Sailing Soulianis

Good Old Boat contributor Chas Hague turned us on to Sailing Soulianis, and now we want to share. This young couple is squeezing all they can out of life and today that life centers around their good old Tartan 37. Take a look at their intro video, watch them find a boat, then cast off with them. They started in Lake Michigan and are moving down the Tenn-Tom Waterway as we go to press. Hurry and catch up!

Erebus: One Ship, Two Epic Voyages, and the Greatest Naval Mystery of All Time

by Michael Palin
(Greystone Books, 2018; 352 pages)

Review by Rob Mazza

Most of us know Michael Palin from his days with Monty Python’s Flying Circus, but he has also produced several superb BBC travel documentaries. It was probably his fame from the former and involvement in the latter that led to his becoming President of the Royal Geographical Society, and then being asked to address the Athenaeum Club in London, being required to tell the story of one of their past members. Palin chose the renowned 19th Century British botanist Joseph Hooker (whose story Palin had first encountered during filming of one of his travel documentaries in Brazil).

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Fun with Sailboats

by Peter Brennan
(Page Publishing, 2018; 152 pages)

Review by Chas. Hague

Peter Brennan has “wrung more salt water out of his socks than most of us have sailed over.” This memoir encompasses 10 voyages the author has made aboard his Pearson 30, Happy Times; on Mists of Avalon, a two-masted schooner out of South Carolina; on the Irish tall ships Asgard II and Thallassa; and on Anthie, a 1979 37-foot CSY. Aboard these varied vessels, Brennan takes us to varied places: Block Island Sound, the waters surrounding Ireland, across the Gulf of Mexico from Florida to Isla Mujeres, and to Havana, Cuba.

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Mail Buoy – April 2019

Forest fires raged around Kelowna, British Columbia, last year and during that time, Paul Skene captured this smoke-on-the-water-effect shot of a lone sailboat on Okanagan Lake.
Forest fires raged around Kelowna, British Columbia, last year and during that time, Paul Skene captured this smoke-on-the-water-effect shot of a lone sailboat on Okanagan Lake.


I just have to comment on the most recent The Dogwatch Mail Buoy conversation about pictures of kids without PFDs (“Thumbs Up For Depicted PFD Use,” March 2019). I found the editorial response to Rob Hill’s letter quite unsettling, particularly these comments:

While we know that SOME kids (and adults) should be in life vests 100 percent of the time in SOME situations…”  (my emphasis added), and,

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News from the Helm – April 2019


Last month, we ran a letter from Hal Shanafield, his response to the question of renting vs. owning a sailboat. He referred to his experience at a yacht club and we erroneously printed the wrong name of the club. I’ll let Hal set the record straight:

“You inserted the word “International” into the name of the yacht club I mentioned. The club I wrote about was the American Yacht Club Berlin. It was formed in 1968 and was the successor to the Berlin American Yacht Club, which was formed soon after the American occupation of Berlin began in 1945. The BAYC was defunct well before the AYCB was formed. The AYCB was fundamentally a military club, although we did have a small percentage of members from other countries. When the occupation ended in 1994, the AYCB also ended its existence. Sometime later, the yacht club with the word International in its name was formed, although I don’t know much about that. It’s a little confusing, I admit, but I thought I should set the record straight.

“I noticed that you truncated my original comment, as is your right, of course, as editor. I guess I was being a little too naughty for a family magazine. I enjoy reading Good Old Boat and The Dogwatch, and look forward to each issue. I think you and your staff are doing a great job of putting out a sailing magazine for the rest of us.”

WKhaki ball cap with a Blue Denim bill.ANT TO EARN A GOOD OLD BOAT HAT?

Do you have a great photo of an aid to navigation? We want to see it. If we print it in the magazine, we’ll send you a Good Old Boat hat or shirt, your choice. And it doesn’t have to be a buoy, but certainly can be. The better the photo, or the more unique the aid or photo, the better your chances. Send your photo to


Managers of the International Laser Class Association (ILCA) announced today they are seeking new builders to complement their existing network of Laser manufacturers. The move comes after longtime-builder of the class dinghy, Laser Performance (Europe) Limited (LPE), breached the terms of the Laser Construction Manual Agreement (LCMA), which seeks to ensure the identical nature of all Laser class boats, regardless of where they are built.

“We’re disappointed to see such a long and productive relationship come to an end, but we had to move ahead in order to protect the level of competition and the investment for the 14,000 members of the International Laser Class and the more than 50,000 sailors around the world who regularly sail the Laser dinghy,” said Class President Tracy Usher. With its UK-based manufacturing facility, LPE was the ILCA-approved builder that produced boats for most of Europe, Asia and the Americas until earlier this week, when Usher says the class terminated the LCMA with respect to LPE after the builder’s refusal to allow inspection of the boats being built in their manufacturing facility as required by that contract.

“The very heart of our class is the ability for any sailor to race any other on an equal playing field, and the only way we can guarantee that level of parity is by ensuring that all builders are producing the boat in strict accordance with the Laser Construction Manual,” explained Usher, who said that LPE has unequivocally denied the class their right to access to LPE’s factory. “It’s the same for every class of one-design racing boat: if we can’t be sure that they are all the same, we have no class left,” said Usher, who said that LPE left the class “no option.”

Fortunately for sailors around the world, there are already two other manufacturers of class-legal boats, one in Japan and another in Australia. The Laser class was established in 1972. We recently reported that Olympic organizers were considering eliminating competition in Laser boats.


Get this: we learned that there is a Duffel, Belgium, and that’s where the ubiquitous duffle (or duffel) bag gets its name. Apparently, Duffel was once the fount of the coarse, thick, woolen cloth originally used for sturdy coverings aboard ships, the scraps of which sailors used to make bags to carry personal gear, both on aboard and ashore. Now you know.


Photos by the Singlehander

By Drew Frye

Singlehanded sailing and photography don’t always go together. Throw in some brisk wind, maybe a tender boat, perhaps no autopilot, and capturing the moments and scenes on camera can be a real challenge.

As a freelance writer for magazines, I’m often in need of good photos of specific subjects, and sometimes these photos can be captured only while under sail. Sometimes I’m sailing alone. Sometimes my hands or I need to be in the shot. I’m always thinking of solutions.

The conventional tripod is out of the question while under way. The ubiquitous “selfie stick” limits POV options. And many of the hundreds of clamp-on brackets are either a bit too fussy or won’t grab where I happen to need them to be.

Some years ago, it occurred to me that a winch socket could provide an additional camera mounting point, and so I began watching for a broken winch handle to use as a base, but none came my way. Then I got an idea.

