Category Archives: News

2019 PSGBOA Event Spotlight: Theme Night with Potluck

Grand Banks THeme Night Potluck with 1960s girl and food spread.

A big thank you to S3 Maritime for their sponsorship of this year’s Friday night festivities, “A Groovy Grand Banks Rendezvous: Celebrating the 1960s”! We will have a potluck, games and a DJ spinning all the best tunes from the 1960s!

We’re asking Rendezvous attendees to bring a dish to share, based on the first letter of your boat name: Dessert (A-C); Side Dish (D-M) and Main Dish (N-Z). Side and dessert, please bring enough to feed approx 10-12 people. Main Dish, please bring enough for about 8 people. If possible, include a printed list of key ingredients!

2019 PSGBOA Rendezvous Event Spotlight: Sea Stories Award

Have you participated in a rescue at sea with your Grand Banks, or do you know someone who has? This year at the PSGBOA Grand Banks Rendezvous, we are offering a Sea Stories award to a GB crew that has assisted in a rescue. Submit your nominations to rendezvous @ psgbowners dot org.

Whit Newton, Co-Founder of American Marine, Passes Away

Pictured left to right: Joseph Kong, Whit Newton and Tony Fleming

Puget Sound Grand Banks Owners Association is sad to share the news that Whit Newton, co-founder of American Marine, has passed away. The following was shared with us from Shing Kong:

“Whit Newton, together with his father Robert and brother John, founded American Marine in the late 1950s and introduced one of the most successful brand of boats, the Grand Banks, to the world. While this fact by itself is impressive, it really does not do justice in describing the impact Whit had on the boating industry and more importantly, the positive impact Whit made in the lives of many people.

As the co-founder of Armerican Marine, Whit also employed and mentored many people who later made a significant impact on the boating industry. In the attached picture where Whit was sitting in the middle, Joseph Kong on the left later started Kong & Halvorsen that built the Island Gypsy. Tony Fleming on the right was later the founder of Fleming Yachts. Therefore, not only every Grand Banks owner should thank Whit for the Grand Banks, every Island Gypsy and Fleming owner should also appreciate how their boats can trace their heritage back to Whit.

At the beginning of American Marine, John and Whit, together with their young families, shared a large 100-year old farmhouse in the village near the Hong Kong boat yard. John and his family lived in the back. Whit and his family lived in the front. The entire extended family lived under one roof, just how the Chinese lived back then. No wonder the Chinese workers loved them.

Whit genuinely cared about his workers. Here is a story not many people know. When American Marine went bankrupt and had to close down the Junk Bay boatyard and layoff all the workers in 1975, Whit, who was on the verge of being forced out of the company he co-founded and loved, used his personal money to help pay for the severance for all the workers. As a public owned corporation Whit had no obligation to those workers. But as a gentleman, he felt that those workers had been loyal to the company, it was the right thing to do. How many CEOs would do anything like this? No wonder there are still people in Hong Kong, who once worked for American Marine more than 40 years ago, still remember and talk about Whit fondly and kindly.

In recent years, Whit and his wife Marcia owned a 1974 Grand Banks 42 and loved to cruise the San Francisco Bay with his family and friends. I guess you can take the Netwons out of Grand Banks the company but you cannot take Grand Banks out of the Newtons. As Whit captained the boat he created with sea wind touching his face, only God know the joy Whit must feel when he shared the sea with his grand kids who were not born when he first left for the far east to start his epic adventure. For Whit, his wonderful life came to an peaceful end last month. For those whose lives have been touched by this wonderful man, his creation lives on, his legacy endures, and the memory of him will remain with us forever.”

2019 PSGBOA Rendezvous Event Spotlight: Bilge Sale

We’ll be highlighting some of the events at this year’s Rendezvous here on the PSGBOA website! First up, the Stem to Stern Bilge Sale, on Friday May 10th from 2pm-4pm. Sellers can display their items available for selling, swapping or giving away. Have large items you don’t want to bring? Take a photo and display it with your contact info! This is a great opportunity to unload some of the “boat stuff” that is clogging up YOUR lazarette, garage, etc 🙂 And maybe pick up something ‘new’!

2019 Grand Banks Rendezvous – Registration NOW OPEN

Join us at the 2019 Grand Banks Rendezvous in Roche Harbor!

Registration is now OFFICIALLY open – Click Here to Register!

It’s time to escape the everyday grind and find your rhythm somewhere special!  A Groovy Grand Banks Rendezvous is all about having fun in a relaxed atmosphere.  Think wine tasting, dancing on the docks, amazing food, and great friends!  Don flowers, beads, and break out those retro clothes – bell bottoms, miniskirts, leisure suits and Birkenstocks – to let loose, dance and get your groove on as we celebrate the 1960s at Roche Harbor Resort and Marina from May 8th-12th.

Registration fees are $250 per boat ($230 for early bird rates!) with up to two people onboard (additional fees apply for extra people and kids – see the registration form for details.)  We’ve got a terrific program lined up with something for just about everyone!

  • 10 seminars over three days, discussing various topics on weather, life safety, navigation, provisioning, customs, boat systems, and much, much more!
  • Docktails on Wednesday evening to welcome new members and gather our GB community together
  • Vessel and fire extinguisher inspections
  • Morning coffee and donuts
  • Games and kids events
  • Wine tasting
  • A sponsor faire and boat visits by sponsors
  • A stem to stern bilge sale (more to come on this!)
  • “Get Your Groove On” at a 1960s theme night potluck and dance
  • Tour of the Lime Kiln Lighthouse – best whale watching spot in the Puget Sound!
  • Saturday night Grand Dinner in the Pavilion with appetizers, dinner, dessert and drinks!
  • And more!

