June 2016 Newsletter

June 2016 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.

Somewhat mellow after all these years

It was inevitable that — when I married a Navy vet 25 years ago — I would take on some of his characteristics and training. For years, we prepared for each trip to Mystic, our C&C 30, with military precision: checklists, accumulating piles of supplies, and a certain amount of accompanying stress.

Why is it then, as we drove to the boat for the first time this year, I was blissfully laid back? Could it be that after 25 years I've finally got the rhythm? I believe I do! We drove north to uncover our baby, not to move aboard after all, and the supplies included materials for the tarp removal (the ladder, for example), bottom painting, and the splash that was to follow.

The weather on that May day in Minnesota was warm; the grass was green; Bayfield, Wisconsin, was bursting with yellow daffodils (I've never seen so many); and we were going to the boat. She was there, perched at the top of a small rise. At the bottom of the lane was endless blue water, the marina clubhouse, and a slip with our name on it. Sigh.

May your own launches — now and in the years to come — be stress-free as well!

Karen Larson

Back To Top

Always Confident. Often Wrong?

In the April newsletter we asked for stories about sailing mistakes. Here are two more.

Don't just look: touch

It was a warm, sunny July day of solo sailing on Lake Michigan just outside Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The winds were light and the seas calm. I spent most of the time relaxing under a light air 165 and main, bobbing along, music in the background. After several hours of contemplating the human condition, it was time to head in.

Although our 1975 Albin Vega had a working, fairly reliable, 36-year-old Volvo diesel motor, I prefer to sail as much as possible. If we've burned through six gallons of fuel in a season, it's been a rough year. Winds remained light, but manageable for sailing to the mooring ball in the middle of the field at the Milwaukee Marina. I'd done it hundreds of times. Worst case, I could always fire up the steal beast and motor.

I've developed a routine for picking up a mooring solo, which starts with prepping while inbound. First I set the self-steering gear — a bungee attached to cleats on opposite coamings wrapped around the tiller, then adjusted for optimal tension to hold the boat on course. Next I moved the boat hook to the cockpit to pick up the mooring line, made sure everything was stowed, turned on the engine raw water inlet, dropped the main, attached the fenders to both sides in case of accidental bumping, and placed the key in the ignition. Finally, I tied lines to cleats on the foredeck and transom in case I needed to dock.

My intent was to gently sail to the mooring on a tack a bit higher than beam reach, bleeding wind until the ball was abreast and upwind by a couple feet. Almost at a complete stop, I reached into the water with the boat hook, pulled one of the mooring lines aboard, and wrapped it around a transom cleat. Once wrapped around the transom cleat, I could take my time to run it to the bow. This method allows me to release the leeward jib sheet in time for the sail to luff, its bitter end attached to another cleat. If I need to get moving again, I don't want to fish the line out of the water.

The entry into the marina went as planned. I was trying to keep tacking to a minimum and maintain our few knots of boat speed. Soon we were in the channel and on a good tack for the mooring. Then the wind completely died. It was like someone just flipped a switch, turning an already light wind into none at all. "Darn," I thought, "I guess I'll have to motor."

I turned the key and the motor started to roll over. I could hear the flywheel spinning, but there didn't appear to be any spark. I glanced down and saw the fuel shut-off looked fine. Next I jumped into the cabin, removed the companionway steps, and looked for some sign. There isn't a lift pump, and the fuel was new and clean. I had tested the engine just a few days earlier. Since nothing had changed, I tried to turn her over again. I rotated the key and there was only silence.

Standing in the companionway, I could see the sea wall fast approaching. At about 15 feet away, I had only a few minutes to make something happen.

I went through the choices in my head. I could call for help, either on the radio or by standing on the foredeck, jumping up and down, yelling and waving my hands like a crazy person but there was no way anyone could arrive in time. I could tie the dinghy to the bow and try rowing us to the mooring — not enough time to get it set. I could try to start the engine, again — that was too optimistic even for me. Then a thought occurred.

The Vega is a comparatively lightweight sailboat. I wondered if I could row her. I fetched one of the dinghy oars from the cabin, released the lifelines on the starboard side, straddled the coaming, and started to row. To my surprise, it worked. I was able to control the tiller with my left foot and row the hundred feet or so to the mooring ball.

