February 2008 Newsletter

What's in this issue

This newsletter is available as an MP3 audio download at AudioSeaStories.net. It is read by Michael and Patty Facius. We recommend a broadband Internet connection to download, since it is a large file.

You can also Download a PDF version.

Want to look up a previous newsletter? We've added an on-line index of all the Good Old Boat newsletters.

Hot cakes!

Once again the editors of Good Old Boat were clueless when it comes to marketing, particularly in the area of sales anticipation. This time, it was the new Tom Payne T-shirts, first mentioned in the December newsletter. We said we had w-a-a-y too many brand-new shirts on our shelves and asked for help getting them moved out where they really belong: on the sailors of good old boats.

As it turned out, having too many was not the problem! We ran out of that first batch (dozens of shirts!) before Christmas, did a quick re-order, and had the back-ordered shirts in the mail on the day before Christmas Eve'in the Nick of time (a few sailors no doubt received their shirts just in time for all those "dressy" New Year's Eve events).

So we're covered now. Go ahead. Try us. We can cover you and your crew in T-shirts in celebration of all your special occasions: Valentine's Day'Easter'boat launch?

What makes your old boat good?

That is indeed the question, isn't it? From your point of view, what is it that makes your old boat good? Why are you loyal to this boat? Why have you invested so much of your own blood, sweat, and tears into its maintenance and upkeep? Why do you choose to make it better as time goes on, rather than ignoring it as it deteriorates? Why would you rather be sailing than just about anyplace else on earth?

Tell us what makes your old boat good in 400 to 750 words, and your response may be published in the July 2008 10th anniversary issue of Good Old Boat. We'll send you some nice things from our ship's store as prize goodies if your essay is selected.

Not every essay can be published in the magazine, of course, but some of our other favorites will find their way to this newsletter after our informal contest is over. After all, there are just as many answers as there are good old boaters. And every response is entirely valid.

What have we done for you lately?

And we're still looking for your input on this question: What is the best tip you have read in Good Old Boat? It might have been how to do something better or it might have been a money-saver. Please tell us (in something under 100 words) how reading Good Old Boat has rewarded you for subscribing. If all goes as planned, we'll be running some of these responses and readers' photos in the July 2008 issue'our special anniversary issue.

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What's coming in March

For the love of sailboats

  • J/40 feature boat
  • Chris-Craft Capri 30 review
  • Hallberg-Rassy Monsum 31 review
  • Good old vendor: Hilmark Boats

Speaking seriously

  • Rigging maintenance
  • Fume Detectors 101
  • Anti-fouling paints
  • Boom vang
  • Losing engine coolant
  • Winch repair
  • Quarter berth-to-locker conversion.

Just for fun

  • A Year in a Yawl excerpt
  • The Revision thing
  • Dinghies photo spread

What's more

  • Simple solutions: Sail track lubricator; Scotch-Brite sander
  • Quick and easy: Chain hook; Plastic scraper
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Deep Water

PBS's Independent Lens series
June 18, 2008
10 p.m. (EST); check local listings

Deep Water is the amazing and compelling true story of the fateful voyage of Donald Crowhurst, an amateur yachtsman who enters the most daring nautical challenge ever - the very first solo, non-stop, round-the-world boat race.

Sponsored by the Sunday Times of London, the much-ballyhooed event attracted a field of nine, including Crowhust, who set out to circumnavigate the globe in late 1968. Battling treacherous seas and his own demons, Crowhurst almost immediately comes apart as he faces the isolation of nine months on the high seas.

Through re-enactments and interviews with family and friends, the viewer witnesses Crowhurst's maritime inexperience and eventually an ending that shocked the nation.

For more information, check the PBS website, http://pbs.org/independentlens/deepwater.

Reflections of Superior - Artists under Sail

May 10 ' August 17, 2008
Crooked Tree Art Center
Petoskey, Michigan

An exhibit of approximately 40 oil paintings, etchings, photography, book art, digital illustrations, videos, and woodblock prints, all of them resulting from a circumnavigation of Lake Superior during the 2001 and 2003 seasons, will be celebrated at an opening from 2 to 4 p.m. on May 10. For more information, go to http://www.CrookedTree.org or contact Gail Hosner, visual arts/education director at 231-347-4337 or email.

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An episode in the continuing saga of Sparrow, aka Affaire de Couer
by Allan Browne

It was 1951 when I first met George Capern. The Korean "war" was on. My brother, Charles, was in the U.S. Army and had already been posted over there. George and I had joined the Royal Canadian Navy, Fleet Air Arm, as mechanics. I was a rigger, and George was a fitter. We did not get to Korea.

