Dogwatch – August 2019

Dogwatch (n): For sailors, either of the 2-hour watch periods between 1600 and 2000; For journalists, the period after going to press when staff stand by in case breaking news warrants a late edition.
Gemini sailboat chainplate replacement

Chainplates Re-done

When my wife and I bought our 1983 Endeavour 33, we renamed her Gemini. They say it’s bad luck to rename a boat. They might be right.

Bringing her to her new home in Oyster Bay, New York, we slammed into a wave on Long Island Sound and I fell into the pedestal and it tilted forward. After ensuring we still had steering, I wondered what had happened. Soft deck? Fortunately, the problem was much simpler, two broken pedestal bolts. The aluminum bolts they used in 1983 were not a good choice for a saltwater environment. I replaced them with stainless steel.


Morgan 32 sailboat

News from the Helm

Giving away a Morgan 32?! An important museum returns home and who knew this was true of only the Florida Keys…

Read More »

Mail Buoy

A shared meltdown, in search of a long-lost boat from the 1980s, and readers tell their Summer Sailstice stories…

Read More »


Put it to the Readers

You’re reading The Dogwatch, that much I know. But what else? Excluding Good Old Boat, tell me what your favorite and primary sailing publication is. It can be a nationwide glossy (such as Cruising World, SAIL, Pacific Yachting, Ocean Navigator, Latitudes & Attitudes, etc.) or a local rag (such as Latitude 38, Chesapeake Bay Magazine, Spinsheet, etc.) or an online publication or forum (48 North, Sailing Anarchy, etc.).

Shoot me a quick email with just one title, your desert island read. You don’t have to explain or anything, just send the title. Do it now and I’ll tally the results and share.

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


Sailor of the Month

Victoria Putnam is our Dogwatch Sailor of the Month. Victoria grew up on catboats, participating Catboat Association races and rendezvous all around Cape Cod. Here she is at the helm of her father’s newest cat boat, Lazy Lucy, a 24-foot wooden boat based on the 21-foot Fenwick Williams’ design, launched in 2006 by Scott Hershey. Having departing Portsmouth, Virginia, the morning this photo was taken, bound for Ocean City, Maryland, Victoria and her dad are here just past the Chesapeake Bay Bridge/Tunnel. Their passage took 27 hours, 16 hours of which they sailed in thick fog.

Book Review: The American Practical Navigator ‘Bowditch’

If you’ve ever found yourself aboard, beyond cell phone reception, with a pressing question, you’ll no doubt appreciate the value of having a good reference book aboard. As you wrack your brain to remember, “How to calculate the distance between one point and another?” or, “What’s the difference between a flashing and occulting light?” you’ll reach for your trusty “Bowditch,” as sailors before you have done for 200 years.

Read More »


Poem of the Month

Ira Klurfield is currently (and for the past 22 years) sailing his seventh boat, a 1972 Columbia 28. But he wrote this poem about his first boat, a 1951 Dolphin 24 he found in 1975. After 7 years of joyful toil, he returned her to sailing condition, and they still sail together weekly off the Florida coast. He begins with a story of how he came to be the owner of that first boat…

In 1967, when I was 30 years old, a sailing magazine cover caught my eye. It showed a boat sailing under blue skies with white water splashing off the bow. The man and woman aboard looked happy and in control of their destinies. This was my dream. On the pages inside was a Macgregor advertisement showcasing their Venture 21 sailboat, for only $1,995. I journeyed to Mobil Marine, a Macgregor distributor in Wheeling, Illinois, and met the owners who explained that with sails, outboard motor, and trailer, I was looking at over $7,000. Realizing this was more than I could afford, they took me around to the back of a barn to show me a cutter-rigged wooden sailboat, home built around 1927. The price was right. I loved Chanty.

Chanty

There she stood a graceful mass of wood
Rotting slowly as only cypress could
Bulkheads scratched and worn
Coaming splintered and torn

Standing alone on a solid wood cradle of pine
Amid rows of plastic racers without spine
Keel running two thirds her length
Forged out of steel for strength

Rusted steel bobstay chain still clung
From the bowsprit of oak it hung
Tarnished bronze bell in place
Covered by a spider’s lace

Samson post worn but unweakened stood bold
Aft of the forward deck’s bow stay, old
Clevised turnbuckles and shackles lay
Knotted shrouds and twisted stay

Heavy bronze halyard cleats, brass genoa winches
Rusted steel bolts, stiff bent old brass hinges
Bare cypress shown where paint had been
Beams apart, exposed to let light in

The mast hole enlarged from forty season’s use
Requiring wedges to keep it from coming loose
Varnish all peeling from lack of proper care
Spars needing work so they could share

Broad eight foot beam, three foot draft
High freeboard with a boomkin aft
Twenty two foot of deck full view
Bowsprit four and boomkin two

Cutter rigged, two stays forward and backstay aft
Steel uppers and double lowers, shrouds abaft
Solid 3” teak toe rail full length ran
In rough seas it could save a man

Mainsail of dacron and the battens were of spruce
The clubfooted cotton jib sail self-tended its use
All the controls of the halyards and sheets drew
Through to the cockpit for single hand crew

If the wind should die, it would save the day
The engine was old, four cylinder “Grey”
Of thirty horses strong, stout, and true
Power enough and then some too

There was a head, galley, with sink, stove, and ice box
Stowage galore, all the hatches had locks
Lockers enough with parts and spares
Clevis snaps, swivels and flares

All that was needed now was patience and love
Three gallons of caulking for the above
To close up all of the holes
And fill up all of the lows

Many bolts of stainless steel and brass
Anti-fouling to keep off the grass
Rubbing and shining the tarnish
Sanding, painting and varnish

The work, time, and the sweat only excited me more
My heart was so full, my hands were so sore
To bring the “chanty” back to the sea
Was an irresistible challenge to me

The dream locked inside my soul’s happiness
I felt driven on by a need to express
At last the “Chanty” and I were free
She would wander the sea with me.

Ira Klurfield

Mail Buoy – August 2019

Me Too!

Wow, so others have run into power lines too (“The Fourth of July Meltdown,” The Dogwatch, July 2019)! Around 1968, my brother and I set off across Lake Huron’s Saginaw Bay from Bay City to Sebewaing, our first real cruise on the new-to-our-family 1961 Seafarer Polaris, Baker’s Dozen (hull no. 13). I knew that at Sebewaing there was a power line across the river. I knew that everybody turned hard right into the little dredged basin by the airport. I knew there was a ’53 Chevy in the parking lot with keys so sailors and pilots could get into town for meals or groceries.

We navigated across the Bay and found the entrance channel at Sebewaing and headed in under power. At the basin entrance, I saw no power line overhead. What the heck? let’s power up the river for a look-see. And up we went until suddenly the bow began to rise gently. Uh-oh, I thought, we’ve run onto a mud bank. But just then the sparks started flying. I was standing in the companionway and hopped below. My brother, at the helm, figuring he was dead anyway, just froze. Only when he realized he wasn’t dead did he join me below. And there we were, huddled in fear, with the faithful outboard holding us against the power lines that somebody seemed to have moved.

After a while, we realized that the sparks had stopped. Topsides, we saw the spinnaker halyard tied off to the bow pulpit, keeping the spruce mast upright despite the forestay having burned through. That was extraordinarily lucky because that spruce mast is heavy.

We took the Chevy into town, bought a bunch of gas, and the next day we powered home with the faithful outboard. Then it was time for a new forestay.

Baker’s Dozen came to us in 1968 and I’m in the 52nd season of sailing my old friend. I’ve done a few dumb things in the years since, but nothing quite like running into the power lines.

