Photo by Paul Skene

Paul Skene captured this lovely photo a couple of years ago while visiting an old friend, a shipwright on British Columbia’s Pender Island. The birds are flying past the lit mark on Boat Islet off Port Washington.


I saw your inquiry about how to promote sailing as an activity among young people. My theory is that the same things that drew me in are likely to appeal to newer humans as well. Those things are the chance to learn something abstract and unusual, and the chance to exercise independence.

Learning? Sailing offers all that cool terminology, plus a depth of knowledge that most of us will not exhaust in our lifetimes. I’ve been an active sailor for over 50 years and the areas of my ignorance are still vast. There’s always something new to learn—new equipment, new techniques, new navigational skills, new vocabulary, new knots.

But the real attraction for me is the chance to take full responsibility for my own safety and well-being. When I leave the slip or the mooring, I’m on a vessel that is operating in a hostile environment for humans, who do not have gills. Surviving on the water requires knowledge, skill, care, and maybe a dose of luck. There are not so many opportunities anymore for humans to be self-reliant and independent.

Sometimes I get scared or anxious. But the challenges are within my control, not simply random impositions. Reef the main. Change the jib. Plot a safe course. Develop alternative plans when the anticipated one goes awry. The constant challenge is what keeps me sailing.

Chris Campbell, Traverse City, MI


I have just read my Good Old Boat September 2017 Dog Watch. Under calendar events you wrote that the United States Sailboat Show in Annapolis, “is an internationally acclaimed sailboat show, recognized as the largest show and the only remaining in-water sailboat show in the world.”

I would just like to clarify that this show isn’t the only remaining in-water sailboat show at all. We in the Great Britain still have the Southampton Boat Show with many craft (including makes from the USA) afloat to see and in some cases try. This show has been running since 1968 and is one of Europe’s premier events now.

Very best regards to you all,

Paul & Sheila Chapman, South Gloucestershire., U.K.


Always looking for opportunities to advertise at the marina! Here I am renaming our 1984 S2 8.5 after my wife’s nickname.

Bill Flandermeyer, Norfolk, VA


Maybe you lakers speak differently (“Ready to Drudge,” September 2017), but us salt water master mariners call using an anchor at short scope to assist in maneuvering DREDGING, not drudging. I believe drudging would apply to things like grinding off old bottom paint.

Carl R. Smith, Chesapeake, VA

“Drudging” a great way to destroy any living coral in the harbor, or better yet let’s catch the anchor on the attachment chains holding the pier in place and move those out of place. Perhaps it would make more sense to learn how to handle your vessel in those windy conditions.

–John Brack, Tallahassee, FL


Coral heads, sea grasses, and fouled bottoms are always something to take into account, not just for drudging situations, but for anchoring, too, especially when you consider that sometimes an anchor will drag through the bottom before it sets. The location in the story where we could have tried the drudging technique did not have coral heads and sea grass. A fouled bottom…that’s always a possibility.

Rudy and Jill Sechez, Good Old Boat contributors


Our Promises Kept survived a direct hit from category 4 hurricane Irma in Marco Island. It took me 12 hours to prep her for the storm. During the peak of the storm, all the water was sucked out of the marina and the boats were laying on their sides, then the storm surge came rushing back in and we almost lost our marina’s state-of-the-art floating dock system. This picture was taken the morning after the storm. Talk about a good old boat! Promises Kept is 30 this year.

Joe & Carolyn Crawford, Marco Island, FL


In the September issue of Good Old Boat, in an article by Rob Mazza on the Viking 33/34 (“The Viking 33 and 34 Evolve Alongside a Contemporary Cousin”), you refer to Dick Knuelman as the founder of Ontario Yachts. His first name is Dirk, not Dick.

John Vandereerden, via Facebook


There are two Dirk Kneulmans, father and son. Dirk Sr. immigrated to Canada from Holland in the 1950s and was always known (to me and people in my boat building circle, at any rate) as Dick. Probably just a lazy Anglicization of Dirk. Dirk, Jr. took over the family boat building business, Ontario Yachts, upon his father’s retirement and was, and still is, always known as Dirk.

Rob Mazza, Good Old Boat Contributing Editor