In 1955, we went our separate ways but both ended up in Sarnia, Ontario, by 1960. George had become an aircraft technician, a commercial pilot, and was the airport manager, while I had become a heavy-equipment mechanic, building an overpass near the airport.

We met again since our sons played hockey in the same league. Subsequently, I took a flight with George on some foundry business over to Ohio. We had a great opportunity to catch up, and I learned that George was to assemble a new kit boat brought in from California. This became the 41-foot Rhodes Bounty named Affaire de Couer. Later, with Bob Walkinshaw as owner, she was to be named Sparrow.

With friends, we arranged a charter of the Affaire about 1968, after she had been put into charter service down in the Grenadines, sailing out of St. Georges. George, who was now an accomplished sailor, had delivered the boat.

Seeing that beautiful boat on the dock at St. Georges was simply a thrill. All we had to do was provision and get out to sea for the adventure of a lifetime. That it was!

By nightfall we had sailed northward along the coast but the engine quit. Thankfully, it was a quiet night: no wind or waves and pitch black. We decided to turn toward shore and anchor in a bay'where it seemed the bottom was nowhere to be found. We had the entire scope out and crept inshore until it hooked. We made the decision to return to the marina after a restless night in that bay.

In the morning, the engine started right up but it quit several times on the return trip. We sailed a bit and arrived at the marina in the evening. We made fast to await the mechanics from the marina in the early morning. Then to bed.

We awoke, very early, to find the floorboards afloat and water up to the companionway ladder. Panic stations! Bailing was immediately commenced with a bucket brigade. As we reduced the quantity of water in the boat, we discovered that the switch for the bilge pump had been switched off during the night'hence the volume of water in the boat. (I must confess that it was I who had kicked off the switch while asleep in the pilot berth).

With the pump working, the boat soon emptied but more water kept coming in. We could not find out the entry point until the mechanics came by. They soon determined that a grease fitting in the shaft assembly had worked out; the repair was made. But, of course, the cleanup took longer that anticipated'eating into our charter time.

Finally, we were ready to go again, except the motor quit once more on a test run. This puzzled the mechanic who, after a minute's thought, asked for half a grapefruit. He took it, hunkered in the engine compartment, then came on deck to wait. Finally, he tried the engine. It started up and purred nice as could be. Seems the coil was the culprit and when cooled with the grapefruit, it responded; the problem was solved.

Of course, there was not a coil in stock for the repair and our time was running out. That was more or less the end of our once-in-a-lifetime Caribbean charter. We all flew home somewhat disappointed, but tanned.

Moving through the years to 2005, I am now living in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. I volunteered at the Fisheries Museum Boat Shop. It was there that I met Bob Walkinshaw. A lot of talk goes on in that shop with people dropping by to chat about this and that. It was during one of these chats when Grenada was mentioned in passing that I remarked on our charter some 37 years ago.

My last knowledge of the Affaire de Couer was that she had been chartered and stolen by some dope(y) people and was found sunk in Florida. End of story.

But Bob piped up to say he had purchased a boat that had been sunk in Florida, that he had refurbished it, and that he had sailed it for many seasons along the eastern seaboard before selling the boat once more to go where'who knows? What are the chances that this could be the same boat after all this time?

But it was. Affaire de Couer had surfaced again in our lives after a hiatus of some 40 years. Bob had pictures and I was delighted to learn that he bought the boat in Sarnia from John Blunt, who had the boat raised out of the muck in Florida.

Coincidentally, George Capern and I had remained in touch over the years. I was able to send him Bob's article about Sparrow and so the circle is complete now that a further communication has been received from the present owner, Ken Knerr.

It certainly does make one wonder about who else may have been involved in the history of this excellent Philip Rhodes-designed sailboat. It appears that she is in excellent shape down in Georgia under Ken's ownership. I would love to take a trip with George and Bob to go and visit - perhaps to resume my charter?

So now, in the words of an excellent broadcaster, "you know the rest of the story."

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Remembering Falcon

This morning, on my way to work I diverted from my usual route to visit an old friend, Falcon. She was resting peacefully, nestled in the garage-size boulders that lay just below the water's surface at North Point, north of Bradford Beach. She is, ironically, being cradled by the very demons that ended her life. The wind and waves have now turned her bow toward shore, as if to say, I want to go home. Won't somebody please rescue me from this fate? Am I to be taken apart piece by piece by the ravages of the elements and vandals, stripped of the dignity of proper and private final hours any vessel deserves, especially such a special vessel as I, Falcon??"

