December 2014 Newsletter

December 2014 Newsletter

What’s in this issue

This newsletter is available as an MP3 audio download at 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.

It's time to remember your favorite sailor

We have a few Christmas ideas for your favorite sailor. That sailor might even be you! A gift subscription is a good idea or an extension to your current subscription works too. A Good Old Boat T-shirt, hooded zippered sweatshirt, or a long-sleeved denim shirt would go well with that. Or perhaps a GOB cap? Are you missing any back issues? Would you like us to read you a sailing story as an audiobook while you drive or exercise? How about one of our downloadable article compilations known as Archive eXtractions?

Please have a look around and for holiday giving ideas. We have great gifts for all the sailors in your life.

Back To Top

Chicago boat show changes

The biggest blast of news out of the Windy City is that the Chicago Strictly Sail Show in January has merged with a powerboat and RV show, is now called Chicago Boat, RV & Strictly Sail Show, changed the date (it's January 14-18), and moved to McCormick Place.

Other than that, the rest is the same. Karen and Jerry will be there with some of our staff, and our troubadour. Things are evolving on a daily basis. See more information in the Calendar section of this newsletter.

Back To Top

What kind of boat dog is best?

At the Annapolis Boat Show, reader Kate Murray mused about the best breeds of dogs for life as boat dogs. She's naturally partial to the Jack Russell terrier and the Jackapoo since she lives aboard with a couple of these small companions. But what other dogs adapt well to life on the water? Portuguese water dogs are often mentioned, along with labs and retrievers. What about Yorkshire terriers or Boston terriers? (Kate has a thing for the small dogs on her small boat.) What are your suggestions? Write to Karen: and she'll report in the next newsletter.

Back To Top

The cats are away . . .

Our poor overworked founders had a rough summer . . . what with launching their project boat and all. So they felt the need to take a little getaway. You know. Like a 10-day cruise in New Zealand, the poor dears. Don't cry for them; Karen and Jerry will be sailing in the Bay of Islands when you get this newsletter, but they'll be back soon to crack the whip over the exhausted worker mice who were left behind.

What else, you ask? They're planning to write about their sailing experience even though Good Old Boat doesn't publish articles about sailing destinations. It would seem that you can do pretty much anything you want if you own the company. At least that's what they tell us when we, the worker mice, voice our opinions.

Back To Top

A final shot

After the many suggestions regarding what sailors do all day in the October 2014 newsletter, here's a calming finale from John Malcolmson. He writes: "Powerboaters rush from point A to B. When the sailor steps aboard, he or she is already there."

Back To Top

What's coming in . . . January 2015

For the love of sailboats

  • Mimosa, a Vineyard Vixen 34
  • Vineyard Vixen 34 comparison by Rob Mazza
  • C&C Mega 30

Speaking seriously

  • AIS 101
  • Adding a DC electrical circuit
  • How sailboat rudders evolved by Rob Mazza
  • Dead in the water
  • Simplify sail changes
  • Bottom-up head rebuild
  • How to coax your VHF
  • Rebuilding a deck, Part 2
  • Over-the-top blocks . . .
  • Cloth entryway solutions
  • Bimini window treatment

What's more

  • A ton of magazines
  • Finding Heidi
  • Reflections: Stars in the water
  • Simple solutions: Instrument sun cover
  • Quick and Easys: Luff foil protection and Ablution solution
  • The view from here: Milestones
Back To Top

In the news

With Jean-du-Sud Around the World remastered in HD

The excellent film by Yves Gélinas about his circumnavigation in an Alberg 30 has been remastered in high definition thanks to the generosity of Don Peebles, a New York sailing enthusiast. The 93-minute film was originally shot in 16-mm color 30 years ago during Yves' solo 28,000-mile circumnavigation aboard Jean-du-Sud by way of the Southern Ocean and Cape Horn.

Intending to go sailing full-time, Don Peebles read many books about cruising under sail. In John Vigor's Twenty Sailboats to Take You Anywhere, he read about Yves Gélinas and his award-winning film of the trip. After watching the film, Don felt it deserved to be brought up to HD standards. He contacted Yves and offered to have a 16-mm print remastered and color graded to high definition in a New York facility at his own expense.

In January 2014, Yves traveled to New York City for the restoration and was thrilled with the result: "It is a whole new film," he said. "The picture is sharp and crisp again, colors are vibrant, true to life — a new life is given to my film!"

Yves was an actor and filmmaker before he went sailing. His goal was to create a work of art that would paint a moving picture of his voyage and become his "masterpiece." With Jean-du-Sud Around the World was twice awarded the Palme D'Or at the prestigious La Rochelle International Sailing Film Festival. In addition, it was entered in seven international film festivals and won nine awards: five gold and one silver. The film has been broadcast on television in eleven countries and has sold thousands of copies on VHS, DVD, and as a standard definition download. Now it will be available in its full beauty through high definition.

