August 2015 Newsletter

August 2015 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.

Those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer

As the days grow shorter and the yellow school buses begin to appear, cherish the sultry sailing days of August. Don’t give up a day or a weekend on the water if you don’t have to. Those days will only grow more precious as fall colors begin to appear and haulout time approaches.

Back To Top

The soap bubble challenge

It started innocently enough. We had a couple of small vials of soap bubbles that had been passed out at a wedding in order to preserve a tradition even though throwing rice is frowned upon these days. We wondered whether soap bubbles might provide the “secret stealth trick,” special insight into the airflow on our boat. A competitive advantage, perhaps, for racers? We’ve heard of smokers using their exhaled smoke or sailors burning incense to help visualize the air currents.

So we tried it. These days with a furler, we have a fairly high-cut jib, none of the old deck-sweeping genoas of the past. Still we were surprised when — in light wind of 5 knots or less — the bubbles did not flow from the bow down the slot between the sails and out at the stern as we expected. Instead they blew straight down and out beneath the jib.

Try it. Get a bottle of soap bubbles and tell us about your results and theories. Send any comments you’d like to share with your fellow sailors to With your help, perhaps this technique can be perfected yet!

Back To Top moves good old boats

One recent Saturday night our webmaster posted a message on the good old fixer-upper page about a 23-foot Hunter with a trailer and 7.5-horse Evinrude available for free in Little Rock, Arkansas. By Sunday that boat had a new home. The woman who posted it wrote to say, "Thank you for posting this. The response was overwhelming and the sailboat is now gone." Is it any wonder that the good old fixer-upper page is one of our most frequently visited pages?

Consistently our most popular page has always been the classified ads page. The fixer-upper page is always in second place position. Both pages create dreams and find new homes for good old sailboats.

Fixer-upper postings are free to those posting any boat for free or available for less than $5,000. There's a small fee for listing any and all boats on the classified ads pages but subscribers are eligible for a free classified ad every year.

Back To Top

Thanks to all the Johnny Magazine Seeds out there.

Johnny Magazine Seeds

In the June newsletter we noted that 22 subscribers had signed up to help spread the word by giving away a total of 1,150 copies of the July issue to fellow sailors through their marinas and yacht clubs.

That note caught more readers' attention and eight more readers got in touch volunteering to give away a total of 280 copies of the September issue, which they'll be receiving soon.

We heard all kinds of great tales about the first group's distribution efforts: when the boxes arrived, how they passed them out, and the responses of fellow sailors. (See why we love our readers so much?)

Here's one example. Gary Gerber -- subscriber, author, and longtime friend of Good Old Boat -- was among those who asked for copies of the September issue. He and his cat (who has reviewed and blessed this project) are ready for the box of 50 copies of the September issue that he'll receive in mid-August. Gary created table-tent-type signs to accompany stacks of 10 that he'll be leaving here and there.

We'll ask for more volunteers next spring. This year (although it may seem like summer to you) the next possible issue we could ship for distribution is the November issue. Unless you're someplace really warm, we're figuring that the season has passed. But there's always next year! Our thanks to all.

Back To Top

What’s coming in . . . September 2015

For the love of sailboats

  • Precision 23 review
  • Cape Dory 27 review

Speaking seriously

  • Rowing a Hard Dinghy 101
  • In fond memory of Don Launer
  • Keel evolution, Part 3, by Rob Mazza
  • Bug barriers
  • Troubleshooting engine gauges
  • To sew or not to sew
  • Cool package
  • Holding tank harmony
  • Heading off odors
  • Replacing a water tank

What’s more

  • Our readers’ favorite boat pictures
  • A new (old) boat comes home
  • Reflections: What’s in a boat’s name?
  • Simple solutions: Cooking by induction
  • Quick and Easy: A bright new cove stripe; Storage in small places
  • The view from here: There’s no place like home
Back To Top

In the news

William "Bill" Mosher (1948 – 2015)

Longtime sailing icon William Mosher unexpectedly passed away July 3rd due to complications from sleep apnea. His lifelong career in the marine industry began in 1979 when he became the first Executive Director of the Milwaukee Community Sailing Center. He went on to become national sales director for Harken before he joined Boat US as the midwest wholesale/store manager in Milwaukee.

