December 2013 Newsletter

December 2013 Newsletter

What’s in this issue

This newsletter is available as an MP3 audio download at <>. 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.

Chicago in January?

Larry Carpenter

We admit that Chicago is not a universally accepted tourist destination in late January, January 23 through 26 to be specific. But northern sailors are a special breed of people. They can’t be bothered with boat shows in July during the sailing season, so they flock to boat shows in January.

The Good Old Boat crew will be there. Tom Wells, our loyal troubadour, will serenade you with sailing tunes, and up in the seminar section you can catch a presentation complete with nautical tunes played by longtime good old boater Larry Carpenter. The Chicago show has the best seminar schedule of all the boat shows, bar none.

So if you’re one of those rugged individualists who will trudge through snowdrifts and biting wind to take in the spring-like paradise at the lovely warm indoor setting in Navy Pier, please stop in to see us in booth 171.

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My boat is so old …

Want to have some fun? Finish that sentence in the title above. Do it as often as you like. Send your thoughts to Karen, We’ll run them in the next newsletter.

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What’s coming in January

For the love of sailboats

  • Freedom 38 review
  • Made in Japan
  • Golden Gate 30 refit

Speaking seriously

  • Coaxial Cable 101
  • Scientific yacht design by Rob Mazza
  • Hull envy, Part Two
  • Trailer-sailer choices
  • On watch in all weather
  • Countertop extension
  • Replacing lifelines
  • Engine instrument update

What’s more

  • Our readers' boats
  • Unhooked and disoriented
  • New product launchings
  • Reflections: The right boat for the right job
  • Simple solutions: Kayak cart
  • Quick and Easys: Protecting a dinghy’s skeg and Racor filter fix
  • The view from here: The mystique of tall ships
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In the news


Boating Writers International (BWI) is now accepting entries to its 21st Annual Writing Contest. The awards recognize excellence in boating, fishing, and travel journalism in 17 categories, including a new category, “Boat Projects, Renovations & Retrofits.” Each of the 17 categories will award $500 for first place, $300 for second place, and $200 for third place to a total of 51 recipients.

Last year’s contest attracted 142 participants submitting 370 entries. Each category will be judged by four active journalists in the first few weeks of 2014. Awards and plaques will be presented to the winners at the Miami International Boat Show in February 2014.

BWI members in good standing receive two free submissions to the contest; non-members can enter the contest at $50 for each submission, the same cost as an annual active membership in BWI.

Deadline for entries is Dec. 31, 2013. The entry process can be found at:

The 2013 list of categories and sponsors includes:

  1. Boating Columns — KVH Industries
  2. Boating Lifestyles — Discover Boating
  3. Boating Profiles — ZF Marine
  4. Boating Travel or Destinations — Martin Flory Group
  5. Boating Adventures — Yamaha Marine Group
  6. Boat/Engine Care & Maintenance — Interlux Yacht Finishes
  7. Electronics — Jeppesen Marine
  8. Ethics & Environment — West Marine
  9. Fishing — Suzuki Motor Corp.
  10. Boating Issues — News & Analysis, Mercury Marine
  11. The Business of Boating — Home Port Marine Marketing
  12. Seamanship, Rescue & Safety — Sea Tow Services International
  13. Technical Writing — Dometic Marine
  14. Boat Tests & Reviews — Volvo Penta
  15. Gear & Product Tests — Xantrex Technology Inc.
  16. Boat Projects, Renovations & Retrofits — Awlgrip North America
  17. Online Excellence — National Marine Electronics Association

BWI is a non-profit professional organization consisting of writers, broadcasters, editors, publishers, photographers, public relations specialists, and others in the communications profession associated with the boating industry. Members include active marine journalists across the U.S., Canada, and around the world, supporting marine manufacturers and service entities, and associates in a variety of communication roles. Go to <> to learn more.


Furuno, the largest marine electronic product line in the world, serves both the commercial and recreational maritime markets. Since its beginning in 1948, Furuno Electric Company has grown from a small marine electronics company to the world’s largest, with the most comprehensive worldwide service network serving both the commercial and recreational markets.

