December 2007
Newsletter

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What’s in this issue

Click on the to go to the top of the page.

This newsletter is available as an MP3 audio download at AudioSeaStories.net. It is read by Michael and Patty Facius. We recommend a broadband Internet connection to download, since it is a large file.

Download a PDF version of this newsletter here.

Want to look up a previous newsletter? We’ve added an on-line index of all the
Good Old Boat newsletters at: http://www.goodoldboat.com/nletter.html

 


Top of the page

New colorful T-shirts are here!

Just in time for the holidays, dozens (and we do mean dozens!) of brand-new Good Old Boat T-shirts have arrived at the good old headquarters (also known as Karen and Jerry’s home). In fact, it’s become a bit cramped here in the international headquarters. So, for our sakes (and yours), let us ship a couple of shirts your direction as gifts for you or for sailing friends . . . maybe the whole crew!

The shirts were designed by sailor/illustrator Tom Payne and are whimsical and fun as well as colorful and good-looking. The Serene Green shirt (who makes up these color names, anyway?) states: “Wind: The free, clean, fun fuel for your boat.” The Stone Blue shirt declares, “Stop and take time to smell the bottom paint.” And the Cedar Red shirt, which shows a rundown house with an overgrown lawn, states, “. . . but my boat is in excellent condition.”

Like the shirts that precede them, these are made of high-quality 100-percent cotton fabric. We didn’t skimp on materials. If you can’t visualize the shirts with the photo here, go to http://www.goodoldboat.com/shirts.html to see and order. Each shirt sells for $20.

Blowing our horn
Good Old Boat was recently awarded two first-place awards and one second-place award for articles published during the past year. The organization giving the awards is the Minnesota Magazine and Publications Association. The awards were for two how-to articles and one technical article: “Installing an anchor windlass,” November 2006, by John Danicic; “Respecting the furler,” May 2007, by Jerry Powlas with illustrations by Ted Tollefson; and “Mooring systems,” March 2007, by Bill Sandifer with illustrations by Fritz Seegers.

Best tips
As your good old editors giddily confront the fact that we’ve been publishing for 10 years and are still standing proud, we welcome reader input. What is the best tip you have read in Good Old Boat magazine? It might have been how to do something better or it might have been a money-saver.

Please tell us (in something under 100 words) how reading “the magazine for the rest of us” has rewarded you for subscribing. If all goes as planned, we’ll be running some of these responses and readers’ photos in the July 2008 issue . . . our special anniversary issue.

Don’t worry too much about polishing up your response to us; that’s what editors are for. Just write from the heart. We’ll accept it in the same spirit.

Hey, Texas and the Gulf Coast!
(Floridians and Southern Californians can play too.) It’s freezing up here on the northern prairie, but we hear the folks on the Gulf Coast are sailing. While you’re out there, take pretty photos of your aids to navigation with wildlife or nice scenery in the background (sunsets, great clouds) . . . maybe even a funky-looking mark that is a “well-guano-ed” bird hangout . . .

Perhaps you noticed: we’re running readers’ Mail Buoy photos in the magazine. Since the Gulf Coast folks frequently tell us that they’re not as well represented in this magazine as they should be, let us hear from you. Send high-resolution photos of your local marks. If yours is printed, we’ll say thank you with a Good Old Boat ball cap or T-shirt. Send your photos to Karen.

While we’re requesting input . . .
Rebecca Burg, a Florida sailor and Good Old Boat contributor, has had the life-changing (or would that be boat-changing?) experience of a lightning strike to her Bayfield 29. So what’s a writer to do? She’s developing an article about lightning damage to boats. She’d like to tell about other sailors’ experiences with lightning strikes. If it has happened to you, please contact Rebecca.

 

What’s coming in January?

For the love of sailboats
• C&C 27 feature boat
• Nightwind 35 reviews
• Pearson 28-1 review
• Herreshoff America catboat review
• Clark Boats history (San Juans and others)

Speaking seriously
• Vacuum baggings
• Insulating the hull
• Sailing off the anchor
• The Big Boat Rule
• EPIRBs, PLBs, and SARTs 101
• Cosmetic Condensation

Just for fun
• The wooden boat revival, Part 2
• In praise of simple
• Ancient mariners
• Into the Light book excerpt

What’s more
• Simple solutions: Epoxy in small batches; No-refrigeration meals
• Quick and easy: Muffin fan; No-sew drapes

 

In the news

For the author in you
If you’ve ever wanted to write a book, here’s a way to get your toe in without submerging your whole body. Jay Lillie has begun a Wikipedia-style book that will be written by people who visit his site and contribute their own changes or additions. If you’d like to see what this “group project” has created so far, visit Jay’s site at http://www.carolinesvoyage.com. And stick your toe in, if you like, with your own contribution. As Caroline (the book’s heroine) says on the homepage, “Join the fun of creating my story.”

 

 

Calendar

The Toronto International Boatshow
January 12- 20, 2008
Direct Energy Centre Exhibition Place
Escape winter at the world’s largest indoor lake for boaters — over one million gallons of water with 50 boats moored on the lake and a dockside patio restaurant. For more information: http://www.torontoboatshow.com.

 

Sail America sponsors new SAILFEST venue
January 23-27, 2008
Baltimore (Md.) Convention Center
As a way to stimulate sales and provide new opportunities for the industry, Sail America will sponsor SAILFEST in conjunction with the Baltimore Boat Show. For more information, go to http://www.strictlysail.com.

 

Miami International Boat Show and Strictly Sail
Feb. 14-18, 2008
Miami, Fla.

E-tickets for the Miami International Boat Show and Strictly Sail will be available after December 15, 2007, at http://www.miamiboatshow.com or http://www.strictlysail.com. E-tickets are redeemable Feb. 14-18 at special E-ticket-only entrances to the show.

 

Diesel maintenance seminars
Through June 2008
Various locations

Mack Boring & Parts Company again offers its informative one-day Basic Diesel seminars and two-day Hands-On Diesel Engine courses (Yanmar only).

For dates and locations, call 1-908-964-0700 ext. 213, or visit http://www.mackboring.com/training.

