NEWSLETTER -- August 2003


(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, Design


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

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The Name Game: You could win

Actually, you already are a winner as far as we're concerned, since you're a Good Old Boat subscriber (or you wouldn't be receiving this newsletter). We're not having a contest exactly, although there will be prizes. Holding a contest assumes that the prize winners will be selected impartially, randomly, or fairly at the very least. We're proposing to select our favorites based on . . . well, whatever strikes us at the time: gut feel, indigestion, personal bias, sense of humor.

Maybe we'll ask Karla to choose her two favorites. Karla Houdek is the first full-time employee of Good Old Boat (outside of founders Karen Larson and Jerry Powlas, that is). She works harder than three people, so we didn't think twice about hiring her. But she's not a sailor. Not even a boater! That makes her generally impartial at least, although we may lobby for our favorites with her.

So how's it work? Send Karla your favorite boat names. This might be the name of your boat, a boat you've seen, or a boat name you'd like to see sometime. Enter as often as you like. Give her your first and last name when you do. Enter by email ( By mail (7340 Niagara Lane North, Maple Grove, MN 55311). Whatever. There are no rules. This is not a contest. Call it The Name Game.

What's in it for you? We'll run the names in the Good Old Boat newsletter. And you might win a prize. You never know. The odds of that happening are better than, say, with Publishers Clearing House.

Prizes are vinyl graphics for your boat worth about $120 and a personalized duffel bag you can take to your boat worth around $100. Jeff Schuster of The Vinyl Image is putting up the lettering for your boat. If you don't need to redo your boat's graphics right now, you could probably transfer the prize to someone else or postpone it until you're planning to paint your boat or redo fading graphics. We recently ordered lettering from The Vinyl Image for our new-to-us Dodge trailersailer hauler (see photo).

Ken Kloeber of Weekend'R Products is offering the duffel bag. You can choose between the super huge Weekend'R Deluxe (our personal favorite shown in the photo) or the G'tAway Deluxe (which is 20 percent smaller and therefore lighter . . . unless you fill it with lead). We don't run photos in the newsletter very often, but in this case we want to show you what we're talking about.

We figured these prizes were appropriate because they both involve boat names (you can have your duffel bag personalized with your boat name; it's very classy). Jeff and Ken promise to make good on the prizes they've offered. So we're set to have more fun with boat names in upcoming newsletters.

Back in the "olden days" when Good Old Boat was still an infant (some readers will remember those days), this newsletter had a lot of fun with boat names. Subscribers, feeding off the letters from others about their favorite names, sent us more favorite names. Then others were inspired to send names. This went on for a year or so. If you want to see old newsletters with all these goings on, go to <>. We confess, we started it with a few of our own favorites. Then we opened the flood gates to others. We thought they'd never stop!

So why would we initiate this phenomenon again? The fact is, we like to ponder over and marvel at the variety and creativity of boat names out there. Besides, we've been toying with, arguing over, and regularly changing the possible name of our yet-to-be-named new (old) trailerable boat (the one that will go behind the Dodge someday when the repairs end). So play The Name Game with us by sending your favorite boat names. We look forward to hearing from you.

We'll be accepting these name suggestions between now and November 1. We'll announce the winners in the December newsletter. You don't have to be the first, or the last, or the 25th. Remember this is not a contest. It's for fun.

Just to get you started here's one that tickled our funny bones: Freudian Sloop. That's the name of the MacGregor 26 Classic belonging to new subscriber, Kyle Leonard. BoatU.S. sent along a news release a while ago saying that the most popular names they've been seeing lately (in their boat graphics shop) are trending toward the patriotic. The top ten list of most popular names in 2002 are: 1) Liberty, 2) Victory, 3) Aquaholic, 4) Bite Me, 5) Endless Summer, 6) Seahorse, 7) Footloose, 8) Silver Lining, 9) Miss Behavin, 10) Moondance.

And one thing more. Before you rename your boat, take some sage advice from Lynn Arthurs who wrote to us not long ago: "Always name your boat after your wife, then she won't resent the costs and your involvement as much. This is paraphrased from Sloan Wilson's book, Away From It All. At the present, I'm sailing the Northwest with an Islander 28 named Lynnie."

