Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sad News about Bob

It is with Deep sadness we have to announce the passing of Robert (Bob) Townsend the founder of Bob’s Nautical . Many in the sailing community know of Bob either personally or through his reputation and knowledge. Bob loved sailing and always enjoyed talking to people about sailing, sailing history and the County. 
If you wish  to leave a story about Bob or just pass some comments, please feel free to do so here.

Friday, August 5, 2011


As an introduction to Shellback, I can do no better than reproduce an article from the October November 1968 Issue of Gam of Yachting by that great nautical magazine's founder, publisher and editor Karin Larson.With the end of the sailing season members of the Shellbacks Club will again take voyages of fancy at Thursday Luncheon meetings at the Lord Simcoe Hotel in Toronto.Actually, the Shellbacks Club is not really a club at all. There is no constitution, no initiation fee, no annual dues, no clubhouse, no membership committee, no Board of Directors and no executive. All it consists of is a group of men who like to get together once a week to hear a yarn and sing a sea shanty. For over thirty years this non‑club has continued. Throughout this time traditions have developed and at some time a bell made its appearance. Each summer Al Rae, an early Skipper, disappears with the bell and in the fall returns it with the name of the last Skipper engraved upon it for the only records the club keeps.In the early days meetings mustered only a dozen or so. Attendance now usually numbers somewhere around fifty men. Through the years a time schedule, which is strictly adhered to, has evolved. 12:20 Hands to Stations 
12:30 Hands to Dinner
 12:45 Toast to the Queen and Sailors Everywhere
 12:50 Introduction of Guests
 12:55 Sea Shanties
 1:05 Introduction of Speaker

