Join our informal board meeting

Welcome to our informal board meeting. This month we'll discuss our marketing strategies, including some guerrilla marketing, and other plans for the magazine.

Will Good Old Boat be on the newsstands any time soon?
We're occasionally asked if Good Old Boat magazine is or will be available on newsstands. The short answer is no. The reason we're not there has to do with the economics of newsstand distribution. There are several layers to the normal distribution process. Each layer receives a percentage of the cover price for each magazine sold. We wind up recovering approximately 10 cents on the dollar -- substantially less than it costs us to print the magazine, as you can imagine. Furthermore any magazines not sold belong exclusively to us. No one else risks anything on them. They're destroyed at the newsstand at the end of the publication date, and we don't recover even 10 percent of the cost of producing them. In short we have to print a large volume of magazines for the newsstands, receive very little in return, and throw approximately half of these away.

You can see why we weren't too anxious to do that. It's a different game if your primary source of revenue is advertising. Then you want as large a circulation as possible, and newsstands help increase the numbers sold, which boosts what you can charge advertisers. We're publishing Good Old Boat for readers. Our readers have requested that we have some pertinent and appropriate ads, but we're not looking for ways to make advertisers pay more by artificially boosting our circulation figures.

We have entered into some experimental arrangements with some of the West Marine stores and a few nautical book stores. If we can sell directly to any of them without the middlemen, we may be able to justify the larger production run. It remains to be seen whether we'll continue with any of these arrangements. If we do, we'll let you know (through this newsletter and on the web) where you can get single issues of Good Old Boat. In the meantime, a subscription is the best way to get the magazine. We know how many to print, and we don't waste copies printing them to be thrown away.

What's to come next
If it seems backwards to you, that's because it is: we've just sent our March issue of the magazine to the printer, so now we can quickly whip out our February newsletter. Since the March issue's buttoned up already, we're in a position to tell you what's in there:

Help with guerrilla marketing
A successful startup publication can get the word out without going broke doing so. It calls for guerrilla techniques and relies on a little bit of help from a lot of people. Here are two ways you can help, if you'd like to be included among our guerrilla marketers. (Hey! We sailors have called ourselves deck gorillas for years!)

First, if you know of any potential advertisers you'd like to contact on our behalf, we'll send you ad rate sheets and copies of our magazine to give to them. We'd especially like to find the small operations that make the parts and pieces we all need on our boats. Contact Karen, if you want to help.

Second, if you'd like to see Good Old Boat on the racks in your local library, ask your librarian to subscribe. We just bought space in two directories that librarians use for ordering subscriptions. Tell them they can subscribe to Good Old Boat through the Faxon or Ebsco directories and that you'll be forever grateful if they do.

Our good old (cheap!) boatyard listings are working
The "fixer-upper" boats we mentioned in the October newsletter are now posted on the Good Old Boat website at http://www.goodoldboat.com/fixer-uppers.html. (Go to the fixer-upper boats page.) Right now these are primarily the sailboats listed for sale (at less than $5,000) by Bone Yard Boats. However we also have listings from a few interested folks who have called us directly. Something good will come of all this, we're certain. Here's what Donald Bodemann has been thinking on the subject:
Save the Boats
On a cold day in December I found myself wandering around the back lots of a few boatyards here in New Jersey. My reason for being there was to find a new slip for our 27-foot Hunter. Whenever I find myself in a new boatyard, I can't resist looking at all the old boats on cradles in various states of disrepair and wondering what they once looked like. I'm sure there are some interesting stories to go with a lot of the derelicts out there. Anyway in this particular yard an old boat with some very familiar lines caught my eye. It was a mid-70s Hunter 27 sitting back in the weeds. The registration on the hull indicated the boat had not seen the water for 13 years. Being a Sunday in the middle of winter, the yard was pretty much abandoned. I threw caution to the wind and climbed up to have a look.

The hatch was not locked, so I took a peek in the cabin. The rotting, musty smell that came forth was overpowering. All the woodwork was in terrible condition and to bottomline it, the boat would have to be gutted. At first my brain was saying, "Get off the boat and walk away . . . quickly!" But my heart started to plead for the old gal, and I began to plan how I could get the boat home, where I could keep it, and wonder what the status was regarding ownership. I was thinking the boat was at the point of no return and the yard would be glad to get rid of it and clean out some valuable space. Right?

