December 2015 Newsletter

December 2015 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.

Will we see you in Chicago?

When the Northern Hemisphere boats are — mostly — put up for the winter, it’s boat-show season. Next up on our calendar is the Chicago Boat Show set for January 14 to 18 in McCormick Place. This new location lacks the comfy closeness of Navy Pier, but the sailboat show was a success by most measures last year and will go ahead once more jointly with the RV and powerboat shows. You’ll find the Good Old Boat editors and crew there with our usual boat-show specials and new ball caps and T-shirts too. See you soon!

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Life-Aboard Tips update

We noted in the last newsletter that we’re on a crusade to gather useful tips for all kinds of sailors: coastal cruisers, passagemakers, and liveaboards. We’re calling them Life-Aboard Tips and want to post 100 on Facebook and Twitter. We’re well past halfway there. Please come join the fun.

Some of the tips contributed by fellow sailors are about recycling products and containers for further use aboard. Some are about safety or convenience. Some are just plain fun.

Please visit our Facebook page at and add your tips! If you want the short version, visit our Twitter page: @GoodOldBoat.

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Speaking of Facebook . . .

We’re getting close to 5,000 likes. While you’re reading the tips already there or adding your own, take a second to “like” us. If we hit 5,000 by New Year’s Eve, we’ll drink a toast to all our Facebook friends at midnight instead of going to bed at our usual 9:30.

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What’s coming in . . . January 2016

For the love of sailboats

  • Ontario 32 review
  • Bay Hen 21 review
  • Bluenose 23 refit

Speaking seriously

  • Soundproofing 101
  • The storm trysail
  • Reach the out of reach
  • Laminated wooden corners
  • The Lazarus dinghy
  • Automating a compass light
  • An anchor light on auto
  • Anchoring once and for all
  • Weightless water
  • The art and science of provisioning
  • Bringing Wind Wanderer up to snuff

What’s more

  • Readers’ favorite boat pictures
  • Barracuda’s last breakout
  • Reflections: Slither me timbers!
  • Simple solutions: Marking anchor chain
  • Quick and Easys: A slick spot for sail slugs, Sport-Brella, and Disguising a speaker
  • The view from here: Hometown sailor or commuter sailor?
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In the news

Lynne & Nevin Paradise, manufacturers of the Sport-a-Seat since 1986, sold their business to Patty and Christian Frezza. Continuing in the tradition of their family-owned business, Patty and Christian hope to make the transition a seamless one. They will strive to ensure the same commitment to quality of workmanship and customer service.

Lynne and Nevin would like to thank their loyal customers, who’ve made their business both successful and enjoyable. They’re thrilled to keep the business in the family and have faith that Patty and Christian will enjoy their same success. It is a bittersweet time for Lynne and Nevin, as they’re looking forward to retirement, but will miss their customers, dealers, and fellow boat-show vendors and coordinators.

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Toronto International Boat Show

January 8 – 17
Enercare Centre, Exhibition Place
Toronto, Ontario

From entertaining and informative seminars with an exceptional variety of guest speakers, to hands-on opportunities to test your skills on the world's largest indoor lake under the guidance of professionals, there is plenty to see and learn at this year's show.  For more information go to <>.

St. Petersburg Classic Regatta aka Good Old Boat Regatta

January 9
St. Petersburg, Florida

The 7th annual St. Petersburg Classic Regatta will be a benefit for Meals on Wheels. Boats must be 20+ years old. This is not a “Boat of the Year” regatta, rather it is a fun event to show off our beloved boats while sailing around a pre-arranged course and raising money for our charity. All boats are encouraged to make a donation for the charity. Free dockage is available at the SPYC. The Awards Dinner and Party will be held at the St Petersburg Yacht Club at 6:30 PM on Jan 9th following the race. Dinner for the skipper and one crew is included with the entry fee. Additional dinner tickets ($35.00 each) can be purchased online.

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 2016 to create the Midwest's premier marine and outdoors show. There's still a lot for sailors to see and do, including many great seminars. See the Good Old Boat crew at our new booth, S2520. For more information go to <>.

Seattle Boat Show: Indoors + Afloat

January 29 – February 6
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 11 – 15
Miamarina at Bayside Marketplace
Miami, Florida

Back for 2016 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 <>.

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Looking for

I am 55 and have decided to learn about sailboats and purchase a sailboat with the goal of sailing the Caribbean starting early next year. I have a little (very little) sailing experience having sailed a Hobie Cat during the summers on Kentucky Lake. I am comfortable on the water, though, having owned powerboats pretty much all my life.

I ran across your site and it stood out as a good resource in terms of learning as well as a source for good used boats.