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What's coming in September

The "publisher elves" have been busy again, and the September issue is on the press. This issue includes:


Technical articles

For fun

What's more

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Oh, you wanted a real contest?

Well, Weems & Plath and BoatU.S. have teamed up to offer a weeklong Star Clipper Cruise and other prizes, such as Weems & Plath products and two-year memberships to BoatU.S. Here's the short version. It's called the Adventure in Navigation contest. The quiz-style contest will start Sept. 15 and will run for 75 days.

When it begins, register at <> or <>. Each Tuesday during the contest period, six questions will be posted online for a total of 54 multiple-choice or true/false questions about famous explorers, navigation methods, the history of Captain Weems, and Weems & Plath products. Whoever has the most points at the end of November wins. Winners will be notified by Dec. 15.

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Yet another contest!

FaMet ReeFurl's Ron and Tamara Peterson write:
We're looking for the FaMet ReeFurl "Golden Oldie." Do you have the oldest operating FaMet ReeFurl furler(s) on your boat? If you think you do, this is your chance to win either a FaMet ReeFurl hat or shirt. Send us a photo (email, fax, or post) of your boat and furler along with contact information to: FaMet ReeFurl "Golden Oldie" contest to 609 East 11th St Lawrence, KS 66044,, phone/fax: 785-842-0585. Systems must be operable. Entry deadline: December 31, 2003. First place receives a FaMet shirt. Second place receives a FaMet hat. Custom embroidered by Pelican Reef Embroidery. Images at <>.

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About your email address . . .

People's email addresses change more often than their postal addresses. We want to make sure we've got yours right. Please send an email message to using the email address you'd like us to use for newsletter contacts and any other random communications. We'll make sure we've got the right address in our database.

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Signing off

And while we're signing off, let us share a couple of final thoughts we've chuckled over from others. Rick Leach wound up a note which arrived with his resubscription check: "Wishing you many happy voyages, and may all your hurling guests already be at your lee rail." Well, maybe it wasn't poetic. But it was meaningful. Stan Kuczynski had this quote at the bottom of a recent email message: "Remember, amateurs built the ark; professionals built the Titanic."

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A few calendar items

Lin and Larry Pardey in British Columbia
The Canadian Bluewater Cruising Association is hosting Lin and Larry Pardey in October for a series of four seminars in Vancouver and Sidney, British Columbia. Sidney dates are: evening seminar Oct. 9 and all-day seminar Oct. 11. Vancouver dates are: evening seminar Oct. 15 and all-day seminar Oct. 18. The evening seminar, Voyaging -- Why We Do It, is a slide show about the Pardeys' recent trip around Cape Horn and a question and answer period about cruising. The all-day seminar, Priorities for Confident Cruising, is a space-limited interactive seminar that goes into detail on choosing a boat and preparing it for cruising, self-sufficiency at sea, storm management, and cost control. Tickets are sold in advance. Call 604-876-4005 or go to <>. In addition, the Pardeys have a September 4 date set for a Port Townsend appearance. For more information about that presentation, call 360-344-3436. They also will be making similar presentations at a few of the boat shows this season. Check out their website for further details: <>.

Lin and Larry Pardey in Minnesota (maybe)
Good Old Boat is considering hosting a similar seminar series in Minneapolis the weekend of February 7 and 8. These are not free seminars; the price is uncertain at this point. We're trying to get a feel for the level of interest. If you're interested in attending, please let us know. Contact

Classic boat shows and races
August 2
26th Annual McNish Classic Yacht Race
Channel Islands Harbor, Calif.

August 15 - 17
Boston Antique and Classic Boat Festival
Salem, Mass.
617-666-8530 or 617-868-7587

August 15 - 16
The Great Lakes Wooden Sailboat Society
Huron, Ohio.
734-675-4786 or 440-871-8194

August 30 - September 1
Master Mariners ChickenShip Regatta
San Francisco, Calif.

October 10 - 12
2003 Hospice Turkey Shoot Regatta
Yankee Point Marina
Lancaster, Va.