Wrong. When I called the marina the following Monday, the nice people connected me with one of the owners of the boatyard and also apparently of the boat. I explained that I was interested in the old Hunter as a long-term project if he would consider letting it go for a song. He asked, "What's a song?" I said, "I don't know, how about $500?"

His response was, "No way, the mast alone is worth $1,000. I could probably get $1,500 for the rigging, and the engine was rebuilt and probably worth an easy $500." He then informed me that he could not consider taking less than $3,500 for the whole boat. I was not quick enough to point out to him that none of these valuable parts have been sold in the last 13 years, so I hung up and considered it something that was not meant to be (to which my wife responded, "Alleluia!").

It is truly a sad thing that many good old boats will never dance on the water again because they are thought to be worth more cut up into pieces. Recently I was sharing this sad tale with sailors on the Columbia email list, and in jest we came up with a "Save the boats rescue." Our mission would be to locate derelict boats that were not beyond the point of no return and match them up with good old boat people who would provide a good home and the much needed TLC. I see there is a listing of old derelicts on the Good Old Boat website. This is a good start.
Donald Bodemann
Blairstown, N.J.
Donald, you find 'em and we'll list 'em on our site. We like to get good old boat people and good old boats together, too.

We're offering boat reviews now
At Good Old Boat, we had initially steered away from offering boat reviews of good old boats. Not believing ourselves to be authorities on the sailing characteristics and design attributes of the boats we featured and not having anyone on staff with this background, we avoided doing hard core reviews. Instead we gave our readers a soft feature on a boat in each issue with a strong emphasis on the good old boaters who sail the boat. We will continue to offer those articles, since we believe it's important to show that we are all regular folks with regular boats. We're all having fun out there sailing around in our corners of the world. And most importantly, we all have very interesting stories to tell once you get to know us.

But now we have found an expert to offer boat reviews. John Vigor, who has appeared in our pages before, has written a book called, Twenty Small Sailboats to Take You Anywhere. In the book John reviews bluewater boats from 20 to 32 feet in length. We bought the rights to publish all 20 chapters included in the book and will begin in the March/April issue with the Albin Vega. We asked subscribers with Vegas to send photos. They did, and it worked out so well we're looking for good old boaters with the following sailboats (scheduled for publication):

We're not really going alphabetically, although that may appear to be the case. We've skipped over the Alberg 30 and the Allied Seawind, for example. We'll come back around for them later.

Good Old BookShelf opens for business
Not long ago we reviewed Ivar Dedekam's book, Illustrated Sail & Rig Tuning. Ivar, a Norwegian, had just brought out his English-language version of the book. We liked the book so much we said, "Yes," when he asked us to distribute the book for him in the U.S.

That got us to thinking about other books we like. We've talked with Lin and Larry Pardey, Don Casey, and John Vigor about offering selected titles from among their works. They've all agreed, so the next step is to put the wheels in motion and offer their books as well. This will be in place in late spring or early summer. Our goal is to offer only those books which we believe are in line with the editorial direction of Good Old Boat magazine. In other words, we'll advertise and support books which focus on the joy of sailing and maintaining older boats and on the basics of keeping them affordable and fun.

Look for our article in Cruising World
We've just learned that an article that we sold to Cruising World a year ago is scheduled to appear in the April issue. It's on the Slate Islands of Lake Superior and a sailing vacation we took in the summer of 1997. It was there that the idea for Good Old Boat magazine was born! These islands are a special place, since caribou are there and the area was formed by a meteorite impact approximately 400 million years ago.

How to contact us
Karen Larson, Editor
Jerry Powlas, Technical Editor
Good Old Boat Magazine
7340 Niagara Lane North
Maple Grove, MN 55311-2655
763-420-8921 (fax)
karen@goodoldboat.com; jerry@goodoldboat.com

Boat names? We asked for it, we got it!

Our thanks to everyone who sent in great and memorable boat names. Here are some of them:

Dale Hedtke keeps these in his head (just as we used to think we could do) and rattled all four off without hesitation:

from Dale Hedtke
St. Paul, Minn.

