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Spring Thaw 2014

February 25th, 2014

It has been COLD! Take heart though, spring is right around the corner along with the Torresen Marine Spring Thaw Open House. Join us on Saturday, March 8th, for a day full of fun, educational seminars, manufacturer representatives, new products, refreshments, special pricing and door prizes. Sign up for our Spring Seminar series while you are here. The Torresen Marine service team will be on hand to help plan your spring work.

Spring Thaw Seminars:

Education: The Boater’s Safety Net – Donald Matthews of the Muskegon Power & Sail Squadron

Sail Replacement, Repair & Maintenance Questions & Answers – Jim Frisinger of Bluffton Bay Sails

NOAA – Muskegon Activities and New Products for Boaters – Dennis Donahue of NOAA

Featured Product Representatives:

Bell Industries

Bluffton Bay Sails


Interlux Paint

Land N Sea – SeaDog

Muskegon Power Squadron


Quantum Sails

Sail Place

Samson Rope

Total Marine Services – Ronstan-Andersen, Gori-Vari Prop, Edson, Epifanes

UK Sails

Come on out and take advantage of great prices while visiting with your sailing friends after a long winter. We look forward to seeing you!

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Muskegon Sail & Power Squadron Boating Course

February 25th, 2014


The Muskegon Sail and Power Squadron will be hosting a boating course beginning on Thursday, March 6, 2014, 6:45pm in the Stevenson Center building at the Muskegon Community College.  The six, two-hour classes include:

  • Federal and State regulations

  • Required safety equipment

  • Aids to navigation

  • Docking and undocking procedures

  • Anchoring techniques

  • Using a chart

  • The use of a GPS  

The course fee is $45.00 and includes the course 240 page student book.  

For additional information call 231-755-3476 and to register call 231-777-0348.  For your convenience, a tri-fold page with the weekly course information is also available at the office.

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Fire Prevention Training For Boat Owners

May 30th, 2013

The Muskegon Sail and Power Squadron and Torresen Marine Inc. are inviting all boaters to join them for a day of fun and learning how to handle emergencies on your boat.

The schedule is as follows:

10 a.m. to 11 a.m. – Emergencies On Board Your Boat Seminar- Given by Captain Richard Young of the Muskegon Sail and Power Squadron. Located at Torresen Marine’s seminar room in the Ships Store. There is a fee of $3 per person for the seminar.RSVP to 231-759-8596

Noon - Cookout & Potluck- Hotdogs, beans, chips and soft drinks provided. Please bring a dish to pass. RSVP to 231-759-8596. This event will take place on the point in between Torresen Marine’s slip area.

1:15 p.m. Controlled Burn- The Muskegon Fire Department will have a “controlled burn” set up to practice using fire extinguishers. If anyone has any expired flares and/or rockets, please bring them. Boaters will be taught how to light them and shoot them off. The Muskegon Fire Department will bring a fire truck, practice fire equipment and personnel from Station # 4. This event will take place on the point in between Torresen Marine’s slip area.

All of these events will take place at Torresen Marine, Inc. RSVP required for the Emergencies On Board Your Boat Seminar and the Cookout. Please call 231-759-8596 to make your reservation. No reservation needed for the Controlled Burn and Police Boat Display.

There may be a possible appearance of the Deputy Todd Dunham and the Sheriff’s new patrol boat.

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Summer Sailstice 2013

May 30th, 2013
Muskegon sailors will be joining sailors around the world making plans to celebrate the sailing lifestyle by sailing ‘together’ on, June 22nd, the weekend closest to the summer solstice. Now in its 13th year, the Summer Sailstice sailing holiday invites all sailors to hoist their sails, wherever they are, aboard whatever they sail, to simply connect and celebrate all aspects of sailing whether racing, cruising, kite surfing, windsurfing…anything powered by sail. 
 Join us for the following Torresen Marine activities.

10:00am – 4:00pm  Torresen Marine will be offering free sailboat rides to the public. Space is limited so please RSVP 231-759-8596 or Due to the restrictive dock access and the nature of sailing, ride participants must be able to board and maneuver about the vessel with minimal help.

11am – 1pm Torresen Marine Customer Cookout & Potluck. RSVP 231-759-8596 or

SOLAR NOON Cannon shoot off by the mark.

