NEWSLETTER -- June 2004

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


Karen Larson, Editor
Jerry Powlas, Technical Editor
Mary Endres, Design

karen at goodoldboat dot com
jerry at goodoldboat dot com
 

http://www.goodoldboat.com/


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We've added an on-line index of all the Good Old Boat newsletters at:
http://www.goodoldboat.com/newsletter/newsletter_index.php


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Been surfing lately?

Try the Good Old Boat web resources

The next time it rains enough to keep you from your boat, sail over to the Good Old Boat website: http://www.goodoldboat.com. It’s been revised to make it easier to get around, and the important resources that we maintain for you keep improving.

• Those resources include a directory of companies, large and small, which sell marine equipment and services. We’ve also added contact information for non-profit organizations such as The Amateur Yacht Research Society, surveyor organizations (SAMS and NAMS), marine consignment stores, boat shows, marine museums, and so on. We’ve listed as many as we could find. This isn’t the Yellow Pages. Companies don’t have to pay to be listed here. And more are submitted all the time as this list is used and appreciated by sailors. In all, we’ve got close to 6,000 listings. The easiest way to get to this page is to click on the “Suppliers Directory” button at the top of the Good Old Boat home page: http://www.goodoldboat.com.

• Another valuable list is our directory of sailboat associations. That’s how we started our website in 1997 (back before the first issue was published). It’s done nothing but grow ever since. This directory contains more than 1,300 listings of organizations, individuals serving as informal contacts for others with boats like theirs, and in some cases sailboat manufacturers. Click on the “Owners’ Associations” button at the top of the Good Old Boat home page: http://www.goodoldboat.com.

• It’s the same thing for nautical books. If there’s a sailing book, video, DVD, coloring book, or sticker collection, we’ve got it listed. Our bookshelf totals nearly 3,000 listings. This one’s got an easy web address: http://www.goodoldboat.com/bookshelf.html. If it’s out of print and you want a specific book anyway, we’ve got Book Mark, the detective, to track it down for you: mark at goodoldboat dot com/763-420-8923.

• We’re “in cahoots” with Torresen Marine for our links to other sailing websites. They maintain that huge database for both of us. How many listings? 2,040 and growing! Check it out at http://www.torresen.com/?owner=goodoldboat or click on our “Links” button at the left-hand side of the page.

• Did we mention our articles index? We’ve made it possible to figure out what articles we’ve run in the past with a listing of articles. Even our Mail Buoy letters to the editor are included. (Before long, we’ll have all the newsletters indexed as well.) The articles are searchable by author and keywords. There are 1,900 listings in this great resource right now. It grows each time another issue is published. Some of our older articles are posted on other websites. In the article index we’ve included links to those that are posted somewhere. Click on the “Articles Index” button for this resource.


What's coming in July

Spring sprang. Summer’s coming! Here’s what’s set for the July issue of the magazine:

For the love of sailboats
• Nimble 24
• Precision 23
• Willard Horizon 30
• Camper & Nicholsons history

Speaking seriously
• Replacing the cabin sole
• Fiberglass 101
• 2-stroke, 4-stroke engines
• An LED lighting project
• Trailersailers galley
• The electrical two-step
• Marine fabrics (for recovering upholstery)
• Powering your boat
• Fire prevention

Just for fun
• Profile of Bill Lee
• Super cautious?
• Dave Martin
• My boat is a she
• New York photo spread
• A sailor's dream

What’s more
• Simple Solutions: springing the rode, electrical short cuts, fixing leaky ports, and a trailer tongue extender
• Quick and Easy: dripless ice and a creative lamp bracket


In the news

Boating history remembered
Your editors recently had the opportunity to purchase a bunch of old sailing magazines (Yachting, Rudder, and Skipper) dating back to 1942 in some cases. These great relics were in the garages of several owners over the years, primarily in the Deep South, where humidity and its ensuing mildew have been conspiring to return these works of man to nature . . . from whence they sprang. Some of the pages of these antique tomes will never part again, sealed together as they are by years of damp storage.

