The Online Magazine For Amateur Boat Builders














Doug (John) Day, who built PDRacer #1 has been battling leukemia and is taking a lot of blood transfusions right now. He fought it off a few years ago and it was in remission, but it has flared up again and is threatening his life again.

Doug with his PDRacer - in happier times

After the first battle, since it was a near death experience he looked at some of his life dreams that were not yet accomplished. One of his dreams was to build a boat from scratch. When I first published the plans for the PDRacer, everyone else was waiting for me to build one and see what it was like, but not Doug, he went out that weekend and built the very first one. We had a lot of fun racing during the first season and going to all the Houston area messabouts. Here are some of those events:

One thing you can do to help is to DONATE BLOOD with his number, so he can get blood credits. His number is:

MDAnderson medical number: 485745, John Day

The Red Cross does NOT participate in this credit system, you need to visit a site affiliated with the American Association of Blood Banks. Call the local donation site first to make sure they participate in the system, I called my local center and it turns out that Arizona has pulled out of the system so they won't transfer credits to Texas.

Or if in Houston, you can donate directly to the center:


Inaugural St Augustine Messabout

This is your cordial invitation to the First St Augustine Messabout planned for the weekend of Dec 10th & 11th.

We hope our freinds will take advantage of Florida's fall climate and an opportunity to test the waters in and around our nation's oldest city, St Augustine Fl.

Since there are widely varying accomodations and boat launching facilities in the area anyone needing more detailed info can e-mail me at Floridasurfcaster1@yahoo.com

Plans are for one of the main rallying points to be on the sandy beach or anchored off it at Anastasia Island St Pk just south of the St Augustine Inlet. There are more things to see by boat in the St Augustine Bay and surrounding areas than one could truly get to appreciate in Two days but we'll get to as much as we can.
I 'm happy to share my local knowledge of my home sailing waters with those want it. Currents and shoals bear attention here.
We would ask that those who think they will be able to make it would let me know so we can plan for a given size group,thanks and hope to see you there.

Mike Smith
St Augustine Fl

Below are the tides, sunrise, sunset and
moon phases times for StAugustine
2005-12-10 3:19 AM EST 4.96 feet High Tide
2005-12-10 7:10 AM EST Sunrise  
2005-12-10 9:41 AM EST 0.43 feet Low Tide
2005-12-10 3:43 PM EST 4.63 feet High Tide
2005-12-10 5:26 PM EST Sunset  
2005-12-10 9:59 PM EST -0.04 feet Low Tide
2005-12-11 4:19 AM EST 5.17 feet High Tide
2005-12-11 7:10 AM EST Sunrise  
2005-12-11 10:41 AM EST 0.36 feet Low Tide
2005-12-11 4:40 PM EST 4.58 feet High Tide
2005-12-11 5:26 PM EST Sunset  
2005-12-11 10:51 PM EST -0.11 feet Low Tide
2005-12-12 5:15 AM EST 5.34 feet High Tide

Wish I could afford one of these. Downside; shallow draft and economy.

Bruce Armstrong



  • 1.The wild state in which a sailor acquires a boat.
  • 2. The wild state in which a sailor relinquishes a boat.

ANCHOR - Any number of hook shaped objects that are dropped over the side of a boat on the end of a length of rope or chain, which are designed to hold a vessel securely, until:

  • 1. The wind exceeds 2 Knots.
  • 2. The owner and crew depart.
  • 3. 3 o’clock in the morning.

BAROMETER - A meteorological instrument which sailors often use to confirm the onset of bad weather. Its readings, together with heavy rain, severe rolling, high winds, dark skies, and a deep cloud cover, indicate the presence of a storm.

BEAM SEAS - A situation in which waves strike a boat from the side, causing it to roll unpleasantly. This is one of the four directions from which wave action tends to produce extreme physical discomfort. The other three are, BOW WAVES, (waves striking from in front), FOLLOWING SEAS, (waves striking from the rear), & QUARTER SEAS, (waves Striking from any other direction)


  • 1. A laterally mounted pole to which a sail is fastened. Often used
    during jibing to shift crew members to a fixed horizontal position.
  • 2. The sound produced when a gas stove is used to convert a boat into a liquid asset.