 1:30 Pull up AnchorAnyone who smokes before the Toast to the Queen is required to contribute 25~ to the dory. Long winded speakers are cut off with four clangs of the bell and the only way one can show he is a member is to become a yarn spinner and be awarded a lapel pin in the shape of a miniature square rigged ship.Yarn Spinners are shanghied from anywhere‑‑anyone with an interesting waterfront tale, whether of sailing in square riggers around the Horn at the age of sixteen, International competition, or of building a dream boat. Past Yarn Spinners would, together, present a notable collection of talent as many outstanding national figures have had their turn.P.S. It's strictly stag.NOTHING MUCH CHANGESExcept that for many years Shellback has met on Wednesdays instead of Thursday, and, yes, thanks to the changing times and the persistance of Karin, it is no longer strictly stag.SHELLBACK CLUB 70 YEARS OF TRADITION
By. Robert B. Townsend
For some hearty Canadian Sailors, the season never ends. SHELLBACK CLUB is an organization of sailors that has, for over 60 years met for mutual refreshment once a week, when the regular sailing season is over. The club has no constitution, no rules, and no debts. Membership is open to all sailors who can afford the price of the meal (2004 only $11.00) aboard Captain John's Jadran at the foot of Young Street at Toronto's Harbour. For many years the club met at Mugg's Landing, a venerable old dining room in the Victoria Hotel in downtown Toronto, which had been specially decorated for the club; its walls covered with pictures of sailing ships and the sea.The club was officially founded in February of 1934 with its motto "In all respects ready for sea", but the traditions of Shellback dates back to 1924 when Gerry L'Aventure, Gord Francis, Wm. Hearst and Howard Griffin started to sail together in a series of famous yachts, out of the Royal Canadian Yacht Club: including the famous "P" Class boat "Caramia", a true virgin (no engine) 50.16' L.O.A.The crew bank met on Wednesdays at Eileen Bradley's Tea House on Adelaide St., for lunch, and to organize for the week‑end races. "P" class boat had a crew of about 12 and a crew bank of about 20, so organization was essential. The lunches became so popular, they continued throughout the winter months. To maintain the flavour of the occasion, it was decided that only dyed‑in‑the‑wool nautical buddies were to be invited. The table talk was restricted to the one subject: sailing.Gerry L'Aventure was the organizer of the Shellback club, as such, giving the group its name (which means "old sailor" amongst other definitions). At the first official meeting of the club, lunch cost $0.35. There were only 2 commandments: (1) ‑ no business talk (2) no smoking before the toast to the King of the Dominion of Canada and the toast to "Sailors everywhere".Gerry L'Aventure was the clubs first skipper. Since then, skippers have changed when the present one could find someone to take his place and not before. More often than not, a temporary absent member has been "elected" (read shanghaied).Membership is restricted to those who have been introduced as a guest at a regular luncheon. Once inducted by the skipper, membership is forever. A Shellback is a Shellback. There are no dues, membership lists, or records. At each meeting, guests and their introducers lead in the singing of an old sea shanty: to keep the old tunes alive, and to recapture the spirit in which the old Shellbacks sang on sailing ships. This is followed by a yarnspinner telling a tale of the sea.The first yarnspinner was William Hearst whose topic was "Pirates I have Known, ‑ present company excepted" Bill repeated this most interesting talk at the clubs 35th, 40th, 45th, and 50th Birthday parties. Yarnspinners have included many world famous sailors. All have an interesting story of the sea or sailing to tell. In the day's of wooden boats, very few ladies were active in sailing boats in the Toronto area. Dame Niaomi James, Bridgette Aubrey, and Patience Wales were all speakers at the clubs major yearly event, the annual boat show dinner where since 1967, ladies have been invited. Since 1984 ladies have become very much a part of the clubs membeship, reflecting their increased interest and participation in the sport, and in ladies sailing, reflecting the outstanding achievements by many ladies in the sailing fraternity.In 1938, Bill Hearst advised the club should have an insignia. Richard the Lion‑hearted was the first to conceive of a Coat‑of‑Arms, and Bill followed Richards tradition by conceiving a Coat‑of‑Arms for sailors, which was built by Al Rae. A rope mounting extends below the shield to hold a plaque on which is inscribed the words SHELLBACK CLUB. The first quarter of the shield is white with a fork and spoon to signify a luncheon; the second quarter, an anchor on a yellow background; the third quarter, a ships bell; and the fourth quarter, 3 waves.The clubs Bell, on which is inscribed the names of all the skippers over the nearly 60 years of the club's existence, was taken from a famous old ship, and is used to call "all hands to lunch" promptly at 12:20 hrs, and again to "out pipes" at 13.45 hrs.With its loosely formed executive (refered to as the bridge) and consisting of the Skipper, a Mate, the Purser or Master at Arms, some people are amazed that the club continues to exist, year after year. But such is the interest in the traditions, and in sailing. Shellback look forward to many more years of packed houses at their weekly lunches, between October and April, forFun, Fellowship and the Sea.
