Coastal Canoeists, P.O. Box 566, Richmond, VA 23218

About Coastals

Frequently Asked Questions

President's Comments

How do I join Coastals?

Coastals Logo

Why should I join Coastals?

History of Coastals

How do I contact the coordinator of a specific trip?

Presidents of Coastals

How do I submit articles to CaNews?

Coastals By-Laws

How do I submit my photographs to Coastals?

How do I place an ad for paddling-related gear?

The forums are confusing. How do I use them?

How do I add or correct a link?

I have a great idea for Coastals or think something should be changed - how do I let someone know?

When are my dues due, how much are they, and how do I pay them?

The President's Comments

Coastals is a family-oriented club dedicated to the enjoyment and advancement of paddlesports and consists of canoeists, kayakers and others from the southeastern U.S., but primarily from Virginia. Activities of the club include an active club volunteer-coordinated trip roster with trips for members, at all skill levels, happening nearly every weekend of the year.

The club holds quarterly meetings at various locations around Virginia featuring an evening meal, board of directors meeting, a trip on a nearby river, and a program of interest to paddlers. Coastals' website features an active bulletin board used by paddlers throughout the Commonwealth for communications and discussions of canoeing and kayaking related information, in addition to other pertinent information of interest to paddlers.

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The Coastals Logo

O.K. Goodwin, one of the club founders, designed Coastals' logo. Because he was associated with the Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company, his design drew on a bit of maritime history.

Sam Plimsoll (1824-1898) was a British politician and reformer who hit at "coffin ships" - unseaworthy, overloaded vessels, often heavily insured, on which unscrupulous owners risked the lives of their crews. Following the publication of Our Seamen, the public outcry forced amendment of the Merchant Shipping Act. The mark that indicates the limit to which a ship may be safely loaded is now known as the "Plimsoll mark."

The circle with the line through it was as far as the mark got in Plimsoll's day. British ships would have "L" and "L" at opposite ends of the line, meaning the mark's location had the approval of Lloyds of London. American ships would bear an "A" and "B", American Bureau. Our "C" and "C" just means Coastals.

The other lines show the limits for ships in tropical fresh water (TF), fresh water (F), salt water (S) and in winter (W). These are latter day refinements. "DEW" stands for dew - about all the water a canoe requires (a little humor here).

The bluebird of happiness on the emblem is the great blue heron, club mascot and native to most of the area over which we range. On many Coastal trips, the mascot is often found out in front leading us downstream - trailing his little Plimsoll mark behind him.

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The History of Coastals

Before Coastals existed as a club, O.K. Goodwin of Newport News wrote, printed and published a monthly Coastal Canoeists bulletin (four cents postage delivered the first three editions to about 80 eastern Virginians in 1964). News items covered canoe trips by other groups and individuals, canoeing techniques, canoe maintenance and repairs, river conditions, camping equipment and canoe races conducted by other clubs. The bulletin also announced the first meeting of the proposed organization for Thursday, April 22, 1965 at the Peninsula (Newport News - Hampton) Red Cross chapter house.

A total of 12 men, women and children attended. They agreed to publish a fourth bulletin, to spread the word about the club and to meet again in June to organize a club. The 21 recruited at the organizational meeting decided to meet monthly. They adopted by-laws, set annual dues at $2 for individuals and $3 for families. And, they elected officers. Jay Burke was President, B. N. Walker was Secretary-Treasurer, Bob Sterling was Cruising Chairman, Jim Michie was Education Chairman, and G.H. Moore was Conservation Chairman. O.K. Goodwin would remain editor of the monthly Coastals until 1968. Coastals became a bi-monthly in 1972 and was renamed Coastal CaNEWS in 1973. It became a quarterly newsletter in 1994.

By the third meeting, word of the organization spread and 43 would-be members showed up from Portsmouth and Williamsburg and many places in-between. Plans were made for the club's first trip: The Mattaponi in August, 1965. Nine members would paddle the club's first trip. A Red Cross canoeing class was announced for the following weekend at Camp Hanover. O.K. Goodwin would be on the faculty, four "Coastals" would take the course. Considerable interest was evidenced in Coastals among several instructors and a number of students. The club picked up new members from Richmond, Petersburg, Hopewell, Charlottesville and Fredericksburg.

The membership quickly grew and spread over eastern Virginia. The trip schedule also quickly spread over the eastern United States from The Chattooga to The Kennebec. The following timeline notes important milestones in the Club's history:

1966

Coastals began a succession of "School's Out Specials," or extended week-long trip to the Smokies. With a year off now and then for similar mid-June trips to Maine, the Ozarks, the Virginia-Kentucky border country and the Salmon's Middle Fork. The annual Smokies trip has become a fixture of the club's schedule ever since.

1966

First fall colors overnighter on the Trough of the Potomac as guests of the D.C. area Canoe Cruisers Association.

