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Reader Response - Save One Design? Here's How!

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original article by Wally Cross

I am glad to hear from so many different one design boat owners praising their boat and the area they sail. So how do we help local one designs build their fleets with new owners of older boats? more .....

 

Reader Response...

What about the SHARK class? These are 24ft self righting keel boats that only draw 3ft. Small Frac rig makes new sails cheap like only $400 for a brand new kite! These were designed by George Hinterhauler back in the 60's when fiberglass production boats were a relatively new concept.

These boats have NO coreing so their hulls and decks remain very dry and strong to this date some 40 years later. Replacing or strengthening wet interior wood bulkheads is a relatively simple task. There were thousands built and surprisingly, most of them are still sailing today.

There's even 2 companies in Germany who still build these to the very strict class rules. There's highly competitive worlds and regional events each year. They only weigh 2400 lbs and can be easily single point lifted and trailered. They have 4 bunks and a great built in icebox. What more could you want?

I think these would make a great club training or timeshare boat since they're virtually indestructable, cheap to aquire, and easy to maintain due to their small size. There's even a shop in Canada that supports the fleet with class approved replacement parts like rigging, rudders, tillers, window seals and technical support.

These boats can be purchased for as little as $1000 (US) and can be made race ready for another $1-2000. The really tricked out ones can be purchased in the $5-8000 range, complete with outboard, trailer and competitive sail inventory. Southport sail club in Canada on Lk St Clair has a fleet of over 20 boats and hosted the worlds in 2006.

This boat really comes into it's own in winds over 15kts. It will plane easily and is a blast to sail in over 20kts, sailing way above it's PHRF rating in those conditions. Upwind in 20kts, it is as fast as many newer 30 footers. The Shark is not much on size, but neither is is's cost. On the other hand, it's actually crusable, very safe and easy to maintain.  GB



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To the Editor: 11/22/2005

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* Ms. Schaefer references "small inland lakes" in her comments. Having grown up on Lake George, I would not categorize it in this fashion. The lake is 32 miles long and over two miles wide in spots. During storms with a North wind I have seen 6' rollers and breaking whitecaps on the lake. Over the years there have been many tour boats on the lake exceeding 100' and many more in the 40 to 100' range. There did not used to be any speed or power limits on the lake and there were many boats capeable of 50 MPH plus. I am not aware if speed limits have been imposed in recent years. Lake George is most definitely not the kind of small inland lake with wake and speed restrictions. It is a sizeable body of water with very large craft and is capeable of producing very rough water.   Hank Evans     article

* Thank you for publishing this great article!!! Digital Selective Calling (DSC) has been available for about 5 years now, but only a very few recreational boaters, if any, in the Great Lakes have taken advantage of it. This is probably the greatest advance in boating safety recently and it is available to everyone at no cost!!! If you have it on your VHF, get it hooked up for next season and urge all of your friends to hook up as well. Interfacing with your GPS is quite simple using the NMEA in/out wires and the identifier (MMSI) number is available from the Boat/US website. If you don't have it, get it. Entry level radios are available for $130 or so. We do not have to wait for the Coast Guard to install anything. As recreational boaters, we are our own first responders. Do yourself and your fellow boaters a favor and get hooked up. -- Eric Lind, Suttons Bay MI    article



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Reader Response - Regarding the Ethan Allen:

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*Friends of ours from Ann Arbor, Bud and Connie Tracy, were on that senior excursion, but were on the other boat, a sistership. Both boats were out on the water at the same time, but the boats did not travel together. My friends said they did not see the accident but did see all the emergency boats and wondered what was happening. They didn't learn of the accident until after returning from their cruise.

My friend Bud said that they boarded the boat over the stern and walked down the center between the rows of seats. When they were boarding, Bud's wife Connie made a comment then that the boat seemed "awful tippy."

At the end of the cruise, the Captain told them over a loudspeaker to "if you don't leave exactly as I tell you this boat will tip over". They went down the center of the boat and then over they stern to go ashore and as the Captain told them to.

The fact that the passengers could not board from the side and that the Captain would actually make such a statement shows that the operators knew there was a problem with their boats.

