the Seawind newsletter



Your editor had just begun to feel guilty about failing to get out the first Seawind newsletter when the mailman arrived with a superb letter from a SW II owner. It came from G.G. Smith, owner and skipper of SW II #29, GIGI -- probably the most completely outfitted SW II yet commissioned and the one which has probably sailed more ocean miles than any other. The letter gave a thumbnail sketch of his cruise from the Chesapeake Bay to the Caribbean, together with a comprehensive rundown on how he's outfitted GIGI.

Although we hadn't intended for these newsletters to be quite as thick as this one, Gerry Smith's letter is well worth your reading. When you read it, you'll see why we didn't want to edit it down.



If you missed the first meeting, you missed a good one. The highlight was an informal talk by Tom Gillmer, designer of the Seawinds. A total of 32 people representing 18 Seawinds attended.

At the meeting, it was decided that:

--We should follow the lead of the Seawind Association in New England by not getting too formal. As a result, we'll have no officers (just a newsletter editor), no board, and no rules in particular. I'll serve as editor for a year or so -- until there's someone else who wants to take over and I'm tired of the hassle.

--We ought to have a meeting ashore in the spring and one in the fall, together with one or two in-the-water rendezvous. Given the membership of the group, these'll probably be in the Annapolis area.

--We should have a name that doesn't restrict the organization geographically. Several names were offered up and then discarded at the meeting for one reason or another. Since the organization started by Jules Siegel in New England is known as the Seawind Association and it was agreed that we ought to be separate from them, how about SEAWIND OWNERS ASSOCIATION? If you have an objection to this -- and a better idea -- let us know.

--Dues ought to be kept to a minimum. It was agreed that $10 a year was probably affordable for most Seawind owners and that would be used for postage, printing and other newsletter expenses --with any remaining money going to support either the meetings ashore or the in-the-water rendezvous. (A stamped envelope is enclosed with the newsletter, so please return your check for $10 made out to Milton Baker.)



The real key to a successful Seawind organization is exchanging information -- and we simply cannot do that without information from you. Right now, while you're thinking about it, why not sit down and write a little about your Seawind for the newsletter. What do you write? Why not answer these questions?

--What kind of ground tackle do you carry? How has it worked? Where have you used it? Have you had the same problem with chain GIGI has had? What size anchors, chain and line do you use? Do you have an anchor windlass? If so, what kind? Electric or manual? How does it work?

--What sails do you have? What weight are they? Who made them? Do you use a mizzen staysail? Happy with it? Spinnaker? Twin headsails? Storm sails? What are you getting next? Where do you stow them aboard?

--Furling and reefing: what do you use? What kind of reefing? How does it work? Furling? Any problems? What would you recommend to someone getting a new Seawind (or a used one)?

--Leaks? What kind of leaks do you have (if any)? How have you remedied them? Any leaks around the hull-deck joint like GIGI has had? If so, have you found a fix for them? (Incidentally, the factory tells me that there have been no changes to the hulldeck joint since GIGI was built, so stand by.)

--Auto-pilots and steering vanes. Do you have a vane? If so, what kind? How does it work? What're its strong points? Weak points? What about an auto-pilot?

--Tankage? Several boats have noted significantly less than 60 gallons of water tankage in the main tank. Have you measured your tankage for water? Fuel? If so, do they live up to the manufacturer's claims? What about forward water tanks � have you had problems similar to GIGI's? Have you installed other tanks? If so, what kind and where?

--Engine problems? If so, what kind? How have they been remedied? How often do you change oil? What kind of preventive maintenance do you do?

--Instruments. What kind do you have? What brand? Problems?

--Additions. What are your favorite additions to your Seawind? Why? Describe them in as much detail as you can.

--Modifications that didn't work? Can you save someone else some trouble by discussing the right way and the wrong way to do something you tried?

--Do you need information on something in particular? If so, let us know and we'll see if someone else can help you.

--How high can your Seawind point in, say, 12 knots of apparent wind with reasonably flat seas? Have you done anything to your boat which makes it point better than other Seawinds? If so, what? How does it work?