1968

Coastals' annual meeting was first held on the Shenandoah River. For many years, Bunny Henshaw’s Hawks Nest was the site of the annual meeting. There was a lapse of several years when the annual meetings were held at Feather Fin Farm and then Glen Maury Park.

1970

The club offered its first basic canoeing class.

1972

The club offered its first class for canoeing instructors.

1972

The club's membership topped 100 for the first time in June.

1973

The club incorporated under Virginia law.

1973

The club offered its first whitewater canoeing class.

1975

The club initiated its environmental achievement award.

1975

The club's first pool slalom races were held at ODU.

1975

The club held its first winter rolling practice at UVA and Mary Washington.

1976

The club changed its meetings to quarterly meetings. Three meetings were held in Richmond. The annual meeting was held on the Shenandoah River.

1977

The club began a two-year fight in the Virginia legislature that succeeded in removing cartop boat rack restrictions. Other political activity that the club engaged in included environmental conservation, opposing dams and canoe-kayak licensing.

1978

The club conducted its first CPR class.

1981

The club began annual river rescue clinics.

1982

The July meeting at Steward School in Richmond began the occasional pot luck dinners at quarterly meetings. These occasional meetings have become full-fledged meals at every meeting.

1988

The club began rotating the sites of quarterly meetings. The first one was held at Douthat State Park. Other sites included Goshen Scout Camp, Glen Maury Park, Camp T. Brady Saunders, Doswell, and Orange.

1989

25th anniversary - sent 55 boats downstream on the Shenandoah. Tom McCloud cooked the first pig for the club.

1992

Les Fry completed 17 years as Coastal CaNEWS Editor

1992

Coastals adopt Goshen Pass section of Route 39 and begin cleaning it up at least annually.

1996

Coastals Website started and Email addresses added to Roster

1999

Membership peaked at 734

2000

floated 66 boats down the Shenandoah!

2010

Joined Facebook

2011

Held first Film Fest in Richmond

2012

Held Reunion Rendezvous inviting all past members

Looking back at Coastals' first club trip on the Mattaponi in 1965, 20% of the club's membership participated. It may be a good thing that participation in club trips has been tempered by time. Otherwise, we could expect over 70 paddlers to show up each weekend.

Les Fry

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The Presidents of Coastals

1966

Jay Burke

1967

Les Fry

1968

Les Fry

1969

Bob Sterling

1970

Bob Sterling

1971

Al Douglas

1972

Bobby Meeks

1973

Mike Carey

1974

Teddy Willcox

1975

Teddy Willcox

1976

Don Bowman

1977

Gil Lipton

1978

Hope Gross

1979

Hunter Marrow

1980

Steve Thomas

1981

Steve Thomas

1982

Gary Brumfield

1983

Gary Brumfield

1984

Lou Hannen

1985

Al Thompson

1986

Al Thompson

1987

Maurice Greaver

1988

Maurice Greaver

1989

Nate Houser

1990

Nate Houser

1991

Tom McCloud

1992

Tom McCloud

1993

Liz Garland

1994

Liz Garland

1995

Scott Broaddus

1996

Scott Broaddus

1997

Garland Reece

1998

Garland Reece

1999

Don Leeger

2000

Don Leeger

2001

Bernie Farmer

2002

Bernie Farmer

2003

Richard Walters

2004

Richard Walters

2005

Scott Wiggins

2006

Scott Wiggins

2007

Raymond Williams

2008

Raymond Williams

2009

Raymond Williams

2010

Barb Franko

2011

Barb Franko

2012 

 George Bowles

2013

 George Bowles

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I join Coastals?

Fill out our Membership Form and mail with your payment (instructions and address are on the form) or write to our membership chairman. E-mail him with any questions.

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Why should I join Coastals?

There are many reasons to join Coastals:

We hope you decide to join and look forward to seeing you at the next Quarterly get-together or trip!

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How do I contact a trip coordinator when no telephone numbers are listed on the webpage?

E-mail the coordinator if there is an e-mail address supplied. Telephone numbers are listed in the CaNews and the Coastals Roster.

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How do I submit articles for the newsletter?

E-mail your article to the Coastals Newsletter Editor - send a note and the editor will reply with an e-mail address to which to send the article.

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How do I submit my photos?

Check out the instructions page. Only members may submit photos.

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How can I place an advertisement for paddling-related gear?

Boats, gear, trades, free, wanted to buy, and more - even non-Coastals members can advertise paddling-related items on the Forums.

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The Forums are confusing. How do I use them?

See the Forum FAQ for more information; the webmaster updates this topic with news and hints as well.

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How do I add or correct a link?

Contact our Linkmaster and let him know to edit or add your link(s).

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I have an idea for Coastals or think something should be changed. How do I let someone know?

Check the Contacts List and e-mail the individual in charge of that area. You may also e-mail the president at any time.

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When are my dues due, how much are they, and how do I pay them?

Dues are due by December 31 to be sure you are included in the Membership Roster; you may pay online or by mail - more info including the current dues amount is here.

Thanks for joining Coastals and paying your dues!

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