–Chris Campbell, Good Old Boat subscriber


Seeking a Boat

For about a year now, I have had my nose to the ground looking for my grandfather’s boat, a 1984 or 1985 Marine Concepts Rob Roy 23. My dad is gearing up to retire and it would mean the world to him if he had his father’s boat to devote some time to. The search has proven a bit over my head.

The Rob Roy 23 had a very low production number (less than 90 hulls were made, I believe). I know that the boat was purchased new somewhere around 1984 or 1985 in Orleans, Massachusetts, and resold either to Nauset Marine or Aries Pond boatyard (both also in Orleans) in the late 1980s. She had a dark green hull with tanbark sails and was named Sygnet. The one photo I have of her shows what appears to be an after-market ventilation scoop, possibly evidencing an installed head.

I have contacted the above-named boatyards, as well as several private owners of Rob Roys and the state of Massachusetts, but nothing has turned up. I’m not quite ready to give up.

If anyone has any leads, please contact me at jackdodsworth1944@gmail.com.

Jack Dodsworth, Solomons Island, Maryland

Image via Sailboat Data


Summer Sailstice (or Sail Summerstice?) 

We believe in Summer Sailstice, the worldwide annual celebration of sailing that was the brainchild of Latitude 38 publisher John Arndt. We think it’s important, getting people out sailing, hopefully taking the opportunity to introduce a non-sailor to sailing. So I put it to the readers, asking for your Summer Sailstice sailing story — and I promised to pick one story and send the writer a Good Old Boat hat.

Because he’s recently acquired his first good old boat and can therefore probably use some sun protection while sailing, we’re going to give Dirk Niles the first word…  –Eds.

***

Full disclosure: I had no idea June 22nd was Summer Sailstice. And yet, on June 22, my wife and I were on our maiden voyage aboard the first keelboat we’ve ever owned! We sailed with the sellers, who had lovingly sailed and maintained her (a 1981 C&C 34) for more than a decade. The weather forecast was crappy, but June 22 offered fantastic, sunny, breezy sailing weather! We reefed, practiced all the points of sail, docked with wind, everything! At dinner the sellers said our huge grins satisfied them that they’d found the right buyers.

Dirk Niles, Great Joy, 1981 C&C 34

Approaching Craig, Alaska, we worriedly determined that something was wrong with our autopilot. The GPS said we were going one way. The autopilot said something else. Our reliable old magnetic compass had a third idea. It was foggy, with 1-mile visibility, but we were several miles offshore with boisterous seas in the Gulf of Alaska. I didn’t know what to trust.

We saw islands and rocks at the edge of the fog, but which ones were they? Going slowly, we watched the depth and listened for danger.

Later, safely in our anchorage, we traced out the wires to the autopilot’s fluxgate compass. Lo and behold, two days earlier a speaker had flown off a shelf and I’d chucked it into a locker for convenience. It was now just inches from the compass. Speakers have strong magnets…

Dilemma resolved and autopilot recommissioned, we left, unaware that Summer Sailstice was celebrated without us.

Walter Heins, Golden Eagle

We held a raft up with the Clinton sailing club on Long Island Sound. Unfortunately, the wind was gusting 35-40 knots, so the few of us who made it motored more than sailed. And in these conditions, our planned raft-up proved impossible. We anchored close enough to enjoy some good company!

The sailing club has been hosting this event for past three Summer Sailstices! The first year was perfect, last year got rained out (we instead assembled at a Scottish Pub for some dark ‘n stormies), and this year we got what we got (which was fun!). Hopefully the weather is better next year!

–Lorie Eadie

Summer Sailstice weekend was a busy one, with three events planned over three days. The Friday night open house of our Fort Pierce Yacht Club. Saturday was a fun raft up. Sunday we watched the sinking of Voici Bernadette! Voici Bernadette is a small freighter that was cleaned up and sunk ten miles offshore to propagate a new reef. There was a post-sinking celebration.

We continued the Sailstice into July. The mayor of Fort Pierce, Florida, proclaimed July “Celebrate Our Waterways Month,” encouraging residents to join the Fort Pierce Yacht Club, “in celebrating the treasure of our waterways.” Then there was our annual boat parade (15 boats!) through the Intercoastal Waterway and our inlet to celebrate Independence Day.

–Joe Krivan

Chainplates Re-Done

Gemini sailboat chainplate replacement

by Ray Wulff

When my wife and I bought our 1983 Endeavour 33, we renamed her Gemini. They say it’s bad luck to rename a boat. They might be right.

Bringing her to her new home in Oyster Bay, New York, we slammed into a wave on Long Island Sound and I fell into the pedestal and it tilted forward. After ensuring we still had steering, I wondered what had happened. Soft deck? Fortunately, the problem was much simpler, two broken pedestal bolts. The aluminum bolts they used in 1983 were not a good choice for a saltwater environment. I replaced them with stainless steel.

Now I could get to the repairs I knew about.

The bilge pump and pressure-water pump were belt-driven diaphragm pumps that didn’t work well. I’d planned to rebuild them, but I found that the cost of the rebuild kits was greater than the cost of new direct-drive diaphragm pumps. I installed two new pumps. That went well. Things were looking up.

Next up were the instruments. All of them were 1983-vintage Datamarine models. The depth sounder worked, the speed and wind instruments did not. All the displays were dim. I installed B&G depth, speed (one transducer for both), and wind instruments and two Trident multifunction displays. The new system used one small NEMA 2000 cable for everything, allowing me to remove a ton of old cables. That was the end of my first year with the boat.

I started year two focused on fixing a rainwater leak. The problem was simple, a rotted hose that connected the cockpit scuppers to through-hulls in the transom. The fix wasn’t simple. Because I didn’t have an 8-year-old kid to fit into the space I needed to access, I had to hang upside down to reach under the cockpit to make the connection. After a few choice words I got it together. Then I called the boatyard and had them fix a small leak in the exhaust hose. They made short work of the replacement. I replaced the ancient VHF radio.

It was finally time to use the boat as I wanted.

Both my son and daughter-in-law are competitive sailors. The first time I took them sailing they told me the main sail had to go. They were right, so I bought a new main sail, and the difference was amazing. The boat pointed more than 5 degrees higher.

Life was good. I finally had a seaworthy boat that sailed well. Between sails, I wiled away my time tending to minor repairs and teak refinishing. I told my wife that the boat was done and that this year would be just for sailing and sunset cocktails. Don’t ever say that with an old boat.

This summer, my son and daughter-in-law were up from Annapolis for a weekend and I invited them on a short sail, eager to pick their brains about what kind of replacement jib I should get. My daughter and granddaughter joined us for this short before-dinner sail. We set the jib and the boat was moving well. It was Friday the 13th.

The BANG was the loudest I’d ever heard on a boat. Alarmed, nothing obvious was amiss. Then it was clear: the port-side chainplate that holds the upper and intermediate shrouds had ripped through the deck. My crew raced up to the bow and dropped the jib while I started the engine so I could keep the boat into the wind. With the jib down, my son and daughter-in-law attached the jib and spinnaker halyards to the port-side toe rail to stabilize the keel-stepped mast. The mast’s new slight bend to starboard was unmistakable. Dinner that night was somewhat somber until my son broke the ice by saying that I should just jack up the Windex and slide a new boat under it.

I had no idea what to do. The boat was safely on its mooring with the broken chainplate tied to the toe rail. Sailing friends suggested I call my insurance company to see whether the damage was covered. The adjuster took photos of the bulkhead where the chainplate had been attached and of the deck where it pulled through and told me he would get back to me in a few days. True to his word, he called a few days later with the good news and the bad news. They would pay to un-step, inspect, repair, and re-step the mast. I was on the hook for the damaged bulkhead as rot was not covered. I felt much better. Repairing the bulkhead was well within my skill set.

