How does it get to be time for another newsletter so soon? We're still working out the distribution bugs from our first attempt. Yes, we do know that October comes before November most years, but our November issue of the magazine came out early, and our October issue of the newsletter came out late. So some people got them both on the same day, and the vast majority received them in reversed order. And some never got the newsletter at all. It's a timing issue further complicated by a problem with email files. We're working on it.
Thanks for participating
A group of University of Minnesota graduate students approached us recently to do a study of our magazine start-up. We agreed, and some of you were surveyed as a result. If you were part of the students' study, thanks for participating!
We replace beat-up magazines
If your copy of Good Old Boat magazine ever arrives looking like the postman had to battle the fierce dog down the street to get it to you and in fact used the rolled-up magazine as a weapon of defense, we'll replace it for you. This could happen since they aren't wrapped. So let us know, and we'll send one you can actually read.
What's to come of us . . .
Here's what we've got coming up in our January issue of the magazine:
Back issues are going fast
We will eventually run out of copies of our first issues of Good Old Boat magazine. If you're interested in getting one, don't wait too long. A check for $7 for each one ordered and a note telling us which ones you'd like to have is all it takes to make sure your collection is complete. Here's what copies are available as backorders: June (premier), Sept./Oct., Nov./Dec.
It's ironic. We spent most of our summer travelling around by sailboat and car passing out samples of our premier issue. Free! We bagged them and dropped them in cockpits. We left stacks in marinas (and so did many other people on our behalf). We gave them away at meetings. I'm sure some were tossed out with the garbage. They were free samples, after all.
Once we got down to the last 500, however, and just as the September issue came out, we stopped passing out free samples of the premier issue and upgraded it to back-order status.
Now it has value! Nothing else has changed, but now people are begging for it! The laws of supply and demand work in mysterious ways. We're still learning Business 101 by the seat of our Good Old Boat pants. There seems to be a lesson in this.
How to contact us:
Good Old Boat Magazine
7340 Niagara Lane North
Maple Grove, MN 55311-2655
The last issue of the Cal 29 Association newsletter by Ruth
Summers reports the following which Ruth noticed in Seaworthy,
published by BOAT/U.S.:
Reading Labels: A Horror Story
After an eight-month absence, the owners of a 38-foot sailboat slid back the boat's hatch and soon discovered that every metal surface inside the boat was corroded -- every metal surface. One of the owners began to feel ill and had to be taken to a doctor for treatment of high blood pressure, vertigo, and breathing problems. Ten days later, they returned and found a bottle of Boat Armor's Boat Bottom Cleaner that had been leaking into a stern locker. This time they both began to feel ill and quickly left the boat. The bottom cleaner contains 28 percent hydrochloric acid, which creates vapors that had affected the owners and chemically etched all the metal surfaces. The product label mentions the corrosive effects of the cleaner, but the substance of the warning, including ventilation recommendations, is devoted to the harmful effects on humans, not metals. The owners recovered but the boat did not. Every metal component on the interior of the vessel had to be replaced -- from hatches to the smallest hose clamp -- costing more than $25,000. So fellow boaters: read those labels.
Raising a mast solo
I just got my first boat, a 24-foot Neptune. I've been going sailing with other people aboard her, but it was time to go solo. My main, and only, big task was getting that darned mast up! After months of thoughts, a good friend of mine came over, and together we raised and lowered the mast. He saw a great and simple way of raising it alone. We took a measurement from the floor of the cabin to the bottom of the mast with me standing in the cockpit raising the mast as high as I could. We then took a 4-inch PVC pipe cut it to length and added a 4-inch tee against the companionway ladder. I rest the pipe forward against the cabintop. Then I place the mast resting in the cutout slot and climb on top of the cabin. From there I'm able to lift the mast to a standing position. I have a line running from the bow cleat. This keeps it from falling back and allows me to attach the forestay. Rigging time takes me 10 minutes. It sure does feel good to be able to go sailing whenever I want without having to find crew. They are always so busy. I just discovered your magazine today, and I subscribed. I'm looking forward to reading about other people's ideas and solutions.
What about fiberglass rudders
Who do you know who makes fiberglass rudders? I have (heard of) Foss Foam in Clearwater, Fla., but that's about it. (Note: Foss Foam, 4480 126th Ave. N., Clearwater, FL 33762-4701; 727-577-0478.)
