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MITNA Elections & General Body Meeting

Thu 15-Oct-200917:30-19:30


at the Pavilion's Shore School

The Fall 2009 General Body Meeting is very important for MITNA, as it includes elections of all the officers of MITNA Exec. It is essential that we have at least 20 MITNA members present in order to conduct the meeting, so we offer as bribe pizza during the meeting.

The agenda for the Meeting is as follows:

  1. Elections - nominations open
    • Commodore (must be current student)
    • Vice-Commodore (must be current student)
    • Treasurer (must be current student)
    • Secretary (must be current student)
    • Race Committee Chair
    • Up to 5 Members-at-Large
  2. Rating System Update Proposal
  3. Year in review
    1. Sailing Master Update
    2. Commodore's Report
    3. Learn-to-Sail Program
    4. Bluewater Nevermore
    5. Windsurfing
    6. Other classes (Intro to Laser, Rhodes 19, Lynx Catboat)
    7. Racing Program
  4. Open Floor


1. Elections

The positions were explained in general.

  • Commodore: Stefanie Telex (via Jillian), Tom Rose, Jeff Dusek
    • TOM ROSE (16), Jeff (5), Stef (1)
  • Vice Commodore: Jeff Dusek, Mai Luo
    •  JEFF DUSEK (22), Mail Luo (2)
  • Secretary: Josh Gordonson
    •  JOSH GORDONSON (white ballot)
  • Treasurer: Mai Luo
    •  MAI LUO (white ballot) - to be confirmed via e-mail (alvarso will do)
  • Race Comm Chair: John Pratt
    •  JOHN PRATT (white ballot)
  • MALs
    •  Matthew Wall, Stephanie Muto, Keith Winstein, Paresh Malalur, Matt Pagan
    • Declines: Eric Gibber, Alvar Saenz-Otero

2. Ratings

 Questions: Learn-to-sail rating -- answer, taken out, now we want to have:

Tech Provisional / Tech Advanced
Laser Provisional / Laser Advanced

The Tech Prov remains the same as before, it is the door that opens up to everything else (except maybe windsurfing).

Make the "training" materials be such that they not only say what needs to be learned, but how you learn that by doing "every day" sailing things (ie, use the laser and you can get hte laser rating; versus the old crew where you never got to practice the material with any useful thing)...

Try to do incremental changing as new boats come in.

One issue of current system is that people don't know about what the rating systems is about. An option is to send out in the MITNA newletters "congratulations to XYZ for getting the ABC rating". Need to be careful not to increase the number of MITNA e-mails sent out.

Everyone agrees the Crew rating has to be updated for something to do with being Crew in Bluewater, or otherwise... we might need a "harbor trip crew" and a separate "bluewater crew", but MITNA Exec will determine exactly.

What happens with old ratings? In general old ratings are new "Helmsmann" ratings, so people who had older ratings will keep them as new <boat> Helmsmann.

No objections to continue with the project, so <alvarso> will sent out a master plan and start to recruit people.

3. Year in Review

1) Sailing Master Update

Thank you to all the volunteers; MITNA is what keeps the program going, and across the country there is nothing like MIT's. Big thanks!

Charging forward on the "Fleet rejuvenation" and entering into the phase of floating docks.

The new 420's arrived. The old ones died because of the low water levels (passed pictures of broken boats because of this), so the floating docks will be very importnat to get about twice the life of our boats. It will also make it more friendly for newcomers to take boats out. It will float at two different heights: sailing season & winter. Will have bladders to change the levels. It will be really easy to take them out. But all boats will need to be on a bunker. A prototype is now in the East end of the dock. All agencies that need to approve this are onboard (23 agencies, state, federal, MIT, etc). MIT is trying to contact everyone ahead of time to give comments early, before the formal approval process starts -- by the time we get to public comment we should have something people want. Its probably the least expensive of MIT's capital projects, but it could be a huge PR issue. MIT will not start construction until we have raised all the funds, so the plan is to have the money by the end of the 2010 season, and order them so that they are in place for the 2011 season. Trying to NOT have ramps, but that will depend on the water level. The docks are mostly attached by big "rubber bands"; the end floating docks can be cut and set off as moorings if there is a huricane. Being done by "Techno Marine" (HQ in Philadelphia, Miami, produced in Canada).

Fleet renovation: all 6 Lynx Catboats will be in place by the spring; all R19's will be taken away after the last Moon Light Sail.

Starting design of the next general Tech Dinghy, by graduates of MIT (several course 13), who have worked on Americas Cup boats. The 6th generation will be modern but retain the beauty of the original 1936 boats --- it will always be the Tech Dinghy! The 6th generation will come in after the floating docks are done.

Next will be a set of FireFly boats (18), for two-people sailing.

