GOOD OLD BOAT
NEWSLETTER

DECEMBER 1999

Contents (what's in this issue)

How to contact us
 
Good Old Boat Magazine
7340 Niagara Lane North
Maple Grove, MN 55311-2655
612-420-8923; 612-420-8921 (fax)


Karen Larson, Editor
Jerry Powlas, Technical Editor
Brent Ostbye, Editorial Assistant

http://www.goodoldboat.com/

 

Holiday cheer to you and yours!

As we wind up the year, we look back in wonder at the evolution of Good Old Boat magazine and thank each of you for being part of our growth.

The website is improving

If you're an Internet user and visit our site from time to time, you'll see vast changes in the Good Old Boat website over the next few months. (Special thanks to our new webmaster, Jerry Stearns.) For one thing, we've got our Good Old Boat hats and shirts posted for all to see. (Your photo can be there, too, if you take your picture in our garb. Remember, no digital camera shots, since we want to make you famous in the magazine, too. For that, we need real snapshots. We'll return them.)
Our index to previously published magazine articles is ready for posting, but we ran into a format snag. Looks like it could be delayed for another few weeks to a month until we get that sorted out. How that database works on the site will influence the posting of our great and grand directory of suppliers of services and equipment. That database is bigger, more complicated, and less finished (since we'll be relying on you and our web browsers to tell us about vendors we're missing). But it's coming, too.

Posting articles

We've been asked to post articles that are no longer in print (since just about every back issue is now sold out). Here's an example of what we hear from readers:
Any chance of putting the issues that are no longer available on the website? Or seeing if anybody who has them would lend or sell them?
Bud Haddon
Onalaska, Texas
If anyone wants to develop some kind of recycling program or lending library for issues of Good Old Boat, we'll certainly help you promote it!
 
Because of this interest, we're thinking about posting some of our articles sometime in the coming year (some of our authors do not want to have their articles posted, and we'll respect those requests). We're not sure whether we'll post just text to keep the articles small or full PDF files so web browsers can see the photos and everything as it was originally on the page in the magazine. Please give us your thoughts on this. In the meantime, since most earlier issues are no longer available, copies of previous articles are available by mail from Good Old Boat for $2.50

What's coming in January

The January issue is at the printer. Here's what's coming:

We got book reviewers!

We asked for book reviewers, and you responded. (Maybe we shouldn't have made all those promises about losing weight and so on ) Here's a sample of what we got back from perhaps as many as 50 eager readers:
"I'm interested in being a book reviewer, but am somewhat concerned about the benefits, e.g. improving my sex life, losing weight, and modifying certain body parts. These improvements could be of value even at 62, but I still have plenty of hair that I hope won't turn gray (since it is quite white at the moment), and I rather like every wrinkle that I have so dearly paid for."
Merrill Hall
Yarmouth, Maine
Or how about:
We notice you are looking for book reviewers and would like to sign up. Our qualifications are 1) we're old, 2) our boat is old (Cape Dory 27 1978), 3) we read lots, 4) Paul was an English major at Princeton, and 5) I was newsletter editor for years for the Tanzer 22 Class Association. (Now THERE's a wonderful old boat!)
Paul and Sally Perreten
Old Saybrook, Conn.
And:
I would be willing to review a book or two. My qualifications: I can read. I can write. I have done a little book review work. I have almost all of the problems and needs you mentioned cures for. Let me know if I can help.
Dale Hedtke
St. Paul, Minn.

As noted in the last newsletter, we did not personally respond to most book reviewers. But we heard you. We have filed every response we received. Over time we'll get back to you one at a time to ask if you're interested in a certain book. If so, we'll send it along with some guidelines for the review itself. Thanks for the overwhelming interest!

Previous newsletters

People often ask how to get to the other Good Old Boat newsletters, since they're not linked directly from our site. We don't link them, since they're meant for subscribers only. Here is the full index of posted newsletters:
http://www.goodoldboat.com/nletter.html
 
We realize that this code isn't exactly "fool-proof" and a few non-subscribers may have figured it out, but we're simple people and have to be able to remember it also.

This may be useful to you - new numbering system

As the years move forward, we've learned that it's hard to keep track of our back issues of Good Old Boat by volume and number and even by month and year. While we will maintain the "Volume 1, Number 1" method of counting for those institutions which need it, we will also be numbering each issue. The January 2000 issue, which is at the printer right now, begins the new numbering system. It is Number 10.

Too many mailings from hell

We're getting tired of apologizing to people and making things right after they went wrong with our mailings. With the January issue we're going to try harder than ever to get it right the first time. It's on time (so far) and will be bagged for better travel through the mail.
 
You may remember that our July issue went out as a double with an additional catalog bundled inside. The extra weight caused a last-minute hassle in the printer's mailroom, since the package was too heavy for the bulk-rate permit. The mailing was delayed while a new permit number was attached to allow it to go out as Fourth Class Mail. Then some of the packages split open, and people didn't receive their magazines anyway. And so we apologized and mailed out additional copies of July. We described this as our "mailing from hell," but we hadn't seen the worst of it yet.
 
Our September issue was printed on thinner paper. It wasn't too heavy, but some covers may have been sacrificed in the handling of the mail. We heard from quite a few subscribers who never saw that issue. And so we apologized and mailed out additional copies of September.
 