The first test image: me applying carbon/mylar tape to a laminate sail while under way. The camera is secure in a cabin top winch, the self-timer tripped the shutter, and the tiller pilot has the helm

I removed the tilt-pan head from one of my tripods. I cut a small chunk of wood, about 11/16 x 11/16 x 2 inches, and sanded it until it fit snugly in a standard 8-point winch socket. I shaped one end of the block so that it fit into the tripod head (a disc sander or pocket knife will do) and used a wood screw and washer to secure it. That’s it. One option is to varnish the wood chunk, to make it more durable and even to tune the fit.

Using my newest camera mount is as easy as dropping it into a vacant winch socket. It will swivel and tilt in any direction and won’t fall out or fall overboard. If I were worried about the mount coming out of the winch, I could simply noose the camera’s wrist lanyard around the winch. Using the four winches on my Corsair F-24, I can shoot unobstructed in most directions and cover most of the cockpit and deck. I can pop the holder out in a moment for hand shots and plop it right back into the winch. This is easier to do than it is with one of my clamp-on brackets.

Detail of the Mount

The Mk II version may be teak, fiberglass, or even aluminum, but cedar is what I had on hand and it seems adequate so far. I may attach a longer wrist lanyard or add a quick disconnect, but those are just complications to an elegantly simple design. I’m fully satisfied as it is.

For another take on a versatile DIY winch mount, see “Winch Handle Instruments Mount,” in the September 2017 issue of Good Old Boat.

Drew Frye draws on his training as a chemical engineer and pastimes of climbing and sailing when solving boating problems. He cruises Chesapeake Bay and the mid-Atlantic coast in his Corsair F-24 trimaran, Fast and Furry-ous, using its shoal draft to venture into shallow and less-explored waters. His book, Rigging Modern Anchors, was recently published by Seaworthy Publications.



Easy Trip to Key West

By David Sharp

We tend to forget how much GPS, accurate weather forecasting, and modern hull, sail, and communications technologies have improved our ability to get around faster and more safely on the ocean. Oh, and the wisdom that comes to most of us as we leave our 20s behind . . .

In 1974, Judy and I took a sabbatical from work for as long as our savings would last. We left our jobs in Dallas, sold most of our possessions, and began exploring Mexico by train and bus. We were staying on the beach (in hammocks under the palms) on the tiny island of Isla Mujeres when we heard of a young fellow named Troy who was looking for crew to help him sail a boat from Cozumel to Key West, Florida. I’d been sailing most of my life and, as our savings were getting thin, this sounded like a fun and inexpensive way to return to the States after our adventure.

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News from the Helm – March 2019

Across the Bar, Margaret Roth (1922-2019)

Margaret Roth died February 25 in Easton, Maryland. She was the legendary sailing first mate aboard several boats she and her husband, the late Hal Roth, cruised extensively over the years. Hal was a writer who chronicled their adventures in books that still retain a prominent place in any collection of noteworthy sailing literature.

Margaret came to the US from Paris in 1958 and soon met Hal. When they married in 1960, neither knew how to sail, but after sailing with friends on San Francisco Bay, they were hooked. They soon bought their first sailboat, a 36-foot steel sloop.

In 1965, they bought a Spencer 35 and named it Whisper. A year later, they took off to circumnavigate the Pacific. When they returned, the Cruising Club of America awarded them the Blue Water Medal. Hal wrote about their voyage and Margaret typed and edited. Out of this effort was born Two on a Big Ocean, a sailing classic published in 1978.

In 1977, the couple cast off again in Whisper, this time heading south. They were shipwrecked near Cape Horn, rescued after 9 days, and eventually repaired Whisper (she was holed) and continued, up the east coast of the Americas up to Maine. From this adventure, Two Against Cape Horn was published, another bestseller.

A subsequent four-year circumnavigation yielded Always a Distant Anchorage. More books and adventures and awards followed. And through it all, their accomplishments were joint; even when Hal competed in the solo BOC Challenge, Margaret was his indefatigable ground support.

Following is a portion of her obituary as published in The Star Democrat of Easton, Maryland 

“Margaret’s wit, grit, determination and tolerance for discomfort and danger were truly legendary and the characteristics of the perfect first mate. In a passage from Two on a Big OceanWhisper took a hit from a tremendous wave that crashed over the boat and roared into the cockpit. Hal wrote, ‘Margaret with two safety lines around her, was in the cockpit steering. She suddenly found herself up to her armpits in a bathtub of water only 20 degrees above the freezing point. I saw her sputtering and blowing. She calmly began to take off her clothes and to wring them out. It’s your turn to steer,’ she said gamely. ‘I’ve had my bath for today.’”

Across the Bar, Don Green (1932-2019)

Donald M. Green, one of Canada’s most successful offshore sailors and a key figure in its America’s Cup campaigns of the 1980s, has died at the age of 86. He was inducted into the Canadian Sailing Hall of Fame just last August. In 1978, Don won Canada’s Cup with his racing yacht, Evergreen. In 1980, he was made a Member of the Order of Canada, the nation’s most significant civilian honor.

Don grew up sailing and, as a teen, he sailed around the world on Irving Johnson’s 96-foot brigantine Yankee, closing the loop in 1951. In the mid-1970s, Don approached C&C Yachts with the plan to have them design and build a boat he could use to mount a challenge (through the Royal Hamilton Yacht Club) for the 1978 Canada’s Cup. C&C jumped aboard and their young design team led by Rob Ball, and including Steve Killing and Good Old Boat’s own Rob Mazza, designed Evergreen, an IOR Two Tonner of a radical design, with a gybing daggerboard and tiller steering. Don recruited Lowell North to provide sails and to join the crew. The rest of the crew were mainly club sailors from Hamilton, and included a teenager. Don was not just the owner but also the skipper and helmsman, which was very unusual at this level of racing). Evergreen was victorious.

Don next campaigned Evergreen in the notorious 1979 Fastnet Race, in which 15 sailors died. Evergreen did not finish the race, but Don brought her safely back to port with all crew alive and well.

During the 1980s, Don was a part of two Canadian campaigns challenging the America’s Cup, first in 1983, then in 1987

The Dogwatch/Good Old Boat Excellence!

Boating Writers International (BWI) held its annual awards presentation for writers in mid-February and two Good Old Boat magazine and The Dogwatch writers were recognized! Actually, recognized isn’t really the right term as Craig Moodie won FIRST PLACE in the Boating Lifestyles category for his story, “Floating Time.” That’s a $500 prize for Craig. Read it now, on our website:

And Good Old Boat Contributing Editor Ed Zacko was awarded two Certificates of Merit, one for “Rata of Seville” (Boating Adventures category) and one for “Battling with Ball Valves” (Boat Projects category). These Certificates mean that Ed’s articles were within very narrow margins of the 3rd-place finishers.

Hat’s off to these award-winning Good Old Boat writers!

