February 2006 Newsletter

Contact us
Classified ads
fixer-upper boats
Consignment stores
Regattas
Writers' guidelines
About us
In review
Change of address
Resources
Parts catalogs
Boat identifiers
boat photos
Links
Ships store
Bookshelf
Back issues
Hats & shirts
Navigation tools
Marine art
Site map

Contents
(what's in this issue)

Click on the Good Old Boat icon to go to the top of the page.

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


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


http://www.goodoldboat.com/


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


This newsletter is our first available as an MP3 audio download. It is 70 minutes long, approximately 32.4 megabytes file size. It is read by Laura Haug.
Available only in audio download, not streaming. We recommend a broadband Internet connection to download, since it is such a large file.

February 2006 Newsletter for Macintosh.

February 2006 Newsletter for Windows


Top of the page

First the good news!

It’s easier to present the positive picture first. Since Good Old Boat is going off to a couple of February boat shows (Strictly Sail Chicago and Miami), we pulled out all the stops. We’d been deliberating for years about making Good Old Boat pennants (or burgees, if you prefer). Finally we re-visited the idea this year and Voila! we have very cool and colorful pennants! We’re selling these at the boat shows and online at http://www.goodoldboat.com/navigation_tools/ accessories.html#pennant. They’re $19 online and a bit less at the show (boat show special, you know.)

While we were at it, we updated our ball cap collection. We’re still offering the denim ones, but we’ve got four new colors with the little boat logo on the front and Good Old Boat written on the back. They’ve got elastic inside, so they’ll fit without that “funny little plastic thingy” or other uncomfortable buckles and clasps. They come in black, khaki, orange rust, and yellow gold. Same price as the denim caps: $16.75. These will be available at the boat shows and online where the caps are: http://www.goodoldboat.com/hats.html.

Our March issue is progressing smoothly in spite of the recent spate of holidays (which tend to get in the way of deadlines). As of this writing our boat show preparations are moving along nicely although the Chicago show (February 2 – 5) will be history before anyone receives this newsletter in its paper version (and might also be over before the online version comes out). But there’s always Strictly Sail Miami (February 16 – 20). Catch up with us in Booth 220.

So all in all, 2006 is looking very good…so far. The problem is that we’ve got one little holdover (hangover?) from 2005. And it won’t go away…

Now the bad news…
Our faces are bright red over the missed timing of our audiobook project. We’d hoped to have our first book — Joshua Slocum’s Sailing Alone Around the World — ready just after Thanksgiving. At the latest. Yes, we meant Thanksgiving 2005. We had the book production generally ready on time. We had the extra value-added bits ready, too (a downloadable booklet with all 60+ illustrations from the first printing, a foreword by John Vigor and a review of the Spray by Ted Brewer).

What we didn’t count on was the complexity of delivering our product to our would-be listeners. There are dozens of folks out there in computerland wondering when…if…we’ll ever have a book for them. We’re wondering that, too. We wanted to get into this new technology in order to learn a few things. Well, we got in. And we’re certainly learning! Surely we can slay this dragon…just as we have slain so many others…after all we weren’t magazine publishers when we started this little business. This is not a proud moment at the Good Old Boat headquarters.

We put up a free downloadable file so you can try the MP3 download process. That works. Please try it: http://www.goodoldboat.com/audio.html. It’s a short piece called “Get Off the Lake” written and read by Karen Larson. And we intend to begin podcasting our newsletters for you also, once all these bugs are out of the system. The newsletter podcasts will be available as free downloads. There will be some other fun and free downloads on the audio page of our site as well. We keep producing them. Why can’t we conquer the technology to enable you to get the pay-for-download files? We hope to have good news in the next newsletter. Stay tuned.

Boat insignia and identifiers
You probably already know that we’ve been collecting and posting photos of identifying cove stripes to help good old boaters walking the docks recognize specific sailboats . That led, as these things often do, to the posting of sail insignia. Several of our readers, seeing the cove stripe page at http://www.goodoldboat.com/cove_stripes.html remembered something that Cruising World printed in 1985. Several still had a copy of this little gem of a publication. We couldn’t steal it, copyrights being what they are, but we could re-publish the pertinent information once again in an entirely different format.

So we chose to put up scans of the hundreds of sail insignia, last published in 1985 for all any of us know, on our website, keyed to our lists of sailboat owners’ associations, since that’s where we already have hundreds of sailboat types organized alphabetically. It’s not as convenient as carrying a little booklet around with you, but this is a visual reference that you’ll value, we’re sure. Have a look at the new, revised Sailboat Association pages. The easiest way to get there is by going to our home page http://www.goodoldboat.com and clicking on the Associations tab at the top.

 

What's coming in March?

For the love of sailboats
• Alberg 30
• Seafarer 30
• Columbia 33 and 36
• Refit of a Cape Dory Typhoon

Speaking seriously
• Thunderstorms
• Drawbridges
• Apparent wind
• Marine radar
• Marine head, a revised plan
• Galley Stoves 101
• Pilot rails
• Surface-mounted ports

Just for fun
• Cruising kids
• Murphy's Laws of boat care
• Systems that work
• Relics from the past
• Jim DeWitt center spread (wow!)
• Deciphering a HIN
• Through the gates

What’s more
• Quick and easy: A novel tiller holder; How to catch fruit flies; Case of the sheared stud, No-see-um-proof screens
• Simple solutions: The LeTonkinois coating; A bilge pump counter; A winch handle at the mast

 

In the news

Publisher celebrates anniversary of classic nautical book
First published in 1956, the pocket-sized, 254-page paperback,
Royce's Sailing Illustrated, is regarded as one of the most informative sailing reference books ever written. ProStar Publications, which owns exclusive rights to the publication, is commemorating the book's 50th anniversary with a special Golden Edition scheduled for publication in early 2006.

For more information on Royce's 50th anniversary edition and other marine publications, contact ProStar Publications, 3 Church Circle, Ste. 109, Annapolis, MD 21401; Phone: 310-280-1010; toll-free 800-481-6277; Fax: toll-free 800-487-6277; E-mail: orders@prostarpublications.com; http://www.prostarpublications.com.

