It's tough typing the word "August" on this newsletter header. How did that happen? Worse, we've just closed the September issue of the magazine and are looking ahead to November. November! That must be one of the great drawbacks in the publishing business: you're never focused on the present. The nation's largest consumer magazines have probably already completed their Christmas issues. But we digress.
What's coming in September
The September issue is at the printer. Here's what's coming:
An index to issues is coming
We heard you. We've asked the folks who've been with Good Old Boat since our first issue and are now renewing their subscriptions for feedback. We're getting many very reassuring responses and some excellent suggestions. One thing we're learning is that you'd like an index to the back issues of Good Old Boat. It didn't seem necessary in the beginning, of course . . . back when there were only a few back issues.
But the number of magazines keeps growing. We can't keep track of what story was in which issue anymore, and we don't expect you to have it memorized either. So we're creating a searchable database which will be posted on the web. We'll let you know when it's posted. In the meantime, we'll give you the short overview version of the index in this newsletter and will begin including an annual index with each December newsletter.
We welcome your contributions
The first group of renewing subscribers has also made it clear that we should include some short workbench-style articles . . . you know, the easy projects you've done: making winch covers, bookshelves, and accessory holders. Send us your quick and easy projects along with photos or drawings. We'll get something started in one of the upcoming magazines. There will be some compensation for these.
Prize drawing winners named
The good news is that three people have been drawn in the Good Old Boat subscriber sweepstakes. The bad news is, of course, if you haven't had a personal call from us, you're not among them. Still, those who won are a terrific representation of Good Old Boat subscribers, they were happy to win, and we were thrilled to honor them. Of course, if you really want a hand-built model of your boat or a customized seabag, you can get your own from Tom Thomas, who does the models, at 816-628-4336, firstname.lastname@example.org or Ken Kloeber, who makes the bags, at 800-226-0670, WkndrBag@aol.com.
Renewal time is upon us
If you're among our earliest subscribers, either you have received or you will be receiving love notes from Good Old Boat asking you to return to the fold for another year (or two). We don't want to lose anyone. So please stick with us and watch what happens next year. We can't wait to find out ourselves!
We've made another improvement
The Good Old Boat list of sailboat associations and contacts has taken a giant leap forward. We used to accumulate information, additions, and changes that were passed along to us and update the list on our website every couple of months. It was a grueling task by the time we got around to it because each change was painstakingly entered into three different software applications -- the one that was for the web, the main database itself, and the one that was used for printing updates in the magazine and newsletter. You can see the opportunities for making mistakes or overlooking something in one of the applications! These days, we are making additions and changes into only one database, and it publishes them on the web as soon as they are entered. We can still make mistakes, don't be fooled, but perhaps only one third as many. And the information is posted sooner for your use. Scroll around in the Good Old Boat associations page one of these days. With more than 700 entries (most, but not all, of these are unique boat types or manufacturers), it has become an amazing thing. And there are still more kinds of boats which have not even made it to the list yet. It seems impossible that there could have been so many kinds of boats. That's a lot of good old boats, and we love them, every single one.
Don't forget to use your classified ad
Subscribers get a free classified ad each year, so if you've got something to list, what have you got to lose? Itıs a fairly simple deal: mail or email us about what you want to list (or find), and we do the rest. Keep it reasonably short, and we won't quibble with word counts and details. We do reserve the right to edit a bit. We run the ads in the magazine and newsletter, and we post them on the web. It makes the $39.95 for a year's subscription a real bargain!
If you've got a marine-related business and want what we call a display classified ad (those are the little boxed ones in the magazine's classified section), we'll offer $25 off one of those instead of the free classified. The way those ads work, is people pay $25 an inch, and the ads can't exceed three inches total (to keep the few advertisers with money from outshouting the rest of us.) We charge extra ($20) for any photos or art used in those display classified ads.
The new name on the masthead
If you've called Good Old Boat recently or if you study the masthead on this newsletter or the next magazine carefully, you'll see that we finally added a third member to our staff. Brent Ostbye, a senior at the University of Minnesota, has begun working with us part time. He'll be 21 later this month, an age we can only look back on with envy. He's an English major. More important, however, he's a sailor. (A racer, perhaps, as these young ones are wont to be, but a sailor nonetheless.) Brent races C Scows, E Scows, a Lindenberg 26 in a PHRF series, and anything else he can get his hands on. He's a member of the University of Minnesota racing team, but his most recent claim to fame was when Gordie Bowers selected Brent as his crew for the C Scow nationals.
