December 2016 Newsletter

December 2016 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.


Remember your favorite sailor during the holidays

Our favorite holiday of all, Thanksgiving, has come and gone. Christmas and the rest of the winter season holidays are upon us. Some call for gifts. We have a few ideas for your favorite sailor. That sailor might even be you!

Our newest items are the collections of articles we call Archive eXtractions (see below for more). There are 11 downloadable article collections in the store at AudioSeaStories.com right now with two more on the way. Of course you know we have Good Old Boat T-shirts. A good old hoodie or denim shirt and a ball cap would go nicely with one of our shirts. What about a back issue or two if you let your subscription lapse and have a gap to fill? We can read you a sailing story on audiobook as you drive to work or sweat through an endless workout. We’re here to help! Visit our store at AudioSeaStories.com. We have gifts for every sailor on your list. Let your friend do the selecting. You can give a friend a gift certificate to use at the store. Contact karen@goodoldboat.com to set that up.

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Isn’t 13 an unlucky number?

You might think 13 is an unlucky number but not when it comes to the Good Old Boat Archive eXtractions. These collections of articles we’ve published include three sets of boat review articles organized by size (25 to 27 feet; 28 to 30 feet; and 31 to 36 feet). We have two historical collections, one on boat designers and one on the boatbuilders who brought those designs to life. There’s our classic Good Old Galley Book and one that assembles Don Launer’s Sailboats 101 articles. Two books focus on refit boats. If you or someone you know needs a spot of inspiration or motivation while in the midst of a major project, these are the downloads for you! They’re arranged by boat size (18 to 27 feet and 28 to 42 feet).

The newest books — bringing our number to 10 and 11 — focus on buying boats (selling them too) and on preparing for an extended cruise. Two more will follow, bringing the entire collection to 12 and (dare we say it?) 13. One is all about sails and the other is all about rigging. We’ll be sure to mention them when these last two downloads arrive in our store.

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Annoyed by halyards

A sailor friend sent a note of complaint about halyard noise. It’s bad enough in the marina, he pointed ou, but clanging halyards also annoy people who live in the neighborhood of a marina. On this subject, he knows whereof he speaks.

What are your gimmicks for tying off your own halyards and (possibly) those of a neighbor’s boat that is driving you mad in the middle of the night? Send your comments and suggestions to michael_r@goodoldboat.com.

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Owners’ Associations

If you haven’t been to our Owners’ Associations page lately, why not surf on over? <http://www.goodoldboat.com/resources_for_sailors/owners_associations.php>.

Check out the information we have for your favorite kind of boat . . . or boats. We fear this information is dreadfully out of date. It takes a community to keep an owners’ association up to date, you know. We’re thinking that — as a part of our community of sailors — you can do us a service. Send your updates, comments, and complaints to karen@goodoldboat.com. She started this enormous list of owners’ groups more than 18 years ago. We have heard from sailors in the know with a few changes over the years since then . . . but not nearly enough. Make it a New Year’s resolution to update the information about your boat. It’s much easier than, say, losing 25 pounds by sailing season!

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What’s coming in January?

For the love of sailboats

  • Review boat: Downeaster 38
  • Review boat: Hunter 20
  • Living the dream . . . means coping with the occasional nightmare

Speaking seriously

  • Putting the “state” in stateroom — reclaiming space
  • An old sail recycled into leecloth
  • Grabrail guardians
  • Plumbing — when water pipes reach the end of the line
  • New decking
  • Rudder corrosion due to mixed-metals
  • Loved and lost rudders
  • Transom-hung rudder

What’s more

  • Good old boats — classics in waiting
  • Websightings
  • Mail buoy
  • Simple solution: anchor hatch
  • Quick and Easys: Vacuum-packed cushions; handling a nut; no-spill oil change
  • Reflections — Winter solitude about Avanti
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In the news

Exhibit on influence of Hunt and Burgess

The New Bedford (Massachusetts) Whaling Museum will explore how C. Raymond Hunt and W. Starling Burgess influenced the evolution of yacht design in an upcoming exhibit, “Power Performance and Speed in 20th Century Yacht Design: C. Raymond Hunt and W. Starling Burgess,” which will open December 9, 2016. The exhibit will highlight each of these extraordinary innovator’s most notable contributions to the industry and where their work continues to reverberate today in modern yacht design.

