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Subject: rec.boats Frequently Asked Questions (Part 2 of 5)

This article was archived around: Mon, 24 Sep 2001 19:26:01 +0000 (UTC)

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Posted-By: auto-faq 2.4 Archive-name: boats-faq/part2
weight down low (like 60+% of the boat is ballast). You can do that by either increasing the size of the bulb/blob at the bottom of the keel, or you can spend thousands on tank testing your wings, get the weight down low with them instead, and psych out your competition at the same time. Today the latest theory has keels of the semi-elliptical form, where you have the leading edge straight, and the trailing edge gently curved. Except for some of Bruce Farr's designs, which have a gently curved leading edge and straight aft edge. Wait a minute, that doesn't fit the theory! Farr's boats don't seem to notice that they don't fit the latest theory though. They just leave everybody else behind them and go to the winners circle. They are using bulbs today instead of wings on the hottest racing boats, to get more stability with less total weight... 3.9 Sailing simulators? There are Posey simulators as well as nav packages, hardware and software in Dave and Judy Crane's Nautical Computing catalog, available from DF Crane Associates, 2535 Kettner Blvd; PO Box 87531, San Diego CA 92138-7531 Phone 619/233-0223. Dennis Posey also sells his collection of race and cruising simulators by direct mail from Posey Yacht Designs, 101 Parmelee Rd., Haddam, CT 06438 or 203/345-2685. He has a half dozen different versions for different levels and interests, PC and Mac. (rs2) 3.10 Chartering and learn-to-sail schools In the US, various people on the net have spoken highly of Womanship (and one of their instructors is a regular reader, I believe). In the Virgin Islands, the general summary of charter operations seems to be that you get what you pay for-the lower-budget operations have less-well-maintained boats. Can one become competent for a bareboat charter in two weeks? You may be able to do so (according to the Charter operation_i.e., they may let you charter a boat), but I would not count on it. (jfh) Here is Cheryl Nolte's mini-FAQ on the subject of learning to sail: So you want to lean to sail? Great! Here's some information to help make your choice of schools a little easier along with some answers to frequently asked questions. 23 There are numerous sailing "schools" out there. They generally fall into three categories 1) Established Schools 2) Charter-to-learn courses and 3)Private "schools". A look in the back of any sailing magazine will give you a good idea of the variety of instructional courses available. 1) Established Schools There are several types of 'established' schools, by 'established' I refer to those schools which are not run by a single person aboard his/her boat- these are private "schools", there are general schools offering a variety of instructional levels and there are specialized schools. There are specialized schools for racing, for women-only, for navigation, for 'bluewater', for children, and a host of other topics. - ASA Certification, What is it and do I need it? American Sailing Association (ASA) certified courses cover a set curriculum and ASA instructors have paid a fee to take a certification-approval "checkout" course. Think of it as a sort of "quality control". The instructors must possess a minimum skill level and a "basic keelboat" course at one ASA school should cover the same general material at another school. Do you need ASA Certification in order to charter a boat? The simple answer to this is NO! In fact, possession of ASA certification is no guarantee that you will be able to charter a boat. Most reputable charter agencies will request a 'sailing resume' and will base their decision partly on that. One never should be surprised to be asked to go on a 'test sail' (usually out of the marina and back in) and first time charterers with a weak sailing resume may even be required to take a captain along for a short time. On the other hand, some charter agencies will allow you to take a boat based solely on your credit rating. Some schools really push their ASA certification- it simply means they have paid an association fee; in fact, the two top sailing schools in the US (as rated by Practical Sailor magazine) J-World and Womanship do NOT offer ASA certification. 2) Charter-to-learn cruises These seem to be a popular way for couples and families to improve their sailing skills. Basically you are part of a flotilla of boats, all members of the flotilla having approximately the same sailing experience, and you have a 'instruction' boat accompany you on your cruise. One of the instructors will probably join you aboard your vessel druing one or more days of the cruise offering some personal instruction. Biggest drawback of such courses is that you kind of just bumble through, not knowing whether you are doing things right or wrong and as long as you end up at the appointed destination in one piece it is deemed successful. I wouldn't advise this for persons just learning to sail or having little experience, there simply isn't enough individual attention and too much relying upon figuring things out (without knowing the right or wrong way). Better suited to the advancing sailor who wants a more challenging situation with the support of an instructor. 3) "Private" Schools A quick peek in the back of any sailing mag will reveal a host of advertisements for sailing instruction with an individual 24 on his/her boat. A word of caution here- make sure the instructor is a USCG licensed (or appropriate equivalent overseas) Captain. It is illegal to accept a fee unless you are a licensed captain. Some individuals will post ads such as "get bluewater experience with experienced sailor on trip from St.Thomas to Norfolk; $2000/week." Many such ads are simply looking for people to PAY to deliver someone's boat under the guise of 'instruction'. Again, beware! Check references and licensure; ask questions. There are many *good* private schools out there, ask around. Here's a list of popular sailing schools... Annapolis Sailing School 1-800-638-9192 All levels of instruction, also have flotilla courses. Locations in Annapolis MD and Florida. J World 1-800-343-2255, 1-800-666-1050, 1-800-966-2038. On board and classroom instruction. Specializes in racing. Various locations. Womanship 1-800-342-9295 The original learn to sail school for and by women. Now offers customized courses for couples and families too. Locations: Maryland, Florida, New England, San Juan Islands, BVI, Nova Scotia, Greece, New Zealand, Tahiti Offshore Sailing School (Steve and Doris Colgate) 1-800-221-4326, All levels of instruction, Locations: Florida, Caribbean, New York, New England. Sea Safari Sailing 1-800-497-2508 Specializes in multihulls Women For Sail 1-800-346-6404, all levels of instuction, women only. Sunsail 1-800-327-2276 Flotilla charter-to-learn courses, various levels and many locations. The Moorings 1-800-535-7289 "Friendly Skipper" program, puts an experiences captain on board til you reach a level of competence. Locations worldwide. 