February 2014 Newsletter

February 2014 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.

Have we told you lately how much we love you?

February is the month of Valentine's Day, therefore it is the time for our expression of love and appreciation … particularly for loyal subscribers. We value you every day of the year and offer our gifts to you six times a year in the form of a magazine with articles carefully selected, edited, and printed just for you. We "second that emotion" with this newsletter (which we'll even read to you as a podcast, if you prefer it that way).

There are other random acts of appreciation throughout the year as we make our business decisions on behalf of subscribers first (and all others, including advertisers, second). We've never raised our subscription price, for example. It may have been relatively high once, but as 15 years have passed, it has gotten relatively more affordable all the time as the effects of inflation have taken their toll and other publishers have raised their prices. For the small minority who requested a digital issue, we went out on a limb to create one we could afford to produce (and not without many completely unanticipated side-effects). Good Old Boat, we love you And we've tried to respond to advice you give us through readers' surveys, phone calls, and daily email messages. This magazine is truly the sailing magazine for the rest of us and as a member of the rest of us, your opinion counts.

But, dear subscriber, have we told you lately that we love you? We do indeed appreciate your feedback, the letters to the editor you write, the articles you submit, the photos you send, and yes, we do appreciate your annual subscription renewal checks. Your checks keep the lights on and the authors and editors paid. Your interest in what we publish keep us inspired and enthusiastic. We love our jobs (most days) and we love you, our subscribers, every day.

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Back issue downloads for 2013

Now that the year has advanced by one click to 2014, we have bundled up all the issues published in 2013 and made them available at AudioSeaStories.com as a package deal. The price for the full year of downloads is $34.95, a bit less than the annual subscription rate of $39.95 if you subscribe to receive each issue when it's hot off the press. The price for all six is $48, if you purchase them on the newsstand.

So our annual sets of back issue downloads are a bargain. If you're willing to wait a few more years, the price will fall by $5 each year until it reaches $19.95 for a set of a six issues. Most of our back issue collections are old enough to have reached that half-price plateau.

Since the projects we do on our good old boats are timeless, our back issues continue to be in demand. Our searchable database helps you find what was published when … so your collection of issues (whether in paper form or downloadable) always has value. That's our pledge to you: we'll keep indexing our issues so you can find what you're looking for, whether you're searching through a pile of printed copies or a menu on your computer or tablet.

Here's the address to our searchable index: <http://www.goodoldboat.com/reader_services/articles_search.php>

This online overview by subject is useful too:

And we offer an overview of articles in each December newsletter. Here's a link for that:

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Think spring!

The northern sailors among us truly welcome the longer days of sunshine and look forward to any good news from the local groundhogs this year. Even though we're feeling rather particularly put upon this year, we realize the cold weather has held the entire continent in its grasp and everyone has been somewhat distressed by the winter season. But it can't go on like this. We are already working on the May issue of the magazine. Spring must surely be on the way. Think happy thoughts!

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Something new at AudioSeaStories.com

The Good Old Boat downloads site — AudioSeaStories.com — started by offering downloadable audiobooks. In case you wondered, that's how it got that name. But over time, we've added other downloadable files: back issues, each current issue in digital format, collections of articles, some nautical music . . . even some free stuff. What these things have in common is that they are all downloadable files.

Now David Lynn and Marcie Connelly-Lynn have posted the first of an anticipated series of eBooks in PDF format. This first is "Nine of Cups' Caribbean Stories." David (now a contributing editor with Good Old Boat) and Marcie have lived aboard Nine of Cups, their Liberty 458 cutter, since 2000. The Caribbean was the first destination in the 70,000 miles they've traveled since then. Their eBook is filled with great writing and equally great photos. It's priced to sell (and download) at only $3.99.

If you're dreaming of Caribbean adventures of your own, this book will keep the fires of your passion lit. More books will follow tracing their route across the Atlantic (twice), around four of the five Great Southern Capes, and across the Pacific.