I first met the Falcon when she arrived at my boatyard in March of this year. Through the Internet I became aware of the owner's plans to purchase this vessel and bring her to the area for restoration. I convinced him to bring it to my boatyard because I own a sister ship and have been involved in a 30-year restoration and love affair with the same design that captured his heart. I soon became aware that his love affair also existed on another level. The owner, Pavel, is from the Czech Republic. He and his sweetheart, also a foreign citizen, are approaching the end of their work visas. Their plan was for Pavel to restore Falcon, learn to sail, cross the ocean, pick her up in Europe and return to the warm waters of the Caribbean and beyond. Living in Illinois, Pavel would spend 2-, 3-, and 4-day weekends in Milwaukee, working feverishly well into the evenings in order to make the vessel seaworthy again.

The Falcon was relaunched and christened on September 1 and underwent the installation of a new shorter mast with stouter rigging for ocean crossing and the completion of the final rigging and engine adjustments. All this came to an abrupt end when the novice skipper, making his second sea trial, fell victim to his lack of knowledge of a poorly marked underwater reef, the same reef that just a week before had done several thousands of dollars of damage to the Aegis Wind as she was making her trip from Port Washington to Milwaukee for winter layup. The Aegis Wind was fortunate to escape the clutches of the rocks and will live to sail again.

Falcon wasn't any ordinary vessel. All you have to do is see her in her current resting place and it's obvious her hull shape is not like most boats. She was designed by Fred Gieger to be built in wood. She possesses the long sleek hull of most wood boats designed in the mid-1950s. During the infancy of fiberglass boat construction in this country, five men got together to form a boatbuilding company in the Portland, Oregon, area. They called their company Yacht Constructors and selected this Fred Gieger design for their first boat. They went on to build two more designs but none were as popular as this boat. They called it the Chinook 34. In Dan Spurr's book on the history of the fiberglass boat industry in this country, Heart of Glass: Fiberglass Boats and the Men Who Built Them, he credits the Chinook 34 as being the very first production fiberglass boat. There were fiberglass boats built prior to the Chinook 34 but not in production. The company built about 60 hulls. The first five vessels were kept by the five owners and the first hull sold was #6, Falcon.

A close friend of mine once said to me, "When you truly love boats, you love them all." I'm going to miss Falcon.
Gene Cramer
Cramer Marine, Inc.

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How you got started sailing
We asked how you started sailing - and you've been telling us

Learning the hard way

I learned to sail in the summer of 1969 - I was newly mustered out of the Navy and I had just started college in Florida. My roommate at the time, Mike, owned a house on the shores of Lake Carroll in Tampa. Our neighbors had a Sunfish that was available for our use. A Sunfish isn't much more than a surfboard with a lateen rig, a rudimentary rudder, and centerboard. There were only two lines to learn: a halyard and sheet. a basic boat.

Mike and I often went sailing after class, and although he often offered to teach me how, I had little interest in the sport. I was obsessed with sports cars and was dedicated to competing and officiating in rallies, autocrosses, and gymkhanas. Besides, I had just been part of the navigation team of a missile frigate; somehow, mastering a 12-foot board with a triangular sail just didn't seem to be worth my effort.

One windy afternoon, as we often did, we went for a sail. Mike raced downwind to the center of the lake and, with no warning, and even less ceremony, dove into the water and started swimming back to shore. "It's about time you learned how to do this," he called out as he stroked for home. I was on my own.

I had obviously not been paying attention. I could not coordinate rudder and sheet, and before I knew it, I was knocked down. That pretty much describes the rest of the afternoon - when I was not stuck in irons, luffing and going nowhere, I was usually in the water. I had seen Mike recover from a knockdown and I knew that drill fairly well, but I hadn't realized he first maneuvered the bow into the wind and loosened the sheet prior to righting the boat. Consequently, after righting the Sunfish, I usually found myself in the water moments later, usually under the sail, but sometimes on top of it. When I finally managed to climb aboard, I usually jibed and would get knocked down again. This went on, with variations, for what seemed an eternity. I just couldn't seem to get it to go the way I wanted, and it seemed to have a mind of its own, either stubbornly in stays, going nowhere, or scooting along ever further from home.

By this time, I had been blown clear across the lake and, on one particularly nasty jibe, I capsized completely, digging the top of the mast into the lake's muddy bottom. I wouldn't even be able to pull the boat up on the beach and call for help! I eventually had to swim under the boat, grab the mast and unstep it while hanging onto it upside down under water, then tie the rig to the boat so it would not sink or drift away while I righted the craft, re-stepped the mast, hoisted the sail, replaced rudder and centerboard, and figured out what to do next.

I finally got the hang of it and started to tack back to my side of the lake. It only took me a few more knockdowns and missed tacks and at least one ferocious jibe, but by the time I got to our beach, several hours later, I felt like an expert.

