February 2009 Newsletter

April 2009 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 printer-friendly version in MS Word or as a PDF file.

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

On the boat again. I just can't wait to be on the boat again!

That's it! Your editors have been ready for spring since February. Feb-ru-ary. Please, Mother Nature, no more tricks! We want the water to thaw and the boats to float once more. We have been reading boating books and parts catalogs. It's not the same! We want to throw the tarps off. We want the sole to move under our feet. We want to feel a gentle breeze on our faces. We want to raise the mast. We want to hank on the sails. We want to unpack our shorts.

For others who have experienced cabin fever (we're not talking about a boat cabin here; a boat cabin would be the cure) during what has been a long and cold winter, we do have a new page posted online. We're beginning to collect a nice list of sailors' blogs. Many of them are out there sailing (and not grumbling about the winter). You can visit their pages by starting at <page discontinued>.

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We're honored

Top marine writers were recognized recently by Boating Writers International. Competition was stiff. There were 465 entries for approximately 50 cash awards, so we were very excited to learn that Good Old Boat author Cindy Rogers won a third-place award in the Boating Profiles section for her article, "Let's Launch a Magazine" about the founding of Good Old Boat by Karen Larson and Jerry Powlas. The article ran in the Good Old Boat tenth-anniversary issue in July 2008.

Cindy won a previous award with Boating Writers International for an article she wrote for Good Old Boat profiling Lin and Larry Pardey in the July 2005 issue. We're proud to have her on our team!

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Our subscribers say the nicest things

Two months ago the Good Old Boat gang decided that one cost-cutting move that wouldn't bother many of our subscribers would be to eliminate the paper version of this newsletter. Since most subscribers receive it as an electronic publication, we asked those who were getting it by mail to accept an alternative format. Since we didn't have email addresses for these subscribers, we sent them each a letter about the changes in the works.

They sent email addresses and -- as long as they were sending a note to the Good Old Boat crew -- many also sent words of encouragement. Our thanks to everyone who wrote and to all for understanding our reasons for making this change.

Walt Brehm wrote: "I have just ended my first year as a Good Old Boat subscriber, on my way to being a lifelong reader. I sail a good old South Coast 22 on Biloxi Bay, Mississippi. I applaud your efforts to reduce the cost of paper, printing, and mailing the newsletter by making it an electronic publication."

Mitt Denney said: "I would love to get the newsletter or link by email, especially if it controls costs. I love this magazine, one of the top two out there."

Doug Redfield noted: "I always enjoy your magazine and look forward to it. Being an old Cal sailor from age 7 (now age 45), I'm a fool for any opportunity to read about, talk about, or look at old sailboats. Thanks for doing what you do."

Brad Hendricks added, "Great magazine. Always read every word, often several times. Don't know if this is an indication of my advancing age or declining intelligence, or both, but probably is due more to the fact that you guys have done a remarkable job of regularly assembling excellent, dense, straightforward content that is a joy to read and packed full of information. Thanks for all your efforts."

Roger Loving said: "I find that I enjoy the newsletter almost as much as the magazine. The savings by having it online makes sense to me, but I don't want to miss any issues."

Cary Bradford wrote: "I, for one, read your newsletter from beginning to end, so I would really like to continue to get it via email. Your magazine is one of the very few that I read most of the articles. Keep up the good work."

Richard Huint added: "I enjoy the newsletter and usually read it from cover to cover within 1 to 2 days of receiving it and often find myself re-reading them. I keep them all in a binder. I understand the decision and look forward to reading many more editions."

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What's coming in May?

For the love of sailboats

• Newport 28
• O'Day 26

Speaking seriously

• Installing a bookcase
• Fixing a hatch
• Mooring Buoy Pickup 101
• Lessons learned after 10,000 miles

Just for fun

• Finding a treasure of a lifetime
• Father, son, and boat
• Requiem for a good old boat

What's more

• Simple solutions: weather log
•Quick and easy: adjustable hatch support; Cable Cuff

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In the news

ATN spinnaker sleeve recall

Some of the ATN spinnaker sleeves manufactured in 2007-2008 were manufactured with a head pendant made out of galvanized wire. This recall concerns ATN spinnaker sleeves from 40 to 55 feet manufactured with nicropressed cable, not the stainless-steel rod and swivel that is the standard pendant.

ATN is recalling every spinnaker sleeve manufactured with galvanized wire. If upon visual inspection the wire seems rusty, return the ATN spinnaker sleeve to:
ATN Inc., 3718 SW 30th Ave., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312 [UPS collect: Account # 3E3 832). ATN will replace the pendant for a stainless-steel pendant and return it to you at no charge.

