Friday, May 31, 2013

Newport's Queen Anne Square Reopens

Today Queen Anne Square, a historic staple of downtown Newport, was reopened to the public after the completion of a $3.5 million dollar renovation and redesign projected. The square pays tribute to three women whose vision has left an enduring mark on Newport.  The park is named after Queen Anne, who ruled England from 1702 to 1714 and supported the Anglican Church in general and Newport’s Trinity Church in particular.  The renovation was funded by Doris Duke, who created the foundation credited with preserving Newport’s Colonial architecture.  And the redesign was the work of Maya Lin, one of the world’s foremost landscape architects, perhaps best known for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington.

Here are some pictures of the park during renovation and after completion.  Come to Newport and enjoy the new Queen Anne Square!


AFTER RENOVATION - May 31, 2013!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Throwback Thursday - America's Cup J-Boat Racing

We are all about America's Cup sailing in Newport, Rhode Island! The J Class boats raced in the America's Cup in the 1930's just before the 12 Meter era.  These amazing race boats measure in at about 140 feet long and have a mast that is about 170 feet high.  It takes a crew of about 30 to sail these 150 ton yachts.  

We have had many opportunities to see a few of the beautiful J Class boats race off the coast of Newport.  But never have we seen five sailing and racing together at one time!  This past winter five J Boats raced in the St. Barths Bucket.  That many J's have not raced together in decades!  Check out this wonderful video by Newport's own, Onne Van Der Wal.  

The J's race at the 2013 St. Barths Bucket. from Onne van der Wal on Vimeo

We never get tired of seeing these throwback yachts race and are looking forward to seeing some of them in Newport this summer!

12 Meter Sailing Schedule - May 31 to June 2

Welcome in June by sailing in Newport, Rhode Island!

Friday, May 31 - 5:30pm to 7:30pm

Saturday, June 1 - 3:00pm to 5:00pm
Saturday, June 1 - 5:30pm to 7:30pm

Sunday, June 3 - 12:30pm to 2:30pm

Call 401-851-1216 for tickets or book online.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Little State, Lot's of Firsts - Interesting Rhode Island Facts

On May 29, 1790, 223 years ago today, Rhode Island was the last of the thirteen colonies to ratify the constitution.  Rhode Island may have been the last colony to become a state but Little Rhody was the location of many "firsts" in the United States.  From sporting events to military events Rhode Island has made a lot of history!

In no particular order here are just a few of Rhode Island's history making "firsts!"
  • On May 4, 1776 Rhode Island declared its independence from Great Britain, the first colony to do so. 
  • Judge Darius Baker imposed the first jail sentence for speeding in an automobile on August 28, 1904 in Newport.
  • In 1640, Portsmouth, RI was the first town in America to be established by a woman, Anne Hutchinson.   
  • Rhode Island was home to the first National Lawn Tennis Championship in 1899.
  • The first circus in the United States was in Newport in 1774.
  • In 1895, Rhode Island was home to the first open golf tournament. 
  • Pelham Street in Newport was the first street in the country to use gas-illuminated streetlights.
  • In 1652, Rhode Island enacted the first anti-slavery law in North America.
  • Rhode Islanders were the first to take military action against England by sinking one of her ships in the Narragansett Bay located between Newport and Providence. 
  • Rhode Island was the first state with a democratic government.  Roger Williams, founder of Rhode Island, established the first practical working model of Democracy.
  • The first British troops sent from England to squash the revolution landed in Newport.
  • The first torpedo boat "Stiletto" was built in Bristol in 1887.
  • North America’s first Quaker meeting house was built here in the 1600s.
  • Polo was played for the first time in the United States in 1876 near Newport.

Know any interesting "Rhode Island Firsts" we missed?  Post them on the 12 Meter Charters' Facebook Page - we are always interested in learning new things about our fabulous state!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

12 Meter Charters' Team Scuttlebutt

The 12 Meter Charters' Team had an exciting winter filled with snow, sunshine, sailing, and surprises!  

When Captain Kevin wasn't in the boatyard he was enjoying the New England winter! Here's some shots of him  and Columbia race crew member, Steve, snowmobiling up near the Canadian boarder.  They rode 180 miles that day.  Captain Kevin obviously feels the need for speed both on and off the water! 

In January, Columbia's Mate Laura joined her family and friends for some fun in the sun in the Virgin Islands.  Of course, they chartered a sailboat and sailed the British and US Islands.     

Heritage's Mate Gus enjoyed a winter full of sailing.  Gus spent the off season working in St. Maarten aboard 12 Meters!   


Captain Cedar's off season was full of surprises!  Just before Christmas Cedar's dog Twiggy gave birth to six puppies!  Then, just before the New Year, Cedar and long time boyfriend, Dan, got engaged!  SURPRISE!  We can't wait to celebrate with them.

