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Subject: rec.boats Frequently Asked Questions (Part 3 of 5)
This article was archived around: Mon, 24 Sep 2001 19:26:01 +0000 (UTC)
Posted-By: auto-faq 2.4
I now have further information about a couple of other boats:
Medium-sized powerboat (as I recall), used a good deal. The "Access"
item may be "accessories"_I cannot recall.
Payment Fuel Repair Maint Access Moor Insur TOTALS
March $284 $251 $10 $343 $470 $120 $25 $1,503
April $284 $262 $882 $240 $1,687 $120 $25 $3,500
May $284 $218 $3,905 $18 $71 $120 $25 $4,641
June $284 $384 $0 $8 $126 $120 $25 $947
July $284 $838 $34 $4 $106 $120 $25 $1,411
Aug $284 $94 $119 $39 $232 $145 $25 $938
Sept $284 $395 $0 $3 $19 $145 $25 $871
Oct $284 $0 $0 $18 $0 $145 $25 $472
Nov $284 $92 $17 $0 $0 $145 $25 $563
Dec $284 $141 $0 $0 $0 $145 $25 $595
Jan $284 $0 $0 $55 $359 $145 $25 $868
Feb $284 $335 $9 $371 $13 $145 $25 $1,182
TOTALS $3,408 $3,010 $4,976 $1,099 $3,083 $1,615 $300
ANNUAL TOTAL $17,491 AVERAGE MONTHLY $1,458
And for another sailboat:
We're under $1,000 a month for a 39' sailboat at the Shilshole Bay
Marina in Seattle.
And one more:
I don't have monthly totals, but the following are my yearly totals for a
22' commercial dory with an 88 h.p. outboard ...
Licensing fees: Fish and Wildlife 450.00
NOAA Marine mammal exemption 30.00
F.C.C. Operators license 35.00
Maintenance and upkeep: $2884.50
total fuel consumption: 534.6 gallons $787.22
total tackle expenses $825.32
Grand total: $5047.04
I fished the boat an average of three days a week (some weeks more,
others less) and I grossed $3372.06 last year. That brought my total
expenditure for eight months of fishing (and boating on the Pacific) to
about $2700. That gives me a monthly average of about $225/month.
My insurance (for an ocean going commercial fishing vessel) was $236 for
1992. That will go up to $242 this year.
And one more:
OK, how's this for cheap: A friend of mine and I bought a used DaySailer
for somewhat less than $3000 last summer and during the fall sailing
season, we spent less than $300 total on maintenance, which included a
new battery for our trolling motor, various rigging upgrades, a new trailer
wheel, grease for the trailer wheels, and a new anchor. We've spent $70
pre-season this year for a reef point and other than new bearings on the
trailer, we're ready to go. OK, so we don't do blue-water sailing, but it
gets us out on the water on the weekends. :-)
And another detailed one from William Courington:
I can hardly believe I'm doing this in public, the numbers are so sobering.
But here's the cost for Lively in 1993. She's is a modified Olson30
sailboat in San Francisco, maintained to a pretty high standard by an
owner who generally values convenience/quality/time over cost.
This year's major optional expense was revarnishing the interior. (Eleven
years old, and quite thin, it wasn't *that* optional-especially considering
that birch ply turns black when it gets wet.) Unlike the three previous
years there were no new sails, no new engine, no new rigging to speak of.
Maybe a typical year in the life of a sailboat.
Note how a few big items dominate each category.
Grand Total $8700.62
Maintenance Total $4823.61
Engine Service 434.13 By pros
Bottom Paint Job 1001.39 By yard
Monthly Bottom Clean 261.20 By pro
Interior Varnish Job 2473.41 By pros
Ext. Varnish Supplies 380.23 Incl. heat gun, scrapers
Of Total 94%
Misc. Total $ 581.13 Books, etc.
Of Total 77%
Upgrades Total $ 595.88 Things not broken or required
Vberth Covers 308.51
Seacook Stove 213.12 (Great 1 burner gimballed stove!)
Of Total 87%
Let me also add a remark from Mike Hughes: People waste time, effort
and money on all kinds of things that don't make sense when by owning a
boat one can consolidate and waste them all on one thing.
Think about that before you ever consider owning a boat as an
Two more interesting facts on this whole issue:
Some years ago I plotted (length, price) for 200 used fiberglass sailboats
(19-50ft) on log-log paper and found a pretty good straight line (scatter
was about a factor of 2 in price). The plot indicated that the price varied
as the 3.6 power of the overall length. It implies that a factor of 2 in
length is about a factor of 10 in price. (pk).
I'm surprised nobody has mentioned this, but sailboats, like any other
precious commodity, are sold per unit of mass, not size. My rule of thumb
is that new fiberglass sailboats cost $10 per pound displacement. This
holds (relatively) true from 12 feet to 90 feet. This does not generate
accurate numbers, but gets you in the ballpark. (tf)
5.7 Who can tell me about boat X?
Various people on the net know about their own boats and seem to be
willing to talk. Here is a list of boat types, e-mail addresses, and names.