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What's coming in . . . March 2014

For the love of sailboats

  • Rapport, a Cheoy Lee Clipper 36 feature
  • Montgomery 17 review
  • The Islander 36 review

Speaking seriously

  • Sacrificial Anodes 101
  • The once and future boat bow by Rob Mazza
  • Entr'acte's Bubble of Comfort
  • An inspired table
  • Building a junk rig
  • Hatch patch
  • Protection in plaid
  • Swim step and ladder
  • Instant cushions

What's more

  • Fix it or nix it?
  • Swiftsure
  • Jurgen's ashes
  • New product launchings
  • Reflections: Dolphin night
  • Simple solutions: Stovetop English muffins and Silent nights
  • Quick and Easys: Bird-proof lifelines and Salty-looking anti-chafing
  • The view from here: Helmophobia
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My boat is so old …

In the last issue of the newsletter we asked you to finish that sentence. Here are some of the replies.

My boat is so old it has a comfortable V-berth for two adults, rather than an "aft cabin." Instead it has two huge cockpit lockers.
Ted Youngs

My boat is so old it thinks a "mobile device" is a new engine!
Tom and Kaye Assenmacher

My boat is so old (and so English) that half the fasteners have Whitworth threads.
Owen McCall

My boat is so old I was just a senior in high school the year she was built.
Todd Ek

My boat is so old that I found it while helping to carry water when they built the Great Lakes.
Rick Heklinger

My boat is so old it has a hard time catching its wind.
Don Schaefer

My boat is so old the shrouds have whiskers and the chainplates have arthritis, just like me.
Gord Martin

My boat is so old …
… if the worms let go, she'll sink.
… she makes the Flying Dutchman look new.
Dan Hall

My boat is so old . . .
… I make repairs with papyrus reeds.
… the woodworms have moved out.
… the auxiliary runs on coal.
… I chain my guests to the oars to make it go.
… it still has poop in the bilge from two of each animal.
… Noah's initials are carved in the sternrail.
… I bought it from a dealer on Mt. Ararat.
Brian Kollmeier

My boat is so old its first refit was done by Noah.
Jules Dupuis

My boat is so old it was built by Noah as a prototype.
Allan Stokell

My boat is so old Noah used it as a pattern for the ark's skiff.
Noel Martin

My boat is so old the wood trim is left over from the ark!
Steve Tudor

My boat is so old …
… the sails are made of dinosaur skins.
… Noah would not use it as a dinghy, saying it was too run-down.
… when it was built Henny Youngman actually was young.
… California would not tax it out of pity.
… the title is in Linear B.
Jerry Robinson

My boat is so old I have trilobites in the bilge water.
Dave Lathrop

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Strictly Sail Miami

February 13 – 17, 2014
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 <http://www.strictlysailmiami.com>.

Maine Boatbuilders Show

March 14 – 16, 2014
Portland Company Complex
58 Fore St.
Portland, Maine

This is a gathering of the finest fiberglass and wooden custom boatbuilders on the East Coast. Also exhibiting are numerous manufacturers of boating equipment. Builders of sailboats, powerboats, canoes, kayaks, and rowing boats will be there to discuss and sell their work. More information can be found at <http://www.portlandcompany.com/boatShow/index.html>.

South West International Boatshow

March 27 – 30, 2014
South Shore Harbour Marina
Bay Area Houston Texas

With over 400 power and sailboats on display, in-water and onshore, the South West International Boat Show showcases the very best in sailing and boating. Go to <http://www.southwestinternationalboatshow.com> for more information.

Strictly Sail Pacific

April 10-13, 2014
Jack London Square
Oakland, California

The West Coast's largest original all-sail boat show will sail into Jack London Square with all that is hot in the world of sailing. Whether you are a newbie or a seasoned sailor, this four-day sailing spectacular is the place to immerse yourself in the world of sailing, check out new sailboats, talk to experts, participate in hands-on seminars, get on the water, and have fun. More information: <http://www.strictlysailpacific.com>.

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Book reviews

The following book reviews have been posted online.

