oday 1976_08_xxx_Wind_Love_Conneaut_Harbor
My O'Day Widgeon in Conneaut Harbour, OH (1976)

Try It, You'll Like It

In the summer of 1976 my 1st glider instructor, Claire Baugher, introduced me to his friend Dick Steadman who had just bought Claire's Tri-pacer and asked me if I would teach him to fly it.

Clair_Baugher my first flight instructor with his Piper Tri-Pacer (1974)

Soon after, Dick invited me out on his sail boat. I did not take him up on it immediately, but one day I was out in Lake Erie's Conneaut Harbor with a kayak some friends and I had made, when both Claire and Dick came sailing by.

Home Built Kayak (1976)

In a few minutes I was on Dick's boat. It was spring and the winds on Lake Erie were brisk. In short we were all having a grand time. When it came time to go in, the motor would not start but Dick and his son's sailed the boat into the harbor, through the tight confines of the marina and right up to their dock. Their skill impressed me and again I was hooked on a new hobby.

I bought Al Gardner's son's O'Day Widgeon #1751, a 12' Dingy, with main and jib and spent a large part of that summer sailing on Lake Erie. Dick and I worked out an arrangement where I traded him flight instruction for dock space as he had sold his boat to by the airplane! Later, after I had moved to West Palm Beach, I upgraded to an American 23. I sailed after work out of Hillsboro Inlet on weekends, and took multi-week solo trips each summer for vacation. It was a slow boat but I had a great time at not too much cost. I took several trips to the Florida Keys, went through Lake Okeechobee and around the tip of Florida and even sailed it to the Dry Tortugas.

American 23 American 23
American 23, At the dock and off Lighthouse Point, FL

I sold the boat about 10 years later when my job keep me from going out after work.

Now the only sailing I get to do is with my little Seabreeze RC boat. A web search suggests it is no longer for sale. But you can read the Seabreeze600-manual.pdf

Seabreeze 600 RC Sailboat