The following is the FAQ for rec.boats. Many folks have sent
contributions, some of which have been included. In some cases I left
things out because I thought they were not of general enough interest. In
other cases, I've left them out because I have not yet gotten around to
This document will be reposted about every three months. In addition, a
copy will live at wilma.cs.brown.edu, available for anonymous ftp in the
Last posted: 11/24/98
This posting: 02/24/99
1 Pre-introduction 1
2 Introduction 4
3 Sailing Stuff 5
3.1 Addresses of class associations for sailboats . . . . . . . . . 5
3.2 How can I get into sailboat racing as a crew member? . . 10
3.3 Is the MacGregor 26 a good boat? . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
3.3.1 Does water ballast work? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
3.3.2 Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
3.4 What's a good first sailboat? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
3.5 How do those rating systems and all that stuff work? . . . . 14
3.6 Who/What is US Sailing, how do I join, should I join? . . . 20
3.7 Where can I find out about collegiate sailing? . . . . . . . . 21
3.8 What about keels? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
3.9 Sailing simulators? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
3.10 Chartering and learn-to-sail schools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
3.11 Formula for hull speed based on length, and its limitations . 25
3.12 Sailing in other countries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
3.13 Sailing in Chicago . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
4 Powerboating stuff 29
4.1 What is better? An I/O or an outboard? What's cheaper? 29
4.2 Are Doel Fins a good thing? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
4.3 What is a Hole Shot? Will a Stainless prop add to my high
end speed? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
4.4 Is VRO a good idea? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
4.5 What's a good first powerboat? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
4.6 Can I put unleaded gas in an old outboard? . . . . . . . . 32
4.7 Are there any powerboat class associations? . . . . . . . . 32
5 General Information 33
5.1 Addresses and numbers for suppliers . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
5.1.1 NMEA Specification for inter-electronic communication 38
5.1.2 Anchor Chain And Rode, Other Hardware . . . . . . 39
5.1.3 Navigation and Simulation Software and Equipment 39
5.2 Safe boating courses and organizations . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
5.3 Should I get GPS or Loran? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
5.4 What other newsgroups discuss boating stuff? . . . . . . . 44
5.5 What's the 800 number for the User Fee Sticker? . . . . . . 44
5.6 What's it cost to own a boat? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
5.7 Who can tell me about boat X? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
5.8 What are the laws about boats...? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
5.9 What's a formula for top speed? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
5.10 Accurate time source for navigation . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
5.11 Winter storage for batteries, and their state of charge . . . 54
5.12 Online information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
5.13 Should we split rec.boats? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
5.14 What sextant should I buy to learn with? . . . . . . . . . . 60
5.15 Boat pictures, and ftp sites for boat info . . . . . . . . . . . 60
5.16 Propellor selection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
5.17 Binocular selection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
5.18 Blue book value of boats . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62
5.19 Interfacing NMEA0183 to your computer . . . . . . . . . . 63
6 Bibliography 63
6.1 Magazines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
6.2 Nonfiction about sailing trips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
6.3 Sailboat Racing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71
6.4 Maintenance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72
6.5 Fiction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73
6.6 Design, seaworthiness, arts of the sailor, boatbuilding . . . . 99
6.7 Films and videos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104
6.8 Misc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105
7 List of Contributors 107
I have been reading and saving selections from rec.boats for about 8 years,
and operating various watercraft for far longer. I volunteered, in August
1992, to maintain this Frequently Asked Questions list for rec.boats, with
help from many other people on topics where they know much more than
The contents of the posting below consist of the information sent to me
by many people; less than 1/4 of it is my own writing. I am especially
grateful to Michael Hughes (no relation) for providing much of the
If you have constructive comments please let me know. (I am John
Hughes, j...@cs.brown.edu). If you have additions you'd like to see, please
let me know.
Several people have asked that I mark the recent changes with some sort
of symbol to indicate the changed passages. As you can see from the dates
above, I'm finding it tough to keep up with the "every three months"
schedule as is, and I'm reluctant to add any more work to the task. I've
therefore not done what they have asked, alas. I've now created an
auto-posting program to send out the FAQ, as is, whether I remember to
do it or not, every three months. Someday I hope to edit it thoroughly,
removing the pleasantly dated "Should we split?" section, and updating
the sections on GPS. But I've just been too busy to do so.
The information in this posting comes in three forms. There are facts
(addresses and phone numbers, etc.), generally accepted information
("How can I get into sailboat racing as a crew member?"), and opinions
("Is this magazine any good?"). Following a lead of Wayne Simpson, I've
put the initials of the provider of the information or opinion in parentheses
following the statement (e.g., (jfh)). There's a list of contributors at the
bottom. Since I only started doing this *after* I had put together much of
the list, a good deal of the information is unattributed, especially in the
book reviews. I apologize to the original authors for this.
By the way, my own bias is towards sailboating. This means that the
powerboating information is scantier than the sailboating stuff.
3 Sailing Stuff
3.1 Addresses of class associations for sailboats
Here are some answers culled from the net, but there are also two other
sources: The Sailing World Buyer's Guide and SAIL Magazine's Sialboat
and Equipment Directory. Both are published annually.
International Etchells Class Association
Pam Smith, Executive Secretary
HCR 33 Box 30
Bass Harbor, ME 04653
Tanzer 22 Class Associataion
P.O. Box 22
Ste-Anne de Bellevue
Quebec, CAnada H9X 3L4
Laser mailing list: la...@polecat.law.indiana.edu
signup: list...@polecat.law.indiana.edu; mesage should sat
"subscribe Laser Firstname Lastname'' Contact Will Sadler
(wi...@polecat.law.indiana.edu) for help accessing the system.
Laser Class Association:
8466 N. Lockwood Ridge Road, Suite 328
Sarasota, FL 34243
Phone & FAX (813) 359-1384
Send them your name, sail number, type of boat, age, address, phone
and "$25 for a regular membership, "$15 for junior (16 and under), "$40 for
family membership and list other people in family.
612 Third Street
Annapolis, MD 21403-3213
(Steve Podlich or Sally Scott)
J/80 Class Association
27 Clifton Rd.
Bristol, RI 02809
PH/FAX (401) 253-4874
J-30 Class Association
309 Berkley Ave.
Palymra, NJ 08065
(609) 786-8958 (h)
Annual dues: "$25.00
55 America's Cup Avenue
Newport, R.I. 02840
Recently we have made a real effort to us the facilities of Internet
and other networks to connect 5-oh sailors. We have temporarily
established an EMail forwarding list through the help of Peter
Mignerey at the Navy Research Labs (usa...@wave11i.nrl.navy.mil).
Other good contacts for the class at the moment are myself
(stet...@osu.edu, David Stetson and Ali Meller (am el...@shl.com).
To get on or off of the 505 email list send the following:
No message is needed.
Post messages for the fleet to: <505w...@andrew.cais.com>
Please report any problems to: <mign...@wave11i.nrl.navy.mil>
US Flying Dutchman Class
(Official name is I.F.D.C.A.U.S - International FD Class
Association of the US)
168 Overbrook Drive
Freehold, NJ 07728
General class info
Promotional video - $14
Class membership $46/year
Montgomery Owners Newsletter
c/o John Anastasio
1000 W. Clay St.
Ukiah, CA 95482
Subscriptions are $15 year (4 issues)
e-mail to: John_An...@RedwoodFN.org
International DN Ice Yachting Association
Contact person changes from year to year, but you can always
find out who's currently in charge by calling Gougeon Bros.
Boats in Bay City, MI.
For 1994-1995 it's
Lee Ann and Eric Armstrong
224 Plainview Drive
Bolingbrook, IL 60440
708 759 0023 (phone)
708 759 0026 (fax)
Catalina 42 National Association
339 Sharon Road
Arcadia, CA 91007
Annual Dues: $25
Catalina 38 National Association
1524 Santanella Terrace
Coronado del Mar, CA 92635
Annual dues: $25
Catalina 36 National Association
10710 Montgomery Dr.
Manassas, VA 22111
Annual dues: $25
Catalina 34 National Association
910 Orien Way
Livermore, CA 94550
Annual dues: 1 year $20, 2 years $36
Catalina 30 National Association
9141 Mahalo Dr.
Huntington Beach, CA 92646
Annual dues: $20
$28 (Canada & Mexico; US funds)
$29 (outside continent; US funds)
Catalina 28 National Association < NEW ASSOCIATION!
128 Biddle Drive
Exton, PA 19341
Annual dues: $25
$29 (Canada & Mexico; US funds)
Catalina 27 National Association
21 Lawrence Ave.
Annapolis, MD 21403
Annual dues: $20
Catalina 25/250 National Association
5175 Chase Street
Denver, CO 80212-0377
Catalina 22 National Association
P.O. Box 30368
Phoenix, AZ 85046-0368
Annual dues: $25
Capri 26 National Association
2403 Salem Court
Bettendorf, IA 52772
Annual dues: $20
Capri 22 National Association
888 Blvd of the Arts #204
Sarasota, FL 34346
Annual dues: $15
Coronado 15 National Association
26181 B Las Flores
Mission Viejo, CA 92691
Annual dues: $29
Capri 14.2 National Association
10250 No. 92nd #210
Scottsdale, AZ 85258
Annual dues: $15
Capri 26 National Association
529 Sycamore Circle
Ridgeland, MS 39157 (sc)
U S Sabot National Association
457 Sherman Canal
Venice, CA 90291
(No dues specified, assumed to be $12)
International Sunfish Class Association
1413 Capella S.
Newport, RI 02840
O'Day/CAL Boat owners association
(email bur...@apollo.hp.com for details)
$18/yr - 6 newsletters, Boat/US discount,
P.O. Box 15
Raynham, MA 02767-0015 (mb)
Class Secretary, Honey Abramson
1811 Cavell Avenue
Highland Park, Il. 60035
$35/year, includes monthly COLOR magazine.
For owners of Catalina and Capri sailboats for which there is no national
association listed above, contact Catalina Yachts, P.O. Box 989,
Woodland Hills, CA 91367. Annual dues are $12.00 and include a one
year subscription to MAINSHEET, the quarterly magazine of the
Catalina and Capri owners associations.
See also: The Sailing World "Buyer's Guide" and SAIL Magazine's
"Sailboat and Equipment Directory," and Cruising World, particularly for
classes that are no longer being manufactured. All are available in many
3.2 How can I get into sailboat racing as a crew
The racers on the net seem to have a concensus on this (at least for
crewing on large boats). Since I wrote this originally, I got the following
words from mp, which seemed so relevant that I've put them first: "you
should add that if you want to get experience as neophyte crew, you need
to show up consistently. Most owners can put up with you not knowing
the ropes and would be willing to teach you what you need to know as
long as they know you'll be there every week."
(1) Go to local yacht clubs that have regular race series and post an index
card on the bulletin board saying that you are new to racing, but would
like a crew position. Give phone numbers where you can be reached, and
put a date on the card so that people know it's active. (Ask the club
steward about where to post the card, and whether it's OK).
(2) Go hang out on the dock on whatever evening the local fleet races,
and ask around if anyone knows of someone who needs crew. Come
dressed for the occasion; bring a foul-weather suit if it's windy, and wear
tennis shoes or boat shoes. Have a hat. If you bring other stuff (sweater,
dry set of clothes) pack it in a small athletic bag or knapsack. Show up an
hour before race time and let various people know you are there and
available. The club steward, the launch boy/girl, and the dockmaster are
all good choices.
(3) Make it clear that you are serious-if the skipper says "can you be there
an hour before the race to help pack the 'chute?", say "Yes." Volunteer to
help out with Spring work on the boat. If you have to miss a race on a
boat on which you've been racing regularly, let the skipper know at least 3
days in advance. Let people know that you are willing to come out every
single week to race. If not, word that you are unreliable will get around.
(4) Listen and learn. Don't go aboard expecting to tell everyone
everything you know. If it turns out that you know more than they do,
keep quiet about it. Your quiet competence will eventually show through.
3.3 Is the MacGregor 26 a good boat?
The MacGregor 26 has a very low price for a lot of boat. It also, like any
boat, has a number of flaws. The equipment is not as tough as that on
some other boats of comparable size (compare it to a Pacific Seacraft to
see the other extreme), and the fiberglass construction is not as
substantial either. If you are planning to do lake sailing on lakes of
modest size, perhaps it is the boat for you. If you are planning on going
into the ocean, perhaps it is not. The Mac26 is quite large for a
trailerable boat, which is one of its big advantages. it uses water ballast,
in part. It is more stable, even intially stable, with its tanks full than with
them empty. See below.
If you are considering a Mac26, you should also look at the Catalina 22.
Compare the solidity of the structures, the hardware, the rigging, and also
compare the resale values of similar boats in your area.
Greg Fox has kindly written a short dissertation on water ballast, which
summarizes the wisdom of the net on the subject (including at least one
practicing naval architect). It really *is* correct, and you should read it
carefully before you start disagreeing. Here it is:
3.3.1 Does water ballast work?
Yes, but not nearly as well as a more dense ballast like lead. We are
talking here about a fixed tank of water placed as low in the boat as
possible and completely filled. An air bubble in the tank means that the
some of the water is free to move to the low side and in this case stability
can actually be worse than if the tank were left empty. If it is kept empty,
the entire boat will float too high, reducing stability. So if your boat has a
ballast tank, keep it *completely* filled while you are afloat. To answer
the question in more detail, it needs to be broken down into two
questions, one comparing water with lead ballast and another comparing
water with no ballast.
How does a water-ballasted boat compare with a lead-ballasted boat of
the same length, beam, draft, freeboard and interior headroom, and the
same weight of ballast?
Water ballast is much lighter for trailering, as it can be drained. A water
tank is cheaper than the same weight of solid lead. These benefits are
purchased at a cost however.
The water-ballasted boat will have less static stability, This is because the
less dense ballast cannot be concentrated as low in the boat. The
water-ballasted boat therefore cannot carry as much sail as the
lead-ballasted boat, but will have similar resistance to motion. This
means decreased speed. Also, this ballast occupying relatively high areas
of the boat will require a deeper shaped hull for the same interior
headroom which leads to a shorter (vertically) fin or centerboard for the
same total draft. This adds up to worse windward performance. These
are the costs of the more convenient trailering and lower expense.