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How (not) to rent a sailboat in the Caribbean

Kim Thomas writes:

In 1996 on a trip to the Turks and Caicos Islands, I took a day off from diving to do a little sailing. The Turks and Caicos are the easternmost islands in the chain of the Bahamas. They get lovely trade winds that made me itch to hoist a sail. I had my choice of Sailboard or a Hobie Wave (a 10-foot cat-rigged multihull, what the multihull racers call a Uni because it carries only one sail). I opted for the Wave because I wanted to take my mother and niece out sailing. We were going to have a nice family sail. The resort staff took me to my awaiting vessel. I looked at the sheet arrangement and thought, "Huh?" I'd never seen the working end of a mainsheet tackle coming down off the boom before, but I'd never sailed a Wave either. Perhaps it was just something different from my Hobie 16. I had to talk them into letting me sail the thing, because it was blowing above 15 knots, and touristy places don't like to send their rentals out in anything more than a zephyr. Spoilsports!

I cruised sedately with mother and niece as passengers. That lasted less than a minute. A wave splashed my mother and got her cigarettes wet. "Take me in now!" was the command, leaving just my niece and myself. Then teen-aged attention deficit disorder set in, and my niece was on the beach. Although it had no trapeze, I had a grand time flying a hull. Finally a puff came up that I couldn't just feather up into, so I "started" the sheet. At least I started to "start" the sheet! Surprise! Because of the angle at which it draped down off the boom, it had cleated itself. Because of that angle, it wouldn't shake out of the cleat with the old "flick-of-the-wrist." Nor was I in any position to get a better angle on the sheet. I did my best-ever full gainer off the windward hull as over I went (9.5 from the Russian judge!). This Wave had a nice big "blimp" at the masthead for a float and would never "turn turtle," so it was going to be a piece of cake to right. This is something we practiced for when racing on Hobie 16s -- "how to 'right' right, right?"

No righting line . . . hmmm . . . uncleat and make sure the mainsheet is free to run, uncleat the main halyard and lead it over the upper hull. Climb up on the inboard side of the floating hull, hang onto the halyard, lean back, and Pop! She was up. The mainsail instantly filled with wind, the mainsheet wormed its way back into the cam cleat, and off went the Wave with me dragging through the water, now hanging onto the mainsheet like some new spinner. "Guaranteed to attract the big ones!" For those of you who have never sailed a catamaran, they have no weather helm! A catamaran will sail its heading for a verrrrry long time with no one on the tiller. Great! We were now making almost 10 knots on a course for Great Britain, and the more I was dragged behind in the water, the more the sheet hardened. The more the sheet hardened, the faster we went. The faster we went, the more I dragged. The more I dragged . . . well, you get the picture. Trolling for hammerhead with me as bait!

I was wearing a beautiful new two-piece bathing suit, which the ocean must have liked very much, because the water was trying its very best to steal the bottom half by peeling it down my legs. I pulled myself along the mainsheet hand-over-hand (with a quick grab at my suit every couple of seconds.) Modesty? Me? I just didn't want to scare anyone when I got back to the beach. Upon reflection, that might have been a good way to drive away those hammerheads. But I digress . . .

I finally reached the aft cross-beam of the boat. We were still on course to visit my ancestral home of Wales. I could not, for the life of me, pull myself out of the water and up onto the trampoline against the force of the ocean going past me. I thought verrrrry seriously about letting go of the boat and swimming for shore. "Hey you guys! You know that boat I talked you into renting me? Well, if you hurry . . . "

Finally, with inspiration born of desperation, I grabbed one of the rudders, pulled its trailing edge to windward, luffed the boat into the wind, and brought her to a stop. I crawled gratefully up onto the trampoline and, after regaining my breath (and by adjusting my suit, my dignity), sailed back to shore. My sailor's vanity was somewhat damaged, but at least I wasn't going to get arrested for indecent exposure. I explained to the rental place that I thought they ought to reverse the mainsheet tackle - you know, so the free end comes off the bottom part and doesn't automatically fall into the cam cleat?

