ON THE WATERFRONT: Swap meet, yard sale to benefit yacht club

NEXT WEEK IS the 13th annual Port Angeles Yacht Club’s Outdoor Marine Swap Meet and Indoor Yard Sale, one of the North Olympic Peninsula’s more popular events for boaters and land lubbers alike.

The sale will take place next Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Yacht Club, 1305 Marine Drive, at the west end of Port Angeles Boat Haven.

This well-attended event is a great opportunity to find or sell marine-related equipment or purchase household treasures offered by the club.

Seller spaces for the Outdoor Marine Swap Meet are available for $10.

No seller spaces are available for household items at the indoor yard sale.

Coffee and doughnuts will be available along with the marine and household treasures.

For more information about reserving an outdoor space, email [email protected] or call 360-457-4132.

Next Friday is Flag Day, which celebrates the adoption of our flag in 1777 by the Continental Congress and seems an appropriate occasion to review the correct way to fly flags on a gaff-rigged pole that are used by navies, boaters and yacht clubs worldwide.

Many people believe the topmost flag must be the national ensign — that is not correct.

The gaff-rigged pole had its origin during the early days of sailing ships.

Because of all the sail carried by these vessels, the flag of a nation could not be clearly viewed if it were placed at the top of the mast.

The stern of the ship was the position of command so the ensign was flown from the stern rail.

As sails evolved, long booms swept across the stern rail when the ship tacked so the ensign staff had to be removed when the ship was underway. It therefore became practical to fly the ensign from the gaff.

Over time, this became the place of honor to display the national flag.

There is no law dictating how a flag should fly on a gaff-rigged pole. Instead, it is based on long standing nautical tradition.

When the ensign is flown from a gaff-rigged pole, a flag flown at the top of the mast is not considered above the ensign because it is not being flown directly above the ensign on the same halyard.

Flying the national ensign from the top of the mast while flying another flag at the gaff would be flying another flag in a position of superior honor since the peak of the gaff is the highest point of honor.

The ensign should be flown from the highest point of honor, and over time, that has become the peak of the gaff.

An excellent example of the proper way to position flags on a gaff-rigged pole can be seen at the Port Angeles Yacht Club.

Platypus Marine, the full-service shipyard, yacht repair facility and steel-boat manufacturer on Marine Drive in Port Angeles, hauled Time after Time out of the water and has her on the hard. She is a 96-foot Ferretti yacht that will be at their facility for about three weeks to receive a fresh coat of bottom paint and to allow personnel in the mechanical department to inspect the props and shafts.

When the yacht is put back in the water she will be renamed Collu.


David G. Sellars is a Port Angeles resident and former Navy boatswain’s mate who enjoys boats and strolling the area’s waterfronts and boat yards.

Items and questions involving boating, marina and industrial activities and the North Olympic Peninsula waterfronts are always welcome. News announcements about boating groups, including yacht clubs and squadrons, are welcome as well.

Email [email protected] or phone him at 360-808-3202.

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