The exhibition will feature full-sized boats designed by Burgess and Hunt, the outstanding photography of Norman Fortier, trophies, tank test models, and ship models borrowed from private and corporate collections. One of the Museum’s greatest treasures is the 1/3-scale Concordia Yawl model by Tom Borges, with exquisite detailing and full rigging. A 1920 sailing canoe designed by Burgess, an early Boston Whaler, and an exquisitely restored 110 series sailboat will be on display as well. These will be complemented by ship models of Burgess and Hunt’s most iconic yachts, from America’s Cup J Boats to Hunt’s Deep V powerboat hull.

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Calendar

Toronto International Boat Show

January 20 – 29
Enercare Centre, Exhibition Place
Toronto, Ontario

Canadian Boat Shows is presenting North America’s largest indoor boat show — the preeminent selling venue for Canada’s recreational boating industry, and the premiere showcase for new 2017 products!

For more information go to: <http://www.torontoboatshow.com>.

St. Petersburg Classic Regatta, aka Good Old Boat Regatta

January 21
St. Petersburg, Florida

The 8th annual St. Petersburg Classic Regatta will be a benefit for Meals on Wheels. Boats must be 20+ years old. This is not a “Boat of the Year” regatta, rather it is a fun event to show off our beloved boats while sailing around a prearranged course and raising money for the charity (all boats are encouraged to make a donation). The Awards Dinner and Party will be held at the St Petersburg Yacht Club at 6:30 PM on January 21 following the race. Dinner for the skipper and one crew is included with the entry fee.

For more information, go to <http://www.spsa.us/racing/st-petersburg-classic-regatta/>.

Chicago Boat, RV and Strictly Sail Show

January 11 - 15
McCormick Place, South Hall
Chicago

The Progressive Insurance Chicago Boat, RV & Strictly Sail Show will be the perfect oasis for escaping frigid winter temperatures in January. Hundreds of powerboats, sailboats, and RVs will be available to board, plus attendees will see the latest in outdoor and marine accessories and technology, and there will be plenty of hands-on interactive and educational activities for everyone. Sailboats, powerboats, and RVs will be showcased in three distinct areas to make it easy for attendees to find what they are looking for. 

More information can be found at <http://www.chicagoboatshow.com/>.

Seattle Boat Show: Indoors + Afloat

January 27 – February 4
Century Link Field and Lake Union
Seattle, Washington

The Seattle Boat Show: Indoors + Afloat is the West Coast's largest boat show featuring more than 1,000 recreational watercraft, from stand-up paddleboards to superyachts and everything in between. Check out more than three acres of accessories, over 200 free boating and fishing seminars, and the latest gear indoors at CenturyLink Field and afloat on South Lake Union. For more information, go to <http://www.seattleboatshow.com>.

Strictly Sail Miami

February 16 – 20
Miamarina at Bayside Marketplace
Miami, Florida

The fun begins Thursday, February 16th, and will not end until the final bell sounds Monday, February 20th. This five-day spectacular sailing event will feature the best of the best that the sailing industry has to offer. You'll find the latest and the greatest from boatbuilders across the globe. Come to see, shop, and sail some of the newest sailboat designs, plus nearly 150 booths and land displays featuring sailing gear, accessories, and hardware from the industries top suppliers, along with the latest charter information and the boats you'll be chartering.
Go to <http://www.strictlysailmiami.com> for more information.

2017 National Sailing Programs Symposium

February 15 – February 18
Sheraton Austin at the Capitol
Austin, Texas

Sponsored by US Sailing (http://www.ussailing.org/), the National Sailing Programs Symposium (NSPS) is the premier event for sailing education in the United States. NSPS is the only conference of its kind that brings together program directors, instructors, volunteers, parents, and industry representatives to share and learn best practices with one another about running, maintaining, and improving sailing programs. The goal is to have participants leave the symposium with ideas to apply to their sailing programs, improve them, and help them grow. For more information go to: <http://nsps.ussailing.org>.

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Looking for

Can you identify this cove stripe?

Byron Bradley asked if we could identify this cove stripe. We couldn’t find it on our boat identifier page (http://www.goodoldboat.com/resources_for_sailors/boat_identifiers/). There are a few other “unknowns” there too. Check out the page and help solve these mysteries if you can.

Unknown cove - bow Unknown cove - stern
Bow on the left, stern on the right.

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Book reviews

The following book reviews have been posted online.

