CCYC History (Draft)

Edit This is the draft of The History of CCYC, put together by Sue Dennison. In order to capture the past, we invite you to submit your stories and memories of people and events. Just click on the edit button to the right to open a form for submitting your input.

This is not a WIKI page. Edits and additions are not automatically added. All submissions will be reviewed before added to the History.

The Beginning of the Chesapeake Catalina Yacht Club

The Chesapeake Catalina Yacht Club was started in November 1980 as a Catalina 30 Club by Hilda Gohrband and Sue Dennison. The Catalina 30 was the largest Catalina being built by Catalina Yachts at that time.

We met at the Gohrband's home. Five boats were represented. Sue took the job of finding members. Jay Smirnow of Back Yard Boats in Alexandria, Virginia, gave Sue his ledgers, listing the Catalinas that they had sold with names, addresses and phone numbers. (There were no privacy laws that we had to worry about in 1980.) After spending two days in Alexandria copying this gold mine of information, Sue's job really began and her phone bill started to rise. Hilda found our first five boat members and took on the job of finding start-up money and a place to meet. She talked Jay Smirnow into giving us $250 start-up money. It was tough finding a place to meet, even 30 years ago. In the spring of 1981, we met at Meers Marina for our big coming out meeting and had 22 boats represented.

Hilda said she would be the Commodore. The rest of the officers were filled and off we went. Sue continued in membership. We grew to 32 boats and were sanctioned by Catalina Yachts as the Catalina 30, Fleet 11. In 1989, we became Chesapeake Catalina Yacht Club.

The credit for the club's success goes to many great members who have stepped forward each year which has kept the Club growing, and it is now at its best on its 30th anniversary with close to 100 boats. It was started as a Corinthian style sailing club, and continues that way today.

(Really Early History) Tidbits of an Acknowledged Imperfect Memory

The Club met in many places, then finally settled into the upstairs meeting room of the Fleet Reserve Club in Annapolis, Maryland. For many years this worked out until they raised the prices. In the beginning we had huge raft-ups. Our biggest was 23 Catalina 30s. Memory says it was on the Magothy. Max Munger says Rhode River, anyone else want to weigh in on this, please do. We rafted this many boats together until we could get pictures, then we broke up into much smaller rafts for the night.

The Club kept very poor records, our Treasury was a mess. Honest people everyone of them, just no time spent or thought given. The Club had not much money honey, but was having fun.

In 1989 at the beginning of that year, the Treasurer dropped off the Club's funds with receipts, in a brown paper grocery bag, in the cockpit of a boat, without anyone's knowledge of when someone would be around to find them. No problem, the Club had spent almost all of the funds, plus the coming years' money. The Club even had live entertainment at the Christmas party the year before.

Darrel Hansen took the brown paper bag and straightened out the Treasury. For the first time the Club was legal.

After the Club's good start with membership, it didn't keep an up to date list of members. Some either came to all the Club's functions and hadn't joined or belonged and weren't listed. To say the Club was a happy go lucky, fun loving, loose sailing group is to say the least. Liz Wesley came along and gave us our first up to date membership list. In 1998, the responsibility was taken over by Mike Davis. Not only is the Club's membership list reliable and up to date, it was vastly improved. Bill Wesley talked Back Yard Boats (the Catalina dealership in Annapolis at the time) to give a one year free membership in the Club to all who bought a Catalina 30.

The Club's raft-ups became poorly attended but the core kept the Club going with good spirits and friendships. Max and Sherma Munger hosting a three day race and raft-up at their home in Solomons brought new life to the Club. Gerry and Jeanne Helldorfer always came through with challenging places for the Club to sail to. Joan and Wayne Savage gave new life to the annual Oktoberfest, taking over from Sue and Walt Dennison, and Hilda and Allan Gohrband, who were the Oktoberfest hosts for many years.

The Club participated in Catalina National races held in Middle River, Baltimore, Maryland. Allan Gohrband won the Overall and Half Hull trophies the first year. Walt Dennison, with his new boat, won the next year. The year after that, the Half Hull trophy was left in Baltimore because the races were called off due to lack of wind. Does anyone know the whereabouts of this Catalina 30 Half Hull?

We had five boats take part in our first long trip down the bay, to the Tides Inn on the Rappahannock River - Allan and Hilda Gohrband, Dot and Roman Klimkewicu, Bill and Pat Thomas, Nancy and George Lake, and Sue and Walt Dennison.