“The strong brand loyalty Furuno enjoys is a combined effort of our parent company’s determination to design innovative products, and the sales and service support of our amazing dealer network,” said Jim Atteridge, President of Furuno U.S.A.


The Coast Guard Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to the education and welfare of Coast Guard members and their families, is seeking donations of iTunes and Amazon gift cards to distribute to Coast Guard units across the country. The gift cards will be given to a Coast Guard member or unit to download music, videos, and books for iPods and Kindles provided by the Foundation for use on long deployments.

“The men and women of the Coast Guard work tirelessly to protect our shores; knowing that Americans are grateful for their service is a wonderful gesture,” said Coast Guard Foundation President Anne B. Brengle. “These gift cards are a small token of appreciation for all that the heroes of the Coast Guard do for all of us.”

Donated gift cards may be sent to: Coast Guard Foundation, 394 Taugwonk Road, Stonington, CT 06378. To learn more about the iTunes and Amazon gift card program or about the Coast Guard Foundation and its work, please visit the Coast Guard Foundation website at <>.


During this year’s VX One National Championship hosted by Rock Creek Yacht Club, DFWDrone was on location to capture the aerial perspective. See the video at <>.

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Toronto Boat Show

January 11–19
Direct Energy Center
Toronto, Ontario

The world's largest indoor lake for boaters returns to Ricoh Coliseum for the 2014 Toronto International Boat Show, where novice and experienced boaters can get their feet wet by taking advantage of free boat rides from Discover Boating in canoes, kayaks, paddleboats and inflatable boats. See more at: <>

Strictly Sail Chicago

January 23 – 26
Navy Pier
Chicago, Illinois

Lin and Larry Pardey are two of the featured presenters at this year’s show. Join the Good Old Boat crew at Booth 171. For more information go to <>.

Seattle Boat Show

January 24 – February 2
Century Link Field and Lake Union
Seattle, Washington

The West Coast's largest boat show will feature more than 1,000 recreational watercraft, seminars, and the latest accessories indoors at CenturyLink Field, plus afloat on South Lake Union. More information can be found at <>.

Strictly Sail Miami
February 13 – 17
Miamarina at Bayside
Miami Florida

You'll find the latest and the greatest from boatbuilders across the globe. See, shop, and test sail some of the newest sailboat designs, plus nearly 200 booths and land displays featuring sailing gear, accessories, and hardware from the industries’ top suppliers. For more information go to <>.

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Looking for

Flag bracket halo

Flag Bracket halo

A thought regarding Henry Depew's flag bracket halo: many years ago in Biology 101 we did a lab test by plating a growth media in a petri dish with E. coli and placing a dime on the surface of the agar gel. The bacteria grew to a thick layer except for a halo around the dime. The purpose of the study was to demonstrate the antimicrobial nature of heavy metals. Silver-releasing compounds are still used today in treating burns.

I don't know what is in the SS alloys, but could there be a metal leaching out that is antimicrobial? If so, how long does it leach out before the SS loses its anti-corrosive quality? Does it leach quicker in a saltwater environment?

If, on the other hand, it is the sealant's chemicals leaching, is there a risk to humans? Is it a toxic hydrocarbon, or a heavy metal, etc.?

Or could it be unrelated to the metal directly, perhaps the light reflecting from the metal drying the surrounding area quickly or reflected sun/UV concentrated close to the metal?
Geoff Kloster

Searching for a cylinder head

Yanmar Cylinder head

I am looking for a cylinder head for my Yanmar 3HM engine! Can anyone help me?
Zsolt Berthold

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In the last issue of the newsletter, we asked for photos/stories about critters you have attracted during your cruises. Keep them coming:

One bird

This summer, I sailed as a mate on our local historic schooner, Madeline, as she sailed from her home port in Traverse City, Michigan, to Bay City, Michigan, for the Tall Ships gathering there. Our captain decided that the other mate and I should each serve as "captain of the day" as a training exercise. My day was the leg from Presque Isle Harbor (Lake Huron) to Tawas City. When we woke up on my day, visibility was limited to a hundred feet or so by fog. We waited awhile to see if it would dissipate, but when it didn't, we left port (thank you, radar —we were out in the freighter lanes!).