I have years of sailing experience on everything from homebuilt dinghies to 45-footers. I am a meticulous checklist employer, including engine tests. I stowed the sails and reinitiated the search for the cause of the engine failure. I checked what I thought was everything, then rechecked them. Finally, sitting at the aft end of the cockpit, racking my brain for alternatives, I looked at the fuel shut-off under the bridge deck again. It was raised — not all the way, but enough to keep the engine from starting.

When I initially looked fuel shut-off, it was from above it. Since "Depress Fuel Shut-off" is on the engine run checklist, I didn't give it another thought. Then I remembered that a friend was in the cockpit during the last engine run. I hadn't completed the checklist. I felt like the dumbest person on earth.

To this day, I touch everything to make sure it is set properly — checklist or not.
Robert Richey

Complete checklist

Several years ago, I set off on a solo journey in my Catalina 22 for a planned three-day trip from Colonial Beach, Virginia, to Annapolis, Maryland. After much preparation, I felt the boat was ready and confidently pulled away from the marina as my wife and young daughter looked on. There wasn't much of a breeze late that afternoon and I needed to cover 20 miles to the first anchorage. As I motored along, I looked back at my starting point about one mile astern and there stood my wife and daughter on the beach waving goodbye. "Awww . . . how nice," I thought. They had driven down to the beach to watch me head toward the horizon. I waved back.

Later that evening as I noodled around on the boat at the anchorage, I noticed my wallet seemed to be missing. "Uh-oh." I said at that most unnerving development. I pulled out my trusty cellphone and saw I had missed a few calls from my lovely bride. I promptly hit re-dial. It seems my sentimentality at being bid a fond farewell was misplaced. She'd found my wallet in the car and tried to call me. When I didn't answer she drove to the beach where they had waved furiously trying to get my attention as I motored out of the channel and onto the Potomac.

I knew I would need more gas if I had to motor the entire journey, and ice to keep my vittles cold. But I was penniless and had no ID whatsoever. Let's just say that it was a pretty worrisome evening.

As it turned out, I was able to contact a friend who lived near Solomons who said he'd meet me there the next evening and spot me a few dollars so I could complete my trip.
My wonderful wife met me at the appointed time with my wallet in tow and the journey ended without any further incident

I learned about a complete checklist . . . and to look twice to see if someone is saying goodbye or "Get back here!"
Eric Wengstrom

Back To Top

Trapped in a Cape Dory

The suspect latch What had to break

TOP: The suspect latch.
BOTTOM: What had to break to get out.

I was doing some work inside the lazarette of my Cape Dory 28 that required me to crawl into the hull; I left the hatch open, leaning against the cockpit seat back, as normal. When I finished the work, I grabbed the sides of the lazerette opening to pull myself out of the hull without realizing that, on the outboard side, I was gripping the lower lip of the hatch. As I began to pull myself up, my weight on the hatch edge brought the hatch down over the opening. The latch in the cockpit, designed to hold the hatch closed while sailing, latched itself. I was trapped in the hull, and no one was around to rescue me.

I was finally able to force the hatch open by using my legs to push against the hatch and break the latch.

When I told this story to my son, who is ex-military, he said "That's why in the military we don't enter an enclosed space without someone standing by."
Paul Maravelas, Mayer, Minnesota

Back To Top

Hatch latches

On various occasions I've spent too much time in the cockpit lockers of our C&C 30. Karen and I began calling them the "aft cabin." Not only is this work uncomfortable, it can also be dangerous as Paul Maravelas' email describes.

I've had friends get locked in and I've had friends just go down there and not be physically able to move their bodies in the right way to get out.

Hatch latch

So some precautions are in order when you go into the "aft cabin."

1) First and foremost, as Paul's son said, somebody has to know you are in there. The language I occasionally resort to while in a cockpit locker is enough to inform Karen that I'm down there. You might have better self control, but in no case should you go into those kinds of spaces without someone knowing where you are and what you are doing.

