December, 2009

Greetings to current and former Kettenburg PCC owners, and friends:


As reported in last months new letter, SELENE, PCC #3 owned by David Rice lost her mast during the PCC National Championship in June. David has written to explain the situation.
The following is from David Rice:

Regarding Selene's spar:

I should say at this point that I do not know what caused the failure. An investigation was conducted on behave of the insurance company and another for me, and the results were inconclusive. The break only followed the glue joint for a short distance. Bud Caldwell
looked at it and has said the glue joint was not the cause. He should know he built them and has seen other mast failures.

I should also let you know that the failure began at the lower spreaders and the mast broke off at the partners as it went down.

The surveyor working for the insurance company is convinced the failure was caused by the compression piece at the lower spreader. He went so far as to speculate that the failure had started on a previous occasion. The assumptions surrounding this piece were not well supported as far as
I was concerned. I convinced the insurance adjuster of the same thing.

Doug Jones is building the new spar. Pam (David's wife) convinced me that this was better
than another rebuilt spar. We are beefing up the spar in a couple areas consistent with what Clark Boat Works did in the past, and what Doug has been doing since Bill Clark retired. Instead
of the 1/8" rabit there will be continuous glue blocks which increase the glue surface. There will be a doubler at the  compression pieces (lower and upper spreaders.) And the diameter of the compression piece is being increased. This will add a little weight to the spar while
adding a little strength.

You will remember I rebuilt the spar in 1992. I had a number of knowledgeable professionals weigh in on the best methods for the restoration, and on what items should be replaced. I replaced all these items ... new spreaders, tangs as necessary, etc. I believe this rebuild was important in the final analysis by the adjuster in deciding the loss was covered.

At this point Based on my experience, it is prudent to take a look at all of our spars. I would concentrate on glue joints, condition of tangs (I found a number that need to be replaced),
spreader condition (the sun beats down on them and they can trap water I replaced all in 1992), standing rigging condition (of course) and the condition of the compression piece. The boats have
sailed many miles with these designed parts in place ... but there is always room for a little second guessing.


It's that time of year again. Besides our nearing the holiday season, it is time to give some thought to PCCYRA Executive Board Member positions. All positions are open to any PCCYRA member. The offices are, President, Vice President, Secretary/Treasurer, and Fleet Captains. The currently
elected are:

Neil Atwood

#1 - "Eulalie"

Pacific Northwest Fleet

Vice President:
David Rice

#3 - "Selene"

San Diego Fleet

Archie Contreras
#12 - "Ballerina"
San Francisco Bay Area Fleet

Fleet Captain:
Jean Alexander
# 16 - "Lark'
Los Angeles Area Fleet

Fleet Captain:
Alex Prato
# 14 - "Janley" 
East Coast Fleet

Please give this some thought. If you are interested in holding an office, please contact either Archie ([email protected]) of myself by as soon as possible. Don't forget that the original PCCYRA Constitution and By-Laws were approved October 2, 1948. Next year marks the 62nd year anniversary. If anyone doesn't have a copy of the current CONSTITUTION and BY-LAWS of the PACIFIC CRUISING CLASS YACHT RACING ASSOCIATION, please contact Archie or myself. Please contact me for a current PCC Registry.

Archie Contreras reports that the restoration on BALLERINA, PCC #12 is scheduled to now include an electric motor to replace the original engine. Archie has designed a 48 volt system for this installation, which should take place in 2010. I think this is an excellent idea, and I intend to copy Archie's plan for the same installation in BELLE of the WEST, PCC #19. Replacing diesel and gas engines with electric motors is also currently taking place in Berkeley by Terry Tucker, master shipwright.

By making this change, Archie will install the batteries in the bilge below the galley area. This will allow him to move the weight forward, and lower in the boat. That in turn will allow Archie to carry more sail area in stronger wind. Archie is also now the Northern California Representative for North Star Batteries. (


Original PCC equipment from PCC #18:
Mast w/ standing rigging $3,500
boom $750
winches, deck hardware, etc. TBA
Contact Steve Barber at: [email protected] or (916) 847-9064

Kettenburg Burgee: High quality white nylon with Kettenburg logo (red "K" in a red simi-circle) $30.00 Contact Steve Barber at: [email protected]   or (916) 847-9064

My best to you and your family for the holiday season. Until next time..........sail on