 

 

Calendar

Strictly Sail Miami
February 16-20, 2006
Miamarina at Bayside
http://www.strictlysail.com/shows/miami.asp?show=miami

 

Cape Dory Great Lakes Fleet meeting
March 11, 2006
Oswego, NY
The Great Lakes Fleet announces its annual winter meeting will be held in historic Oswego, New York, on the 11th of March, 2006, beginning at 1300 hours. Home of the Oswego Maritime Foundation and other attractions, Oswego has been a major seafaring port on Lake Ontario for a very long time and has some interesting and entertaining venues. Please check out http://www.oswegony.org for more information on hotels, sightseeing and general fun to be had in Oswego. This year's venue is Coleman's Irish Pub, located on the water in Oswego, New York. Go to http://www.colemansirishpub.com for directions to the restaurant. For more information and reservations, contact Great Lakes Fleet Captain Mike Ritenour at 716-778-9109, e-mail him at lavida@seascam.com. Information can also be found at http://www.capedory.org/fleetevents/GL-2006-WinterMtgInfo.pdf.

 

Maine Boatbuilder's Show in Portland, ME
March 17-19, 2006
http://www.portlandyacht.com/DWT2006Pages/Pages2006/Index2006MBBS.htm

207-774-1067

 

SSCA-sponsored Marine Weather Forecasting Workshop in Oakland, CA
April 19-20, 2006
8:00 AM to 5:30 PM each day
Oakland Yacht Club, CA
The goal of the workshop is to enable self-reliant mariners to determine the safest routes for offshore voyages. The curriculum includes: cause and effect of marine weather; surface weather patterns; ocean wave formation, propagation and decay; OPC wind and weather charts; tropical cyclone basics and avoidance; OPC surface charts and 500-mb charts. Lee Chesneau, a senior marine meteorologist for NOAA's Ocean Prediction Center and a USCG-certified STCW instructor, will conduct the courses. He has held many marine weather seminars for Safety-at-Sea, SSCA and at several major boat shows. The cost of the workshop is $250 per person for SSCA members, $300 for non-members (it's cheaper to join!). The fee includes a workbook, lunch and snacks both days. For individualized attention, class size is limited to 24 participants.
Contact: Nancy Birnbaum, Editor, or Joyce Stanley, Office Manager at 954-771-5660 or http://www.ssca.org

 

 

Looking for

Mystery boat rescued
I rescued this boat and don't have a clue what it is. It's about 18 feet long. I have already replaced the windows and have five coats of spar varnish on the top.

Not only do I not have a clue as to what it is, I have these questions: where might I get a layout of what hardware I need and where the hardware goes? I have sailed Finns, but this is my first boat other than that.

Also, this boat doesn't seem to drain any water that gets in the cockpit. Is this normal? Any help you can give me would be wonderful!
David Parker
254-366-5432

 

 

Islander 34?
I was looking at the section on cove stripes on your website. I believe that this boat is a 1969 Islander 34. I have attached photos of the cove stripe. Could you identify these?
John Howard

 

 

Not big enough

We have the good fortune to live in a neighborhood adjacent to a frightfully rich one. There, lots are huge and the houses are set so far back behind electric gates and exotic palms that one can often glimpse only the red-tiled roof of some Hispano-Moorish mansion. There’s a country club with tennis, an eighteen-hole golf course and a private beach on the Pacific.

That manicured Eden and our quite ordinary street share the same ZIP code, which gets us a remarkable freebie. Though we have a quite ordinary 30-foot sloop, old when we bought her 18 years ago, six times a year we receive, gratis, glossy, thick, impossibly lavish “boat” magazines. This is a misnomer. The vessels are, many of them, ships with spiral stairways, multiple staterooms featuring en-suites with marble heads, galleys the envy of restaurants, and seating in elegant dining salons for at least a dozen. They sprout nicely concealed derricks to lift large tenders over-side. One design promises “garages on either side of the vessel to house twin 42-foot tenders, a massive opening transom which effects a ‘beach’ setting,” and some carry a helicopter.

Often lovely, these floating palazzi are seemingly built wherever there’s a yard capable of fabricating a yacht in the one- to two-hundred-foot range: the Netherlands, Australia, Germany, Turkey, Italy, and the United States among others. Thus, one concludes, people are buying these behemoths. The question is who?

If one were a brave and energetic sleuth, I suppose a roster of mega-yacht owners exists, but discovery is likely to be difficult for the same reason Las Vegas casinos forbid photography: it wouldn’t do to have a picture of a state comptroller or county school board member gaming. It may be he or she is spending legitimately gotten personal funds, but it doesn’t look good. A few movie stars, oil sheiks, and their petroleumogul friends may not care, but there are a great number of these vessels [sold], more than can be accounted for by Hollywood and the OPECking order. Still, someone must know; circles overlap. I guess we don’t know the right people.

This magazine not only features new vessels, but shows many used ones, most of which require a professional captain, crew, and staff, so there are payrolls. And some of the larger examples have fuel tanks holding 20,000 gallons of diesel oil, so “Fill her up” is hardly a casual decision; it takes hours. Full fuel tanks may provide a range of nearly 5,000 miles, but is it enough to elude bill collectors? There must be more truly rich than we suspect.

What fraction of these yachts is bought by individuals, institutions, or corporations, I know not. Whether owned by royalty or rogues, diplomats or dipsomaniacs, celebrities or CEOs (none of these mutually exclusive), it’s hard to classify these as toys, tax write-offs, transportation, lucre laundries, conspicuous consumption, or all of the above. I showed my wife a double-truck spread of a main saloon like the lobby of a small five-star hotel. She said, “Get the needle out of your arm.”

Now they send me a business reply card, wanting to know if I’d like to continue getting the magazine free of charge. Of course I checked the “yes” box, but then they asked for the length of our boat, and the lowest category was “40-60 feet.” I’m an honest sort and wrote in “30 feet.” I think I’ve had my last issue.
Karl Leopold Metzenberg

 

 

Spirits of past stove articles

I hope Joseph O’Connor’s light-hearted foray into the complexities of pressurized stoves does not result in the baby being thrown out with the bathwater. When one encounters a mechanism with an unreliable nature, the obvious solution is to take it to the nearest nautical museum and donate it. The tax deduction from such charitable giving can go toward the purchase of a “non-pressurized” alcohol stove (read Origo here). The problem is not the “evils of alcohol,” the problem is trying to coax an antique device to perform reliably. Perhaps the subtitle for Joe’s article should have been “Good spirits, bad gadget.”

I have removed pressurized kerosene stoves and pressurized alcohol stoves from previous boats, each time replacing them with an Origo non-pressurized stove. When operating an Origo, I have never experienced the heart-stopping misadventures that Joe describes when he experiments with those abominable antiques. A non-pressurized Origo stove lights every time — no pumping, no priming, no flare-up, no explosion. Just a simple, quiet blue flame that boils my coffee water in a reliable and confident manner. It is good to have something on board that always works. 