From 1987 to 1995, Bill became well known throughout the marine industry as National Sales Director for Harken. In 1995, Bill became the Midwest Wholesale/Store Manager for Boat US in Milwaukee. Bill joined Forespar as Sales & Marketing Director in 2000 to oversee their nationwide sales force of independent reps and to coordinate all advertising, media, promotions and shows. He also served as a Board of Director member for Sail America from 2008 to 2010.

Bill became well known for his extensive network of friends and contacts. According to Forespar President, Scott Foresman, "Bill's extensive experience and knowledge of the marine market will be truly missed. He was an integral part of the Forespar team and a true friend to us all. It's often said that the man with the most friends wins. If that is the case, Bill was truly a winner."

Help with two common chores for diesel boat owners

They are the lasting workhorse of many a cruising or sailing vessel, the inboard diesel engine. Some say they have a reputation for being finicky while others swear by their never-ending reliability. Whichever side you’re on, there are two common chores that the owners of diesel engine boats need to be able to easily perform: changing a diesel fuel filter and bleeding air from the fuel. “Bleeding a diesel engine of air is a misunderstood ‘black art.’” said BoatUS Magazine Associate Editor Mark Corke, “But it’s very easy to learn when we show you how to do it.”

BoatUS Magazine offers two videos:

How to Change a Fuel Filter on a Marine Diesel: <>

How to Bleed a Marine Diesel Engine: < >

The videos are part of the magazine’s Practical Boater series, which offers skills building, techniques, and best practices to get the most out of boating.

Back To Top


33rd Annual Antique and Classic Boat Festival

August 22 – 23
Brewer Hawthorne Cove Marina
10 White St.
Salem, Massachusetts

This is a rare chance to see elegant motor yachts and sailboats of a bygone era. Board the vessels, meet the skippers and crews, and vote for your favorite boats! A crafts market, artists, old-time band music, children’s activities, the Blessing of the Fleet, Parade of Boats and more will fill your day with fun.

Boats don’t have to be in “show” condition; they can be works-in-progress. The spirit of the Festival is to gather together those who love good old boats. For more information and to enter your boat, call 617-666-8530 or go to <>.

45th Annual Newport International Boat Show

September 17 – 20
Newport, Rhode Island

The 45th Annual Newport International Boat Show will be held at the Newport waterfront along America’s Cup Avenue in Newport, Rhode Island. The premier boat show in New England will encompass 13 acres filled with hundreds of exhibitors from around the world with power- and sailboats ranging from 16 to 100 feet, plus a wide variety of accessories, equipment, electronics, gear, and services for boaters. For more information or to purchase tickets go to <>.

Hospice Turkey Shoot Regatta

October 3 – 5
Irvington, Virginia

The 20th Hospice Turkey Shoot Regatta will take place on October 3, 4, and 5 in Irvington, Virginia. Hosting the regatta are the Rappahannock River Yacht Club and the Yankee Point Racing and Cruising Club. Shore-side activities will be based once again at Rappahannock Yachts on Carter’s Creek in Irvington. An added attraction this year is the spectacular spectator boat Godspeed, the Jamestown-based replica of one of the trio of ships that brought the founders of the first permanent English settlement in North America.

Go to <> to read about the regatta and click through to register.

Carter’s Creek has plenty of room for anchoring and marina berths are available at Rappanannock Yachts and the Tides Inn or farther upriver at Yankee Point Marina on the Corrotoman River.