But those that can be opened are being opened and appreciated by your stalwart editors who will make random observations in the newsletter and occasionally lift entire sections or articles for sharing with good old boaters.

We started at the beginning and offer here a few general observations about boating during the war years (1942-1945).

• A 3-year subscription to Yachting cost a mere $10. You could get three years of Rudder for $7.

• These were tough times for boaters: no pleasure boats were being built, fuel was rationed, special movement licenses were required for yachts, crewmembers had to carry ID cards, and all movement was restricted after sunset. Some folks didn’t bother launching their boats at all some summers as rumors of the tougher measures flew.

• Some of the marine companies we know today were advertising then: Sparkman & Stephens, Henry R. Hinckley & Company, Weems (of today’s Weems & Plath), Edson, Danforth anchors, Wilcox, Crittenden & Co., and more.

• While people were cruising, and folks like Vito Dumas were writing articles about their travels, the big editorial and advertising focus was on military boats and ships and on buying war bonds (buy your war bonds now and save up for a Chris-Craft after the war).

Rudder ran a long series on how to build a Herreshoff 28 by L. Francis Herreshoff, of course. When that came to an end, he began a series which was to become the chapters of his book, The Common Sense of Yacht Design. Tom Gillmer and others also had beautiful plans and drawings in these early issues.

• It was a unique period in the history of the U.S. made more so by glimpsing it through the view of the marine periodicals of the day.

 

Speaking of Edson, congratulations!
Edson (the makers of pumps, steering gear, and much more) is celebrating its 145-year anniversary in 2004. Edson, now called Edson International, is one of the oldest, continuously operating companies in Massachusetts and in the entire U.S. It was founded in 1859 by Jacob Edson as a manufacturer of diaphragm pumps and specialty hardware for the commercial marine trade. The manufacture of steering systems began in the 1900s. In 1956 the company was purchased by the Keene family. Brothers Will and Hank run it today.

 

Landing School searches for president
The Landing School of Boatbuilding and Design has launched a nationwide search for a president following the retirement of the school’s past president and co-founder, John Burgess. For more information about the school and the search, visit the school’s website at http://www.landingschool.edu/search/index.html.

 

Sailboat show change
SailAmerica, sponsor of Strictly Sail and Sail Expo sailboat shows, has discontinued the Atlantic City, N.J., and the brand-new New York (Liberty Landing) boat shows and added a new Atlantic Sail Expo to be held at the Philadelphia Convention Center January 20-23, 2005. Comparable dates have already been set for 2006 and 2007.

 

New guides from BoatU.S.
BoatU.S. is offering a couple of excellent (and free) pamphlets of interest to anyone buying or selling a boat: “Buying & Selling a Boat” and the “Guide to Marine Service.”

Buying & Selling a Boat explains what to look for when buying a new or used boat: manufacturing standards, surveys, and sea trials. For sellers, it offers a checklist to help evaluate your boat’s condition, information on the pros and cons of selling your own versus using a broker, and how to write a sales agreement. And there’s more.

The Guide to Marine Service has information geared for the current boatowner about storage facilities, overland transport services, extended warranties, and handling billing disputes.

Both guides are available online at http://www.boatus.com/consumer or by calling 703-461-2856 or emailing them at ConsumerProtection at boatus dot com.

 

Got mildew? Do some research for the rest of us
Would you like to check out 3M’s new Marine Mildew Block and get back to us with your report at summer’s end? The first three readers who respond to us (karen at goodoldboat dot com) saying they’d like to test 3M’s new anti-mildew weapon will receive some of this product from 3M.

Their job will be to test the product this summer and report back to the rest of us through the newsletter. 3M states that this “is a ready-to-use non-toxic formula that can be used indoors and outdoors on most marine surfaces.” The surface to be protected must be cleaned, then this product is sprayed on, creating an invisible barrier where mold and mildew won’t grow, according to 3M literature. The company is recommending it on carpeting, upholstery, rubrails, sail fabric, showers, and more.


