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Commodore’s Corner

I wish to make one big disclaimer at the get go…writing articles for newsletter columns (and any other column for that matter), are not my forté. I can only dream of being as prolific an author as our past Commodore was (is), and hope you will be tolerant of my somewhat colourful writing style.

Okay disclaimer in place, let’s get to it. There is a lot of exciting GLAA news to tell you about and much more still to come.

This year it seems we are going to take a step back, while going forward. Over the past year there have been some spirited discussions about whether or not the GLAA Newsletter should be offered to the members in hard copy form (as was done in the past). Some concerns raised were … cost; extra time necessary to put together; and snail mail; just to name a few. Effective with May’s edition of the newsletter there will be a black and white hard copy version available to GLAA members through a subscription. I for one think this is a good thing, and from speaking with quite a few members, many agree. One side note to this: I am the one who will be providing the extra ‘elbow grease’ needed to get it in the snail mail and I certainly don’t mind doing it.

Continuing with Newsletter ‘news’; after reviewing the sporadic distribution dates of past years, the Newsletter will be done on a bi-monthly basis as of May this year. Hopefully, this new schedule will make life a little easier for all involved. How much material (articles, photos, etc.) is submitted on a regular basis will determine if bi-monthly continues to be the way to go. Stay tuned.

Earlier this year I started focusing my energies towards looking for ways to expand awareness of the GLAA all around the Great Lakes, along with increasing the number of names in the GLAA roster. These are two rather challenging projects and as it turns out, a lot of fun. With great support from very capable and enthusiastic Executive Committee members, (all of whom are hard at work in their own specific directorships putting together a number of great events and programs to help promote the Association), this is going to be a terrific year for the GLAA and its membership!!

One of the new projects in development is called the ‘GLAA Partnering Program’. The idea for this came from numerous conversations I’ve had over the past few months with GLAA and potential GLAA members and our Membership Director, Clare Matthews, concerning what the benefits of being a member of the Great Lakes Alberg Association are. The one recurring comment from potential GLAA members is “what do I get, other than just a burgee for my $35 membership fee?”. From members who were rejoining or renewing their memberships, came a similar comment (with the exception that they already had a free burgee). Well, the response to that question is ~ this year there are more ‘goodies’, not only in the new member’s package, but also for renewing members. Good Old Boat Magazine is offering a free half year subscription to new GLAA members (a gift certificate is included in the new member package). Every one of my copies of that magazine is so worn out from being read time and again by not only me, but from others I have loaned it to. It’s a great testimonial to the quality of this magazine. For new and renewing GLAA members, Ontario Sailor Magazine offers one free classified ad space (value of approximately $40) annually. Currently, I am working on specific ‘partnering’ details with the Rigging Shoppe and Bennett Canvas, in addition to a few other businesses in the Marine industry. By the time we’re launching our boats I should have more GLAA Partners to introduce you to.

When visiting the recently updated GLAA website, you will see a new feature has been added. ‘Contact Us’ is a drop-down from the ‘About the GLAA’ banner on the home page. If someone visiting the site has any questions or requires information they can send an email directly from that page to one of the Executive members. The emails will then be forwarded on to the appropriate Director for follow up.

Also, now online in the expanded Buy and Sell section, you will find listed for sale the 1965-1990 edition of the Alberg 30 Manual. There is a limited amount of copies still available. This manual is full of useful information for any A30 owner.

Staying on the topic of the GLAA website…a very under-used section of the site is one that can be an extremely valuable tool. Considering the ages of our beautiful boats (mine will be 40 this year), the chat forum ‘Cockpit’ provides a great place to ask questions and share comments on a wide variety of boat related topics. Many of you (myself included) ‘chat’ through the Chesapeake group’s public list email forum, but PLEASE, let’s not forget we have our own Canadian version as well.

Speaking of the Chesapeake group, a new project they have in the works that this Canuck has jumped aboard to help with is called ‘Where Are They Now?’. A member of the American group is creating a history of Alberg 30s and their owners…an Alberg 30 family tree of some 700 boats. Current information on hand is quite out-of-date for many Canadian boats, so we’d appreciate hearing about your Alberg 30’s lineage. Information can be sent to me from the ‘Contact Us’ feature online.

Remember, to find out what Great Lakes Alberg Association events are happening just check out the Event Calendar on the home page of the website and Newsletter. This Calendar will be updated throughout the year. Stay tuned.

Well, I think that’s enough to tease you with for now. Please remember that the Great Lakes Alberg Association is only as great as its members. I look forward to seeing you racing, cruising, partying, attending a seminar/workshop, or reading a copy of the Newsletter on a lazy hazy day…. supporting your Association this year !

Cheers …. Cathie and kids