Another bit of nonsense is that alcohol fuel is not widely available. It is. Any hardware store will sell shellac thinner — which is just alcohol — and the label on the can will state that it can be used for marine alcohol stoves. The price is less than what is often charged at marine supply stores. When traveling to remote parts of the world, alcohol is always available. It is called vodka, tequila, rum, Jim Beam, etc. I have tried vodka in my Origo with excellent results. Burning the Jim Beam should only be done under the most desperate circumstances. Alcohol is alcohol; it does not have to be purchased in a marine supply store.

Average heat content of marine stove fuels

Fuel type Btu/lb Btu/significant unit Cost Cost/500,000 Btu units/500,000 Btu
Alcohol
11935
80,919 Btu/gal.
$9.00/gal.
$55.61
6.18 gallons
CNG
23,601
1,000 Btu/ft
$0.16/ft.
$77.38
500 cubic feet
Diesel
19,557
139,400 Btu/gal
$1.30/gal.
$4.66
3.18 gallons
Kerosene
19,800
134,950 Btu/gal.
$2.07/gal.
$7.67
3.7 gallons
LPG
21,560
21,560 Btu/lb.
$0.50/lb.
$11.60
23 pounds

 

Joseph mentioned that he continues to use the antique stove because non-pressurized alcohol stoves are expensive. That is not correct. It is true the Origo is the Cadillac of alcohol stoves, and it is expensive, but I bought one Origo from eBay for a reasonable price. Another option is the Trangia, which is available at any outdoor outfitters, such as REI. The Trangia style of stove has been around for more than 100 years. It is made of brass and is about half the size of a coffee cup. The Trangia consists of a double wall brass vessel, a perforated burner ring, and inner pre-heat chamber. The double wall acts as a gas generator, heating alcohol vapors that travel up and through the perforations to form a ring of fire. 

A similar stove is the Simon (or Safesport), which is made of stainless steel and is a bit larger than the Trangia. The Simon is the size of a coffee cup and works just like the Trangia. The alcohol will initially burn in a lackadaisical manner for about 3 minutes. The small stove then appears very much like a propane burner, with a ring of blue flames jetting out around the rim. It will burn for about 24 minutes on a half cup of alcohol. A half cup of alcohol has about 2500 Btu. The Simon costs about $25; the Trangia is about the same price.

One possible use for those antique pressurized stoves is to remove the tanks, burners and other plumbing and use the stainless cabinet as the support to mount either a Trangia or Simon stove in place of the original burners. Navigator Stoveworks http://www.marinestove.com/ makes such an adapter for a Trangia http://www.trangia.se/ to be placed in their Sardine marine woodstove.

And frugal sailors can make their own non-pressurized alcohol stove. A tuna can with a handful of perlite or rock wool makes a simple non-pressurized alcohol stove. The perlite absorbs the alcohol and prevents spills. It will burn with a nice flame and cost is minimal. Hundreds of sites on the web offer advice on how to make your own alcohol stove. It is not hard and is even a bit of fun to experiment with. 

Theresa Fort’s article, “A clean look at the dirty half dozen,” in the March 2000 issue of Good Old Boat, discussed the pros and cons of five main fuels for galley stoves. I have added one column to her data to show the units/500,000 Btu. The $55.61 for 500,000 Btu is for 6.18 gallons of alcohol. I might use a gallon of alcohol each sailing season, but usually less than that. So at $9/season to fuel the Origo, the expense becomes less of a factor, considering the safety and convenience of alcohol fuel.

Brooke Elgie praised the Fatsco Tiny Tot solid fuel heater in the March 2001 issue of Good Old Boat. I had a Fatsco stove on one boat, and it worked well. I did not like the mess of using charcoal, so I put the stainless-steel Simon alcohol stove in the Fatsco stove, and it worked. A cup of alcohol would burn almost 40 minutes, though under windy conditions it would blow out easily.

Alcohol is an excellent fuel for safely and conveniently cooking on board. There are inexpensive alcohol burners available; there is no need to risk body and boat to an unreliable pressurized antique.
Lon Zimmerman
Lon, we like our Origo non-pressurized alcohol stove also. Karen and I find that when we’re cruising, more or less continuously, two gallons of stove alcohol will last for three weeks of cooking. We don’t eat out much, if at all, while cruising, so that really means all meals for two people for three weeks.

There is one safety issue to be aware of with the Origo: you must be careful when turning the burner off that it really is off. Don’t run the burner when fuel is very low in the canister. This situation may be aggravated by our oven, which heats the canister above it. A couple of times we’ve had flash fires, which were extinguishable with water. But we’re catching on and did not experience this during two cruises in 2005.

I lived with a pressure alcohol stove on a cruise from St. Leonard, Maryland, to St. Augustine, Florida. I discovered that once you learn how to follow the instructions in lighting these devices, they work fine.

You mentioned Theresa Fort’s article in the March 2000 issue of the magazine. In the April 2000 newsletter, Larry Govoni, of Boston, Mass., wrote a nice set of instructions for lighting a pressurized alcohol stove:

“I bought a used two-burner pressurized alcohol cooktop a few years ago and installed it in my 1964 Pearson Vanguard. After almost half a season I decided to READ THE DIRECTIONS. Fortunately, they were on a metal plate fitted to the stove. The correct way to light my stove, that works every time, is to pump it up, open the valve to get the puddle, shut the valve, and light the puddle. You then wait until the flame has gone completely out! Then and only then, you turn on the valve and relight the burner.

“I hope you’ll pass this on because I can see many boatowners being frustrated and throwing away perfectly good pressurized alcohol burners and stoves. The two-burner unit I have works fine, and I haven’t had to put out a curtain fire since seeing the light (pardon the pun).”
Jerry Powlas, technical editor

 

 

An affair with Orion

Call it summer love. Jerry knew about it all summer, so maybe it wasn’t a true affair. At least it was not a secret affair. I was indiscreet. I got up in the middle of the night to see him. I mentioned his name often. I was frustrated when I couldn’t find him for weeks, even months, at a time. Jerry knew all this. He was even a little bit sympathetic.

I learned about Orion as my very first constellation (if you don’t count the Big Dipper, that is) by reading a book called Stikky Night Skies, a great beginner’s guide to the heavens. It starts out with the three stars of Orion’s belt and how — once you’ve found Orion — you can identify Betelgeuse (pronounced Beetle Juice), Sirius (the brightest star), Taurus, and Pleiades (also known as Subaru in Japanese — look closely at the logo sometime). While you’re at it, you can find the Milky Way and also any planets (such as Mars, Venus, and Jupiter) which happen to be tracking through when you’re looking.

