December 2006 Newsletter
What’s in this issue
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This newsletter is available as an MP3 audio download at AudioSeaStories.net. It is read by Laura Haug. We recommend a broadband Internet connection to download, since it is a large file.
Download a PDF version of this newsletter here.
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Our two minutes of fame
Karen Larson and Jerry Powlas haven’t received a call from Oprah yet, but they figure that call could come any minute. After all, they’ve been interviewed twice in the past month. While attending the Annapolis Sailboat Show, the Good Old Boat twosome was interviewed by Tory Salvia, executive producer of TheSailingChannel.com. Go to http://www.thesailingchannel.com and click on the 2006 Sailboat Show link to find this video interview. While you’re there, have a look around Tory’s site. You’ll enjoy seeing the production they’re doing of the refit of an Alberg 30.
The best way to view these videos is to download them through iTunes. If you need help, we can talk you through it (or ask anyone younger than, say, 20). It’s worth subscribing to this podcast. Once you do, you’ll receive a variety of video interviews, as they’re produced, with folks in the sailing business. There is no charge to subscribe.
The Sailing Channel interview was, perhaps, our first minute of fame, but Good Old Boat got a second opportunity when the FurledSails podcast founders, Noel and Christy Davis, called in early November. Noel and Christy started sailing’s first audio podcast more than a year ago and since then have been faithfully producing a weekly radio show with a focus on sailing. All of their previous interviews can be downloaded from their site. They’ve talked to Dave and Jaja Martin, Lin and Larry Pardey, and many more. To subscribe to this informative podcast, to get information about the podcast in general, and to hear the interview with Karen and Jerry, go to http://www.furledsails.com/. The page is easy to navigate. The downloads are quick and easy. A subscription is free. We think you’ll enjoy this podcast.
Because you’ll want to know
We made a business decision at Good Old Boat to scale back one notch on the weight of the paper we use for printing our magazine. This will begin with the January issue. Although your next issue may feel a bit lighter, we haven’t reduced the number of pages or the amount of content. We’re responding to yet another postal increase, set for 2007, with an attempt to weigh a little bit less on the postal scale. Perhaps we’ll just offset this next increase by reducing our issue weight by a trifle.
Most other magazines use lighter paper; we’re belatedly following suit. When we tried this with one issue several years ago, most readers we surveyed did not notice the difference or care. Your founding editors didn’t like it, however, and we went back to the heavier weight paper. Now that the U.S. Post Office is holding our feet to the fire, we’re relenting reluctantly. If you notice the difference, we thought you’d want to know what led to this decision.
Boat show bookends
After we completed the October newsletter, we left for the Annapolis Sailboat Show. Now we’re gearing up for the Chicago Strictly Sail show in early February. We’ve made a full-fledged appearance with a booth one time at each show and have been encouraged enough by reader (and non-reader) response to try it again. If we haven’t met yet, you can find us in Chicago in early February and in Annapolis in early October for the next year or so. At least for now, that’s the plan, and we’re sticking to it!
Invasion of the iPods
They’re coming . . . those little MP3 players of all kinds . . . they’re iPods and a whole bunch of similar-looking little storage devices with ear buds and click wheels. We include in this group the bulkier round MP3 CD players.
We’d like to hear from you if these devices have become part of your life. Do you use an iPod while sailing or commuting to your boat? Do you use them as storage for the thousands of music CDs that used to take up space aboard? Do you use them to take the concept of sailing with you when you’re not able to get to the boat, say, when you’re driving to work or exercising? Do you listen to podcasts? Play music? Listen to audiobooks? Watch videos? Create portable photo albums of vacations or the grandchildren or the boat? Do you use your MP3 player as a standalone unit with ear buds for just one or have you found ways to make them play to your car, boat, home stereos, television . . . ? They’re adaptable. How have you adapted these things to work with your life?
Have these devices changed your habits at all? If they have, we’re very interested in hearing from you. Write to us.
Are you “moving down” to a smaller boat?
In the January 2002 issue Karen Larson ran a rant in the editorial column about a term in common usage, “moving up,” when applied to buying a larger boat. Her diatribe went something like this:
“I suppose we say ‘moving up to a bigger house,’ which might then place us in a more expensive neighborhood. Are there parallels in our sailing world? Our boats, large and small, wind up side by side in the same marinas,” she began.
She then concluded:
“What are we, in our 20-footers, if someone else just ‘moved up’ to a 30-footer? Slum dwellers? . . . This magazine is dedicated to the proposition that all sailboats are created equal. Bigger boats have disadvantages along with the well-touted advantages. Bigger is not necessarily better, and it is not, in our terminology, ‘a move up.’ Selecting a larger boat is a choice some sailors make. Nothing more.”
These days, as children leave the nest, as boat maintenance projects become more daunting by the square foot, or as the strength required to sail a large boat becomes too much, there may very well be a trend in the opposite direction. Write to us, if you have downsized your sailboat and tell us why you did it and whether you’re satisfied with the choice you made. We look forward to hearing from you.
What’s coming in January?
For the love of sailboats
• Finisterre's sister
• Irwin 31 review
• Tanzer 7.5 review
• Chrysler 22 refit boat
• Heavy-weather engine failure
• Compromises in boat design
• Smart boat-buying
• Convenient cabin upgrade
• Standing rigging 101
• Catching rain
• Rope-to-chain splices
• A big "bottom job"
Just for fun
• Women at the helm
• Beattie Purcell (racer, model maker) profile
• Good old vendor, Samson Ropes
• North Channel photo spread
• The magic of sailing
• The green flash
• Simple solutions: Homemade lifeline cushions; Restoring luster to the deck
• Quick and easy: Rust-free tools; Toofypegs; Quick-release stopper knot
Ménage à Trois
I think it is fair to say that my husband is the most calm and unflustered of men. Throughout our marriage, I can count on one hand how often he has lost his temper, and still have a few spare digits to waggle at offending motorists.
When I locked us out of the car one New Year’s Eve in Quebec, as the thermometer plunged past minus 34 degrees Celsius, he merely gritted his teeth and laid into the door lock with a bent coat hanger. And, when I decided to clear the ground between 75 newly planted cedars in our backyard, by spraying weed killer, not a peep escaped his pursed lips. Instead, he rolled up his sleeves and spent the afternoon dowsing the unfortunate trees with clean water. He managed to save 25 of them, too, a remarkable feat, even if they have never since quite lived up to their potential.
With all due modesty I can say that, despite these and some other bone-headed mistakes I have made, I am still the very apple of my husband’s fond eye, not to mention the cherry on his sundae and the cream in his coffee . . . for at least six months of the year, that is.