And I was hooked. I never felt any desire to race my car again.
Henry Cordova

Renewing a passion - affordably

As a youngster, I sailed dinghies and even a canoe with a sailing rig. But as the years passed, I had few opportunities to set the sail. Marriage, raising a family, and career took precedence over my one-time passion and it was settled in my mind that sailing would never be something that I could afford. Like so many, I walked through harbors admiring those who had the means to set sail.

One of my friends bought a 30-foot Catalina and invited me to sail with him a couple of times. I went home to my wife, Hope, and said, "If Bruce can do it, so can I." The hunt was on; I was going to buy my own boat. My much more practical wife protested but I was determined. I was off to the Strictly Sail boat show in Chicago to look for my boat.

One booth caught my attention, Olson's Classic Yachts. For $2,500 I could sail a 36-foot Islander for the summer out of Monroe Harbor. In comparison to some of the other concepts of leasesharing, this was by far the least expensive and appeared the most feasible for someone on my budget.

I continued to wander about the show and ran into an old friend who used to belong to one of the churches I had pastored. We chatted a bit, and then he said he had to get back to his booth.

"What booth is that, Charlie?" I asked.

"Olson's Classic Yachts."

It was a sign! I went back to the booth with Charlie Olson and signed up to sail on his Morgan 33. A few months later, after taking lessons and reading everything I could get my hands on about sailing, I was setting sail out of Monroe Harbor in downtown Chicago.

Charlie Olson is a retired marketing professor who had a great idea and, with his wife, Marilyn, made it work. They purchase older boats, and leaseshare them out each summer. He has developed various plans for the different boats, which include a Catalina 27, a 33-foot Morgan, two Islander 36s and a Morgan 42. The boats are either moored in Monroe Harbor or docked in Burnham Harbor in Chicago.

Each of the past four summers, Hope and I have enjoyed our daysails out of Chicago. It has been a great opportunity to introduce friends to a passion that I had suppressed for many years, but now have been set free to enjoy. Hope was reluctant (to say the least) at first, but now is seasoned and was even willing to spend six days leasing a 40-foot center cockpit Beneteau in the British Virgin Islands last spring, and she's willing to go again!

This fall, I've formed a partnership to purchase our own boat. We're in the market for a good old boat.

I have to admit: once again, my wife was right. It didn't make sense to buy a boat myself back then. It took Charlie and Olson's Classic Yachts http://www.sailsharechicago.com to let me see that. Although I'm ready to take the next step and become a part owner in a boat, I am indebted to Charlie and Marilyn for giving me a way to renew my passion.
Paul Hedberg

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The Sinking of the Barbara Ann
by Lee Waller

This story is true; The names have been changed to protect the guilty, the stupid, and those who should know better. Also, after 30 years, I don't really remember those things.

I was chief engineer for a rock and roll radio station in Fort Lauderdale about two years after I left the Coast Guard. Every day around 3 p.m. a 45-year-old hippie we called Tom, the news director, would stop at my office door and invite me to join him and others out in the antenna field for a joint. I always declined, and he would always reply, "Man you’re missing out on a great high." One day, after a couple of months of this, I said to him, "Tom, you want to hear about a great high?"

"Yes " he replied with great enthusiasm. I told him this story:

The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Alert had just started a right turn to the west, having cleared the buoy SD1.We were scheduled to hold gunnery exercises in an area assigned by the Navy near San Diego. I had just cleared our departure message with NMQ, the Coast Guard radio station in Long Beach, when I heard a frantic call for help.


I immediately hit the power switch on the ADF and, when the needle made a swing to the left, requested left full rudder.

"Left full rudder" called the officer of the deck, "Radioman has the con." As the needle approached center, I gave further commands to the helmsman to steady us on the direct bearing of the Barbara Ann: 182 degrees true.

After waiting a few seconds to see if one of the Coast Guard shore stations would answer, I picked up the handset for the pilothouse radio and replied:




I waited a few seconds but there was no reply.

"BARBARA ANN, THIS IS THE COAST GUARD CUTTER ALERT. OVER," I called again. No response. My captain looked at me, shook his head and said, "I have the con, all engines ahead flank. Steer course 182 degrees true."

A few minutes later, as I was preparing the above message to the rescue coordination center in Long Beach, I heard the unmistakable sound of a Coast Guard HU16E seaplane pass overhead heading south. The air station, I found out later, had heard my conversation with the Barbara Ann and launched the aircraft to commence searching for the boat’s crew while we steamed south.