This response is from Brian Cleverly, who restores boats as a business: Many yards will make rudders to special order, but I would definitely stick with Foss Foam. I've seen two rudders made by them (Cal 25 and Ericson 32). On both occasions they had the original specs on hand, and the rudders fit perfectly. Their prices do not seem out of line either.
I received your magazine and enjoyed it. I'm hooked. Set me up for a subscription right away. You asked for comments? Whenever magazines show a picture of a boat, I wish they would always tell me the make, year, and model of the boat.
Thanks, Frank. You're the second one to tell us to do that, so we're sensitive about getting make and model information in whenever we can. However some of the photos we run (particularly in the center spread) are shot from a distance, and the photographer doesn't always know what kind of boat it is even at the time of the shooting. (You wondered about why cruising sailboats always seem to be racing you? Well, maybe they just took your photo and are trying like hell to catch up in order to find out what make, year, and model of sailboat you've got. If you're faster, they'll never know . . .) We'll do our best for you, but it's quite a challenge when we're out there and can only get around at 5 to 6 knots. Read on; you're not alone, and the next note proves that we can do better with providing the information.
OK, OK, I gotta know. The wood boats on Page 17 (ketch) and on the
inside of the back cover (schooner) of your November issue. What are
their designs and builder? Not that I like wood boats . . . Ah, well,
maybe . . .
Santa Cruz, Calif.
The ketch is a 35-foot Winthrop Warner-design. She was designed in 1930 and built in 1978/79. Her owner says she was the only boat built from that design. The schooner was a shot we took in the fog at a "schooner race" on Lake Superior. We don't know the owner, but we learned that the boat is a Herreshoff which has since been sold and is now somewhere on the East Coast.
Don't forget us smaller production boat owners. Your magazine
looks great, and the content is right on the mark. I own an O'Day 25
that is 20 years old, and I would think that we should fit in your
market. Looking forward to see how you do. I am really interested in
maintaining this boat.
Kevin, we're hoping to include smaller production boats regularly. If you (or others) feel we are forgetting you, please get in touch and say so. You and every pocket cruiser out there are definitely part of the community of sailors for whom this magazine is being created. We're looking for articles by and about trailer sailors, so let us hear from those of you who enjoy sailing wherever you choose. In fact we're envious of the ability to move your boats from place to place at 65 mph! (Wasn't there a song saying, "We'll get there fast, and then we'll take it slow?")
The magazine just gets better; my congratulations on great work. I
could pass out at least 10 promotional copies to potential clients
for you, if you would like to send them to me. I like to file and
save mine for reference, and when I loan them out, I seldom get them
Gulf Breeze, Fla.
We sent 10 copies to Carl. That offer stands for other Good Old Boat subscribers, too. If you can put a copy of our magazine into the hands of another sailor who is likely to subscribe, we'll certainly get 5, 10, or 15 to you whenever we've got copies to spare. There is no better advertising for us than the word of one contented subscriber who thinks someone else would have an interest in our magazine!
Just would like you all to know what a great magazine you have.
Since purchasing our 34-year-old Columbia Challenger 24, we have been
immersed in the joys of re-fit and bringing back to life a beautiful
old boat. Your magazine will be invaluable to us.
Dennis and Bonnie Lancaster
After reviewing a copy of your premier issue, I was convinced that
my wife and I share your "philosophy." Owning and rebuilding a 1966
hull #2 Irwin, I can certainly appreciate a "good old boat." Jackie
and I learned to sail after buying a 1922 strip-planked wooden ketch.
I was in the Coast Guard at the time, which was a good thing . . . it
had to be pumped out several times a week.
On our new "yacht," we have recored the decks, replaced 100 percent of the hardware, repowered from an Atomic 4 bomb to a Yanmar, designed and built a new rudder, cockpit combing and tiller, peeled two to three layers off the hull and replaced it with four layers saturated in epoxy, added rubrails and a navigation station . . . all because we just loved that "good old boat." So thanks. Thanks for offering something beside the $100,000 daysailers the mainstream magazines push.
St. Petersburg, Fla.
I love your magazine. I currently own a "good old boat" that I am
in the process of upgrading for cruising. Some of the projects are
major ones -- currently I am in the middle of replacing the engine.
