RIYC February 2019 Newsletter

Commodore’s Message – Gary Annino

Spring is coming (I hope soon…)

February meeting was longer than normal and very productive with focus discussions in response to several subcommittees feedback including:

  • Periodic Bylaw Review
  • Club Grounds Improvements
  • Small Boat Keel/One Design opportunities

Many thanks to Bylaw Review Team of Amy Leger, Tom Bishop & Mike McBee for the great work done to date.  The discussion with the Trustees involving potential bylaw revisions was a key element of this month’s meeting and was a very engaging exchange of thoughts.  We look forward to the incorporation of the Trustees’ input as applicable.

The Trustees then reviewed the Club Grounds Improvement feedback.  This was also very engaging with the Trustees ultimately voting to approve aspects of the recommendations that fit well with the developing RIYC strategic plan.

Last, the trustees had a healthy exchange about the idea of RIYC leasing two Ideal 18’s in direct response to the feedback provided by the membership survey.  This feedback highlighted desires to provide boats for the membership to use:

  • Adult “learn to sail”
  • Represent RIYC at “Ideal Women” & other gender-specific events
  • Jr Sailing/Racing
  • Adult racing
  • Inter-yacht club one design racing

The topic of “which one-design should we join…” is a truly challenging discussion and the sub-team recommended Ideals due to an established and growing existing fleet within Fisher’s Island and Long Island Sounds.

Putting the class of boat aside, the Team is now working on developing a detailed operating model for the Trustees to act upon or reject.  This operating model will detail year over year costs, a usage management tool (sign up calendar?), and a fleet operations model (perhaps re-establishing the RIYC small boat committee?).  If anyone would like to assist in developing this program, we welcome the assistance and please contact me via email or call me at 860-535-2354.

Annual Dues bills have been mailed to all Memberships and are due March 1.  A $50 late fee is applied as of April 1, and memberships are terminated if not paid by May 1.  Please indicate if you want a hardcopy Calendar Directory and include the $5 cost with your dues by March 1.  Hardcopy Calendars will only be available for those who pre-order.  Send in those checks!

Report from the Entertainment Committee – Rodney Denman and Denise Kennedy

Rodney Denman and Denise Kennedy provided the Entertainment report:

  • January Frugal extremely well attended
  • Planned a February 22nd Frugal with Bill Loweth’s input‎ that was not on the planned calendar
  • 2019’s calendar and sign-up Genie were published featuring a combination of traditional events, 2 new Frugals, and 2 new events
  • Co-chairs exploring ideas that could make some events less reliant upon finding hosts
  • Co-chairs still‎ in process of shaping committee to expand capabilities for idea-generation and volunteer recruiting
  • Midwinter brunch was well-organized and well-run as always‎, attendance a little more than half of the prior year which might have been impacted by the evite being issued a week+ behind schedule
  • Co-chairs extremely grateful for the hosts and event committees that run and support our events…and to our members for supporting the fun by joining in.

Report from the Junior Program

Junior Sailing – Ann Bergendahl and Rob Warn

  • A Jr. Sailing Head Instructor was hired last month.  Her name is Annie Longo and she grew up sailing at Mason’s Island.  She has several years of coaching and instructor experience.  She has worked at the WAD and most recently at GLPYC, in a management position.  She was part of the MUTRATZ offshore crew to compete in the Bermuda race on Dreamcatcher last year.  She is a student at UCONN.  We are so excited to have her!
  • We have three more sailing instructor positions to fill by June, so spread the word!
  • Sign-ups will begin next month for the summer program.  Any child between the age of 7 and 16 can spend the summer learning about having fun on the sea.  One does not need to be a member.  A non-member just needs a member to sponsor them.  The program will run from June 24th through August 16th with boat check day on June 22nd at 8:00 am – 10:00 am.

