August 2012 Newsletter

August 2012 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 <in MS Word> or as a <PDF file>.

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


Summertime and the sailin' is easy …

… winds are blowin' and the weather is (mostly) mild. Your editors are sailin' and at least one of 'em keeps writin' about it … read all about it in their ongoing blog: http://goodoldboat.wordpress.com/.

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More back issues

What do you know? The mice at Good Old Boat have been busy and have nearly caught up in the electronic downloadable back-issues department now that they've completed years 2010 and 2011. Can 2012 be far behind? (Well yes, actually. It's sailing season and the mice, being sailors mostly, have headed to sea for the time being.) Go to http://www.goodoldboat.com/reader_services/back_issues.php#2011 to find any issues you've missed.

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Very cool NEW T-shirts

We have two new BIG LOGO shirts. One is navy with short sleeves and a white you-can't-miss-this logo.

The second shirt is a departure for us. It's a (Ta da!) long-sleeved white sun protection BIG LOGO T-shirt. And we do mean big! The white shirt has a red and blue you-can't-miss-this logo. What's more (and we really are walking on the wild side with new innovations), both shirts have front pockets. They're available at http://www.goodoldboat.com/books_&_gear/clothing.php.

Blue pocket t-shirt White long-sleeve pocket t-shirt
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Like us? Then please LIKE us on Facebook

The number of our Facebook fans keeps growing. We're up to 1,834. It's another place to get news from Good Old Boat. Go to http://www.facebook.com/goodoldboat for news and comments and don't forget to LIKE us!

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What's coming in September?

For the love of sailboats

  • Pacific Seacraft 34 feature boat
  • Catalina 34 review
  • Santana 27 review

Speaking seriously

  • The Gaff-Rigged Sail 101
  • Double-enders and canoe sterns
  • Installing a cabin heater
  • Hot water, warm boat
  • Matt Rutherford profile
  • Inflatable dinghy cover
  • Do-it-yourself boat barn
  • Companionway hatch makeover
  • Fuel polishing system

What's more

  • Working to share the dream
  • Moving aboard
  • New product launchings
  • Reflections: Back where we belong
  • Simple solution: Head-turning horseshoe buoy
  • Quick and Easy: Two-way door latch and Easy-store winter frame
  • The view from here: Out of the wilderness
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In the news

Tide Application for iPad

ChronGlobal Corporation, the developer of the successful ChronGlobal Tidal Chronoscope application (app), has released a new specifically designed version for iPad users. Tidal Chronoscope HD uses the iPad's GPS to deliver accurate tidal forecasting, along with interactive tide graphs and maps.

The app offers a host of features to help users who are interested in obtaining tide information for almost anywhere on the globe. It automatically retrieves local tide predictions from more than 9,400 worldwide tidal reporting stations, and lets users add their own custom reporting stations.

"What started off as a pet project turned into a major undertaking. Working with our team of PhDs, it took us nine long months to develop this application. It's based on my original tide watch for Kriëger Watch Corporation, but I have taken it a step further and built a database of 9,400 reporting tide stations around the world. It's a must-have app for open-water enthusiasts," stated inventor and CEO, Ira Kriëger.

The app also offers a virtual wristwatch for following the daily lunar and sun movements. The app allows users to predict the tides for any day, hour, or minute up to seven days in advance. An interactive tide graph and map adds to the abundance of new features.

Device Requirements:

  • iPad
  • Requires iOS 5.1 or later
  • 22.4 MB disc space

Pricing and Availability:

Tide: Tidal Chronoscope HD 1.01 is $2.99 (USD) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Navigation category.

Website: http://www.chronglobal.com/

Purchase and Download:

  • iPad: http://www.chronglobal.com/getapphd.php
  • iPhone: http://www.chronglobal.com/getapp.php
  • Google Play: http://www.chronglobal.com/getmarket.php
  • Screenshots and App Icon: http://s1134.photobucket.com/albums/m604/Chronglobal/
  • Readers: Do you have an app you recommend for fellow sailors? Let Karen know: Karen@goodoldboat.com.