Jan and Jay Beach hosted a pig roast for the Club for a couple of years at their home on the Rhode River. Charles and Freda Gandy hosted a big Crab Feast for the Club and the Norfolk Club for many years at their home on Rideout Creek, off Whitehall Bay in Annapolis.

Max Munger became Commodore of the Catalina 30 National Asociation. In the Early days of the Club, Gerry and Jeanne Helldorfer's knowledge of the Bay was a great help.

Joan and Wayne Savage have held every job in the Club and have hosted at least three Christmas parties. The Club had All Women boat crew trips and Sue Dennison (on Foxfire) taught lessons for women who wanted to learn how to safely sail a boat by themselves.

CCYC is at its best now (March 2011). The Club is the most active ever and the excitement and participation in all Club events is at an all time high. Club members are sailing up and down the coast, to the Bahamas, and inviting others to come along. Please make this a living history. I welcome your input, biographies, memories, stories, trips and parties. The Club has an interesting group of people with interesting jobs, hobbies, travel and plans for the future. If you are not involved, please come along and volunteer.

CCYC's history has been carefully put together with photographs with titles by Mike Davis. This is a treasured collection of our past. With the help of other photographers in the Club, they have captured the real spirit of Chesapeake Catalina Yacht Club.


Commodore - Hilda Gohrband
Vice Commodore - Marbury Councell
Secretary -

Hilda Gohrband - Commodore

Wow! 30 years, has it been that long? I guess it has been, I just signed-up for Medicare. My daughter is the same age as when I started the Catalina 30 club, and she arrived two week before our Catalina 30... I remember we were attending the Catalina 27 club meetings with Walt and Sue and it dawned on me, why not a 30 club? Walt, Sue, Allan and I were sitting on a picnic table and I announced that I wanted to start the "Catalina 30" club. Walt and Allan immediately said no way!!!! Walt instructed Sue to not get involved. Well, my partner in crime, Sue Dennison supported me in the adventure to start this club. It took me many phone calls to get Backyard Boats (then of Alexandria) to respond to my call. I finally got in touch with the manager and he grudgingly provided me with $250 seed money to start the club. So much has happened in those 30 years, so many good people have come and gone and yet the club still lives on. I gave birth to it, but the members nurtured it and gave it maturity. It gives me such great satisfaction to see it survive and live on. Sue Dennison should be given a lot of credit for that. She believed in the club, loved it and has supported it all these years. After many years of being very involved in the club, our life took a big turn; I started a Medical Software Company which I owned for 18 years which I sold 10 years ago. The club has been and is in good hands. We moved, Allan and Kimberly, my daughter, had health issues, my parents died, and forth, reducing our time on the water. Yet life is good.

Other Accomplishments and Activities:

President and creator of IMDSI, Member of the Board of Directors at the UMD Women Entrepreneurs, Member and President of Potomac Chamber of Commerce, Elected to Association of Corporate Growth, Silver Medal winner at the Department of Commerce for on-line e-learning which went Federal Government-wide, instrumental in changing Maryland State funeral disclosure laws, manage Project Management Investment and oversee planning for $80 billion in IT expenditures for Department of Commerce, Member of Congressional Country Club and Annapolis Yacht Club, member of the Women's Golf and Tennis Association at Congressional Country Club, won a number of tennis championships, worked on a number of golf tournaments at Congressional and Avenal. I play tennis 3 to 4 times a week and play golf 1 to 2 times a week. Several years ago, I discovered my passion as a speaker at conferences on courses that I have developed using my journey through life and showing how an insecure young lady with dreams grew up to achieve her dreams - "Looking Good - Feeling Good". Recently, to the family's amazement, I learned to drive a tractor and pick up horse manure on my daughter and son-in-law's farm.

Biggest Accomplishment: being true to myself, seeing my daughter successful and happy, and staying married to Allan Gohrband for 44 years, the smartest and most patient person I have ever known.


Commodore - Marbury Councell
Vice Commodore - Roman Klimkewicz
Treasurer -


Commodore - Roman Klimkewicz
Vice Commodore - Jack Hysong
Treasurer -


Commodore - Jack Hysong
Vice Commodore - Gerry Helldorfer
Treasurer -
Secretary -

Jack Hysong - Commodore

Greetings from Arizona!

Seems Jack Googled himself and guess what he came up with. We have been strolling down memory lane. Great to see that the club is going strong after all these years.

We ended up sailing SeaWing in Puget Sound, the San Juan Islands and our favorite the Gulf Islands of Canada. Jack retired, we got a trailer and ended up in Arizona.