Caulk talk

Bob Adriance, editor of the BoatU.S. Seaworthy newsletter, wrote an interesting report on marine caulk. The report is posted online. Bob contacted more than 30 people in the boat repair business to learn how long various types of caulk (silicone, polysulfide, and polyurethane) should be expected to last if applied according to manufacturers' instructions. You can read his published report and see an interesting chart of the estimated longevity for each type of sealant at: <http://www.boatus.com/seaworthy/caulk.asp>.

The short version, according to Bob, goes like this: "Judging from their response, polysulfide and polyurethane are the obvious winners, at least for longevity, with silicone a distant third. A large majority of the repairers said silicone lasts only five years or less, which leads to the question, 'Why would anyone use silicone?' The answer is that longevity isn't the only criterion used to select a caulk. Depending on the job at hand, each type of caulk has several advantages and disadvantages." Bob goes on to discuss these advantages and disadvantages.

Boating games

BoatU.S. has released a new online game called DockIt! This is the newest of six free games available for boating enthusiasts who know their way around a joystick and computer keyboard. DockIt!, developed through a partnership with Mad Mariner, allows the player to choose one of three types of boat (including a sailboat) and try to get it safely into a slip without going aground or running into pilings. Other online games on the site include a boating word search and jigsaw puzzles. To see what's available, go to <http://www.boatus.com/games>. You have to be a member of BoatU.S. to play at the most advanced levels, but anyone can test the games without charge.

Waugoshance Lighthouse website

The Waugoshance Lighthouse Preservation Society has launched its new website at <http://www.waugoshance.org>. The Waugoshance Lighthouse marks the western entrance to the Straits of Mackinac. This treacherous area of Lake Michigan was the location of the first lightship, stationed on Waugoshance Shoal in 1832, which helped guide the many ships through the area. In 1851, the lighthouse board decided to replace the lightship with Waugoshance Lighthouse, which served until 1912, when its services were replaced by White Shoals Lighthouse. Waugoshance has one of only three remaining birdcage lanterns left on the Lakes and is considered one of the most endangered lighthouses in the world.

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California dreamin' -- A Minnesotan admires the Left Coast

by Karen Larson

In early February, Jerry and I could tolerate Minnesota's sub-zero temperatures no longer and headed west to visit my mother in California's Monterey Bay area. The sun shone for several days, warming our hearts and the built-in alarm clocks of the Monarch butterflies that winter in the area. As the days grow longer and warmer, they begin the spring ritual of mating and heading north in search of milkweed on which to start the next generation, that will head a bit farther north.

Monterey Bay 4

After several generations this summer, the final generation will run out of milkweed and -- although they will have no one to show them the way, and no previous experience with their destination -- will head to the eucalyptus trees near Mom's house to wait through the winter and start over the following spring. An amazing cycle of life.

Our trip is also an annual migration, although it's more westerly with a touch of south. This year we chose February because the migrating gray whales pass nearby at that time. Except in zoos, I had never seen a whale. Since adult gray whales can be as long as 52 feet and weigh 36 tons, I don't expect to ever see that species in a zoo. Their young are as large as my boat. That's a sobering thought for any sailor who encounters a whale in its element. You can only hope that the encounter will be a positive one for all parties involved. That is the usual outcome, thank goodness.

Concern about a close encounter with whales wasn't high on our minds, since we went out into Monterey Bay on a large excursion boat. Just being on the water after our winter deprivation was a thrill. Even before leaving the harbor, we saw the usual collection of marine mammals: sea otters, harbor seals, and sea lions. There were all the usual sea birds as well, with the stars being the pelicans and their amazing grace. Nor can I overlook the bald eagle we spotted. We have pelicans and eagles on Lake Superior, too, (yes, pelicans!), but they never fail to charm us no matter how often we see them.

Right at the start of the trip, we were surrounded for five to 10 minutes by a large pod of Risso's dolphins. There must have been 50 or more. Being close to them was magical. Also, just about any time we looked over the side of the boat and down into the water, we could see large jellyfish floating within a foot or two of the surface.

Who could ask for anything more? If we never saw a whale, I would have been absolutely fulfilled. But our captain did locate a small pod of whales. There were two or three; it's hard to say for sure. They were never close, but my binoculars brought them closer. They spouted in great plumes and dived, showing us their tails. They stayed down for long minutes and surfaced in places we weren't expecting them, so finding them at the next surfacing became a challenging game for all aboard.

We could have stayed out on the water all day with the sun shining and the boat rocking and the occasional glimpse of a whale's tail. It was the sort of day that reminds the average Midwesterner why California's siren call is so very appealing. Next year, we'll migrate west once more.