Alberg 30 firstname.lastname@example.org Bob Parkinson
Alberg 37 email@example.com John Hughes
Albin Vega 27 firstname.lastname@example.org Peter Gustafsson
Albin Vega 27 email@example.com Tom Currier
Beneteau First 235 firstname.lastname@example.org Anselmo Lastra
First 405 & 456 email@example.com Peter Gustafsson
C"&C 32 firstname.lastname@example.org Dave Kell
Cal 20 email@example.com Stefan Michalowski
Cal 20 firstname.lastname@example.org Hoover Chan
Cascade 29 email@example.com Larry Barker
Catalina 27 firstname.lastname@example.org Wayne Simpson
Catalina 25 email@example.com Bob Parkinson
Cotuit Skiff firstname.lastname@example.org Bob Parkinson
Cotuit Skiff BroadwayPl@aol.com Kip Gould
Coronado 15 email@example.com Steve Comen
Crealock 37 firstname.lastname@example.org Marc Hall
CS 33 email@example.com David G. Macneil
CSY-44 GERMAIN@CDHF2.GSFC.NASA.GOV Andy Germain
DN Iceboat firstname.lastname@example.org John Hughes
Dovekie email@example.com John Hughes
Drascombe Coaster firstname.lastname@example.org Anselmo Lastra
Ericson 27 haggart@SLAC.STANFORD.EDU Craig Haggart
Etchells 22 email@example.com Ross Morrissey
Flying Dutchman firstname.lastname@example.org Guido Bertucci
Gulfstar 37 email@example.com Larry Swift
Herreschoff 12 firstname.lastname@example.org John Hughes
HinkleyIslander email@example.com Bob Parkinson
J/24 firstname.lastname@example.org Roy Smith
J-30 email@example.com Joe Ruzzi
Jeanneau 31 firstname.lastname@example.org Cindy Rossley
Laser 28 JMHBC@CUNYVM.CUNY.EDU Jim Howell
MacGregor 19 WILCOX@LCC.STONEHILL.EDU Russ Wilcox
MacGregor 25 email@example.com Dave Kell
MacGregor 26 firstname.lastname@example.org Larry Barker
Mercer 44 email@example.com John Hughes
Olson 25 firstname.lastname@example.org Stefan Michalowski
Puddleduck pram email@example.com Bob Parkinson
R 2.4 (mini-12) firstname.lastname@example.org Peter Gustafsson
Swan 36 email@example.com Tom Lightbody
Stone Horse firstname.lastname@example.org John Hughes
Thunderbird email@example.com Ross Morrissey
Thistle firstname.lastname@example.org Steve Blair
Tige' 2002 Fslm comp email@example.com Bill Walker
Tornado firstname.lastname@example.org John Hughes
PearsonVanguard email@example.com Steve Fisher
Shannon 43 KetchJMHBC@CUNYVM.CUNY.EDU Jim Howell
Sonar firstname.lastname@example.org David Spencer
Westerly SealordJMHBC@CUNYVM.CUNY.EDU Jim Howell
5.8 What are the laws about boats...?
The FCC form order answering machine is (202) 418 36766 and the
human operated info line is (202) 632 3337. Call these numbers to get info
about getting a VHF license. (dk1)
You can learn about operating procedures for your VHF radio from
Chapman's (see the bibliography). One essential rule: Channel 16 is for
commercial hailing and distress calls. Hailing by recreational vessels is
now supposed to happen on Channel 9.
You are required to carry adequate saftey devices for your boat. What is
deemed adequate varies by size. Most marine stores have a pretty good
idea what's the minimum. Once again, Chapman's can give you details.
There are no "licenses" for boating in the US_you can buy the biggest,
fastest boat on earth and do whatever you want with it, as long as it's
recreational and you do not carry passengers or freight for hire, and you
abide by the various marine laws that apply. Prudence dictates that you
should learn how to operate your vessel before you start out. Note that
many states have begun enforcing Boating While Intoxicated laws, and
that some have begun enforcing speed limits. See the additional material
If you want to operate a marine radio from your boat, you need a station
license. Generally a license application is packaged with each radio set,
and all radio dealers carry applications. If you are licensing any marine
radios, the first will be a VHF set for "local" communications ( <30 miles)
with 2-25 watt output. Marine radios must be "type accepted" which
means you can not build it yourself, or modify a CB, commercial, or ham
set. Pleasure boaters do not need a radio operator's license. (wv)
In general, boat registration laws and fees vary from state to state.
Usually a boat dealer or the local state police detachment is a good
starting point for specifics. (wv)
To carry any passengers for hire you need a Coast Guard license. Before
you can even take the required written exam(s) you need documentary
evidence of a full year (365 days) of boating experience. Licenses come in
several categories. To carry more than six passengers for hire, the boat
must also be inspected by the Coast Guard. Fines for violations are quite
Courtesy of Terry Steinford, we have the following long and thorough
essay about carrying passengers, etc.: (email@example.com)
Some of the requirements for carrying passengers, chartering and licensing
were changed about a year ago.
Self-propelled vessels that carry any passengers for hire are required to be
operated by a Coast Guard licensed operator. If the vessel carries more
than 6 passengers, at least one of which is a passenger for hire, the vessel
is required to be inspected by the Coast Guard as a commercial passenger
A pure sail vessel under 100 gross tons carrying up to 6 passengers is not
required to have a licensed operator. Way back in ancient history, pure
sail vessels up to 700 gross tons carrying passengers were not required to
be inspected, but that loophole was eliminated years ago.
