February 2012 Newsletter

February 2012 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.

The days are getting longer!

The days have begun lengthening already. Can the spring thaw be very far behind? Marinas will be coming back to life everywhere. So here’s our newest plot to rule the world: if you’d like to spread the word of Good Old Boat magazine in your marina, please let us know. We’d be happy to equip you with extra copies for a reading room or the laundry room or for handing out to folks along the dock. Just tell Karen (karen@goodoldboat.com) how many you’d like and where to send them. We’ll see that you get a shipment of the May issue right from the printer when we have that issue ready to go.

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Maine or Minnesota? Minnesota or Maine?

Hmm, let’s see. Which should we choose in March? Maine or Minnesota? Who, we ask, would want to go to either one in early spring? Why, we ask, isn’t Florida on the list? In spite of their complaints, your intrepid editors (Karen and Jerry) will be making the trek east with a truck full of stuff for the Maine Boatbuilders Show. We’ll see you there! Show dates are March 16 through 18.

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Facebook continues to amaze even us

Our Facebook following continues to grow. We’re up to 1,506 right now.
Come on over and click the “like” button at the top of the page.

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What’s coming in March 2012

For the love of sailboats

  • Morgan 42 Mk II feature boat
  • Pearson 26 review
  • C&C 35 Mk II review
  • O’Day 23 refit

Speaking seriously

  • Hoses 101
  • Idiosyncrasies of the IOR by Robert Perry
  • Chameleon: a tender in two parts
  • Night vision
  • UV exposed
  • Boat, phone home
  • Do it right the first time
  • Holding tank essentials
  • The boat painter’s apprentice

What’s more

  • Deferred maintenance meets microburst
  • Sabres and Scorpions
  • Simple solution: Scarfing made easy
  • Quick and Easy: Halyard replacement, Homemade clamps, and Temporary diesel tank
  • The view from here: A little relief from winter
  • Good Old Boat has lost a friend
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In the news

GOB Sing-Along

The Good Old Boat Sing-Along from October’s U.S. Sailboat Show is available at:

  1. Vimeo.com: <http://vimeo.com/34478428>
  2. YouTube: <http://youtu.be/1PMHr5OyJLc>
  3. TheSailingChannel.TV: <http://www.thesailingchannel.tv/ussbs/ussbs11/gob/index.html>

New Joshua Slocum site

Captain Joshua Slocum's great-grandson, Ralph Slocum, learned about his great-grandfather's achievements as a young boy, and from that point on wanted to preserve and be a part of the great sailor's legacy. Joshua Slocum Enterprises was subsequently founded to develop and market a line of the highest quality products for the sailing and outdoor enthusiast. Check it out at <http://www.joshuaslocum.com/>.

Hospice regattas

Thousands of sailors in communities around the U.S. are enjoying the sport they love while offering vital assistance to terminally ill patients and their loved ones.

The 25 hospice regattas that are members of National Hospice Regatta Alliance (NHRA) are celebrating 30 years of supporting hospices. Since its founding in 1982, the Alliance and its member regattas have directed more than $15 million to hospice programs around the country. The money raised through sailing regattas has helped nonprofit hospices relieve the suffering of tens of thousands of dying patients while providing compassionate support to their loved ones. In 2011, 25 regattas in the United States, Canada, and the U.S. Virgin Islands raised more than $1 million.

Imagine the thrill of a regatta — crisp wind, billowing sails, competition, and the exhilaration of a great day on the water. But at these regattas, there is a deeper satisfaction for the sailors and others — knowing that all the proceeds will benefit local hospice efforts, honoring the wishes and needs of those on their final journey.

Although funds raised by NHRA member regattas are used in various ways, they frequently underwrite bereavement support programs, including children’s camps, where youngsters affected by loss can heal and just play with other kids. These services — offered free or at minimal cost — would not exist without the support of the NHRA’s member regattas.

To find a regatta near you, go to <http://www.hospiceregattas.org/year_12.shtml>.

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February 13 – 20, 2012
Lake Havasu, Arizona
Karen and Jerry will be attending this event and presenting a trophy for the “Coolest Owner Modification Ever” competition. To see a video of Karen and Jerry explaining what the competition is about, go to <http://www.sailhavasu.com/Good_Old_Boat.html>. For general information about the convention, go to <http://www.sailhavasu.com/>.


February 16 – 20, 2012
Miamarina at Bayside, Miami, Florida
For more information or to purchase tickets go to: <http://www.strictlysailmiami.com>.


