|NEWSLETTER -- February 2005|
(Baby, it's cold outside)
It’s too cold to sail (“up nawth” anyway, as at least one southern friend points out frequently…perhaps a bit too frequently). So in the meantime we’ve been busily working on improving the Good Old Boat website. It’s been way too long since we updated our baby pictures on the site. So we did that. Have a look at http://www.goodoldboat.com/photos.html for this season’s collection of photos received from friends across the country and around the world.
Nautical books, any way you want them
We’ve taken our Good Old Bookshelf to the next level of user-friendliness. That’s the really big change to our site. Around Christmastime, one of our subscribers told us that the bookshelf wasn’t “browse-able;” he couldn’t find something he was looking for so he went to Amazon instead. Horrors! So, you want browse-ability, do you? (We did too actually, and that comment inspired us to take action! A drumroll, please…)
These days you can search our list by author, title, or keywords (and we really spiffed up how the keywords will work for you). That’s the first improvement.
Or you can browse by subject. That’s the second addition.
Or you can browse titles alphabetically. That’s the third addition. With nearly 3,000 books in the collection, that might take you awhile.
And finally, you can run through a list of books recommended by nautical publishers. We asked several publishers to respond to the most frequent book questions we get here in the Good Old Boat headquarters. The questions we hear often are like: “What books would you recommend for those who are preparing for the cruising lifestyle?” or “What books would you recommend for those who are going to take on a major boat refit?” or “What books would you recommend for those who are buying a boat?” So now we have little collections recommended by Paradise Cay, Sheridan House and Seaworthy Publications. International Marine’s recommendations will be added later.
What’s more, we also have a couple of smaller collections for a quick review: Good Old Boat bestsellers, Jerry’s favorites (he’s our technical guy, and he has high standards), along with collections of videos, audios, and children’s books.
You can read all our book reviews too.
There now . . . no more heading off to Amazon. We’re still panting a bit from the exertion, but we think we covered all the bases.
One more thing we’re up to right now while the snow’s on the ground…we’re looking for more subscribers. Hard as it is to believe, there are sailors out there who have never heard of this magazine. They call or write to subscribe expressing dismay that they were unfamiliar with Good Old Boat. If you know a good old boater-type sailor who has not yet subscribed, get him or her to subscribe before the end of June, and we’ll send you one of our fleece jackets or vests for free. Details of this offer (which is just for current subscribers) will be included with your March and May 2005 issues. See the cover wraps of these two issues for more information.
What's coming in March
For the love of sailboats
• C&C 33 MK I
• Tayana 37
• American 23
• Marshall Sanderling refit
• Profile of Charley Morgan
• Removing a teak deck (argh!)
• Brewer on sail plans
• Casey on adding a deck-wash system
• Heat-shrink hose clamp test
• Chart Plotters 101
Just for fun
• Creating an onboard recliner
• Pitfalls in paradise
• Solar cooking
• Shore birds photo spread
• Reflections: Anticipating the season
• Simple solutions: Quieting the iron beast; Advantages of the toggle hitch; Opening up the stern pulpit
• Quick and easy: Hatch screen; Creating a shower
In the news
Coast Guard seeks amateur radio operators
To an individual involved in amateur radio (ham radio), the letters CQ sent via voice or Morse code is a request by the sender to talk to anyone listening on the frequency. Simply, the sending party is looking for a pleasant conversation. Right now the USCG Auxiliary is calling. They’re looking for a dialogue with those who are or want to become ham radio operators. For more information, go to: http://www.auxguidanceskills.info/press/helpwanted/helpwanted-ham.html, email Wayne Spivak WSpivak at sbanetweb dot com, or call 516-353-9155.
Other CG Auxiliary volunteers important also
While they’re at it, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary notes that the U.S. is a nation of volunteers. For those who would like to stay active when retired, the auxiliary may be the answer. For more on the many volunteer jobs available, go to: http://www.auxguidanceskills.info/press/helpwanted/helpwanted-retired.html, email Wayne Spivak WSpivak at sbanetweb dot com, or call 516-353-9155.
Tartan 34C organization grows, publishes yearbook
The Tartan 34 Classics Association, comprised of owners of the Sparkman & Stephens-designed Tartan 34C, has announced that this popular centerboard boat has been recognized as a one-design class by U.S. Sailing. Members of the association, which is now 70 members strong, competed for the first time in the Good Old Boat Regatta in October 2004 and are sponsoring an S&S Rally in June 2005. For more about the rally, call 315-778-6714.
The association has also published a yearbook about Tartan 34Cs. To get a copy, contact the association through the website http://www.tartanowners.org, email club commodore George Colligan colligan at northnet dot org, or call 315-376-0132.
Watch a boat being built
Silva Bay Shipyard School student Rick Corless has created a website at http://www.rickcorless.com documenting the creation of a 15-foot Lapstrake Gartside sailboat. Rick and his teammates started construction of the boat with lofting in October 2004 and plan to complete her during the 24-week course, with launching in mid-April 2005. For more on British Columbia’s Silva Bay Shipyard School, visit the school’s homepage at http://www.boatschool.com.
Speedseal offers total impeller fix
Speedseal (featured in our March 2004 issue) already offered Easy Slider pump covers to simplify the difficult part of changing an impeller. By using hand screws and a captive O-ring seal, these covers produce a proper engineering seal without using tools or fragile paper gaskets.
Now the folks at Speedseal have added to their kit a free impeller removal tool and tubes of High Slip Silicon Coating. When applied to both the impeller drive shaft and the impeller at the time of installation, this coating is the vital key to making the impeller slide out sweetly. The toughened plastic removal tool can be used in a confined space and will not damage the soft metal of the pump flange. Kits also include a safety card which lists the steps to make the job easy in an emergency.
The set — which includes the removal tool, three tubes of High Slip, and the safety card — can be bought separately for $10 plus shipping and handling.
To order or for more information, call 800-675-1105 before 1 p.m. Eastern Time, email Safety at speedseal dot com, or visit their website http://www.speedseal.com.
The Tartan 34 Classics Association and the Sparkman & Stephens Association will be sponsoring an S&S Rally June 3-6 at The Anchorage Marina in Baltimore, Md. Interested owners of S&S-designed boats can call 315-778-6714 for details.
