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Mass Bay Thunderbird Fleet 5

Past News

Allcut Update - July 12

 “Allcutt” #1247 sailed for the first time in about 7 or 8 years last night.  Mike sailed out of the harbor to the starting area (first time he’s had the boat sailing).  At the 1 minute to go point, they were still trying to find a place to tie the tack of the jib to the stem (grin).  They did make the start a few seconds late.  They also haven’t rigged any spinnaker hardware yet so he finished at the back of the pack, but had a great time anyway. 
*BlewBird took first place - and lead their division by four points.

Chesapeake Bird Takes Flight

A happy event for the Fleet 5 Mission Fleet in St. Michaels, MD.  “Rag Bag” (the T-Bird we rescued from the bankrupt marina in East Providence last Fall) was re-christened “AllCott” and launched for the 2012 racing season today.  Pix’s attached.  The keel, bottom, and hull have been restored.  The topsides will be worked on between races in the water.  Mike Gorman (the proud owner) is a shipwright in charge of maintaining the wooden boat fleet at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels.  Mike’s comment after the boat was floating…  “This is the first damm wooden boat I’ve ever launched that didn’t leak when it splashed.  This is a whole new dimension.”  You can reach Mike at

Out with the Old - In With the New

Just a week after delivering Langouste to Savin Hill from Toronto, Sean Kane was forced to haul Chikanery after hitting a rock during the Hingham Bay PHRF Solstice Race.

Sean purchased the boat from Barry Smith of Toronto and planned on fixing it up for racing in the 2013 season. But plans changed whenChikanery was severely damaged during it's first race of the 2012 season.

Sean was seen working on Langouste the very next day and will be launching her as soon as possible.

Fleet 5 Meeting Highlights

During the recent Fleet 5 meeting it was decided to retire the Fleet 5 trophy and have just one season-long competition. The Mass Bay Trophy will be the trophy for the season championship.

Twilight Racing will start at 6:30 p.m.  Spinnakers (small verison) may be used during the June 22, June 28, June 29 and August 9 Twilights. No kites may be hoisted after sunset.

The possibility of hosting the 2014 Internationals was discussed. It was agreed to meet again later this year for further discussion.

The Fleet voted to name the new Hull One-Design Regatta Thunderbird Trophy after Don Kavanagh.

A possible cruise was discussed for the first week of August.

New T-Bird Owners

Fleet 5 welcomes Rui Viera who has taken over Hi-Tops from Rob Zehner. Rui is already busy getting the boat ready for the 2012 season.

From Bob Larsen  - Winter 2011

The Fleet 5 mission fleet has officially doubled in size.  “Rag Bag” #1247 from Rhode Island has been purchased by Mike Gorman. Mike is a shipwright at the local maritime museum, and is in charge of restoring old, wooden bay boats.   “Rag Bag”  is currently sitting beside my garage inEastonMaryland.  (Still haven’t got the title straightened out).  The Bird is a wood Bird with fiberglass sheathing on the hull and a wood mast.  The boat is sound, but needs all of the coatings on the outside repaired/replaced.  Five of the people who crew for me have volunteered to help Mike get it ready for racing next Spring.  If this one works out, I may try to introduce a 3rd T-Bird next year.  Our Wednesday night race results are beginning to get some attention for the Thunderbirds.  (see season score attached) 

BTW: They give an award called “King of the River” here to the boat that finishes with the highest number of bullets in any class.  “Blew Bird” wins that award this year along with our “B” division win

Winter 2010 - Mark Fitzgerald, Ryan Murphy and Josh Vogel have purchased a glass T-Bird (formerly Wasted Knights) from Rick Bott of Toronto.
April 2011 - Ed Morris has sold Valkyrie to Francis Bone
July 2011 - Blew Bird Zapped
This morning when I went out to clean the bottom, I discovered about a gallon of water on the floor of the boat.  I couldn’t figure out where it was coming from so I cleaned it up and donned the scuba gear to clean the bottom.  I very quickly discover a lot of jagged edges where the depth sounder transducer is located.  Then same thing where the thru-hull for the galley sink drain is located.    I very quickly realized that BB had been hit two nights ago by lightning.

I quickly changed back into clothes and made my way to Higgins Memorial Hospital and Yacht Yard as fast as I could go. So tonight’s score will be a throw out….   Bob

SUMMER 2011 - Hurricane Irene claimed a Thunderbird victim as Amr'a was heavily damaged by a larger boat that broke free from it's mooring.

Fleet 5 – 2011 Season Recap



The big stories in 2011 for Fleet 5 were the arrival of TBird #1257 and the serious damage to Amr’a caused by Hurricane Irene.


The Bott family parted with 1257 which they delivered to Boston late in 2011. Ryan Murphy & Josh Vogel, part of the 2011 Mysterious Ways crew, are the new owners along with Mark Fitzgerald.


The boat was launched in May & ultimately renamed Tank. Josh & Ryan put a lot of miles on her, steadily improved on the race course, survived a t-bone collision with Mysterious Ways and, on the last day of the local race season, won the new Marblehead Chowder Challenge to clinch the Mass Bay Sailing PHRF championship.


Meanwhile, the Gilsons took extra precautions to secure #878 in preparation for the arrival of the hurricane. However, they could only watch as other (bigger) boats broke away from their moorings & pummeled Amr’a.When the skies cleared, Amr’a was on the beach with a staggering amount of damage. Peter & Carol have already started repairs.


On the race course, Chikanery took top honors winning the Fleet 5 & Mass Bay Sailing Thunderbird titles. Sean Kane’s team won the Thunderbird Kickoff Series and the Atlantic District Championship.  Don Kavanagh’sThunderation won the Spirit Series.


Chikanery also won the Twilight Series. One of the highlights of the weekly series was a visit from John Juliano and his girlfriend Jennifer who cruised Taaris from New York to Boston in July. Taaris joined the local fleet for a Twilight race.  The eight boats on the line was the most for a local T-Bird race since the Internationals in 2005. Former T-Bird skipper Reed Cournoyer helped John & Jennifer locate many of the low spots in Dorchester Bay.


Jon Lee’s Draco, Geoff Youngman’s Atomic Salsa and Ken McLeod’s Flying Gull also raced during the season.


Bob Larsen’s Blew Bird had another successful season racing in St. Michael’s, MD.


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Aftermath of lightning strike on Blew Bird Edit Picture

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