My plan was to cut out any remaining rot and rabbit in a new piece of ¾-inch teak plywood, but to be safe I would sandwich the new plywood between two ½-inch teak plywood panels. As added insurance, I designed new chainplates twice the length of the originals, so they would catch the repaired and unrepaired portions of the bulkhead.

My first step was to cut out all the rotted and delaminated plywood. This left me with a one-foot-square hole. I then realized that cabinet in the head at other side of the bulkhead had to go because the new bulkhead would be ½-inch thicker. (Only God knows how they attached that cabinet to the boat. No screw heads were visible nor were there any plugged screw holes. I know it went in after the chainplates because there was no access to the nuts.) After hacking the cabinet out of the head, I could look through my one-foot-square hole from the main cabin into the head.

While I was doing this work, Garhauer Marine was building the new chainplates I’d specified. I briefly considered making them myself, having once made the chainplates and gooseneck fitting for a 21-foot sailboat, but the thought of drilling 14 ½-inch holes in 3/8-inch stainless steel changed my mind. I did make the ¼-inch aluminum backing plates.

It was time to rebuild.

First, I rabbited one side of the perimeter edges of my one-foot-square hole. I then cut and rabbited a piece ¾-inch teak plywood patch to fit in the hole. To make my life easy, I attached them using the West System epoxy that comes in a caulking-gun tube.

To make the plywood bulkhead sandwich, I started on the head side, as that would be one piece. Because the teak-faced plywood I intended to use is so expensive, I first made an oak tag template followed by a 1/8-inch plywood template. I wanted this to be a cut-once job. After I’d screwed and glued that piece to the bulkhead, I started on the cabin side. That piece of my sandwich would have to be two pieces so that the chainplate would be on the same plane as the existing bulkhead.

To get this right, I knew I needed to position the new chainplate on the bulkhead. But before I could do that, I had to fix the hole in the deck. I made a dummy wooden chainplate, wrapped it in packing tape, and stuck it through the deck so that I could glass right up to it and create the right-sized hole.

When the two beautiful new chainplates arrived (I ordered two because I planned to do the starboard side too, proactively) I used the existing starboard chainplate to gauge the correct height of the port-side chainplate. Now I could bolt the new chainplate to the bulkhead. With it in place I completed my sandwich using the same technique I used on the other side. Except for cosmetic details, the port side was done.

The starboard side was going to be an afternoon job: just remove the existing chainplate and install the new one. Of course, when I removed the old chainplate I found rot underneath. I dealt with it.

So how long did it all take? Sixty days passed between the BANG to the day the mast was up again. Was it worth all the work? Of course. As those who sail older boats know, if the boat’s hull is sound, everything else is worth fixing.

Sailing? Well, there is always next summer.

Ray Wulff is a retired engineer who’s built two wooden sailboats and makes furniture as a hobby. He and his wife live in Oyster Bay, New York, where they sail their 1983 Endeavour in and around Oyster Bay and Long Island Sound.

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.

 

The American Practical Navigator ‘Bowditch’ Book Review

The American Practical Navigator ‘Bowditch’, by Nathaniel Bowditch and National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (Paradise Cay, 2018; 1228 pages)

Review by Fiona McGlynn

If you’ve ever found yourself aboard, beyond cell phone reception, with a pressing question, you’ll no doubt appreciate the value of having a good reference book aboard. As you wrack your brain to remember, “How to calculate the distance between one point and another?” or, “What’s the difference between a flashing and occulting light?” you’ll reach for your trusty “Bowditch,” as sailors before you have done for 200 hundred years.

The American Practical Navigator was first published in 1802 and has enjoyed two centuries of uninterrupted publication. It has circled the globe on thousands of U.S. merchant and Navy ships and seen a fair bit of action along the way, including the British impressment of merchant seamen that led to the War of 1812, the Civil War, both World Wars, the Korean and Vietnam Wars, and Operation Desert Storm.

Though “Bowditch” is a part of history, the content of the latest edition hardly historical. Originally devoted almost exclusively to celestial navigation, it now also covers a host of modern topics, including: GPS, AIS, satellite communications, and electronic charts. In an effort to remain up to date on changing navigational requirements and procedures, the book lives digitally (and is available for download) on the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s maritime safety information web portal.

The 2017 edition has been updated for advancements in positioning and navigation and in some cases, previously removed information has been reintroduced. For instance, given the current interest in Arctic sailing, a chapter on polar navigation was added. Also, the growing popularity of using older techniques, meant that improvements were made to the celestial navigation and piloting chapters. The latest edition also includes updated graphics and higher resolution images.

Packing 2,000 pages of ballast, it’s fair to say that “Bowditch” is comprehensive. Chapters cover topics including piloting, electronic navigation, celestial navigation, safety, ice and polar navigation, oceanography and meteorology. It includes tables for celestial navigation, distance conversions, and barometric corrections, among others, and boasts a considerable nautical glossary, with words sure to stump even the smuggest nautical trivia buff.

Though the 2017 edition is likely unrecognizable to its 1802 predecessor, it remains as it was billed by its original author, Nathaniel Bowditch, an “epitome of navigation.” If I were limited to having only one book on my boat, this would be it.

Fiona McGlynn, a Good Old Boat contributing editor, recently sailed from Canada to Australia. This past summer, she was at the start line in France, reporting on the 2018 Golden Globe Race. Fiona runs WaterborneMag.com, a site dedicated to millennial sailing culture.

Dogwatch – July 2019

 

 

Dogwatch Good Old Boat's Digital SupplementDogwatch (n): For sailors, either of the 2-hour watch periods between 1600 and 2000;
For journalists, the period after going to press when staff stand by in case breaking news warrants a late edition.
Volume 2, No.9


The Fourth of July Meltdown

Dogwatch Feature Story, The Fourth of July Meltdown

Fourth of July weekend, all the family gathered at Grandpa’s cottage on Harsens Island in Little Muscamoot Bay. The cousins caught fish off the seawall while the uncles grilled burgers and the aunts sunbathed. There wasn’t a cloud that dared form and the water was a cool escape from the heat. It was the perfect day to celebrate American Independence and to spend some quality time with family from out of town.

Continue Reading …


News from the Helm Mail Buoy

News from the Helm

Can overboard okay? Surviving on the water on busy days, a special offer for The Dogwatch readers, and nautical trivia…
Continue reading

Mail Buoy

Caribbean explosion, revisiting the Eliquis boat, mega nuts?, and water-vulnerable electronics opinions and experiences…
Continue reading …


Seaworthy Goods All Guard Teak Products

June Sailing

Put it to the Readers

By Michael Robertson

We believe in Summer Sailstice, the June 22, 2019, worldwide celebration of sailing. We think it’s important, getting people out sailing, hopefully taking the opportunity to introduce a non-sailor to sailing. Summer Sailstice was the 2001 brainchild of Latitude 38 publisher John Arndt. He’s got our support. We sponsored it again this year, we publicized it, and now we’re following up. We want to gauge the level of participation.

So, I put it to the readers: Did you take the initiative to sail the June 22 weekend? Did you do so because it was Summer Sailstice, or would you have sailed anyway? Did you make it a point to sail because we announced Summer Sailstice in last month’s The Dogwatch, or did you not know it was Summer Sailstice? In 150 words or fewer, tell me about your time on the water, your sail that weekend. I’ll pick one storyteller and send them a free Good Old Boat hat.