The Columbia Yacht Owners’ Association West Coast is planning a West Coast rendezvous at the Newport Harbor Nautical Museum May 7. For more information, contact Doug Ward at 714-624-9044 or dougward2 at socal dot rr dot com.
That time of year
It’s that time of year again. The tourists are back in the big cities with memories of a wonderful summer in a wonderful beach town. The hotels and vacation homes are mostly deserted. The gift shops have posted their winter hours. The marinas are dead, and family boats are in the garage for the winter. It’s the time of year when a local can go eat at the local marina restaurant for lunch and know everyone in there. It’s the time of year when you can go to the boatyard for coffee and have the whole place to yourselves. This time of year the weather isn’t meant for beach days or riding with the sunroof open. This time of year all the locals are waiting anxiously for the first warm snap before the tourists arrive. I long for the smell of suntan lotion and for sand in my flip-flops. I know I can’t wait for warm weather and a caressing breeze. The turquoise water and pristine beaches are anxious to have footprints and sandcastles. It will be so nice to be able to take a picnic and cooler down to the beach and fly a kite or do some sand castle building in 90-degree summer heat.
Until warm weather arrives, my memories of the previous summers and good times will help keep me warm.
I drove to work in silence this morning surrounded by darkness and low gray clouds. Only a few days removed from the season’s first snow, I listened as the voice on the radio forecast rain throughout the day with snow moving in this evening. My initial concern was the drive home and whether the weather system would snarl the rush-hour drive as it had so many times before. But as I made my way into the city, passing by boatyards with only the mast-tops peeking out over the expressway, there was something else on my mind: when would my dreams return? It could be the weather or maybe I was just too tired, but my dreams were losing focus. In and out the scenes replayed but never with the same sharpness of color they had once known.
After pulling into my parking place with rain starting to fall, I sat for a moment to collect my thoughts for the day ahead. As I was staring blankly forward, a page from a discarded newspaper swirled past my window, and I was instantly captivated. Needing to get to work, I couldn’t tear my eyes from the sight. Up and down, around and round it went as if soaring on the winds like an albatross over the ocean.
And then it hit me: my dreams were blending into reality. No longer must I wait for moonrise to play out my fantasies. I was watching a newspaper, but all I could see was a sail on the ocean stretched in the wind and the sun warming my body.
The season ahead and the waiting for spring would no longer weigh on my mind. Empty snow covered, rolling cornfields would become the ocean with drifts acting the part of whitecaps breaking endlessly in the distance. Driving with the wipers on high to clear the snow from the windshield would be the same as wiping sea spray from my face, and sledding with my daughter riding the edge of a snow bank would be sailing with the rail touching blue water.
I stepped from my car, umbrella in hand and quickly made my way into the city. I turned around once to look again at the piece of paper, but it was long gone. Maybe it’s sailing its way across the city and will cross your path on the way home.
I sincerely hope so.
I am looking at a 1968 Miller 28. I’d be interested in any information out there. This boat looks sound, but some feedback from people who’ve sailed Miller 28s would be helpful. It appears that the Miller Marine Corporation made mostly custom boats at their facility on Bainbridge Island during the late ’60s to the mid ’80s, and the 28 is one of a run of boats made with one-design racers in mind. Apparently they did not catch on in a big way.
twohobans at aol dot com
Some good news
Thank you so much for your help. After a few pointers from your readers and a lucky misstep on the Internet (along with an article on Pearson from Good Old Boat!), we are led to believe that what we have is a Sailstar/Bristol 26 from right about the time Pearson acquired Sailstar. Now the work begins. Thanks to all your readers and happy sailing, if you are where you can still sail!
Greg’s mystery boat was shown in the October 2004 newsletter. It’s great when mysteries such as this can be solved.
Old sloop with memories
I was wondering if you could assist me in finding out the builder of an old wooden sloop that I crewed on in the mid ’60s. It was on that boat that I learned to sail but being new, I never learned about the manufacturer. Now that I’m older, wiser (sure…right), I pulled out the old 8x10 and looked at her with sails up. She was 45 feet long, and on her sail is a logo that looks like the St. Louis arch with an “S” between the lower base of the arch. A horizontal line connects both arch sides just up from the base and goes through the top part of the “S.” She was a wooden oldie, and I loved that ship. She was located in Buffalo and was sailed on Erie and Ontario. Her name was the Haiorke (pronounced Hi-Or-Key). I believe that was the spelling, but age dulls the memories.
t.kraft at cox dot net
Typos of the marine kind
Alfred Poor writes to us about a couple of goofs he’s seen (and one of them was ours — perhaps he’s available as a proofreader?) Here’s the first:
If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s when I can’t hear our dirty sails well enough. Fortunately, our marina apparently has a solution for this, as evidenced by the following announcement:
“Are Your Sails Clean?
“Have nice clean bellowing sails for spring 05 by contacting Bren and making sure they are ready for you when you are ready for them.”
He notes: I suspect that it was written by a winch, but I could be wrong…
Once we’d had that laugh, it was our turn:
I know you’re going to hear about this plenty, but I have a rather gruesome and vivid image of just how you can manage to get zebra muscle in a centerboard well (as discussed in the December 2004 newsletter). You’d think with those black and white stripes it would be easy to see and avoid hitting them as [the zebras] swim cross your course. I’ll try to get rid of the image by going to my favorite restaurant for some fettucine with mussel sauce.
Actually, I know that you put these things in to make sure that people are reading it, right?
We wish we were that clever, Alfred. Thanks for keeping us on our toes (even if you think we’re keeping you on yours!) Of course we know how to spell mussels! We just slipped a gear momentarily. Zebra muscles indeed! Sorry.
While we’re laughing . . .
Susan Peterson Gateley writes that it’s been a long winter in Upstate New York. She sends this photo, which pretty much says it all, with the following comment:
By the way, that’s leftover high-build epoxy (from Titania’s cast-iron keel and new steel rudder paint job) on the rebuilt plow blade.
In a recent correspondence with Tory Salvia, we learned that he’d experienced a fire aboard which was worth passing along to other sailors, but somehow his letter to us had never arrived. Here it is now since fire is always a timely subject:
I’d like to thank Simon Hill for his excellent article on fire protection in your July 2003 issue. It literally saved a boat. After Hurricane Isabel surged up the Chesapeake Bay, a friend could not start the single-cylinder diesel engine aboard his 28-foot Alerion sloop. After several battery cells tested dead, I suggested that we remove the old battery and take it along so he could purchase a replacement of the correct type and size.
