Off it comes, everything off

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Off it comes, everything off

    Good Old Boat Newsletter February 2009

    Off it comes, everything off!

    by Karen Larson

The last day we saw Mystic, our C&C 30, she cowered in the boatyard with a stumpy

    upturned bucket where her mast once proudly stood. Her upperworks looked as if a band of thieves had stopped by. Barely a piece of hardware was in sight. By the time we visit again in spring, she'll have a newly painted deck.

    Most years, we have our winter haulout process down to a science. We each know what jobs have to be done. We each have a personal list of projects. And we each keep an eye on the other so neither one overlooks any major step along the way. If someone were to run a stopwatch, we could empty the lockers, winterize her systems, and throw Mystic's

    tarp on her in just one day.

    So, after 17 years -- just when we were getting good at it -- we changed the process this once. The mast had to be pulled, because she'd be going inside for the prep and painting. We've only had the mast off one other time, for repairs following a lightning strike. Our boat doesn't look right without a mast; I cried the first time I saw her stripped bare like that. This year I didn't have time for regrets. There's a lot of extra work involved in removing the mast if you want to get it all back exactly as it was when you're ready to go sailing the following season.

    We took photos, ripped protective tape off cotter pins, pulled the pins, and unscrewed turnbuckles. We removed things we don't think about most years, like that little doodad that holds the winch handle at the ready by the halyard winches. The backstay supports the radar mast; a cable runs down into the cabin through that mast into a cowl vent, and through the cockpit lockers in a maze of clips and wire ties -- it all had to go. Ditto for the GPS antenna and its trappings.

    Once the mast was no longer connected to the boat and was yanked unceremoniously out of the hole in the deck, the rest of the deck work began. We removed pulpits, stanchions, and hardware. We didn't realize there's so much hardware! Each time we thought we had it all, our eyes landed on another reliable and valuable something-or-other we never think about: the storage case in the cockpit for the bilge pump handle, the hasps on the cockpit locker lids, the bracket for the ship's bell. When I didn't have a screwdriver in my hand, I became the boat's bag lady as I followed Jerry about with zip-type baggies and a marking pen, trying to keep parts of the autopilot, the traveler, or the steering pedestal together. A one-day fall project stretched into three as we came to grips with the full scope of the operation. Would we ever remember where everything had been? Would we ever find it among the piles of baggies and hardware in the cabin? If it took three days to remove everything, we wondered, how long would it take to replace it? Longer, much longer, surely!

    Oh, what had we done? I now look forward to spring with dread, as I contemplate the task that lies ahead and, simultaneously, with a sense of wondrous anticipation as I wait to see Mystic's new deck revealed.

Good Old Boat newsletter February 2009 Page 1

Good Old Boat newsletter February 2009

What's coming in March?

For the love of sailboats

    ; Pacific Seacraft 25

    ; Tartan 3000

    ; Grampian 26

Speaking seriously

    ; Shorepower Adapters 101

    ; Fitting a propeller

    ; Don Casey on protecting your chainplates

    ; Fixing the mast step on the fly

    ; Building a mast tabernacle

    ; Major deck repair

    ; Installing a spotlight on the bow

    ; Finding a hidden hole in the boat

    ; Building an integral water tank

Just for fun

    ; Zen and the art of boat maintenance

    ; The Riddle of the Sands audiobook excerpt

    ; Water sounds

What's more

    ; Simple solutions: Upside-down jigsaw blades

    ; Quick and easy: Chamois at the drain

In the news

    Edson turns 150 thEdson International is celebrating its 150 anniversary. The company was founded in 1859 by Jacob Edson to build and market his new invention, the diaphragm pump. Mid-th19-century sailors welcomed the pump because it relieved them of the chore of hand

    bailing. By the turn of the century, a typical boat was equipped with many Edson-

    manufactured products, from steering systems to, of course, the Edson diaphragm bilge


    To learn more about this historic company, go to <>, or to

    browse their 84-page e-catalog of sailboat products, click on <>.

    Hubbell Marine, turns120

    Hubbell Marine, the newer kid on the block, is "only" 120 years old. Thomas Edison's first light bulbs burned continuously, so Harvey Hubbell invented the

    socket switch with the on/off pull chain many of us still have in our homes. Then after

    Good Old Boat newsletter February 2009 Page 2

Good Old Boat newsletter February 2009

    watching a penny-arcade employee tediously disconnect and reconnect the wires that produced power to the games, Harvey figured out how to create the proper sequence and polarity of those wires and a way to easily connect and disconnect them … from a wall switch. Those inventions were only the beginning.