March 3 – 4, 2012
St. John’s River
Palatka, Florida
In conjunction with the Palatka, Florida, Azalea Festival <http://www.flazaleafest.com>, four races are scheduled for Saturday and two races around the buoys on Sunday, followed by the awards ceremony on the Palatka riverfront. All Cal 29 owners are welcome to join in the fun, food, and competition. Other PHRF boats rating between 180 and 190 with spinnakers are invited to join, racing with the Cal 29 one-design fleet.

Follow them on the Rat Island Yacht Club facebook page, <http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Rat-Island- Yacht-Club/102948869801051>, or on their website, <http://www. ratisland.com/>. There will be fun for the whole family.


March 16 – 18, 2012
Portland, Maine
Jerry and Karen will be manning the Good Old Boat booth at this show and invite you to stop by and say hello. For more information, go to <http://www.portlandcompany.com>.


March 22 –25, 2012   
South Shore Harbour Marina,
Bay Area Houston, Texas
It’s THE sailboat show in Texas. For more information go to:


April 14 – 15, 2012
Hamilton, Ontario
The Marine Museum of the Great Lakes in Kingston, Ontario, with the help of former C&C Alumnus Rob Mazza, is organizing a reunion of past employees and close friends of C&C Yachts at the Royal Hamilton Yacht Club in Hamilton. The reunion will be followed on Saturday by a conference open to all, to discuss the various aspects of C&C Yachts, including design, production, and performance. For more and evolving information on this once-in-a-lifetime event, contact Doug Cowie, Museum Manager, at manager@marmuseum.ca or Rob Mazza at robertlmazza@gmail.com.


April 27 – 29, 2012
Fairhope, Alabama
Information may be found at <http://www.fairhopeyachtclub.com/Regattas/DI2012/Index.htm>.

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Looking for

Wanted: Early Gemini Catamaran (31/3000/3200) for boat review.

Gemini Catamaran

Seeking willing owner with a clean boat to be reviewed in Good Old Boat. If you are a Gemini owner, or know of one, who is willing to endure a few hours of having your boat inspected, studied, photographed, and sailed, please contact me, Allen Penticoff, contributing editor, at apenticoff@comcast.net or 815-985-1108.

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Book Reviews

The following book reviews have been posted online.

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Ann Davison, sailor and role model

by Susan Peterson Gateley

The year I was born, 1951, an English woman published a book called Last Voyage. Her name was Ann Davison and she has been a presence in my sailing life now for fifty years.

Not long after I discovered sailing at age fifteen, I saw an illustration in a boating magazine. It was a painting of Ann Davison and her 23-foot sloop under full sail crossing the Atlantic. She was the first woman to sail the Atlantic solo. She did it decades before GPS, chart plotters, and autohelms, and she did it with a wooden boat and canvas sails. She had no financial support from sponsors or doting family. And she made the trip four years after being shipwrecked and losing everything, including her husband.

Ann Davison

Ann Davison fascinated me at an age when we seek role models and direction to pick our way through the rocky shoals of adolescence. Her story intrigued a beginning sailor of small boats on the inland waters of North America. When I found Last Voyage in the local library, I read it several times. Her career as a freelance pilot, writer, artist, and subsistence farmer fascinated me. Her accounts of adventure with assorted boats, most of them elderly and built of wood, helped feed the already well-kindled flame of my own boating interest.

Davison wrote several books, and her lively accounts generously laced with self-deprecating humor about raising goats and geese on a Scottish island, piloting small planes for hire, and the refit of the 70-foot wooden ketch Reliance, spoke to the heart of a timid, but restless, teenager who also longed for adventure but didn't have the courage to pursue it. I eventually acquired a wooden sloop similar in size to Davison's Felicity Ann, on which she crossed the Atlantic. I followed in her literary wake by writing about my sailing experiences, though both my adventures and publishing successes were far more modest.

“Adventure was our living and with her we would find it,” Davison wrote of the Reliance. Oh, how those words spoke to me! I, too, longed to sail my little ship off to distant seas. But I never did. I never sailed solo on blue water and now I don't particularly want to. My courage falters at the thought today, and at age sixty I can now declare “I'm too old for that.” It's pretty easy now to settle into a daily routine. A rut they say is a grave with the ends knocked off, but mine is pretty comfortable these days—a husband, a debt-free dwelling, a paid-off good old boat. But still the spark smolders.