And speaking of fun, be sure to check out the podcast of this newsletter at AudioSeaStories.net, and hear Michael Facius' interview with Herb McCormick, author of As Long As It's Fun.

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Lessons learned

Burton Blaise's tale of dragging an anchor in the January 2014 issue brought to mind a blustery night in Nantucket Harbor several years ago. I had a standing invitation for many years to bring our Cape Dory 31 out from Mattapoisett, across Buzzards Bay, through Woods Hole and Vineyard Sound for dinner with a friend. We reached the swamped-boulder jetties of Nantucket Harbor around 5 p.m. … not realizing this was the busy weekend of the Opera Cup Regatta that ends Nantucket Race Week.

Nantucket Harbor anchorages

There are hundreds of moorings in Nantucket Harbor — all full on summer weekends — but there is a general anchorage just behind First Point. Have a look at the overview of the area. Visiting yachts crowd into First and Second Point, after filling up spaces in the central harbor. As we entered, crowded wasn't a strong enough term for what we witnessed. By phone my friend said to drop a hook in the shallow waters near his home, just off the southeastern shore (note my red "x"). It was a bit weedy, he said, but it should do for the night … and he'd be right out in a Whaler to pick us up.

Dinner was wonderful and the conversation stimulating. But by 10 p.m. the wind was picking up out of the north, directly across the harbor. The Whaler made its short trip and we were back aboard. We had anchored 50 yards from shore in 12 feet of water with a 25-pound CQR that had never dragged in 15 years of use. We weren't far from a few boats on summer moorings. Our Cape Dory displaces more than 11,500 pounds and draws 4 feet 9 inches. And now she was beginning to bounce. While we had been ashore, more boats had claimed places in the open waters between us and Third Point, about a half mile directly north of us.

Over the next two hours the wind picked up strength, reaching into the teens and low 20s. We were pointed into the waves that grew over that half-mile fetch and fell into a regular hobbyhorse pattern: disturbing, not frightening, unnerving, but understandable. It was too late at night to move. I checked the anchor line, silenced slapping halyards, and went to bed fully dressed. The church steeples and clock towers I had used for visual parallax sightings during the daytime were useless now. I felt safe but not secure. The wind continued to build.

About 1:30 I awoke suddenly from a catnap to realize that the fore and aft hobbyhorse effect had stopped. The wind was still blowing loudly but the boat no longer tugged at her anchor. "That's good!" I said. Stepping up to the cockpit, I saw one of those moored boats coming right toward us. It approached slowly and would soon sail right past us. "That's good!" I said. But suddenly a much clearer vision revealed itself. We were the ones who were moving! I hollered to Beth to get up and take the helm.

The depth gauge read 7 and was flashing red. I couldn't see the shore but knew it wasn't far away. I punched the engine, turned on the deck light, grabbed a pair of gloves and a handheld flashlight (no time to rig our DC-powered searchlight), handed Beth the helm and went forward. She put the boat in gear as I brought in the anchor rode and we moved slowly forward into deeper water. I hauled in the line and eventually the anchor (covered in weeds, just like Burton's). We never hit bottom. We got all the gear on deck. But where could we go? All around were the dark forms of boats on anchors, bouncing and swinging.

Nothing looked clear. Boats hung in different directions. Some tacked from side to side. Most had a masthead light but that didn't tell us where the afterdeck or anchor rode were. Some were not lit at all. Our deck light ruined my night vision, but I needed it to see our safety lines and deck gear. Beth was in the cockpit, powering slowly forward, holding course while waiting for direction. Could we go over there? Or was there more sea room behind that boat? I signaled her to keep going upwind and we passed by two, then three boats, one of which I didn't even see until we were right upon it. We kept on, trying to stay clear.

Finally, directly upwind I saw a large power cruiser about 250 yards away outlined with bright cabin lights. It didn't look like any boat was between us. I signaled to Beth to head straight forward, hastily tied down the anchor and rode, and swept the darkness with my flashlight. The wind howled. All around was darkness except for points of light on land or scattered crazily above as masthead lights bounced and rocked back and forth. Slowly we powered upwind, making slight but positive progress and always checking to see that there wasn't anything in our way. By now Beth had rigged the searchlight so she could sweep on one side then the other. Our view slowly improved. It wasn't raining. It wasn't cold. But it was dark, bouncy, and windy.