We weren't the only ones who were a bit lost. A black-crowned night heron tried to land on our main boom, but could not grasp the large-diameter varnished surface. He headed forward and got a good grip on our galvanized-wire jib stay. It wobbled a bit but he stayed there for an hour and a half until the fog lifted enough to spot land.
Chris Campbell

Two birds

Warbler on Monsieur LeBlanc

On May 22, 2010, my wife Marcia, our dog Monsieur LeBlanc, and I were sailing in a bit of fog on Lake Michigan near Saugatuck, Michigan, when a Blackburnian Warbler arrived on deck. The bird seemed to enjoy picking something off of the mainsail, and then settled down to rest before flying off. Monsieur was unconcerned.




Sandhill crane on the Lifesling

Then on July 14, 2012, after racing with fellow members of the Tower Harbour Yacht Club, I saw a strange sight. A large bird was flying across the water in the wake of Arcturus (my boat, a 1976 Cal 2-27). I remember thinking, “Whoa, it looks like it's coming in for a landing.” And it did, right on the Lifesling.

Perhaps readers can help identify it. A juvenile Sandhill Crane, perhaps, or a not-so-Blue Heron? I reached for my cellphone to take pictures, thinking that any moment it would fly away.

We watched each other carefully.

Finally, after several minutes, curiosity got the better of me: “How close can I get to it?” I wondered. And off it went.
Harold Beer

And more

Great idea to show some of these wild animals we encounter while cruising. I attach a flight of swallows and a few harbor seals for your pleasure.
Richard Smith

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Book reviews

The following book reviews have been posted online.

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The Mariner’s Night Before Christmas

C. M. Smith

Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the docks
Not a creature was stirring, from landline to rock.
The mainmasts were glowing with twinkling lights
In hopes to guide good old St. Nick in the night.

The stockings all swung on the boom in the breeze
While boats bobbed and swayed on the wintry seas.
The kids and I tucked in the fore-hatch to sleep
And dreamed of the creatures that swam in the deep.

When, in the marina, arose such a splashing
I thought for a moment that someone was crashing.
Away to the deck I flew in a hurry
And peered through the night, my heart tight with worry.

The moon in the rippling harbor gave light
To a truly remarkable Christmas-sy sight.
For there in the water, my eyes could but stare
At a scarlet canoe pulled by eight dolphins there.

The canoe’s jolly driver, so lively and quick,
Could surely be no one but good old St Nick.
More rapid than swordfish his dolphins they came,
He whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

"Now Crasher! Now Splasher! Now Frolic and Squeaker!
On Nimble! On Tymbal! On Bubble and Seeker!
From the back of the stern to the tip of the bow
Now splash away! Splash away! Splash away now!"

As swift as a sail that has caught a stiff wind
I saw his steeds race by the tips of their fins.
So through the marina the coursers they flew,
Pulling toys and St. Nick in that little canoe.

And of all of the boats with which he could align
St. Nicholas docked in the slip next to mine.
I stared down in shock, nary making a sound,
As good old St. Nick leapt onboard with a bound.

He was dressed all in red, from his head to his toe,
And had such a smile that made my heart glow.
A bundle of toys he had stuffed in a net
And he winked at me, for there was work to do yet.

His eyes — how they shone like a lighthouse so bright
His cheeks red as portlights, a merry old sight!
His plump little belly was round as a dome
His beard was as white and as frothy as foam

A length of fine line he had tied round his wrist
Twined into a Turk’s head, with two monkey’s fists
His coat, it was patched, and his boots, they were worn
But how his deep belly laugh boomed like a horn!

He was chubby and plump, like a festive old blowfish
And I laughed when I saw, for he had to have known this.
He strode up the deck, and he looked all around
And patched any small disrepair that he found

Then he smiled at me and went straight to his work.
He filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
I gasped when I saw him ascend up the mast,
To plant there an angel, then tie it steadfast

Then to the canoe he returned in a hurry
His dolphins splashed off in a foam and a flurry
But I heard him exclaim, ’ere he steered out of sight,
"Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!"

