April 2001

Contents (what's in this issue)

How to contact us
Good Old Boat Magazine
7340 Niagara Lane North
Maple Grove, MN 55311-2655
763-420-8923; 763-420-8921 (fax)

Karen Larson, Editor
Jerry Powlas, Technical Editor
Dianne Sivald, Newsletter Editor

Spring, they say, is on its way!

As I write this in early March, it's hard to imagine that spring is coming. Minnesota hasn't seen this much snow -- lasting all winter -- for years. It makes us feel a certain kinship with our readers in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, some parts of Canada, Maine . . . wherever they have to plant stakes in the ground to show the snowplows where the roads are. March, they say, is the snowiest month. If this is so, we haven't seen the last of it, and Minnesota will single-handedly replenish the Great Lakes water shortage come thaw. (Hang on to your hats downstream!)

Thaw is what is heavily on our minds, of course. Spring's coming, and we'll be out there on the water just as soon as we can rescue our boat from the embrace of any lingering snowdrifts. Global warming, indeed!

As for news from the International (well heck, Galactic) Good Old Boat Headquarters here at our dining room table, let us say, in the words of Garrison Keillor, that things have been"quiet here in Lake Wobegon." We've got some art prints and half-hull models for sale on our Web site at and will be adding a few other artists as time allows. If you haven't seen the book section on our site lately, check that out while you're there. Mark Busta, aka BookMark, can pretty much find any book you're looking for, even if it's out of print. He's had some people ask him to find specific books such as an excellent condition, hard cover, autographed edition of something or other. And he's scored!

What's coming in the May issue

Boats of interest in the coming issue are: the Cheoy Lee Offshore 40 (which shares common parentage with the Rhodes Reliant), the Cape Dory 25D as John Vigor's review boat, James Baldwin's two circumnavigations in his Pearson Triton, and a refit of a Chris-Craft Capri 30.

On the technical side of things, we've got an extensive rudder project and a look at rudder tubes; Ron Chappell answers the questions many readers asked about how he makes mast raising look easy on his Com-Pac 23 (if you read the November 2000 issue and if you're a trailer-sailor, chances are you wrote to us and asked, so we're publishing this one ASAP!); Dave Gerr tells us what the Metal Boat Society is all about; and we've got more in the increasingly popular Quick and Easy section.

Just for fun we've added Bob Wood's suggestion to extend the sailing season by sailing earlier in spring and later in fall, Wes Farmer's review of the auxiliary engines of yore, a fictional piece on two old sailors by Don Davies, a look at fresh versus saltwater sailing by Bill Martin who has recently converted from the one to the other, profiles of three men who aren't planning to retire from sailing anytime soon, and a poem by Jerry Hickson that you're sure to hang on a bulkhead as a gentle reminder from your pocketbook and your locus of common sense.

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Boat names (of course)

Jay and Lisa White write that their Pearson 35 (no longer a 1975, following her total refurbishment, they say now she's a 2000 model -- THAT would surprise the Pearson cousins!) is named Second Wind. Her faithful sailing dink is Puff the Magic Dinghy. Lisa elaborates,"It took the mother ship a second wind to get her sailing again, but it only takes a puff of wind for the dinghy."
Jay and Lisa White
Mechanicsville, Va.

In the"He didn't -- Argh, he DID! Category" is Dennis Lancaster, who writes,"I have finally found the perfect name for my new (old) Columbia 26MKII. Boat name:
Whispering Wind. Tender name: Passing Wind.
Dennis Lancaster
Bellingham, Wash.

Bill Slater writes,"How about Rhapsody named after the sound of the waves upon the her hull? It would follow that the dink be named N Blew..." You can see this pair at:
Bill Slater
Polean, Okla.

Dick MacKinnon writes,"By the way, I have friends who long ago named their Hinkley Pilot Kanga and the tender is, of course, Roo.
Dick MacKinnon
Ipswich, Mass.

Just thought I would drop you a line on boat names while I remembered. My wife and I saw a Catalina 30 in a bay on Lasqueti Island in the Straight of Georgia called Runaway. The name of the dinghy, Come Back.
One other name on a boat we saw in Desolation Sound was, Captain Billy's Whizbang.
Mac Lindsay,
Vancouver B.C.