SHELLBACK COAT OF ARMSThe Coat of arms was presented to the Shellback club during a talk by Bill Hearst on the 25th of January, 1939 at the clubs regular meeting at Ellen Bradley's Grill on Adelaide Street.William Hearst, who was one of the founders of the Shellback Club, is quoted as saying "Richard the Lion Hearted was the first to conceive a coat of arms and it was felt that the Shellback Club needed an Insignia, so we had to invent one." It was generally conceded that the club's coat of arms was the brainchild of Nik Beketov, F.N. Fairhead, Al Hearst and Al Rae but none of them were prepared to take credit for it at the time.The coat of arms had a rope mounting which extends below the shield to hold a plaque on which was inscribed the words "Shellback Club". The first quarter of the shield was white with a fork and spoon to signify the luncheon . The second quarter a Black anchor on yellow, the third quarter a bronze coloured ships bell on a red background, and the fourth quarter three waves which separate a blue sea and a green sky.
1946 HOTEL CARES‑RITE1947 MUNICIPAL HOTEL1948 HOTEL BARCLAY1950 COLONIAL TAVERN, 209 YONGE STREET1957 PRINCE GEORGE HOTEL1967 LORD SIMCOE HOTEL1968 MAPLE ROOM, UNION STATION 1971 (NOV. 3) MUGGS LANDING, 56 YONGE STREET.1988 NAG'S HEAD TAVERN, YORK STREET1989 CAPT. JOHN'S ABOARD THE JADRAN1999 NATIONAL YACHT CLUB.2000 CAPT. JOHN'S ABOARD THE JADRANSKIPPERS OF SHELLBACK AND THEIR MEETING PLACESThese are based on the listing in the Shanty book, the skipper's name's on the bell and the recollections (a few years back) of Bob Bleasby andCharles Leggatt all updated by Al Rae Jr. and vetted by BB and CL. Shakespeareland ‑ 1936/37 Gerry L'Aventure; Laura Matilda Tea Room ‑ 1937/38 Gene Sorsoliel; Ellen Bradley's Tea Room ‑ 1938/39 Johnny Hobbs; 1939/1940 Eric Blencairn; 1940/41 Bill Hearst; 1941/42 Ernie Grundy; 1942/43 Ian Armour; 1943/44 Jim Hyland; 1944/45 Trevor Hawgood; Hotel Carls‑Rite ‑ 1945/46 Al Rae Sr; Municipal Hotel‑ 1946/47 Laurie Muir; Hotel Barclay 1948/49 Doug Armour; 1949/50 Paul McLaughlin; Colonial Tavern ‑ 1950/51 Jim Mitchell; 1951/52 Arn Gorman; 1952/53 John Mason; 1953/54 Bill Gooderham; 1954/55 Gord Brown; 1955/56 Murray Crawford; 1956/57 Bill MacRae; Prince George Hotel ‑ 1957/58 Paul Phelan; 1958/59 Lew Pickett; 1959/60 Ed Lawless; 1960/61 Lew Pickett; 1961/63 Arnold Ducklin; 1963/65 Bill Good; 1965/66 Dave Morris; Lord Simcoe Hotel ‑ 1966/68 Peter Van Buskirk;The Maple Room ‑ 1968/71 Peter Van Buskirk; Hotel Victoria ‑ 1971/72 Norm Donaldson; 1972/74 Harry Roman; 1974/75 Harry Roman/Gord Proctor; 1975/76 Gord Proctor; 1976/79 Chuck Peterson; 1979/80 Chuck Peterson/Bob Townsend; 1980/81 Bob Townsend; 1981/82 Bob Townsend/David Kerr; 1982/83 David Kerr;Nag's Head ‑1983/84 David Kerr/Charles Leggatt; 1984/85 Charles Leggatt; 1985/86 Richard Birchall; 1986/88 Richard Birchall; 1988/89 Don Stark/Bruce Anderson; Captain John's ‑ 1989/90 Bruce Anderson; National Yacht Club ‑ 1991/92 Bruce Anderson/Al Rae Jr; 1992/2000 Al Rae Jr. Captain John's2000/02 Al Rae Jr.; 2002/03 Don Gallagher;2003/03 Michael Sutherland; 2003/2004 Noel Lien.
This editorial appeared in Gam on Yachting when I was Skipper of Shellback. It was prompted (I believe) by a discussion I had with Karin Larson, founder, editor and publisher of Gam on Yachting when I made the statement there were some people in our society that still believed in the old saying that THE ONE THING THAT MEN AND WOMEN HAVE IN COMMON IS ENJOYING  THE EXCLUSIVE COMPANY OF MEN.
gam on yachting
Editorial February 1980
The corruptive presence of female sailors is compounding like a plague throughout the Canadian yachting communities. It is obvious that a high proportion of their male counterparts actually enjoy the companionship of women and consider them people. These characters go so far as to take pleasure in competing with women in their own yachts in events such as the Marblehead‑Halifax Race and competing with them as crew members in a number of series, including the East‑West match races instigated by the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club.
Such lax, undisciplined men have succeeded in opening the sanctity of yacht club memberships and wardrooms to women and will certainly do nothing to prevent the resulting deterioration to the moral fibre of our society. Even worse are the men in the industry, like Charlie Smith Sailmakers, who are now offering to accept females as apprentices and trainees.
But hold, all is not lost. The forces of evil and moral degradation have not effected a complete conversion.
Lo, in Toronto, Toronto the Good, a small but determined luncheon group holds out as a bastion of purity. By standing firm in its resolve not to be penetrated by the advances of the female sex, the Shellbacks Club has made a telling conquest in the name of decency.
Female sailors are finally convinced that they will never be admitted except as occasional (very occasional) guests to this club and they have gracefully retreated to form a luncheon club of their own. (A rude Nova Scotian sailor, ignorant enough to be amused by the proceedings, has wryly dubbed the yet unnamed group 'The Squackbacks'. The expression will be carefully ignored by sailors with taste.)
Meanwhile, the fortitude of the Shellbacks may be an inspiration for ever new conquests. For instance, rather than allowing females to disrupt the courses sailed on by the males of the human species, they might be relegated to a course of their own. Some may argue that space will be difficult to find on a busy Toronto regatta day. Such talk is not realistic. There's a fine duck pond in High Park and that, for the ladies, ought to be perfectly adequate.

