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News from the Helm

Morgan 32 sailboat

A Dollar and Some Words = a Morgan 32 

Do you want to own Paul Koepf’s Bagheera, a turn-key 1981 Morgan 32? She can be yours for $1, and a winning essay. Read on, this is good.

First, the essay. In at least 500 words (and no more than 1,000) you’ve got to tell Paul why you would be a worthy recipient of his beautiful Morgan, currently berthed on Lake Erie. Paul will receive and read all the essays. He alone will decide which essayist is most worthy. And he will sell his boat to that person for $1. (And we will publish the winning essay here, in a future issue of The Dogwatch.) That’s all.

Now, the boat. I’ll let Paul tell you about Bagheera. “We’ve sailed Bagheera in all forms of weather and she has never let us down: steep seas and gale-force winds, no problem. At fifteen knots and a broad reach, she will easily hit hull speed. Her new sails and genoa furler have weathered three seasons. Her cruising spinnaker is easy to handle in under 10 knots. She’s sailed three of the five Great Lakes, as well as the North Channel of Georgian Bay, on extended trips. We’ve enjoyed night cruising under a stunning dome of stars and adventures navigating and exploring anchorages at every turn. I’ve carefully maintained Bagheera’s mechanicals and her Yanmar diesel always starts on the first push of the button. Her depth sounder and hull-speed indicators are updated. Her 8-year-old autopilot is reliable.”

Paul wants to offer someone the opportunity he’s had, to sail a strong, stable yacht to dream anchorages. Are you that someone? Send your essay via snail mail or email directly to Paul. It must be received or postmarked by October 1, 2019, at morgan32sailaway@gmail.com or Paul Koepf, 8742 Holly Springs Trail, Chagrin Falls, Ohio 44023.

Paul offers the following specs and photos:

Morgan 32 sailboatMorgan 32 DeckMorgan 32 BowCockpit of a Morgan 32 sailboatvberth in a Morgan 32 sailboatGalley of Morgan 32 sailboatMorgan 32 HeadSettee of a Morgan 32 sailboat

Sail inventory: battened mainsail, jenny, storm jib, spinnaker, furling genoa

Helm: wheel

Galley: gimbaled oven/range top, sink, stowage

Other: electric bilge pump, manual bilge pump, hot water tank, enclosed marine head, shore power inlet, battery charger, swim ladder, cockpit cushions, electric windlass, spinnaker pole, hard dodger, davits

Disclaimer: Good Old Boat, Inc. is not administering this offer, only promoting it on behalf of the boat owner. We make no warranties about the condition of his boat. Accordingly, Good Old Boat, Inc. is not liable for any failure by the owner to fulfill his promise to deliver according to the terms outlined here. That said, we don’t think there is a sailor’s chance in a rum-filled bar that Paul will fall short in any way. Good luck.

Marine Museum of the Great Lakes at Kingston

The Marine Museum of the Great Lakes at Kingston has moved…back to its original location. The museum has reacquired its location on the waterfront in Kingston, Ontario, the location from which it was unceremoniously evicted back in 2015, when the Canadian government sold the land to a developer.

Why does this matter? Because the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes at Kingston holds the entire George Cuthbertson and C&C Yachts collection of drawing and documents, as well as the George Hinterhoeller and TBF Benson collections of drawings. In 2014, Good Old Boat sponsored an exhibit at the museum, the New Age of Sail exhibit that focused on the growth of the fiberglass sailboat industry in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s. The museum also partners with Sail Canada in managing and inducting members into the Canadian Sailing Hall of Fame, with the last induction of fourteen new members taking place in August of 2018.

Maybe time to plan a visit?

Nautical Trivia

Get this: the Florida Keys are the only place in the continental US where one can watch the sunrise from and set on, the ocean. Makes sense. Why are we realizing this for only the first time in our lives? Credit to everythingnautical.com. Image via Sailing Chance.


News from the Helm – July 2019


The American Sailing Association (ASA) published an informative and interesting piece on their site that addresses this scenario:

“You crack open a cold one after a long day of sailing. Your buddy Jim finishes his first beer (rather quickly) and tosses the can overboard. When prodded about the environment, he confidently responds, ‘It’s just metal, it will break down naturally.’ A debate starts, and you want it to stop so you can enjoy the sunset and your beverage in peace. Does Jim have a point?”

Find out on the ASA website.


According to BoatUS, the July 4 weekend is the busiest for recreational boating. Hopefully you and your family and friends enjoyed a sail. While July 4, 2019 is gone, it seems appropriate to review these safety tips for next year, and for any day you’re out on the water. There are only seven of them, so take the time to read them:

  1. Boaters will host thousands of guests aboard their vessels this holiday period – many with no boating experience. Before you head out, give a short orientation to guests, not only about essential items, such as how to move about a moving vessel (with one hand always connected to the boat) or how use the head, but also show them how easy it is to use the VHF radio and safety gear, especially life jackets.
  2. For that unexpected young guest without a life jacket, the non-profit BoatUS Foundation’s free Kids Life Jacket Loaner program gives boaters a chance to borrow child-size life jackets for the day, afternoon, or weekend. Nearly 600 locations across the U.S. ensure that there’s a location near you.
  3. Don’t overload the boat. Be careful about adding extra passengers, coolers, and gear, especially with small vessels that are more prone to swamping. It’s also important to keep everyone in the boat and avoid allowing passengers to ride or sit anywhere other than designated places while underway. Riding with legs over the side or on gunnels and seat backs is considered unsafe operation.
  4. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, alcohol use is the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents. Wait to celebrate with alcohol until after you’ve safely returned to homeport for the night. Added to the effects of sun, wind and waves, alcohol lowers situational awareness and slows reaction times.
  5. After viewing fireworks from the water and pulling up anchor, you may have the urge to rush home. Don’t. Slow down. Opt out of taking that tricky, shallow shortcut home. Be cautious and patient – especially at the launch ramp – and the odds for a safe return home increase.
  6. Avoid the two biggest mistakes. The TowBoatUS on-water towing fleet reports that battery jumps, as a result of running music or other accessories all day, and anchor-line entanglements that occur at crowded fireworks show anchorages, are common requests for on-water assistance over the holiday. Monitor your battery drain, go slow while hauling anchor line, and be super vigilant so you don’t run over someone else’s anchor line after the fireworks show ends. As a backstop, boaters can prepare for the holiday period by downloading the free BoatUS App to summon on-water assistance. Purchasing a BoatUS Unlimited Towing Membership before the holiday begins could save you from a hefty towing bill.
  7. The more lookouts you have aboard at night, the better. However, after dark, white lights in the cockpit or on deck can interfere with your crew’s night vision and their ability to see boating traffic or hazards. Turn off or dim the lighting, especially if using a cell phone, or consider using only red helm or accessory lights on the boat. Portable LED headlamps with red lenses can help your crew get around the boat and preserve their sight for spotting traffic.

Good Old Boat in Annapolis!
Behan Gifford, Sales Team, at left. Fiona McGlynn (center) and Robin Urquhart, contributing editors.


It’s not too soon to be talking about the 50th annual US Sailboat Show in Annapolis (or as we say it, the Annapolis boat show). We’re talking about it. We’re getting ready for it. This will be at least the 20th year that we’ve been at the show. Won’t you stop by and say hello?

If you’ve read this far, I have a special message for you.

Just you.

Stop by the Good Old Boat booth in person, say hello, and renew or purchase a 3-year subscription to Good Old Boat magazine. You’ll get a free hat or shirt for sure, but I know myself. I know that I will be so pleased with your commitment to Good Old Boat that I will almost certainly be moved to reach into the cooler behind our counter and hand you a free, ice-cold ale from my personal stash — and one for your partner if they’re there with you. Try me. I’ll be waiting for you. October 10, 11, 12, 13, or 14.


You’ve probably heard the term limey to refer to a Brit, yeah? (We’ve got our own limey on the Good Old Boat masthead, the venerable Jeremy McGeary, our senior editor.) Apparently, limey was at one time used to refer only to British sailors, not British people in general. And the reason for that? Well, before scurvy was completely understood, but when sailors were being treated for it prophylactically, successfully, every nation’s navy had their own approach. The British navy issued lime juice to sailors. Hence, limeys.


News from the Helm – June 2019

By Michael Robertson


Heard about all the high-water flooding affecting the Heartland? Reader Robert Mackay sails out of the Highland Yacht Club in Toronto, Ontario, where they’ve got plenty of water too. Apparently, no sailors are happy about this and there is no word on when the water will recede. As if they don’t already have a short sailing season, eh? In the photo below, that’s a dock on the port side of this sailboat.


If you’ve lived long enough, you’ve learned or realized that most of the well-worn expressions in English originate from the worlds of either Shakespeare or sailing. At least that was our understanding.

Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey.

We thought we knew that this expression was from the world of sailing (definitely not Shakespeare). The monkey was a ring or tray on which cannonballs were stacked in a pyramid next to a cannon, aboard a ship; the monkey kept them from rolling away. The monkey was made of brass so that it didn’t rust sitting on the damp wood deck. But brass contracts rapidly in the cold, more so than iron cannonballs, and thus, when cold enough to freeze, off the brass monkey the cannonballs would roll.

Apparently, this might not be true.

According to grammar-monster.com, this theory is discredited by the US Department of the Navy and the etymologist Michael Quinion and the OED’s AskOxford website:

  • The Oxford English Dictionary does not record the term monkey or brass monkey being used in this way.
  • The purported method of storage of cannonballs (round shot) is simply false. Shot was not stored on deck continuously on the off-chance that the ship might go into battle. Indeed, decks were kept as clear as possible.
  • Such a method of storage would result in shot rolling around on deck and causing a hazard in high seas. Shot was stored on the gun or spar decks, in shot racks (longitudinal wooden planks with holes bored into them, known as shot garlands in the Royal Navy), into which round shot were inserted for ready use by the gun crew.
  • Shot was not left exposed to the elements where it could rust. Such rust could lead to the ball not flying true or jamming in the barrel and exploding the gun. Indeed, gunners would attempt to remove as many imperfections as possible from the surfaces of balls.
  • The physics do not stand up to scrutiny. All the balls would contract equally, and the contraction of both balls and plate over the range of temperatures involved would not be particularly large. The effect claimed possibly could be reproduced under laboratory conditions with objects engineered to a high precision for this purpose, but it is unlikely it would ever have occurred in real life aboard a warship.

There you have it, makes sense to us. Now you’re smarter than when you started reading The Dogwatch.


Dorade racing in the 1936 Transpac

In mid-July, the 50th running of the Transpacific Yacht Race (commonly known as the Transpac) will kick off from Long Beach, California, and finish in Honolulu, Hawaii. Here is an excerpt of the fascinating origins of this race that started in 1906:

“The originator of Transpacific Yacht racing, the late Clarence MacFarlane of Honolulu, corresponded with yachtsmen of San Francisco and Los Angeles prior to 1906 and succeeded in interesting several mainland yachtsmen in a race to Honolulu. On April 14, 1906, he sailed his 48-foot schooner, La Paloma, from Honolulu to San Francisco to join them in a race back to Waikiki. However, he arrived 27 days after the “Great Earthquake” to find the idea of a race from the Golden Gate out of the question. At the suggestion of H.H. Sinclair, he sailed to Los Angeles to join the Lurline and the Anemone for the first Honolulu Race which started from San Pedro on June 11, 1906. Since that memorable date, there have been 44 Honolulu Races; of these, 39 have started from San Pedro, two from Santa Barbara, and one from Balboa, San Francisco, and Santa Monica. This biennial race has proved to be one of the most popular sailing events in the world.”