 

Womanship, the sailing school for and by women
Throughout 2008
Many locations

Recognized worldwide for helping women gain skill and confidence, Womanship invites absolute novices to almost-skippers to become the sailors they want to be. Transforming experiences are offered across the U.S. and around the world.

Each course includes guided land tours of historic and exotic sites before or after the sailing. The first Sail and See Adventures of 2008 will set sail for 10 days in February and March from Auckland — the City of Sails — New Zealand.

For information on these and other Womanship offerings, call 410-267-6667 and/or visit http://www.womanship.com.

 

 

How you got started sailing

We asked how you started sailing — and you've been telling us

With the help of a cruising club . . .
I was about 11 years old when I purchased The First Book of Sailing in Mystic Seaport, Conn. I was hooked. But my father, whose nickname in the Navy had been “Chicken of the sea,” wasn’t. Between parental lack of interest, the Marine Corps, earning a living, and raising a family . . . sailing didn’t enter the picture for 34 years. Then friends of ours, Mike and Jeri of Sea Lion, an Allied Princess, took the family out for a couple of weekends.

My wife, Alice, who had grown up in Kentucky, thought sailing would be a good hobby for our retirement. She never tired of reminding me of that whenever we saw a cruiser moving out smartly on television or in a movie.

After two years, events conspired to bring us to Rattler, our first good old boat. While researching my mother’s family genealogy and the MacGregor clan, I found an article on the MacGregor 26. Here, it seemed, was our perfect starter boat.

Friends of ours, Leo and Sandy, who sail Scout, a Bolger-designed Martha Jane, tried to caution us about sailing. For two months we were treated to descriptions of sailing as being a worse disease than AIDS, being akin to standing fully clothed in a cold shower while burning 100-dollar bills, and the like.

But the week after we purchased Rattler, a 1993 MacGregor 26S, Leo and Sandy introduced us to Bob and Carol of Time Enough, a Mac26 a year older than ours. Through them, we joined MOANE (MacGregor Owners’ Association of New England), now known as NETS (North East Trailer Sailors).

That first year, we cruised Lake Champlain with MOANE and sailed for a day with Barbara, the widow of MOANE’s founder, learning more about MacGregors and cruising in that one sail than we could have on our own in a year of cautiously venturing out. It was a steep, but very satisfying, learning curve. We sailed with MOANE for the next two years before venturing out on our own for longer and longer cruises to Narragansett Bay, the Chesapeake, and Buzzard’s Bay.

Our love/hate relationship with Rattler could, and maybe someday will, fill a book. But the friends who helped us along will fill our hearts forever.
Mark Truscott

 

Always fascinated with the wind . . .
I grew up in central Wisconsin, not exactly the hot spot for sailing . . . just rivers, forests, and farmland. What boating we did was on shallow-draft, simple, open fishing boats. In fact, I never saw a sailboat until I was a teen.
But I always had a fascination with wind. I started by making flags and moved to making sails of sorts when I was about 8 years old. I would fasten them to a makeshift mast attached to my wagon: too much resistance; handheld on roller skates and ice skates: a challenge; and attached to my sled: quite efficient and provided true winter sailing!
My yearning for sailboats, however, had to wait several decades until good fortune brought me and my family to Virginia and the Chesapeake Bay in 1982.
We soon purchased a used Boston Whaler Typhoon. It was small but sturdy, and we learned by trial and error. As our skills improved, we moved to larger boats. There is nothing more rewarding than a good steady breeze on the bay, whether you’re out for a daysail or several-day cruise. Our home is inland on a 1,700-acre lake where we dry sail in a Flying Scot and Precision 18.5 on those days when time and weather make the lake a reasonable alternative to a drive to the bay.
Sailing has not only provided great pleasure and rewards, but an environment of togetherness with family and nature at its best.

Bruce Kozlowski

 

Thanks to Sea Scouts . . .
Your invitation to describe our starts in sailing opens a chance to recognize and thank the Sea Scouts for whatever success I have had in boating and in life. My introduction to sailing was as a Boy Scout passenger on a Sea Scout boat chartered by our troop. It was a blustery day, and we sailed across Puget Sound reefed down. Out of 12 kids, only two of us didn’t get seasick. Both of us joined Sea Scouts as soon as we were able.
As members, we had access to a number of sailboats of varying sizes. We made many long cruises, and I worked on deck and as an engineer when we chartered her out. I qualified as an engineer, pilot, and mate in the organization. I earned a Coast Guard license at age 18.
All of this helped me greatly when I entered the Navy and later the Coast & Geodetic Survey, now part of NOAA. I retired as a rear admiral after 38 years of service, much of it on sea duty.
I owe it all to the start I received in the Sea Scouts, and I have tried to support them in many ways over the years. The program in Seattle is doing well, as it is here on the Chesapeake. I wish more young men and women could learn about its programs and what it could mean to them.
Now in retirement, I sail my Newport 30 out of Deale, Maryland, and try to interest all comers in the life of sailing.

Harley Nygren
Rear Admiral NOAA (Retired)

 

A boat taught me to sail
I taught myself to sail about six years ago. My wife came with a cottage, and the cottage came with a Laser. After a couple of years spent not knowing how to sail, I couldn’t stand it anymore and just shoved the boat off and figured it out. For a long time I thought the laws of physics did not apply to me, that boat, or that lake.
Now I crew on a number of boats that race on Lake Ontario. I have done the Lake Ontario 300, a number of long-distance races (quite often at night), and regattas.
I have a young family and I want to get a boat to take to the cottage, Thousand Islands, North Channel, and beyond.

Richard Nusink

 

 

Sheerweave fabric sources

We received this request from Leslie Larson: “In the September 2007 issue of your magazine, there was an article about sunshade material. I tried to find that stuff last spring but couldn’t find it. Wow, there it was — Sheerweave 3000. However, the article didn’t mention where to get it. I looked online but everyone wants to sell shades already made. I just want the fabric to make my own. Could Harvey Hall share that info?”

