Sometimes You Need A Push: MASCF 2014

I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed an organized event so much. Generally I don’t like to be told what to do when, where, or how. And standing in lines … forget it, but this past weekend’s event the Mid Atlantic Small Craft Festival in St. Michaels, MD was a wholly different experience.  It had it all: great weather, good people, terrific food, and … wonderful small boats of all description (+/- 125). Add to that, I enjoyed 4 days of solo time with my youngest boy. Oh, and lest I forget, we won some ribbons! Una was voted runner up in looks and we won our class in the 2 races offered.

the skipper with the loot.

To make a quick and proud victory story, conditions were blustery 15-20 kts. Out of +/-55 boats we were 6th or 7th off the port favored start line. In the shadow of larger boats we tacked to starboard, got fresh air and a lift to windward. Now 3rd to reach the windward mark suddenly the tiller stick exploded. A quick attempt to lash a repair failed as we rounded the mark and clipped the buoy. A second lashing held as we re-rounded the mark falling to boat number 6. A close reaching leg took us to the finish in the harbor. Una planed in the buffs, bout the course ended before realizing any gains. Still, we won our class (double mast boats) by quite a margin. I hadn’t raced in decades and Una thrilled me to no end with her performance. Had we not lost the tiller extension, I’m confident we could have gotten a 2nd overall. I know, if wishes were horses …

Tops to all that was to meet so many wonderful folks. Lots of these people I knew from other blogs or forums regarding boating. It was a terrific event. People of all ages with their loved boats. It made a great combination in a quaint and lovely town.

We tent camped under the pines on the Chesapeake Maritime Museum grounds. Breakfast and dinners were provided. Some of the best oysters and steamed crabs war Friday night fair. I could go on, suffice it to say that after attending the Annapolis U.S. Sailboat Show for years, I won’t miss it. None of the frenetic hucksterism of that show was present. Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for making money, but that is not why I sail and it was refreshing to be away from those trendy and god-awful “living rooms with a stick”. I can’t remember the last Annapolis show where I saw a boat I’d like own (unless it is the diminutive standout Melonseed. When I first noticed them, they were $4,500. Now they ask for $12,000. Ouch! The only trading going on in St. Mikes was a small swap opportunity under a tent Sunday. All in attendance seemed to be good people who love small boat and enjoyed sharing them. So, in no particular order are some images throughout the weekend.

museum sharpie


small leak


Grandpa Checkers


Saturday afternoon


Friendship Sloop




“Una” and her specs


vane to be copied?


just a view


good guy


sweet transom




more view


Friendship and pram


New friends Alan, Maryanne and Didi steering “Dark Star”


vintage sailing canoe


George’s Crotch Island Pinky


a Coquina


more canoe


Skin on frame Greenland kayak




pulling boat


young lad’s pond yacht


tank testing


Peter and his Caledonia Yawl “Nip”


boat yard in the tide


hot rod racing skiff


John rigging his CY


Museum’s clinker Melonseed


skipper testing a CLC Petrel Play


messing about in boats


Barry and his beautifully built Melonseed “Aeon”


crew ready to go!



Dale – 1/2 man and 1/2 F-1 kayak.


Dark Star


excellent musicians


skipjack and ferry


oyster tonging


happy sailor


“Aeon” and friends






high class


Sunday morning


skipper with a lashed tiller out for his morning sail


Shelly Moth over fearing

Pictures don’t do it. I was told I wouldn’t know unless I go. Glad I didn’t risk missing it. We’re ready for next year!

4 thoughts on “Sometimes You Need A Push: MASCF 2014

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