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


New Good Old Boat Ball Cap Crawford Shade Awning

Book Review

200,000 MilesClick the book title for our review of the following book:

200,000 Miles: A life of adventure
by Jimmy Cornell
(Cornell Sailing, 2018; 409 pages)
Review by Fiona McGlynn


Poem of the MonthOn the Driveway in Winter
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On the Driveway in Winter

I lay on the ground ’neath the Boston Whaler,
it was on sawhorses and not on the trailer.
And what do you think that I held in my hand,
why ‘twas my Boston Whaler trailersailer bailer
which I planned to refit and re-bed and re-caulk, you see,
because it’s so very important to me.
It keeps out the water and empties it too,
a really quite clever thing for it to do.
I held it in place, looked over it twice
and thought to myself, it fits very nice.
Then suddenly from the north a great wind blew,
the dust started flying and I dropped a screw.
The weather turned chill as north weather will do
and I did what I did and so would you.
I packed up the bailer, I picked up the screw,
I covered the Whaler as my cheeks turned blue.
I zipped up my jacket and turned up my collar
and ran for the house as I started to holler,
“I can’t take the chill, this cold wind could kill, I need something finer”
and I went to the recliner.
Now I’ve eaten my toast and sipped my hot tea,
I lean back in the chair and it occurs to me,
it’s still early in winter and I’m not a failer
just because I’ve not fitted my Boston Whaler trailersailer bailer.

Richard Green, Pacific Northwest sailor and owner (and part builder) of countless sailboats over his lifetime, including the pictured Jay Benford-designed 22-foot sloop he launched in 1980 after machining all the bronze fittings himself.

A winter poem in the summer? Maybe we’ll make up for it with a summer poem this winter. And you can help. Have you written a sailing poem (or haiku or bawdy limerick) you want to share with Dogwatch readers? Send it to Michael_r@goodoldboat.com and it might wind up here.


Sailor of the Month

Sailor of the Month

Barb Grauer is our Dogwatch Sailor of the Month. Here she is aboard Bay Scout, her 1985 Endeavor 33, anchored in Leeds Creek, across the Miles River from St. Micheals, Maryland. Barb’s husband, Larry, wrote that in addition to being a mean helmsperson, Barb is a galley gourmet and head bartender. Larry wrote, “She followed me into sailing and has grown to love it as much as I do. We’ve been sailing the Chesapeake for about 10 years now and hope to one day sail down the ICW and across to the Bahamas. More times than not you’ll find Barb at the helm leaving me to trim sails, including our asymmetrical spinnaker, which we’ve flown all the way up into Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.”

Nominate a sailor in your life by sending me a hi-res photo of them sailing. Maybe they’ll be chosen! As always, I’m at Michael_r@goodoldboat.com

–MR

   

 

 

News from the Helm – July 2019

CAN OVERBOARD!

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.


SURVIVING ON THE WATER

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.

HAVE YOU READ THIS FAR?

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.


NAUTICAL TRIVIA

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.


CONTINUE READING THIS MONTH’S DOGWATCH

Mail Buoy – July 2019

CARIBBEAN EXPLOSION

I wonder if any sailor readers in the Caribbean saw this on June 22: earthsky.org

–Gregg Bruff, Good Old Boat contributor and reader

Thanks Gregg. We didn’t see this but found reading about it fascinating. For example, this happens, on average, once or twice a year? And this is only the fourth time in history that a non-manmade impacting object was observed prior to atmospheric entry? We’ll keep our eyes open.  –Eds.


REVISITING THE ELIQUIS BOAT

I ran across your discussion about the Eliquis boat (May issue of The Dogwatch). I own a Farr 740 (one of only 2 in the US that I am aware of) and the boat in the commercial has many of the design features of the Farr 740. The original Sea Nymph (New Zealand built) 740s had a wrap-around window cover (over 4 small windows) and rigging that had the stays in line with the mast and running backstays. Later boats had more conventional swept-back spreaders and no running backstays. The original Sea Nymph molds were destroyed in the 90’s, but a slightly modified and updated version was (is?), built under license in Italy. Those boats have more conventional window configurations; it may well be the boat in the commercial. As for the “T” number, I have seen them on F740 sails as a racing ID similar to PHRF #s. Here is a link to several photos and the sales brochure for the Italian boats: http://www.sailingtheweb.com/sailboats/Farr+740+Sport/Plastivela

The Farr 740 shares the design concept of the S2 7.9 Grand Slam and the Santana 23D, a shallow lightweight dingy-style hull with a ballasted daggerboard, reasonable cruising accommodations, and a large cockpit (my boat’s is 8 feet long). I recently weighed my boat with everything on board (including the OB motor) and “ready to sail” she came in at 2750 lbs. All three of these boats rate similar to J24 performance.

Mike Dawson, Farr 740 Sport, #008


MEGA NUTS?

photo by Rick Bucich,
photo by Rick Bucich,  linked to copyright license

I love sailing. I’ve been a sailor all my life, since my dad built a 7.5-foot pram dinghy called a Gremlin for my brother and me. We learned to sail in it and then quickly moved on to an 11.5-foot boat called a Heron. From there we graduated to a 17.5-foot cabin cruiser called a Silhouette. Since leaving home, we have each owned numerous boats and we are still, in our 70s, keen sailors and boat owners.

Yet, I find at this age that I am no longer tolerant of obscene wealth reflected in sailing. I no longer admire gorgeous images of mega sailing yachts or supremely high-tech foiling sailing craft that move at over 30 knots. The money required to build and keep these boats could be better spent, particularly in the face of the numerous crises our world faces.

Boat owners who justify this type of expenditure are in denial about climate change and environmental degradation. The unbelievable level of luxury these owners demand is obscene. It gives me reason to reflect on the Christian teaching about how it is harder for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven than for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle.

I accept that each person is working out their own salvation the best way they know how. But making these observations (judgments if you like) is part of my way. I feel like someone needs to blow the whistle and shout, “Enough”!

Andy Vine

We appreciate your sentiment, Andy, but you’re ignoring relativity. We’re willing to bet you’re a rich man. So rich that a couple billion people on this planet could make the same protest about your wealth and its obscenity. A 5-year-old SUV in the garage, a vacation in Hawaii, a modest Catalina 30 at the marina — it wouldn’t take much to give them a valid claim against you on the same grounds.   –Eds.


WATER-VULNERABLE ELECTRONICS

In 25+ years of sailing, we’ve not had much luck with expensive boat stuff that was sold as waterproof. Specifically, it’s motorized stuff with circuit boards that get wet and fail when water intrusion happens, stuff like self-switching bilge pumps by Rule and our Torqeedo outboard. We wondered if we were cursed or in good company, so we put it to the readers.

Not to dump on Rule, but we’re going to give Jim Conners the first word…  –Eds.

Continue reading

The Fourth of July Meltdown

By Kyle Dluge

Fourth of July weekend, all the family gathered at Grandpa’s cottage on Harsens Island in Little Muscamoot Bay. The cousins caught fish off the seawall while the uncles grilled burgers and the aunts sunbathed. There wasn’t a cloud that dared form and the water was a cool escape from the heat. It was the perfect day to celebrate American Independence and to spend some quality time with family from out of town.

Continue reading

200,000 Miles: A life of adventure

by Jimmy Cornell
(Cornell Sailing, 2018; 409 pages)

Review by Fiona McGlynn

Reading 200,000 Miles: A life of adventure, I had the sense of sitting over a cup of tea, below deck, with a sailing legend, while he enthusiastically told me everything I ever wanted to know about offshore cruising.

