(what's in this
on the Good Old Boat icon to come back to the top of
- How to contact us
- Good Old Boat Magazine
7340 Niagara Lane North
Maple Grove, MN 55311-2655
763-420-8923; 763-420-8921 (fax)
Karen Larson, Editor
Jerry Powlas, Technical Editor
Dianne Sivald, Newsletter Editor
- We're starting the new year with great news. We're proud to be
featured on the BoatU.S. home
page. They've given us a banner at the lower left-hand corner,
which will take you to a directory of articles they've published
from previous issues of Good Old Boat. That recognition is
bringing us many new requests for samples and subscriptions.
Good Old Boat is also on more newsstands starting with the
January 2001 issue. In addition to the nautical newsstands, we've
moved onto the shelves at many Borders Book Shops, B.
Dalton Booksellers, Barnes & Noble Bookstores, and
other general book retailers. That has increased our visibility
even in remote places like Anderson, Indiana, (Karen's
hometown. Hey! We all gotta' be from somewhere; it's just that
they don't have very large puddles nearby.)
The most amazing development of all is that after just one year of
red tape and the honor of becoming the oldest magazine still under
review, we have been granted periodical mailing privileges by the
U.S. Postal Service. This improves our mailing rates and gives you
better delivery service.
More advertisers are willing to take a chance on this little
start-up magazine now that we've been around for nearly three
years. So if you read about a product in Good Old Boat and
call an advertiser as a result, please let the folks there know
that you learned about them in Good Old Boat. That gives
them a reason to stay with us from one issue to the next. New
advertisers, in particular, need reassurance that they've done the
And we've added some more nautical goods for you to our website as
well. Now we carry Tom
Thomas's sailboat half-hull models, and Peter
Kiidumae's wonderful art prints, some of which have been
featured in the pages of Good Old Boat.
Good Old Boat wants
- We even want some of your friends. Readers are the most
important asset we have. This year we intend to put special
efforts into expanding our readership. Within the publishing
industry it is pretty much accepted that direct mail advertising
is not particularly cost-effective. The problem is that you mail
to a lot of people who are not likely to subscribe. It has to do
with the quality of the lists you mail to and the perceived value
of the mail when it arrives unsolicited.
So we're asking for your help. If you know someone you think would
enjoy reading Good Old Boat, please give us that person's
name and address. We'll send a free magazine, no obligation. If
you would rather deliver the sample magazine yourself, just tell
us you want another copy (or several copies) of the current issue,
and we'll send you whatever number of copies you request to pass
along to your friends.
Many mailing lists are guarded to protect privacy these days, and
we respect that since we have promised our subscribers that we
will not sell your names to others. Even state lists of boat
registrations are becoming increasingly unavailable. If you know
of a list of good old boaters, such as an association list for
example, please tell us. We'd like to send a postcard or a sample
copy to those special sailors. You know your home sailing
territory. We'll welcome your suggestions.
coming in the March issue
- Boats in the March issue include the Bristol 27 as John
Vigor's review boat, the Catalina 22 as the feature
boat, lovely memories and the preservation of an S.S. Crocker
boat, a focus on the Cherubini-designed Hunters, and the
advantages and disadvantages of four sailing dinghies --
Chesapeake Light Craft's Eastport Pram, Edey & Duff's Fatty
Knees, the Tinker Traveler, and the Walker Bay 8.
Ted Brewer discusses sailing rigs, Ken Textor explains the
complicated range of jib names and numbers, Peter
Baumgartner tells the rest of the story about his Cape Dory 27
refit, and Robert Doty explains the process of buying and
financing a boat.
Dennis Boese tells us about good old vendor South Shore
Yachts, which continues to serve owners of older C&C
Don Launer shows us how to build handholds into the dodger.
(Ever wonder when crawling around one of these things where it's
safe to grab?) The quick and easy pieces will feature dockside air
conditioning, a makeshift centerline cleat, a bung to restrain
your port covers from swinging, and the problems with the sea
chest (yes, Jerry apologizes for it, but he's discussing plumbing
We've got a couple of good cruising memories: George
Cooligan tells of a boat partnership which didn't work,
Brooke Elgie swears eternal love for the Tiny Tot cabin
heater, and Dolores Hanon tells of selling her boat.
- We (Jerry and Karen) will be presenting in Chicago
at Strictly Sail, Feb. 1-4 and in Minneapolis on March 3 at
the Sailboats, Inc. seminar.
- We just learned that Ray Greene died on January 19. He
was 87. Ray was featured in the July 2000 issue of Good Old Boat
in the chapter from Dan Spurr's new book, Heart of Glass.