I will be sailing alone and was wondering what advice you could give me in terms of learning to sail a larger boat, probably in the 30-foot range. Do you think that would be an appropriate size given my goals and experience?

What do you think of the Camper-Nicholson 8.8 meter (29 feet)?

My budget can be up to $30k but I would certainly be receptive to a "good old boat" in a price range lower than that as long as it is a sound vessel and suitable for a new sailor. Any guidance you could give regarding a good boat for a solo sailor as well as learning to sail would be welcome. Given my goal of sailing the Caribbean, I assume Florida would be a great location for both.

Barry Theobald

Editor’s note: Hey, sailors! What advice can you give Barry? Please copy when you reply to Barry and we’ll run our cumulative wisdom in the next newsletter.

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Book reviews

The following book reviews have been posted online.

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Marine man caves

In the last newsletter we asked for comments about the temporary shelters and permanent structures you have built in order to protect your boat during the winter or so you can lengthen the season for boatwork by starting early or carrying on later into the fall.

David Clegg writes about his setup in British Columbia:

I used PVC pipe to assemble a partial cover following plans published in two previous issues of Good Old Boat. I was able to simplify the structure using PVC fittings available from Lee Valley Tools. The fittings are available in three standard sizes to fit 1/2-,1 3/4-, and 1-inch PVC pipe and are intended for construction of backyard greenhouses. The advantage is in the fittings not available as water pipe fittings, such as the 4-way cross, 4-way branch, and slip T, which simplify the structure somewhat. I did not glue the joints and had no problem. I did find that the PVC clips, offered by Lee Valley to hold the canvas on the pipe, did not hold well, but I doubled them and that worked well. They should be checked after a strong wind, however. I color-coded the pipes using electrical tape. Disassembled,  the frame components made a tidy lightweight bundle to store over the sailing season. I made only a partial cover to start but the frame can easily be extended later. The Lee Valley online catalog has a good description of the PVC connectors.

Dick Cartelli tells how it is for him in Maine:

I store my 33-foot Morgan Out Island next to the garage. I'll have curved ribs (i.e., one-half of a Stinson shed) that will be attached to the garage at their "peak" end and curve over the boat ending beyond the hull/deck edge. Reinforced poly will cover.

Sam Ault writes about winter in Indiana:

Just thought I would share my solution for storing our 1983 Hunter 20 inside our garage. We have a 7-foot tall door and, with the 13-inch tires and wheels on the trailer, I had to remove the front and rear pulpits, the lifeline stanchions, and the pop-top in order to back Memory Maker into the garage for the winter. Sam Ault's Memory Maker I stumbled across a set of 5-bolt pattern 8-inch tires and wheels. They drop the boat almost 6 inches and allow her to roll right into the garage. We even lucked out and were able to line the boat up with the opening in the back part of the garage so the motor mount can extend into that area and I don’t have to remove it. I had already modified the trailer from a tilt trailer to one with an extendable tongue so I just remove the tongue and shut the door. She is resting comfortably, waiting for fair winds and blue skies in the spring. I’m hoping to pour the concrete in the garage next summer and hope we’ll still have enough clearance to do the same after that. It will be close.

We are planning on taking Memory Maker to the North Channel next July for a honeymoon sail as we are getting married on the bluffs overlooking Lake Michigan in Empire, Michigan, on the way.

If time and funds allow, we hope to make our own spinnaker and rigging her for that this winter. We have to add a VHF radio and antenna and make a pop-top cover and a tent cover for the cockpit.

Jerry Hammernik speaks of the situation in Wisconsin:

Cape Dory 28

Attached are some photos of the "cave" for my Cape Dory 28. The building is 24 x 40 feet with 12-foot sidewalls. The small doors are for car work and the big doors are for the boat. The building is insulated and heated. I don't run the heat all the time; just ground heat alone will keep it from freezing unless temperatures go really subzero. It's nice to be able to paint or varnish even if it is raining or snowing out.