We didn't join another Catalina Club but ended up in the Poulsbo Yacht Club in Poulsbo, WA.

Puget Sound has currents you wouldn't encounetr on the Chesapeake so we also got involved in US Power and Sail. Our navigation skills needed fine tuning. Jack became a Commodore of our squadron so I thought why not and I went through the chairs also.

Hope all is well and we enjoyed all the pictures.

Nancy and Jack Hysong


Commodore - Gerry Helldorfer
Vice Commodore - Charles and Freda Gandy
Treasurer -
Secretary -


Commodore - Charles and Freda Gandy
Vice Commodore - Rod Waite
Treasurer -
Secretary -

Charles and Freda Gandy - Commodore

I signed us up for a "how to sail" course and when we had finished it, Charles went out looking for a boat. He found a Clipper Marine 22 cheap and we jumped. It wasn't a pretty sight out on the water with us in command. We assumed that the problem was our lack of skill. But later as we did the same things to the Catalina 30, she flew like the wind. Only later did we find out that Clipper Marine's reputation is that it sails like a dog.

As we were struggling to learn to sail, Bill Wesley and Charles began to talk about boats over lunch rather often. Bill recommended that we consider a Catalina 30. He and Liz invited us to see theirs and we were impressed. Comfortable, lots of good storage, really nice looking. I hung up a wet towel on a lifeline and Liz spoke gently as she removed it from where I had put it and hung it on the other side, explaining that it was always best to hang things to windward so if they blew down, they would land in the boat and not in the water. That was the very first bit of great advice I got from a Catalina sailor.

Bill and Liz took us to our first Catalina 30 meeting at the Fleet Reserve Club and I well remember it. We had had our LUV IT about a month and Charles had been struggling with a leak in the stuffing box. He found it quite difficult, so had made up a long tool to reach it and was still having difficulty. A group was standing around visiting after the meeting and Charles told of his problem. Someone said, "Oh yes, that can be difficult, even with the access port open." "What access port?" "The one that can be seen when you remove the carpet." We joined immediately and didn't miss many meetings through the many years we were members.

Recently we spent a pleasant evening with Max and Sherma Munger at Sue and Walt Dennison's, remembering good times. We remembered Diane Lang finding a snake in their sail locker and the adventure Ken had removing it. We remember being in heavy weather as the fleet traveled from St Mary's City, and while just barely being able to hang on but wanting to check in with Bob Bierly, we called the boat over the radio "C'Mon Wind, C'Mon Wind" and hoping that a radio signal but not more wind would arrive. We remembered the ladies' day sails from my dock and our pride at averaging 6.5 knots for the afternoon of sailing. And lots of raft ups, lots of good times, lots of friendly and helpful people.

Bill Westley is the perfect catalyst. He loves to keep things going. He asked if we would like to put together a group purchase of cruising spinnakers and we were quite interested. So Bill and Charles went to talk with a sailmaker. The price would be $1300, the going rate. "But what if Charlie buys one too?" Well, the price would go down. What if more? When negotiations were complete, seven boats had new spinnakers and we each paid $700 for them. We're STILL thanking Bill for his idea, his bravado, and his negotiating skills.

Charles and I felt a need to go further, faster, and to experience blue water. LUV IT is now an Irwin 38, and we have taken her South for four winters. Two we spent in the Bahamas, Going as far as George Town, in the Exumas. The other two we stayed in Florida waters, one of them on the West coast. All together, we have lived aboard her for 2 ½ years. Our cruising in the last few years has been short trips with mostly family, since Charles is doing a good bit of consulting, and the long distance sailing isn't as attractive as it once was.

We so much enjoyed our time with the Catalina Club, and are disappointed that we are unable to attend the anniversary luncheon. We will have family here from out of town, and that must be our priority. We send our conradulations and our best wishes for the club and its future. We'd like to think that we'll see you out on the Bay some time soon.

Freda Gandy


Commodore - Rod Waite
Vice Commodore - Ed Van Reuth
Treasurer -
Secretary -


Commodore - Ed Van Reuth
Vice Commodore - Sue Dennison
Treasurer -
Secretary -


Commodore - Sue Dennison
Vice Commodore - Ken and Diane Lang
Treasurer -
Secretary -

Sue Dennison - Commodore

1989 was the year we became Chesapeake Catalina Yacht Club. 1989 was also the year our Treasury crashed. Members chipped in $5.00 each to keep the newsletter going. The newsletter and phone were our way of letting members know what was going on. Freda Gandy did a super job on the newsletter and Liz Westly did membership beautifully. Darrel Hanson took the Treasury and straightened out our finances.