Catch up with our crew this summer and hear all about their adventures. With over 100 years of combined chartering experience our team is eager to serve our guests. Stay tuned for the introduction of our new crew members - we are excited to welcome them to our fabulous team. Come aboard and let us serve you!

Friday, May 24, 2013

12 Meter Charters Wins Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor!

This award places 12 Meter Charters in the top-performing 10% of all businesses worldwide on TripAdvisor and is given to businesses that consistently earn high ratings from TripAdvisor travelers.  

Congratulations to our fabulous crew!  Thank you to our wonderful clients, supporters and friends for sailing with us!  We look forward to welcoming you aboard this season.  

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Throwback Thursday - Columbia's First Year Of Sailing in Newport

As 12 Meter Charters starts another season of sailing in Newport we think back to the first year our 12 Meter yachts were sailing.

In the spring of 1958, 12 Meter Columbia US 16 was launched.  Below is a picture of Columbia on September 20, 1958 winning her first race of the America's Cup finals.  She crossed the finish line over eight minutes before her competitor, Sceptre.

Today Columbia continues in her speedy, winning ways.  Last season she had a dominating victory and the 12 Meter North American Championship and was awarded the Ted Hood Trophy for the best racing performance of 2012! 

Despedida Tall Ship J.S. de Elcano!

There's always something going on in Newport Harbor!  Last weekend the third largest Tall Ship in the world and largest schooner in the world visited Newport.  We were able to get up close and personal with the J.S. de Elcano while she was docked at Naval Station Newport.  Check out these amazing shots of the 370 foot schooner.  On Tuesday, the ship left Newport for its next adventure. So for now we say, "Goodbye or Despedida J.S. de Elcano!"

This is just the first of many interesting boats to visit Newport this summer.  Stay tuned for all the latest happenings on the Newport waterfront!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Memorial Day Weekend Sailing in Newport, Rhode Island

Kick off summer the Newport sailing!  This weekend is Memorial Day, the unofficial start to summer, join 12 Meter Charters for a sail in Newport!  Fun for sailors of all ages!

Memorial Day Weekend Cruises
Kick off the summer in season in style! Cruises available all weekend.
Friday, May 24 - 5:30pm to 7:30pm
Saturday, May 25 - 5:30pm to 7:30pm
Sunday, May 26 - 12:30pm to 2:30pm
Sunday, May 26 - 3:00pm to 5:00pm
Monday, May 27 - 12:30pm to 2:30pm

Call 401-851-1216 for more information or book online.  We love answering questions!

Coming to Newport with a group?  Private charters also available!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Bienvenido a Newport Juan Sebastian de Elcano!

Another day another amazing ship sails into Newport!  The massive J.S. de Elcano is 370 feet long and is the third largest tall ship in the world.  She is named after Spanish explorer Juan Sebastián Elcano, captain of Ferdinand Magellan's last exploratory fleet. The Juan Sebastián de Elcano was built in 1927 in Cadiz, Spain and today she is used as a training vessel.

Come to Newport this weekend and check out this amazing tall ship!

Thanks to Captain Duncan for these great photos!

12 Meter Sailing Newport, RI - Making the Video!

Last July, on a picture perfect afternoon in Newport we set out to capture some of our yachts in action on video.  With the camera crew on board Heritage and Columbia sailing close the stage was set.  Wind Powered Productions rigged up Heritage like it was a Hollywood movie set.  Hey, anything to get the shot, right?  

Here are some behind the scenes shots, thanks to Captain Duncan, and the final video thanks to, Wind Powered Productions.  What do you think of the finished product? Was all that hard work  worth it?  Did we capture our 12 Meter yachts in all their glory?  We think so!  

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Boatyard Update - Columbia, Big and On the Move!

Here's one last video of America's Cup Winner, Columbia getting ready to launch season.  This view really shows the size of her! She is a sleek 70 feet long and is about 14 feet tall from the bottom of the keel to the deck.  Her keel, the white section from the blue stripe down, is 9 feet tall and has 42,000 pounds of lead in it.  Over all Columbia weights about 24 tons.  Watch this video and you will see 64,000 pounds on the move!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Boatyard Update: America's Cup Winner Columbia Splashes!

Yesterday, at New England Boatworks in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, Columbia launched for her 55th year of sailing. Looking extra shiny this season Columbia had a complete paint job over the winter.  No costume jewelry for our girl, her cove stripe and name were painted in 14 cart gold!  With freshly painted topsides and newly painted bottom she is sure to turn heads in the harbor and be speedy on the race course.

Next up? Her 90 foot mast gets stepped and then she will be sailing into Newport Harbor.  We hope you will join 12 Meter Charters this season aboard America's Cup winner, Columbia!