Top honor for J/Boats Chesapeake


J/Boats Chesapeake has been named J/Boat Dealer of the Year, topping the list of 55 J/Boat dealers worldwide.

J/Boats Chesapeake is part of J/Port, an umbrella company on Eastern Avenue at Back Creek in Annapolis that handles new and brokerage J/Boat sales and includes J/Service, its in-house maintenance and repair division; J/Net, a nationwide listing service for J/Boats; J/World Performance Sailing School; and, J/Port Sailing Club, a time-share alternative to boat ownership.

Paul Mikulski, J/Port's corporate director, accepted the award at the annual J/Boats Dealer Meeting last weekend in Newport, R.I.

"You probably have to go back to our mission statement, which is to make sure our customers enjoy sailing," Mikulski said. "The comfort level for boat buyers is low-pressure, and the boats are easy to sail and fun to sail. The concept of education, rentals, sales and service all in one place seems to make sense to our customers, and the club concept makes it just a nice place to come to."

At the awards ceremony at Harbor Court, a famed Newport mansion that originally was home to clipper ship magnate Nicholas Brown and now the Newport headquarters for the New York Yacht Club, J/Boats Inc. president Jeff Johnstone said: "We honor dealer Paul Mikulski and his Annapolis organization as one of the most innovative dealerships in the country or the world. In just 2 1/2 years since J/Port opened its doors, Mikulski and his ideas have set a new standard for doing business it is never 'business as usual' in his shop."

For information on J/Por or to set up a test sail, call (410) 280-2038.

Racing to learn . . . and win

J/World Sailing School of Annapolis recently completed a winter of big-boat race training programs in Florida with an overall third-place finish in the S.O.R.C. out of Miami Beach.

Using the Frers-designed Beneteau 45 Liberte owned by Harry Stevens of Baltimore as the training platform, J/World's program trained participants in all aspects of big-boat racing using the Fort Lauderdale-to-Key West race, Jan. 11-14; Mount Gay/Yachting Race Week at Key West, Jan. 16-20; and the S.O.R.C., March 1-5, as individual events. Each program included multiple days of pre-regatta training, followed by competition in the event itself.

Conceived and organized by Jahn Tihansky, president of J/World in Annapolis, each program included having three experienced blue-water racing coaches aboard to split training duties between helm, cockpit, and foredeck. Students rotated through each position, including steering, trimming, grinding, and foredeck, getting plenty of racing experience.

Tihansky's program took third in class in the Fort Lauderdale-to-Key West race as well as a perpetual award as the top scoring Storm Trysail Club member. At Key West, they took fifth overall, and at the S.O.R.C. they finished third in class and fourth in fleet, including wins in three of the nine races.

Last call for winter seminars

Fawcett Boat Supplies on City Dock in Annapolis will finish its winter/spring seminar series as follows: Tuesday, "The Mechanics of Sailboat Hardware" with Dick Purdy of Schaefer; March 28, "Paints for Tops & Bottoms" with Bob Donat of Interlux; and April 4, "Bottom Paints & Varnishes" with Adna Mumford of Woolsey. All seminars begin at 6 p.m. at the store, are free and open to the public. For information, call (410) 267-8681, or 1-800-456-9151.

At West Marine, in the Bay Ridge Plaza at 111 Hillsmere Drive in Annapolis, the winter/spring seminar series wraps up with: Wednesday, "Covering Your Assets with Interlux" with Bob Donat, 7 p.m.; Donat also will be on hand at 9 a.m. Saturday to answer questions on Interlux products. The series of free seminars ends April 5 at 7 p.m., with "Your Boat and the Bay: Baywise Boat Maintenance and Operations" with Tom Wood, member and volunteer of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

On March 31 at 7 p.m. at the store, Chuck Hawley will offer "Demystifying Marine Electrical Systems" on the frequently misunderstood subject of marine electronics.

Admission is $5. For information on West's series, call (410) 268-0129.

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