October 2011 Newsletter

October 2011 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.

Desperately seeking audiobook listeners

Voyages in Desperate Times

The most exciting news from the Good Old Boat headquarters this month is the debut of our newest and -- many will say -- our best audiobook: Voyages in Desperate Times by Jule Miller.

Voyages in Desperate Times is a well-researched and well-written historical novel focused on the experiences of those in the Coastal Picket Force, aka the “Hooligan Navy,” members of the U.S. Coast Guard who patrolled the U.S. East Coast looking for German U-boats targeting U.S. troop and cargo ships heading to Europe. Using sailing yachts and powerboats commandeered from private citizens, they also rescued survivors of ships that had been sunk. Imagine patrolling the North Atlantic for days on end in winter in a 54-foot wooden sailboat with a crew of six, continually worrying about keeping the boat afloat and being sunk by enemy submarines, and you’ll soon relate to the hard life of fictitious Ensign Nicholas Worth as he retells his story to his granddaughter 66 years later. We’re sure you’re going to like this one.

To hear an excerpt from the audiobook version of Voyages in Desperate Times, read by Spencer King, listen to the podcast version of this newsletter: <http://www.audioseastories.net>. For those who prefer to read the printed book, information on ordering the book can be found as part of Don's Launer's book review in the Book Review section the newsletter.

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The geese are flying and the leaves are turning

Fall is already in the air. Although northern sailors are beginning to haul out their boats, the sailing season will continue through spring with indoor boat shows and other events that lure us to warmer places. (By January, we’re easily seduced into going just about anywhere warmer.) Various Good Old Boat folks will be at the Annapolis Sailboat Show, October 6 through 10, and at the Annapolis Good Old Boat Regatta, October 8.

Speaking of Good Old Boat Regattas, don’t miss the third annual St. Petersburg event on January 21. We won’t be there in person this year, but we’ll be there in our dreams.

In January we’ll attend the Strictly Sail show in Chicago. In February, we’ll be at the Havasu Pocket Cruisers Convention in Lake Havasu, Arizona. We’ll go to Portland, Maine, for the Boatbuilders Show in March and to Oakland, California, in April for Strictly Sail Pacific.

Time flies as long as we can keep thinking about sailing. Before we know it, we’ll be launching our boats and it will be summer again.

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New products

GOB Tote bag

We couldn’t resist ordering sturdy tote bags with our name on them. They’re available on our website, of course, and we’ll have them at all the boat shows we attend. We’ve tested our bag already on walks to the boat from the grocery store and when hauling gear back and forth. It’s the right size for just about anything and the natural beige-colored canvas with navy straps doesn’t show the dirt that comes with setting it down on docks and stuffing it into musty lockers.

If you’re thinking about Christmas already (and some are!), consider adding a couple of tote bags to your list, along with our new T-shirts, the newest back-issue CDs and, while you’re at it, a gift subscription or two!

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No more bellyaching

After all their whining and complaining about too many boatyard projects and the late launch of Mystic, editors Karen and Jerry did go sailing for the month of August on Lake Superior. To prove it, they wrote a daily log that’s posted as a blog: <http://goodoldboat.wordpress.com>.

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Our Facebook following grows

As of this writing, our Facebook page <http://www.facebook.com/goodoldboat> has 1,269 followers. Why not join in?

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Job Seekers page

The news these days continues to be all about the national unemployment figures and who’s doing what to fix them. In a small way, we’re trying to help too. We offer a free service to subscribers who are looking for jobs. That list is growing. We don’t have to tell you that sailors are the best kind of people to hire. Those who are good old boaters are even more special because they’re resourceful and capable. They know how to get things done both on the boat and on the job. <http://www.goodoldboat.com/resources_for_sailors/sailing_classifieds/seekers_classified.php>

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In the news

Catching up to 200 years of sailing history in the U.S., the National Sailing Hall of Fame, located in Annapolis, has released the names of its first class of inductees.

Inductees are American citizens, 45 years of age and up, who have made significant impact on the growth and development of the sport in the U.S. in the categories of Sailing, Technical and Contributor. Nominations of non-citizens were also considered if they influenced the sport in the U.S. Posthumous nominations were also accepted.