Ray was one of the early inventors of fiberglass. Several people
had the idea or parts of the idea necessary for the development of
FRP. Ray was among those founding fathers.
There will be a memorial service for Ray in Maumee, Ohio, Feb. 12.
If you would like to attend, contact the family, or make a
donation to the Western Lake Erie Historical Society, call Ray's
daughter, Tina Kaufmann, 317-253-0470.
names (of course)
- Guilded Lily continues to be the apple of our eye and
the bane of our checkbook . . . For summer when we anchor out a
lot, Lily now has davits and a dinghy, which has been renamed
Lilliput . . . In January we took our other sailboat, a
Compac 16, Short Sheets, to the Everglades and Florida Bay
. . . we spent five days on the boat in the interior of the
Everglades. Now there, believe me, is when you want to be sure the
two of you can get along together. (There is nowhere to get off
the boat -- it is thee and me in 16 feet, and best leave all sharp
Stone Mountain, Ga
- I forgot to mention that our C&C Redwing's name is
Cinnamon, with an appropriately named dinghy, Buns.
- By the way, our boat is named Artistry, so of course we
had to name our dinghy, Sketch.
- New subscriber Christoph Harlan wrote that his 1980 San Juan
21 is named Juan2bFree.
- Michael Farrell saw these near Portsmouth, N.H.: Rosa
with a dinghy, Rosa Shore, and also Bay with a
dinghy named Little Bay Bee.
- A group of lawyers had a race boat named Non-sequitur.
The dinghy was named Sequitur. Dave Erickson reports that
he broke up the set by buying the dinghy.
- And in the more truthful than not category, we have a
Whitehall Creek boat named Calypso with a dinghy named
Collapso spotted by Thomas Hudson.
- Tom Rogers writes, "Our Allied Princess, Meridian, is
closely followed by our inflatable dink, Post Meridian."
Lake Onion, Mich.
- And Thomas Howe writes of the boat he sold recently, Bright
Wings, whose tender was Feather. The new boat is named
Sea Smoke with a dinghy named Smudge.
- I got your letter reminding me the subscription was about to
expire, but it had passed my renewal in the mail. For the second
year, I'm introducing Good Old Boat to a sailing friend via
a gift subscription. I think that form you include is a dynamite
idea because your market is so very specific. (Aren't all really
great groups really small?)
A boat name story in case you want it. I got my boat, a 1980 RL 24
(made by RL Yachts in Shorewood, Minn.) as a wreck. After a year
of labor and application of much fiberglass and polyester resin,
she returned to her intended habitat, and has given us much joy.
For obvious reasons, we named her Mucho Bondo.
Last year, a fellow driving a Mercedes saw the boat on its trailer
as we were gassing up. He said, "I know what mucho means, but
what's the meaning of Bondo?"
Ah, the meaning of Bondo. Guess it will always be lost on most
West Friendship, Md.
- The meaning of Bondo may be lost to some of the new
Mercedes drivers, but I've been in body shops where they were
trying to bring the older ones back to life here in the rust belt.
The good old Mercedes owners know all about Bondo. Bondo \bond
oh\, noun, the temporary chemical bond between oxide-coated low
carbon steel and talc-filled polyester resin. Sometimes used as a
pejorative by certain socio-economic classes. An uncommon boat
- And finally, Steve and Mary Gann tell us: Thought you would
like to hear how we named our current boat, a Cal 40. Recently
purchased, we were hauled out and had a new prop and drive shaft
put in. On a late Friday afternoon before the closing of the yard,
I decided to try the engine and new prop. All went well until I
put the gearshift in reverse, at which point there was a loud
BOOM, and in utter shock I found that the drive shaft and prop
exited the rear of the boat. Our Cal 40 is now named
Systems responses: What's important; what's
- Top three refits
In my business (satellite systems engineering), we have a
philosophy called "minimize your maximum regret." It's something
we feel strongly about since we seldom get a chance to fix
something once the rocket's lit. Using that same philosophy, I
view fire and sinking as the maximum regrets aboard our good old
boat. That's why I would go after:
1. Electrical System. These were seldom to code, have often
been retrofitted by the unskilled, are usually corroded/chafed,
and have "hot spots" waiting to cause a fire. You may recall our
project from hell when the 16-year-old starter solenoid shorted to
ground with the engine running . . . the fire was modest, the
fumes were toxic, and the supply side of our electrical system
(batteries, cabling, regulator and charging computer)
2. Fuel system. These were usually the minimum systems the
manufacturer could get by with. The copper tubing is often poorly
flared or improperly seated in swage fittings. It has often
work-hardened from vibration. While diesel is hard to burn, a
diesel aerosol sprayed from a cracked line under pressure is a
torch of impressive proportions. Gasoline is, well, gasoline. And
propane systems are a particular shudder for me since the solenoid
valving/selector valves are usually (and supposed to be) in an
outdoor locker, and few I've seen, even on today's market, take
this corrosion exposure into account.