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A first sailing adventure

by Philip Lange

Past the silent pines they sped. Neither spoke. Emily, sailing book in her lap, sat in the passenger seat with a short piece of rope, tying and untying bowlines and figure eights. One day he had told her of the blue ocean, the clear skies, the smell of salt air and the warmth of the sun on their bodies. After reading everything they could find, this was going to be it -- their first sail!

Paul piloted the sure-footed old Porsche convertible down the expressway ramp and guided it onto the nearly deserted highway. The ribbon of concrete passed swiftly under his seat. He drove, his eyes glazed, anticipating the dialogue that was sure to follow at the lakeside rental dock -- the question that must be answered before they would be granted the use of one of the shiny new 12-foot daysailers -- "Do you know how to sail?" The answer this Sunday morning must be, "Yes." Even if it's a lie.

"Three dollars, please."

"I've been sailing for years."

"Three dollars, please," the cashier said, holding out the tickets.

"Why I was just about born on a sailboat."

"Don't forget to wear your life vest."

"... Had a boat when I was a kid."

"Here are the sails. Go rig it." She thrust a pale blue bag at him. "Three
dollars, please!"

Rig it? Three dollars? Oh yeah, rig it. "Oh, ... here." He offered her three one-dollar bills and received a pale yellow ticket and the bag of sails.

"Rig it, of course. Thank you!"

Certain that their deception had not been discovered, they clutched their ticket, bag, and book and bounded down the winding path. They stepped across the weathered wooden boards to the line of little boats tethered to the dock.

"Let's take the blue one," Emily said, and with great caution stepped aboard the tippy craft. Lying in the bottom of the boat was a tangle of lines that threatened to tie their courage in knots. "These must be the sheets!" Emily exclaimed.

"Yes," he agreed. They were definitely sheets.

"Hmm...?" Both turned their eyes aloft to the swaying mast. From it dangled four ends of rope.

"Halyards," they reassured each other. Confidence abounded as they gleefully opened the sailbag holding the jib and main sails.

He reached in, rummaged around.

"Here's a corner!" The sails carelessly stuffed into the bag were carefully removed and laid out on the dock as the first breeze of the day skitted across the smooth water. It played under the jib for a moment, then blew into the trees to watch. The sails were carefully examined.

"Here's the top," said one.

"Head," corrected the other.

"Clew… tack… hoist." Nautical terms rose in the air along with the tide of their hope.

At last, sails up and head flapping. Sheets untangled and led fair.

"Cast off."

"Why are we going backward?" asked she.

"Sternway," replied he.

"Grab a paddle!" urged she.

"Watch out!" warned he, as the boom came lazily across the cockpit.

"Push off!" "Stroke that paddle!" "Watch out for that other boat!"

Then the puff of air billowed the sail. The boat surged, heeled, and away they went.

Soon they were out of the boat basin and into the water of the small lake, two mice huddled in the bottom of their little craft, sheets trailing in the water.

The sun shone through the clear blue of the morning sky. Smiles of satisfaction danced upon their faces. The Flying Dutchman Jr. glided across the rippled mountain lake, a chuckle of water bubbling in her wake. Emily handled the jibsheet, intently watching the shape of the sail. Paul watched her with pleasure. Her look of delight was as rewarding as anything he had ever seen. Lucky me, he said to himself, to find a woman to share a dream.

It was a special dream. One that he had kept tucked away in the back of his mind since he was 8 years old. Twenty years had gone by. Then he met Emily.

She made him smile and laugh. She gave him cause to look up at the stars and to feel the pleasures of the world that they had created. And then to dream once more -- of their own little boat upon that sea. Just the two of them, living between wind and water.

Emily thought it was a good dream, one that filled her with pleasure and warmth. One she would love to share with him.

This was their first step toward making that dream a reality, and each step they took brought them closer together. Their course was set … adventure was their road … the far horizon their goal.

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Looking for

Wants bronze to shine again

I'm looking for something that will restore the bronze on my 1983 Crealock 37 to shiny new condition. There must be a product out there that can restore, then limit corrosion once the bronze is shining again.
Hank Giffin

Needs to sell GOB back issues

I need to part with all my back issues of Good Old Boat (we are moving to Africa). I have them listed on eBay now. If they don't sell as a group, I will sell individually. I have a near-complete collection of GOB from 2001.
Maryjane Westra

Which fuel?

