June 2009 Newsletter

What’s in this issue

This newsletter is available as an MP3 audio download at AudioSeaStories.net. It is read by Michael and Patty Facius. We recommend a broadband Internet connection to download, since it is a large file.

You can also download a printer-friendly version of this newsletter as a PDF file or as a Word document.

Want to look up a previous newsletter? We've added an on-line index of all the Good Old Boat newsletters.

Timely snazzy T-shirts arrive

If You Sail t-shirt

Our hats are off to J.R. Holm, a reader who suggested a couple of sayings for new T-shirt designs. We promptly sandbagged two of our previous designs and went with J.R.'s suggestions, proving how highly we value subscriber input!

Sailing artist Tom Payne did his magic once more, putting his paintbrush to the slogans and creating a couple of new designs we hope you'll be proud to wear in the marina and around town. We're looking forward to hearing what you think. Please feel free to vote with your wallets. We'll be watching as the orders come in to see which of the new shirts is more popular. The real question is whether either can beat out the all-time winner: "Wind: The free, clean, fun fuel for your boat," introduced previously. We'll let you know in a couple of months.

Sail Or Not t-shirt

To order these or to see the other styles in our, umm, "Tom Payne Collection of Logo Gear for the Rest of Us," please visit our online Books and Gear page: <http://www.goodoldboat.com/books_&_gear/clothing.php>.

Notice how we managed to introduce these shirts just in time for the new sailing season?

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Press Gang

Press gang

Speaking of timeliness, we've run into a little problem with our newsletter: it doesn't come out often enough for breaking news. And, yes, occasionally something's so "hot" that it can't wait. Even for sailors who don't go anywhere fast (or they wouldn't be sailors in the first place).

The obvious solution for the slow delivery problem was to create an occasional breaking-news newsletter. We're calling it the Press Gang Newsletter. Since it began at the first of the year, this informal email flash has informed readers of distressed boats about to be destroyed, a few websites we thought you'd want to see, and other bits of flotsam and jetsam. Our news bits will continue to appear randomly as they arrive and seem useful for you. If you prefer not to receive these impromptu email blasts, just let us know (Karla at GoodOldBoat).

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Best in the sailing business. Who knew?

We didn't discover this until just recently, but the classified advertising section in our magazine is the best in the business. Look the others over. Look ours over. You'll see where the classified advertisers who have marine gear to sell have congregated.

Many of these advertisers are your fellow sailors who started a business on the side when they discovered a need and built a product to meet that need. For this reason, many of the products offered in our classified section just happen to be exactly what a good old boater needs. As it turns out, we're the perfect matchmakers for them and for you.

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What's coming in July?

For the love of sailboats

  • Alberg 35 review
  • Ericson 32 Mk III review
  • C&C 25 refit

Speaking seriously

  • Using a G-0 sail
  • Building your own sails
  • Ditch Bag 101
  • Should you wash rope? A test of breaking strength
  • What we'd leave off to go cruising
  • Boat auction bargains
  • Another non-skid option
  • Building a compass binnacle

Just for fun

  • Boxing the compass
  • Sailing with a Nimble family
  • Reflections on star gazing

What's more

  • Simple solutions: Hatch screens; Mounting deck hardware
  • Quick and easy: Making multi-length battens
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In the news

Web pages of interest

We've run across a couple of pages on the Internet that may be of interest.

Basic information about seacocks:

An online test of your seamanship:

A very interesting study of emergency flares:

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Good Old Boat videos now online

When we are near a new marina, most of us like to dock walk. A new video series, "Dock Walks," will feature the special gems we find on our dock walks for you to enjoy too. The first, a 5-minute video about a Glander Tavana 33, is on the website now.

For our "Boat Projects" series, we plan to include a wide array of projects. "Installing a radar antenna on the split backstay of a C&C 30" is another 5-minute video on our site.

A third series, "Cooking on a Hook" will have some simple and delicious ideas for good cooking on your boat. The first in the series has to do with safety. It's a 2-minute video on how to avoid dangerous flare-ups for those using pressurized alcohol stoves or heaters. Check out the videos on our website at <http://www.goodoldboat.com/resources_for_sailors/videos/>.

