Monthly Archives: June 2016

Sailing Camp Today

Rory is at sailing camp this week.  The whole affair gets high marks from one of the most experienced campers in Marin County.

Sloop Delivery

Last Saturday Robert and Rory joined Tony Hoff in delivery of his 44-foot sloop Kuewa back from dry-dock in Napa to his slip in San Rafael. Expectations were exceeded as we raced across the bay on a perfect sunny and windy morning.  We even got to go under a draw bridge and take a side-trip to Angel Island.  All thanks to Tony’s new and very slippery propeller . . .


Last weekend the Pierce family was fortunate enough to attend the marriage of David Schwirtz, Mira’s younger brother, and Jena McRae.  We were also invited to the rehersal dinner. The wedding went off without a hitch.  Aunt Sister Monique came from Minnesota and spent a few days with us. Lots of fun, good food, and dancing!  Rory was the ring boy. The highlights of the affair were the toast to the bride made by Jena’s brother, six different flavors of ice cream, and a special dancing show put on by Rory Pierce.  Here’s some photos!

Almost Done! Better be . . .

The boat refurbishing project continues.  Almost done!

More information about the El Toro class here:

El Toro Class (from Wikipedia)

The El Toro design is traced back to the Richmond Yacht Club in San Francisco Bay Area around 1940. This is one of many boats derived from the MacGregor Sabot design, which was published in Rudder magazine in 1939.

The El Toro features a decked-over bow, which distinguishes it from the Naples Sabot, which is the predominant Sabot-style dinghy in Southern California. With the decked over bow, the El Toro is able to handle the rougher waters of the San Francisco Bay.

The El Toro name and the shovel sail insignia are attributed to being named after the ‘bull sessions’ which gave rise to the boat and the program.

The original El Toros were made of wood, with newer materials approved for use in the 1970s. The 1970s also saw the introduction of the self-rescuing El Toro, which includes air tanks that prevent a capsized El Toro from completely submerging.

The First El Toro was built in Berkeley, in a night school shop where Ernest (Bud) Coxhead taught boat building. Coxhead, Hal Decker and Bill Warren were instrumental in selecting the design for the Richmond Yacht Club, which wanted a small boat for use as a yacht tender and sailing dinghy.

The trio drafted the El Toro design by copying and modifying plans published in Rudder Magazine for the MacGregor Sabot, an eight-foot pram.

The Richmond Yacht Club’s 40 members, who had been debating possible designs at regular meetings, adopted the plan and named the boat after these bull sessions.

According to the El Toro International Yacht Racing Association, there were over 11,000 El Toros in the class in 2002.

Naming Contest

After 45 hours of sanding and other preparation, our little sailboat is ready for paint and re-assembly.  Just in time for summer fun. We hope.

Now, the naming contest.

Can any of our faithful blog readers suggest a name for this tiny vessel? Keep in mind, the class name for this boat is El Toro, so a name in the Spanish language would be most appropriate . . .

lolli ShipLollipop

Rhymes with Orange

Robert has spent the last week doing odd-job home improvement tasks around the new (for the Pierce family) condo he just bought and moved the family into.  After 6 years and 6 rental houses, the Pierces now own the home they live in.  Cadie has never lived in a home owned by her parents!!  Not that she cares.  Anyway, most of what Robert has done since moving in is remove paint from hinges.  You see, Robert has a disease.  He has a morbid unceasing dread of doorhinges that have been painted over. He can’t think of anything else when in the presence of a door that swings on a big glopy mess. So, while the dozens of cardboard boxes go unpacked and the kids room remain in disarray, he has removed hinges, soaked them in laquer thinner, and reinstalled them.  He’s finished 2.5  of the 10 doors in the place.  At this rate, he will finish sometime in 2024.