Sea Swing Stove 1 Sea Swing Stove 2

I have a Sea Swing stove but don't know which fuel is best to use. I've seen photos of Sterno being used (kinda slow for morning coffee!) and one with a mini propane canister. And does anyone know what the notch in the bottom is for?
Louise Drinnan

Looking for advice

I've been messing around in boats of one kind or another for over 50 years and currently own a 2003 Catalina 36 that we sail on the Chesapeake. With retirement less than two years away, I'm balancing the primal desire to move up a bit to a larger boat against the realities and practicalities that say we should just hang on to and enjoy our perfectly good cruiser.

I'd be very interested in any articles or forums that could help folks like me sort out this decision to move up, or not. In my case: What can I reasonably expect from our stock 36-foot Catalina (shoal draft, in-mast furling, 135 genoa)? I've pretty much ruled out bluewater passages or extended liveaboard; I know folks have done both on much smaller and lesser boats, but it's not for us. But what about extended coastal cruising (mainly along the East Coast)? Jumping off to the Bahamas? Or even a passage to the BVI and nearby islands? For different cruising scenarios, what investments are necessary or worth the expense to improve the seaworthiness/capacities of the boat (such as extra water/fuel tankage and battery capacity; enhanced ground tackle; wind/solar power generation; inner forestay/storm jib/running backstays; communications/navigation)?

Any and all help is appreciated.
Chuck Rushing

Boat for Scouts

I'm looking for a sailboat to be donated to our Boy Scout troop in Arkansas, a fixer-upper that we could work on together. It must have a retractable board and should probably be trailerable, though I have a dock. I want to help kids look to the water for entertainment, not the streets!
Roger Byerley

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Strictly Sail Pacific

April 15-19, 2009
Oakland, Calif.

Strictly Sail Pacific is all sail, all the time. Whether you're a veteran cruiser, championship-level racer, or simply getting started in the sport, set your waypoint for the Bay Area's Jack London Square in Oakland. The West Coast's only "all-sail" boat show has become a must-do event for all sailors.

For more information: <http://www.strictlysail.com/shows/pacific.asp?show=pa>.

Precision Sailboat Rendezvous

June 25-30, 2009
Rock Hall, Md., on the Chesapeake

Plans are being made as you read this for the Precision Sailboat Rendezvous. For more information, go to <http://www.sailboatrendezvous.com>.

Island Packet Rendezvous on Lake Superior

July 2-5, 2009
Bayfield, Wisc.

Bayfield, Wisconsin is the site of the first-ever Island Packet Rendezvous on Lake Superior. Click on <http://web.mac.com/mmeitzen> for more information.

2nd Annual Wooden Boat Festival

September 12, 2009
Fair Haven N.Y.

Pleasant Beach Hotel on the south shore of Lake Ontario will again host a wooden boat gathering. Power, sail, old, new, home-builts and museum pieces are all welcome. This is not a show; it's a non-judgmental informal gathering.

Owners of wooden cruisers can contact the Pleasant Beach owners for docking arrangements or you can anchor out in one of several good coves in the bay. (Warning: Fair Haven, like everywhere else around there, has weeds!) Call or email Silver Waters Sailing (315-594-1906) or the Pleasant Beach owners, H and Bonnie Scoville, at 315- 947-5399 or <http://www.pleasantbeach.com>. A link to a story on last year's show can be found at: <http://www.silverwaters.com/ed/entry.php?id=log&cnum=c1&topicno=10>.

Inland Seas -- 2009 Northern Michigan Sailing

Multiple dates
Suttons Bay, Mich.

A true Great Lakes sailing experience -- focused on hands-on science, maritime history and the culture of the region -- awaits this summer aboard the schooner Inland Seas. Family sailing and science adventures are the centerpiece of a summer of hands-on activity aboard the 77-foot tall ship, which sails June 26 through September 5 on the fresh waters of Grand Traverse Bay. For much more information and specific activities and dates, go to <http://www.schoolship.org>.

Classic Yacht Restoration Guild

Multiple dates
Earleville, Md.

Last year saw the historic launch of Elf, an 1888 Lawley-built (Boston) 30-foot class cutter that has been a continuous part of American maritime culture for more than a century. Plans are underway for the 2009 sailing season, which will include daysails on the Chesapeake, at least two long passages to and from New England, other short passages, races, shows, and other events, some of which are already scheduled; check them out at <http://www.cyrg.org>.

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Book reviews

The following book reviews have been posted online.

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Mail buoy

Where is she?

I have long wondered what happened to our old Morgan OI-51, Centaurus. In 1980 my father unknowingly sold her to three young drug runners who were caught in Indian Head, Maryland, with 7 tons of pot on board. We were told (by the DEA) that she was donated to the Naval Academy and commissioned as a training vessel.