Jerry Hammernik's lodging Jerry Hammernik's inside

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Sailboat twins

We asked for examples of identical boats with different brand names and manufacturers and received many responses on that one. Some are certainly twins. Some are close cousins. Their tales vary widely, as you might expect. Herewith the synopsis:

  • It started with this rundown by Cliff Moore:
    O’Day 25, Paceship 26, Tanzer 27
  • Robert Lucas sent this group:
    Newport 16, Columbia 15, Neptune 16, Gloucester 16, Siren 16
  • J.D. in Canada sent this pair:
    Hughes 22, Catalina 22
  • Tony McBride added this group:
    Challenger 23, Tanzer 22, Paceship 23
  • Jeff Owens sent:
    Columbia 26, Coronado 27
  • Bill Cheadle added:
    Laguna 27, Windrose 26
  • A treasure-trove from Rod Johnson:
    Beetle Falcon, O’Day Osprey, Paceship Falcon, Peregrine 16
    Seafarer Kestrel 23, Sailmaster 22
    Seafarer Polaris 26, Sailmaster 26
    Skimmer Sea Gull 12, Atlantic Fiberglass 12/Kingfisher
    Helsen 22, Watkins 23
  • Bob Neches reminded us of the Dolphin twins mentioned frequently over the years in Good Old Boat:
    Dolphin 24, Yankee Dolphin, Pacific Dolphin
    And the fixed-keel variants: Sparkman & Stephens 24/Falcon 24
    (to that we would add the original wooden model named Trina and possibly the Shaw 24)
  • David Adamson noted:
    Bombay Express 26, Island Packet 26
  • And from Gord Martin:
    Alberg 37, Classic 37, and the very similar Northern 37
    Paceship 23, Tanzer 22
    Nordica 20, Danica 20,
    Nordica 16, Danica 16
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2015 Good Old Boat Annual Article Index

Feature boats

  • Mimosa, a Vineyard Vixen 34, Number 100, January 2015
  • Quest, an Irwin 32 . . ., Number 101, March 2015
  • Yellowbird, a Chris-Craft Sail Yacht 35, Number 103, July 2015
  • Mug Up, a 46-foot Bowman yawl, Number 105, November 2015

Review boats

  • C&C Mega 30, Number 100, January 2015
  • Pearson 365 ketch, Number 101, March 2015
  • Ericson 34, Number 102, May 2015
  • Rhodes 22, Number 102, May 2015
  • Cape Dory Typhoon, Number 103, July 2015
  • Cape Dory 27, Number 104, September 2015

Trailersailer reviews

  • West Wight Potter 19, Number 101, March 2015
  • Precision 23, Number 104, September 2015
  • MacGregor 26D, Number 105, November 2015


  • Atelier . . . (Chris-Craft Sail Yacht), Number 102, May 2015
  • Saved from extinction (Pacific 30), Number 103, July 2015

Sailing 101

  • AIS 101, Number 100, January 2015
  • Wiring Terminals 101, Number 101, March 2015
  • Boarding Ladders 101, Number 102, May 2015
  • The Gunter Rig 101, Number 103, July 2015
  • Rowing a Hard Dinghy 101, Number 104, September 2015
  • Mainsail Reefing 101, Number 105, November 2015


  • Simplify sail changes, Number 100, January 2015
  • Why sails fail, Number 103, July 2015
  • To sew, or not to sew, Number 104, September 2015
  • Sail-repair essentials, Number 105, November 2015
  • Rollaway square sail, Number 105, November 2015
  • Taming a hanked-on headsail, Number 105, November 2015


  • Dead in the water, Number 100, January 2015
  • An engine with a fever, Number 101, March 2015
  • Engine-saving alarm, Number 102, May 2015
  • Troubleshooting engine gauges, Number 104, September 2015


  • Dinghy power hoist, Number 101, March 2015
  • AIS for the rest of us, Number 103, July 2015
  • Inverter essentials, Number 103, July 2015
  • Cool package, Number 104, September 2015
  • Anchor windlass remote, Number 105, November 2015

Materials, design, and construction

  • How sailboat rudders evolved, Number 100, January 2015
  • Keel evolution, part 1, Number 102, May 2015
  • Something gained, something lost, (amenities vs. performance) Number 103, July 2015
  • Keel evolution, part 2, Number 103, July 2015
  • Keel evolution, part 3, Number 104, September 2015

Maintenance and upgrades

  • Bottom-up head rebuild, Number 100, January 2015
  • Cloth entryway solutions, Number 100, January 2015
  • Rebuilding a deck, part 2, Number 100, January 2015
  • Bimini window treatment, Number 100, January 2015
  • G-10 steps up, Number 101, March 2015
  • A tiller-friendly cockpit table, Number 101, March 2015
  • Shower power, Number 101, March 2015
  • An inlaid table . . ., Number 101, March 2015
  • Renewing the headliner, Number 101, March 2015
  • Progress through procrastination, Number 102, May 2015
  • When halyard sheaves go bad, Number 102, May 2015
  • Nurdle’s new centerboard, Number 103, July 2015
  • Head makeover, Number 103, July 2015
  • Bug barriers, Number 104, September 2015
  • Holding tank harmony, Number 104, September 2015
  • Heading off odors, Number 104, September 2015
  • Replacing a water tank, Number 104, September 2015
  • When a rudder needs replacing, Number 105, November 2015