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    Calendar

    Penobscot Bay Rendezvous

    August 16 –19, 2012
    Rockland, Thomaston, and Camden, Maine

    The second annual Penobscot Bay Rendezvous, Maine's newest sailing and power event, will be presented by Wayfarer Marine and Lyman-Morse Boatbuilding. Super yachts to classics to performance racers, daysailers, and powerboats of all vintages are invited to enter. The Penobscot Bay Rendezvous is a celebration of boating and boatbuilding. More information can be found at http://www.penobscotbayrendezvous.com.

    Metal Boat Festival

    August 17 – 19, 2012
    Anacortes, Washington

    The 25th annual Metal Boat Festival will be held on the waterfront in Anacortes, Washington. The festival is a seminar with speakers covering various boat-related topics. The seminars will be held at the Marine Technology Building starting at 8:00am Friday morning and concluding mid-afternoon on Sunday. The Metal Boat Festival is open to everyone, Metal Boat Society members and non-members alike. For more information on seminar subjects and evening program speakers, or to register, go to http://www.metalboatsociety.org or e-mail Curt at curt123@q.com call 425-485-2100.

    Unsalted Sailing Flotilla

    August 18 – 24, 2012
    Northern Michigan

    This is your opportunity to explore the islands, beaches, towns, and harbors of beautiful Northern Michigan with the comfort and safety of sailing with others. All sailing skill levels welcome. Boarding and reception cook-out will be held the afternoon of August 17th. There will be harbor hopping in Grand Traverse and Little Traverse Bays with expected visits to Suttons Bay, Northport, Charlevoix, Omena Bay, Elk Rapid, or Old Mission Harbor, Bower's Harbor and Marion Island. Presentations, wine tasting, nature hikes, and the "Twisted Sheet Regatta" will entertain along the way. In addition, the ASA 101/103 combo course and the 104 course will be offered.

    This is the event that started it all and is sure to be a hit again in 2012. More information can be found at http://www.unsaltedsailing.com/unsalted-sailing-flotilla/ or call 231-941-0535 or email baybreeze@bbyc.com for pricing and more details.

    Unsalted Lake Crossing: Michigan to Wisconsin

    September 9 – 14, 2012
    Northport, Michigan

    Reception, boarding, and chart briefing will be held the afternoon of September 8th. Intermediate skill level is required. Starting from Northport, Michigan, the next stop will be Leland or South Manitou Island to get ready for the estimated 60-mile Lake Michigan crossing to Washington Island in Door County, Wisconsin. ASA 104, 105 and 106 courses will be offered.

    Check out http://www.bbyc.com/unsalted-lake-crossing-mi-to-wi/ for more information. Call 231-941-0535 or email baybreeze@bbyc.com for pricing and more details.

    Newport International Boat Show

    September 13-16, 2012
    Newport, Rhode Island

    The 42nd Annual Newport International Boat Show will feature new sailboats and powerboats, and thousands of products and services from both domestic and international exhibitors. For more information, go to http://www.newportboatshow.com.

    SSCA Annapolis Gam

    September 28 – 30, 2012
    Camp Letts on the Rhode River; Edgewater, Maryland

    The 26th Annual SSCA Annapolis Gam will feature Nigel Calder, Lin and Larry Pardey, Claiborne Young, and Herb Hilgenberg.

    Seven Seas Cruising Association is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. It's the largest non-profit organization of voyaging cruisers in the world. The goals of the original founders are still the goals of SSCA today: sharing cruising information, camaraderie, and leaving a clean wake. For more information, go to http://www.ssca.org.