4) I didn't mention this earlier but for many the best introduction to sailing may be through Community Sailing programs. US SAILING has put together a Community Sailing National Directory which lists hundreds of local sailing programs. Many of these are offered though park and recreation departments, colleges, community centers, local yacht clubs and sailing clubs. It is a wonderful resource of public access sailing courses. The directory is available through US SAILING (401) 849-5200 and is also available on CompuServe (access word is Go Sailing). 3.11 Formula for hull speed based on length, and its limitations A displacement-hull boat whose waterline has length L (in feet) will have a "hull speed" that is K SQRT(L) knots, where K is a number between about 1.2 and 1.4 for most conventional cruising hulls. Small planing dinghies, large planing sleds, scows, and other designs (including catamarans) will not fit well into this formula, so you should ignore it. The formula assumes a lot of things, but all in all it does pretty well for 25 figuring whether your Bristol 40 will keep up with a Catalina 30 in moderate winds (or vice versa). The hull speed, by the way, can loosely be thought of as the speed at which the boat, in order to go faster, has to start "climbing up" over its bow wave, which takes a lot more power. (jfh) 3.12 Sailing in other countries Some countries require a sailing license. Check with your embassy. Many countries, like the US, do not. Various rec.boaters have posted saying "I'm going to be in Country XXX for two weeks and would love to sail with someone on such-and-such a date," and have found themselves with a ride. The group's general attitude towards this sort of thing seems to be "supportive." In Australia, the Monash U. Sailing Club (or its president) can be reached at inu343w@aurora.cc.monash.edu.au. Peter Gustafsson ( peter.gustafsson@gd.chalmers.se) offers to tell folks about sailing in Sweden if they are interested. 3.13 Sailing in Chicago This section courtesy of kakunz@amoco.com. Chicago Area Yacht Clubs This information on the various yacht clubs in the Chicago area has been assembled from various sources. Thanks to all those who helped. It is organized by geographical location, running north to south along the Lake Michigan waterfront. I generally tried to get info about the name, location, dues, active fleets (if any one-design), other racing activities, and a contact person. For several of the clubs all I was able to obtain was a name, location, and contact. If you contact that person and s/he gives you additional info, please contact me via e-mail at kakunz@amoco.com or at 708-420-3131 and I will put it into this document. Thanks to all the people who provided the information contained herein: Cedric Churnick, Steph Bailey, Steve Woodward, Dennis Bartley, Owen McCall, and probably 2-3 others I've missed. (If you don't see your name 26 here and you gave me info, PLEASE write me, and accept my appologies!) -Kevin, aka Sailing Fool * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * NEWBIES: If you are a new-comer to racing in the Chicago area, it has been highly recommended from many people that you contact the MORF Crew List. MORF racers are inter-fleet racers that race cruiser/racers more or less weekly. Contact Joe Des Jardins at 708-677-8604 for this crew list. This is a good place to get started big-boat racing and cuising. MORF stands for Midwest Open Racing Fleet. GILSON PARK YACHT CLUB: Located in Wilmette, IL. Contact "Tim" at twise@merle.acns.nwu.edu. They race Hobie 16's. SHERIDAN SHORES YACHT CLUB: Located in Wilmette, North of Chicago on the border with Wisconsin. This is a relatively new club and no additional information is available. However, I've been there, 'tis very nice, with reasonable dues, as I recall. Large fleets of Solings, J-24's, Lightnings, Stars and Rainbows. WAUKEGAN YACHT CLUB: North of Chicago in Waukegan, this YC offers several one-design fleets including J-24's and others. Contact Dan Darrow at 708-367-0913 or Gene Bach at 708-623-5680 for more information. I've been here, too, and it has an excellent water-front bar in its clubhouse, which includes a full-service restaraunt. CHICAGO CORINTHIAN YACHT CLUB: Located in Montrose Harbor. Contact them at 312-334-9100. They are located at 600 Montrose Ave (Montrose and the lake front). CHICAGO YACHT CLUB, BELMONT HARBOR: This is the one-design branch of Chicago Yacht Club (see below). They have weekly racing and occassional regattas for Etchells, Stars, Solings, J/24's, Shields, 110's; and pre- /post-season frostbiting with Lasers and 420s. Contact them at 312-447-7575. COLUMBIA YACHT CLUB: Located on a big blue freighter at the North end of Monroe Harbor, this club is a full service clubs with dues in the $1000 range (+ $75 monthly min. spending fee). They have an active Penguin fleet that frostbites. They also own 420s. Contact Susan Bonner at 312-938-3625. CHICAGO YACHT CLUB: The main building is located at the end of Monroe St. at Lake Shore Drive. This is the focal point of much of the 27 off-shore racing in Chicago; they host such prestigious events as the NOOD, Chicago/Macinack Island Race, and Yachting's Verve Cup. Contact the yacht club at 312-861-7777 for more info. BURNHAM PARK YACHT CLUB: Located on the eastern peninsula of Burnham Harbor across the street from Miegs Field. A full-service club with slips, cans and star-docks, their dues are in line with Columbia's. For information contact BPYC at 312-427-4664. JACKSON PARK YACHT CLUB: Located at outer Jackson Park Harbor, this club is a "volunteer" club with a resident manager year-round. They frostbite club-owned Flying Juniors (which are used for the Junior Race Program during the summer). Dues are $250/year, with a $25/month minimum spending fee. Contact