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Jonathan Bartlett competed in the Penguin International Championship for a decade before finally breaking through to …

Love has sailing covered for T2PTV

Love has sailing covered for T2PTV

Theatre and sailing were two constants in Ashley Love’s life while growing up in south New Jersey. If she wasn’t on stage acting, Love was…

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Sailing Club Draws Local Enthusiasts

Every Wednesday during the summer, the Foolish Pleasure glides out to the Buffalo Harbor, ready to race.

“It was on there when I bought it and I liked the name,” said Bob Barnhart, who owns the sailboat. “If my wife didn’t like it, I would have had to strip it off.”

Barnhart, a retired Moog engineer and manager, has been sailing for more than 30 years and was instrumental in founding the Buffalo Harbor Sailing Club (BHSC) in the late 1970s. The club runs Tuesday and Wednesday evening races throughout the summer, as well as three regattas, according to their website. The Wednesday evening race draws as many as 70 boats in 11 different classes.

“It’s a very prominent event in Buffalo,” said Bob Doll, Barnhart’s friend and right-hand man on the boat. Doll also has many years experience sailing and owns his own boat, docked beside the Foolish Pleasure.

As for the rest of the crew, it’s often made up of a rag-tag group of men with roundabout connections to Barnhart. The unofficial “first mate” is Mike Ercolano, a staff design engineer at Moog, who has been sailing with Barnhart for more than 20 years.

“I grew up sailing,” Ercolano said of his childhood in Florida. “It kinda gets into you.”

After moving to Buffalo, a friend got him hooked up with Barnhart. Now, Ercolano seems to be in charge of recruiting new “rail meat,” the term for crew members who scramble from one side to the other using their body weight to balance the sailboat.

“We need three or four guys, but five or six makes it a lot easier. It depends if they know what they’re doing,” Ercolano said.

Ercolano has recruited friends from work and even his brother-in-law.

“I keep asking, ‘Do you sail? Are you afraid of the water? Do you get seasick?’ in that order,” he said.

Jason Gundlach, a design engineer at Moog, is one of Mike’s recruits. He started sailing last summer.

“It’s peaceful and sometimes intense,” Gundlach said of sailing. “I like that there is strategy involved and new terminology to learn.”

In fact, Gundlach said he liked sailing so much that he purchased a catamaran and is currently refurbishing it.

The Foolish Pleasure—a 30-foot sloop—features one mast and two sails. Barnhart said the sailboat finishes in the middle of the pack most of the time, and they were able to garner a third-place finish in a recent race series.

“We’re out there to win it, but we don’t do it,” he said with a smile.

For more information about the BHSC, visit

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