We returned with a brand-new, fully charged, lead acid dual-use marine battery. While I chatted with another friend in the cockpit, the owner went below to install the new battery, a relatively straightforward task. After about a minute, I heard him yell from the cabin that the battery was sparking. This was quickly followed by a cry of “Flames!” and that the boat was about to catch fire.
The battery was indeed sparking and starting to flame. While attempting to tighten the wingnuts on the terminals, the owner had accidentally wedged his Leatherman-type tool between the positive and negative battery posts. I located the fire extinguisher. The owner said he had never used a fire extinguisher and didn’t know how to operate it. I had never used one either, but at that instant, the Good Old Boat fire protection article flashed through my mind. I had in my hand a dry chemical extinguisher. I pulled the plastic pin, aimed the nozzle close to the flaming battery, and squeezed the trigger. I used a series of short squeezes and worked the extinguisher from side to side. I was quickly enveloped in a choking cloud of white powder. I kept squeezing until the flames died then popped my head up into the cockpit for air. I ducked down once more only to see the flames reignite. I squeezed off more chemical, and the flames disappeared.
After catching my breath in the cockpit, I could only think of how much more difficult it would be to put a fire out aboard my larger boat after the cabin filled with chemical. Once the cloud dissipated, we could see that one end of the tool had become welded to one battery post and the other end had melted a hole in the top of the battery case, exposing the acid beneath. The accident had created a bomb ready to explode with a spark.
The marina management, when alerted, called the local fire department for assistance in removing the battery. I’m sorry to report that the responders were of little to no help. Luckily, the marina mechanic showed up. An old salt, he grabbed his respirator, rubber gloves, rubber-handled pliers, and two boxes of baking soda. He dumped the baking soda over the battery and used the pliers to yank out the battery post that had welded to the tool. He then emerged from the cabin with the battery and placed it in a dock cart. We could see the acid floating just below the hole in the top.
As Simon stated in his article, the chemical residue from the extinguisher made quite a mess. I went aboard my boat and retrieved my shop vac. That got most of the mess cleaned up. The owner then rubbed down much of the cabin with wet rags and detailed the engine with wet rags and sponge paintbrushes. This removed the chemical residue and the baking soda so the abrasive mix wouldn’t be sucked into the air intake.
Fire aboard is a scary proposition. I can now personally attest to that fact. But I was a lot more prepared thanks to Simon Hill’s article. It probably saved my friend’s boat and maybe some lives.
Weather information on the edge of civilization
I wonder if you can tell me what method most boaters use to receive weather reports when not near civilization. I live in Alaska, and anytime I leave the local bay I can lose VHF radio reception. My husband and I talked about a satellite phone but have heard that reception may be incomplete up here. Cell phones are not an option because of that. SSB seems like the next best thing. I am not a techno-junky and don’t really want to take a computer along. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
We love your magazine. Offering subscription extensions to boaters who suffered hurricane damage in Florida is impressive. I’ve never heard of a magazine doing that.
Gord May responds
Good Old Boat editors asked Gord May, who is an advanced student of weather if not an expert, to respond. Gord has a weather article scheduled in an upcoming issue of Good Old Boat.
Please understand that I am neither a weather nor a communications expert. You are correct in assuming that you will require a Single Side-Band receiver (better a transceiver) to get weather reports (beyond VHF range). Without a computer aboard, I would expect you’d have to rely on SSB voice re-broadcasts of weather reports and forecasts. There are numerous SSB radio nets around the world, but I am not personally familiar with any in your region. You might wish to contact: brendap at ptialaska dot net regarding the new Alaska-Pacific Emergency Preparedness Net.
If you became willing to include a computer in your arsenal, you could (with appropriate software) access official weather charts. In the U.S., synoptic weather charts originate at the National Weather Service’s Marine Prediction Center and are disseminated to the Coast Guard for transmission over marine single-sideband frequencies. The Coast Guard maintains transmitters at Marshfield, Mass., (outside Boston) for North Atlantic weather; Belle Chase, La., (outside New Orleans for Gulf of Mexico and tropical Atlantic weather; and Point Reyes, Calif., (outside San Francisco) for Pacific weather. There are also transmitting stations in Kodiak, Alaska, for the Gulf of Alaska and Honolulu, Hawaii, for tropical Pacific waters. Each station transmits weather charts according to a daily schedule. In January 2000, the National Weather Service issued a 94-page publication entitled, “Worldwide Marine Radiofacsimile Broadcast Schedules,” which contains information about all known transmitting weather fax stations. The publication is available for free on the Internet at http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/marine/radiofax.htm and may prove useful.
Kudos to British Columbia’s Jim Allen
I have just renewed for another year but this time have added a gift subscription to a lifelong sailor and new friend who, incredibly with his background, had never until recently heard of or seen Good Old Boat magazine.
The sailor, Jim Allen, along with his wife, Franca, owns Vela Yacht Sales in Victoria, B.C. He was the owner of Canadian Pacific Northwest Sailing Charters, is a CYA sailing instructor, and is a boat rebuilder/restorer extraordinaire (especially Lapworth Cals and Albin Vegas). He emigrated from New Zealand to Canada 35+ years ago to attend school.
Jim’s first encounter with Good Old Boat was aboard my “new” Albin Vega which he very kindly, professionally, and expertly skippered — with me on board as crew and spare anchor if necessary — from Seattle to Powell River, B.C. The previous owner had left a 1999 edition of Good Old Boat (Bristol Channel Cutter/Lyle Hess special) on board which Jim read and studied at every opportunity during our three days “at sea.” Those three days included 30+ knots of wind at our back across Juan de Fuca (the Vega was surfing at 11 knots!), the same up Haro Strait and beyond toward Nanaimo, and then beating and pounding across Georgia Strait on Day Three. I already had total confidence in Jim’s abilities, but he gave me confidence in my “new boat” that will stay with me forever. And by the way, Jim wasn’t brokering the boat. When I found my Vega on the Albin Vega website, he offered to help buy and deliver the boat. I’m truly grateful.
The Vega is now on the hard south of Powell River, Jim has returned to his boat brokerage business in Victoria, and we both look forward to upcoming Good Old Boat editions.
