Truculent Turtle

Design: Lindenberg 26, hull #41 of 51
Built: May, 1979
Builder: Lindenberg Yachts, Cocoa, Florida
Designer: Lee Creekmore
Rating: 168
Owners: Martin and Ashley Howell

History of the boat:

Truculent Turtle (formerly Wildcat) was originally owned by Dean Mulder in Annapolis and was later donated to the St. Mary’s College Sailing Program. During her early years she competed in the former Great Ocean Race (Delmarva circumnavigation). At some point she was purchased by Skip Zahniser and John Cook in Solomon’s, renamed Truculent Turtle, and raced extensively on the Chesapeake Bay, winning just about everything. I’m told that if you go into Zanhiser’s Marina store/office, most of the trophies on the wall are from Truculent Turtle. She was purchased by Steve Carton in 2000 and sailed on the West River. We acquired Truculent Turtle in the fall of September, 2008 and brought her to Washington Sailing Marina shortly thereafter.

Truculent Turtle has a modified rig (probably done by Dean Mulder) — the boom was lowered a foot or two and lengthened, so we carry a larger mainsail than a stock Lindenberg 26. This yields a 6-second penalty to our PHRF rating.

Martin first learned of the Lindenberg 26 in the early 1990’s sailing on Lake Erie. Aesthetically speaking, they are ‘different’ boats – you either like their appearance or you don’t; on this issue there is no middle ground. He happened to fall into the camp that liked them. The nearly plumb bow was odd in the late 70’s, but is now a common feature on racing and cruising sailboats. The high cabintop is perhaps unsightly in appearance, but provides six feet of interior headroom – a rare feature in a performance-oriented 26 foot sailboat. The Lindenberg 26 was designed to the MORC rule; hull #1 won MORC Internationals fresh out of the mold in 1977 and again in 1990.

For many years, Ashley and I have raced a succession of three different 18’ Interlake one-design class sailboats, traveling with the boat(s) to Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Florida and Texas. The Interlake is and always will be our “buoy racing” sailboat but a growing family brought about the desire for something a little more comfortable and stable…..but still competitive. The Lindenberg 26 provided us with a boat that is big enough to provide “camping” accommodations, has the stability inherent in a fixed keel sailboat, has an outboard to get us home when the wind dies, is still small enough to have the fell and responsiveness of a dinghy….yet something that Martin can do overnight distance races with.

About the Owners and Crew:

Martin Howell grew up 11 city blocks from Lake Erie, but didn’t start sailing until just after high school…in retrospect, 18 years of wasted time not sailing. A neighbor came down on a Saturday evening looking for a crew on his Interlake for beer can racing at Sandusky Sailing Club the next morning. One race was all it took. Martin sailed regularly on Interlake’s and on an S2-10.3 (same as Reprisal), as well as other random boats on the Great Lakes. He has competed in most of the major regattas held on Lake Erie, as well as a Port Huron to Mackinac race. At the University of Cincinnati, he served as Commodore of their sailing team, which had a stronger focus on social activities, beverage consumption, and interaction with members of the opposite sex than on competitive sailing – his victories occurred only in one of those three disciplines, beverage consumption. His first sailboat was an 18’ Interlake that was in such wonderful condition (cough, cough) that it was given to him. He got the short end of the stick on that deal, but learned a great deal about boat construction and repair. He has been actively involved in the Interlake Sailing Class Association for more than 15 years, serving for many years as the Class Historian and as a Fleet Captain, and was Class President in 2006-2007. In 2004 he was awarded the ISCA Member of the Year trophy (as nominated by DISC’s own Doug Savage & Liz Beckman). Since moving to Alexandria in 1998 he has sailed an Interlake with his wife, Ashley, and a select few other faithful crew (including Mike Magee, skipper of Wiz). He has also crewed extensively on the succession of boats campaigned by Doug Savage & Liz Beckman (Anthem, Tantrum, Reprisal). To support his sailing habit, he works as an historic preservation architect in Washington, DC.

Ashley Howell grew up cruising with family friends on Cape Cod Bay. She was reunited with sailing when she met Martin. She is the world’s best Interlake crew and trims a spinnaker better than any of those overpaid clowns in the America’s Cup. Ashley is first and foremost a terrific mother, but also an historic preservation architect.

Martin and Ashley have two children – future sailors – Adler (4) and Malina (1).

Crew: The semi-regulars for weeknights include: lovebirds Eric Hand and Olivia Luke, Bill “Horseshoe” Bock, and on occasion, John Rappaport and Zac Robinson, a.k.a. “Abercrombie & Fitch.” For the weekend regattas we also import some longtime friends and fellow Interlake sailors that we’ve been sailing with and against for many years including: Kevin “left handed slot machine with a broken pull arm” Bracy; “Matt the Cat” Blecke; Reverend Jim “Million Man” Crawford; Hank ”Big Dog” Boissoneault – all from various parts of Ohio, and Tim “Minister of Propaganda” Cullenen from New Hampshire. We’re always looking for new faces to join the team, but we do favor those who come from a small-boat racing background. In time, each new person eventually earns their own special nickname.