Homer Alaska - News

Story last updated at 8:22 PM on Wednesday, May 18, 2011

'Alandra's Lee' part of sailing fleet

Boat of the Week

By McKibben Jackinsky
Staff writer


Photographer: McKibben Jackinsky, Homer News

Lee and Jenny Dewees' 'Alandra's Lee' came to Kachemak Bay from Oregon, by way of Prince William Sound and Willow.

Capt. Lee Dewees describes his 27-foot O'Day, the 'Alandra's Lee,' as "one of the most uninteresting" boats in the Homer Yacht Club. That may be, but he and his wife, Jenny, have had some impressive finishes with their blue-hulled vessel.

In 2010, they took second place in the club's Converse Cup. A video of a close finish in another race with Alandra's Lee leading the way is on You Tube. In 2011, the couple claimed sixth place overall in the Land's End Regatta.

As part of the Homer Yacht Club fleet, the Dewees and their boat are in good company. The club's 40-plus members represent captains, crews and vessels that have sailed up and down the West Coast, have crossed the Pacific Ocean to the Galapagos Islands, Tahiti, New Zealand, Hawaii and back to Homer and several that have made the voyage between Seattle and Homer.

"We have a lot of different size boats and we welcome everybody," said Lee of the yacht club's membership. "The program is to improve your skills and have fun, but mostly to have fun."

Lee and Jenny learned to sail in Prince William Sound and Kachemak Bay before parenthood and careers forced a time out. About five years ago, they got their toes wet again, with the purchase of Alandra's Lee.

"We bought it from a fellow in Willow who had sailed it in Prince William Sound," said Lee, who also is the Homer Yacht Club's current commodore.

The vessel originally came from Oregon's Hood River area. Its design makes it trailerable, which is how they got it from Willow to Homer.

"It handles really well. It's a very responsive little boat," said Lee. "It's good for the bay."

When they bought it, the Alandra's Lee was equipped with an inboard engine.

"That quit about 15 minutes after we got it in the water, though," said Lee. "Rather than fix the old gas engine, we opted to put on an outboard."

The 9.8 horsepower Tohatsu is perfect in the Homer Harbor and on days when the wind is less than needed to fill the sails.

The cabin sleeps as many as five, but it would be tight. What it lacks in overnight space, it makes up for in cabin height.

"It's a nice sized boat in that people that aren't extremely tall can actually stand up in it," said Lee.

This summer, with family planning to visit, the Dewees are looking forward to sailing to Seldovia. Then there's putting the Alandra's Lee back on the starting line of races the club has scheduled for the summer.

Informal races are held on Thursdays, beginning between 5:30-6 p.m. Anyone interested in crewing can meet on the P float at 5 p.m. The season's first race is the Sourdough Regatta, starting at 1 p.m. May 28.

Annual membership in the Homer Yacht Club is $25 for individual, $50 for family and $100 for a business membership. There is no initiation fee. Neither boat ownership nor sailing ability is required.

"As a club, we're really a social sailing club," said Lee. "The emphasis is on boating safety. I would encourage anyone that wants to, to be involved."

For more information on the Homer Yacht Club, visit www.homeryachtclub.org. The club also has a Facebook page.