Other tech

History articles


  • In fond memory of Don Launer, Number 104, September 2015

Good old vendors

How-to articles

  • How to coax your VHF, Number 100, January 2015
  • Over-the-top blocks . . ., Number 100, January 2015
  • Anchoring when solo, part 1, Number 101, March 2015
  • Anchoring when solo, part 2, Number 102, May 2015
  • Electrical soldering, Number 102, May 2015
  • A bowsprit for its own sake, Number 102, May 2015
  • A gentlemen’s raft, Number 102, May 2015
  • Electrical connections, Number 103, July 2015
  • The ship’s log, Number 105, November 2015

Galley life

Simple solutions

  • Instrument sun cover, Number 100, January 2015
  • Boat-bike saddlebags, Number 101, March 2015
  • Transom platform, Number 102, May 2015
  • Battery Catch 22, Number 103, July 2015
  • Cooking by induction, Number 104, September 2015
  • A portable vise, Number 105, November 2015

Quick and easy

  • Luff foil protection, Number 100, January 2015
  • Ablution solution (indoor shower), Number 100, January 2015
  • Securing solar deck lights, Number 101, March 2015
  • Silence those halyards, Number 101, March 2015
  • Multi-purpose cushions, Number 102, May 2015
  • An inexpensive dock cleat, Number 102, May 2015
  • Continuous rope loop, Number 103, July 2015
  • Night light, Number 103, July 2015
  • A bright new cove stripe, Number 104, September 2015
  • Storage in small places, Number 104, September 2015
  • Dinghy doormat, Number 105, November 2015
  • A see-through hatchboard, Number 105, November 2015

Cruising memories

  • Finding Heidi, Number 100, January 2015
  • Knotmeter conundrum, Number 101, March 2015
  • Cruising in the Bay of Islands, Number 102, May 2015
  • A new (old) boat comes home, Number 104, September 2015
  • Loving Scarlett, Number 105, November 2015

Lighter articles

  • A ton of magazines, Number 100, January 2015
  • Stars in the water, Number 100, January 2015
  • Finisterre looks back, Number 101, March 2015
  • All overboard!, Number 101, March 2015
  • Readers’ favorite boat pictures, Number 101, March 2015
  • Yearning for the ocean blue, Number 101, March 2015
  • Late-season challenge, Number 102, May 2015
  • Stop! Hey, what’s that sound? , Number 102, May 2015
  • That sinking feeling, Number 103, July 2015
  • There’s no hiding added weight . . ., Number 103, July 2015
  • Meeting Pendragon’s liveaboards, Number 103, July 2015
  • Readers’ favorite boat pictures, Number 104, September 2015
  • What’s in a boat’s name? Number 104, September 2015
  • Sailing for love and money, Number 105, November 2015
  • Battery à la carte, Number 105, November 2015
  • A eulogy to Johnson, Number 105, November 2015

Product launchings

  • Charts for iOS, Number 103, July 2015
  • Lantern and device charger, Number 103, July 2015
  • Li-ion jump-starter, Number 103, July 2015
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Mail buoy

Another take on keeping the beer chilled

I liked the story about the use of Engel’s new drop-in model fridge. Here’s a less permanent install.

This may not be rocket science, but for those with smaller boats where the quarterberths really are not inviting for sleeping and are used mostly for storage, this idea might be of some value. When we restored our Pageant 23, the factory position for the icebox was under the settee cushions, which was pretty inconvenient to access even under the best of conditions. We have since converted that space to hold the house battery bank and get that considerable weight located more amidships, rather than in a stern locker. But now, where to put either an icebox or fridge?

Engel fridge

Engel makes the fridge equipment we have used in several of our boats and now offers a kit to counter install a top-loading fridge via the drop-in method. While it’s well made and has a lot of good features, it is not self-contained, requires a bit of cabinet butchery, and then wiring to install and mount the outboard compressor unit it uses. This is perfectly fine, if permanent and built-in cosmetics are desired and you have room for it. We didn’t, as the galley space in a Pageant is very tight to begin with and is quite short on any above- or below-counter install space.

So, we opted to carry an Engel MRO-040 self-contained model by enlarging the storage opening in the existing quarterberth next to the galley. We simply made the opening large enough to snugly fit the Engel and have it rest on a new glassed-in plywood platform below to keep it secure and level. We brought 12v wiring to that space and our new self-contained fridge/freezer was ready for business. The Engels will also run on 110 AC current if desired, but we always opt for 12v operation as they draw so little current . . . about 40% less than the Danfoss-type compressor models. They do need air ventilation to operate efficiently, so our mounting procedure kept the unit’s cabinet vents in clear air above the old bunk’s surface and we also installed a bulkhead vent to provide convection airflow at the compressor end of the Engel. We then carpeted the rest of the old quarterberth and now use it for storage, while the top of the closed-up Engel has extended the counter space in the galley . . . much to the cook’s delight!

