Star Fleet Loaner Program & Clinic

A start at the Star Worlds

The Puget Sound Star fleet is a wonderful anomaly. It boasts some of the finest skippers to ever touch a Star tiller in Bill and Carl Buchan, and is one of the more welcoming fleets around. When I came to Seattle nearly 30 years ago one of my first races was on a Star by invitation of Foss Miller. It’s clear Foss and the fleet are still eager to build the Star fleet and community, initiating a loaner boat program for the season.

Local sailors Derek DeCouteau and Jaimie Stewart working upwind. Local photos by Jan Anderson.

The Star itself is somewhat of an anomaly. Designed in 2011 by Francis Sweisguth, it’s an overcanvassed (by yesterday’s standards anyway) 22′ chined keelboat. Once upon a time it was identified with the Olympics, but it’s been in and out of that designation a couple of times (currently out). I’m not sure Star sailors care that much. Now they even have the professional Star Sailors League. The best sailors still look to this class as the ultimate proving ground for tweaking, tactics and teamwork. Stars glide along nicely in 5 knots of wind and can pound in relatively big seas and 20 knots. To sail them at their best in those conditions, size and strength matter. No, it doesn’t have a sprit (or spinnaker for that matter), and doesn’t reach at 20 knots, but it remains the premier puzzle for the elite of the sport. The relatively small keel rudder combination and the sail area configuration put a premium on getting everything juuuuuuussssst right.

Locally we have the Puget Sound fleet dry-sailed out of Shilshole and wet-sailed fleet of classic Stars in Budd Inlet (Olympia). (I’d like to know about other active fleets in the Northwest) The Budd Inlet Fleet has a great program of getting butts in boats as well.

So, it comes as no surprise that the Puget Sound fleet is reaching out to potential Star sailors with these programs.


Ever want to try sailing a Starboat but didn’t know where to start? Now you can!

The Star, an Olympic class boat for a century, has spawned some of the best sailors in the world. Many of them are right here in Puget Sound.


The Star is incredibly fun to sail, and the fleet is friendly and always ready to help a newcomer out.

The Puget Sound Starboat fleet currently has 3 Stars available for loaner use, and is hosting a Star training clinic as well. Details below:

  • Cost: Port of Seattle dry storage fee: $232.54/month.Insurance is covered.
  • Contact Info: Questions or set up, contact Foss Miller: (206) 999-9385,, or John Loendorf:
  • Recommendations: Some sailing experience is required for the helmsperson. Crew should be somewhat athletic.





Star Gold Medalist Olympians, Bill Buchan and Carl Buchan, are running a Star clinic in June!

Everyone with a loaner boat is welcome to participate in this special event.

It’s amazing to have a local learning opportunity with two people who, between them, have won two Olympic gold medals, and seven World championship titles!

Details TBA – Contact Foss Miller for more: (206) 999-9385,

Kurt grew up racing and cruising in the Midwest, and has raced Lasers since the late 1970s. He has been Assistant Editor at Sailing Magazine and a short stint as Editor of Northwest Yachting. Through Meadow Point Publishing he handles various marketing duties for smaller local companies. He currently is partners on a C&C 36 which he cruises throughout the Northwest. He's married to the amazing Abby and is father to Ian and Gabe.

2 thoughts on “Star Fleet Loaner Program & Clinic

  • February 8, 2018 at 12:19 pm

    Hi Kurt, You didn’t mention the Star fleet at Olympia, where a fleet of old Stars race all the time. The idea is to get as many people as possible in the boats and out on the water. You don’t have to be all the way North in Seattle to join in. :Good luck in your effort.

    • February 8, 2018 at 12:31 pm

      Thanks, Robert – I did mention the Budd Inlet-Olympia fleet but not until the 3rd graph. I’ve actually sailed with the Olympia bunch and I think it’s a VERY cool program. And wet sailing them makes it really easy.


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