2) There are a lot of cockpit latches and locks, and maybe five times that many ways to make sure they can't lock you in. Taping over the slot in the hasp is a good way to prevent the hasp from locking you in. If you can, mount your locking system so gravity works in the interests of your safety. Automatically latching or locking systems are very suspect.

3) Plan your escape method. Your body may need to move in certain ways to get out even if the locker is not closed and you are not locked in. As I've gotten older and put on a few pounds, all this has gotten more difficult. Even just spending a long time in that cramped space can make it harder to extract yourself. Keep those limitations in mind.
Jerry Powlas, Technical Editor

Back To Top

What's coming in July?

For the love of sailboats

  • Feature boat: Solitude, A Cheoy Lee Offshore 33 ketch
  • Design comparison
  • Beneteau First 285

Speaking seriously

  • Weather watch: Clouds
  • Fundamentals of stability, part 2
  • Stern tube surgery
  • Making your own cockpit canvas
  • Safe sailing: tablets, PCs and phones
  • Tacking tangles fixedDiesel-vent burp suppressor

Just for fun

  • Favorite boat pictures
  • Narrowboats in England
  • Cruising memories

What's more

  • Simple solutions: Automatic anchor light
  • Cushioning your computer
  • Oil catcher
  • Flopper stopper
  • Icebox management
  • Steering wheel table
Back To Top


Ian Bruce, Laser builder, dies at 82

Ian Bruce first represented Canada in the 1960 Olympics, sailing a red Finn-class dinghy but the boat he is known for has been part of the Olympics since 1996.

Ian Bruce

In the 1960s, Ian Bruce had the idea for an affordable sailboat that could fit on a vehicle's roof rack. While explaining his idea during a phone call with a friend, boat designer Bruce Kirby, Kirby started sketching. First called a Weekender, the boat became better known as a Laser, one of the world's most popular racing sailboats.

Ian Bruce went on to build several more types of sailboats, including the Finn, Fourteen, Fireball, 470, Laser II, Tasar, Laser Radial, Byte, 29er, and Bruce 22. In 2009, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada for his contributions to the world of sailing in Canada and internationally.

His family requests donations to a charity of your choice or encouraging someone you love to learn to sail.

2016's top ten boat names

BoatUS has released the top ten boat names for 2016:

  1. Happy Ours
  2. Freedom
  3. Grace
  4. Serendipity
  5. Island Time
  6. No Regrets
  7. Liberty
  8. At Last
  9. Blue Moon
  10. Aqua holic
Back To Top



June 3-5 Rappahannock River Yacht Club
Irvington, Virginia

This biannual event is the largest gathering of Cape Dory Typhoons in the world. For more information go to <http://www.rryc.org/typhoon-nationals/> or call Ned Crockett at 804-438-5256.


June 18 and 19

When sailors sign up and post their sailing plans as part of the annual worldwide Summer Sailstice celebration of sailing, they both help tell the story of sailing and are entered to win from hundreds of prizes.

This year's celebration will be held on June 18-19, 2016, as always, kicking off the summer on the weekend nearest the solstice. For more information, contact John Arndt
John@summersailstice.com or go to <http://www.summersailstice.com>.


June 23 – 26
Bristol, Rhode Island

In June 2016, boats built by Bristol Yachts will be sailing home to the port of their birth to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of Bristol Yachts. If you own or have owned a boat built by Bristol Yachts, or if you are just interested, you're invited to attend this once-in-a-lifetime event. This celebration will be in Bristol, Rhode Island, with events at the famous Herreshoff Marine Museum, the Bristol Yacht Club, and Colt State Park. Honored guests attending the event include Bristol Yachts' founder, Clinton Pearson, and designers Halsey Herreshoff and Dieter Empacher. For further information, search for Bristol Yachts 50th Anniversary on Facebook or use the following link: <http://tinyurl.com/Bristol50thINFO>.


June 25 – 26
31st Street Harbor
Chicago, Illinois

The second annual in-water Boatshow and Music Festival will again be held at the 31st Street Harbor. Email questions to Enza Montano at emontano@westrecchicago.com or call 312-296-4507. For more information go to:


August 5 – 6

This is an overnight regatta, held the same weekend as the Governor's Cup.