They said they had seen me capsize and were thinking about coming out after me, "But it looked like you knew what you were doing, so we left you to it!" They even offered me a job as a sailing instructor!

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How to develop a good sea yarn

(or pre-fab your own sea stories)

While Kim's story (Page 3-4) is no doubt true, reader Marv Crompton tells us how to make up your own whopper.

In my brief sailing experience, I have had the opportunity to listen to many sea stories and study the methods of fabrication. Many of these are so good, so realistic that I would readily accept them if I didn't know that the yarn spinner promptly hove to in the mahogany slip in the club basement at the first whitecap.

Not wishing to neglect this aspect of my nautical training, I confess to having sidled up to the expert vocal sailors and studied their techniques. This valuable study can now be yours for the reading in the hope that better and more plausible, if not more exciting, stories will result.

In all stories, naturally, the tale must be expertly woven into the conversation. This can be more easily done if you have a) a large repertoire, b) a standard tale easily adapted to a wide variety of situations, or c) a do-it-yourself tale-builder that you can devise. Most folks prefer c) since a) is only accumulated through experience and is generally a privilege accorded senior sailors. Item b), of course, can be easily recognized after several exposures.

The location or setting of the tale is important. Obviously one grounding his boat in front of the club can hardly disguise it as having to "claw off a lee shore in a raging storm." You will note that most big adventures occur way out at sea or in another distant port.

The type of story is also important. The thread of the existing conversation must be preserved or the group may drift away. Weather makes a good common ground, for there are many combinations of fair, foul, wet, dry, hot, cold, and so on -- all of which can be "blowing like hell."

Detail is very necessary and must be gauged by the receptivity of the listener. A captive listener will appreciate a full rundown on the details of the boat involved, the full state of the sea and sky, and so on. An unenchanted audience may permit you only to tack on to the end of another story something like, "I was caught in one of those, too, once."

Having established the proper setting, you must develop your own style. This is the crucial point which can make or break your reputation as a yarn spinner. I can remember many points of style, but (fortunately) few of the stories. A loud voice is helpful, as is an old cap and a nautical-looking sweater. Beat-up deck shoes are a must. Most important of all to the image is a pipe. Its utility will be discussed later.

Assuming you have found a proper subject and an opening, a good introduction starts with "I remember back a couple of years ago when . . . " You're in business!

A few points to keep in mind at this stage: traceable dates and details are best mumbled if there are doubters in the crowd (assuming you have one). Clichés are also helpful.

The part played by the pipe is manifold. I am convinced that pipe smoking is most easily accomplished on a sailboat, for that is the only place that one can keep it lit. It gives its owner an appearance of experience and wisdom and plays an important part in building suspense. At the critical part of a tale, a pause to light or refill will drive your audience nuts. You can, after some practice, signal that a tale is to begin by performing a perfunctory cleaning, including a gavel-like banging on the nearest rubrail.

One fellow I knew could also entrance his listeners by clutching his pipe in his teeth and flop it up and down in a wide arc, the frequency of which was proportional to the height of the excitement.

Although the days of iron men and wooden ships may be gone, the advent of fiberglass decks brings an unexpected benefit in the form of a literal sounding board. To achieve maximum emphasis, an explosive expletive, coupled with a hard slap by the palm of the hand on an unreinforced section of the deck will draw the attention of the most lax listener. The preferred order seems to be: "It was one (bang) hell of a blow!" Attempting this maneuver on a wooden deck will probably net you only a bruised hand.

Should you note a degree of preoccupation on the part of your listeners, an occasional well-placed, "Where was I?" will determine the participation factor.

In closing, a few tips may aid your effort:

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Book reviews
Also see our Book Reviews pages, which includes those below and more.  

I Left the Navy, by Eric Hiscock (Edward Arnold, 1945; 176 pages; out of print).
Review by Will Clemens
San Francisco, Calif.

Eric and Susan Hiscock's cruising books are manuals for aspirations and ideals as much as technical manuals for world cruising. Whether we splice our own wire rope, repair our own sails, or navigate our boat out of its home bay, we read the Hiscocks to dream about "what if?" as much as "how to?" I Left the Navy is a remarkable precursor to their more famous cruising books, not for any sailing lore or skills but as inspiration for those of us landlocked by our everyday lives.