    Antique & Classic Boat Festival

    August 25 – 26, 2012
    Brewer Hawthorne Cove Marina, 10 White St.
    Salem, Massachusetts

    The flash of polished bronze and gleam of varnished wood across the water will be the order of the day as elegant antique and classic yachts sail into the host city of Salem, Massachusetts, for the 30th Annual Antique & Classic Boat Festival. Mostly wood, primarily private yachts, and aesthetically stunning, the vessels will be on display to the public over the weekend at Brewer Hawthorne Cove Marina. A hallmark of the Festival is the great variety of craft exhibited. Says coordinator Pat Wells, "Where else can one see 1900s-60s motor yachts, mahogany speedboats, sloops, yawls, schooners and a 19th- century gold-leaf canoe! Although many of these craft are museum quality, they are real boats in the water and in use by their owners today." Info and boat entry: 617-666-8530 or go to http://www.boatfestival.org.

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    Looking for

    Why are cowl vents red? Just because they look good?

    Not long ago, as they were driving to the boat with two brand-spanking-new cowl vents in the trunk for installation on the stern of their boat, editors Karen and Jerry were seized by a very important question: Why are cowl vents usually red inside? Could there be a perfectly logical reason for that? Or does this one automatically default to the "We've always done it that way" response?

    We Googled around a bit and came up with a couple of discussions online that didn't inspire a lot of confidence. Could red paint really be that much cheaper, as one postulated? The most reasonable answer we found was that perhaps the red insides help save the night vision of those in the cabin, protecting them from any reflected light that might find its way below. We were nearly convinced of that one until we realized that the big ships have red inside their vents too. (See our photos of the S.S. Meteor, on exhibit in Superior, Wisconsin, as the world's last whaleback ship: http://www.superiorpublicmuseums.org/ssmeteor/NewMETEORMAIN.htm. The Meteor has red cowls sticking up all over the place!) That can't be about light getting down into their watch stations. Could it just be because the red color looks particularly classy, so very Bristol fashion?

    What are your thoughts? We obviously could use a few more brains on this one. If two brains are better than one, we figure hundreds of brains must be better still. Send your thoughts, guesses, or facts to jerry@goodoldboat.com.

    If you have other important nautical questions you never thought to ask, now's the time. Any other time when you are so inspired works too. Let's see what our entire community of sailors can do about expanding our combined maritime wisdom and incidental sailing trivia storehouses.

    Looking for Ray Greene's Clipper

    Ray Green's clipper

    I have read all the information I can find on Ray Greene but I cannot find any information about a boat he built called the "Clipper." It is 24 feet long and 3,500 pounds with a 4-foot draft and a 67-inch beam with a sloop rig. Any information anyone has on this boat built by Ray Greene would be very helpful. Thank you for your time.
    Don Harvey
    Peaceandlovebar@aol.com

    U.S. Postal Service's mystery boat

    A Forever sailing stamp

    A few weeks ago Karen posted on Facebook about the Postal Service's new Forever postcard featuring an "impressionistic image of a moored sailboat in Long Island Sound" created by Burton Silverman of New York City, who based the painting on a photograph he took during a summer sailing trip. We're trying to figure out what sort of good old boat it might be. Send any guesses to Karen@goodoldboat.com.

    Wanted: Seafarer 24 comments

    We'd like to begin including sailors' input about specific models of sailboats. Our reviewers are traveling all over this summer to bring you boat reviews. But sometimes when they're sitting on the boat there's too much wind or not enough wind or no wind at all. Even when the wind cooperates, they can't possibly get — in a day or two — the full range of experience that owners of these boats will accumulate in many seasons of sailing. That's where you come in.

    One upcoming review boat on our schedule is a Seafarer 24. Do you have a Seafarer 24? Have you had one in the past? Do you know someone who owns or has owned one?

    If yes, we'd like to hear from you. Please send your comments to the guy who manages our boat reviews, Dan Spurr: danspurr@aol.com.

    Tell Dan about the sailing characteristics (good and bad), the level of quality in the build, quirky things to watch out for, the good things that are true selling points for this boat, and anything else that springs to mind.

    If this isn't a boat you've sailed on in the past, please stay tuned. We'll be sending these messages every so often with requests for input on other boats we'll be reviewing. We're bound to come upon one that is, or has been, in your collection over the years.