Repair as Transcendence

by Daniel Millar

I sat on the basement sofa, sewing the split seam of an old cockpit cushion. My wife rocked nearby. (When we leave land for distant parts, she will not leave without a rocking chair which fits down below.) She said, “You know, honey, we can afford a new cushion.” I said, “Yes, you’re right, but I like to repair things.” But the truth is, actually, much more powerful than “liking.”

For years I’ve meditated upon the subject of repair, and it has come to possess for me an ineffable importance in human endeavors, on and offshore. The shroud which parts while beating, the engine which sputters to silence in the narrow approach to Lahaina — these are repair needs which are just somewhere in the middle of the gamut.

One end of the gamut is molecular. Our DNA repairs itself every second when errors occur in reproduction in the cell’s nucleus. Repairs not made lead often to cancer or fetal deformity. At the other end are the repairs made among nations which have fought each other, then made amends. One day, perhaps, planets will do the same.

Friends, spouses, argue — then repair. As in the strong reswaging of a cable, repairs between people can bond more tightly than the original construction. So the repair incorporates a certain spirituality into the reconnected parts and aligns them somehow more completely with natural forces in the universe. When we sail, we discover self-reliance. We cannot call the Maytag guy from mid-ocean. We find sometimes within ourselves creativity without which we cannot fix the boat.

We use what we have to sew sails, to make parts. Like Robert Pirsig, in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, who cut off the ends of a beer can and rolled it around a parted exhaust pipe, we make ourselves independent of the professional mechanics. Singlehanders have sewn their own lacerated skin closed.

I raced my little boat the other day in a very fresh breeze. The genoa tore, the radar reflector fell off the spreader, and the spinnaker pole caught the water in a broach and bent into uselessness. Four of us aboard saw these things happen, and none of us had a less good time because things broke. It came to me in a revelation that a complete love of sailing does not happen until one begins to enjoy the breaking of equipment. Perhaps it is because we understand that we can pass tests. We understand that as long as life is not threatened, we can carry on — even finish the race better than last — by repairing what has broken or even by leaving it be until we have docked at the end of the day.

Once 15 years ago, I was crew on a Pearson 26 in Queen Charlotte Sound in 40-knot winds and high following seas. The skipper, my best friend, was tossed by a wave into the ocean. How his life was saved is another story, but what’s relevant is that he broke the tiller off as he went over. The boat did not steer well with a six-inch stump, but a portable drill near the end of its charge did have just enough power to make the necessary holes to allow through-bolting the pieces — a repair which probably kept us alive.

The thread that I used to hand-sew the cushion is light but very strong. I found it, not at West Marine, but at a sewing machine store in a town near Seattle. It is on a large spool, bigger than my palm can wrap around. Its texture is pleasing to my hand. The plastic spool, designed for use on sewing machines, has no slit in the end for the thread’s bitter end. I modified the spool by sawing a small slit in the end. Now, when I finish sewing, the remaining thread stays put until I need it again.

The sewing machine store has been there for decades. It is filled with relics which have been repaired and renewed. I told the owner that I was soon headed out over oceans and would need a sewing machine for sail repair. He showed me a shiny black Pfaff machine which he recommended for cruising sailboats. “There are not many of these left,” he said. He bought them when he could find them and then restored them. The ones he found which had been used on boats were often abused beyond belief, not necessarily by sailors, but by the air at sea. Thus, we repair not only the equipment with which we sail but also the tools which effect the repairs.

My wife, who is very new to sailing, helped me reconstruct the bent spinnaker pole. She had never seen pop rivets placed. She had never seen a swage tool used or felt the power of the tool’s cable cutter. When we were finished and I had a repaired spinnaker pole ready for duty, she said, “I could swage.”

I breathed deeply and said to myself, “My wife is learning the joy of fixing and, in so doing, the further joy of sailing.”

First published in 48 North, January 2001


Calendar of events

Cape Dory events
The Northeast Fleet of the Cape Dory Sailboat Owners’ Association is hosting a season full of rendezvous events in Oyster Bay (July 3-5), Narragansett Bay (July 17-18), Fairfield Beach (July 24-25), Buzzards Bay (Aug. 7-8), Plymouth Cape Dory Rendezvous (Aug. 9-11), Maine cruise (Aug. 16-21), Atlantic Highlands (Oct. 2-3). For more information, contact Catherine Monaghan, at 732-381-3549 or c_m_monaghan at comcast dot net.

