Sailboat Stamped Postcard Weighs Anchor

OYSTER BAY, NY
— Ahoy there mates. Now hear this. The Postal Service celebrates America's nautical scenic beauty by launching the first Forever stamped postcard by launching the Forever Sailboat stamped postcard that sells for 35-cents (32-cents for the postage and 3-cents for the card). This postcard, available in single-cut, double reply and sheets of 40, goes on sale today at Post Offices nationwide, online at usps.com/shop and by phone at 800-782-6724.

"Anyone with an interest in nautical art will appreciate this beautiful card," said U.S. Postal Service Manager, Stamp Services Stephen Kearney.

The impressionistic image of a moored sailboat in Long Island Sound was created by Burton Silverman of New York City, who painted the scene in oil on a gesso surface board. The sailboat, a one-masted sloop, rests with its sails furled, while a single sailor stands on deck. Silverman based the painting on a photograph he took during a summer sailing trip. Derry Noyes of Washington, DC, was the art director.

A double reply card consists of two attached stamped cards, one of which is for mailing information, such as an RSVP from the addressee back to the sender. The cost of reply portion of the stamped cards is included in the initial cost of 70 cents.

SAILING IN THE UNITED STATES
For the crews of the estimated 1.5 million sailboats in the United States, sailing is about much more than just scenery. The sport is now embraced by a wide range of sailors — from families spending a day on the water, to athletes competing in races, to cruisers sailing from port to port and adventurers crossing entire oceans. People of all ages and abilities can learn to sail: America's oldest Olympic athlete in half a century, 58-year-old John Dane, competed with the U.S. sailing team in 2008. Sailing also is accessible to people with a range of ability levels. In 1998, Geoffrey Hilton-Barber became the first blind sailor to cross an ocean sailing solo.

The first ocean-going boats designed for recreational sailing were built by the Dutch in the 1600s. Dutch immigrants brought pleasure sailing with them to New York in the same century, helping to launch the sport in the United States. With the founding of the influential New York Yacht Club in 1844, sailing was on its way to becoming the popular pursuit it remains today.

HOW TO ORDER THE FIRST-DAY-OF ISSUE POSTMARK
Customers have 60 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail. They may purchase new stamps at a local Post Office, at The Postal Store website at usps.com/shop or by calling 800-STAMP-24. They should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes (to themselves or others) and place them in larger envelopes addressed to:

Sailboat Stamped Card
Postmaster
1 Shore Avenue
Oyster Bay, NY 11771-9998

After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the stamped postcards by mail. There is no charge for the postmark. All orders must be postmarked by March 20, 2012.