    By the early 1950s, Hubbell Marine designed a line of corrosion-resistant devices, including onboard and dockside electrical products. Today, the company manufactures over 500 marine-grade electrical products.

    To learn more about Hubbell Marine, go to <>. It too has

    a virtual catalog that can be paged-through at <http://www.hubbell->.

    SeaKnots, a social network for cruisers, grows rapidly

    What Facebook is to college students and LinkedIn is to business contacts, SeaKnots has become for cruisers. This is an online destination where often all you need to know is the name of the boat to find a fellow cruiser. It's also a place to meet fellow sailors in your area, connect with old friends, seek advice about a destination, find boats to crew on, or find crew for your boats. In July 2008 there were about a 1,000 members; four months later, membership exceeded 2,000 members and it's continuing to grow. Check it out at <>.

More blogging sailors

    Joe McCary has a site about sailing Aeolus II, a Catalina 27, on the Central Chesapeake

    Bay: <>.

    Special friends Bill and Judy Rohde have an excellent blog about their travels out of the Great Lakes via the St. Lawrence Seaway and down the East Coast:


    Even Edson Marine has a blog: <>.

Looking for

Challenger 7.4

    We have a Challenger 7.4 sailboat. I'm looking for others with similar boats. Don Osborn

Albin Singoalla

    I am the owner of a 1972 Albin Singoalla. I would like to locate any other owners of Albin Singoallas in the U.S.

    Christos Papaconstadopoulos


    Good Old Boat newsletter February 2009 Page 3

Good Old Boat newsletter February 2009

    I just acquired a Challenger, an 18-foot 4-inch sailboat built by Lunn Laminates. I think it was built about 1951 or ‘52 and was chosen as boat of the year in 1953. It's one of the first fiberglass daysailers made and it has a mahogany interior and rudder. As a refit boat, it's a work in progress and sails like a dream come true. Do I have the only one left? Wayne De Cicco th680 W. 8 Ave.

    Truth or Consequences, NM 87901


    On a recent trip to the many secluded bays south of Tokyo, I was surprised to find Cynara, a 90-foot ketch built in 1927 in Gosport by Camper & Nicholson. Apart from that, the present owners know little of her history. I would be interested to hear from anyone with information about this historic vessel.

    Ivan Brackin

Another unidentified burgee

    We recently restored and hung a few more hurricane-damaged burgees and have another one that is unidentified. But only two of 60 remain a mystery. Help again? Robert Lang, Fleet captain

    Quantico Yacht Club


Southern Cross identified

    The boat [I asked about in the October 2008 newsletter] has been identified as a 1984 Southern Cross 31. An official of the Southern Cross association, who is also an SC owner, emailed me several times to see if we could find the owner. The yard manager has never seen the owner, but the yard fee has been paid every year for 24 years. The boat has not moved, just sits there and fades away.

    Joe Staples

    Tale of the New Year's boat

    Just a few days before the end of December, your Good Old Boat editors received an

    email message asking for help finding a new home for a project boat in Delaware before it was hauled off to the dump. The boat is a 1962 Seafarer Polaris, a 26-foot Bill Tripp design. It was being offered for free. We put up a webpage about the emergency at: and sent an email letter to our

    subscribers (all those for whom we have an email address, that is). Since you are likely to have received one of those messages, we thought you'd like to know what has happened since that email.

    We received many wonderful messages in return. Some wished they could do something about this boat, but they already had a project or two lurking in their own backyards. Some offered prayers. Some took joy in the fact that some good old boater was going to Good Old Boat newsletter February 2009 Page 4

Good Old Boat newsletter February 2009

get his hands on an affordable project. Some simply thanked Good Old Boat for caring

    enough to spread the word.

    As the newsletter "goes to press," here is what we know: Holly Siegel is grateful for the dozens of emails and phone calls. She couldn't respond to everyone but wants to express her thanks. One offer fell through, but there's a possibility of another on the horizon. Stay tuned.


The List

    by Richard Smith

    Today is the day to get that chicken wire down on the front porch -- going to be slippery out there with the snow. Have to pick up a roll of wire at Henery's and better get a new pack of staples, too -- and the 1x2s to finish off the edge. Probably have enough nails in the shop but wouldn't do any harm to get another pound or so. On the way over, I might as well drop into the marina and take a look at the boat. Be a good idea to start the engine and let her run a bit. It's cold so I might as well throw that crate load of alder rounds I cut up into the back of the pick-up. Good to put a little heat into the old girl; dry things out a bit too.