I was really into it. The book wants you to practice right away, and I was gung-ho to try. But what’s a suburbanite to do about city lights? We stayed up late waiting for total darkness (that’s how it is in the northern latitudes in the spring and summer: the further north, the later you must stay up). Jerry was very supportive. We chose a spring night with a sliver of a moon. Then we went for a drive looking for a place free of city lights…dark enough to see the sky…a hilly spot…a place with a horizon. These places aren’t easy to find. It’s no wonder that people are unfamiliar with the stars these days.

My goal on our first night out was to find Orion and all those friends. It was not to be! I found Cassiopeia (the evening’s excitement) and the Big Dipper. I was able to locate Polaris and figure out how travelers can determine where north is. But I couldn’t find Orion! Later in the book it was revealed that Orion is a winter sky constellation. No! As it turns out, during the months that I was likely to be looking for him while on a boat far away from city lights and too-tall horizons, Orion makes his appearance during the daytime hours.

I was patient. We had two sailing vacations this year; the second ended in early October. Now I had a winter sky! And there he was any time I looked out of the companionway hatch in the early morning hours. Orion! He can’t be missed! It’s magic. The recognition always made my heart beat faster.

I’m a closet birder. It matters not one whit how often I get to see wood ducks; I think of them as the rock stars of the birds and get excited all over again each time I see them. For me, Orion is the rock star of the constellations. I expect this affair to continue for the rest of my dark-night opportunities. I imagine it will lead to further explorations: new stars and constellations. As it is in the bird world, once you’re familiar with a few, it’s easier to identify others. As far as the stars and constellations are concerned, the sky’s the limit. And it begins (for me, anyway) with Orion.
Karen Larson


 

 

Gnats, jibes, and a dog named Murphy

We had a funny day on the boat yesterday; not the kind of funny that makes you laugh while it’s happening, the kind of funny that you’re able to smile about once your feet are on dry land and all are well and accounted for.

We motored to the beach next to our harbor and anchored. My boys, six and eight, prefer fishing and swimming to sailing. So, to them, this is the ideal outing on our sailboat, one in which no sails are raised and everyone is quickly in the water.

The boys had a great swim and we put Murphy, our four-month-old golden retriever/poodle in the water, wearing his K9 PFD. My wife has noticed that when you attach the words “for boats” or “for dogs” to the most mundane products, they triple in price. Imagine the effect when you put both of these inflationary distinctions on the same product. Another three payments and I can tear up the mortgage on that dog’s life vest. The dog definitely hates the water, but for what I paid for that PFD, he’s going in, darn it!

After an invigorating swim, we were breaking out the snacks when we notice the bugs… lots of them. We were swarmed by thousands of big gnat-like things. They were everywhere! The boys wrapped their heads in towels while my wife went forward to pull the anchor. We headed out for open water and, hopefully, away from the bugs.

After pulling up the anchor, Jane (the aforementioned wife) stayed on the bow and enjoyed a few minutes of solitude while we sailed. It may have been the most perfect ten minutes of sailing ever.

Then the wind became suddenly conflicted about which direction would best serve someone or something other than me. At ten to twenty second intervals it would alternate directions. I’m not talking about shifting from east to east by southeast, but from east to south to east to north.

Just as Jane made her way back to the cockpit the boom jibed unexpectedly and caught her squarely on the side of the head. Although she didn’t pass out from the impact, her face went blank long enough for me to wonder who would take care of the dog after she was gone. Shortly thereafter, my eight-year-old announced that he didn’t feel well. Having had enough fun for one day, within the span of just two hours, I decided to head back to the harbor.

En route, a gust took us broadside and I felt the boat going quickly past her happy place of heel. No sweat. No time for subtlety when the kids are aboard, I would just loosen the mainsheeee…

The dog was lying on the mainsheet between me and the block cleat. Plan “B”: turn into the wind and hope that our forward speed would be faster than the speed at which we were getting knocked over.

Only when we were back home did I tell Jane that plan “B” had come very close to failing. I cleaned out my underwear and made a note to call my insurance agent Monday morning to improve my coverage.

Some outings are far less than perfect, but perfectly memorable.
Paul Ducham

 

 

Mail Buoy

Oil analysis kits
Thanks for another great newsletter. I especially appreciated the comment and referral on engine oil analysis and immediately ordered a sample kit for my 30-year-old auxiliary (Volvo Penta MD6A). They also test transmission oil. I’ll bet Blackstone Labs will be inundated with requests.

I’d like to nominate the USS Constellation (1854) for the GOB Hall of Fame. She’s had a glorious career as a warship, training vessel and, in other duty, is still afloat and hosting guests aboard, and cruises annually between her berth in Baltimore and Annapolis. See http://www.constellation.org.

May it soon be commissioning time on Chesapeake Bay and wherever good old boats sail.
Jim Caskey

 

Starter boat
In reply to Brad Bock’s starter boat question (from the December newsletter), I also live about an hour from the Chesapeake. My wife and I started with an old O’Day 22 trailerable, but we kept it in the water in season. Then we found a twice-owned Watkins 25, which we keep on the Bohemia. We are novices, but this is proving to be a very nice boat for daysailing as well as some cruising, with little to make us think bigger. The shallow draft is also reassuring in our local waters. Good luck.
Jim Hainer

 

 

Boat photos on the web
I was looking at the Summer 2005 boat photos on http://www.goodoldboat.com/photos.html recently and thought that Laser sailor on Lake Mendota looked familiar. Indeed, it’s my friend Geoff Sobering! He sails ice boats with Allen Penticoff in the Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club. At least they do when the weather cooperates. Since Allen’s boat made it on the page, I figured I’d send you a link to another Lake Mendota boat. She doesn’t exactly fit your criteria, as she’s a Great Lakes racing boat put out to pasture in a pond on the Midwestern prairie, but she’s certainly a good old boat. I give you Soma: http://www.hoofersailing.org/images/stories/Keelboats/Soma/soma002.jpg

I volunteer as the caretaker of the boat, which has been in the Hoofer Sailing Club fleet since 1989. In that time, she has introduced countless people to sailing through the efforts of volunteer instructors at HSC. Over the course of this winter, fleet captain Steve Davis and I are heading up a refit of Soma to teach people boat maintenance skills. It is amazing how much demand exists for such opportunities, and the amount of work people are willing to put in to help. Good Old Boat has been an invaluable resource for technical information (e.g., the two-part series on metal corrosion) and for inspiration. Thanks!