Report from the Race Committee

Race Ashore – Tina McLoughlin and Race Afloat – Moise Solomon

Several members who have helped with Race Ashore in the past are not able to participate this year.  Tina McLoughlin would greatly appreciate any additional volunteers!

Report from the House Committee – Matt Lettrich and Fred Haberlandt

  • House will be following up regarding Trash Collection as Noank has recently changed to the large robotic pickup bins. We will be requesting several additional bins and advise them that this is a seasonal need.
  • House will be checking on a warming tray burner on the stove.
New Signage by Danny Spear

Bylaws Subcommittee – Amy Leger

Trustees discussed the recommendations of the Bylaws Committee (Amy Leger, Chair; Tom Bishop, Mike McBee).  The goal has been to “clean up” the existing Bylaws, to clarify points of confusion, and to organize “like” items which are now addressed in disparate sections.  Trustees commended the Committee which will now consider the comments and make final edits that will be considered at a later date by the full Membership.

Strategic / Long Range Planning – Blake Powell and Fred Haberlandt

John Watson provides the following update:

  • Work on the key themes from last year’s survey and focus groups continues
  • Carol Connor, Rose DuFour, and Tamara McKenna compiled a set of actionable near-term recommendations to make the exterior of the club more welcoming and usable
  • The Trustees and the Strategic Planning team are reviewing the recommendations and integrating them into current and projected modifications that will enhance the resilience of the club to high winds and rising water
  • Similarly, we previously postponed repaving the parking lot until we better understand the causes, risks, and options to mitigate ongoing sinkhole/erosion problems

These considerations, along with other facilities, membership and program proposals, will be integrated into a more comprehensive strategic plan and set of actions for membership review in May

Report from the Waterfront Committee – Sandy Turner and Matt Champney

Matt reached out to the piling surveyor and their quote was acceptable for the Trustees to give Matt and Sandy the go-ahead for another inspection.  At this point, we have tentative dates for the beginning of March for the inspection to happen.  This will be a major step in which piles need to be replaced in accordance with our long term maintenance plan.  The last inspection was done three years ago where four piles were replaced.

On a second note: we need to watch our good weather days late Winter to early Spring to work on the floats and dock.

A BIG thank you goes out to Danny Spear and John Lathrop for re-building the RYIC dinghy. It looks brand new!

Recommendations for Club Exterior – Carol Connor

Trustees considered the recommendations from the Beautification Committee.   The Board approved a motion to approve the “green light” items as budgeted (prorated where fewer are being purchased than recommended as with picnic tables).

Green Light:

  • Reestablish garden front entrance garden
  • Repair / redo information boxes / bulletin boards
  • Replace / refurbish locker doors and consider lighting and other south side improvements
  • Procure 2 new picnic tables as samples
  • Procure 4 Adirondack Chairs


  • Upgrade Grill: the discussion centered around the installation of propane burners
  • Increase use of front entrance
  • Stamped concrete under the picnic tables

Addressed Elsewhere:

  • Enclosure for Trash Cans – House will address
  • Create another subcommittee to address the condition of the south side of the club including:
    • Lighting for evening/after dark access
    • Locker Doors
    • Cement block foundation
    • etc


  • Linda Petrie
  • Jim & Nancy Giblin
  • Holly & Jeff Bresnahan

Last Voyage

Phyllis Littlefield

New Members

Cruise News – Stan White

No dates selected yet!

Did You Know ….

Ram Island Yacht Club as an emergency Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) in the Club House. Everyone should know where it is located (see photos below). It can be quite intimidating to think about using it. BUT the equipment will verbally walk you through the emergency. So, don’t be afraid to save a life!

Here is a video on a similar system: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-Eb1f5mf6c



We have added a new topic for the newsletter where Members may post, for one newsletter, an item they wish to sell. The item must be marine-related and the information to be sent to the RIYC Secretary must include:

  • Member Name
  • Member contact information
  • Detailed description and condition of the item wishing to be sold
  • Desired selling price


No listing this month