As we announced in December the Puget Sound Grand Banks Owners Association is planning not one, but two events for the upcoming season!
Our first ever Grand Banks Shake Down cruise is scheduled for 5-9 May 2021 and our annual Rendezvous 15-19 September 2021.
We are hoping that by September we can have the largest rendezvous we have ever had and the new Shake Down event will be a great way to start the boating season and see our friends after a two-year hiatus.
The Shake Down event is expected to be a no host event with no charges other than moorage. Roche Harbor has agreed to offer Wednesday the 5th as a free day for those spending the weekend.
The September Rendezvous planning is well underway with a few new wrinkles and promises to be an event you will not want to miss.
In order to plan these events, we would like an estimate of the number of boats we can expect for each event, so if you could please respond to this survey, it would be greatly appreciated.
Season’s Greetings from PSGBOA and a Big Announcement!!
I hope this Holiday Season finds you healthy and anxious to get 2020 behind us. PSGBOA has been busy planning events to allow us to gather again. Traditionally, the annual Rendezvous has been held Mothers’ Day weekend in Roche Harbor. In 2020 we, along with 51 other groups, had to cancel our Roche Harbor events. In 2021 if we committed to holding our regular rendezvous in May, it’s unlikely we could hold educational seminars and group social events. Instead, Roche has offered to host our group from 15 September thru 19 September when COVID-19 restrictions are (hopefully) lessened and we can plan the party we want. So, the 2021 PSGBOA Annual Rendezvous will be held in Roche from the 15th of September thru the 19th of September.
But wait, there is more! In 2021 we will be hosting the first PSGBOA Shakedown Cruise in Roche Harbor over Mother’s Day weekend, May 5 thru 9. We suspect we’ll be unable to hold organized group events, but we can certainly bring our boats together, socialize responsibly, and reconnect after a two-year hiatus.
More information about these events will be available on the PSGBOA website and Facebook pages in the coming months, but we wanted to get the word out early so you can plan your boating season. 2021 Rendezvous Chairs J.J. and Kathy Jones as well as the Rendezvous Committee have been actively meeting to develop programs and outings that will make the 2021 boating year worth remembering.
Also, there are many new GB owners who may not be on our mailing list. If there is a GB boat owner in your marina that has not been to the Rendezvous, please reach out and invite them. They can join by simply filling out the form on our website. And remember, we are always soliciting volunteers to help with planning!
We hope that you have been able to do some cruising on your Grand Banks in the Puget Sound somewhere this summer. And we know that a lot of you were out there because we saw lot’s and lot’s of Grand Banks!
As part of trying to foster communication directly between members of our Group, we have now setup a new Facebook Group where members can post and interact directly with other members. We are encouraging all of our members who are on Facebook to join the group and to encourage any one you know who has a GB, or is just interested in a GB to join as well.
We know there are many of our members who are not on Facebook and we wish we had another solution for you. With our limited volunteer resources, this is just the easiest, lowest impact solution for now. We will of course continue to post PSGBOA updates on the PSGBOA website and via email.
This year especially, there are many new GB owners out there who are eager to learn from the seasoned(?) owners here in this group. While there are other GB specific Facebook groups around, we want to have one that is specific to this cruising area. Join the Facebook Group to chat with fellow GB owners about boat tips, source boat items, share GB boats for sale, and more. So if you are able, join up and help a sister ship.
FYI Our old PSGBOA Facebook “Page”, which has just our own posts, will eventually be deactivated, and we will transition to using only the new Facebook “Group”.
Our Rendezvous committee has met recently and plans are already in the works for next May. You should hear more about it before too long.
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.”