True Love with a dinghy named Tender One.
from Kevin and Carolann Meagher
Raleigh, N.C.

Bob Shipman of Austin, Tex., sent us word of Sailbad the Sinner. Not long after that we heard from Ted Brewer, now of Gabriola Island, British Columbia, who saw a Sinbad the Sailor sailboat with a dinghy named Sailbad the Sinner.

Fantasea with a dinghy named Reality.
from Nancy Tuttle
Collegeville, Pa.

Even though he's not from around here, Bill Walker saw this one in our home cruising grounds of Bayfield, Wis. This is one of the ones we'd seen, chuckled over, and promptly forgotten. Thanks, Bill for the memory aid! He added this note, "We could never walk past that boat without a smile. I have not seen a name combination since that warmed my heart like that one." It is: Imagination with a dinghy named Figment.
from Bill Walker
Annapolis, Md.

These were right at the top of Bill Hammond's mind. Some of them conjure up, for him, favorite sailing experiences, as well: Quickstep, Camelot, Memory, Whimsey, and When and If.
from Bill Hammond
Minneapolis, Minn.

Happy with a dinghy named Trails.
from Dyke Williams,
Minneapolis, Minn.

Pocahontas with a dinghy named Papoose. That makes sense for a guy named John Smith, don't you think? You'll be seeing Pocahontas and Papoose in the May issue of Good Old Boat. John's Pearson Commander is scheduled to be our feature boat in that issue.
from John Smith
Potomac, Md.

Bacchanal with a dinghy named Bacc n forth.
from George and Pat Palaszek
Staten Island, N.Y.

Because it reminded him of the ship of Star Wars fame, Jim Isbell named his steel ketch Millennium Falcon. The dinghy is named R2D2. But that's not all. Before Jim got it, it was called Ironsides with a dinghy named Fibersides.
from Jim Isbell
Ingleside-on-the-Bay, Texas

How about Seaquestor II with a dinghy named Shorequester II? This one comes from Bill and Rockie Truxall. They once had Spiritquestor, a daysailer which they sailed on Spirit Lake in Iowa.
from Bill and Rockie Truxall
Reedville, Va.

And finally, if you think Bill and Rockie are taking this thing too seriously, wait until you hear from Kevin Hughes! He and his wife, Karin, sail on Windigo III (an Islander 37) with a dinghy named Foldigo (it's a folding Port-a-Boat). They also have Pedigo (a pedal-powered Escapade dinghy), Boardigo (an inflatable sailboard), and Computigo (the onboard laptop). You wouldn't think, what with all these toys, that they'd have TIME to create this complex system of names, but we swear it's true!
from Kevin and Karin Hughes
Door County, Wis.

Mail Buoy

Grumblings from the Gulf Coast
How come people all think that sailing stops in the winter? In Texas, the water doesn't freeze, and the sailing doesn't stop. I have read article after article about laying up for the winter. Does everyone think the only places to sail are on the East and West Coasts and the Great Lakes? I guess the Gulf Coast, that runs warm as toast most of the year, is the best kept secret in sailing. We sail all year around down here and love it. Write articles for year-round sailors as well.
Kemah, Texas
Thanks, Tom. We'll try harder to be sensitive to your feelings of absolute joy out there sailing when the rest of us are pining away on the hard.

Fate and Phar Lap
In 1995 a partner of mine in the L.A. Co. Sheriff's Dept. bought a 1968 Yankee Dolphin which we sailed for more than a year. In 1996 he transferred to another station and sold the boat to a civilian. In November of this year I ran into a fellow employee who happened to have a boat for sale.

When I inquired as to what brand of boat he had, he stated that he had a Sparkman & Stephens-designed 24-footer, a Yankee Dolphin. I replied, "No kidding, I used to go sailing every week rain or shine on a Yankee Dolphin. It's not, by chance named Phar Lap, is it?" And sure enough, it was Phar Lap.