Harvey writes: I contacted Denis Pateneau, owner of Denis Pateneau Upholstery (250-741-4242) in Nanaimo, British Columbia, regarding his source for Sheerweave. Denis has been buying Sheerweave from a wholesale company called J. Ennis Fabrics http://www.jennisfabrics.com/web/home. They have offices in many cities in Canada and the U.S., http://www.jennisfabrics.com/web/contacts. As mentioned, they are a wholesale company and sell only to other businesses. Buying through your upholstery company would be recommended, as Sheerweave is sold in 30-yard rolls, 72 inches wide.

The J. Ennis Fabric website has Sheerweave listed under Home Décor. They can also be reached in Canada at (toll-free): 1-800-66-ENNIS and in the U.S. at (toll-free): 1-877-95-ENNIS.

I also contacted the Phifer Company, the manufacturer of Sheerweave fabric. They have a great site http://www.phifer.com/sheer.htm for examining the different amount of “fabric openness.” Tammi Smith (email) at Phifer emailed me a list of the following Canadian companies that also carry Sheerweave. I would assume that she would also have a similar list for U.S. companies. Here are just a few of the Canadian companies that carry Sheerweave:

Abbey Window Coverings
19295 25th Avenue
Surrey, British Columbia V3S 3X1
Phone: 604/542-7500/800/663-1606

Albert’s draperies
42 Waterlou
Saint John, New Brunswick E2L 3P3
Phone: 506-658-0020

Altex Decoration Ltee. Ltd.
3530 Des Entreprised Blvd.
Terrebonne, Quebec J6X 4J8
Phone: 450-968-0880

Ameuriq, Inc.
3815 Everett Street
Montreal, Quebec H2A 1S8
Phone: 514-593-3639

Blinds are Beautiful
1500 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3G 0W3
Phone: 204-783-1500

Canadian Blind Mfg.
Unit 101 5900 #6 Road
Richmond, British Columbia V6V 1Z1
Phone:604-821-1188/888-982-0888

Dolan Window Coverings, Inc.
127 Thicket Cres
Pickering, Ontario L1V 6S6
Phone: 905-509-5700

George N. Jackson Limited
1139 McDermot Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3E 0V2
Phone: 204-786-3821

Silent Gliss
181 Amber Street
Markham, Ontario L3R 3B4
Phone: 905-470-6901

Sun Glow Window Coverings
50 Hollinger Road
Toronto, Ontario M4B 3G5
Phone: 416-266-3501

Sun Project Toro
205 Adesso Drive
Concord, Ontario L4K 3C4
Phone: 905-660-3117

Sun Screen of Canada
885 O’Conner Drive
Toronto, Ontario M4B 2S7
Phone: 416-751-8219

 

Looking for


Fuel filters to prevent accidents?
Are readers aware of any not-too-complex, cumbersome, or pricey devices that can deal with oily bilgewater discharges? Recently, I walked down the dock and was horrified to see a huge slick (a $10,000-finable one) that, thank goodness, was not coming from our boat.

Are there filters or devices, similar to what big ships use to separate oil and water, that smaller yachts could employ? Accidents do happen, though not often. I’m not sure those absorbent things would even soak up diesel fuel very well, would they?
Susan Peterson Gateley
315-594-1906

 

The Nestor Pram nesting dink
In the October 2007 newsletter, Leo Krusack asked about the Nestor Pram. This address may be of use to him: Gerr Marine, Inc., 838 West End Ave., Suite BB, New York, NY 10025; Phone: 212-864-7030; email.

Dave Gerr’s design #45 is for a two-part dinghy, 11-foot LOA, 4-foot 7-inch beam, draft of 6 inches, and empty weight of 80 pounds.
Jim Kimbler
This nesting dinghy is the gorgeous pram built by John Danicic in the article written by his wife, Kim Ode, in September 2003’s Good Old Boat. Visit John’s website to see the article (we didn’t make up this address — sorry!): http://www.johndanicic.com/arrogantwoodworker/woodworker/dingy%20building%20pages/boat_building_page%201.htm.

 

 

Mail buoy

Clues about jib clews
I am responding to something in the October 2007 newsletter, which was responding to something in the magazine. These things probably never stop. For many years, I attached my jibsheets to the sail with bowlines. This worked just fine, but one of the first things I learned was that you have to do it the right way. When you tie on the starboard sheet, you start by sticking the working end through the clew of the jib from the port side (and vice versa for the other sheet). That way when you tie the bowline, the “lumpy” part of the knot will be on the outboard side. If you tie it the other way, the knot will sometimes (always at the worst time) hang up on the shrouds. Quick, easy, and cheap . . . but you have to do it the right way.
Gene Bjerke

 

Donate your time and have fun
I have been thinking of something and really didn’t know who to talk to about it. I saw you are running an ad in your magazine looking for deployed military personnel who might like a free subscription to Good Old Boat. How about going one step further: inviting returning service personnel to go sailing with some of your subscribers? I’ll be the first to offer my time and expertise to take a returning vet sailing on the Chesapeake Bay any time my boat is in the water and I am available.

Just a thought. Not sure how to get it going, though.
Daren Magness
If anyone else is willing to take returning vets sailing, please get in touch with Jerry. We’ll keep the list and find a way to spread the word.