Cedric Churnick at 312-372-8321 for more info. HAMMOND YACHT CLUB: No further information available. EAST CHICAGO YACHT CLUB: No further information available. MICHGAN CITY YACHT CLUB: No further information available. NORTH SHORE YACHT CLUB: Located in Highland Park, this club races Buccaneer and Sunfish one-designs. Dues are $160/year. For more info, contact Owen McCall at 708-937-7957 or mccall.owen@igate.pprod.abbott.com. DES PLAINES YACHT CLUB: Sailing on the Des Plaines river in Des Plaines Illinois. LAKE PISTAKEE YACHT CLUB: Racing scows on Lake Pistakee. ILLIANA YACHT CLUB: Racing several one-design fleets on Wolf Lake in Hammond, IN. Contact Bill Thompson at 708-257-8052. AREA III RACING: Five clubs in Chicago organize races called "Area III": Chicago Yacht Club (CYC), Chicago Corintian Yacht Club (CCYC), Columbia Yacht Club (Col), Burnham Park Yacht Club (BPYC), and Jackson Park Yacht Club (JPYC). Each club has a single vote on how/when/where the races are held. Entry fees for the races are generally around $25, and include bouy racing around one of 4 permanent courses 4 miles off-shore, and several port-to-port races. CHI-MAC RACE: Every year during either the 3rd or 4th week of July (alternates annually) CYC hosts the Chicago-to-Mackinac Island race. Roughly 300 boats race in several PHRF and IMS divisions. Average race time is 50-60 hours for the 333 mile race, and the record is just over 24 28 hours, set by Pied Piper (SC-70) in (I think) 1989. LMSRF: The Lake Michigan Sail Racing Federation is the governing body arm of USSAILING on Lake Michigan. They coordinate lake-wide championships (ie Queen's Cup, I think). They are also responsible for PHRF ratings for the Lake Michigan area, and divide the lake into 5 areas. All of the above yacht clubs register with LMSRF. Contact Joan Miracki at 312-674-7223 for more info for LMSRF or any of the above-mentioned clubs. CHARTERING: There are several outfits that offer chartering in the Chicago area. Three are listed here: Sailboats Inc., ask for Trey Ritter at 312-943-220; Fair Wind Sailing Charters, ask for Denis McNamera at 312-890-4656; and Sailboat Sales, ask for Bruce Rosenzweig at 312-225-2046. OTHER INFO: Finally, you can try contacting the Marine Department at the Chicago Park District at 294-2270. They also run a physically impaired sailing program called the Rainbow Fleet. Contact them at 312-294-2270 for additional info. This information was last updated June 13, 1994. 4 Powerboating stuff 4.1 What is better? An I/O or an outboard? What's cheaper? [Not yet written] Kevin Weber reports that "The May (1993) issue of Boating has a very good article comparing OBs to IOs." 4.2 Are Doel Fins a good thing? A great many people report improved time-to-plane. Some report slightly reduced top-end speeds. Everyone seems to say that installing one may void your warranty, and you should check this out for your particular motor. Many people report installing and then removing fins, finding that handling suffered enough that they preferred the old way. (jfh) One person with marina experience writes: 29 Doel Fins. The marina that services our Evinrude said they had replaced several lower units that had cracked from the stress that overcame the newly weakend area they are mounted on. The maria I worked at had no complaints. 4.3 What is a Hole Shot? Will a Stainless prop add to my high end speed? I am told that a hole shot is the time it takes to accelerate onto a plane, and that a stainless prop, although more expensive, will in fact add a bit to top speed. (jfh) One person with experience working in a marina offers this somewhat strongly worded opinion: SS props. The yahoos always use them. I believe they are stronger and slighly thinner, thus reducing the resistence and maybe increaseing both acceleration and top speed. However, they are 3X as expensive, harder to repair when you whack them, and are more frequently unrepairable. I suggest having 2 aluminums at different sizes/pitches (one for high-tailing around with a light load, one for skiing/heavy loads). This 1) gives you a spare when you need it. 2) gives you incentive to clean the area when you swap them. 3) gives you better performance overall. 4.4 Is VRO a good idea? VRO appears to be a fine idea, but also seems to be risk-prone (if it fails, your engine is shot) and not yet robust_the net has seen several reports of failures. Several netters have suggested disabling VRO and going to standard mix in the fuel. (jfh) 4.5 What's a good first powerboat? (Courtesy of Dave Kinzer) Powerboats differ from sailboats in that sailors use their boats simply to sail, but most powerboaters use their boats to do something else such as waterskiing and fishing , so the "best" first boat could differ greatly from person to person. Therefore, you should feel free to disregard any piece of advice in this section as it might not be applicable to your specific situation. 30 To begin with, you should look at the types of boats that are popular in your area for the activities you plan. Boats that do not work well in a region usually don't sell in great number, so you can learn by other people's mistakes here. Talk to owners to find what they like and dislike in their boats. This will help you get an eye for details that will count after time. Second, think small. A smaller boat is easier to muscle around, and and less likely to be damaged severely during the learning process. It will cost less, and if for some reason you end up not liking the actuality of ownership (think of burning 100 dollar bills for fun,) the loss will be minimized. I'll contradict myself here and say get one size bigger than the smallest suitable boat. This will give you some more time before outgrowing it. Keep in mind your vehicle's capacity to trailer it. Third, buy used. There is a lot of argument on this point, and I respect the other point of view, so I will present both sides. With a new boat you have a warranty to protect you in the event something goes wrong. If you have a good dealer, any problems will be resolved promptly, and you will be back on the water with little or no out-of- pocket expense. If you have a bad dealer, your boat will sit at the back of the queue for the boating season while the paying customers get their boats fixed (I know someone this happened to.) Buying a boat a few years old will save you a bunch of money that can be used for repairs, if needed. Have a mechanic check out the boat before you buy to minimize the chance of having to use