2005 Watkins Owners Raft-Up


Here are the statistics:  9 boats were in attendance with their crews plus one drive-in crew.  1-W25 trailered in from Indiana, 6—W27’s including one W27PH, 1 W29 and 1-W32.  Sadly one W36 twisted off a prop shaft in route and another W36’s crew had a death in the family and was unable to attend. 

Organizing sailors is like herding cats!  Boats and crews came and went during the 6 day event.  At no time was everyone present but food seemed to draw the biggest crowds with 15 to 16 at each of the three evening get togethers.

Friday:  We arrive Friday evening on the “Y KNOT” our W25, along with the crew of “Do U Wuna” a W27. 

Terry made the welcome sign shown below to help track who was where and when.


Saturday:  “Wildest Dream” and “Dream Date arrived”. 

Saturday was hot with rain showers threatening so our crew and the crew of Do U Wunna went to see “Batman Begins” the movie at the I MAX Theater partly to see the movie and partly to get the air conditioning for two hours.  John & Sharon drove over to check things out in the afternoon before they sailed over from Norfolk.  I went back to Norfolk with them and John let me steer “Dream Date” his W27 across Hampton Roads to Hampton Harbor.  We waited for a rain quall to pass and then had a nice sail over.  Saturday night the group broke up into smaller groups and ate at restaurants in the old part of Hampton, just a few blocks walk from the docks.



Sunday Morning John and Terry and I drove to Portsmouth and helped the crew of “Happi” a Pilothouse W27 fix an engine-overheating problem.  Sunday evening during our get acquainted pot luck dinner, “Seaquel” came sailing up the river, having completed a hard 3 day sail to get there.  Also Rick and Cindy who have “Vagabond” a W29 walked up during our potluck.  They keep “Vagabond” at a dock next door to Hampton.  After the Pot Luck and presentation on the History of Watkins Yachts, Paul distributed loot that Lou had procured from West Marine.  Each participant got at least two prizes.  Scarily all of the rigging knives went to female crew members.  After the presentations we went on boat tours starting with “Vagabond”.  Boat tours and visiting continued for the rest of the evening.


Photo below is of Icebreaker potluck on Sunday Afternoon with not everyone present yet.


Photo below of boats at dock on Monday morning.


Monday:  A group sail across Hampton Roads to Willoughby Bay, then out into the Chesapeake through the bridge tunnel, then back to Willoughby Bay for a raft-up.  At sunset a quick trip back to Hampton to drop off some boats and pickup passengers, then return by boat to Old Fort Comfort to watch the fireworks.


Photo below of boats heading down the river to go for group sail.


The next several photos below are of boats sailing together on the 4th of July.

Photo below of the Y KNOT a 1986 W25 with crew John and Cindi.


Photo below of “Wildest Dream” a W27 with crew Jim and Alan.


The photo below is of “Dream Date” a 1982 W27 with crew John & Sharon.  Sharon is steering and John is taking a picture of our boat!


Photo below of “Do U Wanna” with crew Terry, Lena and Max.


Photo below of “Seaquel” a W27 with crew Mike and Sharon.


Photo below of “Praying for Mariah” with crew Paul and Sylvia.


Photo taken by “Dream Date” of “Y KNOT”, “Do U WANNA” and “PRAYING FOR MARIAH”


Photo below of raft-up in Willoughby Bay.


Tuesday:  Weather hot with thunderstorms threatening.  Group decided to tour Mariners Museum in the morning, and take the Miss Hampton II for a cruise around Hampton Roads to see the naval ships in the afternoon.  Good planning since we had a small thunder shower while on tour.

Photo of group on “Miss Hampton” tour boat.


Bill and Brenda on “Happi” a W27 pilot house arrive while we were gone on tour. 


In the evening a potluck was organized to eat up Sunday’s leftovers.


Some boats rafted out in the Hampton River, Monday through Wednesday Nights.


Wednesday dawns hot and steamy.  The group meets for breakfast at the “Coffee Connection” and says goodbye to Mike and Carla on “Seaquel” who needed to begin the long sail home up the Chesapeake Bay.  The weather forecast is hot with no wind, so the group decides to tour Old Fort Comfort Casement Museum in morning.  This fort was built under the supervision of Robert E. Lee before the Civil War and Jefferson Davis was incarcerated here for a time after the Civil War.  On the way we stopped and visited “Praying For Mariah” at Old Point Comfort Marina.  Paul had had engine trouble on the way home from the fireworks and “Sequel” had towed him home.  A new fuel pump purchased on Tuesday and he was good to go.  In the afternoon the women went for a massage and some of us helped “Happi” repair a broken nipple fitting on his exhaust elbow.  


The group met for supper at the “Surf Rider” Restaurant.  Sixteen people were in attendance.  Great food and conversation! 


Afterward, we met in the hotel lobby to present the final awards.  Lou Spagna presided over distributing the loot. 


Thursday:  Final meeting of group at breakfast at “Coffee Connection”.  Everyone then left for home by water or land.   We stayed on for seven more days touring the area by land and sea.

Thanks to the Hunsicker’s and Peterson’s for opening their homes to us and giving us guided tours of Virginia Beach, Cape Henry light house, and Cape Hetaeras light house.  We also sailed to Little Creek and Portsmouth and visited by land Colonial Williamsburg and the Shirley Plantation.


Credits:  Photos above taken by Terry Hunsicker, John Peterson Jim Brewer and John Myers.