We hoped the aircraft would locate the castaways before we got there and drop a life raft to get the people out of the water. The Pacific Ocean is very cold along the West Coast, even in the summer. The Japan current flows north from Japan, across to Alaska and down the West Coast of the United States.

As we proceeded south, my captain worked at the chart table, laying out a search pattern to be used if the aircraft did not locate the castaways. The plan was for us to start the search about five miles north of their reported position, just in case they were not as far south as they said. We were going to slow to 12 knots and have the aircraft pass back and forth across our course to cover 10 miles each side of us at 120 knots. This type of ship/aircraft search gives a much higher probability of detection than either unit searching alone. Two hours after the initial call for help, we called the aircraft to join us in a new search pattern. We had been at it for about 45 minutes when the aircraft said, "ALERT, THIS IS 7214 TALLYHO MANEUVERING TO DROP A SMOKE."

Tallyho means "the object of my search is in sight" and a smoke is a floating flare used to mark the position of objects or people in the water. This greatly reduces the chance of losing sight of your objective while you are maneuvering around it.

We saw the smoke drop just to the left of our bow, less than two miles ahead. "7241 ALERT, SMOKE IN SIGHT. HOW MANY PEOPLE DO YOU COUNT?" I called on the radio. The aircraft replied: "ALERT 7241. LOOKS LIKE SIX PEOPLE TIED TOGETHER. OVER."

A slight change in course and in about 10 minutes we were bringing the castaways aboard with a rescue net suspended from one of the boat davits. They were immediately taken below to the galley, given dry clothes, blankets, and fresh hot coffee. With all accounted for and safely on board, we released the aircraft to go home, and we turned north at a speed of 12 knots for the ride back to San Diego.

It was about an hour later when a big linebacker-sized man stepped into the pilothouse. He asked where he could find the man he was talking to on the radio. The boatswain pointed to me sitting in the radio room doorway. The big fellow came over and asked, "You the one on the radio?" I nodded. Sticking out his hand he said, "I want to shake your hand, mister, you saved my life."

"Now Tom, that's a high." Old Tom never again asked me to go out and smoke a joint.

About the alert

I first went aboard in 1959, a third-class radioman less than one year out of radio school. I was in love. I had previously served on two larger ships, on the deck force and in the radio room, but the intimacy of this little ship was something I had never felt before. The crew was warm and friendly and eager to make me welcome.

I was the only radioman assigned. The ship was full of onlys: one quartermaster, one gunner's mate, one cook, one steward, one electrician, but no electronics tech. We did have two chiefs, a boatswain, and an engineman. There were three officers, a captain, his executive officer, and an engineering warrant officer. The remaining deck seamen and enginemen completed a crew of 28. Also, there was never any of that it's-not-my-job attitude. Everyone had to crosstrain and assist everyone else or nothing could be done.

The Alert was the epitome of simplicity. There were no engine controls in the pilothouse. The throttle man stood between the engines, GM 8-268A, 400 hp, two-stroke diesels, and - using the controls mounted directly on the engines - answered commands sent to him on the ringy-dingy engine-order telegraph or by sound-powered telephone. Electricity was provided by a pair of GM 3-61 generator sets putting out 32 VDC at 600 amps. The windlass, ventilation, and pumps ran on 32 VDC. There were four motor generator sets in the upper engine room, two with 110 VAC output for the electronics on the bridge, one for the main communications transmitter, and one for the radar. The electronics, in addition to the radar, consisted of three radio sets for HF, VHF and UHF, a fathometer, and Loran in the pilothouse. The radio room had three HF receivers and two HF/MF transmitters.All of this equipment used vacuum tubes. There was not a transistor anywhere on the ship. My main transmitter was the size of a medium refrigerator with an output of only 100 watts. A small boiler provided 15 pounds of steam for heat and hot water. The galley range was 6 feet wide, 3 feet deep, and diesel-fired. It took three hours to go from cold to hot enough for a ham-and-eggs breakfast.

The Alert carried two small boats: one 16-foot fiberglass motorboat and one 17-foot wooden Swampscot dory for rowing through the surf on a coastal rescue.

I was transferred to the Philippines in 1960 and returned to the Alert in 1965.

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Book reviews

The book reviews from this newsletter have been posted online.

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Mail Buoy

Just giving back

I am Canadian, living in Carignan, Quebec, just east of Montreal. I sail my US 27 out of Chazy River Yacht Club on Lake Champlain, New York. On a late September day, I sailed with two sailing buddies, Ray and Barry. We have sailed together for more than 20 years in many parts of the world. One is a retired police detective and the other a retired fire chief, two guys you can depend on if things get a little tight. We were returning from one of those incredible fall days, flying the spinnaker all day and returning as the sun was going down and a north wind picking up.

