April 2002

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
Mary Endres, Newsletter Editor


Want to look up a previous newsletter? We've added an
on-line index of all the Good Old Boat newsletters at:

Seeking your opinion

We've changed some things. We are always trying to find ways to make Good Old Boat magazine better, but whether any change is good or not is a matter of opinion. Not a matter of our opinion, but rather your opinion. You'll see these changes in the May/June 2002 issue.

We sought the opinions of some magazine industry professionals about how Good Old Boat is designed and laid out. We incorporated some of their suggestions in the issue which is coming your way. A few more changes will occur in the July/August issue. We could try here to describe and explain these changes and the thinking that motivated them, but perhaps it's best to see which ones you notice and ask you to tell us how they strike you.

This isn't a test, though, so here's the short version. We didn't change paper thickness (we tried that before), and the editorial content is centered in the same areas and offered in the same level of detail. We mainly made changes in the layout and organization of the magazine. The table of contents organizes things by categories, which should be an improvement if you're trying to find something in particular. The Mail Buoy moved to the back of the magazine, so it doesn't have to "jump" there anymore. That left us with an extra page at the front. We showcase our authors there. We're proud of the depth and breadth of our contributors in each issue. They're from all over this continent and, in fact, the globe. They're well-known writers as well as sailors who work on their boats and occasionally write an article for "the rest of us" about a project that went well for them. They're our kind of sailors.

These changes will make Good Old Boat look a bit more like other magazines, and perhaps make it easier for readers. We're not sure whether that is good or not. In fact, we can't know unless we ask our readers, and you tell us.
Changes planned for the July/August issue will deal primarily with fonts. We've been told more than once that our articles are printed in very tiny type. Actually, the type itself isn't smaller than what's in most magazines, but it is thinner and harder to read. No one knows that better than we do, since we read each article five or six times before it goes to print! (Then, once it's printed, we find the typos, but that's another story.) Since our eyes aren't getting any younger, we've been on a search for a typeface that will be better bolder and more legible . . . easier on the eyes for you and for us. We'll welcome your opinions on that change also.

When we made a small change in the paper thickness in the September 2001 issue we asked all readers for whom we had a valid email address to tell us what they thought of the new paper weight. The results of that survey were very interesting indeed. The response rate from that survey was out of all proportion with what industry professionals thought was likely. There was no incentive to respond, no freebie of any sort, but the response was overwhelming. Good Old Boat has readers who really care about the nature of the magazine. Some liked the new paper weight; some did not. Some simply told us they didn't care about the paper weight. The vast majority said the editorial content was the critical issue, not the paper weight. We tallied up the responses, thought it over for a few days and changed back to the old paper.

Now we're at it again. We did not mess with the editorial content. We got that message loud and clear. We did change the organization and layout a bit, and we need to know your opinion of the changes. You can tell us by email or letter. Our addresses are on the front page.

We want to be your magazine.

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What's coming in the May issue

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Boat show dates

Gary Smith writes: Since I'm landlocked, I like to fly out to boat shows, and I don't subscribe to those other magazines anymore so I thought that maybe you all could put the notices of when boat shows are coming up. And let us know when you are going to be at any, too.
Gary's point is well taken. If you drop those other subscriptions, how are you going to find out about upcoming boat show dates? Below are dates and contact numbers for the major shows around the country. As for our own attendance at shows, Jerry and I will be at the Oakland show this year. We never have a booth, however. You've got to sell a truckload of subscriptions to pay for the cost of a booth. Instead we wander, learn about what's new in the sailing world, and introduce our magazine to potential advertisers. We always wear our Good Old Boat shirts, though, so stop us and introduce yourself if you happen to see us there.

Oakland Sail Expo

 April 17-21, 2002

Newport Boat Show
Rhode Island

  Sept. 12-15, 2002

U.S. International Boat Show
Annapolis, Maryland

 Oct. 10-14, 2002

St. Petersburg Sail Expo

 Nov. 21-28, 2002

Atlantic City Sail Expo (dates unconfirmed) New Jersey

 Jan. 23-26 2003

Strictly Sail Chicago

 Jan. 30 - Feb. 2, 2003

Strictly Sail Miami

 Feb. 13-18, 2003

Looking for something a bit more traditional? We've been informed of these wooden boat shows:

San Diego Wooden Boat Festival <>

 June 15 & 16, 2002

Master Mariners Wooden Boat Show San Francisco

 June 23, 2002

 McNish Classic Yacht Race
Channel Islands Harbor in Southern California
This may be the last year for this event.