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Our readers tell us where to go

In the May 2009 issue of the magazine, founding editor Jerry Powlas asks readers, "How should we earn our daily bread?" noting that the current economic climate requires course changes for all organizations, including Good Old Boat. Jerry's question to readers is, "What should Good Old Boat magazine be like going into the future? What should change? What should stay the same? How can we best serve you, our readers? How can we help you go sailing?"

We run formal reader surveys every two to three years, but those surveys go to randomly selected readers. The entire readership has never before been asked to participate. As you might expect, we received marvelous feedback and excellent suggestions from many readers, who've never been asked formally (not that some don't tell us what they think in email messages whenever they like…naturally, we welcome that input also). We won't mention names here but allow us to say thanks to all who cared enough to put their hearts and minds into what has become a worthy list of ideas for us to ponder and pursue.

Many told us to keep things the way they are. Some made suggestions in direct conflict with those made by others: Please cover bigger boats. No! Cover smaller boats. Do more Cruising World-type articles. No! Don't become another Cruising World.

Some suggested that we drop the newsletter to save money or said they'd be willing to pay more for a subscription. While that sentiment is thoughtful and appreciated, we weren't trying to wring any more money out of our readers. We were really looking for exactly the sorts of suggestions we received. Honest! And please don't worry about the possible sinking of the good old boat. We're weathering the economic storm just fine so far.

Here is a sample of the comments we received:

• One thing I would love to see is a problem-solving column: I send in a picture and a question and you open it up to the readers. For instance, I have a custom 38-foot boat. Someone put in an upright fridge that ran on 12v and 110v…very impractical if you're away from the dock (like on a mooring). I took it out. What I would like is ideas from the readers about how to build an icebox given the limitations I have.

• Is there a Coast Guard, Water Safety Office, BoatU.S., or boat insurance office of some sort that could cite examples of boaters' errors and then discuss what SHOULD have happened for a happier ending? Maybe if there was a fire on board, they could explain how the fire started and then suggest what all boatowners can do to ensure they do not end up in a similar situation. There is a boat in dry dock at a marina near me missing about 2 feet of front hull after a nasty windstorm. I am betting there is a lesson there about properly tying a boat to dock.

• I would like to see more T-shirts and hats with better artwork, a jazzier logo, funnier sayings. I'm a T-shirt freak, and you're my favorite sailing magazine by far, yet I've never been moved enough to order anything. (Note: Ha! Maybe we'll get him with our latest T-shirts: http://www.goodoldboat.com/books_&_gear/clothing.php. -Eds.)

• One of the things I have bemoaned over the years is your magazine's focus on small boats. There are a lot of us out here who own good old big boats, who enjoy restoring, refitting and messing about with big boats…or who are just too cheap or poor to grab the satphone and call the boatyard every time the anchor light bulb needs replacing…Balance the fix-it and how-to portion of your magazine with sailing and voyaging articles…balance the articles with lake, coastal, and offshore passages/adventures. Throw in the occasional "exotic" boat review or adventure article. It's nice to dream sometimes…Advertising! It does not have to be overpowering. Yours is not. Keep it that way. Running back-to-back double spreads with a full-page ad for a Hinckley Sou'wester 44 and a Sunsail charter package may make you a lot of money for that issue, but it will render your magazine in the same moldy pile as Cruising World as soon as my subscription runs out. I see a lot companies advertising in your magazine that I have bought products from and products I will be interested in the future…Jimmy Buffett has made a career by selling a dream and lifestyle on the back of his music. You have the vehicle in the form of your magazine to harness that same dream and lifestyle that embodies the people who go down to the sea in boats…Let your magazine dream a bit, how-to books and magazines are interesting…but dreams…ahhh yes, dreams have real power and appeal, whether your boat is 14- or 41-feet. In fact, with a dream, it can be both.

• The only thing I can think of that would make your magazine better would be a product testing/comparison feature, similar to Practical Sailor. Other than that, keep up the good work.

Karen on the Mega's deck

Karen on the deck of the C&C Mega

• I think you strike a good balance in the editorial selection. I tend to prefer short, practical pieces in the Simple Solutions section…I least like the feel-good (about sailing) pieces as in the Reflections column…What I really want to know is how your C&C Mega project is going. There must be many funny, discouraging, insightful, make-do stories about that project that you and Karen could share, perhaps from each of your perspectives. Inquisitive readers want to know.