She's had two owners since I sailed on her, but she is now mine. It is interesting to note that moments before talking to this deputy about his boat, we were having a discussion about fate. Afterward we felt that fate had come into play and that I was meant to be the next owner of Phar Lap. The best part is yet to come. My former partner, who now works for the PATF and doesn't know I now have Phar Lap, is coming to visit on Sunday for what I hope will be a pleasant surprise.
Gerald Stimmell
West Covina, Calif.
Gerald, let us know what his reaction was. We love a good story!

In appreciation of the Atomic 4
I have been sailing a 1974 Pearson 30, hull #478, with an Atomic 4 the past eight years on the Chesapeake Bay. Although I believe that a sailor must be self-sufficient, I was a klutzy mechanic afraid of unwittingly causing an engine breakdown. The information provided by Don Moyer at a workshop sponsored by the Annapolis Yacht Club and the detailed maintenance and repair techniques in his newsletter has kept my Atomic 4 incredibly reliable.

It had 500 engine hours when I purchased it, and it has averaged over 100 hours annually racing and cruising. The engine starts each time within seconds and runs consistently. I have been able to perform all maintenance and repair, thanks to Don's advice. Replacing the water pump was particularly difficult -- I felt like a contortionist cramming half my body into the engine area, bending 90 degrees, and holding my torso up with my lower back muscles so I could use both hands. The impeller and the spark plugs are changed biannually, and the oil is changed mid-season and near the end. A new set of spark plug wires replaced the old ones when the engine had an occasional skip and became worse with use. When that didn't solve the problem, a liveaboard neighbor tuned the engine in 15 minutes.

I flush the engine a few times a year with fresh water; it is raw-water cooled. When the engine still ran a little hot, even after changing the water pump, I tried Don's tip from another reader -- run bilge cleaner through the engine and let it sit before rinsing it thoroughly with fresh water. Gook ran out the exhaust for a few seconds, but Lark has never run hot since and always maintains a constant 160-170 degrees.

Don's best suggestion was to use Marvel Mystery Oil, instead of a lead additive, with the gasoline. When I winterize, I fog the engine with Marvel Mystery Oil and pour one ounce into each cylinder head. This Atomic 4 will surely be around for the next generation of owners!
Larry Vazzanno
Mt. Airy, Md.

I received the magazines today and was delighted. The look and feel of the publication reminds me of our old Carolina Cruising days and, to some extent, the old issues of Small Boat Journal. You got a winner there! Please don't go broke putting out the magazine. The boating community needs a voice like yours.
Eddie Jones
Oriental, N.C.
Eddie's publishing a new online magazine calledTidal Times. It's free right now, although we suspect he'll go broke that way and knows better, based on his suggestions for us. Check it out at: <http://www. tidaltimes.net>.

I thought I'd send a quick thanks for the sample copy (Jan. issue). You folks really landed close to home . . . really close! Particularly on the articles by Geoff Parkins and Bill Sandifer. I've spent the last three years fixing up and sailing (mostly sailing) a '64 Pearson Ariel and learning, with the help of Don Moyer's newsletter, about the wonderful A-bomb! I need a new fuel tank (also an article in the mag.), and the addresses are most appreciated. You folks are dead nuts on course!
Warren Osborne
Southmont, N.C.

Excellent idea having Ken Textor write about smaller sailboats. I think there are too many articles written with the mega-yacht owners in mind. It seems like the smaller sailboat owners are a forgotten group. We enjoy our time on the water and are always looking for ways to make that time even more enjoyable. I look forward to his articles that are very informative on ways to add comfort and class to my smaller floating home.
Jim McCarty
Glens Falls, N.Y.

I'm thrilled to see a sailboat magazine that doesn't feed off of the modern boat/charter industry, but instead concentrates on honest cruisers and their honest boats. I'm so tired of (a few of the larger magazines) at this point that anything plain and honest looks good.
Ryan McNabb
Ooltewah, Tenn.

The bowlight project from hell

After our '97 cruise, there were three things I was determined to upgrade on Rag Doll, our Ericson 38. The first of these was the V-berth cushions, the second was the navigation lights, and the third was our dinghy. By now I was all-too-familiar with the adage that all boating projects take twice as long and cost twice as much as expected. Even so, I was surprised at how expensive and involved these upgrades became.