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2013 Good Old Boat Annual Article Index

Feature boats

  • Catalina 27, Number 89, March 2013
  • Morgan 34, Number 91, July 2013

Review boats

  • O’Day 37, Number 88, January 2013
  • Capri 25, Number 88, January 2013
  • Cal 39 Mk II, Number 89, March 2013
  • C&C 34+, Number 90, May 2013
  • C&C 30 Mk I, Number 91, July 2013
  • Westerly Centaur, Number 91, July 2013
  • Pearson 34-2, Number 92, September 2013
  • Gemini 105M, Number 92, September 2013
  • O’Day 322, Number 93, November 2013
  • Hunter 29.5, Number 93, November 2013

Trailersailer reviews

  • MacGregor 26X, Number 90, May 2013


  • Classic in blue (Irwin 32), Number 88, January 2013
  • Establishing a French connection (Sonate 28), Number 89, March 2013
  • Sundew returns to bloom(Watkins 27), Number 90, May 2013
  • Reinsnest, an Ericson 27, Number 92, September 2013
  • Sophie, twice revived (Chris Craft Capitan), Number 93, November 2013

Sailing 101

  • Spreaders 101, Number 88, January 2013
  • Draft Adjusters 101, Number 89, March 2013
  • The Cunningham 101, Number 90, May 2013
  • Chart Datum and GPS 101, Number 91, July 2013
  • Standing Rigging Terminals 101, Number 92, September 2013
  • Windvane Steering 101, Number 93, November 2013



  • Repowering to a saildrive, Number 91, July 2013
  • A replacement lift pump, Number 93, November 2013


  • Galvanic isolator, Number 88, January 2013
  • Compass errors, Number 88, January 2013
  • From iNstruction manuals to iNventory, Number 89, March 2013
  • Weather in pictures, Number 90, May 2013
  • Mast-raising magic, Number 90, May 2013
  • Tight and tidy tails, Number 91, July 2013
  • Shakedown shakeout, Number 92, September 2013

Materials, design, and construction

  • Once upon a leg o’ mutton, Number 89, March 2013
  • Keel/centerboard evolution, Number 91, July 2013
  • Defining a pilothouse, Number 92, September 2013
  • Sail plans for cruising, Number 92, September 2013
  • Pilothouses and performance, Number 93, November 2013
  • Ratio rationale, Number 93, November 2013

Maintenance and upgrades

  • Rebedding chainplates, Number 88, January 2013
  • A mock-up shows the way, Number 89, March 2013
  • Resurfacing cockpit seats, Number 89, March 2013
  • Maximizing stowage, Number 90, May 2013
  • A multi-tasking seacock, Number 90, May 2013
  • A mast boot for all seasons, Number 90, May 2013
  • Replacing rudder bearings, Number 90, May 2013
  • Bottom sanding for lightweights, Number 92, September 2013
  • A better boat tarp, Number 92, September 2013
  • Tabletop turnaround, Number 92, September 2013
  • Cabin sole do-over, Number 92, September 2013
  • An antenna post as art, Number 93, November 2013
  • Single-step boarding ladder, Number 93, November 2013
  • Hull envy, Number 93, November 2013


  • Go cheap and go in comfort, Number 88, January 2013
  • Cross-country clipper, Number 92, September 2013
  • Ok, now what? (hurricane aftermath), Number 93, November 2013

Other tech

  • Dolphin’s demise, Number 88, January 2013
  • Fire aboard, Number 90, May 2013

History articles


  • Matt Rutherford’s next adventure, Number 91, July 2013

Good old vendors

How-to articles

  • Dorade box covers, Number 88, January 2013
  • Steering-wheel extension, Number 89, March 2013
  • Coachwhipping the wheel, Number 89, March 2013
  • Making new lifelines, Number 89, March 2013
  • Louvers made easy, Number 90, May 2013
  • Dorade boxes, Number 91, July 2013
  • A cruiser’s toolbox, Number 91, July 2013
  • Courtesy flags on the fly, Number 91, July 2013
  • Keeping diesel dry, Number 93, November 2013