We got a new printer and mailhouse by the time of the November issue and had systems problems there also. The delivery delays between the printer, the mailhouse, and you equalled an unbelievable two weeks! So we spent much of early November explaining, apologizing, begging people to wait ("It's coming, honest!"), and then mailing those which truly didn't arrive.
 
So we're bagging this issue. We're hoping for sanity and improved service for your sakes and ours!

Is your magazine all there?

One subscriber told us, however, that although he did receive his magazine just fine, it had double copies of some pages and missing copies of others. The magazine goes together in sections of 16 pages called signatures. This subscriber got two of one signature and none of another. Not long ago we received a copy of Cruising World that had the same problem. We tried to be understanding since we realized this problem can happen in any printing plant. And now we know this is true. Our printer told us not to worry, it was probably an isolated problem "and the extent would be limited to the size of a handful (most likely 40 copies)."
 
"What? 40 copies? For us that's 40 unhappy subscribers!" we screamed. Say it isn't so! We haven't heard of any more incidents of this occurring. However if yours arrives damaged or incomplete at any time, our pledge is to make it right. So let us know. We even had a subscriber within the last year receive several blank pages! (That was probably the batch we did with invisible ink . . .)

Renewals continue!

Not only have our renewals remained strong as each group of readers has come up on our list to subscribe for another year, but we're also seeing an increase in people who are making two-year commitments. That's very encouraging to the few of us here slaving in the trenches -- very encouraging. Our sincere thanks to each renewing subscriber.
 
We did get one letter which stated, "This payment does not give you the right or permission to pass on my address or any information to anyone or organization." This was one of the clearest and strongest statements of this kind we've received, but the sentiment has been echoed by many of you. And since we did not think early in the game to keep track of specifically who told us not to share their name and who didn't mention it, this promise goes out to every subscriber: We will not share your name. We will not sell our mailing list to other organizations.
 
It's comical, since our list is so small that anyone would find it very attractive, but we regularly hear from other publishers (and occasionally advertisers) with a genuine interest in mailing to our list. We won't do it. We figure we're all family here.

Got any favorite newsstands?
If you looked on the back of the November, issue you noticed that Good Old Boat is now for sale at a handful of independent marinas, chandleries, and nautical book stores. If your favorite place isn't on our list, and you wish it were, feel free to ask them to contact us ( our contact information is listed early in this newsletter). These locations are listed in the magazine, on our website, and in the newsletter (see below). Not bad advertising just for selling a handful of Good Old Boat magazines.
 
In the last newsletter we had mentioned that West Marine stores have agreed to carry Good Old Boat magazine on their newsstands beginning with the November issue. This occurred as planned. BOAT/U.S. followed suit for their retail stores with the January issue, and some Canadian outlets will also carry our January issue.

Boating problem? What boating problem?

If you answer yes to three or more of the following questions, you may need to seek professional help:

Mail Buoy

November illustration is flawed

You have probably had 40 people point this out to you by now, but the plumbing plan on Page 52 of the November 1999 issue of the magazine has a serious flaw. Through-hull lines which are used to draw water cannot be vented, and yes this is a hazard. Through-hulls which exhaust water should always be vented with siphon breakers. If you follow the diagram on Page 52, the head pump creating suction on the line to the "flushing water inlet" will only pull air through the vent line. Water will never rise in the inlet line, because the suction which would cause this lift is broken by the vent. Therefore these "draw" lines cannot have anti-siphon vents on them.

A good preventive measure is to put the bowl of the toilet above the waterline, so that if the pump or valve leaks, the bowl never overflows into the bilge. This is the only precaution which is possible on the "draw" side of a head pump inlet. Engine inlets cannot be vented for the same reason.
Robert Chave
Altadena, Calif.

Robert, when I was doing the research for that drawing, I noticed that no one else would include the loops in drawings at all. Most references made a fairly vague comment that they might be needed but stopped short of placing them on piping drawings. I recognized the potential for problems associated with locating them in either place, and finally settled on this comment which was placed with the drawing:

"Note: Vented loops are shown on the suction side of both pumps. This can cause cavitation and loss of prime in some cases. The loops may be put on the discharge side of either pump to prevent this, however loop valve failure will cause the vent to discharge fluid. Take your pick."

As you say, the best solution is to keep the rim of the head bowl well above the waterline and to discharge from the holding tank (where law and conscience allow) above the waterline as well. The static unheeled waterline may not be good enough in either case especially for vessels that are used in a way that keeps them on the same tack for hours on end. The heeled waterline may be an unattainable goal in many small boats. Discharging waste above the waterline will be offensive to some.
Frankly I've not tried to put siphon breakers in the suction side of these kinds of pumps but I did find a (vague) reference to doing that. I reasoned that it did not take much flow to break a siphon, and maybe these pumps could deal with that kind of "leak." If you are speaking from experience, I'd be smart not to argue.

On our boat, we don't have an overboard discharge for waste because doing so is illegal anywhere in the Great Lakes. We did have the head overflow for want of a siphon breaker in the flushing water system, and now we keep the inlet valve to the flushing water intake through-hull closed at all times and flush the head with waste dishwater. We are not allowed to discharge gray (dishwashing and such) water in some of our favorite cruising grounds anyway, so this system works well for us. It would not be popular for ocean sailors outside the no-discharge limits who want to flush (overboard) with a lot of water to clear the lines.