In the bed of Brent's rusty pickup, along with a rather interesting collection of bric-a-brac, is a dead or dying outboard motor and two unopened cans of beer. He's down-to-earth, highly motivated, and learning our business quickly. That pretty much describes the new voice on the phone and the name on our masthead. We expect he'll be around with Good Old Boat for many years to come.
How to contact us
Karen Larson, Editor
Jerry Powlas, Technical Editor
Brent Ostbye, Editorial Assistant
Good Old Boat Magazine
7340 Niagara Lane North
Maple Grove, MN 55311-2655
People keep asking for back issues of Good Old Boat, so much so that we have run out of the early copies. The next step is to sell copies of articles from these early magazines. Articles from sold-out back issues are available for $2.50 each. Here's the entire list of magazines and main articles:
Premier Issue (June/July 1998) --ÝSOLD OUT
Technical articles Thru-hulls and marine metals; Atomic 4; Rubrail revival
Feature boat Cape Dory 30
First list of sailboat associations and contacts
September/October 1998 -- SOLD OUT
Technical articles Wet exhaust and other marine exhausts; What to look for when buying an older boat; Sailbrokers
Feature boat Ericson 35
Features Onboard communication; Nautical photographer; Sailing on the 'Net; Vendor feature on Sailrite
History Birth of the Valiant
November/December 1998 -- SOLD OUT
Technical articles Deck delamination; Vang/preventer; Is fiberglass forever?
Feature boat Niagara 35
Features Ted Brewer profile; Buying, financing, and insuring good old boats; Cruising Rule Number 12; Roller furling vs. bags on deck; Sailors' resources
January/February 1999 -- SOLD OUT
Technical articles Repair of fuel, waste, and water tanks
Feature boat Blackwatch 19
Features Vendor feature on Moyer Marine; History of the Allied Boat Company; Life without a cooler; Project from hell (the weatherfax that never was); Surviving Hurricane Georges; Flag etiquette; Winter aboard; New homes for neglected boats
Small Wonders (Small Boat Journal Remembered) Dinghies
Technical articles Standing rigging; Tillers; Affordable Boat: partnerships, basics, and careful buying; Restoration of a Bristol 27; Flopper stopper
Boat Pearson Commander feature boat; Bristol Channel Cutter boat review
Features Preserving the classics; Mildew wars
Small Wonders (Small Boat Journal Remembered) Chip logs and lead lines
Expanded list of sailboat associations and contacts
Technical articles Focus on aluminum and steel yachts; New sails for good old boats; The sailor's medical bag and creative ways to face medical emergencies at sea; New mast for an old cat; How GPS works; The poor man's windlass; Yacht design formulas
Boat Block Island 40 feature boat; Cal 20 boat review
Features Renaming your boat; The Black Box Theory; Love at first "site;" Ode to Summertime
Small Wonders (Small Boat Journal Remembered) Three-minute boat, the Walker Bay dinghy
Roger Gaby's story about boarding attempts by drunken PWC riders (told in the June issue of this newsletter) is very sobering (no pun intended), but I do not feel it justifies being armed with a gun of any sort. My sympathies to Roger. I'm sure I would have been terrified, too, but I don't think having a gun would have helped. The old saying is that there are two sides to every story. As unjustified as the actions of these louts obviously is, I suspect that there is a little information missing from Roger's story. I wonder why simple drunks would make such an effort to get aboard the boat of two people who are anchored and minding their own business? I'm guessing that there was some sort of verbal confrontation, perhaps a suggestion regarding where the PWC boys could "get off." This is just conjecture of course, but it is unusual for drunks to react in such a way unless they've been pissed off about something. If I'm correct, then perhaps all that was needed was either to ignore the PWC boys in the first place (avoid the verbal confrontation) until they went away or for Roger himself to leave. Of course, none of these responses is very satisfying to the "victim" of obnoxious behavior, but there is no point in setting off obvious drunks, especially when outnumbered and especially in the U.S. (no offense) where there are so many firearms around.