Here’s a photo gallery of our refit work: http://mistoverfm.org/kboat/exp_sta/soma_rebuild/.
Jonathan Gapen

 

 

They compare rather well, don't they?
I really enjoy reading Good Old Boat. Have you ever entertained the idea of doing an article comparing the many boats that were put into production 20 to 25 years ago? It would be interesting to see how the boats have held up over the years and compare how each class of boat has performed in racing and cruising modes.

Every year I read articles on The Boat of the Year. I enjoy comparing my boat (Islander 36) to the new boats that are featured. The Islander 36 was designed in 1971 and stayed in production until 1985. Approximately 750 boats were built, and they are sailing all over the world.

What I still find amazing is that you can pick up a decent Islander for $40,000 to $50,000 (with a lot of extra equipment/sails) and have a boat that sails almost as well as (sometimes better than) many modern production 36-foot boats which start in the $150,000+ range. Keep up the good work,
Michael Jefferies

 

Simple Anchoring strategy
Don Launer’s article on anchoring in your January 2006 issue is very good. There’s lots in there I didn’t know, so it’s useful! The article goes into a good deal of detail, but I think it could have mentioned an easy way to break an anchor free from the bottom.

That is: with the use of the boat’s own weight and inertia. We power up toward the anchor until the boat’s bow is just over it, hand-hauling in the rode until it is vertical, over the anchor, with the boat stopped. I haul the rode up pretty tight, cleat the rode, and the helmsman motors forward. This has always freed our anchor, and I can then hoist it aboard. Pretty easy!

Admittedly, in the mud-bottom Chesapeake we rarely anchor in water deeper than 15 feet, and nearly always are in a spot protected from most directions. We use a 1/2-inch stranded Nylon rode, with 6 or 8 feet of 3/8-inch chain to the 22-pound Danforth anchor. All pretty easy to pull up by hand, though I always use heavy gloves. We have a long chain and heavier anchor attached to a Simpson-Lawrence windlass but almost never use them. The horizontal windlass, with its capstan, is mostly used to get me up the mast, but it’s there for more serious work when needed. Note: Some prefer to pull the anchor going astern so the rode streams away from the rudder and prop. –Ed.
Bernie Boykin
Bernie tells us that he's still sailing and hauling anchors at age 84. We hope for similar good fortune as the decades move ahead.

 

We get around
Your magazine has done some traveling. In October 2005, I helped a friend bring her good old boat, a 42-foot Maple Leaf from Mazatlan to San Carlos, Mexico. The boat was on Marina Mazatlan. I had gone up to the office and noticed lots of books, magazines, tapes, etc., that other cruisers had left behind for the next cruisers. I knew that later in the month I was going to help a friend take his good old boat, a 44-foot Kelly Peterson from Vanuatu in the South Pacific to New Zealand and that we would need lots of reading material.

Along with the usual suspects, there were a couple of old Good Old Boat issues there, so I grabbed them. I read them along the way to San Carlos, then packed them with me back to Sonoma, California, where I live, then on to Port Villa on the island of Efate in the Vanuatu chain. We left there and visited some islands, then headed to New Caledonia. In that time we had read the Good Old Boat copies, and I passed them on to a couple on their good old boat in Noumea, New Caledonia. They were going on to Australia, so I would imagine the mags are there now. Where will they end up next?

Love your magazine. It was very helpful to me back in 2003, when I was preparing my good old boat, a 37 Irwin, for a two-year trip to Mexico from San Francisco Bay and back. Guess what? I’m reading them again as I prepare to do it again.
Tim Harmon


 

This is the year
I read your “Last Tack” article in the Nov/Dec issue, and the part about dismantling a project boat before sailing it sparked me to tell you of my summer.

I’ve been around boats all my life, but I never learned how to sail. For many a summer I would tell myself, “This is the year.” But something would always get in the way, usually something family related. I’m not really complaining because family needs always came before mine by choice.

Well, this year I turned the big five-zero. For me, a black day. That was, until the day after my birthday when I realized it wasn’t so bad after all. But, I did make up my mind that I would learn to sail. During my search for lessons a co-worker pointed me to the boat club sponsored by our company. During their open house I joined and signed up for lessons.

With a few classroom sessions under our belts we were on Lake St. Clair with our instructors. The class boats are 19-foot Flying Scots. As our skills progressed we were allowed more control of the boat. We raced, cruised, practiced for our test, got rained on, and darn near blown over a couple of times, too. We never lost our smiles or enthusiasm.

I knew I was a goner for sailing. If I gave it much thought I would kick myself for not doing this much sooner in life. But I’m too busy looking forward to give the past a second thought. You see, I knew that I would have my own sailboat and I started looking. There was a 27’ Catalina for sale in the yard at a price that fit my budget. The owner was one of our instructors. Of course, by the time I found him he was already in negotiations with one of my classmates. The boat was sold.

Then I was told of a boat in the yard that was being given away by its owner. He had a newer boat that was in the water and had no inkling to spend the effort required to sell his old boat. I looked at the boat with one of my instructors. It was dry inside and had everything but an outboard motor. But it would take lots of elbow grease to pretty her up. I thought it was perfect.

She’s a 1979 South Coast Seacraft 26. She’s the reason that I’m a Good Old Boat reader. I acquired her in June and immediately started applying the elbow grease. I received lots of advice and compliments during my work on her. There is one piece of advice that your article made me think of. An old salt said, “Don’t worry about making her pretty. Get her in the water and sail her.”

Believe me, when I started, this was not what I had planned to do. I thought I needed to completely restore her to as close to new as I could before getting her wet. I listened to him and readjusted what I needed to do before I put her in the water. I splashed her in the middle of July.

I have had the summer of my life. I have sailed my own boat, crewed during races on others, passed my sailing test, raced club boats and won, and worked on my own boat to make her what my imagination says she can be. I would say the best part of my summer has to be the people I’ve met and had a chance to socialize with. Boat owners, sailboats and motorboats alike, are special people. It seems boating is a key to instant friendship.

So far the hardest part has been putting her back on the cradle. I just didn’t want the summer to end. I’ve adjusted and am looking forward to what will come next summer. I’m working on my wish list and will let reality trim it down to what I can comfortably get done without too much interruption to my sailing. In the meantime, the boat looks good and I am proud to own her. I’ve been asked if she’s for sale several times. She is not. She may be in another two years, as I think I’ll be ready for a bigger boat by then. But a lot can happen in that time and this boat may be all I want, or I may come across another deal that I can’t refuse.