Anybody else out there have actual experience with locating siphon breakers on either side of the pumps? Write in and tell us about it.

Say what?

Just received the latest issue and read the article about the Pearsons. Since the Triton is so dear to my heart, I had to give it a go. Now I'm sure your mailbox will be filled with this observation. The Rhodes 41 is referred to as an Alberg design. Say WHAT?

Another ax to grind is the reference naming the Vanguard as the big sister to the Triton. Well sorta, but more accurately the Alberg 35 is the big sister just as the Ariel is the little sister. I know, picky, picky. But you know us boat nuts. We all consider ourselves authorities.
Art Hall
Pownal, Maine

Ben Stavis tells us that the Pearson-built Rhodes is designed primarily by Philip Rhodes perhaps with a few Alberg modifications. It seems that Pearson bought the Bounty II mold from Doleman Plastics of California and were proud to highlight the Rhodes lineage by naming the resulting boat a Rhodes 41. Ben points out that the Vanguard is also a Rhodes design. For more on Rhodes designs, visit Ben's website at <http://nimbus.temple.edu/~bstavis/rhodes.htm>.
Also about the big sister, little sister dilemma, we were referring to size of boat, not order of birth. Sorry for the confusion.

Teak and holly source

I must be "nuts" paying $40 for six issues of your magazine. However, I like your style, and you made me laugh. Your check for $40 is in the mail.
One last thing: I own a 1983 Nonsuch 30 Classic. I need to replace the cabin sole which is made from 7/16-inch teak-and-holly plywood. Do you have any idea where I can purchase teak and holly?
Gilbert Deming
via email

Hi Gilbert! Jerry forwarded your request for teak-and-holly plywood to me at The Boat-House in St. Paul (651-292-1448). We have access to 12 mm (7/16-inch) teak-and-holly plywood. It retails for $151 a sheet, and we can supply cut pieces. I actually have installed this product on the sole of my Albin Vega 27 and really like the looks.
Dale Hedtke
St. Paul, Minn.

About the Morning Dew

(In a letter addressed to the Coast Guard with a copy to Good Old Boat) I agree with most of what Admiral Loy has to say (in the October Good Old Boat newsletter), but I do not understand how a 406 EPIRB could have helped the crew of the Morning Dew. They were on the rocks of a jetty within VHF range (though it sounds like their electrical system may have limited the effectiveness of the VHF). If I remember correctly, it may take several satellite passes to geo-locate a 406 beacon. The Morning Dew crew would still be dead from hypothermia before their position was narrowed enough by a 406 EPIRB for a rescue to be launched.

I would like to ask why it took the Coast Guard so long to give "USCG Approval" to inflatable PFDs. I do not know if the crew of the Morning Dew had any PFDs on, but maybe if they had inflatable PFDs (which more people are willing to wear at all times), they might have survived longer in the water. I find it distressing that the Coast Guard still has not approved automatically inflating PFDs. Many people are knocked off sailboats by booms and end up in the water unconscious. Automatic inflating PFDs would be perfect in these situations. The automatically inflatable PFDs are the same as manual, approved inflatable PFDs but with the addition of an automatic inflation system. Yes, the automatic inflation system may fail to work; they would then work the same as the manual USCG approved systems! The automatic systems would help increase a boater's odds of living.

In addition, I agree with the admiral about the age of VHF technology in use for maritime distress notification. I now own a Digital Selective Calling (DSC) capable radio (marine radio manufacturers must include this capability on all new radios submitted for approval by the FCC since June 17, 1999). It can interface with my GPS and provide both location and vessel ID when a distress button is pressed on it.

I cannot use this radio until I get a maritime mobile service identity (MMSI). Since I am a "voluntary ship," I do not need a FCC license for normal VHF radio operation. However to get an MMSI, I need to spend $45 ($115, if this is for a new license) and 22 minutes filling out FCC Form 506 (stated on the form as the average time needed to complete the form). Adding insult to injury, I then have to spend 30 more minutes filling out FCC Form 159, Remittance Advice.

The problem with MMSIs for voluntary ships should have been worked out with the FCC long before these radios came on the market. There has been plenty of notice. Yes, boaters should take more responsibility for themselves and go beyond the letter of the law, but the USCG also has to remove bureaucratic roadblocks in implementing new technologies.

I have worked with the USCG as a defense contractor and spent time at sea with them. All the Coast Guard personnel I worked with were professional though some, as noted by Admiral Loy, were undertrained. Though the tone of this email has been negative in general, it is sent with the hope that the USCG can help improve the overall boating safety situation.
Thank you for listening to my venting,
Doug Dreyer
Falls Church, Va.

Suggestions for raising the mast

We have been raising and lowering the mast on our Newport 28 for the past five years. Although we have made some modifications, the basis for this idea came from Bruce Bingham's The Sailor's Sketchbook in which he discusses in great detail "singlehanded masting." The boat must have a tabernacle to make this method successful.

After crafting a tabernacle for our boat, we also made one for a friend's S2 9.2. They also raise and lower the mast using the above-mentioned method. We all sail on a lake in Oregon. The boats go up in May and come home in September. Before you ask, yes, we put it on a trailer and tow it home with our pickup.