How does a water-ballasted boat compare with an unballasted boat of the
same length, beam, draft, freeboard, and interior headroom?
If designed to do so, water ballast could make a boat uncapsizable. At
least, it will increase the capsize angle. Water ballast also adds mass and
therefore easier motion in a sea and better way-carrying in a lull or a
tack. It will do this for little increased expense and trailering weight.
Basically, the advantages are bought at the cost of performance. A
water-ballasted boat can carry little if any more sail than an unballasted
boat. This is because it has little if any more stability at small angles of
heel. However, for the same length, headroom, freeboard, etc. it must
displace a greater amount of water equal to the tank of ballast. The same
length, combined with greater displacement and no greater sail-carrying
ability means less speed. Compared with an unballasted boat even more
than compared with the lead-ballasted boat, the hull must be deeper,
which again means less of the draft constraint can be allowed for the
centerboard. This means poorer windward performance. Also the draft
with centerboard up must be greater than the unballasted case. The
better carrying of way and easier motion are at the cost of slower
acceleration in puffs or after tacks. The increased mass is a double-edged
Why does it add little if any more stability at small angles of heel?
Remember we are comparing a water-ballasted with an unballasted boat
of the same length, freeboard, cabin headroom, etc. The increased weight
of water must be put in an increased underwater volume of the hull
located as low as possible. This added volume of water underneath what
could have been the bottom of the unballasted boat has no net
gravitational force under static conditions as long as it is completely
submerged. That is, neglecting the additional weight of the tank and
added hull material, the increased weight is exactly balanced by the
buoyancy of the increased volume to hold it. It therefore can have no
effect on either heeling or righting moment if the tank is full of water of
the same density as that in which it is submerged. Another way to think
of it is that the center of buoyancy is lowered by exactly the same amount
as the center of gravity.
Then how does it increase the capsize angle? At large angles of heel more
or less of the water tank rises above the waterline. Now the relationship
between the center of gravity and the inclined center of buoyancy becomes
more favorable than the unballasted case. All of the weight of the water is
no longer balanced by its buoyancy.
Could you make a SHORT summary of all this?
Yes. Just consider a water-ballasted boat to be an unballasted boat but
with improved capsize angle and all the plusses and minuses of added
weight while afloat but not while trailering. There is a cost in
3.4 What's a good first sailboat?
The Sunfish and boats like it_very simple, easy to rig and to move
around_make great learning boats for one or two people, but not for a
family. The Laser is a tougher first boat, but there's likely to be a racing
fleet nearby, and you can get an old one that's still plenty strong for very
My own belief is that a somewhat tired old boat is a good first one. It will
teach you something about maintenance, and it will let you take some
risks as you're learning_scratching an already-scratched hull is far more
tolerable than scratching a brand-new one.
In general, a boat that can be trailered and handled by one person is
probably best; you'll sail lots more if you don't have to get a friend to
Sailing clubs can be a great way to learn. (jh)
3.5 How do those rating systems and all that stuff
[Contributed by Roy Smith]
PHRF (pronounced "perf") is Performance Handicap Racing Fleet.
Unlike other rating systems (IOR, IMS, etc), PHRF ratings are not
assigned based on some sort of measurement, but rather on past
performance of similar boats. If you are racing in a club race or a local
weekday evening or weekend series, where different kinds of boats race
against each other, the odds are that PHRF is the rating system you're
using. In PHRF, boats are assigned ratings in seconds per mile. Your
rating is the number of seconds per mile your boat is supposedly slower
than a theoretical boat which rates 0. Most boats you are likely to sail on
rate somewhere in the range of about 50 to 250. All ratings are multiples
of 3 seconds/mile (i.e. the next faster rating than 171 is 168). I think this
is done as a recognition that the rating process just isn't accurate enough
to justify rating boats to 1 second/mile resolution.
Typically, a certain type of boat is given a stock rating based on past
experience. Just to make it a bit more interesting, ratings vary somewhat
depending on location; each YRA (Yacht Racing Association) can assign
its own rating to a class of boat depending on their local experiences and
conditions. For example, Western Long Island Sound, under the
jurisdiction of YRA of LIS, is famous for light wind, which tends to give
an advantage to certain types of boats, and YRA of LIS takes that into
account when assigning ratings.
On top of your regional stock rating, there are a variety of standard rating
adjustments depending on how your boat is rigged. The standard PHRF
rules allow you to have a 153% genoa. You can carry a larger sail, but
take a rating penalty for it. Likewise, you can chose to not carry that big
a sail and get a rating advantage. Having a non-standard keel, extra tall
or short mast, a fixed prop (the stock ratings assume a folding or
feathering prop), extra long or short spinnaker pole, etc, all result in
rating changes. Some boats have several stock ratings for different
common variations. For example, there are 4 configurations of J/29's;
masthead or fractional rig and inboard or outboard.
Once you've got your basic rating, adjusted for location and
customizations you may have done, you still have the option of petitioning
for a rating change based on whatever evidence you might care to present
to prove that your rating is too fast (or the other guy's is too slow), an
area that quickly gets into politics and boat lawyers. There are two
flavors of PHRF, Time-on-Distance (TOD) and Time- on-Time (TOT).
TOD is the more traditional and easier to understand, so let's start there.
In TOD, you get a handicap equal to the length of the race course in
nautical miles multiplied by your rating in seconds/mile. Thus, for a 6
mile race, a boat that rates 120 would get a 720 second handicap, i.e. her
corrected finish time would be 720 seconds less than her actual time to
complete the race. What people tend to do is think not so much about
the actual rating, but rating differences, i.e. if you rate 120 and the other
guy rates 111, he owes you 9 seconds per mile, so for a 6 mile race, as long
as he finishes less than 54 seconds in front of you, you will correct over
him and win.
The other flavor of PHRF is Time-on-Time (TOT). In TOT, it's not the
length of the race course that matters, it's the amount of time the race
takes. To do TOT, first you have to convert your normal rating, R, in
seconds per mile to a factor, F. The formula to convert R to F varies from
place to place, but it's typically something like F = 600 / (480 + R).
Actually, it's really something like F = 600 / ((600 - Rav) + R), where
Rav is the average rating of all the boats in the fleet. Locally, we use an
Rav of 120 which gives the formula with the 480 in the denominator. For
reasonable values of R, you get an F which is a number close to 1. For
example, a J/24 rating 171 has an F of 0.9217, while a Newport-41 rating
108 has an F of 1.020. To score the race, you take each boat's finish time,
subtract their start time (giving their raw elapsed time) and multiply by
their F, giving their Corrected Elapsed Time (CET). The theory behind
TOT is that in a slow race (i.e. light wind), the boats tend to spread out
but since the amount of time each boat owes the others is fixed by the
length of the race course (in TOD), slow (i.e. light wind) races tend to
favor the faster boats.
On of the problems with TOT is that there is no universally accepted
formula for converting R to F. With the sort of formula used above, you
can argue about what should be used for Rav. What we do locally is use
one Rav for the entire fleet, which is 8 divisions with ratings ranging from
36 to about 250 or so. Some people think we should calculate an Rav for
each division, for example. Some people think TOT is a total crock and
want to go back to TOD.
Contributed by Stephen Bailey (sb)]
Sailboats racing under a "handicap system" have a function applied to
their elapsed time, producing a "corrected time," and the boats place in
corrected time order. This function, which differs among systems,
attempts to fairly represent speed differences among boats.
There are two major handicapping philosophies: "measurement" rules
which handicap based upon measurements, and "rating" rules which
handicap based upon observed performance.
The International Offshore Rule (IOR) is a measurement rule for racing
boats. The IOR evolved from the Cruising Club of America (CCA) rule
The IOR concentrates on hull shape with length, beam, free board and
girth measurements, foretriangle, mast and boom measurements, and
stability with an inclination test.
The IOR also identifies features which are dangerous or it can't fairly
rate, and penalizes or prohibits them.
The measurements and penalties are used to compute the handicap
number which is an "IOR length" in feet. A typical IOR 40 footer (a "one
tonner") has rating of 30.55 feet.
In a handicapped race, the IOR length is used to compute a "time
allowance," in seconds per nautical mile (s/M) which is multiplied by the
distance of the race, and subtracted from the boat's actual time, to
compute the boat's corrected time. Longer IOR length gives a smaller
The IOR is also used to define "level classes," where no time correction is
used. Every boat in a class has an IOR number less than some number.
The Ton Classes, (Mini Ton, 1/4 Ton, 1/2 Ton, 3/4 Ton, 1 Ton, and Two
Ton), as well as 50-footer, ULDB 70 and Maxi classes are examples.
To account for improvements in design and materials, boats are given an
"old age allowance" which decreases their IOR length as time passes. In
spite of the old age allowance, about 3/4 s/M/year on 40 footer, boats
over several years old are usually not competitive, which is why IOR
handicap racing is dead.
Peculiarities of IOR designs result from features which increase actual
performance more than they increase IOR length, or other odd rules; IOR
hulls bulge at girth measurement points; a reverse transom moves a girth
measurement point to a thicker part of the hull; waterline length is
measured while floating upright, so large overhangs are used to increase
waterline sailing at speed; the stability factor ignores crew, so IOR
designers assume lots of live ballast; after the 1979 Fastnet race excessive
tenderness was penalized; full length battens were prohibited to prevent
main sail roach area, but short battens became strong enough that the
IOR had to start measuring and penalizing extra main sail girth; main
sail area adds less IOR length than jib area, so new IOR boats are
fractionally rigged; The IOR encourages high free board, and high booms
and prohibits keels wider at the bottom than at the top (bulbs).
The Midget Offshore Racing Club Rule (MORC) is a measurement rule
for racing boats no longer than 30 feet. The MORC rule is similar to the
IOR. It computes a handicap length from various measurements, which is
used to define level classes and derive time allowances.
MORC seems to work better than IOR because the range of boats it
attempts to handicap is not as large, and it is more quickly modified when
problems arise. For example, the MORC recently adjusted their old age
allowance to permit older boats to be competitive.
The International Measurement System (IMS) is a measurement system
intended for racer/cruisers. The IOR was not fair to racer/cruisers, so the
Measurement Handicap System (MHS) was invented, in 1981, and
accepted internationally, as the IMS in 1985.
With a diverse collection of boats, relative performance varies not just
with design, but also with race conditions. A 33 footer can beat a 40
footer upwind in moderate wind, but the 40 footer will probably come out
ahead in heavier winds, or on a reach.
The IMS uses a Velocity Prediction Program (VPP) to predict speed on
different points of sail in different wind strengths. From the predictions,
and the distance, course type and wind strength of a race, a time
allowance is computed for each boat and subtracted from the boat's
elapsed time to give corrected time.
IMS rule designers believe the key to fairly handicapping diverse hull
shapes is measuring a large number of points all over the hull and
appendages, measuring sail area accurately, and using an inclination test
(which is the same as the IOR). The VPP uses these measurements to
account for heeling, crew on the rail, the immersed shape, and other
The IMS VPP doesn't yet account for dynamic drag of a boat pitching in
waves, nor for appendage shapes which result in reduced drag. Some
parameters are based upon incomplete experimental evidence. For
example, the VPP predicts a greater benefit from full battens than is
realized in practice.
IMS defines a "General Purpose Rating," which is a predicted time per
mile around a particular course, in 10 knots of wind. A typical IMS 40
footer has a GPR around 595 s/M.
The Performance Handicap Rating Factor (PHRF) is a subjective rating
rule. PHRF was developed to handicap monohulls that didn't fit under
the rubric of other handicap systems. It has since become the most
popular handicapping system in the US, being almost universally used in
PHRF assigns a boat a rating, in s/M, which is multiplied by the length
of the course and subtracted from the boat's elapsed time to give
Ratings are assigned by a committee of the local racing authority, formed
from representatives of the member clubs. The initial rating for a boat is
based upon any information available, such as the boat's rating in another
area, ratings under other handicap systems, information from the
designer, ratings of similar boats, and a set of standard adjustments to
basic ratings (e.g. fixed prop, extra large sails, etc.) All ratings are
multiples of 3 s/M. For example, a J/24 rates around 171 s/M, and a J/35
around 69 s/M in many areas.
Since ratings are assigned and administrated locally, they may account for
local conditions. A good heavy air boat would rate faster in San Francisco
Bay, than in Long Island Sound.
A member may appeal a rating, presenting evidence, such as race results,
which supports the appeal. The local committee's decision may be
appealed to a committee of PHRF handicappers from all over the country.
Although PHRF is subjective, it still attempts to rate the boat, in racing
trim, with a perfect crew. Just because a boat never wins, or always wins
doesn't mean its rating should or shouldn't be adjusted.
Using this system, the slower the race, the smaller the percentage by
which a faster boat must beat a slower boat. To correct this, some PHRF
races are handicapped by multiplying a boat with rating R's elapsed time
by (C / ((C - Rav) + R)), where Rav is the fleet's average rating, and C
is a constant around 600-700, to compute corrected time. This system is
called "time on time", the previous, more common, system is "time on
The two systems only differ substantially when ratings span a large range
(> 30 s/M), or races are long (in time). It is not clear which system is
The Portsmouth Yardstick (PY) is a statistically based rating rule. The
PY was developed by the Dixie Inland Yacht Racing Association to
handicap any boat, including multihulls, which are excluded from all the
previously described handicap systems, based on performance in races.
The PY begins with a boat which is well sailed, and ubiquitous, called the
"Primary Yardstick." This boat is assigned a Portsmouth Number (PN),
which is the time the boat takes to travel a fixed, but unspecified
distance. In the US, the Thistle the primary yardstick, and its PN is 83.
Elapsed times are collected for races. The fastest boat of each type in a
race is assumed to have sailed a perfect race. The ratios of the fastest
boat's time to the fastest yardstick boat's time, normalized by the
yardstick boat's PN are averaged over all races to compute that boat's
PN. Statistical techniques are used to discard outlying data points. A
class with a large quantity of data, and no recent change in PN may
become a "Secondary Yardstick," used in the same fashion as the Primary
Yardstick. The Laser and J/24 are examples of Secondary Yardsticks.