Hosted by Walden Rigging, this is a big race for small boats, a "fun race" encouraging small boats and everyone else to experience the challenges and beauty of sailing at night. There will be three fleets — Sippy Cup, Big Gulp and Regatta. Sippy Cup boats must have a PHRF rating of 200 or higher. Big Gulp boats must have a PHRF rating of 140-199. The Regatta fleet is for boats with a PHRF rating below 140 and are just too big or fast for the other fleets. If you don't have a PHRF rating, contact Walden Rigging and they will help you get one or determine where you belong. Entry fee is $20 and due by July 17. For more information and an entry form, contact Suzanne and Dobbs at Waldenrigging@earthlink.net or call 410-441-1913.


September 17, 2016
Johnson Bros. Boat Yard
1800 Bay Ave.
Point Pleasant, New Jersey

The Antique Class Boating Society will hold its 33rd show from 8am to 5pm. All types of boats are welcome — in-water or on a trailer. Free admission and parking. There will be marine vendors, marine artists, a flea market, antique and classic American and British cars, radio-control boats, and more. Contact Stu Sherk, 610-277-2121 or 732-899-6604 or Ken Motz, 908-910-3653.

Back To Top


Spring scrubbing

Needs a power wash Power wash one After the work

The photos show the marine growth up close, what the rudder looked like before wet sanding, and that it looked like after that sanding.

One of the few advantages of sailing in a freezing cold freshwater lake like Superior is that we have very little marine growth and absolutely no barnacles (although zebra mussels have discovered us). The hull's bottom stays fairly clean all season, our bottom paint lasts a bit longer, and a good power wash at haulout will easily remove any marine growth that does attach itself to the hull in the marina where the water is shallower and somewhat warmer.

We've grown accustomed to post-season power washes when the boat is hauled, but last year we changed marinas and Mystic's bottom was not scrubbed with a mighty blast of water. This spring we had a small accumulation of white residue in spots here and there and particularly at the waterline. We had our own power washer along, but it would take about a dozen hoses to get water to where she sat on her cradle. Jerry tried rubbing the growth off with a scrubbie pad but worried that too much of the ablative paint would be rubbed off as well. Furthermore, all that fine biocide dust would require the sander to wear a mask for protection.

I suggested wet sanding with that scrubbie pad and may have stumbled upon a miracle. We did not lose much paint, the growth was gone, and the job didn't take as much time as it would have taken to hook up the power washer, even if the spigot had been next to the boat. The photos tell the story.

We painted the bottom for that launch because we had all the supplies to do so, but we now realize that if we don't spray or rub much paint off, we can go several years before re-applying bottom paint. This may work for many other lake sailors. We'd like to hear other reports. Please send your comments to Karen Larson at Karen@goodoldboat.com.

Black Dolphin

Black Dolphin, 1953

My wife and I own a Hugh Angelman-designed 50' LOA diesel auxiliary ketch built in 1944. We are able to trace her history from 1950 onward and have been in touch with many people who sailed on board her in the past. She has been sailed from Southern California to Hawaii, Mexico, Costa Rica, Venezuela, New Zealand, and Australia at various times in her history. We use the boat as an outdoor classroom at our school in Hong Kong, to where we shipped the boat in 2014 from Long Beach Harbour aboard a container ship.

We are unable to locate any information about the boat from 1944 when she was launched in Inglewood, California, (although we think she was mostly built at the Wilmington Boat Works) until 1950. We have contacted everyone we can think of, including several yacht clubs as well as individuals old enough to have known her when she was sailing around San Diego, Los Angeles, and Catalina. We have even been in touch with the two sons of Marion and Bill Rumsey, the couple who bought the boat in 1950.

We want to complete her history for our students and for future owners. The photo was taken in the 1950s. She looked quite different with a black hull and red anti-fouling.
Craig Blurton (cblurton@gmail.com)

Back To Top


The following book reviews have been posted online.

Back To Top

Water on board

by Bo Garrison

We typically take our boat on a two to five week cruise each year as well as several weekend trips and some daysailing. We have a water classification system for cruising on our boat that seems to have developed naturally. These are all types of fresh water. Salt water is not allowed in the boat. I am curious if others observe these distinctions or have other types of water than the ones listed here.