If these fellows were "pirates," they probably would not have been drunk, would not have made four attempts to board, and would probably not have conversed with Roger at all (let alone telling him they ARE the cops). They would have got on with their robbery attempt and would very likely have been armed from the start. In this case, I'm not sure I would have wanted to be armed because of the numbers involved and the likelihood that they would get me before I got them and also the possibility that "I just couldn't do it," as Roger himself said when pointing the flare gun at the guy's face.
Again, this is just conjecture, but I wouldn't be surprised if
there were truth to it.
A lot of what inspires aggressive bullying behavior is present in sailboating, which some see as a pastime preferred by the effete. The perception is that of the perfect victim -- slow and defenseless. The episode on Kerr Lake probably started because the three men on the PWC felt their assault would be easy.
The sailors had the advantage of surprise only if they responded instantly with resolve and whatever force was required to make the assault end immediately. Regardless of popular perception, the courts countrywide have held that it is not the responsibility of law enforcement to protect any individual. Their responsibility is to the community.
Your immediate safety at all times is your responsibility.
depending on others can compromise your safety, and waiting can be
deadly. The competent use of firearms in such a situation is
Stone Mountain, Ga.
As a woman who spends a lot of time with her significant other on a sailboat, including many nights anchored out, my take on the incident at Lake Kerr is this: Select your weapon, learn to use it properly, and keep it handy. If you live in one of the states whose policy is "no weapons allowed; just use sweet reason," change the laws or move. Actually, I would rather be charged with successful self-defense than be dead.
This whole issue today of whether one should defend oneself, and how vigorously, is ludicrous -- it is the individual's duty to self and community. When did we even begin to question that? Nothing gives evil individuals more pause than the possibility that their intended victim(s) may be capable of defending themselves.
Being female does not change the picture. My obligation is to be
able to assist my male companion or, if alone, to fend for
Stone Mountain, Ga
How about One Uppman's Ship and Uppman At'em!
Boyd and Diana Uppman
Our Tartan 34 is named Romantic Comedy, and the dinghy is
Happily Ever After. So far, it's been happily for nine
When my friend and I bought our first "real" good old boat, a 1974
O'Day 20, we named it The Barnacle Barge II in memory of the
original Barnical Barge we had built as children. (Yes, that
is how 7-year-olds spell barnacle.) In keeping with that theme, we
now have Little BB for a dinghy. For a while we had Speedy
BB, which was a home-built iceboat whose large sail area
eventually brought its own demise.
St. Paul, Minn.
By the way, our sailing vessel is named Foreplay, and the
dinghy is named Forework.
Tantallon, Nova Scotia
I didn't think much of the name of the boat across from our slip
called Cracker Jack done in the same style as the logo for the
caramel popcorn. The other day I was helping him dock after a weekend
cruise, and I saw the name on his inflatable, The Prize.
Sodus Point, N.Y.
Dyeing those lines
My wife, who is a fiber artist specializing in dyeing, painting, and printing on fabrics, usually limits herself to natural fibers -- cotton and silk. However, when I asked about this dyeing-the-faded-lines question, she suggested two places to go for information. The first is a very Whole Earth Catalog-type place (how's that for dating myself?), called Dharma Trading Company. They are very friendly, handle all sorts of paints and dyes, have a web site at http://www.dharmatradingcompany.com and an 800 number as well: 800-542-5227.
The other is very much the professional (this is serious) kind of organization, but they can be very helpful as well. Pro-Chem is the company, http://www.prochemical.com at 800-2BUY-DYE.
No guarantees, but if anybody is going to know, these two outfits
Cats on board
Baby cats raised on board are positively dangerous, as they have no fear. They fall off, jump off, or take risks an older cat wouldn't even dream of, especially if the older cat is introduced to the boat later in life. Our 19-year-old cat, Kiddo, still sails with us and is an absolute chicken on board. He started with life aboard at age 9. Sometimes he hides out on the boat so we scurry to find him with appropriate angst. (We still carry a fishing net just in case.)