The usual way to handicap with Portsmouth numbers is to multiply
elapsed time by 100/(PN) to compute corrected time. This is a "time on
time" system (see PHRF).
In addition, PY has begun to compute numbers for different wind
strengths. The Primary Yardstick is defined to have the same number for
all wind strengths. Using these numbers, clubs can more fairly handicap
races in various wind strengths.
Since the PY data are not broken down by course type, it assumed that
boats racing under the PY are racing courses similar to an Olympic,
triangle or Gold Cup course.
Below are formulas for converting among different system's ratings.
Accuracy of these conversions may vary. (And indeed, the last one has
been called into question by one reader, so you should probably treat it as
PN = PHRF/6 + 55 PHRF = GPR - 550 PHRF = 2160/sqrt(IOR) - 198
Since we know that the IMS GPR is the time taken to cover a mile (of a
particular course), in 10 knots of wind, we can estimate a boat's speed
over this course given its PHRF rating:
v = 3600 / (PHRF + 550)
So, a J/24's (171 s/M) speed is 4.99 knots, a J/35's (69 s/m) is 5.81
knots. The J/35 is 16% faster. Note that the standard PHRF increment
of 3 s/m represents around a 0.4% change in boat speed.
Using the IOR conversion, a one tonner might rate 72 s/M, whereas they
are actually much faster than that, rating around 54 s/M PHRF. This
illustrates the "advantage" designers can take of the IOR.
3.6 Who/What is US Sailing, how do I join, should I
United States Sailing Association (US Sailing), formerly USYRU, is the
governing body for sailboat racing in the US. Its goals are to govern,
promote, and represent sailboat racing and to promote the sport of sailing.
Activities include sailing courses; certification of instructors, race officers,
judges, etc; holding of various national championships; management of the
olympic sailing team; and updating and publication of the International
Yacht Racing Rules every four years. Basic membership is $35/year, but
various discount programs are available through many yacht clubs. All
active racing sailors should be members of US Sailing. (sc) The directory
they provide has the addresses of every racing class known to man. (wh)
Address: US Sailing Box 209, Goat Island Marina Newport, RI 02840
(401) 849-5200 Fax: (401) 849-5208
telex: 704592 USYRU NORT UD
compuserve #:75530,502 email or "Go SAILING FORUM" for the "US
SAILING connection." Executive Director monitors 75410,2126 three
times daily for members' or organizations' queries. (tl)
3.7 Where can I find out about collegiate sailing?
US Sailing publishes a college sailing directory, available for $7 from the
address above. (sc)
Jay Allen also says: [There is a college sailing mailing list. The address to
and one should write in the message:
3.8 What about keels?
Courtesy of Matt Pedersen:
(Definitions used in this discussion: length refers to the fore and aft
length of the keel, depth refers to how far the keel sticks into the water,
width is side/side width)
General discussion of Keels:
Keels help you sail in a straight line. They are also a great place to put a
bilge, bilge pump, and tankage. What you want is a keel that is very
narrow in width when going to weather, and a little fatter going
downwind. I don't know how to make my keel do this, but when I do
figure it out you'll be the first to know. Narrow width keels also stall out
(lose their lifting ability) at lower speeds when compared to a fatter keel.
This is a negative.
Longer keels are harder to knock off course than shorter keels. Longer
keels are harder to put back on course than shorter keels. Longer keels
have more wetted surface than shorter keels, which hurts light air
Deeper keels go to windward better than shallow keels. Deeper keels get
the ballast lower in the boat, which helps sail carrying ability. Deeper
keels find the bottom sooner than shallow keels.
About wing keels:
Winged keels have a lot more weight down low which dramatically
increases the stability they provide. The wings supposedly help
hydrodynamics. I don't think it's all that great. They do increase draft a
little going to weather (the wing hangs down lower as you heel). I'm not
real convinced that a wing keel when heeled and slightly deeper, but with
a right angle in it is more efficient at getting lift than a standard fin.
Wing keels are good at catching kelp, or anything else floating in the
water. They also stick in the mud better, if that's what you want. To be
fair they are a way to get shoal draft and a little stiffness too.
These are basically a keel with a big torpedo shaped blob of lead at the
bottom. They are not more efficient than a straight fin. They do get more
weight down low, which helps in sail carrying ability.
Scheel keels are kind of like bulbs at the bottom of the keel, but they look
cooler. They may have some hydrodynamic improvement over a straight
fin, I don't know. They get ballast way down low. It's interesting that
many designers use a Scheel keel instead of a wing keel, even though they
have to pay a royalty on it. That says something about how difficult it is
to design a truly good wing keel. By the way Henry Scheel designs great
Recent history of keel design:
Now if you look at the design of fin keels over the years, you will see a
great deal of theory being applied to get you the fastest shape possible.
Let's see, there was the swept back "Sharks fin" of the early seventies. It
looks fast, therefore it must be fast. They were "proven" to be slow, so
you don't see them much anymore. However, David Pedrick (who
designed Dennis Conner's Stars and Stripes) has resurrected them for the
latest Freedom boats. Gee, maybe they are fast after all.
Then there was the "Peterson" fin. Straight leading and trailing edges.
High aspect ratio. Still pretty fast, but it doesn't put most of its weight
down low, where it does the most good. But then the IOR rule really
didn't care about that.
Then there was the winged keel of the eighties. They are great on big
tubby meter boats with draft limited by some rule, and you want a lot of
COME HELL OR HIGH WATER, Clare Francis, A very small woman
racing single-handed across the Atlantic.
COME WIND OR WEATHER, Clare Francis, 1979 She skippers a Swan
65 in the Whitbread.
MATE IN SAIL, James Gaby, Reminiscences of a lifetime in square-rigged
sail by an Australian shipmaster. (sm).
MASTER OF THE MOVING SEA, Gladys Gowlland, The memoirs of
Peter Mathieson, ship captain, compiled by his daughter-in-law. (sm).
DOVE, Robin Lee Graham, Graham set off at the age of 16 to sail around
the world alone in a 24 foot Ranger sloop. He returned several years later
as a young married man in a Luders 33. He and his wife then dropped out,
built a lean-to in the mountains somewhere and raised a daughter named
Quimby (no kidding), and later a son called Benjamin. His story was also
chronicled in a series of National Geographic articles in the late 60's that
fueled a good many of my youthful fantasies.(wms, with help from gv).
WANDERER, Sterling Hayden, Hayden's Autobiography. (gm).
THE SEA GETS BLUER, Peter Heaton, 1965 A good survey of cruising
and circumnavigation literature.
CRUISING UNDER SAIL, Eric Hiscock, (3rd edition, including
"Voyaging Under Sail"). Still the "Bible" even though it is now dated.
This book has more useful information on every possible aspect of
cruising and voyaging than any other source. It could also come under
several other categories in this listing as it covers everything from basic
boat design to celestial navigation. A book I wouldn't sail without.
AT ONE WITH THE SEA, Naomi James, 1978 A young woman
single-handing a rather large boat while her husband skippered in the
Whitbread. Naomi James was the first woman to sail single-handed
around the world via Cape Horn. The voyage began from Dartmouth in
September 1977, and ended in June 1978 (after 272 days). Her book of the
voyage is "At One with the Sea", published in NZ by Hutchison (ISBN 0
09 138440 0). The book is a damn good read. I strongly recommend it.
NO PARTICULAR TITLE, Tristan Jones, All his books are good.
ONE HAND FOR YOURSELF, ONE FOR THE SHIP, Tristan Jones,
The best book on singlehanding. Jones is opinionated and eccentric to say
the least, and old fashioned as well. He is a sailor of vast experience,
however, and has many good ideas.
TITLE UNKNOWN, Robin Knox-Johnson.
NO PARTICULAR TITLE, Larry and Lin Pardey, All of their books are
ALL IN THE SAME BOAT AND STILL IN THE SAME BOAT, Paul
Howard Fiona McCall, late 80's Excellent story of family of four
circumnavigating in a 30' steel junk-rigged boat.
SHACKELTON'S BOAT JOURNEY, E.F. Middleton, The most
remarkable small-boat journey you'll ever read about. Understated
writing style emphasizes the enormity of the trip.
THE BOAT WHO WOULDN'T FLOAT, Farley Mowat, Newfoundland
THE-GREY-SEAS-UNDER, Farley Mowat, WWII Tugboats, N.
THE LAST GRAIN RACE, Eric Newby, Story of a Cape Horn passage
aboard the giant four-masted barque Moshulu in 1938. Recently reprinted
by International Marine.(sm).
ONE WATCH AT A TIME, Skip Novack, Novack was the skipper of
Drum during the 1986 Whitbread and this is the whole story from the
time the boat was bought by rock star Simon Le Bon and his managers to
the fitting out, the Fastnet Race disaster in which Drum lost her keel and
capsized, the Whitbread where she began to fall apart during a storm,
and ultimate third overall finish. A good read with lots of color
PASSAGEMAKING HANDBOOK, John Rains and Patricia Miller, The
nuts and bolts of preparing for a long passage. Oriented toward delivery
work but applicable to any kind of offshore cruising, especially that first
trip. Highly recommended.
SURVIVE THE SAVAGE SEA, Dougal Robertson.
CRUISING: A MANUAL FOR SMALL CRUISER SAILING, J.D.
Sleightholme, From the introduction: "A broad look at the techniques
involved in sailing small modern family cruisers of between 20 and 30
SAILING ALONE AROUND THE WORLD, Joshua Slocum, 1899 A
great classic, beautifully written. (Make sure it's the full version).
JOSHUA SLOCUM, Walter Teller, 1956,1971 Biography of Slocum. I
think it illuminates and enriches one's reading of the above.
THE MYSTERIOUS LAST VOYAGE OF DONALD CROWHURST,,
unknown, The style is not particularly riveting, but the story is. It all
starts with the discovery of the "Teignmouth Electron," Crowhurst's
boat, in the Atlantic, with no one aboard. He had set out in the boat
some time earlier in a single-handed round-the-world race. The book
details a reasonable theory about what might have happened, and it
makes a fascinating story.(jh, tl).
BY WAY OF CAPE HORN, Alan Villiers, A tragic voyage from Australia
to England in the fully-rigged ship Grace Harwar in 1929. All of Villiers'
books can be safely recommended, especially his autobiography "The Set
of the Sails". (sm).
6.3 Sailboat Racing
PAUL ELVSTROM EXPLAINS THE YACHT RACING RULES, Paul
Elvstrom, An explanation of racing rules, with examples of common
situations. It is supposed to be very useful for non-experts, especially for
preparing for protest hearings. (sc).
SMALL BOAT, DINGHY, AND YACHT RACING, Paul Elvstrom,
...now (I think) out of print, but available in libraries. It's not "Elvstrom
Speaks on Yacht Racing," which is also good, but not what you want.
Written in the 60's, it's a bit dated in some ways and timeless in the
things that count. And the pictures are great! Anyway, it has a lot on
basic boat handling skills which doesn't get said in other places. It's
where I learned things like speeding up to gybe, rather than wimping out
and slowing down. I used to look at the book, then take my OK Dinghy
out and try what he suggested, and I usually found that it worked. (gb1).
SPEED SAILING, Gary Jobson and Mike Toppa.
SAILING SMART, Buddy Melges.
DAVE PERRY'S RULE BOOK, Dave Perry.
WINNING IN ONE DESIGNS, Dave Perry.
INTERNATIONAL YACHT RACING RULES, US Sailing, Updated and
published every four years in the US by US Sailing. Provided free to US
Sailing members. Both full editions and an abridged competitors edition
are available from US Sailing.(sc).
FAST COURSE, SMART COURSE, North Sails, Tips on how to go
FAST, and racing tactics. North also has a companion video which is
execlent. Best video choice are the J World tapes.
DINGHY TEAM RACING, Eric Twiname, ISBN = 8129-0235-1.
Quadrangle books, Chicago, 1971. Twiname is one of my favorite writers
on small boat racing, it was a real loss when he was killed in a car crash
some 15 (?) years ago. Don't know if the book is still in print.(pk).
EXPERT DINGHY AND KEELBOAT RACING, unknown, (wh).
ADVANCED RACING TACTICS, Stuart Walker, Norton 1976 ISBN
0-393-30333-0 Described as "the one book to read" but also as "ponderous
CHAMPIONSHIP TACTICS, Whidden and Jobson, An excellent choice.
You can buy a copy from your local North Loft.
PRACTICAL YACHT JOINERY, Fred P. Bingham, How to butcher
wood, whether you have only hand tools, portable power tools, or a full
UPGRADING AND REFURBISHING THE OLDER FIBERGLASS
SAILBOAT, W.D. Booth., A good general discussion of the topic with
many useful ideas.
SHIPSHAPE AND BRISTOL FASHION, L.R. Borland, Some of the
slickest little boat project ideas I've ever seen. Out of print but worth
BOATOWNER'S MECHANICAL AND ELECTRICAL MANUAL, Nigel
Calder, The most comprehensive and practical repair manual available.
This book has been a lifesaver for me in overhauling an older boat. One of
the books I would not sail without.(mh).
MARINE DIESEL ENGINES, Nigel Calder, A good basic introduction to
diesels, although much of it concerns powerboats.(mh).
REFRIGERATION FOR PLEASURE BOATS, Nigel Calder, A complete
discussion of marine refrigeration systems, theory and practice. This is for
the person who wants to build one up from components.(mh).
THIS OLD BOAT, Don Casey, Some of the most detailed instructions
I've seen for basic restoration and upgrading procedures, including hand
painting with Polyurethane paints. Assumes you know nothing.(mh).
PROPELLER HANDBOOK, Dave Gerr, Covers the arcane business of
choosing the right propeller for your boat. Gerr demonstrates two
different approaches to predicting propeller performance, a simple method
suitable for boat owners and a much more complex approach more
suitable to naval architects. Requires basic algebra.(mh).
BOATOWNER'S ENERGY PLANNER, Kevin and Nan Jeffrey, A very
basic introduction to electrical systems with a lot of solid information
about various options, including some brand-name comparisons. Assumes
you know nothing about electricity.(mh).