It was with the navigation lights that I really got into trouble. Rag Doll came equipped with the standard size navigation lights for boats under 40 feet, using 10-watt bulbs. I never gave the lights much thought, until I noticed that boats over 40 feet came equipped by law with larger lights using 25 watt bulbs. (Why is it that smaller boats should be less visible?) I became convinced that we weren't nearly as visible to passing freighters on our overnight passages as we would like, so I decided to upgrade to the next larger size lights.

This should have been an easy job. And in fact, replacing the stern light was fairly straightforward. But working with the bow pulpit to replace the bow light was my undoing. The wires for the bow light are run through the deck inside one of the pulpit mounting plates, then forward inside the pulpit tubing, and finally out to the light at the bow. Unfortunately the wire extending out from the tubing was not quite long enough to reach the new light. I could have just spliced a extra length of wire right there, using waterproof butt connectors. But no! That wouldn't have been good enough. I would always see those exposed splices, right there on the bow and wonder if the connectors were corroding inside.

Instead I decided to undo the pulpit from the four mounting plates, splice new, longer wire from just above the deck, and hide the splice inside the tubing. But when I loosened the mounting screws and pulled up on the pulpit, the wires snapped off inside the mounting plate -- flush with the deck! Damn!

Why couldn't I have left well enough alone? Now I had to remove the mounting plate and dig out all of the caulk around the wires to start all over. That meant I had to crawl inside the small area underneath the anchor locker, forward of the V-berth and strain to reach the mounting plate bolts. The access hatch for this area is only about 10 by 16 inches, and getting my head and arms through the opening is difficult and challenging.

Anyway, after a few hours of work I had the mounting plate off, the old caulk dug out, and new wire run from the bow, through the tubing, and spliced below deck. After re-bedding the mounting plate and re-mounting the bow pulpit, it was comparatively easy to mount the new light.

But that wasn't the end of it. While working under the anchor locker, I had noticed that one of the bow cleats was missing the nut on one of its bolts. Replacing the nut and tightening the rest of the bolts on both cleats, shouldn't have been that much of a job. But try as I might, I just couldn't reach far enough to get to the cleats. Near as I can figure, they must have mounted the cleats first, before installing the nearby anchor locker pan. Without removing the pan (which would have been a HUGE job itself) there was no easy way to reach the underside of the bow cleats to tighten the bolts!

I was now tempted to just walk away and ignore the whole problem. But knowing the strain that the bow cleats are under, both at the dock and at anchor, I knew I couldn't rest until I had all those bolts tight. I tried reaching the nuts with a universal joint on the end of a two-foot-long socket extension tube, but there wasn't enough room for the universal joint to clear the hull. After many trips to the hardware store, I finally pieced together a rig with a flexible socket extension that did the trick. By then my shoulders were so sore that I could barely lift my arms.

And the new lights? Well, they look great and are much more visible at night. But I wouldn't have bothered if I had known how much work it would be.
Steve Christensen
Midland, Mich.

Since he sent us this article (with no promise of payment since it's a newsletter article), we've recognized Steve's talents and purchased a couple of articles from him for use in upcoming issues of the magazine. We didn't mean to use this newsletter as a talent scout vehicle, but then we don't always plan these things. They happen. Tell us about your project from hell. Don't be shy. We've all got a story . . . or two. In the next newsletter Tom Alley will tell us about the project to build a driveway at home in order to store his boat nearby for easy access. Like Steve, he might not have been that interested in doing what seemed simple if he could have foreseen the future. Stay tuned.

Boatless blues: Bill Sandifer needs help (Understanding? Compassion? An analyst?)

I've sold my good old boat. It's not funny. This is a traumatic event in the life of a sailor. Others, not so sympathetic, ask, "Well, if it's so bad, why did you do it?" The usual reasons apply such as, bigger, more headroom, more water capacity, diesel engine, and so forth, but that does not tell the whole story.

We had owned our boat, a Pearson Ariel, for nine years. Over the nine-year period, I had rebuilt every part of the boat except the hull: decks, hatches, cabintop, and maststep. All mechanical and electrical systems were rebuilt or replaced. In short, all the projects were completed and nothing was left to be done. Now, I enjoy sailing very much, but I also enjoy the satisfaction of starting and completing a project. There are only so many projects to be done on a 26-foot boat before they are all complete. My wife's answer to why we sold the boat was that there were "no projects left to do."