We would suggest to David and Raelee (who asked the original question in the October newsletter) that they purchase a copy of Bingham's book and see if his method will work for them.
Jeff and Beth Leech
Albany, Oregon

More mast advice

Many moons ago I owned a 26-foot sloop and always raised and lowered the mast by myself (I found that this was much better than going through the traditional "fire drill" when other people are "helping out."

My mast lowered forward, so I made sure the boom's topping lift was strong and secured and that I had plenty of mainsheet. I also rigged port and starboard lines from the aft end of the boom to the shroud chainplates. The exact location of these two lines can be determined with a tape measure or by trial and error. The idea is that these two lines prevent the boom from flopping sideways. They should be snug but not too tight through the 90-degree arc that the aft end of the boom will traverse from horizontal to vertical.

I stood just forward of the mast, with the mainsheet in my hand. Then I pulled the mast forward while easing up on the mainsheet. The mainsheet provided the mechanical advantage (and the cam cleat on the mainsheet traveler even allowed me to stop at any point and make whatever changes were necessary), There was not too much pull on the mainsheet, and the boom acted like a big lever, so the angle of pull on the top of the mast always remained practical.

As the mast neared horizontal, I braced it on my shoulder and eased it down onto the bow pulpit.
Believe it or not, raising the mast using the reverse procedure was also easy, and there were usually a few people who were surprised when I said, "No thanks," to offers of help.
Don Launer
Forked River, N.J.

Pots and pans rattle no more

We have a set of nesting pots and pans. What works for us is to layer dish towels between the pans to keep them quiet and to keep them from scratching one another.
Steve Christensen
Midland, Mich.

Other methods

On our Morgan 383 we have a compartment outboard of the stove that is narrow, deep, and awkward to get into (as you have to lean over the stove).We have made a mesh bag with handles that pretty much fills the space. We put our pots and pans in the bag. When we want a pot that is not on top, it's a simple matter to remove the bag, place it on the countertop, and sort though it. Hasn't disturbed any marine life yet!
Lenny Reich
Waterville, Maine

Still more

Also, in regard to the C&C 30 pots and pans dilemma, we have a set of Club aluminum cookware that we bought at the unclaimed freight place one weekend on the way to the boat. All the pieces (except for the lids) nest pretty well together. We then stand them vertically in the first bin just outboard of the sink, and wedge them in with a wooden cutting board. Cookie sheets and similar flat stuff can also be placed up against the wall of this bin. Now, if we could only get the grates on the stove to stop rattling
Fred Street
Zimmerman, Minn.

What's more

I'm an inveterate fabric scrap saver. I've sewn different color bags for each pot and pan. When someone else is using my galley, I can holler, "No, the RED bag, not the PINK bag!" The bags are simple fold-over style with no closure (such as a draw string or Velcro). They work great. My pan locker isn't well lighted, but I can see easily which bag I want to grab.
Nina Pratt
Matunuck, R.I.

And what about the dishes?

You asked in the last newsletter about doing the dishes. I have always felt, that as the skipper and owner of the boat, the best way to do the dishes is to have one of the crew do them. However, when that is not an option, I tend to heat water in a teapot, dump it in a plastic tub with the dish soap, clean in the plastic tub, and rinse in the galley sink. I rinse with a spray bottle for water conservation. The plastic tub I use for the "cleaning sink" can then be dumped into a bucket for transport to shore (when proper disposal is required). These tubs are available at Target for under $10.
Tim Hanrahan
Duluth, Minn.

Penetrating oil for removing the immovable

I was very interested in the article on removing frozen fasteners and whatnot (in the November 1999 issue), but it seems that a critical item was passed over: penetrating oil. This stuff is amazing at freeing frozen nuts and bolts. There are two keys to using it, however. First, the bolt/nut should be soaked with penetrating oil and whacked a few times - this helps it to penetrate. Second, patience is of the utmost importance. The penetrating oil should be allowed to soak at least overnight. If one feels the urge to try to twist the fastener before that time, whack it instead. And going for several days doesn't hurt, either. Also sometimes it is helpful to try tightening screws a bit before trying to loosen them; this can often break a fastener loose. If you strip out the screw slot, it will only be the "tightening" sides of the slot, leaving the "loosening" parts relatively intact. This little trick is most useful for screws in wood.

Anyway, thanks for a great magazine. You'll be getting my cheque for a two-year renewal shortly.
Chris Mehlin
Seattle, Wash.

Remember those Internet auctions?

No one responded to our question about online auctions, and we sure don't dare visit one ourselves. (Sounds expensive.) But Time magazine just came out with a long list of these things. Here are a few of interest perhaps to the closet addicts among us:

http://www.boatscape.com/ (Auctions and classified ads for boats, gear, service, travel, and boating-related gifts.)

http://www.ebay.com/ (The granddaddy of auction sites; more than 2.5 million items for sale in some 1,000 categories.)

http://ewanted.com/ (A reverse auction - you list what you want, and sellers bid for your business.)

http://www.sothebys.amazon.com/ (This site from Amazon and the top auction house is scheduled for launch soon.)