The sailing teams are doing well, both ranked on the top 20. This year 3 sailors got into the All Academic All American team.

2) Commodore

Commodore was absent, VC had nothing to report.

3) Learn to Sail

Had classes May to August. There were no classes in September, so may want to think about that for next year.

Q: Where do we send people who already know how to sail but need to know about the Tech Dinghy / Pavilion? A: the Wed #1 class is good.

Good number of people at all classes; both Wed & Sun classes picking up in numbers.

We did not have a Wed series in Sep because the last weekend of Sun we had over 250 students!

Had 17 Sun classes, had a lot of people (more than previous years), but also a lot of volunteers! Some classes were 28 people, other up to 155. If anyone wants to volunteer, please do! You can e-mail to volunteer. Total number was about 1200. Most graduate students (they normally don't take the PE classes, while undergrads do). This year we had many lecturers (Keith, Grem, Bashar, Eric; Karen was around every single week, Steph only missed one week!). The dock staff was incredibly good this year helping out Sunday LTS. Passed around statics of who attended, etc.

4) Blue water - still in the water until late Oct; tell people who might be interested.

Had 35 trips this season, as of early Sep; 220 crew sign-ups, about 150 different people. 3 skippers doing the trips. Have a few new skippers! Working on the "Skipper Certification System" for 3 levels: OK to sail day only, day night, and outside the harbor (except Ireland). Undergrads mostly during the school year, but definitely many (Matt: about half his trips during school year were undergrad).

It used to be leaking a lot, and now its way better. It still leaks a little bit, but it definitely does not sig. Sails and rig are pretty good. Still has no cushions, but by next year overnight trips will be good. Todo: autopilot, radar, fix depth sensor, no speedometer, GPS does work.

Interested in figuring out how to do "crew training" at the Pavilion, so people don't first learn everything about it there.

5) Windsurfing update - last year things started late in the season, so there were only 2 Intro-to-WS, this year there were classes every month, with some months two classes; every class was over-subscribed (had limit of 8 people, but 9-12 showed up). Lot of enthusiasm seen.

The Pavilion got 3 new nice racing rigs, they are great.

The mailing list is growing. Lots of volunteers have helped with classes (Paresh organizes, multiple others help teach all the time - Hunter, Pete, Matthew, and more) and to organize the equipment (Hunter helped color-code everything). Now considering storage options; have some preliminary design and evaluating what will fit without interfering with the Sailing Team equipment.

6) Intro to X

- Had four laser classes, all over subscribed!

- Had the last set of R19 classes

- Had two Intro to Lynx catboat classes, about 2 hours each, showed reefing, leaving the mooring, and landing with a fender.

7) Racing Program

Had 4 racing programs: Monday SP, Tuesday "advanced" in Summer, Thursday "open" in Summer, Monday FA

- 169 people sailed into at least one of the nights

- All but one night was "sold out" (all available boats were used)

There were also informal Wed night team racing, but boats were damanged, so in the future might need more supervision.

Monday night "Learn to Race" was taught by Matt L, and did a lot to help Thursday night fill up.

4. Open Floor

1) New Commodore Comments

- Having contact info of active people (ie, those who showed up to GBM) would be great (he setup his laptop to get the information if people want to come)

- What are the "essential" things that need to happen:

  • Learn to Sail
  • Lobby 10 "publicity" the week immediately after spring break; need 4 or 5 people to take a Tech Dinghy up to Lobby 10.

Rating System Update Proposal

by Alvar Saenz-Otero, reviewed at the MITNA Exec Meeting on 2009-09-24

This proposal is under review by the general MITNA membership, everyone is welcome to send comments to MITNA Exec about the proposal. We look forward to make a decision on accepting all, part, or none of the proposal at the General Body Meeting.

Summary: create "basic" and "advanced" ratings for all of our types of boats, keeping "as is" only those ratings that are unique. "Basic" ratings means you have been taught how to setup a boat and have basic sailing skills in that boat. "Advanced" means that you really know how to sail that boat in any conditions.

Reasoning: in the past the staff was constant and got to know a lot of the members (of which there were less and usually more active). Today there is a lot of staff rotation (not a bad thing, just a fact), and we have a lot of members, many of which just want to do rec sailing without getting very in depth on sailing (again, just stating a fact). Therefore, we need a rating system that quickly lets a staff member know what a person's skills are.

Further, since we are now teaching a lot of classes, it is easily possible for people to get the new 'basic' ratings, either from a class we teach or from a staff member when they're not busy. Plus, Sailing Master Fran Charles has suggested that Open CourseWare videos might be sufficient for a member to learn the "basic" rigging and handling of a boat, which they could quickly demonstrate to a staff member. In this way we hope that having "basic" ratings will not stop people from trying a new boat, but will allow staff and volunteers to quickly tell if someone knows how to use the Pavilion's fleet.