Good Old Boat is a Summer Sailstice sponsor! Can you find our logo? Click for a larger image.

To continue reading, visit


Summer Sailstice! June 22, 2019: it’s the global celebration of sailing. Founded in 2001 by Latitude 38 publisher John Arndt, Summer Sailstice is a free sailing event held every year on the weekend closest to summer solstice. Nearly 19,000 sailors signed up and participated last year and the mission of the event is: “Host a spectacular weekend uniting and bonding a critical mass of sailors worldwide in a common, publicly visible, inspiring event to demonstrate and celebrate sailing resulting in a significant, positive impact on participation. And, like sailing, have fun doing it!”

And there are contests too. It’s worth learning more at summersailstice.com


News from the Helm – May 2019

By Michael Robertson

Sleepy Women Sailors? 

Oh boy. This one is not going to be easy to tackle and dissect. First, we have the utmost respect for the American Sailing Association (ASA). They’ve been around since 1983 and more than half-a-million people have completed their training through their schools, clubs, or programs. We share their interest in spreading the gospel of sailing, obviously.

Now the ASA wants to get more women out on the water and has created a special education campaign towards that goal. We also share the ASA’s goal to get more women sailing, in the hope that one day there is parity and we can no longer safely bet that a given boat’s owner and captain is a guy.

But we think this ASA initiative, while perhaps good in intent and better than nothing, is kind of silly. We don’t think it has much promise. The ASA is not a federal government bureaucracy, yet this initiative resembles some stale approach to this problem that some tired committee put together, checking box after box until they could report they’d completed the task. The ASA should be free to let loose and come up with a fun, inspiring program to pique the interest of non-sailing women, something that might even grab general media attention, not just select boating magazine editors who find the ASA emailed press release in their inboxes. The ASA should do better.

Here’s the headline:

American Sailing Association Launches “Women Wake Up Zone” to Celebrate Women on the Water and Encourage More Women to Sail

“Women Wake Up Zone,” seriously? What kind of name is that? It tells us nothing. We get the “wake zone” nautical reference, but it’s not a nautical reference generally associated with sailboats.

Let’s continue:

Los Angeles (March 21, 2019) The American Sailing Association (ASA), America’s sail education authority, is energizing women to set sail with the announcement of its new education campaign: “Women Wake Up Zone.” As US corporations, politics and the entertainment industry evolve to include greater numbers of women, the sailing industry is riding the wave of gender equality, as well. With International Women’s Day earlier this month, as well as March being designated as Women’s History Month, the world’s largest sailing organization chose March 2019 to embark upon a crusade to bring more women into sailing.

Are those Me Too movement references? And is it true that, “the sailing industry is riding the wave of gender equality?” Well, the ASA is led by a woman, and both Good Old Boat and Cruising World magazines have women publishers at the helm (and 37% of Good Old Boat’s masthead is women, 46% at Cruising World). But as the ASA points out later in its press release, men outnumber women seven to one as registered boat owners. That number belies any assertion that the sailing industry is riding any wave of gender equality. (Though we also wonder how that number might be misleading as it might mischaracterize couples who may be equally involved in the family sailing pursuit and boat ownership, but his name might be listed first on the registration or documentation, and thus counted as male-owned, or vice-versa.) But the point is, while we’ve seen lots of women on the docks and at the helms over the past few decades, our perception is that the ratio of men to women is still way over 50/50 and that there has not been any change we’ve perceived that indicates sailing is, “riding any kind of wave of gender equality.”

But all that aside, what is the ASA planning for their Women Wake Up Zone initiative to change things?

The American Sailing Association aims to lead gender equality in sailing with its “Women Wake Up Zone” education campaign. Designed to erase the stereotypes and eliminate the fear some women have that sailing is too expensive and physically demanding, the initiative aims to create more women sailors. Shabes added, “As we see more women take the wheel and thrive on our waterways, we believe that others will follow in their wake.”

Okay, we agree that women at the helm will beget women at the helm, but how to increase the number of women at the helm?

Classes. (Yes, classes!) Here’s what they’re going to cover:

  • Tie the knot – Knots can be tricky and intimidating, but women can be better at tying knots because their hands are often nimbler.
  • Raise a sail – Heavy sails that used to require major upper body strength have been replaced with lighter synthetic sails. In fact, men who often try to “muscle” the lines are at a disadvantage because now there are more efficient mechanisms and techniques.
  • Work the winch – Maneuver a modern two-speed winch, the device on a boat to pull in or let out wind.
  • Save someone – Learn the procedure to follow if someone falls off of a boat.
  • Take the helm – Use fingertip precision to steer and sail the course.

Besides the description of these classes seeming kind of absurd, and perhaps not written by a sailor, we think it’s a silly waste of resources. We don’t pretend to have all the answers (and neither do we have the resources that the ASA has). But we’d bet heavy on the inefficacy of this effort.

Our message to the ASA? Get your schools to host open houses for women-only sails, invite the woman anchor or reporter at the local news station out for a sail to publicize it. Reach out to women-only book clubs, inviting whole clubs out for a day of sailing, and give away copies of an ASA sailing title — along with information on how to pursue sailing if they enjoyed the experience. Boots on the ground and real tangible experiences are needed, not vague initiatives and uninspiring classes. Once you get women (people) out on the water and they have a positive experience, learning to “maneuver a modern two-speed winch, the device on a boat to pull in or let out wind” will take care of itself.

Finally, we are encouraged by a stat the ASA listed at the end of their press release: “In 2018, one third of all new students at the ASA schools nationwide were women, and the organization expects that by the year 2020, at least half of all new students will be women.”

We hope so.    Eds.

A Warning from BoatUS

The upcoming July issue of Good Old Boat magazine will feature an in-depth story on ethanol. This BoatUS press release also relates to ethanol, and what may lie ahead. Eds.

President Trump has officially moved to allow E15 (15 percent ethanol) gasoline sales year-round – a fuel prohibited for use in recreational boats and a decision that recreational boating groups say will needlessly put 142 million American boaters at risk. Protecting boaters at the gas pump is a new website with a series of photos of gas station pumps in Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin, that clearly shows the challenges boaters face with poor ethanol warning labels at the pump, resulting in a greater risk of misfueling.

The effort is from the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), which was recently shared in “Boating United” campaign that urges recreational boat owners to tweet their members of Congress to stop the expansion of the government-mandated fuel. Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) supports the effort and is urging recreational boaters to share the website with friends: https://spark.adobe.com/page/dYPx7SjouAr2k/

“The ethanol industry doesn’t want you to see these photos of gas pumps,” said BoatUS Manager of Government Affairs David Kennedy. “The confusion presented to consumers at the pump today is real. Putting the wrong fuel in your boat will likely void your engine’s warranty. We applaud NMMA for clearly showing the misfueling problem.”

E15 is currently banned for sale in many states by the Environmental Protection Agency during summer months over concerns that it contributes to smog on hot days. The push for more ethanol into the nation’s fuel supply is a result of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). When it was passed in 2005, RFS assumed that America’s use of gasoline would continue to grow. Since then, however, gasoline usage has not increased as forecast, which today forces more ethanol into each gallon of gas.

BoatUS has long had concerns over potential consumer misfueling with E15. Most recreational boaters refuel their vessels at roadside gas stations where pump-labeling requirements are minimal with just a small E15 orange warning label. The advocacy, services and safety group for recreational boaters is a member of Smarter Fuel Future, a coalition that aims to reform the RFS.

Nautical Trivia

Thirsty for a tasty rum punch but you’re not sure how to make one and you don’t have a recipe at hand? Okay, that scenario is probably unrealistic in today’s smartphone age, but it’s fun to be able to pull some things from your brain, so here’s a nautically rhyming way to remember how to make the perfect rum punch:

One of sour
Two of sweet
Three of strong
Four of weak

Of course, the sour, sweet, strong, and weak are generally lime, simple sugar syrup, rum, and water. Enjoy!


News from the Helm – April 2019


Last month, we ran a letter from Hal Shanafield, his response to the question of renting vs. owning a sailboat. He referred to his experience at a yacht club and we erroneously printed the wrong name of the club. I’ll let Hal set the record straight:

“You inserted the word “International” into the name of the yacht club I mentioned. The club I wrote about was the American Yacht Club Berlin. It was formed in 1968 and was the successor to the Berlin American Yacht Club, which was formed soon after the American occupation of Berlin began in 1945. The BAYC was defunct well before the AYCB was formed. The AYCB was fundamentally a military club, although we did have a small percentage of members from other countries. When the occupation ended in 1994, the AYCB also ended its existence. Sometime later, the yacht club with the word International in its name was formed, although I don’t know much about that. It’s a little confusing, I admit, but I thought I should set the record straight.

“I noticed that you truncated my original comment, as is your right, of course, as editor. I guess I was being a little too naughty for a family magazine. I enjoy reading Good Old Boat and The Dogwatch, and look forward to each issue. I think you and your staff are doing a great job of putting out a sailing magazine for the rest of us.”

WKhaki ball cap with a Blue Denim bill.ANT TO EARN A GOOD OLD BOAT HAT?

Do you have a great photo of an aid to navigation? We want to see it. If we print it in the magazine, we’ll send you a Good Old Boat hat or shirt, your choice. And it doesn’t have to be a buoy, but certainly can be. The better the photo, or the more unique the aid or photo, the better your chances. Send your photo to Michael_r@goodoldboat.com


Managers of the International Laser Class Association (ILCA) announced today they are seeking new builders to complement their existing network of Laser manufacturers. The move comes after longtime-builder of the class dinghy, Laser Performance (Europe) Limited (LPE), breached the terms of the Laser Construction Manual Agreement (LCMA), which seeks to ensure the identical nature of all Laser class boats, regardless of where they are built.

“We’re disappointed to see such a long and productive relationship come to an end, but we had to move ahead in order to protect the level of competition and the investment for the 14,000 members of the International Laser Class and the more than 50,000 sailors around the world who regularly sail the Laser dinghy,” said Class President Tracy Usher. With its UK-based manufacturing facility, LPE was the ILCA-approved builder that produced boats for most of Europe, Asia and the Americas until earlier this week, when Usher says the class terminated the LCMA with respect to LPE after the builder’s refusal to allow inspection of the boats being built in their manufacturing facility as required by that contract.

“The very heart of our class is the ability for any sailor to race any other on an equal playing field, and the only way we can guarantee that level of parity is by ensuring that all builders are producing the boat in strict accordance with the Laser Construction Manual,” explained Usher, who said that LPE has unequivocally denied the class their right to access to LPE’s factory. “It’s the same for every class of one-design racing boat: if we can’t be sure that they are all the same, we have no class left,” said Usher, who said that LPE left the class “no option.”