I thank you for Good Old Boat. Reading your magazine gave me the bravery needed to start a project that I knew nothing about. There’s quite a difference in reading a magazine about boats that I could never afford and reading a magazine that helps me make an old boat look like the one I could never afford. I enjoy the perspective of the articles and appreciate applying what I’ve learned. You may think me nuts but I enjoy working on boats as much as sailing them.
Tom Gibbs
Wyandotte, Mich.

 

 

Book reviews

J/Boats; Sailing to Success, by Anthony Dalton (MBI Publishing Company, 2005; 156 pages; $34.95)
Review by Durkee Richards
Sequim, Wash.

“I just wanted a sailboat for myself and my family, but along the way it turned into a great adventure…” These words by Rod Johnstone capture the spirit of the J/Boats company. In this book, Anthony Dalton has compiled a wealth of material and great photos that recount the adventure, from the founding of J/boats through the company’s growth into one of the world’s best known yacht vendors.

This is not a book about boat design, although the design concepts incorporated throughout the J/boats yachts would provide ample material for such a book. Rather, Anthony Dalton focuses on the people behind the success of J/Boats. It began as a family affair and is still very much so today, 30-plus years later.

The first third of the book recounts the founding of J/boats by Rod and Bob Johnstone, and the remarkable success of the J/24, their first boat. This story began slowly and modestly in 1974 when Rod set out to build “the largest, fastest boat we could build in the confines of our garage.” The 24-foot boat was built on a shoestring, and it was not until the spring of 1976 that the hull was eased out through the 9-foot-wide garage door, and later christened Ragtime.

At the end of a wonderfully successful racing season, Rod approached Everett Pearson of TPI and negotiated an agreement to have TPI manufacture a boat based on Ragtime, using her hull as the plug for the initial tooling. This very synergistic relationship with TPI continues today. Bob joined Rod in forming a partnership, and thus was born J/Boats. Bob led the sales and marketing efforts while Rod devoted his energies to design and production coordination.

The middle third of this book highlights the more than three dozen designs (to date) from J/Boats. It provides insights into the thinking behind the various designs, which ranged from cruisers to all-out racers. This section also discusses the roles of the sons of Bob and Rod, who joined the company during its rapid expansion during the 1980s, and how the family managed the challenge of succession planning.

The final third of the book highlights some of the extensive voyages by owners of J/Boats yachts. Many have circumnavigated, and others have cruised their J/Boats to high latitudes. Anthony goes to some lengths to assure the reader that J/Boats are not just pretty faces on the racecourse.

Anthony Dalton has captured the enterprising spirit behind the success of J/Boats. This book will appeal to everyone with an interest in fine sailboats and the companies behind them. It will be of particular interest to fans of J/Boats, including my wife and me, who cruise and race our J/32 here in the Northwest.

 

 

Tunnell's Boys, by Tony Junker, (iUniverse, 2005; 285 pages; $28.95, $18.95 softcover — also available as an eBook).
Review by Michael Maxfield
Gatesville, Texas

Brutal storms, fair winds, tyrannical captains, mutinous crew, ample danger and suspense. All of these classic elements of a seafaring tale are found in Tunnell’s Boys by Tony Junker. Also to be found are love and friendship, soul-searching discourses on the Spanish-American War, insight into Philadelphia Quaker lifestyles and beliefs, elaborate accounts of the lives of pilots on the Delaware Bay and River, and even a hurricane — all combined into one engaging sailing yarn.

This historical fiction is set in the last decades of the 1800s, the waning days of commercial sailing and during the buildup to the Spanish-American War. It recounts the story of Peter Long, a young aspiring writer who signs on with the pilot schooner Ebe W. Tunnell (an actual pilot boat of that era) as an apprentice pilot on the Delaware Bay and River.

The story is told from the perspective of Long in 1898, some ten years after his apprenticeship. Pilot Captain Long is assigned to pilot the schooner Hannah, and discovers her captain to be none other than Ebenezer Soule, a friend and rival from his apprenticeship days on the Tunnell. When a growing storm causes Long to miss the take-off boat at the mouth of the Delaware Bay he is forced to continue on with the Hannah and her mutinous crew on their sail to Barbados, right through the war zone of Spanish Cuba.

The book often reads like two stories in one. Its author jumps back and forth between the 1898 Hannah voyage and the apprenticeship years of 1888-92. The majority of the book is the story of Long and Soule on the Tunnell during their apprenticeships. The forced trip on Hannah quickly takes second stage and becomes a platform for Long’s recollections of the past…while also throwing in its own interluding plot twists. Though I found this jumping back and forth between past (1888) and present (1898) a little disconcerting at first, the plot lines did eventually mesh together into an enjoyable story.

This book is clearly written by a sailor, for sailors, and any novice would be more than a little confused by all the nautical terms. Even many knowledgeable sailors could find some of the archaic and regional terms a little confusing. One might wish for a small glossary, and maybe even a schematic drawing of a schooner’s floor- and sail plans.

Anyone looking for an entertaining sailing yarn with which to pass a few hours, or looking for a little insight into the world of Quaker Philadelphia and Delaware Bay pilots in the late 19th century, will find that Tunnell’s Boys serves either purpose.

 

 

The Encyclopedia of Yacht Designers, by Lucia del Sol Knight and Daniel MacNaughton (W.W. Norton & Company, 2005; 528 pages; $250)
Review by Karen Larson
Minneapolis, Minn.

A most amazing book arrived for review recently. The box weighed 8 pounds. This isn’t the sort of book you can hold on your lap or take along on the bus for light reading. The 528-page coffee-table size masterwork is not so much a book as an encyclopedia, an encyclopedia of yacht designers in one volume. Called The Encyclopedia of Yacht Designers, this impressive work was the dream of Lucia del Sol Knight, Bob Knight, and Dan MacNaughton. It was jointly written by more than 80 experts and was 10 years in the making.

It was worth the wait. It was even worth the weight. It may even be worth the price, a stiff $250. It’s a reference book that should be in every library so boaters everywhere have look-’em-up access. Not every boater will want to own a personal copy.

This masterful compilation includes designers you’ve never heard of from North America and the rest of the world along with all your favorites. No one was left out. It includes 525 designers from the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries. It includes designers for sail and power. It is an incredible reference tool containing an excellent index if the alphabetical presentation by name doesn’t help you find the individual you’re looking for.

I flipped through the pages in awe. You can’t just start with Bjarne Aas and read through to Douglas Zurn, as you might when reading a novel. Well, you could maybe, but I didn’t have the stamina. I’d still be on the letter D, with Oscar Wilhelm Dahlstrom, and this review would never get done!