We hit something that bent the rudder, making the boat go literally in circles. We dropped the anchor and checked that we were not holed and then began to consider our options. We tried to tow her with the dinghy and 2-hp motor. This sank the dinghy and me with it (I have still not heard the end of that from my buds). It would have been funny, but the wind and waves were getting uncomfortable as we were on a rocky lee shore.

As it was by now dark, we had only two choices: leave the boat at anchor or get towed. I called BoatU.S. and was told they had no towboats on the lake. The Coast Guard was at least 1' hours away. But leaving the boat would probably have meant losing her. Barry began to shine a 1-million candlepower light on shore. To my almost disbelief, we saw a return light and a boat coming out. We were not in 30-foot seas, but anyone who has been on this lake knows that 4-footers from the north have kept many boats in, especially on a pitch-black night.

Bob and Bob, two neighbors and fishing buddies, came to help. Without getting overly dramatic, these two guys risked their boat and themselves to help people they did not know. It took more than two hours to get us in with no light and 25 knots of wind.

When we finally got to the marina we introduced ourselves to find out that Bob, the owner of the boat, is a New York state trooper as well as a volunteer fireman. The other Bob, when he found we were from Montreal, told us the story of a Canadian who helped him with a car problem, so it was "just a little giving back." Believe me, this was much more than helping with a car problem. The following day the wind climbed to 30 knots with gusts to 45. I would have lost Mystic Dream for sure.

When I said that "thank you" could not express my gratitude, they both just said "glad to help"'in other words: "pass it on." It goes without saying that it will be passed on.

To Bob and Bob on Lapointe Road, Chazy, New York: THANK YOU! For some, I guess giving is an everyday experience.
Yvan Michon

Plastic wrinkles

Does anyone out there know how to remove a crease in a dodger window? Does it need to be replaced? Help!
Matthew Goldman

Matthew is also known as the "constant waterman." He has contributed essays to Good Old Boat and other magazines over the past few years and has a new book out called The Journals of Constant Waterman. Visit http://www.constantwaterman.com.

Matt Grant replies

About the only way to reduce a hard crease in clear vinyl is to apply minimal heat (from a hair dryer) and then lay the panel out completely flat with something heavy on top. If left flat long enough, the crease will be much less noticeable. To completely remove the crease, the window panel will likely need to be replaced.
Matt Grant

This man gets around!

Brian Cleverly sent us a photo, which was published in the November 2005 issue of Good Old Boat magazine at the Arctic Circle near the International Date Line. He was in front of the Russian village of Savoonga on St. Lawrence Island. Now he's doing it again (but this time in a much warmer climate) with a photo of our favorite magazine at the equator on a cruise from Cadiz, Spain, to Buenos Aires, Argentina. He does apologize, however, for being 0.1 angular second early with the photo.

Lazy Lucy and the Bagor project

My husband, Guy, and I spend the summer months in Brittany, Western France, where we are building a Ted Brewer-designed catboat. Each November when we return, there are three copies of Good Old Boat waiting for us; it's one of the highlights of getting back to Florida!

This week I read Deborah Hershey's excellent account of the building of Lazy Lucy (September 2007). I was captivated by her story and full of admiration for the gorgeous results of Scott's perfect work. Their experience is so close to ours that I have not been able to resist writing to her and sharing our story too.

Bagor is taking shape in a former woodworking shop in a rural farming community. Bagor is the Breton name for "big boat." The dinghy is finished and is called Bagig, or "little boat." We found the shop by pure serendipity when house-hunting in 1999. Bagor began life in 2003, once we had finished work on the house and built Bagig. So far, the hull is complete, the cabin well on the way, and the cockpit assembly has made good progress this summer. Like Scott, Guy can't devote himself to the project full-time, and it is comforting to hear that Lazy Lucy took 10 years to complete. We are hoping to get Bagor on the water by 2012.

To alleviate the frustration of being boatless on lovely summer days, we bought a Drascombe Lugger, which we trailer to the Golfe du Morbihan. She's a sweet little boat and we get many compliments on her pretty shape. Here in Florida, we have a Gemini 105 catamaran, which is managed by Yachting Vacations of Punta Gorda and is ours between charters.

I want to thank Deborah for writing her wonderful story and thank you for publishing it. Good Old Boat really is an excellent magazine and something to look forward to when we get back here!
Sylvia Marlow

Cal 24s are not Lapworth 24s

The article on the Cal 30 brought back a lot of pleasant memories. As a teenager, I visited the place where they were constructing Cal 24s in El Segundo, prior to their relocation in Costa Mesa. I can still remember the smell of fiberglass and the sweet lines of the Cal 24. The Cal 24 and the Lapworth 24 were two distinct designs. The Cal 24 is a keel/centerboarder, and the Lapworth 24 has a full keel (with a cutaway forefoot). The Cal 24 was beamier and shallower and, to my eye, a more pleasing design.