 

Radar answers
I just got the October 2007 newsletter. In response to the question of obtaining range and bearing information from someone else’s radar, I would not want to base my safety on it. Many surface search radars operate at or near the same frequency. So as a result, if and when the antennas of two radars point at each other (yours and someone else’s), you might, but not always, see a line or a row of dots radiate from the center of the screen toward the other radar. I have sometimes seen this as a straight line and sometimes as a curve arching in the direction of the antenna rotation. This line will sometimes pass through a target (sorry, I mean contact!) already painted and may then be assumed to identify the interfering vessel. Otherwise, there is no way to obtain range information from this phenomenon.
Lee Waller
RMCS USCG(Ret)
Senior Chief Radioman

 

Boat covers continued
I really liked the all-season boat canopy and the winter tarp articles in the September 2007 issue. I researched the costs for such covers so I could do some deck repair and discovered that if I made a full standing cover for my Paceship PY26 out of PVC/tarp versus 2 x 4s, it came out costing more for the PVCs than the 2 x 4s, even using the PVC sizes listed in the magazine, which are probably a bit undersized for a full standing setup. I was just wondering why the authors did not go that route.
Randy Rodenborg

 

Here’s one reason
I think 2 x 4s are pretty heavy and awkward for a boat tarp. I do think much could be done with 2 x 2s, however. The main attraction of the PVC pipe is the ready-made joints that are available. With any kind of lumber, each joint has to be made from scratch.
Jerry Powlas
Technical editor

 

And here’s another consideration
There is certainly no shortage of wooden tarp frames out there. I make joints in wood for a living, but I felt the plastic would be better because of the ready-made joints that Jerry points out and the overall elegance of the resulting structure. It is pretty hard to design and execute wooden joints for such a structure that could be easily re-assembled each year. I also feel like the plastic pipe is friendlier to the tarp. Wood starts with sharp edges that need to be eased to save the tarp. So far, the size of the plastic I chose has been adequate, but it has yet to survive really severe weather with high winds and lots of snow. The plastic also stores very easily. I have my whole frame on one 2- x 3- x 2-foot shelf. If you make a wooden frame, send me a picture. I love wood.
Joe Van Benten

 

Rode cleaner
I really liked Bob Steadman’s idea for an anchor chain cleaner, in lieu of a washdown pump (in the November 2007 issue). However, I cannot determine from the photos how he constructed this item. One photo shows two immersed pieces of plywood, but the brushes can’t be seen. The other photo shows the brushes and one piece of plywood flapping from the side of one, with no indication how the two brushes are connected. His text mentions “keeping the door closed,” but it is not obvious to me what he means. Is he somehow squeezing the brushes together? Or are the brushes mounted some fixed and unmovable distance from each other? Can this seemingly very good idea be clarified by further photos or illustrations?
Mark Schneider

 

Bob Steadman responds
I found these pictures in my archives. I can’t take new pics for you right now as I am in Morocco (film job) until December and won’t return to the boat until January. I hope this helps.
Robert Steadman
Yes, Bob, we think these do the trick!


Question about fire extinguishers
I bought a copy of Good Old Boat for the first time the other day and quite enjoyed it. The articles were, by and large, more interesting to people who own ordinary boats that we actually sail in . . . as distinct from the magazines full of yachts supporting scantily clad women, usually at anchor in exotic locations.

However (there is always a “however”), the Fire Extinguishers 101 article in the September 2007 issue left one part out. Extinguisher size always puzzles me. When I shop for an extinguisher, the designations on the boxes never seem to match the Coast Guard requirements. For example, I and II refer to size but I haven’t seen this clearly marked on the extinguisher. What is the physical size of I and II? The article doesn’t say anything else about size.

Also, I’m a bit freaked out by the extinguisher the woman in the illustration is holding. She is either very small or my extinguishers on the boat are very small; they certainly don’t look that big.

In Canada, things seem to be different, as extinguishers are referred to as Class 5 or Class 10, but this is not printed on the extinguishers I have.

The article refers to Halon requiring 9 pounds (I or II?), but Halotron-1 requiring 50 percent more than FM-200. How much FM-200 is required?

So, it would be very useful to clarify minimum size requirements of extinguishers, which is an essential part of fire extinguishing.
Donald Wyllie

 

Don Launer replies
It’s not surprising that Donald is confused over the rating of fire extinguishers. Although one would hope it would be, it’s not a simple subject.

The letter, or letters, on the fire extinguisher are fairly straightforward and universal and indicate the type of fire for which that extinguisher can be used. These designations are used by both Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL) and the U.S. Coast Guard. In addition, the Coast Guard specifies the number of required extinguishers that must be on board, depending on the boat length, as well as the “size” of those extinguishers. The extinguishers, as well as their brackets, must be Coast Guard-approved.

For recreational boats the U.S. Coast Guard “size” is specified as either I (one) or II (two), indicated by Roman numerals. These numbers do not indicate the physical size of the extinguisher, but rather the size of a fire that the extinguisher can handle. The physical size can vary greatly, depending on the type of fire suppressant that the extinguisher contains. For example, the U.S. Coast Guard specifies that:
• A size “I” extinguisher must contain at least 1.25 gallons of foam, 4 pounds of CO2, 2 pounds of dry chemical, or 2.5 pounds of Halon.
• A size “II” extinguisher must contain at least 2.5 gallons of foam, 15 pounds of CO2, 10 pounds of dry chemical, or 10 pounds of Halon.

Thus, when you question the size of the fire-extinguisher in the illustration, you must remember that the lady could well be using a size “II” CO2 extinguisher (15 pounds of CO2), or a size “II” foam extinguisher, holding 2.5 gallons.

Underwriter’s Laboratory uses numbers to indicate the fire-fighting capacity of the extinguisher relative to other extinguishers. This fire-fighting capacity is indicated by a number that is a prefix to the letter that designates the type of fire the extinguisher can be used on. Thus, in the UL designations, a 10-BC extinguisher can be used on class B and C fires, and a 30-BC extinguisher, used on the same class of fires, would have three times the fire-fighting capacity of the 10-BC.

Some extinguishers, even though Coast Guard-approved, show neither the Coast Guard “I” or “II” rating nor the UL rating. They do, however, show the weight of the fire-retardant materials inside the extinguisher, which has to be used as the “size” guideline.
Don Launer

 

Beauty and the beholder
On Page 11 in the October 2007 newsletter, is a photo of Blessed, a Cheoy Lee Clipper 36. Her clipper bow caught my eye at once. This brought to mind an extensive article that one of the magazines did a number of years ago on “What is ‘beautiful’ in yacht design.” I remember pictures of six or seven different designs for bows, sterns, and sheers and accompanying text that was interesting.

I dislike the current trend of flat sheers, vertical bows, wide and open sterns, ultra-utilitarian flat decks, and other things that may make a boat go faster but leave the viewer with a “couldn’t care less” attitude!