    The engine needs work, that's for sure. Well, not real work -- just looking after. Maybe I

    can just look her over and start thinking about making a list of things to do. Got to see about getting that old tired antifreeze out. It's been years moving around in there -- the red's gone kind of pinkish -- but I can't seem to locate the drain plugs any more. I had them spotted once but somehow they've gotten lost. There's one petcock thatI know of for sure but the last time I tried, it wouldn't budge. And what if it breaks off in the block? Doesn't bear thinking about. When I find them, I'll paint them all red like I did the bleed screws. That really helped. Years go by and you can't quite remember where everything is. Probably not the best day to get started with that anyway. The indoor-outdoor carpeting on the box step is coming off at one corner and one of these days somebody's going to have their arms full stepping onto the dock and KA-POW! There goes the day. While I'm at it, might as well bring down the Shop-Vac and give the cushions and all a good going-over. Maybe Jim can come down and give us an estimate on new foam and covers. Probably will be the cost of a new genny.

    Which makes me think that it would probably be a good idea to get the sails off today. Won't take but a few minutes. Should have done that weeks ago but there was always a chance we could take the old girl out on one more autumn cruise over to Port Madison. Well, we did, didn't we? Spent a couple of nights on the hook but that was a long time ago -- before Thanksgiving it was; maybe even Halloween.

    Fired up the old Dickinson with those nice dry alder rounds. Big improvement over hacking away at those Presto logs. Put a little nick in the cockpit sole doing that. And with a few pieces of charcoal and a squirt or two of lighter fluid, she started right up. Not a bit of smoke in the cabin … well, maybe just a bit. Have to keep your eye on her.

    Good Old Boat newsletter February 2009 Page 5

Good Old Boat newsletter February 2009

    Starting and keeping that little beauty going takes more attention to what you're doing than anything else on the boat. Have to crack the hatches, fore and aft, just the right amount. No wonder it took about four years to learn how to do it. Really should get some more sheets of aluminum up on the overhead, though -- gets pretty hot up there. Have to

    pick up some at Henery's -- and remember to bring those good tin snips down to the boat. Should have some stainless wood screws in the toolbox. It would be a good idea to give that old box a good going over while I'm at it or maybe get a new one that keeps everything better organized. I'll have a look at Henery's when I pick up the aluminum sheets.

    It's a good day to get those covers off and give them a good wash, if only I can find some real soap -- not supposed to use detergent on Sunbrella -- upsets the waterproofing they say. After ten years, the only thing keeping the water out must be a heavy layer of dirt and gull guano. Anyway, I'll give them a scrub and they'll look good for a while. Which reminds me, I've got to see to that varnish that's starting to come unstuck on the port handrail next spring for sure. While I'm getting the genny off the foil, I'll try to remember to get the windlass cover on. That needs a good clean too. Seems like those gulls are aiming for the hawespipe and scoring most of their near misses around the windlass.

    Problem is, how do we fold the sails along the dock? Not enough room to swing a cat down there and I've got to measure the genny luff for the new 120. I can get the main folded okay but that 150's just too big -- last spring we dropped the head in the Sound. Maybe just stuff her into the bag and do the folding back home.

    While I'm thinking about that dock step, I really should build a new one -- sort of a combination step and small dock box, maybe. And it should be a little higher. Good idea, that. Nan and John can hardly make it up to the rail anymore. Sure not going to pay a hundred bucks for a plastic step and another five hundred for a dock box. Forget that! Better off using the truck boxes for those spare tarps and fenders. A good heavy top on barn-door hinges covered with new indoor-outdoor carpeting. Good spring project.

    When I get the main off, it would be a good idea to rig a good boom tent. Something like Jerry's -- good and tight with a bungee at the gate so we can get in under it. A good silver tarp that'll cover everything from the mast to the end of the boom. And maybe I can figure a way to get some cover over the fantail and give the varnished teak a little protection. Actually, that raw teak on the toe rail doesn't look so bad -- better than the handrails that I've got to get down to bare wood this year. Or maybe next. No -- no more varnish topside! Nope, no more … well, maybe just a bit where it'll be under cover, like

    the gas bottle storage lid and the lip over the instrument panel. Maybe the anchor sprit -- there's not much there and it looks awfully good. But not those handrails and eyebrows. Anyway, what's spring without a little varnishing to think about.

    Thinking about that gas bottle storage lid reminds me -- I've got to check out that whiff of propane that we get now and again. Beth says it's just before we get to the bottom of the Good Old Boat newsletter February 2009 Page 6

Good Old Boat newsletter February 2009

    tank but I don't know. Then there's the old Hillerange acting up. Every once in a while, the flare up takes some hair off my right arm. The regulator pressure gauge holds good and steady and when I wiped the joints with soapy water, I didn't get a bubble. Have to get on to it. Called Todd at Sure Marine who thinks it might be the regulator. I'll see if I can get it checked out. Also better see to that broken burner grate. Todd says they have a whole box of them.