  1. Boat water: from our 20-gallon plastic water tank. Pumped to the sink by the "electric faucet." This used to taste bad but I have learned to give the tank a chlorine shock treatment, followed by several rinses each spring. It's acceptable for cooking and is also used for brushing teeth, washing dishes, and washing hands. It is refilled at home and refilled every week or so on a cruise.
  2. Kettle water: water in the teakettle is filled with bottled water or boat water and used for making coffee and hot chocolate.
  3. Fizzy water: several two-liter bottles of carbonated, flavored water are kept under the V-berth.
  4. Bottled water: two-liter bottles are refilled with tap water. It's our best drinking water. The bottles are refilled at home and refilled at marinas as we go and are also kept under the V-berth.Cooler water: melted ice from the cooler may have food particles in it. It's pumped out of the cooler into a bucket every day or so to be used for sluicing out the cockpit sole.
  5. Bucket water: a bucket is filled from a hose when possible. It may also contain cooler water and used to wash dirt off the boat and to wash our hands after weighing anchor. It's kept in the cockpit.
  6. Sunshower water: the 2-1/2-gallon sunshower is filled from a hose to rinse the salt off after swimming. Theoretically, we could drink this water as a second-to-last resort. It is refilled at marinas as necessary.
  7. Flush water in the Porta-Potty. Should be clean . . . last resort.

Bilge water may be a recognized category on some boats. We have a strict no-bilge-water policy so it does not appear on our list.

Back To Top

The stowaway

by Mark Myaard

It was only our third season with the Cape Dory 27 and our second vacation cruise on Lake Michigan. With both of us working for the same major corporation, we could only get away for a one-week coastal cruise, port-hopping on Lake Michigan out of Muskegon. Having only seven days, this short cruise would be a marathon to see how far up the coast we could push before we had to turn around. When you are on a time schedule cruising on Lake Michigan, you will be doing a lot of motorsailing and there is no guarantee that you won't be weathered-in at any stop along the way. Our goal was to make Leland, a quaint little fishing port approximately 130 miles north of our home port.

The race was on and we managed to make our goal by mid-week and prep for the sprint home. Our first stop on the way back was Frankfort, a town right on the small inland lake waterfront. Covering 39 miles on the water doesn't sound like much, but it took us all day to get there at 5 knots. Having arrived in Frankfort, we made our way to the approved anchorage area just past the municipal marina. The marine weather channel warned of a late-night thunderstorm, prompting me to set two anchors. After a short trip to town for dinner, we settled in for a nice evening aboard. Before sundown, I admired a beautiful ancient oak tree only 20 feet from the waterfront that must have been more than 100-foot tall. Anchored close to town, we were almost under the canopy of this giant tower of green. With a big blow coming in, I hoped it wouldn't be a problem.

The marine forecast was right on the money. At about 3 a.m., I woke up to one heck of a blow. Crawling out of the V-berth and peering out, I was anxious to judge our position in relation to shore. We seemed to be holding fast. Twenty minutes later, it was all over. By 7:30 a.m., I was swabbing down the deck in preparation for our cruise home. There was a fair amount of storm debris in the form of twigs and leaves from the big oak tree, along with the typical deceased summertime bugs. This made the swab a little more time-consuming. I took special notice of some type of animal or marine-life feces on board, something I had never seen on deck in my 13 years of sailing. Interesting. What kind of creature did that, I wondered.

Getting out on the water highway heading south felt really good on that gray and moist summer morning. The horizon of Lake Michigan blended in perfectly with the sky, making it invisible. There was a 1-foot chop with a light wind on the nose that pretty much dictated motorsailing if we wanted to make good time to the next port. With heavy morning dew on the blue sailcover, I purposely left it on to dry before stowing it below. The next job was to hook up and dial in the cantankerous old Tillermaster autopilot before settling in with a hot cup of coffee.

Finally, relaxing on the seat cushion with the 1-cylinder diesel thumping away and the buzzing of the Tillermaster keeping us on course, I happened to look up at movement under the sailcover, just above my head. To my surprise, there was a flat furry chestnut-colored tail sliding along the boom. It disappeared when it ran into one of the hook-and-eye clasps that held the cover together and then popped back down again. Only the tail was visible, hanging down about 6 inches. I pointed it out to my wife, Kathy, and said, "I think we have a stowaway!"