The Engel “Swing-motor compressor” units are very quiet in operation so they do not intrude on sleep and will even make ice cubes if you want them to, but at the expense of more energy use. The entire unit can easily be lifted out for service or duty elsewhere, like in a car, if desired, as only one 12v connection is necessary.

The downside of this approach is the loss of that quarterberth for sleeping, but since nobody wanted to sleep in the coffin anyway, it wasn’t much of a loss. The self-contained Engel units are also somewhat pricey, but for the job they do and their reliability, we think they are well worth it. This particular model is a marine optimized model with an ABS chassis and housing to help better withstand salt atmospheres and damp conditions.
—Rob & Gabi Hoffman

Mazza and Moore, November 2015

Rob Mazza’s discussion of sail plans, “The Bowman 46 . . . ” (November 2015), presents the kind of experience I look for in Good Old Boat. There is so much personal design history incorporated in this article and not a superfluous sentence.

I can’t remember so many correctives related to my first fifty years of sailing as Cliff Moore related in his induction into the fraternity of your contributing editors. I had hanked-on jibs. I thought a downhaul referred only to tensioning a jib luff from the tack to the deck or bowsprit. I had to read his article twice before I realized he was talking about bringing the jib down quickly, safely, and keeping it on deck when approaching a mooring. Second, I learned laying out line to avoid snarls was called flaking. Faking seemed odd; but faking it has ever been (photo, p 33). Third, I’ve used long wire ties many places, but never thought to place them so they would discourage birds from sitting on my spreaders and peppering my deck with evidence. I look forward to much more from Cliff.
—Bob Brodsky

Cove cookie cover question

November 2015 cover

I greatly enjoy every issue of your fine magazine and have for many years. In the November 2015 issue, the description of the cover photo references the boat’s location as “Cookie Bite Cove” on Bartlett Island in Blue Hill Bay, Maine. I’m puzzled as I’ve sailed throughout Blue Hill Bay and around Bartlett Island, but I don’t remember any cove so named. Would you help me out by giving me the location of this cove?
—Richard Fried

Cove cover answer

Here's the scoop as best we know: Paul was working on a photo assignment with his sailboat in Maine one summer for a land trust that included photographing Bartlett Island. The Rockefellers, who own the island, told Paul that the cove on the northeast side of the island is Cookie Bite Cove, because that's what it looks like. Some locals use this name, but other local folks refer to it as Galley Cove or Galley Point Cove. (Galley Point forms the north part of the cove.) Hope this helps.
—Paul and Paulette Rezendes

Square sail

I am writing in regards to the article, “Rollaway square sail,” in the November 2015 issue. First, I would like to say that it was a great idea and quite well executed. Secondly, I’d like to point out that this is yet another example of nothing new under the sun.

We are all familiar with what a modern sloop is but, like the definition of a cutter, the modern definition isn’t the original. The actual origins of the word “sloop” and the exact type of vessel it defined are a bit foggy. The word first appeared in the 1600s, but the exact type of vessel it applied to is a bit unclear. However, by the 1740s, it is clear that a sloop was a single-masted vessel, usually between 40 and 60 feet on the keel, set with a short gaff sail with a long boom. They had between one and three headsails and they had a square sail set on the front of the mast. Most often, they had a square topsail set above the main square.

Unlike other square-riggers, it appears that the yard was lowered to be furled or reefed, much like the sail on a Viking longship.

Sloops, because of their speed and maneuverability, were the vessel of choice for pirates during that period. Rather than searching out heavily armed vessels, they preferred to take fast ships and refit them by adding guns and clearing the decks of deckhouses. You can add guns to a fast ship, but a slow ship is always going to be a slow ship.

It was a good idea then and I believe it’s a good idea now. The obvious benefits when running before the wind almost ensured that sailors, when concerned about actual daily sailing and not racing rules, should come up with the idea once again. Racing rules and styles may change, but the seas we sail remain the same.

I often thought of the idea myself in the past. It seems a better idea in a practical sense than a tricky spinnaker. I think Roger Hughes has done an excellent job of putting the idea to work using some modern innovations and I hope that he won’t mind if, someday when the funds become available, I make use of his ingenuity. Thanks for a very useful and inspirational article.
—Vincent B. Hann

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