Board of Managers Meeting: October 2013

Minutes from the Oct. 08, 2013, Y-Knot Board of Managers’ meeting at the Clifton Park YMCA, Clifton Park, NY, are submitted for consideration as follows:

In attendance were: Keith Edwards, YMCA Camp Chingachgook Liaison, Don Miller, Vice President, Rick Irvine, Treasurer, Spencer Raggio, Dan Kennedy, Trish McCluskey, and Dan Byrnes, Secretary.

Keith Edwards said that we have work to do for the next meeting, which will be our annual Sailabration Banquet and fund raiser, Nov. 9, at YMCA Camp Chingachgook. Keith handed out the draft brochure and encouraged us all to sign up vendors for the silent auction.

Keith also said that Coopers’ Cave is willing to give us a fund raising night in their calendar whereby 15% of the proceeds from diners who identify Y-Knot when sitting down for their meal will go to the sailing program. Patty Bethel is the proprietor.

Regarding the finances for this year, Keith said we are under budget by $1,400 or so. The accounting system will be re-organized and run as a cost center just like the YMCA Camp Chingachgook alumni club. So surpluses will go into a designated fund. Some of the revenue and expenses are going to go away, for example, food served in the Pavilion will now be gratis. We will still have an administrative category of 20% of total revenue

Y-Knot merchandise will also be put on sale in an end cap display in the Camp store all year around .
Regarding sailing and racing, Keith said we need a renewed emphasis on training. He told the story that at an out of town regatta this year, someone asked one of our sailors, “How do you guys train?”

“Silver Fleet,” was the answer.

In other words, we don’t really get any racing training in during the season. Instead, on our sailing days, people show up, get in a boat and just go out and sail around. Right now, sailors learn to race by participating in the entry-level Silver Fleet each year at our September Regatta. That’s not enough. Everyone agreed, we want to put together more of a planned program of on-the-water coaching, brushing (two boats practicing together sailing to windward and leeward) and dropping marks to practice starting sequences.

In addition, Keith suggested that we offer an incentive to sailors in the Y-Knot Regatta. If Y-Knot decides to participate in an out-of-town Regatta as a club, we’ll sponsor the top sailor from our Regatta to attend. We will pay that sailor’s expenses or at least offer a scholarship to cover part of the expenses.

Keith said we need more structure next year on sailing days. We will drop practice marks, have a coach boat running and directing the teaching of racing skills on the water. On weekends, Martins only will be used and they will be for racing practice only. If sailors want to come and just sail around Dome Island, no problem, they still can, but then they charter the boat and pay the charter fee. Reservations during sailing days will be made in order to give preference to racing sailors who want to practice for the summer’s regattas out of town and our event in September.

Keith said that next year, more attention will be placed on volunteer training and dock-side skills needed to run a sailing day. Volunteers and staff will needs to be checked off on every task. YMCA Camp Chingachgook has committed to having 3 camp staff on each event: 1 on the Jenny lift, 1 on chase boat and 1 dock hand. Training to operate the lifts will be more formalized, and there will be more training of volunteers, for example, to drive the chase boats (in case of an emergency) and for rigging and de-rigging of boats. There will be more formal instruction in how to be a companion in the Martin 14s, including how to raise the keel from the back of the boat, how to use the paddle, how and when to ease the sails and how and when to drop the sails.
We will define skills sets and if volunteers and staff aren’t validated in a skill set, they won’t perform tasks associated with the skill. We discussed having a safety committee on our board, but no decision was made.

We are putting in a 2nd Jenny Lift in a spot where we will need to raise keels 6-8 inches because of rocks next to the dock. We may lower the height of the existing lift.

To help encourage registrations, we are going to ask sailors to sign up at least 2 days prior to the event. If somebody doesn’t sign up and just shows up, we may just invite them to hang out and relax in the very nice pavilion and watch the Martins practice racing.

We have a world class dock, and now we can make Y-Knot a world class sailing program.

Community sailing next year will be cut back. There is no plan to offer charters for the Freedom or the Capri 22 to the public at half day rates next year.

Keith’s role will be changing also and he will be playing more of a program management role, and certainly more than boat repair and maintenance. The Board agreed that this transition recognizes the reality of the strong role Keith has been playing increasingly in recent years with Y-Knot sailing.

Spencer Raggio said that a former volunteer Bob Chodkowski, now living in England just north of London on the Thames, has gotten involved with an accessible sailing program over there. This program uses a British trimaran and Y-Knot’s Dave Whalen has been there sailing it. There was discussion of possibly one of these boats being donated to YMCA Camp Chingachgook Y-Knot sailing program.

Keith and Spencer will be following up.

The next board meeting will be the annual meeting at 3:30 before the Sailabration Banquet at YMCA Camp Chingachgook, Nov. 9.