Alas, my reign as undisputed queen of his heart spans only the months between October and March. Come April, I am relegated to the cheap seats, and his true soul mate, all 11.39 tons of her soaking wet, sails into our lives.
April is the month when the boatyard comes to life, and my sailor-husband’s fancy turns to matters nautical. There are decks to be scrubbed, riggings to be repaired, and a bottom to be tenderly protected from the loutish zebra mussel — all in preparation for the merry month of May, when my husband’s true love bursts forth from her tarps in all her girlish glory, ready to be launched.
“O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!” my life’s partner warbles in the shower when launch day arrives. We spend the morning at the launch dock, where he hovers like a Spanish duenna as the yardmen size up her ample flanks and prepare his darling for launch. She hangs suspended from a sling, looking to my jaundiced eye like a hippo in a canvas tutu, until she is slowly lowered into the water, where she floats smugly.
“I’d be smug, too,” I mutter under my breath, “if he’d paid as much attention to my bottom in the last month.”
And so begins each summer of my discontent. Granted, I am not completely left out of all the fun and games between my husband and his summer playmate. They are quite happy to tolerate my presence aboard, as long as I observe the formalities. I must accept that, whatever my status on land, when afloat I am the lowest of deckhands, allowed only to take on certain menial tasks like jumping off to tie her up, as we come into dock. But, heaven forfend that, in the process, I ever cause her delicate sides to so much as kiss the dock.
Which brings me to the one time that my calm, even-tempered husband completely lost it. It was a grey Monday in October, Canadian Thanksgiving, but a sad day in our household. The boat was to be lifted out of the water the next day and laid up on the hard for winter. We had taken her to the gas dock for the annual ritual of pumping out the holding tank and stripping her of all her finery, from cockpit to anchor locker.
It was a sorry shadow of her summer self that we motored back to our slip, across a choppy bay. Coming in to land, my husband yelled at me, as I teetered on the gunwale, one arm looped around a stay, to haul hard on the mooring line after jumping off, because the freshening wind would push the boat away from the dock. Clinging for dear life to my hat and the mooring line, I leaped into space.
My husband wailed aloud, as the boat crashed into the dock, shuddered to a halt and crabbed sideways across the mooring. Meanwhile, I and my hat were being fished from the murky depths of Hamilton Harbour by the crew of a powerboat moored at a neighboring dock.
As ordered by my captain, I had landed on the dock, heaved with all my might on the mooring line . . . and executed a triple somersault into the harbour, good enough to make Greg Louganis grind his teeth with envy. My dear husband, undone by grief at the imminent parting of ways with his lady love, had forgotten to secure the line at the business end.
Almost gibbering with rage as he tried to fend off with a boathook, he remained unaware of the drama unrolling astern. As soon as I hove into his line of sight, he threw me another line, yelling, “This time, try to get it right, you silly moo!” Then, he leaped off to inspect the damage to his precious darling, oblivious to the shivering heap of dripping wool and denim standing in front of him.
“Tie her up yourself,” I snarled. “I hope she chokes you!” I added incoherently as I squelched off to the clubhouse in search of a hot toddy and the tattered shreds of my dignity.
The October to March interregnum that year was one of the best, as my husband strove mightily to make up for causing me to sample the delights of Hamilton Harbour. And, as every year, his tender attentions evaporated on the day the tarps were pulled aside once more, revealing his dark love in all her glory. But, by then, I had come to terms with my rival. Now I have learned to make the most of her short reign as queen of his heart, using our cruises around Lake Ontario to catch up on my reading and writing. And our ménage à trois sails on into the sunset, happily ever after.
Oh, to be able to go back
My earliest memories of my father and his love for the water evolved as he carried me on his shoulders during an early morning walk through the marsh headed to our duck blind. It was very cold and, to be honest, it wasn’t much fun. Little did I realize how much his passion would carry on into my life.
I sit down today to write this only a week after my father was diagnosed with stage four kidney cancer that has spread to his lungs. All of a sudden I started to realize all of the traits I carry because of my father and his passions.
My father was born and raised on the eastern shore of Virginia in a small crabbing town. It was there that he learned his respect and love for the Chesapeake Bay and its many tributaries. He loved to raise and train English Setters, hunt quail and fish.
He also served for over twenty years in the United States Coast Guard. This always kept our family living near the beloved water and allowed us to maintain our bay lifestyle.
In our North Carolina home, my father and I built a small wooden boat, our first father- and-son project. Dad had ordered the plans from a popular bay magazine and it took months to complete. I didn’t understand why it was so important for me to stand there just holding a light for my dad. Now I would do anything to have that chance again.
All the Sunday drives down old dirt roads, the long walks in the woods and along the tidal marshes — I never understood why he made me come along. Now I try to instill the same passions into my children. If I could only have those times back again, I would make them last forever.
I find myself asking my father if he would like to take a Sunday drive to Deltaville, or maybe just walk the docks at the marina, as if this will be a magical cure. Maybe I think the sight of our sailboat or the smell of the salt air will change God’s plan.
As the inevitable approaches, I yearn for just one more father-and-son project, or maybe a cold walk to a duck blind. I realize now that you can never have too many memories, and days can never be replaced.
To me, memories of my father will always be in the smell of the bay and in the sounds of the geese as they fly over. When I hear a sail luffing I will remember his laugh. A lighthouse beam will remind me of his intense eyes as he stared into the great water he loved, the Chesapeake Bay
ABYC ’07 Schedule of Certifications and Seminars
The American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC), a leader in technical workforce training, education, and certification programs, has released its 2007 schedule of certification and seminar courses.
Marine Systems Cert.
Jan. 9-12, Astoria, Ore.
Feb. 6-9, Mystic, Conn.
Basic Marine Electric
Jan. 10-12, Cleveland, Ohio
Feb. 14-16, Jacksonville, Fla.
Mar. 8-9, Mystic, Conn.
Mar. 19-21, Houston, Tex.
Jan. 16-19, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
Feb. 20-23, Astoria, Ore.
Mar. 26-29, Raleigh, N.C.
Jan. 24-26, Dallas, Tex.
Feb. 26-28, Chicago, Ill.
Mar. 26-28, Mystic, Conn.
Marine Corrosion Cert.
Jan. 29-Feb.1, Long Isl., N.Y.
Mar. 13-16, San Diego, Calif.
Basic Marine Engines
Feb. 21-23, Portland, Ore.
Mar. 5-7, St. Louis, Mo.
Gasoline Engine Cert.
Mar. 8-9, St. Louis, Mo.
Strictly Sail 2007 Winter schedule
Strictly Sail Philadelphia
Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia, Pa.