Unlike the Pardeys, who set sail during the postwar golden age of small boat voyaging, the Hiscocks came of age during a much bleaker era. Published during World War II, I Left the Navy tells of Eric's medical discharge from the Royal Navy, his humbling string of odd jobs in a depressed wartime England, and ultimately his opportunistic return to sea.

Eric finds work in a fiberboard factory and as a farmhand on a friend's estate. Though their labor is backbreaking, the Hiscocks find happiness in restoring a farmhouse and planting a garden. Eric describes every task precisely, whether it is lubricating a tractor, digging a furrow or harvesting the corn. This manic attention to detail and instinct to understand the purpose and workings of any process will be familiar qualities to any diligent sailor.

Although he and Susan are still years away from their famous voyages, Eric finds find his way back to boats. He is entrusted with editing a monthly yachting magazine and then finds a job shuttling boats around Britain for the Navy on occasional trips away from the farm. Although he works belowdecks as the engineer, he derives rich satisfaction from being on the water and serving his country.

I Left the Navy was not written as a sentimental memoir about a simpler, earlier time. Eric wrote this book in the moment, surely a frustrated young man wondering how his life would turn out. But the Hiscocks' now-legendary practical skills, attention to detail, and careful planning are evident throughout all their youthful struggles. It is the good fortune of all of us that eventually the Hiscocks found a different life that inspired generations of bluewater and weekend sailors.

Used copies of this short book can be found for $15 to $30.

A-B-Sea: A Loose-footed Lexicon, by Jack Lagan (Sheridan House, 2003; 352 pages; $19.95).
Review by Karen Larson
Minneapolis, Minn.

Jack Lagan has written a delightful nautical dictionary (or sorts) best described in his own words as a "loose-footed lexicon: a foot-loose, fancy-free and fore-and-aft alphabetic list of all the words known by Jack Lagan about the sea, seafarers, and seafaring."

Since Jack is British, the U.S. reader must beware of the usual spelling anomalies -- such as colour and realise -- but this book isn't meant to be used as a spelling guide anyway. Instead it's a compendium of interesting and useful nautical information and trivia which Jack felt compelled to include. He offers quotes from classic nautical literature, tables and formulas of interest, and a touch of humor (oops, make that humour).

With this book you learn that one toilet on a British yacht is referred to as the "heads" (and that in his opinion the head or heads is the nadir of plumbing expertise). You learn that jabs are shots (the immunization variety), a kicking strap is a vang, and that crosstrees are spreaders. Armed with that sort of knowledge alone, you might be able to discuss sailing with a British friend without the occasional torch/flashlight or knock-me-up type of disconnect.

Jack also includes the historical background of certain nautical terms and discusses the evolution of their common uses. For example, shanghai is defined as "to forcibly recruit someone to the marine (usually through a combination of drink, drugs, and the odd blow over the head with a belaying pin); a great old Royal Navy tradition taken up by many other nations. Shanghai itself is a fascinating city. In Chinese 'shang' is used to signify the start of something and 'hai' means 'sea;' so Shanghai is on the Huangpu River just south of where it joins the estuary of the magnificent Yangzi."

He also takes on the age-old debate of "ship versus boat" and sums it up with: "Is that clear? All right, it might be difficult to define a ship or a boat, but most sailors certainly know a ship when they see one bearing down on them."

There is a little "nautical dictionary" making the rounds that pokes fun at nautical terminology with elaborate (but wrong) definitions. This is not that sort of book. Jack has fun with the terms, but he gives correct explanations. Leeward (pron. 'loo-w'd'), for example, has this entry: "the side of a sailing boat presently away from the wind; see windward. If you are feeling seasick, make sure you know which side this is."

Jack Lagan has fun with our favorite pastime. And we, recognizing his good intentions and sense of humor/humour, have fun with his new book.

Cruising at Last: Sailing the East Coast, by Elliot Merrick (The Lyons Press, 2003; 288 pages; $22.95).
Review by Wayne Gagnon
Antigo, Wis.