Continue reading

Dogwatch – June 2019

 

Dogwatch Good Old Boat's Digital SupplementDogwatch (n): For sailors, either of the 2-hour watch periods between 1600 and 2000;
For journalists, the period after going to press when staff stand by in case breaking news warrants a late edition.
Volume 2, No.8


The Leap from Luddite

Dogwatch Feature Story, The Leap from Luddite

I acquired my first boat as a child, a red MFG 14-foot runabout with a stinky 35-hp Evinrude. She was slow, noisy, and not at all seaworthy. Within in a year, the red fiberglass turned to rose and the blush was gone. Many years later, my first true love arrived in the form of a powder-blue AMF Sunbird 16. She carried a jib and mainsail and offered a small cuddy to get out of the rain. She floated in 8 inches with the centerboard up and was an angel when it was down. I loved pulling her up on our Nissequogue, Long Island, beach to watch the osprey fly overhead and then to sail back into the Sound and head home after a long day.
Continue Reading …

 


News from the Helm Mail Buoy

News from the Helm

Too much water, Summer Sailstice, over a 100 years and 50 Transpacs, and cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey…
Continue reading …

Mail Buoy

Kudos for the May poem, pulsation solution, a better rum punch, and a bevy of Golden Globe Race opinions…
Continue reading


Seaworthy Goods All Guard Teak Products

Put it to the Readers

By Michael Robertson

In 25 years of sailboat ownership, we’ve bought four electric-motor devices with corresponding circuitry, designed for use underwater. All four failed (prematurely) due to water intrusion. The first was a Rule bilge pump, the expensive automatic kind with the integrated water detector and switch. It failed after 2 weeks. Water had found its way inside and corroded the circuit board. Its same-model replacement failed within a year, same fate. We bought a Torqeedo Travel 1003 electric outboard motor new. We babied it. Within a year, water found its way inside the motor hub and destroyed the circuit board. The good folks at Torqeedo sent us a replacement lower unit. It eventually failed too, same reason.

Companies tout the waterproofness of their electronic devices (IP-61 Rated!) and it seems they really should have nailed waterproofness by now. We know of dive computers that just go and go without problems, but these units have the advantage of being completely sealed, no need for protruding wires or propellers. Are our experiences unique? Just bad luck?

And so I put it to the readers: What are your experiences with inadequate waterproofing of electronic products? Or what are your experiences with superior waterproofing, examples where you’ve used it hard and put it away wet and it just keeps going?

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


New Good Old Boat Ball Cap Crawford Shade Awning

Book Reviews

Food Storage AboardClick the book title for our reviews of the following books:

Storing Food Without Refrigeration
by Carolyn Shearlock
(Blue River Press, 2019; 160 pages)
Review by Fiona McGlynn

Chapman Boating Etiquette
by Queene Hooper and Pat Piper
(Hearst, 2005; 144 pages)
Review by Jerry Thompson


Poem of the Month"Wooden

Zen and the Artistry of Sailing
A wooden boat on the wind arcs through the water, like the air that waved through her branches when she was once but only a sapling. Oaken timbers, shaped and carved into curves as fine as any maiden’s define her figure, sipping water to seal her seams and wed her form to its element. Suites of sails drape her spars, to become one with the wind itself. The lightest touch upon her tiller and the finest set of her sails yield the truest line, but as in life, it is futile to take on the wind directly. From a distance, she seems motionless on a lapis sea beneath a sapphire sky. And yet she skims her course, her wake a moving memory, in a dance that only the word “sail” may ever describe.

–Randy Cadenhead, a sailor from Atlanta, Georgia, is a sometime poet who fell in love with wooden sailboats during a stint in Seattle. He currently sails a Bristol condition Cape Dory 27 on Lake Lanier in Georgia, but has never forgotten the magic of “organic” sailing. He is the author of several poetry collections, most recently of The Funny Thing About a Poem: Poems to Ponder and Amuse (Amazon, January 2019).


Sailor of the Month

Sailor of the Month

Sue Jacobs is our Dogwatch Sailor of the Month. Here she is, bundled up prior to the arrival of spring, guiding Cirrus, the 1982 36-foot, 6-inch Nelson Marek Morgan she shares with her husband, Skip. The couple sails often out of Cove Marina in Norwalk, Connecticut. We’ve got to wonder if that’s a glass of warmed mulled wine she’s clutching in her left hand.

Nominate a sailor in your life by sending me a hi-res photo of them sailing. Maybe they’ll be chosen! As always, I’m at Michael_r@goodoldboat.com

–MR


 

 

Mail Buoy – June 2019

PULSATION SOLUTION?

Thanks for “The Empirical Battery Test” article (The Dogwatch, May 2019) and for the editor’s notes that followed it. I want to add that there is a solution to desulfating batteries, and to preventing sulfation in the first place. Pulsating-current battery conditioners are a too-well-kept secret. Every battery owner should have one and use it regularly on vehicle and boat batteries. A more expensive one will work on both 6V and 12V batteries. I use a PulseTech Xtreme Charge battery charger, but there are many reputable makers, including Noco and BatteryMinder.

–Jerry McIntire

Thanks for the endorsement, Jerry. We’ve had our share of battery-killing sulfation issues, and have learned to equalize regularly, but hadn’t heard of this too-well-kept-secret. We went straight to our source of everything-electronic knowledge, Good Old Boat Electronics Editor David Lynn, and shared your thoughts with him. David wrote, “There’s lots of controversy about battery pulsating devices. Some claim they work, while others say they don’t. I tried one on one battery on Nine of Cups (maybe 15 years ago?) and compared that battery with the other batteries, both in the same battery bank and in a second battery bank. After a year, I did a full 20-hour load test to compare the battery with the pulsating device on it to the batteries without. I found no discernible difference and I ended up tossing the device. I think Nigel Calder tested a pulsating-current battery conditioner for Practical Sailor, but I don’t remember what his conclusion was.” So, we next reached out to Darrell Nicholson, Editor of Practical Sailor. Darrell wrote, “We have not done anything that yielded conclusive results in the past 15 years. We did one brief 30-day test that showed some positive results, but the results were small and in the lab (under no load, I believe), and so would be difficult to correlate to real-life use on a boat.” Then Good Old Boat Contributing Editor Drew Frye pointed us to the Trojan battery website (trojanbattery.com/tech-support/faq/) where they are unequivocal: “We don’t recommend the use of desulfators or any other external device, as they tend to do more harm than good. No external device or chemicals need to be added to our products, only distilled water.” So that’s all the info we’ve been able to gather. We’re not refuting your assertion, but we do think it sounds like the jury (after a very long time) is still out on these things…and maybe they’re a secret for a reason? We welcome the feedback of readers on these devices (Michael_r@goodoldboat.com–Eds.


HAI-KUDOS?

Kudos to the writer of the Poem of the Month in the May issue of The Dogwatch, a Haiku it seems. Excellent visuals derived from it and restful. Thanks.

Rich Green

That would be Brian Bills, and here it is again:

Canvas sails billow
Keel cleaves cerulean swells
My soul is renewed


GOLDEN DAZY

I enjoyed The Dogwatch book review of Ron Holland’s autobiography. It mentioned Golden Dazy, a fast and able vessel that was an early success story for the Gougeon Brothers WEST System wood-epoxy construction technique. They built her in Bay City, Michigan, where my older boat, Baker’s Dozen, lives.

That boat was launched for her 52nd season in my care on May 13. The boat herself is 58 now and has a bit of Gougeon Brothers epoxy here and there. Always support the local folks especially when they are sailors!

–Chris Campbell, Traverse City, Michigan


A BETTER RUM PUNCH

Regarding your nautically rhyming way to remember how to make the perfect rum punch in the May issue of The Dogwatch:

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

That’s been my mantra for at least 40 years. But there are two more lines:

Five drops bitters and nutmeg spice
Serve well-chilled with lots of ice.

As for the E-15 boondoggle (“A Warning from BoatUS,” May 2019), I recently encountered an E-15 pump at a local Speedway filling station in Exton, PA. I had to read the fine print very carefully to understand what was going on.

