City’s floating fleet may expand by 31-foot sloop
Sandy Clark of Port Aransas is offering to donate a 31-foot sloopstyle sailboat called Island Girl to the city. The Port Aransas City Council will discuss whether to accept the donation when the council holds its regular monthly meeting at 5 p.m. today, Thursday, Aug. 20.
If the donation is accepted, the city would have to handle ongoing maintenance and operating costs, according to City Manager Michael Kovacs.
If it becomes a city vessel, it would be used for sailing classes operated by the city’s parks and recreation department, Kovacs said.
The department has a basic sailing course and an advanced one. Both are offered only in June each year and use Pram Nutshell-style sailboats that are slightly more than seven feet long.
If the city accepts the donation of the 31-foot Hunter-brand sailboat, “it would kind of take (classes) to another level,” said Gary Mysorski, director of the parks and recreation department.
The basic classes are held in the swimming pool at Port Aransas Community Park, and advanced classes are held at Dennis Dreyer Municipal Marina.
Classes mostly have been geared toward children in the past. If the city accepts the donated boat, the parks and recreation department probably would want to use it for basic and advanced courses for children and adults, Mysorski said.
The classes would be most appropriately held in Port Aransas area channels, according to Jeff Logue, the city’s harbormaster. Some advanced classes for adults could be held offshore, he said.
The boat generally is in good condition and needs only a little work, Logue said.
“I think it’s a very nice boat,” said Logue, who added that the vessel is stable and has enough room for six passengers, plus a captain and deckhand who would be on board during classes.
The donation would include the boat’s diesel engine, Logue said. Clark made no announcement that she was offering the boat as a donation, but it became a matter of public record when it was put on the council agenda. Clark and her husband, Bob, who died Dec. 26, 2008, have made major community donations in the past, and they’ve always tried to accomplish their philanthropy quietly.
Approached by a reporter for comment, Sandy said she simply wants to give Port Aransas children one more option for education and outdoor fun.
“We live on an island,” Clark said. “You have to be water-savvy, and we (Clarks) want to do anything we can do to help out.”