Oh, the purpose of my email: to thank you and the gang for putting out the best sailing magazine I’ve ever seen (and I’ve subscribed to/read many of the others over the years here and around the world) and to introduce you to Jim Allen and his many and continuing contributions to the sailing community/industry in the Pacific Northwest. This is one amazingly interesting and knowledgeable “character” and a gentleman always.
Ontario 32 is an affordable world cruiser
Veleda, our 1978 Ontario 32, is a sturdy, well-built, modified C&C-designed vessel with the cabin space of a 36-foot boat (thanks to an 11.5 foot beam). Every boat is a compromise of what one can afford, can handle, and needs for the type of sailing planned. Yes, it is small for what we are doing. We are the smallest or one of the smallest boats in any rally or marina with bluewater cruisers. However, few boats have done the extensive cruising we have done (26,800 nautical miles through 27 countries since July of 1998).
It would be nice to have a 40-footer with space for bicycles, scuba gear, large fuel and water tanks, washing machine and shower, berths for six people (we have berths for only five), and a longer waterline to give increased speed and comfort. However such would have cost more than double what we paid for Veleda. We have all the confidence in the world in her seaworthiness and would take her anywhere. With our 4-½ foot draft, we can negotiate shallow areas, as in the Bahamas, and go through many canal systems here in Europe which boats with 5-foot or more drafts can not do. Veleda is small enough that either of us can singlehand her, and her shorter length means less cost at marinas that charge by length. We can easily drop her mast (with the assistance of only a mast crane) and carry it onboard for canal trips as we did going through Chicago into the Illinois River and down the Mississippi and the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway and again up the Seine River to Paris, across the Marne, and down to the south of France into the Med.
Yes, if I had another $100,000 to spend, I might get a larger boat, but we — not the bank — own Veleda, and we are in the fortunate position that, since selling our home in Toronto, we do not owe anything to anybody. We have a nest egg should we return and my pension as a retired teacher is enough for us to continue sailing indefinitely.
I think the most basic advice for bluewater sailing, would be to go for a used boat with the longest waterline you can afford and handle, as most boats 36 feet and longer can handle bluewater cruising. Get the advice of a good marine surveyor for any intended purchase. Part of the fun is the dreaming and planning. However, we are happy with Veleda, our 1978 Ontario 32, as we can afford her and sail her anyplace in the world for the rest of our lives, even though she may be a bit on the small side.
Aubrey wrote an excellent article about preparing Veleda for ocean voyaging in the January 2001 issue of Good Old Boat.
I saw your article on caulks in this last issue (November 2004). Well done! In my refit, I’m looking for a chemical, a method, or both to remove silicone bedding which has been embedded in non-skid. If I were going to put the hardware back over the same spot, it wouldn’t be such a big deal but some of this hardware is not going back on, at least not in the same spot. I’m thinking that the chemicals mentioned in the article for removing silicone were for removing silicone residue and not for chunks of the stuff. Any pointers or leads on how to deal with this?
Gregg Nestor responds
Mineral spirits will often help soften cured silicone prior to mechanical removal. Unfortunately, mechanical removal is the only sure method. After the bulk of the silicone has been removed mechanically (cutting, tearing, pulling, ripping, etc.), use a stiff toothbrush along with one of the following solvents to (possibly) remove the remaining silicone still clinging to the non-skid. Solvents to try include Prep Sol by DuPont, Kleanz Easy by Martin Senour, or Release from BoatLIFE. I have had good results using Goo Gone from Magic American Products followed by an acetone wipe. Even after this, there’s a good chance that some silicone will remain. It may take several toothbrush and solvent scrubbings over a couple of seasons to achieve the desired results.
My only thought thus far for dealing with dried silicone is high-pressure water (once water, at velocity, can get a foothold on frayed corner or other weak spot, it sometimes is effective at removal). Another thought was to compare the burning temperature of silicone vs. gelcoat. (OK, maybe a bit risky.) I just hope I don’t have to cover the spot with some kind of “pretty wooden patch” of some type — a sarcophagus of sorts. The mineral spirits idea also sounds like a good one (in addition to the wire brush idea mentioned earlier by Jerry Powlas). It’s amazing what mineral spirits will remove in short order that other more aggressive chemicals like acetone, lacquer thinner, and more volatile chemicals will take time to remove. Since mineral spirits is slow evaporating, perhaps I will put a rag soaked in it over the affected area and let it sit and repeat the process several times.
We have total confidence in whatever solution Hal finds. He’s the restorer of the gorgeous Victoria 18 featured in our July 2003 issue. So Hal, keep us posted. The world is waiting.
(Note: One of our new advertisers, DeBond 2000, makes a product designed to remove 3M 5200. Their customer service line said it would also remove silicone. –Ed.)
3M Mildew Block
Back in the June newsletter the Good Old Boat editors asked for people to test a new 3M product called Mildew Block. By the time they got their samples, the season was waning. There will be more reports in future editions of the newsletter; this is just the first round of reports.
Missed one spot
I got the Mildew Block back in the spring and thought I was thorough at cleaning everywhere and then applying the mildew block. Most of the summer the product seemed to be working well. During the fall I had to be away from my sailboat for about six weeks. When I got back to the boat I discovered that one wall in the head looked like a petri dish with stuff growing only on that wall. I think I missed treating that wall back in the spring. The walls adjacent to the bad wall still look fine, the rest of the boat looks fine. I would say that the product works great. It’s not the mildew block that didn’t work, it was me. I intend to use it again in the spring cleanup and this time I will document as best I can to make sure I get every wall and every surface.
Another Mildew Blocker Report- (AMBR)
The sailing season has come to an end in Vermont and my BSA symptoms (Boat Separation Anxiety) has not set in as of yet.
Lake Champlain provides our cruising ground. We have a 1977 Pearson 28. With Vermont’s short sailing season, the agreement with our marina is to pull our boat ALAP (As Late As Possible) in the fall, usually the first week of November, and to launch our boat ASAP in the spring, usually the last week in April. This means during both ends of our sailing season the standard gear would include the same clothing that is worn on the ski slopes. (Please, no comments regarding IQ level, we are discussing mildew prevention here.)
Our usual spring regimen to combat mildew involves washing the interior of the boat with a strong bleach and soap solution. With the vinyl hull covering in a woven pattern, this requires the use of a small fine-bristled brush to work the mildew out of small cracks and crevices. As the season progresses, we periodically (this means often) clean the visible areas whenever the black mildew goes above acceptable levels. (This year we found a superior product for cleaning mildew, but that is to share at another time.)