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Wind forecast apps

A wind-watching sailor rates forecasting prowess

By Jerry Thompson

Most sailors I know, myself included, are obsessed with the wind, as we should be. After all, we make important decisions based upon wind and wind forecasts. I, for one, will not poke my nose out of a safe harbor unless I am confident the winds will be favorable. Unless, of course, I am dinghy racing, which is a whole different situation than cruising because we have crash boats available to stand by and assist if needed.

Wind forecasts are available from many sources, one of which is smartphone apps. Wind-forecast apps can give you up-to-the-minute wind forecasts for your location and for anywhere in the world. A cellular signal is required, but as cellular coverage is becoming ubiquitous in the United States, wind-forecast apps are a good option.

Windy User Interface

Windy user interface

I selected seven of the most popular wind-forecast apps in the Google Play store (all of them are also available for IOS, iPhone, and from the iTunes store) to review and test:

  • Windfinder
  • Windfinder Pro
  • Windy
  • Windguru
  • WindyTV
  • SailFlow
  • WindAlert

I chose two locations in North Carolina for the test: Raleigh-Durham Airport and Charlotte Douglas International Airport. I chose airports so I could compare the actual recorded wind speeds at each airport to the forecasted wind from each app. I collected wind-prediction data from each app starting five days out. I also recorded the forecast at 0700 on the actual forecast day. I recorded the forecast for three times during the day: 0800, 1100, and 1700 hours. I then compared the recorded wind speed to the forecasted wind speed. I scored each forecast wind speed against the actual wind speed as follows:

  • 0 points if forecasted wind speed equaled recorded wind speed;
  •            
  • 1 point if forecasted wind speed was within 1 to 2 miles per hour of recorded wind speed;
  •            
  • 2 points if forecasted wind speed was within 3 to 4 miles per hour of recorded wind speed; and
  •            
  • 3 points if the forecasted wind speed was within 5 or more miles per hour of recorded wind speed.

The wind forecast app with the lowest score is the most accurate.

I collected and analyzed three weeks of data in October 2016. During this time period a wide variety of wind conditions were experienced, from calm through blustery, so the test data represent a wide variety of conditions. The results of my testing appear at the end of this article.

The apps tested

Here is a brief review of each app, taking into consideration cost, interface, features, and ease of use.

Windfinder

Windfinder
User score: 4.3 on a scale of 0 to 5
Cost: free, but presents advertisements at the bottom of the screen
Wind forecasts for more than 40,000 locations worldwide. The forecasts go 240 hours (10 days) out. Wind observations from more than 18,000 locations. In my experience, the observations are not up to the minute but can be 60 minutes old. I don’t find this troubling since I use Windfinder as a forecasting tool.

The user interface is clean and easy to use. Favorite locations can be selected to speed forecast retrieval from favorite spots. The forecast is presented in a table 10 days out in three-hour increments. Wind speed is given as well as the maximum gust speed. Wind direction is indicated with a wind arrow. Colors are used in the table to enable at-a-glance interpretation of the data.

Windfinder Pro

Windfinder Pro
User score: 4.4
Cost: $2.29
Windfinder PRO is advertisement free, which in today’s media-centric world is a welcome relief. PRO also features Superforecast, which has hourly time steps as opposed to the three-hour time steps in Windfinder. However, Superforecasts only go out two days. Superforecast uses a high-resolution hourly weather prediction model. I’m not really sure what that means, but I presume it results in more accurate forecasts.

Windy

Windy
User score: 4.6
Cost: Free with no advertisements
Windy provides wind forecasts 240 hours out most anywhere in the world in 1- or 3-hour increments. In my opinion, Windy has the best user interface. Simply launch the app, select one of the favorite locations you have pre-configured, and you are presented with a very detailed but easy-to-read forecast page. The top section shows a unique wind-direction tool. In the middle is a slide bar that allows you to quickly find the data you want. Below the slide bar is the forecast table. Watch the wind-direction tool at the top as you slide the bar to the day you want — pretty cool. Below the wind forecast is a precipitation table. Finally, at the bottom of the page is a map that has a very nice color-coded wind overlay, again with a slide bar at the bottom that makes it easy to pick the day you want to see. Wind direction, temperature, and precipitation are also all represented.

WindGURU

WindGURU
User score: 4.1
Cost: Free with no advertisements
The WindGURU app requires you to create a WindGURU account with a username, password, and email address. When you submit this information an email is sent to the email address you provided for confirmation. I created an account and confirmed my email address. That is the only email I have received from WindGURU thus far. But, I don’t like giving out my email address and I especially don’t like having to remember yet another username and password. End of mini-rant.