Fortunately for sailors around the world, there are already two other manufacturers of class-legal boats, one in Japan and another in Australia. The Laser class was established in 1972. We recently reported that Olympic organizers were considering eliminating competition in Laser boats.


Get this: we learned that there is a Duffel, Belgium, and that’s where the ubiquitous duffle (or duffel) bag gets its name. Apparently, Duffel was once the fount of the coarse, thick, woolen cloth originally used for sturdy coverings aboard ships, the scraps of which sailors used to make bags to carry personal gear, both on aboard and ashore. Now you know.


News from the Helm – March 2019

Across the Bar, Margaret Roth (1922-2019)

Margaret Roth died February 25 in Easton, Maryland. She was the legendary sailing first mate aboard several boats she and her husband, the late Hal Roth, cruised extensively over the years. Hal was a writer who chronicled their adventures in books that still retain a prominent place in any collection of noteworthy sailing literature.

Margaret came to the US from Paris in 1958 and soon met Hal. When they married in 1960, neither knew how to sail, but after sailing with friends on San Francisco Bay, they were hooked. They soon bought their first sailboat, a 36-foot steel sloop.

In 1965, they bought a Spencer 35 and named it Whisper. A year later, they took off to circumnavigate the Pacific. When they returned, the Cruising Club of America awarded them the Blue Water Medal. Hal wrote about their voyage and Margaret typed and edited. Out of this effort was born Two on a Big Ocean, a sailing classic published in 1978.

In 1977, the couple cast off again in Whisper, this time heading south. They were shipwrecked near Cape Horn, rescued after 9 days, and eventually repaired Whisper (she was holed) and continued, up the east coast of the Americas up to Maine. From this adventure, Two Against Cape Horn was published, another bestseller.

A subsequent four-year circumnavigation yielded Always a Distant Anchorage. More books and adventures and awards followed. And through it all, their accomplishments were joint; even when Hal competed in the solo BOC Challenge, Margaret was his indefatigable ground support.

Following is a portion of her obituary as published in The Star Democrat of Easton, Maryland 

“Margaret’s wit, grit, determination and tolerance for discomfort and danger were truly legendary and the characteristics of the perfect first mate. In a passage from Two on a Big OceanWhisper took a hit from a tremendous wave that crashed over the boat and roared into the cockpit. Hal wrote, ‘Margaret with two safety lines around her, was in the cockpit steering. She suddenly found herself up to her armpits in a bathtub of water only 20 degrees above the freezing point. I saw her sputtering and blowing. She calmly began to take off her clothes and to wring them out. It’s your turn to steer,’ she said gamely. ‘I’ve had my bath for today.’”

Across the Bar, Don Green (1932-2019)

Donald M. Green, one of Canada’s most successful offshore sailors and a key figure in its America’s Cup campaigns of the 1980s, has died at the age of 86. He was inducted into the Canadian Sailing Hall of Fame just last August. In 1978, Don won Canada’s Cup with his racing yacht, Evergreen. In 1980, he was made a Member of the Order of Canada, the nation’s most significant civilian honor.

Don grew up sailing and, as a teen, he sailed around the world on Irving Johnson’s 96-foot brigantine Yankee, closing the loop in 1951. In the mid-1970s, Don approached C&C Yachts with the plan to have them design and build a boat he could use to mount a challenge (through the Royal Hamilton Yacht Club) for the 1978 Canada’s Cup. C&C jumped aboard and their young design team led by Rob Ball, and including Steve Killing and Good Old Boat’s own Rob Mazza, designed Evergreen, an IOR Two Tonner of a radical design, with a gybing daggerboard and tiller steering. Don recruited Lowell North to provide sails and to join the crew. The rest of the crew were mainly club sailors from Hamilton, and included a teenager. Don was not just the owner but also the skipper and helmsman, which was very unusual at this level of racing). Evergreen was victorious.

Don next campaigned Evergreen in the notorious 1979 Fastnet Race, in which 15 sailors died. Evergreen did not finish the race, but Don brought her safely back to port with all crew alive and well.

During the 1980s, Don was a part of two Canadian campaigns challenging the America’s Cup, first in 1983, then in 1987

The Dogwatch/Good Old Boat Excellence!

Boating Writers International (BWI) held its annual awards presentation for writers in mid-February and two Good Old Boat magazine and The Dogwatch writers were recognized! Actually, recognized isn’t really the right term as Craig Moodie won FIRST PLACE in the Boating Lifestyles category for his story, “Floating Time.” That’s a $500 prize for Craig. Read it now, on our website: audioseastories.com/floating-time/

And Good Old Boat Contributing Editor Ed Zacko was awarded two Certificates of Merit, one for “Rata of Seville” (Boating Adventures category) and one for “Battling with Ball Valves” (Boat Projects category). These Certificates mean that Ed’s articles were within very narrow margins of the 3rd-place finishers.

Hat’s off to these award-winning Good Old Boat writers!

Y2K All Over Again

Apparently, GPS units and the satellites they receive from, store date info in a funny way. No, not funny ha-ha.

As reported by Ben Stein on the excellent panbo.com website, “The original specification for GPS had dates stored by week in a 10-bit field (2^10 or 2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2) which is 1,024 weeks. 1,024 weeks is 19 years, 36 weeks. Dates for the GPS constellation start at midnight on January 5, 1980, so the first rollover occurred on August 21, 1999. Now, 19 years and 36 weeks later, the same thing will happen again on April 6, 2019.”

So what?

So, some older GPS units may not be able to handle the date rollover, which is coming up quickly. Especially if you have older equipment, you’d be wise to check your unit sometime after April 6 to make sure it’s accurate, before you rely on it.

For specific info, check out the website of the manufacturer of your GPS device.


Khaki ball cap with a Blue Denim bill.Do you have a great photo of an aid to navigation? We want to see it. If we print it in the magazine, we’ll send you a Good Old Boat hat or shirt, your choice. And it doesn’t have to be a buoy, but certainly can be. The better the photo, or the more unique the aid or photo, the better your chances. Send your photo to Michael_r@goodoldboat.com


News from the Helm – February 2019


Buying new often makes sense. But when you’re in the market for a boat part, take a minute to consider whether that part is likely to be found used at a consignment or surplus store.

I remember each year carpooling down to Minney’s Yacht Surplus in Southern California for their annual parking-lot swap meet. It was an event. We’d wake excited and arrive before sunrise to find hundreds of people already doing business, flashlights in hand.

Recently the owner of Second Wave at the Boatyard, a consignment store in Gig Harbor, Washington, contacted me and reminded me of the greatness of these resources — and they’re everywhere there’s a concentration of boats. Many independent chandlers even dedicate a small part of their store to used boat stuff, usually items on consignment.

The savings are often spectacular for these “experienced” parts. So, when you’re in need of something that’s likely to be available used, take a minute to take a look. Besides, many of these stores look like the artful rendering of the Minney’s store above, the kind of place in which you’re liable to find that exactly perfect thing you weren’t looking for.


When Good Old Boat founder Karen Larson read the reader feedback in the December issue of The Dogwatch, she was reminded of a story we ran in Good Old Boat in July 2013, by Ferman Wardell. In that story, Ferman describes how he designed and built his own bottom-cleaning-from-the-dock device. Here’s a link to that story for The Dogwatch readers: Homemade Bottom Cleaner by Ferman Wardell



As most of us are aware, true north and magnetic north aren’t in the same place. And as most of us are also aware, magnetic north is constantly on the move, geographically, subject to the flows of liquid iron in the Earth’s core. And to keep up with calibrations of navigational instruments and mathematical formulas that need to sync with this changing magnetic north, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the British Geological Survey long ago teamed up to develop the World Magnetic Model. They update the model every five years to keep everything accurate. It was last updated in 2015.

However, the speed at which magnetic north is changing has sped up dramatically (nobody really knows why). In the 1950s, it moved about 100 feet per day, about 7 miles per year, but in the 1990s the pace quickened. By 2003, it was moving nearly 500 feet per day, about 34 miles per year. It hasn’t slowed.

Accordingly, the two governments came together a couple of years early to update the model, for the sake of accurate navigation, especially in the latitudes above 50 degrees north. And before they could finalize and release that info, the US government shut down.

But the good news is that the updated model was released February 4, much to the relief of NATO and the US Department of Defense, primary users of the model (along with scientists who study what happens deep beneath our feet, and keels).

For more information, including fascinating stuff we didn’t report here, read the full story on the National Geographic website: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2019/02/magnetic-north-update-navigation-maps/


Raymarine describes the imperative for its newest product, DockSense, as such:

“Docking a boat can be a stressful experience, even for the most experienced captains. Often wind and tides make the task more difficult, and docking mishaps can become expensive repairs and safety hazards. The DockSense system is designed to augment a captain’s boat handling skills using the system’s Virtual Bumper zone technology around the vessel. Should an object like a piling or another vessel encounter the Virtual Bumper, DockSense automatically introduces corrective steering and throttle commands to avoid the object and assist the captain in guiding the vessel to the dock.”

Raymarine describes their newest product, DockSense, as such:

“DockSense uses global positioning system (GPS) and attitude heading reference system (AHRS) position sensing technology to compensate for the effects of wind and currents, ensuring the vessel enters the dock without drama or costly collisions. The Raymarine DockSense system includes multiple FLIR machine vision cameras, a central processing module, and the DockSense App running on Raymarine’s Axiom navigation display.  The system integrates with modern joystick propulsion systems, providing assisted steering and throttle commands to help captains make a smooth arrival.”

At the risk of sounding like a grouchy old man with the mouth of a teenager: Whatever . . .


Khaki ball cap with a Blue Denim bill.Do you have a great photo of an aid to navigation? We want to see it. If we print it in the magazine, we’ll send you a Good Old Boat hat or shirt, your choice. And it doesn’t have to be a buoy, but certainly can be. The better the photo, or the more unique the aid or photo, the better your chances. Send your photo to Michael_r@goodoldboat.com


News from the Helm – January 2019


Are you familiar with the comprehensive boat review we feature at the start of each issue of Good Old Boat magazine? We have a small team of marine freelance writers who draft those for us, and we’re looking to make that small team a little larger. Specifically, we’re looking for an eager reviewer (or two) who lives in coastal California, between San Diego and Pt. Conception (and we will consider the right reviewer further north).

The perfect candidate is a Good Old Boat reader, capable writer and photographer, and sailor. Our reviewers usually review one or two boats per year, so this is a very low-demand gig.

For more information, please contact Michael_r@goodoldboat.com



 Lin Pardey just released a tribute edition of the classic Cruising in Seraffyn and she is donating 100 percent of the profits to support the Larry Pardey Observatory.

The Larry Pardey Observatory?

Shortly before Larry moved to a care facility near the New Zealand home he built and shared with Lin, Kenny Thorall came to visit. Fifty years previously (and a year before Lin came on the scene), Larry and Ken had formed a team, delivering boats together and repairing them. Now Ken, who had gone on to become a bush pilot in Alaska, wanted to do something to memorialize the man who was, in his words, “the best friend any one could have and an amazing sailor.” He donated the funds to create an observatory at Camp Bentzon On Kawau Island, New Zealand, after learning that it would give almost 5,000 youngsters a year a chance to see the stars that led him and Larry across oceans together. A year ago, the Larry Pardey Observatory was completed and outfitted with four telescopes plus 15 sets of special high-powered stargazing binoculars. Since then, more than 100 children each week have had their first chance to explore the night sky, far from the light pollution of the big city.