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Mail Buoy

Mast repair
I'm a skipper of a Sea Scout ship in Lakewood, Ohio. One of our boats is a Drascombe Lugger built in England. The boat has a Sitka wood mast that needs repair; the wood has some splits in it and the varnish is almost gone. I'm looking for information about this type of repair. I hope you can help.
Ed Scheffner
Lakewood, Ohio

Jerry at Good Old Boat asked me to reply to your question. If you look at you'll see why. What I did with my masts was to:
Give your mast the treatment above and it will need only a coat or two of varnish each year to stay looking great.
Lew Miller
Minneapolis, Minn.

UHT milk
The subject of the difficulty of finding UHT milk (which doesn't require refrigeration) came up at a recent Good Old Boat presentation in Chicago. We later received the following tips:
I did some searching on the Web for UHT products and will forward two of the messages to you. Sounds like yogurt may be available in UHT form. Darifair <> is the company I contacted this week. I used to order a case of UHT milk in quarts from Farm Best, 11 Artley Rd., Savannah, GA, 912-748-6185. I don't know if they're still in business or if the area code is even correct anymore. They also had milk available in pint size, as does Darifair.
Marilyn Kinsey
Escanaba, Mich.
Thanks, Marilyn, Darifair provided assistance for finding these products in our area. They would likely provide the same assistance for sailors in other areas of the country. Read on for more.

From Darifair Foods
I assume you're looking for 8-oz milk products? If so, try Alliant in Minneapolis: 800-328-2028, contact Cheri Britz, or try Blue Line Distributors, Novi in Detroit, Michigan: 248-442-4533. Contact Lyric Raub. If sour cream or other cultured products are needed, contact me, and I'll give you more options.
Ed Stevens, V.P. Operations
Darifair Foods, Inc.
2960 Hartley Road West
Jacksonville, FL 32257
Fax: 904-268-8666

Eggs and submarines
I attended your seminar at Strictly Sail and got a copy of your handout on doing without refrigeration. Your comment about eggs -- turning them over to keep them fresh -- reminded me of something I read years ago in a book by RADM Dan V. Gallery on life in the U-Boats. He wrote that the U-Boats carried eggs in cases, and the crew would turn the cases over every day until they were used up. Your comment that this re-distributed the moisture is the only thing I've ever read that explains how this might work.
I tracked down a link to what is (I think) the book in which the eggs were mentioned. (Sheesh. I didn't even know there was a U-Boat Web site! <> Talk about food storage problems -- 100 men, 90 days, no refrigeration! Cases of food paved the companionways, and sausages were stashed between the engines and the hull!
Charles Hague
Des Plaines, Ill.

Ben Stavis remarked on the problems he had securing a Drivesaver to his coupling. If he is using a genuine Drivesaver (red in color), he should not encounter these problems, but his problems should be alleviated if he fits cut or spring lock washers under the nuts securing the disk to his engine and gearbox flange. If he wants to be doubly sure, he should drill the ends of the bolts and use castellated nuts and secure them with a wire or pin. However with spring washers, this should not be necessary. If the disk is working loose from the flange attaching the tail shaft, he should try spring washers as indeed is recommended by the manufacturer. This would be an unusual failure. Over-tightening of these bolts tapped into the plastic disk may well strip the threaded holes in the disk.
I would venture that Ben should first check his shaft and see that it runs true. If it does not, he could take a close look at his prop to see if a blade is damaged, worn, or pitted (an unbalanced prop will wreak havoc) before fussing with the niceties of engine alignment. One thing is for sure: if he has an alignment or prop problem no amount of Loctite will hold the assembly together!
Patrick Matthiesen
Sparkman & Stephens Association
London, England

What the hey?
I recently went sailing on a buddy's 32 Morgan and noticed that no matter what I did, the starboard tack was about .8 knots faster than the port tack. I started thinking back to some of my charters, when one tack was faster. I thought then it was because no one wanted to set his or her beer down in order to trim. Is this common?
Kenny Keltner
Panama City, Fla.
Nope, however, it is common on my boat, but I don't think it reflects actual speed difference. Our speed transducer is on the port side a bit abaft the leading edge of the keel. I don't think the flow in that location is the same on both tacks. I suspect this is a common problem, and also that the actual angle of the transducer to a fore and aft line might be an issue. I installed our transducer, and know how difficult it is to get it really straight. I've even been on some boats on which the wheel came out of the water when heeling severely. Then it measures air speed! On our boat, the port tack is initially slower, but after a few minutes we seem to gain about a half a knot, which I've always suspected was because the flow in that area changed in some way.