In 1987 I received my 100 Ton Coast Guard license. My biggest joy came from helping the Sea Scouts and teaching women to feel comfortable and safe while sailing.

I wish CCYC the best and a long, long history.


Commodore - Ken and Diane Lang
Vice Commodore - Max Munger
Treasurer -
Secretary -


Commodore - Max Munger
Vice Commodore - Ray and Laura Danner
Treasurer -
Secretary -

Max Munger - Commodore

Max and Sherma Munger, retired to Solomons, MD

Commodore 1991, Cruise Captain and Newsletter Editor for several years.

I was Commodore of three clubs that same year and had to set and juggle the sailing and racing schedules so I could attend ALL the activities. We spent over 80 days/nights on SherMax that year! It is hard to believe that all the little sailor kids back then are almost 40 now! And especially my own daughter.

Returning from Vietnam I didn't have money to learn to fly so I bought a 14' Laser, took it camping everywhere and loved the water. Lasers are very wet! Sherma said buy a bigger boat. The Spirit 23 wasn't quite big enough so in 1980 we purchased out C30 and she has been BIG ENOUGH ever since!

The Chesapeake Bay has offered us the greatest sailing experiences; all the beautiful rivers and creeks, ginkholing, racing, long cruises and several sailing clubs filled with good friends. Chartering in the Caribbean is great also, Grenada and the BVIs are the best.

In 19 years as Commodore and perpetual Treasurer of the International Catalina 30 Association, I have attended regattas all over the country, a three time national champion and frequent top finisher on other peoples boats! I helped start the Catalina Owners booth during other boat shows and have done the Annapolis show for 20+ years. I started the East Coast Factory Rendezvous and hosted two of them at Zahniser's in Solomons, MD. I am fortunate to know Frank, Sharon and Gerry very well and see them often. There is a great big C30 family of loyal and happy owners out there in America.


Commodore - Ray and Laura Danner
Vice Commodore - Ken and Diane Lang
Treasurer -
Secretary -


Commodore - Ken and Diane Lang
Vice Commodore - Bill Wesley
Treasurer -
Secretary -


Commodore - Bill Wesley
Vice Commodore - Joan Smith (Savage)
Treasurer - Diane Lang
Secretary - Wayne Savage

Bill Wesley - Commodore

Our Catalina experience began when Elizabeth and I purchased our first boat, a Catalina 27 inboard in the 70s. We became affiliated with Catalina Fleet 3 which was primarily a racing fleet. Since our boat was an inboard and not racing competitive, we kind of tagged along as cruisers and learned a lot about sailing. During this time we met Sue and Walt Dennison and many other avid sailors. After a few years we, along with several other Catalina 27 owners moved on to purchase Catalina 30s and this provided the basis for forming the Chesapeake Catalina 30 Fleet. We formed many special relationships and had many great experiences sailing the Chesapeake from top to bottom.

In 1993, we purchased our third Catalina, which was a Catalina 36 and a brand new boat. We got to outfit this boat from scratch and set it up for coastal and limited blue water cruising. This was great fun! We were delighted to continue our association with the Chesapeake Catalina 30 Fleet. This fleet was eventually renamed the Chesapeake Catalina Yacht Club which encouraged all Catalina owners to join. In 1994, I was selected commodore. We had a very active and dedicated group making the job pretty easy. During this time, I approached Backyard Boats in Annapolis, which was the Catalina Dealer, and persuaded them to provide a first year free membership in our club for new Catalina owners. This helped in expanding club membership.

For many years during our affiliation with the club, Elizabeth produced and edited the monthly newsletter. The newsletter provided an important vehicle for members to submit articles on sailing, cruising and club functions. It was a way to keep everyone in touch and interested in club activities all year long.

We sold our Catalina 36 in 2003 after 10 years of ownership. We had many wonderful and some harrowing experiences during these years. We sailed the Chesapeake from the Delaware Bay to Norfolk, around Delmarva and all areas in between. We made three trips down the ICW to Florida and on the first of these trips we sailed offshore to the Bahamas all the way down the chain to Georgetown.

Needless to say, our sailing experiences provided us with many wonderful friendships and memories for a lifetime.