that money. A used boat will probably have some equipment already installed (like radios, depth or fishfinders, etc.) that you would have to buy for a new boat. Finally, when you scrape your boat while learning near a dock, you won't have to wince as hard. I have managed to get this far without giving any specifics on what to buy. My OPINION follows, with some thoughts as to why I believe them. Start with a boat about 3 years old. A newer boat will depreciate more, an older one may have problems that it takes an expert to find. This is also about the time the first owner has discovered he either doesn't like this enough, or it is time to get a 3 foot longer boat. A good length would be 16-18 feet. This is big enough to comfortably have some friends on, yet small enough that you do not need a special tow vehicle. I recommend a single outboard or I/O (stern) drive. Two engines aren't needed for this length, and you don't want the expense to begin with. There are arguments all over the place on I/O vs. outboard; I suggest you go with what is popular in your area, for parts and service availability. The important thing is that they handle the same in low speed maneuvering. Inboards, V-Drives and jet-drives do some funny things (which are predictable, once you know them) that are better left for learning later. If you are planning on skiing, get enough horsepower. For an I/O drive, this 31 means a V6. Your towing vehicle capacity could decide the I/O vs. outboard question. The outboard will need slightly less horsepower, and will be considerably lighter. Last, but not least, sign up for a boating safety course. There are enough dimwits out there already, you don't need to make the situation worse. It is not enough to say that you won't do anything stupid since you don't know what the stupid things are yet. (dk1) 4.6 Can I put unleaded gas in an old outboard? Assumining the outboard is a two-stroke, Yes. In fact, it is prefered. Lead is in fuel primarily to lubricate the exhaust valve and valve seat in a 4 stroke engine. The two-stroke has no such valve or seat and so requires no such lubrication. The lead compound also served to prevent pre-ignition, or "knocking" or "pinging". This has long since been resolved in unleaded fuel and so is not an issue. Lead in fuel causes fouling of the spark plugs. No lead, no lead fouling. (Though oil fouling may still be a problem.) Leaded fuel is only available in "regular" (at least here in the Northwest USA). Higher compression outboards that require higher octane fuel often have problems with the leaded fuel now available. Unleaded comes in "super", or high octane ratings. This is the recommended fuel. The above information was obtained from a phone-interview with a long-time outboard mechanic at Chic's Outboard Service; 2043 SE 50th; Portland, OR; (503)236-8970, and has been paraphrased by R.C. Faltersack. 4.7 Are there any powerboat class associations? There is the Marine Traders Owners Association ( M.T.O.A.); their burgee symbol is a turtle (because they go slow). They have a 100+ page newsletter quarterly and have "official" rendezvous twice a year; one in the south and one in the north. Information about, or joining, MTOA can be sent to: MTOA c/o Jim Mattingly - Membership Dir. 406 Ben Oaks Dr. W. Severna Park, MD 21146 32 The association has the following interesting tidbit: Through the MTOA we have discovered the person who designed the diesel engine used in most all trawlers for most of the 1960s thru the 1980s ( Lehman Diesel 120, 135 and 165). This person (Bob Smith) now has his own company and still builds and supplies parts for the Lehman Diesels. Many people are not aware of this and often have a difficult time finding the parts they need. Bob not only can get any part needed for us (used, new, or "redesigned and improved") but he will spend all the time needed on the phone to diagnose and suggest a fix for any problem as "he is the one who designed the engine, wrote the Users Manual, and made up all the part numbers". Bob's address is: American Diesel Corp. Hillcrest Heights (Rt. 3 North) P.O.Box 1838 Kilmarnock, VA. 22482 Phone: 804-435-3107 FAX: 804-435-6420 5 General Information 5.1 Addresses and numbers for suppliers Where I have them, I've included the non-800 numbers so that non-US readers can call these places. Typically I've used the phone number of one of the store showrooms, but they should be able to help with phone orders if you are lucky. M&E Marine 800 541-6501; 609 858 1010: Inexpensive; recent reports indicate a dedication to good service, and their sailing hardware section is now excellent. In-store service said to be good, and a good discount section in at least one store. (jfh) Bacon's (Annapolis area): 116 Legion Ave, Annapolis, MD. They have everything, new and used, from clothing to winches, stoves, line, you get the picture. They are also a national sail exchange. I think they maintain an inventory of about 1,200 sails, again some newer than others. (cr) BOAT/US: 1-800-937-BOAT (orders); 1-800-937-9307 (customer service). Another user says: They offer their lowest price policy on anything. We recently wanted to purchase rafting cushions. Our local E&B store didn't have the size we wanted. They did have the lowest catalog price around. 33 They would have special ordered them but I wanted to call BOAT/US first even though they were $8.00 higher. I called BOAT/US, told them the E&B price, and they gave us that price, less 10% of the difference. We didn't have to pay sales tax, and the shipping was much less. The only "catch" is that the prices must be the regular catalog price, not a sale price. The other good thing I have noticed about BOAT/US is that they really have low shipping weights. For the same cushions above, BOAT/US had a shipping wt. of 6 lbs each. E&B listed the weight at 15 lbs each. A BIG difference when you have to pay the shipping. If you order by 1pm they ship out UPS that same day. I called on Thursday 10 am and my cushions were at my house Friday afternoon. Worton Creek Marina (upper chesapeake) has an excellent Marine store and parts dept. Located midway between the Annapolis Bay Bridge and the C&D canel. Great if you run out of food (frozen or fresh) or need a spare part or have a breakdown of one sort of another. Very accommodating and prices are pretty good. South Coast Marine Supply, Larchmont NY: Much like M&E. Cheaper prices on a few things.