Saildown 2017 Update

DATE: Saturday August 26, 2017

We will rendezvous at McCovey Cove at High Noon on Saturday. Remember, this is not a race. It is a Cruise. There are no rules, skippers must find their own way down via charts and avoid all manner of pitfalls and restricted areas without the guidance of a race committee. Boats will monitor Channel 72.
Find here charts of the South Bay and a map of The Port of Redwood City Yacht Harbor. See the location of Sequoia Yacht Club on the map.
When you arrive, please sign in at the Club’s Guest Book inside. The street address of Sequoia Yacht Club is 441 Seaport Court, Redwood City. There is room to stern-raft up for approximately 8 or 9 boats at the Sequoia Clubhouse deck. The Yacht Club has showers for use, but they will be closed at 8pm.
If you have a slow fat boat and you don’t think you’ll get one of those raft up spaces you might call ahead to reserve a slip from Spinnaker Sailing, which manages the harbor. Slip rental = $0.95/foot. No credit cards. Cash or check only. A deposit will be required for the gate and bathroom key fob. If you want a shower key it is a separate $20 deposit. For slips call 650.363.1390. The harbormaster office hours on Saturday and Sunday = 9am – 5pm. They monitor channel 16.
The SSS will provide hamburgers, hot dogs and a vegetarian option (probably boca burgers), also some kind of yummy dessert. Please bring side dishes of your choice to share. They don’t have to be elaborate, just edible. We are welcome to use the club’s gas grills.

  1. The oldest SSS shirt
  2. The most friends and family members aboard upon arrival;
  3. Youngest crew member aboard
  4. Longest trip (set your gps odometer as you leave your slip)

There have been questions:
Q:      how good are the prizes? I heard Tom Patterson tried to return his prize.
A:      The prizes are way cool. Not expensive. Very SSS. Tom was just joking. haha.

Q:      How many points for children?
A:      Despite stereotypes to the contrary, many members of the singlehanded sailing society like children. Some even have children of their own. To encourage this proclivity children aboard garner double points. Anticipating PHYF questions (“performance handicap youth fleet”), a measurement method (a measuring tape) will be utilized at the Sequoia Yacht Club if necessary. There will be no appeal process.

If you can’t persuade anyone to sail with you, if you can’t bribe friends and no one will let you borrow their children, remember: This is the Singlehanded Sailing Society. It’s okay to come solo.    

Safety at Sea February 12, 2017

From the YRA — this course will satisfy the SSS requirements for SAS training for doing the Half Moon Bay and Drake’s Bay races.

The OYRA is pleased to announce they are hosting an 8 hour, US Sailing Sanctioned Offshore Safety at Sea Course on February 12th at Berkeley Yacht Club!

This US Sailing Sanctioned Offshore Safety at Sea Course will be Moderated and taught by Chuck Hawley. The registration fee is $150 and includes lunch. You can register electronically HERE.

US Sailing Sanctioned Offshore Safety at Sea Courses are designed for sailors of all types and levels — cruisers and racers, novices and experts. The course is appropriate for a wide range of boats — small, big, monohulls, multihulls (and powerboats, too) — that are sailed anywhere — near shore and offshore. The curriculum is certified by US Sailing, with special attention to the conditions and challenges of our sailing area. The certification from this course is good for five years.

Unsure of whether or not you need to get an offshore certification for a Bay Area ocean race? You can get more info on the different course options, what courses are being offered locally, and which certifications the different ocean races require by checking out our Safety At Sea Courses page.

Ready to register for our February 12th Course? CLICK HERE!

Have questions about the February 12th course? Contact the YRA Office at

Registration:   0800 – 0830
Class Start:  0830 sharp
Class Finish:  1730 (approx)

Ferry Traffic Protocol (January 2017)


New for January 2017, the US Coast Guard Sector San Francisco has provided a protocol with chartlets on the conduct of ferries in the Bay.   Just in time for the Three Bridge Fiasco!

All SSS sailors are urged to read and comply.


Now if we could only get those tour boat operators to realize that they are neither ferries or vessels constrained by deep draft…

What’s Happening at the Gulf of The Farallones and What Every Member of The SSS Needs to Know


SSS member Carliane Johnson collects samples. Not seen, but there: sharks!

Please join us for a presentation on the “At-Sea Research of the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary (GFNMS).” Hear about ocean surveys that are being conducted and what this information is telling us about the importance of the sanctuary for birds, whales, white sharks and other wildlife.. Environmental consultant and occasional contract staff to GFNMS, Carliane Johnson, will provide this special presentation on the upwelling nutrient soup that supports an incredible foodweb from the tiniest of krill to the largest animals on earth, and how these surveys are helping us understand oceanic changes. 
The presentation will follow the Vallejo 1-2 skippers’ meeting, Wednesday October 19 at 1930 hrs at the Island Yacht Club.  Feel free to pass this announcement to others and invite family and friends, too.

Sequoia YC Cruise-in Nov 5, 2016

Saturday November 5, 2016

You are invited to take a pleasure sail south along the eastern edge of San Francisco to the Sequoia Yacht Club, located in the balmy locale of Redwood Shores. This is not a race.

A Cruise is your chance to show the people you love the kinder gentler sailor within. This is your chance to show friends and loved ones that sailing is about more than:

  • expensive hardware and technology
  • difficult race strategy and a deep understanding of wind, currents and their unique implications for winning races on the San Francisco Bay and the Gulf of the Farallones

Who do you invite? You invite people who:

  • don’t like racing
  • won’t sail with you during the summer when the wind is howling
  • think your boat is a big fat waste of time and money
  • think sailing is what someone else does while they lay around in the sun drinking wine and beer and fruity liquor drinks

SSS members, disprove the notion that singlehanders have no friends. Plan ahead and cultivate friendships wherever possible: at the grocery store, at traffic stops, with your car mechanic. Introduce yourself to waiters and waitresses in restaurants. Donut shops and pet stores are also excellent points of interaction.

What can you expect? Burgers and dogs, something for vegetarians, and much much more. The Sequoia Yacht Club has promised an open bar and open hearts.

The Friends and Family Award. Not just something to be proud of, but an Actual and Tangible Prize. You get to take it home forever. No more huge impressive trophies that you have to return the next year. How do you win this Award? By arriving at the dock with more friends and family members aboard than anyone else; Contestants must arrive with people aboard: Crew cannot drive down to the Yacht Club and jump on your boat just before people are counted (no no no).

The Oldest Tshirt Award. Borrowing someone else’s Tshirt is discouraged but not prohibited.

Disclaimer: the Singlehanded Sailing Society is Not a Yacht Club.

Not a Yacht Club

The book you always knew you needed, without somehow realizing it — Not A Yacht Club by our own Jackie Philpott, being the mostly oral history of the SSS from its very earliest days through the present.   Jackie was relentless in tracking down the founders and early members of the club and relating the history in a very humorous and warm style.  A lot has changed over the years, and a lot hasn’t.   To tell which is which, you must buy a copy for yourself on Amazon.

SH Farallones Awards Mtg – “Secrets of the Farallon Islands Revealed”

The SSS is proud to announce that Russ Bradley, Senior Scientist, Farallon Program Manager will address the Singlehanded Farallones Awards Meeting on May 25th. Russ has spent over 1,500 nights on the islands and is an expert on predators (seabirds, marine mammals, white sharks) as well as the islands’ terrestrial ecosystem (landbirds, insects, salamanders, plants, etc.). Please come and enjoy Russ’s presentation, bring your questions and/or share your Farallon experiences.

Location:  Island YC (in the Alameda Marina)
Time:  7:30 PM May 25