. To make a transportation work persistently, Dan said, we may need to hire drivers and get funding. For now, the Board agreed to work with a volunteer system and see how it goes.
There’s a Federal initiative from the early years of the Bush administration requiring transportation organization that receive Federal funds to coordinate with other providers of transportation services for disabled citizens, so there are programs already in place in at least some public transportation organizations that could help us meet our goals. Dan found for instance a Web system in testing to coordinate transportation for disabled people — it’s being tested in the Cayuga-Seneca system. I have a demo CD if anyone is interested in learning more about it. If this system ever makes its way into Albany, we would be able to benefit immediately. Dan met with Albany public transportation officials and they recommended we start with Glen Falls about interfacing with disabled programs. He’s looking into getting up a contact there.
6. New business
The NY State Governor’s office operates an event site. Don will take care of putting our data on their calendar.
When will this board meet for the balance of the year: 2/16, 3/16, 4/20, 5/18, 6/15, 8/17, 11/16. Nov. 16 will be the banquet.
We discussed moving the July 4 date just in light of the holiday.
We discussed having a Sailabration dinner in mid May. Spencer will contact the other organizations (Lake George Club, Corinthians) and check for interest.
The YMCA has an expense form we should start using.
We have merchandise we’ve made for special events such as the regatta. We can merchandise it. We may need a price list to help with this. Run this idea by Rick. (The hats especially have a lot of fashion appeal. Thank you, Rick!)
For the next meeting, we’re going to try to find a location where we can wi-fi Dave in more readily.
Scott moved to adjourn, Spencer seconded and the vote was unanimous.
Submitted by Dan Byrnes, 2010-02-15.