46th Annual United States Sailboat Show

October 8 – 12
Annapolis, Maryland

The 46th Annual Sailboat Show is the oldest in-water sailboat show in the world. For more information and to buy tickets go to <>, and don't forget to stop by Good Old Boat's booth to meet Jerry, Karen, and some of the crew.

New this year during the boat show, the Cruisers University Fall Series will help you learn all you need for living aboard a boat. Plan your cruise, equip and maintain your boat, and feel at ease heading out. Select a program best suited to your cruising needs. Cruisers University offers the most comprehensive curriculum on cruising available anywhere. For more information go to <>.

Back To Top

Looking for

I need marketing advice

Why I Sail

I received some wonderful feedback from Good Old Boat readers after my poem, “Why I Sail,” ran in the May 2015 issue’s Mail Buoy. One subscriber bought 10 as gifts for her sailing friends in Port Ludlow, Washington. That encouraged me to frame some copies and sell them through gift shops in the Chesapeake Bay area where I live. I also have unframed copies available by mail. I went crazy and even got some T-shirts made up. 

Now I'm looking for marketing advice from fellow Good Old Boat readers. I'm a babe in the woods when it comes to marketing. My kids think I should license the poem and get out of the selling. Great idea, but where and how? Anyway, I'm having fun so far and, even if this endeavor drives me to bankruptcy, I won't hold Good Old Boat responsible for encouraging me.
—Alan (Longfellow) Keene,

Back To Top

Book reviews

The following book reviews have been posted online.

  • Creative Anchoring: Everything about Anchors and Anchoring, by Cap'n Fatty Goodlander
  • Destiny: How Humanity's arrogance Will Lead to Nature's Ultimate Response, by Carl Howe Hansen
  • Tales of a Hamptons Sailor, by Nick Catalano
  • Stress-free Sailing: Single & Short-Handed Techniques, by Duncan Wells
  • Back To Top

    A Summer Blessing

    by Molly Winans

    Editor’s Note: This editorial by Molly Winans ran in the June 2015 Chesapeake Bay Area sailing magazine SpinSheet. We liked it so much we are republishing it with permission here.

    May the Rhode River rise up to meet you, but not so high that it messes up your anchor.
    May the wind always . . . may the wind occasionally be at your back, but not so far alee that it causes gybe jitters. May the sun shine upon your sun-blocked face.
    May your crew remain healthy, fit, and free on weekends. May they bring beer in cans, tasty sandwiches, honey mustard pretzels, homemade chocolate chip cookies, non-scuffing footwear, extra sunblock and water, can-do attitudes, smiles, adventurous spirits, and humor.
    If your crew must bring electronics, let them be waterproof cameras. May their dumb phones stay tucked below until the boat is tied up and in shipshape.
    May you cultivate patience with your crew, with your skipper. May you speak your mind gently.
    Oh wind, if you’re going to blow, do so steadily and consistently, preferably on the beam.
    Oh sun, if you’re going to shine, go for it.
    Oh waves, if you’re going to kick up, would you keep it under two feet and flatten out at night?
    Oh rain, can you fall on weeknights between one and four in the morning?
    Oh storms, you never listen, so forget it.
    Oh heat, oh humidity, oh well.
    For every storm, a rainbow. For every blow, a safe harbor. For every heat-index-soaring Saturday, an endless bag of ice. For every mishap, a Band Aid. For every rough start, a lift. For every awkward docking, a soft piling. For every sunburn, some aloe. To end every rough day on the Bay, a rum drink.
    May friendship and laughter bless your days on the water.
    May you share your love of sailing with family, friends, coworkers, new neighbors, children, strangers you meet at crew parties or wandering the docks begging for rides, dogs, cats, parakeets . . . not all at the same time.
    May your bilges remain dry, your sails taut, your hull seaworthy, your binoculars salt-free.
    As you sail on the Summer Sailstice, may you relish in the longest summer day on a slant, the wind tickling your face. May luck carry you up and down the Chesapeake and through the year.