Am I the only one? Some of the older boats were downright magnificently beautiful — take Big Ti [Ticonderoga] for instance . . . I would be interested to know what other, more knowledgeable, folks think about the esthetics of boat design: not how fast they go, but how pleasing they are to the eye of the beholder.
Jim Hildinger
Ted Brewer wrote something along those lines in our November 2000 issue. It is online for quick reference on the BoatUS site http://www.boatus.com/goodoldboat/thingofbeauty.asp.

 

Speaking of Beauty
I know everyone sends you pictures of boats, their boats. So I have fallen victim to this plague of picture taking. Actually it is a shot taken by Dave Bowring of my boat, Mariners Cat, anchored in Sturgeon Cove in the North Channel this past August.

By the way, there are already plans for next year’s Canadian Islands Night Race. New classes are coming! For example we’ll have the 50/50 groups: 50 percent male and female crews or crews with an average age of 50!
Thor Powell
Co-founder Canadian Islands Night Race
Thor tells us that the next Canadian Islands Night Race, partially sponsored by Good Old Boat, will begin on May 30, with an 8 p.m. start. This is a wonderfully fun night event with U.S. and Canadian sailors duking it out in the dark on Lake Ontario. Best of all, the pig always “gets it” in the end, as the gang gathers for a pig roast and a party.

 

Sailboats: cheap to buy, expensive to keep
I’ve been a subscriber from almost the beginning and, since my two sailboats date from 1961 and 1967, I qualify as a good old boat owner. For the 1961 vessel, I’m in my 40th season keeping her, so I’m probably also a good boat owner who’s old.

I posted the following on the Yahoo Cal sailboats list, where we had been discussing cheap boats. Old fiberglass sailboats are so inexpensive, even good ones, that there’s no real reason for people to avoid sailing because of entry costs. But then I reflected on the annual expenses of dockage and (for those of us in northern latitudes) winter storage and posted this:

From what I’ve read, California and other places are affected by condo building booms that replace waterfront businesses and activities with fancy residences and offices bearing no real relation (beyond the view) to the water. The cheapness of the purchase price sometimes cannot compensate for the ongoing expenses to keep a boat in the water.

It’s part of long-term social and economic changes. When waterways were open sewers, they were left to undesirables like sailors and longshoremen. Nobody would want to live there. Industries were located close to water for industrial processes and for disposal of wastes. They were also transportation centers. You’d find docks and shipbuilding operations. Even the wealthy lived in the centers of towns, near where they shopped and worked.

Now we’ve cleaned up the waterfronts. Human and industrial waste no longer float past. We have heavily subsidized highway transportation so waterborne commerce enjoys little advantage, except for some bulk cargoes or those from across the ocean. People commute long distances between home and work routinely. Now everybody wants to live and work along the water. Those who like to work or play on it in our boats are getting shoved aside.

One cheaper option is mooring fields. The condo and office residents can even find these attractive visually. I have two boats. One lives in a community with no moorings and the only option is dockage at marinas. My annual cost for summer dockage and winter storage (including Travelift in and out) is about $2,600. The other boat (Cal 20) hangs on my mooring in the summer and is outdoors on the trailer at the storage yard in the winter, for annual costs (including the marina guy hauling and launching via my trailer) of about $700.

The old saying about waterfront property is that they’re not making any more of it. I don’t expect the trend toward living and working on the water to change, except perhaps in those areas where building limits are imposed because of hurricane damage. We all need to think about expanding mooring fields as a way to make boating affordable.

If people can’t find places to moor their good old boats, they won’t be sailing them. It’s a real issue.

If we want to have a new generation of sailors, we need to assure that they can keep their boats at reasonable cost. Otherwise, it will become the domain of the rich in the 19th-century manner. I much prefer the post-WW II model of many people out sailing in their inexpensive boats.
Chris Campbell

 

More than just a magazine!
Yesterday I went into my local chandlery where I managed to see, on their newsstand, a copy of the November 2007 issue of Good Old Boat! I was thunderstruck, wounded, dizzy! Where was my copy at home!?

I walk around in a funk waiting for the new issue to arrive every other month and read every issue from cover to cover. This usually keeps me going in a stable frame of mind until just before the next issue arrives. I did not dare to pick up a new copy in the shop for fear that I would be further traumatized for missing my personal issue!

Where’s my copy!? It’s more than just a magazine! Looking forward to getting it soon.

In the event it calls home for clarification, I can be located at N 43° 52.56’ W 079° 26.96’ (WGS 84).
Tom Perrone
Oh, dear! Tom’s issue did find him a few days later, but it was a near thing . . .

 

Operative word
You’ll probably get scores of replies to the “Rack for Navigation Tools” article (September 2007) about Phillip Reid melting his way through his acrylic/Plexiglas, but the operative word really is “score.” The best way I’ve found for cutting the stuff is to score the cutline, similar to cutting glass, with a little plastic-handled jack-knife contraption that has a hardened hook at the end of the blade and is made for the purpose. You can get it at the local hardware store. By making a couple of downward passes with the tool, your Plexi will (usually) snap apart just the way you want it.

Sure enjoy your magazine — great forum!
Scott Harmon

 

Powerboater is converted
I have always had powerboats of many makes and models. But I love sailboats. So, now that the kids are much older, I decided to start a dream of mine and try sailing. We live near Lake Tillery in North Carolina. So the search began on the Internet and in local papers. I wanted a small boat that I could trailer and I didn’t want to buy new. After a long time, I happened to see an Islander 23 for sale in a man’s front yard, not too far from my home. I ran home, got my wife, and we drove right back. We bought it and we love it. It has a large cockpit and a somewhat cozy cabin . . . just what we wanted for our first boat.

We are learning as we go and we really love this old boat . . . which brings me to this letter. Next, I wanted to buy a magazine for sailors. I looked at many but when I read yours, I just had to subscribe. Good Old Boat was written for people just like us.
Alan Hoelzle

 

It’s become required reading
I’ve thanked you before for launching Good Old Boat, but I realized recently that it has, for me, become required reading. I learn solid useful stuff in every issue. It is as valuable as the charts themselves.