    I'll hit those petcocks with WD-40 for a start and see if I can persuade them out. Just don't want to break anything off in the block. Maybe I can get Jerry or David to come down and have a look. And while I'm at it, I'll go over the engine with an oily rag -- see if I can

    find any trouble brewing.

    Have to get the oil out and changed too. Better do it when it's good and hot so it may be better to wait until we take the boat out to photograph Raconteur under sail for the article.

    I'll check the secondary while I'm at it and put in a new cartridge. Better pick one up at NAPA and get one for the truck too. Hope we get some good shots. Better wait for a good sunny day and about 12 to 15 knots.

    Getting nice and cozy in here now. Guess the trick is to mix in some charcoal with the alder once in a while. Seems to keep it more even -- and nice and warm. Wind's starting to blow now -- won't be able to get those sails off -- better tie off those halyards before I head off to Henery's.

    Now what was it I was supposed to pick up over there?

Calendar th20 Annual Women's Sailing Convention

    February 7, 2009

    Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club

    Corona del Mar, Calif.

     thThe premier sailing seminar for women will celebrate its 20 anniversary this year. The

    daylong educational and networking event is open to all women from novices to experts. There will be 26 workshops, both on the water and in classrooms, covering a wide range of topics including singlehanding, spinnaker rigging, new racing rules, diesels, weather, and much more.

    Registration is limited. To find out more, go to <> or


    Save the date

    Lake Tahoe's Concours d'Elegance will be held in June this year instead of August. More information can be found at <>.

Book reviews

Good Old Boat newsletter February 2009 Page 7

Good Old Boat newsletter February 2009

Further Offshore, A Practical Guide for Sailors, by Ed Mapes,

    (Sheridan House, 2008; 352 pages; $39.95)

    Review by Susan Lynn Kingsbury

    Moreno Valley, Calif.

Further Offshore is the textbook for those who are serious about

    sailing the open waters. All-inclusive, it is meant to be read and

    digested from cover to cover.

    Delve in and you will find six sections to explore, each one

    covering a separate aspect of offshore sailing in intricate detail.

    Nothing is left out; when you finish reading Further Offshore, it

    is doubtful you will have any questions left unanswered.

    "The Big Picture is an introduction to what Mapes calls "the voyage." He addresses everything from making the final decision to go on an extended voyage and finding the right boat, to equipping your boat, choosing your crew, cruising with children, meal and trip planning, and more.

    "The Boat and Fitting Out" takes you right to the nitty-gritty details of finding the right sailboat for your adventure. The author discusses types, weights and configurations of hulls, boat size in relation to need, construction type and materials, steering, mast and rigging -- the list is extensive.

    Information on gear and instrumentation is also included and covers Emergency Position Indication Radio Beacon (EPIRB), self-steering systems, Global Positioning System (GPS), communications and safety equipment and measures, just to name a few.

     It's time to start planning. Most sailors who are able to "Planning for the Voyage" --

    finally embark upon bluewater sailing are not as young as they used to be. This means you'll need to plan to take care of your health before sailing off into the sunset. Smart voyagers will prepare before leaving dry land by signing up for emergency first aid classes, putting together an onboard medical kit (complete lists of recommended contents are provided) and purchasing comprehensive health insurance coverage while at sea. Finding the best boat insurance, a guide to weather fundamentals, routing your voyage, preparing the crew, meal planning and provisioning, and final preparations are also covered. You may decide to read this section more than once, as it deals with so many important topics.

    In "Boat Handling and Shipkeeping" the following are covered in detail: maneuvering under sail or power, docking, anchoring, going up the mast, safety tactics, protocols and procedures. This is a must-read section as sailing in extreme conditions is addressed as well, including tropical cyclones, hurricanes, waves, and navigating to safety as a crew. Tips on routine maintenance and upkeep of your vessel are also included. No details are left out -- even insects and other pests are addressed.

    "Underway," one of the shorter sections of the book, contains thorough details on departure, watchkeeping, logkeeping, making landfall, and port clearance. Good Old Boat newsletter February 2009 Page 8

Good Old Boat newsletter February 2009

    The Appendices include various usable checklists, lists, and plans to ensure you are ready to shove off, a general Power of Attorney form, COLREGS list, a section on medical emergency procedures, and helpful conversion tables.