3. Seacocks. Unfortunately, boats that fall into the good
old boat production era were often equipped with gate valves or
seacocks of questionable materials. Like Igor living in the
basement, even the good ones seldom got the attention and care
something that can sink your boat should get. I'm also going to
include the hoses and hose clamps in this.
Our restoration list is divided into safety, operability, and
cosmetics categories. While all the safety things don't
necessarily get worked off first, they sure get first
South Riding, Va.
- My picks and why:
1. Seacocks and through-hulls: because you have to keep the
oceans on their side of the hull if you want to make it home.
2. Pumps (bilge pumps and otherwise): because you have to
have a way to put them back on their side should they forget.
3. Mast & rigging: because you have to have a way to
get home on your own, even if all other systems have failed.
Steering is nice, but I can do that with the sails if necessary in
most conditions. Fuel and propulsion (other than sails) are very
important but optional after the first three. Water becomes a big
problem eventually, but I do coastal sailing so I expect that the
punch line will be delivered long before thirst becomes a critical
factor. Wastes are a short-term problem.
Electricity is a luxury, which means that I don't even know how to
begin to characterize refrigeration and sound systems. (Do boats
really have them? And I'm glad you didn't ask about hot running
- Hope this helps
- Hope this helps in your survey of important systems: I had
some experiences this last summer on my boat that influenced my
thinking about the priority ranking for the top three systems from
the list you provided. I had major rudder problems resulting in a
complete rebuild of the rudder steering system and very nearly
sunk my boat from a siphoning automatic bilge pump hose that had
experienced a failure of the float switch. These were both
personally shocking and defining experiences and so my priorities
rank as follows:
1. Pumps and seacocks. These two really rank first together
because they are all that protect you from the briny deep. Modern
yacht designers do not pay enough attention to limiting the number
of seacocks or through-hulls, rather they provide the number of
through-hulls necessary to accommodate all the systems
required/desired. The old- fashioned use of a strum box would
solve that problem but many manufacturers do not do that either.
Pumps and float switches are somewhat self-explanatory for me.
When I sail or motor, the exhaust port for the automatic bilge
pump is actually under water on my boat. The installation I had
never was a problem because, for 17 years when any siphon action
started, the pump would come on and break the siphon action, until
a wire failure resulted in a switch failure. Failure of the float
switch and an inopportune wave started a siphoning action nearly
sinking my boat. I have installed a check valve in the line and a
new Ultra Pumpswitch.
2. Number two on the list is the steering system. Without a
good and reliable steering system, you don't have a useable boat.
A proper installation includes rudder shaft bearings, top and
bottom, and also includes a packing gland at the top of the shaft
where it exits from the boat. Unfortunately, the repair of my boat
was a compromise of these traits. I do not have rudder shaft
bearings but otherwise have a durable and rugged design and my
boat now includes one of Will Keene's Edson's packing glands at
the top of the rudder shaft.
3. Number three on my list would be ground tackle. Good
ground tackle is a must for all cruising boats. The most expensive
anchor is a small investment when you are caught at anchor in a
storm and need good holding. This, coupled with good anchoring
techniques, will save your boat in a storm.
St. Leonard, Md.
- Stay afloat and direct the
Because staying afloat and moving in a chosen direction are why we
go out there, 1) hull and through-hulls, 2) mast and rigging, and
3) steering are my choices.
Speakers ARE a close fourth, though.
- Further furler help
John Somerhausen writes in follow up to John Stewart's request for
help with an old Hyde furler, "You didn't say which Hyde furling
gear you have: the StreamStay or the StreamStay II? Spencer
Dworkin of Spencer Sails in Huntington, N.Y., bought the designs
from Hyde. He sold his sail loft to North about one or two years
ago but kept the furling gear business. You could either phone the
Huntington loft of North and ask for his number or ask the
operator about a Spencer Dworkin in Huntington. There can't be all
that many around . . .
I just read the December Newsletter and responded to a question by
John Stewart in the "Looking for" section. Rig-Rite has the
manufacturing rights and carries parts for the Hyde StreamStay
furlers. I have found that the bearings in the halyard swivel are
generally available at local bearing supply houses and are fairly
reasonably priced. However, the bearings in the furling drum and
the upper swivel are a different story. Due to the very high axial
loading that they are subjected to, they are precision angular
contact duplex thrust bearings. I believe that these should be
purchased from Rig-Rite due to the very important role that they
play in supporting the rig. Rig-Rite has a Web site
<http://www.rigrite.com> that has a complete parts breakdown
for the StreamStay furlers.