Commodore - Joan Smith (Savage)
Vice Commodore - Paul Payne
Treasurer - Diane Lang
Secretary - Wayne Savage

Joan Smith (Savage) - Commodore

At the November 1994 meeting, I was elected Commodore of the CCYC. We were still meeting at the Fleet Reserve Club on the waterfront in downtown Annapolis. A few folks met early for dinner and then we adjourned upstairs for a business meeting and speaker. Land meetings were held in november, January, February and March. A Holiday Party was held the first Saturday in December hosted by a member at their home. The practice of meeting at the Fleet Reserve Club was in effect when I joined the CCYC in the early 1980s.

  • April 1st we had the Flag Raising Brunch.
  • The Icebreaker was held on April 29 at Sailors Wharf off of Mill Creek in Annapolis. Many of the CCYC members docked their boats there so it was a very easy and convenient place to hold a "come by land or by sea" raft-up.
  • Memorial Day had us sailing to Solomons Island.
  • June 17th we rafted up at Leeds Creek.
  • Wayne and I need a week sail over the 4th of July on Second Wind. I just don't know where we went!
  • July 29th was the Crab Feast hosted by Charles and Freda Gandy at their home off Whitehall Creek. They were kind enough to host this event for years. They also invited the Catalina 30 Fleet from Norfolk to attend.
  • On August 10th there was a raft-up in Baltimore
  • Labor Day was spent at Still Pond and then the Magothy River.
  • The annual Oktoberfest was held Sept 30 and Oct 1.
  • We had a Halloween crise on the 28th and 29th of October.
  • We had one last sail the weekend of Nov 11th.
  • The Nov 17th, our meeting was held at the Fleet Reserve Club and Paul Payne was elected Commodore.


Commodore - Paul Payne
Vice Commodore - Mark Eller
Treasurer - Joan Savage
Secretary - Mike Davis

Paul Payne - Commodore

We had a beautiful time in Annapolis and enjoyed sailing the Chesapeake during the short six years we lived there. We especially enjoyed all the members of the club and have really missed everyone.

In 1997, Sharon and I sailed down the Intercoastal back to our waterfront home in Florida. We became active again in the Treasure Island Tennis and Yacht Club - chartering in BVI and Tahiti, racing, cruising and getting into club politics. In 2006, I joined the Board and became Fleet Captain to organize various sailing events and marina facilities upgrades. During the last few years, we participated in several Morgan Invasions (as crew on Morgan boats, although I hope to expand to include Catalina boats next year). I am currently supporting the event this year as Communications Officer. Check out our website at This summer, Sharon, Amber (our corgi) and I plan to visit some of our national parks in our new "land yacht" on our way out to a wedding and family reunion at Lake Tahoe. We'll start putting details of the trip on our website in the next few months at


Commodore - Mark Eller
Vice Commodore - Wayne Savage
Treasurer - Joan Savage
Secretary - Mike Davis

Mark Eller - Commodore

I can't remember a time when I hadn't been drawn to the water, the sense of contentment that envelops me whenever I'm on the water completes my very essence. I owe my affinity for boating to my maternal grandfather Wally Henning. Although our family had both power and sail boats, I was particularly drawn to sailing. I found the notion of propelling a boat with nothing but wind very exciting. By the time I was 12 years old, I was permitted to take the sloop out single handed but not before demonstrating adequate sailing skills to my grandfather's satisfaction.

From that time forward I had the opportunity to sail with many friends aboard their boats. Finally in December of 1985, I bought my first boat, a brand new made to order Catalina 30 hull #4471 from Jack Dorsey yacht sales in San Diego, California. As a single Chief Petty Officer on active duty in the Navy, I took the opportunity to live aboard my new yacht. August of 1986 I received orders to a ship home-ported in Norfolk, Virginia. It was here I was introduced to the Catalina 30 association. The friendship of every member and the fellowship of folks whose love for the water inspired my own and gave me a sense of welcome being so far from my biological family in California. My "marina" family also introduced me to my lovely bride AJ. I sailed with Fleet 30 for the duration of my time in Tidewater until receiving orders to the Office of Naval Intelligence in Washington, D.C. in 1989.

It was while I was cruising the bay with Fleet 30 that I was introduced to Charles and Fredda Gandy with an invite to, what was then an annual affair, my first of many a traditional crab pick at their home. I brought my boat "Miss Tress" to their home for the event. You would have thought that I was a long lost family member with the welcome I received from the members of CCYC (then Fleet 11). My duty assignment in Washington permitted me to become a member of a special operations program at ONI which offered me the opportunity to "homestead" in the Washington, D.C. area for the last 13 years of my naval career.

