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December 2023 | Issue #38

This month:

  1. Ferne Gulley is back, but can’t find his boat

  2. The Opposite Tack by Doug Kinzer reports on Beacon Composites

  3. From the President: Amanda Hodges - End of year and new website report

  4. Annual Dues are Due 2024

  5. Internationals Dates are Set

I CAN'T FIND MY Y...... by Ferne Gulley

Ever since I was a little Ferne my daddy, BG, would get on to me about putting things off. And he was right, I did. But not this year.

This year I vowed to do my winter maintenance in the winter and not the week before the season starts. So, with much enthusiasm I headed down to the bay to shine her up, replace a few lines and check the rigging. It is easier to send your boat to Indiana for this sort of thing but being proud of my forethought and gumption I took it on myself. I was loaded with Star Brite, new line and super glue. I even had a lighter to burn the ends with when it dawned on me, WHERE IS MY BOAT? It is certainly not here or down by the hoist. Was it stolen or did I leave it somewhere? Now, as most of you know I have been know to tip a glass or two, but this has gone too far. After racking my brain for some time I decided to strike out and find my Y. And so it began.


Yes, yes, Atlanta for the Beers regatta! I love that regatta, while I didn't do all that great, but I loved the heavy wind that one day. I needed to get to Atlanta and quick, it's not more that 5 hours or so and if I left it there, I stand a good chance of Nile selling my boat to a new member. Furthermore, after any time on the lot it will be harder to get her to travel so I struck out, this was for "all the marbles". I arrived at the beautiful AYC clubhouse to find myself alone.

Not to worry, I know where they hide the booze, so I poked around under the cabinets and made myself a tall one. The water was low and the place was serene, but no boat was to be found. There are a lot of boats there, but not mine.

After a few more cold ones I thought wait, could I have left it at James Island? There are Y Flyers and friends there so maybe so. Charleston is a fun place anyway and I might run in to Lenny or Beau, love chatting with them. Besides, if I left her there perhaps Henry will have completely re-rigged her with all that new fancy crap he is using or a tapered mast. I will need a new owner's manual to figure it out, but worth it. I was excited when I pulled in to Charleston and as fate would have it ran into Greg Fisher first thing. As we talked, I immediately fell into a trance as Greg tried to explain the nuances and advantages of his sails. I just remember saying "yes" a lot, over and over.

Luckily I snapped out of it before I forked over any dough, but I think he got to me somewhat because even as a devout Catholic, I now believe in evolution. Anyway, no Henry, no new rigging, no tapered mast and no boat. Crap, where to now?

As they say in Boston, "it's got to be Mattoon, it's got to be Mattoon." Yes, I was there, I saw the bonfire and sang the unusual song about acne. I think I camped, but who's to say really because as I mentioned before, I tipped a glass that weekend in June. The problem was, there is no good way to get from Charleston to Mattoon and after looking at a map noticed the route took me through Nashville. Hey wait a minute, she could be there. I sail there, love the place. Besides, there’s a good chance Chandler "ended up" with her and she's on the lot. Bad news, when I arrived I went down to the tiki hut and the secondhand smoke made me forget why I was there and I became really hungry. I completely forgot to look for Ray, or Ania and just left for Mattoon after stopping at a Burger King. Surely at Lake Mattoon Sailing Club my beautiful boat would be waiting on me, safe and sound while Chet Turner stroked her splash rail. It HAD to be; I'm running out of places to look. And don't make me go out west to Arkansas, I hear its always hot and never any wind. (or so I've been told). On to Mattoon.......

to be continued........

New Boats on the Horizon

Hello again, Y-Flyer world! It’s been a long, long time since I have written anything for the FLYER. You’d think having been apast FLYER editor (twice), I’d be better about it. Turns out, I’m a little like most of the rest of you. Ahem...anyway.....Our current editor helped me this month by giving me a really good topic: Boat building. Andhappily, there is a lot to catch up on, so here we go.As everyone knows by now, the class decided to move on from High and Dry in Charleston. Whilemuch was achieved in the area of mold updates and development of new boat building processes, no new boats were built there over a nearly two-year period. So it was decided to move on and try our luck elsewhere. Luck was indeed on our side.I searched some builders here and there, but then I figured that the Thistle class had just found a

new builder and I inquired as to who that might be. A Thistle sailor I know in Indianapolis gave me a name and our own Paul Abdullah, a Thistle sailor of note, reported to me that they were initially very happy with their new guy and that the first new Thistle was impressive. I made contact and started what has become a new and exciting process.