The minimum license is the Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessels
(OUPV), formerly known as the Motorboat Operator or 6-pack license.
Inspected vessels require a licensed Master with the appropriate tonnage
and geographical route. All OUPV licenses are valid for vessels up to 100
gross tons. The "near coastal" route is up to 100 miles offshore. "Inland"
is most waters that are a lake, bay or sound on a chart. The dividing line
between near coastal and inland is based on geography, not the rules of
On December 20, 1993 the President signed the Passenger Vessel Safety
Act of 1993 (public law 103-206), changing the legal requirements for
passenger and charter operations. The act establishes for the first time
the definition of passenger for hire and requires many vessels operating
under bareboat charter to be inspected by the Coast Guard as commercial
passenger vessels. The law also changes the inspection requirements for
certain vessels over 100 gross tons.
The new law has relaxed the prior strict treatment of situations were a
guest provided food or chipped in for expenses. Previous law treated such
such guests as passengers, requiring operator licenses and possibly vessel
Under the new law a passenger for hire is is a passenger for whom
consideration is contributed as a condition of carriage on the vessel,
whether directly or indirectly flowing to the owner, charterer, agent or
any other persons having an interest in the vessel.
Consideration is an economic benefit, inducement, right or profit
including pecuniary payment accruing to an individual, person, or entity,
but not including a voluntary sharing of the actual expenses of the voyage
by monetary contribution or donation of fuel, food, beverage or other
Previously, vessels operating under legitimate bareboat or demise charters
were not required to meet the commercial passenger vessel standards.
Some vessels operating under charter are carrying hundreds of persons
and are in direct competition with commercial passenger vessels meeting
the Coast Guard inspection and licensing requirements. Under a
legitimate bareboat charter the vessel is in essence "sold" to the charterer
for the duration of the charter, hence the people carried aboard were not
passengers for hire. In some cases the charterer may not have been aware
of his legal liabilities during the charter. Unsuspecting passengers may not
have been aware that they were sailing on a vessel that did not meet the
same safety equipment and design standards as a regular passenger vessel.
Congress has acted to remove these differences for charter vessels carrying
more than 12, or in some cases 6 passengers.
The following vessels are required to be inspected by the Coast Guard:
(1) if under 100 gross tons:
(a) carrying more than 6 passengers, including at least 1 for
(b) chartered with crew provided or specified by owner and
carrying more than 6 passengers, or
(c) chartered and carrying more than 12 passengers, or
(d) submersible vessels carrying 1 or more passengers for hire
(2) if 100 gross tons or over:
(a) carrying more than 12 passengers, including at least 1 for
(b) chartered and carrying more than 12 passengers, or
(c) submersible vessels carrying 1 or more passengers for hire
An uninspected vessel that carries not more than 6 passenger for hire is
required to carry the safety equipment in Subchapter C of Tile 46 of the
Code of Federal Regulations. The requirements are generally the same as
for a recreational vessel of the same length, except that all life jackets
must be Type I commercial style.
There are no federal requirements for insurance for these vessels. Local
government agencies may require business or occupational licenses,
including insurance or bonds.
5.9 What's a formula for top speed?
The answer, verbatim from mp, is:
The formula yacht designers use is called Crouch's formula.
It takes into account the weight and horsepower at the
propeller, and assumes a 50"% to 60"% efficient prop.
Most props fall into this range. Note that it doesn't take
into account the boat length, as that doesn't matter with
V = C/((DISP/HP)**.5)
Where V = boat speed in knots (1 knot=1.15 mph)
C = Constant (depends on boat type)
DISP = Displacement (pounds)
Note that boat manufacturers usually give
innacurate numbers for displacement,
typically on the low side
HP = Horsepower available at the propeller
For comparison sake, here are some average values of C:
150 Typical lightweight, planing cruiser
180 High Speed Runabout
200-230 Race boats, hydroplanes etc.
5.10 Accurate time source for navigation
The time of day is broadcast on radio stations WWV and WWVH, which
transmit in the shortwave bands, on 2.5, 5, 10, 15, 20 MHz. The time is
announced every minute, and at other times there is a steady beeping.
Any shortwave receiver should be able to pick up these broadcasts - the
particular frequency you can receive will vary with location and time of
You can also hear the NIST's WWV broadcasts via the telephone. The
number is (303) 499-7111.
5.11 Winter storage for batteries, and their state of
There is a ritual debate on this topic each year. The concensus seems to
be that (1) It's OK to store a battery on a cement floor, but if you stick it
on an old piece of plywood, any drips or spills will be easier to clean up,
so perhaps the old wives' tale has some value, (2) storing a battery cold in
the winter, provided it is fully charged, is an OK thing to do. The rate of
discharge is reduced by the cold environment, so less frequent recharging
is called for.
