Floating Classroom Research Vessel Launches

The Floating Classroom Certification Crew: Ali Hogue, PBCB Marine Science Director, Captain Dick Hosmer at the helm, Tom Dempsey, Dempsey Marine Electronics, LT. Aaron Vanhuysen, OCMI, and Sven Kirshner, Torqeedo tech.

After nearly three years, The Friend has passed all her USCG tests with one more to go. We’ll be finished on Thursday! The first ever ALL ELECTRIC USCG Certified vessel in the US!

A big thanks to The Friends of Pleasant Bay for funding this research vessel, and to our Suzanne Leahy for leading the certification process.


Dock Project Progress

Our pier construction is now complete thanks to Beacon Marine Construction!

Next steps for the project include:

  • Hardscape starts Saturday 5/8
  • Gangway & Floats arrive Monday 5/10
  • Landscaping & fencing week of 5/17
  • Paving starts the week of 5/24

A big thanks to our generous donors who saw the value in this project and committed to it.  This pier will be the bridge to many new adventures on the Bay for our community.


PBCB introduces US Sailing Skill Up

NEW this year:  A more concrete way to track your child’s skill progression

US Sailing – “Skill Up” App


Starting the summer 0f 2021 PBCB will be enrolling approximately 110 students into the US Sailing “Skill Up” digital platform for instruction. With a mobile app for our instructors and students, and a website dashboard for our directors and leaders, Skill Up provides a paperless, touch-free connection for everyone at PBCB.


The Skill Up App brings US Sailing’s instructional resources to the fingertips of our instructors and students. Built to support US Sailing’s skill development curriculum, the Skill Up App provides US Sailing members with access to skill tracking, instructional videos, and teaching resources.


The new Skill Up Dashboard website gives program leaders a powerful administrative tool. PBCB’s Skill Up Dashboard connects to our instructors and students via the app.  This will give us the ability to organize and manage classes, send push notifications, and record important information such as student attendance, learning progress, and level of skill.

Skill Up App features

  • Skill Tracking – As students learn different onshore and skills our instructors will record their new skills in the app. The student’s skill progress is saved by US Sailing, and accessible to students and parents through the app. When a student changes classes or starts at a new organization, their skill progress automatically stays with them.
  • Instructional Resources – Our PBCB instructors will have access to a library of drills, games, activities, sample lesson plans, and a lesson builder tool.
  • Attendance – Instructors will be able record attendance on the app. No more paper attendance sheets!

Skill Up Dashboard features

  • The dashboard will connect program leaders to the learning environment in a new way, helping us manage students and staff more efficiently,
  • It will also allow us to create “sessions” and “classes” to fit our program structure, and view skill progress and attendance for each class.
  • Send push notifications and bulk emails to students and/or instructors, allowing for quick, direct communication.

The goal of the “Skill Up” model is to promote lifelong sailing in a variety of sailing disciplines, from first time sailors to experienced racers, and provide a skill development path for every participant


US Sailing recommends that sailors have the opportunity to try different boat types and sailing disciplines. By gaining experience and building confidence in a variety of watercraft, young sailors are better prepared to take advantage of new sailing opportunities in the future.

Catboat Program News

Speaker Series coming to PBCB


PBCB is pleased to host the first ever Catboat Speaker Series this spring featuring four fabulous guests, introduced below.  As you read their bios, please think of a question (or two or ten) that you have for them and submit to Suzanne at sleahy@gmail.com.  Topics include history, boat building and weather, so get excited and curious, and join the conversation.

These talks will be offered over zoom for everyone’s convenience for the time being.  Dates TBD.  Thanks to Suzanne Leahy for organizing!

  • Cape Cod Catboats with Stan Grayson, author.

Stan is widely known for his books and articles about American yachting and small-craft history, and the American automobile and marine engine industries. Stan has had a career that has included stints as a newspaper reporter, photographer, and automotive industry consultant, but most notably as a writer.

He is the author of many articles and books. Prior to A Man for All Oceans, Stan completed a biography of famed yacht designer and racer Raymond Hunt. His work has appeared in Automobile Quarterly, Nautical Quarterly, and Wooden Boat magazine, among other publications.

Among his best-known works are Cape Cod Catboats, The Wianno Senior Story, a Century on Nantucket Sound, Ferrari, the Man, the Machines, Beautiful Engines, treasures of the internal combustion century; and the Wooden Boat article, “The Musketaquid Mystery: In Search of Thoreau’s Boat.”