(jfh) Post Marine Supply (1-800-YACHTER); 111 Cedar St., New Rochelle, NY 10801. Lowest price in the Larchmont/Rye/New Rochelle area on bottom paint when I looked around, but I wouldn't buy anything from them if I didn't have to. The sleazy cover photo on their catalog might not be enough to put you off, but the rotten customer relations reported by at least one person suggest that you're better off going to West Marine (for mail order), which will match prices, and which has the best customer relations on earth, or Defender (if you're in the area), which is nearby and treats its customers pretty well, too, at least the walk-in variety.(jfh) The Rigging Company in Portsmouth, RI, 1-800-322-1525: Unknown to me, but recommended by Roy Smith. They do sailboat rigging. See below.(rs) Boat/US 880 So. Pickett St., Alexandria, VA 22304 (800) 937-2628;(703) 823-9550; Will meet other's advertised prices on anchors. I don't know about other things. It's where I bought my 35 lb CQR (ouch!). Their cordage is not particularly good quality, according to a friend who recently checked it out while looking for anchor rode.(jfh) E&B Marine: 800 533-5007 *Good* prices on electronics, especially when they are on sale. Limited selection of sailboat hardware, but their in-store supply of fasteners is pretty good-if you need a 4" x 5/16" stainless bolt, and a nylock nut to go on it, they probably have it. If you want cordage, their pre-cut lengths are a pretty good deal. Their supply is otherwise 34 limited. Rapidly going out of the sailboat hardware business, resulting in some incredible sale prices in the Providence store at least. This is also the place to get those mermaid-shaped fenders and signal-flag glasses, if you go for that sort of stuff.(jfh) Jamestown Distributors, (800) 423-0030. Excellent source for marine hardware. Good place to look for stainless steel or bronze fasteners. As one rec.boat-er said "I can't imagine starting a boatbuilding project without a call to Jamestown Marine." West Marine (1-800-538-0775), 510 532 0766. 500 Westridge Drive, PO Box 1020, Watsonville, CA, 95077, : Their normal catalog is a pretty informative thing. Their master catalog is something that every sailor should read. You know how you sometimes say "Jeez, I really need the 6 1/2 foot oars, but they only show 5' and 6' in the catalog."? In the Master Catalog, they show it all. And the little "West Advisor" sections are in there as well. Prices: higher than other discount places, but not full-price. I admit that I sometimes use their catalog to decide what to get, then look for it elsewhere. Usually not-I appreciate what they do so much that I pay the slightly higher prices in hopes of keeping them in business. When they say that they're shipping today, they are telling the truth. News Flash: in April 1991 I spoke to someone at West who told me they have a price-matching policy. Now there's no reason to go anywhere else. They print their catalog on glossy paper, which is environmentally bad, but they don't use peanuts for shipping any more, which is good.(jfh) Goldberg's Marine (1-800-BOATING): Identical to E&B Marine. Overton's (800 334-6541): 111 Red Banks Rd. P.O.Box 8228 Greenville, N.C. 27835 for technical assitance ask for ext. 286 They carry Pleasurecraft and Indmar Engines, and a wide selection of waterski gear. Lots of bathing suit ads in the last 20 pages of the catalog. Defender Marine (1-914-632-3001; 1-800-628-8225 New Rochelle NY): Great prices, good selection, and reasonable warranty. Badly organized catalog, printed on newsprint: nice for the environment, but harder to read. Also, they tend to be a bit slow. Several netters (jfh, gb1) have had horrible luck with their mail-order business, having the wrong items of damaged items shipped, and then being yelled at when we wanted to send them back. Basically, I'll never mail order from them again. They do have a rigging service, but they send stuff off to Florida to be done (perhaps to Johnson Sails???). Brewer's Hardware, 161 E Boston Post Rd, in Mamaranack, 914-698-3232. You can usually get things from Defender cheaper, but 35 Brewers has a remarkable selection of hardware (like fasteners) and hardware (like Harken stuff). They're pricey, but the stuff is there.(jfh) Shoreway Marine, Highway 73, Berlin, NJ 08009. Call 1-800-543-5408 for ordering and product information (609-768-8102 in NJ). This is what Larry and Irwin Goldberg did after they sold out to E&B. Well organised and printed catalog on recyclable newsprint type paper. Powerboat oriented with little of interest specifically to sailboaters but great prices on electronics and other common use items. (wms). Marine Exchange, in Peabody, MA. According to one netter, "They sell both new and used equipment and will also special order items for you. They also have a complete rigging service. The owner is Arlene and she is far and away the most knowledgeable person I have ever met in the boat supply business. She can help you figure out what you need for a project and where to find it. She can get it for you at a discount, and if she can't get it for you, she can tell you where else to find it. Not only has she found us a number of obscure items at substantial savings, but she's also told us where to find netting (at fishing supply houses; it's cheapest there); where to get the stern swim ladder welded; who in the area makes custom size, rigid holding tanks, etc., etc. They have hundreds of boating manufacturers catalogs and will look up items, prices, specifications for you. They're a great outfit to deal with." Hamilton Marine, Searsport, Maine. "Good prices, mail order." (ph) Hamilton Marine in Searsport, Maine is (207) 548-2985 They have a lot of good gear, a nice catalogue, and are strong on many fishing/lobstering supplies (claw bands, freezer gloves) that are missing from yacht chandleries. Plus they have a lot of bronze fittings around. (db) Marine Center, 1150 Fairview Ave North (retail outlet); PO Box 9968, Seattle WA 98109 (800 242 6357) "They are a catalog company in Seattle that I have dealt with a dozen or so times. Prices lower than local retail; 180 page annual catalog + 2 sale catalogs per year. General marine supply: electronic, sail and power equip. Outstanding selection of small specialty stuff: switches, lamps, lifeline stantions to name items I have bought. Fawcett Boat Supplies, 110 Compromise Street. (410) 267 7547. They have almost everything in stock, and can locate anything else. Unfortunately, they are not cheap. Their self-proclaimed nickname is "Tiffany's on the Severn." (ag) Signet Marine: Several people have posted requests recently for information on parts and service for Signet Marine instruments. Signet Marine went out of business a few months ago. However, Signet has been 36 "reconstituted" under new ownership recently. (mt) You can contact them at: Signet Marine Service 505 Van Ness Ave. Torrance, CA 90501 (310) 320-4349 Sailrite Kits, 305 W. VanBuren St.,PO Box 987,Columbia City, IN 46725. 