    Back To Top

    Water-level woes: The ups and downs of freshwater sailing

    by Karen Larson

    Nearly 5,000 miles. Not long ago, Jerry and I drove from Minnesota to California in search of a few good lakes, potential destinations for the trailerable sailboat we launched last summer. The trip was primarily to visit my mother and my son, who both live in Monterey, but we took the scenic byways and secondary roads on the way there and back. Sure, there was a large salty ocean at one end of the excursion, but this wasn’t about sailing on that body of water. Not this time. It was about looking over a few of the larger bodies of fresh water in between. It was also about visiting several of our national parks.

    The lakes of interest on our route included Montana’s Flathead Lake and North Dakota’s Lake Sakakawea. Because they were along the way, we also popped in to see California’s San Luis Reservoir and admired the large and pristine Yellowstone Lake located in the national park of the same name. I believe Yellowstone Lake is off limits for boating these days, but wouldn’t a quiet sail there be an experience to remember? I can’t overlook the surprise find we visited purely by accident, a mountain lake where more boats were out sailing than on any of the larger lakes we visited. That one was Idaho’s Payette Lake tucked away at McCall, Idaho, where they can brag about mile-high sailing. Look it up. You can barely find it on a map but obviously some sailors have discovered it.

    The secondary roads between Payette and Flathead lakes led us past the Salmon and Clearwater rivers that — even in early June — were still flushing enough roaring water that whitewater rafters, kayakers, and all those on something called a CataRaft were having the time of their lives . . . if they lived through it. They were protected from cold water and hard rocks by wetsuits and helmets. One very experienced rafter told us no one would make it through an entire trip down the river without being spilled from the raft, a sobering thought since the river is full of boulders. They do this for fun?

    Of note were the water levels as we journeyed west and back. California reservoirs were shockingly low, we already knew. I had to see and photograph the low water at San Luis Reservoir near Monterey. The lake was reported in January to be approximately 130 feet (feet!) below its high-water mark. Another meaningful statistic was that it can normally hold 2 million acre feet of water but that it held only 53 percent of its capacity this spring. While this lake was not closed to boaters when we visited, some California reservoirs had been closed due to lack of access.

    At the same time that the normally green shore around San Luis Reservoir appeared to be as golden and dry as a Kansas wheat field, Texans were coping with flooding. Meanwhile, the Great Lakes, which have been low in some recent years, are apparently high once more. My conclusion is that lake levels — including those of our manmade reservoirs built precisely to control the problem of drought and excess rainfall — are vastly variable, unpredictable, and uncontrollable.

    A number of small lakes are near enough to our home that I can ride my bike around any of them in about an hour. I happily “circumnavigate” one or another several times each week during Minnesota’s warm season. However, one of these was so low in early spring I was certain it could not possibly recover this year. Pontoon boats sat forlorn on the mud at docks behind the homes that front this lake.

    In 20-some years, I’ve never seen this lake so low. It was baffling. Why just one lake? Why weren’t all of the lakes within a few square miles down by similar amounts? By the time we returned after nearly three weeks on our great-grand road trip, we discovered 4 inches of water in our rain gauge and this lake and its associated wetlands had all miraculously refilled.

    Mere mortals who enjoy as much time as possible on or near the water . . . those of us who observe every ebb and flow of the water of our favorite sailing locales . . . we cannot pretend to understand the effects of nature upon the waters we love. We can only enjoy what they offer at the moment as the seasons change and the levels rise and fall.

    Back To Top

    Mail buoy

    We are holding our own

    I really appreciated your missive regarding the slippery slope (July 2015). Be encouraged ' or forewarned ' you have not arrived at the bottom of the slippery slope. No. At the bottom you will find a field of broken promises, followed by the jagged cliff of unconsidered injury to others, and below . . . the pit of despair, the blackness of broken relationships, devoid of dreams or a hope for a brighter future. I know. I’ve been there.

