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Volunteer refurbishes donated sailboat for Parks and Rec

"Parks and Recreation volunteer Dale Evans takes the district's newly refurbished 21-foot sailboat for a cruise just outside of the Langley Harbor last week.Matt Johnson / staff photoTeens and adults who want to learn how to sail a boat in Puget Sound have an almost-new, clean and shiny craft to practice on thanks to several days of donated time and labor from a South Whidbey sailing enthusiast.Dale Evans, a retired commercial fisherman, spent about 80 hours during the past few months scraping, sanding, cleaning, repainting, and re-rigging a 21-foot San Juan sailboat donated to South Whidbey Parks and Recreation District last summer.The boat and its identical sister ship came to the district from the inventory at Langley Middle School. Adventure education teacher Jay Freundlich arranged to give the boats to the district when it became clear the school did not have the money to refurbish the boats and operate a sailing program.Starting June 2, Evans will teach a series of six four-hour sailing classes aboard the boat he restored. The classes, which cost $45, are open to anyone over the age of 16. The classes will start at the Langley Marina.Last year, the Parks District started a sailing program with the help of the Navy Seaplane Base. This year, Dale Evans will teach youth sailing classes at the base aboard 14-foot Lidos and Lasers. The Parks District offers four four-day youth sailing classes for children ages 8 to 18. The cost of this program is $165.Parks director Jerry Cole said he expects the district to have both of its San Juan boats in the water by next summer. Evans said the work on the other boat will take longer than on the one the district has in the water because the other boat is much older.For more information about signing up for these sailing classes, call the parks district at 221-5484. "

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