And this is only the beginning of possibilities in holding the line. Carry on Shellbacks! Long live Toronto, the Good.
There were some replies to Karin's editorial in the next issue, all from ladie sailors, and all very supportive of Shellback. I have been instructed not to print them in this web page.
I can say that one comment was
If the sailmakers were to take all the women off their employment lists the wonderful racing sailors would not have any sails to fill.
And another from a Lady skipper of her own boat:
I wish to send you this letter of complaint. Not only did this article treat female sailors with disrespect and disregard, you also insulted the many males who have accepted females (whether as crew or skipper) as an integral, acceptable facet of sailing.
Prior to the above editorial Ladies had, albeit very infrequently, attended shellback. It was a sign of the times. In fact when the writer was skipper shellback he introduced female speakers to Shellback, one who had sailed a motor sailer singlehanded to the east coast, and one who in my mind was one of the great sailors of all time, Bridgette Burdett, who competed in the Mini Transat. Also I arranged for the main speaker at the Shellback Boat Show Dinner in January of that year, Patience Wales, who later became editor of SAIL magazine in the USA The next year the speaker was Dame Niomi James, the singlehanded around the world sailor of some fame.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Safe Sailing

By Robert B. Townsend

Yacht Clubs are in a unique position develop and promote sensible and safe boating. The Club Bulletin, and the Wednesday night sailing sessions during the winter and Whitby Yacht Club's adult sailing programmes are excellent venues for teaching safety.

Imagine yourself being caught out on the lake in a very bad storm. (It has happened to many of us, and will happen again to most of us). It has been likened to hurtling down a mountain road in a coach. It's night and you have no headlights. For some reason the windshield has blown out and rain hits you in the face like bullets. You are tearing at full throttle down the wrong side of the road, full of pot holes. Someone beside you is trying to point out the hazards. The throttle is jammed.

In such a situation you do not want to be rescued. The last thing want near you is another boat or land. What you want is confidence in your ability to sail, and in the boat, particularly the rigging.

What about man overboard situations?

Imagine one man of a 3 person crew goes overboard and in the ensuing panic the boom slams down on the skippers head, knocking him out cold. The main halliard gets wrapped around the prop shaft which brings the mainsail up to the top of the mast with such force that it rips the head of the sail off, just before the engine quits.

As the last member of the crew on his feet, what would you do, as skipper bleeds profusely, and the boat drifts away from the man overboard to wards a rocky lee shore?

Sunday, June 5, 2011



I happen to strongly agree with Macleans editorial staff.

this is not the first hair brainy idea to come from Ottawa.

Some years ago, when I was still an active sailor, Canada became the only country to make compulsory the ring shaped hard core life buoys instead of the standard horsehoe buoys.

I objected at the time, but without the help of the sailing press could not bring sense to Ottawa.

Robert B. Townsend


Owners of an Alberg 30 or A37 are fortunate in that they know that their vessels fall between the Guidelines for 8M and 12M vessels prescribed in the legislation governing boating safety, Think of the poor guy who has a 41 foot boat. He has to measure in metric to find out if he fits within the 12M rule. A metre is 39.372 feet. Assuming that the “M” stands for Metre.

When the executive director of the Allied Boating federation promoted the idea of compulsory ring shaped hard core life buoys, making the old reliable horseshoe shaped life buoy “illegal”, many of us sailors objected. The horseshoe shaped life buoy is legal, and promoted in every country except Canada.

The regulation says that the lifebuoy for a vessel of 8M to 12 M must be 610mm or 762mm outside diameter For those educated in imperial measure and even for those educated in metric who have difficulty picturing those dimensions, they must be 23.622 inches or 29.994 inches outside diameter.

The ring type life buoy must be made of a specified hard foam material. (I was told that the executive director of the Allied Boating at the time had a brother in law who manufactured that material). The popular Soft foam, used world wide, is not acceptable under Canadian law..

In Canada the Life Buoy must be a solid ring; not a horseshoe shaped lifebuoy that is accepted for sailing vessels all over the world, particularly offshore races where “man overboard” has been known to occur.