Why do people sail, climb mountains, or backpack? According to Elliot Merrick, "Perhaps it is that we have gone and must go full circle. From primitive hunger needs, bark shacks, and skin clothes we 'advance' to our present civilization . . . Perhaps it is only by losing the primitive sense of oneness with nature that we can value it and learn to win back to perceptiveness again." In other words, we need to be, or at least feel that we are, more self-reliant. Elliot Merrick certainly was that. Before retiring from the U.S. Forest Service, he spent four years building Sunrise, a 20-foot sailboat he that and his first wife, Kate, and later his second wife, Patricia, cruised up and down the East Coast from Georgia to Maine and back several times.

Over the course of his lifetime, Elliot wrote several novels, short stories, and magazine articles. Cruising at Last: Sailing the East Coast is simply a collection of short works he planned to eventually compile into book form. He died in 1997 before he had the chance. Fortunately for us, his daughter completed this task. The book starts by telling how the author and his wife spent summer vacations camping in a daysailer near Hilton Head, South Carolina, in the 1960s while dreaming of the day when they would own a truly seaworthy boat. Sounds like a lot of us, doesn't it? Although written over a period of years and over several voyages, the narrative flows like the incoming tide at sunset. It gives the wanna-be sailor that if-he-can-do-it-I-can-do-it attitude and leaves the experienced sailor chomping at the helm to get back out there.

Cruising at Last takes us on an odyssey that's part cruising guide, part travelogue, and part character study with just enough technical information about Elliot's boat to scratch that particular itch. If you've read and enjoyed things like My Old Man and the Sea or North to the Night, you'll probably enjoy Cruising at Last. It provides a nice contrast to the life-and-death stories by telling how pleasant being self-reliant in a small boat can be. It's a book to be read on long, cold, dark winter evenings when our boats are stored for the season and we can't wait to feel the deck swaying beneath our feet and the cool spray rinsing our faces again. To take a line from the film industry, this could be the "feel-good" book for the off-season.

Naturally Salty: Coastal Characters of the Pacific Northwest, by Marianne Scott (TouchWood Editions, 2003; 214 pages; $14.95).
Review by Karen Larson
Minneapolis, Minn.

Marianne Scott's personal warmth and natural interest in others shines through her new book, Naturally Salty: Coastal Characters of the Pacific Northwest. In her work as a journalist, she has discovered and profiled a cast of boaters and entrepreneurs who have risen to the top of a sea full of salty characters.

Those she has selected for this book have welcomed her into their homes and told her of their trials and triumphs. In return, Marianne has painted their portraits in colorful words and descriptive phrases, portraying her subjects accurately while using her genuine interest in them to show the best side of each. She is an artist who captures each ray of sunlight as it warms her subject.

In selecting and profiling 30 coastal characters, Marianne has held a mirror up to the rest of us. Each of us has a story to tell; in telling these tales she reminds us of our own significance. Her subjects have been drawn to the sea and to boats. They have ricocheted through life discovering themselves as they went. Their paths -- like those of so many boaters, coastal dwellers, and in fact everyone -- have had interesting turns and loops.

These are men and women who have done amazing or unusual things. These are individuals who have lived long and vigorously, reminding us of the great value of our last decades. These are gutsy women and inspiring men. These people are us. In this book Marianne has brought out the best in us.

Smith's Guide to Maritime Museums of North America, by Robert Smith (1st Books, 2002; three volumes; $10.50, $11.50, and $12.50).
Review by Karen Larson
Minneapolis, Minn.

I may have to hide Robert Smith's books from my husband. While I enjoy visiting maritime museums, I'm not sure I enjoy visiting them with Jerry. He doesn't do anything unless he can be extremely thorough. A museum is not the sort of place to take a guy like that. So what will I do if Jerry learns about a terrific source listing more than 620 maritime museums, lighthouses, and related museums in North America?

