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Latitude 38

• February, 2006

LETTERS of the production boats made in the States during the '70s, it doesn't have any blisters. Our previous boats, a Coronado and a Clipper Marine, both suffered from moderate to severe blistering. In addition, they also had fiberglass problems, as well as others with portlights and leaks. Most of our boat's original systems still worked, but because we'll be setting out on a multi-year voyage, we wanted to start with all new ones. So we've replaced them. Our Force 50 has some of the most gorgeous wood we've seen on any boat. As for the teak toe rails and other outside trim, Cetol may not be the choice of perfectionists, but Sea Venture's wood had been untouched for more than 18 months under the relentless sun of Mexico before we bought her — and still looked wonderful. We redid all the wood this fall, so now she just needs regular maintenance coats. It's easier work than the varnishing that I do on my wooden East Coast sharpie. For the sailor who doesn't want to touch wood, I say buy a boat without it. But for us, the beauty of wood is worth the trouble. Counting the cost? We paid very little for a solid hull, for gorgeous wood inside and out, and for a boat big enough with its two salons to afford us comfort and privacy when we have family aboard. The money that we've poured into her to make her better than new — and all together, it's still about half of the price of those new boats we coveted yearly at the Strictly Sail boat shows in Oakland. Plus, Michael will know that all the work has been done to his high standards. Having done so much of the work himself, he'll be able to troubleshoot, repair, or replace everything on board. By the way, if we had had to contract out all the work, we couldn't have afforded to bring Sea Venture to this state, so I hesitate to recommend a boat of this size or age to anyone who isn't either mechanically adept or wealthy. But because we both like to mess about on boats, restoring Sea Venture has been a work of love. Look for us out there in a few months, as we'll be sailing that pretty girl with a dove on her Pineapplemade mainsail. Michael & Normandie Fischer Sea Venture Marshallberg, North Carolina / Rio Vista, California Michael and Normandie — We were indeed familiar with some of the early Garden-type 41 and 51-ft ketches marketed under the Formosa name, having sold some of them as new. The earliest ones often had long lists of minor issues, and some had a few really funky problems. But generally speaking, the quality quickly improved. And in any event, with all the work you've done to your boat, we can't imagine she's not a wonderful yacht. We've seen a number of 41s and 51s that have been fixed up and are well-maintained — and they are nice-looking boats. Next month we'll have a long letter from a fellow who was around in the '60s when yachts started to be imported from the Far East, first from Japan and later Taiwan. Don't miss it. ⇑⇓HAM LICENSES AND INSINCERITY The reason I'm writing is to inform you that, contrary to the item in the November 'Lectronic in which Gordon West announced the death of the code requirement for the General Class Ham license on January 1, no final decision has been made on the issue. I’ve been waiting for over 10 years for the code requirement to be dropped and got really excited. But I called West's office today and he confirmed that no decision has been announced. Still, I'm so sure that it will happen soon that I went ahead

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Latitude 38 February 2006  

The April 2006 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.

Latitude 38 February 2006  

The April 2006 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.