With the old engine already out, I am doing a total reorganization of
the engine room and upgrading most of the systems as I go.
The learning curve has been very steep, and I can use all the help I can get. From the looks of your first two issues, you will be a good source for it. (For example, your article on exhausts was very informative and timely for me.)
My boat is a 46-foot ketch designed by Ted Brewer. She is wood (all teak!), full keel, heavy displacement, center cockpit. We've lived together for 10 years now and have become pretty fond of each other . . . which could explain one reason that she is so forgiving of my "trial-by-error" projects.
Despite all of the boating magazines on the shelves today, I believe you've found a real niche. I'm looking forward to your next issue!
San Diego, Calif.
Please pass on my accolades for your magazine. It's about time
something like this came out. It's blue-collar-type information that
has genuine application. For my subscriptions to (a couple of the
other major magazines which shall remain nameless), I rip out a
couple of articles in each issue for future reference and discard the
rest. For yours, I'm having to file the entire magazine! You're in
the groove; maintain course and speed.
Chula Vista, Calif.
I don't have time to read magazines. I steal time to read
yours. Last issue is a beaut. Thanks again.
I've not yet had time to finish my comp issue, but I for one don't
think that ads would be a good idea. I don't mind paying a little
more so that I don't have to wade through all that to find the few
articles I want to read. Your magazine appears to have plenty of
content to justify the price. Thanks for asking for our input and
Hilton Head, S.C.
Kevin, as you no doubt have figured out by now, the majority of our readers said they'd like to have ads as long as they don't get in the way of the content. That's the plan: keep ads toward the back and front and leave the content in the middle alone.
Just got my first issue of your mag. Some suggestions: old boat
owners are not particularly impressed by the glossy publication, but
rather by the content. The idea is great, and I personally like ads,
as they are informative and clue me in to new products on the market.
Forget editorial compromise. I went against the grain to buy my boat
and hardly would be induced to purchase a product based on one mag or
its opinion. I do my own research, which includes your opinion. Just
don't forget who you are marketing to. There are more old boat owners
than new, and we need our own rag. Looking forward to your next
Last year after 20+ years away from sailing, I bought a Balboa 26.
Since the largest boat I had ever been on was a Snipe, this has been
a terrific experience for me. It has led me to wonder why on earth I
waited so long! I like your magazine and want to side with those who
favor some advertising. I find it hard to believe that, considering
the nature of your target readership, you would be able to modify
your articles under advertising pressure, even if you wanted to.
I must admit, I am saddened by the November issue . . . saddened
by the fact that I finished it in one day and now I have to wait two
months for the next issue. I have really enjoyed the two issues I
have seen. Keep up the good work.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a tasteless, odorless gas. Extremely small CO concentrations in the air you breathe will make you very sick, and very little more will kill you. The concentration in your body is cumulative, so exposure to a small concentration over a long enough period will cause sickness or death.
Carbon monoxide can come from any combustion system on your boat. Engines are known for this, but water heaters, cabin heaters, and even the galley stove can produce carbon monoxide. Any flame in an enclosed space can eventually burn up enough oxygen in the space to cause the chemistry of the burning process to change from making carbon dioxide to making carbon monoxide.
To protect yourself: Never heat your cabin with your stove; the flower pot on the burner trick is a bad idea unless you ventilate. Also ventilate when cooking. When motoring, be particularly alert to the possibility that your own exhaust may leak or be sucked into the boat by the "station wagon" effect. If anyone is sleeping aboard while you are motoring, it is particularly important to guard against this possibility.
Practical Sailor published a good evaluation of carbon monoxide detectors in the Nov. 15, 1998, issue. While they ranked the products, they found that all would give you warning enough to prevent severe illness or death. The products they tested are listed below. They are not ranked.
Ventilate, ventilate, ventilate!
We've seen many wonderful names for sailboats while sailing. We often think we'll remember them. (Which doesn't happen that often and less frequently as we get older, we've noticed.) The backup plan is to write them down . . . soon . . . while we're still thinking of them . . . right away! Since that has to happen within the next two minutes, or they're forever gone from our vast mental storage banks, we don't have much of a list. But there were some great ones that got away! I believe there may be several lists tucked in safe places about the boat. But I never know where THE list, or any of the lists for that matter, is when we see the next boat with a name which tickles our fancy.