Bill Thomas Ann Arbor

 

*In all the report about the Ethan Allen Accident, I have not heard one word about the culpability of the owner of the large powerboat that caused the large wake which capsized the tour boat. It's my understanding of maritime law, that the skipper of the boat is responsible for the damage caused by his wake. I do not understand why a large powerboat would be doing on a small inland lake to begin with. Most small inland lakes have rules/laws about maximum horsepower allowed. It's my opinion that one extra crew on board the Ethan Allen would have made no difference at all to the outcome of this accident. There would have been one more person in the water trying to escape drowning. However, if all the elderly and handicapped passengers on this tour boat had been wearing life jackets, they probabaly would have all survived. There was no time to pull out the life jackets after the boat began to capsize.

Deborah K. Schaefer, Multihull Sailor, Port Clinton, OH



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More Information on the Ethan Allen

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Submitted by Peter Allen

My excerpt from "Soundings" article:

The recent Lake George, New York capsize of the tour boat “Ethan Allen” received a lot of press attention. Twenty people drowned in the incident. The current issue (December 2005, page 13, National Edition) of “Soundings” magazine carries an article which starts to shed some light on the reasons for the capsize.

The article notes that the Ethan Allen was built on a Dyer 40 hull. This is a very well-regarded, round-bilged design. "Power boat guru" Eric Sorensen is quoted in the article as saying that the deck of the Dyer 40 is usually 6 to 8 inches above the waterline. Of the Ethan Allen he says: “In this boat, from the photos I’ve seen of it, the Ethan Allen’s deck was level with the gunwale. That’s probably 2 feet higher than the deck is ordinarily.”

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  • In all the report about the Ethan Allen Accident, I have not heard one word abou...more
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A Reader Responds....

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As a USCG licensed captain and active in the passenger/charter industry on the Great Lakes, I implore lawmakers not to require that life jackets be worn. Aside from issues based in political philosophy, ie, the loss of still more personal freedoms and ability to assess and protect oneself from obvious risk, the real issue is that the statistics for boating fatalities, when weighed against the number of persons that go boating in any given season, lead even the most politically liberal or most cautious in all matters nautical to conclude that life jackets are not the problem. Other ideas rasised, such as higher standards for stability, additional crew and drug testing are all helpful; standards the Coast Guard already meet on the the Great Lakes. The regulations for inland lakes should be made more stringent, but wearing life jackets is simply overkill - a measure that would dramatically reduce the numbers of passengers desirous of enjoying a short excursion on what should be a safe vessel with a licensed, straight captain and competent crew.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE...

State boating issues need to be addressed N.Y. tragedy may serve as wake-up call

The boating tragedy in Lake George, N.Y., that killed 20 people on Sunday, including two Whitmore Lake-area residents, raises important questions in its aftermath that lawmakers and regulators in states throughout the nation should speedily address.

In Michigan, for example, as in New York and 45 other states, adults are not required to wear life preservers when their vessel is in motion.

Certainly for the elderly, the infirm and others who can't swim, requiring that they be worn seems reasonable in craft that can quickly capsize or sink. Just having life preservers readily available isn't good enough.

"Readily available'' is the safety standard now in effect in Michigan.    more...

 



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A Reader Responds...

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Matt Ciesicki,
I wish to tell you that your write up of this article "Heavy Air Gybing
-Timing and Teamwork" is absolutely the best I have ever read on the subject.  
 
With my 67 years and starting on penquins when I was 7 thru college sailing club on Highlanders on Lake Cowan SW Ohio, thru Lightening, and Star Classes thru the J Class I have never read anything that puts you right on deck as well as this article.
Thanks so much Matt.  It reminds me of Bruce Catton's descriptions
of the battles of the Civil War. (You can smell the heat, burning flesh, horses, cannon, cries and death.  )  Matt, I would put you in a class with Catton.  I can feel the wind, the salt air, and the calling of the helmsman.    THANKS SO MUCH FOR A GREAT ARTICLE AND KEEP THEM COMING.   James C. Landon III  Bellevue,Kentucky

 http://www.wcsailing.com/index2.asp?NGuid=50B4F9D7AB81409BA0B4A50CEBE719B8

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Compass deviation, who's responsible? .....