Y2K All Over Again

Apparently, GPS units and the satellites they receive from, store date info in a funny way. No, not funny ha-ha.

As reported by Ben Stein on the excellent website, “The original specification for GPS had dates stored by week in a 10-bit field (2^10 or 2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2) which is 1,024 weeks. 1,024 weeks is 19 years, 36 weeks. Dates for the GPS constellation start at midnight on January 5, 1980, so the first rollover occurred on August 21, 1999. Now, 19 years and 36 weeks later, the same thing will happen again on April 6, 2019.”

So what?

So, some older GPS units may not be able to handle the date rollover, which is coming up quickly. Especially if you have older equipment, you’d be wise to check your unit sometime after April 6 to make sure it’s accurate, before you rely on it.

For specific info, check out the website of the manufacturer of your GPS device.


Khaki ball cap with a Blue Denim bill.Do you have a great photo of an aid to navigation? We want to see it. If we print it in the magazine, we’ll send you a Good Old Boat hat or shirt, your choice. And it doesn’t have to be a buoy, but certainly can be. The better the photo, or the more unique the aid or photo, the better your chances. Send your photo to


Mail Buoy – March 2019


Glad to see you’ve got a photo of a kid with a PFD on. Last year’s discussion on this topic was unnerving for me, and I was quite disappointed that some on your end defended the use of photos showing children without them.

–Rob Hill, Westport, Massachusetts

Hi Rob, we featured two photos of kids wearing PFDs in the February issue of The Dogwatch. At the risk of unnerving you again, this was not by design, but by chance. While we know that some kids (and adults) should be in life vests 100 percent of the time in some situations (the photo above is a pretty good example of such a situation, given the age of the kid and the absence of lifeline netting), our editorial policy is to not be absolute about it, but consider photos on a case-by-case basis. We’re happy to promote the wearing of PFDs (for kids and adults), but there are situations where a kid is okay not wearing a PFD aboard. There are too many factors to make an edict (factors including swimming ability of kid, conditions, water temperature, boat size). We would balk at publishing a photo of a kid who appeared to be recklessly unprotected, but we’re not going to say “no photos of kids not wearing PFDs.”  Eds.


I read your tongue-in-cheek mention of Raymarine’s newest product, DockSense, in the February issue of The Dogwatch. I singlehand my five-ton, high-freeboard Nonsuch 26 sailboat in and out of a crosswind slip. There’s major downwind drift if I go in too slow, too much momentum if I go in fast enough for the keel to bite, and a firm guarantee that the stern will pull 45 degrees hard to starboard if I put too much thrust in reverse. Accordingly, I have the dings to prove that Raymarine is right; docking mishaps happen even to experienced sailors. But considering what Raymarine’s solution probably costs, I’d still save money by just buying a duplicate boat, putting it in a slip facing a different direction, and sailing whichever one has the more favorable wind that day.

Ironically, your mention of Raymarine’s solution arrived just as I completed my solution (see photo). What you’re looking at is an 8-foot piece of scrap wood to which I screwed three rows of 1.5-inch fire hose scalloped into wave patterns. I used 48 feet of fire hose out of a 95-foot roll that I bought at for $60, shipping included. I used 98 1-inch hex-head screws out of a $9.75 pack of 100 from Total cost: about $50. Of course, this doesn’t include the value of my time and labor. If I add that in, the total comes to about . . . $50. (I’m retired.)

My plan is to just let the boat hit the bumper as I come in, then slide along it. My expectation is that the fire hose will provide both cushioning and low-friction sliding and won’t gouge the hull. I have high hopes.

Bob Neches

Bob, nice work. We’ll add that we’ve twice picked up used fire hose for free (to use aboard as chafe protection, mostly on anchor rode snubbers). In both cases, we could have taken all we wanted. Next time you’re ready for more, just visit a local fire station. We were successful at two California stations: the Woodacre Fire Station in Marin County and the Camarillo Airport Fire Station.  Eds.


I just read “In Praise of the DIY Boatyard,” (The Dogwatch, February 2018). Attention DIY boaters in Southern California: I bought a classic plastic Catalina 30, Silhouette, last summer and I needed a place to put her where I could pull the dead gas motor and install an electric motor. Easier said than done. Private marinas don’t like noisy repair work and the few boatyards still open are expensive. But I prevailed. If you’re in the Wilmington/Long Beach area, contact Steve Curren at Long Beach Yacht Center ( He rents slips by the month and allows DIY boat owners like me to make repairs while the boat’s in the water.

Doug Mears


I wanted to share an update I’ve made to the hobo stove. Instead of holes on the bottom to allow fresh air to enter and fuel a solid-fuel fire, here I’ve left the bottom sealed. I pour stove alcohol into the can, light it, and allow it to burn a few moments before I set a pan on the can for cooking. I have only played with this version, but I see it as a viable (and cleaner) camp/cookout burner.

–Jim Shell, Good Old Boat contributor

Readers, to revisit the article describing Jim’s handy cooker (great for outdoor marina potlucks or shoreside cooking while at anchor), use this link:  Eds.


Wedding VowsI just received the latest edition of The Dogwatch and aside from everything else, I want to commend the cartoonist who drew the boat-wedding graphic. Well done indeed. Who is the talented individual? Do they have a website of their work?

–John Gilbert, Cone From Away, a 1979 Aloha 28, Owen Sound, Ontario

Tom Payne is the talented illustrator (and we were remiss in not making that credit clear, as we usually do in the print magazine). Tom’s great and has worked with Good Old Boat for many years. He’s also worked with SAIL and others. But that work is just a footnote in his extensive portfolio of clients. To learn more about Tom and his work, check out I’ll note that for this piece, we simply sent Tom instructions along the lines of “We need a female captain officiating a wedding on the deck of a good old boat.” We particularly love the tear from the older woman on deck, and the ring bearer in a life vest. Check out the March issue of Good Old Boat for more of Tom’s work, and also visit Tom’s comic site: sandsharkbeach.comEds.


Last month I put it to the readers about boat-sharing services. I asked whether any of you had used these services and whether you thought millenials would go the path of renting sailboats vs. owning sailboats. Will this model take-off and result in more people out on the water, people who want to sail but who don’t want to own a sailboat?

Reader Isaiah Laderman made the consensus point in the last sentence of his response. He did it so clearly and succinctly, with a perfect metaphor, that he gets the first word . . . Eds.


My parents rented a dinghy when I was pre-teen. I doubt I would be a sailor today if they hadn’t. But I think the liability of injury, and likelihood of dissent over breakage and wear-and-tear, should give private lessors pause. Also, simply sailing a boat misses the spectrum of experience of owning and maintaining boats, which is surely the more important part. Just as having kids is more important than talking to one occasionally.