• I am urging you to make this survey an annual event, regardless of economic conditions. Also, use your subscriber base to find new subscribers: put an ad in the magazine offering a bird-dog discount to existing subscribers for each new prospect they bring in…I'd like to see a regular low-buck column: a few column inches devoted to fixes and improvements that can be accomplished for less than $100 by the average boatowner…I'd like to see more owner feedback in boat reviews. Provide additional feedback from other owners, maybe at the end of the article, a short pros/cons segment with two other owners in other geographic locations to provide a counterpoint. Since you are able to plan boat reviews well ahead of publication date, why not make the request for input on upcoming reviews a regular part of the newsletter? (Note: See our request for feedback in the "Looking For" section of this newsletter. We'll see how many respond. -Eds.)

• We would appreciate seeing more small-project articles, amply illustrated, such as those in Ferenc Mate's The Finely Fitted Yacht. Good woodwork and fiberglass construction is educational. Even if we aren't building what is shown, we learn from the techniques of craftsmen like Paul Ring…My other hope is to see a few more articles on indigenous or regional designs. Down here on the Gulf, we are proud of our Lafitte skiffs and Biloxi schooners. It would be good to learn of other maritime traditions from other places where the land ends.

• I especially loved "The first 10,000 miles" article in the May 2009 issue. That's the kind of article I need, that and every "How I repaired/replaced my something-or-other" article you can squeeze in there…A simple comment in the Mail Buoy section illustrates the mission and the course you need to stay on. In response to a letter from James Meyer about your omission of any mention of Moyer Marine in your November article about the Atomic 4, you reply ". . .  It seems to us that everyone must know about Moyer Marine, but you remind us that we should never make that sort of assumption." That sums it up perfectly: as much as you may feel a need to reinvent yourselves -- to change and add simply because you've been doing this for a while -- you must remind yourselves that many of your readers are still scratching day-to-day just to have the confidence to leave the dock and are still learning every time they step foot on their boats. So at the risk of your own boredom, I think you need to revisit subjects, repairs, and improvements you might have already done because there's always a bunch of us out here who still don't have any idea what you're talking about! That "10,000 mile" article by Paul Denton casually drops a number of terms on the reader, presuming we all have the years of experience to know all those terms. As an example, just two weeks ago I learned what "getting pooped" is! (Note: Oh dear! We hope you learned through a verbal description and not by having to experience the real event! And remember, any articles you missed from 1998-2003 are available on CD: <http://www.goodoldboat.com/books_&_gear/back_issue_cds.php> -Eds.)

• Your features are more "real world" useful, and that is why I subscribe. Don't succumb to the temptation to add upscale boat magazine content. Stay in your niche and cultivate it. Don't become Cruising World. Stay true. Help me get the most from my good old boat and my good old dollar. Stay grounded. Stay the course. If any content addition would be helpful it would be Practical Sailor-style help in spending our money wisely. I realize that is a balancing act with advertisers. Just don't mislead us with "puff piece" gear reviews.

• How about trying some hybrid publishing, where a subject is mentioned in the print edition? Readers respond via email with ideas and pictures, then you sum it up as an article in the print edition. For example, you could introduce a "Mission Challenge" for ideas from readers for tricks and tactics for tying up to and leaving the dock. They could respond via email. Then you could sum it up in a featurette…I'm sure there are many other "Missions Possible" ideas as well: gear selection for a specific purpose could be another subject to cover. Many of us good old boaters are faced with the choice of gear as an upgrade to solve a problem or improve handling. For instance, usually there are two of us sailing, but sometimes I singlehand. How do I economically rig our boat for both? Or consider even the rollerfurler furling line. Where do I cleat it and what do I use: a standard cleat, a standard cleat with a jammer, a clam cleat, a cam cleat, a rope clutch, a ratchet block?

• If there were two things I might expand they are: covering boats older than 15 to 20 years. You might explicitly do articles about the glass boats from the '60s and '70s. The second item I'd expand is a few articles about wooden good old boats being redone and cared for by their owners. I'd like to see how others have handled the problems I've faced. I know that takes you away from your stated objective, but sneaking one or two in on occasion would be terrific.

• Consider extending your military policy to laid-off boaters (on an honor system) or sending a copy to their local public libraries…I think the kind of articles in the May 2009 issue are uniquely suited to these times: a mixture of do-it-yourself, celebration, reverie, tales of terror and caution, and requiem (Magnolia). Give us more sponges soaking up and disposing of deck puddles. No apologies. (Except for getting things wrong. Actually these raise the juices of readers and create dialogue. Hooray for the way you handle these.) Also, keep up your safety comments, such as those made about electric anchor winches…And remember to have frequent parties of all sorts for your staff and their families. As you have been known to say, Rule #1: Eat the muffins while they're hot!