Found a couple of contacts
I am restoring a New Horizons 26. For two years I've been trying to find anyone else with an interest in this class. I found two contacts in your class listing. Thank you!
Frederick Petillo
Madison, Wis.

You've got to be kidding, don't you?
I am in a bit of trouble and wonder if the wonderful staff of Good Old Boat, Ted Brewer, other contributors, or any of the readers can help me. It will take a bit of explaining, so get a cup of coffee and settle back.
I have been pondering the old problem of shipping a dinghy on board a small sailing cruiser, something under 30 feet. It can be done, of course, even on something as short as 22 feet LOA; but the penalty is that the foredeck is forfeited, access to the stem and the headsails becomes difficult and even close to impossible, and safety is compromised. The classic solutions are: to forego a dinghy altogether, to use a dinghy of diminutive (and impractical) stability and capacity, to tow the dinghy astern, or to use a dinghy which changes shape and size for stowing. In this latter category are foldboats, dinghies cut in half athwartship, and inflatables. I will not rehearse the disadvantages of these devices; I am sure that most small boat sailors have bumped their heads on the same low overhead.
It occurred to me that the problems all stemmed from the conservative attitude of sailors: what was good enough for grandfather is good enough for me. A fresh approach is needed, one that does not adopt or adapt from the old, nor continues from the leading edge of design, but one that springs like Minerva full grown from -- well, this metaphor has gotten out of hand, but I am sure you know what I mean. I could see that the basic problem was one of shape.

What is a shape? I asked myself. It's something with boundaries. The simplest example is an ordinary piece of paper. It has two sides. But there is a piece of paper that has only one edge and only one side: take a strip of paper of convenient length and width, say 1 inch by 18 inches. Twist the strip half a turn and glue the ends together. What you have done is paste the backside to the front side and the left edge to the right edge. It looks like you have merely constructed a paper hoop but if you trace a pencil line on the paper without lifting the pencil, you will find that the tracing line comes back to the beginning point without ever leaving the surface it started on.
I made such a twisted one-sided hoop and tried to imagine the shapes it would generate if rotated around different axes of symmetry, the way a sphere is generated when a circle is rotated around any diameter. Each time, it seemed to my imagination that a"solid" was generated with only one surface, no outside, and no inside.
And then I tried other thought experiments: rotating the resulting solid around various axes. Interesting but apparently useless shapes resulted; until I hit upon the idea of rotating my twisty hoop around two axes AT THE SAME TIME!

I couldn't quite believe what my mind's eye was telling me about the result but I realized that if what I imagined was correct, the problem of stowage and capacity of a dinghy were both solved. Now I was getting somewhere! I decided to construct a full-size model and enlisted my twin brother's help. Due to the complexity of the -- I don't know what to call them, but "surfaces" is the closest word in our language -- the object had to be made in pieces and then assembled.

The problem I bring to you occurred during assembly. We decided to pin the pieces together with bolts and nuts, but found that we had to be on opposite sides of the pieces, to hold the nuts secure while the bolts were inserted and screwed home. My twin brother was on what the inadequacy of the English language forced us to call the inside, even though there was not really anything that could be called "inside," or "outside" for that matter.

The last piece to be joined to the structure was a bit heavy, and I should not have attempted to lift it into place without help. But the job was nearly finished, and I was both tired and impatient. The inevitable happened: I dropped it. In falling it struck the work, and the unstabilized pieces slewed around. As I was reeling backward trying to regain my balance I could hear the unfinished project collapsing. Anxious about my brother, I called out, "Are you all right, Walter?" I saw nothing: no structure, no Walter, and no parts except the last piece I had dropped. Again I cried out, "Where are you, Walter? I can't see you." There was no answer.