Wasaga Beach, Ontario
The last trip
Three of us delivered a Bavaria 37 across the Atlantic. The trip:
35 days, 4340 nm, in two legs La Rochelle, France, to Madeira, and
Madeira to Tortola. The first leg was arduous, the second merely
grueling. The whole trip was awful. We had no really bad weather,
just some crummy cold rain and adverse winds in the Bay of Biscay.
We had no injuries, not even Band-Aid grade. So what was bad?
The boat had no autopilot, and my Autopilot (kludged to fit the
steering) could only steer the boat about 1/4 of the time, so we
each hand steered 1000 nm. We had no Bimini or dodger. What really
took the cake was our captain, who found fault with almost every
thing that Nate and I did or suggested. Since both Nate (an old
high school buddy of mine) and I have been sailing since age 14
(we learned together) and have owned several boats, we must be
able to do something correctly. Oh well, we will both forget the
ugliness and remember the good things: A 30-lb Dorade (dolphin)
fish that took two hours to land and provided five meals. And two
wahoo that gave us three more meals. We'll also remember the
glorious nights on watch in T-shirts, continuous meteors during
the Leonides showers, sailing the same winds for days on end, and
best of all, the many hours Nate and I spent talking about our
past, present, and future lives. We have an amazing number of
things in common. However, we both decided that we earned a
Transatlantic "merit badge," and won't repeat the trip.
- Another experience not worth
You know how they say a bad day of sailing is better than a good
day at work? After Saturday's adventure I'm not so sure. After a
failed attempt to toss some sun lotion from our boat to our
cruising friend's 1968 Irwin 31, my friend tried to do a
man-overboard drill that involved a quick U-turn and firing up the
"Iron Genny." After only a minute or so the engine chugged to a
stop. He thought he might be out of fuel so he tried again to be
sure. The second attempt at using the venerable Yanmar yielded the
same results, only this time the shift lever refused to come back
to neutral. After some head scratching, he realized, with some
degree of horror, that his starboard jib sheet was overboard and
now completely tangled in his prop.
Up to that point, I had been circling and now decided to raft up
to lend assistance. After turning the engine crankshaft pulley
backward (by hand), the line slackened, and we were able to move
the shift lever to neutral. Pulling on the sheet yielded three
feet of line . . . and no more. About this time my wife appeared
in a bathing suit and her new Tilley hat and volunteered to jump
in and have a look. She (shed the hat) jumped in the 59-degree
water and screamed. After a little time to get used to the cold,
she attempted a dive under the boat and promptly rammed her head
into the rudder. The black eye (which I have already been given
credit for several times) is a beauty! She made a second attempt
and found she did not have the strength to untangle the line. The
captain of the vessel next emerged from the cabin wearing a
swimsuit and safety harness and entered the water. The shock of
the cold water hit him very hard, and we almost had to lift him
back into the boat. At that point I had to choose between calling
for a tow or getting wet and very cold myself. I figured if
Leonardo Dicaprio could do it for the movie Titanic, what the
heck. In I went, and cold it was. After five minutes, I was
somewhat used to the cold and began to dive.
I discovered I could not hold my breath for much more than 15
seconds due to the cold (I usually can do at least a minute).
Eight dives later, the prop was free. A cup of hot coffee, and I
was also good to go. We sailed for an hour when the same skipper
lost one of his antique brass winch handles over the side. At this
he exclaimed in exasperation,
"What else can go wrong today?" He then promptly ran aground and
had to be towed off the mud bar. Speaking for myself, it was still
better than a good day at work.
- Don, that's enough to make us sure to never EVER again ask,
"What else can go wrong today?"
- What not to do next time
We've owned a 1980 O'Day 25 for the past two seasons and decided
to make life somewhat easier by installing roller furling. We
chose the CDI 4 system, since it was the system we'd seen on most
other O'Days. We ordered everything based upon the year and length
of the boat and we were given the dimensions to cut the foil, the
sailmakers' info for cutting our genoa down for it, and we were
even supplied a new headstay. However, come installation time, the
First we had no specs on the O'Day and basically trusted what we
were told. The first problem arose when the mast was stepped and
the new headstay was too short by three inches. We added extenders
and tensioned the headstay, but then the foil was too long by an
inch. So with the headstay and foil (a plastic extrusion) in
place, the foil had to be cut off from the bottom in order to set
it on a cross pin above the furling drum.