Isaiah Laderman, Molto Tortissimo, a Sea Sprite 23

Interesting question on the increasing ways of getting out on a sailboat. I doubt that I would ever give up the “luxury” of boat ownership, but then I probably spend far more time aboard than the average coastal sailor. For me, it’s not only about being out on the water, but also about performing routine maintenance in port. For the years I was between boats, I traded sailing time for maintenance work on a variety of sailboats. Although the sailing and the destinations were the same, the pride of ownership wasn’t there and I missed the comfort of knowing every nuance of the boat. I’ve long been of the mind that being on the water should be an experience of independence, an experience grounded in a very limited expectation of outside assistance. Sailing an unknown boat increases the likelihood that I will be dependent on those resources.

In our part of the world, charter companies are generally reputable organizations with modern well-maintained boats. There are also boat owners that charter their personal boats. Some are good, some not so good. The introduction of an Airbnb-style marine industry would certainly widen choices for those seeking adventure on the water. However, the quality of the boat and knowledge/experience of the skipper would, in my opinion, require significant regulation to prevent chaos on the water during peak season. Unfortunately, such an industry would not do well under self-regulation, the quest for profit would outweigh responsible boat usage. A visit to a local boat repair facility demonstrates that even local boat owners have difficulty staying away from rocks and shoals in our turbulent currents. It’s one thing to “rent” a boat in a small, local lake; quite another to be out on the ocean dealing with tides, currents, and large commercial traffic. Insurance for our boat has gone up significantly this year, apparently due to ever-increasing claims. That can only get worse with the introduction of more ad-hoc charter facilities. I want more people to enjoy the freedom of being out on the water, particularly young people, but that freedom requires knowledge and responsibility. Somehow, I don’t think an Airbnb-style marine industry is the safest or the most responsible way of accomplishing this.

Bert Vermeer, Natasha, Sidney BC

At the American International Yacht Club Berlin, there were about 35 boats we could rent. Costs ranged from 50 cents an hour for a dinghy, to a dollar for Solings, Dragons, and others. It was an inexpensive way to go sailing and served me well until I was able to buy my own boat. The boats were maintained by the harbor staff, but those who took them out were sometimes less careful of them than if they were their own property.

Hal Shanafield, Hjalmar III, Pearson 32

I’m not certain which is the more likely forecast, that emerging generations will rent rather than own and therefore the rental market will boom, or that the number of people who know how to sail will shrink and bring down both the ownership and rental markets.

–Sam Goldblatt

I want to know my boat. I want to know how the radio works, where the PFDs are, whether the rigging is intact and durable, how to manage the engine, where the tools are, how to turn the lights on, where the horn is, where the through-hulls are located, and how the boat reacts to winds, seas, and my actions in steering and sail trimming. If I need an extra clevis pin, where are they (and are they there?). If I think it’s time to don a harness, where is it, and its tether? If I need to drop anchor right now, is it secured to the rode? (Don’t laugh, this is the voice of sad experience speaking).

My point is that boats are like underwear; they’re not easy to share successfully. It’s fun to sail on other people’s boats, but it’s not the same as sailing on my own. I always feel like a neophyte on other people’s boats. “Get the boathook!” and I think, gee where is it? “Turn on the spreader lights!” Darn, where’s that panel? “Ease the topping lift!” @#$*!!!, which cleat is it belayed on? On my boats, I know where things are. I know how the boat behaves. I know what can be relied on, what’s shaky, and what’s not working.

And for a guy who’s not generally obsessed with order, my boats are the places where everything has its place. Important stuff is where it’s supposed to be, and I never need to conduct a search to locate it. In fact, finding stuff is a big headache when sailing as crew aboard a local historic schooner. Knowing what stuff is aboard that boat, and where that stuff is, is a constant challenge because everybody decides where to leave the wrench or the seizing twine.

Maybe if I went sailing as infrequently as I go bowling, renting or sharing would make sense. But I sail a lot and I’d rather not face a steep learning curve each time.

Besides, my boats are my old friends. I’ve sailed one for 51 seasons so far and another for 20. I’ve spent many hours working on each boat and that makes for a sort of investment that goes beyond dollars.

Chris Campbell, Traverse City, Michigan

My sailing mentor, who resides in Virginia, lives by the philosophy, “If it floats or flies, rent it.” While he and I, who are both in our mid-70s, along with our better halves, have spent many a happy hour on bareboat charters in the Caribbean, I reside on the Left Coast, where it is possible to sail every month of the year. I prefer to own my sailboat, which presently is the 1980 Newport 30, Erewhon, a good old boat of Gary Mull design from the mid-70s. Not only has she provided a near-perfect venue for maritime outings throughout the San Francisco Bay area with family and friends over the past three years that we’ve owned her, she is also the perfect man cave, the place to hang out when I need relief from the madding crowd. I think the best sail plan for me is to sail my own boat locally and rent when I wish to explore distant waters that can best be reached at 550 mph in a jetliner.

Bill Crowley, Glen Cove Marina, Vallejo, California

[In weighing and considering the monetary cost of boat ownership to make] a judgment in this regard, do not count only the hours you are sailing your boat, include the hours that you spend thinking of your boat.

–John Davies

John, great point, and it reminds us of Don Davies’ (we presume no relation) great article, “The Cost of Sailing,” that was published in the June 2018 issue of The Dogwatch. For anyone who missed it the first time:  –Eds

My wife and I are the sort-of in-between generation, not fitting in with genX and just at the beginning of the generally-accepted range for millennials. We started off buying boatloads (hah) of music CDs and purchased our movies and video games on DVDs. We own our home and ground-based transportation. Over the past 15 years or so, we migrated first to buying music through services like iTunes, and now generally consume our music via streaming services. We read a lot, and while we both use electronic readers, we also both prefer to buy a lot of our books in paper form. So, we’ve been a little mixed in our approach to these things, changing our access methods as the technology grows and becomes accessible.

When the sailing bug bit, we had a Flying Scot dinghy for a time, later moving on to a Hobie Getaway beach cat that we’ve sailed for the past few years. In December we became owners of our first (and quite possibly our only) cruising sailboat, in the form of a Ted Brewer-designed Jason 35.

Several nearby state parks offer kayak rentals, but renting requires that we fit into the rental concession’s schedule. When we go bike riding, we like to make a day of it, and enjoy stopping along the trails to have a snack, watch nature, or just relax in a shady spot. We want the same flexibility when kayaking, so we bought. Our kayaks were not inexpensive, but within the first two years of owning them we probably saved what we paid for them in funds that didn’t go to rentals.

Nobody in our area (to our knowledge) offers sailboat rentals, and that’s what led to us buying the aging but capable Flying Scot. The state park dry moorings are inexpensive, and total cost of ownership was low. Our recent move to a cruising sailboat is a big jump in TCO (total cost of ownership), but we expect to make even more use of it than we did of our little beach cat. In a way, it will be to us like a floating summer cabin, where we plan to spend many weekends over the boating season sailing, kayaking, biking, and sometimes just enjoying a good book and a rainstorm from the comfort of the saloon.