I suspect it’s because Good Old Boat is crafted for the readers, rather than the advertisers, and luckily for us, the advertisers you do attract are just the right bunch. You have my sincere appreciation.
Frederick Corey

 

Book reviews

A Year In Flagrante — A log of nautical near-missives, by Martin Cartwright, Illustrations by Don Seed (Glover’s Yard Publishing, Great Britain, 2007; 85 pages; $18.04)
Review by Susan Lynn Kingsbury
Moreno Valley, Calif.

A Year in Flagrante is a collection of illustrated satirical correspondence sent to Captain Glover over a year’s worth of time. You’ll read responses from the powers that be — whether marine insurance chairmen, yacht club certification officers, marine supply salespersons or magazine editors — to Glover’s wild escapades and letters of complaint. Be prepared: the letters are blunt and scathing. Still, the imaginary Captain Glover remains an outrageous, shameless, extreme violator of all the rules — and he never apologizes or admits to being in the wrong. Instead, he is increasingly indignant.

Author Cartwright apparently is appealing to the maverick hidden inside some of us, the ones who say, “It’s not my fault!” or can’t figure out why bad things always happen to them.

Both the letters and illustrations are presented in a rebellious way, perhaps to remind us that these letters are simply parodies. Cartwright uses puns — plays on words — to draw the readers’ attention to the total nonsensicalness of the correspondence. Addresses like “Blackball Creek,” “Damforeigner Straat,” “Little Jobsworth” and authorities with names such as “Joy Forall,” Hugh Stickler,” and “Jack Blower” are used throughout the text. Likewise, the cartoon-like illustrations are further exaggerations of the brazen theme.

If you are looking for a light read this is a good “boat book” for you. But it’s not for everyone. Some may not find the “Benny Hill” slapstick-type humor tickles their funny bone.

 

 

 

The Why Book of Sailing: The Curious Sailor’s Guide to the Science of Sailing and Seamanship, by Scott Welty (Burford Books, 2007; 179 pages; $16.95)
Review by Donald Launer
Forked River, NJ

In The Why Book of Sailing, author Scott Welty tackles the challenge of explaining the science of physics, as related to sailing — without the heavy concentration on mathematics that usually goes along with that subject. He translates this science into layman terms in an enjoyable manner that doesn’t make the non-scientific reader feel intimidated. Although I was educated in classical physics — along with the subject’s associated mathematics —I found this book to be a breath of fresh air, and the explanations accurate and entertaining.

Sailors know that the forces of nature — the forces of physics – affect their boats in many ways. On the water, wind, tide, current, gravity, and many other natural phenomena exist in a world of dynamic and constant change; and in this world the author presents Archimedes’ principals of flotation, moving through wind and water, forces and torque, navigation and piloting, on-board electricity, optics, and environmental concerns. Scott Welty looks at the sailboat through the eyes of a popular scientist and explains the scientific reasons why the boat behaves as it does, all done with clarity and ample explanatory illustrations that will help all sailors be more in tune with their boats and the water around them.

Time-starved readers can open the book at random and, in a few minutes, read a short and concise explanation of something they have always wondered about, without worrying about continuity reading — or they can use the index to access a specific question or topic. Author Welty also supplies a listing of websites in the back of the book for additional information.

Not surprisingly, Scott Welty is a recently retired teacher of physics who now is a full-time sailor and liveaboard. While cruising his 30-foot Enee Marie, he also finds time to write for Sailing and Ocean Navigator. When ashore, which is infrequent, he makes his home in Chicago, Illinois.

If you are at all curious about things nautical, The Why Book of Sailing guarantees to answer your questions in an enjoyable and accurate fashion.

 

 

 

The Mariner’s Book of Days — 2008 calendar, by Peter H. Spectre (Sheridan House, 2007;112 pages; $13.95)
Review by Kristen Brochmann
New York, NY

Bookstores’ shelves start filling up with calendars and daybooks this time of year. For sailors, there are many to choose from, including ones featuring gorgeous photos of vintage ships or exotic shores and waters. But Peter H. Spectre offers the sailor something different in his The Mariner’s Book of Days — sheer entertainment and diversion. The right-hand page has the days of the week with a nautical event noted for each day. The left page has old engravings, sea shanty verses, log entries or whatever Peter has come up with. Sometimes the week has a theme. May 8 notes that on that date in 1701 William Kidd was put on trial for piracy. The left-hand page has an engraving of a fearsome pirate with two pistols and a mean eye, a shanty about Kidd, laws from a pirate ship, a quote from Mark Twain about pirates and, just for the heck of it, a log entry from Joshua Slocum’s circumnavigation.

Each week offers something new. The reader can browse and see what naval disaster happened on any day or view glossaries of terms. The week of September 29 has a seaman’s list of a week’s worth of meals aboard a 19th century clipper ship. There follows a glossary for terms like duff, scouse, mush, Cape Cod turkey, and other mysteries of the seaman’s table. (My favorite: “Spithead pheasant (aka, one-eyed steak) kipper.”)

The first week of December has the lyrics to the U.S. Maritime Service along with a quote from Emerson, “The wonder is always new that any sane man can be a sailor.” Conrad is quoted for a week devoted to anchors and rodes. “From first to last, the seaman’s thoughts are very much concerned with his anchors.”

Each week usually includes a passage from a ship’s log or a sailor’s account. One week, a barely literate ship’s butcher notes the cook being flogged twice on the same day “for being saucy.” Another week offers a sailor recounting how a first mate was laughed at when he mistook “the thin spout of the ‘Killer’ for the bush dense vapour emitted by Sperm-Whale!”

The beautiful archaic language from poets and plain sailors is one of the joys of the book. There are familiar writers such as Kipling, Whitman, Crane, and Shakespeare, but many of the authors are unknown. Peter has mined deep in nautical libraries and brought back some strange and wonderful gems for the reader’s delight.

 

 

A Matter of Honor, by William C. Hammond (Cumberland House, 2007; 416 pages; $26.95)
Review by Karen Larson
Minneapolis, Minn.