As we hoisted the sail, we found that the luff was two inches too
long. Somehow I managed to adjust everything so it works
correctly, but the moral of the story? The mast on our O'Day is
made by Kenyon, which never made masts for the O'Day company.
Somewhere along the line, a previous owner lost, mangled, or
destroyed the original mast and replaced it with something
comparable but also LONGER.
If we were to buy another boat we wouldn't do it without checking
the manufacturer's specs and all the rigging, especially if we
were to upgrade the boat with this type of equipment.
- And while we're on the
I have just installed Harken roller furling and raised the new
sail today for the first time. My old sails went all the way to
the top of the mast. This sail is about a foot short of reaching
the top. It is my opinion that this is wrong and should be
corrected. I would like your expert opinion before raising dust at
the loft. They took the measurements.
- To prepare this reply I just read the very lengthy and
well-written section on roller reefing in Nigel Calder's classic
Boat Owner's Mechanical and Electrical Manual. I think you need to
get a look at this information. This book is now 10 years old, and
so some of the advice may be a bit dated because of possible
advances in equipment design; however I think it is probably
In your case, with the upper swivel so far from the top of the
extrusion, the angle between the halyard and the headstay is going
to be quite small. Nigel recommends that the angle be no less than
10 degrees, and it might be better to be as much as 30 degrees.
Small angles encourage halyard wrap, which is more serious than it
You can correct this part of the problem with a pendant at the
tack, which will allow the sail to move up the extrusion.
Judging where the black band is on the mast, the sail can go up a
fair amount yet. You could adjust the pendant to leave you room to
be able to increase or reduce luff tension to control sail shape
and still have the necessary 10- to 30-degree angle between the
head stay and the halyard.
Nigel's tone regarding roller reefing is quite critical, and you
may find in reading it that he has found much fault with these
systems. As I said above, progress may have been made against the
bugs in these systems in the 10 years since he wrote this book, so
his darker-than-is-popular view may be best viewed as a checklist
of things that can go wrong with a roller furling installation.
His recommendations for how to use roller furling may also be
viewed as pretty good common sense advice.
He makes a system we all wish was simple seem more complex and a
system we all wish was highly reliable seem less so. Certainly my
own (very distant) opinion is that he made a good case (for 1990)
and much of what he said may still apply.
I'd bet the sailors whose systems are thoughtfully installed and
skillfully operated have the most success. I've seen these things
go wrong, but we don't own one, so all information above is
secondhand. We have hanks.
- Sailing an anachronism
- We saw the following essay by Homer Shannon in the American
Yacht Club Sailorgram. We already knew this subscriber was "our
kind of people." This piece confirmed it.
The season is over, and it wasn't such a great season for sailing.
Summer didn't really get around to coming to New England, and
there were many weekends with bad weather. But it wasn't the
weather that ruined many people's plans; it was time, or more
exactly the lack of it. With the economy at full tilt, a
disproportionate number of members were tied down with their
commitments to work and career.
Can there be a sport that is more disconnected with the realities
of modern society than sailing? No other hobby consumes so much
time. A round of golf? Takes a morning. Watch a baseball game?
Takes three hours. Sail to Portsmouth? Takes all day and, by the
way, you'll be staying overnight because the round trip takes two
days. In the days of fast cars and jet airplanes, our boats move
barely faster than a good walk.
Looked at from nearly every practical aspect, sailboats make no
sense. They are a total anachronism in modern times. And that is
In the rushing mad world that is accelerating to Internet speed, a
sailboat demands that you reset your time scale. Think: five miles
per hour. In the days of climate-controlled homes and
air-conditioned cars, sailboats demand that you carefully consider
the natural factors of tide, wind, and weather. In a country where
government writes laws to protect us from everything and lawyers
find accountability everywhere but in our own actions, a sailboat
demands that you take care of yourself and prepare for all
eventualities. In a society where speed and convenience allow each
of us to live disconnected lives alienated from those around us, a
sailboat demands community. Every sailor is generally in need of
something; knowledge of how to fix something, camaraderie in a
distant port, information about a difficult passage, and
ultimately, assistance in the inevitable difficult situation.
A sailboat is a ticket to participate in a community of friends
that appreciates the subtle beauties of the natural world and
knows the value of moving slowly and thoughtfully. The journey is
not for getting there; the journey is for the ride.
Maybe our sailboats are anachronisms. They are also escape
capsules. Sailboats allow us to run away to a distant and, perhaps
only imagined time, more leisurely and less stressful than today.
If only the weather would improve and we could get more time off
from work to enjoy them.
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Published February, 2001