The first class of inductees includes:

  1. U.S. Sailing Disabled Sailing team coach and five-time Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year Betsy Alison
  2. Surfboard industry pioneer Hobie Alter
  3. 1998 Whitbread Round the World Race winning skipper Paul Cayard
  4. Four-time America’s Cup winning skipper Dennis Conner
  5. Naval architect and America’s Cup winning skipper Ted Hood
  6. Sailor, author, and Emmy-award winning sailing commentator Gary Jobson
  7. 1972 Soling Olympic Gold Medalist Buddy Melges
  8. 1968 Star Olympic Gold Medalist and founder of North Sails Lowell North
  9. America’s Cup winning helmsman and four-time Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Ted Turner

Posthumous Inductees include:

  1. Transatlantic Race record setter Capt. Charles “Charlie” Barr
  2. Naval architect Capt. Nathanael G. Herreshoff
  3. Two-time America’s Cup winning skipper Emil “Bus” Mosbacher, Jr.
  4. The first-ever singlehanded circumnavigator and noted writer Joshua Slocum
  5. Yacht designer Olin Stephens
  6. Three-time America’s Cup winning skipper Harold S. Vanderbilt

The first class of inductees will be honored during an October 23rd ceremony at the San Diego Yacht Club.

The next group of NSHOF inductees will be announced in July 2012, and through 2013 the number of inductees will not exceed 15. Beginning in 2014, the Selection Committee will induct a maximum of five sailors each year.

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What’s coming in November

For the love of sailboats

  • Luders 36 feature boat
  • Santana 2023C review
  • The enduring Sharpie
  • Alberg 30 refit

Speaking seriously

  • Icebox Insulation 101
  • The legacy of Bill Tripp by Robert Perry
  • Five lessons in boat handling
  • A low-tide solution
  • Daylight on the cheap
  • Inexpensive burglar alarms
  • Non-skid renewal update
  • To varnish or . . . not

What’s more

  • A cruise feeds the soul
  • Is there life after sailing?
  • Midwinter frolic
  • Sail into the holidays
  • Touch and the sailor
  • Simple solution: Mini portable workbench
  • Quick and Easy: Propane storage, Fender cleanser, and Two-timing table
  • The view from here: Real sailors sew
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WindRider Owners Weekend

October 20-23, 2011
Sarasota, Florida

Legendary boat designer Jim Brown will be attending the WindRider Owners Weekend (WOW) being held in conjunction with the Buzzelli Multihull Rendezvous.

Designer of the WindRider 16 and WindRider 17 trimaran sailboats, Jim is a pioneer of modern multihull designs and will be a big attraction not only for WindRider owners and prospects in attendance, but for all multihull enthusiasts. He will provide live narration along with presenting his video, “History of the Modern Multihull.”

For more information, go to <http://www.windrider.com> and click on “Events” or contact Dean Sanberg at 612-338-2170 or dean@windrider.com.

United States Sailboat Show

October 6–10, 2011
Annapolis, Maryland

Stop by the Good Old Boat booth, AB3, and say hello. We’ll have a special thank-you for subscribers. For more information, go to <http://www.usboat.com>.

National Sailing Hall of Fame

October 23, 2011
San Diego Yacht Club
San Diego, California

The first class of inductees into the National Sailing Hall of Fame will be honored. For more information, go to <http://www.nshof.org>.

Good Old Boat Regatta

January 21, 2012
St. Petersburg, Florida

The third annual St Petersburg Good Old Boat Regatta is scheduled for January 21, 2012. Last year, over 60 boats were at the starting line and more than $1000 was raised for the benefit of Neighborly Care Network under our theme of “Good Old Boats Support Good Old Folks.” Check the website for more information to be posted as plans develop—<http://www.spsa.us>.

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Looking for reader input -- what is your technique?

by Jerry Powlas

After using hanked-on sails for 20 years, we installed a roller furler this year. We used the system for a month and liked it a lot. Many of our readers have roller-furling systems. After a month's use, we have a question for experienced roller-furler sailors.

Our furling line runs down the starboard side. When we are on a starboard tack and the genoa is sheeted to the port winch, it's easy for one of us to load the furling line onto the starboard winch and roll up the sail while the other one of us eases off the genoa sheet from the port winch.

When matters are reversed, however, and we are on a port tack, things get awkward. Now the genoa is sheeted to the starboard winch. We have not found a graceful way to reef or furl the sail because the one and only starboard sheet winch needed for the furling line is already occupied by the starboard genoa sheet. In very light air, I can pull in the furling line by hand, but Karen is not strong enough to do that even in light air. If there is much wind, neither of us can bring in the furling line without loading it on the winch.

If we cast the starboard jibsheet off the winch so we can load the furling line, the sail luffs and flaps awkwardly, reducing the life and quality of the sail with each snap. If we furl the sail with no tension on it, we get a loose furl.

We have tried several “solutions” to this problem but found nothing we like very much. We would like to hear from readers who have solved this problem. Please send responses to karen@goodoldboat.com and we'll continue this discussion in future newsletters.

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Book reviews

The following book reviews have been posted online.