Richard Cutler is everybody’s hero. Women readers will love him. Men will respect his strong character and code of ethics. It’s almost a shame that he’s a figment of our imaginations and that of first-time novelist William Hammond. Bill’s book, A Matter of Honor, the first of a series, introduces Richard Cutler as a young man from Massachusetts during the early years of the American Revolutionary War.

As a yet untested young man, Richard is recruited for the Continental Navy by John Paul Jones and offers us a well-researched look at this historical figure and several others in the events that unfold. Although he is a fictional character, Richard is a participant in or witness to several famous naval battles and other historical events.

Perhaps because he is a fictional character, it is easier to construe plausible reasons for having Richard in the room when Benjamin Franklin is negotiating with the French, and at the Battle of Yorktown fighting at the side of Alexander Hamilton. Perhaps no real sailor of the 1770s got around as easily as Richard Cutler. But then Richard Cutler had “connections” that make him a very interesting individual indeed. We are fortunate that the U.S. actually won the Revolutionary War without Richard’s participation.

Author Bill Hammond takes a good long look at the international events swirling around this nascent country’s fight for independence. He makes it clear that it is practically a miracle that the leaders of the U.S. won our independence, dealing as they were with a frightful lack of money, unity, military training, and equipment, not to mention a severe lack of food, medical care, and clothing for our soldiers and sailors. This book reminds us that it is a wonder that we are able to fly the Stars and Stripes today. This achievement was earned in spite of the odds against all the true Richard Cutlers of the 1770s.

With an improved appreciation of the events surrounding the Revolutionary War, and a strong personal interest in the future of Richard Cutler, I look forward to further books in the series by Bill. A Matter of Honor is not all war and history. There is romance, sex and relationships, complicated family responsibilities, and ties involving a family that spans both sides of the Atlantic Ocean and both sides of the war. There’s wind of the impending revolution in France and the unrest in the Caribbean, where the real financial interests of the time were located.

This is a story well told on many fronts. Sailors and historians will appreciate the naval scenes and battles. Every reader will appreciate the background and fresh insight on the events of the American Revolutionary War told from several points of view. Fans of historical fiction will want to begin following the adventures of Richard Cutler now and as this series unfolds.

 

 

 

2007 mini-index of Good Old Boat articles

Addresses for previous mini-index listings:

• 1998-2000: http://www.goodoldboat.com/newsletter/octnewslett14.html

• 2001: http://www.goodoldboat.com/newsletter/decnewslett21.html

• 2002: http://www.goodoldboat.com/newsletter/decnewslett27.html

• 2003: http://www.goodoldboat.com/newsletter/decnewslett33.html

• 2004: http://www.goodoldboat.com/newsletter/decnewslett39.html

• 2005: http://www.goodoldboat.com/newsletter/decnewslett45.html

• 2006: http://www.goodoldboat.com/newsletter/febnewslett52.html

 

To look up a list of previous newsletters, go to http://www.goodoldboat.com/nletter.html.

We also have three CDs available for sale: all the Good Old Boat issues published in 1998-99, all the issues published in 2000, and all the issues published in 2001. Each CD includes a search feature for the articles. For more about the CDs, go to http://www.goodoldboat.com/backissues.html#cds.

And one thing more: there is a fully searchable article listing on the Good Old Boat website. You can search for articles by title, author, key words, publication date, and so on. That page can be indexed from the Good Old Boat home page.

Feature boats
Finisterre’s sister, Number 52, January 2007
Islander 30, Number 53, March 2007
Jeanneau Trinidad, Number 54, May 2007
Hunter 28.5, Number 55, July 2007

Review boats
Irwin Citation 31, Number 52, January 2007
Tanzer 7.5, Number 52, January 2007
J/30, Number 53, March 2007
O’Day 272, Number 53, March 2007
Pearson 36, Number 54, May 2007
Allmand 31, Number 55, July 2007
Contessa 35, Number 56, September 2007
Cal 30, Number 57, November 2007
Catalina 30, Number 57, November 2007

Trailersailer reviews
Yamaha 25, Number 54, May 2007
Pearson Ensign, Number 56, September 2007

Refits
Chrysler 22, Number 52, January 2007
Kittiwake 23, Number 53, March 2007
Cape Cod Catboat (built new), Number 56, September 2007

Marine Subject 101
Standing Rigging 101, Number 52, January 2007
Reefing and Furling Jibs 101, Number 53, March 2007
Anchor Sentinels 101, Number 54, May 2007
Wind Terminology 101, Number 55, July 2007
Fire Extinguishers 101, Number 56, September 2007
Docklines 101, Number 57, November 2007

Engines
Avoiding engine failure in rough seas, Number 52, January 2007
Exhaust ingenuity, Number 54, May 2007
Engine lubrication, Number 55, July 2007
Engine coolants, Number 56, September 2007

Sails
Sloop sailing with one sail, Number 53, March 2007
Respecting the furler, Number 54, May 2007

Systems
Raincatchers, Number 52, January 2007
Mooring systems, Number 53, March 2007
Navigation lights, Number 53, March 2007
Inexpensive electrical system, Number 57, November 2007

Materials, design, and construction
Four compromises in yacht design, Number 52, January 2007
Taking the ground, Number 53, March 2007
The schooner rig, Number 54, May 2007
A bluewater-capable yacht, Part 1, Number 55, July 2007
A bluewater-capable yacht, Part 2, Number 56, September 2007
A bluewater-capable yacht, Part 3, Number 57, November 2007

Maintenance and upgrades
Star cracks, Number 52, January 2007
Improving stowage spaces, Number 52, January 2007
Emergency portlight covers, Number 53, March 2007
Redo your non-skid, Number 56, September 2007
Winter tarps and boat canopies, Number 56, September 2007
Improved hull liners, Number 56, September 2007
Settee and table conversion, Number 57, November 2007
Installing an inside shower, Number 57, November 2007

Boat buying
Smart boat-buying, Number 52, January 2007
How to buy and sell on eBay, Number 53, March 2007
Taken for a ride on eBay, Number 53, March 2007
Portland Pudgy, Number 54, May 2007
Are brokers necessary, Number 54, May 2007
The joy of rowing, Number 55, July 2007
The vibe factor, Number 56, September 2007