1-800-348-2769, FAX 219-244-4184. They can sell you precut kits, custom stuff and even a line of heavy duty sewing machines, some of which are built to run on 12V. Lots of help for the nervous rookie as well. Good people (no, I don't work there). (sm2) Nilcoptra 3 Marine Road; Hoylake, Wirral; Cheshire L47 2AS; United Kingdom; tel. 051 632 5365 (eb) G.L. Green; 104 Pitshanger Lane; Ealing, London W5 1QX; United Kingdom (eb) Department B; Chevet Books; 157 Dickson Road; Blackpool FY1 2EU; United Kingdom (eb) Mr. Reginald H. Stone; Red Duster Books; 26 Acorn Avenue; Bar Hill; Cambridge CB3 8DT; United Kingdom (eb) Gerald Lee Martin Books; 73 Clayhall Avenue; Ilford, Essex IG5 0PN; United Kingdom (eb) McLaren Books; 91 West Clyde Street; Helensburgh; Dunbartonshire G84 8BB; United Kingdom (eb) Seafarer Books and Crafts; 18 Market Courtyard; Riverside, Haverfordwest; Pembrokeshire; United Kingdom (eb) Companies specializing in used and out-of-print books: W. Weigand and Co.; PO Box 563; Glastonbury CT O6033; [Smaller, general list, periodic mailings.] (eb) Fisher Nautical; Huntswood House; St. Helena Lane; Streat, Hassocks; Sussex BN6 8SD; United Kingdom; [Huge list, periodic mailings. You can ask to be placed on the "Yachting Only" list. General list has the most amazing stuff on it: Admiralty reports, old ships logs, sailor's diaries, shipwreck reports, and on and on. Occasional curmudgeonly newsletter from the proprietor. Very good at searching for specific books.] (eb) Columbia Trading Co.; 504 Main St.; W. Barnstable MA 02668; 37 [Mid-sized list, periodic mailings. Seems more attuned to the serious bibliophile, e.g., pricey first editions.] (eb) Safe Navigation in Long Beach, CA is a VERY complete book/chart store. You can get Admiralty, Canadian and US sailing directions, courtesy flags for many many nations, lots of books for the yachting crowd, plus fascinating tomes like "How to store cargo", "Sailing Distances Between World Ports" and "Self-Study Guide for the Merchant Marine Ableseaman Exam". They try to stock a complete set of NOS and DMA charts and also have (so they say, I did not check - yet) Canadian and British charts, perhaps others as well. They do mail order. (db) The Nautical Mind, (416) 203-1163. Bookstore in Toronto. They seem to have an extensive set of titles in stock. Good source for obtaining European cruising guides on this side of the Atlantic. The only bookstore I could find which carried any British canal guides.(al) International Marine - A Division of McGraw-Hill Blue Ridge Summit, PA 17294-0840 US 800-822-8158 FAX 717-794-2080 Foreign orders 717-794-2191 8:30-5:00 EST or FAX, use credit card IM is both a major international publisher and a mail order vendor. They put out a flyer about once a month which covers about 300 boating titles, with descriptions. They offer discounts on new releases and on close-outs. They have extensive listings on design, building, maintenance, navigation, cruising guides, fiction, etc., etc. Typical shipping is $3 to $6 in US, $5 to $8 foreign per order. Great catalog, good service (wv) J. Tuttle Maritime Books; 1806 Laurel Crest; Madison WI 53705; [Smaller list, periodic mailings.] (eb) Diesel Engines: Info about Perkins deisels is available from Perkins Group of Companies, Eastfield, Frank Perkins Way, Peterborough, PE1 5NA, England, Phone: 44 733 67474 5.1.1 NMEA Specification for inter-electronic communication The NMEA will sell you the specs or I will loan my copy to you. ("I" in this remark is ben@cv.hp.com) NMEA phone number is (205) 473 1793. (dk1) 38 5.1.2 Anchor Chain And Rode, Other Hardware For the best prices on anchor chain and anchor rode (e.g. 100' 1/2" PC = $188.00) try SEA SPIKE ANCHORS, FARMINGDALE, NY (516) 249 2241 The Rigging Company, in Portsmouth RI. 401 683 1525 They have the best prices I've seen on rope and wire rigging, better than the big discount houses. (em) 5.1.3 Navigation and Simulation Software and Equipment Celestaire sells a few types of software. Their address is Celestaire, 416 S Pershing, Wichita, KS 67218, (316) 686-9785. They also sell aviation and marine navigation eqpt.; their catalog is the most complete I've seen in this area. High prices, though. Davis Instruments, 3465 Diablo Ave, Hayward, CA 94545, USA sells PC Astro Navigator. They also sell sextants and a few other useful devices. I (jfh@cs.brown.edu) have a C subroutine package that implements (let the user beware) the programs that used to be used in the HP41 Nav Pac. These include a nautical almanac program and a basic sight-reduction software. This is the only free software I know of. I also have a variation of the "stars" program that uses the Yale Star Catalog to print a start chart, customized to any day of the year, from any geographical position, at any time. It comes with no documentation, though... I have one which helps brush up on the tactics of racing. It's available from Criteria instruments 7318 N. Leavitt Avenue Portland, Oregon 97203-4840 phone 503-289-1225 fax 503-286-5896 John P. Laurin bbs 503-297-9073 1200/2400 baun 8,n,1. (ps) Software/hardware for getting weather faxes: Crane in San Diego. For $119 you get the software, manual shortwave headphone adapter, modulator for IBM compatible. 619 233 0223 (da) 39 OFS WeathFAX, 6404 Lakerest Court, Raleigh, NC 27612, USA (phone 1-919-847-4545) sell a card with software. It's $355 for the kit, $495 assembled. Foreign orders add $14. Animation software is "free". The half-length card goes in your PC, accepting audio from your receiver. It demodulates/displays HF marine fax, along with satellite transmissions. Visa/Mastercard accepted.(la) Software Systems Consulting, 615 S. El Camino Real, San Clemente, CA 92672, USA (phone 1-714-498-5784) sell a demodulator with software for $250. The (external) demodulator plugs into your PC serial port.(la) MFJ Enterprises Inc, Box 494, Miss. State, MS 39762, USA (phone 1-323-5869, fax 1-601-323-6551) have the MFJ-1278 "Multi Mode Data Controller". It (with software) supports RTTY, CW, SSTV and some other modes, along with fax of course. It is an external unit and connects to your PC serial port. Last price I saw was about $280. Software around $60.