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?
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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.
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Mail Buoy

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

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