The only truly harrowing experience was in Oswego, N.Y., when he
"jumped ship" at the seawall and disappeared for two days. We thought
we would have to leave him behind as we were on the first leg of a
year's cruise. The town pitched in, however. Announcements on radio
and television brought dozens of eager searchers to help. Finally,
the night manager of the Holiday Inn found him under the deck of a
local watering hole. He had been feasting on fallen morsels of
hamburger! It seems he bolted across the loud and bright parking lot
at night and was too scared to come back. Besides he was living well.
Once back on board, he lept into the forepeak and didn't show his
nose for a week.
Jim Hawkins and Ellie Adams
P.S.: One of my favorite stories of our trip occurred as we were leaving after retrieving Kiddo. All hell broke loose in the engine room with smoke and water everywhere. We thought we had been jinxed. The local Yanmar mechanic, a huge hulking man, eventually made his way out to see our problem and decided it was just a broken gasket and loose bolts. He would fix it. I went back to his shop and chatted while he fashioned a new gasket for the exhaust. When we got back, I got behind the engine under the cockpit upside down while the hulk draped himself over the engine, his face inches from mine. In the midst of the repair, he suddenly stopped and said, "You know you are damn lucky." I thought he was referring to the gasket. But it turned out he was commenting on our good fortune of being able to take an entire year off and sail the ocean blue. We had a good half-hour philosophy exchange while I remained upside down in the warm psychological embrace of that gentle, wise hulk. Now whenever I feel unusually sullied by the whims of life, I remember that conversation and know I am "damn lucky!"
The marina where I keep my boat was sold recently and, when I received my new slip lease, there was a new clause which was pretty disturbing:
"WEATHER EMERGENCY: In the event of a weather emergency, Lessor may contact Lessee at the address and phone number provided in Paragraph 1 of this Agreement and inform the Lessee that his vessel must be removed from the Marina. Should Lessee fail to remove his vessel after receiving such notice, or if Lessor is unable to contact Lessee at the aforementioned location, Lessor may remove said vessel at a time and place at Lessor's discretion." Etc.
BOAT/U.S. had an article about this a while ago, and this is what I received from them about it. I requested copies of the article and the Florida law. Also, I called my "state boating law administrator," and she knew nothing about this and neither did her boss. I emailed them the info from BOAT/U.S. I expect this policy is being driven by the insurance companies and the marinas they insure which are trying to reduce their exposure from severe weather damage, and I expect it is a trend that will continue. I do know my boat insurance rates nearly doubled over the last couple years -- probably due to the effects of the recent big storms, after so many mild years.
I think it is important that all the boaters be informed about this, because this court ruling only upholds the Florida law forbidding weather evictions. The only protection for the rest of us is going to be individual state laws forbidding it, and that will take time to organize and get passed.
Newport News, Va.
I recently received a copy of your email concerning marina contracts and language concerning a slipholder's obligation to move in the event of a hurricane. The article you are referring to appeared in the January 1999 issue of BOAT/U.S. Magazine, and concerned a Florida court decision upholding a 1994 Florida statute protecting boatowners from being evicted from marinas after a hurricane watch or warning has been issued. In the case, the First District Appeals Court of Florida ruled that boatowners are under no obligation to move even prior to a hurricane watch or warning being issued because to do so might require unsafe actions and put a a priority on protecting property over lives.
The effect of the decision is that even though marinas may continue to include eviction clauses in their slip contracts, the marina owner still cannot hold boaters responsible for storm damage simply because they did not move their boats out of the marina.
However, this case only addressed the situation in Florida. The
situation in Virginia may very well be different. I would advise you
to contact the Virginia State Boating Law Administrator, Nancy
Jamerson at 804-367-1189, who would be better able to address
concerns specific to your state. I would be happy to send you a copy
of the article from the BOAT/U.S. Magazine as well as a copy
of the Florida statute for your reference. Please contact me either
by telephone at 703-461-2864 or by email at email@example.com with
the appropriate fax and/or mailing address, and I will send those
materials to you promptly. If you have any other questions, please
let me know.
BOAT/U.S. Public Affairs
I have an anchor survey posted on my site that has received some useful user input. However more input is better. If youıd like to try it out, please feel free to do so: http://staff.washington.edu/rif/Squid/Anchors/survey.html.