In my recent search, I came across your February 2004 newsletter and a mention by reader Theodore Enders of NSY-28 Vindicator on your website, which, I think, might be the former Centaurus. Could this be possible? I will try to contact Theodore directly but any information would be greatly appreciated.
Richard Meyers

What caught Richard's attention was part of a small section on ship prefixes published in the February 2004 newsletter that said: "NSY [stands for] Navy Sailing Yacht, the larger-than-daysailing sailboats used by the Naval Academy and Navy ROTC. (Mine was Vindicator (NSY-28), a Morgan Out Islander 51, which -- after being seized in a drug-running bust -- was part of Cornell's Navy ROTC unit for several years in the 1980s.)"

The Rest of the Story

Your website got me started down the path of discovery. It took two days but the history of Centaurus/Vindicator has been revealed.

I found several alumni from Cornell University who were connected with the boat and learned that Robert Lee was the skipper who brought Centaurus from Annapolis to Cornell and Cayuga Lake after the Navy Yard restored her. She sat for many years, languishing in storage while the drug case unraveled. Centaurus was designated an NSY-28, donated to Cornell's NROTC program and renamed Vindicator. Robert completed his Navy career and came back to Cornell to teach. He took many students down the Erie Canal, Hudson River, and Eastern Seaboard to the Bahamas. He said they had up to 12 students onboard, sleeping in shifts. Robert had fond memories of Vindicator and was pleased to hear from me. He said the program funding dried up in 1994 and the boat was delivered to the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, where it remained until 1999.

Centaurus/Vindicator was sold to a Polish national who sailed her successfully across the Atlantic to his home in Poland! I am very happy to hear that our boat found a new life in the hands of an experienced sailor. What a great ending for a great boat.
Richard Meyers

Giving emergency help

The miraculous safe landing of the Airbus on the Hudson River and the response of the private ferries (check out the You Tube video that shows the ferries arriving to take passengers off the wings at least six minutes before any emergency craft arrived) has set me to reviewing what I would do if called upon to help another boater in distress nearby off our coast.

What equipment do I have on board to aid? We have a Fanon megaphone with built-in mic, plenty of ready lines, including long tows, and fenders galore. We can instantly heat our large head with the butane stove. We have a first-aid kit and an extensive pharmacy of safe aids.

What equipment do I need to add? I've already decided to add some extra polar-fleece-type blankets and several 4' x 6' lightweight tarps (for warming soaked, chilled bodies). I'm considering bigger cable cutters.

I've also considered stowing away a 1,500-5,000-gph gas-driven pump to enable a badly leaking craft to make it to refuge. This would be a big expense for us.

What is the safest way to approach the distressed craft? Our running seas and wind are rarely aligned.

What special instructions should be given to the crew of the rescuing and rescued craft?
Bob Brodsky

Equipping your boat

I've given some thought over the years to the issues you raise. Mainly, I think the equipment already aboard a well-equipped cruising boat is about all that need be carried. If you don't carry a 1,500-5,000-gph pump for your own safety requirements, I would not invest in one to carry for rescuing other boats. This kind of heavy-duty salvage is probably better left to professionals.

Much as I love boats, the loss of a boat is a tolerable event, while the loss of life that can be associated with it is the really serious issue. For that reason, I think any rescue effort should focus on getting the crew of the other boat off their boat or out of the water. I think the priorities and process would go something like this: stand off close by but oriented so the boat with difficulties can still maneuver, and make sure the skipper of the boat in trouble knows you are standing by. Try to deal with the skipper as much as possible. In my opinion, the person in charge in such situations is the skipper of the boat in distress, and my role is to assist him in whatever way he requires. If the skipper of the other boat assigns me no task, I will just stand off and wait. I would maintain this ethic until the other boat sinks below the water. Then I might take charge of the rescue scene, but I would still use the skipper of the stricken boat as the authority and reference concerning matters of his crew.

The crew of the stricken boat will naturally wish to save their craft if they can, and I think often that will be the outcome. You need only stand by as a backup. In very heavy seas I would be inclined to offer to throw them a line so I could pull their bow into the seas, which will make their self-rescue work easier and much more comfortable. A vessel that has lost power will often get beam to the seas and stay there. Some craft can hardly stand this with no flooding. A flooded vessel is in much greater danger of sinking in beam seas. If you have trouble controlling your boat when towing in that situation, tie the towline to the mast instead of someplace aft. This will allow you to turn under the towline. Another assist that you can provide is to use your radio to call for additional help.