 Aug. 3, 2002

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The show goes on

Speaking of boat shows, Susan Peterson Gateley sends the following:

Each year a massive display of yachting products assembles in Annapolis, Maryland, where a truly dazzling array of boats, hardware, and accessories sprawls across acres of the historic waterfront. Boats from dinghies to 70-footers invite ten of thousands of sailors and would-be sailors aboard. Showgoers line up in long queues to inspect 700,000-dollar boats and wander in herds through a maze of tents and booths displaying Little Sucker drink holders, lightning protection systems, pressure cookers, offshore weather routing services, and refrigeration units.

By late afternoon many showgoers look a bit glazed. Their arms are now weighed down with plastic bags bulging with product literature as they shuffle slowly past yet one more booth touting no-hassle boat financing. I, an associate of a beloved 30-year-old plastic classic, have also come to the show. I have neither interest in nor finances for buying a new boat comparable to our present one. I do have a vague desire to see a cabin heater, prompted by last night's 40 degree temperature aboard our yacht. Mostly I come out of curiosity.

The boat show is a snapshot of the contemporary American yachting scene as seen through the lenses of official statistics and as portrayed in articles published by most forms of boating media. (Of course there is also a less well-documented and nebulous parallel economy in yachting . . . one of used boats sold owner-to-owner, bartered exchanges of labor for dock fees, secondhand gear, and boat financing through credit cards, friends, and relatives.)

The boat show snapshot is often an upbeat one filled with activity, diversity, energy, innovation, glitz, and gloss. Some of this stuff is clearly marginal. After all, does your dog really need a monogrammed collar? And could you possibly survive for a few more months without the ultimate hat? But some of the products exhibited are elegant and ingenious. The cruising chairs consisting of a few bits of turned hardwood, polyprop line and artfully shaped cloth all cleverly connected to form an amazingly comfortable chair were a delight to sit in after slogging up and down the boat show aisles for a few hours.

The boat show is either rampant materialism and consumerism run amuck or capitalism at its innovative and creative best. I saw both aspects and found its sheer variety fascinating and worth the admission. There was something here for almost everyone sailing, despite the comment of my friend, owner of a 14-footer, who in looking down an aisle stuffed with stuff remarked, "There isn't anything here that I really need!" Even the most stalwart tightwad could steal an idea or two from the show.

Strolling about the displays I noticed the occasional boats, often large and expensive, "endorsed" with decals proclaiming them as being boat of the year award nominees as judged by the authority of a national circulation sailing magazine. In the spirit of this war for the eyeballs, I offer one exhibit of my own for the spirit of Good Old Boat-ing endorsement: the International Yacht Restoration School of Newport Rhode Island.

This not-for-profit group based on the waters of Narragansett Bay teaches teamwork, pride, and self respect through recycling tired wooden boats by rebuilding them. The Restoration School has recycled a number of large and small yachts including what may be the biggest and oldest surviving American yacht anywhere, the Coronet, a 133-foot wooden schooner built in 1885 and recently purchased from a missionary society which had preserved her for 90 years. When this topsail schooner is restored, she'll teach sailing and seamanship at sea. The nonprofit Restoration School relies largely on grassroots support. For more information visit <> .

Of course, other non-profits such as the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, a group promoting conservation and sustainable use of the badly beleaguered Chesapeake's shoreline and natural resources, and the all-volunteer Coast Guard Auxiliary had booths at the show too. The lines here weren't nearly as long as those for the Shannon 47, though.

As I walked out of the gate into the gathering gloom of an early cool October evening, I reflected on the variety and vitality of the "official" yachting economy as sampled here. As my husband noted, 30 years from now these yachts will have trickled down to the next generation of backwoods budget boaters, even as our yacht - once shiny and new during the Johnson Administration - had come to serve us so well.

Old or new, there is magic in a sweet sailing yacht. She takes us to places that heal the heart and feed the soul. So here's to the boat show, wherever it may be - Newport, Annapolis, San Diego, Chicago.
Sodus Point or Hammondsport, New York. Large or small, old or new the boat show is a celebration of yachting in all its variety, and vitality. Long may the show go on!

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Safety Week and PFD exchange

The U.S. Coast Guard recently made it a federal law requiring all children under age 13 to wear a life jacket while on deck aboard any recreational boat that's underway. In celebration of National Safe Boating Week May 18 through 24, West Marine is making it easy for children across the country to get USCG-approved life jackets through two exchange programs.
In the first, parents can bring infants and children through age 12, along with their life jackets to a Stay Safe for L.I.F.E. event for an official inspection. The life jackets will be checked by a trained representative from the U.S. Power Squadron for proper fit, USCG approval, and overall condition. Jackets that don't pass inspection can be exchanged for new ones at no cost. Several Stay Safe for L.I.F.E. events will be held across the country. For a complete list of dates and locations, please call 616-349-7711, ext. 592.