The Smith Co. of California makes some of the best epoxies I have ever used (beats the others hands down, but that is just my opinion). Their CPES (Clear Penetrating Epoxy Sealer) is invaluable in going after rot and generally sealing the wood on my 26-ft gaff-rigged dory ketch. Also, the Tropical Hardwood Glue will bond even the oiliest woods, like teak, that I love to use but was unable to keep stuck with other epoxies. Lastly, the Five Year Clear Polyurethane varnish may be the best, longest lasting varnish made on the planet.
In short, I don't know how I would restore old boats without this
Smith & Co.
5100 Channel Ave.
Richmond, CA 94804
They only take checks, but you can get all their products from The
Rot Doctor, http://www.rotdoctor.com,
pay with a credit card, and have it sent immediately.
Chevy Chase, Md.
Now that's customer service!
Wow, talk about magazines responding to readers' needs! Your article on the Cal 20 arrived about 10 days after I bought one. The seller gave me a nice folder full of Cal 20 info, and now I have your interesting review. This little boat makes me truly bi-coastal: my Seafarer Polaris lies in Bay City (Lake Huron) and now I have a Traverse City (Lake Michigan) boat, too -- or will when she's launched.
It seems that everybody loves Cal 20s. I always had a special
fondness for them, and when this sound vessel (with trailer) became
available at a very attractive price, I found myself owning another
boat. The availability did not coincide with other necessities, such
as a mooring, a dinghy, and an outboard, so she's not launched yet.
I'm looking forward to sailing the boat soon.
Traverse City, Mich.
Good old powerboats, too
Just FYI, I don't have a sailboat, rather a 1981 Crosby motorboat . . . but so much of your information is relevant to me that I really enjoy your magazine.
New Orleans, La.
OK, Paul, but don't let that news get out around the marina. Do you have any idea how many powerboaters there are out there?
Refit junkies unite
I'm now living aboard a 1975 Cal 2-34. I bought the boat in February and moved aboard as soon as I could replace the "blackwater" system and get fresh duct tape on all the leaking parts of the deck. She is, as many good old boats, structurally sound, but neglected. Other fascinating parts of the project include:
All done with Nigel Calder's and Don Casey's books and Good Old
Boat close at hand. Here's my address change. Keep the mag
coming. Us refit junkies on the left coast are loving every
We noticed recently in the ABYC News, that certain BOAT/U.S. stores will be making the ABYC Standards Manual available for customer use. The article states,
"Now BOAT/U.S. has once again gone the extra step in promoting boating safety by having the manual available at each of their retail stores. As they open new stores, or renovate existing stores they are including a reference section in the front of the store for the customers' use. In addition to other publications, Standards and Recommended Practices for Small Craft will be available. Hats off to BOAT/U.S. for again stepping forward and encouraging boaters to do repairs according to our standards."
Good Old Boat was also contacted, and a nearly complete set of our magazines and newsletters will be available on the reference shelves of newer BOAT/U.S. stores.
When looking for and owning a good old boat, there are many interesting twists and turns in the road. Not the least of these are the unexpected surprises that occur at random.
Eventually in my boat search, I found an Eastward Ho 31, a McInnis designed, Bristol-built boat that fit our needs and budget. She was in good condition but had been unused for some time. TLC was in order. The boat arrived on a truck, and our ownership began.
It soon became apparent that all the seacocks were frozen. This became the priority job for the in-yard period. I was deep in the engine room, having carefully shut off all electrical power when I accidentally touched the back of an auxiliary electrical panel. Sparks flew everywhere! An earlier owner had bypassed the main battery selection switch with a jumper and the entire auxiliary panel was live all the time!
An unpleasant surprise arrived when we motored upriver. I smelled a hot engine just as my wife said, "I hear something." We immediately shut down the engine and anchored in the channel. I had replaced the seawater pump impeller as soon as we bought the boat so I thought, "defective impeller." A check of the pump showed all was in order. There were no obvious leaks in the seawater system, and it was even full of water, hot water. When we tried to run the engine at the dock to which we had been towed, water shot out of the heat exchanger's rubber endplate. I shut it down and disassembled the heat exchanger. That morning I had changed out the zinc pencil in the heat exchanger. The old one was hardly eaten and looked good but, to be safe, I had installed a brand-new one. The engine manual said to check for "flakes" of zinc, which might have dropped from a disintegrating zinc pencil. I could feel no flakes with my fingers, so I closed it up, and we went for our cruise. The culprit was a solid two-inch piece of a long-gone zinc pencil that somehow was pushed by the outflow of cooling water up the inside curved wall of the exchanger and precisely into the outflow pipe. The zinc pencil piece was a perfect fit for the pipe and totally blocked the flow. Hard to believe how a piece of round zinc could fit into a round hole halfway up the inside of a cylinder and slide two inches into the pipe, but it did.