Would that be possible if we were renting a boat? Perhaps, but it wouldn’t have the same character. If we were renting a boat, we would feel more obligated to go somewhere on it while we were paying for it, which could lead to making poor decisions with regard to weather. Would we rent it for a weekend that was supposed to be rainy and chilly with little useful wind? Maybe not. That, however, might not even be a choice, as we probably would have had to rent it well in advance to get it for a weekend anyway.

Would rental programs help more people to get on the water in our area? I suppose for the right people. Had there been a rental option in our area when I was first getting started, I might have made use of it before making the decision to buy, but I still think I would prefer to own boats instead of renting them.

In the end, I’m not at all sorry that we’re owners. Like with our home, I look forward to the projects to improve her, make her our own, and keep her up in a condition that I hope will make her builder proud. My wife and I look forward to spending quality time on the Jason 35, enjoying the sailing, the water, and the reading. Some of those goals would not be a consideration if we were renting when we wanted to be out on the water. Ownership isn’t for every sailor, but I think it adds a richness to the experience that is hard to match.

Jonathan Woytek




Dick Carter: Yacht Designer in the Golden Age of Offshore Racing

by Dick Carter and John Rousmaniere
(Seapoint Books, 2018; 192 pages; $29.95 print)

Review by Robb Mazza

Over the past several years, the sailing community has been blessed with the publication of several excellent biographies of prominent yacht designers, including those of L. Francis Herreshoff by Roger Taylor, Starling Burgess by Louie Howland, Ray Hunt by Stan Grayson, and GL Watson by Martin Black. However, there have been few autobiographies, other than perhaps Olin Stephens’ excellent All This and Sailing Too. So it is gratifying to read Dick Carter’s first-person-singular narrative of his own remarkable design career during the surge in offshore racing in the 1960s and 70s. Carter says the genesis of this book was his need to dispel the persistent rumor that he died five years ago!

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The Accidental Captain: the Hilarious True-Life Adventures Of the Nerd Who Learned To Sail Across the Atlantic – Eventually

by Glenn Patron
(self-published, 2016; 257 pages, soft cover).

Review by Wayne Gagnon

Glen Patron was born, as he says, “on the wrong side of the docks,” and grew up on Great Neck, on Long Island, New York. As a young boy, Glen developed a love for all literature that had anything to do with adventure. In this book, he chronicles his life and some adventures of his own. And he’s had his fair share. He spent his early adult years wandering around Mexico as a (kind of) student who couldn’t, or wouldn’t, live up to his father’s expectations. When he finally settled down enough to work for his father, he started “at the bottom,” as a stock boy, but learned enough about business to eventually take over and revive a failed company in Puerto Rico. But while Glen attained success as a businessman, he also pursued lives as an entertainer in local nightclubs and on TV, as a dirt bike racer, and eventually as a sailor. There’s a lot more to that story. I touched on the highlights only to illustrate the author’s diverse background, one that sets him up for a life worth writing about.

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Testing the Waters in PHRF Part 2

Justin Taylor and Tony Berends tend to sail trim aboard a Beneteau First 345 racing alongside a sister ship helmed by its owner, Kenny Byth.


If at first you don’t have speed, trim, trim, and trim again

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News from the Helm – February 2019


Buying new often makes sense. But when you’re in the market for a boat part, take a minute to consider whether that part is likely to be found used at a consignment or surplus store.

I remember each year carpooling down to Minney’s Yacht Surplus in Southern California for their annual parking-lot swap meet. It was an event. We’d wake excited and arrive before sunrise to find hundreds of people already doing business, flashlights in hand.

Recently the owner of Second Wave at the Boatyard, a consignment store in Gig Harbor, Washington, contacted me and reminded me of the greatness of these resources — and they’re everywhere there’s a concentration of boats. Many independent chandlers even dedicate a small part of their store to used boat stuff, usually items on consignment.

The savings are often spectacular for these “experienced” parts. So, when you’re in need of something that’s likely to be available used, take a minute to take a look. Besides, many of these stores look like the artful rendering of the Minney’s store above, the kind of place in which you’re liable to find that exactly perfect thing you weren’t looking for.


When Good Old Boat founder Karen Larson read the reader feedback in the December issue of The Dogwatch, she was reminded of a story we ran in Good Old Boat in July 2013, by Ferman Wardell. In that story, Ferman describes how he designed and built his own bottom-cleaning-from-the-dock device. Here’s a link to that story for The Dogwatch readers: Homemade Bottom Cleaner by Ferman Wardell



As most of us are aware, true north and magnetic north aren’t in the same place. And as most of us are also aware, magnetic north is constantly on the move, geographically, subject to the flows of liquid iron in the Earth’s core. And to keep up with calibrations of navigational instruments and mathematical formulas that need to sync with this changing magnetic north, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the British Geological Survey long ago teamed up to develop the World Magnetic Model. They update the model every five years to keep everything accurate. It was last updated in 2015.

However, the speed at which magnetic north is changing has sped up dramatically (nobody really knows why). In the 1950s, it moved about 100 feet per day, about 7 miles per year, but in the 1990s the pace quickened. By 2003, it was moving nearly 500 feet per day, about 34 miles per year. It hasn’t slowed.

Accordingly, the two governments came together a couple of years early to update the model, for the sake of accurate navigation, especially in the latitudes above 50 degrees north. And before they could finalize and release that info, the US government shut down.

But the good news is that the updated model was released February 4, much to the relief of NATO and the US Department of Defense, primary users of the model (along with scientists who study what happens deep beneath our feet, and keels).

For more information, including fascinating stuff we didn’t report here, read the full story on the National Geographic website:


Raymarine describes the imperative for its newest product, DockSense, as such:

“Docking a boat can be a stressful experience, even for the most experienced captains. Often wind and tides make the task more difficult, and docking mishaps can become expensive repairs and safety hazards. The DockSense system is designed to augment a captain’s boat handling skills using the system’s Virtual Bumper zone technology around the vessel. Should an object like a piling or another vessel encounter the Virtual Bumper, DockSense automatically introduces corrective steering and throttle commands to avoid the object and assist the captain in guiding the vessel to the dock.”

Raymarine describes their newest product, DockSense, as such:

“DockSense uses global positioning system (GPS) and attitude heading reference system (AHRS) position sensing technology to compensate for the effects of wind and currents, ensuring the vessel enters the dock without drama or costly collisions. The Raymarine DockSense system includes multiple FLIR machine vision cameras, a central processing module, and the DockSense App running on Raymarine’s Axiom navigation display.  The system integrates with modern joystick propulsion systems, providing assisted steering and throttle commands to help captains make a smooth arrival.”