Eventually, Ann Davison settled down too. She married and lived in south Florida and, after a last long solo cruise in a small outboard that took her up the coast, through canals and Great Lakes, and down the Mississippi, she swallowed the anchor and dropped out of public sight. I suppose once the adventures stopped she didn't have anything to write about. She slipped her earthly moorings forever in 1992 to pass over the bar. But her courage, her understated accounts of adventure and achievement, and her sheer grit as she carried on in the face of horrifying odds still touch me deeply.
Looking back on four decades of sailing alone and with a husband, I realize she served as an inspiration and a mentor of sorts, too, as she wrote of the need to keep a dream green and growing and of having faith in one's beliefs. The sheer bloody joy of living close to the edge — as one sailor wrote, “She lived out there.” In fact, she fell right off the edge in the wreck of the Reliance and quite literally clawed her way back up to dry land.

The edge she lived on was far higher and the potential fall more deadly than any I have ventured near. But as we ready our old boat for another season and talk of sailing her to faraway places, I realize Ann Davison's writing has inspired me through the years to at least take a tentative step or two a little closer to the edge and admire the view of those tantalizing distant horizons.

Susan Petersen Gately’s memoir, Living On The Edge with Sara B, is available at <http://www.chimneybluff.com>.

Editor’s Note: Susan tells us that Felicity Ann is now being restored by a group of women training to be shipwrights.

Ann Davison’s books, Last Voyage, Home was an Island, My Ship is so Small, In the Wake of the Gemini, and Florida Junket are out of print, but available through some online bookstores and good old used-book bookstores. Find more at: <http://www.wavetrain.net/lit-bits/83-ann-davison-la-navigante-solitaria>

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Mail buoy

Spinnaker vs. gennaker/cruising spinnaker

I’m writing in response to Lewis Keizer’s letter (“Spinnaker spin,” November 2011 Mail buoy) advocating the use of a traditional spinnaker in place of a gennaker or cruising spinnaker. 

Lewis’s method works, but there are some disadvantages. Although the pole is eliminated, you still have a potentially unwieldy spinnaker to deal with. While Lewis describes gennakers as expensive, in truth, they are typically smaller and less costly than a conventional spinnaker when new. Sailors moving away from their old spinnakers in favor of various asymmetrical cruising sails are a leading reason for the abundance of cheap used spinnakers on the market. People have discovered there is an easier and better way for short-handed crews, and people who aren’t racing, to enjoy spinnaker-type benefits without the hassle. With a conventional spinnaker there is a higher likelihood of spinnaker wraps and other fiasco-ish events occurring. We’ve seen people buy a used conventional spinnaker, use it once, then it doesn’t come out again until the nautical flea market. So how can we improve the chances of success?

Some traditional spinnakers will be easier to fly than others. We can break down spinnakers as being reachers, all purpose, or runners. If I chose to fly a conventional spinnaker, tacked to the bow or over a furled genoa, with an ATN Tacker, I would look for a reaching spinnaker as it will be more stable.

In general terms, a flatter sail with narrow shoulders is what I’d be looking for. For light air use, 0.75-ounce works best on most boats. The heavier (and cheaper) 1.5-ounce will be more challenging to keep filled. If you already have an old spinnaker on board, it’s certainly worth giving it a try. Many racing spinnakers will have a max girth equal to the J dimension multiplied by 1.8.

For use as a cruising sail, I’d prefer something around 1.65. The good news is, if it doesn’t work out, you may be able to recover your investment by selling to it someone else who thinks it will work for him/her.

Hiring a certified ASA or US Sailing instructor for a private lesson can be well worth the investment if you’re not adept at spinnaker work.

Many of the customers we work with are couples or families with children sailing from the West Coast to as far as New Zealand. Their requirements are for a sail that requires relatively little attention and can be deployed and, more important, doused easily. There is a trend toward what some call a cruising code zero. This is a very easily managed sail ideal for use with a foil-less furler. While it’s less than optimal for deep downwind angles, easing the tack line and letting the sail rotate a bit out in front offers acceptable downwind performance. I describe it a Swiss-army-knife type of sail.