Additional Activities (not included in Registration Fee):
This year, four Women on Water (WOW) sessions are being offered. Women learn to pilot a vessel in a stress-free environment under the tutelage of an experienced captain. WOW training registrations are pre-paid ($20) and assigned, and WOW fees are non-refundable. All fees collected are donated to the Whale Museum in Friday Harbor.

“Entertaining from Your Galley” is the theme of Chef Shaw’s four-course Cooking Demo and Wine Pairing, presented by Roche Harbor’s Executive Chef Bill Shaw. Tickets are limited to 75 individuals, and are pre-sold at $55.00/ticket.

CLICK HERE FOR OUR ONLINE REGISTRATION FORM
Register today for the best rates!  To sign up, just fill out the on-line registration form and pay via check or credit card/PayPal.  You’ll receive a copy of your registration form, as well as additional details regarding payment. Please contact us if you do NOT receive an automatic confirmation email (and check your junk/spam filter first).
REGISTRATION CLOSES ON APRIL 22ND!

PSGBOA 2019 Grand Banks Rendezvous

May 8-12th at Roche Harbor Resort and Marina on San Juan Island

Join the PSGBOA for the annual Grand Banks rendezvous, May 8-12 at Roche Harbor Resort and Marina! This year’s theme is “A Groovy Grand Banks Rendezvous” – as we celebrate the 1960s (so grab your bell bottoms and start working on that shag hairstyle)!

We have a wonderful slate of seminars, social events and activities planned. Here’s a sneak peek:

  • Fantastic seminars, including weather, life sling usage, celestial navigation, Grand Banks history, “Confessions of a Galley Girl” and MUCH more!
  • Vessel inspections and fire extinguisher inspections
  • Wine, Cheese & Charcuterie night
  • Groovy 1960s Theme night with a DJ and games
  • Round-table break out groups
  • Sponsor fair with a chance to meet one on one with our Sponsors
  • Women on the Water courses
  • Grand Dinner
  • Much more!

Registration will open in early February! Keep an eye on your inbox, our Facebook page, and of course, the PSGBOA website!

Brian Pemberton at the PSGBOA Grand Banks Rendezvous

Past PSGBOA President and Founder of NW Explorations Brian Pemberton Retires

Past President of PSGBOA, Brian Pemberton, is retiring from NW Explorations after 14 years of ownership. Brian is a foundational member of the Puget Sound Grand Banks Owners Association and provided his services as both President and Rendezvous Chair over the years. We thank Brian for his years of invaluable service to the organization and the Grand Banks cruising community at large!

From NW Explorations:

Yachting legend retires from the Pacific Northwest Cruising scene  

Brian Pemberton, founder of NW Explorations and 74 year-old legend in the yachting community, is retiring.  

Pemberton’s iconic status comes from many things: 50 years of maritime experience with an accident free record, pushing boundaries including voyaging along the outer rim of Vancouver Island, exploring further north than Dutch Harbor, and never missing a guest pick up. It is this kind of infallible reputation that has helped continued to propel NW Explorations’ reputation forward.  And, perhaps one of his most famous initiatives was creating a way for boaters of all ages and abilities to explore the Pacific Northwest by flotilla.  

Pemberton purchased the company (then called Grand Yachts Northwest) in 2004 and created the concept of offering charters to sail as a flotilla in “Mother Goose” style, to destinations like Glacier Bay, Ketchikan, and other coastal destinations. And although Pemberton passed the helm over to new owners Ross and Evelyn Tennant in October 2017, the company remains the Pacific Northwest’s only full-service, premier yachting company leading adventuresome mariners through relatively untouched BC and Alaska coastline.  

Pemberton describes the experience of witnessing huge calving glaciers creating cannon-like blasts when the whole face fell off an iceberg in Prince William Sound. The waves caused the boat to rock. “We couldn’t believe we had just witnessed something so monumental it was the experience of a lifetime for all of us.”  

Voyages undertaken by NW Explorations range from Ketchikan to the Gulf of Alaska, San Juan Islands, Desolation Sound, Gulf Islands, Victoria and Pemberton’s favorite trip: “Voyaging up along the outside of Vancouver Island. There are very few boats there and it’s more remote, more adventuresome and very welcoming when we pull into small marinas,” he says. â€œWe’ve made friends over the years – marina owners, first nations villagers along the way, and it’s always good to reconnect. It’s all about the people.” 

In NW Explorations’ early days, the lead boat, a 49-foot Grand Banks yacht called Deception, had less than 2,000 hours cruising time on it. Now there are 16,000 additional hours logged on the vessel. “My blood runs through that boat,” laughs Pemberton.  

Over the years, under Pemberton’s passionate leadership, NW Explorations has grown by providing yacht brokerage, private charters, servicing and maintenance, as well as a variety of powerboat training courses, including women-only courses.  An original team of six who started out with the company has expanded to 30 full-time employees and swells up to 50 for the busy summer months.  Specializing in high-quality Grand Banks boats has honed the team’s talent and expertise in maintaining NW Explorations’ fleet to the highest standards.  
 
Pemberton also explains how he has worked diligently to keep the company on course to its original 3-pillar philosophy:  having respect for the individual (clients, employees, fellow mariners); maintaining the pursuit of excellence; and doing the right thing by obeying all laws and regulations. New owner, Tennant embodies those same characteristics and it’s why Pemberton agreed to sell the company. 
 
Now, with the Tennant’s at the helm, Pemberton has more occasion and time to ride his Harley, hit the gym and live life as he always has: with his vision turned toward the horizon. 
 
“I am a fan of the Great Wizard Gandolph,” says Pemberton. â€œHe had a great piece of advice: ‘The only thing we have to do in life is decide what to do with the time we’re given.’ Those who choose to cruise with us – we have a special obligation to make their time worthwhile. I want them to say at the end of it:  I chose well.”