The relevant statistics are:
Lapworth 24 ' LOA: 24 feet 0 inches; LWL: 20 feet 0 inches; beam: 7 feet 6 inches; draft: 4 feet 0 inches; displacement: 4,350 pounds; ballast (lead): 1,650 pounds; working sail area: 297 square feet.
Cal 24 ' LOA: 24 feet 0 inches; LWL: 20 feet 0 inches; beam: 8 feet 0 inches; draft: 4 feet 6 inches board down, 2 feet 6 inches, board up; sail area: 260 square feet. I don't have the displacement at hand for the Cal 24, but I seem to remember it being more like 3,500 pounds.

I find it interesting to compare these specifications to those of a Yankee Dolphin, one of which I have owned since 1974. The Dolphin has less beam and more draft than the Cal 24, but displaces about the same as the L-24. Robin Lee Graham sailed an L-24 most of the way around the world.

The Gladiator is a flush deck version of the L-24. I once had the pleasure of helping to move one from Newport Beach to Redondo Beach. It is a very sweet sailing boat. The "gold standard" for me in this size range is a Folkboat, which has a very comfortable motion when beating into 18 knots of summer breeze with the corresponding chop. The Gladiator has a similar feel. In 1994, Frank Guernsey sailed a modified Gladiator non-stop from Redondo Beach, California, around Cape Horn to Uruguay.

Racing sailboats in the '60s was more casual than today. We raced from Redondo Beach or Marina Del Rey to Catalina on Saturday, have a barbecue on shore, and race back on Sunday.

What motivated me to write was that the Cal 30 article stated that the Lapworth 24 was renamed the Cal 24, when, in reality, they were two distinct designs.

Also of note is that the Gladiator is a flush-deck version of the Lapworth 24 and, while many people know that Robin Lee Graham sailed a Lapworth 24 most of the way around the world, few people know that Frank Guernsey sailed a Gladiator non-stop from California around the Horn to Uruguay.
Alan Brothers

You call that a recall?

It has come to my attention that Groco has a recall on some of the company's imported bronze ball valves/seacocks. They have documents online detailing the affected valves and their replacement policies. Two documents that I have found are:
http://www.groco.net/svc-bltn/cat-svc-bltn-2-08.htm and http://www.groco.net/svc-bltn/ibv-fbv-stem-large.htm.

In my mind, Groco is doing a disservice to its customers with the way the company is handling replacements. First you have to obtain a "return authorization," a usual practice for any return, then you send your old valve(s) back to the company and wait for people there to send out replacements once they receive your old one(s). They are not offering any recompense for your expenses; the cost of haulout, labor, and boat storage are your responsibility.

If that is the normal manner in which Groco treats its customers, I can assure the folks there that I will never purchase one of the company's products, nor will I ever recommend Groco to my customers.
Brian Cleverly

Welcome aboard, Adam!

I have spent much of my life on the water in powerboats, big and small, and have even worked for a time in the marine industry. A few years ago I sold my last boat and began a quest to find that one right boat'a 25- to 30-foot tug. As I started counting the cost of operation I decided to compare sail vs. power and fell deeply in love with the power and freedom of the wind.

Good Old Boat has fostered that love in an ever-changing romance with the sea'every issue brings me closer to that one perfect boat. One day I hope to share that discovery with readers of Good Old Boat.
Adam Zumwalt

Moonset sets sail once more

When we bought our neglected 1972 Catalina 27 in 2004 it was probably sailable, but completely unrespectable. Over the last three years, we have transformed the boat into a quite respectable and customized vessel that meets our needs and dreams as we prepare to launch her for the first time this December. We expect to own this boat for many years, so we completed each job thoroughly and to the best of our abilities. In the end, we have fussed over every screw, nut, bolt, piece of wood, and surface in the boat. Some modifications were for repair and strengthening, while others - like the flush toilet and the pull-out bed we added to the central cabin - were to make ourselves more comfortable. The result is our shiny new baby, Moonset, which we are taking down to Florida this Christmas to sail for the first time. The project has brought us closer to our boat, our dreams, and each other, and we hope it inspires other newbie sailors out there to begin their own sailing journey.
Melanie Wyder

Thanks to Sailboats Inc.