We've also been told that BOAT/U.S. is doing a nice job in this niche. Their main site is: http://www.boatus.com/

Negative repercussions

I want to personally thank you for a most wonderful magazine but it has had some negative repercussions on my wife, Sharon. Sequence of events: I sold my Grady White in August, I have magazines stacked 10 inches high in the back room (Chesapeake Bay Magazine, Good Old Boat) and the book of Twenty Small Sailboats to Take You Anywhere sitting on top along with various others. She's wondering why I got passports last month for the family. She wants to know, casually, if I am planning a trip or something. I tell her not to worry, that I'd let her know. I just didn't say from where! Good sailin'!
Steve Hoffman
Aberdeen, Md.

Tartan service

Keep up the good work. I enjoy your magazine very much and look forward to each issue. I like the website too! After reading your last issue (September 1999) and the article on Joe Palmer and his Classic Sailboats business, I bought a 1979 Tartan 37 (dirty and in need of TLC, but the survey was very positive). Knowing about the help that I could get with an older boat from Joe and your magazine helped me decide on the Tartan rather than some newer boats I was considering. I called Joe for advice before I bought the boat, and he was most helpful. I have since called Joe for advice and parts, and his service has been excellent.

The folks at Harbor North in Huron, Ohio, where I bought the boat were also very helpful in getting the minor repairs done that were found in the survey. They sold the boat when it was new and, after a lapse of some years, are now Tartan dealers again. The Tartan 37 sails great, and the centerboard adds a very interesting aspect to sailing. The shallow draft (4'2") and high-quality construction of the Tartan also appealed to me. I plan to keep Beaudacious in Sandusky Bay on Lake Erie and to gradually get the boat into top condition.

Thanks for producing such an interesting and valuable magazine.
Gary Nunn
Akron, Ohio

You find us in the most unusual places

I must tell you where I found a copy of your fine magazine and supplement. I live part of the time on Gabriola Island north of Victoria. We have a marvellous recycling depot. All the residents bring everything they no longer need as well as their newspapers, plastic bottles, and other recyclables. All the things people can no longer use go into the recycling depot store. For all of 10 cents, one can purchase a magazine. Any piece of clothing costs a dollar, while building materials fetch between $2 and $20, and household goods are mainly 50 cents. Last weekend, for the princely sum of $1. I took home 10 magazines, and one was yours which was a lucky and interesting find for me and kept me entertained during a long winter's night!

Nicola Ferdinando
Gabriola Island, British Columbia
We suspect Ted and Betty Brewer, who also live on Gabriola Island (and are truly conservation-minded people), of passing Ted's extra copies of Good Old Boat along through this unusual channel.

Hoarders take action

We love the magazine. We're hoarding them away in our good old boat, Second Wind, a 1975 Pearson 35. We've even resorted to marking our names on the inside cover, so we can reclaim them when they are "borrowed" by fellow good old boat owners.
Lisa and Jay White
Deltaville, Va.

Charm and mystique in older boats

I don't know how long you've been publishing, but you've really identified a special market and reader. I'm sure this is part of what compelled you to publish Good Old Boat, but there is a charm and mystique about old boats that can't be found in the newer vessels. Your magazine captures that quality. The truth is, I hadn't intended to subscribe. But reading your magazine is just so much fun. I'm onboard.
Mike Woods
Winchester, Va.

Finally. A magazine for the rest of us

I just borrowed your September 1999 issue from a friend who found it at the Bristol reunion in Rhode Island. It's already been read by half the old boat population of Padanaram Harbor here in South Dartmouth, Mass. It's dog-eared, swelling from a wet night on deck, has a faint smell of kerosene to it, and is simply wonderful.

I appreciate your offer of a free issue, but I already know I want a subscription. Please start it with the November issue - and if you still have them, send me back issues as well. Please get me started ... you're the one magazine I don't want going out of business!

Concerning Jerry's excellent article on "coastal cruisers and pecking orders," I would just like to add the thought that, for some of us, the most important criterion for choosing a boat is how well it can keep the "dream" alive. I sail an old, salty looking, overbuilt, Southern Cross 28 double-ender. The line was produced by C. E. Ryder in the late '70s and early '80s in Bristol, R.I. They have a strong owner's association and can be found sailing all over the world.

Though mine sails mostly to Martha's Vineyard for long summer weekends, I know if I ever get the urge - and the nerve - to chuck it all and go cruising, that she would be more than happy to take that hard left toward Bermuda and beyond. I know it will probably never happen. And I'm not sure I would even want it to. But I know it could. And that means everything to me. The thought sustains me in mid-winter, when I'm the last to the anchorage, and when I have to rearrange seating arrangements to come about. One thing you can bet on, however, is that I'm smiling - especially when looking at the horizon.
Thanks again for the great magazine.
Bob Heruska
Padanaram Harbor, Mass.

And I don't even have a boat

I don't own a boat - never have. I crewed on a catboat a few times. As a kid, I made a sail for my canoe - the sail was in the water most of the time. I enjoyed the sample issue, thus my subscription. Oh yes, your webmaster, Jerry Stearns, is my son, of whom I am justly proud.
Ned Stearns
Hondo, Texas
Jerry tells us that you are also unjustly modest. It seems that you build boat models the old-fashioned way: rib by rib the way boats are actually built. A guy like that is one of us. He doesn't have to be a sailor. Welcome aboard!