Finally, if the situation deteriorates, be very alert that lines -- debris, rigging, and such -- do not foul your prop and disable your boat. Your vessel is only valuable to your crew and theirs if it is kept from harm. Use tenders to transfer people if you can and, if not, use lines, but keep track of the lines so you do not foul your prop. If you take people from the water, do it over the side of the boat, not the ends. The ends will pitch much more, and the prop is both a threat to people in the water and a vulnerability. If you are maneuvering close to the other boat, be alert to the risk of catching people in the water between the two boats. Better to make swimmers come a little way to you to avoid this danger.

Once everybody is out of the water, get them warm and dry if you can, and "call it in" if you have not already done that. Keep the other skipper in charge of his crew, and maintain the organizational system that was in effect aboard your boat before the crisis arose. You did not just pluck your new first mate from the water. The other skipper is a visitor aboard your boat and should only be in charge of his crew. There can be a lot of adrenalin flowing in these situations.

It is mostly common sense. Focus on preventing loss of life. Don't add to what is already at risk. Insofar as possible, let the skipper of the stricken vessel stay in charge. Until his head goes under water, you are there to assist him. Over the years I've been involved in several such events. I've been both the rescuer and the rescued. These comments are based on those experiences.
Jerry Powlas, Technical Editor

Waiting to hoist that mast

First, thank you for a wonderful magazine. Second, I read your "Off It Comes..." article (February 2009 newsletter) and felt an instant recognition of your emotion in the second-to-last paragraph when you realized the scope of the task already had, irreversibly, begun. I'm sure you'll feel better once the refitting is under way as we all feel nervous while we wait ... like at the dentist.

I appreciate your decision to keep a few "good old" suppliers and advertisers rather than the visual equivalent of a cacophony of 'em. I can pick those up in any of the other magazines, most of which are a quarter full of soon-to-be-outdated brokerage ads.
Eric Lusk

Going mastless

Take heart, your boat will survive going mastless over the winter. Both of my old boats have the mast unstepped each fall (one lives indoors in the winter and the other is on a trailer). Your boat will be fine in the springtime. No more tears, OK? And I laughed out loud at Jerry's comments about 3M 5200, especially the proposed container warning: "Regret using this product at your leisure." It's wonderful stuff in the proper application, but it is much misused. I help with maintenance on our local schooner, Madeline, which seems to have been assembled using 5200 as a structural material. Its remarkable tenacity makes it hard to take advantage of a wooden boat's great virtue, which is modular construction (you can take pieces out and replace them).

I have my own warning: don't use LifeSeal anywhere near a varnished surface that will require sanding, because little bits of the material will migrate via sandpaper to the surface and you'll get fisheyes from the silicone. One spring my chandlery was out of LifeCaulk (polysulfide), so I grabbed LifeSeal. It took me about 10 years to figure what was causing annual fisheyes in my fresh varnish.
Chris Campbell

Fixing a capsized boat

I've just read through your entire list of article titles under "How to" and "Maintenance." My problem may be beyond those classifications. Last week my 36-foot William Garden-design cutter sank at the marina. They are raising it tomorrow, so I'll then know the cause of the problem. Fortunately, I have good insurance, but there's obviously a great deal now to do. I was hoping to find an article listing "Ten things to do right away" or "Ten mistakes to avoid after your boat sinks."
Jack Barry

First to the engine

Sorry to hear your boat sank; it creates lots of problems. First, I would buy Nigel Calder's book, Boat Owners Mechanical & Electrical Manual. Second, I would wash the engine off with Gunk, or the equivalent, on the outside only, keeping the air intake covered, then give it a good freshwater rinse. Third, I would find a good diesel injector service company, one that does marine and truck injectors (get a reference from a local trucking company), and talk to them about removing the injectors from the block. It is sometimes hard or tricky to remove the injectors once they have been run for a while. I would send the injectors to the injector company for servicing (about $65 each) while I drained the oil from the pan, refilled with new Shell Rotella Oil, 30-weight, and rotated the engine with the cylinders open. Be sure nothing gets into the cylinders by covering the injector holes with a cloth.

Do this several times until you are confident there is no more water in the engine or engine oil. If the starter and alternator have dried out, you can use the starter to rotate the engine. Be careful to get all of the water out of the cylinders, but keep your eyes and hands out of the way of the potential discharge from the injector holes. I would then pour several tablespoons of Marvel Mystery Oil in each cylinder and rotate slowly to distribute, but not eject, the Mystery Oil. The Mystery Oil will free-up the rings and assure you do not get rusting of the cylinders. The Mystery Oil can be blown out of the cylinders before the injectors are installed.

You might consider having the starter and alternator serviced by an automotive or truck electrical service company. If all is well with the clean-up of the engine, I would consult Calder's book for additional recommendations and trouble-shooting.