We noticed another little mystery when the boat arrived at the shipyard for a bottom job. A good-as-new zinc teardrop was screwed to the fiberglass rudder. It touched nothing and showed no sign of deterioration. The shaft and prop, however, were not protected with a zinc. I do not understand what function the rudder zinc was intended to serve and probably will never know.
We had an interesting time on our first sail. It was blowing 14-16 knots, and we had a good sail, healing to 20 degrees at times. While underway, I noted water on the cabin sole aft of the head bulkhead. The bilge was dry, so we were not sinking, but this was certainly cause for concern. Inside the head, the towels were soaked, as was the area around the sink. The answer to the problem was a cork. The previous owner had used a cork to plug the sink drain while underway. I had removed the cork, since it was crumbling and gross. I bought a new white rubber stopper and fitted it to the sink to keep the water in the sink. It fit a little loosely but had a wide flange which would prevent water in the basin from draining away. The original cork had fit tightly and was intended to keep the sea out of the sink, not to keep the water in the bowl. There was no valve on the sink drain line and, when the boat heeled under sail, the water rose into the basin. Thus, this boat that sailed from the Carolinas to the Bahamas was being kept afloat by a 5¢ cork! It was remiss of me that I had not thought of this when I spent lots of money on the new seacocks below the waterline but did not check the drain above the waterline.
I am sure there are more surprises waiting for me as I delve
deeper and deeper into the systems of my good old boat.
Found any surprises of your own? Send them in. We'll all thank you for it.
In 1977 we developed a real passion for the aft-cockpit Freedom 40 cat ketch. This was just a few months after taking delivery on the wonderful Columbia 8.7 we owned for another 15 years. We knew even then that we would have to wait for the F40 to become a good old boat before we could hope to afford her.
For 19 years we waited for the cost curve to cross the "afford-it curve." That's when Bright Star (not her name then) presented herself to us via an ad in Soundings. Unfortunately, this was only a few days before we were to move from LA to Washington, DC, with an intervening two weeks on Kauai to celebrate our 25th anniversary. We scheduled a whirlwind trip back to North Carolina anyway. Hurricane Bertha almost stopped everything as she swiped across New Bern, N.C., where Bright Star lay. Fortunately, Bertha was a near-miss for New Bern.
RULE 1: Buying a good old boat is a serious undertaking
that isn't aided by major distractions.
RULE 1A: Kauai is about as distracting as they get.
While sailing and motoring into the marina for the survey, the owner boiled most of the coolant out of the engine trying to get us off the snag he had high centered while coming in, and he filled the raw water system with decayed cypress bark. After the bottom-bumping tow to the travel lift, the surveyor recommended a separate engine survey, but on the basis of my ear and the way the engine handled the abuse, I demurred.
RULE 2: When your surveyor says he thinks you need an
engine survey, you need an engine survey.
RULE 2A: Water that looks like tea is likely to have a lot of dregs on the bottom.
We decided to buy the boat despite 11 flaws of significance. We paid the deposit, negotiated the price, had her hauled, and negotiated with the yard to fix the three worst flaws: a poorly anchored cutlass bearing, a badly corroded engine mount, and a contaminated cooling system. We made our way from LA to Washington as Hurricane Fran was battering New Bern. Now we were worried about total loss, but all that happened was that Bright Star wound up with scuppers full of tree frogs and pine needles. When we arrived to pick up the boat for the trip up the ICW to the Chesapeake, the cutlass bearing had been (suitably) repaired. Nothing else had been touched because hurricane repairs paid so much better. We left anyway.
RULE 3: Two major flaws in a single system usually point to
a cause that is bigger than both.