Strictly Sail Chicago
Navy Pier, Chicago, Ill.
Miami International Boatshow and Strictly Sail
Miami Convention Center and Miamarina at Bayside,
For more information go to http://www.strictlysail.com
PassageMaker University announces its 2007 Trawler Fest schedule, beginning with:
Trawler Fest 2007
Stuart, Florida, January 25-27, Hutchinson Island Marriott
Beach Resort and Marina
For more information, go to http://www.trawlerfest.com/education.asp or call 888-487-2953.
How might I find the whereabouts of the first Westerly to sail across the Atlantic to the U.S.? She was owned by Simon Baddeley, then sold in mid-1966 to George and Nancy Cochrane, lawyers in Washington who were keeping her on the Chesapeake. Young Tiger had a small plaque in her saloon commemorating her voyage. Such a long time has passed (40 years) but Simon contacted me to see what we could find.
Yankee Yachts 26
I have my eye set on the mid-’70s Yankee Yachts 26 by Sparkman & Stephens. Only about 30 were ever produced (in Santa Ana, Califonia). Are any owners willing to talk about it by email? If you know of any owners I could talk to, please put us in contact.
Blue Horizons: Dispatches from Distant Seas, by Beth Leonard (International Marine, 2007; 179 pages; $22.95)
Review by Karen Larson
Beth Leonard’s pen is magic. She is able to write as few others can. Better yet for sailors everywhere, she goes to the ends of the earth in order to have strong subject matter to present.
Over the years, in her previous books, Beth has told us how to go cruising and she’s told us why. Her how-to book, The Voyager’s Handbook, has just come out in a new, fatter, second edition. In contrast, Blue Horizons is another book about why . . . why go cruising . . . why go to the high latitudes of the Arctic and then to the Southern Ocean with its great capes . . . why not sip margaritas in paradise?
In their first three-year 36,000-mile circumnavigation, Beth Leonard and Evans Starzinger cruised in paradise. Then they went home, sold the boat, dusted off their hands, went back to work, and were instantly consumed by regrets. Beth tells us, “Life ashore seemed dull, monochrome. Something was missing.” Since their favorite cruising areas had been the temperate latitudes, rather than the tropics, they embarked on a more challenging high-latitude circumnavigation after first building the aluminum sloop capable of taking them there.
Long passages give this insightful sailor ample opportunity to be alone with her thoughts, which then flow out onto paper through that magic pen of hers. She writes of relationships with and memories of family and friends, of experiences afloat, of safety at sea, and of the pleasures and pains of passage. Her philosophical musings pour forth on page after page.
A portion of the book depicts the bonding process between two dominant personalities who have spent a large percentage of the last decade confined to a relatively small space. Over time, her side of the relationship has evolved through power struggle to acceptance, to pleased contentment, and finally to absolute satisfaction with the life she leads and the bonds she and Evans have forged.
In this book, as she contemplates high-latitude sailing, Beth tells us that life is an investment. You get out of it what you put into it. The best cruising experiences come at a price. You can’t experience the Arctic Circle’s summer solstice (the one day the sun doesn’t set on the Arctic Circle) without doing some uncomfortable high-latitude sailing to get there. But the memory is priceless. It’s these character-building experiences that mold and shape us and provide the memories we treasure.
Beth summarizes the voyaging life like this: “It is a life of limitless possibilities, endless opportunities, and continuous renewal. The sea tests us constantly, demanding we learn new skills and don’t get complacent about old ones . . . The other sailors we meet humble us. Some have overcome great odds to be out here; others quietly and competently complete epic voyages without fanfare or recognition . . . If there is one thing that our years aboard Hawk and Silk have taught us, it is that ordinary, everyday people do the most extraordinary, inspirational things.”
For more magic from this pen, pick up a copy of Blue Horizons and other books by Beth Leonard.
Managing the Waterway: Electronic Charts, by Mark and Diana Doyle (semi-local publications LLC, 2006; 2 DVDs; $39.95)
Review by Karen Larson
Mark and Diana Doyle, bless ’em, are a couple of sailors who re-invented the cruising guide when they put together the book they’d like to see while cruising the Intracoastal Waterway. Another guide followed, with more in the works. (Once started, it seems they can’t help themselves.)
As it stands right now, they’ll take you from Hampton Roads, Virginia, to the Dry Tortugas beyond Key West. Their company, called semi-local publications, with the tagline “books for the wandering soul,” has become something of a phenomenon among those transiting the ICW.
But this cruising couple really created a winner when they compiled an inexpensive DVD set that includes the latest version of each chart you’ll need to cruise all the waters in the U.S. and possessions, including the inland trails, such as the Mississippi River and the Tennessee-Tombigbee waterway. “Sure,” you say, “all the NOAA charts are available for free download.” Indeed they are. Where do you think Mark and Diana get them?
The magic in what these two do for you for $39.95 is this: they do all the downloading of those large raster and vector files and organize them in nine geographic cruising regions so you can find what you’re looking for. What’s your time worth, after all? You could go rooting around on the NOAA website and do the endless downloads yourself. Or for just under $40 you can buy a two-disc set, which will give you the latest versions, compact and organized.
Called Managing the Waterway: Electronic Charts, the set includes more than 3,000 charts. This includes the harbor charts and other incidental charts that you might not bother with if you had to buy each chart or download it individually. It will cover you if you choose to go somewhere unplanned at the last minute. It will provide charts for dreaming. With apologies to Dr. Seuss: “Oh, the places you’ll go!”
The chart set includes Raster Navigational Charts (RNCs), vector Electronic Navigational Charts (ENCs), and vector Inland Electronic Navigation Charts (IENCs). Mark and Diana tell us these charts are compatible with all leading manufacturers of charting and navigation software. I believe them because they work even with my Macintosh, which runs our boat’s electronic software using GPSNavX. Other compatible applications include Fugawi, Nobeltec, The Capn, Coastal Explorer, Maptech, MacENC, Raymarine, Furuno, SeaClear, Global Navigation, and others.
In fact, the DVD set includes a growing list of free and trial software for PC and Mac so you can try out charting and navigation applications if you’re new to electronic charting, or considering changing programs. And last, but certainly not least, Managing the Waterways: Electronic Charts includes searchable government publications such as Coast Pilots, Light Lists, and Chart No. 1. Now you can quickly look up an obscure chart symbol or read recommendations for entering an inlet or unfamiliar harbor. There’s no excuse for sailing around without the backup of paper charts, even if you prefer electronic navigation. But since Mark and Diana will annually catalog and update their latest offering, Managing the Waterway: Electronic Charts, you won’t need to replace your paper charts as frequently (paper chart purchases continue to be an expensive and daunting endeavor). Now that someone has made all the U.S. charts and government publications this accessible, the electronic software and hardware folks should be thrilled. With the help of the U.S. government, Mark and Diana Doyle have made electronic charting convenient, affordable, and available for “the rest of us.”