The argument made was that the hardcore foam ring could be thrown farther and more accurately from a wharf, with no wind blowing. In our experiment with representatives the Coast Guard present, not so. In Fact on that occasion the horseshoe shaped buoy won the toss every time, hands down. In a heavy sea and strong winds, anything could happen

The Coast Guard told us that it is recommended that if you had to use a lifebuoy, you should place your outstretched arms through the hole in the ring buoy so that it is around your body. My 46" chest is greater than either the 508mm, 610mkm or 762mm size outside diameter life buoy. For those small enough to fit into the those life buoys in the prescribed manner, their arms then outstretched into the life ring, might (probably would and in one case did) find their maneuverability in the water greatly restricted.

If I were overboard, with my a 46" chest, and a 44' waist, and someone tossed me a life ring, the best I could do would be to put my arm through the hole and hang on for dear life until rescued. Unlike with a horseshoe type, I could not get it around my body. If I started to lose consciousness due to hyperthermia, or other cause, and let go my grip, good-bye.

Bruce and Shirley Burgess had the misfortune to have a massive ingestion of water into their vessel from an unknown source when ten miles offshore in Lake Ontario. They had time to put on their life buoys as the vessel slowly sank beneath them. One was a ring type, one was a horseshoe type. The horseshoe type was easy to put around the waist, and for the 23 hours they were in the water before being rescued, it worked fine. The ring type tended to cut off the circulation of blood in the arms. After an hour it had to be removed. It could not be taken off by the person wearing it. That person had to hold their arms straight up while the other person pulled it off. This was made more difficult because of the rough waters and strong wind. (Boating accidents seldom ever happen in nice weather). Had it not been for them having a horseshoe type of life buoy to hand back and forth, with the person using the ring buoy hanging on with an arm through the hole while the other person relaxed in the horseshoe buoy, there would have been two fatalities.

The rules and regulations do not say where the buoys should be placed on a vessel. I once took a photo of a. Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary vessel berthed at Ontario Place. It was a large powerboat with practically no deck (and no grab rails) between the cockpit and the small foredeck. It had their two life rings solidly attached to the forecabin, where they would be practically impossible to reach in a heavy sea. There was no safety equipment in the cockpit at the rear of the vessel.

It was my understanding that the Canadian coast. Guard agreed that, while, they would not advertise it, after hearing my argument they would not lay charges if a sailing vessel did not have life rings, if she had adequate soft horseshoe type lifebuoys. Why not say so in the regulations

On Odyssey to be legal) we elected to keep any hard life rings under the bow berth cushion while keeping the horseshoe life buoys at the stern pulpit. We also had a rule that no one was allowed to fall overboard. It was not a democratic boat. The skipper was a benevolent dictator for the safety of the crew and passengers.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Bobs Nautical: Canada Geese AROUND US

Bobs Nautical: Canada Geese AROUND US: "Below is an editorial from Gam on Yachting, 1975 explaining how bad the Canada Geese problem was 35 years ago and why it is much, much worse..."

Canada Geese AROUND US

Below is an editorial from Gam on Yachting, 1975 explaining how bad the Canada Geese problem was 35 years ago and why it is much, much worse today.

Canada Geese

Canada Geese are a familiar sight along Toronto's waterfront. Sail by the airport and you'll probably have more squadrons of geese than you will airplanes overhead, drop your anchor in one of the Island lagoons and before you have time to unwrap your sandwiches, a family of geese will likely be around to share it with you.

In the springtime those of us who are especially sharp eyed will see nests hidden everywhere, in the storage piles of winter boat cradles, in long grasses, wooden thickets, hollows of trees and even on the roofs of sheds.

As the days grow longer the families appear, little fleets of five, six, eight bits of fluff' swimming in formation with one parent leading and one bringing up the rear, or little clusters poking at the grass or weeds along with shore, one parent or the other constantly on the watch for danger.

The bits of fluff soon grow to scraggy imatures and flying lessons begin. Somehow it never quite happens, but often formations come so close that skippers wonder how they manage to avoid flying right into their sails.

This summer bird counts put the number of Canada Geese in Toronto area at about 1,500. To people who frequent the waterfront, it sometimes seems as though there are many more than this.

Only ten years ago the occurrence of Canada Geese in the area was rare indeed. Occasionally, during the spring or fall migration season the sound of honking from above would bring Torontonians rushing to their doors or windows and provided a topic of conversation for the next few days.

In 1965 the wings of six pairs of Canada Geese, the originals of the present colony, were clipped to encourage them to nest on Centre Island. At the time there was considerable controversy from environmentalists. Feelings are still mixed.

