INTRODUCTION

I began this book as a way to get into the habit of keeping a ship's log. As my log grew, I began to realize that it was much more than a simple log of ship activities; it had become a diary of our adventures on the open seas, a journal detailing all the decisions we made along the way, a recounting of the madness and magic of boat ownership; in short, a preservation of the essence of almost a decade of boating.

Most boating books begin after the author has cut loose to cruise to some exotic port. Keys to the Golden Gate shares our experiences rigging, planning, and learning the art of sailing, while maintaining our land-based ties. The book covers the same territory, the same questions and problems, the same urges and joys our readers will have when they begin their journey into the world of sailing. We've included all the headaches, heartaches, joys and exhilaration my wife, Marsha, and I experienced learning how to sail Moonshot, our Watkins 27 sloop, in the stiff summer breezes of San Francisco Bay. We've included our experiences starting up a new yacht club; publishing the club's monthly newsletter, organizing a season's yachting events, and initiating informal boat racing. And you'll read about how we chartered four bareboat yachts in various parts of the West Indies, Florida and Mexico.

My original idea for the title of this book was, Gadget Density, stemming from a mentality common among boat owners: the irresistible desire to obtain the next device on the "shopping list" and mount it somewhere on the boat. This desire is accompanied by obsessions regarding the right location, the Christmas-like feeling each time a new package is unwrapped, nirvana-like satisfaction upon successful installation, and pure joy the first time you use the new gadget. However, gadget density is only one of the keys.

Our hope is to help readers and new sailing enthusiasts to better understand the world of pleasure boating and its terminology. The book covers everything from maintenance, engineering, and upgrades, to the fun we've had sailing and the friends we've made along the way. We have painstakingly recounted our mistakes to help new boaters avoid them. We've included our joys in hopes that you'll share them. Here's hoping you'll derive as much pleasure and education from the experience as we have, and that you'll be inspired to get first-hand hands-on experience.

The version of Keys to the Golden Gate on this web page is for evaluation purposes only, and contains the first 4 of 15 chapters. I've included below an outline of the entire book. Your comments are welcome, send email to stevesears@aol.com.

 

