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Eric Goetz, founder and president of Goetz Custom Boats, grew up sailing on Manhasset Bay. He is seen here skippering his Katie G in the waters around Newport, RI.

The Nautical Center of the Port Washington Public Library has an exhibit called Port's Nautical History: Yacht Clubs Role in the Community. Artifacts and memorabilia from the five yacht clubs that dot Manhasset Bay (Knickerbocker YC, Manhasset Bay YC, Mill Pond Model YC, North Shore YC and Port Washington YC) tell a story of how each club, with their unique history, has contributed to Port's nautical history. Because of the interest this exhibit has generated, the library, thanks to the generosity of all the clubs, has extended the exhibit through the month of March. Readers may want to wander over to the library to enjoy Port's sailing past as well as see some activities that are very much a part of today's sailing community. For more information about the library, please see www.pwpl.org.

For those readers who are unfamiliar with the Nautical Center, it got its start back in 1965 when several nautical minded residents thought it would be a good idea to have a community group that promoted our wonderful waterfront. And what better place to house such a group than our public library! The original members included Joel Sterling, the late Jim Moore, Ginger Marshall Martus, Fay Fraser, Joan Kent, Dan Kurshan, the late Ed du Moulin and the late Horace Hagedorn. Ginger Martus, Fay Fraser, and Joan Kent are still active members of the center. Today, the center members include approximately 20 Port Washington residents who represent a cross-section of the waterfront community.

The goals of the Nautical Center are several: to promote nautical interest by sponsoring programs for the nautically minded as well as the general public, provide space for exhibits and facilities for the researcher; and to serve as an archive and forum of the history of boating and yachting and the facilities which serve them on Manhasset Bay. The center has regularly scheduled meetings where programs of interest to the community and other nautical matters are discussed. Look for an exciting array of programs throughout the coming year.

Our local frostbiters are having a difficult time getting in some sailing on Manhasset Bay this month. Last Sunday looked promising, even though there was ice on the bay. Some frostbite members were up early to go out to the docks at Manhasset Bay YC and try to chip away at the ice floes. Once that was accomplished by these steadfast frostbiters, the IC dinghies had an avenue open to racing only to find that there was not enough wind for a race. So for all their efforts there still was no racing. Next Sunday may prove to be better. We can only hope!

A past resident of Port Washington was in the news recently. Eric Goetz, founder and president of Goetz Custom Boats, Bristol, RI, began sailing as a very young child with his father right here in Port Washington. He sailed on Penguins, Thistles, Blue Jays and Sunfishes. During his college years, he was captain of the Brown University Sailing Team. His offshore racing includes Cowes Week, Trans-Atlantic Race, Bermuda Races, SORC, plus many other sailing experiences, and he has cruised to Greece, Southern France, Scotland, Ireland, Bahamas, Jamaica, Panama Canal, Newfoundland, Labrador, and the Maine Coast. Today, Eric can be found up in Bristol at the company he founded in 1975. Eric attributes his early interest in sailing, and helping maintain the family boat plus courses at the Rhode Island School of Design in Industrial Design that led him to his present position.

Because of the great success of Goetz Custom Boats, Eric is entering a new era with the groundbreaking on their new facility. This will be the new home of the aerospace-caliber, composite construction technology for which Goetz has been known, in a more energy efficient and environmentally friendly building with expanded capabilities. The shop will be on-line by late summer 2007. To stay in touch with the latest happenings at Goetz, including the current construction of the IRC 55' by Juan Kouyoumdjian, updates on CAM's TP52, and information on the progress of the new facility, visit http://www.goetzboats.com

This coming Saturday, March 3, the International Yacht Restoration School will host its second annual Marine Industry Career Day. IYRS established a Career Day that focuses solely on opportunities in the marine industry. The one-day event is a valuable way for individuals to meet employers and learn about an industry that is forecasted for growth. Many of the positions are in Rhode Island or New England, but it may be of interest to those seeking a change. Admission to Career Day is free. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the IYRS campus in Newport (449 Thames Street). For a complete list of companies attending the event, go to www.iyrs.org.

For those sailors - and others - who have some extra time on their hands, the America's Cup website now has an interactive puzzle game that can easily fill whatever spare time you have. To see how you match up with others, there is a ranking board that keeps track of the fastest times needed to complete the series of puzzles. By the looks of it, some folks have put in the kind of dedicated effort that the America's Cup is famous for. To try your hand at the puzzles, go to http://www.americascup.com/en/fanfun/games/puzzle/index.php.

Extra time away from sailing can be a good thing - there are many "to do" lists that have been neglected from all that time spent out on the water. But if these lists just don't do it for you, and you aren't into doing puzzles, there is something else that may be of interest. Why not test your knowledge of racing rules in preparation for the summer season? There is a new two-part DVD, written and narrated by David Dellenbaugh, who uses live sailing action and computerized animation to explain all the important right-of-way rules in the 2005-2008 rulebook. Part 1 covers the essential rules that apply whenever boats meet (a very good thing to know). Part 2 explains the often-confusing rules about marks and obstructions. Each is an hour long and includes the text of all rules discussed. The DVD is produced by SEA-TV. If interested, go to http://www.SpeedandSmarts.com


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