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Catalina Rendezvous 2000 Pensacola
I look at the photos from the Catalina 2000 Rendezvous, many fond memories
come to mind. First, I am not a “clubby” type of person, yet this was
really fun. It didn’t matter if you showed up with a 22 or a 470. The
idea was to get Catalina people together and have some fun. And fun we
to logistical problems, I was not able to bring my new 25, “Essayons”.
She’s my third Catalina. Instead, I brought our Caravelle 175
bowrider. It didn’t matter to the rally folks that “Essayons”
stayed home. I was welcomed with open arms.
night, the party began with a tent reception and open bar at the Rod and
Reel Marina. We partied hearty till after midnight. Pam, from Turner
Marine registered us and gave out gifts of magazines, hats, and things.
The evening weather was really nice, in the 70’s and breezy.
Rod and Reel Marina is a very low key and friendly place. George, the
manager, is a very soft-spoken, laid-back guy. His staff is very friendly
and fun to get to know. Upstairs is a self-service bar that offers beer
and snacks to the patrons. The
air-conditioning felt great to get out of the daytime heat.
marina had plenty of slips available for arriving boats. They also have a
launch ramp, travel lift, and secure dry storage as well as a maintenance
yard. The slip rates were reasonable and available with power and water
morning started out with a seminar on refrigeration and water making.
These new portable refrigerators would work great on any boat that had
minimal electrical generating power. The new water makers only draw one
ampere per hour and will crank out 220 gallons a day. Having spent the
week in at the beach , I learned quickly about the need for fresh water.
It would have been miserable without access to plenty of fresh water. . I
may put one on my 25.
second seminar was with Frank Butler, the founder of Catalina Yachts. He
graciously answered questions and told
us that his initial plan was to build 300 Catalina 22’s. Currently, they
have built over 70,000 boats. WOW! He is constantly working on new designs
and has a great staff to assist him. His Vice President, Sharon Day, has
been with Catalina for 26 years. When asked “How long will it take to
get a new 310?”, Sharon answered “one year, we are running at maximum
capacity.” Frank laughingly refuted saying that they are not at capacity
yet. They seem to have a
I was particularly
interested when Sharon said they have considered building a motorsailor. I
encouraged them to do so as I like motorsailors. However, Mr. Butler said
that Catalina Yachts would never build a cruising catamaran. So
don’t look for a Catalina catamaran at your local sailing center.
Mr. Butler’s session, we broke for the skippers’ meeting to organize
the “fun” race. The “fun” race started at staggered times. The
purpose of having the faster boats starting later than the slower boats
was to have all the boats finish at the same time. This way everyone could
get to the bar at the same time. There
were two Catalina 36s, two Catalina 27s, two Catalina 30s, a Catalina 470
and a Catalina 28 contending for first prize.
Dumas, the skipper of a Catalina 36 named “Dolphin Quest”, did a great
job of buzzing the committee boat. He came within about 10 feet of their
winner was a 1973 Catalina 27. The
skipper has only owned this boat a few months and was thrilled to be the
winner. In the background a few grumblers could be heard remarking about
the staggered start. You go
skipper! It was all in fun.
6:00 p.m. the dinner started. We enjoyed a spicy Cajun boil of shrimp, red
skin potatoes, corn on the cob, gumbo, white rice and bread. The open bar
was cooking with, Dale, a cockney bartender and a gas to talk to. He’d
say to the gals, “ Ello love, ave a drink will ya?” Or something like
local band played oldies, blues, pop, and improvised the “Catalina
Blues” to overwhelming applause. The dancing went on for hours. While
dancing, three people tripped and fell right into the beer and wine
cooler. Big splash, big laugh.
Butler and his entourage stayed late as well. Mrs. Butler was dancing with
the Catalina owner’s kids, including my two boys. They were tearing it
up. In other words, it was a great party. When
we left around midnight, the party was still going strong.
8:00 a.m., breakfast was provided for all Rendezvous attendants. We said
our good-byes and exchanged email addresses to keep in touch of the new
friends that we had made that weekend.
want to thank the folks at Turner Marine for hosting such a great event.
They worked hard to make the weekend enjoyable for all of us. And a
gracious thank you to Frank Butler and his staff from Catalina. It was
nice to see how interested they are in us owners. I feel they care very
much about our satisfaction. A special thanks is also extended to George,
from Essex Credit, who sponsored the Friday night bar.
Rendezvous is planned for next year. Check the Catalina web page at www.catalinayachts.com
for dates and other upcoming events. Don’t miss out.
sailing to all,