A chat with Sail Newport’s Brad Read

photo by Billy Black

photo by Billy Black

Sail Newport Purchases a New USWatercraft Fleet of J/22s!

Today, I had the fortunate chance to speak with Brad Read, the Executive Director of Sail Newport, regarding the new J/22 fleet purchase built by USWatercraft, due to arrive by spring of 2013.  Sail Newport is a non-profit community sailing center located in beautiful Newport, RI.  Founded in 1983, this center is New England’s largest public sailing center.

SA:  What made Sail Newport decide to use the J/22s for their sailing program?

BR: We find that the J/22 is the perfect sailing vehicle to teach day sailing and racing to both children and adults.  This boat is ideal to showcase the Narragansett Bay to our visitors each summer.

SA:  How long has SN been using the J/22 as the boat of choice?

BR:  We started using the J/22s in the early 90’s.  Our current fleet is also a USWatercraft fleet of 12 boats which were new in 2003.  It has always been our intent to flip the fleet every decade.  Our current fleet has been well maintained and recently sold to Sail Maine for their program out of Portland, Maine.

SA:  How did Sail Newport come to purchase 14 boats to replace their current 12 J/22s?

BR:  Well, Randy Borges, aware of the intended turnover of the fleet came to us with a program that has a heavy focus for colleges and community sailing programs, so we struck a deal for 14 new USWatercraft boats.  The truth is Sail Newport is always at capacity at rental times.  The boats are always over-booked between our different events and programs.  Sometimes we have women’s teams using seven or eight boats, so we use the remaining four for lessons.  Other times, we host corporate outings, in which we develop a rotation, and come next spring, we will be able to have more people out on the water at once.

SA:  Did you consider another one-design boat to replace this fleet before deciding on the J/22?

BR:  Yes, in previous years, we have looked at different boats, but it is about the story of the boat.  The J/22 is quick and maneuverable, but not too fast for beginners.  This boat is easy to maintain, and is institutionally adequate.

SA:  Is there anything you would like to add about this new fleet purchase?

BR:  It is crucial for Sail Newport, as well as myself, that the boats we selected were made and produced in Rhode Island.  As a community sailing center, we wanted to keep it about the sailing community.   USWatercraft is a local leader in the boat building industry, and we felt it was the best way to showcase Rhode Island in the marine trade by making sure everything was kept in-state.

I would like to personally thank Brad for taking the time out of his day to speak with me and to express on behalf of USWatercraft, that we look forward to this continued relationship with Sail Newport.  In a continued effort to assist this sailing center, and the community benefits of sailing, Waterline Systems (sister company to USW), will be maintaining the boats and performing any service work needed to keep this fleet in top condition.

-Sarah Angell, Marketing Manager of USWatercraft LLC


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