The measure of success for a cruising light-air sail is that it gets used often. If you plan to cruise, having a versatile light-air sail or two is essential. You’ll spend far more time in light conditions than in the heavy stuff, if you’re on the typical cruising routes.
–Dave Benjamin
Owner/Founder, Island Planet Sails

Butyl tape experience

Butyl 1

Butyl caulk applied to hinge

I have used butyl tape for caulking and bedding purposes above the waterline for several years on our Pearson 365 ketch. I started using the product because a friend used roofing mastic (butyl caulk) to bed his stanchions about 10 years ago. He has had no leaks from them and reported that the material remains adherent and pliant after many years of service. Additionally, New Found Metals recommends butyl tape to bed their ports. I have bedded eight bronze ports, four handrails, ten stanchion bases, six scupper drains, and a myriad of other deck-mounted items. We previously had several mysterious leaks that defied identification or remedy. Since using butyl tape we have had no leaks, period! I had used all of the standard products: silicone, polyurethane, and polysulfide. None have the ease of application, effectiveness, or durability of butyl tape.

Butyl 2

Hinge with caulk extruding

Application is straightforward and uncomplicated. Clean the surfaces to be mated with a non-oily solvent, mold the caulk rope on one of the surfaces, mate them together, tighten the screws or bolts, and clean off the caulk that extrudes. In addition to adhering extremely well to the boat and the attachment, the excess that oozes out is easily cleaned off and can be reused. It usually takes a few weeks for all the excess caulk to completely extrude. It will remain pliable and adherent and the joint will be leak free. Ace Hardware carries butyl tape as a product called Rope Caulk (product number 52516) priced about $6 a box that has 90-feet of 1/8-inch ropes. Big-box home stores, such as Home Depot, carry a similar product called Mortite. Ace Rope Caulk is more pliable and stickier than Mortite and is my preference. Heating and air conditioning companies carry a similar product.
–Jim Shell

Great stuff, butyl tape!

In 1995, we owned a 1968 Alberg 30 built by Whitby Boat Works in Canada. After sailing her for a season we started a major refit project that involved removing every fitting from her deck to better refinish her. In the process of removing her fittings, we discovered, to our amazement, that the bedding material was still pliable after 26 years of service. After some research, we discovered the bedding material was butyl tape. As a result, it was a no-brainer to purchase several rolls of the material and re-bed all the fittings in the same material that had lasted 26 years. Several years later, we sold the Alberg 30 and purchased another Alberg, a 1967 37-foot sloop, and found the same material. We worked through the same process with her. As you may have guessed, we used the same relatively inexpensive bedding material. We still keep a roll around to use as needed to bed new equipment as well as for emergencies and temporary water blocking when caulking is not practical.
–Greg Vandenberg

Might as well join the ministry

Kudos to Devin Ross (“Coordinating coordinates,” January 2012) for reminding us how practical and useful our traditional measures can be. In many areas of the British Commonwealth, property is still deeded in twelfths. This allowed property holders to bequeath portions to their heirs in an equitable manner. My family in New Zealand told me that the first, second, third, and fourth sons avoided family squabbles this way. (They also suggested that the fifth son was often encouraged to join the ministry.)

Counting sheep is indeed easier than counting finger segments. One would actually use the fingers of both hands to easily count to 144 or more. And, you can keep your hands warm in your jacket pocket.

If you visit my Kiwi cousins, they will tell you that they refer to sheep and cows as “woolies and beasts.” If you encounter sheep blocking the road, relax. While you are sipping your coffee, the “woolies” will buff and polish your car doors and fenders with their lanolin-rich wool.

To my sailing friends, I recommend the Marlborough Sound at the north end of the South Island (much like our Pacific Northwest) and the Bay of Islands up north on the North Island. The “Bluff” oysters up north will spoil most folks for any other oysters.
–Robert Taylor

Solar lights

The use of an off-the-shelf, non-marine, solar-powered stern light (January 2012 Mail buoy) would be better than nothing in an emergency but, as we all know, there are specific angles and levels of illumination required to conform with collision regulations for navigation lighting. I do like the idea for such things as cockpit lighting though.
–Peter Ruddlesdin

Thank you, Scott: letter within a letter

With an old boat, a 1992 Capri 26, and being avid readers of your wonderful Good Old Boat magazine, I thought you might like to celebrate the fact that there are individuals like Scott Crabtree ready to lend a hand, and perhaps a dock, to “mariners in distress”:

Dear Scott,

We would like to express our wholehearted appreciation to you for literally saving our lives this past weekend. As boaters in distress, without your generosity and your dock, the consequences could have been dire.

To recap, on Friday, November 4, 2011, we were attempting to return to Washington Sailing Marina from the Fort Washington area of the Potomac on our 26-foot Capri sailboat. We experienced engine failure just as winds reached 30 mph and seas of 3 feet, which made a return against the wind impossible without the engine. We attempted to anchor near the Virginia shore; however, even two anchors would not hold. We drifted with anchors to your dock area at approximately 9:00 pm. In our efforts to secure the boat onto your dock, Suzi was thrown overboard. The temperatures were dipping into the 30s.