(la) Ed Wallner's TIDES program is one of the simplest and best, and it's shareware! Valid for as long as 200 years from now (albeit with some loss of accuracy). TIDES can be downloaded from many bbs's, or: Edwin P. Wallner; 32 Barney Hill Road; Wayland, MA 01778-3602; 508-358-7938 (pk). Also you can get TIDES 3.02 by ftp to sunsite.unc.edu (pk). Other Tides programs: tides202.zip is available for awhile on ftp.ais.org in pub/jon. I haven't checked the accuracy yet, but it appears to do what I want. (jz) More Software: More prorams are available on the ship to shore bbs. (jz) Vancouver BC 1-604-540-9596 Portland OR 1-503-297-9073 Alameda CA 1-510-365-8161 Redwood City CA 1-415-365-6384 Chicago IL 1-708-670-7940 Arlington VA 1-703-525-1458 NYC NY 1-718-430-2410 5.2 Safe boating courses and organizations The short answer is: The US Power Squadron and The US Coast Guard Auxilliary. Here's how to find more: 40 You can find out about the safe boating courses in your area by calling the nearest Coast Guard station and asking. It's best to do this in late Fall, since many of the courses take place during the winter and early Spring. A beginning handbook 'Start Sailing Right' by US Sailing and the American Red Cross is available from US Sailing. US Sailing also manages many community sailing programs and can probably provide information about courses available in various parts of the US. (sc) BOAT/U.S. Courseline (800) 226-BOAT in Virginia (800) 245-BOAT Has information about upcoming Safety Courses in your area. (dk1) Coast Guard Boating Safety Hotline (800) 368-5647 Has information on boat recalls and defects. Also you can report your safety problems here. (dk1) Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons 26 Golden Gate Court Scarborough, Ont. Canada, M1P 3A5 (416)293-2438 or 1-800-268-3579 (pb) 5.3 Should I get GPS or Loran? GPS appears to be the wave of the future in electronic navigation. Prices are falling fast, and there are now GPS units for under $400. Since Loran units cost over $300 (typically), the $400 GPS sounds like a pretty good deal. Loran has excellent repeatability (i.e., you can get back to the same spot, within about 100 yards), but GPS has greater accuracy (the LAT/LON reading is likely to be closer to where you are than that of a LORAN). (jh) As an example, an Apelco DXL6350 ( I have a 6300) is available regularly at under $250. It functions very well but lacks route capability. It is not like the reallly low priced units that lack ASF and other needed features. No other apologies needed. I believe I saw it on sale for $224 from E&B. (1994 prices) (cp) If my Loran gave out on me, I would, at this point, probably replace it with a GPS. If I were looking for a cheap way to navigate electronically, I'd look for some folks who just got GPS and offer to buy their Loran unit cheap. It's worked fine for a very long time, and there's nothing wrong with it. (jh) Here's a summary of how GPS works, contrinuted by Craig Haggart: HOW GPS WORKS: AN INTRODUCTION 41 Amazingly precise satellite navigation receivers are now widely available and reasonably priced, thanks to the Global Positioning System (GPS). How do these little wonders figure out exactly where you are? The basic principle behind GPS is simple, and it's one that you may have used many times while doing coastal navigation: if you know where a landmark is located, and you know how far you are from it, you can plot a line of position. (In reality, it's a circle or sphere of position, but it can * *be treated as a line if the circle is very large.) If you can plot two or more lines of position, you know that you are at the point where the lines cross. With GPS, the landmarks are a couple of dozen satellites flying about 12,000 miles above the earth. Although they are moving very rapidly, their positions and orbits are known with great precision at all times. Part of every GPS receiver is a radio listening for the signals being broadcast by these satellites. Each spacecraft continuously sends a data stream that contains orbit information, equipment status, and the exact time. All of the information is useful, but the exact time is crucial. GPS receivers have computers that can calculate the difference between the time a satellite sends a signal and the time it is received. The computer multiplies this time of signal travel by the speed of travel (almost a billion feet per second!) to get the distance between the GPS receiver and the satellite (TIME x SPEED = DISTANCE); it then works out a line of position based on the satellite's known location in space. Even with two lines of position, though, the resulting fix may not be very good due to receiver clock error. The orbiting satellites have extremely accurate (and expensive!) clocks that use the vibrations of an atom as the fundamental unit of time, but it would cost far too much to put similar atomic clocks in GPS receivers as well. Since precise measurement of time is critical to the system - a clock error of only one thousandth of a second would create a position error of almost 200 miles - the system designers were faced with a dilemma. Geometry to the rescue! It turns out that GPS receivers can use inexpensive quartz clocks (like the ones used in wristwatches) and still come up with extremely accurate position fixes as long as one extra line of position is calculated. How does this work? First, imagine two earthbound landmarks with known positions - for example, Honolulu and Los Angeles. If we measure the travel time of radio waves from each of these cities to San Francisco, we can use the known speed of the radio waves to compute two lines of position that cross. If our clock is a little fast, our position lines will show us to be closer to both cities than we really are; the lines will cross, but that crossing point might be somewhere out in the ocean southwest of San Francisco. On the other hand, if our clock is too slow, we will appear to be farther away from the chosen 42 landmarks than we really are, and our position lines might cross to the northeast of us, near Sacramento. Now, if we get just one more position line - from Seattle, let's say - the three lines would form a triangle, and the center of the area in this triangle is our REAL position. The clock error is the same for all three lines, just in different directions, so moving them together until they converge on a point eliminates the error. Therefore, it's