Secondly, West Marine will be hosting its own Children's Life Vest Exchange at West Marine retail stores between May 14 and 27. During that time, any customer who brings in an old children's life jacket, regardless of its condition, will receive a certificate worth $10 off the purchase of any children's inflatable life jacket and $5 off the purchase of any children's Type III life jacket at West Marine. Old vests collected during the West Marine Children's Life Vest Exchange that are still functional will be donated to the U.S. Power Squadron and Coast Guard Auxiliary.

Unfortunately, many boaters don't wear life jackets while onboard. Although 91 percent of vessels carry life jackets, only 27 percent of boaters wear them, contributing to between 700 and 800 boating-related accidents each year. West Marine urges everyone to wear life jackets while on deck and to make sure children do the same.
For more information on National Safe Boating Week visit <>.

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Get a free Vessel Safety Check

Wayne Spivak, of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, Freeport Flotilla 13-06, sent this information about the auxiliary's safety check service:
What better way to know that your vessel has all the appropriate safety gear, than with a Vessel Safety Check? The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary provides free Vessel Safety Checks for all non-commercial boaters. This information comes from the official VSC website <>:

What is a Vessel Safety Check (VSC)?
A Vessel Safety Check is a courtesy examination of your boat to verify the presence and condition of certain safety equipment required by state and the federal regulations. Vessel examiners are trained specialists and members of the U.S. Power Squadrons or the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. They will make certain recommendations and discuss certain safety issues that will make you a safer boater.
This is not a boarding or law enforcement issue. No citations will be given as a result of this encounter. Examiners will supply you with a copy of the evaluation so that you may follow some of the suggestions given. Vessels that pass will be able to display our distinctive VSC decal. This does not exempt you from law enforcement boarding, but you can be prepared to make this a positive encounter.
Here are suggestions to speed you along to getting the coveted VSC decal.

How do you get a Vessel Safety Check? Check the USCG Auxiliary National Vessel Safety Check website: <>.

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Solo sailing

I'm going to advocate an unpopular proposition: Leave everyone on shore and go sailing alone. Sailing solo - not single-handed ocean racing or marathon events - but just solo sailing; gunkholing, an extended cruise, an offshore passage, a day on the bay, or a trip to an overnight anchorage. Sailing alone, where you are the cook, crew, navigator, captain, and companion to yourself.

I believe all sailors should spend part of their sailing time alone. This is a human's most fruitful period. Solitude is the only companion that can unshackle our inner thoughts and repressed psyche. The artist and writer cannot create unless alone. It is a necessity for contemplation and inner renewal, yet somehow, being alone is equated with rejecting society. Many people are afraid of being completely alone and never let it happen. Others, when physically alone, invade their senses with "background noise" - CDs, radio, or TV.

Thoreau, in Walden, said, "I never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude." When alone in a small boat at evening time, there is time to think, time to watch the terns and look at the stars, and time not to engage in idle chatter. It is a time to be at peace with oneself. On one of those perfect nights on board, how often would you have traded the incessant cocktail-party chatter for the quiet stillness of sitting in the cockpit under a sky full of stars? It is then that the world seems reborn, and you feel you are seeing it for the first time.

John Donne was no doubt right when he wrote, "No man is an island," but this existential metaphor is not necessarily correct when applied to a day on the water. It's true that no one is an island - but a lot of people would like to try being one for a short while. Most psychologists say that one of the signs of good mental health is the ability to spend time alone and enjoy it. Alone on board, past and future become less important, and the existence of the present becomes increasingly real. No, we cannot permanently inhabit a desert island, there must be a balance between solitude and social intercourse, but a day alone aboard your vessel provides the opportunity to relax according to your own unique rhythms, sort out your priorities, and reflect on the meanings of past and present problems.

I'm sorry for sailors to whom a day of sailing is equated with a day-long party on board. They are missing so much. Many skippers never sail alone; they fear it. Is it a fear of the physical and technical requirements involved, a fear of themselves, a lack of self-trust, or an inability to think introspectively?

Fatigue has the most deleterious effect on an enjoyable solo sail. This results from the physical tasks on board, coupled with the effects of sun, cold, wetness, constant concentration, lack of rest, or inadequate nourishment. So, on those solo sailing excursions, don't bite off more than you can chew - you're there to relax and enjoy, not to prove you're invincible.

Alcohol and other drugs - amphetamines, barbiturates, even caffeine - impair or alter our normal perceptions, and when sailing solo our perceptions are responsible for our welfare and that of our craft and of those with whom we are sharing the littoral environment.