The Barefoot Navigator: Navigating with the skills of the ancients, by Jack Lagan (Sheridan House, 2006; 148 pages; $17.95)
By Durkee Richards
The author assures the reader in his Introduction, that “This book is not a rant against modern technology.” Rather, it “ . . . renews emphasis on personal skills, special knowledge and the use of the senses . . . ” In this regard, his book is clearly of value to coastal cruisers and passagemakers alike, although the sections that describe techniques for “No-Tech” and “Low-Tech” navigation will primarily benefit the passagemaker.
The first section of this book is a fine, concise review of the navigation skills and accomplishments of earlier mariners: the Pacific Islanders; the Vikings; Pharaohs and Phoenicians; the Arabs, and finally, the Chinese. The Polynesian navigators’ ability to carry in their minds a chart of their world and the sailing instructions for passages among the many known islands is awe-inspiring. Their associated ability to track the motion of their vessel through this mental chart is equally impressive. For me, this planted a sort of subliminal message from the author that surely we modern navigators should be able to improve our dead reckoning through more attentive use of our senses.
Part two of this book, Practical No-Tech Navigation, teaches a variety of techniques for determining heading, estimating latitude, and for detecting the presence of land. As the author succinctly puts it, this section “ . . . is about what you can see and what is in your head.” The what’s-in-your-head bit is a recurring theme in this book.
The third section, Do-it-Yourself Lo-Tech Navigation, introduces a number of simple tools to greatly improve knowledge of heading and position (latitude and longitude) in combination with some “special” knowledge. In particular, the navigator needs to know the annual variation of the sun’s declination in order to determine latitude from a noon sight. They also need to know the equation of time (i.e., the systematic variation of local noon throughout the year) to determine longitude with a quartz watch set to Greenwich Mean Time. The author includes a little poem to help remember the maximum and minimum values for the equation of time. He also provides convenient tables for both parameters on his website, which can be downloaded and included in the navigator’s emergency kit.
This book is nicely illustrated and extensively annotated. It also includes a useful appendix of websites that range from Celestial Navigation to the History of Cartography. This book will be a good read for any mariners who enjoy the art and science of navigation.
Guenevere’s West Coast Adventure: San Francisco to Cabo San Lucas, on DVD, by Greg and Jill Delezynski (CustomFlix,2006; 84 minutes; $29.95)
Guenevere’s First Summer in the Sea of Cortez: Cabo San Lucas to Isla Coronados, on DVD, by Greg and Jill Delezynski (CustomFlix, 2006; 88 minutes; $29.95.)
65 Days Alone at Sea, by Bernie Harberts (RiverEarth Publishing, 2006; 72 minutes; $14.95)
Review by Karen Larson
What’s new? DVDs of sailors’ cruises seem to be the latest thing showing up in the Good Old Boat office. There’s a trend here. More people are publishing their own books (books-on-demand technology). More people are producing their own radio shows (podcasts). More people are publishing their own opinions (blogs). More people are distributing their own music and audiobooks, such as the Good Old Boat audiobooks (using MP3). And more people are creating and releasing their own movies (on DVDs).
In the last month we’ve received DVDs from a couple cruising the West Coast from San Francisco to the Sea of Cortez, and a solo sailor who crossed the Atlantic from South Africa to the Virgin Islands. We’re aware of more on the way. This is just the beginning.
Heading south on the West Coast
While they were preparing for a retirement spent chasing the distant horizon, Greg and Jill Delezynski and their Nor’Sea 27 were featured in the November 2002 issue of Good Old Boat. Greg also wrote and published four or five articles about the projects he completed on Guenevere, the Nor’Sea 27. Then one day they stopped talking and writing about it and started living it. They untied the docklines and went south to Cabo San Lucas at the tip of the Baja Peninsula and north into the Sea of Cortez.
Just because they weren’t sending articles our way, however, didn’t mean they weren’t busy out there. Greg had discovered the exciting potential of video recorders and decided to take the rest of us (family, friends, and fellow cruisers) along with them as these two lived their dream. Now they have published the first two of what is likely to become a full set of DVDs on our shelf: part video adventure, part cruising guide, and part commentary about the cruising life.
The titles of the DVDs tell you the content: Guenevere’s West Coast Adventure and Guenevere’s First Summer in the Sea of Cortez. The first covers nautical miles 0 to 1,559, ending, as you’d expect, at the bottom of the Baja Peninsula. The second covers miles 1,559 to 2,198, and covers their explorations of the Sea of Cortez, and there’s much left to be seen. Further videos will be forthcoming. Count on it.
If you have ever wanted to know what the trip down the West Coast is like, Greg and Jill fill you in on the details in a most pleasant and professional way. We were so impressed with the quality of these first two productions that we’ve asked Greg to write another article for Good Old Boat: one telling the rest of us how to make DVDs of our own cruising experiences.
Meanwhile, in the Atlantic Ocean . . .
Bernie Harberts’ DVD is a variation on this theme. In 65 Days Alone at Sea he shows us what it’s like to sail more than 6,000 miles in the South Atlantic as a solo sailor. On this two-month voyage he climbs the mast and shoots the boat while barreling along in the trade winds. He jumps into the dinghy and shoots photos of Sea Bird, his 1984 Colvin cutter, while it’s becalmed. He films from the end of the bowsprit. He tells about fishing and drying his catch. He celebrates crossing the Greenwich Meridian. He manages to include himself in many of the scenes, a trick in itself for a solo sailor, since the camera is not stationary during these sequences.
Bernie is an imaginative adventurer who completed a circumnavigation on Sea Bird when, in 2003, he fetched up in Oriental, North Carolina at the end of the voyage depicted in this DVD. Prior to the circumnavigation he spent a year walking across the continental U.S. with a mule and a pony, and is currently planning a similar expedition (from Mexico to Canada) with a mule team and wagon. (Something about swallowing the anchor, perhaps?)
Like so many self-published books, Bernie’s presentation is obviously homemade. He is not a videographer or skilled narrator. But if you’re wondering what it’s like out there, you’re invited along on the voyage with this self-styled madman who travels the world in search of adventure.
I have always believed that everyone has a story to tell . . . everyone has a book hidden deep inside him (or her) somewhere. With today’s easier and more affordable video technology and the relative ease of distribution, allow me to revise that thought: everyone has a movie hidden inside instead.