Robert Smith's three-volume set is a treasure. It lists museums by name, by location, and by type or specialty. And it provides a brief description of each. You say you're interested in whaling museums, for example? There are 19 listed in Volume 1, which includes the East Coast of the U.S. and Canada as far south as Pennsylvania, including all of Ontario and part of the Great Lakes. Volume 2 includes the southern stretches of the Atlantic Coast and states adjoining the Gulf Coast. Volume 3 includes the Pacific Coast and inland through the remainder of the Great Lakes. (Even with 620 sites listed in three volumes, these guides do not yet include them all. Robert's looking for input from others to tell him of museums he's missed.)

Just when I thought we should be sure to post all these maritime museums, lighthouses, and canal and lock museums in our comprehensive Good Old Boat directory of all things nautical <>, I realized that would not be necessary. Robert has that covered, too. Check out his website at <>. We'll be sure to link it.

My hat's off to Robert Smith, who has also authored two West Coast cruising guides, by the way. But he seems to be the modest sort. On the back covers of his books, he says, "Credit must go to all those dedicated individuals who have committed time, talent, and financial resources for preservation of the maritime adventure." He's so right. Get the books and go thank them yourself. Just don't take Jerry with you.


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Mail Buoy

Boat of the Year recommendation

The Boat of the Year issue was great! Please do the honors for 2003. My favorite bit of gear is the new Solar Sail -- the embedded high-tech solar-dots enable the boater to use the radar/chartplotter/depth sounder/fish finder/entertainment center (with laser light show) and has enough left over to power the electric aux-drive motor! Called the Friendly Green Monster Racing/Cruising Sail, it's proven to be a real family hit and has really impressed our local lobstermen, who now wave and throw things when I sail through the pots.

My second favorite bit of gear is the lobster-trap-line-cutting system that attaches to the hull . . . just like the razor-wire fence at the bank.
Frederich Gunther
Umm, Frederich, maybe that second bit of gear is why the lobstermen are waving so freely at you with that one finger extended like that. Well, that's a possibility anyway.

This technology is nifty
Just read the newsletter on the Internet for the first time, having been dragged kicking and screaming into the 20th Century. (The 21st will have to wait its turn.) By George, this modern technology is nifty!

Regarding the article about the prop shaft backing out and threatening to turn the boat into an expensive bathtub, Walt insured that we sleep better by installing a shaft collar on the prop shaft between the stuffing box and the coupling. That eliminates the problem if the coupling comes off the shaft. The collars are available from McMaster-Carr Supply Company. Sizes range from 1/8 to 3 inches in stainless, mild steel, aluminum, and nylon.

We did, however, dodge a bullet recently. Started the Atomic 4 on our good old Ranger 28, Gilded Lily, and discovered the exhaust line had rotted out under its asbestos insulation and was pumping the exhaust water into the bilges! We were still in the slip (Lily is a lady, fortunately), and Walt has built a new line of stainless steel, which should last for her next 25 years.

When you bring your new trailersailer to Guntersville Lake, you are on our turf. Be happy to introduce you to southern sailing and good southern cooking. The lake is beautiful and not crowded. Lily will be happy to share her first-hand knowledge of every too-shallow spot. (We currently hold the record of three days as an island with masts! But then that was before we knew she was one of the later Ranger 28s that draws a foot more than the published specs!) Come sail awhile.
Janet Perkins and Walt Hodge
P.S. Down here, UHT milk is standard on grocery shelves: low fat, full fat, and chocolate.

We have been aggrieved!
This is the first time in my several years of loyal discipleship to this, the finest sailing magazine God ever placed on the blue Earth, that I must complain . . . about content in your June newsletter.

In your short list of trailerable sailing lakes, you were obviously overcome by your recent decision to double your suffering (plus a trailer!) which resulted in your inadvertent failure to include the greatest non-Great inland sailing lake in the USA! Of course, I am speaking of Kentucky Lake, in far western Kentucky. As with a couple of the other lakes you did include, it is on the Tennessee-Tombigbee waterway. Our beloved lake is loaded with facilities, yet vast enough to lose yourself for days. Small enough to find your way home, yet large enough to create a new memory, navigating through the strong spring storms.