This tribute edition is updated to include a new introduction, updated guidelines to breaking away on your own adventure, and 16 pages of color photos. The appendices have been updated to include information on what cruising costs today, details of what worked best on Seraffyn, what could have been better, plus the history of this famous little ship. Click here to order: https://amzn.to/2BQJThg or visit www.landlpardey.com


Good Old Boat cover shots have long come from Good Old Boat readers. Think you have a photo we’ll want to buy for our cover? Send it to Michael_r@goodoldboat.com — but first consider the following basic guidelines:

  1. The photo should be a high-resolution image. At a very minimum, this is 300 dpi at about 8×10 inches. In terms of file size, you’re looking at something at least 2MB, but 15MB is better (and feel free to send small, low-res copies of photos you want us to first consider).
  2. The photo doesn’t have to be in portrait orientation, but the portion we’ll use for the cover should be (and the file should be large enough to allow us to crop it while still allowing for 300 dpi at cover size).
  3. Think about composition. The photo should have space up top for us to put the Good Old Boat title, but without covering up something important in the photo.
  4. Is the photo interesting? People, action, and lighting all can serve to make an interesting, unusual cover shot. We like great shots of boats at anchor, but we get a lot of those, so competition for those photos is stiffer. Consider sending us a shot unlike you’ve seen on our covers — a boatyard maybe?
  5. Have fun!


Here’s the first sentence from a BoatUS press release dated December 5, 2018: “President Trump has officially moved to allow E15 (15 percent ethanol) gasoline sales year-round – a fuel prohibited for use in recreational boats and a decision that recreational boating groups say will needlessly put 142 million American boaters at risk.” Read the full press release here: https://www.boatus.com/pressroom/release.asp?id=1455



Do you have a great photo of an aid to navigation? We want to see it. If we print it in the magazine, we’ll send you a Good Old Boat hat or shirt, your choice. And it doesn’t have to be a buoy, but certainly can be. The better the photo, or the more unique the aid or photo, the better your chances. Send what you have to Michael_r@goodoldboat.com

News from the Helm – December 2018



Cavan Lyons, a documentary film student at Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies in Washington, traveled to Victoria, Vancouver, this past August to spend time with 76-year-old Jeanne Socrates ahead of her early-October departure on a voyage that, when completed, will result in Jeanne being the oldest person to ever have sailed solo, non-stop, unassisted around the world (she is already the oldest woman to have completed this feat).

Being a film student, Cavan brought his camera and produced an outstanding 12-minute mini-documentary that really communicates who Jeanne is. After watching it, you’ll feel like you spent the day with Jeanne aboard her boat.


West Marine has hired a new CEO, Ken Seipel, and he’s an outsider. He was formerly the CEO of Gabe’s, a clothing retailer on the East Coast. Before that, he was an executive with other clothing retailers, including Old Navy, Target, and JCPenney. According to the bio released by West Marine’s PR firm, Ken’s not a boater.

For this CEO gig, it’s probably more important to be savvy in business than savvy on the water, but we’re trusting that Ken has a panel of in-house boater-advisors to help him understand and connect with the West Marine customer. After all, this is a company whose market is comprised 100 percent of boaters. We wish Ken Seipel and West Marine enduring success.


In late November 2018, Ontario-area sailors gathered to honor local and national sailing greats. Inductees were:

Bill Cheek, the late sailing judge and race officer

Marty Essig, competed for Team Canada in the 2000 Sydney Olympics in the single-handed dinghy competition

Harry Greening, the late speedboat pioneer, who was born in 1880 and competed at a time when hitting 25 knots — under power — was enough to set records.

Dick Scott, successful racer in the 6-Metre class of the 1960s. Speaking of the 6-Metre class, Harry Penny once said, “As a 6-metre sailor during their heyday in the 1960’s, the writer cannot claim to be objective about the merits of this class; he only knows that he was spoiled for any other kind of racing. Afterward, all other boats seemed graceless, sluggish, and unresponsive.”

Larry Scott, son of Dick Scott and member of the 1972 Canadian Olympic team, competing in the mixed two-person keelboat event in Munich.


Fact: 26% of the boats listed for sale on the classified pages of our September issue sold before the November issue hit the streets. That’s 5 of 19 boats, sold! Are you selling a sailboat, or looking to buy one? The Good Old Boat classified pages are a huge, valuable resource. Brokers! You’re missing the boat if you’re not listing in Good Old Boat magazine, an incredible value. Subscribers! Don’t forget that you’re entitled to a free online listing each year.

News From the Helm-November 2018


The American Sailing Association (ASA), America’s premier sail-education authority, announced last week that it raised $41,379 this fall to benefit Hands Across the Sea. Since ASA selected Hands Across the Sea as its exclusive fall sweepstakes charity partner seven years ago, it has helped to raise approximately $180,000 for the non-profit organization committed to raising literacy levels of children in the Eastern Caribbean.

Throughout September and October 2018, people who watched a one-minute video about Hands Across the Sea on ASA’s website and made an optional donation to the charity, were entered into the sweepstakes for a chance to win a week-long Caribbean sailing charter and other donated prizes.

To date, Hands Across the Sea has raised funds to provide over 464,000 books to more than 400 schools and libraries in the Eastern Caribbean. Over 100,000 students have benefitted from the support of generous sailors and other donors. Since its founding 11 years ago, the charity has expanded its services to also providing teacher professional development and student librarian training to Eastern Caribbean schools.

“The Caribbean and its people are extremely important to us at the American Sailing Association,” said Lenny Shabes, ASA’s founder. “The majority of our members express an interest in sailing the waters that surround the islands that benefit from the work of Hands Across the Sea. Thus, it is our responsibility to help.”


In the September issue of Good Old Boat magazine, we published a letter from a Canadian subscriber who wrote that he loved the magazine, but would not renew in protest; he is upset about the U.S. trade disputes with Canada. We replied that we were saddened. We don’t understand why we are a target for retaliation.

When that issue hit the streets, U.S. subscriber William W. Stiles (who sails a 1976 Pearson) sent us a check to pay for one Canadian’s one-year subscription to Good Old Boat, to “someone in Canada who appreciates a great sailing magazine.”

So, contact me if you’re someone in Canada who appreciates a great sailing magazine and you meet the following guidelines I made up:

  • You are not a Good Old Boat subscriber.
  • You’re familiar with Good Old Boat and would like to be a subscriber.
  • You’re Canadian with a Canada mailing address.
  • Preferably, you own a boat and maintain it yourself.
  • Preferably, you’re willing to send me a brief note about yourself that I can reference in a future issue.

As always, I’m at Michael_r@goodoldboat.com

Hurry! And good luck!



“From 1980 to the early 1990s, my wife and I built a Corbin 39 from a bare hull, with the attendant purchase of all the necessary equipment. Our odyssey was written up in Good Old Boat (“A Corbin 39 From a Bare Hull,” May 2011) and we subsequently sold the boat and her new owners sailed her from Toronto to Brisbane, Australia.

“Now I’m looking for a good home for my large collection of historic marine catalogs, some trade versions, dating from 1980 to the early 1990s, that describe equipment likely to be found aboard readers’ good old boats.

“We were regular attendees at the US Sailboat Show in Annapolis for many years, as well as the winter boat show at Atlantic City, later in Philadelphia. We visited the London Boat Show, as well as shows in Paris, Stockholm, and Southampton. We shopped at BoatUS stores (later acquired by West Marine), at Marine Equipment Supplies in New Castle, Delaware (long since gone), North East Rigging Supplies, Defender, Buck Algonquin, and more. I am attaching a photo of a few, random catalogs. Some of the better-known names are Garhauer, Gibb, Lewmar, Marinco, Morse, Navtec, Perko, Plastimo, and Simpson Lawrence.

“All my catalogs are free, for pick-up, in Bath, Ontario. They weigh a considerable amount (at least 65 pounds) and occupy more than 24 inches of shelf space! If anyone has any interest in this historic collection, please contact me, David Salter, at eds.bath@gmail.com.”


The World Sailing Board has recommended to the World Sailing Council that new equipment be selected to replace the Laser and Laser Radial Classes for the one-person dinghy events in the 2024 Olympic Games. The International Laser Class Association (ILCA) is protesting.

“Because the Laser and Laser Radial Classes represent the majority of countries participating in Olympic sailing, ILCA believes that replacing them would create a devastating and unnecessary disruption for the sport and could very well jeopardize sailing remaining in the Olympic games.

“Universality, or the number of countries participating in an Olympic sport, is one of the key metrics used by the International Olympic Committee to evaluate each Olympic sport. It has taken over 40 years to grow the reach of the Laser Classes . . . It is unclear how another class could duplicate in four years what ILCA and the Laser builders worldwide have built over 40 years.

“Considering the other pending changes to Olympic equipment on the World Sailing agenda, if the Laser and Laser Radial Classes are replaced, the obvious question is: Can our sport survive this level of upheaval and remain in the Olympics?”

For more information: laserinternational.org/

News From the Helm – October 2018



The Association for Rescue at Sea (AFRAS) last month held their annual maritime search and rescue awards ceremony at the Rayburn House Office Building at Washington D.C.’s Capitol Hill. AFRAS is a U.S.-based non-profit that honors heroic rescues at sea, from the previous calendar year, for individuals and crews from government and commercial vessels. This year’s honorees included:

AFRAS is a 501(c)3 non-profit charity that helps protect mariners from the perils of the sea by providing monetary and in-kind donations to world volunteer maritime search and rescue organizations. The charity also recognizes and honors extraordinary maritime rescues through its awards program and annual ceremony.


The Class of 2018 – from the left to right, MC Rob Mazza, Tobi and Tracy Bruce, daughters of inductee Ian Bruce; David and Nancy Glass, son and daughter of inductee Ken Glass; Inductee Don Green; Inductee David Howard; Cedric Gyles, Sr., grandson of Inductee George Gyles; Tory Black, granddaughter-in-law of inductee Jack Cribb; Kyle Rousell, grandson of Inductee Gard Boultbee; and Patianne Hatfield, wife of Inductee the late Derek Hatfield.

On the afternoon of Sunday, August 19th, 14 prominent Canadian sailors were inducted into the Canadian Sailing Hall of Fame at a sold out reception at Kingston Yacht Club in Kingston, ON. The Hall of Fame is a joint enterprise of Sail Canada and the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes at Kingston. The Marine Museum has an extensive sailing archive that includes the drawing collections of prominent Canadian yacht designers such as George Cuthbertson, C&C Yachts, George Hinterhoeller, and TBF Benson.

These 14 new inductees joined current Hall of Fame members Paul Henderson, George Cuthbertson, and Bruce Kirby. Kirby and Cuthbertson were inducted at a gala dinner at KYC in 2014 inaugurating the New Age of Sail exhibit at the Marine Museum, for which Cuthbertson and Kirby were honourary co-curators.