    Thanks for sharing your experience with "the rest of us"!

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    Meanwhile, aboard the podcast newsletter

    Audioseastories.net

    At this point of the podcast version of the newsletter, <http://www.audioseastories.net>, listeners will hear an interview with Good Old Boat founders Karen Larson and Jerry Powlas, who joined podcast readers Patty and Michael Facius on their boat on Lake Superior before continuing their summer sail on Mystic.

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    Book reviews

    The following book reviews have been posted online.

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    Do-it-yourself boat salvage

    by Thaddeus J. Van Gilder

    November 2009 brought us the remains of Hurricane Ida, which reached the Jersey coast as a strong nor'easter. Beaches were pounded, Dunes were eroded away, and the harbor at Cape May failed to protect its collection of moored sailboats. Cape May Harbor has for years been known as a safe haven and a great location to moor a sailboat. Protected from all directions from ocean waves, it offers reasonably deep access to both the Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, and good anchor-holding makes choosing Cape May Harbor a no-brainer for the sailor searching for a home port.

    And so it was for my brother Zach, who found the harbor an idyllic place to moor his newly adopted 1969 Coronado 25. The summer of '09 found him and his friends spending weekends aboard and sharing countless afternoons sailing in the local waters. One couldn't blame them for wanting to stretch the summer as long as possible. Eventually, however, the summer slowly grew to a close and autumn settled in. Zach's sailing slowed as he started thinking about winter storage.

    Not too far into autumn, I received a phone call from Zach. He was concerned about the storms heading up the coast. No longer Hurricane Ida, the year's first nor'easter still looked to be quite hairy.

    "Will she be OK?" he asked.

    "She's been doing fine. I'm sure it will be just another storm," I replied.

    I was wrong. It wasn't just another storm. By the time the nor'easter passed by Cape May only one boat remained safely at her mooring. The rest were on the beach.

    As Zach and his friends live 2½ hours from Cape May, and I live an hour further, none of us could check on her for a few days. The best I could do was call a friend who manages a local boat chandlery located across the harbor.

    "Does she look OK?" I asked my friend.

    "Where is her mooring? he asked.

    I explained in detail and he told me that, unfortunately, there were no red boats in the harbor. In fact, there was only one boat left in the harbor.

    Coronado on the cover

    Where was she? Did she hit something and sink? I had no answers until another sailing friend called to tell me that my brother's boat was on the cover of the local newspaper. A picture of the Coronado, on her side next to another sloop, on the meadows gave up her location.

    Zach made it down to look and called with the situation. His sloop, one of four on land, was undamaged. The keel was about thirty feet past the normal high-tide line, heeled at more than forty-five degrees, and there was no access to it by vehicle. He couldn't look anymore and drove home to come up with a plan over an adult libation or two.

    The next day he called several companies about salvage and, upon describing the location of the boat, responses came back ranging from costs of several thousand dollars to simple answers like "We won't touch that." This caught Zach, a college student, by surprise.

    A call from the New Jersey Marine Police a few days later further caught his attention when they informed him of fines of many thousands of dollars a week for a boat left on land after a storm.

    Coronado and neighbor

    The Coronado aground

    Jumping ahead to the following weekend, we decided to try to avoid the fines that would begin the following Monday. Zach, his friend Colin, and I were on the beach staring at some 5,000 pounds of iron and fiberglass. The plan: Lift the boat onto some planks and slide it down to the water. It sounded easy but we knew we were trying something unusual when a growing crowd of people gathered on the beach to watch and take pictures of the process.

    The hardest part then commenced — putting down the coffee cups and starting. We put a floor jack on a board under the keel and lifted the aft end of the keel up. Under the keel and the turn of the bilge went two 2 by 6's. After repeating the process for the bow we had four planks under the boat. We started the process with dry planks, but later discovered the boat moved much easier with Crisco smeared liberally on the planks. In time, two large canisters of Crisco were consumed while sliding the boat along.