We had rationalized selling the boat and looked forward to finding a little larger one, but we were unprepared for the emotional impact of being boatless. Genie, (boat's name is The Genie B) cried, I felt hollow, as if I had sold my child, which in a way I had. The panic that ensued was dampened only by the application of some fine wine each evening. Once we calmed down, we discussed our feelings:

Selling a boat means parting with an object that borders on the animate. The subconscious in all of us bonds to those things we love in ways not clearly understood and when a change occurs, it is a revelation that feelings you thought you had rationalized come up to overwhelm you.

If there were any advice to the sailor in this situation, it would be to carefully evaluate your feelings before you put the boat on the block. In many ways, the feelings we develop between our boats and our psyches are stronger with a good old boat than with a new boat.

A totally new boat is clean and shiny and has yet to develop character. It usually lacks nothing and requires nothing from us other than physical operation. We may curse and swear at the trials and tribulations of good old boat ownership, but in truth, the satisfaction that we get from restoring or improving some aspect of our boat creates a bond between our boats and ourselves. We need each other in subtle and diverse ways. Everyone has the need to be needed. We have children, pets, classic cars, collections, sports teams, social groups, church friends, and acquaintances. All these people, things, and activities contribute to our feelings of satisfaction, belonging, and being needed.

I don't think it is stretching creditability to say the empty nest syndrome of children grown and moved away can similarly be applied to the boatless syndrome of all sailors. Our boats reflect our self-image. I'm a river, marsh, and gunkhole person. Others are racing people, coastal cruisers, day sailors, and bluewater voyagers. People, in their own ways, see reflections of themselves in the boat they own or are owned by. It is important to recognize the truth. In the words of Pogo, "We have met the enemy and he is us."

Some people say a person sometimes looks like his pet. Well, I've a strange looking multi-colored Australian Shepherd dog, so I'd rather be compared to my boat. Our boats are an integral part of us and our lives. It's good advice to tread lightly before we sell them. The only consolation in the sale of my good old boat is the joy and understanding with which the new owner anticipates his life with my good old boat.

Having sold my good old boat, and suffered the ills of boatlessness, the only cure is to buy another good old boat. We have, after two weeks, recovered from the trauma and selected four boats to consider. All were built by the same builder and to the same design. Two are sloop-rigged and two are ketch-rigged. Three are diesel-powered, one has no engine, and all have the larger tanks, full headroom (for a 6-ft person) and increased space we desired. The inspection trips will start shortly.

Will we be successful in our quest? I think so. Just to be on the safe side, one of the four boats I will be looking at has, to quote my wife, "been calling to me." It's the one without an engine, of course, and needs lots of TLC. It's strong and brave, but it needs me. Or maybe I need it. See what I mean? Success in this quest is guaranteed only if the next boat can make me feel needed. I can almost hear these boats talking about me now.
Bill Sandifer
Diamondhead, Miss.

Almost from the beginning Bill's been a regular writer for Good Old Boat. Among other things, he has regaled us with stories of deck delamination, tank projects, buying used sails, and using fuel and water filters. Most of the projects he's discussed were done on his Pearson Ariel. Being boatless may slow him down for awhile, but expect to hear more from Bill as soon as he's got his next fixer-upper. Frankly, we're not sure why anyone would put himself through all that. Did he REALLY say he came to the end of his project list? We didn't think that was possible on a good old boat!

Seeking entries for the onboard equipment hall of fame

If someone were to ask you (in fact we're asking you now), "What are three very valuable pieces of equipment on your boat?" what would you answer? We think most people would begin with the vital pieces of equipment: good ground tackle, a depth sounder, a compass, a reliable engine, a good reefing system, GPS, and so on. After that what comes to mind? We can think of more than three, of course, but we nominate these valuable crew members as a way of opening up a reader dialogue in this newsletter.

Big beam -- On Mystic, we carry a portable 500,000-candlepower spotlight. It's powered by batteries in the handle and therefore requires no cord. After the compass and depth sounder, we consider this to be the most valuable piece of safety and navigation equipment on board. It has the power to punch a tightly-focused beam through the darkness. It can find channel buoys at 1/8 to 1/4 mile. We use it often when maneuvering late at night.