This, gentle reader, is where you come in. We can think of a few and list them here. (You'll note that we're particularly impressed by boats which have dinghies with names that correspond to those of the main vessel, but that's not part of the criteria.) What names have you seen and loved? Send them our way, and we'll run them in future issues of this newsletter.
Send us yours!
The "Project from Hell" series of articles will appear -- as we all have hellish projects to share -- here in the Good Old Boat newsletter. They'll be our stories, and they'll be yours. We've all got one that got beyond us in price, time, and comprehension.
Ours runs as an introduction of the concept in the January magazine, but after that we'll move those articles to the newsletter. This seems like a more personable place for airing our mistakes. We think of the newsletter as "Good Old Boat -- Informal" since it's just for subscribers. Even if the magazine shows up on newsstands someday w-a-a-y out there in the future, the newsletters will never show up there. So it's our place for intimate conversations among friends.
In the next newsletter we'll be sharing a story from Steve Christensen about the "simple" bow light project on his Ericson 38. All he really wanted to do was upgrade his navigation lights from 10-watt bulbs to 25-watt bulbs. But we'll let Steve tell you about "the rest of the story." Our own story is about the very expensive weatherfax system that never delivered a single useful weatherfax for us on Lake Superior.
Keep 'em short, and send 'em in. It will do you good to confess. Really. We've made a policy of not paying for articles in the newsletter, so don't spend a lot of time on yours. Just whip 'em out and bare your soul. Truly, you'll feel better once you realize you've saved the rest of us a similar fate.
Sometimes we get letters addressed to the entire staff, or crew, or team at Good Old Boat. So it occurs to us that many of our readers (or other sailors who contact us after learning about the magazine on the Internet) don't realize just what a "mom and pop shop" we're running here. While we pay writers to give readers good content, they do so on a freelance basis. There are just two of us who make up the full-time "staff" at Good Old Boat: Karen Larson and Jerry Powlas.
We're a husband and wife sailing team. We might have taken an early retirement and used the funds we're betting on this magazine to sail away ourselves, but we've still got one kid in the nest. So we're investing our retirement funds in what at the time anyway seemed (and still seems) like a good idea: a sailing magazine for the rest of us.
We sail a 1976 C&C 30 on Lake Superior and think we represent the average sailor (call us Everyman) in many ways. Our boat's an average size, although it seems to be shrinking toward the short end of the mean lately as friends on the dock all around us buy bigger ones. It seems to be about an average age as good old boats go. We're in our 40s/50s which might be about an average age for cruising sailors. We've probably sailed about as long as the average good old boat sailor. And so on. In all cases, we can point to people at both ends of the spectrum from where we sit. And we like it here, where we're sitting. We like our boat and don't have plans to sell her, even though Jerry does yearn from time to time for a Chris White Atlantic 42 catamaran, and he has not quite recovered from his love affair with the Sundeer 64 either.
While we're confessing, let us say that we haven't yet sailed around the world and are not particularly compelled by that goal, although we admire those who do so. Jerry was a very serious racing sailor (racing three times a week) when we met nine years ago. He was racing a Flying Scot at the time, a one-design dinghy in a serious racing fleet, and he was having a good time. But racing wasn't for me. Our honeymoon on a chartered 30-foot Catalina convinced me of what was right for me, and Jerry was still too much of a newlywed to argue too much. He's glad now that he made the switch. And he tells great sea stories about his racing experiences along with those about his U.S. Navy days aboard the heavy cruiser U.S.S. Newport News.
Both of us have seen some parts of the world already and aren't as compelled by exotic locales with palm trees and boat boys as we probably should be. Instead, we'd like to slowly make our way out of the Great Lakes some day, out the St. Lawrence Seaway and down the East Coast. We plan to enjoy each of the Great Lakes and the Canadian Maritimes, allowing the trip (not just the destination) to be part of the enjoyment. We expect the journey itself will take several years. We'll leave the boat to winter over in various locations along the way. We won't sell our house, since our good old boat doesn't cost us too much to own, and we want a place to go home to when the snow flies. Some day we'd like to have a trailer sailer and enjoy gunkholing the inland lakes and byways. Perhaps we'll do that, too.