Yves designed the self-steering gear that guided Jean-du-Sud around the world. The system steers impeccably on all points of sail. Yves tested the prototype during his circumnavigation and never had to hold the tiller. The last scenes show the gear steering Jean-du-Sud into Gaspé — downwind under main and reacher, wing on wing, without a pole to keep the large headsail from collapsing. Yves achieved his goal and went on to proudly offer his self-steering gear to fellow sailors with a guarantee valid for one circumnavigation or 28,000 miles. He named the gear simply, CapeHorn, evoking the ultimate sailor's challenge.

The restored high-definition version of With Jean-du-Sud Around the World is available as an HD Download at <>. Information about the CapeHorn self-steering system is at <>.

Museum exhibition features really old boats

The exhibition "Assyria to Iberia at the Dawn of the Classical Age," now open at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, covers the first millennium B.C., when the Phoenicians plied the Mediterranean Sea (and beyond) and features several illustrations of their ships.

The exhibition will be open until January 4. The exhibition is in the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Exhibition Hall on the second floor of the museum, which is located at 1000 Fifth Avenue in New York.

Susan Gateley’s website refit

One of GOB’s favorite writers, Susan Gateley, has given her good old website a re-fit. (It's winter on her boating waters so she's beached with lots of time). The website has been afloat since 1997 and recently went aloft to the Cloud, wherever that is, so she thought it was a good time for an overhaul. Find lots of new content at “Books and More” at or via the link at

Back To Top


Toronto International Boat Show

January 10–18
Direct Energy Centre
Toronto, Ontario
North America's largest indoor boat show featuring the world's largest indoor lake, will also feature over 550 exhibitors. For more information go to <>.

Chicago Boat, RV & Strictly Sail Show

January 14–18 McCormick Place, South Hall
Strictly Sail Chicago and the Chicago Boat, Sports & RV Show are joining forces in 2015 to create the Midwest's premier marine and outdoors show. There's still a lot for sailors to see and do, including seminars featuring Nigel Calder. See the Good Old Boat crew at our new booth, S1114. For more information go to <>.

St. Petersburg Classic Regatta aka Good Old Boat Regatta

January 17
St. Petersburg, Florida
Racing Trophies will be awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in each unique racing class/division, except in the Fun class. In keeping with the fun theme of this regatta, additional special awards will be given for: Oldest Boat, Oldest Skipper, Prettiest Boat, Most Unique/Unusual Boat, Most Stylish Crew, and for other such considerations deemed worthy by the regatta committee. For more information, go to <>.

Seattle Boat Show: Indoors + Afloat

January 23–February 1
Century Link Field and Lake Union
Seattle, Washington
This show features more than 200 boating and fishing seminars. For more information, go to <>.

Strictly Sail Miami

February 12–16 Miamarina at Bayside Marketplace
Miami, Florida
Back for 2015 is the popular full-day couples seminar as well as seminars on Sailing Made Easy, Advanced Sailing Skills, Introduction to Cruising Catamarans and much more. For more information, go to <>.

Back To Top

Book reviews

The following book reviews have been posted online.

Back To Top

Who's whining?

by Karen Larson

Am I whining? I really shouldn't complain. Last June we celebrated the launch of our project boat with great fanfare. This is the Mega 30 refit that took 11 years . . . nine more than the two years we initially had in mind. We were overjoyed to claim she was done at last, although the reality is that she's still not finished (if these projects can truly ever reach that stage). There were a few things on the list left undone when she was launched and a few more added to the list after we'd spent the summer sailing, testing, and tweaking.

Sunflower Wine

By the time fall came, we were not celebrating anymore. Sunflower, our new Mega 30, wasn't what we expected. We felt let down; 11 years is a long time to devote to a disappointing outcome. During that stressful first summer we were surprised by a torrent of unexpected emotions. We hadn't sold the C&C 30 we've sailed for 20-some years, but for the first time ever we didn't launch her that summer . . . and we missed her terribly. We wanted to believe that we had a whole range of new sailing destinations at our fingertips with the addition of a trailerable 30-footer: the Lake Superior boat and another that we can tow anywhere. This concept is still a good one and a major milestone on that path had been accomplished, so why did we both feel so glum?