OK if our GPS receiver's clock is a little off, as long as the clocks on the satellites are keeping exact time and we have a computer that can pinpoint the center of a triangular area. For accurate two-dimensional (latitude and longitude) position fixes, then, we always need to get signals from at least three satellites. There are now enough GPS satellites orbiting the earth to allow even three-dimensional position determination (latitude, longitude, and altitude, which requires signals from at least FOUR satellites) anytime, from anywhere in the world. The more satellites your receiver can "see" at one time, the more accurate your position fix will be, up to the system's standard accuracy limit of a few hundred feet. The U.S. Department of Defense is responsible for the GPS system, and they reserve increased accuracy for military users. For this reason, the satellites broadcast a coded signal ("encrypted P-code") that only special military receivers can use, providing positions that are about ten times more accurate than those available with standard receivers. In addition, random errors are put into the satellite clock signals that the civilian GPS receivers use. Not everybody is happy with this intentional degradation of accuracy, though, including the U.S. Coast Guard. To get around the DoD-imposed accuracy limitation, the Coast Guard is setting up "differential beacons" around the U.S. A differential beacon picks up GPS satellite signals, determines the difference between the computed position from the satellite and the beacon's own exactly-known location, then broadcasts the error information over a radio channel for all nearby differential-equipped receivers to use. With this method, inexpensive GPS receivers can produce position information accurate to within a few inches using the standard, uncoded civilian signal. GPS receivers that can take advantage of this differential broadcast are becoming quite common, although a separate differential beacon receiver usually must be purchased. The way GPS receivers pick up the satellite signals is pretty interesting: all of the satellites broadcast their messages on the same frequency, but they each include a unique identification number. The receiver determines which message is from which satellite by matching the identification number with the ones stored in its memory. This is sort of like standing in 43 a room with many people speaking at the same time - you can listen to what just one person is saying among all of the conversations taking place simultaneously, and you can identify a person's voice by its particular sound. In the same way, a GPS receiver picks up signals from all of the satellites in view and matches them with patterns in memory until it figures out which ones are "talking" and what they are saying. This technique allows GPS receivers without backyard-sized dish antennas to reliably use the extremely weak signals that the satellites transmit towards the earth. Ten years ago, it would have been hard to believe that you could buy a device capable of providing your precise location anywhere on the globe, much less that it would be smaller than a frozen waffle and cost less than a new winch. In just a few years, I suspect that these technological marvels will be just about everywhere, and much cheaper - at this writing (May 1994), there are terrific handheld units with basic course plotters selling for under $500, and the prices keep going down. 5.4 What other newsgroups discuss boating stuff ? There is rec.boats and rec.boats.paddle, rec.boats.racing, and rec.boats.building. There is also alt.sport.jetski and rec.sports.waterski. You might also want to look at rec.woodworking. There are also some sailing-related WWW pages; pointers to some can apparently be found at http://pdsmacii.as.utexas.edu, and some laser-related stuff to be found at ftp://ftp.law.indiana.edu/pub/laser and a WWW site at http://www.law.indiana.edu/misc/laser.html; further online sources are listed below. 5.5 What's the 800 number for the User Fee Sticker? There is no longer a User-Fee sticker required! 5.6 What's it cost to own a boat? Here is what I have posted previously about the costs of owning Sarah, by 1970 Alberg 37 sloop. The items labelled "startup" are things that I knew I'd need to do when I purchased the boat, or that were consequences of pre-existing problems (e.g. a couple of substantial engine repairs). There are a couple of charges that others may want to rule out: the bank charge is for an account I maintain just for Sarah, and "books and magazines" 44 are not directly related to owning the boat. The list also includes a bunch of "one time" expenses, like repairing the injector pump on the engine. It turns out, though, that there are *always* one-time charges, and it's worth learning to expect them. Note that the list below does *not* include the opportunity cost on the investement in the boat, which was $34,000, and hence could be earning (at 6 percent interest) about $2000 per year. Since it's not earning that, it's a hidden cost of ownership. (jfh) 1992 1991 1990 change(91/* *92) Startup (i.e. pre-existing probs) ENGINE WORK-startup 30.77 73.77 1431.79 -43.00 Interior systems-startup 365.86 Safety Equip-startup 105.69 95.14 +105.69 Books and magazines 260.47 64.83 +195.64 DINGHY 114.75 533.95 174.05 -419.20 Electronic Equip. 210.48 348.78 225.19 -138.30 Engine maintenance 632.12 374.07 1194.97 +258.05 Sailing Hardware 246.95 229.27 -246.95 General Maintenance on Hull+Eq 458.87 617.96 -159.09 Insurance 881.00 825.00 750.00 +56.00 Interior systems, exc elec+eng 63.47 165.21 490.51 -101.74 Miscellaneous expenses 200.00 306.03 -106.03 Moor'g,Haul'g,Storage, Anchor 830.28 1110.26 1886.08 -279.98 Not Categorized -73.73 75.73 9.56 -149.46 Operating expenses 77.17 546.49 498.31 -469.32 Boat-related phone calls 10.00 97.98 416.80 -87.98 Rigging Replacement 198.74 +198.74 Safety Equipt. 226.57 18.14 -226.57 Sail repair and purchase 111.56 447.40 -335.84 Monthly Bank Charge 30.50 37.00 52.00 -6.50 Tools for boat 191.84 216.63 30.00 -24.79 Yard Labor and Tax 180.00 ------------------------------------------ Total 4333.98 6,314.61 8047.67 -1980.63 A few remarks: I've gotten less diligent about recording which phone calls are boat related. The large engine expense this year is partly due to having some transmission work done. The "mooring, etc." costs went down only because I failed to pay one bill before the end of 1992. They'll go up next year. So will rigging replacement.