Please keep this outstanding body of water in mind as you join those of us who sail the highways before we sail the waterways. Come on down and join me in a Mint Julep and a bowl of burgoo in the gateway to the sailing south!
Russell Salsman
Russell, we're on our way. That oversight was inadvertent. We already bought the charts for Kentucky Lake on our travels through the country in spring. Kentucky Lake is the first place we'll wind up sailing that trailerable. We're anticipating fall 2004.

Jim Huxford's boat and website
After running a note in the June newsletter about Jim Huxford, who lost a fight with cancer, we received the following note from Lyn Huxford. Jim managed a site for Yankee Dolphins and was refinishing his own 24-foot Dolphin.
Thanks for sending us the nice note. I am very interested in finding a good home for Jim's boat. It is currently setting on stands at the Boulder Marina. He had taken the cabinetry out to refinish, which he did, but the inside fittings are currently in my basement. I think he completed most of the repairs to the hull that he wanted to do. I really don't know what is a reasonable price in its current condition. It needs someone to give it a lot of loving care. I would like to get approximately $2,000 OBO, but I am not certain this is realistic. If you can help in any way I would greatly appreciate it. My email is Please pass it along to anyone who might be interested. Messages can be left at 618-537-6901. Thanks once again. Jim so much loved your magazine, and I as a fledgling photographer, was always in awe of the photography.

The website is down, but I can't find Jim's backup file. I don't know how to pass it along to anyone, but I do have some of the printed Dolphin documentation he had collected that I would be glad to share.
Lyn Huxford

Not just your imagination
The latest issue seemed bigger, much more variety and content than earlier issues. I'm not sure if it's an increased page count or just the amazing quantity and variety of page-turning articles. Great job!
Mike Keers
No Mike, that isn't just in your head. The July issue was bigger. We've been adding pages for some time now (at the same time that other magazines are shrinking, it has been pointed out, due to smaller numbers of ads). But we think 100 pages is all we can possibly handle with our little staff. We're going to stay this size for the foreseeable future.

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Sailing quotes

In the April newsletter we printed a few of the quotes from Randy Deering's book, A Sailor's Guide to Life. In the June 2003 newsletter we thought to tell you how to reach Randy. We'll finish up with a few more favorite quotes and give you his email address while we're at it this time (

The way of a boat skimming the water, how free she runs. She is free only when you have let her fall off again and have recovered once more her nice adjustment to the forces she must obey and cannot defy.
-- Woodrow Wilson

The sail, the play of its pulse so like our own lives: so thin and yet so full of life, so noiseless when it labors hardest, so noisy and impatient when least effective.
-- Henry David Thoreau

A smooth sea never made a skillful mariner. The storms of adversity, like those of the ocean, rouse the faculties, and excite the invention, prudence, skill, and fortitude of the voyager.
-- Author unknown

A little theory goes a long way toward developing an understanding of how a sailboat works, but getting in the boat and actually going sailing is more fun.
-- John Rousmaniere

The cabin of a small yacht is truly a wonderful thing; not only will it shelter you from the tempest, but from the other troubles of life; it is a safe retreat.
-- L. Francis Herreshoff

Fred Street's favorite sailing quotes:

George Gray
I have studied many times
The marble which was chiseled for me --
A boat with a furled sail at rest in a harbor.
In truth it pictures not my destination
But my life.
For love was offered me and I shrank from its disillusionment;
Sorrow knocked at my door, but I was afraid;
Ambition called to me, but I dreaded the chances.
Yet all the while I hungered for meaning in my life.
And now I know that we must lift the sail
And catch the winds of destiny
Wherever they drive the boat.
To put meaning in one's life may end in madness,
But life without meaning is the torture
Of restlessness and vague desire --
It is a boat longing for the sea and yet afraid.
-- Edgar Lee Masters, from "Spoon River Anthology"

Like many multisyllabic words, "seamanship" might appear to have been invented -- by an anthropologist, perhaps -- in order to intimidate us. But seamanship actually is pretty simple. It can be broken down into six fundamental problems that engage three essential components. Here are the six fundamentals:
1. Don't drown.
2. Don't sink.
3. Don't run into anybody.
4. Don't get lost.
5. Don't be ineffective.
6. Don't be unhappy.
-- John Rousmaniere

Published August 1, 2003