During that time I enjoyed the friendship and sailing companionship of many CCYC members when I was approached by Paul Payne (Como 1996) to serve as Vice Commodore (as an active duty sailor I was quite honored to be asked to serve as the person in charge of vice activities). The following year I moved into the position of Commodore. It was my pleasure to share and help coordinate sailing and social activities for that year. I hope everyone had as much fun that year as I did.

In November of 1997 AJ and I traded our boat (along with some dollars) for our Tayana 42 MARAJ. It was during the first year of ownership of MARAJ that we attended a Catalina rendezvous at Zanheisers in Solomons, MD in the "Other than Catalina" category. Needless to say we were quite welcome and had a wonderful time.

I retired from active duty in the fall of 2001 and many of my CCYC brethren attended the ceremony aboard the USS Constellation in Baltimore's Inner Harbor. Following my retirement AJ and I shoved of for bluer waters and ended up in the Florida Keys. After a time there we headed north and landed in Norfolk, VA where I attended culinary school at Johnson and Wales University graduating in 2005, then attending Old Dominion University (to use my GI bill benefits) graduating in 2007.

I now work as an analyst for the Chief of Staff at the US Joint Forces Command, Joint Warfighting Center in Suffolk, VA. We are in the process of accumulating some cruising chips ($s) and updating MARAJ to head off cruising again.


Commodore - Wayne Savage
Vice Commodore - Bill Weeks
Treasurer - Joan Savage
Secretary - Mike Davis

Wayne Savage - Commodore

1998 was a long time ago. However, the camaraderie Joan and I developed with CCYC members during that year continue to amaze me today. During that year, we attended all (at least almost all) events that year and had the opportunity to spend quality time with club members and build great, lasting friendships. Old and now "new" members have, and continue, to play an important part in our lives. I can't say enough about the friends we have made being part of CCYC, knowing we can call any number of folks and know the call will be answered - quickly. That does not happen without the solid relationships that are developed being part of a group such as CCYC. I appreciate your interest and support, and want you to know I feel the same about you. Friends just care and look out for each other.

I don't know about you but there are not many opportunities like being part of this organization that pay the huge friendship dividends we receive from being a member of CCYC.


Commodore - Bill Weeks
Vice Commodore - Pete Denholm
Treasurer - Joan Savage
Secretary - Mike Davis


Commodore - Pete Denholm
Vice Commodore - Ray Nieves
Treasurer - Joan Savage
Secretary - Mike Davis


Commodore - Ray Nieves
Vice Commodore - Richard Schatz
Treasurer - Joan Savage
Secretary - Mike Davis


Commodore - Richard Schatz
Vice Commodore - Ray VanHorn
Treasurer - Joan Savage
Secretary - Mike Davis


Commodore - Ray VanHorn
Vice Commodore - Rich Miller
Treasurer - Diane Benyus
Secretary - Mike Davis

Ray VanHorn - Commodore

As Commodore, I had two objectives - to schedule a full calendar of activities and to focus on the Internet for communication. Our team hoped to reach "critical mass" where all activities would be successful - understanding that all members could not attend all scheduled activities. It is good to see we have reached this position in recent years.

Our personal focus has changed with retirement and six grandchildren ranging in age from 4 to 11 - four in Nashville and two in Gaithersburg. We are having a great time. In addition to family, SCORE, sailing, biking, kayaking, golf, travelling and photography compete for my time. Last week, I sold my powerboat - I'm starting to reduce "stuff".


Commodore - Rich Miller
Vice Commodore - Al Lohman
Treasurer - Diane Benyus
Secretary - Mike Davis

Rich Miller - Commodore

After being born and raised on crab cakes, french fries and beer in Cantonsville and Ocean City, MD, I moved to cheese steak country in the Philadelphia suburbs in 1991 in pursuit of work and my soon-to-be wife, Claire. She had sailed on small boats as a young girl, and after we were married she convinced me to try it with her. We registered for and took ASA sailing classes and sailed the Delaware River in New Jersey aboard Catalina Capri 22s. I was hooked, much to her surprise.

Of course, to her chagrin, I never do anything halfway, and we soon found ourselves boat owners. After briefly owning and sailing a 27-foot O'Day on the Sassafrass River, we moved up to our first Catalina, a 320, in 1999. We moved the boat to Rock Hall to take advantage of sailing the Chesapeake "below the bridge", and we found CCYC on the web in 2002 when I decided to try to find a group of other experienced people to sail with and learn from. We wanted to expand our reach and to learn about the best cruising spots on the bay.