    At least you’ve seen your own susceptibility to start on that slide. It’s more than can be said for many self-indulgent people. Maybe someday I’ll be permitted to share with others the story of my rescue from my own pit of despair. Remember the final words transmitted by the captain of the Edmund Fitzgerald before she met her doom: “We are holding our own.”
    —Bruce Wehner

    The Slippery Slope

    I just wanted to touch base and comment on your latest musing in Good Old Boat . . . “The Slippery Slope” (July 2015). I’ve come at it the opposite way. When I was a “Madman” back in the 1980s, booze was essential to doing business. We had a bar at the office and soon found that an intoxicated client was much more receptive to our ideas. Entertaining at lunch and often dinner became a ritual. I fortunately acquired a healthy tolerance, which helped me keep my wits about me while the client often became very generous after a few libations. One client’s revenge was to introduce me to very expensive Scotch, which to this day has prevented me from sailing a much larger boat.

    When I first started sailing on Georgian Bay back in the ’80s, it was aboard a beautiful 31-foot Contest owned by the movie producer who had purchased the rights to my script on the Bluenose ( His idea was we’d sail the Bay and the North Channel and tweak the storyline while experiencing the adventure of brisk winds and high seas. He was a traditionalist. He never touched a drop during the day whether sailing or not. However, at the stroke of five, the boat had to be at anchor and a beverage was in his hand. He easily made up for any depletion in blood-alcohol level over the next few hours, every evening without fail.

    At first I respected his tradition, but soon gave in to a beer with lunch while under sail. He was not pleased about it, but accepted it so long as I was still capable of changing a headsail in a howling wind. I remember a trip where we were determined to leave the hectic life of advertising and film production far behind and sail the North Channel and Lake Superior for several months. In the North Channel, somewhere around Gore Bay, we ran out of beer and scurried back to Little Current with our tongues hanging out.

    One of the great pleasures of sailing Lake Ontario from Highland Yacht Club was savoring an ice cold beer during a quiet run up or down the lake to visit another club. I often felt that sailing is an endeavor one should never undertake completely sober. Now, of course, the protectors of virtue and safety within our Canadian government have decreed that it is illegal to imbibe while under sail with penalties similar to driving under the influence. It’s a harsh world and my concession is now, instead of just swilling from the bottle, I pour my brewed beverage into an opaque plastic cup that might be spilt overboard should the local constabulary approach.

    So, while you have gone from abstinence to moderate consumption, I have gone from constant consumption to moderation. I’m thinking that in both cases, maturity, experience, and common sense have led both of us to the same place.

    I hope all is well at Good Old Boat. I know that you’ve lost some good friends of late. That’s an unfortunate part of our continuing voyage. I know that you value the many friends you’ve made through Good Old Boat and cherish the memories of time spent with those who have passed on.
    —Don Davies

    The Dauphin Island Race Tragedy

    I read Paul Ring’s summary (June 2015 Newsletter) with interest and have to concur on the Monday Morning Quarterback aspect. I have become disillusioned with the Weather Channel over the years, from J.C. standing on a beach locally with a fan providing the realism of the moment to the seemingly off-the-cuff comments about the Dauphin Island race. To bolster their position (and ratings, I’m sure), broadcasting the skipper sharing the experience of having her daughters (and their friends) below putting on life jackets while she remained in the cockpit clutching the horseshoe ring was disturbing as well as (in my opinion) a poor example to be shown to the masses. I strongly suspect that sort of conduct was the exception to the rule. Now, based in some measure I’m sure on the Weather Channel’s reporting nationally, the focus seemed to turn immediately to a hunt for someone to blame.

