Upgraded R19 Website

An upgraded R19 website is now launched.  Check it out at www.rhodes19.org.  If you use a ‘newsreader’ you can get the R19 news feed at www.rhodes19.org/feed.  Or – get weekly latest info via email if you are a 2015 or 2016 member, or sign up on the sidebar of the website….

2nd Quarter Mainsheet

Hello Fleet Captains and Officers,

We are planning now for our 2nd quarter Mainsheet, so please submit your articles and material.  Please forward material to me and Meredith (me so I know what’s coming). Meredith is : proofread@gmail.com  We would like to have your input by May 24th.

Looking forward to hearing from you!


Rick McGregor


R19 Keelboat For Sale

A great Rhodes 19 keel sailboat with dark blue hull and white painted bottom and kiel, half-way to making it a true racer, is for sale. A set of practice Doyle sails and and two spinnakers in a fair shape. The ribs have been recently replaced. The bottom was refinished and painted two years ago. You have the chance to set it up for racing the way you like or just use it for cruising in its current condition. It has a full boat cover and can be used with mast up or down. The trailer is two years old Triad with bunks. An extra set of barely used cruising sails and cruising spinnaker can be sold for an additional 700,-. There is an outboard Tohatsu 4 stroke barely used by previous owner for 500,-. The boat has been dry sailed for the past four years and can be seen or pictures sent upon request. You can buy it all for 7000,- and I will throw in an extra set of practice Doyle sails.
Thank you for looking! contact: sian66@yahoo.com or call 314-583-7432

Bob Taber

A troika can give a group dynamic, productive leadership. One did that for the Class and San Francisco’s Fleet 17 in the ’70’s with Kirk Smith, Jim McCray and Joe Madrigali supplying elbow grease. Now, the other coast has a similar triumvirate at Fleet 35 on Narragansett Bay. Bob Taber is the official lifetime Fleet Captain, and at 83, he delegates a portion of the heavy administrative process and propaganda to Fred Bieberbach and Paul Bestoso so that he can concentrate on what he has done so well for the past 25 years, creating an environment where everyone, young, old, competitive and laid back can meet on an equal, low cost basis to enjoy the water.

As Chairman of his Narragansett Terrace Yacht Club’s junior sailing program, which he helped organize and fund, he has introduced as many as 35 youngsters a year into a lifetime sport. He served as prime mover and builder for the club’s White Horse Dinghy frostbite fleet. The White Horse, designed by another club regular, Justin Wood, sails every winter Sunday with all ages, including Bob who can still jump in and out of the eight footer. He was instrumental in establishing several special cruising, fun type races to a number of Narragansett Bay locations, at two of which, Comminute Lighthouse and Prudence Island, his club maintains moorings.

Bob enjoys a constant hunt for ‘fixer-upper’ Rhodes to add to the fleet. One of the prime conditions for introduction to his finds is that the potential owner agrees to race.

Bob’s creed that sailing should occupy every spare moment of one’s idle time was acquired over three quarters of a century on or near the water. With the exception of a WWII hitch in the Navy, keeping B-24s flying in the Pacific, the lifetime has been spent on the upper reaches of Narragansett Bay. At eight, off Pomham Light, in a wooden skiff with a blanket for a sail, he taught himself how to use wind and current to move a boat. Another introduction of this era was the Thompson sub-machine gun, seen by moonlight in the hands of local law men as they supervised the off loading of the region’s prohibition era products. Fortunately for future generations of sailors, no one spotted the awed eight year old as he peered through bushes.

Over the ensuing years, he helmed a gamut of craft ranging from RI Governor William H. Vanderbilt’s 72-foot motor yacht through large cruising schooners; various small one designs such as the Rhodes and Newport 24s; hot boats such as trimirans and wind surfers; DN Ice Boats and, finally, the White Horse. He gained the knowledge and elusive touch that have enabled him to maintain a distinctive competitive sailing edge well into his eighties.

Competition is just one contribution he makes to sailing. For years, he has acted as a sentinel from his home on a spot looking out on Bullock Cove and upper Narragansett Bay. When spying a boater in trouble, he scrambles into his skiff to lend a hand. His caring concern for others is operable on land as well. A gauge of a man’s esteem is the number and quality of personal anecdotes that his peers circulate about him. The following will give one an accurate reading.