After replacing all of the fuel, filters, and the injectors; blowing out the fuel lines; and purging the fuel tank, you should be ready to bleed the engine's fuel system and start the engine. Once the engine is running I'd change the oil and fuel filters several times. The engine is one of the most costly items that can be damaged by a submersion; you need to get it cleaned up the same day it comes out of the water. Dry it off after it is clean and change the oil.

You are fortunate it was not salt water as that wrecks havoc with electrical wire.
Bill Sandifer

Cleaning up on the Vanguard

I have a Pearson Vanguard, which has a length of 32 feet, 6 inches and a beam of 9 feet, 3 inches. We like to cruise the New England coast when we can, and I've been upgrading a few things for a little more comfort while cruising. But I'm having a hard time figuring out a plan for an inside shower. Even in the summer, there are times when the sun shower just doesn't cut it. I've come up with a few ideas, but nothing I really like.

I'm trying to keep it simple, even to the point of somehow bringing the sun shower inside, or maybe adding some simple plumbing to use water from the tank. (Note: See Good Old Boat, November 2007, for a solution along this line. ' Eds.) My biggest problem, though, is keeping the water contained while showering (shower curtain and so on) so that it won't soak all the wood with fresh water (bulkheads and such). The fact that the head area is fairly small doesn't help.

I was wondering if any of your readers out there have a Vanguard or similar boat and have come up with a good plan for this.
Butch Griffin

Shower solution

Karen and I sail in a 30-foot C&C made in 1976. Like most boats of her size and time, she has no dedicated shower area. In our first experiment, we heated water on the galley stove in saucepans, put it into a large garden watering can, and poured it over each other. Initially, we tried to rig a shower curtain in the saloon, but tired of that and started spreading the mainsail cover over the nearby furniture. The minimizing progressed until we finally just covered a few things with our foul-weather gear. We showered for many years with this arrangement, repairing the original watering can several times. It was not a bad arrangement at all. Unlike a solar shower, the stove could heat shower water so fast it could supply two showers back-to-back. We simply let the shower water run off into the bilge and pumped it overboard when we were not too close to land. We also rinsed the bilge occasionally to keep it clean. We became reasonably skilled in not getting the saloon too wet while showering. It all worked well enough and was quite comfortable.

The system received a major improvement a few years ago when we bought a plastic one-gallon weed sprayer from Ace Hardware. This device allows us to put our hot water in the sprayer and pump it up so we get a forced spray like a real shower. The added water velocity makes rinsing more efficient so we use less water. Showers took a little less than a gallon each with the watering can, but we can now get two showers from less than a gallon of pressurized hot water. Since we only carry 40 gallons of water aboard, this is a significant improvement.

The system we have works so well now that I think it is more comfortable than using the showers we find in some marinas. We also use the pressure sprayer to rinse dishes, which has also cut down on water usage. The sprayer is a bit bulky, but I would not leave the slip without one now that I know how useful they are.
Jerry Powlas, Technical Editor

Why does my issue come so late?

You know what I really hate about Good Old Boat? My subscription arrives several days after the newsstand has it, leaving me with great anxiety for several days. I paid first; how come I can't get it first?
Gary Lucas

We're on it

We're about to fix that, Gary. We've had three issues in a row in which the mailed issues went out late. When all goes according to our normal plan, the mail goes out a week before the cartons even begin their trip to the newsstand distribution center.

But if there's a holdup in the process, the mail winds up going out late (and, therefore, closer to the launch of that truck full of cartons for the newsstands). The printers know how aggravating this is for our subscribers.

A fix is in the works. I think we'll now be able once more to deliver to your door before the newsstands receive their boxes with the May issue.
Karen Larson

Finding the right owner

I just want to thank you for the ad you posted for our Javelin 38 on your website's Fixer-upper Sailboats page. The boat now has a very competent new owner in Ontario, Canada, and will be reworked to perfection. Thank you very much for your service to the good old boat community. I have been quite surprised at the response and was able to be pretty selective on what buyer I thought was qualified to really finish the project properly.
Bruce Wigton

Fixing up good old boats

The Fixer-upper Sailboat page on the Good Old Boat website allows anyone with a boat selling for $5,000 or less (including free boats, of course) to post that boat for any length of time at no charge. It is one of our site's most popular pages because some real gems appear from time to time. If you haven't visited it lately, have a look: <http://www.goodoldboat.com/resources_for_sailors/fixer-upper_sailboats.php>.