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Ericson & Olson Owners Rendezvous
June 12-14
Port Hudson Marina
Port Townsend, Wash.

The 2009 Ericson Rendezvous will be held at Port Hudson Marina, Port Townsend, Wash. The website is under construction as this newsletter is written but try it at <http://www.ericsonyachts.org> and click on the Ericsons NW Regional Forum, or call Rhonda at 800-228-2803.

2009 Lake Tahoe Concours d'Elegance
June 19-21
Lake Tahoe, Calif.

For the first time in its 37-year history, the Lake Tahoe Concours d'Elegance will be held in June. June 19 is the VIP Preview Day, the premier day to view the boats. Tickets for that day are limited to the first 500 guests and include hosted hors d'oeuvres, wine and champagne, and an exclusive day on the docks.

The Lake Tahoe Concours d'Elegance continues on Saturday (9 a.m.-4 p.m.) and Sunday (9 a.m-3 p.m.), June 20-21. For more information, go to <http://www.LakeTahoeConcours.com>, or contact Danny Pavel, show manager, at 530- 581-4700, extension 103.

2009 Master Mariners Benevolent Association Calendar of Events

Annual Meeting & Party
Saturday, June 27

2009 Wooden Boat Show
Sunday, June 28, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Corinthian Yacht Club <http://www.cyc.org>
43 Main Street, Tiburon, Calif.

Annual BBQ
Saturday, July 18
Spaulding Wooden Boat Center (http://www.spauldingwoodenboatcenter.org)
Sausalito, Calif.

McNish Classic
Saturday, August 1
Pacific Corinthian Yacht Club (http://www.pcyc.org)
Channel Islands Harbor, Calif.

Island Packet Rendezvous on Lake Superior
July 2-5
Bayfield, Wis.

Bayfield, Wisconsin, is the site of the first-ever Island Packet Rendezvous on Lake Superior. Located among the beautiful and picturesque Apostle Islands, world-class sailing and local hospitality are a breeze away. Explore the shops, restaurants, scenic trails, and shoreline around Bayfield. For more information go to <http://web.mac.com/mmeitzen>.

Morris Boat Show
July 17-19
Northeast Harbor, Maine

Morris Yachts will host the fifth annual Morris Boat Show at their service yard in Northeast Harbor, Maine. Open to the public, this event will showcase dozens of Morris Yachts on the docks and in the sheds. For more information, call 207-244-5509; email sales1@morrisyachts.com, or check out their website at <http://www.morrisyachts.com>.

Edey & Duff 2009 Builder's Cup
July 18
Aucoot Cove
Mattapoisett, Mass.

This year is the 40th Anniversary Rendezvous for all Edey & Duff boats and customers. Join them on Saturday, July 18, for a day of racing and a boatyard dinner. Call 508-758-2743, contact dgdavgead@aol.com, or go to <http://www.edeyandduff.com> for more information.

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Boatbuilder gathering gets better every year

by Gayle Brantuk, Vice president, Glen-L Marine Designs

The Glen-L Gathering of Boatbuilders has become an annual event anxiously anticipated by all those on the Glen-L online Boatbuilder Forum. The 2008 event, held October 24-26, was once again a great success. The fun and frivolity took place at Lake Guntersville State Park in Alabama in an absolutely breathtaking background.

There were over 100 participants at the event and more than 20 home-built boats. Each of these boats was a unique creation limited only by the skills and determination of the builder. There were several classic mahogany runabouts that were "ooohed" and "aaahed" over, a cabin cruiser, a couple of mini-tugs, fishing boats, runabouts, speedboats and more. Some brought finished boats, some partially done, some brought just their dreams, but all brought a sense of joy and friendship.

The camaraderie at this event was impressive. One builder came with an engine issue he couldn't seem to solve and left with the possible solution. This wasn't an isolated event--everyone was happy to share ideas and many were assisted with input from other experienced builders. And parts were traded and sold.

Saturday night was a chili cook-off. Some fun awards were hand-made and given to the "Most Innovative," "Best Name," "Most Unique," "Potential for Speed," "Didn't Hit the Dock This Year," and "Best Legs" (that would be a man's legs!).