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Mail buoy

North Channel photos

Scott's Karma 1

My wife and I, the owners of the 1986 Norsea 27, Karma, which appeared on the cover of the September 2011 Good Old Boat, couldn’t feel more honored by your magazine and Bill Jacobs, the photographer. This cover will become a framed memory of our cruising days. By pure chance, this anchorage is our favorite from 20 years of sailing Karma on Lakes Michigan and Superior. I thought you might be interested in the “rest of the story.” Here are several more photos taken last summer at the same anchorage when Bill photographed the cover. The North Channel is truly a gorgeous area with many “holes” to tuck into!

Scott's Karma 2 Scott's Karma 3

Norsea 27, Karma, at anchor in the North Channel

–Tom and JJ Scott

More dockline chat

I have often envied boaters who have the luxury of tying up to floating docks in a marina. There is a great place to use short ropes with loops at the ends. Unfortunately, at the wharf where I tie up there are virtually no cleats—just a horizontal 8 x 8-inch timber along the edge, raised up on blocks every six feet or so. With a 6-foot tide range, any long-term tie up should use long lines. The secret is to tie them far along the wharf so the up and down motion from the tide doesn’t make for much slack at high tide. Likewise, you don’t want the boat hanging on the lines at low tide! Twenty or 30 feet is not unusual for each line. I use a bow and stern line semi-permanently attached to deck cleats and going out from the boat with a second set of spring lines from the center. I have never figured out which configuration is best for the second set of lines. Redundancy, in case a line wears through or comes loose, is the goal.

The locally favored knot, I have found, is not a clove hitch, which requires fishing a long length of excess line under the timber twice, but a simple square knot made with the doubled-over end of the line. Pull the doubled-over line through under the timber and bring it over the top to tie. Two overhand loops and you have a square knot. It can be pulled through easily even if there is lots of excess line. I have never heard of the knot coming loose. Most of the time at home I use old tires for fenders (the boat is painted dark green on the sides), but I am investing in some 12-inch round buoys for the future. They give extra spacing out from the wharf or from another boat, particularly needed when tied outside a big fishing boat that doesn’t line up with my hull. A recent change is to tie the docklines to the lifelines when sailing so the (long) line at the bow doesn’t wash off the bow in rough weather and trail back into the prop (ask me how I know!)
–Tom Schultz

Hurricane preparation Nort


Our waterway is oriented north-south, so when a hurricane is coming up the coast, the east winds would be pushing the boat up against our pilings, probably with a force greater than the rubrail could handle. When these conditions are expected I use two “fenderboards,” which consist of 2 x 6-inch treated lumber, each eight feet long. Near the ends of these fenderboards are rubber bumpers. The rubber bumpers rest against the boat’s hull and the boards ride up and down against the piling, taking the brunt of the forces.
–Don Launer

Bahamas relief

I know many of your readers probably have cruised the Bahamas and love the islands. Cat Island and the Family Islands got hit very hard by Hurricane Irene and they badly need assistance. The Remote Island Ministry <http://remoteisland.org/> is mounting a relief effort directed specifically at Cat and the Family Islands. They have recent photos and more information at their website, and you can make an online donation.
–James C. Williams

Overboard techniques

Sigmund Baardsen’s initial sentence [“Which is the best overboard maneuver?” is controversial and it is a good question because it causes us to examine a variety of methods (September 2011, Mail buoy)] says it all and his approach is one that works with a sailboat. It all depends on the number of crew, the sea conditions, day or night, etc. There is no pat answer. Using the jib to “roll” the victim back into the boat should also be mentioned.
–C. Henry Depew

More dreams

I used to own Laughing Dolphin and was delighted to read your article (“A pocket cruiser full of dreams,” September 2011) about her and her latest owner. She was definitely a “good old boat.” Here is a link to my WordPress article that I wrote about her: <http://patfestino.wordpress.com/?p=304&preview=true>.
–Patricia Festino

Diesel to electric conversion

Like Joe Steinberger in your May 2011 issue, we have converted what used to be a diesel-powered boat to electric. We did several things differently but, overall, agree fully with the result Joe observed of quiet operation, no fuel and oil smells, and responsive operation. As Joe stated, the duration of the battery power is a primary consideration in planning the design and operation of the boat.

A little background: we have been restoring a 30-foot wooden sailboat built by John Trumpy in 1935. Our purpose was to make it look as original as we could. As with anything, money was also a concern. The diesel motor was no good and the cost to replace that was about $12,000. The complete electric system cost us about $6,000.

There are several reasons for the higher cost than Joe’s conversion. We used a packaged product from Electric Yacht, which included motor, belt drive, controller, mounting hardware, wiring, and operations instructions. The advantages were the belt drive matched our boat weight and existing prop. The result has worked well. I was concerned with the hydrogen gas that lead acid batteries give off during operation so went with sealed AGM batteries—that about doubled the price of the batteries immediately. Also, the way we were mounting the batteries would have made checking the water levels an issue; the sealed batteries do not require checking the water levels. Last, we put in 220-amp-hour batteries at 48-volt, which made weight an unexpected issue. We had to relocate the batteries this past winter to correct the boat riding too low in the stern.