The Canada Goose is a beautiful and intelligent bird, for most people a pleasure to have around. The concern felt is for the increasing dependence of the birds on artificial feeding by humans and the environmental imbalance which might result from their presence in ever increasing numbers.

A little arithmetic indicates that this concern might be justified. Geese mature in about two years. They can live and are able to produce for close to thirty years. --

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


There are those people in the region, even on council, that can only see miles of docks in Whitby harbour or in Oshawa harbour, as being, wall to wall pavement with traffic to match that of the 401, the inevitable result of allowing pleasure vessels to use small harbours such as Whitby or Oshawa.

Sailors on the other hand dread the thoughts of those same beautiful harbours, lying waste just so a few ducks and geese can be comfortable.

Speaking of the comfort of the ducks and geese, there are still a few of us around that recall Whitby Harbour when is was mostly a bullrush swamp, and the water covered over with green vegetation, and Oshawa harbour being mostly a coaldust basin. Both were void of wildfowl.

That changed In 1967 when seven men of vision looked over the little used inner portion of the harbour beyond the main turning basin, with its abondoned barges, no access roads, and much silted shallow water. They saw a wonderful location for a yacht club.

In the early years there was a problem with the green vegetation growing on the surface of the water. Dr. Fred Vincent, club veterinarian member, said the problem was that the harbour was completely void of wildfowl. If we could, somehow, attract wildfowl, they would clean up the bay for us. That green stuff was like caesar
salad to some wild geese.

Dr. Fred obtained a permit for the club to acquire six wild Muscovite Ducks with their wings clipped. They swam around the bay, cleaning up the floating menace. They also walked on the club property. One Sunday afternoon, Mel Goreski, John Vickery, and a few of the “originals” (maybe Jim Stewart was there, ask him) had a contest to see if anybody could walk from the old club house to the end of the gas dock and back, blindfolded, in barefeet. I leave the rest of that story to your imagination.

The last of the original flock of Muscovites, “Old Bill” died off a couple of years later, but as promised, by that time, Canada Geese had been attracted to the bay, and they are still with us. We haven’t had a problem with the floating green stuff for nearly 30 years.

But we have had a problem with Canada Geese, a beautiful and intelligent bird.

To day they are a nuisance. In the springtime we see nests hidden everywhere, in the storage piles of winter boat cradles, in long grasses, wooden thickets, around the Gas Dock. As the days grow longer little fleets of five, six, eight bits of fluff' swimming in formation with one parent leading and one bringing up the rear, or little clusters poking at the grass or weeds along with shore, one parent or the other constantly on the watch for danger. The bits of fluff soon grow to scraggy imatures and flying lessons begin. Somehow it never quite happens, but often formations come so close that skippers wonder how they manage to avoid flying right into their sails.

At Christmas we witnessed a huge flock of those beautiful fowl busily fertilizing the lawn for next spring, Instead of being down south distracting the attention of the Texans from war with Iraq.

The problem is that about six or seven years before Fred Vincent introduced Muscovite Ducks to the Whitby Yacht Club, in 1965 to be exact, despite concerns about the increasing dependence of the birds on artificial feeding by humans and the environmental imbalance which might result from their presence in ever increasing numbers. the wings of six pairs of Canada Geese, the originals of the present colony, were clipped to encourage them to nest on Toronto’s Centre Island.

A little arithmetic indicates why concerns were justified. Geese mature in about two years. They can live and are able to produce for close to thirty years.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Why not race your Alberg 30

Historically the most famous race was Aesop’s tale of the Tortoise and the Hare. But that was a race between unequal participants.

To put it simply, in sailboat racing there are three types of racing sailboats: the One design (i.e. Alberg); the Restricted design, i.e. vessels built under the Universal and International Rule; and the Open Class with boats of different design with handicaps.

In open class races, to be real fun it often becomes a matter of outbuilding the other fellow. So often the trophies being given to the person with the biggest pocketbook. Matching pennies and working at the other guys bankroll.

One of the joys my family had in the 1970s, was class racing with the Alberg 30s, both on Lake Ontario and in the Chesapeake Bay area. And one great Alberg race at Newport R.I. in 1980. This was the best of racing because all the boats were built in the same mold, and were identical, Of course they are not absolutely identical to the smallest detail .