THE FINELY FITTED YACHT, Farenc Mate', Another large collection
of nice improve-your-boat projects, mostly involving the living
COMFORT IN THE CRUISING YACHT CUSTOMIZING YOUR BOAT
IMPROVE YOUR OWN BOAT, Ian Nicolson, Bunches of nifty project
ideas for improving a boat.(mh).
FIBERGLASS REPAIRS, Paul J. Petrick, This book is really good. Back
in the 60's I sold fiberglassing materials and advised people how to use
them (I did do *some* work myself) and I think Petrick really knows
what he is talking about.(bs).
CRUISING IN COMFORT, James Skoog, Cost-no-object approach, but
many good ideas.
LIVING ON 12 VOLTS, David Smead and Ruth Ishihara, A very detailed
analysis of 12 volt electrical systems and components. It also contains
much useful information about refrigeration systems as well. Best if you
already know basic electrical theory and construction.(mh).
SPURR'S BOAT BOOK, Dan Spurr, Lots of ideas, illustrated by the
upgrading of a Pearson Vanguard. Includes repowering, which is
UPGRADING THE CRUISING SAILBOAT, Daniel Spurr, Very good
advice on overhauling an older boat. Spurr did extensive upgrades on a
Triton and a Vanguard, two good low priced boats for offshore cruising,
and also has many other good project suggestions. (mh).
MODERN BOAT MAINTENANCE, Bo Streiffert, A large collection of
project and explanatory articles with more illustration than text. It
covers a remarkable range of topics and some rather complex projects.
Good for the person who already knows the basic techniques. This
appears to have been published originally in Sweden.(mh).
MACHINIST'S HANDBOOK, unknown.
PIPEFITTER'S HANDBOOK, unknown.
SHIP OF GOLD, Thomas B. Allen, thriller: CIA, Pentagon, sunken ship.
HOME IS THE SAILOR, Jorge Amado, the Whole Truth concerning the
Redoubtful Adventures of Captain Vasco Moscoso de Aragao, Master
THE GOLDEN KEEL, Desmond Bagley, smuggling gold as the keel of a
SABATICAL, John Barth, 1982.
TIDEWATER TALES, John Barth, 1987.
THE LAST VOYAGE OF SOMEBODY THE SAILOR, John Barth,
THE TINFISH RUN, Ronald Bassett.
THE CRUISE OF THE BREADWINNER, H. E. Bates, 1946, WW II
fishing boat on patrol.
DUEL, John Baxter.
REGATTA ?, John Baxter.
THE BLACK YACHT, John Baxter.
THE CHALLENGE AND THE GLORY, John Baxter.
AROUND THE WORLD SUBMERGED, Edward Beach, nonfiction.
DUST ON THE SEA, Edward Beach.
NAVAL TERMS DICTIONARY, Edward Beach, nonfiction.
NOTE ON BEACH, Edward Beach, submarine officer from WWII to
nuclear era, Captain of Triton on the round-the-world-submerged run,
and a good writer.
RUN SILENT, RUN DEEP, Edward Beach, classic WW II Pacific
SUBMARINE!, Edward Beach.
GOLDEN FLEECE, Jack Becklund.
JAWS, Peter Benchley, 1974.
TO BUILD A SHIP, Don Berry, 1963, building a ship in the wilderness on
Tillamook Bay in the early pioneer days.
LIGHTSHIP, Archie Binns, 1934, Lives of the crew of a lightship off the
CHARCO HARBOUR, Godfrey Blunden, 1968, A novel of unknown seas
and a fabled passaged with coral reefs and magnetical islands, of
shipwreck and a lonely haven; the true story of the last of the great
navigators, his bark, and the men in her.
BLUE SLOOP AT DAWN, Richard Bode, Small boat sailing off Long
Island, from to the "sloop of dreams".
THE WHALE OF THE VICTORIA CROSS, Pierre Boulle, During the
Falkland Is. a whale, first mistaken for a submarine, becomes a hero.
DON'T GO NEAR THE WATER, William Brinkley, WW II comedy.
THE 99, William Brinkley, LST supports allied landings in Italy.
THE LAST SHIP, William Brinkley, US destroyer survives nuclear war.
RUN TO THE LEE, Kenneth F. Brooks, 1965, Chesapeake oyster
schooner; a blizzard.
THE BOAT, Lothar Gunther Buchheim, WWII German submarine; very
WHERE IS JOE MERCHANT?, Jimmy Buffett.
TALES OF MARGARITAVILLE, Jimmy Buffett, 1989.
DESPERATE VOYAGE, John Caldwell, 1949.
A FLOCK OF SHIPS, Brian Callison.
A PLAGUE OF SAILERS, Brian Callison.
SEXTANT, Brian Callison.
A SHIP IS DYING, Brian Callison.
THE JUDAS SHIP, Brian Callison, WW II tale.
TRAPP AND WW III, Brian Callison.
TRAPP'S CROCODILE, Brian Callison.
TRAPP'S PEACE, Brian Callison.
TRAPP'S WAR, Brian Callison, all the Trapp books are humorous.
A WEB OF SALVAGE, Brian Callison.
THE WHITE SHIP, Ian Cameron, Treasure hunt in the S. Sandwich
THE AMPHORAE PIRATES, Lou Cameron, Diving for ancient treasures
SPARTINA, John Casey, Only partly about boats. Very much about
people who work with boats for a living.
THE DEVIL'S VOYAGE, Jack L. Chalker, 1981, fictionalized account of
USS Indianapolis' sinking.
CAPTAIN ADAM, Donald B Chidsey, 18th century nautical adventure.
RIDDLE OF THE SANDS, Erskine Childers, No list of fiction would be
complete without mentioning that first and greatest of all spy tales,
Erskine Childers' RIDDLE OF THE SANDS (which was also made into
an excellent film available on video. Lots of sailing...). Erskine Childers
was later himself shot as a spy in Ireland and his son became Ireland's
second President after Eamonn de Valera. (fm.
NOTE ON CHILDERS, Erskine Childers, 1903, See also biography The
Riddle of Erskine Childers, by Andrew Boyle, 1977.
THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER, Tom Clancy, nuclear submarine
COLLINS TITLES UNKNOWN, Warwick Collins, America's Cup trilogy.
MIRROR OF THE SEA, Joseph Conrad, nonfiction; very good.
NOTE ON CONRAD, Joseph Conrad, twenty years under sail and steam;
a top English writer.
THE HEART OF DARKNESS, Joseph Conrad.
WITHIN THE TIDES, Joseph Conrad, tales.
NIGGER OF THE NARCISSUS, Joseph Conrad, 1897.
LORD JIM, Joseph Conrad, 1900.
YOUTH, Joseph Conrad, 1902.
TYPHOON, Joseph Conrad, 1903.
THE SECRET SHARER, Joseph Conrad, 1910.
THE SHADOW LINE, Joseph Conrad, 1916 or 1917.
AFLOAT AND ASHORE, James Fenimore Cooper.
NOTE ON COOPER, James Fenimore Cooper, Cooper's sea tales are
supposed to be much better than his famous frontiersmen stuff.
THE PILOT, James Fenimore Cooper.
TWO ADMIRALS, A TALE OF THE SEA, James Fenimore Cooper.
THE RED ROVER, James Fenimore Cooper, 1850.
KILLER'S WAKE, Bernard Cornwell.
SEA LORD, Bernard Cornwell.
WILDTRACK, Bernard Cornwell.
CRACKDOWN, Bernard Cornwell, 1990.
STORM CHILD, Bernard Cornwell, 1991.
CYCLOPS, Clive Cussler, modern thriller.
DEEP SIX, Clive Cussler, modern thriller.
DRAGON, Clive Cussler, modern thriller.
ICEBERG, Clive Cussler, modern thriller.
RAISE THE TITANIC!, Clive Cussler, modern thriller.
THE MEDITERRANEAN CAPER, Clive Cussler, modern thriller.
TREASURE, Clive Cussler, modern thriller.
NOTE ON DE HARTOG, Jan de Hartog, de Hartog sailed as mate in
Dutch ocean-going tugboats.
THE LOST SEA, Jan de Hartog, about the Zuyder Zee.
THE DISTANT SHORE, A STORY OF THE SEA, Jan de Hartog, 1952.
THE CALL OF THE SEA, Jan de Hartog, 1966, collection.
THE CAPTAIN, Jan de Hartog, 1966, Dutch salvage tug accompanies
WW II Murmansk convoys.
CAPTAIN JAN, Jan de Hartog, 1976, Fiction? Nautical?
THE TRAIL OF THE SERPENT, Jan de Hartog, 1983, Escape from the
Japanese in Indonesia during WW II.
STAR OF PEACE : A NOVEL OF THE SEA, Jan de Hartog, 1984,
aging freighter full of Jews flees Nazis.
THE COMMODORE : A NOVEL OF THE SEA, Jan de Hartog, 1986,
The "captain", now 70, finds himself towing a giant oil rig to Singapore.
THE LIFE ADVENTURES AND PYRACIES OF THE FAMOUS
CAPTAIN SINGLETON, Daniel Defoe, 1728.
THE LIFE AND STRANGE SURPRISING ADVENTURES OF
ROBINSON CRUSOE, MARINER, Daniel Defoe, ca. 1726.
VOYAGE OF THE DEVILFISH, Micha DiMercurio, 1992, Near-future
AWAY ALL BOATS, Kenneth Dodson, 1954, WW II attack in the
Pacific; on video.
CAPTAIN SHARKEY: HOW THE GOVERNMENT OF ST. KITT'S
CAME HOME, Arthur Conan Doyle, short story.
DEATH VOYAGE, Arthur Conan Doyle, short story.
HOW COPLEY BANKS SLEW CAPTAIN SHARKEY, Arthur Conan
Doyle, short story.
J. HABAKUK JEPHSON'S STATEMENT, Arthur Conan Doyle, short
JELLAND'S VOYAGE, Arthur Conan Doyle, short story.
PIRATE STORIES, Arthur Conan Doyle, short story.
THAT LITTLE SQUARE BOX, Arthur Conan Doyle, short story.
THE BLIGHTING OF SHARKEY, Arthur Conan Doyle, short story.
THE CAPTAIN OF THE "POLESTAR", Arthur Conan Doyle, short
THE DEALINGS OF CAPTAIN SHARKEY WITH STEVEN
CRADDOCK, Arthur Conan Doyle, short story.
THE FATE OF THE EVANGELINE, Arthur Conan Doyle, short story.
THE FIEND OF THE COOPERAGE, Arthur Conan Doyle, short story.
THE "SLAPPING SAL", Arthur Conan Doyle, short story.
THE STRIPED CHEST, Arthur Conan Doyle, short story.
THE TRAGEDY OF "FLOWERY LAND", Arthur Conan Doyle, short
TOUCH AND GO: A MIDSHIPMAN'S STORY, Arthur Conan Doyle,
DAUNTLESS, Alan Evans, WW I cruiser in the Med.
HAAKON HAAKONSEN, O. V. Falck-Ytter.
ADMIRAL HORNBLOWER IN THE WEST INDIES, C.S. Forester,
Hornblower 5/1821 - 10/1823.
AFRICAN QUEEN, C.S. Forester, steam launch on African river.
BEAT TO QUARTERS, C.S. Forester, Hornblower (U.K.: The Happy
Return) 6/08 - 10/08.
BROWN ON RESOLUTION, C.S. Forester, Marooned Britsh sailor takes
on WW II.
COMMODORE HORNBLOWER, C.S. Forester, Hornblower 5/12 -
FLYING COLORS, C.S. Forester, Hornblower 11/10 - 6/11.
GERMAN RAIDER, C.S. Forester, Single-handed, film title Sailor of the
GOLD FROM CRETE, C.S. Forester, WW II stories.
HORNBLOWER AND THE ATROPOS, C.S. Forester, Hornblower 12/05
HORNBLOWER AND THE HOTSPUR, C.S. Forester, Hornblower 4/03
HORNBLOWER DURING THE CRISIS, C.S. Forester, Hornblower 1805.
LIEUTENANT HORNBLOWER, C.S. Forester, Hornblower 5/1800 -
LORD HORNBLOWER, C.S. Forester, Hornblower 10/13- 5/14.
MR. MIDSHIPMAN HORNBLOWER, C.S. Forester, Hornblower 6/1794
NOTE ON FORESTER, C.S. Forester, Prior to Patrick O'Brian,
regarded as the uniquely satisfying novelist on naval life in the Napoleanic
period. Also wrote several histories. This is not E.M. Forster, another
SHIP OF THE LINE, C.S. Forester, Hornblower 5/10 - 10/10.
THE CAPTAIN FROM CONNECTICUT, C.S. Forester, U.S. frigate
captain ca. 1812.
THE EARTHLY PARADISE, C.S. Forester, Columbus.
THE GOOD SHEPARD, C.S. Forester, WW II convoy.
THE LAST NINE DAYS OF THE BISMARCK, C.S. Forester, fictional
THE MAN IN THE YELLOW RAFT, C.S. Forester, WW II stories.
THE SHIP, C.S. Forester, WW II British cruiser.
THE HAND OF DESTINY, C.S. Forester, 1940, Hornblower short story
Colliers November 23.
HORNBLOWER AND HIS MAJESTY, C.S. Forester, 1941, Hornblower
short story, Colliers march.
HORNBLOWER'S CHARITABLE OFFERING, C.S. Forester, 1941,
Hornblower short story, Argosy UK may.
THE HORNBLOWER COMPANION, C.S. Forester, 1964.
ASIA RIP, George Foy.
CHALLENGE, George Foy, 12 meters.
COASTER, George Foy.
PYRATES, George McDonald Fraser, comic spoof of Hollywood sea
FIDDLER'S GREEN, Ernest Gann, 1950, West coast US commercial
TWILIGHT FOR THE GODS, Ernest Gann, 1956, The High and the
Mighty goes to sea. The movie of this one starred Gann's own barkentine.
SONG OF THE SIRENS, Ernest Gann, 1968, Gann's nautical
autobiography is a good read too.
HATTERAS LIGHT, Philip Gerard, lighthouse keeper's story.
DEAD RUN, Tony Gibbs, (gm).