The CSHOF By-Laws stipulate that all Canadian Olympic Medal winners will eventually be inducted into the Hall of Fame. So it is only fitting that this process begins with the Silver and Bronze Medal winning 8 and 6 Metre Royal Vancouver Yacht Club crews from the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics. The 8-Metre crew consisted of Ernest (Jack) Cribb, Peter Gordon, George Gyles, Harold A. Jones, Ronald Maitland, and Hubert Wallace. The 6-Metre crew was made up of Gardner Boultbee, Kenneth Glass, Philip Rogers, and Gerald Wilson. It is interesting to note that four of that ten, Cribb, Jones, Gyles, and Glass, would become Commodores of RVYC.

In addition to these 10 Olympic Medal winners, four other inductees were included to represent other significant aspects and regions of sailing in Canada. Therefore, David Howard and Don Green were inducted from Ontario (RCYC and RHYC) for their vast sailing background, both of which included Canada’s Cup victories; Ian Bruce of RSTLYC in Quebec was inducted representing Canadian small boat sailors and builders, and Derek Hatfield from the East Coast was inducted based on his impressive Around the World Alone sailing accomplishments.


Good Old Boat in Annapolis!  Behan Gifford, Sales Team (left). Fiona McGlynn (center) and Robin Urquhart, contributing editors.

As we do every Columbus Day weekend, we made a splash at the U.S. Sailboat Show in Annapolis. The Good Old Boat crew began arriving the evening of Tuesday, October 2. On Wednesday we began unloading our pallets that contained the pieces of our booth and nearly 3,000 magazines that we would hand out to show-goers. On Thursday, the gates opened at 10:00 a.m. and we were ready.

This show is great. Each year we look forward to seeing and hanging with each other; as we all work from home, the sailboat show is usually the only time we get together in person. We look forward to meeting and seeing readers and contributors. We love handing the magazine to a passer-by who hasn’t heard of us and then seeing their interest as they flip through the pages. And we look forward to seeing friends in the industry, the folks from Cruising World and SAIL and others.

We usually take turns manning the booth, usually at least 3 of us at a time, splitting off in turn for a break or to grab lunch. Each day, when the horn blows and the show is over, that’s when we all unwind and get ready for the following day. Karla usually brings some wine and chocolate to our booth at this time.

Thursday is a VIP day, but then Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are hopping, in contrast. Monday is usually a bit slower and most exhibitors spend the last half of Monday slowly breaking booths down and getting ready to head home.

News From the Helm – August 2018



We have a fantastic readers’ photo spread coming up in the September issue, and we’re already thinking ahead to the next. If you’ve done any fancy rope work on your boat, send us a great photo of it. Maybe you’ve wrapped your wheel or boat hook handle. Maybe you’ve wrapped your keel-stepped mast (for the ship’s cat to use as a scratching post?) or compression post in the cabin. We really want to see it. Get creative and make it pretty, use morning or afternoon light, show us your stuff. Send high resolution photos to Michael_r@goodoldboat.com

News From the Helm – July 2018



Interested in a sound Albin Vega 27? She’s on the hard in Old Saybrook, Connecticut, and reader James Villa is giving her away to a good home. Of course, there are plenty of old sayings about free boats, but this is the real deal. I’ve been emailing back and forth with James and he seems very candid about what he’s offering. He wrote, “Her USCG documentation is up to date. She’s sound in hull, decks, and standing rigging. She has good halyards and hardware. She has an MD7A Volvo 13-hp diesel inboard which was winterized professionally four or five years ago. She is equipped with a roller furling genoa that’s in good shape.”

Unfortunately, the boat’s main sail and dodger were stolen while she sat in storage. James also notes that she needs cleaning and a new head liner in the V-berth. He says that the interior cushions need re-stitching, but that they are usable. She also needs a new wood cabin sole, including bilge and battery covers. Having been sitting, she’ll require new batteries.

But James adds that, “yard fees all will be paid to date. She is a great and kindly sailor, a Discovery 1978 Series III Vega, last of the breed ever made!”

Still interested? Contact James at jamesvega@gmx.com



Reader Cathryn Smith isn’t giving a boat away, she’s looking for one, an Allied Seawind Ketch 30 named Jezebel. Her family owned the boat during the time she grew up on the shores of Long Island Sound. That was 45 years ago.

Cathryn believes the boat was purchased new from Yacht Haven in Stamford, Connecticut, in January of 1966. She thinks that’s the same place from which her father (Robert Smith) sold the boat through in 1972. She says her family kept Jezebel at the Rowayton Yacht Club.

“I currently teach English at the local community college where I have worked for 30 years. I sail on Lake Ontario and every time I go out, I look for Jezebel.”

Cathryn’s been pursuing leads for years with no luck. If anyone has any thoughts or ideas concerning the whereabouts of Jezebel, contact Cathryn at csmith2@monroecc.edu


Good Old Boat founders, Karen Larson and Jerry Powlas, are retired and you can guess how they’re spending their wealth of free time. Yep, you guessed it, and they have two sailboats to do it with. What they need now is information, specifically, the couple wants first-hand knowledge about the sailability of two lakes they have their eyes on: Fontana Lake in western North Carolina, and Grand Lake O’the Cherokees in northeast Oklahoma.

They want to know, about either lake:

  • Might a good old couple with a 30-foot trailerable sailboat find happiness sailing on this lake in the spring?
  • Will this lake accommodate a 5-foot draft?
  • Is this lake crowded during the spring season with houseboats, cigarette boats, or bass boats?
  • Does the lake offer launch ramps that can accommodate a large trailerable sailboat?

If you have any insight, please email karen@goodoldboat.com. She welcomes your thoughts. And maybe you know nothing of these lakes, but have your own idea of a warm-weather lake you think they might enjoy sailing during the months of March, April, or May? They’d like to hear from you too.


We’ve got a fantastic readers’ photo spread coming up in the September issue, and we’re already thinking ahead to the next. If you’ve done any fancy rope work on your boat, send us a great photo of it. Maybe you’ve wrapped your wheel or boat hook handle. Maybe you’ve wrapped your keel-stepped mast or compression post in the cabin. We really want to see it. Get creative and make it pretty, use morning or afternoon light, show us your stuff. Send photos to Michael_r@goodoldboat.com

News From the Helm – June 2018



There are chemicals in many bottom paint strippers that serve to help the chemicals that break down old paint penetrate layers and layers of old paint. Good Old Boat contributing editor and former chemist, Drew Frye, shared with us an emphatic warning to beware of these chemicals, as they are effective at penetrating the layers of your skin.

Especially if you’ve switched to a non-carcinogenic, soy-based stripper, I encourage you to read what Drew has to say about N-Methylpyrilidone (NMP) and precautions you can take and alternatives you can consider. His story, including helpful links, is here.

Then I saw this: Lowe’s bans paint strippers after protest campaign

Wear protective gear when working with chemicals that pose a risk to your health.


In our announcement last month of Marion McCall as our Dogwatch Sailor of the Month, we got our wires crossed referencing Lake Ontario’s Hamilton Bay. Sharp-eyed reader Barry McKee reminded us that Hamilton Bay is at the extreme west end of Lake Ontario.


On August 19, at the Kingston Yacht Club in Kingston, Ontario, the following Canadian citizens will be inducted into the Canadian Sailing Hall of Fame:

  • Ian Bruce – Renowned International 14 sailor, two-time winner of the prestigious Prince of Wales Cup in England, two-time Olympic sailor, founder of Performance Sailcraft, builder of International 14s, initiator and builder of the Laser. Officer of the Order of Canada. (RSTLYC)
  • Don Green – Winner of 1978 Canada’s Cup in the C&C Evergreen, member of 1979 Canadian Admirals’ Cup team in 1979 and survivor of the devastating 1979 Fastnet Race, SORC campaigns in Frers-designed Evergreen II, America’s Cup Challenger in 12 Metre True North. Member of the Order of Canada (RHYC)
  • Derek Hatfield – Renowned single-handed round-the-world racer, winning first-in-class in the 2001/02 Around Alone, raced the 2008 Vendee Globe and in 2010 Derek once again took the podium in the VELUX 5 Oceans single-handed Round The World Race, Recipient of Rolex Sailor of the Year; won Sail Canada’s and Ontario Sailing’s Sailor of the Year awards in 2003.
  • David Howard – Winner of 1954 Canada’s Cup in the 8-Metre Venture II, Skipper 1956 Olympics in Dragons, Sailing Master on off-shore racers Inishfree and Bonaventure (Bermuda races and SORCs), Skipper and syndicate member of True North in 1969 Canada’s Cup trials, Skipper and Syndicate member of 1975 Canada’s Cup challenger Marauder, Past Commodore and Honourary Life Member of RCYC, one of the original four founders of the Nonsuch class (RCYC)
  • 1932 Olympic Silver Medalists – Eight Metres – Ernest Cribb, Peter Gordon, George Gyles, Harold Jones, Ronald Maitland, Hubert Wallace – (RVYC)
  • 1932 Olympic Bronze Medalists – Six Metres – Gardner Boultbee, Kenneth Glass, Philip Rogers, Gerald Wilson – (RVYC)

News From the Helm – May 2018



You’re probably aware that the folks at BoatU.S. sell boat name graphics. You’re likely also aware that each year they release a list of the most popular boat names. It’s fun, and interesting. Well, perhaps inspired by BoatU.S., the good folks at Quantum Paints have released their list of the most popular topside paint colors of 2017, based on sales over the past year. According to Quantum, white will always do well, but things are trending brighter.

Base colors

  1. Pure white
  2. Snow White
  3. Citrus Green
  4. PCDC orange
  5. CTI Blue
  6. Brilliant Blue
  7. Aquamarine metallic
  8. Gunmetal Gray metallic
  9. Whaler Blue
  10. Off Shore White

2KA spray can colors

  1. Black Magic
  2. Yamaha metallic
  3. Snow White
  4. Pure White
  5. Offshore White
  6. Kingston Gray

News From the Helm – April 2018



For 75 years in a row, thousands of Pacific Northwest sailors have participated in a yacht race that started as an overnight sail to round a lightship anchored off the Swiftsure Bank, at the mouth of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the waterway between Washington State and Vancouver Island. The lightship is long gone, but this historic race continues, growing in size and popularity. Best of all, it’s a race for all kinds of sailors, especially those aboard good old boats. I was at the starting line in Victoria, BC, in 2013 to report on the race for Good Old Boat magazine (a Swiftsure media sponsor). I’ll tell you up front that I’m not a big sailboat racing fan, but I loved the vibe and camaraderie of this event. Read my report here. Registration for the 75th annual race began January 2, and there’s still time for you to enter — you’ll likely love it.—Michael Robertson

News From the Helm – March 2018



photo by pressure-drop.us

“Old boats rule,” is how reader Peter Allen put it in his email to me about the story he sent me on the Great Pumpkin Pursuit Race on San Francisco Bay. According to pressure-drop.us, the online sailing forum and news site, this was the 50th anniversary of this storied race, what they called the Summer of Love edition. But what was more special about this race was how the old boats did rule. Peter’s own Star Baby, a Cal 20, finished second overall (it was his first time racing this boat!), right behind another Cal 20, Richard vonEhrenkrooks’ Can of Whoopass. Read the riveting account by clicking here.