Then the Good Old Boat June newsletter offered the opportunity to do some mildew research with 3M’s new Marine Mildew Block. While we were not among those chosen to receive the product for free, with our ongoing mildew battle, we could not pass up the chance to try something new to improve our cabin conditions.
Three different test conditions presented themselves due to starting the test in mid-season with all of our gear on board and it being impractical to move the gear. (Practical means that it was raining heavily the day that I started the project and the weather was clearing with the sun starting to shine as I neared completion…let’s see, clean or sail?):
1) In the V-berth the gear was removed and the space received a through cleaning before the application of the product.
2) The starboard side of the cabin was wiped down with a rag soaked in a cleaning solution and then the product was applied.
3) The port side of the cabin received a quick wipe where possible with just a damp cloth and then the product was applied.
All three areas received a heavy application of the 3M Mildew Blocker.
The port side showed only a minor improvement over no application at all. The mildew grew and required occasional cleaning for the rest of the season, although, perhaps less often. While the starboard side did show an improvement requiring only an occasional cleaning, nonetheless, it did not stop the mildew. The mildew appeared to start in the cracks and creases of the vinyl covering and spread from there. This could lead one to believe that the 3M Blocker’s “invisible barrier” needed to adhere directly to the entire surface being protected in order to be effective and that, once started, the mildew either formed under the barrier or negated it altogether.
The V-berth is where the 3M Marine Mildew Block shines. From July through the end of October, there has been no noticeable formation of mildew. As we spent almost every weekend on our boat, the massive amounts of condensation during the fall caused a major concern that the Mildew Blocker would be rinsed off the hull. This did not appear to happen. Our findings substantiate that the company’s directions must be precisely followed for best results. (Our procedures did not determine though, if the cleaning product we used first contributed to the effectiveness of the Marine Mildew Block.)
Having seen the effectiveness of 3M’s Marine Mildew Block during a portion of the season, our curiosity is now peaked as to what we will find this spring and how effective it will be during an entire season. We will definitely be trying it next season.
Albergs and Ericsons
What would you say is the main difference between a Pearson Alberg 35 and an Ericson Alberg 35 (1968 or so)? What boat would be stronger? Which one would be more expensive? Do you have any idea of what either (in good condition) would sell for?
That comparison comes up every so often. We received at least one very interesting letter to the editor after we ran a feature boat article about an Ericson 35 in September 1998. That article is on our CD of past issues (1998-99) along with the letter to the editor in November 1998. Basically, as I recall, it’s the same hull from the same mold. As for pricing, I wonder if Sandy Wills at the BoatUS Value Check could help you there.
BoatUS Value Check
The Value Check request form is accessible two ways on the BoatUS website. One way is to go across the top of the page and put the cursor on “Boat Buying,” then click “Free Boat Value Check” on the drop-down menu. The other is to click the “Value Check Buying or Selling Your Boat?” tab in the lower center portion of the homepage.
A check of our database suggests that either version in the 1968-1970 range would be in the $18-22K bracket, depending on model year, equipment, condition, etc. A quick check of the BUC guide indicates general agreement there, too, for whatever that’s worth. Given the vintage, though, the value of any specific vessel could as easily be less than a third of that as it could be half again that much. Recognizing that, we always recommend at least the informal involvement of a qualified marine surveyor early on in the process (before even making any marketing decisions for a seller or an offer for a buyer) to help establish a realistic sense of things, followed by full surveys later.
You can call me at 1-888-242-2628, M-F 0900-1600 Eastern.
BoatUS Value Check
Honorable Mention, by Robert N. Macomber (Pineapple Press, 2004; 327 pages; $19.95)
Review by Elizabeth Bloch
Would you like to go back in time and experience being on a naval ship during the Civil War? Robert Macomber’s Honorable Mention, third in the 11-novel “Honor series” of naval fiction, is an exciting and historically accurate adventure tale. Captain Peter Wake is a young naval officer who has begun to make a name for himself as a successful interceptor of blockade runners and a talented negotiator in some very tricky situations.
The first two books in the series, At the Edge of Honor and Point of Honor, have Captain Wake commanding small sailing gunboats in the waters of Florida, Cuba, the Bahamas, and Mexico. Guided by a lofty honor code, he gains the trust of senior naval officers quickly as he overcomes challenging and dangerous obstacles. His men admire him as they discover their captain has a unique talent for winning dramatic captures of elusive blockade-runners, bringing them fame and financial reward. Adding warmth to his character, he falls for a beautiful damsel from the other side of the political tracks. Her father is a well-known Confederate supporter, and this creates quite a stir amongst the naval chain of command. Nevertheless, Captain Wake’s results earn him ever increasingly challenging assignments, all of which affect the outcome of the Navy’s contribution to the Civil War.
Honorable Mention is Book Three. Capt. Wake’s crew is given an assignment feared by most other captains and crews. They’ve just barely survived yellow fever, which has wiped out much of the naval fleet, and are now tasked to rescue an infected vessel and its crew on the Atlantic coast of Florida. The dedication of the captain to his crew and their trust in him are completely tested in this mission.
Assigned to command an armed steam tug, the USS Hunt, Wake is sent on a mission to Cuba at the end of the war to avert an international escalation of what has been up to now a civil war. He and his crew travel around Florida, to Cuba and Puerto Rico as they participate in some assignments that take all the courage, loyalty, and cunning a naval officer can muster. His natural instinct for survival plays a prominent role in this continuing adventure that follows Capt. Wake through his naval career, which will end in 1907 with the 11th novel.
I’ve read the three books in order and loved each of them. The quality of the characters and style of writing have made each increasingly hard to put down. We have had the pleasure in our area of having Robert Macomber speak to our sailing club about his experiences while researching these novels. This year, while researching and writing the novel due out in October of 2005, A Dishonorable Few, the freighter he was aboard came under attack by some real-life pirates. We’ll find them woven into that novel, he promises. Since they are written by a naval historian, these novels are all well-spun yarns with historically correct information accompanied by life experiences.
Plot your Course to Adventure, How to Be a Successful Cruiser, by Roger Olson (Author House, 2004; 645 pages; $29.50)
Review by Jim Daniels
Port Townsend, Wash.