When we were a few feet downwind of the cruiser, I took the wheel. I spun it around and headed back into the slot we had just traveled. What had taken maybe 10 minutes to navigate upwind took about 30 seconds downwind. When the familiar moored boats came into view and the depth gauge read 9 feet, I spun the wheel again. Confident now that there was nothing between us and that power cruiser, I powered slowly back upwind in that same slot, taking as long as I could to cover the distance. And that's what we did for the rest of the night: upwind for 10 minutes, downwind in 30 seconds, repeat … until the first light of day appeared over the horizon and the formless shapes around me resolved into bouncy recognizable boat shapes again.

By 4 a.m. there was enough light to see over the water, so we were at this task only about two hours but it seemed a lot longer at the time. Once we could weave our way safely through the anchorage, I found a spot beyond Third Point where I could re-anchor with a much-reduced fetch. Even there, we spent a rather miserable day. It was windy and we were watchful, wondering when it would all settle down again. Early the next morning we headed home. We learned later that some of the races were cancelled that Saturday due to the strong, gusty wind and that several of the classic boats that had come for the Opera Cup Regatta didn't leave their berths.

We came away with an experience we could write about and confirmation that, at least in sailing, if not in life, the most valuable advice is often from those who have gone before. Our advice, based on our experience that night: 1) don't anchor in the weeds, 2) the recognized anchorage probably has good holding ground, 3) emergency lighting (deck lights and searchlights) need to be readily deployable, and 4) if something seems to be working for you, stick with it until you can figure out what you can do next.

All of these are lessons that I could have learned (in fact, wish I had learned) at a much younger age.

Jim Parmentier
Brunswick, Maine

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Mail buoy

Learning experiences, you say?

I noticed your invitation at the end of an anchor-dragging story in the January issue for more stories about emergencies. Is this good psychology for a publication whose stated mission is to promote the use and enjoyment of good old boats for the rest of us?

Shouldn't we be sending in stories about glorious summer days and satellite watching on calm star-filled nights while loons or owls call? Do we really want to read about desperate, grim, panicky moments in driving rain, cold wind, or thunderstorms?

Do we want to share that brief intense terror-filled moment when we looked up at a 10-plus foot breaker on the Mission Bay Bar that popped up out of nowhere to loom over our 21-footer? Or that time I was alone at 1 a.m. when the wind began to whine in the rig in spite of the fact that I was solo and dog-tired after 20 hours at the helm with another 25 miles to go and it had begun to build right on the nose? It was late September and there was nobody out on the lake. I had two cans of soup aboard. Period. And I had to be at work on Monday.

I'd rather submit my story about the day we launched my woodie. She was sinking and I fell overboard during the bucket brigade and came up treading water next to a really, really dead cat. That was memorable. And humiliating. There were witnesses. Yes, why not ask us to submit our most humiliating and embarrassing moments? Those are instructive and painful, too, at least when they happen.

I do believe — as others have written — the scariest time of any cruise is probably casting off the lines to begin. I picked perfect gentle days for each first solo sail, but still the first time I slipped the line off the cleat or samson post, my stomach was a tight knot of fear. I had to force my sweaty hands to cast off.

One of the scariest times of my entire sailing career happened in 1983. I was about to shove off from South Florida for Bermuda with two older friends on a well-found nearly new 35-foot Taiwan-built Westsail knockoff. One of the friends was a sailor of vast experience and competence. His wife and I … not so much. We ate a gloomily silent dinner at a restaurant and set sail. No use trying to sleep; we were too keyed up. I was filled with intense dread and foreboding and I know my friend's wife was too. The cruise itself was pretty routine. No real bad storms, one nasty bout of rolling our rails under in a calm, one bad moment when we found the water tanks had siphoned salt water back through the vent. And there was one windy night when — while reducing sail alone on the foredeck — I had a bad scare even though I was tethered to the boat.

