Starting a Tasar Fleet

In September 2000, Joel McMinn wrote to the eGroups TasarSailors email discussion list, asking for suggestions for starting a Tasar fleet in San Francisco.  John Maltman responded with these great ideas, which were used in building fleets in Seattle and Portland.


I was involved with a bunch of others when the Seattle Fleet started to grow in the late 80's, and then moved to Portland in the early 90's, took my boat there, and with a lot of enthusiasm from a core group started the Portland fleet.

We have had great success with both groups, One of the things we did was start out with being a yacht club fleet, (even though it might have only been 3 or 4 boats to start) In Seattle, it was Corinthian and in Portland Wilamette, both of which are affordable, and have great established one design programs. In San Francisco you should go look at Richmond Yacht Club and see if you can work with them.

The Yacht club racing got us started with a local structure- then we were able to work with the other fleets (Vancouver BC in Seattle's case, and Seattle and Vancouver for Portland) to create our own "bush" events.

As far as who you are going to sail with, I hate to say it but the best thing to do is to poach other sailors from other classes. Laser sailors are great targets, especially those guys who have campaigned their Laser hard and the girlfriend/wife is getting tired of sitting on the beach, or is tired of sailing an overpowered boat. The other market is for those folks that crew on keel boats that want to control their own program, whatever speed I'd look at the J-24 class, etc.

Once you've identified your marks, be very friendly, loan out your boat a lot, take folks for a sail etc.  Find out where the used boats are and always have a list you can refer to with phone numbers etc. If you are really into it, buy two boats and always have one for sale (you also can use it as "demo"). We also made sure that our social events were open to everyone who was remotely interested. We were known for having good parties/BBQ's and grew our fleet that way.

Use your grass roots media, Bulliten boards at Yacht clubs, newsletters, e-mail lists. IN SF see if Latitude 38 might be interested in doing an article, or at least put stuff in their calendar and results list.

The next thing when you've got a few boats and keen sailors around, make sure there are NO SECRETS, talk about what you think makes the boat go fast, keep every one from the top to the bottom of your fleet informed of what works and what doesn't. One of the best things is to have a regular clinic, once or twice a year...I'm sure there are members of the NW fleet who would love to come down to coach.

Lastly, make sure that your fleet has FUN. We are famous for being at multi fleet regattas, and Not sailing (especially in light wind) Sometimes we stay on the beach and play volleyball. One of the best things about the Portland fleet is going to the brew pub up the street for beers and burgers after the evenings racing, sitting on the deck and talking sailing.

I read an article in Latitude 38 about the High Sierra regatta, it sounded great - Maybe we could put that on the schedule for next year and a few boats might go south.

Best of luck !!!!

John Maltman
ex Tasar 543 & Tasar 821