Subscription price wasn't so bad after all

Received my November issue, and you have yet again performed a masterful job. Each issue surprises me with its continuing high level of quality. You may remember in my first email I tactfully implied your subscription price might be a little high. I said, "This sub price is outrageous!" (and vowed secretly that the first issue I received that was not worth the entire price of the sub, I was gonna cancel). I am now forced to admit that Good Old Boat has saved me several hundred dollars and a lot of time, and I will forever be the better for it.
Ron Chappell
Hamilton, Colorado

How come the ads aren't pulling the freight?

Just sent in my renewal today! I'm curious, though, as your magazine is quite expensive I assumed this was due to a no-advertising policy (except classifieds). Then I noticed the New Found Metals ad on the back of the most recent issue. Don't get me wrong, I like NFM, but is this a departure from the old policy? I mean, that back cover could have pictures of good old boats on it
Chris Mehlin
Seattle, Wash.
Here's the inside story on ads. When we started, we intended to be solely subscriber-supported. (No ads.) But readers said they'd like to have them. So here we had a very small (but dedicated) readership and decided to add advertising after we'd already set the subscription price. Turns out, however, that we couldn't charge much for the ads because we had a small readership, and ad rates are based on circulation. It will all balance out someday, but right now, although we may look like some of the other magazines, the economics and the economies of scale don't apply quite yet.

Reuse, recycle

Thanks again for a great magazine - and more so a great working philosophy of reuse, recycle, etc.
David Kolb
Freeport, Maine

Nothing's new, but it all works

I have long been a fan of yours, presently sailing a 1968 O'Day 23. Nothing on board is new, but everything works.

A little history: My family moved to Virginia Beach from New Jersey two years ago. I am a long-time one-design sailor, racing Sunfish and Comets on the lakes of North Jersey. Twenty years ago I sailed a 27-foot Sea Bird yawl out of City Island, N.Y. My new home in Virginia is a block away from Lynkhorn Bay, the southern tip of Chesapeake Bay. All I needed was a small cruising boat or large daysailer to tool around the bay. The Sunfish is fun, but doesn't have enough room for more than one. But with a new home and an oldest son starting college, I couldn't afford much more than another Sunfish.
Until wandering around a local marina, an old low-key marina, I spotted a small 23-footer with a smart shear, well-kept rigging, outboard, small cuddy, and a good paint job. The guy selling her runs a large stink-pot and knew nothing about sailboats. He was selling it for a friend who was not living in the area. He was asking $2,500. I offered $1,200 and got it for $1,250, half the price of a new Sunfish. Since then I have moved the boat closer to my home (down the block) and have done a little work: a new vang and mainsheet block. And now I enjoy sailing with family and friends often.

The key is getting out on the water with as little out-of-pocket expense as possible. You magazine has given sound ideas and direction toward that end.
Bud Brown
Virginia Beach, Va.


The new blister king is anointed

Thanks for a great magazine - I'm enjoying the magazine and the way you are running the business for instance, your approach of not snowing us with renewal notices. Just let me know when I'm about up, and I'll get the check rolling. The check, uhhhh, is in the mail. (It was, too! -eds)

As for the content of the magazine, I've really been enjoying the technical, "how-to" articles. For example, your issue on how to repair blisters (Brian Cleverly's article in September 1999) came in the mail on the very day I hauled my boat and found out that I was about to become the local expert on blister treatment, grinders, and epoxy. (I quit counting at 200 zits, just between the port bow and the front of the keel).

Anyway, I'm in the process of refitting a much-neglected Cal 34, which is also my home. As I write this, I'm contemplating the location of the diesel heater and taking care not to knock the pot full of rainwater. Turns out there's nothing quite like a Seattle winter to expose worn out bedding compound.

So, if anything, I'd love to see more about how people have solved problems for heaters, tanks, battery and electrical systems. Thanks again. I'm looking forward to another great year.
Marc Lentini
Seattle, Wash.

Diesels are sometimes overkill

The last issue of the magazine (November 1999) had a letter by Ted Thomas of Ft. Lauderdale about installing a diesel in his Columbia 26 MkII. My only comment is that on a boat that small, what a diesel (or any inboard) robs from you is storage space.

I had a 1971 Columbia 26 MkII which was my sailing/ cruising home for more than 10 years. She took me to the Channel Islands for cave diving at Anacapa. Aboard her I anchored in almost every cove in Catalina, including the West End for lobster diving. With her I solo-sailed up and down the California coast. I replaced sails and rigging and re-caulked the hull-deck joint, and in 1993 solo-sailed down the Baja west coast and into the Sea of Cortez where I cruised for more than a year.

During all this, my engine was a Mariner 8 hp outboard mounted on a beefed-up transom. For cruising, I will never mount an outboard on the transom again. The Columbia has a keen box cutout in the cockpit for an outboard, which puts the drive under the hull (where it should be). Out there in the real world, open sea swells will have a stern-mounted outboard either cavitating or flooding, no matter how long the shaft is.