Now, if you will excuse me, the sun is over the yardarm and a lime begs to be squeezed.

Tim Mueller


RACE OPINIONS

Last month, having covered the 2018 Golden Globe Race extensively on the Good Old Boat Facebook page, and having heard a lot of opinions there, we put to the readers a simple query: “In a few sentences only, how do you feel about the 2018 Golden Globe Race? Positive, negative, a mixture of both? Please explain. Or did you not follow this solo race of production good old boats around the world non-stop? And if not, why not?” To be clear, and we’ve said this repeatedly, we are fans of the spirit of this race. Unique in this day in age, it’s a race the average sailor, sailing a boat that might be in your marina, with a realistic budget and no “team of professionals,” can enter and win. That’s what we love. And we think this glorious race is marred by unnecessary rules that put lives in danger. And we’ll add one more thing: we aren’t racing sailors or sailors interested in sailboat racing, never have been…until this race of good old boats.

Dennis Foley’s contrarian stance piqued our interest, so we’ll give him the first word, and hopefully put him at ease…–Eds.

Continue reading

The Leap from Luddite

By Howard Nelson

I acquired my first boat as a child, a red MFG 14-foot runabout with a stinky 35-hp Evinrude. She was slow, noisy, and not at all seaworthy. Within in a year, the red fiberglass turned to rose and the blush was gone. Many years later, my first true love arrived in the form of a powder-blue AMF Sunbird 16. She carried a jib and mainsail and offered a small cuddy to get out of the rain. She floated in 8 inches with the centerboard up and was an angel when it was down. I loved pulling her up on our Nissequogue, Long Island, beach to watch the osprey fly overhead and then to sail back into the Sound and head home after a long day.

Continue reading

News from the Helm – June 2019

By Michael Robertson

TOO MUCH WATER

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.


NAUTICAL TRIVIA

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.


5 DECADES OF TRANSPAC

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
2019.transpacyc.com/history/article/the-origins-of-the-transpac-race


SIGN UP, SHOW UP, SAILS UP

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


CONTINUE READING THIS MONTH’S DOGWATCH

Storing Food Without Refrigeration

by Carolyn Shearlock
(Blue River Press, 2019; 160 pages)

Review by Fiona McGlynn

On day 20 of a Pacific Ocean crossing, having long-since raided the fresh-food stores, my husband and I were subsisting on cans of chicken and “vegetable medley.” I know now that if I’d read Storing Food without Refrigeration before departure, I might have saved myself some heart ache (and heart burn!).

Continue reading

Chapman Boating Etiquette

by Queene Hooper and Pat Piper
(Hearst, 2005; 144 pages)

Review by Jerry Thompson

Have you ever heard the machine-gun rat-a-tat of halyards slapping masts? I have, quite often in my marina and marinas I visit. It occurred to me that some folks are oblivious to the need to quiet their halyards. And it may not be their fault. After all, who teaches sailors about the need to take steps to make sure their halyards do not constantly bang and clang in a breeze? Where is it written that thou shall not allow ones halyards to disturb thy neighbors? The offenders may not even realize the unpleasantness caused as they may not be aboard when a blow comes through causing the disturbing cacophony of noise.

Continue reading

Dogwatch – May 2019

Dogwatch Good Old Boat's Digital SupplementDogwatch (n): For sailors, either of the 2-hour watch periods
between 1600 and 2000;
For journalists, the period after going to press when staff stand by in case breaking news warrants a late edition.
Volume 2, No.7


The Empirical Battery Test

battery test

When they were new, the four Rayovac 6-volt golf-cart (GC2) batteries on Phantom, our Pearson 365 ketch, had plenty of electrical capacity to provide all the power we needed to go three or more days between recharging, perfect for the kind of local cruising we enjoy. As the batteries reached the 5-year-old mark, I wondered whether they still had what it takes, especially given that our need for power consumption is probably greater than it was a half decade ago. How could I determine their capacity from a fully charged state?
Continue Reading …


News from the Helm Mail Buoy

News from the Helm

We’re not impressed with the new ASA initiative, we deliver a warning from BoatUS, and know your rum punch.
Continue reading …

Mail Buoy

Kudos for the April poem, winch socket confusion straightened out, and we may be closer to identifying the big-pharma boat.
Continue reading


Seaworthy Goods All Guard Teak Products

Put it to the Readers

By Michael Robertson

For the past year, Good Old Boat has used its Facebook page (facebook.com/goodoldboat) to cover the 2018 Golden Globe Race as it unfolded. We’ve gotten plenty of heat from Facebook followers who think we’re too supportive of the race, and heat from those who don’t appreciate how we’ve criticized the race. To be clear, we love the concept of this race and have enjoyed following along (it hasn’t lacked for drama), but we aren’t fans of the execution (we think some of the rules, especially the prohibiting of racers from accessing visual weather forecasts, are needlessly dangerous and remove autonomy from the racers), and we’re disappointed that some of our concerns will not be relieved by any changes to the race rules for the 2020 race.

And so I put it to the readers (because we know how the Facebook followers feel, and we suspect that there is overlap, but that a lot of The Dogwatch readers are not our Facebook followers): In a few sentences only, how do you feel about the 2018 Golden Globe Race? Positive, negative, a mixture of both? Please explain. Or did you not follow this solo race of production good old boats around the world non-stop? And if not, why not?

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


New Good Old Boat Ball Cap Crawford Shade Awning

Book Reviews

John Rae, Artic ExplorerClick the book title for our reviews of the following books:

John Rae, Arctic Explorer: The Unfinished Autobiography
by John Rae, edited by William Barr
(University of Alberta Press, 2018; 648 pages)
Review by Brian Fagan

All the Oceans: Designing by the seat of my pants, a memoir
by Ron Holland
(Ron Holland Design, 2018; 350 pages)
Review by Rob Mazza


Poem of the Month

Poem May 2019

The author said that he’s been waiting for his muse to arrive in port. She finally showed up and this haiku was born. The photo is courtesy of James Hamlin, and is of Lorelei, a 1977 Nautilus 36 pilothouse, here on a breezy reach on Long Island Sound with the skyline of Manhattan in the background. –MR

Canvas sails billow
Keel cleaves cerulean swells
My soul is renewed

–Brian Bills, a retired Army veteran, truck driver, sailor and fledgling writer, came to sailing late in life when he moved from Utah to Southern Maryland in 2008. Starting with a 22-foot wooden daysailer he bought on eBay for $1.60, Brian has gone on to refurbish and sail several boats. When he is not hauling freight around the country, he plies the waters of the Chesapeake inYellow Fever, a San Juan 24, and has his eye firmly set on an imminent retirement so that he can move up to a larger boat and begin logging his own bluewater adventures.


Sailor of the Month

Sailor of the Month

Joy Sherman is our Dogwatch Sailor of the Month. Joy can normally be found sailing Pure Joy, her 1987 Catalina 36, but here she’s enjoying a fall sail (and the company of Scupper the Boat Dog) aboard a friend’s 1970s-vintage Bristol 40 near Rhode Island’s Block Island.

Nominate a sailor in your life by sending me a hi-res photo of them sailing. Maybe they’ll be chosen! As always, I’m at Michael_r@goodoldboat.com

–MR


 



The Empirical Battery Test

By Jim Shell

When they were new, the four Rayovac 6-volt golf-cart (GC2) batteries on Phantom, our Pearson 365 ketch, had plenty of electrical capacity to provide all the power we needed to go three or more days between recharging, perfect for the kind of local cruising we enjoy. As the batteries reached the 5-year-old mark, I wondered whether they still had what it takes, especially given that our need for power consumption is probably greater than it was a half decade ago. How could I determine their capacity from a fully charged state?

Continue reading

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!