BUOY - Navigational Aid. There are several types & colours of buoys of Which the most numerous are :

  • The Black Can (seen as a fuzzy black spot on the horizon);
  • The Red and Green Day Beacons (seen as a fuzzy black spot on the horizon) and the Vertically stripped channel marker (seen as a fuzzy black spot on the horizon).

CANVAS - An abrasive sailcloth used to remove excess skin from knuckles.

CENTREBOARD - A permanently jammed movable keel.


  • 1. A large piece of paper that is useful in protecting cabin & cockpit surfaces from food & beverage stains.
  • 2. A common decorative motif on place mats.
  • 3. A nautical map that assists the boatman in determining whether he is on the water, (blue on charts) or on land (yellow on charts).

COURSE - The direction in which a skipper wishes to steer his boat and from which the wind is blowing.

CREW - Heavy, stationary objects used to hold down corners of charts, and dampen sudden movents of the boom.

DINGHY - Small craft usually towed from the stern of boats or stolen from moorings when boats are away. Also used as a lifeboat or a waste bin and by filling up and sinking, it provides a crude measurement of recent rainfall. Dinghies are by custom equipped with two oars, but Only one functioning oarlock.

NYLON ROPE - A durable synthetic rope that has the curious property that its strength decreases over time in almost exact proportion to the increase in its retail price.

PROPELLER - An underwater winch designed to wind up at high speed any lines or painters left hanging over the stern.

SHOWER - Due to restricted space, limited water supplies and the difficulty of Generating hot water, showers on board ship are quiet different from those taken on shore…Although there is no substitute for direct experience, a rough idea of a shipboard shower can be obtained by standing naked for two minutes in a closet with a large wet dog.

SAILING - The fine art of getting wet and becoming violently ill while slowly going nowhere at great expence.

click to enlarge
click to enlarge
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Chuck: Came across these two adventurers from Minnesota who waited for 9 years for the necessary permits to travel the entire length of the Colorado river...... they keep in touch via sat.phone, lap top and cell phone........ they indicated that they'd put me on their emailing list but I've yet to hear from them and have been unable to find their website that they say keeps friends up to date on their progress... big oars for the rapids and a 4hp Yamaha for the lakes parts of the trip..... four days living on my Tolman was enough for my wife and me so I recon these folks are tougher'n me!!
Bruce Armstrong

Building an unusual sailing craft. An illustration follows.

Boat is 12 feet by 5 1/2 beam... shoal keel. Building in 1/8" luan mostly, covering in glass. Partly as a fantasy boat for grand-kids, partly for me. Get lots of back support sitting and even standing up at the tiller. A diagonal 6 feet for naps.

More soon.

Yours aye,


Two boats from the America's Cup, New Zealand/Arab Emirates and Italy's Prada. Each with crew aloft in the mast rigging. Oh Boy!

The SuperMaxi, Maximus, flying upwind with her keel canted and extended as well as both daggerboards all the way down for headway

Chris Ostlind

Lost boater wanted to sail on ocean
Sailboat captain presumed dead after fall from vessel he built

Noah Waldman said his father's dream was "to sail a boat to distant places. "Boating was Jeff Waldman's life. He was captain for years of the Edelweiss, a boat that sailed the Milwaukee River and along the shore of Lake Michigan, carrying tourists and diners. In 2004, he joined the crew of the Lake Express, the new ship that carried people and cars between Milwaukee and Muskegon, Mich.But the boat he wanted to carry him to his dreams was a sailboat he built over the course of eight years, 50 feet long, called the Dandelion and fit for sailing on an ocean.

He launched the boat for the first time Saturday, a maiden voyage that ended in tragedy about 1:45 p.m. when Jeff Waldman, 56, was thrown into the water while trying to untangle some rigging offshore near the Milwaukee Yacht Club, with Noah and two others onboard. Efforts to rescue him immediately failed, and he disappeared in the water. The official search for Jeff Waldman was halted about 9:30 a.m. Sunday after the U.S. Coast Guard was unable to conduct a search safely with a 41-foot boat because of rough conditions, and a helicopter search over the water found nothing.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Robert Wallin said Jeff Waldman was presumed dead, and that a computer projection, based on conditions in the lake, concluded he could not have survived in the water past about 8 p.m. Saturday. An unofficial search, conducted by the 192-foot Lake Express itself, with a crew of Waldman's fellow workers on board, was halted about 11 a.m. Sunday after 3 ½ hours of sailing in a grid pattern aimed at carefully checking the waters where Jeff Waldman might be found.