    On both the bow and stern, we looped chain around the hull to form a harness of sorts. To these we attached two chain falls. The chain falls were initially attached to heavy nylon line, which were in turn attached to the biggest anchors we could get our hands on. We quickly found the nylon line stretched far more than we anticipated. The boat did not budge an inch, despite hauling on the chain falls for quite awhile. It amazed me how much the 1-inch line stretched. I had never witnessed line of that diameter stretch, and what would happen if it broke started to concern me. So we eased the big line and proceeded to beg and borrow a large quantity of chain. We replaced the heavy nylon line with chain (some of it only ¼-inch) and, to our amazement, the boat instantly started to move when we hauled on the chain falls.

    Inch by careful inch, the boat slid toward the water. Once we switched to chain, the process actually went fairly fast. We moved the boat some 60 feet in a long day, all the way to the water's edge at low tide. At high tide, at that spot, we would have more than 2½ feet of water, and as the boat drew four feet, we were sure at high tide we could pull her right off.

    At high tide we found we were wrong. The keel quickly buried itself in the sand more than a foot, as we found it impossible to keep planks under the keel. Later, after we got the boat afloat again, it occurred to me that we should have lashed the planks together under the keel. I guess hindsight is 20/20, and if I ever have to do this again, we will try that.

    During this process it amazed me that the anchors held, although we bent several into a shape that reminded me of a pretzel! We did find at times that it was helpful to bury a plank in the sand and set the anchor on the far side of the plank. This increased holding of the anchor and gave us a little more bite in the sand when needed. The only anchors we had available to us were of the Danforth type and the Bruce type. We found the anchors of the Bruce type had much better holding in the sand, and never needed a plank buried in the sand for extra holding as the anchors of the Danforth type needed from time to time.

    Once we got to the low-tide waterline, two tides passed with no movement. However, on the second high tide the boat floated up and out of its keel hole and leaned the other way. Prior to this, the keel was facing the direction of movement, and now the keel was pointed toward land. Now the dragging of the boat pulled the keel up out of the hole it continuously made, rather than being pulled into the sand like a plow. If I had to do this again, I would gently tip the boat over at the low-tide water line, to point the keel toward land.

    The process was aided by running the heaviest anchor line we owned (1-inch) and rowing it out to a mooring for a large boat. When it was tied off to the mooring, a squall came through and brought an extra, extra high tide that allowed Zach and Colin to pull the boat out to a mooring with the jibsheet winches.

    Disaster was averted by four days of hard manual labor. Once again, the happy little red sloop floats in Cape May Harbor.

    Afterthought: Initially we had thought the mooring pendant chafed through, as we knew chaff protection was not great on the pendants. I also had a theory that the small factory cleats may have pulled out as the fasteners were an undersized number ten. Upon seeing the boat, we found one pendant chafed through at the attachment point for the swivel at the galvanized thimble. The other pendant was fine and still attached to the swivel, which was the type that had a closed loop at the top and a clevis pin at the bottom. The swivel was fine, as was the clevis pin at the bottom at the chain attachment point. The chain, however, was gone. The chafe went through the top link and that link was clearly the failure point.

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    Fog stories

    Ben Stavis sent a number of short stories about his experiences sailing in fog in the days (and nights) before electronics, around 1960.

    Nighttime fog

    Near the end of a cruise to New England, we had a final long leg through Long Island Sound to get to our home port of New Rochelle. We ended up motoring through the very calm night. The water was almost like glass. Sometime during the night a thick fog settled down on us. Visibility was scant. The basic navigational issues were simple — the sound is wide and deep; we just had to avoid the lighthouses in the middle.

    We blew a foghorn regularly and turned off the engine roughly every 15 minutes to listen. We started to hear the noise of a slow-turning engine— maybe like the engine of a tugboat with barges. We blew a foghorn and proceeded, stopping and listening more frequently. The engine noise sounded about the same, time and time again. We went on for several hours, hearing the engine noise. Finally, we couldn't hear it. After dawn the fog lifted, but we couldn't see whatever vessel was chugging away.