The Boatbuilder Forum is provided as a support system primarily for those building Glen-L designs, but all are welcome. If the trend continues, there will be twice as many people and boats at next year's event, which will be held at the same place from October 23 to 25, 2009. For more information, visit the Glen-L website at <http://www.Glen-L.com> and join our Forum.

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Looking for

The editors of Good Old Boat would like reader comments about the sailing characteristics of these upcoming feature boats -- Tartan 33, Ericson Cruising 31, Olson 30, J/32, and Dana 24 -- and these upcoming review boats -- Com-Pac 19, Cal 2-27, Hinckley 40, Pearson 28, and Tartan 28. Send your comments to Karen at GoodOldBoat.

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Book reviews

The following book reviews have been posted online.

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Mail buoy

Nice newsletter

Excellent series of articles [in the April 2009 newsletter]. I plan to use Jerry's suggestions for how to do a shower in a 30-foot boat on my 1977 30-foot S2. Not a single issue goes by that I do not find some absolute gem of information.
John Lyman

Tartan 3000 Scheel keel

As a proud owner of a T3000, I thank you for the article on this often overlooked gem (March 2009). One comment: the Scheel keel version is a rare bird indeed. I wonder whether any were ever built. The more available shoal-draft version is a centerboarder (3 feet 4 inches board up), making her a great gunkholer as well as an entertaining sailer.
Gus Taylor

Not quite young enough

I have 26-foot Thunderbird I'm finishing in a couple of months and, since I am 77 years old, I'm not sure a new project boat would get finished. Now, if I was only 75…
Don Jackson
Don was responding to an email message from the editors regarding a distressed boat that was about to be destroyed. If you're on our email list, we'll send you occasional news flashes by email, including messages with this sort of opportunity for the right sailor.

Nipmuc Marine

I had written to you about how Pettit paint worked for me on the boat bottom (January 2009 Mail Buoy). I wanted to add that I purchase all my boating supplies from Nipmuc Marine & Auto <http://www.nipmucmarine.com>, a husband-and-wife operation in Mendon, Massachusetts. If they don't have it, they will find it for you and give you the best prices.
Del Grindle

Ominous grumblings

I have enjoyed Good Old Boat over the years as a valuable resource for people like me, who are interested in restoring neglected older boats. I must say I am less than pleased at the direction you seem to be taking with serialized sea stories. Most of the people I know who faithfully read Good Old Boat from cover to cover are not interested in reading articles or stories not concerned with the restoration of the old boats we admire.
Chubb Bowser

You mean our Audio Sea Stories?

Don't worry about those "serialized sea stories," as you call them. We've nearly run out. We were trying to give our readers a taste of what your friends at Good Old Boat are doing with audiobook recordings. (We're rather proud, you know, since we've produced these books-on-tape ourselves.) But we only produced 12 books, so we're about to run out of sampler articles. We are planning to do one more sample in an upcoming issue: Slocum's classic Around the World Alone. We hope you'll overlook it just one more time.

Mystic stamp

How'd you do that?

The editors received a cool Christmas present this year: photos of our boat on a couple of sheets of stamps (think of them as U.S. postage "vanity plates," if you will). Subscriber Jim Hildinger received one of these stamps and wanted to know how he could make his own stamps.

Since the stamps were created by Cindy Christian Rogers, we asked her. Cindy says: "There are a number of websites licensed by the U.S. Post Office that offer the service, each with varying degrees of ease. I prefer <http://www.pictureitpostage.com> because I find it ever so straightforward to load up a digital photo, crop it, and select matching colors for any background or text. Also, once you're signed up with them, they send you regular discount offers. I imagine the other sites do that too, and I believe the USPS itself has some kind of online capability. I don't know whether it's cheaper. Seems to me I spotted a promotion at the post office last time I visited. It might be possible to send photos on CD via the mail if online purchases aren't your cup of tea."

Jim worked it out

It's easy! Right on the counter at the post office is a packet: enclose your photo and send it in. If I remember right, it's 20 stamps for $20 dollars. What a great fundraising idea for the post office!
Jim Hildinger

Required reading

I accepted your generous offer of a free issue. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Then the second issue came. Even better. But I wasn't anywhere near to being in a position to buy a boat, so I figured I would learn what I could from the Internet. WRONG. Totally wrong!