Staying warm, dry, well-fed, alert, and comfortable while sailing solo allows proper mental assessment and planning before that trip to the foredeck to drop the jib. Reducing the effects of fatigue and anxiety engender the full melding of our intellectual and physical selves. It is then that single-handers experience an altered consciousness and an increasing awareness of their environment, themselves, and their craft. The solitary sailor feels his center of gravity to be in his own soul and in his own senses, not at the whim of others.

Enhancement of sensory perceptions is the bonus of solo sailing. An awareness of sea-aromas: The sharp smell of iodine from the algae and the lime smell from the calcareous shore life, the smells of birth and death from the exposed rocks, the whiff of salt spray from the whitecaps or the pungent eel-grass tossed up on shore. There are also the boat aromas: diesel oil, polyester, a hint of mildew, or the musty attic-smell of charts, books, and magazines. There's an awareness of sea-sounds: the waterborne noise of the surf, the wind whistling through the shrouds, the bell-buoy's sad tone, and the plaintive foghorn. The sounds of faraway voices ashore are also carried across the water, as well as that pleasant sound of rain on the overhead while you are tucked in your berth at anchor, or the long-delayed rumble of thunder, faintly heard, from flashes of lightning far away behind the clouds.

The senses of the solo sailor are nearly overwhelmed during a storm. At anchor, while the boat weathers the onslaught like a sea-bird with its head tucked under its wing, or when beating to windward, when every spar, throbbing with life adds its own note to the symphony. It is then that you feel that in all antiquity, no one was surrounded by violence more than now.

In contrast, the senses appreciate the calm times. Those early mornings when you awake before the gulls and terns, sipping coffee in the cockpit as the first fingers of day probe their way into the night and the smell of new bread drifts up from the cabin oven.

So set sail for an afternoon, a week, a month. Your arena can be offshore or in protected inland waters. Solitude does not depend on the surroundings, but rather on the human being.

"I am never less alone, than when alone," wrote Cicero. For myself, one of the most satisfying parts of sailing solo involves a sense of self-sufficiency and self-awareness, coupled with the requirements of endurance and ingenuity. These elements foster that special feeling of independence, the last vestige of an activity where neither government nor social status can help or interfere.

Sailing solo is a way to know who and what we are.
Don Launer

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Mail Buoy

Alberg 34s
We have been receiving your magazine in Australia, since inception, and have seen it grow nicely. One of the things I like (Ted) is that Sue reads it and remarked this time that January 2002 was an excellent issue, in particular. We read the article about Carl Alberg in that issue which makes reference to the webpage by George Dinwiddie which does not cover the Alberg 34.

We have an Alberg 34 built in Belleville, Ontario, which we purchased from its Canadian owner in 1998 after he sailed from Vancouver via Mexico to Australia. The Alice Colleen was previously sailed from Boston to Africa and back via the Caribbean. We have sailed her from the Australian East Coast to New Caledonia and Vanuatu three times and are intending to sail to New Zealand about November or December this year after visiting Vanuatu for the fourth time! Hopefully, if things settle down, we can sail west from Australia sometime and complete the circumnavigation of the Alice Colleen.

We have recently been in correspondence with Jose who thinks the Alberg 34 is the last of the Albergs and unfortunately only four were built (he thinks). Apparently the builder (Alan Nye) is still around in Belleville, but we have not succeeded in contacting him. It would be interesting to know what happened to the mold. Our boat was the plug apparently.
I have written to George Dinwiddie about a website where I was interested to read about the Alberg 25 crossing the Atlantic. Other boats were capsizing in the 1979 Fastnet storm but the occupants of the

Alberg 25 were just eating and sleeping while they lay ahull! This story reminded us of our 1999 Tasman Sea trip from Newcastle, New South Wales, to Noumea where we got in a westerly blow and for about 12 hours were sailing at 5 knots with no sails under windvane. Unfortunately the windvane control ropes broke and we had to heave to in order to sleep off the fatigue of short-handed sailing. After a comfortable night's sleep we were able to repair the windvane and continue. Thanks to Carl Alberg for sticking to his guns!
Ted Popham and Susan Thornborough