CONTINUE READING THIS MONTH’S DOGWATCH

Mail Buoy – May 2019

Background Popeye graphic from pngtree.com

APRIL’S POEM OF THE MONTH

Me thinks he watched too much Popeye as a child… I could imagine Olive sitting next to him on the beach!

–Daryl Clark

Great poem.

–Joe Taylor, New Orleans, Louisiana


NAME THE BIG-PHARMA BOAT

Last month, having received a few independent queries (and surprised by them) from Good Old Boat readers about the boat in the pharmaceutical ad (Pfizer, click here to watch), and then being unable to sleuth a response, I put it to the readers. Having zoomed in on screen shots and hunted for clues, I was surprisingly keen myself to learn what this thing was…

Bert Vermeer seems to have put the most time and effort into this query and may be on to something, so he gets the first word…Eds.

Continue reading

John Rae, Arctic Explorer: The Unfinished Autobiography

by John Rae
edited by William Barr (University of Alberta Press, 2018; 648 pages)

Review by Brian Fagan

Orkney-born John Rae (1813-1893) acquired many of his survival skills and his toughness from an idyllic childhood. He became a surgeon for the Hudson Bay Company and soon thrived in the challenging environments of the far north. Over his lifelong association with the Company, he became known as a consummate northern traveler and acquired a remarkable knowledge of Inuit culture. It was Rae who first broke the news of the fate of the Franklin expedition and brought back artifacts from the sailors acquired by Inuit informants. This was his main claim to fame, but he has always remained in the historical background.

Continue reading

All the Oceans: Designing by the seat of my pants, a memoir

by Ron Holland
(Ron Holland Design, 2018; 350 pages)

Review by Rob Mazza

Anybody who lived through, and was part of, the extraordinary growth in offshore racing in the 1970s will be familiar with the name Ron Holland. He and his friend Doug Peterson, and later, German Frers, were the top independent designers of IOR offshore racing yachts in this New Age of Sail ushered by the new IOR rule in 1970. Indeed, Holland points out that these three designers accounted for 49 of the competitors in the 1979 Admirals’ Cup racing — 29 by Holland, 35 by Peterson, and 17 by Frers!

Continue reading

Dogwatch – April 2019

Dogwatch Good Old Boat's Digital SupplementDogwatch (n): For sailors, either of the 2-hour watch periods between 1600 and 2000;

For journalists, the period after going to press when staff stand by in case breaking news warrants a late edition.

Volume 2, No.6


Photos by the Singlehander

On-Deck Camera Mount

Singlehanded sailing and photography don’t always go together. Throw in some brisk wind, maybe a tender boat, perhaps no autopilot, and capturing the moments and scenes on camera can be a real challenge.

As a freelance writer for magazines, I’m often in need of good photos of specific subjects, and sometimes these photos can be captured only while under sail. Sometimes I’m sailing alone. Sometimes my hands or I need to be in the shot. I’m always thinking of solutions.

Continue Reading


News from the Helm Mail Buoy

News from the Helm

Earn a Good Old Boat hat, new builder sought for the almost-50-year-old Laser, nautical trivia for readers, and department of corrections.Continue reading …

Mail Buoy

PFD perspective objection, screens come alive, and readers weigh in on why food does taste better when on the water, salt or fresh.   Continue reading


Seaworthy Goods All Guard Teak Products

Identity this SailboatPut it to the Readers

By Michael Robertson

Apparently, there is a new prescription drug being advertised on TV (surprise!). The commercial for Eliquis (click here to watch:) is the typical pharma commercial, heavy on good-feeling lifestyle imagery. In the case of Eliquis, this means sailing on a lake with a backdrop that looks like paradise. Multiple readers have contacted us over a period of 5 months to ask if we knew what kind of sailboat was featured in the commercial. We’ve tried hard to figure it out.

At 00:33 in the video, the sail insignia is clearly shown and appears to be T1105. Then, at 00:38, we get a clear shot of the outside of the cockpit coaming and it appears to be some logo we can’t identify, then what looks like the Tartan logo followed by 1105. But none of that has allowed us to identify this roughly 24-footer with a small cabin and transom-hung rudder.

And so I put it to the readers: Can any of you identify this boat, definitively? And if you can, how did you do it? We scoured sailboatdata.com

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

New Good Old Boat Ball Cap Crawford Shade Awning

Book Reviews

A Drop n the OceanClick the book title for our reviews of the following books:

Erebus: One Ship, Two Epic Voyages, and the Greatest Naval Mystery of All Time
by Michael Palin
(Greystone Books, 2018; 352 pages)
Review by Rob Mazza

Fun With Sailboats
by Peter Brennan
(Page Publishing, 2018; 152 pages).
Review by Chas. Hague


Poem of the Month

Poem April 2019The author said that he wrote this poem, “while sitting on Vilano Beach, Florida, watching a trawler fight its way through rough seas into St. Augustine, just after sunset. I first wondered what kind of idiot was out there in that, but I gained respect as I watched the vessel carefully pick its way in past the breakwater, often disappearing into the wave troughs.”

I sits and I sits
I sits and I thinks
And the waves
come tumbling in

With toes in the sand
A drink in my hand
The waves still
Come rolling in

The ships sail out
The ships sail in
And the waves
Keep meandering in

The sun goes down
The moon comes up
And the waves
Come crashing in

The buoys blink red
The buoys blink green
And the waves
Keep thundering in

The stars come out
The world goes dim
And the waves
Come steadily in

Everything changes
Nothing’s the same
And the waves
Don’t care

–John Fox, who owns a 29-foot Hunter (pictured) that is not yet seaworthy (not since he bought her). But summer sailing in Maine is on the near horizon, as just last weekend he fixed the engine exhaust elbow and reckons he’ll leave harbor and raise sails once he gets the parts he needs to reattach the transmission cable.

MR


Sailor of the Month

Sailor of the Month

Seventy-six-year-old sailor Jeanne Socrates is our Dogwatch Sailor of the Month. As we go to press, Jeanne is more than halfway finished with what will be her second solo non-stop circumnavigation aboard Nereida, her 2009 Najad 380. She is currently the oldest woman to solo circumnavigate non-stop. When she finishes this trip in roughly three months’ time, Jeanne will be the oldest person to have successfully completed a non-stop solo circumnavigation under sail. This photo is of Jeanne and yours truly, aboard Nereida a couple weeks before the 2012 start of her first non-stop solo circumnavigation. She’s as nice and down-to-earth as she is intrepid.

A sailor doesn’t have to (yet) be legendary to be a Dogwatch Sailor of the Month. Nominate a sailor in your life by sending me a hi-res photo of them sailing. Maybe they’ll be chosen! As always, I’m at Michael_r@goodoldboat.com

–MR


 

Erebus: One Ship, Two Epic Voyages, and the Greatest Naval Mystery of All Time

by Michael Palin
(Greystone Books, 2018; 352 pages)

Review by Rob Mazza

Most of us know Michael Palin from his days with Monty Python’s Flying Circus, but he has also produced several superb BBC travel documentaries. It was probably his fame from the former and involvement in the latter that led to his becoming President of the Royal Geographical Society, and then being asked to address the Athenaeum Club in London, being required to tell the story of one of their past members. Palin chose the renowned 19th Century British botanist Joseph Hooker (whose story Palin had first encountered during filming of one of his travel documentaries in Brazil).

Continue reading

Fun with Sailboats

by Peter Brennan
(Page Publishing, 2018; 152 pages)

Review by Chas. Hague

Peter Brennan has “wrung more salt water out of his socks than most of us have sailed over.” This memoir encompasses 10 voyages the author has made aboard his Pearson 30, Happy Times; on Mists of Avalon, a two-masted schooner out of South Carolina; on the Irish tall ships Asgard II and Thallassa; and on Anthie, a 1979 37-foot CSY. Aboard these varied vessels, Brennan takes us to varied places: Block Island Sound, the waters surrounding Ireland, across the Gulf of Mexico from Florida to Isla Mujeres, and to Havana, Cuba.