“Voyaging belongs to seamen and to the wanderers of the world who cannot, or will not, fit in,” says Sterling Hayden in Wanderer. Roger Olson quotes him in Plot your Course to Adventure. He says, “For those just beginning to enter this adventure, I will continue to use the term cruiser. As we become more acquainted with the lifestyle, hopefully many will become wanderers.”
So maybe it’s fitting that Olson wanders through this book. Readers may find encountering “more on this later” and “as I stated in a previous chapter” frustrating.
Meant for readers who know how to sail and are deciding whether to cruise the oceans, the book may try to cover too much. As previous owner of the Sam L. Morse Company, Roger learned a lot about fiberglass boat construction. However hull construction techniques or the formula for calculating displacement may not be especially useful to most readers. Some good info on finishes will be. Don’t sit on Treadmaster non-skid in your birthday suit while the boat is rolling.
There are good tips throughout the book from Roger’s years at sea. Non-skid on plates and glasses: a simple touch that can save a dinner. Recipes for octopus that tastes good and is even tender may change your cruising diet.
Anecdotes bring home a point or lighten things up. “Never leave on a Friday.” The keel was laid on a Friday for the HMS Friday. She was launched on Friday and left on her maiden voyage on a Friday, to prove it’s safe. “She was never seen again.”
Sailing stories and adventures included are mostly Roger’s personal experiences in the South Pacific. Enlightening, entertaining, and sometimes really funny, these dramatize his points about such important topics as anchoring techniques, safety issues, and having fun.
Other books are referenced throughout, but there’s no reference section. If you’re thinking about world cruising, this is another book to read when you have a lot of free time on your hands. Reading clear through is best, as it’s not organized for looking up something specific. You may want to take it aboard long enough to follow the illustrations and practice anchoring methods. If you want expert advice and in-depth knowledge, take Roger Olson’s advice: get such books as Lin and Larry Pardey’s Storm Tactics Handbook. Then wander on.
This is a refreshing, at times bluntly candid, perspective of a couple entering the world of cruising. It’s an in-your-face reality check for everyone’s dreams of casting off convention and embracing the carefree life. Eminently qualified technically, the author and her husband are both Navy retirees holding Coast Guard licenses. Yet their backgrounds only reinforce the fact that all cruisers encounter surprises. The delivery is strong and the message clear; cruising is essentially an ever-unfolding discovery of your world and especially yourself.
Suzanne Giesemann describes the thrills and throes of leaving a demanding, fulfilling career for the idyllic lifestyle of increased pleasure and lowered stress. They find that and more. Much more. Set against the rich backdrop of New England and the Canadian Maritime Provinces, their physical adventure will hold reader interest and the personal impacts on the couple provide food for thought. Action, consequence, and perspective are intertwined and described wonderfully.
It’s an objective and honest glimpse at the imperfect world that we love, not a glossy soft-focus look at a romanticized boating world. The author quite accurately describes the gritty details that many accounts overlook: the strained encounters with inconsiderate boaters, physical discomfort, culture clashes, medical self-reliance, and destination shortfalls. And, of course, the rich fabric of traveling afloat that balances the is-it-worth-it equation: friendships forged from hardships shared, unforeseen bonuses from apparently mundane decisions, and the awe of discovery when least expected. Underscoring the balance is their appreciation for the majesty and beauty of nature.
This is as much about a journey inward-bound as it is outward. The greatest rewards of cruising are peeling away layers of facade and living an elemental lifestyle of endeavor and reward. Elemental and satisfying. Core values and relationships become paramount. Artificial banalities shrink in importance.
Still, it’s a jolt for the couple to find themselves in a world defined by a few slow-moving square feet after careers crisscrossing the world at hyper speeds. Their new world is often challenging at a gut level and sometimes hazardous with comfort envelopes stretched. They are honest in their self-appraisals, their evolving relationship, and growth. They seem like old friends I’ve sailed with forever.
Living a Dream is the most refreshing treatment on beginning the cruising lifestyle that I’ve read recently. For those who’ve fantasized or even begun planning this leap of faith, it is highly recommended. It holds forth a central theme for all who choose to see: that the potential of cruising is endless and the access or limitations are found within ourselves. An enthusiastic thumbs up for this forthright and centered couple. May all of our wakes cross theirs, and may Suzanne’s inspiration continue in future books.
Tahoe in Black & White: Classic Photographs, by Jim Hildinger (Tahoe Pots & Prints, 2004; 127 pages; $24.95 from http://www.tahoeinblackandwhite.com
Review by Karen Larson
As I write this, I am aware that Lake Tahoe, perched in the mountains of California and Nevada, is reported to have received three feet of snow at the lake level and five feet of snow in the higher elevations earlier this week. Some of the views there (once people are able to get out of their homes and driveways, that is, or even from their picture windows) must be incredible.
Jim Hildinger has nurtured a lifelong love affair with this stunning area and recorded the changing views — winter and summer — in stirring black and white photographs which will evoke thoughts of Ansel Adams in anyone who browses through Jim’s new book, Tahoe in Black & White. This is an affordable coffee-table-style book, the sort you are pleased to leaf through in quiet moments. Each time through you will surely see something you didn’t notice before.
Jim is a sailor on Lake Tahoe and, luckily for us, a Good Old Boat subscriber. He doesn’t overwhelm his readers with sailing scenes, although the lake plays a key role in this book. But, probably in consideration of a larger audience, Jim shows the beauty of the wider area: the mountains, rocks, trees, waterfalls, snow, farms, and homes.
His lenses are wide, showing beautiful vistas, and close, showing one gnarled tree or individual pine cone in exquisite detail. His seasons are spring, summer, fall, and the lovely ice and snow of winter. His text is sparse. He tells why a scene drew him in, and he shares how a photographer in black and white views the world through camera and darkroom.
If Tahoe, the place, calls to you, this book will allow you to bring a bit of it home . . . no matter where you are located and no matter what the weather.
Sail South Till the Butter Melts: Atlantic Adventures in an Open Boat, by Geoff Stewart (The Continuity Company, 2004; 171 pages; $29.95 order from http://www.sailsouthtillthebuttermelts.com
Review by Ted Brewer
Gabriola Island, British Columbia
This is a book that will be heartily enjoyed by any true sailor and will provide real thrills, along with useful information, for the few who yearn for adventure in small open boats. My copy arrived in the mail from Geoff at noon on Friday, and I couldn’t put it down until I had devoured every page, sometime near midnight the same day. I was particularly interested in his story, as I owned a sister to Geoff’s Drascombe Longboat back in the early ’70s and did a bit of open-boat cruising in it, but nothing like the voyage Geoff describes. I’m not that much of a masochist!