 

Alberg anniversary sail
The Great Lakes Alberg Association is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Alberg 30 and 22 with a July 1-4 cruise to Whitby, Ontario, home of Whitby Boatworks, builders of the Alberg 30. For more information, visit http://www.alberg.ca or contact David Timmins, 877-872-3263.

 

The Lake Michigan Ericson Rendezvous
La Mer, the Lake Michigan Ericson Rendezvous is set for Aug. 6-8 in St. Joseph, Michigan. For more information, contact Richard McNichols, 800-536-7022, ext. 224, or email him at richmcn at yahoo dot com.

 

Boston Antique and Classic Boat Festival
On August 28-29 the Hawthorne Cove Marina in Salem, Mass., is the place for celebrating maritime heritage. For more information, call 617-666-8530.


Mail Buoy


Gunsmoke and Miss Kitty
I have noticed that more and more design reviewers call the main salon in a sailboat the main saloon. I thought this was just a consequence of Bob Perry’s use of the phrase in his design reviews. But, lo and behold, in your last issue Ted Brewer, the designer of my good old boat, did the same.

Now, I know that the dictionary says both can be used to mean the same thing — although usually referring to the main cabin of a larger passenger vessel. But from a good old boat perspective, I urge you to use the phrase main salon, not saloon. The latter sounds like Miss Kitty’s shop on Gunsmoke or some other even less reputable establishment.

I have been around boats a long time — before we knew our boats were good old boats. When I was a boy, I read every issue of Yachting magazine between 1934 and 1939) no, I am not that old — my Dad had them left over from his younger years) and many issues of Rudder. I have read every issue of Yachting between 1955 and 1966. I have read many of the classics on cruising and building, such as the old Callahan books and, until the last few years, no one every referred to the salon as the saloon. Please return to the old ways.
Terry Thatcher

 

Ted Brewer explains
The original public cabin (for the first-class passengers only) in the old cross-Atlantic liners, both sail and steam, of the mid 1800s was called the saloon. Then New York waterfront taverns capitalized on this classy name by calling themselves saloons, of course. I suppose that put the term “saloon” into an unwholesome category, so some people then started calling them by the froggy name “salon.” Not right.
Webster’s:
Saloon: the main cabin of a passenger ship used by the passengers in general.
Salon: the room in which guests are received, the drawing room.

Bob Perry and Ted Brewer both prefer saloon, for obvious reasons.
Ted Brewer
So you see, Terry, the sailors laid claim to the term before the New York waterfront and the Wild West caught on. So they should go use some other term. It’s ours! (Does that make it feel more legitimate, somehow?) We looked it up in all four of the dictionaries we scurry to whenever we can’t decide how to spell some nautical term. They all agreed (U.S. and British versions alike) that the saloon is the main cabin on a boat. You can still pronounce it as “salon,” however. Come to think of it, we could avoid the whole debate by calling that space the cabin or main cabin.

 

Knots vs shackles
I enjoyed the discussion in the latest Mail Buoy that was stimulated by your column,“The Significance of String,” (March 2004) and wanted to suggest another alternative. Last summer I crewed on one of the best boats in our local fleet. It was rigged with EquipLite shackles at the business end of the jib sheets. I was impressed with them for several reasons. They are easy to attach and detach, very compact, lightweight, and did not show the same tendencies to hang up on the shrouds as a bowline when tacking a 150-percent jib. They also looked to be less hostile to the foredeck crew than a typical all-metal shackle.