    It is very nerve-racking to hear engine noises, even knowing that sound can travel a long distance over water on a still night. How far away? What direction?

    Smelling our way into Provincetown

    We cleared the Cape Cod Canal at the end of the day and sailed into the night in light airs across Cape Cod Bay toward Provincetown. Around midnight a thick fog settled down. Our challenge was to find a lighted bell buoy well to the east of Long Point. (I think this buoy was removed many years ago.)

    We were using the traditional methods of navigation then, steering a compass course as well as we could, and trailing a taffrail log, which gave us the distance from our departure point when we entered Cape Cod Bay. As we ran down the distance to the buoy, we stopped the engine periodically to listen for the buoy's bell. The night was quiet, the water was calm, and the bell buoy was not rocking; it was silent. We motored a little to the east and listened without finding the buoy. We motored to the west and listened — still nothing.

    We finally came up with a novel idea. We had a Radio Direction Finder (RDF) on board. Generally speaking, RDF bearings are very imprecise, but we were fortunate in being quite close to the Cape Cod Light, which had a very strong RDF signal — da da di da.

    On the chart we plotted the bearing from the Cape Cod Light to the silent bell buoy. We motored until we got to that bearing on the RDF, and then motored along that bearing line to and from the light. Eventually, we saw a tiny flashing light in the fog and very soon we were close to a large, looming lighted buoy, sitting still and quiet on the water.

    We could now set a course to the harbor. We reset the taffrail log and ran down our distance. We slowed down. Suddenly Denny, the bow watchman, called back that he smelled fish — we were very close to the dock where fish were offloaded. In another moment, the gray buildings on the end of the dock emerged from the fog in the early morning twilight. (This trip was before the construction of the harbor breakwater in 1972, so we didn't have to avoid it.)

    From there, we knew where to anchor.

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    Mail buoy

    Memories of Galatea

    Seeing Rob Mazza's mention of Galatea (Boat comparison, July 2012) took me back.

    I left the service in the spring of 1957 and found a position with Canadian Northern Company in Port Credit, Ontario, as a yacht broker while studying the Westlawn course. George Cuthbertson and Peter Davidson were the owners, and George was the designer. When I started, George was hard at work on the design of Inisfree (note the "r"), a handsome 54' wood keel/centerboard yawl. Work had already started on the yacht at Cliff Richardson's yard in Meaford, Ontario, under the watchful eye of Dick Telford, and I had the privilege of driving up to Meaford several times with Dick and George on their inspection trips.

    My job as yacht broker was to sell local yachts, of course, and also to sell and import European yachts that were listed with us by brokers in Denmark and Norway. These were mostly wood Folkboats and sailing cruisers but one of the boats we imported was a 42' steel sloop built by Beisterwerft on the island of Norderney, Germany. She was quite a handsome yacht with a lovely ribbonwood mahogany interior and was located in Michigan when I last heard of her about 3 or 4 years ago, but needed work. After seeing, and sailing, the 42 I contacted Kurt Beister about other steel yachts and we were offered new 35' keel yawls. I was sure George Cuthbertson had designed these but, the last time we talked, he told me he had just modified Beister's design to make it more saleable on the Canadian market. In any case, we imported a number of them and they were well received. Indeed, I sold one of the 35s to my family doctor in Hamilton and that boat came near to killing me, but that's another story.

    The 35s attracted the attention of sailors, of course, and George designed a very nice 30' sloop to follow up the success of the larger sister. The first of these to arrive was terribly bashed-up on the freighter when her cradle collapsed in an Atlantic storm. She slid around the deck for hours and was only saved when a brave crewman welded her to the steel deck. Try that with fiberglass! Peter and I felt sick when we went to the Toronto docks to inspect the newest import and saw the extent of the damage, but the Captain soothed our feelings with a generous supply of cold Heinekens. The boat's starboard side looked as if a Caterpillar tractor had run over her. She was a complete insurance writeoff. However, the client liked what he saw, ordered CN30 #2, and that made two sales for the company. CN30 #1, while rumpled and creased, was still watertight so she was launched and towed off, then sold at auction for about 30% of her new price, and repaired as good as new within a year! That says much about the strength of steel boats.