Here is an article from Finn Stafsnes, which seems to have some hard data
The content is taken from a booklet provided by norwegian battery
I have done some linear interpolation between tabulated values. Therefore
minor errors due to non-linear effects may be present. I can only hope
that I have not done big errors in my calculations.
of...............@ 25 C, 77 F........point.........@ freez.temp
charge..........kilograms/litre.....deg C, F....kilograms/litre
Full (100%)..........1.280..........-68, -90......not available
.75 %................1.250..........-52, -62......not available
.50 %................1.220..........-36, -33..........1.263
.25 %................1.190..........-24, -11..........1.224
weak.................1.160..........-17, + 1..........1.189
"0 %.................1.130..........-12, +10..........1.156
"0 %.................1.100..........- 7, +19..........1.122
If it is impractical to measure the spec. gravity an approximate formula is
given based upon voltage measurment:
Spec.gravity (@ 25 C) = ((Voltage of battery)/(no of cells)) - 0.84
The voltage should be measured after the battery has been disconnected
(left to rest) for at least 6 hours.
A discharged battery will gradually be distroyed if stored in a low state of
charge condition due to crystal growth of PbSO4, even if it don't freeze.
Self discharge rate is halved for every 10 deg C (18 F) the storage
temperature is reduced.
Conclusion: Keep the battery well charged all the time. If you don't want
to recharge during the winter, store the battery cold.
And here is a mini-FAQ written by Alan Yelvington:
The efficiency of batteries varies with time, temperature, and state of
Batteries self-discarge over time. Lead-calcium (die-hard) discharge faster
that straight lead-acid. Their advantage is that they typically do not need
to have the water replaced.
Temperature will kill a battery over time. If a battery gets too hot, its
self-discharge rate goes up. If the battery gets to cold, the reaction that
produces electricity gets slowed down and the full capacity cannot be
The state of charge limits efficiency because of the reactions in the
battery. If a battery is left dead for too long (this means you), the internal
plates will start to accumulate lead-sulphate on them. This insulates that
portion of the plate so that in can no longer contribue to the output of
the battery. It takes extra power in to remove the sulphation that cannot
be recouped. (EDTA will chemically remove the sulphate....)
A typical battery in good condition will return 90 to 95% of the power
put into it under these conditions:
DO NOT recharge at a rate of more that one tenth its capacity. eg. A 220
amp-hour battery should not be recharged at more than 22 amps. The
excess current will generate waste heat and form lead-sulphite. The
lead-sulphite is worse than the sulphate because it cannot be removed.
DO NOT discharge a battery beyond 50% of its capacity.
DO NOT over charge the battery. (Lead Sulphite problem again.)
DO NOT discharge the battery faster than one tenth of its capacity. That
is, don't draw more than 22 amps from a 220 amp-hour battery. You'll
just make waste heat that cannot do work.
DO use the battery and not just leave it dormant all the time. If you
must have a battery for infrequent use, NiCd or gelcells are much better
and are another story altogether. (ay)
Another reader pointed me towards a nice solar panel charge controller
the November, 1993 issue of "73" magazine. It's used by a guy with 200
WATTS of solar panels on his roof.
5.12 Online information
First of all, Mosaic/Web pages about boats are sprouting up like weeds,
and there's no way I can keep track of all of them. I can, however, give a
pointer to a page that seems to keep track of a lot:
This page is maintained by Jeremy Smith.
Second, there's the Live-Aboard mailing list: To join, send E-mail to:
firstname.lastname@example.org; the subject line is not critical but
in the BODY of your e-mail write:
Stefan (the maintainer of the list) provided me with the following
Previous contributions are available by anonymous ftp. Just ftp to
centaur.astro.utoronto.ca, login as "anonymous" and use your e-mail
address as the password. Go to the directory pub/archive. The directory
pub/digests contains earlier posts filed into folders. The material in both
directories is updated periodically.
(The following section courtesy of sb)
You can FTP hourly surface analyses (one of the things you can recieve
with a weather fax receiver), in the form of .GIF files from
vmd.cs.uiuc.edu, in directory WX.
There is also hourly raw visual and infrared satellite imagery, (from
GEOS-7) which I don't know what to do with these.
The files are SA*.GIF, CI*.GIF and CV*.GIF, where the * is the date
and GMT hour of the picture.
Then, if you are on a unix system, you can use xloadimage to display
There are also .DOC files which describe many other sources of weather
related information on the network.
telnet madlab.sprl.umich.edu 3000
gets you any forecast you like. If you enter the city "BOSM," you get the
forecast for Boston, PLUS the marine forecast. This may work for other
cities as well.
You can also try telnetting to duats.gtefsd.com. This is an aviation
weather service funded by the FAA. It's really meant for pilots to get
weather briefings, but they don't seem to mind non-pilots using it (in fact,
the particular hostname I mentioned is specifically for non-pilots; there is
another host with the identical service for pilots which requires an
account and allows use of some additional functions).
When you get to the main menu, select "Weather Briefing", then "Local
Briefing", then "Standard Briefing". Anytime it asks for a "Tail
Number", just enter "N1234".