The forecast table, once accessed, is color-coded and easy to read. The forecast is seven days out in three-hour increments. Other data, such as temperature, humidity, and barometric pressure are also included in the table.

WindyTV

WindyTV (formerly WindyTY)
User score: 4.6
Cost: free with no advertisements
The display is an animated map of wind forecasts up to 336 hours (14 days) out. The wind map (you can also choose a number of data sets such as temperature, precipitation, etc.) is color-coded in a way that helps you to “see” the wind. An icon on the bottom brings out a slide bar used to select the date and time you want to see. Unfortunately, the detailed forecast for some locations, including both of my test locations, does not have a forecast table. Rather, a graph is presented that can be enlarged, but not enough to make it easy to read. I stopped recording test data because it was simply too difficult to read. Therefore, I did not test WindyTV and ultimately do not recommend it. It may work for you, but my mature eyes had a hard time.

Sailflow

Sailflow
User score: 4.2
Cost: free, but presents advertisements at the bottom of the screen
Once you get past the splash screen, favorites screen, earth photo, details, and forecast table option you are finally presented with an intuitive wind-forecast table. It is a shame it takes so many clicks to arrive at the data you want. But you are then rewarded with a large, easy-to-read, color-coded table. The wind forecast is offered in one-hour increments, seven days out. Advertisements appear at the very bottom of the screen but they did not bother me.

If the advertisements are a bother, you can upgrade to Sailflow Plus for $3.99 per month. Sailflow also offers Pro ($9.99 per month) and Gold ($14.99 per month) but I did not evaluate any of the subscription options for this review. Presumably the accuracy is greater with more options available.

WindAlert

WindAlert
User score: 4.2
Cost: free, but presents advertisements at the bottom of the screen
I quickly discovered that WindAlert and Sailflow are exactly the same except for the initial splash page. Based on this observation, I dropped WindAlert from my test.

Test results

I carefully recorded the wind forecasts and then matched them up to the actual recorded winds. The data is presented in the table.

Rollup of Wind Forecast App Test
  Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Totals Rank 5 Day Total 2 Day Total Same Day
                 
Windfinder           11 8 3
5 days 49 42 61 152 3      
2 days 20 22 30 72 5      
Morning of 11 7 10 28 3      
                 
Windfnder Pro             2 1
2 days 19 13 23 55 1      
Morning of 10 4 7 21 1      
                 
Windy           10 6 2
5 days 43 60 53 166 4      
2 days 14 27 26 67 4      
Morning of 7 9 8 24 2      
                 
Wind Guru           6 4 1
5 days 44 49 58 151 2      
2 days 15 23 23 61 3      
Morning of 6 8 7 21 1      
                 
Sailflow           4 3 1
5 days 39 37 53 129 1      
2 days 18 14 26 58 2      
Morning of 9 4 8 21 1      

 

Conclusions

SailFlow performed the best overall, winning the five-day and tying the same-day with two other apps. Windfinder PRO came in second, although it only provides data up to two days out. WindGuru was next, followed by Windfinder and, finally, Windy.

None of the apps scored well when the actual wind recorded was no wind — calm. On two mornings over the three weeks the actual wind recorded was 0. None of the apps got that right. I also recorded the predicted and actual wind directions and all of the apps did impressively well even five days out. However, I did not score wind direction.

All of the apps include wind gusts in their forecasts, but I did not score the forecasted gusts. I did observe that if gusts were forecast, all of the apps did very well predicting gusty conditions.

I concluded that forecasting the wind five days out accurately is a very tall order. SailFlow did the best in this category. Windfinder Pro and SailFlow did a great job forecasting the wind two days out. And all of the apps tested did well forecasting the current day.

Wind forecasting apps are one tool of several you can use to decide whether to set sail or to remain in a safe harbor for sailing conditions that better suit your style of sailing.

From the GOB Technical Editor

Aboard Mystic and Sunflower we use two weather/wind forecasting programs. Anybody who does any serious cruising on Lake Superior will find that they are unable to connect to the internet much of the time. In that situation, we very much like WxWorx, a satellite-based broadcast product. The data is received by a special dedicated receiver that connects to our laptop computer. There are 20 screens, including radar, storm tracking, marine zone forecasts, and surface analysis <http://www.wxworx.com/water-data>. When we have an internet connection we also use Predict Wind. This application provides very detailed wind predictions that include corrections for land masses and local topography. The detail of this product is truly amazing. The time intervals are very short, and the local detail is very good: < http://www.predictwind.com/what-predictwind-forecast>. Neither of these products is free, but if the happiness and safety of your boating experience depends on good weather information, they might be well worth the price.
Jerry Powlas
Technical Editor
Good Old Boat magazine

Do you have a favorite app? Let us know. We’re interested in your experiences, good and bad, with any wind app or other navigation, weather, or sailing app. Send your app reviews to michael_r@goodoldboat.comEds.