Back when the Class ok’d racing without jumpers, Bob was noticed sailing Butterfly with empty upper sockets. Someone asked if he did it to save weight or to cut windage, and he replied, “The damn overhead door caught em and knocked em off.” Recently, his pals’ curiosity was fired by a newly acquired Mazda RX7 of dubious vintage. When asked if he was going cruising for chicks, he replied, “Heck no, I’m going to use its Wankel Engine to power the seaplane I’m building.”

Such a treasured Swamp Yankee cannot be evolved by the simple interaction of peers, the service and the sea. A catalyst to forge these into a finished being is needed. In Bob’s case, she was Alicia, his wife of 51 years, whose loss during a Thursday evening race was chronicled in the Providence Journal. A reprint can be found in the Spring 2001 Mainsheet. The first woman commodore in Rhode Island, she enjoyed sailing as much as Bob. He feels her absence deeply , but continues the sport they enjoyed together. To abandon it would be disrespectful.

John and Denise Economides

Believe it or not, Fleet 45’s soft spoken captain, John Economides, has a few traits in common with California’s new, flamboyant governor. They both serve as the CEO of a diverse, atypical organization, they appreciate the guitar and both owe much to their wives. Blessedly, this is where their similarities end.

Economides1_smallJohn actually played the guitar, he doesn’t bulge from years of enhanced body building and he hasn’t terminated anyone, yet. Most importantly, his wife stands with him rather than behind him and in fact, he insisted on a guarantee of “equal billing” for Denise as a precondition for this profile.

Children of the sixties, she from Winthrop, he from East Boston, they met at a Winthrop party where John was playing a rock and roll guitar gig in 1969. They realized that they shared interests in the life sciences and the belief in education as the path to personal growth and married in 1973. At that time, John had completed a BA in Biology at UMass Boston by way of Boston Latin secondary school. Denise had completed her primary and secondary education in the Winthrop Public Schools. Post marriage, the pace picked up. They soon had two children and they continued their formal educations.

Denise pursued and gained a BS in Health Science from Northeastern University. She Economides2graduated Magna Cum Laude with membership in Northeastern’s Sigma Epsilon Rho honor society while working part time and providing primary care for their son and daughter. She also gained an Early Childhood Education Certificate from Salem State in her spare time. She is putting this training to use as a Senior Medical Technologist at Lahey Clinic’s Burlington facility.

Not to be outdone, John attained a MBA in Finance and a Masters in Computer Science from Boston University. He works as Principal Financial Systems Analyst for MFS Investment Management in Boston.

In 1993, after 20 years together, they found time for basic keelboat lessons in Solings and Sonars at the Boston Sailing Center. With a residence in Winthrop, they gravitated to the Cottage Park Yacht Club which they joined in 1998. Mike Gahan, a Fleet 45 founder, helped them pick the Rhodes 19 as an affordable racer/cruiser. The boat met Mike’s advanced publicity and as a plus, they have been pleased by the friendship of their fellow Rhodes 19 sailors.

They began racing and actively supporting the fleet soon after they acquired Ghost Dog, number 1118. They participated in the 2001 Nationals and John was elected East Coast Vice President at the Annual Class Meeting on the fateful day, 9/11/01. The following year, they convoyed to New Orleans with Trees-MacAdoo and were awarded their club’s Tranfaglia award for promoting CPYC sailing by sporting the club burgee during their 70 hours on the road.

Again, they were besieged by larger events as they transited the D.C. environs during the height of the sniper attacks. Frequent gas stops with the great white shape in tow provoked a certain measure of anxiety.

They attended the 2003 Nationals in Marblehead and continue their drive to spur Fleet 45’s participation. In this effort, they have been aided by Cottage Park pros Costa and Zambella who selected the Rhodes 19 for a new club adult sailing program. This past summer, they gained three new members plus their daughter who is a frequent crew for MacAdoo-Trees in three person events.

In bringing the Economides style of togetherness to the Class on the water and in the shore side administration activities, they have given the boat’s family tradition a big boost. We can only hope that other families of all ages observe and follow their excellent example.