The tail had moved all the way up to the gooseneck by the mast and I got up to investigate. When I approached it, it moved all the way back to the end of the boom and disappeared in the curl of the sail. I asked Kathy to grab a flashlight and a 5-gallon bucket. Shining the light into the dark hole of the sail, I saw a real live flying squirrel! Its big dark nocturnal eyes popped out of its cute furry face. At that moment it made a beeline for the topping lift line that leads to the tip of the mast. With a quick and lucky movement, I brushed our stowaway into the pail. If I had missed, I don't know how I would have gotten him out of the rigging. Throughout this maneuver, we were being cussed out in squirrel talk. After a minute, everybody settled down. With the tall pail sitting in the cockpit, we got a good look at him. What an interesting and cute little animal. He must have blown aboard from the big oak tree during the thunderstorm. That explained the unidentifiable goo on the deck. We promptly named him Rocky after the famous cartoon flying squirrel.

Kathy asked, now that we had him on board, what could we do with him? Looking at the chart, I said we could get him ashore in Arcadia, the next port south. Nothing on the planet can provide aid and comfort like a woman, and Kathy went to work immediately to add to Rocky's comfort with a soft cloth for a nest, an aerosol cap full of fresh water, and two Ritz crackers. When I saw the crackers, I said, "Are you out of you mind? Squirrels eat nuts and berries. He won't touch those crackers!" She stowed him safely down below. About 30 minutes later, I went to check on him. Rocky was sitting on his haunches, holding the orange Ritz cracker in his little arms, munching down on it like it was his last meal. Good grief! I hate being wrong.

I had been to Arcadia before and knew there was a little pond to the left, just inside the channel. It seemed like the perfect spot to get Rocky back on terra firma. You can get up to shore so close there, you can almost touch it. The Cape Dory only draws 4 feet. The plan was for Kathy to drive the boat in close and I would slide Rocky into the water, a few squirrel strokes from land.

Rocky slid into the water just over an arm's length from shore. It started out well: he was on his way. But then he turned around and was making an Olympic-style effort to get back on board! I asked her to slowly drive around and I would scoop him up in the bucket. After the turn, I hung over the bow with bucket in hand as she drove the boat right over top of him. I thought he was a goner. We quickly switched positions as Rocky popped up astern. I stopped the boat right next to him and Kathy managed to get him back in the bucket. Once we had him back in the cockpit, I reached down and picked up his lifeless body. His little head tilted over to the side between my thumb and forefinger. His big eyes were closed. We were crushed. As I held his lifeless body I stroked his small head and said, "Rocky, Rocky, Rocky, you were only a foot from land and you turned around and chased the boat!" At that moment, he let out a small cough with a little water, then a second one with a lot of water. We couldn't believe it. Rocky was alive!

He was beat after this ordeal and needed to rest and recover. We got him settled into a new comfort station for the next attempt to get him ashore. Next time, we'd get him on land in a nice wooded area and not take any chances letting him go. The very next port would be Portage Lake, many hours away. I checked in on him a little while later and he was fine, sitting up like before and — you guessed it — munching another Ritz cracker.

We made it to Portage Lake before nightfall and cruised to the end of the lake where I knew there was an old dock right next to a wooded area. Getting him ashore was a big relief. Once we were in the woods, I let him run out of the pail. He immediately scampered up a big maple tree and was giving me the business in squirrel talk. After sitting there a moment, he jumped into the air about 30 feet off the ground, popped into a perfect square and flew to the next tree. Our little stowaway was in his new home after a big adventure.

Although it happened almost 30 years ago, it was such an amazing experience I remember it like it was yesterday.

Back To Top


Winch sizing

I was just reading Jerry Powlas'sidebar about winch power on standard vs. self-tailing winches ("Winches Are Forever," March 2016), and think the sizing problem may be old vs. new winch numbering systems.

The older Barient and Barlow winches had totally different ways of numbering that didn't really reference the power of the winches. So an old Barient/Barlow 22 actually has the same power as a modern Lewmar 34. This could explain why replacing older winches with ones that have larger numbers may not really work the way one thinks it should.