The success of the EquipLite shackle seems to have stimulated some competition. Layline http://www.layline.com now offers a metal and line shackle of their own design (the Looplock) as does Tylaska (Spool Shackles). I have not had a chance to handle either of these units and thus cannot comment on performance or crew safety considerations. However, when I need to replace my current jib sheets, I would seriously consider splicing on a pair of EquipLites to make life easier for the foredeck crew.
Durkee Richards

 

 

And another approach
I have been using a rope shackle (illustrated here) for more than 20 years. It works much like the metal, however it is made of two pieces of rope, much softer on the head. It is very easy to open and close, and I also have one on the lightweight sheets I use when I fly my cruising chute. I have used it on a 34-footer when someone dropped the metal shackle overboard while trying to attach it to the sheets. It has stayed put when I have been in a 45-knot blow on the Chesapeake. I would recommend it to anyone as it is much safer and easier on the pocket as well. I have often made the toggle out of thicker line than the jibsheets are made of.

Thanks for a wonderful publication with useful information.
Mark Hornick

 

 

Another alternative shackle
We use a Dutch Eye shackle. It consists of a piece of hawser laid rope with an eye splice in one end and a ball spliced on the other. You use a continuous jib sheet with a seizing in the center forming a loop. The eye is held in the loop and is itself seized to form its middle into a loop. The eye splice in the eye is passed through the clew and the ball splice is passed through the eye splice so that the eye splice cannot pass back out of the clew.

We’ve used a Dutch Eye for many years, and it has never come undone. The only problem was on a boat where the clews of the jibs were of different sizes. We had to make two Dutch Eyes with diffferent size rope and not seize them into the jib sheets. We use two jib sheets with bowline loops in the end. We used three-strand hawser laid nylon anchor warp of a size that made the eye splice snug but not a tight fit through the clew.
Ted Popham and Sue Thornborough

 

Preventing the big bang
(Referring to the April newsletter about the big bang) I arrived an hour after the excitement in the Seward boat harbor on July 28, 2002. A fishing boat had exploded in the harbor. Noble One, a 37-foot fishing charter boat with six passengers for a fishing adventure pulled up to the fuel dock and filled the tanks.After fueling, a crew member started the engines. The explosion propelled passengers and a crew member out of the boat and into the harbor. Captain Dave Taylor, was not injured.

A fellow from the fuel dock threw a line on the burning craft and towed it out of the harbor where it sank. 

The fuel dock attendent took some dramatic photos of the event and posted them in the window to remind us of the dire consequences of a lapse in safe practices.
Lon Zimmerman

 

Kiver to kiver
I have been away from boats for some time and recently purchased a good old boat: an Ericson 30. Somewhere on the Internet I stumbled across an ad of yours for a free copy and sent for one. What a magazine you have! I read it “kiver to kiver” and then found your website to be equally terrific! I am sending my subscription and can hardly wait until the next edition.

Thanks for publishing Good Old Boat.
Ed Key


Looking for


Fixer-upper boats for kids
We are on the hunt for inexpensive or free sailboats 20 feet with centerboards and rigging (we can fix everything else) to teach kids how to sail in northwestern Tennessee. I’ve surfed the web for hours and can’t find anything for just several hundred dollars . . . and it must exist!
Debi Weinert
customwoodboats at earthlink dot net

Very old cat
I thought you might know something about this good old boat. Stumbled across this picture in an old newspaper and was amazed to find such a beautiful boat had sailed the lake in my hometown in South Dakota over 100 years ago. I thought catamarans came out of California in the ’60s. The good ol’ boys on the dock are carrying shotguns and fishing poles, so I reckon they had some sort of Rod and Gun Club going. The F.D. Underwood, the steamboat in the back, was active on the lake from 1890 to the early 1900s, and that’s the only clue I have as to when the photo was taken.

The lake is Big Stone Lake, which forms part of the Minnesota/South Dakota border up in the northeast corner of South Dakota. It is only about a mile wide, but is nearly 30 miles long and way back then it was used to float grain on barges from the farms surrounding the lake (see the caboose in the photo).