LANDFALL, Tony Gibbs, One of Gibbs' excellent thrillers about boats.
Blood Orange is another, and also quite good. (jh).
RUNNING FIX, Tony Gibbs, (gm).
GLENCANNON AFLOAT, Guy Gilpatric.
NOTE ON GLENCANNON, Guy Gilpatric, The Glencannon stories
feature a Scots Chief Engineer on steamers, a common character of late
19th to early 20th century marine life. These stories are set in this
century, approximately contemporary to the time they were written.
THE GENTLEMAN WITH THE WALRUS MUSTACHE, Guy Gilpatric.
THE SECOND GLENCANNON OMNIBUS, Guy Gilpatric.
THE GLENCANNON OMNIBUS, Guy Gilpatric, 1937, includes Scotch
and Water, Half Seas Over, and Three Sheets in the Wind.
ACTION IN THE NORTH ATLANTIC, Guy Gilpatric, 1943.
THE CANNY MR. GLENCANNON, Guy Gilpatric, 1948, 10 short
GLENCANNON MEETS TUGBOAT ANNIE, Guy Gilpatric, 1956.
BEST OF GLENCANNON, Guy Gilpatric, 1968, 22 short stories.
FIRE DOWN BELOW, William Golding.
PINCHER MARTIN THE TWO DEATHS OF CHRISTOPHER
MARTIN, William Golding, 1956, Torpedoed RN officer washes up on a
barren rock in the middle of the Atlantic. Strange Rites of Passage.
DELILAH, Marcus Goodrich, 1941, Life on an early US destroyer.
MR. ROBERTS, Thomas Haggenn, 1946.
ESCAPE FROM JAVA, Harvey Haislip, WW II destroyer crew flees
MONA PASSAGE, Donald Hamilton.
WANDERER, Sterling Hayden, autobiographical; a better book than
VOYAGE: A NOVEL OF 1896, Sterling Hayden, 1976.
THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA, Ernest Hemingway.
THE CRIMSON WIND, Max Hennessy, pirates?
THE LION AT SEA, Max Hennessy, WW I naval adventure.
BLACK VULMEA'S VENGEANCE AND OTHER TALES OF
PIRATES, Robert E. Howard, 1976.
A HIGH WIND IN JAMAICA, OR, THE INNOCENT VOYAGE,
Richard A Hughes, pirates inadvertently kidnap children; made into a
THE GUN, Victor Hugo, what a loose cannon on deck can do.
CRUISE OF DANGER, Hammond Innes.
SOLOMON'S SEAL, Hammond Innes.
THE BLACK TIDE, Hammond Innes.
THE WRECK OF THE MARY DEARE, Hammond Innes, A
freighter,apparently unmanned, nearly runs down a sailboat in the
Englishchannel with a gale rising; that's in the first two pages.Remarkable
descriptions of the Minquiers, a reef off the coast of France.
WRECKERS MUST BREATHE, Hammond Innes.
ATLANTIC FURY, Hammond Innes, 1962.
STRODE VENTURER, Hammond Innes, 1965.
THE LAST VOYAGE: CAPTAIN COOK'S LOST DIARY, Hammond
A SCENT OF SEA, Geoffry Jenkins.
THE WATERING PLACE OF GOOD PEACE, Geoffry Jenkins.
THREE MEN IN A BOAT, NOT TO MENTION THE DOG, Jerome K.
Jerome, ca. 1900, classic comedy of a camping trip in a Thames skiff.
SAILOR, Richard Jessup, 20th century merchant marine tale.
THE DOG WATCH, Ted Jones.
BEYOND THE REEF, Alexander Kent.
COLOURS ALOFT!, Alexander Kent, Richard Bolitho 1803.
COMMAND A KING'S SHIP, Alexander Kent, Richard Bolitho 1784.
ENEMY IN SIGHT!, Alexander Kent, Richard Bolitho 1794.
FORM LINE OF BATTLE!, Alexander Kent, Richard Bolitho 1793.
HONOR THIS DAY, Alexander Kent, Richard Bolitho 1804.
IN GALLANT COMPANY, Alexander Kent, Richard Bolitho 1777.
MIDSHIPMAN BOLITHO AND THE AVENGER, Alexander Kent,
Richard Bolitho 1773.
NOTE ON KENT, Alexander Kent, Alexander Kent is a pseudonym for
Douglas Reeman. 18th century British naval action.
PASSAGE TO MUTINY, Alexander Kent, Richard Bolitho 1789.
RICHARD BOLITHO - MIDSHIPMAN, Alexander Kent, Richard
SIGNAL - CLOSE ACTION!, Alexander Kent, Richard Bolitho 1798.
SLOOP OF WAR, Alexander Kent, Richard Bolitho 1778.
STAND INTO DANGER, Alexander Kent, Richard Bolitho 1774.
SUCCESS TO THE BRAVE, Alexander Kent, Richard Bolitho 1802.
THE DARKENING SEA, Alexander Kent.
THE FLAG CAPTAIN, Alexander Kent, Richard Bolitho 1795.
THE INSHORE SQUADRON, Alexander Kent, Richard Bolitho 1800.
THE ONLY VICTOR, Alexander Kent.
TO GLORY WE STEER, Alexander Kent, Richard Bolitho 1782.
A TRADITION OF VICTORY, Alexander Kent, Richard Bolitho 1801.
WITH ALL DISPATCH, Alexander Kent, Richard Bolitho.
CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS, Rudyard Kipling, 1896.
BILL KNOX, Michael Kirk.
CARGO RISK, Michael Kirk.
MAYDAY FROM MALAGA, Michael Kirk, nautical?
SALVAGE JOB, Michael Kirk.
BLOODTIDE, Bill Knox.
BLUEBACK., Bill Knox.
BOMBSHIP, Bill Knox.
DEAD MAN'S MOORING, Bill Knox.
DRAGONSHIP, Bill Knox.
FIGUREHEAD, Bill Knox, nautical?
HELLSPOUT, Bill Knox, nautical?
LIVE BAIT, Bill Knox.
SEAFIRE, Bill Knox.
STORM TIDE, Bill Knox.
WAVECREST, Bill Knox.
WHITEWATER, Bill Knox.
WITCHROCK, Bill Knox.
THE FRENCH ADMIRAL, Dewey Lambdin, 1780.
THE GUN KETCH, Dewey Lambdin, 1786.
THE KING'S COAT, Dewey Lambdin, 1780.
THE KING'S COMMISSION, Dewey Lambdin.
THE KING'S PRIVATEER, Dewey Lambdin.
CAPTAIN KIDD'S CAT, ETC., Robert Lawson, 1956, <500 character
subtitle cut> as narrated by his faithful cat.
DEADEYE, Sam Llewellyn.
DEATHROLL, Sam Llewellyn.
RIPTIDE, Sam Llewellyn.
DEAD RECKONING, Sam Llewellyn, 1987.
SEA STORY, Sam Llewellyn, 1987.
BLOOD KNOT, Sam Llewellyn, 1991.
THE SEA WOLF, Jack London.
TALES OF THE FISH PATROL, Jack London, 1905, oyster pirates on
SF bay, lots of small boat sailing.
THE MUTINY OF THE ELSINORE, Jack London, 1914.
SOUTH SEA TALES, Jack London, 1939.
BRIGHT ORANGE FOR THE SHROUD, John D. MacDonald, Travis
CINNAMON SKIN, John D. MacDonald, Travis McGee 20.
DARKER THAN AMBER, John D. MacDonald, Travis McGee 07.
DEADLY SHADE OF GOLD, A, John D. MacDonald, Travis McGee 05.
DEEP BLUE GOODBYE, THE, John D. MacDonald, Travis McGee 01.
DREADFUL LEMON SKY, THE, John D. MacDonald, Travis McGee 16.
DRESS HER IN INDIGO, John D. MacDonald, Travis McGee 11.
EMPTY COPPER SEA, THE, John D. MacDonald, Travis McGee 17.
FREE FALL IN CRIMSON, John D. MacDonald, Travis McGee 19.
GIRL IN THE PLAIN BROWN WRAPPER, THE, John D. MacDonald,
Travis McGee 10.
GREEN RIPPER, THE, John D. MacDonald, Travis McGee 18.
LONELY SILVER RAIN, THE, John D. MacDonald, Travis McGee 21.
LONG LAVENDER LOOK, THE, John D. MacDonald, Travis McGee 12.
NIGHTMARE IN PINK, John D. MacDonald, Travis McGee 02.
NOTE ON TRAVIS MCGEE, John D. MacDonald, of the Travis McGee
series, some have considerable sea/boating action; others are only
peripherally about boating. McGee lives on a houseboat in Ft.
ONE FEARFUL YELLOW EYE, John D. MacDonald, Travis McGee 08.
PALE GRAY FOR GUILT, John D. MacDonald, Travis McGee 09.
PURPLE PLACE FOR DYING, A, John D. MacDonald, Travis McGee
QUICK RED FOX, THE, John D. MacDonald, Travis McGee 04.
SCARLET RUSE, THE, John D. MacDonald, Travis McGee 14.
SHADES OF TRAVIS MCGEE, John D. MacDonald.
TAN AND SANDY SILENCE, A, John D. MacDonald, Travis McGee 13.
TURQUOISE LAMENT, THE, John D. MacDonald, Travis McGee 15.
THE LAST ONE LEFT, John D. MacDonald, 1967.
SEAWITCH, Alistair MacLean.
SOUTH BY JAVA HEAD, Alistair MacLean.
H.M.S. ULYSSES, Alistair MacLean, 1955.
FRANK MILDMAY, Frederick Marryat.
NOTE ON MARRYAT, Frederick Marryat, Marryat was a British naval
Captain in the Napoleonic wars, starting his career on board Lord
Cochrane's ship. Lord Cochrane was the colorful officer whose exploits
were later an inspiration to Forester and O'Brian. Only contemporary
POOR JACK, Frederick Marryat, Set in and around the Greenwich naval
pensioners' hospital. Contains the oldest recorded lyrics to "Spanish
THE PHANTOM SHIP, Frederick Marryat, The "Lost Dutchman".
THE KINGS OWN, Frederick Marryat, 1830.
NEWTON FOSTER; OR THE MERCHANT SERVICE, Frederick
JACOB FAITHFUL; OR THE STORY OF A WATERMAN, Frederick
MR. MIDSHIPMAN EASY, Frederick Marryat, 1834, his best-known
PETER SIMPLE, Frederick Marryat, 1834, Based on the exploits of Lord
Cochrane when he commanded frigates Marryat served in.
THE PIRATE AND THE THREE CUTTERS, Frederick Marryat, 1836.
SNARLEYYOW OR THE DOG FIEND, Frederick Marryat, 1837,
Smuggling and Jacobites in 1699 (...in a purely literary sense his real
masterpiece...(The Oxford Companion)).
MASTERMAN READY; OR, THE WRECK OF THE PACIFIC,
Frederick Marryat, 1841.
THE SOUTHSEAMAN, Weston Martyr.
NOTE ON MASEFIELD, John Masefield, poet laureate of England -
SALT-WATER BALLADS, John Masefield, 1902.
THE BIRD OF DAWNING, John Masefield, 1903, clipper adventure; one
of the best.
MAINSAIL HAUL, John Masefield, 1905, short stories.
A TARPAULIN MUSTER, John Masefield, 1907, 24 short stories.
A SAILOR'S GARLAND, John Masefield, 1924.
SALT-WATER BALLADS AND POEMS, John Masefield, 1944.
SEA POEMS, John Masefield, 1978.
THE GOLD OF MALABAR, Berkeley Mather.
CASUALS OF THE SEA, William McFee, 1916, McFee was a marine
engineer, so his writing is set during the heyday of steam.
COMMAND, William McFee, 1923.
IN THE FIRST WATCH, William McFee, 1946.
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 ( peter.gu...@gd.chalmers.se) offers to tell folks
about sailing in Sweden if they are interested.
3.13 Sailing in Chicago
This section courtesy of kak...@amoco.com.
Chicago Area Yacht Clubs
This information on the various yacht clubs in the Chicago area has been
assembled from various sources. Thanks to all those who helped.
It is organized by geographical location, running north to south along the
Lake Michigan waterfront. I generally tried to get info about the name,
location, dues, active fleets (if any one-design), other racing activities, and
a contact person. For several of the clubs all I was able to obtain was a
name, location, and contact. If you contact that person and s/he gives
you additional info, please contact me via e-mail at kak...@amoco.com
or at 708-420-3131 and I will put it into this document.
Thanks to all the people who provided the information contained herein:
Cedric Churnick, Steph Bailey, Steve Woodward, Dennis Bartley, Owen
McCall, and probably 2-3 others I've missed. (If you don't see your name
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 tw...@merle.acns.nwu.edu. They race Hobie 16's.
SHERIDAN SHORES YACHT CLUB: Located in Wilmette, North of
Chicago on the border with Wisconsin. This is a relatively new club and
no additional information is available. However, I've been there, 'tis very
nice, with reasonable dues, as I recall. Large fleets of Solings, J-24's,
Lightnings, Stars and Rainbows.
WAUKEGAN YACHT CLUB: North of Chicago in Waukegan, this YC
offers several one-design fleets including J-24's and others. Contact Dan
Darrow at 708-367-0913 or Gene Bach at 708-623-5680 for more
information. I've been here, too, and it has an excellent water-front bar in
its clubhouse, which includes a full-service restaraunt.
CHICAGO CORINTHIAN YACHT CLUB: Located in Montrose Harbor.
Contact them at 312-334-9100. They are located at 600 Montrose Ave
(Montrose and the lake front).
CHICAGO YACHT CLUB, BELMONT HARBOR: This is the one-design
branch of Chicago Yacht Club (see below). They have weekly racing and
occassional regattas for Etchells, Stars, Solings, J/24's, Shields, 110's; and
pre- /post-season frostbiting with Lasers and 420s. Contact them at
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
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 (j...@cs.brown.edu) have a C subroutine package that implements (let
the user beware) the programs that used to be used in the HP41 Nav Pac.