Marine metal fatigue
Replacement of standing rigging still remains largely a judgment call but should not be, considering the level and quality of engineering research available on marine metal fatigue. Conventional media holds ordinary citizens personally responsible for stimulating the economy, hence, they are necessarily vague: 10 years, 20 years? The recent letter on the Caribbean boat with the "old rod rigging and the surveyor who insisted upon its replacement was, indeed, courageous and one reason for Good Old Boat's outstanding commitment to its editorial credo. In talking with Roger Winarski at Bristol Bronze recently, he mentioned a workshop where he will be presenter on this subject. It will be held at the Wooden Boat Factory in Philadelphia, Pa., April 27. The contact is Jeff McConelley; the cost is $35 which includes lunch. Two points Roger mentioned that he will cover in greater detail: how "work hardening" shortens rigging life, i.e., frequent tacks causes loading and unloading which wears rigging faster as opposed to staying on the same tack for 30 miles. And, while smelting stainless steel, pockets of sulfur are what contribute to inner, invisible corrosion when chromium is added to steel to make it stainless. We find bronze fittings still workable after 2,000 years on the ocean floor. Perhaps this workshop will help thrifty readers make objective decisions about the "right" time for replacing that standing rigging.
Joel Gordon

What good is a credit card?
I am a reasonably competent craftsman and, as a consequence, I really enjoy the DIY attitude that you foster. After all, DIY is all that is available to you when you are offshore. Those who solve every problem with a credit card are going to be hard-pressed to make that tool work 100 miles offshore.
Bob Salnick

Cal 40s and 48s
Kudos to Ed Lawrence on his evaluation of the Cal 40. As you may know, I am a fan of these big Cal boats. When I was shopping around for a used goodoldboat to refit, the Cals were on the short part of my short list. I was leaning toward the Cal 48, but there are only 22 or so in existence, and so I was in the process of buying a Cal 40 when I stumbled upon a 48. As Ed mentions in his article, the Cal 40 is a marginal boat to convert to liveaboard use. For example, It has flat bilges, and the cabin sole turns up near the hull sides so your feet are flexed when standing near the stove.

The quarter berths are under the cockpit sole so they look like torpedo tubes or slots in a morgue! The 48 doesn't share these vices, and the bilges are not so flat so she doesn't pound to windward. But she won't surf like a 40 on your way to Hawaii either! She shares most of the components of a 40 like hatches, ports, etc. You can load up a 48 and still keep footing right along, but if you load up a 40 and keep painting new waterlines, she will slow way down. Ed didn't mention some of the other deficiencies of these boats. They are skinned-out racers, and since the electron wasn't invented in the 60s for boats their AC and DC circuits are minimal. No let's just call them horrible! They are uninsulated so they are either too cold or too hot. I am approaching the end of a total refit on our Cal 48, but I watched a friend of mine do a refit on a 40. I just want to urge others to give careful thought before they try to find an old 40 and try to convert her to a world-girdling liveaboard. It can be done, but there are more suitable boats to refit for cruising. Refitting a Cal 40 for liveaboard cruising is like converting a corvette into an RV. It can be done, but a van is a much better starting point if you want to be comfortable. Once a 40 becomes a heavy liveaboard, it's not a Cal 40 anymore. There are some great things about the bigger Cals. I would love to refit an old Cal 40 for my next boat project, but I will refit her to her intended purpose and keep her light so I can keep her fast. If you're planning a circumnavigation, look for something else, like a Cal 48!
Hugh Owens
About the Quickstep 24
I was especially interested in the article by Ted Brewer comparing the Stone Horse to the Quickstep 24 and the Sea Sprite 23. The literature that I have for my Quickstep 24 lists the displacement as 4,000 pounds and 1,900 pounds of ballast. Ted gives some different figures. Is this a misprint, or did the builder change the design specifications?
Gary Hirsch

And yet more
I have a Quickstep built in 1987 by C.E. Ryder. It is a fabulous boat, and we love it. We do, however, have a problem with it sitting lower in the water at the stern. I have talked to other owners about the problem, with conflicting information as to why. I have an 8-hp Honda outboard, which some folks claim is the problem. They say I should have a much lighter outboard. My questions are: 1) Will a lighter outboard take care of the low-in-the-water stern? 2) If not, is the problem due to the additional ballast, and is there a cure? 3) I have considered moving my battery forward, just aft of the water tank, and adding some internal ballast below the cabin floor. Is that a problem?
My wife and I, and our two two-year-olds spent our first summer with the boat camp/cruising the Maine coast. We really do love the boat and have had a lot of fun already. Any light that could be shed on this issue would be appreciated.
Bud Ingraham

Ted replies to both
Thanks for the nice comments. There is no problem fitting ballast under the mast step. It will only add to stability, not detract from it. Moving any weights forward that you can will definitely help. The several different builders are guaranteed to have made some changes from the original concept, unfortunately. The Quickstep is one of my favorite designs under 30 feet. I always enjoy looking at the half model of her hull that I have hanging on my wall.
Ted Brewer