Boating Writers International (BWI) is a professional organization consisting of writers, editors, publishers, photographers, and others working in marine journalism. Most of the members are active marine journalists across the United States, Canada and Europe. Every year BWI conducts their Annual Writing Contest. The 2018 contest is the 25th annual contest and is for writing that was published in 2017. We’re always eager to learn whether any Good Old Boat writers’ entries are recognized…

Remember Terry Kotas stripping all the teak off Cetus in our January issue? Glassing over the decks in the heat of Mexico? Well, his “New and Cool Underfoot,” won a third-place cash prize in the Boat Projects category.

Remember “Catboat Postcards,” from our May issue? Contributor Craig Moodie earned a Certificate of Merit in the Boating Lifestyles category for that story.

We’re proud of them both.

And Good Old Boat Contributing Editor Fiona McGlynn earned a Certificate of Merit in the Technical Writing category for a story she wrote for Pacific Yachting magazine and a first-place cash prize in The Business of Boating category for her story in BoatUS magazine called, “Where Are All the Young Boaters?” Good Old Boat Contributing Editor Drew Frye earned both a third-place cash prize and Certificate of Merit for two stories that appeared in Practical Sailor. Roger Hughes, a frequent Good Old Boat contributor, earned a second-place cash prize for, “A Change of Rig,” a story he wrote published in the UK’s Practical Boat Owner magazine.


Imagine being a valued member of the crew who won the 2005-06 Volvo Ocean race. If your life is anything like mine, that achievement (especially considering all that leads up to reaching that point) eclipses just about every notable thing I’ve done. But if you’re Stan Honey, you’ve done that plus you’ve logged 11 wins in the Transpac. And you’ve held speed records for sailing around the world, across the Pacific, and across the Atlantic. You’re married to Sally Honey, two-time U.S. Yachtswoman of the Year, and you were U.S. Sailing’s 2010 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year.

Stan has an unbelievable sailing resume. And yet, that’s not what this story is about. This year, Stan Honey is being inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

You see, in his spare time, Stan invented the artificial lines you see on your TV screen when watching NFL games and other sports, including sailing. You’ve gotten used to seeing where the first-down line is, but it wasn’t that way before Stan Honey got to thinking about how to make that happen.

He’s quite an accomplished individual and deserves all the recognition he gets.

Kudos, Mr. Honey.


photo courtesy of sirpeterblaketrust.org

According to the New Zealand Herald , Jose Irandir Cardoso, sentenced to 32 years in prison more than 16 years ago for his role in the 2001 murder of Kiwi sailor Sir Peter Blake on the Amazon river, was recently apprehended on the Brazilian island of Marajo by military police.

Sir Peter was a national hero in New Zealand, knighted for his sailing successes and dedicated to environmental causes when his life was cut short at 53. The Blake tragedy is often brought up as an argument against carrying firearms aboard cruising sailboats for protection.


It was 90 years ago that Captain Philip Van Horn Weems and Margaret Thackray Weems started a business in their Annapolis, Maryland, home making and selling navigation and weather instruments for mariners. Today the company is still located in Annapolis and going strong. Are you a creative photographer with an old Weems & Plath instrument on your good old boat? You may want to photograph your artifact and enter the company’s anniversary contest. To find out more about the particulars of their anniversary activities, follow Weems & Plath’s Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/WeemsAndPlath.


Days before we went to press, four British men finished pedaling their craft 3,000 miles across the Atlantic to raise money and awareness about mental health issues in young men. Seems like a worthwhile endeavor given the amount of pain and devastation just one disturbed young man can wreak.

They are the first group to have crossed the Atlantic by pedal-power alone and in doing so have already raised about £175,000 of their £200,000 goal, to benefit The Charlie Waller Memorial Trust, whose efforts help people to recognize the signs of depression in both themselves and others, so they know when and how to seek help. For more information and to donate: www.pedalthepond.com.

News From the Helm – February 2018


Corsair Marine and Farrier Marine founder and legendary multihull designer Ian Farrier passed away in San Francisco, California, on December 9, 2017. According to sailboatdata.com, “It is said that there are more than 2,000 Farrier designs (mostly trimarans) sailing around the world. Beginning in the 1970s with the TRAILERTRI series in Australia, Farrier sold detailed plans (as well as kits) for the amateur builder. Most of these boats, (and most Farrier designs to follow) incorporated his ingenious system for folding the floats close to the main hull, allowing for ease of docking and storage. Many of his later designs have been commercially produced in volume by several manufacturers.” Up until 2000, Corsair Marine built and sold many of Farrier’s most famous designs, including the F-24, F-27, and F-31. After that time, due to concerns over quality control, Farrier severed ties with Corsair and all subsequent Corsair builds are not Farrier designs.

Farrier earned a strong reputation for the quality of his work. Farrier Marine General Manager Rob Densem said of Ian Farrier on SailingAnarchy.com, “Ian was a visionary, a multihull genius, an all-round nice guy who leaves behind a huge legacy to the sailing world.”


Just after 1:00 a.m. local time on Friday, January 19, outside the port of Hong Kong, a 65-foot sailboat, Vestas 11th Hour Racing, participating in the Volvo Ocean Race, sailed at over 20 knots into the traffic associated with this busy harbor and collided with a fishing vessel. The fishing vessel capsized and sank and all 10 crew aboard were recovered from the water. One crewmember from the fishing boat was flown by helicopter to a local hospital where he was soon pronounced dead from injuries sustained as a result of the collision. All crew aboard the Volvo racer were uninjured and the damaged sailboat was able to make it to port unaided.

An investigation is underway. Surely, hopefully, procedures will be changed for this race to help prevent another tragedy of similar circumstances. As details emerge, they will likely be reported first at www.volvooceanrace.com.


These are the watch words for 2018, according to the Cruising Club of America (CCA). To this end, they are sponsoring a seminar called “Safety for Cruising Couples.” This seminar will be hosted by yacht clubs and other sailing organizations from Marina del Rey to Key West to Newport, and dozens of other cities — even one in Ireland. Attendance at the all-day events is free (and participants do not have to be CCA members). Seminars will generally be structured with a morning classroom session covering the fundamentals of VHF radios, the basics of navigation, engine operation, medical situations, safety equipment, and man-overboard recovery. An afternoon session can take those topics a step further with on-the-water hands-on training, including chart plotter fundamentals and a demonstration of how to use a life sling in a man overboard situation. New dates and locations are being added daily. For a complete list, visit https://sas.cruisingclub.org/scc/courselist.


Someone generously donated a 1987 Beneteau First 235/RA to the Classic Yacht Restoration Guild (CYRG), an organization dedicated to the preservation of traditional watercraft, especially the organization’s flagship racer, Elf, built in 1888. Now CYRG is selling the donated Beneteau to monetize this gift. The Beneteau is equipped with a winged keel, practically new sails, a head, electronics, roller furling, and cockpit cushions. Plus, she comes with a 1989 Load-Rite tandem trailer. She’s sitting in Chesapeake, Virginia. For more info, or to make an offer, contact Steve Remillard, CYRG Treasurer, at (410) 885-3533 or steverem@yahoo.com.


For 75 years in a row, thousands of Pacific Northwest sailors have participated in a yacht race that started as an overnight sail to round a lightship anchored off the Swiftsure Bank, at the mouth of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the waterway between Washington State and Vancouver Island. The lightship is long gone, but this historic race continues, growing in size and popularity. Best of all, it’s a race for all kinds of sailors, especially those aboard good old boats. I was at the starting line in Victoria, BC in 2013 to report on the race for Good Old Boat magazine (a Swiftsure media sponsor). I’ll tell you up front that I’m not a big sailboat racing fan, but I loved the vibe and camaraderie of this event. Read my report here: www.swiftsure.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/GOB95Mar14Swiftsure.pdf. Registration for the 75th annual race began January 2, and there’s still time for you to enter—you’ll likely love it.


Due to a significant increase in piracy events in the western Caribbean in 2017, in 4th quarter 2017 the Caribbean Safety and Security Net (CSSN) developed and announced its first interactive graphic tool, “Regional Piracy Infographics,” for the Caribbean, with supporting precautions lists for captains/crews. In January 2018, building on all the incident report data for crimes against yachts that CSSN has collected and published for many years, they launched another, “Zoom-Tap, Know & Go.” It’s intuitive, it’s easy, and it’s on the CSSN website and ready to use. Go to: https://safetyandsecuritynet.org/.

News From the Helm – January 2018


If you’re going to be anywhere near Annapolis, Maryland, this winter, you’ll likely want to check out Fawcett Marine’s winter seminar schedule. They’ve got 27 different seminars lined up between mid-January and mid-April, with outstanding speakers such as Wendy Mitman Clarke, Nigel Calder, John Kretschmer, Pam Wall, Gary Jobson, and Chuck Hawley, covering topics ranging from basic navigation to cruising the French canals to the beguiling secrets of the America’s Cup.

For more information, go to fawcettboat.com and click the Fawcett Calendar link, or call 410-267-8681.


A reminder for the New Year that all military personnel deployed abroad are welcome aboard, with a free subscription of Good Old Boat magazine. Are you a service member deployed abroad? Do you know a deployed servicemember who is missing sailing, their own good old boat, and Good Old Boat magazine? Send a quick note to brenda@goodoldboat.com and she’ll make things right.


News From the Helm – December 2017



Will your boat be included in a spread in our May 2018 issue? Send michael_r@goodoldboat.com a high-res photo of her bottom, your boat’s bottom. Let’s see her hanging in Travelift slings, or on the hard, or even a good shot of her under sail, heeled way over and taken from an off-the-boat vantage point on the windward side — be creative!


Good Old Boat Research Editor Dan Spurr writes of his friend, Meade Gougeon, who passed away August 27, 2017 at age 78.

“His last name has been misspelled and mispronounced in more ways than the Gougeon (Goo-shawn) family can imagine, but every boat owner knows how to spell and say WEST System, the brand of epoxy and accessories that Meade, along with brothers Joel and Jan, began marketing in 1970.

Gougeon Brothers, Meade and Jan
Dan Spurr was aboard to capture Meade (left) and brother Jan Gougeon sailing Adagio, a 35-foot trimaran that was the first boat built (1970) with WEST System epoxies. Over the years, Adagio was totally tricked out, as evident in this 2009 photo. Weighing around 2,000 pounds, it won many races on the Great Lakes. Meade and Jan were inducted into the National Sailing Hall of Fame in 2015.

“WEST stands for Wood Epoxy Saturation Technique, a cold-molding process in which diagonal layers of wood veneer are stapled over frames and locked into a stiff monocoque structure with epoxy resin, which functions as both a glue and coating to seal in the desired amount of moisture and to keep out water. While WEST epoxies (including custom professional-grade Pro-Set brand) are used to build boats in wood and composites, boat owners and home do-it-yourselfers around the world have been empowered by the easy-to-use kits to fix everything from boat parts to toilet tanks. In the 1970s the Gougeons built wind turbine blades for NASA, at the forefront of what today is an established industry.