The user interface is kind of clunky, and the reports are all in
technojargonspeak which is probably pretty much incomprehensible if you
don't know how to decode it. You will probably need a book on
interpreting weather service reports to make any use of it, but for raw
weather information, it probably can't be beat as a source. For example,
here's the last three hours worth of reports from LaGuardia Airport:
LGA SA 1850 E140 BKN 12 122/55/46/0513/989 LGA SA 1750 M110
BKN 12 122/54/46/0517/989/ 214 1070 54 LGA SA 1650 80 SCT M110
OVC 10 115/55/45/0616/987/WSHFT 28 FROPA BINOVC
The 1650 (UTC) report is the longest, so I'll decode that. It says:
LaGuardia Airport, Normal scheduled report at 1650 UTC (i.e. 12:50 PM
Eastern Daylight Time). First cloud layer is estimated to be at 8000 feet
and is scattered (which I think means covering between 10% and 50% of
the sky). Second cloud layer is measured at 11,000 feet and is overcast
(i.e. covering more than 90% of the sky). Visibility is 10 miles. Sea-level
barometric pressure is 1011.5 millibars. Temperature is 55 degrees F. Dew
point is 45 F. Wind (this is the part you're interested in, right?) is from
060 at 16 kts. Altimiter setting is 29.87 inches of Hg. Windshift from 280,
frontal passage, breaks in overcast.
The coding is baroque and opaque, being designed for the days of 110
baud teletypes when saving every character mattered.
There are also forecasts for the next 12 hours or so for selected locations,
predicted winds aloft (sometimes useful for predicting surface wind shifts),
locations of fronts, etc. As far as 24-48 hours in the future, I don't suspect
you'll find much in the way of that, except in the most vague and general
More weather stuff:
NORAD (TLE) for NOAA sats, tide code
Tide code (shareware) for IBM-PC compatible
The racing rules updates can be found on the Ship-to-Shore BBS (the
number is listed in the Max Ebb article). Here's a list that I got from the
Ship to Shore OIS
Marine Net for Sailors
Arlington VA 703-525-1458 Boston MA 508-256-1775
Moncton NB 506-386-8843 New York City NY 212-865-3787
Norwalk CT 203-831-8791 San Diego CA 619-435-3187
San Francisco CA 415-365-6385 Salt Lake Cty UT 801-968-8770
Toronto ON 416-322-6814 Vancouver BC 604-540-9596
There are also the following mailing lists for discussion of various topics:
owner address: E.R.Kooi@CRI.Leidenuniv.NL
list address : YACHT-L%HEARN.BITNET
listserver : LISTSERV%HEARN.BITNET
owner address: CBROMLEY@NVMUSIC.VCCS.EDU
list address : TALLSHIP%VCCSCENT.BITNET
listserver : LISTSERV%VCCSCENT.BITNET
The SAIL-TX mailing list FAQ (Frequently Asked Question) File:
SAIL-TX Title: Texas Sailing announcements and discussion To post:
email@example.com To SUBscribe: firstname.lastname@example.org To
UNSUBscribt: email@example.com in the msg body state UNSUB
From Joe Hersey, of Coast Guard Communications: For those who are
interested, the Coast Guard Research and Development Center in Groton
CT now has an operational World Wide Web server, accessable from:
I'll try to keep an up-to-date summary of the Coast Guard's Internet
services in the CG Navigation Information System BBS, accessable from
Finally, Boat/US maintains an online mailing list:
"Some info will still be posted in rec.boats, but to avoid cluttering the
group, we've decided to create a mailing list open to all interested boaters.
To subscribe, just email your request directly to firstname.lastname@example.org."
5.13 Should we split rec.boats?
This topic arises about three times a year. The usual proposal is a split
along power/sail lines. Each time the concensus, with a growing number
of dissenters, is that (a) much of what is discussed here would be
crossposted to rec.boats.sail and rec.boats.power if they both existed, (b)
many topics, like maintenance, moorings, coast guard regs, boat shows,
the grounding of the QEII, large oil spills, etc., are of (passing) interest to
almost anyone who goes out on the water, (c) we all learn something
about the folks with whom we share the water by reading what they have
to say, (d) the volume of postings is rapidly increasing and is growing too
large, but a power/sail split will not necessarily address this.
Recently rec.boats.racing and rec.boats.building have been formed, and
they seem quite successful; I personally attribute their success to the lack
of overlap in interests between the folks in those groups and "the rest of
Analysis of the traffic on rec.boats suggests that between 1 and 10 percent
of the traffic is devoted to discussions of splitting. All such discussion
should take place in (or at least route followups to) news.groups.
5.14 What sextant should I buy to learn with?
Good sextants are expensive (about $3000US is not unusual), and the
inexpensive plastic ones (Davis make the best-known) are far cheaper. For
learning, or even for real navigation, the Davis models are fine, but
require more careful and frequent adjustment, and often seem to give less
They will give a result accurate to within about 2 minutes of arc, which
should get your position right within about 3 miles or so. Errors made by
beginners are usually computational or mistakes of understanding, and
tend to be far greater than this. So a plastic sextant makes a fine tool for
learning. Buy one, and if you like it, keep it as a spare when you go
Hints: to keep the readings accurate, beware of temperature fluctuations,
which warp the sextant (temporarily). In winter, wear gloves. In summer,
watch out for having part of the sextant in sun and part in shade. And
last but not least, always approach your reading from the same side (i.e.,
always increase the angle until the sun is on the horizon_don't increase
and then decrease and then increase, etc.) This prevents backlash from
screwing up your readings. (jfh)
5.15 Boat pictures, and ftp sites for boat info
I (sb2) run the rec.boats FTP server(if you can use a listserv, you too can
have them) for pictures. Some from my personal collection, some from the
America's Cup, others from Whitbread, etc.
dell1.dell.com in the anonymous FTP directory/donate/boats
I believe that Steve also maintains an ftp-able version of the FAQ. So do I
(jfh) on the machine wilma.cs.brown.edu, in the pub directory with the
name rec.boats_FAQ.Z. The file POWER.UU that's there is also of
interest to some rec.boaters_it's a PC program for something to do with
surface-piercing drives, submitted by Paul Kamen. It's a zipped DOS
executable, and you need version 2.04 of pkunzip to unzip it.