Galley life

Simple solutions

  • Water by gravity, Number 88, January 2013
  • Multitasking companionway step, Number 88, January 2013
  • Sitting pretty and comfy, Number 89, March 2013
  • Poor man’s vacuum bag, Number 90, May 2013
  • Homemade bottom cleaner, Number 91, July 2013
  • Outboard-motor maintenance, Number 92, September 2013
  • Better leecloths, Number 93, November 2013

Quick and easy

  • Hose wrench, Number 88, January 2013
  • Green stain be gone, Number 88, January 2013
  • A lesson in lettering, Number 89, March 2013
  • Super bands for security, Number 89, March 2013
  • Shrouds in hosiery, Number 90, May 2013
  • Hatch covers, Number 90, May 2013
  • Don’t sink by the head, Number 91, July 2013
  • Lace locks for deck shoes, Number 91, July 2013
  • A swinging iPad, Number 92, September 2013
  • Bespoke autopilot, Number 92, September 2013
  • Taming the fenders, Number 92, September 2013
  • Instant whisker pole, Number 93, November 2013
  • Selvagees to the rescue, Number 93, November 2013

Cruising memories

  • Hurricane on the Hudson, Number 88, January 2013
  • A Beatle to windward, Number 89, March 2013
  • Salvaging a dream, Number 90, May 2013
  • Initiation by squall, Number 92, September 2013
  • Reviving a passion and a boat, Number 93, November 2013

Lighter articles

  • Havasu Pocket Cruisers Convention, Number 88, January 2013
  • A passion for the Cal 25, Number 88, January 2013
  • Rescuing boats, Number 89, March 2013
  • Sent from my iCoconut, Number 89, March 2013
  • The last voyage, Number 90, May 2013
  • Across Islands and Oceans, Number 91, July 2013
  • Getting hooked on sailing, Number 91, July 2013
  • The cliff, Number 91, July 2013
  • What is “good”?, Number 91, July 2013
  • Readers answer our “photo call,” Number 92, September 2013
  • A fall solo cruise, Number 92, September 2013
  • Boatyard ghosts, Number 93, November 2013

Product launchings

  • The SmartPlug, Number 89, March 2013
  • Stafford stanchion-mounting collars, Number 89, March 2013
  • Mantus Chain Hook, Number 89, March 2013
  • UltraShade Boat Awning, Number 90, May 2013
  • A glimpse into the future (laser rescue flare), Number 90, May 2013
  • Splice Line Fittings, Number 91, July 2013
  • What’s on my boat – App, Number 91, July 2013
  • The Mantus bridle, Number 93, November 2013
  • The SoliCharger2000, Number 93, November 2013
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Mail buoy

Robert Redford movie is no role model for safe boating

The sailing disaster movie, “All is Lost,” has garnered fabulous reviews as a nautical adventure yarn and many critics have praised its star, Robert Redford, for the best acting of his career. We all love our celebrities, but “our man,” as he is called, sets a terrible example of poor seamanship and lack of basic survival skills. What can the novice offshore sailor learn from this flick?

A New York Times story says the production company expended “a great deal of effort on being realistic and getting things right.” But sailors on beg to differ on the getting-things-right part. Where was the Emergency Position Beacon (EPIRB), an electronic device that broadcasts a distressed vessel’s position and call for help? Here our intrepid skipper was in the middle of nowhere with only a handheld VHF radio with limited range. EPIRBs are now standard equipment for bluewater sailors and no one should venture more than ten miles offshore without one.

Or, take the use of drop boards to keep water out of the cabin in stormy weather. Every time Redford emerges from belowdecks he tosses the boards below, leaving the companionway wide open. The storm rages on. Amazingly, when the boat turns turtle with no boards in place and then rights itself, the cabin is dry. Keep the boards in place if a sea kicks up.

Our earnest solo sailor had enough smarts to sail his ship thousands of miles from home, but he doesn’t carry a ditch bag should he have to abandon ship. That piece of equipment stashes away emergency supplies like a compass, flares, radio, and other signaling devices. When he does call for help on his hand-held VHF radio, he broadcasts an SOS. That hasn’t been the international distress call for decades. It is now “Mayday.” And then when a ship comes into sight he fires off flares when he should have used the radio.
Spare parts for things that break? There was no backup handle for the manual bilge pump.