For many years Mystic, the C&C 30, has been the gold standard by which we judged all other boats. Naturally she was the gold standard by which we judged our own new boat as well. This comparison wasn't working out in Sunflower's best interests. She is light and tender. She ghosts along beautifully in a puff of air but leans over like a shot and sails on her ear in wind conditions that never bothered us before. It's cramped below, with standing headroom near the companionway only, and limited stowage throughout. We knew all this theoretically, but reality is a hard teacher. After just one summer, we still don't know her inside and out as we know Mystic. With a much more complicated set of lines led aft arrayed before me, I was still learning which line did what when the summer ended. There are major rigging issues to adjust before the next season arrives (another reef and the addition of a topping lift).

As our first season ended without a positive resolution to many of our frustrations, I was reminded of a short piece contributing editor Bill Sandifer wrote in our November 2000 issue telling of the difficulty of giving up his old boat and getting comfortable with the new one. It was heartening to learn that we are not alone with the "new-boat adjustment blues." Bill's article is reprinted below. He and his wife, Genie, sold the Pearson Ariel they had loved dearly for a larger Eastward Ho 31. They got more headroom and a bluewater cruiser, but in the bargain they lost some of the sweet sailing abilities they cherished. They traded in the known advantages and disadvantages of the Ariel for a new set of unknown advantages and disadvantages. Eventually, they made peace with the new boat in the family. Or so I thought.

After reading those comforting words in the midst of my own new-boat blues, I asked Bill for any additional thoughts on the subject of bonding with a new boat. I was, quite naturally, hoping for further words of comfort from one who had gone before and had shared my unease. But I was stunned to learn that he and Genie had sold the Eastward Ho and purchased a Pearson Commander (built on the same hull as the Ariel but with a larger cockpit and smaller cabin). Their current feelings are below as well. That was not the story I wanted to tell in this space. I was looking for sympathy from others who could feel my pain. But there it is: there are compromises with every boat. Sometimes you buy a sailboat for one set of cruising or daysailing activities only to discover that you aren't doing that sort of sailing anymore as your family's priorities change and your lifestyle evolves to match.

Jerry and I still want to explore North America's inland lakes part of the year, so we'll make the improvements that are on Sunflower's list and try again in the summer ahead. Now that we've had time on the water with her, we'll start the season with a different set of expectations about her sailing characteristics. Having fewer surprises will lead to reduced stress, I hope. We'll be less intense about the whole project and more relaxed about what this boat can do.

We'll launch Mystic once more on the Big Lake that is perfect for her sailing characteristics and sail Sunflower in a smaller lake closer to home. Sometimes we'll have a glass of wine in the cockpit and think about the places we'll go in the coming years as we get to know the capabilities of our new boat and learn her ways. With the pressure off, we will make her ours and take joy in this addition to our family. She is a great boat in many ways. We did many things right with her and she will make a great trailerable boat just as she was intended to be. We have already started to bond. The process of accepting our new boat will continue. Sitting there in her cockpit, we will drink to that.

No more whining for me! Next season, instead, I hope to be wine-ing.

Back To Top

Bonding with a new boat takes time

(first published in November 2000)
by Bill Sandifer

I had heard it takes a year to get used to a boat, new or old. Until recently, I never really believed it. It's been 17 months since we acquired our newest boat. We loved the old boat but had, I thought, outgrown it. We wanted an enclosed head, a diesel engine, full headroom, and a "real" galley with a saloon table. The old boat, a Pearson Ariel, was ours for more than 10 years and was well loved, but it just didn't have what we wanted.

The old boat sold to the first person who saw it. The search was on for a successor. We found an Eastward Ho 31 in North Carolina. It met all of the criteria and had 6-foot 6-inch headroom in the main cabin and 6-foot 2-inch headroom between the V-berths. Great! We closed the deal and trucked the boat to a yard near home.

When she was launched, we discovered she sailed all right — but just all right. The mainsail was a pain to raise. It stuck in the track and wouldn't come down easily. (The old boat's mainsail rose and dropped in a whisper.) The diesel overheated on our second time out, and I'm no diesel mechanic. (I understood my old Atomic 4 — it talked to me.) Was the new boat a mistake? At first, it seemed so.

The old boat sailed like a dream. I could tack up the narrowest channel and had sailed in and out of our slip in any weather for several years when the engine didn't work. There was a bond between the Ariel and me. I took care of her, and she certainly took care of me.

But I had mixed feelings from the time we launched the new boat. She was comfortable in the slip, but I wanted a boat to sail, not just to sit on. I spoke to many diesel mechanics who agreed that my engine had a problem — but they didn't want to work on it. It was too small, too cramped, too expensive.

So I dug out the engine manual and dug into the engine (a bonding time if ever there was one). Six hours later, we had a smooth-running engine. Next, I cleaned the engine and painted it a bright red Westerbeke color.