Walkie talkie set -- When the nav/lookout on Mystic goes to the bow with the big beam, to anchor, or to watch the bottom for rocks, he or she sometimes takes a cheap walkie talkie headset along. This child's toy allows us to communicate without shouting from the bow to the stern and eliminates having to turn from the bow to face the stern to be heard. We've tried hand signals but find we often need two hands for a task. The headset allows us to use our hands for other things. These units serve as an intercom between the navigator and the helmsperson when it's necessary for one of us to be working at the nav table below decks and to continue to communicate, particularly when our noisy engine is running.

Lifejackets -- A third important item of equipment would be our lifejackets. They're comfortable enough to wear anytime we're under way. We've equipped them with a harness to which we can attach a safety tether in heavy weather and which could be used for hoisting either one of us back on board in an emergency. We have a knife, a whistle, a flashlight, a flare, and a strobe on each lifejacket. By wearing the lifejackets when under way, these important pieces of gear are at hand at all times.

That's our list of nominees for the onboard hall of fame. What do you recommend? We'll print responses in upcoming newsletters.

Basic boat show overview

Boat shows have gotten a lot more interesting for us lately. We've learned that there's much more to boat shows than the Minneapolis Boat Show we've attended in the past. Last winter, we discovered the Strictly Sail show in Chicago, and it was a revelation! This show reminds all of us that sailors are real players with real boats. (The Minneapolis show is -- or seems like -- 90 percent powerboats.)

This year we also visited the Annapolis show (also something of a miracle for sailors) and returned to Strictly Sail in Chicago. Because we've been discovering the bigger (sailing-oriented shows) lately, we thought we'd share what we're learning. We realize that there are a bunch (no, more than a bunch -- hundreds actually) of local and regional shows. Many of these are focused on outdoor sports or on boats with the emphasis on powerboats. But what's a sailor to do?

Here are some of the major sailing shows. Let us know what we've left off the list and we'll add more in the next issue:

Sail Expo (by Sail America)
Hosts three shows:
Atlantic City, N.J. (early February each year)
Pacific/Oakland, Calif. (mid-April each year)
St. Petersburg, Fla. (early November each year)
phone: 401-841-0900, 800-817-7245
email: <sailexpo@sailnet.com>

Strictly Sail
Three shows hosted by National Marine Manufacturers Association:
Chicago, Ill. (late January each year) 312-946-6262
Miami, Fla. (mid-February each year) 305-531-8410
Hartford, Conn. (mid-March every year) 212-922-1212
<http://www.boatshows.com> or <http://nmma.org/boatshows>

The U.S. Sailboat Show
Hosted by United States Boat Shows
Annapolis, Md. (early October each year) 410-268-8828

Newport International Boat Show
Hosted by Newport Exhibition Group
Newport, R.I. (mid-September each year) 410-846-1600

Our readers (and a couple of publishers) are looking for . . .

I am the maintenance manager for a Cal 27 belonging to the American Youth Hostel (AYH) in Chicago. We are looking for a stainless steel stern pulpit for the boat. Presently there are two corner stanchions, one on each stern quarter. The two port lifelines and the two starboard lifelines each bend 90 degrees around these stanchions and are joined in the center of the transom with pelican hooks. Each time someone comes aboard from the dinghy, they climb up the transom and disconnect the pelican hooks to enable access. This means that the vinyl covered wires are constantly being chaffed, and we are replacing two of the four wires each year. We could save money if we had a sternpulpit that the lifelines could be firmly attached to. West Marine and Boat/U.S. do not have what we need. Any suggestions? What other boats would have a similar shaped stern? Thanks.
Eddie Diver

I was wondering if anyone has any information on the Tartan 34 about mid-1970s to mid-1980s? I will be looking for a boat in earnest in a couple of years.
Tom Proksa

Question for the chef: have you ever heard of someone constructing a stovetop oven? I don't wish to rip up my present stove right now and install a new gimbaled stove with oven, so I was thinking of making an oven by constructing a metal box with holes in the base and ceramic around it. This could be placed on top of the two burners and used as an oven. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
Peter Edwards
Peter, we've asked one of our readers, who bakes on top of her oven, to share hints on how she does it. Watch for it in a future issue of Good Old Boat. In the meantime, perhaps there's someone reading this who can help you.