“Much more interested in sailing than business, Meade was a champion DN iceboater, even at age 58, a sport he embraced growing up and living on Michigan’s Saginaw Bay. He and his brothers started in business building DN iceboats — 200 between 1969 and 1974. From here the brothers sold the iceboat-building company to focus on building larger boats, for the water: the trimaran Victor T, which won the C-class Nationals in 1969; the Ron Holland-designed Golden Dazy which won the 1975 Canada’s Cup; the 60-foot (18.3m) proa/sloop Slingshot intended to break the world sailing speed record (it didn’t); the 60-foot Rogue Wave catamaran newspaperman Phil Weld commissioned to compete in the OSTAR race from Plymouth, England to the Newport, Rhode Island; and the Gary Mull-designed Hot Flash Half Tonner. All were cold-molded in wood and the epoxy resin they developed in cooperation with nearby Dow Chemical Co.

“Eventually the epoxy business became so profitable that the brothers stopped building boats…well, almost. Meade managed the company, (Gougeon Brothers, Inc.), Joel went into state politics, and Jan ran the shop, which was a sort of R&D endeavor, and did result in a number of interesting boat projects. Of note was the G-32 self-righting catamaran, the design of which was prompted by Jan capsizing another multihull while sailing to the U.K. to qualify for the OSTAR. After several days upside down, upon rescue he vowed to invent a self-rescuing multihull—and did. They were built in fiberglass and a handful sold, before Jan moved on to test other ideas. New employees to Gougeon Brothers Inc. were strongly encouraged to build their own boat in the shop, as did current CEO Alan Gurski, who built a Gougeon 12.3 when he was hired in 2007.

“Meade loved small boats with sails, and liked to explore remote waters like Lake Huron’s Whalesback Channel in a sailing canoe. In more recent years, largely retired, he and his wife spent winters in Cedar Key, Florida, where he built a number of unusual boats, such as the Gougmaran for exploring extreme shoal waters, and the sailing canoe in which he won his class in the grueling 300-mile Everglades Challenge from Tampa to Key Largo. The year: 2017. His age: 78. Remarkable! As was just about every other aspect of this man who will long be revered and respected for his intellect, generosity, mentoring, and friendship.”



I was born in 1968, so it caught me a bit off guard when I learned that the 2018 Golden Globe Race will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1968 race that is still being talked about today. But the reminder that I’m on the eve of the half-century mark hasn’t diminished my enthusiasm.

In case you’ve been living under a rock, or were born recently, or new to the sailing world, the 1968 race spawned legends and legendary stories. The race was more than a race, it was a challenge. Nobody at the time had ever sailed solo, non-stop, unassisted around the world. Anybody who finished the race would be the first to do so. Was it even possible?

The world, Great Britain in particular, was buzzing about Sir Francis Chichester, knighted the year prior before cheering thousands for becoming the first to sail solo around the world via the clipper route. But a race in which solo sailors did it non-stop, without help, wow. Throw in constant media coverage of the race underway and a purse…everyone’s interest was piqued.

Now a legend in the sailing world, Bernard Moitessier famously turned away from the fame and fortune lying at the finish line and continued around, “To save my soul.” Robin Knox Johnston finished first and was himself knighted (in fact, he was the only finisher). Donald Crowhurst never left the Atlantic Ocean, yet faked position reports and drove himself to madness at the prospect of being discovered. He eventually stepped off the transom, his body never recovered, a wife and children left behind. Nigel Tetley lost his boat after circumnavigating, but before finishing, all because he was pushing her too hard in a bid to beat the phantom threat of Crowhurst’s progress. All of the remaining racers threw in the towel at some point along the route.

Now, in a world where long-distance ocean racing has become the exclusive domain of yachts emblazoned with corporate logos and piloted by professional skippers, along comes the 2018 Golden Globe Race. Only 30 racers can enter and all are restricted to sailing boats designed prior to 1988. No vessel can carry aboard any of the following: GPS, radar, chart plotters and electronic charts, electronic wind instruments, electronic log, mobile phone, iPhone, iPod, Kindle or any computer-based device, CD players, electronic watches/clocks, digital video or still cameras, electronics of any kind, satellite equipment of any kind, digital binoculars, pocket calculators, water-maker, carbon fiber, Spectra, or any high-tech materials. In short, with the exception of designated safety gear (such as satellite phone and tracking systems and modern AGM batteries), if it wasn’t aboard Robin Know Johnston’s boat at the start of the 1968 race, it cannot be aboard a boat at the start of the 2018 race.

These are good old boats! And anyone who can pony up the entry fee and has access to a qualifying boat, can race. I can’t wait to follow along.

Learn more at: http://goldengloberace.com/.


Kidde, the fire extinguisher manufacturer, is recalling 134 models of Kidde fire extinguishers with plastic handles manufactured between January 1, 1973 and August 15, 2017, including some models that were previously recalled in March 2009 and in February 2015. The extinguishers were sold in red, white, and silver, and are either ABC- or BC-rated.

This is a lot of fire extinguishers, but check yours carefully before assuming it’s recalled. We’ve got 3 Kidde plastic-handled fire extinguishers aboard our boat and none are subject to the recall. At any rate, this was a good excuse to check that we’ve got the required number/type of extinguishers aboard and that they are all charged.

For recall details: www.kidde.com.

News From the Helm – November 2017



For nearly 20 years it’s been our policy to extend a free subscription (print or digital) to service members deployed abroad. But maybe we’ve not been so good at getting this word out because a quick survey of our subscriber roles reveals too few FPO and APO addresses that would indicate a deployed service member. Are you a service member deployed abroad? Do you know one who is missing sailing, their own good old boat, and Good Old Boat magazine? Send a quick note to brenda@goodoldboat.com and she’ll make things right.


A few times a year, the Westsail Owners Association holds a Westsail Rendezvous in various locations. If you’re a Westsail sailor or fan, attending a Rendezvous should be on your calendar. San Francisco Westsail sailor Kristina Probst sent Good Old Boat the following report on the 2017 Northern California Westsail Rendezvous, held in Richmond, California. Got a short report and photos from a rendezvous of your boat’s kin? Send them my way: michael_r@goodoldboat.com.

 “Last year we joined the NorCal Westsail Rendezvous even though our Westsail wasn’t sailing. I have since realized that it is more than just a rendezvous. It’s stories, jokes, and laughter. It’s family, friends, and relationships that have grown so much since that meet-up. The Bay Area Westsail community is a strong one, full of people who keep in touch and reach out to help. It is a family. Sure we all own Westsails, but it’s more than that.

“Including my fellow Westsailors, I have met some of the most amazing people since we became boat owners in 2015. Sailors are a different breed of people; I have never felt so at home and connected to people as I have with real time cruising people. Sure, they are a different breed, but so am I.

“This year, my husband, Justin, and I eagerly brought Rad Mode, our 1976 Westsail 32 MkII, to the September Rendezvous, to show her off. Actually, “show her off” is misleading, as she is still incomplete and needs a ton of work. But we’re proud, feeling an amazing sense of accomplishment given that she was mast-less this time last year. Much has happened since then.

“Roughly 10 Westsails and their crews showed up at the Marina Bay Marina in Richmond, California for a Friday-night potluck. Then there was a Saturday BBQ, boat tours, and a raffle. Sunday we all untied the docklines for a parade of Westsails across the Bay to Pier 39. Who doesn’t want to see a bunch of Westsails racing across San Francisco Bay?

“I hope that when sailors hear Westsail they think ‘sailors and fun!’ That doesn’t describe every boating community, but it’s who Westsailors are.”

Kristina Probst is a full-time student at Regent University (graduating 2018). She lives full time aboard Rad Mode with her husband and two young children. Kristina has written several novels, all of which she is working to get published. She writes regularly at www.sailingradmode.com.


I’ve been in contact with my friend, Jeanne Socrates. She’s in a lot of pain and discomfort, but recovering. She left the hospital in Oak Bay, British Columbia, on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, just over two weeks ago. She reports that things are slowly healing, but that she is confined to a tortuous neck brace for 3 long months. Optimistically, she’s careful to note that things could have been worse.

For those who missed the news, Jeanne fell off a ladder in early October while descending from the deck of Nereida, her Najad 380, on the hard. She broke her neck and nose and 9 ribs — plus other minor damage.

For those who haven’t heard of Jeanne Socrates, in July 2013, at age 70, she became (and remains) the oldest woman to complete an unassisted, non-stop, solo circumnavigation via the 5 Southern Capes — Victoria, British Columbia, to Victoria, British Columbia in 259 days.

What was she doing on the ladder? Wrapping the final details to ready her Nereida for another attempt at the same monumental goal. In fact, she was just three days away from casting off, nearly a year’s worth of provisions mostly stowed.

But if there is one thing I know about Jeanne is that she loves challenging solo sailing and will fight to be out there as soon as she can. She lost her boat on a Mexico beach in 2008, 60 miles short of a circumnavigation. In 2010, she was knocked down off Cape Horn, her boat so damaged she had to abandon that attempt. In fact, her 2013 accomplishment came after several missed attempts. And this current setback marks the third setback since finishing in 2013 (two abandoned attempts for mechanical issues last year). Doing what she’s done and continues to try to do again, ain’t easy. Doing it as a septuagenarian is hardcore.

Learn more at her website: www.svnereida.com.


As we put this issue of The Dogwatch together, media outlets are doing their best to cover the story of two woman and their two dogs rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard 900 miles southeast of Japan on October 26. They set sail from Hawaii in early May aboard the Sea Nymph and hadn’t been heard from since.

Unfortunately, the media’s best hasn’t been good enough.

When I was a kid, my dad was a general aviation pilot. In our house, any report on the evening news about a light-plane crash gained our rapt attention. Invariably, with a discernable, broken plane behind the on-scene reporter, they’d stare into the camera and report what they knew of the crashed twin-engine Cessna 150. Because there is no such craft, and because the plane on the ground behind them was obviously a V-tail Bonanza, we’d all slap our foreheads and groan.

So it is with the reporting of the Sea Nymph, to date. Early reports made clear the womens’ vessel was dismasted, but included Navy video of a sloop with her mast upright and her stays appearing intact. And dozens of other reported details make no sense. It makes me wonder, with their resources, why large news outlets don’t have a sailing and aviation subject matter expert on call — even an in-house employee who sails or flies could add valuable perspective as breaking news is reported. After all, they use experts to get their facts right when reporting airliner accidents.

It does highlight how outside the norm we are, with our peculiar sailing knowledge base.

News from the Helm – October 2017



Good Old Boat is looking for readers’ photos for an upcoming spread. We want to see you and your boat, underway beneath a headsail that’s set flying, i.e., not attached to a stay. I’ve received plenty of photos of beautiful, filled spinnakers, but not enough of how things sometimes look when these headsails are not at their best. Got a photo of a nasty twist, perhaps a broach? Maybe one of the chute draped over the railing and in the water? It happens. Send ‘em my way.

But do it fast. I’m gonna run this one in the January issue, and November is already with the printer!