In a Class by Herself: The Yawl Bolero and the Passion for Craftsmanship, by John Rousmaniere (Mystic Seaport, 2006; 168 pages; $50.00)
Review by Don Chambers
The sailing vessel Bolero is the centerpiece of this gorgeous book and she deserves such an honor. Though other boats with great records melted into the ooze of some obscure boatyard, the sheer beauty of Bolero under sail kept her from that ugly fate. Again and again she was resurrected from neglect, decay, and general decrepitude by those who still saw her beauty, even in her worst moments.
Much history is woven within and around the story of Bolero’s birth, greatness, decline and resurrection — histories of the designers who conceived her and of the owners whose cash made it all possible, histories of famous boatyards and craftsmen. Some are people whose names GOB readers might recognize: Cornelius Shields, Ted Turner, Henry S. Morgan (of Morgan Stanley), to name a few.
This is a story of the rich and famous, those who sailed very large and very expensive boats. One story tells of a race where a crewmember of a rival boat spotted a trail of artichoke leaves and instantly knew it could only have been left by Bolero, whose famous galley cook was preparing dinner.
But wealthy owners aren’t the only heroes here. There are the “back stories” of designers Olin and Rod Stephens, of the famous Henry Nevis Boatyard, and the craftsmen who were crucial in building Bolero. And because the world of big wooden sailing boats was (is) such a small one, most of America’s hero-designers walk in and out of this book: Bruce Kirby, John Alden, Nathanael and Halsey Herreshoff, etc.
Rousmaniere is excellent when describing the exciting races between Bolero and Baruna, another Sparkman and Stephen’s boat of similar dimensions, often long ocean races — Newport to Annapolis, the Bermuda races, etc. The virtue of these stories is the crewmembers on-board recollections of the fast and furious action and the sheer size and power of these boats. One crewmember remembers “ . . . Bolero’s bronze winch literally exploded under the strain and bronze pieces flew everywhere . . . anything that flopped on Bolero could kill you on impact . . . the only thing on Bolero I could lift without a winch was a sandwich . . .”
There are interesting capsule histories of the Sparkman and Stephens naval architecture firm and the Henry Nevins Boat Yard, both of whom catered to the building/rebuilding of large sailing vessels. I admire the Rod Stephens quote: “ . . . the best work is done by people who are fanatical and fanatics are not known for their flexibility.” And, of course, that is what creates the conflicts and thus the stories herein.
John Nicholas Brown commissioned Bolero's construction, but it was his wife, Anne Seddon Kinsolving, who influenced the design of Bolero in crucial ways and “made John Nicholas Brown a sailor,” according to Rousmaniere. After a succession of owners, Bolero disappeared until Ed Kane found her — deserted, dismantled, and derelict, up a muddy creek in Florida.
Kane and his wife, Marty Wallace, restored Bolero to full glory once again, with Marty taking the lead. Kane himself says his biggest joy was to get syndicates together and watch the intrigue of interacting personalities, while “Marty is the builder and the artist . . . . She loves tearing things apart and rebuilding them . . . I’m not a project person.”
They rebuilt Bolero to race with a smaller crew, adding power winches and roller furling, much against the objections of traditionalists. The grand old lady did race again. In the 2004 season she took six firsts and four seconds.
All in all, John Rousmaniere’s book is an interesting read and thoroughly gorgeous to look at. If you’re looking for books on knock-em-dead-handsome old boats with downright beautiful pictures, you’ll like this one.
Bill Tripp memoir inspires questions
My copy of the November 2006 issue arrived today, and the usual pleasure at seeing it was multiplied when I saw that you had a profile on Bill Tripp, the elder. Thank you, thank you.
Next year will be my 40th season sailing Baker’s Dozen, my Seafarer Polaris, hull #13. (It will be her 47th season.) Before I began sailing Baker’s Dozen, I used to watch a stunning Mercer 44 sail past the dock where I had a summer job. In all these years, I’ve been unable to acquire much information about Bill Tripp, so your article was a big thrill.
Ted Jones answered several questions but others remain. Why were so many fiberglass boats built in the Netherlands in the early days? The article mentions the Lentsch and LeComte yards, and my Polaris was built by Werf Gusto in Schiedam.
And where are Bill Tripp’s drawings? I wrote to his son a few times, years ago, and never had a reply. Other famous naval architects’ drawings have usually made their way to Mystic Seaport or a university collection. I did get copies of some construction drawings from the Dutch builder a few years ago.
Ted also mentions the ballast miscalculation for the Javelin. I wonder if Bill Tripp had a faulty slide rule? My Polaris also carries extra ballast inside. Some have speculated that it is to compensate for the weight of an inboard engine (mine has an outboard), but now I wonder.
One thing can be said: Bill Tripp could design a very handsome vessel. My old Baker’s Dozen — with her varnished mahogany coamings and hatches and her wooden spars — draws lots of admiring comments. I’ve never forgotten that Mercer 44 and always figured that if I won the lottery, I’d move up to a Bermuda 40.
Perhaps you could persuade Ted to share some more recollections of Bill Tripp and Brian Acworth (Seafarer’s founder) and some of the other notable people he sailed and did business with. I enjoyed his stories about the boats and people of the time.
Ted Jones responds
You will be pleased to know that at least some of Bill Tripp’s plans still exist. They are in the process of being cataloged by the son’s former office manager, Janet Young, who was very helpful in supplying photographs for the story.
As to the ballast question, I don’t think we will ever know what went wrong with the Javelins, but you must remember that the CCA Rule, which was in force at the time your boat was built, severely penalized a ballast/displacement ratio of greater than 25 percent. Tripp designs of the 1960s were meant to be reefed early to keep them on their sailing lines, but most people tend to delay reefing longer than they should, hence the boats appear to be tender and require more ballast. Generally, I think it is a mistake to add ballast, as it invariably alters the trim of the boat.
Many boats were built in the Netherlands in the 1960s because the yards there had an excellent reputation for quality construction and the boats were significantly less expensive than those built in the U.S. at that time.
I’m pleased you liked the story. I enjoyed writing my recollections of working with Bill Tripp, from whom I learned many things about sailing-yacht design and construction, as well as sailboat racing.
First, let me say how tickled I was to read the article on Bill Tripp, Sr. We have a 1970 North East 38, which pleases us greatly. She sails wonderfully. Even with her 26-foot LWL, she keeps up with modern 38-footers (as long as we’re not talking about raceboats!). Dolf LeComte built a finely finished boat. Your article doesn’t mention it, but apparently Dolf and Bill had a falling out, with the result that the later iterations of the NE 38 were sold as a LeComte design; Dolf tweaked the transom shape and changed the keel-hung rudder shape once (Mk II) and then changed it to a spade rudder (Mk III). Our Quetzal is a Mk III and has the spade rudder, middle length mast, and the lowest of the PHRFs for the three models.