    Any questions? Read Further Offshore for all the answers!

    The American Pram by Paul Austin Jr. (Published by the author, 4104 Block Drive 319, Irving, TX 75038,; 2008; 36 pages; $15.00)

    Review by Bill Sandifer

    Mandeville, La.

    The Home Depot motto, "You can do it; we can help," could be the name of this book. There are nine potential prams you can build just from this one slim volume. It is detailed enough that a person with the desire and basic skills will have no trouble building a useful and good-looking pram.

    The author has selected a group of nine easy-to-build prams under 10 feet in length. Included are prams by Bolger (2), Atkin (1), Joel White (1), Sponberg (1), Jordan (1), Clark Mills (1), Holtrop (1) and Anderson (1). My favorite, the Nutshell pram, is Joel White's contribution to this group. This group certainly does not include all the prams in this length range but is representative of the best of a group of designs. The book lays out the basic parameters for building the prams and leads the reader step by step through the construction cycle for each pram. The book includes a good materials list as well as basic design layouts, saving loads of time. Lofting is not required but a good ladder jig, well reinforced, is definitely a must. The author gives simple directions for the construction, although he occasionally lapses into "boatbuilder speak," which he thinks you understand but may not. This occurs where the author is discussing the Atkin pram and uses "cross-spall" in the ladder jig. There are numerous examples of this "boatbuilder speak" throughout the book, enough to be intimidating and annoying to a person not used to this language.

    There are discussions of wood uses and weight as well as nifty ideas for fittings, oars, daggerboards, and leeboards. An index gives the source for plans for the nine prams, including costs. The pictures and illustrations are well selected and add considerably to the reader's understanding of each pram. The brief discussion of the capabilities of each pram and its usefulness are definite pluses to the text.

    If you are considering building a useful pram, consider buying this book. You'll need to add a boatbuilder's dictionary for some of the instructions but, in the end, it will all be worth the effort to have built your own pram from scratch. I'm very proud of the Nutshell pram I built over 20 years ago. She has served well and continues to serve. You can do it and this book is a good way to get your feet wet.

Get Onboard With E-charting by Mark and Diana Doyle (semi-local publications,; 2008; 232 pages; $34.95)

    Good Old Boat newsletter February 2009 Page 9

Good Old Boat newsletter February 2009

Review by Durkee Richards

    Sequim, Wash.

    This is a very data-rich book. It is a fine introduction to electronic charting and navigation for those new to the topic. More experienced users will find it useful as a reference book on the currently available applications, or to look up details on instrumentation, formats or data transfers between different devices. The first part of this book addresses the question "What is E-Charting?" In the introduction section, the authors do a nice job of summarizing the history of "Global Position Finding," the development of paper charts, and the evolution to digital chart formats.

    Part two delves into the basic components of any E-charting systems -- hardware, sensors,

    chart database and application software. Once again, the authors begin with a clearly written introduction that covers the key issues. Then they go into considerable detail that is useful even to very experienced users.

    If you are hesitant to give E-charting a try, then the third section of this book might be just what you need to see how E-charting could enhance your cruising and navigation experience. Chapter 10, "Putting It All Together," features seven scenarios showing how various aspects of E-Charting can be used by boaters ranging from a kayaker to the captain of a large yacht. Part three also includes a lot of useful details on data transfer and how to deal with different data formats.

    Part four," Choosing an Application," is the longest section of the book. It features a critical review of 16 applications -- one chart viewer, one "Planner-Plus," 12 full-featured applications for PCs and two more for Macs. Generous use of tables of attributes helps the reader compare and contrast the various options.

    Mark and Diana subtitled their book "The Complete Reference Guide to Electronic Charting and PC-Based Marine Navigation." This is a fair characterization. They write with the assured confidence of experienced users of all these applications.

Boat Smart: Lake Michigan Devours Its Wounded by Tom Rau, Senior Chief, USCG

    (retired) (Seaworthy Publications, 2006; 246 pages; $19.95)

    Review by Chas Hague, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary

    Des Plaines, Ill.

    Smart boaters who have taken a boating safety course, either through the Power Squadron or the Coast Guard Auxiliary, will have learned what they should and should not do on the water. Really smart boaters will read Chief Tom Rau's excellent book. From it, they will not only learn the what, but the why -- why people on the water should always wear a life jacket; how to properly make a radio distress call; the value of a float plan; the hazards of drinking and boating; how anyone using a boat for any purpose (fishing, hunting) can get into trouble; what not to do with your GPS; and did I mention life jackets?

    Good Old Boat newsletter February 2009 Page 10

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