The pressure's on!
The Good Old Boat editors are torn and pulled every which way by sailors who all have the best good old boat. It's a tough business reading these glowing reports and knowing that we only publish six times a year. Read on:
How about doing a review on the venerable Pearson 30? At least 1,100 were made. They can be found in every harbor I've ever visited whether Northeast, South, Mid-Atlantic or West Coast. I have owned one for two seasons now. I had to downsize from a nice Ericson 34 (another great boat!) to better align family finances for the challenge of meeting college tuition for two kids. I found the P30 for dirt cheap - but in terrific shape with an extensive sail inventory. Having owned nine to 10 different sailboats over the past 20 years, I can tell you that the P30 is a sleeper. Ruggedly made, good looking, and a delight to sail. It would seem a perfect good old boat a lot of your readers would be interested in. Given the number of them that were made, your readers are far more likely to run across one of these than, say, a Cape Dory 25D, Allied Seawind, or many of the other boats I have seen you review.
Ron Albert

And it's turned up!
You have a great magazine that appeals to people like me who cannot afford to buy new. We have some boats here in Canada that I believe you might be interested in doing a review on: the Sandpiper 565, Matila 20, CS 22, Sirius 21, and Nash 20 to name a few. These boats are no longer in production, so getting a review is difficult, if not impossible. You are the only magazine that would look at these boats again. As you can see, I have listed only trailerable sailboats, but of course there are many others.
Unknown (we couldn't read the signature!)

Most admired list
When it comes to my own short list of most admired sailor/designers it will always include Bill Luders, Ted Brewer, and Tom Gillmer.
Ted's article on displacement in the March 2002 issue is one of his most precise and illuminating concerning the performance and comfort debacle. However, after his most glowing comments regarding the Allied Seawind II about a year ago, I am now to realize that my own good old boat fails to meet his "ideals" when the overall chips are on the table. At her Displ/Length Ratio of 401.2, she seems to fall short on performance, at least by the book. When mine was built in 1976, Tom Gillmer's comments indicated the Allied Seawind II as a "moderate displacement" yacht. Theoretically then was then, and the lighter displacement yachts of today have altered the scale and ratio curves a bit.
In any case, most of the owners of this amazing Gillmer classic might argue Ted's conclusions based strictly upon ratios. My own observation of many comfortable, 172 nautical mile days, offshore, in modest winds under 20 knots, under all plain sail are hardly overstated. Our very active membership of Seawind II owners regularly make claims of better performance than my own or the theoretical.
Besides, not one our boats is very good in math. Back then Gillmer designed them to be comfortable, roomy, strong and fast, just not very smart or nimble. Ted is still one of my most admired designer/sailors and certainly one of your magazine's best regular features.
Paul Watson
Paul, it gets better: We're doing a profile of Tom Gillmer in the July issue. Stay tuned.

Penny wise and pound foolish?
I would like first of all to pass on the usual kudos for your most excellent and enjoyable magazine, which I can even buy way up here in the frozen north (Halifax, Nova Scotia). My question, however, is on the article on the virtues of displacement by Ted Brewer. While I am sure everything he says is correct - he's one of my favorite designers, as it turns out - is it not looking at the problem somewhat backwards to do one's comparison of boats of a fixed length (35 feet, in the example used)?
Overall length is only really a meaningful measurement for marina operators and the coast guard, who seem to get their expertise from them. A short but heavy boat is not really a small boat: it will of course hold more people and goods than a light one, and also costs proportionately more. Who was it that famously observed that "we buy boats by the pound," at least when exotic materials are excluded? So the question should be, I think, whether a 40-foot boat of the same displacement as a 30-footer will a) cost more, b) be harder to handle, c) be less comfortable at sea, d) carry less weight, e) require heavier gear, f) be less seaworthy, and g) be slower? With the likely exception of a), I suspect that the answers to all these are "no."
There are good reasons, other than marina charges, to prefer the shorter boat. I sail a very heavy little boat myself and don't even keep it at a marina - but the logic of the situation, at least from where I sit, favors a longish, narrowish boat of sturdy construction but rather light displacement for its length, perhaps akin to the Arden design shown (as illustration to the article on Page 19 in the March 2002 issue). Or putting it the other way around: perhaps someone looking for a custom design should first settle on the displacement he wants, and then figure out what the optimum length for it should be. Would Ted Brewer comment on this matter, please?
Sifford Pearre, Jr.

