Your first priority when sailing in a race should be, of course, to have fun. But let’s face it, a race is all the more enjoyable when you enter knowing your boat is fine-tuned to win. At Arey’s Pond Boat Yard, we do our very best to rig your boat carefully and efficiently so she maintains peak performance. But, a truly fast cat is tweaked and tuned while underway. Think of the discussion that takes place between boat and sailor: Your boat will tell you when you’re over sheeted, whether you’re stuck in an opposing current, if you should peak up a little or if you’d be better off with a reef. As skippers, we listen to our boats and make adjustments accordingly.

Our head rigger, Matt Dooley, has spent the better part of his life in small boats and has seen much success throughout his time racing. He was a Mass Bay League champion in high school and had a very impressive record while a member of the Cohasset Sailing Club race team. More recently, he’s taken his talents to Pleasant Bay.

In Matt’s short but productive time at Arey’s Pond Boat Yard, he’s observed the effects of age on our catboats: sails stretch, wood swells, varnish builds, and parts wear. These natural and uncontrollable occurrences result in slower boats and more challenging rigging. Matt’s experience, attention to detail, and love of sailing makes him the ideal candidate to take on the task of fine-tuning your boat so she performs up to the standards she is coveted for.

For those of you who are trying to compete, or wish to try, these tweaks could make all the difference. Matt has already worked with a few of our customers to perfect and improve the performance of their cat by making subtle adjustments to the rigging. The results have been noticeable. Because of this success, we want to officially offer this as a service to our customers. We believe that optimizing the competitive nature of our cats will bring out the best sailors in all of us.

As soon as things at the pond start to relax (usually after the July Fourth weekend), Matt will begin scheduling time to accommodate those interested in race tuning. If you opt for the service, Matt will take your boat for a sail in search of that useful discussion. The initial rundown service, a consultation of sorts, will cost a flat rate of $125.00. Once potential adjustments are determined, they will be presented to the customer for approval. Any work approved by the customer will be charged at our normal hourly rate plus materials.

These test runs are not to be looked at as a private sailing lesson as it is best for Matt to single-handedly sail the boat to lessen the amount of variables in play. Private lessons will still be run by our sailing school instructors.

We are very excited to announce this new service and hope it is something you will find to be rewarding, literally! We look forward to seeing everyone out on the water this season, whether for a leisurely evening sail or a weekend regatta. We at Arey’s Pond Boat Yard will continue to do whatever we can to improve your sailing experience and encourage your love for both your boat and the bay that carries it.

Wishing you fair winds,

Julian Davis, Service Manager & Director of Operations

Matt Dooley, Head Rigger