Geoff tells of his early life leading up to his purchase of Donna Elvira in England and then begins his often humorous story of the sail across to France, his adventures in the canals on the trip down to the Med, and his voyage along the coast of France and Spain to Gibraltar. He tells of the people he met, the places he saw and the things he did along the way, such as a summer archeological course, spelunking, and exploring antique ruins. Geoff even gives the names of a number of the people he ran across, in case you ever meet them in your travel…names like Dave, Tony, Michael, Scott, Bitsy, Christine, John, Baldy, Murf, Lyn, and many others. If you do encounter them,
Geoff would like to hear about it!
The book becomes serious when Geoff heads out to the Canaries on his first long ocean hop and tells about encounters with fog and freighters. And it becomes even more serious when he leaves the islands for his epic voyage across the Atlantic to the Caribbean, battling storms, sharks, and boredom along the way.
Sail South Till the Butter Melts is simply a top-notch read: interesting, informative, humorous at times, and well written. I’ve read many good cruising books over the years but none that I’ve enjoyed more. Indeed, after writing this review, I think I’ll start it all over again!
Sailing Small, Inspiration and Instruction for the Pocket Cruiser, edited by Stan Grayson (Devereux Books, 2004; 197 pages; $16.95)
Review by Ted Duke
Sailing Small is an anthology of tales of several sailors’ attempts to find a sailboat that would meet their need to get away from everyday life. Most are stories of finding a boat “on the cheap” and adapting their needs to fit its accommodations. The stories related also confirm what many have suspected: that sailors learn to tolerate their boats’ flaws and even learn to love them in spite of their limitations. Each story is revealing and stands alone, making the book easy to read.
The first chapter is by the editor explaining his premise and detailing some boats to demonstrate his points. The last chapter is by a boat designer sharing his thoughts as to boat design, which should be helpful to anyone having a boat built or buying a boat. There is a section of color pictures of the different boats described in these stories.
Each author tells how and why they chose the boat they did, how the boat came to be used, and how the owner adapted the boat to his or her needs. In many cases they also tell how they adapted their needs to fit the size and construction of the boat. Authors are from several countries, have varying backgrounds, and have different outlooks on life. The thing that ties these stories together is how they all learn to use their small sailboats to best advantage. Some are tales of weekend cruises close to home, and some of more extended cruising. This is not an “around the world in three years” collection, although some of the authors did have lengthy adventures. Nor is it a cookbook or a how-to book about cruising. It would be better described as a “what I came to discover closer to home collection.”
I think the editor described this collection best when he sub-titled it, “Inspiration and Instruction for the Pocket Cruiser.” Small sailboats of affordable costs for ordinary folks of reasonable means are the subject of these writings. Small Sailing could best be described as a lot of ideas presented as part of different stories.
This book will push you toward buying a boat you can afford instead of dreaming of something you cannot make happen. Those who already own a boat will glean ideas they can use…or even better ideas they can use as a starting point to develop their own procedures or modifications which will make their sailboat better fit their needs. It’s definitely worth reading!
Cruising Japan to New Zealand: The Voyage of the Sea Quest, by Tere Batham (Sheridan House, 2004; 275 pages $29.95)
Review by Theresa Fort
I’ve just gotten back from an exciting cruising adventure from Japan to New Zealand, but I never left our cabin near the Chesapeake. I’ve just read Tere Batham’s new book, Cruising Japan to New Zealand, and followed along as she and her husband, Michael, with young novice Japanese crew, Miki, traveled from Japan’s Southern Archipelago to the Bay of Islands in New Zealand. Along the way there are numerous and fascinating stops in Hong Kong and Macau, the Philippines, Micronesia, the Solomon’s Islands, and New Caledonia.
Miki and the Bathams get glimpses of the remaining vestiges of dying South Sea cultures and explore untouched coral atolls. They face heavy weather at sea as well as doldrums, and they visit places few yachts go in Micronesia.
Cruising Japan to New Zealand is a cruising story with a coming-of-age story nestled within. Young and beautiful Miki, arrives as crew just 24 hours before the Bathams’ scheduled departure from Japan. Escaping from an arranged marriage and a culture that is un-accepting of women adventurers, she has the adventure of her life and learns how to cope through hardships and how to enjoy the beauty around her.
Full color photos and beautifully drawn charts add even more depth to the story.
Adventure, beauty, fruitfulness, and hardship fill this 14-month 10,000-mile voyage. Tere Batham weaves this great story with spirit, clarity, and color. Curl up on your settee and read Cruising Japan to New Zealand. It will have you dreaming of adventure.
100 Fast and Easy Boat Improvements, by Don Casey, (International Marine, 2004; 138 pages; $14.95)
Review by Scott Simpson
Tucked away somewhere in a drawer or file cabinet are clippings from magazines and other sources. As owners of good old boats, we probably all have them. Those ideas that we saw somewhere and one day hope to incorporate as we make our boats our own. For every “keeper” that we find, there must be hundreds more we haven’t found. We may wonder which idea is the best. Has someone else found a better way to do it? We can all relax and breathe a sigh of relief because Don Casey, the do-it-yourself boat guru, has done it for us.
Don gives us a fresh look at 100 of these little inspirations. For example, screened companionway doors. These let in fresh air on a warm summer night without also inviting the bugs that have been drawn to the warm glow of your cabin lights. Another is how to make custom handrails that match the old worn thin set and line up properly with the existing holes. Did you know you can operate two sets of lights separately on your mast from one pair of wires using diodes and a three-way switch? Here’s an idea of mounting a compass over your bunk. It lets you check if your boat has swung on its anchor in the middle of the night right from under the covers. If you are tired of your halyards clanging and tacky bungee cords, you can use spreader thumb cleats instead. Here’s one for sailors who refuse to give up their tillers. It’s a tiller comb that lets you lock the helm in various positions freeing the helmsman temporarily. I could go on.