Now I am closer to getting my first sailboat and your publication will help me more than any I have seen. Your magazine has so much good information for the average boater, it should be required reading! Therefore, I have tendered my two-year subscription!
J.N. Benignus

No! No! NOT monthly?!

Your magazine is an excellent read, and my only criticism is that it is not monthly! I spend my lag month reading back issues. Just when I think I am done with an issue, the boat throws a new twist at me. I dig into the back issues in hunt for the solution; it is there, I just have to find it. Recently, I found the solution in two different years — mystery coolant in the bilge.
Al O'Byrne

Sunfish starter boats

Love your magazine, especially since you've already done an article on my good old boat, a 1978 Chrysler 22, the second slowest sailboat on Smith Mountain Lake. The only boat I've ever passed is a Chrysler 26…with its mainsail reefed.

Just had an idea, though. If you haven't already done an article, a lot of us have older Sunfish boats. They are amazing fun, still extremely popular, and can be picked up on the cheap. I bought mine with a trailer for $200 at an auction.
Mike Hutsenpiller

Tell us your stories

How about it readers? Who has Sunfish-starter-boat tales to share? Send them in (to Karen at GoodOldBoat).

It's amazing how many sailors started on a Sunfish. In fact, Mike later shared a story of his own: "I bought the boat several years ago at an auction and justified my purchase by saying it would be the perfect way to teach my daughter to sail. Only, the first time we took it out I forgot how quickly they jibe and how quickly they roll over. All I remember, as I fell backward into the water, is the fear in my daughter's eyes as she jumped over me, entangled in lines and sail. I never got her on the boat again. Not to worry. She's been on the Chrysler. It moves so slowly that it makes her feel safe."

Go get 'em, Jill!

Your May 2009 cover of Jill Lamphier was a groundbreaker for Good Old Boat. I've checked my previous issues and you've shown pictures of good old boats, pictures of good old boats crewed by people, but never a picture featuring a sailor who was incidentally sailing a good old boat. But your caption of "smiling Jill Lumpier" was underwhelming. A closer look at the picture shows a dedicated good old boater who has upgraded her good old Cal 25 with high-tech racing sails, refinished hull, and new opening ports.

She shows her fierce dedication to competitive racing by her upgrade of her old jibsheet system, replacing the small undersized tired bronze winches with new Harken self-tailing (read: expensive) winches placed, interesting enough, on the cabintop. While not in the picture, she undoubtedly installed a Harken traveler system on the forward cockpit position. From that position in the cockpit, she can reach all her sail controls, indicating she is a frequent singlehanded sailor…Her wispy hair tells of a moderate breeze that day. Perhaps she needs no telltales.

The best part of the picture was her eyes and wonderful smile. Not distracted by the photographer, she is looking directly ahead, undoubtedly smiling with satisfaction that she's just now going to overhaul a competitor. The picture tells the story.
Harvey Rosenberg

People on the cover

That was a splendid cover on the May 2009 issue. It may be a small and rather personal point, but I like the inclusion of people in the photographs. Particularly candid or unposed, close-up, rather documentary shots of people actually using boats: people caught in the act of piloting, pulling up an anchor wrapped in kelp, cooking, eating in the cockpit, or busy sailing Cal 25s -- that sort of thing. Having said that, I also like the more placid covers that capture the imagination.
Richard Smith

NOW you're getting it!

It was good to see someone actually sailing a boat on your May 2009 cover…not a dark, foggy shot of some anchored boat.
John Howard

Keep up the close-ups

The challenge to keep expanding your subscriber base is well done by your May 2009 cover photo. It's a great start for newstand success and capturing new subscribers. It's the close-up factor, to say nothing of the beautiful gal…On a rack with all the other maritime magazines, this cover is a standout. KEEP UP THE CLOSE-UPS: hands on tillers, heads looking at sail trim, smiling sleepers in cockpits and under Hudson Bay blankets, bow waves. Keep cropping images, like this cover, so the viewer imagines what's outside the frame -- anything that departs from the traditional long-shot cover.
Bob Brodsky

Biggest bang for my buck

Thanks for your publication. I have subscribed to all of the magazines that have anything to do with sailing and boating over the last three or four years. Yours was a hard decision for me to make as far as subscribing because it was more expensive than most of the others. I finally decided to pay the money, and I am very glad I did.