I don't know what happened. My best guess is that, in collapsing, the structure assumed the ultimate stability that it had been tending toward. It now was both outside and inside itself simultaneously. And it had carried Walter with it. Walter is therefore going precisely nowhere. That is, his velocity is known with complete and total accuracy -- zero. According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle that means he can be anywhere in the entire universe. It probably also means that for him time has entirely ceased. I am relieved of worrying that he will starve to death, since starvation is a function of time, or rather of entropy; and we have all the time in the world to do something about this situation. But what?

I ask all who read this and have any ideas that have even a remote possibility of collapsing Walter's wave function and restoring him to his rightful place in the universe, to communicate with the editors of Good Old Boat. An anxious wife and an anxious brother wait.
Robert Brigham
West Lafayette, Ind.

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A refit of the extreme kind

Following is an account of the renovation, repair and redesign of Beau, our 1971 Westerly Centaur. The ideas and philosophy used on Beau came from 13 years of living aboard, cruising and renovating other good old boats, namely, a 1946 Hinkley 28, a 1967 Allied Greenwich, a 1968 Morgan 30, a 1976 Parker Dawson 26, a 1986 Gemini catamaran, and a 1962 Chris-Craft Capri 30 before buying the Westerly in 1995.

In 1991-92, while cruising and living on the Gemini with my wife (our first home after getting married that year), we decided that if we were just going to go up and down the ICW and sail in the Bahamas for the winters, we could do it on a much less expensive boat and use the extra money to build a house. In 1993 we built the house, but before selling the Gemini we bought an old beat-up former charter boat in the Bahamas with a seized engine (the Chris-Craft) and spent three months cruising and having a great time and not missing the creature comforts of the Gemini -- like refrigeration, lighting, navigation instruments (we did have a compass with a large bubble in it), engine, etc. The next year after selling the Gemini and Chris-Craft, I saw the Centaur for sale, and from its price knew it was a fixer-upper. We were first to look at it and bought it and trailered it back to the Eastern Shore of Maryland where we put it in our front yard and began major changes.

I wanted this to be my experimental boat, one on which I could make changes without the thought of convention. After getting the boat off the trailer and onto a cradle of four tree stumps and two 6x6 timbers (Centaurs are twin-keel boats), I set to work. The boat had been decorated on the interior with indoor/outdoor carpeting: purple on the overhead and cabinsides and grey at the hull. I ripped out the purple but kept the grey as insulation and later covered it with a pine ceiling. The next jobs were to fill all the holes in the deck and cockpit and to take the teak off the cockpit seats. Next I scrubbed out the filthy bilge, a job I made easier by removing the propeller shaft so the water could drain out of the shallow bilge and center skeg.

The next step was rather extreme but has worked out very well and has to do with the separate facts that the V-berth on the Centaur was a bit small for us and that twin-keel boats are not known for their race-winning ability. I thought I could solve both problems with one solution. I felt if I could make it sail a bit faster I would have the best of both worlds. One way to do this was to get rid of that big three-blade prop in front of the rudder. I didn't want to go engineless again but I did want to be inboard engineless thereby doing away with the old unreliable, noisy, smelly, vibrating diesel engine that took up almost one third of the interior space in the boat. So I bought about a dozen saber saw blades and cut the cockpit sole and sides out of the boat, leaving the horizontal parts of the bridge deck and seats.
This left a gaping hole over the old Volvo, making it an easy job to pull it and all its auxiliary equipment out. I sold the 450-pound hulk for $600. After cutting out the engine mounts and removing the underwater cockpit scupper through-hulls, I glassed a new plywood and epoxy deck over most of the cockpit, leaving a small footwell just ahead of the rudderpost that is still big enough to shower in. This yielded a 4-foot by 5-foot flat deck at the height of the cockpit seats and created a huge space below combining the old quarter berths and engine space into one big aft cabin, perfect for a roomy, yet cozy, double bunk on the port side and center and a large storage area opposite to starboard. I then installed a 26-gallon fuel tank in the bilges under where the engine used to be, bought a Yamaha 9.9-hp High Thrust 4-stroke outboard and a large motor bracket. After beefing up the transom with plywood and epoxy and a large knee, I installed the bracket and engine which tilts out of the water under sail and goes down deep in the water under power to give excellent performance for each activity.