Friends and I are considering building a full-scale replica, and we’re wondering if anyone could possibly recognize the design of the boat or one similar and if you might know where plans might be available. Is this a one-off or were they common? Any information would be greatly appreciated!
Mike Van Hout
803 Lake St., Big Stone City, SD 57216
605-862-8139, gringolito at hotmail dot com

Resolute of San Pedro
I really enjoy this publication. Much better than all of those advertising magazines with sailing themes. I was wondering if any of our other readers know of a ketch named Resolute that sailed out of San Pedro and chartered cruises around Catalina Island in 1963. I’m wondering what happened to her, I really got my first taste of sailing when my land-locked (Las Vegas, Nevada) Sea Explorer Ship chartered her for a five-day sailing adventure around Catalina Island and included meeting another charter boat full of teen-aged girls!

She was gaff-rigged, and had ratlines, belaying pins, and wooden hoops around the masts. Now, 41 years later, I’d like to know anything about her and if any pictures exist.
Jim Boernge
jboerngej at juno dot com

And from the United Kingdom
Hello from Weymouth, Dorset, UK. I am desperately trying to find the circuit diagrams for: 1) the Seafarer D800 depthsounder, 2) the Seafarer 700 depthsounder, and 3) the Seafarer Voyager depthsounder.

I am wondering if anyone has any idea of where I might look. The company was based in Poole, Dorset, UK, but is now out of business. I feel that these circuits are out there if I could just find the right person. If I locate them, I will let you know for the benefit of other frustrated electronics engineers. Thanking you in anticipation.
Colin Pearless
dovess at glowinternet dot net


Book reviews


The Windvane Self-Steering Handbook, by Bill Morris (International Marine McGraw-Hill, 2004, 224 pages; $25.95)
Review by Joe Orefice
Baltimore, Md.

Windvanes hang like medals from the stern, a hallmark of many a long-range cruiser. While walking the docks, we see them hanging proudly on boats’ sterns. We wonder about the stories the crew could tell of their adventures in the tropics while imaging ourselves on these dedicated cruising machines going to far off-destinations for adventure and excitement.

For a long voyage on a shoestring budget, the windvane is the device of choice, usually a used one. Those who are fitting out their boats find windvanes to be energy and fuel savers. There are many windvanes to choose from and, for those who would make their own, many engineering feats to consider. Author Bill Morris has tried to distill and lighten the stodgy world of windvane engineering and application without turning his book into a cure for insomnia. His book, The Windvane Self-Steering Handbook, is an attempt to tell you the history, construction, installation, and use of the device. He starts off with some history and basic engineering of the windvane before getting to the part that will interest most cruisers. Chapter Four is where it really begins, as he discusses considerations for matching the boat to the vane gear. Chapter Five discusses vane gear specifications for production vanes. Chapter Six is what I feel is the payoff. Here Bill discusses locating and evaluating used windvanes. This is worth the price of the book alone. Another topic I find missing in some discussions and articles about windvanes is installation . . . which just happens to be Chapter Seven.

There is also a chapter dedicated to maintenance and repair. It covers everything from inspecting the vane to bent tubing and broken welds and a helpful section on oxidized aluminum. The following chapter talks about customizing the vane gear. For the backyard builder, there is a chapter on building a horizontal vane trim tab system. There are chapters on emergency rudders and an appendix filled with information for further reading.

The chapter on sailing with windvanes could have been more informative as it only covers the two rigs the author is familiar with. It’s a small gripe; it wouldn’t be hard to adapt the information given.

Overall the book takes a very technical subject and softens it up enough so the reader can understand the information provided and not fall asleep. For the experienced sailor, it may drag on at times, but it’s generally clear and concise. The layout and organization of the material make reading easier and allow the reader to obtain the information required in the shortest amount of time. The author set out to write a book to rival John Letcher’s book on windvanes, and he has done an admirable job. The Windvane Self-Steering Handbook, in my opinion may become one of the main references for those purchasing or maintaining windvane gear.

 

The Spirit of Sailing: A Celebration of Sea and Sail, by Michael Kahn (Courage Books, 2004: 128 pages; $19.98)
Review by Karen Larson
Minneapolis, Minn.

The poetry of Michael Kahn’s photos takes your breath away. A latter-day Rosenfeld, Michael knows where the heart and passion of sailing are. He directs his lens there. And he captures a voluptuous image in sepia tones. The good old boats that delight his eye have wooden blocks, gaff rigs, square sails, capstans, ratlines . . . poetry whether in motion or at rest.