Other activities on Muskegon Lake on June 22nd:
Docking at the Dunes Sailboat Flotilla Rendezvous with Lake Effect Boat Time – Meet off the Muskegon State Park Dune Area for some fun with family and friends. Just off the dunes is a drop-off, which means this is a great place for sailors to meet. Sunset Sail – Summer Sailstice Sailing Cruise. Final gathering of the day will be in the outer breakwater arms to enjoy Muskegon’s beautiful sunset.


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Spring Boat Checklist

April 9th, 2013
Spring is just around the corner which means it is just about time to put your boat back in the water. We have put together a list of a few of the things you will want to look over and check before your boat goes in the water this spring. This is by no means an exhaustive list but it is a good start.

  • Inspect the bottom of your boat. Is it cracking or peeling? If you don’t have it already, consider putting antifouling paint on the bottom and please do not cut corners.
  • Be sure to check the thru hulls. Do they open and shut properly? While you are there check the hoses on the thru hulls. We see many leaking thru hulls when boats are put into the water. Proper maintenance in this area can save you costly repairs later.
  • Check the deck hardware. Make sure they are tight and there are no leaks.

After your boat goes in the water there is one more thing that often gets overlooked. Check over your cradle. Is it ready for next year? If it needs repair, make it part of your summer plan.

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Stuff Sale

April 9th, 2013

Do you have any boat “stuff” laying around? Have your been saying to yourself  “I really should sell this?” Or maybe you’ve been looking to replace something but it’s either an odd piece that is hard to find or you don’t want to spend an arm and a leg. If you can relate to any of these, please come visit the Torresen Marine Ship Store on Saturday, April 20th from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. for our first annual Stuff Sale!

This is your chance to sell, trade or buy marine equipment, accessories, electronics, tools, books, etc. It is $35 per table to sell your “stuff”. Registrants keep all the proceeds from their sales.

Admission is free to come in to browse or buy another sailors “stuff”. Who knows what you might find?

Contact Karen in our ships store for more details or to rent a table for the day. Hope to see you there!

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2013 Spring Thaw Open House

February 19th, 2013

It may be cold right now but spring is right around the corner along with the Torresen Marine Spring Thaw Open House. Join us on Saturday, March 9th, for a day full of fun, educational seminars, manufacturer representatives, new products, refreshments, special pricing and door prizes. Sign up for our Spring Seminar series while you are here. The Torresen Marine service team will be on hand to help plan your spring work.

Seminar schedule:
9:30 a.m. – “Overview of NOAA Science Initiatives & Investment in the Lake Michigan Field Station” by Dennis Donahue of NOAA

11:00 a.m. – “Do It Yourself Blister Repair & Prevention” by Tony Palabrica of Interlux Yacht Finishes

12:30 p.m. – “Using Real-time Buoy Systems for Weather & Water Information in West Michigan” by Scott Kendall of Grand Valley State University Annis Water Resources Institute

2:00 p.m. – ” Raymarine New Instruments & MFD’s for 2013″ by Jeff Fink of Raymarine

Featured Specials:
Elite Canvas – 10% off any order placed at the show

Harken – 5% discount on most hardware, 10% discount on most winches & winch products

Interlux Paint – VC17 $5 rebate, rebates on other Interlux products, Buy one get one free on Cetol products and 20% off Awlcare, Awlgrip and Awlwash products.

Raymarine – Free 7″ tablet with purchase of a Raymarine 9″, 12″ or 15″ MFD

Pettit Paint – Rebates on SR21

Quantum Sails – 15% off sail services

Raymarine – Free 7″ tablet with purchase of 9″, 12″ or 15″ MFD

Samson Rope – 10% off all running rigging

Sea-Tech – $100 off Marine Training classes in the Muskegon with sign up during Spring Thaw.

Come on out and take advantage of great sale prices while visiting with your sailing friends after a long winter. We look forward to seeing you!

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Boating Safety Class

January 11th, 2013

The Muskegon Sail and Power Squadron will be hosting a free boater class beginning Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. at the Great Lakes Naval Memorial and Museum. The museum is located at 1346 Bluff, Muskegon, Michigan next to the USS Silversides submarine. Registration will be form 6:40 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Six, two hour, weekly classes will be offered on the topics of required safety equipment, state and federal regulations, navigation aids, tying knots, and how to use GPS equipment. For those interested in taking an exam to earn a Michigan Department of Natural Resources Boating Safety Certificate, there is a $10.00 charge. An optional 243 page course book, with two Cd’s, is available for $35.00. This cost includes the DNR exam fee. Please call Peter Van Hoesen at 231-755-3476 for more information and to register.