I'm seeking feedback on pros and cons of full batten mainsails vs. traditional. I want to hear from people on this!
Susan Peterson Gateley

I enjoyed the article on Ted Brewer (Nov. issue). I used to have a 32-ft cutter (EO 32) which was his design. I was very pleased with that boat for nearly 10 years and just recently sold it. I now have a 1978 Aquarius 24 which is a Seraffyn look-a-like (of Lin and Larry Pardey fame): full-keel cutter, 32 ft LOA, 9,000 lb displacement. I've been trying to find a little information on the now defunct builder and the boat but haven't had much luck there. Have you heard of them?
Chuck O'Brien

I was browsing your boatlist looking for Frisco Flyers/Pacific Clipper. I would like to know of an association for these boats. Thanks.
Hugh Lane

I'm looking at a boat I may buy. I have never heard of the model and wondered if anyone there had. The seller says it's a Jolly Roger. It's 23 feet and built in 1966. It is in fair shape and only $600. Do you know where I could find info on this, if you have heard of it?
Dane Carruth

Any info on the Matilda 20 or the Legend 34?
Allerton Cushman

I'm looking for information on a Clover 17 or 20 built in France.
Carlos Santini

The Good Old Boat publishers (Karen and Jerry, that is) went to the Strictly Sail show in Chicago in late January. We met many people there, including a couple of publishers who have requests that our subscribers just may be able to help with. They are:

Bob Bitchin of Latitudes & Attitudes needs photographers willing to do short photo features on neat boats in their parts of the country. The pay's not great (although there's a little something in it for you), but the prestige . . . well, who could ask for more?
Contact Bob
Box 668
Redondo Beach, CA 90277

Greg Jones, the new editor of Sailing magazine is looking for destination articles for trailer sailers: where you've gone and what you saw and experienced there.
Contact Greg
Sailing Magazine
125 E. Main St.
P.O. Box 249
Port Washington, WI 53074

Also we (at Good Old Boat) are looking for suggestions on good old vendors we can profile. We've featured Sailrite and Moyer Marine. Who else has goods and services just right for good old boats and good old boaters? Let us know:
Contact Karen or Jerry
7340 Niagara Lane North
Maple Grove, MN 55311

The true meaning of your boat's hull identification number (HIN)

Here's some useful information we got from Steve Henkel's book, Boating for Less: How to Save Money When Buying, Owning and Selling Your Power or Sail Boat. This book is a great resource for sailors. International Marine is the publisher. The second edition came out in 1992.

The hull identification number (HIN), stamped on a tag or molded into the transom of boats built after November 1972, is generally a series of 12 letters and numbers as set up by the U.S. Coast Guard. Henkel's example: ZTYSR384A787. He says that some manufacturers did not follow the prescribed code exactly. For those that did, here's how it works:

ZTY -- This is a code for the manufacturer. CHL means Cheoy Lee. SSU means S2 Yachts. ZTY means Ontario Yachts.

SR384 --The next five characters denote the model identification and production number of the specific boat in the series. SR384 stands for Sonar 384.

A7 -- These two characters indicate month and year of the Coast Guard certification of the model. The letters A-L designate the months January through December. The numbers indicate the last digit of the year of certification. (This could be a bit confusing for those whose boats which may have been built either in the 1970s or 1980s, for example. It appears that no one expected them to hold up so well for so long. Fortunately the next set of numbers will probably clarify it for you.) The boat in the example would have been certified in January 1987.

87 -- These last two characters indicate the last two digits of the model year, which Henkel says normally runs from August 1 through July 31. In the example, the model year runs from January through December.

Henkel says this information may come in handy when youšre buying a boat that seems older than the seller says it is. If you donšt have a clue about your boat, it may also come in handy, since it will give you a few important hints.
He also notes that the engine serial number on an inboard engine is usually stamped on the block and may also appear on a tag on top of the transmission or elsewhere. The serial number on outboards is usually stamped on a plate riveted to the stern bracket.

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Published February, 1999