Ted replies
I think the person who famously observed that "we buy boats by the pound" was me. I've always said they were just like steaks and butter in that regard. Comparing a 30-footer to a 40-footer of the same displacement is interesting. I agree with Sifford that the 40 will cost more; there's little doubt about that. One of the main reasons it will cost more is that, even though it's the same displacement, it will have considerably greater stability. This, in turn, allows it to carry a larger rig, and that rig will be under heavier loads so will require stronger spars and rigging, bigger winches, etc., and that adds a great deal to cost. So does 40 feet of decking compared to 30 feet, 40 feet of interior furnishings, and so on. Plus the fact that you need to use much more exotic materials to build a 40 as light as a 30. It all adds up!
The 40 will be able to carry more load than the 30, as her waterline area will be greater, so she can take another couple of tons of people, gear, and supplies without sinking as far into the briny. This should result in a drier ride in heavy seas since she will scend more quickly, and that can add to comfort. The overall comfort will depend on how one measures comfort. She will have a much roomier interior and many measure comfort that way. On the other hand, she will have a more violent motion in heavy seas. How do the two equate? It depends on the individual.

As to performance, the 30 might keep up in light air if she has low wetted surface and a generous sail plan, but the 40 will be much faster in general conditions, having greater stability, more sail area, and less wave-making resistance.
Handling will depend, to a large extent, on the design and the rig. The 40 will have more deck space so getting around her and working forward could be easier. But the sails are larger, and that adds to the work. That was one reason we opted for a Tern schooner rig on Arden. The 40's ground tackle will be heavier as well, so I would say that the larger boat is more work as a rule.
I do think that a long narrow yacht of moderate displacement makes good sense, but the marina fees for Arden will certainly be a great deal more than they would be for most yachts of her displacement. Everything about yacht design is a compromise of one feature or another. There really is no "perfect" yacht, regardless of size.
Ted Brewer

This just in!
I just wanted to let you know that my November 2001 Good Old Boat magazine arrived today (mid February) in good shape. In fact, probably in better shape than when you mailed it. Where has it been? How could that be?

It was held hostage at the Trenton, N.J., Post Office, site of the original anthrax attack. Almost all of the mail that was in process during this period was held and eventually went for irradiation in Bridgeport, N.J. So, how could it be in better shape? Well, for one thing I know that at least this piece of mail is anthrax-free, at least that's what I'm told. Thought this might interest you.
Gene Van Kirk

Lock on the gold
Keep your focus on that magazine. To use a topical analogy, your team has a lock on the "gold" for a long time to come with the best "everyman appeal" package on the market. The trouble with being on top is that every competitor is striving to bring you down. Please don't lose interest.
Will Sturgeon

The Rest of Us Club
Many thanks for sending the magazine. I'm finding it much more approachable than the usual sailing magazines, I suspect because I am a member of The Rest of Us Club.
Archie Satterfield

Mustang and Matella
My favorite article this past year was the pretty intense coverage of Mustang, the New York 32. What a labor of love! Also, in the same issue (July 2001) was the coverage of Matella Manufacturing. I really enjoyed that as well. What a well-thought-out product! I want some (Matella stanchions)! Rudder renewal (May 2001) was very interesting also. Well actually every article found in this fine magazine is top-notch.
John Craig Uhrhan

Try not to blunder please
We enjoyed this note from Brooke Elgie, a subscriber who's done some writing for us. He and Wendy have just spent the winter in Tenakee Springs, Alaska, in order to be positioned to cruise farther north in the short summer season ahead.

You asked about our travel plans. Wendy and I will leave here in late April to go around to Sitka for our spring haulout. I realize that you probably can't just pull out a chart of this area, so here's the lay of the land. We're at 48 degrees 50 minutes north, 135 degrees 10 minutes west . . . farther west than north of Seattle. Tenakee Springs is in Tenakee Inlet, which is off Chatham Strait, which leads (sort of) to Juneau, the most northern big stop on the Inside Passage. After Juneau, it's west to Icy Strait, Glacier Bay, the North Pacific, and the Aleutians. Tenakee is on Chichagof Island, one of the ABCs (Admiralty, Baranof, and Chichagof), which have the highest concentration of grizzly bears of anywhere on the planet. The summer boater sees bears on the beach daily. They are at the top of the food chain, and etiquette is to leave them alone. One never walks back from the beach without acute bear awareness. We do not go armed, so our strategy is to make noise so as not to surprise one. Fortunately, they do not see us as food, so problems only arise when we blunder.