Continue reading

Mail Buoy – April 2019

Forest fires raged around Kelowna, British Columbia, last year and during that time, Paul Skene captured this smoke-on-the-water-effect shot of a lone sailboat on Okanagan Lake.
Forest fires raged around Kelowna, British Columbia, last year and during that time, Paul Skene captured this smoke-on-the-water-effect shot of a lone sailboat on Okanagan Lake.

THUMBS DOWN FOR PFD PERSPECTIVE

I just have to comment on the most recent The Dogwatch Mail Buoy conversation about pictures of kids without PFDs (“Thumbs Up For Depicted PFD Use,” March 2019). I found the editorial response to Rob Hill’s letter quite unsettling, particularly these comments:

While we know that SOME kids (and adults) should be in life vests 100 percent of the time in SOME situations…”  (my emphasis added), and,

Continue reading

News from the Helm – April 2019

DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

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


NEW LASER BUILDER NEEDED

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.


NAUTICAL TRIVIA

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.


CONTINUE READING THIS MONTH’S DOGWATCH

Photos by the Singlehander

By Drew Frye

Singlehanded sailing and photography don’t always go together. Throw in some brisk wind, maybe a tender boat, perhaps no autopilot, and capturing the moments and scenes on camera can be a real challenge.

As a freelance writer for magazines, I’m often in need of good photos of specific subjects, and sometimes these photos can be captured only while under sail. Sometimes I’m sailing alone. Sometimes my hands or I need to be in the shot. I’m always thinking of solutions.

The conventional tripod is out of the question while under way. The ubiquitous “selfie stick” limits POV options. And many of the hundreds of clamp-on brackets are either a bit too fussy or won’t grab where I happen to need them to be.

Some years ago, it occurred to me that a winch socket could provide an additional camera mounting point, and so I began watching for a broken winch handle to use as a base, but none came my way. Then I got an idea.

Continue reading

Dogwatch – March 2019

Dogwatch Good Old Boat's Digital SupplementDogwatch (n): For sailors, either of the 2-hour watch periods between 1600 and 2000;

For journalists, the period after going to press when staff stand by in case breaking news warrants a late edition.

Volume 2, No.5

 


Easy Trip to Key West

Easy Trip to Key West

We tend to forget how much GPS, accurate weather forecasting, and modern hull, sail, and communications technologies have improved our ability to get around faster and more safely on the ocean. Oh, and the wisdom that comes to most of us as we leave our 20s behind . . .

In 1974, Judy and I took a sabbatical from work for as long as our savings would last. We left our jobs in Dallas, sold most of our possessions, and began exploring Mexico by train and bus. We were staying on the beach (in hammocks under the palms) on the tiny island of Isla Mujeres when we heard of a young fellow named Troy who was looking for crew to help him sail a boat from Cozumel to Key West, Florida. I’d been sailing most of my life and, as our savings were getting thin, this sounded like a fun and inexpensive way to return to the States after our adventure.

Continue Reading


News from the Helm Mail Buoy

News from the Helm

Across the bar: Margaret Roth and Don Green, BWI awards for Good Old Boat writers, Y2K again, and earn a free Good Old Boat cap.   Continue reading …

Mail Buoy

PFD depiction, sensible low-tech docking, hobo stove revisited, praise for Payne, and readers weigh in on sailboat renting vs. owning.   Continue reading


Seaworthy Goods Holiday Specials on Good Old Boat gear

Put it to the Readers

By Michael Robertson

Department of Corrections: Ahoy! We screwed up, letting a bad link go out last month in this column. Many thanks to the many readers who let us know that the correct URL for the boat-sharing company is boatsetter.com.

winter coverAnd back to our regular programming –

Food tastes better aboard a sailboat, always, right? I don’t care whether it’s an apple, Cheetos (is that food?), or homemade lasagna. And I’ve always known that the reason for this is the salty air. At least, I’ve always known this until Good Old Boat founder Karen Larson spoiled my theory by asserting that food tastes better to her aboard a sailboat in the same way it does me, but she’s a freshwater sailor — no salty air. And I’ve never sailed in freshwater—except 24 hours in Panama’s Lake Gatun, as part of transiting the Canal two decades ago—so I can’t really say that food doesn’t taste better when freshwater sailing.

And so I put it to the readers: Does food always taste better aboard (excepting when you’re experiencing mal de mer)? And why? Is it the salty air, or is Karen right and that’s not it? Or is food, food, and it doesn’t matter whether you’re eating at the kitchen table, in the cockpit, or in the car?

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


Book Reviews

A Drop n the OceanClick the book title for our reviews of the following books:

Dick Carter: Yacht Designer in the Golden Age of Offshore Racing
by Dick Carter and John Rousmaniere
(Seapoint Books, 2018; 192 pages;
$29.95 print)
Review by Rob Mazza

 

The Accidental Captain: the Hilarious True-Life Adventures Of the Nerd Who Learned To Sail Across the Atlantic – Eventually
by Glenn Patron
(self-published, 2016; 257 pages, soft cover)
Review by Wayne Gagnon


Poem of the Month

Poem March 2019
The author wrote that this poem is an attempt to contrast “my first youthful attempts to actively chase (or pry!) experiences from nature (which doesn’t work), with my later (more mature) approach, of simply going forth and becoming open to experiences at hand, hoping that maybe then Nature and the Sea will reveal things. Maybe.”

I went to the Sea pursuing her nature,
my own was concealed.
I chased her secrets,
only mine did she howl in gales.

She gave test without lesson,
punishment without warning.
The Sea owed me nothing,
and nothing at all!

I went to the Sea asking her nature,
my own she revealed.
She gave reward without end,
beauty without margin.

I awaited her secrets.
she whispered them whole,
without bound. Though still,
the Sea owed me nothing,
and nothing at all!

D. Gene Hoffman, who sails a 1979 Shannon 28 cutter out of Deale, MD. He says that the combination of her curves and her teak make his heart go potato-potato-potato.

MR


Sailor of the Month

Sailor of the Month - Noah

Nine-year-old Noah (he’s since turned 10) is our Dogwatch Sailor of the Month. Noah sails regularly on his grandfather’s Bristol 41.1, Boundless, on Chesapeake Bay. He also sails his own 15-foot Galiliee on the James river. “Noah knows how to steer, dock, and navigate. He’s expert on the chart plotter, knows how to make the various kinds of emergency calls, and stays cool, calm, and collected. He’s helpful crew in high-wind situations.” It’s clear to us from this photo that Noah is a tough-as-nails seaman.

–MR


Cover issue 124 Jan/Feb 2019

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©2019 Good Old Boat Magazine

Easy Trip to Key West

By David Sharp

We tend to forget how much GPS, accurate weather forecasting, and modern hull, sail, and communications technologies have improved our ability to get around faster and more safely on the ocean. Oh, and the wisdom that comes to most of us as we leave our 20s behind . . .

In 1974, Judy and I took a sabbatical from work for as long as our savings would last. We left our jobs in Dallas, sold most of our possessions, and began exploring Mexico by train and bus. We were staying on the beach (in hammocks under the palms) on the tiny island of Isla Mujeres when we heard of a young fellow named Troy who was looking for crew to help him sail a boat from Cozumel to Key West, Florida. I’d been sailing most of my life and, as our savings were getting thin, this sounded like a fun and inexpensive way to return to the States after our adventure.

Continue reading

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