  1. Oct 2009: Proposal reviewed by online comments and at the Fall 2009 GBM.
  2. Oct 09 - Mar 10: Members assigned, at the GBM, to fully specify the requirements and create instructional material for all the ratings (a huge improvement over what we have today!) These members will have the opportunity to fully define what "basic" and "advanced" requirements are for individual types of boats (likely there will be small committees from the main groups, like Laser, Windsurfing, etc). The guides these members create will be the basis for getting the rating.
  3. Apr 10: The new rating system is deployed on opening day April 1, 2010.

NOTE: no changes take place until April 2010!

Full Proposal:

I propose that we have the following ratings:

  • Swim: stays the same, means nobody has taught anyone anything, still allows to take out the Tech Dinghy, but people will know that this person has not been taught at all. Because the member has signed the swim agreement and a card has been issued, the swim agreement will be automatically assigned to any new card.
  • LTS: a rating that says this person took the Learn-to-Sail MITNA class (either all-in-one Sunday, completed the Wed Lesson 3, or was a previous sailor who took Wed 1 to learn about the Pavilion).
  • Provisional: the existing test, showing full ability to rig and de-rig the boat, control of the boat in normal wind conditions, and knows the rules of the road and general safety standards. This rating means we trust these people in general conditions with the Tech Dinghy, but the rating does not automatically let people take out other boats.
  • Helmsman: this test remains the "top of the crop", it is not only about mastering the Tech Dinghy, but about demonstrating exceptional sailing skills. By obtaining a Helmsman rating the person shows they are capable of handling many types of boats, and if a new boat arrives, that they could demonstrate "basic" skills for that boat without prior classes --- or that they are smart enough to join the classes. This rating tells us the person is trustworthy to handle any boat in the fleet, because they will make the right decisions and ask for help when needed.
  • Lynx Basic: took the Intro to Lynx class, were given instructions by staff on the Lynx, or watched the OCW video (which has been confirmed by a quick demonstration to the staff). Therefore we trust that in normal wind they can rig/unrig/dock/go to mooring. It should be easy to get, but people must have ahead of time gone to a class or found time when the staff (or volunteers on the dock) can teach them an intro to the Lynx.
  • Lynx Advanced: the equivalent of an R19 full test. After this, we trust the people to sail the Rhodes in any condition. This rating will be required (together with the Crew, see below) to be skippers in harbor trips.
  • Crew: updated (as per Melitta's suggestion) to demonstrate skills relevant to our fleet today. Specifically, to have the ability to be a productive crew member knowing the most important knots, the terminology of important parts of the boat (update to only be most important and relevant knots and terminology), and show basic understanding of wind conditions, navigation, and marine safety. The Crew rating will be required, in addition to the Lynx Advanced, in order to skipper a harbor trip.
  • Laser Basic: same for Lynx basic, but for Lasers.
  • Laser Advanced: same as the current Laser rating: demonstrate full control of the boat in planing conditions, including proper trim for different wind conditions, use of the boom vang, etc.
  • Hobie Basic: demonstrate basic rigging skills to sail the boat accompanied by a member with a Hobie Advanced rating (proposed by Matt Wall).
  • Hobie Advanced: demonstrate ability to sail the boat to be the captain of the boat (proposed by Matt Wall).
  • Board Sailing Basic: knows how to rig the sail, including the location of all the elements; knows how to de-rig; understands sail size; does not have to be tied to the dock.
  • Board Sailing Advanced: demonstrate proficiency to sail in any direction, tack, and jibe; can sail in winds of 12knots+. Advanced sailors have the opportunity to make trips to the harbor and/or the coast for Ocean board sailing.
  • Bluewater Crew: people members of the bluewater volunteer team who are not captains but are trusted to know what they're doing in the boat; shows a difference between people who just show up to a day trip, and those who show up constantly to help out.
  • Bluewater Skipper Basic: a member who can skipper the boat (and therefore plan trips), but is limited to daylight (single day) trips. It means they have the required license.
  • Bluewater Skipper Advanced: a skipper with enough experience to sail any time (day or night, overnight trips, etc).
  • Sailing Team: same, means there were in the team at least for a semester.
  • Spinnaker: deprecate (at least until we get the K6 or other boat like that, in which case we can add it again).

Open Questions

  • Is the wording "basic/advanced" the one we want to use?
  • New ratings will have to be created as the fleets change (e.g., when the Fire Fly's arrive).
  • What about other "advanced" boats (e.g, V15) for which we only have one?
  • What about using FJ's or 420's (Sailing Team), which currently Helmsman can do (with permission)?


Questions about this event should be directed to the organizer(s): MITNA Exec

Updated: 2014/05/04 19:06:46
Updated: 2014/05/04 19:06:46