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Mary South’s essay in the August issue sparked this note. We receive Soundings as a gift from a friend. A few years ago, my wife, Elizabeth, and I restored a Yankee 30 our friend saved from the boat yard dumpster. One of our best winters ever. Soundings was a remarkable gift, too. Winters on Cape Cod are pretty grim and restoring
Winsome, the Yankee 30, kept us perky. What made the Winsome project so much fun was the prior winter we built a Chesapeake Light Craft Skerry, not too different from South’s Northeast Dory. Ours is green like hers. Darn, she looks good. We built her in our second winter here. The first winter nearly killed us with snow, illness, and cabin fever. With a boat to build over the second winter, the project probably kept us alive. Last winter i worked as a charter captain in the Carribean. I am looking for a new boat to build or restore for the coming cold season. Maybe a Southwester dory with outboard well and surry top?
So, the gift of Soundings is a good one. The pay from the Yankee project is long spent but each month we smile again as we open your publication and remember building Winsome. Now, I’ll think about South’s project and hope her boat goes on to do what it is best at doing. Norman Martin Harwich, Massachusetts
Why do most new boat owners tend to buy “sad” boats? I guess I better explain. It is all about the sheer line. A positive sheer line, with a graceful sweep up to the bow and stern, looks like a happy smile. Almost every wooden boat and older fiberglass boats have a positive sheer line. So many production boats today have a negative sheer with the bow and stern curving down to the water like a sad frown. Having many ocean miles in severe weather under my keel, I want the bow and stern as high as practically possible! I can’t understand why someone would want the bow purposely low. I cringe when I see a bowrider with a strong negative sheer and only 2 feet above the water. That looks like an accident waiting to happen, especially with the way boat wakes seem to be growing exponentially each year. I have always heard life is like a mirror, and our mood reflects back what we see. I always smile when I see a traditional boat with a nice, elegant sheer line and often frown passing a boat with a strong negative sheer. Cheers! Peter S. Reich, MAC Shelter Island Heights, New York via email
NEXT BOAT SUGGESTION
I have so enjoyed Mary South’s Underway columns in Soundings. She and I, like most boaters, are always looking at next boat candidates. My future suggestion for South: a Grady- White Gulfstream 232 walkaround model — although I fondly own an open style boat, the 1980 Mako 232 CC with 200-hp HPDI Yamaha 2003 power.
A Grady-White Gulfstream 232 is my slip neighbor in our municipal marina. It is an impressive boat with a comfortable cabin for overnights and a very roomy aft area with 9.5 feet of beam and a 250-hp single engine. If there is a commandment Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s boat, I have sinned.
I understand the Gulfstream 232 is the favorite boat of Grady- White employees. Used models are plentiful but coveted. Anyhow, my two cents for South’s next boat. Bruce Boehmcke Rye, New York
I subscribe to seven boating magazines. I read the editor’s notes in one, Soundings, and it is the first thing I go to when my issue arrives.
I think it is pretty rare when the editor of a magazine is also the best writer on the staff. When I finished the article on the Krogen Open 50, I thought, “That was very well put together. I wonder who wrote it?” Mary South.
Quite a while back, South used the George Eliot quotation “You can always be what you might have been” as the theme for a column. I put that on the wall of my shop. It became very important to me in the 4,000 hours I spent building my boat the Tardis and transitioning from what I was, a retired advertising guy, to what I wanted to be, a boatbuilder.
South has done great things with the magazine, and will be missed. Paul Kessinger via email
I cannot thank Soundings’ readers enough for the many kind notes I have received. We do not have room for them all, but rest assured: my head is now enormous and my heart is full. Thank you! — M.S.