  • Building the Cape Cod Catboat with Geoff Marshall.

Geoff is the owner of Marshall Marine located in South Dartmouth and builds the 18-foot Sanderling, Marshall 22 and the 15-foot Sandpiper which many of you have become familiar with here at PBCB. The Marshall family has a long history revitalizing the popularity of the catboat and revolutionizing its production. The sheer number of boats built by Marshall Marine is a testament to their success. Geoff will talk about boat handling and boat building.

Q&A format will be used here too. Stand by for further details!


  • Weather on Pleasant Bay with William Ryan.

Bill is an Affiliate Assistant Research Professor at Penn State University and has been a leader in air quality forecasting in the mid-Atlantic for many years. He developed the first operational ozone forecast models for the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan areas in 1993, extending to Philadelphia in 1996. He has been an operational air quality forecaster in the mid-Atlantic, for both ozone and fine particles, since 1995. He has also provided technical analysis and advice to the State of Maryland on subjects ranging from photochemical modeling to data trend analysis in support of State Implementation Plan (SIP) development. He is a member of the Air Quality Forecasters Focus Group that provides technical feedback to the developers of the NOAA National Air Quality Forecast Capability (NAQFC) and, in 2010, was named the EPA AIRNow “Partner of the Year” at the EPA National Air Quality Conference.


This will be a Q&A format. As we get closer to the date, look for an invitation to send in your weather questions for a lively discussion. Now is your chance to ask an expert!





Welcome New Science Director, Ali Hogue

We are all excited to welcome Ali Hogue as our incoming Science Director and Assistant Program Director!

Ali grew up in North Attleboro, where she spent her childhood exploring the woods with her dog (and visiting the Cape, of course!) Her parents now live full time in Wellfleet, where she has joined them for several summers.

Ali studied biology and Spanish at Colgate University. She researched invasive earthworms, lifeguarded, picked vegetables at a CSA farm, and sailed with Colgate’s club team. She spent an unforgettable semester abroad in South Africa’s national parks, where her Ali Hogue holding Rudyteam studied everything from aquatic snails to butterflies. Ali worked at Seacamp in the Florida Keys, where she taught sailing, windsurfing, snorkeling, diving, and marine science using a fleet of floating classrooms. She also worked at Cape Cod Sea Camps for 3 summers, where she was the Department Head of Bay Sail for the day camp. She has dabbled in just about everything else…baking, boat maintenance, philanthropic work, and guiding scuba divers in Australia. She loves working with people of all ages and walks of life, especially on the water. She’s a USCG Launch Tender, a US Sailing Instructor, and a PADI Divemaster.

Most recently, Ali has been living in Jamaica Plain and working in a malaria research lab at Boston Children’s Hospital. While she loves JP, she is thrilled to get back to working outdoors and the Cape. Ali spends most of her time with her sheltie, Rudy. She also likes to run, cook, read, watch documentaries, fuss over her houseplants, and travel. Ali can’t wait to get the PBCB community as excited about science as she is!

Ali will be leading Science curriculum development and activities and will also assist Program Director Mike Moore with program planning.  Ali can be reached at hoguea@pbcb.cc.



Waterfront Boat Repair Volunteers and other items needed this spring

I’ve been working on our fleet of motorboats this winter, but soon the weather will break (April) and we will need to get on to boat preparation. This will require re-varnishing tillers for Flying Scots and rudders and centerboards on Sunfish; prepping and bottom-painting all Flying Scots and motorboats; and splicing mooring pennants. Many sunfish hulls need attention. So there is lots that can be done but all weather dependent.

What else can we use?

  • We need 6 additional 100 lbs. mooring anchors with tackle.  This would be 6 @$400 each or $2400
  • 4 – 24” life rings with heaving line for motorboats
  • 6 sets of boat flares @ $36 per four or $216 total
  • 6 boat fire extinguishers @ $25 each or $150 total
  • 10 Jibsheet: 5/16″, 30′ @ $17/ea or $165 total
  • 6 mainsails at $399 each or $2,394 total
  • 4 Marine Fuel Water Separator Kits including fuel line and primer bulb @$50 ea. or $200 total

If you would like to donate toward any of these items above, please click the donate button on our Home Page and type “waterfront” in the note field.  We appreciate your support!

Let’s look forward to a great season and getting back on the water!

Tom Leach, Waterfront