We LeComte enthusiasts have a website that features the Medalist and the NE 38: http://www.lecomteowners.com/ and I posted a notice of your article. I just got an email from Phillipe Desbarbieux who owns a NE 38 in Marseilles, France, and has a website about his boat, Verena; a link to it can be found on http://www.lecomteowners.com/.
Rope mats for Christmas
Your magazine is read as quickly as it is received in our home! The most recent issue (November 2006) included an article by Gregg Nestor about rope mats. Following his instructions, I fashioned two of the mats: the Ocean Plat and the Ladder-Step. The instructions were easy to follow and, after reading the article, it seemed to be something I would be able to do. It took me seven tries to get the Ocean Plat mat started right, but I was able to correctly weave the Ladder-Step on the first try!
I would like to make some of these mats to give as Christmas gifts and wondered if Gregg had any suggestions for making the mats a bit larger, for a table placemat or a rug for the front door. I’m not terribly impressed with the coiled mat (although my husband thinks it would be great for the cabin in our boat!) I think the knotted mats are much more interesting. I made the two mats just using old pieces of line that were in the bed of my husband’s pickup. One was a new braided line about 1/4-inch in diameter and about 20 feet long. It became the Ocean Plat. The other was an old three-stranded line about 1/4-inch in diameter and 18 feet long. This became the Ladder-Step. The Ocean Plat, while shiny and pretty good looking (even if I say so myself!), was somewhat limp and floppy. It formed a rectangle about 12 x 8 inches with many more turns than Gregg suggested. I just kept weaving until I ran out of line! The Ladder-Step ended up as a rectangle about 11-1/2 x 7 inches and had 4 to 5 turns throughout.
All that is to say 1) the article was great and I enjoyed reading it, 2) I’m interested in making more of these mats, 3) I’d like some suggestions to make the mats larger without adding the Flemish Coil, and 4) Does Gregg have any additional suggestions for sewing the knotted mats (size of thread, size of needle, etc.)?
After seeing the mats I wove, my husband is ready to invest in additional line and a sailor’s sewing kit! I need to tell him what to purchase. He was really impressed with the finished products.
Thanks for a great magazine! We have a good old (new) boat. We bought a Catalina 36 Mk II last year. It’s a 2005 model, but I understand there have been only a few changes through the years.
Gregg Nestor responds
While both the Ladder-Step mat and the Ocean Plat look similar when finished, the Ladder-Step is initially set up to yield a longer, more narrow mat. The Ocean Plat is shorter and wider. Two things will affect the ultimate size of the mats: the diameter of the rope and the number of passes. The smaller the rope, the smaller the mat. The same holds true for the number of passes.
If you’re interested in making placemats, consider the Ladder-Step pattern. Use line the diameter of clothesline, and make about seven or eight passes. For a doormat, the Ocean Plat would be my pattern of choice. Select heavy, 1-inch or greater diameter hemp or hemp-like line. Six or so passes should do the trick.
While you may not like the Flemish Coil as it was shown in the magazine, two or three coils around either one of these decorative knots really adds a finishing touch. It also gives you a larger end product.
The knots don’t usually require much, if any, sewing. It all depends upon the size and type of line used as well as what the mat will be used for.To sew smaller projects, polyester sail thread works well. For something like a heavy-duty doormat, waxed “small stuff” might be a better choice. The mat we use in the cockpit was stitched with dental floss. I found that a curved sail needle, properly sized, works well.
Hope this helps.
LEDs and seasickness
I’m enjoying the November issue of GOB. There are a couple of things I wanted to bring to your attention.
In the article by Bill Kenney on LED panels, he mentions that LEDs are available in diffused or clear styles and that which style is used is just one of personal preference. True, but I think that diffuse is definitely the preference for a panel like Bill’s. One should be able to read a panel from as large an area as possible. A clear LED is best seen from directly in front, while a diffuse one will be visible from a wide angle. So, if one is looking in from the hatch or from forward of the mast, a diffuse LED will be more easily readable, while the clear will be harder to see. Preference, yes, but I think the point should be brought up as a basis for selection.
On Lin Pardey’s article on seasickness, far be it for me to argue with a woman who sailed farther on her honeymoon than I have my entire life . . . but I’ve suffered from carsickness, seasickness, and airsickness all my life. (I’d like to try space sickness, but what chance at 57?) Lin skirts the most important cause of motion sickness: not being able to see a fixed reference point. That’s why being in the bilge, or the forepeak, or the back seat of the car will throw some people (or cause people to throw). One is much better off if one can see the horizon. Motion sickness comes about when the inner ear and the eyes are in conflict, and being out on deck and able to see helps tremendously.
I really enjoyed the article on chainplate replacement and Theresa Fort’s reminiscence. Have a great winter (if there is such a thing for a sailor above 40 degrees north).
About that anchor windlass
I installed a new electric windlass this year, using the instructions that came with it. It’s installed nearly as John Danicic’s great article in the November 2006 issue advises. But he says that the reversing solenoid needs to be close to the windlass. I have a new Italian, Quick Crystal 600 vertical windlass on my 26-foot Paceship with the solenoid, circuit breaker, and up/down toggle switch all within 3 feet of my batteries. I always start my motor before raising my anchor and had no problem pulling up my 14-pound Bruce when it was once caught in a rock and the nose of my boat went down a few inches before it released.
Could John discuss how to stop the rode, when it comes aboard in the locker, from piling up like a mountain and jamming the gipsy? Because of this big problem I’m switching from the three-strand, 1/2-inch nylon to 1/4-inch all-chain. Hope it lays flatter.
A word from the author
Your jamming problem could be the result of two things. Three-stranded rode has a tendency to kink after it is coiled and uncoiled a few times and/or you might not have enough space for the rode to fall freely.
The jamming of the rode in a windlass is usually a function of the depth of the chain locker. If the top of the rode pile gets too close to the hawser hole, the rode will start to back up within the windlass, causing it to jam. My suggestion is to see if there is any way to make the locker deeper, by removing the floor or by dividing your rode into two or more piles. The pile directly under the windlass should be the first 120 feet or so, with the balance of the rode piled up away from this more-frequently-used amount. This will require someone to guide the rode to these piles, at least initially, or whenever you retrieve your full rode.