By now you're asking, "What about the magazine when you go do all this?" We'll take that one day at a time. Perhaps it will have grown to the point that we will have a staff which can handle it while we spend several months each summer exploring our way east and out the St. Lawrence. Perhaps we'll find a buyer after we've invested the sweat equity in the magazine, and we'll make a fortune and float out the St. Lawrence Seaway in a brand-new Atlantic 42. Perhaps we'll never leave at all but get obsessed with this magazine instead. Anything can happen. But we'll be here for the next five years or so. As you've noticed, we're not pulling any punches. You'll know what's going on with us as long as you're part of our "community of sailors."
About this newsletter's simplicity
Before we started this magazine, Jerry was a disgruntled engineer, and I was a self-employed writer and desktop publisher. My primary work was making newsletters for other organizations. For money. Now that I'm making a newsletter for Good Old Boat magazine, I feel compelled to explain why this one is as simple as it is. I know how to put graphics and photos in here, really I do. You KNOW I do, since you see what I can do with a magazine.
However it is our goal for the newsletter to be distributed inexpensively via email/Internet to as many of our subscribers as possible. If I make the printed version really, really nice with photos and art, who's going to want the plain version that's available over the wires? Even if we can distribute an electronic newsletter that is graphically more pleasing, I refuse to get carried away! (Karen's manifesto.) The goal is to create the best possible magazine for you and not to get pulled in too many other directions. So expect the newsletter to communicate . . . simply but not elegantly. There. Confession IS good for the soul after all.
It's interesting being the publishers of a new sailing magazine. We've moved closer to the focal point than we used to be when we were working at "real jobs." These days a great deal more sailing information circulates past us than it used to. People tell us about useful information and resources they've discovered, and there's much out there that is useful. As we've said from the beginning, none of us knows all of this all by ourselves, but as a group we are a powerful force.
It's only fair to pass along some of the great boat guides we've learned about from some of you. There may well be more, and we'll tell you about them another time. So far we've learned about and purchased four sets of printed information and discovered two good Internet resources.
The Mauch's Sailboat Guide is the most recent of our discoveries. Volume One of this three-volume set of books was published in 1991 by Jan Mauch. The paperback-sized volumes are spiral bound, so they will lie flat when open.The first volume contained more than 350 sailboats from 80 manufacturers. They were grouped by manufacturer and gave each sailboat a single page with drawings and plans generally taking up half of the page, specifications listed on another quarter of the page, and a brief description in the remainder of the page. The second (1994) and third (1998) volumes added about 400 more sailboats each and included indexes for the earlier volumes, so you can find your way around in the books. The three-volume set is $67.35 plus $8 for shipping and handling (and an extra $5 per book for Canadian orders). For more information, the Internet address is <http://www.mauchs.com>. Or write to: Mauch's Sailboat Guide, P.O. Box 32422, Jacksonville, FL 32422.
Then there's Boatwatch, the Master Guide to Sailboats of the World. This book, originally published in 1992 by Max Wade Averitt is available in English, French, and German. (There's a powerboat version also.) The sailboat book features more than 1,700 sailboats. It presents six boats per page on a large-page format. It shows diagrams and provides basic specifications whenever available. It sells for $64 in the U.S. For more information, contact Max at 841 Goodwin Ave., San Jose, CA 95128; 408-297-7098.
We've also bought Richard Sherwood's A Field Guide to Sailboats. Now in its second edition, it was originally published in 1994. This guide is similar in concept to other field guides. It has sail logos on the inside covers for easy identification from a distance, shows profiles of boats (including below the waterline), lists specifications, and includes a short description of each. This book includes many of the one-designs and racing dinghies, but it also includes a representative sample of common larger boats. It is the size of a typical field guide, so it is not as comprehensive as the first two guides mentioned here, listing only 255 boats, but it has its place aboard. It is also the most affordable of the books, with a sticker price of $14.95 in the U.S. This one doesn't have any special contact information in the book itself, but I think we picked it up through one of the marine book sources. It's published by Houghton Mifflin Company. ISBN 0-395-65239-1.