At the risk of sounding like a grouchy old man with the mouth of a teenager: Whatever . . .


Khaki ball cap with a Blue Denim bill.Do you have a great photo of an aid to navigation? We want to see it. If we print it in the magazine, we’ll send you a Good Old Boat hat or shirt, your choice. And it doesn’t have to be a buoy, but certainly can be. The better the photo, or the more unique the aid or photo, the better your chances. Send your photo to


Mail Buoy – February 2019


Last month I put it to the readers about DIY boatyards. Do you prefer these yards? Are you willing to pay more in lay-day rates to use a DIY yard? Do you have a favorite DIY yard? It wasn’t a very divisive question because everyone seems to love DIY boatyards, and several of you gave a shout-out to your favorite. As an illustration last month, I used the graphic of one of my favorite DIY yards,  Ventura Harbor Boatyard (in Southern California). Reader Wayne Wright had something to say about Ventura Harbor Boatyard, so he gets the first word . . .

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A Drop in the Ocean

by Jasna Tuta
(Independently Published, 2018; 192 pages; $12.00 print, $5.99 digital)

Review by Karen Larson

Jasna Tuta and her partner, Rick Page, are self-described sea gypsies, members of the water tribe who cruise the world’s oceans. Their first book, Get Real, Get Gone: How to Become a Modern Sea Gypsy and Sail Away Forever, describes how they adopted the cruising lifestyle, what liveaboard techniques work for them, what you must have, what you can do without, and what to look for when buying a boat for your own cruising adventure. Get Real, Get Gone is a liveaboard how-to book and a good one.

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The Impractical Boat Owner

by Dave Selby
(Adlard Coles, 2017; 112 pages, $14.00 print)

Review by Tom Wells

When I started reading this humorous take on boating and boaters, I expected more of the usual, but Dave Selby has a new and refreshing approach to the genre. The description on Amazon says a lot: “It is a book with no practical purpose whatsoever. It won’t make you a better sailor, and it won’t provide any instructions on boat maintenance. But it will entertain: Selby’s light but observational writings tap the rich well of all those things that sailors know but few dare admit.” As he did with the title on the cover, Selby has scrawled additions to headings throughout the book. This device reflects his tone, evidence of his dry and self-deprecating humor. All and all, it makes for a very enjoyable read.

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Homemade Bottom Cleaner

Hull Cleaner at work
Ferman demonstrates how he can clean his boat’s bottom while she’s in her slip.

Give slime and scum the brush-off on the cheap

By Ferman Wardell

Doesn’t every sailor yearn for another tenth of a knot? Especially when racing? I do. Lucky are those who trailer their boats and can clean them at any time or place. Residing in a slip, Wind-Borne, my Hunter 28.5, is subject to all those nasty little organisms that are attracted to the hull. One nice thing about my location in freshwater Lake Norman, just north of Charlotte, North Carolina, is that there are no barnacles, just fuzzy scum. Even fuzzy scum slows the boat. Plus, when the boat heels, I like it to show a nice blue, not brown, underside. The scum’s got to go. My son gives me a cleaning by diver for Father’s Day each year but, as I race several times a year, I like to have a slick hull all the time.

While researching available bottom cleaning devices, I thought, “Why not have some fun designing my own?” I started out by listing criteria I wanted such a device to meet. It had to be easy to use, effective, durable, readily storable, and inexpensive.

I knew PVC pipe would work well as it’s easy to cut, configure, and join — and it’s rustproof. I found a floor sweeper with a flat swivel-head and terrycloth cover. One special need was an angle in the long handle to permit reaching under the boat’s bottom. This was accomplished with a 45-degree PVC fitting with screwed connections that disassemble for storage and transporting. (I pinned the connections so they wouldn’t unscrew at the wrong time.)

Basic parts
The basic parts of the hull cleaner are a swivel-head floor sweeper, PVC pipe and sundry fittings, and a pool noodle.

I assembled the parts and attached flotation to the back of the head to force it upward against the hull. The flotation is closed-cell-foam cut from swim noodle that sells for $1.99.

A successful prototype

It was time for the first test. The device was unwieldy until I got it in the water, where its buoyancy held it up nicely. While scrubbing, I noticed that the head wanted to flop the wrong way (with the float side up). That wouldn’t do. What’s more, the cleaning-head connection swiveled the wrong way and the broom-head connection came off. Rearranging the flotation and screw-pinning some connections solved these problems.

The second test went much better. The tool slid back and forth nicely with the terry material wiping off the scuzz, which floated away in a satisfying way.

Hull Cleaner dis-assembled
To make his hull cleaner easier to transport and store, Ferman cut the PVC pipe handle into short lengths which he joins together with screwed connections.

The underwater appendages were a different matter, as the buoyant cleaning head resisted being pushed down far enough to reach the bottom halves of the keel and rudder. To solve this, I fabricated another head with just one float located on one side to hold it vertically to match the vertical surfaces. Changing heads is a snap. I simply remove the locking pin and switch out the head and its shaft.

Further improvements included the addition of two screwed connections to make shorter pieces that can be stored easily and a steering stick to provide better leverage for guiding the device. The total cost: about $60. The most expensive parts are the two sweepers at $17 each. I could have reduced that significantly by fabricating them myself.

Recognizing that this hull-cleaning device is a prototype, I’m satisfied with how it works. I’ll continue to use it as is and will also work on ways to improve it.

Hull Cleaner assembled
Although the assembled hull cleaner looks a little ungainly, it works! The short stub at right angles to the handle gives Ferman leverage for guiding the pad.

Now I’m more ready than ever for the racing season with my clean-bottomed good old boat!

Ferman Wardell began sailing an 11-foot Styrofoam Snark on a  30-acre lake in North Carolina. After sail-schooling at NC coastal Camp Sea Gull, he owned a 12-foot Scorpion and a San Juan 21. He now cruises and races Wind-Borne, a 1985 Hunter 28.5, on Lake Norman near Charlotte. He has sailed extensively in the Caribbean. Ferman enjoys boat maintenance, repair and “improvements.”

Magnetic North: Sea Voyage to Svalbard

Magnetic North: Sea Voyage to Svalbard, by Jenna Butler

by Jenna Butler
(The University of Alberta Press, 2018; 120 pages, $19.95 print, $18.95 digital)

Review by Wendy Mitman Clarke

“I feel my body gone glass, emptying and refilling with Arctic swell. Darkness and safety a trick of the mind, as distant as the long, light fields of home.”

So writes Jenna Butler in Magnetic North: Sea Voyage to Svalbard, a collection of prose poems that reads like a hybrid memoir of short essay and prose poem describing her two-week journey as a writer-in-residence aboard the ice-class barquentine Antigua with Arctic Circle Expeditions. Each year, the organization invites a small group of scientists and artists to travel through the waters and fjords of Svalbard, an Arctic archipelago within 10 degrees latitude of the North Pole.