Perhaps that’s why Michael’s new coffee-table book, The Spirit of Sailing: A Celebration of Sea and Sail, combines sailing quotes, poetry, and images to grace any sailor’s living room or boat cabin. You’ve seen his calendars. Now you can have a printed work of art that lasts longer than a year. And, best of all, this is one coffee-table book that’s affordable . . . like a good old boat.

 

 

Navigator, Celestial Navigation Software, by Omar Reis (Celestaire.com; $59.95)
Review by Durkee Richards
Sequim, Wash.

Celestial navigation is alive and well even in the age of affordable GPS chart plotters. With his recent release of version 4.2 of Navigator, Omar Reis has provided the celestial navigator with a user-friendly and feature-rich navigation tool. The Star Finder module would also be of interest to stargazers.

Omar emphasizes that successful navigators are disciplined and organized. This philosophy can be sensed throughout the compact, 67-page manual that comes with the software CD. The first chapter is a succinctly written primer on celestial navigation, which can serve as a useful review for experienced navigators.

The Celestial Navigation and Star Finder modules form the heart of the celestial navigation program. The Star Finder helps the navigator “prepare the sky” — in other words to decide which celestial objects to use and also to determine the expected azimuth and altitude for each sight so that the sextant can be preset.

The Star Finder module uses a built-in perpetual almanac which includes the sun and moon, the navigational planets (Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn), and the full set of navigational stars. This module also features a nice graphic display of the sky to help the user locate the objects of interest. This feature would delight any stargazer.

Sextant altitudes (and times) are reduced using the Celestial Navigation module. I found it quick and intuitive to use. For years, I have used the Nautical Almanac and a spreadsheet template to reduce celestial sights. So having all the ephemeris data built into the program was a luxury. It greatly sped up the sight reduction process while also decreasing the chance of error in data entry.

Navigator 4.2 does not include the additional pressure and temperature corrections to the atmospheric refraction that become significant for objects near the horizon. However the author wisely recommends that users select objects above 20 degrees, which generally allows for better seeing and for more accurate results.

The Celestial Navigation module also features two tools for reducing the noon sight (or more correctly the Meridian Passage). There is even a nice capability for reducing sights taken with an artificial horizon.

Navigator has one more major module — Chart Navigation — which will handle either raster or vector charts. There is an associated utility that allows the user to scan existing paper charts and import them as raster charts. Chart Navigation can also accept GPS input via industry standard NMEA GPS messages.

This is a well-designed tool for the celestial navigator. The Chart Navigation capability increases the utility of this software and should further broaden its appeal.

 

 

The One Pan Galley Gourmet, by Don Jacobson and John Roberts (International Marine, 2004: 184 pages; $15.95)
Review by Karen Larson
Minneapolis, Minn.

We’re taking our sailing vacation early this year. By the time you’re reading this newsletter, Jerry and I will be heading out across cold, cold Lake Superior in search of loon chicks and leftover bergy bits. (We’re hoping for more baby loons and fewer reminders of the winter’s snow and ice.)

Because we sail by choice without refrigeration or cooler, we’ll take along a new cookbook that just arrived for sailors: The One Pan Galley Gourmet: Simple Cooking on Boats. The section about cooking with a pressure cooker got my attention, separating this book from the many cruising cookbooks out there.

This book has its origins in a backpack. One of the authors, Don Jacobson, created a book for hikers and campers, The One Pan Gourmet in 1993. Later he teamed up with sailor John Roberts to “civilize” his menus for boaters. After all, we aren’t constrained by what we can pack in and pack out on our backs.

On the other hand, cooking aboard is not like cooking in a full kitchen in suburbia either. The two authors remembered that sailboats have small galleys, a limited water supply, a limited fuel supply, and some may even be lacking an oven.