RULE 3A: Want it bad, get it bad. (OK, I know it is "badly.")
The ICW was beautiful. We were so glad to be back in our element but occasionally the slightly hot running engine would shift from neutral to forward while circling for bridges to open. I concluded the shifting detent was worn. We discovered why she was hot (at least partially) when the bilge water alarm went off. The owner had not replaced the water pump gasket when he opened the raw-water pump to clear out the cypress dregs -- more water was going into the bilge than was going into cooling the engine coolant.
RULE 4: When your surveyor says he thinks you need an
engine survey, you need an engine survey. (Had we had the survey, we
would have found that slapdash and slipshod had been standards of
performance where machinery was involved).
RULE 4A: Anytime anyone works on your engine, watch it in operation for a bit before motoring blithely off.
When we reached Great Bridge, Va., a gust of wind caught us during the locking, and I had to back down harder than I cared to. The engine torqued (leapt) off the bed and slammed into the engine bilge and visibly bent the 30-inch prop shaft. No, the shaft saver didnıt shear the way it should have. We got her out of the lock and the next morning got a tow to an excellent yard staffed by professional and friendly folks. We decided to pull the engine out of the boat, spend the winter reconditioning things, and resume our trip in the spring.
RULE 5: When your surveyor says he thinks you need an
engine survey, you need an engine survey. (Had we had the corroded
mount fixed as we wanted, we might have detected the complete lack of
nuts and washers on the bolts for holding in all the mounts -- which
had created forces which twisted the cutlass bearing free.)
RULE 5A: Always be nice to the tenders at Great Bridge Lock -- they are the people who made this country great.
In talking with an engine surveyor, I asked if he ever checked to make sure the motor mounts were bolted into the bed properly. Well, as they say in Germany, "No answer is also an answer." When the engine had last been removed for transmission work, someone had the bright idea that removing the mounts from the bed (rather than the engine from the mounts) would preserve the alignment and save a few bucks -- ha! Of course, the real comedy was the engine does not have to be moved an inch to remove the transmission, but somewhere in New Jersey, there is a mechanic $1,000 richer for having done so.
RULE 6: Surveyors are often concerned more about the
insurability of a boat than its operability.
RULE 6A: The people who owned that good old boat before you may have had good taste. That doesn't mean they had good sense.
After a winter of four-hour trips each way every weekend (from September to May) to work on spiffing up the engine compartment (to include removing a monstrous hydraulic power takeoff arrangement and absolutely defunct refrigeration system (Yes, I had a licensed professional do it -- no fines for this boy!), May arrived, and we watched with real delight as the engine went back in . . . to come right back out because the aft mounts had been put on backward. The bill on departure would have bought a brand new engine -- installed.
RULE 7: When engines are involved, multiply the estimate by
RULE 7A: Unlicensed CFC removal nets a $10,000 fine, and the individual who reports the violation gets a bounty.
We left on a glorious morning . . . not expecting to be on fire in the middle of a river surrounded by fueling docks 90 minutes later. The starter motor, equipped with its very own internally corroded starter button engaged the engine while we were running 2000 rpm as we circled for a bridge to open. The starter became a generator pumping out 600 amps. It caught fire under the mechanical stress (on removal it looked like a tootsie roll that had been left in a car in mid summer), and it melted the battery switches into orange slag. After being expensively and tediously (jet skis and narrow bridges, adverse current, a lock and a time-controlled bridge) towed back in, we were sent back out 24 hours later with a bill that would have added a nice feathering prop to that new engine.
RULE 8: Positive starter cables (red) should have a high
current switch to interrupt any possible power supply when the
starter is not required.
RULE 8A: Towing insurance is CHEAP!
Chris and Janet Waln
Chris and Janet are not done yet. This story has more chapters. For their sake, we can only hope that new ones are not being written as we print these. They have, in fact, written a total of 13 rules. We will publish the rest of their story in the next Good Old Boat newsletter (in October). Don't forget we're looking for your stories, too. We've all got a project from hell (or two!) lurking in our closets. Go on, tell us about yours. It's good for the soul.