5.16 Propellor selection
GENERAL RULE OF PROP SELECTION: On a properly trimmed boat
a prop of the correct pitch and diameter will permit the motor to attain
it's maximum rated RPMs but NO MORE.
HOW TO BUY THE CORRECT PROP: The best method of prop
selection that I know of is to find a dealer that will let you try several
props with the understanding that you will buy the one that performs as
above. Of course it is also understood that if you ding a test prop you will
Contributed by hl.
5.17 Binocular selection
Contributed by (pe).
The quality of binoculars shows up in several important areas. this is
certainly one product area that the quality can range from junk to
excellent, and you get what you pay for. The areas of prime concern are
1) Eye relief: This is the distance back from the eye piece that the image
is formed. Most binoculars have a rubber eye piece that positions your
eyes in the proper place. This rubber piece can then be folded out of the
way for people who wear glasses. A longer eye relief is more forgiving to
those who wear glasses.
2) EXIT PUPIL: Generally tied closely to eye relief, this is the diameter
of the image comming out of the eye piece. The larger this is, the less
sensitive it will be to having your eye is in the exact right spot. Generally
speaking, larger is better. But to make it larger, the overall size of the
3) Light Transmission: The percentage of light that enters the front lens
that makes it out the eye piece. For daylight use, this is not too critical.
For nightime use, a few percent improvement in the amount of light
making it through can make a hugh difference. The type of optics (glass
versus plastic), the coatings on the lens elements, and the overall quality
of teh lenses make the difference. Large, GLASS, coated optics give much
better performance than plastic, uncoated optics. Of course, large glass
elements start to get heavy.
4) Depth of Field: As a side effect of the above three items is an improved
depth of field. This is the distance that an object remains in focus. The
really good units don't even have a focus knob, as the depth of feild is so
large that it isn't necessary.
5) GAS FILLED: The better units are sealed, and purged with dry
nitrogen. This keeps moisture out, keeps the lenses from fogging, and
helps improve the overall optical qualities.
6) THE CASE: A rubber armored, rugged case will help prevent damage.
Lens caps that stay with the unit keep them from getting lost, and make
it much more likely that you will put them back on to protect the lenses.
You may want to check out the West Marine catalog. They have a chart
listing all the important characteristics of the binoculars that they sell.
Compare it against the specs of a unit you are considering. Decide if you
might ever need to read the number on a channel marker at night.
My advice is to go with the best that you can afford. Properly treated,
they will last forever and you will not be sorry.
5.18 Blue book value of boats
Contributed by email@example.com (John Jensen). For anyone thinking
of a purchase of a boat, BUC Research's Used Boat Price Guide seems to
be the reference to have. You can reach them at: BUC Research 1314
Northeast 17th Court Fort Lauderdale, FL 33305 to order call:
1-800-327-6929 Fax: 305-561-3095 phone: 305-565-6715 Library of
Congress Catalog Card No. 63-35604 ISBN 911778-67-5
Prices as of the Volume 1 issue (1984-1990 models): Volume 1 (1984-1990)
$72.00 Volume 2 (1974-1983) $62.00 Volume 3 (1905-1973) $52.00
The book(s) are worth it. However it has been suggested to try your local
library first before shelling out your money.
5.19 Interfacing NMEA0183 to your computer
Lots of people want to know how to interface NMEA 0183 instruments to
their laptops or other computers. One answer is to do it directly: NMEA
data out -> RS232 data in, and NMEA data return -> RS232 ground. The
signal is 4800 baud, no-parity, 1 stop bit.
But here's a better answer, courtesy of Bob Curtis (firstname.lastname@example.org): Here's
a simple circuit to keep your instruments safe:
a ----/"/"/"/"----+ +---+------/"/"/"/"------ +12v
5k _ _ _ 5k
--- _/ +-------------------- to RS-232 rcv.
/ " _
b ----------------+ +------------------------ to RS-232 common
_ <- might not need this connection
You will have 100% isolation if you leave off the ground connection shown
(recommended). Some systems may work more reliably with a common
ground. The parts (2-5k resistors and a photo-optical isolator) will cost
about $4 at any Radio Shack.
AMERICAN SAILOR, none, This one is for members of USYRU. Almost
exclusively for racing. Dave Perry has a short but interesting "rules
ASH BREEZE, none, P. O. Box 350, Mystic, CT 06355, $15/year (4
issues). The journal of the Traditional Small Craft Association.
Member-contributed articles about design, construction, and history of
traditional boats. Members also receive discounts on books published by
BOAT DESIGN QUARTERLY, none, P.O. Box 98, Brooklin, ME,
$24/year (only 4 issues). Each issue contains six to eight reviews of boat
designs. This magazine is mostly the effort of Mike O'Brien (who also
writes for WoodenBoat magazine). Only worth it for those truly obsessed
with boat designs.(al).