    The DI race has been a staple for years and a relatively safe event. While this was an unusual weather event, it was also a wake-up call for better communication and oversight. In particular, clear and stringently enforced event rules need to be the order of the day. Much of recreational sailing breaks down to a “wink-and-a-nod” to certain tenets of sound seamanship, including monitoring of VHF radios and wearing of PFDs. With the advent of comfortable, easily worn self-inflating PFDs, there is little excuse for being less than safe ' particularly when in “race mode.” Racing often causes skippers (and crew) to take chances or push the envelope more than they would do in non-racing mode ' so the focus on safety needs to be stronger rather than weaker under the circumstances.

    Sailing lost five folks to a pop-up storm (and we have those hereabouts from May-November every year) and perhaps that number could have pared down had focus on safety been more robust pre-race. That loss is good cause to look at how to improve the process, but we don’t need more ratings seekers to jump onstage armed with second-hand facts and excess enthusiasm.

    Just my two cents, and worth about what it cost! Please, sail safe out there,
    —Bill Huesmann

    Get an AIS Class B

    In reference to Ed Zacko’s article, “AIS for the rest of us” (July 2015), I can't imagine coastal and Great Lakes good old boaters sailing without AIS Class B (and using it). I wish we had it a dozen years ago crossing Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and Portland, Maine, tanker traffic in fog. Thanks for Ed's excellent review of this breakthrough technology.
    —Bob Brodsky

    AIS offers comfort and no surprises

    I really enjoyed the article on AIS in the July/August issue of Good Old Boat.

    I grew to appreciate AIS after I installed Digital Yacht's iAIS module on our Catalina 30 to provide receive AIS. I used an iPad on the 30 to run my navigation system (iNAVX with Navionics charts). The iPad interfaced wirelessly to the iAIS module and provided a super chart plotter that incorporated received AIS data. With AIS, worries about being run down by a freighter in Lake Michigan were greatly reduced. We now had plenty of warning . . . a great way to stay out of trouble.

    When we bought our new Catalina 355 I installed a complete Digital Yacht AIS package, including their Class B transponder, VHF splitter, and wireless interface for my iPAD (same nav system and charts). Using the masthead VHF antenna, we now see freighters as far away as 100 miles. Comforting but again, and more important, no surprises. I was also happy to see, as we traveled on Lake Michigan this summer, a lot more pleasure boats using AIS. Frankly, though I know some would complain if required, I wish everyone would run AIS. If it sounds like I love AIS, you bet I do. It was wonderful, as we worked through the Manitou Passage a couple of weeks ago, to be able to see freighters long before they got near us. It's also nice to know they can see us just as well . . . rain, shine, or fog.
    —Dave Worfel

    Rescue boat

    I have a 1974 Cartwright 40 that was about 25% complete when I bought her in 2013. The first picture is as it moved from its home of 30 years in Massachusetts. The second picture is as it sits in its slip on the Rappahannock River, Virginia a week ago. I’m kind of excited . . . the sails go on in two weeks and July 4th is the inaugural cruise. I launched and christened the boat Memorial Day weekend.

    There have been so many articles that I’ve read and then done the same task as I’ve built my boat over the past two years. We are a sailboat marina and all the boats are good old boats.
    Johnson's Cartwright 40 before Johnson's Cartwright 40 after
    —Chris Johnson

    Cockpit table

    Thanks to Gary Gerber for his help building the table for my Pearson 35. Love your magazine; it is by far my favorite!
    Mixson's Table Mixson's Table 2
    —Charles Mixson


    Johnny Magazine Seeds Free copies indeed

    Free copies went fast.

    I received your 10 sample copies of Good Old Boat and took them up to the marina pavilion. A normally talkative group snatched up the copies and suddenly there was a hush over the pavilion as our sailors poured over the magazines. The only talk was that of "Check this out on page X" and discussions about the articles within. Not a copy was left! Several sailors disappeared to their boats to read in the quiet and savor the contents. Clearly this has their attention and will hopefully inspire additional subscriptions. Great idea!
    —Jackie Stevens

    Back To Top

    How to contact us

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

    Back To Top