After 10,000 miles of cruising: two round trips on the ICW, three trips to and through the Bahamas, many times across and around Florida, and one trip to Canada and back, the engine has only cavitated once very briefly in a New Jersey inlet in the midst of a mega wake and rough seas. In the other 1500 hours of motoring we have enjoyed quiet in the cockpit and interior, complete reliability and 5.5 knots at 0.4 GPH, plus much increased sailing performance, a really comfortable rectangular bed, and a totally dry, clean white painted bilge! (Beau got third place this year in the Georgetown Round Stocking Island Race, in his class).

Another outboard advantage is that I can steer the engine via lines from a wooden yoke on the engine cover to the tiller to give unbelievable maneuverability under power, especially in tight quarters where wind and current make things tricky. A slip that most sailboats wouldn't consider approaching without a large crew standing on deck and dock to fend off and handle lines and much prayer, Beau can back into or out of in an instant under complete control. What all this translates into is low-anxiety cruising and lots of fun when we pass a larger boat under sail, partially because they are dragging a big prop, and we are not.
I believe most sailboats under 31 feet could benefit from repowering with one of the new efficient and powerful 4-stroke outboards. A friend of mine spent the last four sailing seasons babying his old inboard, spending lots of money on parts and labor, getting towed into various marinas, experiencing untold anxiety and loss of the fun the boat was meant to provide. Now he is going to spend another $8,000 to have a new diesel installed when he could have spent $2,500 four years ago and enjoyed trouble-free motoring and improved sailing. The status quo is hard to break.

Back to the renovation. Where I had removed the purple carpeting I glued white Formica to quarter-inch ply and epoxied it to the cabinsides and under decks to insulate and create a finished surface. (Beau has no core to rot, just thick solid fiberglass. Also the hull-to-deck joint is fully glassed together creating a leak-proof boat that is also very strong.)
On the overhead I used the same white Formica and made redwood battens to hold it up to the deck camber (Redwood salvaged from a jobsite dumpster).

I also removed the forward water tank and installed a new 35-gallon tank under the aft dinette seat. The batteries I relocated from the engine room to just aft of the water tank so most of the heaviest stuff is concentrated amidships.

I took out the alcohol stove and mounted an athwartships two-burner propane stove in the galley and turned the old hanging locker into a large pantry. We do not carry a cooler or have refrigeration and don't feel deprived. If we want cold beer we go ashore. However if we do decide we want a fridge, it will be a propane powered top-loading type. Yes, they do work on sailboats, only cost $400 and have zero moving parts to fail. My wife made new cushions and covers as well as interior curtains plus new sail covers, jib bags, and weathercloths.

Further modifications include a full skeg in front of the rudder, which was a semi-balanced spade and is now an unbalanced rudder with much better directional stability and seemingly impossible to snag on lines from crab pots and the like. On deck I added a three-foot bowsprit/anchor roller made of aluminum pipe.

The roller-furling genoa attaches to the end of this and sheets to the rail. At the original stem fitting I use another roller furler for the working jib, which sheets inboard. Both sails can be used on a reach, but the main purpose is to be able to choose one or the other from the cockpit. Mainsail reefing is accomplished with the roller reefing gear that is easy to use and effective. Though the sail is not quite as flat as a slab-reefed main, I think being able to reef so easily and in any amount makes up for fuller curve of the roller reefed main. My wife is particularly fond of this gear and would not trade for"jiffy" reefing for anything. You just stand on the windward side of the gooseneck, ease the sheet, ease the halyard and crank away as much as you think is necessary. No flapping sails, no pulling lines or tying reef points, just simple effective reefing.

So Beau has worked very well for us, and we still have less money in him than some cruisers have in their dinghies alone. He is sturdy, stable, able, and, I think, the epitome of a good old boat.
Rob Kreit
Bean Point, Va.

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Published April, 2001