BOATBUILDER, none, P.O. Box 420235, Palm Coast, FL 32142-0235
800-786-3459. Primarily amatuer construction. Monthly articles by
notable Dave Gerr (lots of his latest book "The Nature of Boats" was first
published in Boatbuilder). Includes instant boat construction, origami
steel boats, etc.(mp) Possible new address (subscription dept?):
Boatbuilder, 76 Holly Hill Lane, Greenwich, CT 06836-2626.
COASTAL CRUISING, none, The Magazine of Achievable Dreams. This
rag was formerly called "Carolina Cruising" and probably still should be.
Concentrates on the ICW around and about its Beufort, NC home base.
A harbor profile in each issue with a color arial photograch as a
centerspread. Quirky columns written by people who are really into
bringing the spoken accent to the written page. Printed on cheap
newsprint paper and comes out 6 times a year. Unless you live or cruise in
the Carolinas, save your money. (wms).
CRUISING WORLD, none, Good articles, wonderful reader service called
"Another Opinion", which will tell you about other readers who own the
same boat that you do (or that you are thinking of buying), and who
might be interested in telling you about it, Extensive brokerage and
charter listing. -jfh-.
GPS WORLD MAGAZINE, none, Monthly magazine covering the
spectrum of GPS usage. Current regular subscription rates: US $59,
Canada $79, Foreign $117. Advanstar Communications, P.O. Box 10460,
Eugene, Oregon 97440-2460, U.S.A. Phone: (503) 343-1200 Fax: (503)
683-8841 Telex: 510-597-0365 (rb).
GREAT LAKES SAILOR, none, Tends to focus on the sailing scene in
the midwest. Has suspended publication as of January 1993. (tl).
JOURNAL OF NAVIGATION, none, The main problem is this is a
quarterly publication (at best), that often suffers long delays in delivery.
It has an interesting mixture of high end and low end stuff. For instance
it will have discussions of what the piloting station of a large freighter will
have the next decade alongside a report of a last (ill fated) Atlantic
voyage of a junk rigged 30' cruiser. (rb).
LATITUDE 38, none, The SF Bay sailing rag. Cheap paper, irreverant
staff. Far more honest than any other sailing rag. Latitude 38,P.O. Box
1678,Sausalito CA 94966,USA. Phone: 415 383 8200 ; 415 383 5816 (fax).
First class postage subscription: $45/year. Third class postage
subscription: $20/year. "We regret that we cannot accept foreign
subscriptions, nor do we bill for subscriptions. Check or money order
must accompany subscription orders." (However, Canadians may order
the First Class subscription.).
MESSING ABOUT IN BOATS, none, This small magazine with its own
strong identity and readership may interest those who enjoyed Small Boat
Journal before its change. Costs 20 buck per year. 29 Burley St.,
Wenham, MA 01984. "This is a great little magazine filled with
reader-contributed articles and good classifieds (especially for readers in
New England). Very entertaining, and you can't beat the price." (al),
"particularly since it comes out every two weeks. The primary focus is on
boats for the "little guy," rowboats, patched-up boats, and homebuilt
boats. There is a lot of coverage of off-beat boats, and most issues include
a design by Phil Bolger." (wv).
MULTIHULLS, none, 421 Hancock St., N. Quincy, MA 02171, (800)
333-6858, $21/year (6 issues). As the name states, this magazine deals
exclusively with multihulls. Coverage is divided about evenly between
cruising, design, building, and racing. They also sell books, videos, and
NATIONAL FISHERMAN, none, The working seaman's magazine.
Printed on newsprint, filled with editorials about why the fisherman
cannot make it in the modern USA, and articles about how well EPIRBs
*really* work, etc. A *great* mag. Wonderful classifieds.
OCEAN NAVIGATOR, none, Informative article; passagemaking
information, info on nav hardware and tools. The letters are worth the
price of admission. Nav problems at the end of each issue that include
piloting and offshore celestial problems, with answers. Only magainze
that I read cover to cover. Some articles about electrics tend to be slightly
screwy-Nigel Calder can't distinguish amps from amp-hours.
OFFSHORE, none, 220-9 Resevoir Ave, Needham, MA 02194. Covers the
Northeast coast from New Jersey to Maine. Good coverage of the area
with plenty of local interest stories, marina profiles, safe boating,
navigation and area history. Slightly skewed toward powerboats but
plenty of interest to sailboaters, too. Regular columns on local boating
news and Coast Guard Search and Rescue summary. Series by Dave Gerr
on understanding Yacht Design contains many of the articles on which his
book "The Nature of Boats" is based. Excellent classified section with a
unique "renewable guarantee" that will keep your ad in until sold for a
one time fee of $25.00 (wms).
POWERBOAT REPORTS, none.
PRACTICAL BOAT OWNER, none, published in Poole, Dorset,
England. Practical Boat Owner Subscription, Quadrant Subscription
Services, Perrymount Road, Hayward Heath, W. Sussex, RH16 3DH,
United Kingdom. Another reader notes that "The current Practical Boat
Owner gives the following address for overseas subscriptions: Practical
Boat Owner, PO Box 272, Haywards Heath, W Sussex, RH16 3FS, UK.
