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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)
Posted-By: auto-faq 2.4
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
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
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
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
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
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
Peter Gustafsson ( email@example.com) offers to tell folks
about sailing in Sweden if they are interested.
3.13 Sailing in Chicago
This section courtesy of firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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
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
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
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
DES PLAINES YACHT CLUB: Sailing on the Des Plaines river in Des
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
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
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
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?
[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:
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
Brewer's Hardware, 161 E Boston Post Rd, in Mamaranack,
914-698-3232. You can usually get things from Defender cheaper, but
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
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
"reconstituted" under new ownership recently. (mt)
You can contact them at:
Signet Marine Service 505 Van Ness Ave. Torrance, CA 90501 (310)
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
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;
[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 email@example.com) NMEA phone number is (205) 473 1793.
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
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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
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.
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)
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.
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
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
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
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:
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.
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
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
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 *
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
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
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
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"
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/*
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.