Our new builder is Beacon Composites, owned by Alex Venegas, located in Creedmoor, NC near Durham. Alex is a life-long sailor and has been kind of a boat building geek since he was a teenager. He has pretty advanced knowledge of modern boat building processes as well as computer aided design (CAD) experience. His shop is small but well equipped with a 5-axis CNC system and all of the usual fiberglass composite building equipment necessary to construct quality products. In addition to the Thistle, Beacon also builds the Finn and recently began the process of building the Interlake. There are also molds around his shop for other boats that he may begin building soon. They also do other composite parts for custom cars and other products, which is frequently how composite boat builders stay busy when boat orders slow down. Alex’s goal for the future is, as he has said, to “just build boats”. I first went to visit Alex at Beacon in December 2022. Right away, I got a good feeling. Alex is an energetic and progressive thinker in the world of composite fiberglass. He is quick to come up with new ideas. I took a boat with me for “show and tell” (Thanks Carol!) and Alex was very intrigued with the Y- Flyer. I spent about 2 1⁄2 hours there and at the end of our visit, Alex said “I’m in if you guys want to do it.”

Over the next few months, we had numerous contacts and discussed details. This past October,Carlin and Amanda Hodges delivered the molds to Alex after kindly storing them in a barn at their place. I drove down for the meet-up. With the molds present, we were able to examine them and see what needed to be done so that boat building could begin. Alex has since done a few remaining modifications to the molds for the resin infusion system of boat building. There were a few spots on the molds that needed repair and those repairs have been completed. The boat building is soon to begin.As of this writing, there are definitely two boats to be built, thanks to the Hodges. There is a realgood possibility for a third as well. Beacon is a “batch” boat builder. Bring out the molds, build as many boats as there are orders and then put the molds away until next year. This way, they aren’t bouncing from one boat to another and having to change up things too frequently. This means that if you want a new boat, you can let Alex know and as multiple orders come in, he can schedule the next build. Ideally, 3-4 boats should be built in one batch per year. We certainly hope for more (the more, the merrier), but that seems to be a reasonable number at this point. It is already time to anticipate next year, so keep it in mind.Alex is currently working on rigging and other equipment pricing and should have some numbers available soon. You will be able to buy a rigged boat if you like, but you can also buy a bare hull and rig it yourself or have the rigger of your choice do it. Pretty much the way it has always been.We’re excited to have Alex on board as our new boat builder. Hopefully, he can come to a Y regatta

soon to experience sailing a Y and especially to experience the “people vibe”. Because our vibe is second to none.That’s the latest on the boat building front. This is an excitng time and I’m sure once you all see a couple of new boats out there, you’ll be licking your chops to get one.

I encourage all of you to go to the Beacon Composites website and check it out. There are somegood mini-videos that you’ll catch that show some of what I’ve talked about above. The Y-Flyer will no doubt be added to the site soon. If you’re interested, you could Google “resin infusion boat building” and you find some interesting video showing the process. Worthy of note: you’ll notice that the workers doing the infusion work aren’t wearing much protective gear. The system is better for the people as well. It’s pretty cool.If you have any questions, feel free to contact me and I can fill in details as much as I can.Meanwhile, I’ll see you all at the Midwinters where we’ll all be gathered around and drooling over a new Beacon Composites Y-Flyer!

It’s time to renew or join the class!

First year Active Membership is free for boat owners (contact Paul White)


7349 Scarborough Blvd E Dr

Indianapolis, IN 4626-2052



Active $40

Associate $25

Junior $20

Crew $15

Please send a check to the above address. Include Name, Address, cell, email

Membership may be managed through

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