I found myself being entertained by Don’s comfortable style of writing as well as his simple way of explaining things. He does an excellent job at describing the benefits to each improvement. For the most part, I could follow his instructions easily enough. There were a few times when I had to scratch my head in confusion while trying to follow the text and illustrations. Sometimes I felt the details were left to the reader’s imagination and mine wasn’t stretching quite far enough.
Though Don admits this book of 100 is not exhaustive, I can assure you it’s an extra 100 ideas in my file. For those who are always looking for a better way of doing things or need just the right idea, this book is a must-read.
If you recognize the title, it’s because this book is one of a series being re-published by International Marine.
Surveyor and Good Old Boat contributing editor Bill Sandifer is our answer man. To contact him with your questions, email Bill at devilsel at ametro dot net.
The boat I bought has a fuzzy headliner that I do not like. I think it is the remains of an insulated headliner. How do I get it off without a lot of sanding?
I think the easiest way to remove it would be to try wetting it out between the part that has come loose and the rest of the liner and just pull slowly to remove. If that does not work, try some paint thinner on a sponge. Be careful of your eyes and lungs with this. Use a mask and safety glasses. If all else fails try a little MEK, but be very careful. This stuff is dangerous. I’d start with the water first. Probably the reason it detached in the first place was water…so a little more should work. If all ease fails, you can scrape it off with a narrow paint scraper.
Could you explain how to paint a lead keel on a sailboat? Is there a special paint or primer to use? My boat sits on a trailer all winter which is seven months long, and in the water for five months.
In response to your question about re-coating an epoxy bottom, the first thing I would do, if the lead is badly pitted, is thoroughly clean it, sand-blast the surface and fill it with a white epoxy. Then I would follow with an epoxy tie coat. These things can all be found in any marine catalog that sells bottom paint. The final coat would be an antifouling of your choice following the manufacturer’s directions. If the surface is not badly pitted, I would use an epoxy barrier coat followed by an antifouling paint. This is not a big deal although you are dealing with lead as long as you use proper protective mask and clothing when you are sanding.
Is there anyone on the East Coast who rebuilds/refurbishes old Shipmate cabin heaters? I have one built about 1980, and it has stopped working after all these years. I’d like to see if it’s possible to have it rebuilt rather than buying a much more expensive Dickinson or Force 10 heater to replace it. I’d appreciate any assistance. I tried to contact the original company that built the heaters, The Richmond Ring Company, but they no longer exist as far as I can determine.
Shipmate Stoves may be repaired by: A& H, 1526 Parkman Loop, Tustin, CA 92780, phone: 714-258-2525, fax: 714-258-707.
I’ve just recently started reading your magazine because I am stumped by a problem with our 1967 Pearson Commander. We’ve just installed a new Mercury 9.9 with remote in the motor well. This sounds great until we realized that the new motor did not solve all of our “under-power issues.” Our motor well is being flooded by water coming up through the “hole” designed to accommodate the 9.9’s prop shaft. This flooding problem is causing the motor to choke on its own exhaust (the water swirling around in the compartment floods the exhaust port on the back of the 9.9). There is no danger in sinking, it’s just that the motor runs erratically when the water floods the compartment. There is a drain, though it gets overwhelmed by the amount of water. We were just wondering if any other Pearson Commander owners have run into similar problems and what did they do to solve it? Please respond; we’ve been working on this problem for the past several years.
Your problem is typical of a number of boats. The solution is to provide a dedicated fresh-air supply to the engine that originates outside the engine compartment. Running a flexible 3-inch vent hose from the clamshell vent on the aft deck adjacent to the engine compartment to the engine itself does this. You will need to modify the engine with a permanently attached PVC pipe and elbow that will allow the engine to take in the clean air without getting the water. This PVC pipe should be sized to allow the fresh air hose to slip over the PVC and be secured with a hose clamp. This will allow you to disconnect the fresh air hose from the engine when you need to remove the engine from the boat.
Design the system so the flexible hose does not get crushed when you tilt the engine up for sailing or remember to remove the hose when under sail. The outboard engines have different locations for fresh-air intake…usually underneath the engine in front of the carburetor. Check your engine and attach the PVC with epoxy or screws, whatever works best. Use a permanent method of attaching the flexible hose to the clam shell vent. If it can fall off, it will. This is a good winter project, just be sure the engine will get fresh air and the flexible hose will not allow water into the air stream or your engine will not run at all.
Fiberglass backing plates
The surveyor column in the December newsletter talks about a source for good solid fiberglass backing plates. I’ve found that G-10 is a very strong fiberglass material. It is used for knife handles and electronic circuit boards. I have been able to buy it in small sizes from McMaster-Carr and it makes great backing plate material. It is laminated under pressure, so it is extremely strong yet easier to work with than stainless steel.
You can find it by going to the website at http://www.mcmaster.com and put G-10 in the search box. Click on “Grade G-10 Garolite Sheets.” It’s not inexpensive, but it’s very strong!
The love that is given to ships is profoundly different from the love men feel for every other work of their hands.
from The Mirror of the Sea, 1906
At sea, I learned how little a person needs, not how much.
Robin Lee Graham
The day was perfect, the sunlight clear and strong. Every particle of water thrown into the air became a gem, and the Spray, making good her name as she dashed ahead, snatched necklace after necklace from the sea…
from Sailing Alone Around the World, 1900
Sailors, with their built-in sense of order, service, and discipline, should really be running the world.
Nicholas Monsarrat, 1966
If a man must be obsessed by something, I suppose a boat is as good as anything, perhaps a bit better than most. A small sailing craft is not only beautiful, it is seductive and full of strange promise and the hint of trouble.
from The Sea and the Wind That Blows, 1977
“It is as hard to describe the fascination of the sea as to explain the beauty of a woman, for, to each man, either it is self-evident, or no argument can help him see it.”
Claud Worth 1926
Yacht Cruising, 3rd ed.
…the object of cruising is to make a complete change of surroundings, a change for the eyes, ears, and nose…a cabin should be very different from a city apartment…you should not lug along what you are trying to leave behind…
L. Francis Herreshoff
The cabin of a small yacht is truly a wonderful thing; not only will it shelter you from the tempest, but in the other troubles of life which may be even more disturbing, it is a safe retreat.
L. Francis Herreshoff
Out of sight of land the sailor feels safe. It is the beach that worries him.
Charles G. Davis
If you can’t repair it, maybe it shouldn’t be on board.
Lin and Larry Pardey