From the spectators point of view there is no comparison, seeing about 12 or more vessels, heading to the starting line with the same wind, the same sea, and the same mechanical equipment. From the skippers point of view he gets the maximum competition per dollar of expenditure.

When Mandy decided that we should buy Odyssey instead of a new ultra design racing-cruising design, The Alberg was outdated, there not having been any change in the hull design, or the sail plan, in nearly` 10 years.

Well now the Alberg is ?? years old, and still no change in the hull design or the sail plan, and for one design racing, she is still a beautiful and competitive one design sailing vessel

One remarkable feature of the Alberg is that they still maintain their value. Some of the older boats were considered to be crude and unfinished compared to the newer vessels, (no’s 400 and up) but the evolution was gradual, and the owners of the older boats had no problems in keeping pace with the new boats. Odyssey #253, was an older boat, and is now considered one of the finest vessels on Lake Michigan.

Bobs Nautical Dictionary

Bob’s Nautical, A Nautical Dictionary and Glossary by Robert B. Townsend. Definitions and Descriptions , 111., 8 1/2 x 11”, 190 pages, soft cover for only $24.95.

Cover design, printed and bound in Canada by Visual Impact Marketing Inc. Published by Robert B. Townsend, Odyssey Publishing, 3320 Rednersville Rd., R.R.I, Carrying Place, On. KOK ILO.

Why, we ask has this book been so long in coming? It is absolutely crammed with useful and seldom found information so that we move from one area to the next, reluctant to put it down and get on with what we should be doing.

The dictionary flits the first half of the collection of literary marine treasures.

So you’re playing with your children and with them look up animals from a marine point of view, there’s horse and hounds, dog and cat—oh,oh, catamaran, cat ketch, cat-o-nine tails, cat’s paw and cat’s whiskers and that’s not all , but move on to monkey and lizard, bull and buck. By now the kids are laughing and giving their own ideas!

Suppose you’ve got that little talk to give at the club and want some ideas. Browse through the definitions and come up with wharves and piers, which are structures—and find these are quite different from docks—which are the waters beside them where the boats float when secured.

And then there are all the items that go into sails, rigging and fittings,especially on the old square rigged sailing ships. Yup, they’re here, all neatly set out for your convenience and help in understanding a story or clarifying a discussion.

You want to spice up a conversation or lecture with a bit of controversy? Are there tides on the Great Lakes? Well, look up the word seiche for what it tells you.. Then move to the second half of the book, to the section Low Water—High Water. There you find notations on Lunar Tides, Spring Tides and Neap Tides as well as something on Great Lakes Tides. Do these qualify as actual tides? There are opinions that can lead to some probing conversations!

If you’re interested in the measurement rules for racing, you’ll find summarizations of the more well known rating systems, with purposes, plus their advantages and disadvantages, elsewhere in the second half of the book.

There’s a section on Vessels and Their Rigs, where mention goes back to the Chinese junk, the Arab dhows, the Greek and Roman galleys and the Viking longships—all is meaningful and interesting.

But, we must not forget our own traditions—and here they are. Sections on the vessels of the Great Lakes as they sailed from towns and ports that are familiar to us. The timber droughers, picturesque craft that were built strong and tough and shaped to carry the huge timbers from hardwood forests to the end of the lakes. Here the timber was turned into “drains” to run the St. Lawrence River.

The stone hookers carried the materials from which Toronto was built. Usually they were square ended, wide and of shoal draft, although yachts were often used for the job. They hoisted shale from the bottom of Lake Ontario between the ports of Oakville and Whitby, mostly from Port Credit. They were designed to get close to shore to reach the shale and to carry the whole load of stone on deck. To deliver six toise of stone a week was good for a two man crew— here we learn what a toise is and how it was brought on deck.

Schooners and scows were also an important part of early Great Lakes
commerce. Often an owner started out, sometimes on his farm or in a little lakeside villages, building a small craft for local deliveries, and from there expanded to many or larger vessels.

Because of the creek-mouth bars in so many lake ports, centreboard vessels were used. These were not considered adequate by salt water sailors but, somehow, from the lakes, they turned up in various European ports and even around the horn.

The part played by steamboats, barges and tugs also takes a place in
this book, as do many other important aspects of sailing life.

And, of course, a sailing venture is never complete without a mix of song and two of these, working songs, are provided at the end of the book.