Thanks from Iraq

My deployment is coming to an end, and I wanted to thank everybody at Good Old Boat for all the great issues you sent me. Your magazine kept my mind off the war during downtime and gave me an escape to my own good old boat back in Hawaii. Through your generosity you have found a lifelong subscriber to your magazine. Other sailing magazines have articles on expensive stuff that I would never use, and little on how to keep my boat floating. Your magazine is just the opposite. Thanks for cutting out the "pork" and keeping a sailing magazine true to some of us that just want to cruise in our good old boats.
Sergeant Carlos Mora, FOB Normandy, Iraq

Right place at the right time

Once again I am impressed with the almost impeccable timing of your magazine. As I stood in the boatyard I had one eye on the iron keel of my Pearson 26 and the other eye on the "For Sale" sign affixed to a neighboring O'Day 28. Lo and behold, that day I picked up the latest issue of Good Old Boat and discovered timely articles about both. Keep up the good work!
Steve Muise

Getting the Good Old Boat fix


After my November 2008 issue got lost in the Christmas mail, I realized how much I depend on my regular dose of Good Old Boat. I thank you for a great magazine.

The photo I'm sending is of our boat, Leva ("to live"). It was a typical early 1970s design, which I found as an empty shell in a sand pit. I split the hull in two and made a new stern to fit better with my intentions for the boat. The hull is fiberglass and all the rest is made of wood. The picture was taken on the Dalslands Canal in Sweden, last summer.
Pål Henningsen

Re-reading Good Old Boat

Great magazine. I always read every word, often several times. Don't know if this is an indication of my advancing age, declining intelligence, or both, but it probably is due more to the fact that you guys have done a remarkable job of regularly assembling excellent, dense, straightforward content that is a joy to read and packed full of information. Thanks for all your efforts.
Brad Hendricks

Helping a sailor out

I've been reading your tenth anniversary issue this week (a little behind on my reading but the good news is that your magazine -- unlike, say, Time -- doesn't need to be read the week it comes for one to glean benefits) and have thoroughly enjoyed the many stories, especially the piece about your founding the magazine. I've been a subscriber for a couple of years now and hope that you continue to provide such a worthwhile and enjoyable product.

Much like the BOATU.S. and Seaworthy publications, there is not an issue that does not provide some bit of help in maintaining our venerable Columbia 36, Como No. Congratulations on your tenth and please keep up the good work.
Kurt Messerschmidt

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Excerpts from The Practical Encyclopedia of Boating

by John Vigor

Diesel Engines

The reason they are so popular in today’s boats.

Although diesel engines cost more that gasoline engines and are usually heavier, they have become the power plants of choice for most auxiliary sailboats and the majority of inboard powerboats.

One reason for this is safety: diesel fuel is not explosive as gasoline is, although it will burn fiercely if it is first heated. It takes only about half a cup of gasoline mixed with the air to create an explosion powerful enough to blow most boats to pieces. The other virtues of diesel engines are long life, economy, and reliability.

The defining difference between diesels and gasoline engines is the method of igniting the fuel. Whereas a gasoline engine depends on an electrical spark to set off combustion, a diesel’s power stroke is started when fuel is injected into a cylinder of air hot enough to make it ignite. The air is heated by compression as the piston travels up the cylinder. To achieve an ignition heat of between 500°F and 1,000°F (260°C to 538°C), compression ratios of as high as 20 to 1 are used, together with finely machined close-fitting pistons and rings.

The engine was named after Rudolf Christian Karl Diesel (1858-1913), a German engineer. He studied in England and then attended the Polytechnic School in Munich, Germany. He patented a machine using hot-air ignition in 1892. His first experiments were as exciting as they were instructive -- at least one early model blew itself to bits at first try. Others ran more successfully, using finely ground coal dust as fuel. Eventually, the ideal fuel turned out to a petroleum distillate similar to furnace oil -- what we now know as diesel fuel. In 1913, while on a voyage to England, Diesel drowned in the English Channel.

It took many years to perfect a foolproof system of delivering the fuel by means of forcing it directly into the cylinder through small nozzles, or injectors, that turn it into an easily ignited fine mist.

Diesels are not without vices. They suffer greatly from vibration, especially the single-cylinder models, and they are noisier than gasoline engines. They cost more, are harder to start in cold weather-- that is, as soon as the ambient temperature falls to 50? (10?C) or below -- and are slower to accelerate. They are also heavier and more expensive to overhaul and repair when something goes wrong. For these reasons, gasoline is still the fuel of choice for outboards and stern-drive engines.

John Vigor’s book, The Practical Encyclopedia of Boating, is available from the Good Old Boat Bookshelf for $29.95; 352 pages (hardcover). John's blog can be found at <http://www.johnvigor.com/Blog.html>.

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How to contact us

You can find all of the details on how to contact us on our website.

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