Other tech
Satellites for sailors, Number 55, July 2007

How-to articles
Rope-to-chain splices, Number 52, January 2007
Applying boat name graphics, Number 53, March 2007
Making a thread grabber, Number 53, March 2007
Dealing with current, Number 53, March 2007
Three ways to fix dodger windows, Number 53, March 2007
Replacing a bow trim casting, Number 54, May 2007
Making a flexible floor grating, Number 54, May 2007
Insulating the hull, Number 55, July 2007
Tying the highwayman’s cutaway knot, Number 55, July 2007
Dockside air conditioning, Number 55, July 2007
Carving a nameboard, Number 56, September 2007

Galley life
Baking bread aboard, Number 55, July 2007

Simple solutions
Lifeline cushions, restoring luster to your deck, Number 52, January 2007
Condensation control, Number 53, March 2007
Rudder stops, the jug sling or hackamore knot, Number 54, May 2007
Fuel can caddy, fold-up galley shelf, Number 55, July 2007
Cockpit floorboards, mainsail maintenance, Number 56, September 2007
Getting back aboard, cheap varnish scraping, Number 57, November 2007

Quick and easy
New quick-release stopper knot, Toofypegs, rust-free tools, Number 52, January 2007
Extending boathook, Professional Rigger’s Gauge, slippery trailer tongue, nautical paper-towel holder, Number 53, March 2007
All-purpose domelight, cockpit piloting, plastic brightwork, Number 54, May 2007
Sideways clinometer, companionway vent, Number 55, July 2007
Bookshelf restraint, nav tool rack, sunshade material, Number 56, September 2007
Wedge for sliding doors, storage solution for large areas, outboard freshwater flush, anchor chain scrubber, Number 57, November 2007

Profiles
Beattie Purcell of Catalina Yachts, Number 52, January 2007
Allan Nye Scott, Number 55, July 2007

Good old vendors
The Rescuers (Bone Yard Boats and Wooden Boat Rescue Foundation), Number 57, November 2007

Cruising memories
Sailing really is magic, Number 52, January 2007
When the sun flashed green, Number 52, January 2007
Two loves united, Number 53, March 2007
Doing boatwork in a fishbowl, Number 53, March 2007
Child overboard, Number 53, March 2007
Remembering
Sparrow, Number 54, May 2007
Night sail, Number 54, May 2007
Flakes of history in bottom paint, Number 55, July 2007
Knowing her inside and out, Number 55, July 2007
Seeking romance, Number 54, September 2007
Sparrow finds a nest, Number 56, September 2007
Sailing classes, Number 57, November 2007
Closing his workshop, Number 57, November 2007

Lighter articles
Why should men have all the fun?, Number 52, January 2007
The Solitude of the Open Sea excerpt, Number 54, May 2007
Radio-controlled model sailing, Number 54, May 2007
A Voyage Toward Vengeance excerpt, Number 55, July 2007
Two firsts for the Tartan 34 Classic, Number 55, July 2007
Trekka Round the World excerpt, Number 56, September 2007

Product launchings
New Providence marine Systems tank monitors, Hitchcraft’s Rope Tie, Managing the Waterways electronic charts on DVD, Number 52, January 2007
Scandia Marine Products ColorWheelz, Green Marine Products Fuel Whistle, Zarcor’s custom companionway doors, Number 54, May 2007
Flying Lateen rig, Borel Manufacturing’s Nite-Lite, new windvane for boats up to 32 feet by Voyager Windvanes, Number 55, July 2007
Weems & Plath slide rule, Clean Water Solutions Oil Eradicator and Microtabs, Forespar Lanocote in new dispenser, Number 56, September 2007

 

Excerpts from The Practical Encyclopedia of Boating

by John Vigor

Set sail on Friday
Superstitious?

Superstition still maintains a firm hold on those who go down to the sea in ships and even in this age of satellites and nuclear power there are sailors who will not set sail on a Friday.

Friday was named after the Norse goddess Frigg or Frigga. The goddess of love and fertility, she was the wife of the god Woden, after whom Wednesday is named. In early times, Friday was regarded as a lucky day, and an especially good one on which to get married.

But the early Christians turned all that around. They regarded Frigga as a witch and her day as unlucky. It became a deep-rooted superstition, manifesting itself in many ways. Among sailors, it became bad luck to set sail on Friday.

“Sailors are more foolish on this point that you can imagine” wrote Mrs. Henry Wood, the Victorian novelist, in 1890, “and I believe . . . that ships sailing on a Friday have come to grief through their crew losing heart. No matter what impediment is met with — bad weather, accidents, what not—the men say at once, “It’s of no use, we sailed on Friday’.”

This feeling is so strong there is still today an apocryphal tale with wide currency among boat people about the British navy’s attempts to quell sailor’s fears. The admiralty is said to have commissioned a new ship named HMS Friday. Her keel was laid on a Friday, she was launched on a Friday and she was put in command of a Captain James Friday. She set sail on her maiden voyage on a Friday and was never heard from again. It’s a pity to spoil a good story, but there is no record of a ship called HMS Friday, or even of a Captain James Friday in the British navy.

The fact that countless ships set sail on every Friday and safely complete their passage presents a dilemma for those of us who believe the superstition or, at least, are too timid to challenge it. How can this be? Why don’t these foolhardy mariners come to grief, as they are supposed to?

Perhaps the answer lies in the Black Box Theory, which states that luck is not fortuitous, but must be earned. In that case, it can only be assumed that skippers who set sail on a Friday must have enough points in their black boxes to overcome the bad luck of sailing on that day.

John Vigor’s book, Practical Encyclopedia of Boating, is available from the Good Old Boat Bookshelf at $29.95; 352 pages (hardcover).

 

How to contact us

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


Michael Facius, Editor
Jerry Powlas, Technical Editor
Mary Endres, Design

 

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© 2007 Good Old Boat
Published: December 1, 2007