We did not use solar panels since we were trying to maintain a 1935 look. We could hide the motor below the deck. Finally, we left 12-volt batteries for house power; if we did drain the motor, we would still have the bilge pump and radio.

If you would like to see what we did, our organization is Rip Tide Preservation and our website is <http://www.riptidepreservation.org/>.
Bill Appelget

Is it possible to have too much “stuff” on the boat?

I don’t think so, but my wife Joanne does. The bottom drawer is full of hardware instead of the towels that Joanne would prefer. We sail a 1970 Ericson 30-1 with what I believe is the original Atomic 4 engine. I changed over to freshwater cooling about 10 years ago.

This summer our vacation plans took us on a three-week cruise from Groton, Connecticut, to Penobscot Bay, Maine. It was trouble-free except for one minor coolant leak from a thermostat housing stud. For one night’s stay on the way home, we followed the Saco River to Saco/Biddeford and took a mooring at the quaint Saco River Yacht Club. After being warmly welcomed by a gentleman named Gil, I asked if there was an auto parts store nearby where I could get a 3/8-inch x 24 nut for one of the thermostat housing studs on the engine (it didn’t feel right when I tried to tighten it). Gil said that he might just have such a nut. After dumping out a couple of bags onto the workbench in the club, we indeed found the nut. I thanked Gil and returned to the boat with the nut but when I put it on the stud and began to tighten it, the stud pulled out of the block and I had a bit of a problem (now the leak was much bigger). It wasn’t the nut that was bad after all.

Contemplating our dilemma, I began to look in the bottom drawer for a miracle. First, I found a slightly rusty 3/8-inch x 16 tap (this is the thread in the block). The tap wasn’t long enough without removing the thermostat housing. I did that and the tap turned in and felt pretty good. I then needed a new stud. Back to the bottom drawer. I found a stainless 3/8-inch x 16 bolt 3 inches long. Things were looking up. Now I realized I had ruined the thermostat housing gasket. You guessed it! There was a new one in the drawer left from a Moyer Marine order from a previous year. My repair was completed with no leaks and Joanne doesn’t ask me why I keep all this “stuff” on the boat any more.
–Bill Litke

You seem to know the editors rather well indeed! Sometimes we wonder what is all that stuff in all those tool and spare parts lockers. But when push comes to shove, the senior engineer aboard generally finds what he needs to make the fix and the second mate has never begrudged him all that locker space.

Ahoy Lasses and Sea Dogs,

I’m sending out an SOS to all water rats from one of the wonderful gated communities kept by the State of Florida for all of us pirates who slip and forget about the pleasures of life without taking too much booty for themselves. I’m looking to start my life over in a small sailboat that I’ll be able to keep and maintain on a small budget. Being a novice H2O dog, I grew up in South Florida fishing and diving the salt and fresh, but have been landlocked for 14 years and my sea legs are a bit rusty. I’ve learned to live a Spartan life under the KISS system. What I don’t want to do is drown myself thinking I remember everything I once knew.

I am looking for advice and a sailboat to help me start my life over on the wet: assistance, thoughts, and guidance. I’ll be a fresh 54 when I step out the gate next year, leave this phase of my life, and enter into a new world. The lesson I can share with others is: don’t rob banks to self-medicate yourself from life’s pains and disappointments. Bless you and please let me hear from you.
–Tom Stone 670145 A3, ABCF, PO Box 7171, South Bay, FL 33493-7171

Roxanne’s Gingersnaps

Regarding the article in July 2011 issue, “Managing Seasickness,” I once worked overseas with a man whose wife sent him the best homemade ginger snaps ever. I just had to have the recipe and I am sending it in to you. Enjoy.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon soda
3 teaspoons ground ginger
2-3 tablespoons fine chopped crystalized ginger
1/3 cup butter or shortening
1 cup sugar
1 beaten egg
1/4 cup dark molasses
1 tablespoon vinegar

Mix flour, salt, soda, and ground ginger together and set aside.
Cream butter and add sugar. Add egg. Beat until smooth and fluffy. 
Add molasses. Beat hard, then stir in vinegar. Mix in chopped ginger.
Combine the two mixtures. Mix thoroughly.
Shape teaspoons of dough into balls by rolling them VERY lightly between buttered palms. (Very lightly will give you the crackle top.)
Bake at 350 F for 12 to 15 minutes or until delicately browned. 

This should make about 4 dozen cookies.
James Lampros

It’s simple

I’m 81 years old and have been sailing since age seven. I have had all the sailing magazines since the 1930s. Yours is the best.
Gordon L. Hirshhorn

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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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