Something occurred to me this morning as I was reading through the May 2009 issue: the other publications, which I have dropped (with the exception of one because it's so cheap), don't have a lot of content that I am really interested in. Article-for-article, your magazine gives me the most for my money if I consider the price per article that I actually read. As I tend to read everything in your magazine, that's the biggest bang for my buck.
Joe Carter

For the real people

Good Old Boat is the only publication that serves the real people with real financial situations. The articles in other sailing magazines about 50 being the new 40 make me ill. I just worked a booth at Strictly Sail -- Pacific and nobody can afford new boats these days except the extremely well-off, and what percentage of the population are they? The vast majority of us are relegated to cruising the docks, waiting to fall in love with a lass who most probably needs an extreme makeover.

Good Old Boat is the best source of reviews for all of those boats that are realistically affordable by the common person/family. One of my favorite activities is walking down the pier and discussing the pros and cons of a Contessa 26 versus an O'Day 26, based entirely on reading your reviews. This has made me a considerably more educated potential buyer/armchair reviewer of good old boats in general. If you consider the amount of money one might save buying one good old boat that is in better condition and a better fit for the captain and crew over another, it vastly offsets the price of a lifetime subscription to Good Old Boat. That means the hours of reading the magazine are a fringe benefit.

Keep up the good work. I think Good Old Boat's sailing along nicely with the helm very well balanced.
Chris Larsen

A word from the next generation

Thank you for having such a wonderful magazine. It has seen me through my childhood, contributed a great deal to what I know about sailboats, and kept me consistently entertained and interested! My father and I look forward to every edition. What's fun is to be able to flip through and find fewer things about which we have no clue!
Aaron Norlund

Not even a tinge?

Of all the magazines I read, Good Old Boat stands alone at the top. Helpful, honest, funny, and inspiring without a tinge of arrogance. Thanks for all you all do to keep us regular people on the water.
Curran Spottswood

Manual windlass

Good deal on a manual windlass

Alan Zelina wrote in looking for a good manual windlass. Let him know I'll give him a good deal on the one in the attached photo. It's located on Tumbo Island, off Saturna. A bit of WD-40 and it should be good to go. Delivery extra. Keep up the good work.
Rob Boeckh

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By John Vigor

Jet Streams
Keeping an eye on lofty breeding grounds for storms.

Jet streams are found at the borders of the basic north/south air circulation systems of the atmosphere, where warm air meets cold air. These high-level winds, moving at speeds that average more than 50 knots and often exceed 200 knots from west to east, are too high to affect boaters directly; they are strongest at about 35,000 feet although they may extend as low as 16,000 feet or more. Knowing their position is important, however, because of the bad weather they portend at sea level.

Three jet streams have so far been identified, of which the polar jet stream is of the most consequence to mid-latitude sailors. Contrary to its name, it's not located at the north or south pole; it actually snakes back and forth between 40? and 60? in each hemisphere. It moves southward in the winter and intensifies because temperature differences, high latitudes, and mid-latitudes increase then; it reaches maximum speeds off the east coasts of Asia (near Japan) and North America (near Newfoundland). Most surface lows and large-scale extra-tropical storms form along the path of the polar jet stream and are steered by it.

The subtropical jet stream generally concentrates around 30? North and South, tending toward higher latitudes in the summer. It's an important factor in the generation of thunderstorms over the southern United States in the summer.

The arctic jet stream is the one most recently discovered. It is generally located at a latitude of around 70? N, at an altitude of between 3 and 5 miles (5 and 8km), but it's not a permanent feature, nor does it extend all the way around the world.

All three jet streams are about 300 to 500 miles (500 to 800km) wide, but they vary in strength and position from week to week. The subtropical jet stream may disappear entirely from the North America continent in the winter, while the polar jet moves south and becomes the prominent influence on U.S. weather. With summer, the polar jet retreats to northern Canada.

Meteorologists map jet steam locations on daily 500-millibar weather maps -- the 500mb constant pressure being found near 18,000 feet of altitude in the Earth's atmosphere. This is high enough to locate the bottom of the jet streams, and empirical observations tell us that upper-level winds mapped at 500mb reveal the majority of large-scale surface-weather patterns.

John Vigor's book, The Practical Encyclopedia of Boating, is available from the Good Old Boat Bookshelf for $29.95; 352 pages (hardcover)

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