One-and-a-half years later, I have solved most of the problems: I fixed the diesel, I fixed the mainsail track, and I've learned to sail her for what she is. She's certainly no ballerina. She's a sturdy bluewater sailboat with many virtues. She's not quick to tack and carries her way for a long time, but I can sail her into her slip. She's not as responsive with a wheel as the Ariel was with her tiller — but there's a difference between 2.5 tons and 7 tons displacement.

Can we be as happy with the new as the old? In the time it has taken to fix her problems, she has forced me into a relationship I didn't anticipate. She has proved her stuff at sea in 20-knot winds on the nose. She has accepted us as her new partners. I believe she is happy with us.

Is she as good as the old boat? Absolutely! As quick and responsive? No, but there are compensations. She has forced us to change our thinking and our habits, too. I don't have any doubt now that we will be happy with this new boat. But it will be in a different way. It has taken 17 months, but it's working out.

Back To Top

What does "bonding" mean?

(written in late summer 2014)
by Bill Sandifer

Bonding, in the general sense, means to stick two or more things together. In the electrical sense it means joining two similar electrical systems. In the case of a good old boat, it means not just physical bonding, but emotional bonding.

When I wrote the above article for the November issue 2000, I thought my nautical bonding was complete. I had let go of my wonderful Ariel and was learning about what I thought would be our last boat, the Eastward Ho.

Well, surprise! We have sold the Eastward Ho, due to my physical limitations, and have acquired a beautiful 50-year-old Pearson Commander, which was built on the same hull as the Ariel. I never thought I would have problems breaking the bond of the Eastward Ho but this was a fallacy. The boat sold almost immediately to a wonderful couple who had owned an Eastward Ho 24. Chester and Lori were the perfect new owners for the Genie B. In fact, they asked if they could keep the name to ward off bad luck. We agreed and off we each went on our new adventures.

The first time I bumped my head on the overhead of the Pearson Commander, I thought fondly of the 6-foot 6-inch headroom in the Eastward Ho. This was one reason why I had sold the Ariel! Had I forgotten? Only as long as the next bump. Then I remembered. The Commander, as a daysailer, has even less headroom than the Ariel, so I am constantly moving around in a stooped position. On the other hand, the Commander sails as well as the Ariel, compared to the Eastward Ho, which took time to come about and was rather slow.

The Commander has an outboard engine with an electric start and can be easily serviced by removing the engine and taking it to a service shop. However, by the time we parted, I knew that diesel on the Eastward Ho so well it was like losing a friend. Never mind that at this point in my life, I could no longer conveniently reach a few important things, such as the stuffing box!

We had installed roller furling on the Eastward Ho and thought we would do the same on the Commander, until we started pricing furlers. Sailboat gear has certainly escalated in price in the last 15 years! So instead we store our jib in a bag on the foredeck. We had a jib bag on the Ariel that worked quite well for the first seven years. Deja vu?

As it turns out, it is the differences between boats that help initiate the bonding process. Our bonding is well underway with Wind Dancer, our Commander. We now have a boat that is beautiful to look at and sails like a dream. I thought perhaps this would be our last boat.

But just last weekend our 7-year-old grandson, Alex, sailed with us. It was with great joy that I watched him become enthralled with the river, the boats, the alligators, and just "messing about in boats." Perhaps there will be one more boat in our lives, this one chosen so Alex and his sisters can become sailors. If so, there will be more bonding ahead for their grandparents.

Back To Top

100 issues and still counting

Another milestone for our crew

Since we've just put our 100th issue to bed (as they say in the publishing biz), we figure a moment of self-congratulations is warranted. We'll be publishing a short article in the January issue (number 100!) explaining how we make a magazine . . . and another . . . and another.

In case you've ever wondered about the crew behind the scenes, allow us to make a few introductions, starting with the editorial crew.

Editors: Karen and Jerry Editor: Jeremy McGeary

LEFT: You've met founders Karen Larson and Jerry Powlas already. They read all articles that are submitted and try to get as much time off as possible during sailing season. Now that they launched a trailerable sailboat, the definition of "sailing season" has definitely expanded.
RIGHT: Senior editor Jeremy McGeary has always been all about boats. He lives and breathes boats. But he doesn't have one of his own to maintain. Is there, perhaps, a lesson in that?

Managing Editor: Tim Bauernfeind Research Editor: Dan Spurr

LEFT: Managing editor Tim Bauernfeind does as much of his work as possible on the golf course. He gets a lot done. We wonder how he does it.
RIGHT: Research editor Dan Spurr keeps the boat reviewers in line. We call it Dan Spurr's Boot Camp. It seems to be pretty effective. Ask any reviewer for an honest opinion.