I read Theresa Meis' article in the November 2007 issue ("The sailing bug bites hard") with great interest, as I had a very similar experience this summer on a course run by Sailboats Inc. Our instructor, Captain Sue, is a very wise and experienced sailor and a firm, but very gentle, instructor. It was a wonderful way to get back into sailing after a four-decade absence.
Robert Levine

Brings tears to my eyes

I love your magazine. I was raised on the repair of wooden boats. I am in search of a 47- to 54-foot cat with trashed engines and a poor interior to convert to electric motors and genset interface. I'm well versed in wood, fiberglass, electrical, and plumbing and I hope to relocate to Charleston, South Carolina.

Your article on closing the wood shop (November 2007) brought tears to my eyes. I'm about to close my operation (35 x 25 wood shop) in Charlotte after 35 years. My stuff can be seen online http://www.markworkshard.com.
Mark Sprinkle

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Looking for

Folkboat named Trifid

This is my old 26-foot Folkboat, Trifid, on which I sailed along Florida's southeast coast and cruised on in the Bahamas with my girlfriend in 1979. I sold the boat to the production company that made the movie Caddy Shack, in which the boat had its 15 minutes of fame. It was Ted Knight's boat, the one that lost its bowsprit during its christening and on which Rodney Dangerfield dropped the anchor from his massive powerboat. (They were just fake movie stunts and the boat was unharmed - it didn't even have a real bowsprit.)

I am hoping someone out there knows what happened to her. If so, please contact me. She was unique among Folkboats in the U.S. as she is carvel-planked. She was last seen behind the movie producer's home on a canal in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in 1983. Steve Morrell, Editor
Southwinds Magazine

Clean bilge answer

In response to your letter in the "Good Old Boat Newsletter," the BilgeKleen filter has worked well for us. We built the zero- emission Baykeeper tug and have used this filter to assure that our bilge discharge is clear of oils. Yes, the standard bilge socks or pillows should also be installed in all boats and they do well at absorbing oil. We use the filter as a second line of defense. See more about our tug at http://www.gtbay.org. All the bilge products are available through West Marine and other suppliers.

Regarding oil slicks, a very little bit of oil can cover a lot of water; so what looks bad could, in most cases, have been avoided with the aforementioned products. However, any one of these will be overcome by a quart or two of oil. And?never dissipate a slick with detergent; though it makes the slick disappear from the surface, it makes the oil more toxic within the environment. A modest-sized slick can be easily absorbed with a sheet of oil absorbent material. All boats should have some on board! Phil von Voigtlander

Does anyone recognize this boat?

I would like any information anyone might have about this sail symbol. I could not find it on the Good Old Boat website. Thanks for any help.
Michael Jakubczyk, Austria

Unidentified sail insignia

I was wondering if you or any of your readers could help to identify this mainsail. It was supplied with a Hunter 19 that I bought last year, but, unfortunately, it doesn't fit the boat. It has a distinctive red insignia but I can't find a match on the Web. The luff measurement is approximately 540cm with the foot approximately 220cm. I hope someone out there recognizes it.
Peter Halcrow, Scotland

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Excerpts from The Practical Encyclopedia of Boating
by John Vigor


Embracing a misconception: an illogical, regressive move

The fathom is gradually being ousted on new charts by the meter, so it will pay you handsomely to inspect the notes on your charts to see how water depths are measured. It comes as a nasty shock to find yourself in 2 meters where you thought you had 2 fathoms.

The change to meters-although inexorable-is hardly logical because the meter itself was a miscalculation. The French believed there were exactly 10,000 kilometers between the equator and the poles. However, they did not do their sums properly, and the length of the meter later had to be redefined (incredibly) as 1,650,763.73 wavelengths of the orange-red radiation of an isotope of krypton (Kr86).

You probably won't have an isotope of krypton handy when next you're sounding the depth of your anchorage with a lead line, but you do have two arms, from which springs the far more natural measurement called a fathom. It comes from the Old English fæthm, meaning outstretched arms, or an embrace. Different sailors had different-sized embraces, of course, so the unit known as the fathom was eventually standardized at 6 feet.

Now 6 feet is a good, enthusiastic embrace, but it's also a subdivision of the cable, which is 100 fathoms (600 feet). The, cable, in turn, is a subdivision of the nautical mile, which for practical boating purposes is understood to be 6,000 feet or 10 cables.

The nautical mile equals exactly 1 minute of latitude and may be measured directly off the side of a Mercator chart, which is why France and other metric countries still navigate with trusty nautical miles rather than tainted kilometers. The change to meters on nautical charts is surely a regressive move, and a triumph of uniformity over logic.

John Vigor's book, Practical Encyclopedia of Boating, is available from the Good Old Bookshelf at $29.95; 352 pages (hardcover).

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