These include a nautical almanac program and a basic sight-reduction
software. This is the only free software I know of. I also have a variation
of the "stars" program that uses the Yale Star Catalog to print a start
chart, customized to any day of the year, from any geographical position,
at any time. It comes with no documentation, though...
I have one which helps brush up on the tactics of racing. It's available
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)
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.
THE SAND PEBBLES, Richard McKenna, 1962, US gunboat on the
MASTER OF MORGANA, Allan C. McLean, Scots salmon fisherman
BILLY BUDD, FORETOPMAN, Herman Melville.
MOBY DICK, Herman Melville.
OMOO, Herman Melville.
REDBURN, Herman Melville.
TYPEE, Herman Melville.
WHITE-JACKET, OR, THE WORLD IN A MAN-OF-WAR, Herman
CHESAPEAKE, James Michener.
TALES OF THE SOUTH PACIFIC, James Michener, island life in WW
II US navy.
DARKEN SHIP, Nicholas Monsarrat, the unfinished novel.
THE MASTER MARINER, Nicholas Monsarrat, time traveler.
THREE CORVETTES, Nicholas Monsarrat, 194?
HMS MARLBOROUGH WILL ENTER HARBOR, Nicholas Monsarrat,
THE CRUEL SEA, Nicholas Monsarrat, 1951, WWII convoy escort, and
his best by far.
GREY SEAS UNDER, Farley Mowat, non-fiction.
THE BOAT THAT WOULDN'T FLOAT, Farley Mowat, non-fiction.
THE SERPENT'S COIL, Farley Mowat, non-fiction.
ANGEL DEATH, Patricia Moyes, 1980.
MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY, Charles Nordhoff and James Norman
Hall, see also In Search of Paradise, about Nordhoff and Hall.
MEN AGAINST THE SEA, Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall,
PITCAIRN'S ISLAND, Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall, 1934.
THE HURRICANE, Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall, 1938,
DESOLATION ISLAND, Patrick O'Brian, Aubrey/Maturin no. 5.
H.M.S. SURPRISE, Patrick O'Brian, Aubrey/Maturin no. 3.
MAURITIUS COMMAND, Patrick O'Brian, Aubrey/Maturin no. 4.
NOTE ON O"BRIAN, Patrick O'Brian, arguably the top novelist of life
under square sails.
POST CAPTAIN, Patrick O'Brian, Aubrey/Maturin no. 2.
THE AUBREY/MATURIN SERIES, Patrick O'Brian, British Naval
Fiction at its best. Aubrey is a Captain in the British Navy, Maturin is
the Ship's surgeon. Good fight scenes, excellent details on naval life and
almost anything else ca. 1790-1815. The first volume is "Master and
THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD, Patrick O'Brian, Aubrey/Maturin
THE FORTUNE OF WAR, Patrick O'Brian, Aubrey/Maturin no. 6.
THE IONIAN MISSION, Patrick O'Brian, Aubrey/Maturin no. 8.
THE LETTER OF MARQUE, Patrick O'Brian, Aubrey/Maturin no. 12.
THE NUTMEG OF CONSOLATION, Patrick O'Brian, Aubrey/Maturin
THE REVERSE OF THE MEDAL, Patrick O'Brian, Aubrey/Maturin
THE SURGEON'S MATE, Patrick O'Brian, Aubrey/Maturin no. 7.
THE THIRTEEN GUN SALUTE, Patrick O'Brian, Aubrey/Maturin no.
THE TRUELOVE, Patrick O'Brian, Aubrey/Maturin no. 15.
THE UNKNOWN SHORE, Patrick O'Brian.
TREASON'S HARBOR, Patrick O'Brian, Aubrey/Maturin no. 9.
THE GOLDEN OCEAN, Patrick O'Brian, 1957.
MASTER AND COMMANDER, Patrick O'Brian, 1969, Aubrey/Maturin
THE WINE-DARK SEA, Patrick O'Brian, 1993, Aubrey/Maturin no. 16.
A SHORT HISTORY OF THE ROYAL NAVY: 1776 - 1816, C. Northcote
THE LIFE AND TIMES OF HORATIO HORNBLOWER, C. Northcote
DEVIL TO PAY, C. Northcote Parkinson, 1973, 1800-period naval action:
THE FIRESHIP, C. Northcote Parkinson, 1975, 1800-period naval action:
TOUCH AND GO, C. Northcote Parkinson, 1977, 1800-period naval
DEAD RECKONING, C. Northcote Parkinson, 1978, 1800-period naval
STORM FORCE 10, Harry Patterson, german armed raider trying to
make it home in WWII.
BLOOD OF THE ALBATROSS, Ridley Pearson.
NOTE ON PEASE, Howard Pease, for "young" readers:.
THE TATTOOED MAN, Howard Pease, 1926, a tale of strange
adventures, befalling Tod Moran, <cuts> upon his first voyage from San
Francisco to Genoa, via the Panama canal.
THE JINX SHIP, Howard Pease, 1927, the dark adventure that befell Tod
Moran when he shipped as fireman aboard the tramp steamer "Congo",
bound out of New York for Caribbean ports.
SHANGHAI PASSAGE, Howard Pease, 1929, being a tale of mystery and
adventure on the high seas in which Stuart Ormsby is shanghaied aboard
the tramp steamer "Nanking" bound for ports on the China coast.
SECRET CARGO, Howard Pease, 1931, the story of Larry Mathews and
his dog Sambo, forcastle mates on the tramp steamer "Creole trader"
New Orleans to the South seas.
THE SHIP WITHOUT A CREW, Howard Pease, 1934, the strange
adventures of Tod Moran, third mate of the tramp steamer "Araby".
HURRICANE WEATHER, Howard Pease, 1936.
FOGHORNS, Howard Pease, 1937, a story of the San Francisco water
CAPTAIN BINNACLE, Howard Pease, 1938.
THE BLACK TANKER, Howard Pease, 1941.
NIGHT BOAT, AND OTHER TOD MORAN MYSTERIES, Howard
HEART OF DANGER, Howard Pease, 1946, a tale of adventure on land
and sea with Tod Moran, third mate of the tramp steamer "Araby".
BOUND FOR SINGAPORE, Howard Pease, 1948.
WIND IN THE RIGGING, Howard Pease, 1951, an adventurous voyage of
Tod Moran on the tramp steamer "Sumatra" New York to North Africa.
CAPTAIN OF THE ARABY, Howard Pease, 1953, the story of a voyage.
SHIPWRECK, Howard Pease, 1957, the strange adventures of Renny
Mitchum, mess boy of the trading schooner "Samarang.".
THE BOY, ME, AND THE CAT, Henry Plummer, Good writing about a
long cruise on a catboat.
THE NARRATIVE OF ARTHUR GORDON PYM OF NANTUCKET,
E. A. Poe, ca. 1840, mutiny and murder.
ADMIRAL, Dudley Pope.
DRUMBEAT (RAMAGE AND THE DRUM BEAT), Dudley Pope,
Ramage no. 2.
GOVERNOR RAMAGE, R.N., Dudley Pope, Ramage no. 4.
NOTE ON POPE, Dudley Pope, more Napoleonic naval action. Pope has
also written some naval history. If someone likes Alexander Kent's books,
he/she will no doubt like Dudley Pope's Ramage series.
RAMAGE, Dudley Pope, Ramage no. 1.
RAMAGE AND THE DIDO, Dudley Pope, Ramage no. ?
RAMAGE AND THE FREEBOOTERS, Dudley Pope, Ramage no. ?
RAMAGE AND THE GUILLOTINE, Dudley Pope, Ramage no. ?
RAMAGE AND THE MUTINY, Dudley Pope, Ramage no. ?
RAMAGE AND THE REBELS, Dudley Pope, Ramage no. 9.
RAMAGE AND THE RENEGADES, Dudley Pope, Ramage no. 12.
RAMAGE AND THE SARACENS, Dudley Pope, Ramage no. ?
RAMAGE AT TRAFALGAR, Dudley Pope, Ramage no. ?
RAMAGE'S CHALLENGE, Dudley Pope, Ramage no. ?
RAMAGE'S DEVIL, Dudley Pope, Ramage no. ?
RAMAGE'S DIAMOND, Dudley Pope, Ramage no. ?
RAMAGE'S DIAMOND, Dudley Pope, Ramage no. ?
RAMAGE'S PRIZE, Dudley Pope, Ramage no. 5.
RAMAGE'S SIGNAL, Dudley Pope, Ramage no. 11.
RAMAGE'S SIGNAL, Dudley Pope, Ramage no. ?
RAMAGE'S TRIAL, Dudley Pope, Ramage no. ?
THE RAMAGE TOUCH, Dudley Pope, Ramage no. 10.
THE TRITON BRIG, Dudley Pope, Ramage no. 3.
BUCCANEER, Dudley Pope, 1984.
CONVOY, Dudley Pope, 1987.
BAHAMAS BLUE, D.C. Poyer.
HATTERAS BLUE, D.C. Poyer.
BOOK OF PIRATES, Howard Pyle, 1921.
FOREIGN LAND, Justin Rabin, modern cruise around UK.
HANGMAN'S BEACH, Thomas Head Raddall.
TIDEFALL, Thomas Head Raddall.
TUGBOAT ANNIE, Norman Reilly Raine, 1934, The Humorous
Adventures of the tug Narcissus and her colorful captain in and around
CAPTAIN KIDD, Norman Reilly Raine, 1945, fiction?
ALL WORKS, Arthur Ransome, All his books are great; the swallows and
amazons series is a set of children's books; kids seem to like them at
about age 7 or 8 to start with. Some of us go on reading them forever.
"We didn't mean to go to sea" is one of the best. A note from (fm) says
"The 12 Swallows & Amazons novels are best read in the order they were
written. They are not all about sailing, but most are. Ransome is
particularly good at the detail of sailing and at capturing the capricious
changes in wind, waves, currents, visibility, etc., that help make sailing so
interesting." He also notes, of another Ransome work, that: "Racundra's
First Cruise is a very interesting reminiscence of sailing in the Baltic.".
BIG SIX, Arthur Ransome.
COOT CLUB, Arthur Ransome.
COOTS IN THE NORTH, Arthur Ransome, posthumous; incomplete.
GREAT NORTHERN, Arthur Ransome.
MISSEE LEE, Arthur Ransome.
NOTE 1 ON RANSOME, Arthur Ransome, There is The Arthur
Ransome Society TARS, for the enthusiasts. There are some non-fiction
books about all this, too.
NOTE 2 ON RANSOME, Arthur Ransome, nominally juvenile; will
appeal to the traditionalist and to those who like Treasure Island.
PETER DUCK, Arthur Ransome.
PIGEON POST, Arthur Ransome.
SECRET WATER, Arthur Ransome.
SWALLOWDALE, Arthur Ransome.
THE PICTS AND MARTYRS, Arthur Ransome.
WE DIDN'T MEAN TO GO TO SEA, Arthur Ransome.
WINTER HOLIDAY, Arthur Ransome, no boating but part of series.
SWALLOWS AND AMAZONS, Arthur Ransome, 1930.
BADGE OF HONOR, Douglas Reeman, about the Royal Marines.
FIRST TO LAND, Douglas Reeman, about the Royal Marines.
HIS MAJESTY'S U-BOAT, Douglas Reeman.
IN DANGER'S HOUR, Douglas Reeman.
IRON PIRATE, Douglas Reeman.
NOTE ON REEMAN, Douglas Reeman, twentieth century period. see
also "Alexander Kent".
A PRAYER FOR THE SHIP, Douglas Reeman.
PRIDE AND THE ANGUISH, Douglas Reeman.
RENDEZVOUS SOUTH ATLANTIC, Douglas Reeman.
SEND A GUNBOAT, Douglas Reeman.
SURFACE WITH DARING, Douglas Reeman.
THE GREATEST ENEMY, Douglas Reeman.
THE HORIZON, Douglas Reeman, about the Royal Marines.
THE LAST RAIDER, Douglas Reeman.
THE SHIP THAT DIED OF SHAME, Douglas Reeman, set on an MTB
used for smuggling.
LONG VOYAGE BACK, Luke Rhinehart, escape from a nuclear
holocaust in a trimaran.
TALES OF THE CARIBBEAN, Garland Roark.
WAKE OF THE RED WITCH, Garland Roark, 1946, also on video.
THE WRECK OF THE RUNNING GALE, Garland Roark, 1953.
THE LIVELY LADY, Kenneth Roberts, 1937, American privateers
during the War of 1812.
CAPTAIN CAUTION, Kenneth Roberts, 1945, American privateers
during the Revolutionary War.
BOON ISLAND, Kenneth Roberts, 1956, Shipwreck on a tiny rock off of
the New England colonies.
THE BEDFORD INCIDENT, Mark Roscovich, 1963, US destroyer plays
nuclear chicken with a Soviet sub in the Denmark Strait.
NOTE ON RUSSELL, Clark Russell, recommended by A. Conan Doyle.
FLYING DUTCHMAN, OR, THE DEATH SHIP, Clark Russell, 188?
THE MYSTERY OF THE OCEAN STAR, Clark Russell, 1891, short
ROUND THE GALLEY FIRE, Clark Russell, 1893.
OCEAN FREE LANCE, Clark Russell, 1896.
THE WRECK OF THE GROSVENOR, Clark Russell, 1899.
TALES OF OUR COAST, Clark Russell, 1901.
THE BLACK SWAN, Rafael Sabatini.
THE FORTUNES OF CAPTAIN BLOOD, Rafael Sabatini.
THE SEA HAWK, Rafael Sabatini.
CAPTAIN BLOOD, Rafael Sabatini, 1922.
CAPTAIN BLOOD RETURNS, Rafael Sabatini, 1931.
COLUMBUS, Rafael Sabatini, 1942.
THE SHIPKILLER, Justin Scott, sailor vs. tanker.
OVERBOARD, Hank Searls.
NOTE ON SETLOWE, Richard Setlowe, modern post-cold-war thrillers
with hi-tech navy.
THE BRINK, Richard Setlowe.
THE BLACK SEA, Richard Setlowe, 1991, jihad pirates, Russian liner,
US Navy force.
THE TRUSTEE FROM THE TOOLROOM, Nevil Shute, machinist goes
to the South Seas to salvage a yacht and settle an estate.