"He was a good man," Noah Waldman said Sunday afternoon. He described his father as "a lover of the outdoors" who enjoyed bike riding on land but was oriented toward the water. "He was a sailing man," Noah said. He said his father was born in Michigan and traveled before settling in Milwaukee about 20 years ago. Persevering, loving, strong - Noah said those were words he would apply to his father. Until the accident occurred, Saturday had been a good day for sailing, Noah Waldman said. The wind was strong, the waters were good - "he was accomplishing his dream."

He said his father had been active in various sailing and boating ventures in Milwaukee and was about to begin working with others on building a mock schooner for the Pier Wisconsin education project, located south of the Milwaukee Art Museum. Ken Szallai, president of the Lake Express, said, "He was a great guy. I don't know how else to put it." Szallai said he had known Jeff Waldman for 13 years, including when he was a first mate on the car ferry, meaning he was second in command in his crew. He also worked on maintenance of the ship during the winter season. "He did a fine job," Szallai said. He said Jeff Waldman had talked often of the sailboat he was building.

After he heard Saturday night that Jeff Waldman was missing, Szallai decided to send the ship out Sunday morning. The Lake Express season ended recently, but the ship had not yet been moved to its winter dock. "We felt it was important that we go," Szallai said. "We didn't want to leave one of our own out there." Noah Waldman, a Nicolet High School graduate who attends the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, said his father and mother, Jeri, live in Glendale and he has one brother, Weston, who lives in California.

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal

cnotributed by Max Wawrzyniak

Hurricane Survival Kit:



Toilet Paper........................................check

Bud Light............................................check

Keystone Ice.......................................check


Red Dog..............................................check

Misc. other bottles of alcohol................check

Piece of plywood to float your chick and booze on...check

Next time let's all be a little more prepared.

Bruce Armstrong

Date: Oct 20, 2005
Contact: Aux. Wayne Spivak
Chief - External Communications
Public Affairs Department
United States Coast Guard Auxiliary

Tips for Planning for the Next Emergency


With Hurricane Wilma landfall looming, the Coast Guard Auxiliary is re-issuing Ten Tips for Planning for the Next Emergency.

Have a plan and discuss it with your family.

Find out about your community’s emergency plan and check its web sites for emergency planning information. If you should have to evacuate your home, make a primary and a secondary meeting place and inform all family members. Have a designated contact that is out of the danger zone and let them know where you are and your status.

Pack a “go” bag, containing medications, water and water purifying tablets, hand sanitizers, non-perishable food, a manual can opener, personal toiletries, zip lock bags, a flashlight with good batteries and a battery powered radio.

If applicable, make a go bag for your animal companion as well, such as a cat carrier, pet food and mobile kitty box. Dogs should have a leash, food; water and bags for clean up, if possible.

Get to know your neighbors, especially your elderly or infirm and look after them.

If you live in an apartment or other type of multiple dwelling, designate floor captains, make emergency evacuation plan and be sure all of the residents are aware of it. Be sure to know about anyone with special needs. At the first hint that your community may need to be evacuated be sure that you have a full tank of gas, if you have a vehicle.

Have candles, matches and flashlights with fresh batteries on hand. If a power outage is anticipated, stash some food in a cooler with ice.

Don’t panic, look out for one another and remember having a plan in place and following it is the most important thing you can do.

For more information on emergency preparedness check the following web sites: the American Red Cross, the Center for Disease Control and FEMA.

Here is a list of web sites that will aid in finding more information about what to do in an emergency, what emergency services are available, locally, state-wide and federally and what emergency plans are in place where you live.

While not exhaustive, it provides a good place to start.

In alphabetical order:


The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary is composed of uniformed, non-military volunteer's who assist the Coast Guard in all of its varied missions, except for military and direct law enforcement. These men and women can be found on the nation's waterways, in the air, in classrooms and on the dock, performing Maritime Domain Awareness patrols, safety patrols, vessel safety checks and public education.

The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary was founded in 1939 by an Act of Congress as the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve and re-designated as the Auxiliary in 1941. Its 31,000 members donate millions of hours annually in support of Coast Guard missions.

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October 2005


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