Volume 3, Issue 1

Twice Hooked

For me, there are few experiences as satisfying as finding a quiet, secluded anchorage where I can enjoy the freedom of a peaceful sunset and lazy morning. You’ll recognize my boat because there’s an over-sized galvanized anchor on the bow, perpetually coated with dried mud from the last night I spent on the hook. This sailor is firmly planted in the cruiser garden, where I till the watery thoroughfares of the Great Lakes. Read more.

Non-destructive, Battery-powered Interior Lighting, 3.0

We’ve got some poorly lit areas aboard, and they’re where we most need bright light: our under-the-bridgedeck galley sink and our chart table. Early on, we’d use a flashlight to clean the dishes or navigate. Reticent to drill holes in the overhead surfaces, I cleverly hot-glued some large washers to these surfaces and stuck magnetic puck-style lights to them. The light was good, but the lights were easily knocked off, usually into the dish water. I tried a bunch of Velcro-based solutions, but these never lasted long. I think I’ve finally come up with a solution I’ll be happy with for a long time. Read More

Mail Buoy

The good and the best: readers weigh in on the parts of Good Old Boat magazine they love the most, and love the least…

News from the Helm

A big error corrected twice, not enough water to float your boat, a rewarding club membership, and a note about larboard…

Book Review

Self Sufficient Sailor

There’s no questioning or disputing the sailing (and writing) creds that made Lin and Larry Pardey household names among sailors and dreaming-to-be sailors. Their successes—in both sailing and writing—have been huge and enduring. They’ve earned the respect of all sailors, including the vast majority who do not sail engine-less, who do not sail simply, and who do not go small (and thus, in not a few cases, don’t go).

Book Review


Maybe you’ve met people doing what they’re born to do? People who early-on embraced a vocation that was perfectly aligned with their interests and aptitudes? Not only are these folks usually the best in their chosen fields, they’re also happy, and balanced—at peace.

Put it to the Readers

I’ve heard it said so often it’s become trite and meaningless: “I would never set sail without paper charts aboard, as back-ups.” There’s also the inference (and often the allegation) that any sailor who does cast off without paper charts aboard is reckless. There’s a lot to question and unpack there, but the short answer is that I’m on the other side of the fence. I would sail anywhere without a paper chart aboard. But I want to know how you feel.

So, I put it to the readers. Obviously, nobody goes out on a Laser for the day with a paper chart aboard. But where’s the line for you, if there is one? Where do you stand on the issue of having back-up paper charts aboard for navigation? After all, the GPS satellite system could be hacked. Lightning could render your electronics useless. Or have you concluded that paper charts are no longer necessary?

(I ask because NOAA is seeking public comment on their plan to stop—after 200 years—creating/updating even the data currently used by third parties to print nautical charts. )

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

Sailor of the Month

Dave and Melanie Boots are our Dogwatch Sailors of the Month. Here they are in the cockpit of Telerra, a Cape George 38 they spent 14 years building from a bare hull, finishing in 2000. They’ve since completed a Pacific circumnavigation in Telerra and today sail her in her home waters of Washington’s Puget Sound.

Have a favorite sailor you’d like to nominate? Get a good picture of them and send it to me; maybe they’ll be chosen. As always, I’m at Michael_r@goodoldboat.com.


Poem of the Month

The Lifeline

By Fredrick Hudgin

When I go up on deck
And the weather’s rough,
I attach a lifeline
That’s long and tough.

To keep me safe
Or haul me in
When swept overboard
By wave and wind.

I know I’m safe
When wind starts to whine.
Your counsel is my lighthouse.
Our love is my line.

As you are my life line,
I am your boat.
When waves come crashing,
I’ll keep us afloat.

A team we are
Through rain and sun,
Through laughs and tears,
‘Till life is done.

The wind finally calms.
The waves go to sleep.
The boat rocks a rhythm
As old as the deep.

The whales sing to us
While we make love.
The world at peace
Inside our cove.

Fredrick Hudgin and his wife both love to sail and he wrote this poem just after they married. Today they sail Crow Wind, their 1976 Catalina 22. Fredrick is the author of several books. For more information, visit his website at fredrickhudgin.com