Contributing Editor: Rob Mazza Contributing editor: Don Launer

LEFT: Contributing editor Rob Mazza writes the feature boat comparisons, draws the sailplans that go with them and frequently gets inspired to give us fabulous insights into sailing design.
RIGHT: Contributing editor Don Launer is a master of the technical description. When we asked him to make very short versions of very long discussions for the 101 series, he stepped right up and managed that too.

Contributing editor: Gregg Nestor Contributing editor: Ed Zacko

LEFT: Contributing editor Gregg Nestor reviews boats in the central Great Lakes region and writes other technical pieces too.
RIGHT: Contributing editor Ed Zacko writes about one onboard catastrophe after another. Maybe we should call him Calamity Jane!

Contributing editor: Tom Wells Contributing editor: Allen Penticoff

LEFT: Contributing editor and troubadour Tom Wells sails boats, reviews boats generally in the central states, and writes songs about boats. He exhibits all the symptoms of a classic case.
RIGHT: Contributing editor Allen Penticoff seldom travels anywhere without including a boat review in the itinerary. And he travels widely. Watch for him. Allen could be coming to a marina near you.

Contrbuting editor: Richard Smith & Scout Contributing editor: Bill Sandifer

LEFT: Contributing editor Richard Smith can see the potential in any boat, whether it's one he's reviewing or a shoreside "opportunity." Richard reviews boats on the Olympic Peninsula.
RIGHT: Contributing editor Bill Sandifer was one of the first to "discover" Good Old Boat magazine. He's been writing articles for us since Issue #2.

Contributing editor: David Lynn Illustrator: Rick Beddoe

LEFT: Contributing editor David Lynn is an engineer and world voyager who maintains his boat in one exotic locale after another and then writes about it.
RIGHT: Illustrator Rick Beddoe draws the review boat sailplans when he's not at his real job or maintaining and sailing his Baba 30.

Illustrator: Tom Payne Illustrator: Fritz Seegers

LEFT: Illustrator Tom Payne draws most of our funny illustrations and T-shirts. We invited him to draw himself. This obviously takes a lot more talent than shooting a selfie with your own phone.
RIGHT: Illustrator Fritz Seegers is a technical illustrator with a very creative bent (the side we don't call upon often enough). In this case, though, Fritz created his own caricature.

Illustrator: Ted Tollefson Associate editor: Pat Morris

LEFT: Illustrator Ted Tollefson has a special partnership with Don Launer. Don writes the 101 columns; Ted illustrates them and creates the page design as well.
RIGHT: Associate editor Pat Morris is a stickler for grammar and spelling. She may not be a sailor, but that's OK as long as she can spell it.

Of course someone has to watch the bottom line and manage the advertising and circulation side of the business. Now meet our financial and circulation wizards.

Publisher: Michael Facius Financial Manager: Karla Sandness

LEFT: Publisher Michael Facius keeps track of the whole business: our ups and downs. He manages and podcasts our newsletter. He sells ads, too. His cats are particularly helpful with this part.
RIGHT: Financial manager Karla Sandness counts the money. Huh! We wonder how she acquired such an extensive wine collection?

Director of Circulation: Mark Busta

Director of circulation and retail, Mark Busta manages your subscriptions and sends you the ball caps, T-shirts, and other logo gear you order.

With two websites as extensive as ours and a digital publication to complement our printed magazine, we cannot overlook the digital side of the business and the folks who understand zeros and ones, pixels and megabytes.

Webmaster: Jerry Stearns Veronica Jaralambides and Maggie

LEFT: Webmaster Jerry Stearns has been keeping the website up and updated since the dawn of the Internet. We can hardly remember that far back.
RIGHT: Web expert Verónica Jaralambides manages our www.AudioSeaStories downloads site while also maintaining a very active lifestyle and keeping a crew of young girls in line.

Here's a quick look at the timeline for the issue you will be reading soon. More about the crew and the timeline will be in your January issue.

Timeline parts

  • Summer and fall of 2013 — Karen and Jerry accept and schedule articles for January 2015 issue
  • Late summer 2014 — Karen does initial edit and requests illustrations where needed from illustrators (Ted, Fritz, Tom, Rick B)
  • Late September 2014 — Karen passes all January articles to Tim
  • Late September 2014 — Dan Spurr passes all review boat articles to Tim (reviewers are Tom, Allen, Gregg, et al)
  • Late September — Tim organizes January issue and passes text to Jeremy and photos to Nancy
  • Late October — Ads close (Michael, Karla, Nancy)
  • Early October — Jeremy passes edited text to Nancy
  • Mid-November — Tim closes Mail Buoy
  • Mid-November — First proofs (Karen, Jerry, and Pat)
  • Late November — Final proofs (Karen and Jeremy)
  • Early December — Mailing labels are finalized (Mark and Karla) and final copy is sent to printer
  • Early December — Digital issue is completed (Nancy, Verónica, Jerry S)
  • Mid-December — Issue is printed and sent to post office and newsstands
  • Late December — Copies arrive in subscribers' mailboxes and email boxes (Merry Christmas to one and all!)
  • End of December — January issue displayed on newsstands
  • Early January — We've already begun the March issue cycle.
Back To Top

Boat names continued

We asked about interesting boat names in the previous newsletter.