Life jackets? He hardly ever wears them, especially noticeable when he makes the risky maneuver to jump into the life raft. And then what does he do? Takes a nap with the raft still tied off to the boat. If the mother ship had gone down, so would the raft. Not only that, there are no centerline safety rings to clip on a harness. He hooks up to a lifeline, a sure procedure for disaster. Nor are there any jacklines to clip onto when he crawls forward to douse the jib. Hey sailor, you’re in the middle of a raging storm thousands of miles from shore, not two miles off Montauk Point!

There are many other small examples of failure to plan ahead. Retired merchant marine captain D. Peter Boucher summed up the feeling of many of the critics who commented: “Perhaps the film may serve as an illustration of how some people who go to sea believe they are above the common herd and do not feel they need to follow safety procedures.” But Robert Redford is a glamorous movie star. He’s not going to drown.

You just might if you copy him.
–William C. Winslow

US Yachts pilothouse

Pilothouse 1

I enjoyed Rob Mazza’s article on pilothouse sailboats. I was first intrigued by them in the early 1980s by the examples in the US Yachts brochure I picked up at the Minneapolis Boat Show. At that time, I couldn’t even afford the smallest boat in the line, much less the big ones on the last couple of pages, but I kept the brochure just the same.

In the mid ’90s, I ran across a used US 35 in the Latitude 38 classified section. The boat was in the Bay Area, but since it was the only one I ever ran across, we had to go out and have a look. She needed a little work (what 15-year-old boat doesn’t?), but we bought her and the rest is history. We keep her up as best we can, but she sails so well that a lot of work is put off for another day so we can take her out. The biggest testimony I can give is that since the purchase I have never lusted after another boat. I will be interested to see if Rob includes the US 35 or 42 in his follow-up article.
–Al Miller

Pilothouse 2 Pilothouse 3

Rob enlightened

I am embarrassed to say that I was unfamiliar with the US brand, which seems to be an outgrowth of the Bayliner powerboat builder. The follow-up article on the comparison of three 36-foot pilothouse configurations appears in the November 2013 issue and discusses the Nauticat 36, Nautilus 36, and the Pearson 36.

Al, thanks for bringing the US Yacht brand, which also included the Buccaneer brand, with which I am more familiar, to our attention. Much appreciated.
–Rob Mazza

Moody Eclipse pilothouse

I just read the article on pilothouse sailboats by Rob Mazza (September 2013) and agree with most of his conclusions except the lines on top of the pilothouse. Our Bill Dickson-designed Moody Eclipse 43 has all the control lines on top of the pilothouse along with a power winch that I can lead any line on the boat to. The Moody Eclipse was also not mentioned in any of his examples of pilothouse boats.
–Dave Steffens

Hmm … now that I think about it

Carrie Rose

I traded in my sailboat for a pilothouse. Carrie Rose is almost a caricature of a pilothouse. It is amazing the weather I have moved into and through without a care. Sometimes as I watch the maelstrom going on around me it feels like I am in a simulator and I think, “Should I really be out here?” But other than a few hairy times (mainly in the Manitou Passage of Lake Michigan) it has been fine. In the many years hanging on Can 16 in Chicago’s Montrose Harbor, I spent thousands of hours comfortably lounging on the pilothouse bench, gazing out at the world day and night. It does have its drawbacks though. I am isolated from the outside world even with the doors open. It acts like a hothouse with any sun. There is not enough ventilation. I have to clean all the glass. But overall it has served me well and other than maybe adding a hatch, I wouldn’t change a thing.
–Dean Raffaelli

Evaluating cockpits

This is why I always mention the napping potential of the cockpit in my review boats — a nice 70-degree October sail on Kentucky Lake to a beautiful cove and a quick snooze in Thebote’s cockpit.
–Allen Penticoff
Naps 1 Naps 2

This morning in Bozeman (October 4)

The first snow of the fall came last night. Boat work will be put on pause for a day or so. Florida trip moves ahead in the imagination.
–Charles and Marjorie Fowlkes

Bike racks & snow Florida trip

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

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