I really don't want to remember the intensely frightening times. I can still see those huge gray waves breaking over the shoals off to the side of the dredged channel at Atlantic City, New Jersey, while hoping our 40-year-old Atomic 4 would keep chugging.

Merciful heavens! I have about scared myself from ever setting foot on my boat again.

Cancel my subscription!

Just kidding. Instead, I'm offering a submission about getting careless. We should have known better. This actually was pretty stupid in 50-50 hindsight.
Susan Peterson Gateley

Susan's story about this learning experience will show up in a future issue of the magazine. The others she mentions above? Nope. Her lips are zipped.

Our requests for learning experiences have resulted in quite a few submitted articles. We created this new column at the request of some of our readers who said they'd like to read comfortably in their armchairs about calamitous events rather than having to live through them as the lessons are driven home with a vengeance. Since we're not trying to scare our readers, we won't run them in every issue. We'll alternate those lovely Cruising Memories articles you send us with your not-so-lovely, but memorable, moments. Think of them as learning experiences for the rest of us.

Keeping diesel dry

In the sidebar on page 51 of Gary Wilson's article in the November 2013 issue, "In my installation, the possibility that fuel will ever reach the vent dryers … cannot happen if the fuel tank is accidentally overfilled because the dryers are located high … " I am not a physicist, but a fuel nozzle velocity of several gallons per minute could, I believe, drive fuel two feet up the vent tube. The fuel-fill opening on the vessel is largely occluded by the pump nozzle, allowing pressure to develop. Any engineers or physicists out there want to express expert opinions?
Bob Siegel

Successful quest for a Greek fisherman's cap

Fisherman's Cap

If you're looking for a Greek fisherman's hat, there is one that is "head and shoulders" above all the rest. After looking for more than two years for a cap to replace the one I bought in New Zealand nine years ago, I finally came across an exact replica.

All of the others now on the market have a rigid rim that binds uncomfortably. This one, called the Nelson, is made in Scotland of pure wool by Camwrap Woolens and is available from Thomas Keeble at Camwrap, 259 Charles Street, Mobile, AL 36604, 800-353-9004, camwrap@birch.net.
Jim Hildinger

Trailering considerations

Thank you to Mike Nelson for the article, "Trailer-sailer choices" (January 2014). I have long had a fascination with trailersailers and dream of one day moving from my slip and expense to something I can keep at my brick-and-mortar house away from the higher cost of coastal housing.

My dad was a glider pilot and as a kid I was exposed to and trained in all things trailering: tongue weight, backing, trailer brakes, lights, you name it. Every weekend, we'd slap on the big metal box to the car and drive to the airport. I spent a whole childhood working with the different modes of transportation: driving, taxiing, flying, and towing (both the trailer and the glider behind the towplane!). It was always fun to have a plane you could bring home at the end of the weekend — it offered us lots of home project opportunities between homework assignments on weeknights. Being able to move your "project" about allowed all kinds of social interactions we'd otherwise not have had.

A few things I would like to add to Mr. Nelson's list of considerations when considering a trailersailer:

  • At-home maintenance: Is working on your boat in the driveway at home a true benefit? It is useful to get under the waterline to effect needed repairs.
  • How about boatyard haulout fees? The do-it-yourself trailersailor gets to avoid writing that check.
  • What about marina slip fees? There are two sides to this story. Yes, you can avoid writing that check, but you also miss out on the learning experience, camaraderie, and friendships found in a good marina. As much as I like our marina, that monthly payment has been like a "reverse 401K" which needs to be taken into account. That being said, we get a few nights a month on the coast and don't have to pay for a studio apartment or hotel room.
  • How about using a trailersailer as a "camper" for the road? This is a real benefit for landlocked sailors headed out on long road trips to the coast. It also allows you to not lose sight of your precious project because you use it as your crash pad while pulled off the side of the road.
  • Consider whether or not you want a retractable keel: I've always looked at higher performance boats with fixed keels as defying logic and having an incredibly high center of gravity — even though they are better performers. A retractable keel allows for ease of launching as well as a lower and safer profile whilst trailering. However, depending on the design, a retractable keel can also affect sailing performance. Swing keels are known to bang if there's not a mechanism for securing it, while vertical drop keels (as found on the Merit 23 and Mega 30) can pose significant mechanical challenges as they lift and lower all that weight.
  • Weight and ease of launching — consider whether or not towing weight is a major factor for things like load on the tow vehicle and launching. For that you may consider a trailersailer with water ballast. (They don't perform as well as a true leaded keel configuration, in my opinion.) One thing that can be pretty scary is lowering both your 4-wheeled tow vehicle and boat on a trailer down a slippery, algae-covered ramp. You have to consider 4-wheel drive heavy-duty vehicles, which consume more fuel.
  • Mast-raising: Consider whether or not you can handle the task of pivoting up a long aluminum mast, spreaders, and other hardware while climbing around your boat in a foreign environment such as a coastal parking lot near the ramp location. Mast stepping can easily take a couple of hours, which would compete for your weekend sailing time. And you always have to be on the lookout for power lines.

Overall, I think perhaps the greatest challenge is finding a good used trailersailer that meets all the various criteria you may set forth. My optimal boat would be a large multifunctional drop-keel sailboat, such as a Mega 30. Finally, take your time and find one that meets your needs so you can enjoy it more and work on it (a little) less.
Walter Gaines

Very serious good luck

Herewith is my subscription for year 2014. Since 2006, I have been buying your magazine from my local Barnes & Noble, but too often I've been late and found they were sold out. (Actually it happened only twice — but twice is too often!)

Not long ago I had some very serious good luck when I stumbled over a 14-inch-high stack of old issues of Good Old Boat priced at $1.50 each. Knowing that some of the 65 issues would be duplicates of issues I already owned, I nonetheless barked up a 100-dollar bill and negotiated to buy them all, tax included!

I quickly separated out the duplicates (about 12 issues) and dispersed them to deserving friends with the request that they subscribe for their own issues and not come and borrow mine! Look for new subscriptions from my Bellingham neighborhood.

My first good old boat wasn't really "old" yet; it was one boat on which I did everything except laying up the fiberglass hull, deck, and liner. The parts for the 33-foot cutter had been rescued from under a bankruptcy of the manufacturer Alajuela Yachts. I moved them to a self-builders' yard located next to the USMC helicopter base in Tustin/Irvine area of California.

My day job as a marine engineer with an Irvine company very soon became my secondary job, as I concentrated on completing the hull. For the next two years, I was the number one popular customer at Minney's Used Boatgear in Newport Beach. Then the day came for launching. Another six months of work went by: installing the rigging, mast, a monitor rig, the engine that I had totally rebuilt from a stripped block, and so on. I quit my engineering job in June on the date of my 50th birthday and in October 1986 we were off to Mexico where we enjoyed five and a half years of Endless Summer.

After that we sold the Alajuela for enough money to buy a house in Bellingham and to purchase a wrecked Flicka 20 that became a good old boat. Next came a 24-foot Coronado and finally my present boat, a Crealock-designed 1969 Ericson 26. This last one also had been wrecked by a previous owner and then abandoned. She is a keeper. I've had her for eight and a half years, six and a half of them afloat.

I've been busy as a beaver reading through all those 50-some Good Old Boat magazines and still have many to go. But sooner or later you will hear from me enquiring about CD versions to cover all the missing numbers.
Birger Larssen

Japanese boats

The piece by Michael Robertson in the January 2014 issue on the Japanese boatbuilding industry brought back vivid memories of our first good old boat.