This is a reference tool, not a novel. But it’s the most beautiful reference tool you’ll ever see. From its elegant cover to its gorgeous photos and illustrations of breathtaking beauties, it’s a heart-stopper. Paging through causes murmurs, sighs, and occasional gasps. I expect that you won’t be able to read it quietly.

This encyclopedia simply must be accessible to boaters everywhere through libraries, yacht clubs, and marina collections. Of course, it will also wind up in some private collections…possibly yours. I’m certainly not giving up MY copy! So ask your local nautical source to buy this book. Make a yacht club book fund. Talk to your local librarian.

When the Encyclopedia of Yacht Designers arrives, don’t hurt your back lifting it. Walk carefully to the closest sturdy table. Open it reverently. Try to suppress your oohs and aahhs if you’re in a library reading room. Others will be trying to concentrate on their studies, you know.

 

 

Fix It and Sail, by Brian Gilbert (International Marine, 2006; 192 pages; $19.95)
Review by Karen Larson
Minneapolis, Minn.

Good Old Boat author Brian Gilbert has just written the sailboat restoration book for Everyman. You may not recall him, but Everyman awoke one day after having a dream of sailing a boat of his own. His dream wasn’t of a fancy yacht, but he did want a sailboat. At Good Old Boat, we call this “the affordable dream.” In Fix it and Sail: Everything You Need to Know to Buy and Restore a Small Sailboat on a Shoestring, Brian tells how to achieve the affordable dream.

Like Everyman, Brian had family responsibilities, a mortgage, car payments, and other financial obligations. So he bought a fixer-upper sailboat and fixed ’er up. In doing so, he learned much about what not to do and discovered some clever and inexpensive ways to achieve his sailing goal.

In Fix it and Sail, Brian shares the good tips he’s learned and spells out where the pitfalls are. He is forthright in his recollections of the mistakes he made and what he learned as a result. In doing so, of course, he spares his readers from making the same discoveries the hard way. Brian is handy with tools, so don’t be misled by his tales of mistakes. These are “learning experiences” Everyman could appreciate. There are lessons for all of us in this book.

Fix it and Sail is partly a book full of fix-it tips which are applicable in a general sense to any project boat, and partly a book about the specific challenges Brian encountered with his boat, complete with details about how he solved each one. In this second case, this is a book from which a do-it-yourselfer can take heart. Brian is a regular guy, an Everyman. Nonetheless, look what he accomplished; it tells you, You can too.

This is an honest heart-to-heart sharing of what one do-it-yourselfer learned. It is accompanied by a vast section on resources that will help others who would do likewise. Brian spells out the timeframe and the costs of his project, he lists useful websites and books, and he includes a section on terminology and tips for the uninitiated.

Fix it and Sail is a you-can-do-this book. If you’ve wondered whether you’ve got the time, energy, skills, or perseverance, this is the book for you. Brian Gilbert, also known as Everyman, says yes, you do.

 

 

Seaworthy, by Robert A. Adriance (McGraw-Hill, 2005; 274 pages; $24.95)
Review by Greg Mansfield
Washington, No. Carolina

Here is my choice for a textbook to use in a boating safety class, because other boaters have made mistakes and we can learn from them. Seaworthy is subtitled Essential lessons from BoatU.S.’s 20-Year Case File of Things Gone Wrong. Bob Adriance edited the BoatU.S. Seaworthy newsletter for 20 years. He collected case studies from the archives and presented them in this book along with his advice and commentary.

Boating hazards from collision to lightning are covered using examples from insurance claims. The author organized the case studies by categories that include avoiding collisions, preventing fires, staying afloat, seamanship and various weather hazards such as lightning and winter storage.

Bob describes the incidents and discusses what went wrong, and what could have been done to prevent their occurrence. Many of the incidents include sobering pictures of what happened. Bob also gives advice on what we can do to better prepare ourselves to avoid becoming an insurance case. The advice he gives can help with selection of equipment, attention to maintenance, and careful operation.

I particularly appreciated the attention to securing a boat at the dock and storage on land. Many of the problems that befall our boats occur when we are not with them — four out of five sinkings happen at the dock. And improper storage during winter haulout can damage a boat and its equipment.

I really enjoyed this book and I’m sure that you will too.

 

 

Miss Inclined, a music CD by Eileen Quinn (2005; 46:26 minutes; $14.95)
Review by Dan Spurr
Bozeman, Mont.

After 11 years cruising with her husband aboard their Bayfield 36, Canadian singer/songwriter Eileen Quinn is still having fun…or so one hopes, despite the litany of inconveniences and troubles cited in her folksy songs about the cruising life. She’d have us believe she’s not really griping, just having fun with words and tunes and making light of the darker side of life afloat. This, her fifth CD, continues to find a little mirth in every disaster, and a little meaning in the bigger picture of why she, or any other soul out sailing, chooses to be there.

The first cut is titled “Don’t Make Me Dock,” which, unfortunately, reinforces the stereotype of the female first mate who can’t steer.

please baby please…
I am down on my knees
begging you please
please baby please don’t
don’t make me dock

But then she injects humor, and we feel relieved:

left a trail of broken pilings
and dockhands in the drink
taken [sic] out the pumpout station
raised a royal stink

Most of the other songs, however, are more introspective and wondering than in her previous four CDs. In “Going Home” she looks forward to flying home to see her mom and dad, sisters and brothers.

of all the significant others
we tell the same old stories
and roll laughing on the floor

Of course she also must endure the questions about her unconventional lifestyle, like when is she going to grow up, come home and get a “dental plan, mortgage, pension, lawn”? When she says goodbye to all at the airport, she realizes she is indeed going home — to her boat. And that’s a nice feeling, having that sort of confidence in yourself and contentment in your place.

But one begins to detect a change in Quinn’s tone, creeping into the lines here and there. In “Always a Choice,” she challenges those afraid to leave the security of their shoreside lives, as if they’re all miserable drones.

and a really bad day
hits once or twice a year
so go sit in the basement
have another beer
you’ve got yourself a mortgage
a day job, a wife
may not love it right now
but you’ve got yourself a life

but there is always a choice…

It’s easy to feel smug, sitting in the cockpit in some warm-weather anchorage, where your biggest problem is deciding whether to work on the broken water pump or just read another dime novel from the laundromat exchange. But does such a life really have more meaning than that of the husband with a mortgage? One is tempted to ask if that Bayfield 36 is free and clear.