I remember when sailing from Cabo San Lucas to Frailes (36 miles) a gale sprang up when I was just 4 miles from my destination with the wind, naturally, right on the bow. I cranked up the Mariner hoping to motorsail into the small cove. In no time, the engine had flooded and ceased to run. I began to tack but because of the swells, the best I could make was about one or two knots. Then the tiller slammed my hand against the stern rail, and I managed to run a pelican hook through my palm. I heaved to for rest and physical repair and by the time I recovered enough to continue, wind and current had pushed me more than 30 miles toward Acapulco. At 5 a.m. I began to tack once again. Wind and seas had eased a little, and by 9 p.m. I dropped the hook in Frailes. It had taken me 38 hours to go 36 miles.

The reason I bring up the space an inboard steals with such a small boat is I carried 45 gallons of water (30 in portable containers) plus 25 gallons of fuel. With an inboard there would have been no place to store all that. I had glassed-in the cockpit box because it was too small for the Mariner 8. Doing it again, I'd enlarge the box and stick the outboard there.
Diesels are great, though. I just installed a Volvo diesel in my own good old boat, a 1971 Ranger 29. But I think an inboard is too much for a small boat like the Columbia 26. If you buy new, it means laying out $8,000 plus installation for a boat worth maybe $3,500-$4,000, which is OK if you're going to will the Columbia to your great-grandkids. As for economy, I have my own formula which has nothing to do with hours run. It has to do with miles covered, and it's all very unscientific. A 2-stroke outboard gives about 5 mpg, a 4-stroke inboard or outboard gives 10 mpg, a reasonable-sized diesel 20-35 mpg. My Volvo MD6B (10 hp) pushes my good old boat over windless seas at just under 6 knots at three-quarter throttle. I always have the main raised, so I get help motorsailing when the wind pipes up (from the bow, of course).

Somebody might argue that with a diesel you wouldn't have to carry so much fuel. But it's remarkable how much motoring cruising involves, especially if you want to be somewhere because nasty weather is chasing you.

The Columbia 26 MkII is a fine little vessel. You hear a lot of noise about the cast-iron keel and problems with keel bolts and that it was chopper-gun constructed which made the hull oilcan at times. I sailed thousands of miles in the 10 years I lived aboard my little Columbia. For me, it was so bulletproof I'd have sailed her anywhere. If I hadn't lost her on the beach at San Felipe with its horrendous tides, I'd be sailing her still. And I liked having that big chunk of cast iron hanging down there. Nobody ever found blisters on a cast-iron keel.
George Synder
Long Beach, Calif.
George is the author of Baja Sailor Tales, reviewed in the November 1999 issue of Good Old Boat. You can get an autographed copy from George by sending $14.50 to him at 601 pacific Ave., #212, Long Beach, CA 90802.



More boat names

We are continually amazed at the variety and creativity of sailboat names. Each time we think, "This certainly must be the last newsletter to run a list of names," we are surprised to see more in the mailbox. Here are the most recent ones:

Can you stand any more boat names? My long-time favorite is a dinghy I saw in the Abacos named Myassis Dragon. Our boat, a Pearson 422, is named Sunshine. The dink that trails along behind us is Re (either the Egyptian sun god or from the song "Do Re Me," in which Re is a drop of golden sun, whichever you prefer). And Eriesistible is a common name where we sail - on Lake Erie.
Marlene Noyes
Huron, Ohio

A few years ago my daughter and I were anchored on our sailboat in the California Delta. About 11 p.m. we were roused by an engine noise that kept getting louder and closer. I popped on deck just in time to see a large 30-foot World War II-looking LST-type motorboat come no further than three feet from our starboard side at 10 knots, heading right for the trees on the small island 50 feet ahead. As they passed, the crew on the stern threw out an anchor. They continued into the island, crunched to a halt, threw a bow line around a tree, cut the engine, and started to party. They awoke early the next morning, and as they were retrieving their stern anchor, they pulled up our anchor, too. The name on the boat's transom: Dumbo.

Stu Jackson
Piedmont, Calif.

On the topic of boat names, one of our favorites was Distant Drummer with the dinghy named Paradiddle (which is a specific drum pattern). Those who "got it" were invited for drinks.
Paul and Sally Perreten
Old Saybrook, Conn.

The name of my recently sold C&C 36 was S.W. Toyz. It stood for Single With Toyz. My core group of friends are all Married With Children, and I am the last holdout in that arena. The dinghy's name was Toyz Toy. I am still single and trying to put a new Toyz in my toy box.
Tim Hanrahan
Duluth, Minn.

We have come up with a name for our Albin Vega 27: Procrastinator. The dinghy will be Later. We are planning to use John Vigor's de-naming and naming ceremonies. We're not quite sure when we'll get around to it though.
Dale Hedtke
St. Paul, Minn.

Galloping Snail is the name of the 21-foot Luger of Garry Cowles of Santa Fe, N.M. It gave us a good laugh when his request for a free sample of Good Old Boat came in. We also got a kick out of Michael McIntire's Sloop Du Jour, a 32-foot O'Day; and Scott McMillan's Watts Up, an Aquarius 23 that runs on electric auxiliary power; James and Patricia Bryan's Money Pit, a Tartan 30; and Coupon Clipper, a Compac 16 sailed by John Oetting. Oops! This just in: Higher Porpoise, the Tartan 37 of Thomas Wells.
-eds.
All right, we admit it: we're part of the reason why this fascination with boat names won't go away. We keep collecting them, too!