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2016 Good Old Boat Annual Article Index

Feature boats

  • Ms Lynne G, a Sea Sprite 23, Number 107, March 2016
  • Solitude, a Cheoy Lee Offshore 33 ketch, Number 109, July 2016
  • Dress Blue, an Alerion Express 28, Number 110, September 2016

Review boats

  • Ontario 32, Number 106, January 2016
  • Bay Hen 21, Number 106, January 2016
  • Catalina 25, Number 107, March 2016
  • Lancer 27 PS, Number 108, May 2016
  • Westerly Pageant 23, Number 108, May 2016
  • Beneteau First 285, Number 109, July 2016
  • Slipper 17, Number 110, September 2016
  • Starwind 27, Number 110, September 2016
  • Bayfield 29, Number 111, November 2016
  • Gozzard 31, Number 111, November 2016

Refits

  • Bluenose 23, Number 106, January 2016
  • Preparing Wind Wanderer for a long cruise, Number 106, January 2016
  • Herreshoff America catboat, Number 107, March 2016

Sailing 101

  • Soundproofing 101, Number 106, January 2016

Weather watch

  • Surface weather maps, part 1, Number 107, March 2016
  • Surface weather maps, part 2, Number 108, May 2016
  • How clouds form and are named, Number 109, July 2016
  • Doppler weather radar, part 1, Number 110, September 2016
  • Doppler weather radar, part 1, Number 111, November 2016

Sails

  • Storm trysail, Number 106, January 2016
  • Straightening a kinked Schaefer furler, Number 107, March 2016
  • Deflecting sheet tangles, Number 109, July 2016
  • Leading traveler controls to the helm, Number 110, September 2016

Engines

  • Prop shaft generators, Number 108, May 2016
  • Diesel-vent burp suppressor, Number 109, July 2016
  • Using a pillow block on a too-long prop shaft, Number 110, September 2016
  • Replacing a fuel tank, Number 111, November 2016
  • Build your own exhaust mixer, Number 111, November 2016

Systems

  • Tracing DC electrical faults, Number 107, March 2016

Materials, design, and construction

  • Fundamentals of stability, part 1, Number 108, May 2016
  • Fundamentals of stability, part 2, Number 109, July 2016
  • Comparing dry suits to immersion suits, Number 110, September 2016
  • Removing portlights and removing the evidence, Number 111, November 2016

Maintenance and upgrades

  • DIY boatyard awning, Number 107, March 2016
  • Winch maintenance, Number 107, March 2016
  • Replacing opening port screens, Number 107, March 2016
  • Recovering worn cushions, Number 107, March 2016
  • Repairing dogs for opening ports, Number 107, March 2016
  • A makeover for the head, Number 108, May 2016
  • Better backing plates, Number 108, May 2016
  • Installing air conditioning, Number 108, May 2016
  • Repairing a stern tube, Number 109, July 2016
  • Is your shorepower cable leaking? Number 110, September 2016
  • Complete refrigerator/freezer makeover, Number 111, November 2016

Other tech

  • Automating a compass light, Number 106, January 2016
  • Automating an anchor light, Number 106, January 2016
  • DIY LEDs, Number 107, March 2016
  • Technology for navigation, Number 109, July 2016
  • Making two wires do the work of three at the masthead, Number 110, September 2016

Profiles

  • Remembering Gerry Spiess’ Barracuda, Number 106, January 2016

Good old vendors

  • Brothers: Klacko Marine and Klacko Spars, Number 111, November 2016

How-to articles

  • Tools for reaching out-of-reach spots, Number 106, January 2016
  • Making laminated wooden corners, Number 106, January 2016
  • Saving a dinghy from use as a planter, Number 106, January 2016
  • Drag-proof anchoring, Number 106, January 2016
  • Keeping water tanks filled without breaking your back, Number 106, January 2016
  • An unbreakable wind indicator, Number 107, March 2016
  • Surface mounts, not through-bolts, Number 107, March 2016
  • What to do with out-of-date flares, Number 108, May 2016
  • Beating the heat with ice-cooled air, Number 108, May 2016
  • Make your own flopper stopper, Number 109, July 2016
  • A small cockpit wheel table for extra seating, Number 109, July 2016
  • Designing a full canvas enclosure system, Number 109, July 2016
  • Making a winter cover for all seasons, Number 110, September 2016
  • Building a clip-on table extension, Number 110, September 2016
  • Adding storage trays to deep lockers, Number 111, November 2016
  • Adding shelves where drawers have been, Number 111, November 2016
  • Protective covers for fixed windows, Number 111, November 2016