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An Interview With The Worthy 2012 MC Scow National Champion Jamie Kimball By Eric Hood

October 26th, 2012


We are visiting today with our new 2012 MC Scow National Champion Jamie Kimball from Spring Lake, Michigan. First of all on behalf of the entire MC Class we have to say congratulations Jamie on winning big at the National Championship at White Lake, plus winning two other majors and the season class rankings. We have some questions we would love to get your thoughts and insights on about your sailing program that might help the rest of us get better with our sailing programs. So here we go with our first question.

E Hood: Jamie can you give us some basics on how long you have been sailing, how you got started and talk about a few mentors who really made a difference for your enthusiasm and career for sailing?

JamieThanks Eric! I grew up in Grand Rapids, MI so I began sailing on Reeds Lake at the Grand Rapids Yacht Club and later the Spring Lake Yacht Club. The butterfly was the junior boat, which is what I first learned to sail.  Rather than heading to summer camp when I was younger, my parents dropped me off at the yacht club every morning for sailing school and the better part of most days. This is where I developed a passion for the sport and some of my closest friendships that I still have today. I’d encourage anyone and everyone to enlist their children in their local sailing school. Forget camp, and send them to the closest yacht club.

As my brother, Rob, and I got older, we eventually transitioned into MC, C, and E scows at the Spring Lake Yacht Club in MI. Truthfully, and a lot of enthusiasm for the sport came from beating my older brother. I loved how angry he would get- it was awesome! Over the years, we’ve learned to sail together and we’ve had some great success, but I still like to put it to him when I get the chance. If you don’t have an older brother or sister, you might not be able to see where I’m coming from. Even though I typically put it to him, he has been my greatest mentor for sailing and pretty much everything else.

E Hood: What can you share with MC sailors and for that matter sailors from other classes about your regatta preparation? I guess we are really asking three questions today. One, what is your physical prep, two, what is your mental prep and three, how do you prep your boat? A follow-up question to these three questions would be how much does preparation truly play in the total equation?

Jamie: Regatta preparation really comes down to how serious you want to get. During college I always tried to be the most physically fit sailor on the water, since I was never the lightest. This was difficult with all the distractions in Charleston, SC, but I think I did a pretty good job. I needed this advantage to make up for my weight and lack of talent and experience in the FJ and 420. I typically had better results at windier events. In any scow, it helps to be physically fit, so I try to stay in decent shape. I need to lift weights more often, but I still run 4 to 5 miles almost every day. 

With regards to mental preparation, I try not to over think things and basically try to keep “fun” a focus.  I also try to think about the process rather than focus on the results. The process of having good starts, tacks, gybes, boat speed, tactics, and a little bit of good luck leads to good results.  If you focus on executing the process, results will follow. With regards to boat preparation, the last thing you want to be thinking during a race is that your boat is slow or your sail is bad. My goal for every race is to leave the dock with the feeling that I have the fastest boat in the fleet. That might take a pre-regatta waxing, washing, new lines, or maybe even a new sail.  Over the years, I’ve been fortunate (aka spoiled) to race with good equipment, so I haven’t had to put too much work into this area and have been able to devote more time on the water. Melges also does a great job of having the boats race-ready when the leave the factory. We’re really fortunate that we don’t have to mess with too much.

E Hood: I know that when sailing in big fleets like this one with 94 boats that I set some goals for starting and the first mark just to survive. I missed my goals in three of seven races and it truly hurt not hitting a good start or being in the top 15 at the first mark no matter what. Give us some thoughts on what your game plan included. Run us through pre-start to start to first beat and beyond. Do you have some non-negotiables in your game plan like not sailing in dirty air, headers (at what point do you pull the trigger and tack). Give us a few examples from the seven races at the Nationals this year.

Jamie: For me it goes back to the process and not focusing on the results. Before the regatta at White Lake ever started, I knew that I was going to be deep and have to battle back throughout the series.  With 94 boats or any large fleet for that matter, you’re bound to run into trouble and find yourself deep in the fleet at some point.  What can lead to a good result or a bad result is the process that follows.       