Hey! I resemble that remark!

A friend of mine once remarked that of all the various kinds of pleasure craft - power cruisers, sportsfishermen, skiffs, houseboats, canoes, kayaks, bassboats - sailboats receive the least amount of use by their owners. I have no statistics to support his contention, but my hunch is that it is true. Drive past any marina on the coast and you will find there a forest of bare masts, resembling so many telephone poles. If the weather is good and it is a weekend, there may be some sails in view out on the river or bay, but in a proportion of, say, one for every 10 bare masts at the docks.
 
Yet paradoxically, those who own sailboats are among the most enthusiastic and intensely engaged of boat people. Step into the office of someone who keeps a sloop or a cutter on salt water, and there will be a picture of the boat prominently displayed on the wall or the desk. Your sailboat owner will passionately talk sailing by the hour. He will own a collection of books on the subject. Copies of the latest issues of boating magazines will lie on his coffee table and next to his couch. In a little book about fishing and fishermen that I once wrote, I remarked that whereas bass fishermen are literate, trout fishermen are literary. The same distinction holds for powerboat owners and sailors. Sailing is not merely a kind of boating; it is a stance, a face with which to meet the world, an attitude toward life. You operate a powerboat; you are a sailor. The sailboat aficionado thinks, reads, dreams about sailing. He has taste; it is impossible to imagine him naming his boat what I once saw plastered in large letters across the stern of a costly double-decked power cruiser: Menopause Mama.
 
You can always recognize a sailboat person at a marina or along a waterfront, because he will be clad in a uniform, one that is no less standard for the fact that no two such uniforms are exactly alike. It is characterized by a kind of studied frowziness. There is a soft, flopbrimmed canvas hat (in very cold weather a woolen watch cap) - never a cap with a visor. Why no sailboat people wear visored caps, while all powerboat people do, is puzzling, since both are exposed to about the same dosage of sunlight and wind. The full-time sailor customarily sports a full, grizzled beard. The weekend sailor cannot usually manage that, but while on his boat he goes unshaven, and when he takes his summer vacation and is able to stay away from his office for several weeks at a time, he contrives to get himself sufficiently fuzzy to permit a snapshot to be taken showing him in proper form.
 
The shirt of the sailing uniform is worn wrinkled and unironed and is preferably made of faded denim, although a horizontally striped jersey will do. No genuine sailboat person wears full-length trousers, or, if female, a skirt. Shorts - khaki, gray, or dirty white - are de rigueur, or, in cold weather, sweatpants. The belt is preferably of rope weave, though fabric is acceptable - but never patent leather. Sneakers or sandals may be worn, if they have gripper soles. In chilly or rainy weather the top half of a set of foul-weather gear, with hood thrown casually back from the neck, is absolutely mandatory; yellow is the approved color, but red or blue will do if this is the only way that a Henri Lloyd label can be displayed. Forest green, if properly shabby, can be tolerated without permanent loss of status. (Do not, by the way, ever refer to such garb as a "raincoat;" it is essential that it be called "foul-weather gear," if the proper image of bluewater seafaring is to be maintained.)
 
Worn properly, a sailing uniform closely resembles the outfit that one might expect to see on a beach bum in Tahiti or Key West. Yet for all its hangdog look, one would never suspect the sailboat person of actually being down and out. Perhaps it is the waterproof gold Rolex or Omega wristwatch, perhaps the class ring; perhaps it is the authority with which he comports himself; but whatever the reason, your appropriately clothed sailboat person is not likely to be mistaken as belonging to the downtrodden and underprivileged of this world. He is Work Ethic all the way, with a smidgen of Lawrence-man thrown in for flavoring.
 
Excerpted from Louis Rubin's book, Small Craft Advisory, published in 1991 by Atlantic Monthly Press, with the permission of Grove/Atlantic Inc. (One more sample in the next newsletter.)

Hard dinghy facts

The following is from The Sailor's Assistant: Reference Data for Maintenance, Repair, & Cruising by John Vigor. Published by International Marine/ McGraw-Hill; Camden, Maine. Soon to be republished by International Marine as Boatowner's Handbook: Reference Data for Maintenance, Repair, Navigation, and Seamanship. Reprinted with permission.

Minimum size
The smallest practical hard dinghy for two 160-pound (72-kg) people is a 7-foot (2-meter) pram weighing about 70 pounds (32 kg).

Safe carrying capacity
Refer to the "U.S. Coast Guard Maximum Capacities" label inside the transom of your dinghy for information about safe carrying capacity and maximum engine horsepower.
If there is no capacity label, the following formula approved by the U.S. Coast Guard Boating Education Branch determines the number of persons of average weight a boat under 20 feet (6 meters) will safely carry in calm weather. Weight for this purpose is usually taken to be 160 pounds (72 kg) per person.


Number of people = overall length x beam/15

Metric:
Number of people = overall length x beam/1.4

Example:
1. A 10-foot dinghy has a beam of 4.2 feet.
2. 10 x 4.2 = 42/15 = 2.8 people
3. Round up to 3 people.

Metric example:
1. A 3.6 meter dinghy has a beam of 1.28 m.
2. 3.6 x 1/38 = 4.62/1/4 = 3.3 people
3. Round down to 3 people.



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Published December 2, 1999