A Morgan 45

Greg Nyenhuis, an MSU fan, sent this one from Lake Michigan. She's a Morgan 45.

Nonsuch 26

Chuck Jones sent a photo of his own Nonsuch 26 and dinghy with memorable names indeed.

Don Launer can't forget one he saw some years ago on the ICW: Indestructible II.

Peter Stowe Hubbards of Nova Scotia says: "Probably my favorite was a big gin palace we passed while approaching Lauderdale on the ICW. There were a number of extraordinary young ladies on the bridge deck and the name on the transom was Stocks and Blondes."

Rick Kuehn wrote to tell us of the boat named Renovatio. It was missing the "n" in renovation because, as he points out, "you're never really finished working on it."

While a good boat name sticks in the mind for years, we did ask for photos of the names you notice. A picture is worth a thousand words, remember!

Back To Top

2014 Good Old Boat Annual Article Index

Feature boats

Cheoy Lee Clipper 36, Number 95, March 2014
Wing-Ding II, a Matilda 20, Number 99, November 2014
Hunter 35.5, First Light, Number 99, November 2014

Review boats

Freedom 38, Number 94, January 2014
Islander 36, Number 95, March 2014
Gulf 32, Number 96, May 2014
Freedom 28, Number 97, July 2014
Beneteau First 32s5, Number 97, July 2014
Pearson 27, Number 98, September 2014
Nimble Arctic 25, Number 98, September 2014

Trailersailer reviews

Montgomery 17, Number 95, March 2014


Purchase, refit, and repeat (Golden Gate 30), Number 94, January 2014
Wrecked in the desert . . . (Balboa 20), Number 96, May 2014
Restoring an O'Day Mariner, Number 97, July 2014
A fresh bout of old-boatitis . . . (International Folkboat), Number 98, September 2014
A Cal 34's second life, Number 99, November 2014

Sailing 101

Coaxial Cable 101, Number 94, January 2014
Sacrificial Anodes 101, Number 95, March 2014
Leach Lines 101, Number 96, May 2014
Marine Electrical Wire 101, Number 97, July 2014
Paper Charts 101, Number 98, September 2014
Sail Telltails 101, Number 99, November 2014






Building a junk rig, Number 95, March 2014
Strength savers, Number 96, May 2014
The gadget-filled boat, Number 96, May 2014
Roadside seduction, Number 97, July 2014
Lightning protection? Number 98, September 2014
The cruising-capable dinghy, Number 98, September 2014
Trailer revival, Number 98, September 2014

Materials, design, and construction

Scientific yacht design, Number 94, January 2014
The once and future boat bow, Number 95, March 2014
Seakindliness, Number 97, July 2014

Maintenance and upgrades

Hull envy, part two, Number 94, January 2014
Replacing lifelines, Number 94, January 2014
Engine instrument update, Number 94, January 2014
Entr'acte's Bubble of Comfort, Number 95, March 2014
An inspired table, Number 95, March 2014
Hatch patch, Number 95, March 2014
Ice magic, Number 96, May 2014
Screens for cowl vents, Number 96, May 2014
Watertight chainplates, Number 96, May 2014
Tearing Levity apart, Number 96, May 2014
A wooden wheel, Number 97, July 2014
The blister question, Number 97, July 2014
Tackling blisters one by one, Number 97, July 2014
Lifeline security, Number 97, July 2014
A leak-proof deck gland, Number 98, September 2014
Winterizing without tears, Number 99, November 2014
No time for perfection, Number 99, November 2014
Surface-mounted deadlights, Number 99, November 2014
Rebuilding a deck, part 1, Number 99, November 2014


Trailer-sailer choices, Number 94, January 2014
Fix it or nix it? Number 95, March 2014
Caveat vendor, Number 99, November 2014

Other tech


History articles

Made in Japan, Number 94, January 2014
The Alberg 30 turns 50, Number 96, May 2014
New Age of Sail, Number 98, September 2014
Pioneers of Lake Winnebago, Number 99, November 2014