Depending on how one counts them, there are three or four "bush communities" like Tenakee of a hundred or so people within 50 or so miles of here. We're down to about 50 now. The economy relies on fishing and logging, both of which are down. There are no roads and very little sense of the rest of the world. Life without advertising has to be experienced to be appreciated. All except Tenakee are predominantly native communities with very strong native culture. By and large, the native people of Alaska are still on ancestral land and have retained their own language. There is some variation in how welcome we whites are made to feel. They tend to be particularly sensitive to what they see as plundering of artifacts . . . and, truth be told, boaters and kayakers have often offended.
We'll be exploring within a hundred miles of here all summer, then probably coming back to winter here again.
The magazine continues to be first rate. I'm glad to be in it.
Brooke Elgie

Maine lobster is NOT spiny lobster!
As an ardent subscriber (and occasional contributor) to Good Old Boat since issue #1, I must complain about a most grievous error in the recent issue. Michael Greenwald's otherwise excellent article on seafood contains the absolutely blasphemous statement that spiny lobsters taste like Maine lobsters. Nothing could be further from the truth! Having grown up on the coast of Maine and worked summers doing clam bakes, I can keenly remember my first encounter with a spiny: "You call this a lobster?" I have not eaten one since (although my wife [not from Maine and therefore excused] continues to eat them when we are in the Caribbean and cannot get "the real thing.") A few other comments: inactive but still "breathing" lobsters are called "sleepers" &endash; avoid them. One-clawed lobsters are "culls," not "shorts," which are, as Michael points out, illegals whose carapace is less than the allowed length (about 1 lb.).
Mark Parker

Impeller Problems
Flexible impeller raw water pumps are, in my opinion at least, one of the most troublesome components on an inboard engine. Normally the pumps fail when the impeller lobes break off and flow downstream to plug up the engine's heat exchanger. There are other failure modes. The lobes can stick to the pump housing and rip off, or they can take a set, and not spring back when the impeller rotates. Bad as all that is, I recently read of yet another novel failure mode in the British magazine, Practical Boat Owner.
A sailor wrote of a cooling problem he could not solve. Several experts said that he should check his raw water pump impeller, but each time he checked there was no defect to be seen. In the end, by more careful examination, he found that the metal ring in the center of the impeller was no longer bonded to the rubber outer part. The drive pin was simply turning the ring inside the rubber, and the business part of the impeller never moved. It is worth keeping this subtle failure mode in mind.

Aside from changing your impeller every year whether you need to or not, you can remove it every time you lay the boat up for the winter so it does not take a set, and then lubricate the housing with Vaseline when you replace it in the spring. If you are tempted to use the impeller for more than one season (I do), inspect it with a magnifying glass. Look for cracks at the roots of the lobes. If there are any cracks, replace the rotor. Make a note of which way the lobes are bent when you remove it, and put them back that way again when you reassemble the pump. I keep a picture of the rotation direction burned into the wood panel above engine access where I can find it quickly.
Jerry Powlas, technical editor

Gee, we're sorry to hear that!
I wanted to share a dilemma of the past month. Both my Sail subscription and Cruising World subscription expired. Can't have all three . . . Sorry, Patience. Sail's gotta go!
Frederick Corey

A word of thanks
My thanks to Jonathan Katzen for the wonderful evening sail aboard Zendo, your lovely Catalina 30, during my recent visit to Miami for the boat show. The trip through Biscayne Bay was thoroughly enjoyable, and your hospitality was very much appreciated. The wild ride on the edge of a Keys thunderstorm in the "skinny waters" just outside the bay was exhilarating (especially for my brother, a non-sailor), and the nighttime view of shimmering downtown Miami was breathtaking for a Great Lakes sailor used to the natural northern lights of the Apostle Islands.
Mark Busta, circulation director

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Sailing quotes

Lenny Reich sends along a sailing quote of note. Pass your favorites along to us, and we'll publish them for others to enjoy.
- Editors

From E.B. White's essay "The Sea and the Wind that Blows." The essay was written in the 1970s, I believe.

"A small sailing craft is not only beautiful, it is seductive and full of strange promise and the hint of trouble. If it happens to be an auxiliary cruising boat, it is without question the most compact and ingenious arrangement for living ever devised by the restless mind of man . . .

"Men who ache all over for tidiness and compactness in their lives often find relief for their pain in the cabin of a thirty-foot sailboat at anchor in a sheltered cove. Here the sprawling panoply of the home is compressed in orderly miniature and liquid delirium, suspended between the bottom of the sea and the top of the sky, ready to move on in the morning by the miracle of canvas and the witchcraft of rope. It is small wonder that men hold boats in the secret place of their mind, almost from the cradle to the grave."

Here are a few from Fred Street:
I must go down to the sea again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.
- "Sea Fever" by John Masefield (1878-1967)

"The man who would be fully employed should procure a ship or a woman, for no two things produce more trouble."
- Plautus (254-184 B.C.)

One ship sails east, and the other west
On the selfsame winds that blow.
'Tis the set of the sails and not the gales
That decide the way to go.

Like the winds of the seas are the ways of fate,
As the voyage along through life.
'Tis the will of the soul that sets its goals
And not the calm or the strife.
- Edna Wheeler Wilcox

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Published April 1, 2002