LANDFALL: A CHANNEL STORY, Nevil Shute, 1940.
EYE OF THE TIGER, Wilbur Smith, modern thriller.
HUNGRY AS THE SEA, Wilbur Smith, modern thriller.
THE DIAMOND HUNTERS, Wilbur Smith, modern thriller.
KIDNAPPED, Robert Louis Stevenson.
THE MASTER OF BALLANTRAE, Robert Louis Stevenson, may be his
best book, but not so much on the sea.
TREASURE ISLAND, Robert Louis Stevenson, 1883.
OUTERBRIDGE REACH, Robert Stone, 1992, modern yachtsman tries
ROUGH CROSSING, Stoppard, drama; liner?
GULLIVER'S TRAVELS, Jonathan Swift, 1726.
THE SEA LEOPARD, Craig Thomas, British nuclear sub with sonar
THE DEATH SHIP: THE STORY OF AN AMERICAN SAILOR,
B. Traven, 1934, Black comedy about the black gang of a doomed
freighter by the mysterious author of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.
KLEBER'S CONVOY, Antony Trew, U-Boats harry Murmansk bound
RUNNING WILD, Antony Trew, Anti-apartheid activists escape S. Africa
in a ketch.
SEA FEVER, Antony Trew, single-handed round trip yacht race across
the N. Atlantic in winter.
THE ANTONOV PROJECT, Antony Trew, Cold War naval spy story.
THE MOONRAKER MUTINY, Antony Trew, crew mutinies and
abandons freighter on way to Australia.
THE ZHUKOV BRIEFING, Antony Trew, Soviet sub runs aground off
THE MANILA GALLEON, F. van Wyck Mason, fiction based on Anson's
voyage around the world, 1740-44.
DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN, Jules Verne.
THE BLOCKADE RUNNERS, Jules Verne.
THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND, Jules Verne, desert island story.
THE VOYAGES AND ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN HATTERAS,
TWENTY THOUSAND LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA, Jules Verne, ca.
THE ENGLISH CAPTAIN, Simon White, 1977, Napoleonic wars naval
LEOPARD'S PREY, Leonard Wibberly, 1971, young adult; a powderboy
and the pirates.
BELOW THE HORIZON, John Wingate.
THE SEA ABOVE THEM, John Wingate.
"1805", Richard Woodman, Drinkwater series, 1800-period naval action.
AN EYE OF THE FLEET, Richard Woodman, Drinkwater series,
1800-period naval action.
BALTIC MISSION, Richard Woodman, Drinkwater series, 1800-period
BOMB VESSEL, Richard Woodman, Drinkwater series, 1800-period
A BRIG OF WAR, Richard Woodman, Drinkwater series, 1800-period
ENDANGERED SPECIES, Richard Woodman.
IN DISTANT WATERS, Richard Woodman, Drinkwater series,
1800-period naval action.
A KING'S CUTTER, Richard Woodman, Drinkwater series, 1800-period
A PRIVATE REVENGE, Richard Woodman, Drinkwater series,
1800-period naval action.
TEA CLIPPERS, Richard Woodman.
THE CORVETTE (IN US: ARCTIC TREACHERY), Richard Woodman,
Drinkwater series, 1800-period naval action.
THE DARKENING SEA, Richard Woodman.
UNDER FALSE COLOURS, Richard Woodman, Drinkwater series,
1800-period naval action.
WAGER, Richard Woodman.
BLUE WATER GREEN SKIPPER, Stuart Woods, 1977.
RUN BEFORE THE WIND, Stuart Woods, 1983.
THE CAINE MUTINY, Herman Wouk, 1951.
6.6 Design, seaworthiness, arts of the sailor,
THE ALTERNATIVE KNOT BOOK, Harry Asher, A book about new
knots and splices that are appropriate for modern fibers and weaves of
rope. ISBN: 0911378952. (bm).
ASHLEY'S BOOK OF KNOTS AND FANCY ROPEWORK, Ashley,
The definitive book on the subject.
ANCHORING, Don Bamford, Anchoring is really a subtle and complex
business which isn't given the attention it deserves by many people.
While the chapter in Hiscock covers the basics quite well, this book does
it in depth and detail.(mh).
SEXTANT HANDBOOK, Bruce Bauer, This is about the instrument
itself and its care. Not really necessary, but nice to have.(mh).
VOYAGING UNDER POWER, Beebe, About design and building plus
long range voyaging; excellent short chapter by his wife about
provisioning and managing the galley.(tl).
THE PROPER YACHT, Arthur Beiser, Dated and out of print, but a
good guide to some of the older designs which are found on the used
HIGH PERFORMANCE SAILING, Frank Bethwaite, ISBN 0 87742 419
4. International Marine is at PO Box 220, Camden, ME, 04843.
Elsewhere in the world it uses ISBN 0 07 470 100 2, from McGraw Hill
Australia Pty Ltd, 4 Barcoo Street, Roseville NSW 2069, Australia. The
book is about 400 pages with four sections on the wind, water, boat
development, and how to use what you have. I'm up to about page 250
now, and Frank treats all areas of the world, and when nothing but local
knowledge will help you (he speaks of visiting bars on the waterfront to
talk to freight ship captains rather than local sailors :-). Good stuff...
(ab) From further discussion of this book on the net, it would appear to
be the very best on the subject, supported by serious research data rather
than conjecture. (jfh).
BOAT CANVAS FROM COVER TO COVER, Bob and Karen Lipe, A
very basic discussion of canvas work with a series of practical projects
from simple to complex.(mh).
100 SMALL BOAT RIGS, Philip C. Bolger, He's managed to take what
could be a very boring topic and make it intensely lively.
TED BREWER EXPLAINS SAILBOAT DESIGN, Ted Brewer, Good
introduction to the technical aspects and jargon of sailing yacht design.
BACKYARD BOAT BUILDING, George Buehler, This is a
no-nonsense(?) book on building stout seagoing boats. Most of it deals
with wood construction. Buehler is a designer, builder, and cruiser who
lives in the Pacific northwest, and his designs include power and sail
cruisers and workboats. It includes plans for 8 boats, but it IS really
about building in your backyard, in the tradition of Rable and Chappelle.
320 pg paperback, $24.95 IM 158380 (wv).
PRECISION CRUISING, Authur F. Chace, A series of cruising stories
which pose various problems in seamanship and piloting, along with
proposed solutions for those problems. (mh).
YACHT DESIGNING AND PLANNING, Howard Chapelle, WW Norton
and Co. New York 1971. (I don't know if it's still in print). The book to
turn to when you want lots of good useful, practical advice on yacht
design. Not heavy on theory but has years of experience behind it.(mp).
HEAVY WEATHER SAILING, Adlard Coles.
HANDMADE HOUSEBOATS - INDEPENDENT LIVING AFLOAT,
Russell Condor, Houseboats in the tradition of Whole Earth Catalog, so
read with caution. Contains photos and drawings of some good, classic
floating residences. 230 pg paperback, $19.95 IM 158022 (wv).
WORLD CRUISING ROUTES, Jimmy Cornell, A route planning guide
for world cruising with regional weather patterns, currents, etc. Highly
THE YACHT NAVIGATOR'S HANDBOOK, Norman Dahl, A concise
and very practical coverage of general navigation and piloting, the best
overall reference on the subject I have found. The section on celestial is
good enough to serve as a self-teaching course, although it probably isn't
the best choice for that purpose. Highly recommended, but appears to be
out of print. (mh).
YACHT NAVIGATOR'S HANDBOOK, Norman Dahl, A good
intermediate book between Chapman and Bowditch.(mh).
SAFETY AT SEA, George Day, Covers everything from yacht design to
abandon-ship in a broad and general way.(mh).
THE NATURE OF BOATS, Dave Gerr.
HOW THINGS FLOAT, E. N. Gilbert, American Mathematical Monthly,
March 1991 (Vol. 98, No. 3), pp. 201-216.
SURVIVOR, Michael Greenwald, The part of it you don't want to think
about but must. Mainly about liferaft survival, but also covers many
other topics concerned with safety and emergencies including medical
procedures. Highly recommended.(mh) ADVANCED FIRST AID
AFLOAT by Peter F. Eastman, MD. Seems to be the best all around
FIBERGLASS BOATBUILDING FOR AMATEURS, Ken Hankinson,
You can get it from Glen-L Marine (look in the classifieds of just about
any sailing magazine). It covers pretty much all aspects of glass boat
building. More technical, covers different resins and reinforcements,
vacuum bagging, high tech as well as low tech, gel coats, laminating, etc.
CHOICE YACHT DESIGNS, Richard Henderson, See comments on
Beiser, The Proper Yacht.
SAILING IN WINDY WEATHER, Richard Henderson, A good book on
sailing in a half gale, but not a gale or a hurricane. (jfh).
THE GOUGEON BROTHERS ON BOAT CONSTRUCTION,
Gougeon Brothers Inc., Bay City, MI 1983. The best by far on cold
molding. Lots of practical hints. Good safety (esp. WRT epoxy) and
general/setup chapters. How to mix and use epoxy, how to engineer wood
composite structures. (mp).
DESIRABLE AND UNDESIRABLE CHARACTERISTICS OF
OFFSHORE YACHTS, ed. John Rousmaniere, Technical, but required
reading for anyone choosing an offshore boat. This is a series of reports
which were inspired by the Fastnet race disaster of 1979 and sponsored by
the Cruising Club of America.(mh).
THE SCIENCE OF YACTS WIND AND WATER, H. F. Kay, G. T.
Foulis and Co Ltd 1971 Has most of the formulas you need, I guess.
CHAPMAN'S PILOTING, SEAMANSHIP, AND SMALL BOAT
HANDLING, Elbert S. Maloney, The bible of basic boating. Tons of good
information, with perhaps a bit too much emphasis on flag etiquette, but
otherwise excellent. Kept up to date by Elbert S. Maloney. (jh).
DUTTON'S NAVIGATION AND PILOTING, Elbert S. Maloneyn, I
believe this used to be published by the Navy and used as text at
AERO HYDRODYNAMICS OF SAILING, C. A. Marchaj, Adlard Coles
Ltd. 1979 A complete update of the previous classic text.
SAILING THEORY AND PRACTICE, C. A. Marchaj, Adlard Coles Ltd.
1964 A scientific analysis of the aerodynamic and hydrodynamic and
other design factors wich define the yachts behaviour.
SEAWORTHINESS: THE FORGOTTEN FACTOR, C. A. Marchaj,
(International Marine Publishing Company of CAMDEN Maine), $34.95.
This is the book on hull design. It is a nice melange of the artistic,
political, academic, and technical, and Marchaj has a fine writing style.
For boaters, all I can say is that most will find it very controversial. His
precise and tightly argued passages on just why the modern racing yacht
is neither seakindly nor seaworthy will have some, like myself, smugly
nodding, and others, most racers, I guess, hopping mad.
THE WORLD'S BEST SAILBOATS, Ferenc Mate', Even if you can't
afford the boats in this book, it will give you some ideas of what to look
for. Coffee-table format, glorious photography. Try not to drool on
SURVEYING SMALL CRAFT, Ian Nicholson, How to evaluate a
prospective purchase. Not a substitute for a professional survey, but very
useful for preliminary work before making an offer.(mh).
AMERICAN PRACTICAL NAVIGATOR (BOWDITCH), The
US Hydrographic Office, (2 volumes) More than you would ever dream of
wanting to know about navigation. Most of it is oriented towards big
ships, but everything there is, is in there somewhere. No one will take you
seriously unless you have Bowditch aboard.(mh).
BUILD THE INSTANT BOATS, Hal Payson, Simple, often
not-very-strong, boats.(jfh) Easy to build, and the ones with lots of
curvature tend to be strong and stiff (paraphrased). (wv).
BUILD THE NEW INSTANT BOATS, Hal Payson, See notes on previous
FASTNET FORCE 10, John Rousmaniere, Fascinating, absolutely
riveting book. It tells the story of the 79 Fastnet race from the
perspective of the participants, by one of the participants. His story gives
a different view than most of the general media reports, by somebody who
THE ANNAPOLIS BOOK OF SEAMANSHIP, John Rousmaniere,
Simon and Schuster, New York 1989. A complete and thorough guide to
every aspect of sailboat handling by a leading expert in offshore sailing.
Chapters include the boat and her environment, safety, navigation, and
THE CRUISING NAVIGATOR, Hewett Schlereth, (4 volumes) A full
course in basic celestial navigation plus a complete reference work on the
subject with perpetual almanacs and sight reduction tables. No other
references are required. As a self-teaching course, it is not perfect but it is
very good (I learned from it). As a working reference, its only weakness is
that it does not include the moon and planets (perpetual almanacs aren't
practical for these bodies). Printed on waterproof paper with heavy
covers. This set cost $100 and is now out of print. A used copy is a major
find. Volume "00", SIGHT REDUCTION TABLES FOR SMALL BOAT
NAVIGATION is a find in itself. This is a much more convenient set of
tables than any of the standard sets (it is a condensed version of HO 229).
SKEENE'S ELEMENTS OF YACHT DESIGN., Norman Skene, An early
classic. Also originally called "Elements of Yacht Design." Dodd, Mead
and Co. First edition 1927, many later revisions and editions to the early
1950s. Out of print, first editions quite rare. A classic in the field.
OFFSHORE CRUISING ENCYCLOPEDIA, Steve and Linda Dashew,
Not an encyclopedia, but a tremendous collection of well informed opinion
on every subject imaginable. Oriented towards larger (sail) boats and
cost-no-object cruising, but it has something for everybody. Whether it is
worth the tremendous price (about $70) is another matter.(mh).
BOATBUILDING MANUAL, Robert Steward, The most concise book on
wooden boat construction (including modern methods). Easy to read and
understand. A standard reference.(mp).
KNOTS, Brion Toss, A nice little basic introduction to the important
knots and their use by a good writer.(mh).
THE RIGGERS APPRENTICE, Brion Toss, The more sophisticated
aspects of rope and lines.(mh).