Bagley, a Japanese-built boat

She was Kabuki, a Maya 24 built in Japan in about 1955 to conform to the specifications of the Midget Ocean Racing Club (MORC). Kabuki was solo sailed on her own bottom to California sometime in the sixties; we bought her in 1971. Made of double-planked cedar with a substantial compression arch supporting her deck-stepped spruce mast, she drew just over five feet with 1,300 pounds of lead in her skeg. Sailing her from Los Angeles harbor out to Catalina Island was a treat; once she was up on her side, not even green water over her deck could budge her.

While we sail a bigger good old boat (a 1990 Caliber 38) now on a different body of water (Lake Superior), that Japanese-built beauty will always hold a special place in our sailing hearts.
Fred and Jennifer Bagley

Age of Fighting Sail

Since it was mentioned in the January 2014 issue of Good Old Boat that Karen and Jerry are avid readers of books about the Age of Fighting Sail, I thought I would share my experience with two other series.

First, a few years ago I read Alexander Kent's Bolitho Series (28 volumes) and thoroughly enjoyed them. For maximum benefit, I recommend reading them in order of publication. (Alexander Kent is a pseudonym for Douglas Reeman.)

Second, more recently I got into the Kydd Series by Julian Stockwin. What I found particularly unique about this series is that it starts out with Kydd being pressed into service. Then it describes, in some detail, life aboard a Man 'O War from the perspective of an ordinary seaman who "learns the ropes," advances through the ranks, and eventually becomes a lieutenant in the fifth novel. Again, like most series, I recommend reading in order of publication.
Don Nemetz


I want to introduce your readers to one of the coolest ways people can participate in boating: GetMyBoat.com. It's a peer-to-peer website for boats, a place where you can either A) put your boat up for rent or B) rent a boat. The boats range from small kayaks to 100-foot yachts. Since the site was launched in March, the growth of the inventory has been phenomenal. We have 10,500 boats available to rent or charter.

Most people who own boats use them only 8% of the time. As you know, boats can be money pits — so why not offset the costs by renting them out? We are bringing boating to the masses and helping alleviate the financial costs for boatowners. We even have an App for the iPhone to rent or list your boat!
Christina Sarracino

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The following is reprinted from the June 1998 issue of Good Old Boat. It's as true now as it was then.

by Karen Larson

Not long ago I rifled through a rack of anniversary cards looking for the perfect sentiment for my sailor. In doing so, I noticed a couple of cards which made the point that we don't have everything … a mansion, the newest car, a fancy sailing yacht … but honey we've got each other, so that's enough. Etcetera.

It wasn't the yacht concept tied in with mansions and expensive cars that sparked my interest, although good old boaters know you don't have to be rich to be out there on the water. Rather, it was the illustrations accompanying these "yachts." The sun was shining. The sky was blue. The water was lovely. The happy couple was dressed in the best nautical attire, whatever the artist decided that should be.

Then it struck me. They really don't know (do they?) — the artists, our coworkers, and the other non-sailors — that even fancy yachts experience rain, gales, and fog … possibly in equal proportions to the sunny days. They really don't know (do they?) that these fancy yachts break down, need cleaning, and require maintenance … perhaps also in proportion to the days spent in carefree bliss on the water.

They really don't know, most of the folks out there vicariously sailing with us, that you have to love the entire concept: you have to enjoy keeping the boat seaworthy and livable … perhaps you do it for the memorable and beautiful days, but you must have foul weather gear at the ready and the ability to get the boat home in a storm.

They really don't know, and perhaps envy us unfairly, for what looks glorious, stately, and serene when the other side of the coin is not quite as picturesque. Maybe instead they should envy us for what we get in return for the bottom-paint splatters on our seaboots and the lazarettes full of tools: we get the confidence that comes with competence. We know we can fix our boats and — because we have done it — we know we can sail in adverse situations when we have to. We have gained the companionship of others who really do know what it's like to own, care for, and sail a boat. We are part of a community of sailors, and there's nowhere we'd rather be.

The artists and the others can represent our hobby as an idyllic way of life, but we much prefer the reality.

Reflections come to all of us when we're out there awhile. They represent the wisdom that comes of spending time with your innermost thoughts. If you'd like to offer yours, we'd like to hear from you.

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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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