If space is tight, worst case is you will need to go below and knock the pile over during retrieval or station a crew member below to do that. Another suggestion is, instead of going all-chain, you could get Brait 8-ply or a square braided anchor line that coils down in half the space of the same length of three-strand and doesn’t kink up. Yale Ropes makes Brait, which is a very flexible rope that lays flat when coiled. It is fairly easy to splice and stays soft even after hard use. Here’s a link to their website: http://www.yalecordage.com.
I went the Brait route and really like it. No kinking, easy to splice, and it takes up a lot less space than the three-strand. It’s just as strong and stretchy and also lighter and cheaper than all-chain. It really makes a good rode that the windlass can stow dependably.
Neat idea (stowaway rubrail in the November 2006 issue). Has Fred Siesseger considered using 3/8-inch line instead of the dowel, rod, etc., in the center and support with the lifeline cushion? The use of 3/8-inch line in the center should give the protection and be easier to stow.
C. Henry Depew
Admiralty hitch continued
Your article on the admiralty hitch was well done (May 2006). I offer a modification I have used for years when planning to hang the coil on a peg or hook: after forming the coil, double the standing end back on itself, forming a bight. Use the middle of the bight as the end of the line in your pictures.
This results in a loop attached to the coil with which to hang the coil. Untying the knot eliminates the loop. Millers use the same type knot to tie the top of a sack of corn or meal, which is why the knot is also called a miller’s knot.
Five small boats
(After noticing Ted Brewer’s choices of four small bluewater cruisers in the comparison article that accompanied the Allegra 24 feature boat article in November 2006, Robert Reyes decided to add a fifth.)
I would like to add for your consideration a fifth small cruiser, a Nimble 26 Voyager. In January of this year I purchased Ripple. She is hull #1 and the only one built by Nimble Boats. I thought perhaps she had been designed by Ted Brewer, but his office advised that he was not the naval architect. My research thus far has determined that Jerry Koch purchased the molds from Voyager Marine and built hull #1 for the Florida boat shows, where she was exhibited in 1990. The detail, quality, and relatively cramped accommodations priced her out of the marketplace, and there was insufficient consumer interest when compared with the larger vessels that could be purchased for the same price.
To say I am happy is to state the obvious. When I see her, board her, sail her, or sit in her cockpit, I become a completely different person. Only the dolphins swimming alongside can coax more of a smile from me. With the dream that I am closer to sailing the Caribbean than I have ever been before, I count the days until I can throw off the lines and live the life of a voyager.
Robert tells us that his photos of Ripple are aboard (and she lives in Treasure Island, Florida). But we’d like to run a photo later, when he’s had a chance to go sailing and return home to New York with photos.
Ericson 23 was overlooked
You have really hit the bullseye with the September 2006 issue. It is a treat to find any particular one in my mailbox and to know I have several hours of good reading to anticipate, but this issue is just outstanding. The cover should have given me a clue — what a gorgeous shot, one of those moments all sailors have experienced, often saying to themselves, “Gee! I wish I had my camera for this!” Most of your covers are quite good, but this one is truly a classic.
The articles are up to your usual high standards — a good mix of reviews, how-to-do-its, philosophical musings, excellent photography, etc. For me, the reviews hit just the right mix: boats of different sizes, ages, and purposes, and each of them an interesting story in itself. Especially interesting was the article on the Paceship PY23. You often do reviews of boats of this approximate size, and I very much enjoy reading them and comparing your impressions with how I would rate my own boat.
This 21- to 24-foot trailersailer size is a significant plateau in sailboat design (though most of them are more “trailerable sailboats” than “trailersailers” in my view). For a great many people, these boats represented their first “overnighter.” They had owned smaller open daysailers and wanted to try something a little bigger, more solid, with bunking-aboard capability.
I had purchased the Renken 18 from a church to which it had been donated. When we first sailed, it felt so solid, with a whopping 200 or so pounds of metal ballast in its shoal keel. It seemed to cut right through wakes and chop. It’s all in what you are used to, I suppose. It was certainly not roomy below but afforded adequate sleeping room if you weren’t claustrophobic. Looking back, it was more a trailersailer — able to be launched, sailed, and recovered in an afternoon by one guy with a minimum of colorful language necessary to the process — but to take it on even a weekend cruise would require the crew to be very good friends or very much in love.
Speaking of love brings me to the second point of this letter, which is to encourage you to do a review of the Ericson 23. It sits right on that plateau I mentioned. In fact, I’d say it stands a head, maybe even head and shoulders, above the others. You included the Ericson 25 as being of the same general ilk as the Paceship PY23. I would take mild issue with that assessment. The Ericson 25 is a much bigger boat, much more of a production to rig, launch, and tow. True, with the centerboard setup, it is a true trailerable, but you only want to launch it once a year (if that).
I’d compare it with the O’Day 25, but not the PY23. However, you weren’t far off — the Ericson 23 is indeed a fair match with the 22s and 23s listed. The Ericson 23 is a true “sleeper” (you proved that by leaving it out!) in that not too many folks are even aware of that model’s existence. From what I’ve determined, about 140 of the MK I (’68 to ’71) and 270 of the MK II (’75 to ’78) boats were made. All the MK I’s, and a few of the MK II’s were fixed keelboats. But Ericson wanted to compete in the expanding trailersailer market of the early ’70s, so most of the MK II boats had centerboards and short shoal keels similar to the PY23.
To say these are true trailersailers is really stretching the definition — I suppose you COULD do an afternoon launch and recovery if you had several beefy sons, but the boat is relatively heavy for a 23 (3300# dry) and the mast is a beastly piece of aluminum whose section is the same as that used on the Ericson 25 and Ericson 27. It can be raised by two people (I routinely do that with mine, and one of our association members drops and raises his every time out, to clear a bridge). But normally, when you get the mast up you breathe a long sigh and thank the gods it will be awhile before you need to take it down.
However, once the boat is rigged and launched, all sins are forgiven. It is drop-dead beautiful on the water. A number of people have told me I have the prettiest boat on the lake. I decided I had to have one the first time I saw one. In fact, I tried to buy that one, but the owner didn’t want to sell. The low cabintop flows effortlessly to the bow and at certain angles the sheer breaks your heart.
True, when you go below, you understand why the Vikings wore those metal hats. In fact, I have a theory that the horns we sometimes see on those hats were just an early form of those old “curb feelers” they used to add to car fenders in the ’50s.
The boats are sweet sailers, indeed. Mine has a steady, light “two-finger helm” when balanced. I happily give up some headroom below for the great visibility from the cockpit — an easy, unobstructed 360 without having to get up on the rails.