BOATBUILDING ONE-OFFS IN FIBERGLASS, Alan Vaitses, (I think
it's now out of print). This one has so much wisdom per page it's worth
looking for. Really a hands-on book, Vaitses made a living building glass
boats for a long time, so he's made all the mistakes and knows what
works and what doesn't.(mp).
THE OCEAN SAILING YACHT, Donald Street (2 volumes), The first
volume is dated but covers the basics well. The second volume covers
most of the same subjects in a more complete manner and from a more
modern perspective. The volumes complement one another.(mh).
THE ART AND SCIENCE OF SAILS, Tom Whidden, Not quite so
technically inclined is "Sail Power (The Complete Guide to Sails and Sail
Handling)" by Wallace Ross.
6.7 Films and videos
EN PLEIN SOLEIL, Alain Delon in romantic trio on classic med sail
yacht (?1962) (tl).
BURDEN OF DREAMS, Film, About the making of Fitzcaraldo.
FITZCARALDO, Film, Werner Herzog, director.
SAILING AROUND THE HORN, Captain Irving Johnson, video This is
a fantasic videotape. You can order it from the Mystic Seaport
bookstore/gift catalog. Here in San Francisco, they have it for sale at the
Maritime Museum bookstore. Capt. Johnson's film documents a rounding
of the Horn in 1929 (?) aboard the "Peking", a 4-masted barque from the
famous Laiesz stable of giant square-riggers. Amazingly, three of them
still survive: "Pommern" at the Mariehamn Museum in the Aland
Islands, "Peking" at the South Street Seaport in New York and "Padua" -
still afloat as the Soviet training ship "Kruzenshtern".
ANAPOLIS SAILING SCHOOL, John Rousmaniere, Five or six volumes
on various aspects of sailing. A nice hands-on approach. I've only seen a
couple of volumes, but I learned a *lot* in those two hours.
THE SHAPE OF SPEED, TRIM FOR SPEED, North Sails, Very good. I
believe the latter is the newer one. It is shot on a J-35 which I crew. A
number of the "rock stars" from North sails are on the boat in a race.
There is dialog between the crew "Do you think we need a little more
halyard tension?" Then they alter the halyard tension while showing the
sail change shape. They go through basically all the controls that affect
DRUM, Video, Sail around the world with the crew of Drum, the hard
luck maxi owned in part by rock star Simon Le Bon of Duran Duran
fame. Great sailing footage of the 1986 Whitbread Race, good music by
Le Bon. One of my favorite sailing videos. (wms).
THE OXFORD COMPANION TO SHIPS AND THE SEA, ships
An encyclodepia of nautical history and personalities.(sm).
THE OXFORD BOOK OF THE SEA, An anthology of maritime
MEALS ON KEELS, Bluewater Cruising Association, Cookbook from
local cruising ass'n in Vancouver. (dk2).
THE SAILING YACHT, Juan Baader, Out of print but shows up on used
book lists occasionally. Comprehensive treatment of all aspects of sailing,
VOYAGING UNDER POWER (3RD EDITION), Robert Beebe, The
only book I know of about long range cruising in small (50 feet/15 meters
or less) power yachts. The author has designed and built several such
boats and taken them all over the world. (mh).
SELL UP AND SAIL, Bill and Laurel Cooper, This book is hard to
describe. It begins with the question of whether you are cut out for long
distance cruising and then proceeds to a lot of varied topics which aren't
covered very well elsewhere. Laurel Cooper's sections on galley work and
provisioning are among the best I have seen. Very British and sometimes
startlingly irreverent. Useful and a good read.(mh).
MANAGING YOUR ESCAPE, Katy Burke, How to arrange your life so
that it does not require your presence. Oriented towards cruising but
applicable to anyone wanting to pursue a freedom lifestyle.(mh).
THE COMPLETE BOOK OF SAILBOAT BUYING, The editors of
Practical Sailor, Two volumes, one covering the general subject of buying
a boat, the other reprinting many of the PS boat review articles. The best
general coverage of the topic. An earlier version called PRACTICAL
BOAT BUYING is still in print. This is a single paperback volume.(mh)
THE COMPLETE LIVE-ABOARD BOOK by Katy Burke. Every aspect
of living aboard a boat, technical and otherwise. This is also a good guide
to choosing a boat from the livability standpoint. Highly
COOKING ON THE GO, Janet Groene, A complete cookbook which
does not require refrigeration. Includes extensive information on
long-term storage of foods, as for a major passage.(mh).
Microcruising and Microcruisers / under sail, Pete Hodgins, Not yet published,
but written by a rec.boater; probably available from him in some
pre-print form at aw...@freenet.carleton.ca (jfh).
SELF-STEERING FOR SAILING CRAFT, John Jr. Letcher, Out of
print and hard to find. Theory and practice from an accomplished
designer and sailor.
THE WIND COMMANDS, Harry A. Morton, A history of sea-faring
people and vessels from polynesian canoes to clipper ships with an
emphasis on Pacific voyages and what was needed to make them. Morton
discusses pivotal developments in ship design, navigation, maratime
medicine which enabled ships to cross the Pacific, as well as the culture
and lore of the sea. I didn't care for the writing style and organization.
The book has an excellent bibliography.
THE CARE AND FEEDING OF THE OFFSHORE CREW, Lin Pardey,
The domestic side of offshore boatkeeping. Covers much more than galley
topics and tells a good cruising story along the way.(mh).
ROYCE'S SAILING ILLUSTRATED, Royce, A compact little book with
a lot of info in it, including descriptions and pictures of sloops, schooners,
marconi rigs, gaff rigs, etc., in other words, a general intro to the styles of
boats that are around (although it doesn't get into the distinctions
between a brig and a bark, etc., but these rarely come up in day-to-day
THE ONE POT MEAL, Hannah G. Scheel., Not intended for boat use,
but probably the most practical boat or RV cookbook around. I've used
this since my college days. Probably out of print, but worth looking
A FIELD GUIDE TO SAILBOATS, unknown, Or is it "a field guide to
boats"? This little book lists about 250 types of boats, from Dyer Dhows
up to Columbia 50s. They are mostly ones that are in current production,
and some of them are so painful to the eye that you want to know their
names only in order to avoid them. Each page gives a drawing of the
boat, with arrows pointing to distinctive features, and a long paragraph of
text describing the boat. There's also basic info like tankage, sail area,
displacement, length overall, waterline length, etc. (jfh).
THE YACHTING COOKBOOK, Elizabeth Wheeler and Jennifer
Trainer, The only coffee-table cookbook I know of. Contains some of the
best recipes I have found anywhere, all easy to prepare. I use it at home
more than on the boat. This is for coastal cruising, based on regional
ingredients. Wheeler is a charterboat cook.(mh).
7 List of Contributors
Here is a list of the people who contributed to the information above. The
list is widly incomplete, because I started collecting the information (for
myself) long before I planned to make the FAQ, and didn't attach names
to lots of things people told me. My apologizes to those whose names I've
omitted. I'll gladly add them if you tell me to.
ab bow...@tifosi.dfrf.nasa.gov Al Bowers
ag GER...@CDHF2.GSFC.NASA.GOV Andy Germain
al las...@cs.unc.edu Anselmo Lastra
ay al...@tekig5.pen.tek.com Alan Yelvington
bj wtj...@sr.hp.com Bill Jones
bp bi...@voyager.chm.clarkson.edu Bill Plunkett
bm cf...@ux1.cts.eiu.edu Bill McGown
bs bsm...@hplvec.LVLD.HP.COM Brian Smith
bt Brigitt...@CCIW.ca Brigitte Torok
cp pete...@hercules.calspan.com Chuck Peterson
cn no...@guvax.acc.georgetown.edu Cheryl Nolte
cr cros...@cc.swarthmore.edu Cindy Rossley
da da...@hpscit.sc.hp.com Dave Angelini
db dby...@ldgo.columbia.edu Deirdre Byrne
dk1 kin...@prcamfg.sps.mot.com Dave Kinzer
dk2 ke...@mprgate.mpr.ca Dave Kell
dz zie...@fozzie.nrl.navy.mil David Zielke
eb boe...@SCTC.COM Earl Boebert
em mur...@phri.nyu.edu Ellen Murphy
fm fra...@oas.Stanford.EDU Francis Muir
fs Finn.S...@tf.tele.no Finn Stafsnes
gb1 Greg Bullough
gb2 Gerard Bras
gb3 gu...@blink.att.com Guido Bertocci
gf gr...@ptidsun18.pen.tek.com Greg (Fox?)
gm g...@instrumental.com Greg Mansfield
gv gver...@indiana.edu Gina Vertrees
hc hc...@well.sf.ca.us Hoover Chan
hl H...@cache.declab.usu.edu Hal Lynch
jb blo...@geophysics.harvard.edu Jeremy Bloxham
jfh j...@cs.brown.edu John Hughes
jz ze...@b-tech.ann-arbor.mi.us Jon Zeeff
la la...@lancea.actrix.gen.nz Lance Andrewes
mb bur...@APOLLO.HP.COM Mike Burati
mp pede...@halcyon.com Matt Pedersen
mt ma...@tekig1.PEN.COM Mark Tilden
pb ben...@erich.triumf.ca Peter Bennett
pe Peter_...@star9gate.mitre.org Peter Engels
pg peter.gu...@gd.chalmers.se Peter Gustafsson
ph lotus!lotatg. lotus.com!ph...@uunet.UU.NET
pk fish...@netcom.com Paul Kamen
prh p...@s3109j15.atl.hp.com Phil Haseltine
rb ben...@grieg.seaslug.org Randolph Bentson
rs r...@wombat.phri.nyu.edu Roy Smith
rs2 rst...@eagle.wesleyan.edu Bob Stepno
rs3 sp...@bcstec.ca.boeing.com Robyn Spady
sb st...@candide.uchicago.edu Stephen Bailey
sb2 sbl...@upurbmw.dell.com Steve Blair
sc st...@test490.pac.sc.ti.com Steve Comen
sm ste...@sunrise.stanford.edu Stefan Michalowski
sm2 smo...@ux1.cso.uiuc.edu Scott Morris
Scott Richard Berg
sja dv...@cleveland.Freenet.Edu Seth J. Alberts
tc cha...@beauty.asd.sgi.com Tony Chatzigianis
tf ti...@eskimo.com Timothy R. R. Flanagan
tl t...@ces.cwru.edu Tom Lightbody
wc bi...@netcom.com William Courington
wh who...@lamont.ldgo.columbia.edu Will Howard
wms w...@spin.att.com Wayne Simpson
wo wood...@s34.es.llnl.gov Someone Woodruff
wv VEN...@faculty.coe.wvu.wvnet.edu Wallace Venable
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 bo...@sandr.com Bob Parkinson
Alberg 37 j...@cs.brown.edu John Hughes
Albin Vega 27 gu...@gd.chalmers.se Peter Gustafsson
Albin Vega 27 cur...@ctron.com Tom Currier
Beneteau First 235 las...@cs.unc.edu Anselmo Lastra
First 405 & 456 gu...@gd.chalmers.se Peter Gustafsson
C"&C 32 ke...@mprgate.mpr.ca Dave Kell
Cal 20 ste...@sunrise.stanford.edu Stefan Michalowski
Cal 20 hc...@well.sf.ca.us Hoover Chan
Cascade 29 lgba...@teleport.com Larry Barker
Catalina 27 w...@spin.ho.att.com Wayne Simpson
Catalina 25 bo...@sandr.com Bob Parkinson
Cotuit Skiff bo...@sandr.com Bob Parkinson
Cotuit Skiff Broad...@aol.com Kip Gould
Coronado 15 st...@test490.pac.sc.ti.com Steve Comen
Crealock 37 ma...@dwp.la.ca.us Marc Hall
CS 33 d...@jupiter.sun.csd.unb.ca David G. Macneil
CSY-44 GER...@CDHF2.GSFC.NASA.GOV Andy Germain
DN Iceboat j...@cs.brown.edu John Hughes
Dovekie j...@cs.brown.edu John Hughes
Drascombe Coaster las...@cs.unc.edu Anselmo Lastra
Ericson 27 hag...@SLAC.STANFORD.EDU Craig Haggart
Etchells 22 ro...@geac.com Ross Morrissey
Flying Dutchman gu...@blink.att.com Guido Bertucci
Gulfstar 37 la...@pdn.paradyne.com Larry Swift
Herreschoff 12 j...@cs.brown.edu John Hughes
HinkleyIslander bo...@sandr.com Bob Parkinson
J/24 r...@wombat.phri.nyu.edu Roy Smith
J-30 jmr...@tasc.com Joe Ruzzi
Jeanneau 31 cros...@cc.swarthmore.edu Cindy Rossley
Laser 28 JM...@CUNYVM.CUNY.EDU Jim Howell
MacGregor 19 WIL...@LCC.STONEHILL.EDU Russ Wilcox
MacGregor 25 ke...@mprgate.mpr.ca Dave Kell
MacGregor 26 lgba...@teleport.com Larry Barker
Mercer 44 j...@cs.brown.edu John Hughes
Olson 25 ste...@sunrise.stanford.edu Stefan Michalowski
Puddleduck pram bo...@sandr.com Bob Parkinson
R 2.4 (mini-12) gu...@gd.chalmers.se Peter Gustafsson
Swan 36 t...@ces.cwru.edu Tom Lightbody
Stone Horse j...@cs.brown.edu John Hughes
Thunderbird ro...@geac.com Ross Morrissey
Thistle sbl...@tivoli.com Steve Blair
Tige' 2002 Fslm comp wwa...@qualcomm.com Bill Walker
Tornado j...@cs.brown.edu John Hughes
PearsonVanguard scfi...@oasys.dt.navy.mil Steve Fisher
Shannon 43 Ketch...@CUNYVM.CUNY.EDU Jim Howell
Sonar spe...@panix.com David Spencer
Westerly Sealor...@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.: (t...@gate.net)
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:
majo...@centaur.astro.utoronto.ca; 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:
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: CBRO...@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:
sail...@mdf.fidonet.org To SUBscribe: sail...@mdf.fidonet.org To
UNSUBscribt: list...@mdf.fidonet.org 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 boa...@aol.com."
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 jje...@kaiwan.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 (b...@gate.net): 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.