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A Dream of Steam

A Dream of Steam by James W. Barryby James W. Barry
(Aloft Publishing, 2018; 326 pages; $14.95 print, $4.95 digital)

Review by Karen Larson

Great Lakes sailor James Barry was inspired to write his first historical fiction novel by a true story he discovered while sailing among the islands of Lake Huron’s North Channel. The short version, as he tells it, was that of, “the Moiles brothers who, in 1889, executed the heist of their own sawmill to save it from being taken by creditors.”

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Mail Buoy – January 2019


You asked about reader experience with drones (“Put It to the Readers,” The Dogwatch, September 2018). I can say that launching a drone from a boat under sail is not easy, because of wind variations and the rigging. Doing so is possible with one of the more powerful machines, but these units are costly, and the likelihood of losing it when attempting to land on the boat under sail, is high. As a newbie drone operator, I wouldn’t risk losing a $700 machine for a few good shots or a video. Also, drone regulations are also very restrictive for commercial purposes. For example, I cannot sell you pictures I have taken from aboard Britannia because I don’t have a commercial drone license. I don’t think I could even employ a commercial pilot, buy the photos they took legally, and then legally re-sell the pictures to you.

–Roger Hughes, Good Old Boat contributor

Hi Roger, thanks for your thoughts on drones. You prompted us to do some research and here’s what we learned. Commercial drone (or small unmanned aircraft system, or sUAS) use is governed by the FAA and all rules and regulations (there are surprisingly few) are covered by the Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs) part 107. These are straightforward. Part 107 mandates that commercial operators have a license, but getting a license is as easy as passing a written exam at one of the more than 700 testing centers in the US and paying a $150 fee. That’s it, then you’re a commercial drone pilot. That said, we at Good Old Boat are of the untested, unqualified legal opinion that if you were to take a stellar photo as a recreational (non-commercial) drone operator and then sell it to Good Old Boat or another magazine, you would not be in violation of any law (and regardless, we can’t imagine there are drone police checking to be sure that published drone photos were taken by commercial operators). We think the real problem would arise were you stopped while flying and authorities determined that you were flying for commercial purposes without a license. Regarding your concern that you couldn’t employ a commercial pilot to take photos that you buy and then resell, we can’t imagine there is any regulation prohibiting that. –Eds


Great article on news of the ship The Falls of Clyde (“Fall and Rise of The Falls Of Clyde,” The Dogwatch, December 2018)! For those interested, there are six black-and-white photos of this ship in the book, Pacific Square Riggers: Pictorial History of the Great Windships of Yesteryear (1969, Bonanza Books), by Jim Gibbs. Unfortunately, each photo is relatively small, about 3×4 inches. But they are all of The Falls of Clyde as she was, including images of sailors aboard, the ship under sail, one of her main saloon, one of her in dry dock, a sad one of her sans masts and in use as a petroleum barge in Alaska, and one of her in 1959 in Seattle awaiting tow to Honolulu. The book also includes some copy about the ship.

I always enjoy my issues of Good Old Boat! Keep up the great work!

–John B. (Jack) Severinghaus, Com-Pac 23, Spokane, Washington



I just read Canadian George Kuipers’ letter to the editor, regarding the trade dispute between Canada and the U.S. (“Good Old Trade-Trouble Fallout,” November 2018). Although I, too, am bewildered and frustrated that friends and allies like Canada are treated worse than North Korea by the president, I believe that the ordinary citizens of both countries are still friends. Good Old Boat is certainly my friend on board during the summertime as well as on the hard during the winter months. What goes on now in small politics will pass and Good Old Boat will continue. For that, I will renew.

–Claudette Paquin, Penetanguishene, Georgian Bay, Ontario


Last month we put a question to readers who live in places where weather and frozen water restricts sailing to a seasonal affair. Do you envy the Southern California sailors who can go for a Christmas Day sail most years, or do you pity those who lack the seasons to frame and define their sailing experience? Here is what some of you had to say, starting with Fred Mulligan, who thoughtfully brought Henry David Thoreau into the discussion…

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News from the Helm – January 2019


Are you familiar with the comprehensive boat review we feature at the start of each issue of Good Old Boat magazine? We have a small team of marine freelance writers who draft those for us, and we’re looking to make that small team a little larger. Specifically, we’re looking for an eager reviewer (or two) who lives in coastal California, between San Diego and Pt. Conception (and we will consider the right reviewer further north).

The perfect candidate is a Good Old Boat reader, capable writer and photographer, and sailor. Our reviewers usually review one or two boats per year, so this is a very low-demand gig.

For more information, please contact



 Lin Pardey just released a tribute edition of the classic Cruising in Seraffyn and she is donating 100 percent of the profits to support the Larry Pardey Observatory.

The Larry Pardey Observatory?

Shortly before Larry moved to a care facility near the New Zealand home he built and shared with Lin, Kenny Thorall came to visit. Fifty years previously (and a year before Lin came on the scene), Larry and Ken had formed a team, delivering boats together and repairing them. Now Ken, who had gone on to become a bush pilot in Alaska, wanted to do something to memorialize the man who was, in his words, “the best friend any one could have and an amazing sailor.” He donated the funds to create an observatory at Camp Bentzon On Kawau Island, New Zealand, after learning that it would give almost 5,000 youngsters a year a chance to see the stars that led him and Larry across oceans together. A year ago, the Larry Pardey Observatory was completed and outfitted with four telescopes plus 15 sets of special high-powered stargazing binoculars. Since then, more than 100 children each week have had their first chance to explore the night sky, far from the light pollution of the big city.

This tribute edition is updated to include a new introduction, updated guidelines to breaking away on your own adventure, and 16 pages of color photos. The appendices have been updated to include information on what cruising costs today, details of what worked best on Seraffyn, what could have been better, plus the history of this famous little ship. Click here to order: or visit


Good Old Boat cover shots have long come from Good Old Boat readers. Think you have a photo we’ll want to buy for our cover? Send it to — but first consider the following basic guidelines:

  1. The photo should be a high-resolution image. At a very minimum, this is 300 dpi at about 8×10 inches. In terms of file size, you’re looking at something at least 2MB, but 15MB is better (and feel free to send small, low-res copies of photos you want us to first consider).
  2. The photo doesn’t have to be in portrait orientation, but the portion we’ll use for the cover should be (and the file should be large enough to allow us to crop it while still allowing for 300 dpi at cover size).
  3. Think about composition. The photo should have space up top for us to put the Good Old Boat title, but without covering up something important in the photo.
  4. Is the photo interesting? People, action, and lighting all can serve to make an interesting, unusual cover shot. We like great shots of boats at anchor, but we get a lot of those, so competition for those photos is stiffer. Consider sending us a shot unlike you’ve seen on our covers — a boatyard maybe?
  5. Have fun!