I subsequently became Vice Commodore of the Club in 2003 and then Commodore in 2004. Aside from one poor decision on how to set up the rules of the Christmas gift exchange (my first executive decision about 20 minutes into my tenure - the fist fight was not my fault), I enjoyed my time as Commodore very much. It was a pleasure interacting with and getting to know all the wonderful people that were part of the club. My greatest accomplishment as Commodore was convincing Bob Klimek that all CCYC Commodores got a week's stay at Frank Butler's condo in Puerto Vallarta. It was not long after that that Bob volunteered to be Commodore. In truth we won the time at the Baltimore Catalina Rendezvous and we raffled off the extra bedrooms to other CCYC members at the club crab feast.

Since that time, Claire and I have moved up to a Catalina 400 and we are using it to continue our exploration of the Bay, while preparing to eventually do some coastal cruising on the East Coast of the U.S. and in the Caribbean. While we're ashore, I work in software development for a pharmaceutical consulting firm while dreaming of becoming the country's next great literary legend. I also enjoy goofing around with the Native American flute, building websites and taking pictures of my fingers and the lens cap, thus Viewfinder. I am the webmaster for the Catalina 400 International Association. Claire works in marketing for "the largest pharmaceutical company in the world".


Commodore - Al Lohman
Vice Commodore - Pete Bruzik
Treasurer - Diane Benyus
Secretary - Mike Davis


Commodore - Pete Bruzik
Vice Commodore - Bob Klimek
Treasurer - Diane Benyus
Secretary - Mike Davis

Pete Bruzik - Commodore

CCYC is like a herd of cats, in a good way! This herd of cats approaches the Chesapeake from all directions very carefully every weekend, finally crossing wiggly docks to climb onto our floating hideaways. The water, and especially the wind, is our catnip!

Now I will explain the "cats" reference. How many of us do you actually see willingly go INTO the water??? I'll bet you were thinking that the "cats" analogy was going to wind up having to do with Catalinas!

Growing up, my parents had cabin cruisers roaming the reaches of the Hudson River and Long Island Sound. My passion for sailing started here in sailing dinghys (O'Day 711 and Dyer Dhows) - no sooner was the anchor down on my parent's boat and I disappeared sailing all over the anchorage! That love of small boat sailing continues on the Sunfish and a just recently added Laser to race as a member of Severn Sailing Association in the Annapolis scene.

We now have Pekabu 3, but there was a Pekabu and Pekabu 2. The original Pekabu was a 1934 Mathews Sailor (25') built by Mathews (the motor yacht company). Kathy and I bought her in 1975 and owned her for seven years - kids came along and she had to go. We bought a Catalina 27 in 1999 and continued the naming legacy with Pekabu 2. We went to the 2002 Annapolis boat show to find two things - someone to replace our life lines and looking to see what the latest rollerfurlers were. We left the show with both - on a new Catalina 350!

We learned about CCYC from John Middleton (Sail Annapolis). The rest is history. CCYC is a special group of people and as I wrote in one of our newsletters, when we gather together at a raft, the cockpits are our "porches" where we gather with our friends and just have a great time!


Commodore - Bob Klimek
Vice Commodore - Jim Bergeron
Treasurer - Diane Benyus
Secretary - Mike Davis


Commodore - Jim Bergeron
Vice Commodore - Jon Van Tassell
Treasurer - Diane Benyus
Secretary - Mike Davis


Commodore - Jon Van Tassell
Vice Commodore - Mike Vaccaro
Treasurer - Diane Benyus
Secretary - Mike Davis

Jon Van Tassell - Commodore

My first boat was a Jon boat built by my dad that I took single handed on long cruises down a vast river. Ok, it was a 5 foot flat bottom double ender made out of plywood and the vast river was a creek a foot deep and 2 mile longs. It did begin a love of boats that has never stopped to this day.

Marilyn and I sail as a team and we have owned two Catalinas. The 30 we sailed from Boston to Maine and south to Connecticut/Long Island. We had good weather and bad - but mostly we had good times. We had talked about selling SOLUS a few times but never really made a decision. One of my students in a navigation class I was teaching expressed an interest in a boat around 30 feet long. I talked starry eyed about the adventures we had aboard SOLUS working our way through the fog before GPS and with a Loran Chain down, once again. I showed pictures of Northeast Harbor, Mount Desert Island one of the most beautiful places on the East Coast. We talked about how we had used a depth line to follow along the coast in New Hampshire because the fog was so thick I had missed the narrow entrance. The embarrassment was that I missed the entrance by 100 feet but traveled a mile along the coast until I found a marker so that I knew where I was!