There are countless stories out there of sailors converting their tiller-steered boats to wheel steering, fewer of sailors converting their wheel-steered boats to tiller steering (this is what I’d like to do), but Lee Werth is the only sailor I know of who modified his tiller-steered boat to include wheel steering. Lee sails Fayth, his 1973 Tartan 34C (hull #236), on Chesapeake Bay in the summer and on Neuse River, North Carolina, during the winter months. Check out Lee’s video, hosted on the Good Old Boat Magazine channel (our inaugural video) on YouTube.



Are you a Westerly owner with a story to tell, or a picture to share, related to your boat?  If you’ve sailed, worked on renovations, or coped with a recent hurricane’s wrath, the American Westerly Owners Association would be grateful for anything you’d like to include in the next issue of their newsletter.  Please send any stories to us by October 24.  Like Good Old Boat, they prefer that any pictures be sent as .JPG attachments, rather than as part of a .PDF, and they prefer that stories be sent as either .DOC, .DOCX, .ODT, or PAGES file.


Did you know the U.S. Coast Guard maintains a blog? It’s called The Long Blue Line and it features pretty interesting stuff about the branch of the armed forces most relevant to mariners. Currently on the blog is a fascinating post about the evolution of the Coast Guard’s search and rescue operations. I learned that it was only following WWII that the force began using helicopters, prior to that they were limited to fixed-wing aircraft. And it wasn’t until as recently as 1983 that the Coast Guard began its rescue swimmer program. This latter development was in response to a tragedy in February of that year in which the SS Marine Electric, a 605-foot bulk carrier, sank about 30 miles off the coast of Virginia. Thirty-one of the 34 crewmembers perished; the three survivors endured 90 minutes drifting in the frigid waters before they were rescued. Congress passed legislation shortly afterward establishing the program. This single event also resulted in the current requirements that commercial vessels carry survival suits aboard for all crew. To learn more, read this post at http://coastguard.dodlive.mil/2017/09/the-long-blue-line-evolution-of-the-coast-guards-search-and-rescue-mission/.

News from the Helm – September 2018



Good Old Boat is looking for readers’ photos for an upcoming spread. We want to see you and your boat, underway beneath a headsail that’s set flying, i.e., not attached to a stay. Maybe it’s your colorful gennaker or asymmetrical, full and pulling. Or maybe it’s that same spinnaker, causing a broach. Maybe you’re reaching under a Code 0. Maybe it’s something else altogether.

Give me your best shot, surprise me, but do it fast. I’m gonna run this one in the January issue, and we’re close to wrapping up November now!


How do you teach sailing? How should sailing be taught? The U.S. Government has the answer. The U.S. Coast Guard’s National On-Water Standards (NOWS) Program grant management team and the American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC) worked together to recently release their how-to guide for providing on-water sailing instruction. They spared no creativity in coming up with their guide’s title: SAIL Standard Technical Support Document (SAIL TSD) — but that doesn’t mean it’s not good. More information about the 160-page document and a free download is available at: www.onwaterstandards.org and www.abycinc.org.


Matador, Photo by Tom Kenney

KenneyStone Horse owners descended on Padanaram Harbor, South Dartmouth, Massachusetts, for the mid-August running of the Stone Horse Builders Cup race. David Neumeyer of Marion, Massachusetts, took first place sailing his Matador. Winds were light and fluky for this year’s event, but that didn’t take away from the fact that any gathering of these pretty vessels is a feast for the eyes.

Designed by Samuel Crocker back in 1931, only about 30 examples of the Stone Horse were built of wood. Racing today are examples of the 151 fiberglass cutters built by Edey & Duff between 1969 and 1996.



Speaking of the Feds, the U.S. Coast Guard released its statistical report of boating incidents and fatalities that occurred in 2016. It’s available right here and is pretty interesting: http://uscgboating.org/library/accident-statistics/Recreational-Boating-Statistics-2016.pdf. To sum it up: if you want to enjoy your time on the water and give yourself the best odds of staying both safe and alive, don a PFD, step aboard a sailboat, and have fun.


Navionics, the popular navigation app used worldwide by mariners equipped with iPads, announced release of a software development kit, or SDK. An SDK is a tool that allows other (non-Navionics) developers to build applications that use Navionics functionality within their own programs. This is big news because it promises to take a useful product and make it more so.

Full disclosure: my family and I have been cruising aboard our 1978 Fuji 40 for the past 6 years, from Mexico to Alaska to Mexico and across the Pacific to Fiji. In all that time, Navionics, installed on a few on-board iPads, has been our primary source of chart navigation.

Developers can find more info at: https://developers.navionics.com/




Torqeedo came on the scene a few years ago and made the small electric outboard market their own. They’ve since branched out to offer larger electric marine powerplants. Now they face significant competition from a company that’s been in the electric boat propulsion business for more than 100 years: Elco.

Elco is trumpeting its recent awards from boating magazines for an electric outboard line-up that ranges from 9.9 to 20 horsepower and an inboard range from 6 to 100 horsepower. For more info, visit: https://www.elcomotoryachts.com/.


You’ve heard of the Coast Guard Foundation, a non-profit with a mission to enhance the education, welfare, and morale of Coasties and their family members. A chunk of the money they raise is earmarked for scholarships for Coast Guard member children to pay for higher education. In 2013, the Foundation sent 40 kids off to school with the tuition paid. This year, they’ve done the same for 166 kids! To learn more about this program or to donate, visit: http://www.coastguardfoundation.org/.

News From the Helm – July 2017

The Tartan 34 Turns 50!

Tim J. Dull, Vice Commodore of the Tartan 34 Classic Association (http://tartan34classic.org/) let us know that this year marks the 50th anniversary of the Tartan 34, S&S design 1904. The sloop version was released to production on April 28 1967 and the yawl on October 11 of the same year. Wow.

To mark this milestone, the association is holding a celebration at the U.S. Sailboat Show at Annapolis this year, October 5. The group will meet at the Port Annapolis Marina, at the Overlook Pavilion. To join the celebration, visit the group’s website for registration info.


Rat Hunt
Ray Hunt

Hall of Fame Inductees

The National Sailing Hall of Fame (www.nshof.org) recently announced eight new inductees that comprise the class of 2017. I’ll note that anyone who ever learned to sail in the venerable Optimist should celebrate Clark Mills inclusion, and many O’Day owners and sailors owe a tip of the hat to inductee Ray Hunt, who penned a great number of those designs, among others.

  • Bill Bentsen (Winnetka, Ill./Lake Geneva, Wisc.), a two-time Olympic medalist – bronze in 1964 and gold in 1972 – who has created an indelible legacy for the sport through his contributions as a racing rules and race administration expert.
  • 1963 5.5 World Champion Ray Hunt (Duxbury, Mass.), the innately talented yacht designer of both sail and power vessels.
  • Boatbuilder Clark Mills (Clearwater, Fla.), best-known as the designer of the wildly popular Optimist dinghy used by children under age 16.
  • Windsurfing superstar Robby Naish (Haiku, Hawaii), who won his first world championship title at age 13 and went on to build a multi-million dollar watersports business.
  • Two-time Tornado Olympic Silver Medalist Randy Smyth (Ft. Walton Beach, Fla.), whose expertise as a catamaran sailor led to, among other things, work on major motion pictures.
  • Noted America’s Cup sailor Tom Whidden (Essex, Conn.), the industry giant who recently celebrated 30 years with global brand North Sails.
  • Avid sailor Bill Martin (Ann Arbor, Mich.), whose leadership roles in business and sailing – including the Presidency of the U.S. Olympic Committee – led to a noteworthy 10 years as Athletic Director at the University of Michigan.
  • Corny Shields (New Rochelle, N.Y.), winner of the inaugural Mallory Cup which earned him national recognition on the cover of Time magazine in 1953, who conceived the Shields one-design in 1964 and founded the I.O.D. class.

This group joins 57 previous inductees.


Eight Bells: Doug Peterson

Yacht designer Doug Peterson passed away in San Diego of colon cancer on June 26 at age 71.

I was aware of the boats that bore his name, the Kelly-Peterson 44 and Peterson 46 being the two I’m most familiar with. But I’ve since learned that Peterson designed two Americas Cup winners. That he was a Southern California native who had trouble in school for his inability to stop drawing boats. As a long-haired, bearded college dropout, Peterson apprenticed with designer Wendell Calkins before borrowing money from his grandmother to build his own 34-foot design. That boat was Ganbare and put Peterson on the world stage after she won the 1973 One Ton World Championships in Genoa, Italy.

Peterson’s work is reflected in more than the good old boats that bear his name. He also drew boats for Islander, Baltic, Hans Christian, Jeanneau, Tartan, and Bavaria.

Farewell Mr. Peterson.


 Navtec Closes Its Doors

Navtec, the sailboat rigging company known to many for its Norseman brand of swageless (or mechanical) rigging terminals and based in Guilford, Connecticut, has closed shop. Hayn, a competitor in the standing rigging market and known for its Hi-Mod brand of swageless fittings, bought Navtec’s intellectual property assets at an auction in April. According to an excellent account in the July/Augusts issue of Ocean Navigator, Hayn’s General Manager, Brett Hasbrouck, said that Hayn’s plan for this acquisition is to “fill in the holes in our product offering to make it more complete…We will also be expanding to areas that Hayn did not offer. At some point in the future we will be offering a carbon rigging product.”

Navtec’s closure comes on the heels of another rigging manufacturer going out of business. Hall Spars & Rigging made custom and high-end spars for sailboat manufacturers and went into receivership in January. Ocean Navigator wondered whether these shut-downs are an indicator of the health of the industry. Thom Dammrich of the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) cited data that suggests the industry is healthier than it’s been in recent years. He said that these two companies derived a lot of business from the high-end market and the strong dollar has made that business difficult to sustain in the U.S. Charlie Nobles, Executive Director of the American Sailing Association was reported in Ocean Navigator as saying he believes the sailing industry has stabilized after some tough years. He said his organization is training as many new sailors as they ever have.


Thou Shalt Knot: Clifford W. Ashley

There are still old knots that are unrecorded, and so long as there are new
purposes for rope, there will always be new knots to discover. – Clifford W. Ashley

The New Bedford Whaling Museum celebrates the work of the master knot maker, maritime artist, historian, and author Clifford W. Ashley in a monumental exhibition opening in one of the Museum’s most prestigious galleries. The exhibition includes the premiere of a recent gift to the Museum of Ashley’s private knot collection with interpretative material from the Museum’s private collection as well as the artist’s paintings, prints, and works by other knot experts and artists inspired by his work.

The exhibition runs through June 2018 and more info is available at: www.whalingmuseum.org/


Outside TV

Watch a first-time sailor on the trip of a lifetime, a sailing journey from New Zealand throughout the South Pacific. Ellis Emmett is a lifelong adventurer and his story is captured in the documentary, Over the Horizon. The first episode of the series was July 11 (with a new episode airing weekly thereafter). Outside TV Features is a new channel full of adventure-oriented programming, both shorts and features. Download their free app to watch anytime on your iOS or Android device, or watch on your TV via Apple TV, Roku, or Amazon. Check out the preview on YouTube: www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOp40zb_bQ4

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