Galley life

  • Provisioning for a long cruise, Number 106, January 2016
  • Keeping green things fresh in the galley, Number 108, May 2016
  • Icebox management, Number 109, July 2016
  • Easy-to-make gifts for fellow cruisers, Number 111, November 2016

Simple solutions

  • Marking anchor chain, Number 106, January 2016
  • Makeshift gearshift, Number 107, March 2016
  • WiFi on the hook, Number 108, May 2016
  • Automatic day/night switch, Number 109, July 2016
  • Simple overhead storage, Number 110, September 2016
  • Portable 12-volt source, Number 111, November 2016

Quick and easy

  • Lubricating the mainsail track, Number 106, January 2016
  • Using a Sport-Brella when a dodger won’t fit, Number 106, January 2016
  • Disguising the back side of the speakers, Number 106, January 2016
  • Plastic chain for linking burgees, Number 107, March 2016
  • Sailbag beanbag, Number 107, March 2016
  • A wet towel fixes a loose helm, Number 108, May 2016
  • Simple shroud telltales, Number 108, May 2016
  • A vibration cushion for computers aboard, Number 109, July 2016
  • Turkey pan oil catcher, Number 109, July 2016
  • Snare dock fittings with a boathook loop, Number 110, September 2016
  • Car trunk organizer works on boats too, Number 110, September 2016
  • Control a hard-to-reach seacock from a distance, Number 110, September 2016
  • A rack for phones (works when charging also), Number 111, November 2016
  • Rebuild that bilge pump, Number 111, November 2016

Cruising memories

  • Dinghy drama, Number 107, March 2016
  • Current as seen with GPS and knotmeter, Number 107, March 2016
  • Talked into a boat, Number 108, May 2016
  • The thread of a life, Number 109, July 2016
  • Deliverance from a doomed delivery, Number 110, September 2016
  • I am a sailor, Number 111, November 2016

Lighter articles

  • Slither me timbers (a snake aboard), Number 106, January 2016
  • The scent of a good old boat, Number 107, March 2016
  • Can sailing generate income? Number 108, May 2016
  • Dinghy ramblings, Number 108, May 2016
  • Midges en masse, Number 108, May 2016
  • Canal cruising, Number 109, July 2016
  • How to sell the wife on the next boat, Number 109, July 2016
  • Travels with a broken boat, Number 111, November 2016

Product launchings

  • Water sprayer, LED mast light, zoom app for paper charts, Number 106, January 2016
  • SOS by LED, anchor swivel, wind data, Number 107, March 2016
  • Headsail protector, decoded code flags, and an app of interest, Number 108, May 2016
  • Smart luggage and a clever tether, Number 109, July 2016
  • Boat phones home, iOS chart viewer app, Number 110, September 2016
  • Mantus anchor headlamp, Secure portable phone charger, Number 111, November 2016
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Mail buoy

Testing electrical systems

Electrical system tester

Tom Wells' portable power supply in the November/December GOB reminded me of this dingus I made with parts on hand: nine inches of ¾-inch dowel, four brass machine screws and nuts, twenty feet of #10 gauge wire (red and black) and four wire terminals.

The battery for my Balboa 20 spends the off-season in my basement. When I want to test the electrical systems without schlepping it out to the boat, I clamp my jumper cables to my truck battery, and the other ends to the brass bolts on the dowel. The leads from the dowel are attached to the battery leads down in the hull. This provides power to test the radio and check the lighting systems.
Chas. Hague
Des Plaines, Illinois

Power vs Sail — he got it right

As a sailor in the Vancouver, BC, area, I thought Vaughn Johansen's article on power vs sail (The Powerboat vs. the Sailboat, October GOB newsletter) was exactly right and a hoot! I've said similar things so often I got tired of hearing them.

Thanks for publishing his thoughts.
Eric Lusk
Vancouver, British Columbia

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

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