"Keys to the Golden Gate" Outline

CHAPTER 1

PREFACE      

CHAPTER 2

THE EARLY DAYS   

MOONSHOT ARRIVES       

MAINSAIL TRIM      

FUNNY NOISE FROM THE ENGINE COMPARTMENT  

THE IN THE WATER BOAT SHOW

BALANCED RIGGING         

BOAT PHOTOGRAPHY       

BOTTOM CLEANING          

THE NASTY JOB      

VISITING SISTER     

SPYC MYSTERY CRUISE   

THE STOLISHNOIA EXCEPTION  

VISITING THE TOP OF THE MAST           

NEW GOALS

CHAPTER 3

OUR FRESHMAN YEAR     

THE DODGER           

THOUGHTS OF CHARTERING      

ADVANCED COASTAL NAVIGATION CLASSES           

THE KANGY, THE WABBIT, AND THE DEAD MAN       

JOINING THE YACHT CLUB          

ENGINE FAILURE    

JIFFY REEFING        

THE DITTY HATCH 

CHAPTER 4

VIRGIN ISLAND CHARTER

OUR FIRST BAREBOAT CHARTER           

GETTING TO THE BOAT     

SAINT JOHN'S         

YOST VAN DYKE    

MARINA CAY          

VIRGIN GORDA       

SALT ISLAND          

LUNCH ON TORTOLA        

PETER ISLAND        

NORMAN ISLAND  

GREAT SAIL BACK TO SAINT JOHN       

SURRENDERING THE SHIP

CHAPTER 5

UPGRADES FOR CRUISING AND OFF SHORE WORK  

ANCHORING           

THE WHISKER POLE          

THE AUTOPILOT     

SWINGING THE COMPASS           

ELECTRONIC NAVIGATION         

THE CHART TABLE 

THE PREVENTER     

REFURBISHMENT BELOW DECK 

SAFETY SYSTEMS  

CANVAS POUCHES

FURLING WORKING JIB    

THE SHOWER          

OTHER CREATURE COMFORTS   

CHAPTER 6

A SUMMER CRUISING IN MONTEREY BAY      

PREPARING FOR THE TRIP TO CAPITOLA         

GOOD-BY TO SPYC FOR THE SUMMER 

PLOTTING THE COURSE   

CRUISE TO CAPITOLA       

ADJUSTING TO LIFE ON A MOORING AT SEA  

MOONSHOT GETS TENDERED     

DAY SAILING WITH FRIENDS      

PAUL'S FILTER FLUSH       

MONTEREY  

MOSS LANDING     

LABOR DAY WEEKEND     

HEADING UP TO SAN FRANCISCO         

CHAPTER 7

SOPHMORES           

SECOND MYSTERY CRUISE         

RADAR DAY ON POQUITO           

CELESTIAL NAVIGATION CLASS

ENLISTED INTO YACHT CLUB SERVICE

HAULED OUT AND UPGRADED   

THE CRUISING SPINNAKER         

NEW YEARS DAY PARTY  

CHAPTER 8

CHARTER IN THE SEA OF CORTEZ         

GETTING TO THE BOAT     

ISLA CORONADOS 

SAN JUANICO COVE         

PUERTO BALLANDRA        

AQUA VERDE          

ISLA CARMEN         

HONEYMOON COVE         

SURRENDERING THE SHIP

CHAPTER 9

YACHT CLUB FUNCTIONS           

SPYC OFFICERS, ELECTIONS AND INSTALLATION    

SPYC POKER RALLY          

SAILBOAT RACING

THE VALLEJO RACE           

ENCINAL YACHT CLUB CRUISE  

THE CITY FRONT RACE     

TREASURE ISLAND YACHT CLUB CRUISE        

BEER CAN RACING

BENICIA YACHT CLUB CRUISE   

MARTY'S BINGO RALLY   

DRAKE'S BAY CRUISE       

THIRD MYSTERY CRUISE  

PICYA           

SEQUOIA YACHT CLUB    

TREASURE HUNT/PIRATES NIGHT          

CHAPTER 10

FLORIDA CHARTER

NEXT CHARTER PLANNING         

GETTING TO THE BOAT     

BOCA GRANDE       

CABBAGE KEY        

CAYO COSTA ISLAND       

USEPPA ISLAND     

MILLER'S MARINA 

SURRENDERING THE SHIP

CHAPTER 11

BEER CAN RACING

BEGINNINGS           

THE TUPPERWARE PARTY

THE PRE SEASON RACE    

FIRST FRIDAY NIGHT RACE         

LETTERS TO LATITUDE 38

RACE NUMBER TWO         

RACING SEMINAR  

LIAR'S DICE 

THE LACE RACE      

OYSTER COVE SIERRA POINT CHALLENGE     

THE WINTER RACE SERIES           

CHAPTER 12

JUNIORS       

RAISING THE DUES

SHAKEDOWN CRUISE       

FISHING ON A POWERBOAT        

OUT OF GAS

FOURTH ANNUAL MYSTERY CRUISE    

SECOND DRAKES BAY CRUISE   

BOTTOM PAINT      

SPYC GETS REGULAR HOURS      

CHAPTER 13

WINDWARD ISLANDS CHARTER

TRAGIC NEWS         

GETTING TO THE BOAT     

LOG FROM WINDWARD ISLAND CRUISE         

SOUFRIERE  

ADMIRALTY BAY   

TOBAGO CAYS       

PETIT ST. VINCENT

UNION ISLAND       

MAYREAU    

BEQUIA         

WALLILABOU          

SAINT LUCIA           

SURRENDERING THE SHIP

CHAPTER 14

RACING, THE SECOND YEAR       

SPYC RACING, NEXT LEVEL        

SBYRA COMMITTEE WORK         

COMPUTING RACE SERIES RESULTS     

MUNCHING BOATS

SPYC'S SBYRA RACE         

CHANGE OF THE RACE COMMITTEE GUARD   

SPYC ON THE WATER RACE MANAGEMENT   

THE RUNGA KUTTA RACE

CHAPTER 15

GRADUATION         

MOONSHOT FOR SALE     

SEARCHING FOR THE PERFECT BOAT   

GETTING TO THE BOAT     

MAKE AN OFFER    

CHRISTMAS SPIRIT

NOT SURRENDERING THE SHIP  

GLOSSARY OF SELECTED TERMS           

 

 

 

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Keys to the Golden Gate, Copyright © 2002 by Steve Sears