We mentioned boat shows in our February newsletter. A reprint from that issues follows, in case you don't have a February issue of the Good Old Boat newsletter immediately at hand. Those were the most popular (as near as we can figure out) consumer boat shows. However, here are three more that are popular with our advertisers and others in the field. They're a bit "techier," we hear, and well worth attending, although IBEX is not open to the general public.
IMTEC (mid-August each year)
International Marine Trade Exhibit and Convention
(Sponsored by National Marine Manufacturers Association.)
This year: Aug. 18-20
IBEX (early February each year)
International Marine Trade Exhibit and Convention
(This one, sponsored by Professional Boatbuilder, is open to members of the boatbuilding trade only.)
Next show: Feb. 9-11, 2000
Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
Maine Boatbuilders Show (mid-March each year)
(March 19-20 were the dates of the 1999 show)
Sail Expo (by Sail America)
Hosts three shows:
Atlantic City, N.J. (early February each year)
Pacific/Oakland, Calif. (mid-April each year)
St. Petersburg, Fla. (early November each year)
phone: 401-841-0900, 800-817-7245
Three shows hosted by National Marine Manufacturers Association:
Chicago, Ill. (late January each year)
Miami, Fla. (mid-February each year)
Hartford, Conn. (mid-March every year)
http://www.boatshows.com or http://nmma.org/boatshows
The U.S. Sailboat Show
Hosted by United States Boat Shows
Annapolis, Md. (early October each year)
Newport International Boat Show
Hosted by Newport Exhibition Group
Newport, R.I. (mid-September each year)
The hurricane season runs June 1 through November 30. Some steps you can take to protect your boat during hurricane season and watches are offered by Progressive Watercraft Insurance (888-BOAT-PRO, http://www.progressive.com):
This came to us over the Internet, so we checked it out for validity with Bob Keller, the emergency physician who wrote one of the medical articles in our May issue of the magazine. The information is valid. Read on:)
Let's say it's 4:17 p.m., and you're driving home or cruising (alone of course). You've had an unusually hard day on the job or at the helm. Suddenly you experience severe pain in your chest that starts to radiate out into your arm and up into your jaw. You are only about five miles from the hospital nearest your home, unfortunately you don't know if you'll be able to make it that far. What can you do? You've been trained in CPR, but the guy who taught the course neglected to tell you how to perform it on yourself.
How to survive a heart attack when alone
Without help, the person whose heart stops beating properly and who begins to feel faint, has only about 10 seconds left before losing consciousness. However, these victims can help themselves by coughing repeatedly and very vigorously. A deep breath should be taken before each cough, and the cough must be deep and prolonged, as when producing sputum from deep inside the chest.
A breath and a cough must be repeated about every two seconds
without letup until help arrives or until the heart is felt to be
beating normally again. Deep breaths get oxygen into the lungs and
coughing movements squeeze the heart and keep the blood circulating.
The squeezing pressure on the heart also helps it regain normal
Taken from Health Cares, Rochester General Hospital.
Karen, The piece of "med lit" you attached has to do with what happens in the first few minutes of a heart attack. When a coronary artery becomes narrowed or occluded, no blood or oxygen gets downstream of the clot. Think of a heart attack like kinking a garden hose: no water downstream; plants die. So it is with the heart muscle: no oxygen; the heart muscle dies. And when a piece of the heart muscle dies, the whole heart has a seizure-like event, called ventricular fibrillation. These severe, irregular contractions of the heart don't allow blood to be pumped out to vital organs such as the brain.
So back to the advice in the article: when you get chest pain, oxygen is not getting to the heart muscle. It's just a matter of time before you go into venticular fib. By coughing, you exert increased pressure in the chest cavity and force the heart to contract, thereby getting blood pumped out. This increased pressure also converts an early episode of ventricular fib into a regular heart beat. The same affect can be obtained by leaning against a table or chair and pushing against the abdomen with a quick thrust.
Bottom line: if you're at sea and get classic chest pain (crushing
pain radiating to neck, teeth, back, or left arm); break out in a
sweat, have shortness of breath, and begin to get light-headed,
cough. In between coughs, take an aspirin. No kidding! It's the first
pill we give to a heart attack victim. Aspirin keeps the blood clot
from expanding and, in some cases, helps dissolve the coronary
Bob Keller, M.D.
Pacific Grove, Calif.
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Published August, 1999