My first thought here is, at least someone involved with this boat had the good sense to get the compass swung; too many people that take boats out of port have no idea what 'swinging ship' involves. Someone chased this down, and good for them. Having said that, I remember mounting the compasses on an offshore race boat that I was the BN for, doing it in Goetz' shop, and looking over at the steel wall right next to the starboard rail, and making a mental note that this was not the best environment for physically installing compasses.

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The recent article concerning grounding is old and contains some serious errors that could lead to injury or damage. Don't take my word for it, check with a qualified engineer.
The writer didn't even get the color coding right.
 
Bruce Godley
 
Original Article...

Onboard AC Power

If you keep your boat in the water, and its anything larger than a canoe, you probably have it plugged in to shorepower. Even smaller open boats can benefit from an onshore power supply to keep the batteries topped off, especially if you live in rainy areas where the bilge pumps run often and draw the batteries down.

For the most part, AC to DC transformers (a.k.a. battery chargers) are trouble free devices, but there are some precautions that should be taken to avoid induced electrical problems.

In high school chemistry class, we learned how to make a simple battery by placing two dissimilar metals in a jar of salt water. We don't want the same thing to happen to our expensive marine shafts, propellers, and rudders though, because the metals eat themselves to produce this voltage.

Most boats are bonded (internally grounded) to reduce onboard galvanic action. The problem comes when there are several boats in a marina that are tied together by the ground wires of dockside AC supplies.    more...



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A Reader Responds...

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Regarding the article about PFD and safety accessories; these are my thoughts, which I also shared with the editor of Outdoor Life (where the article was lifted from):
 
While I appreciate an article about maximizing the chance of survival in case of being a MOB there are some grave errors in the article which I do find in-excusable for such an article:
 
First off this statement is idiotic:
 
"If you fall overboard and you’re not wearing a personal flotation device (PFD), you’re probably going to die" - one might die but I can assure you that there are many MOB situations that do not end up with death!  I am not advocating not wearing a PFD when necessary, but there are appropriate times and times where it is less necessary.
 
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"We operate a maritime related charter school in Erie, PA. The Perseus House Charter School of Excellence Maritime Center is the educational home for 71 middle school students from around the Erie region, mainly Erie city kids. We utilize sailing, boat building, SCUBA and environmental studies to teach and reinforce traditional academic subjects and to concentrate on personal growth initiatives. The great thing a bout sailing is that it teaches leadership, teamwork, discipline and respect just by the nature of the sport. The history, the math and physics and the pure joy of being underway reinforce important life skills and help quite a bit with the practical application of classroom work." ... sail

Original Article below.....

Where They Started

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Just in case you’re ever debating why sailing ought to occasionally be a topic in our schools, we have some ammunition in this issue. Likewise, if you’re arguing the benefits of pram sailing for kids. Sure, your standard line of attack might be to enumerate the many recreational, environmental, aesthetic, and commercial values of the natural marine world and sailboats. Not to mention giving children an integrated dose of physics, mechanical engineering, marine biology, psychology, meteorology, etc. But you should also mention that opening up these avenues can also create tomorrow’s champions.

When I interviewed the newest members of our Sailing World Hall of Fame, prams and school experiences often came up. Randy Smyth, John Bertrand, and Jochen Schuemann each got their feet wet in a plywood pram dinghy. Smyth and Bertrand started in Sabots, with family encouragement. Schuemann had no sailors in his family, but he loved crafts, and when he heard as an 11-year-old that he could take a course in building a boat, he signed up, built an Optimist dinghy, and then learned to sail it.  
more...

 



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"I do not understand why someone that is both highly competitive and with one-design aspirations would choose a Melges 32 over the very good, very established Mumm 30. The Mumm is every bit as exciting to sail and I would say more versitile as it carries both symetrical and A-sail spinnakers. The Mumm 30 class is well established world-wide for good one-design sailing and has proven to be very competitive under a variety of handicap rules as well. Buying an A-sail orphan just does not make any sense when such a reasonably priced option is readily available and the chances of enough being sold to establish one-design racing is so very remote."  K.B.