Tel: 0444 44555." P.B.O. is great for boat tests (yachts any size, motor
boats mostly small) and simply excellent for how-to-do-its. Editorials
reflect the British scene since it's a British magazine. The editor, George
Taylor, answers queries in person by return of post.
PRACTICAL SAILOR, none, These folks test out products and do
sailboat reviews and compare products made by different people. They
also answer questions. They have no adverts, so that their information is
nominally unbiased. <As I learn more and more, I respect them less and
less. They often test products in ways that aren't all that reasonable.
Their test of rope, for example, was based solely on abrasion resistance.
Fine for your mooring pennant, but not the whole story. Their test of
other products has not impressed me either. And, last but not least, they
have wacky ideas about galvanic corrosion_I would not trust anything
these guys said about electricity. It helps to be an educated reader. (jfh)
Practical Sailor's Subscription Dept can be reached at 1-800-829-9087 or
PO Box 420235 Palm Coast, FL 32142-0235. Subscriptions are $72
annually, although I think I've seen discount offer's in Cruising World.
Practical Sailor is published by Belvoir Publications, Inc at 75 Holly Hill
Lane PO Box 2626 Greenwich, CT 06836-2626 (203) 661-6111. (sja).
SAIL, none, Informative articles, usually pretty basic. Good charter
listings. Good brokerage listing.
SAILING, none, Published in Port Washington, Wisconsin. It's large
format (11 x 14) can have some pretty striking pictures. They're a general
interest sailing magazine. Their design editor is Robert Perry. There's a
"boat focus" column on one particular boat each month written by an
owner... usually nice family cruisers.
SAILING WORLD, none, Mostly about sailboat racing. Very good on
SEAHORSE, none, The magazine published by the Royal Ocean Racing
Club in England. Far and away the best coverage of big-boat racing, and
not afraid to get technical.(pk).
SMALL BOAT JOURNAL, none, now "Boat Journal." <Never look at a
copy of this printed after 1990, especially if you are a sailor. Early issues
are real treasures_circa 1978-1980, they were the best, most honest, best
produced, small sailing mag around.
SOUNDINGS, none, Good articles on all aspects of boats; great classified
section. $18.95 FOR 12 MONTHS. 35 PRATT STREET/ ESSEX,CT
06426. 203 767-3200; 203 767-1048 FAX. UPDATE...A BETTER
PRICE....$14.95 PER YEAR VISA, MASTER CHARGE 800 341-1522 24
THE COMMODORE'S BULLETIN OF THE SEVEN SEAS CRUISING
ASSOCIATION, none, If you dream of sailing into the sunset someday,
this will feed your fantasies. Full membership in this organisation is
exclusive, but anyone can join as an "associate" member and get the
Bulletin. It is just reprinted letters from members cruising all over the
world. $25/year. Address is: SSCA// 521 S. Andrews Ave.// Ste. 10//
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301 USA.
WEST MARINE'S ANNUAL CATALOG, none, For pure information per
dollar, this has got to be the best buy around. True, it's a once-a-year
journal, but their West Advisor sections on how to best run marine
plumbing, what kind of wire is best, etc., is really worth reading. Slightly
biased towards promoting the purchase of expensive items, though.
WOODEN BOAT, none, Lovely pictures, informative articles, and they
pay attention to *new* woodworking as well as old. They have a love
affair with Maynard Bray and Phil Bolger, though, and you have to watch
out for this bias -jfh-.
YACHTING, none, The very rich person's boat magazine. Most boats
over 60 feet.
YACHTING QUARTERLY, none, A "video format" magazine; about
$100 per year for four videotapes. These tapes include a fair number of
how-to segments, and are supposed to get you an idea of
how-they-hoist-the-chute-on-the-winning-J40, and such things.
6.2 Nonfiction about sailing trips
SHRIMPY AND SHRIMPY SAILS AGAIN, Shane Acton, This is an
amazing story of a guy who spent eight years sailing the world in a
caprice class 18ft boat. None of the other books I have read on the
subject come close to this achievment. A none sailor, his own money, very
very limited funds. This guy is my hero.
MAIDEN VOYAGE, Tania Aebi, 1988 Excellent. An 18-year-old
girl/woman circumnavigating westward in a Contessa 26.
117 DAYS ADRIFT, Bailey.
SECOND CHANCE: VOYAGE TO PATAGONIA, Baileys, Interesting
contrast with Slocum's earlier account.
FIRST YOU HAVE TO ROW A LITTLE BOAT: REFLECTIONS ON
LIFE AND LIVING., Richard Bode, It is a zen-like outlook on how
sailing and life are so similar. Friends who have read it say no skipper
should be without it - it's really good.(bt).
GYPSY MOTH CIRCLES THE WORLD, Sir Francis Chichester, 1968
Another classic, of a solo cicumnavigation in a fast but vicious boat, best
read together with The Lonely Sea and the Sky.
THE LONELY SEA AND THE SKY, Sir Francis Chichester, 1964
Excellent auto-biography of the great adventurer. Includes transatlantic
voyages, and his pioneering first flight (NOT non-stop!) across the
TWO YEARS BEFORE THE MAST, Richard Henry Dana, Harvard boy
goes to sea, and writes eloquently about the details of sea life.