    Then George received an order for a custom steel keel/centerboard yawl, a slightly smaller version of Inisfree. He got right at the design and turned out a very handsome vessel, about 48' LOA. In short order, the new yacht, Galatea, was built by Beisterwerft and imported for her owner, a yachtsman from Burlington, Ontario. We offloaded her from the freighter, no problem this time, and towed her over to the Royal Canadian Yacht Club to step her spars, commission her, and hand her over to her proud owner.
    I recall a later incident that rather shook us, though. Galatea, with only the owner and a friend aboard, were under full sail in Hamilton Bay and heading to the canal that separated the bay from Lake Ontario. They entered the canal, making good speed, and too late realized that the highway bridge was not going to lift for them in time. The only answer was an all-standing gybe and, while Galatea escaped damage, the same could not be said for the sailor's rope-burned hands and ego. Can you imagine the results if she had hit that bridge!

    It was about that time that I applied for an opening as assistant to Bill Luders in Stamford, Connecticut. I received my U.S. green card in late August and started my new design career right after Labor Day, 1960. A few years later, in the mid '60s, Galatea showed up at Luders Marine badly needing some TLC as her second owners had badly neglected her. We hauled her out and our merry men got to work on the poor girl, sandblasting and painting her hull along with much other maintenance. After launching, a very pretty Galatea headed south and I never saw her again.
    Ted Brewer

    Transducers

    While I enjoyed Alan Lucas's article on the various ways to mount an in-hull depth transducer (July 2012), there is another fairly easy alternative. The Airmar P79 is designed for in-hull mounting and has an ingenious system to adjust the transducer so that it shoots straight down regardless of the shape of your hull. Since Airmar manufactures the transducers for just about every depth sounder sold in the U.S., you are not restricted to buying a specific rebranded transducer. The standard P79 has a sufficient number of wires in its cable to be attached to pretty much any display unit. Airmar's website has a useful page which tells you which wires to attach to which brand display http://www.airmartechnology.com. The list price of the P79 is fairly high, but you can usually pick one up on eBay for about $40. I followed this approach when I needed to replace a depth transducer, but was a year from my next scheduled haul-out.
    Al Lorman

    How to repack a LifeSling

    I read your repacking advice from the October 2009 issue after cleaning the disgustingly dirty interior of our LifeSling. Is the replacement mesh bottom better than the single drain hole? Did the mesh bottom help reduce the mold/mildew/spider dung etc.?
    Marilyn Kinsey

    Karen replies
    I had a chance to check the LifeSling this spring. It's in fine condition at the bottom. It didn't seem to be crawling with spiders and had not collected a bunch of muck in the bottom either. The mesh I used was very fine and it worked very well. The mesh was a scrap of material left over from the bottom of cushions I made, so the cushions wouldn't trap moisture. The mesh came from Sailrite. What it was exactly I don't recall.
    Karen Larson, Editor

    LED navigation lights

    Legal issues are one argument against substituting LEDs in conventional navigation lights, but the efficiency of LEDs is best when the native color of the device is used. To use white LEDs is to throw away a significant part of the light … first in exiting a white phosphor from a UV LED and then through a colored lens. LEDs were historically first red and then green, and those are exactly the colors for the navigation sidelights. Duckworks sells LED navigation lights for about $48 a pair and a stern light (white) for $32 at http://www.duckworksbbs.com. In short, for $80 you can have all the required navigation lights for a sailboat that will draw 8 percent of the current of conventional lights and still give the 2-nautical-mile range.
    Tom Schultz

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    How to contact us

    You can find all of the details on how to contact us on our website.

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