In the 5th race at the nationals on White Lake, I found myself deep up the first beat. I started just to leeward of the midline boat as I had done in the previous four races.  My start was actually pretty good, but soon after a big left shift came in. Pretty much all 94 boats tacked to port. I still had a nice lane on port tack sailing up the beat, but I was on the wrong side of this persistent shift.  At the windward mark, I was probably mid fleet. I assessed the situation and noticed I was right next to two good boats- Cam McNeil and Justin Hood. At this point you have two choices- panic and give up or focus on the process. 

Fortunately I had been in this situation a time or two before, and knew I could still salvage a good result if I focused on doing the little things right. I didn’t panic and continued on with my process. The winds for this race were in the 8-12 mph range and were pretty shifty. Perfect conditions to pass a lot of boats!  With a big fleet, it can be tough to find clear air, so you need to determine early on what is more important – clear air or sailing the lifted tack. With the shifty conditions, I thought it was more important to be on the lifted tack, and at times sacrificing clear air. 

Recently I’ve had the opportunity to sail the Melges 20 with Chris Rast and Michael Kiss, two really good sailors, and we often set up to practice sailing in dirty air (not while we are actually racing). Chris and Michael think it’s important to be able to sail well in bad air. If you can sail your boat fast in bad air, you should be all right. In this fifth race at the nationals, I committed to sailing the lifted tack and doing the little things right, all along sailing in dirtier air than I normally would have liked. In the end, it seemed to pay off and I was able to crawl all the way up to 12th.  Although my “result” was the lowest of my series, I thought it was my best race. 

E Hood: So a big group was from Western Michigan. Heck, I grew up there.  You sail there a lot with the likes of Cam McNeil, John McNeil, Ben McNeil, Doug McNeil and so many others who have a ton of hours on White Lake.  Then we all had the curve ball thrown at us and we sailed in a part of the lake that has not been used in about 10,000 years. We had some great racing there but it was really tricky.   Looking at the scores for everyone really just you , maybe Bill Colburn and Andy Burdick who tied for second came even close to surviving all the races on this course.  In my mind the top of the course the last 200 yards in was a game changer for most of us.  Give us your viewpoint of the tough spots on this course.  Did you see anything race after race that most everyone was missing (it is okay to share now)? 

Jamie: You are spot on! The last 200 yards into the windward mark were crucial (especially the first windward mark).  Often there were 15 boats from the left and 15 boats from the right converging at the first windward mark in just a few seconds.  The left was a little more favored than the right. It was easier to cross starboard tack boats, and more leaders came from the left.  On average, there were 2-3 shifts in the last 200 yards, so it did not pay to get to a layline early. 

Trying to avoid the layline too early, I did my best to sail the shifts between the leaders on both sides, all along keeping an eye on the starboard train coming to the windward mark. Luckily, I never had to duck too many starboard boats entering the 3 boat length circle on port tack.  Ducking the starboard train can be a race killer!   A great passing opportunity for me was to lee bow and tack below boats on the starboard tack layline knowing that a left shift would occur sometime in the last 200 yards. The left shift would allow me to tack and cross boats that were ahead of me.

We had the same wind direction and course setup for the first 2 days of the regatta. Generally, I thought the left side of the course was favored, so I always went left if I was ever in doubt. With that said, I still started every race somewhere in the middle of the starting line. I thought it was important for me to stay out of trouble and keep my options open. On average, I thought there were 10 shifts per beat, so you typically did not have to bang a corner. Having decent air and sailing the shifts usually got me to the windward mark in the top group, which is really half the battle. If you can make it around the first mark in the top group, it usually gets easier from there.  Hopefully, anyway!     

E Hood: What would be your best advice to anyone new to the class or somebody who has been in for a while but really wants to improve their game. For example I got some great advice from a good friend of mine Bill Hybels a couple of years ago and he said just get 5-10% better each year. Ever since I heard that I am always looking at things differently. Five yards at a time or one boat length at a time.  Anything special you can share with new sailors?

