Dogwatch Good Old Boat's Digital SupplementDogwatch (n): For sailors, either of the 2-hour watch periods between 1600 and 2000;

For journalists, the period after going to press when staff stand by in case breaking news warrants a late edition.

Volume 2, No.5


Easy Trip to Key West

Easy Trip to Key West

We tend to forget how much GPS, accurate weather forecasting, and modern hull, sail, and communications technologies have improved our ability to get around faster and more safely on the ocean. Oh, and the wisdom that comes to most of us as we leave our 20s behind . . .

In 1974, Judy and I took a sabbatical from work for as long as our savings would last. We left our jobs in Dallas, sold most of our possessions, and began exploring Mexico by train and bus. We were staying on the beach (in hammocks under the palms) on the tiny island of Isla Mujeres when we heard of a young fellow named Troy who was looking for crew to help him sail a boat from Cozumel to Key West, Florida. I’d been sailing most of my life and, as our savings were getting thin, this sounded like a fun and inexpensive way to return to the States after our adventure.

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News from the Helm Mail Buoy

News from the Helm

Across the bar: Margaret Roth and Don Green, BWI awards for Good Old Boat writers, Y2K again, and earn a free Good Old Boat cap.   Continue reading …

Mail Buoy

PFD depiction, sensible low-tech docking, hobo stove revisited, praise for Payne, and readers weigh in on sailboat renting vs. owning.   Continue reading

Seaworthy Goods Holiday Specials on Good Old Boat gear

Put it to the Readers

By Michael Robertson

Department of Corrections: Ahoy! We screwed up, letting a bad link go out last month in this column. Many thanks to the many readers who let us know that the correct URL for the boat-sharing company is

winter coverAnd back to our regular programming –

Food tastes better aboard a sailboat, always, right? I don’t care whether it’s an apple, Cheetos (is that food?), or homemade lasagna. And I’ve always known that the reason for this is the salty air. At least, I’ve always known this until Good Old Boat founder Karen Larson spoiled my theory by asserting that food tastes better to her aboard a sailboat in the same way it does me, but she’s a freshwater sailor — no salty air. And I’ve never sailed in freshwater—except 24 hours in Panama’s Lake Gatun, as part of transiting the Canal two decades ago—so I can’t really say that food doesn’t taste better when freshwater sailing.

And so I put it to the readers: Does food always taste better aboard (excepting when you’re experiencing mal de mer)? And why? Is it the salty air, or is Karen right and that’s not it? Or is food, food, and it doesn’t matter whether you’re eating at the kitchen table, in the cockpit, or in the car?

As always, I’m at

Book Reviews

A Drop n the OceanClick the book title for our reviews of the following books:

Dick Carter: Yacht Designer in the Golden Age of Offshore Racing
by Dick Carter and John Rousmaniere
(Seapoint Books, 2018; 192 pages;
$29.95 print)
Review by Rob Mazza


The Accidental Captain: the Hilarious True-Life Adventures Of the Nerd Who Learned To Sail Across the Atlantic – Eventually
by Glenn Patron
(self-published, 2016; 257 pages, soft cover)
Review by Wayne Gagnon

Poem of the Month

Poem March 2019
The author wrote that this poem is an attempt to contrast “my first youthful attempts to actively chase (or pry!) experiences from nature (which doesn’t work), with my later (more mature) approach, of simply going forth and becoming open to experiences at hand, hoping that maybe then Nature and the Sea will reveal things. Maybe.”

I went to the Sea pursuing her nature,
my own was concealed.
I chased her secrets,
only mine did she howl in gales.

She gave test without lesson,
punishment without warning.
The Sea owed me nothing,
and nothing at all!

I went to the Sea asking her nature,
my own she revealed.
She gave reward without end,
beauty without margin.

I awaited her secrets.
she whispered them whole,
without bound. Though still,
the Sea owed me nothing,
and nothing at all!

D. Gene Hoffman, who sails a 1979 Shannon 28 cutter out of Deale, MD. He says that the combination of her curves and her teak make his heart go potato-potato-potato.


Sailor of the Month

Sailor of the Month - Noah

Nine-year-old Noah (he’s since turned 10) is our Dogwatch Sailor of the Month. Noah sails regularly on his grandfather’s Bristol 41.1, Boundless, on Chesapeake Bay. He also sails his own 15-foot Galiliee on the James river. “Noah knows how to steer, dock, and navigate. He’s expert on the chart plotter, knows how to make the various kinds of emergency calls, and stays cool, calm, and collected. He’s helpful crew in high-wind situations.” It’s clear to us from this photo that Noah is a tough-as-nails seaman.


Cover issue 124 Jan/Feb 2019

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