Original Article below.....

Chris Thomas sailed 05' Chicago Mac Race in a Melges 32!

EH:
Chris congratulations on your recent race to Mackinac on the Melges 32. Considering the early light air conditions you sure had a good ET in the end.
We would like to hear your thoughts on the Melges 32 as a new owner, the class and for sure the distance race to Mac.

Tell us a little about your sailing career and how you finally ended up selecting a Melges 32 as your latest race boat.

CT: I am originally from South West Wales in the UK and grew up doing anything I could related to the sea. I came to the US in 1991 and made Chicago my home. It was a little different to what I was used to back in Wales in so far that it was on a big lake with no tide and there were lots of fleets of big boats that went sailing every weekend which does not happen back where I come from in Wales due to the tides. I started crewing on some boats to get introduced to sailing on keelboats with crews of four or more. In 2000 I decided that I wanted to start my own race team, make the commitment and get on the fast track. I joined Chicago Yacht Club and then looked for a boat to but that we could start our racing campaign with. After a lot of deliberating I decided to buy a Tartan 10 due to the fact that it was the biggest one design fleet in Chicago by far. The first few seasons were spent getting to know the boat, learning how difficult it is to get 6 good people to commit to sailing with you every weekend and basically learning how to drive bigger boats in big fleets.    more...



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Beach Walkers Get More Access

Yes, this is really vague. If beach walkers get to sit on chairs and camp out in front of private property, I would suggest that waterfront property owners get an immediate tax reduction...pay the same taxes as the non-waterfront owners!



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A Reader Responds...

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Minnesota court protects ice-fishermen

When it comes to what we are trying to protect with privacy laws, I wonder if anyone ever heard of honesty has no fear. I have never been one to say no to any law enforcement agent whether a policeman or game warden when asked to examine me or my property. I believe that it is only right to be willing to cooperate with the law enforcement community. After all, they are there to help me and protect me. If I am doing something that I shouldn't but am not aware of it, they will let me know about it and in most cases only issue me a warning. These people who want to use privacy laws to keep the truth about what they are doing illegally from being known, are only making it more difficult for the law enforcement people to do what they are supposed to be doing.

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A Reader's Response...

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NDI, chart pirates?

I have no tolerance for boaters who rip off electronic charts; the practice hurts decent companies and has understandably led to copy protection schemes the rest of us have to cope with. But one chart manufacturer, Nautical Data International (NDI), has earned its own reputation for pirate practices. It ticked off customers for years with extra high prices, flawed encryption code, and even a “time out” mechanism that rendered charts you owned useless after a certain period. Two years ago, a nasty royalty fight erupted between NDI and the two big chart card companies C-Map and Navionics.   more...

Response...  I do not feel sorry for most of the electronic chart providers. Given the current cost of memory and the fact the the USCGS data is NOT COPYRIGHTED, the price of second source charts be they electronic of reprint charts is often way way out of line. I have no objection to a profit, but these people have caused me to use systems than can use scanned USCGS charts purchased for 15$us of fee ENC charts downloaded. If I could purchase what I want I an effective price. I would not bother with the effort I have expend to get my own.  ... MC



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Granholm shoves after Legislature refuses to push for water laws

Push has come to shove over water use laws proposed for Michigan.

State legislators so far haven't pushed very hard on the issues of groundwater use and large-scale diversions of Great Lakes water.

So Gov. Jennifer Granholm is giving the process some needed shoves.

In the last days of May, she announced that the Department of Environmental Quality would reverse its longstanding policy and regulate future groundwater withdrawals that alter the size of an inland lake or stream.

That was after the state attorney general's office admitted in Court of Appeals papers that the DEQ wrongly ignored a law that let the agency regulate withdrawals with permits.   more...

Response...  Here we are still playing politics with something that has to be more importent then being reelected. The way we go about this law making and regulation making for the water we all need to protect is very importent and needs to be addressed now. The Govenor is absolutely correct in insisting that those republican legislators need to put aside the little power craze they are having and realize that something really importent for a change is in need of being done. Legislators are supposed to be looking out for the people and resources and not be catering to industries that promise them plenty of money for their re-election.

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