Scans of an old Barient catalogue can be found at <http://l-36.com/barient_catalog.php>. They give the different power ratios for older winches so they can be compared on an equal basis. I wish they still made 12" handles; I could use the extra power some days.

Thanks for making Good Old Boat the best magazine out there, and the only one I subscribe to.
Jim Watts

Katnip update PHOTO


Katnip (March 2016) has undergone phase 2 of her refit. The deck has been redone with marine poly paint impregnated with flattener and anti-skid. The rudder has to be repaired and the cockpit sides repainted. She looks good and will just need annual maintenance in the future.

We took her to New York harbor to join the hundreds of spectator boats watching the Emirates Team New Zealand win the New York leg of the America's Cup on May 8.
George Damerel

Maybe a welding shop

Howard Nelson ("Repairing Portlights," March 2016) wrote that he was looking for 1/8" stainless rod; he might try a welding-supply shop for SS gas-welding rod. I think it's the 300-series, possibly 316. Failing that, he could chip the coating off some stainless-steel arc-welding rod.
Pete Heinlein

More on Surface Weather Maps

I very much appreciated the article on surface weather by Mark Thornton in the March 2016 issue. I am an Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) pilot and weather is part and parcel of my travels. Mark did not give a reference for where the SA and outlook charts are available online. I use the ADDS site, <http://www.aviationweather.gov>, but I am sure there are others. Another great site is the storm prediction center, SPC, at <http://www.spc.noaa.gov>. When things heat up in the Midwest and South, it is a great planning resource.

One correction: Greenwich Mean Time, GMT, is a time zone and subject to political variations such as daylight saving time (not that there are any). The correct designation is Coordinated Universal Time, UTC for the time datum. You will hear this designation on all broadcasts and documents requiring the reference.
Dean Hedstrom, St. Paul, Minnesota

Mark replies

Thank you for your comments on my weather article in the March issue of Good Old Boat. The surface analyses and forecasts were produced by the Weather Prediction Center (WPC). The agency was mentioned by name in the article, but no web address was provided. The WPC can be found online at http://www.wpc.ncep.noaa.gov/. By the way, the WPC is the source of the surface maps used on the ADDS website.

You are technically correct that GMT is a time zone because it was replaced as a standard time-keeping system in the early 1970s. However, most of the meteorological community continues to consider GMT, UTC, and Zulu as different names for the same universal 24-hour time-keeping system. It's for this reason that I used GMT to introduce Zulu. As you probably know, the national centers of the National Weather Service and most universities use Zulu (Z) instead of UTC to indicate the issued and valid times on their graphics. Also, I'm not sure why, but UTC is translated as both Universal Time Coordinated and Coordinated Universal Time.
Mark Thornton, Westlake, Ohio

Dean replies to Mark

I agree all three are equivalent. Those of us growing up in a different age all know GMT. In aviation, Zulu time has the simple abbreviation "Z" and all clearance times are appended with the word "Zulu." I am trying to remember the NOAA broadcasts, but I think they refer to Coordinated Universal Time. By the way, the UTC moniker is not an acronym, but it sounds French. It was a compromise reached by the International Telecommunications Union, ITU, and International Astronomical Union, IAU, to avoid favoring any particular language.

It takes me a few days to get in sync with weather patterns at a given locale, even those with which I am familiar. To accelerate the process and get a better feel for the local environment, I begin studying the SA and program charts several days in advance. If nothing else, it provides me an opportunity to picture where I want to be. Why else would I be going there?

By no means do I have any intention to nitpick. However, I am currently in a place with warm marine breezes and tropical beverages — the idle mind has much to contemplate. Your article was well written and useful for those unfamiliar with the available resource. I look forward to the next installment.

Another colorful boat

Amsterdam boat in oolor

We just returned from a river cruise that started in Amsterdam, where we spotted this boat on a city canal. The paint job bears a striking resemblance to the "unusual" (your words) topside paint on Ladyship, the Westerly Pageant 23 featured in the May 2016 Good Old Boat. I wonder if there is a relationship?
Chuck Rushing, Vienna, Virginia

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