The boat is easy to singlehand when out for a casual sail — a short bungee to the mid-cockpit traveler is my autotiller if I need to go forward. I have single-handed mine in races numerous times, almost always against boats with multiple crew members. If the wind is up, things can get a little busy but never yet to the point of incipient panic. I bought the boat to sail casually but also to have something to race . . . something with enough tweaks that it would take me awhile to master the settings. (Do you ever really master anything on a sailboat?)
She has been patient and forgiving, even when pushed way past reasonable limits. I used to think she was slow in light air. Gradually, I learned that it was I who was slow in light air and the Ericson would do fine if the crew and I just applied some light-air techniques.
In fact, now I look forward to light-air-racing days; last fall we won a short (2-mile) marina race (20 other boats) by more than 6 minutes over the second-place boat. This spring, in the longer version (5-mile+) of the same race, in much heavier air, we had to take a 5-minute handicap penalty (for having been a previous winner). The top six finishers were a Tartan 3000, a C&C 30, my Ericson 23, a Precision 28, a Pearson 31, and a Hunter 33. Results have been similar in the 50 or so races we have done in the past four years. Since I am still low on the learning curve, our success for the most part has to be due mostly to the good performance qualities of the boat.
She rates 234 phrf (with roller up front) and is almost always in the top three in class, having won the club class championship in ’04. We go against some pretty decent boats (Beneteau 29, O’Day 25, Cat 25, O’Day 27, Columbia 29, S-2 30) and can generally hold our own. What I am saying is, in that group of 21- to 24-footers, the Beneteau 235 is the only similar boat that can show us her heels most of the time. The Ranger 23 is the only boat of similar age and size that I consider our equal, and we have the advantage of being trailerable and able to sail shoal waters.
So, I respectfully submit that you consider the Ericson 23 for a future review. Our association represents a number of these boats across the country and I have lots of photos in my archives. Thanks again for that beautiful September issue — you have every reason to be proud of it.
Bob, you’ve convinced us! The Ericson 23 will be added to our list (but it’s a long, long list — patience is required here).
What is it worth
Jim Graves asks, “So, what’s it worth?” (in the October 2006 newsletter) and has a good point about authors including at least some ballpark cost figures. However, I must stress that the biggest “cost” in any upgrade project is the will and tenacity needed to keep at it and complete the project. Even if it is broken into relatively small annual stages, it is, unfortunately, extremely common for owners to get tired of it and never complete stages.
I find that having spent two years on a rebuild, the final finishing touches are difficult to complete. I have had to drive myself every step of the way over the last couple of months.
As for costs, it depends hugely on what you intend to upgrade, but I seriously doubt anyone will even attempt to put a monetary figure on their labor content of even a small project.
As a general guide, I’ve found that the material costs for a full rebuild totals around 60 to 70 percent of the original purchase price for the boat.However, for that amount of money you are getting a boat that will be good for at least another 30 years.
• If you are not replacing the sails and/or standing rigging, deduct accordingly.
• If you are not replacing every fastener in the boat, deduct $400 (or $200 if you are just replacing structural fasteners).
• If you are not replacing all the electrical wiring, deduct $700.00 etc., etc., etc.
Jim and I have enclosed our payment for another subscription to your wonderful magazine. Once again we’re looking forward to reading and participating in your endeavor. It’s been fun to watch you grow and share with you and other good old boaters.
This year, thanks to your magazine, we sold our 1973 Cape Dory for a fair price. We listed our ad in your magazine’s November 2005 issue, which featured our Cape Dory 25! Needless to say, we received numerous inquiries (that’s not counting the scam mail!) regarding our boat. We sold her to a happy buyer who sailed her this summer to her new home in New Jersey.
It was an emotional moment for us to see her sail out of our river for the last time. We saved her from destruction in 1993 on a snowy winter day. Her top hatch was missing, frozen water was in the cabin above the floorboards, and most of her hardware was missing. Seeing her in that condition, it was hard to imagine the classic beauty she would become. That spring, after all of our hard work, she was ready to sail!
Thanks for being there for us. Have a good winter, warmed by sailing memories.
Pauline and Jim Hazard
Just when I thought the Houston weather was most foul and all from the northwest, the postal authorities bring fair winds. Your November 2006 issue came today and I have finished it . . . the first reading. The Mongol hordes must wait at the door, as I have begun my second reading.
Another incredibly good product. “Temporary diesel tank” — just when I have been looking into the matter. Allegra 24? I never knew it differed so much from the Flicka. Nice to have Ted Brewer to conduct his comparison reviews! Anchor windlass? Electrical panel? Goodness! No wonder my copies of Good Old Boat are always so worn. You deserve a longer sailing season.
We deserve a longer sailing season? Jerry, that was the highest praise we have ever received. Our sincerest thanks!
Good old boats require interaction
Your magazine seems to be on my wavelength . . . What happens to the thousands of boats sold new? In the end, it is still people who own them. It’s my guess that the second owners interact with them more than the first, because it is a hands-on thing, rather than just a “bought” thing. At first, a sailboat is pretty and shiny and needs nothing but your presence. But after that it needs much, just to keep it going. It is that interaction that really bonds you to something.
Basil Poledouris, 1945-2006
I read in the Chicago Tribune today that Basil Poledouris passed away November 8 in Los Angeles at the age of 61. He composed the score for the movie Wind. He was also a sailor, and it showed in the music. I wish I could have contacted him to suggest that the Wind score be re-edited into a suite for orchestra. It would have been great.
Tan Bark Sails
I want a boat with tan bark sails
To sail the ocean blue
And a bowsprit stout
And a good long keel
To keep her straight and true
And down below a cabin snug
With stove to cut the chill
Of mornings up in Nootka Sound
When everything is still.
I want a boat with tan bark sails
An old gaff rig would do.
A boat like me, not young, but strong
With rigging tried and true.
A boat that loves the swoop and swerve
Of ocean swells out there
Beyond the continental shelf
Beyond the tides of care
Out there is where I want to be
On a boat with tan bark sails
With frigate birds for company
And pods of passing whales.
I’d watch her bow cut through the waves
As she danced along her way
And climb her mast to watch the stars
Before the break of day.
Singer, songwriter, balladeer . . . British Columbia’s Andy Vine has a way with music. We reviewed his newest CD, Making Waves, in our December 2005 newsletter. Not long ago he sent a poem we felt compelled to share. For more, visit his website at http://www.andyvine.com.
How to contact us
Good Old Boat Magazine
7340 Niagara Lane North
Maple Grove, MN 55311-2655
763-420-8923; 763-420-8921 (fax)
Michael Facius, Editor
Jerry Powlas, Technical Editor
Mary Endres, Design