After stabilizing the boat, we were able to identify our distress to you and ask for your assistance. You immediately provided warm clothes for Suzi and unlimited access to your dock, power, and water to accommodate a two-day engine repair. If it were not for your dock and your generosity, Suzi would have experienced severe hypothermia.

We were complete strangers and you provided us a safe harbor. We owe our lives and boat to your extreme generosity and the dock you provided to mariners in distress.

Thank you again, and please let us know when and how we can return your kindness.
– Michael Duenas and Suzi Ruhl

Good old podcast

Driving to my job in Calhoun, Georgia, from Rome, Georgia, gives me about an hour each way to enjoy all the Good Old Boat podcasts. It began about a year ago when I downloaded all the podcasts, including all the back issues, to my iPhone and by now I have listened to them all several times.

I have really enjoyed hearing the podcast evolve into the quality product it is today. My, how things have changed in just a few short years! It is amusing now to hear the lamenting just four years ago over the "New-fangled" MP3 player and whether or not it will become a useful tool. Does anyone NOT use MP3s/iPods/iPhones etc? Or how about the soul-searching that occurred when you decided to go with the digital-only publication of the newsletter? And, of course, there was the evolution of how you included the URLs in the podcast. How awkward it was when you used to read the entire URL right in the body of the narrative!

There are so many gems in those podcasts — how-to articles, readers’ emails, and my favorite, the book reviews. I have learned a great deal about sailing and people and events during those hours behind the wheel. Through the power of language you have taken me on adventures, taught me seamanship, and helped me repair and upgrade my good old O'Day 26.

We've had some fun times, Michael, Patty and I [Michael and Patty Facius are the voices of the podcast–Eds]. I chuckled at the sound effects you used to use for the Mail buoy intro, or the drum roll Patty asked for, but Michael gave her a bugle toot-toot instead! I have time and again marveled at how well Michael could put feeling into his reading of an article or letter, be it serious, or humorous. Patty is no slouch either. She is a great content reader and I love the way she reins Michael in when he gets a little carried away! And isn't that what the first mate/princess/podcast editor is for? Together they bring a lot of talent to the podcast.

My job as an emergency room physician assistant is usually pretty stressful. But being able to listen to your podcast on the way home is a great way to relax, laugh, and sometimes cry. It allows me to connect with that other life I have —the one we all love and wish we could have more often. The life aboard our boats. Our good old boats.

Thanks, Michael, Patty and all the folks at Good Old Boat.
–Keith White

And from New Zealand . . .

My son and daughter-in-law, who live in Las Vegas, came down to New Zealand to my other son’s wedding. Before they left, Beth asked if I needed anything. I quickly asked if she could go to the bookstore and get me the latest Good Old Boat magazine, which I had not had for a few years. This magazine is just not available down under — such a loss to the boating folk. I was absolutely stoked when they arrived with six back issues and a year’s subscription to follow. Now television has no attraction. It’s still the best boating magazine I have come across.
–Noel Choat

Editor’s note: Of course, we were curious about how he discovered Good Old Boat, so we asked. Noel replied:

When visiting my son and his wife in New York at Christmastime some years back, I was wandering the streets in the falling snow and was so cold that I went into this large bookstore to get a coffee and warm up. (It is summer in New Zealand at this time.) This store had a large area where you could lounge about, have your coffee and read books. On the table was this boating magazine that I had never seen. Hooked on the contents, one coffee led to another as I read on. As time was getting on, I decided to purchase this magazine, named Good Old Boat, to finish at home. Approaching the salesperson, she informed me that a newer edition was on the shelf, which she went and found. While talking, she inquired as to where I was from, why was I in New York, etc., and said I might as well keep the one I was reading as it was looking a bit page-worn.

Great, I thought, two for the price of one. I spent so much time reading these magazines, the family said I was becoming unsociable.

Another upside to the New York visit was I found your great publication and, a few weeks later, my first subscription issue arrived, thanks to my daughter-in-law, Beth. Now, after reading and re-reading the old issues, she arrived with a year of back issues and a new subscription for a year. Daughters are wonderful, aren’t they? Keep up the interesting articles.
– Noel

My subscription check

Sorry for the delay. There is no chance that I would let my subscription lapse. The check is in the mail. Thanks for the bimonthly booster shot!
– Chris Antipas

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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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