You'd think, (wouldn't you?) that with all these guides in our office we'd have no trouble finding every boat in the world. But when people contact us for more information on one specific boat or another, all these books occasionally come up short. Still, the most common boats and many of the not-so-common ones are listed in one or all of the guides. If you're trying to figure out what boat you'd like to have next, or if you're curious about the layout in that Southern Cross 35 down the dock, you'll find help in all three of these guides.
One more terrific resource is the Practical Sailor Complete Book of Sailboat Buying. This two-book set includes evaluations of 44 sailboats which have run in Practical Sailor over the years and a guide to sailboat buying: what to look for and other valuable information. The current issue of Practical Sailor advertises the fifth edition at $39.95. Contact the Practical Sailor Book Division, P.O. Box 2626, Greenwich, CT 06836-2626.
The Canadian Yachting Online Reviews site is a great source for sailors looking for well-written and in-depth sailboat reviews. <http://www.canyacht.com/revcont.html>. With full text of more than 70 of the editors' "favourite reviews," the site offers a lot of information on many of the common sailboats. If the sailboat you're looking for is of Canadian manufacture, you can probably count on finding it here. The publication also sells a book it calls Canadian Yachting's TOP 80 Boat Reviews for $12CDN. It's available at the site.
The SailNet site Sailnet Boatcheck <http://sailnet.com/boatcheck/> offers a more comprehensive list of boats but the reviews are generally biased and brief, being done by proud owners of the specific boats. On the other hand, who better to ask about a specific boat: A guy who's lived with it for years or a guy who just spent the afternoon sailing it? This site provides contacts with owners and information from them. The list is amazingly comprehensive.
SailNet, in fact, notes that the list should be used primarily as a method of making email contacts with owners. It sure beats paying one of the major sailing magazines for a faxed list of sailboat owner contacts. This list ought to put an end to that service. We shall see.
Do you know of any other good resources to share with fellow good old boaters? Pass them along, and we'll share them here.
Reader responses to our question in the last newsletter about which diesels are in you boats were underwhelming. Are we to believe everyone has A4s? Or, like the Pardeys, they row the mothership as well as the dink? We don't think so.
We were looking for a trend, but the responses did not show
And a lot of nonresponse. Without a clear trend, we will probably start with a general diesel overview article. Last chance to get in on the poll! Mail or email us with a quick note about what pushes your boat when the wind's not blowing.
Back in May we did a little survey among the early subscribers of Good Old Boat magazine (they had yet to see the first issue).
Thomas Seybold contacted us and said he was planning to retire and wanted to sail the Atlantic loop, crossing to Europe by way of the Azores and returning to New York. He was going to singlehand and wanted a boat in the 28- to 32-foot range. He was looking for suggestions regarding the right boat to buy. We asked some of the earliest good old boaters to suggest boats that might be well suited to the task.
We collected the responses we got and studied them. A simple analysis would be that most respondents thought there were boats out there that would fill the bill, and some felt quite strongly about their recommended boat.
The Allied Seawind was recommended four times. We were not surprised. Since we started putting together our magazine, we have found the fans of the Seawind to be numerous and knowledgeable. We've decided if those sailors like that boat, it must be good. It makes us want to sail on one just to see how good it really is.
The Bristol Channel Cutter was recommended twice, and incidentally was reviewed in the June issue of Blue Water Sailing not long afterward.
The Westsail 32 was also recommended twice.
The rest of the recommendations were of the one-vote-each variety, except that it should be said that taken together, there is a lot of respect out there for Bayfields, Bristols, and Cape Dorys.
Individually, the rest of the recommendations were:
So we just got this word from Thomas: "I found a Pearson Triton, Gulnare. She was built as a one-off production boat two years after the line was shut down. #709 was built for a retiring Pearson executive to live and sail offshore. I sailed her for several months this summer, planning to bring her to New York in the fall. However, since she had not been in the water for a few years and I had to go abroad, I ran out of time. She was hauled Nov. 20 and is stored indoors at a yard in Maine.
"I still plan to leave the end of May or first of June, which is the reason I've stored her inside. I will be able to do some refitting during the winter.
"You can see pictures of Gulnare on Capt. Ron's webpage, <http://members.aol.com/CptinRn/Pearsons.html>. Stay tuned . . ."
We noticed, of course, that Thomas didn't heed any of our advice. But we had fun with this anyway.
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Published December, 1998