Denys Rayner: a sailor's sailor, Number 96, May 2014

Good old vendors


How-to articles

On watch in all weather, Number 94, January 2014
Countertop extension, Number 94, January 2014
Protection in plaid, Number 95, March 2014
Swim step and ladder, Number 95, March 2014
Instant cushions, Number 95, March 2014
Making an electrical panel, Number 96, May 2014
Levity's new rudder, Number 97, July 2014
In search of solitude, Number 98, September 2014
One brain, six hands, Number 98, September 2014
Ten-minute tethers, Number 98, September 2014
A crane for tight places, Number 98, September 2014
Adding a DC electrical circuit, Number 99, November 2014
Departures and arrivals, Number 99, November 2014

Galley life


Simple solutions

Kayak cart, Number 94, January 2014
Stovetop English muffins, Number 95, March 2014
Silent nights, Number 95, March 2014
A cover for a dinghy motor, Number 96, May 2014
Lanyards: the sailor's keepsafes, Number 97, July 2014
Windlass pendant switch, Number 98, September 2014
Helm seat, Number 99, November 2014

Quick and easy

Protecting a dinghy's skeg, Number 94, January 2014
Racor filter fix, Number 94, January 2014
Bird-proof lifelines, Number 95, March 2014
Salty-looking anti-chafing, Number 95, March 2014
The Reinpin, Number 96, May 2014
Forehatch skylight, Number 97, July 2014
Outboard on wheels, Number 97, July 2014
Delrin deck pads, Number 98, September 2014
A turnbuckle cover that breathes, Number 98, September 2014
Light'er up like Christmas, Number 99, November 2014
Grab hook or handhold, Number 99, November 2014

Cruising memories

You can get there from here . . ., Number 96, May 2014
Sextant reflections, Number 97, July 2014
My dad, the boatbuilder, Number 97, July 2014
Generation to generation, Number 98, September 2014
A heavy-weather lesson, Number 99, November 2014
Falling in love with sailing, Number 99, November 2014

Lighter articles

Readers send "baby pictures" (photo spread), Number 94, January 2014
Unhooked and disoriented, Number 94, January 2014
The right boat for the job, Number 94, January 2014
Swiftsure, Number 95, March 2014
Jurgen's ashes, Number 95, March 2014
Dolphin night, Number 95, March 2014
What's in a boat's name?, Number 96, May 2014
Every sailboat is a good old boat (photo spread), Number 96, May 2014
Morale boosters, Number 96, May 2014
Shoestring cruising, Number 96, May 2014
Cruising on shoe leather, Number 97, July 2014
Pages from our "family album" (photo spread), Number 98, September 2014
Journeys with no end, Number 98, September 2014
10 ways to save sailing dollars, Number 99, November 2014
Setting standards . . ., Number 99, November 2014

Product launchings

Bluetooth headset, Number 94, January 2014
Tool-free clevis pin, Number 94, January 2014
Smart dinnerware, Number 95, March 2014
Clever eyewear, Number 95, March 2014
Forgiving paint, Number 95, March 2014
Easy lubing, Number 96, May 2014
Gauge protector, Number 96, May 2014
Windy phone app, Number 96, May 2014
Wind app, Number 98, September 2014
Charts on demand, Number 98, September 2014
Virtual logbook, Number 98, September 2014
A handsome sailing knife, Number 99, November 2014
Tide info in the hand, Number 99, November 2014

Back To Top

Mail buoy

On "Good enough"

It was an interesting coincidence that Carl Hunt's "A Heavy Weather Lesson" and Roger Martin's "Setting Standard . . . and Realizing that "Perfect" is the Enemy of Sailing," both appeared in the November issue of Good Old Boat. In his article Mr. Martin talked about how "Perfect" morphs into "Good Enough" and then slips into "I Can Fix It Later," then into "It's Better Than It Was" and finally into "Oh Well."

I totally disagree with his apparent approval of this slide of standards, assuming he wasn't kidding, and would quote as proof of my position Mr. Hunt's article. I'm sure the owner of the Ranger 33, Vela, followed this path as he rationalized the lack of a second deep reef in the main and proper headsails and decided to live with the poor performance of a mismatched propeller. The new owner of the Olson 30 who took her out without an anchor, a radio, a working reefing system, or an engine was obviously at the "I Can Fix It Later" point on this path to disaster. In that case it cost two people their lives.

Years ago, my children and I built a small Ted Brewer-designed racer/cruiser in our garage. Besides boat carpentry it was a lesson in standards they have never forgotten. Framed on the wall was an advertisement, for I don't remember what, cut from a yachting magazine. I do remember that it showed the open sea covered by large breaking waves, with the caption, "Out here there is no such thing as over-built." We did not build Robbery for pleasant dayraces, although she was a joy to sail in them. We built her for being caught out in a sudden violent storm and we were, on two occasions that I can remember, damned glad we did.