Yes, it is true that I kissed the dock when we finally made it into a safe harbor.

In 1995, we purchased a new 42 MKII and named her RESOLVE. Marilyn came up with the name but I loved it the first time I heard it. As with most boat names the meaning behind the name may give some insight to the owners. Yup, think about that when that power boat goes by with a name that well……

For Marilyn and me, we had "resolved" a number of issues in our personal lives. One was that we had decided to not take a 3 year overseas assignment in Hong Kong. This was a hard choice for us since we love that city so much. Ah but much has changed since then. The other meaning is "Resolution," an optical term to judge the image quality of a lens system. My profession has been in optics so this just seemed to fit nicely. RESOLVE allowed us to stretch farther up into the Bay of Fundy and further south also. We were also making new adventures delivering boats up and down the East Coast. Over 100 boats later we have seen much of the coast but only 100 yards deep! It has given us an appreciation for the two Catalinas we have owned. Some of the boats we delivered were way more expensive but I wouldn't trust my life in most of them more than I would in my Catalinas.

So if there is a message here, it is stretch, look forward and don't be afraid to try something new. You never know what you will learn or how many new friends you can make unless you try. I know that watching reality shows on TV just doesn't seem the same to us anymore.


Commodore - Mike Vaccaro
Vice Commodore - John McElderry
Treasurer - Kim Wolkins
Secretary - Mike Davis

Mike Vaccaro - Commodore

I purchased a Catalina 30 (Frisky Business) in October of 2005. After joining the International Catalina 30 Association, I was referred to the Chesapeake Catalina Yacht Club by long time member, Max Munger.

Debbie's and my first experience with CCYC happened at the Christmas Party in December 2005 at the Van Tassell Landing. After a few minutes, we knew this was the group for us. The rest is history...

Our first on water event was the Icebreaker in 2006 at Harness Creek State Park. We purchased our Catalina 42 (Resolve) from club members Jon and Marilyn Van Tassell less than 2 years later. As was mentioned at the Christmas Party, 72 out of 84 events later, I turned over the Commodore's office to the very capable hands of John McElderry.

I was very honored to be the 30th Commodore and serve during the club's 30th anniversary year. CCYC has been so successful over the years because there is continuity in the leadership. Commodores, Vice Commodores and even Treasurers come and go but Mike Davis, Secretary, Membership Chairman, Webmaster, etc. and Sue Dennison, Historian are always there. They are the backbone of the organization. Always in the background making sure things go well.

I had 1 major objective going into the year; don't mess with success. If we continue to do events that the membership likes, the year will take care of itself. In addition, I hoped the club would grow and we could perhaps achieve enough interest to have a raft-up of club members to the North and one to the South on the same weekend.

Good food, good drink, and good friends are usually a recipe for a good party and I can't think of one event that didn't have all 3.

I look forward to sailing with the club for many years to come.


Commodore - John McElderry
Vice Commodore - Martha Bliss
Treasurer - Lisa Thuman
Secretary - Mike Davis


Commodore - Martha Bliss
Vice Commodore - Diane Benyus
Treasurer - Lisa Thuman
Secretary - Mike Davis


Commodore - Diane Benyus
Vice Commodore - Claire Miller
Treasurer - Lisa Thuman
Secretary - Mike Davis


The Club doesn't give all these awards every year. This is the Commodore's show. The person buying the trophies should ask the Commodore for suggestions, and let the Commodore know what pertinent information they have gathered during the year.

COMMODORE: 6" x 8" Plaque

COMMODORE PERPETUAL: Brass Plate (Engraved)

VICE COMMODORE: 4" x 6" Plaque

TREASURER: 6" x 8" Plaque (first year)*

WEB MASTER: 6" x 8" Plaque (first year)*

* If the Treasurer or Web Master serve more than one year, give a SMALL GIFT: (getting larger with each year) - These are our hardest jobs. Give only what we can afford.

WEB MASTER: Brass Plate (engraved) (Mike)

THANK YOU GIFTS or PLAQUES: Given for Interesting Happenings during the year - (Funny or Serious).

BUG EYE: Stormy or Scary, White Knuckle Trip.

SALTY DOG: Attended most raft ups of the year.

JACK TAR: Someone who has done some real dirty work on their boat.

DOCK BOX: Someone who did not get to sail most of the year.

OOPS: Sailor who made a gross or big mistake (Funny or Serious).

OLD SALT: Blue Water Sailing