Jamie: Best advice? That is tough. I have learned a lot by watching other sailors sail their boat. The next time you are at a regatta, tune up with the regatta leader before the race, or watch them during the race.  Ask yourself the following.  How is their body positioned in the boat? How hard are they hiking?  How hard are they trimming their main? How much boomvang, Cunningham, and outhaul do they have on?  For instance, Andy Burdick rounded a leeward mark right behind me at the Nationals.  I looked back and noticed he had more boomvang on, wasn’t hiking as hard, wasn’t trimming his main as hard, and had his traveler higher. I adjusted my settings and tried to replicate his setup. The result…unfortunately Andy passed me! But you get my point. If you are able to sail your boat exactly like the leaders in the fleet, you will improve your results. 

E Hood: Okay we so appreciate your thoughts on the questions and ideas above.  As National Champion the floor is yours. Anything you want to share with the MC sailors and other sailors about the regatta, our sport please do so.

Jamie: Eric, thanks again for giving me the opportunity. I’d like to give some praise to Cam McNeil, a close friend and great competitor, who chaired the MC Nationals this year. I think everyone would agree that he did an incredible job and deserves all the credit. With a 94 boat fleet, housing was made available to everyone who requested it. This is a true testament to the class and character of the White Lake Yacht Club members and families. A great deal of gratitude is owed to Cam and his team.

To my knowledge there were 9 junior skippers at this event. Encouraging youth participation should be a primary goal of the MC Class Association.  You mentioned this in your speech at the Saturday dinner.  We need to teach the younger sailors and expose the next generation to our great sport. It should be our focus going forward to maintain the health and growth of our great class! The 2013 MC Nationals will be held in Clear Lake, IA next June.  As a class, we should promote, set a goal, and create an initiative to get as many juniors to this event as possible.            

E Hood: Again, Jamie for all of us in the class at the factory and in the sport of sailing want to congratulate you on a fantastic season with great wins!!!

Thank you sharing your thoughts with all of us. You are a great sport and asset to the sport of sailing

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Richardson Trophy victory for Don Wilson and crew

October 22nd, 2012
’100th Richardson Trophy’    CMRC – Chicago Match Race Center – ©


The Chicago Match Race Center’s Don Wilson and his crew of sister Jen Wilson, Sally Barkow, Tod Reynolds and Erik Shampain have today claimed victory in the Yacht Racing Union of the Great Lakes’ 100th edition of the Richardson Trophy on an impressive streak of victories: in 24 flights, Wilson and team lost only three matches in the three days of this event. By doing so, Wilson joins a long tradition of repeat winners of this venerable trophy, the world’s oldest match racing trophy that is not a challenge cup.

‘The top four teams were all solid, but we knew we had our work cut out for us in the semis and finals,’ says Wilson. ‘The scoreline made the finals look easy; it was anything but that. Sally and the team did a great job keeping us on the lifted tack at all times which was crucial to success upwind. We are stoked to have won this two years in a row.’

Besides their opponents in today’s concluding matches of the double Round Robin, Semi-Finals and Finals, another adversary for Wilson and the other ten teams was the weather. A strong approaching cold front brought 15-25 knot conditions, accompanied by sudden shifts and rain squalls so dense to obscure the race course set off Chicago’s Belmont Harbor. Accordingly, CMRC race managers ordered reefed mains and no spinnakers to limit any damage, especially after yesterday’s dismasting towards the end of the day.

Wilson celebrates his win with Sally Barkow – Richardson Trophy -  CMRC – Chicago Match Race Center – ©  

This made passing lanes downwind more difficult while just under main and jib, but it also kept the racing close so that the upwind legs could be used to play the frequent shifts. It was here that Wilson and team did especially well, gaining back after trailing to rival Nathan Hollerbach in the Finals pre-starts. Hollerbach’s eventual loss to Wilson was a hard one, as he was hoping to not only repeat his win earned in 2002 with brother Adam, but also carry on a family tradition of bringing the trophy home to Detroit’s Bayview YC: Hollerbachs won three Richardson Trophies in the 1970′s.

But Hollerbach did win the only stage to go to three matches in the first-to-two point Semi-Finals against Lake Minnetonka YC’s Sam Rogers, who sailing his first Grade 3 match racing event as a skipper and not a crew.

Another former Richardson winner in the Final Four was Terry McLaughlin of the Royal Canadian YC, who won in 2007 but today could not get past Wilson in the Semi-Finals, falling to the Chicago team 2-0. Against Rogers, however, he went on to win third place in a straight 2-0 series.

Chicago Match Race Center website
by Chicago Match Race Center

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