Perhaps Mr. Martin's train of rationalization is okay ashore for deciding when to fix the storm door, or get the oil changed in the car, or visit the dentist for a check-up, but it has absolutely no place in such an inherently dangerous environment as the sea. Striving for perfection is not the enemy of sailing; it is the enemy of the slap-dash and dangerous.

When I was just starting as a junior engineer in the aircraft industry, one of my first jobs was to design a rather complicated test fixture. An old toolmaker built it for me, and when I checked it I found that every dimension was smack in the middle of my carefully calculated tolerance bands. Amazed, I said to him, "This thing is perfect." His reply, which I have never forgotten, was "The best thing about perfect is that sometimes it's good enough."

Applying the "I Can Fix It Later" or the "Oh Well" standard to varnishing the cabin sole or locking the main hatch is one thing. Making sure, before you are faced by a hard chance, that you can reef the main, change down to a storm jib, or start the engine is quite another. There are many things on a boat, as there are in an aircraft, that have to be "Perfect" in the hope that out where there is no such thing as over-built, they will be "Good Enough."
Jule A. Miller

Hatch covers

The October Newsletter article on hatch covers prompts me to share mine with you.
Terry Sargent

Editor's Note: Terry provided a link to an article he wrote, complete with an illustration and photos, on how he figured out how to "sleep through the squalls with plenty of fresh air." Find it at<>.

Wiring and deck replacement

I just finished a skim of issue 99, November 2014, and wanted to pass on a few thoughts.

I really identified with the articles on wiring and deck replacement, as I did both on my FD 12, a 50-foot flush-deck double-headsail boat designed by Willem Eickholt of Seattle and built by Ta Yang in Taiwan. I have made at least a couple of thousand crimps and would urge those contemplating crimping to first get some proper tools. This is not an expensive undertaking at Harbor Freight Tools, for instance. The most valuable things are a good set of side cutters, a ratcheting crimper (essential!), a cheap heat gun, and some heat-shrink tubing.

I bought my heat-shrink from and most sizes are under $5 for a 4-foot length. Get the proper colors (red and yellow for 12 volts) and find a source for good-quality tinned wire and terminals. My source is Vertex Marine. They also have heat-shrink and are very aggressive in their pricing. The heat-shrink tubing is available in many sizes and types. I used a fairly heavy-duty adhesive-lined one with a 3:1 shrink ratio on every crimp. When you shrink it, you can see the adhesive just coming out the ends, precluding any moisture ingress. You can get up to 5:1 shrink ratio or more, which could allow you to have fewer sizes, but it really doesn't cost much to buy a size for each wire size. It's great stuff for battery cables, which always seem to get grungy if not done properly.

One tip I might offer to those wanting to label wires: it's a great idea, but adhesive is not compatible with high temperatures. If the wires are going to get hot, the labels will unwind and end up in the bilge in little bits. Yes, I found this out the hard way! You can use tie-wraps that have a label tag on them that you can write on or you can get a bit more exotic and get the label machine that writes on the heat-shrink. Then you put the heat shrink on with the correct label already on it. Find someone who has the machine so all you have to buy is the heat-shrink tubing. It does a really nice job and the labels actually shrink without distortion, so they're easy to read after it is done. I bought my machine through eBay, but you're looking at more than $100 with the shrink tubing, so it's really for those doing a complete re-wiring, rather than a few circuits.

I replaced the core in my deck and, as pointed out, it's one big messy, dusty, ugly job. I found it was easier to take the top skin of the deck off in sections so the deck itself didn't flex or change shape. My deck is pretty large, so I was able to cut out pieces about 4 feet square, clean it up, sand inside, then lay in composite core (I used both Nomex honeycomb and a high density foam like Airex) using West epoxy. I did not use any of the old top deck, but re-glassed using 12-ounce biaxial cloth and woven roving, again with West epoxy. I used mostly phenolic mixed with epoxy for fairing. You need a lot when you do a deck, by the way. I was able to add layers of glass to build up the area around the windlass that had been flexing, and added glassed-in hatch frames in place of the old teak ones that leaked in all kinds of odd places I could not find, no matter how many tubes of goop I used.

Now it's clean, tidy, and watertight. It is a huge job, but it can be done, much like eating an elephant . . . one bite at a time. The end result is heart-warming.

Thanks for giving me the impetus to write. I don't very often do more than make verbal comments to my sailing friends, but you have got me engaged. Well done.
Paul Deacon, Thetis Island, British Columbia

Back to Top

How to contact us

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

Back to Top