At times, Quinn’s lyrics seem to grow strident. “Where Have All The Pirates Gone?” voices anger and a sense of betrayal by those who are no longer cruising.

Jimmy Buffett bought a trawler
he’ll talk about the seven seas
with anyone who’ll sit
by his side and buy his drinks
and buy his charming bullshit

Taken collectively, the 12 songs on Miss Inclined touch on the many aspects of cruising, from celebrating freedom from the workaday world to fearing storms to wondering why we have come to this gypsy life.

Perhaps Quinn sums it all up in her song “Cruising too Long”:

these are the signs…
all the islands look the same
West Marine knows our name
we haven’t cut our hair this year
all our t-shirts mention beer
cruising far too long
we’ve been cruising far too long

Hey, she said it. Not me.

Eileen Quinn’s music is available online at http://www.eileenquinn.com or by calling 1-800-289-6923.

 

 

The Gougeon Brothers on Boat Construction, by Meade Gougeon (Gougeon Brothers, Inc., 2005; 406 pages; $36.40)
Review by Joe Rahn
Lakeland Boatworks
Middleville, Mich.

The fifth edition of The Gougeon Brothers on Boat Construction is a comprehensive reference book that should be added to your boatbuilding library, whether you are just starting to work on your dreamboat or are a professional boatbuilder. This fifth edition by the Gougeon Brothers is based on the authors’ 30 years of practical boatbuilding experience and their own research on wood and West System epoxy formulas.

From lofting to finishing, the Gougeon Brothers’ book explains in lay terms the various elements necessary to construct a wood/epoxy boat. Alternative construction methods, such as cold molding, strip planking, and utilization of composite materials is discussed in detail so the prospective boatbuilder can understand the advantages and disadvantages of each method. By including the results of their research on the physical properties of epoxy, especially as it relates to fatigue and stress issues in wood/epoxy boats, the reader can make an informed decision as to whether a wood/epoxy vessel will perform in his or her climate and aquatic environment.

The authors use a rather unique method for estimating labor and construction costs of a planned boatbuilding project. Rather than estimate the costs in the traditional time-plus-materials formula, the Gougeon Brothers use a cost-per-pound method. While we have not used this method in our own shop before, it is certainly worth a second glance, since estimating total construction costs of a one-off project can be tricky at best.

The text is augmented by sufficient figures and charts that give the reader a step-by-step guide for laying out and putting together his or her own boat The Photo Gallery section shows, in full color, some of the finer wood/epoxy vessels designed and built by individuals known in the wooden boatbuilding trade. If you thought wood/epoxy construction was limited to stitch and glue prams and dinghies, you might be surprised to find photos of a 60-foot, 1/8-scale model of the Titanic or a sailboat boat large enough to carry a pipe organ in the aft cabin.

The fifth edition of The Gougeon Brothers on Boat Construction is, in my opinion, required reading for anyone considering the construction of a wooden boat that utilizes epoxy as the bonding material. This edition is comprehensive and thorough in discussing the benefits and advantages of building boats utilizing wood as the structural material and epoxy as the bonding agent. While the authors are distributors of West System epoxy resins and hardeners, the focus of the book is on the boatbuilding process as opposed to the marketing of their own brand. It will be used as a reference in our facility and should be considered a valuable manual for wooden boatbuilders, young and old, novice or professional.

 

 

Taking on the World, by Dame Ellen MacArthur (McGraw-Hill Publishers, 2005; 353 pages; $24.95)
Review by Tom Jackson
Port Hueneme, Calif.

Even if you are one of those who know nothing about sailing, or think of sailing as “the fine art of getting wet and becoming ill while going nowhere at great expense,” you will be absolutely nuts about this book. Narrated beautifully and eloquently in her own words, almost tack for tack, have your foul-weather gear handy, you’ll need it!

Since she was a little girl growing up in rural England (far from the ocean) and going on to sail around the U.K. singlehanded at the age of 19 in a 21-foot boat, this little girl dreamed large dreams. She continued on, winning the Route de Rhum, a transatlantic singlehanded race from France to the Caribbean, then to a record-setting time around the world singlehandeding in the Vende Globe, the World Series and Super Bowl of sailboat racing, then to the Jules Verne Trophy for the fastest time around the world in a crewed sailboat, at the age of 22. Rushing through this book, your foul-weather gear at the ready, you’ll enjoy every minute of it.

Ellen MacArthur, a cute as a bug, 100-pound 22-year-old ball of fire is an almost verbatim powerful personification of the poem If, by Rudyard Kipling. From the first verse, “If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you,” to the last, “Yours is the earth and all that’s in it, and what is more you will be a man (woman) my son (daughter).” Great book to read on your next cruise. Especially, if you happen to be cruising the Southern California Channel Islands.

 

 

Sailing quotes

A passage under sail brings out in the course of days whatever there may of the sea love and sea sense in an individual whose soul is not indissolubly wedded to the pedestrian shore.
William K. Clifford
The Ethics of Belief, 1874

 

The true peace of God begins at any point 1,000 miles from the nearest land.
Joseph Conrad

 

There was a grandeur in everything around, which gave almost a solemnity to the scene; a silence and solitariness which affected everything. Not a human being but ourselves for miles; and no sound heard but the pulsations of the great pacific.
Hart Crane

 

There comes a tide in the affairs of men that, taken at the flood, sucks them swiftly away from the sea and boats and strands them for the best part of two decades on the reefs of Marriage, Career and Bringing Up Children.
John Vigor

 

I had resolved on a voyage around the world, and as the wind on the morning of April 24, 1895, was fair, at noon I weighed anchor, set sail, and filled away from Boston, where the Spray had been moored snugly all winter. The twelve o’clock whistles were blowing just as the sloop shot ahead under full sail…A thrilling pulse beat high in me. My step was light on deck in the crisp air. I felt that there could be no turning back, and that I was engaging in an adventure the meaning of which I thoroughly understood.
Joshua Slocum

 

Voyager upon life’s sea;
To yourself be true,
And what’er your lot may be,
Paddle your own canoe.

Juan Pantoja Y Arriaga
The Log of the Frigate Princesa,1782

 

Many emergencies involving the crew or vessel can be avoided by preliminary and on-going physical and mental preparation. Before embarking on an off-shore passage, you ought to be in good physical shape, properly garbed, and psychologically prepared.
Kenneth Grahame
Wind in the Willows

 

No matter how important a man at sea may consider himself, unless he is fundamentally worthy the sea will someday find him out.
David Poyer
The Circle

 

 

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© 2006 Good Old Boat
Published: February 1, 2006