They did unfortunately for me, assume that most boats will have coolers or refrigeration. I have to agree that most sailors will choose to chase the elusive ice blocks to keep fresh food available. So they’ve created many recipes using fresh meat that won’t work on my boat starting on Day One and fruits and vegetables that won’t keep into the second week of vacation. Still, all the recipes will work for most sailors, even with the most rudimentary galleys, so long as they have an ice box and a few pots and pans.

This book, in fact, could make a vast improvement in the lives of those sailors who think they must eat only what comes out of boxes and cans while aboard. In fact, it simplifies some people’s worst pre-cruising nightmare: provisioning. If you don’t have time to plan for yourself, take this book to the grocery store and buy everything on the weeklong menu shopping list. Then take the book cruising and follow the daily menu put together for a week. It’s likely to surprise and delight you. One thing is certain: you won’t starve! You won’t consider going back to boxes and cans either.

If you’re wondering what Jerry and I will be eating sans cooler, it comes down to eggs, cheeses, canned meat (we can our own), sauces, pasta, rice, and various cans of fruits and vegetables (see article in the January 1999 issue for the details). I can get pretty creative with what’s available. We’ll be out there sailing and eating well. The pressure-cooker tips and recipes included in this book will add to the galley repertoire.

 

First Aid at Sea, by Douglas Justins and Colin Berry (Paradise Cay, 2004: 28 pages; $14.95)
Review by Karen Larson
Minneapolis, Minn.

First Aid at Sea is a handy reference that’s small enough to keep nearby for any emergency that might occur aboard. It’s lightweight and extremely easy to use with sturdy tabbed pages, bulleted points, drawings, and charts. It doesn’t focus solely on typical first-aid procedures — such as wounds, broken bones, and CPR — but also provides guidance for illness, hypothermia, drowning, burns, and emergency communications.

“Guidance” has got to be the operative word here, because the entries are brief and to-the-point. This book is not going to give you everything you ever wanted to know about burns, for example, but were afraid to ask. It will, however, get you started in seconds on what to do. You can look up the rest of the story in one of those larger tomes later.

This book may just offer the most appropriate sort of instant-response assistance. If you’re flustered by an unexpected health crisis, this handy little book can help with easy-to-find and easy-to-use notes. For this reason, we’ve put it on our boat.

First Aid at Sea was first printed in England in 1991 and has a British flavor — particularly the part that outlines emergency communication procedures — but it’s mostly about human bodies and keeping them healthy . . . an activity that crosses all communications barriers. It’s a neat little handbook. Just right for taking aboard with you.


Sailing quotes

Charles Hague sends quotes that struck his fancy:

“. . . it never ceases to lighten my soul when I realize that through cunning and skill I have tricked the wind into moving my boat.”
David Seidman, The Complete Sailor

“There was only water and Boon Island between the two points. The water hardly resembled its former self, its cover a chop I could make in a bathtub. Boon Island, on the other hand had been sinking ships since rocks learned how.”
Joe Coomer, Sailing in a Spoonful of Water

 

And the following from Mainsail to the Wind: a Book of Sailing Quotations, by William Galvani, Sheridan House Inc., 1999:

It’s scary to have a 30-foot wave chasing you. If you’re steering, you don’t look back. The crew looks back for you, and you watch their faces. When they look straight up, get ready.
Magnus Olsson, helmsman of EF Language during the 1997-98 Whitbread Around the World Race

“Spare no money,” I said . . . “Let everything on the Snark be of the best . . . Let the Snark be as stanch and strong as any bot afloat. Never mind what it costs to make her stanch and strong; you see that she is stanch and strong and I’ll go on writing and earning the money to pay for it.” And I did . . . as well as I could; for the Snark ate up money faster than I could earn it.
Jack London, The Cruise of the Snark, 1911. The Snark, budgeted at $7,000 cost $30,000.

Only in its endless variety is the sea unchanging. It is always the same and it is never the same.
Albert Richard Wetjen, Way for a Sailor!, 1931

 

All in a hot and copper sky,
The bloody Sun, at noon.
Right up above the mast did stand,
No bigger than the Moon.
Day after day, day after day,
We stuck, nor breath, nor motion;
As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean.
Water, water, everywhere,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
“The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” 1798



Published June 2, 2004