Here’s the first sentence from a BoatUS press release dated December 5, 2018: “President Trump has officially moved to allow E15 (15 percent ethanol) gasoline sales year-round – a fuel prohibited for use in recreational boats and a decision that recreational boating groups say will needlessly put 142 million American boaters at risk.” Read the full press release here:



Do you have a great photo of an aid to navigation? We want to see it. If we print it in the magazine, we’ll send you a Good Old Boat hat or shirt, your choice. And it doesn’t have to be a buoy, but certainly can be. The better the photo, or the more unique the aid or photo, the better your chances. Send what you have to

Ten Degrees Of Reckoning

by Hester Rumberg (Putnam/Berkley, 2010; 272 pages; $24.95 hard, $15.00 soft, $12.99 digital)

Review by Don Davies

On November 24th, 1995 the sturdy 47-foot Compass, Melinda Lee, sailed in 35-knot gusts and 8-foot seas at the end of a long passage and only 20-odd miles from her destination in New Zealand. Mike and Judith Sleavins had tucked their two children into their berths and were preparing for their last night at sea.

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Rigging Modern Anchors

by Drew Frye (Seaworthy Publications, 2018; 147 pages, $24.95 print, $9.95 digital)

Review by Robin Urquhart

This is a guide to everything you could possibly want to know about anchors and anchoring. Rigging Modern Anchors includes elegant illustrations and informative graphics and tables. Frye presents facts and withholds from giving personal opinions on anchor types. It’s unlikely you will need any other book on anchoring.

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Sun Shower Wind Break

By Mark Branse

Over the years, I’ve often used a sun shower to heat water for onboard showers. If conditions are right, they can get to be too hot to use. But more often, a cooling breeze saps the heat generated by the sunlight, leaving me a lukewarm shower. I experimented with placement of the solar shower, in a bid to protect it from the wind, but shade was then my foe.

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Fall and Rise of the Falls of Clyde

By James Barry

Falls of Clyde today. Photo by Jamie White.

If you’ve been to Hawaii, you’ve maybe seen the Falls of Clyde, an historic sailing ship lying in Honolulu Harbor. She is a rare one: a four-master made of riveted iron. She was built on the river Clyde in Scotland, nearly 140 years ago. She’d be a strong contender for the ultimate good old boat. During her past, she traded around the world, hauling a wide variety of cargo until 1907, when she was fitted with integral steel tanks for carrying kerosene.

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Mail Buoy – December 2018


Thank you for the article on the hatch tent. The one shown would certainly keep the rain out. However, when we are at anchor we need to have quick access to the bow and a tent design inhibits that. I’ve been looking for a compact, free-standing design, but those that are commercially available are way too expensive. I’ve considered using a pet- or child-size dome tent with part of the bottom cut out. Any experience or thoughts about that idea?

–Brian McMahon, Windchaser

We don’t have any experience in this realm. For the past eight years, we’ve closed our hatches when the rain comes (and in the Tropics we’ve often suffered for it, at night especially, but that rain is usually short-lived). If any readers have advice to offer Brian, please contact him directly at:


Last month, I put it to the readers about whether you’ve tried one of the stay-dry-and-clean-your-boat-bottom-from-the-dock tools, you know, one of those brushes on a long handle. I shared how I personally spent a couple of years in my 20s underwater, cleaning boat bottoms and that I’ve long been skeptical of these easy-as-pie DIY tools, I just didn’t see how they could substitute for a diver. But Davis had just released their own version of these things, called Scrubbis (pictured) and I wanted to get opinions from folks who’ve actually used one of these. I have to say that I expected first-hand stories that would support my skepticism, but received none. Here is what some of you had to say.

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News from the Helm – December 2018



Cavan Lyons, a documentary film student at Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies in Washington, traveled to Victoria, Vancouver, this past August to spend time with 76-year-old Jeanne Socrates ahead of her early-October departure on a voyage that, when completed, will result in Jeanne being the oldest person to ever have sailed solo, non-stop, unassisted around the world (she is already the oldest woman to have completed this feat).

Being a film student, Cavan brought his camera and produced an outstanding 12-minute mini-documentary that really communicates who Jeanne is. After watching it, you’ll feel like you spent the day with Jeanne aboard her boat.


West Marine has hired a new CEO, Ken Seipel, and he’s an outsider. He was formerly the CEO of Gabe’s, a clothing retailer on the East Coast. Before that, he was an executive with other clothing retailers, including Old Navy, Target, and JCPenney. According to the bio released by West Marine’s PR firm, Ken’s not a boater.

For this CEO gig, it’s probably more important to be savvy in business than savvy on the water, but we’re trusting that Ken has a panel of in-house boater-advisors to help him understand and connect with the West Marine customer. After all, this is a company whose market is comprised 100 percent of boaters. We wish Ken Seipel and West Marine enduring success.


In late November 2018, Ontario-area sailors gathered to honor local and national sailing greats. Inductees were:

Bill Cheek, the late sailing judge and race officer

Marty Essig, competed for Team Canada in the 2000 Sydney Olympics in the single-handed dinghy competition

Harry Greening, the late speedboat pioneer, who was born in 1880 and competed at a time when hitting 25 knots — under power — was enough to set records.

Dick Scott, successful racer in the 6-Metre class of the 1960s. Speaking of the 6-Metre class, Harry Penny once said, “As a 6-metre sailor during their heyday in the 1960’s, the writer cannot claim to be objective about the merits of this class; he only knows that he was spoiled for any other kind of racing. Afterward, all other boats seemed graceless, sluggish, and unresponsive.”

Larry Scott, son of Dick Scott and member of the 1972 Canadian Olympic team, competing in the mixed two-person keelboat event in Munich.


Fact: 26% of the boats listed for sale on the classified pages of our September issue sold before the November issue hit the streets. That’s 5 of 19 boats, sold! Are you selling a sailboat, or looking to buy one? The Good Old Boat classified pages are a huge, valuable resource. Brokers! You’re missing the boat if you’re not listing in Good Old Boat magazine, an incredible value. Subscribers! Don’t forget that you’re entitled to a free online listing each year.

Our History

Meet the Good Old Boat Founders,
Karen Larson and Jerry Powlas.

The idea occurred to us way back in 1997 where our best ideas always originate: on the boat while cruising. “Let’s create a magazine to unite the owners of cruising sailboats like ours: older boats, wonderful boats, well-loved, and frequently sailed boats.” And so Good Old Boat magazine was born for sailors who own, maintain, sail, and love terrific fiberglass boats from the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s and into the present.

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