--If you had to recommend one particular piece of gear or equipment which doesn't come with the boat but which has improved your enjoyment of your Seawind, what would that piece of gear or equipment be?



Mark your calendar now: the first rendezvous for Seawinds on the Chesapeake Bay will be Saturday, July 14th, on the Rhode River near Annapolis. Raftup will begin at 4 p.m. (or anytime after that), and your editor's SW II SOLUTION will have down her Danforth 20H as anchor boat.

Arrangements? Very informal. Bring your own beer (or whatever) and perhaps some hors d'ouvres to share with others. The idea is to get together and compare notes and boats.

SOLUTION's VHF radio will be on from about 3 p.m. in case you need directions to the rendezvous. Or perhaps you'll just want to give a call to the "SEAWIND RENDEZVOUS" -- and perhaps get an answer back from all kinds of Seawinds.

See you on the Rhode.


Thanks to Tim and Paula Colwell (SW II #84 NIRVANA) for the nautical glossary you'll find attached. It's super! (Please note that this is not included here but has been given a page of its own. It is linked from the homepage.)


We just spent a couple of days installing Ham radio equipment in SOLUTION, all according to the very precise instructions in Atlas Radio's excellent booklet on marine Ham installation. All our work was rewarded when Judy (the family Ham) made her first contact from the boat with a Ham in southwestern Sweden. Her second contact was in Panama. But the third one (are you ready for this?): a Ham on an Allied XL-2 at anchor in the Bahamas.

Our Ham radio is no larger than a VHF radio (it weighs 7 pounds), and it seems to us to offer about the best worldwide communications for the least cost. Let us know if you're interested in more on Ham and boats and we'll see if we can't get a guest expert to write a page or two on the subject.

The big drawback of Ham, as you no doubt know, is the requirement for an amateur license. This requires learning morse code and passing a 13 word per minute code test in addition to an exam on FCC regulations and electronic theory.


We called the factory late last month and talked with Joe Morton (or was it Martin), who is said to be in charge of production for CFG/AIIied. We offered CFG/Allied an opportunity to provide a regular input into this newsletter, and we'll be sending a copy of the newsletter to the least if they indicate continued interest in receiving it.

Our call to the factory revealed that CFG/Allied recently completed Seawind II number 100 and sent: it off to Florida. The factory has also just about completed work on the plug for a new 52-footer. Details on the new boat are scant, but she was designed by Dave Petrick (formerly of Sparkman and Stephens) and will be available in either a deep draft or a centerboard model. They're hoping to have the first of the 52s (still unnamed) completed in time for the Newport Boat Show in the fall. She'll probably be at the Annapolis show as well.

Meanwhile, we'll look forward to further inputs for the newsletter from the factory. Hello, factory, are you out there . . . ?


We mentioned earlier in this newsletter and at the Annapolis meeting on April 1st that those of you who own original Seawinds might want to consider joining the Seawind Association, which was founded some years ago by Jules Siegel. This newsletter is naturally going to be oriented more towards Seawind IIs (although it will by no means exclude original Seawinds), and the newsletter issued from time to time by Jules will continue to he oriented almost entirely towards original Seawnds. Jules was kind enough to send us a few copies of his newsletter, and we can attest to their excellence...they're well written, newsy, and full of information of interest to original Seawind owners.

We've agreed to exchange newsletters with Jules. Jules knows he's free to use anything he'd like from this newsletter, and we'll pass along to you anything from his newsletters we think might be of interest. Meanwhile, if you own an original Seawind and aren't already on his mailing list, you might want to write to Jules directly and get on the list. He'd appreciate a few dollars to help defray printing and mailing costs, but the amount's up to you. His address:

Mr. Jules Siegel

30 Turning Mill Road

Lexington, MA 02173

617/862-3519 (H)


Are there any graphics designers or artists out there? If so, how about a proposal for a Seawind Owners Association burgee? Or is that getting too organized? What do you think?

Milt Baker


Dear Commander Baker:

It seems you are making progress in getting the Seawind II Association formulated. I am sorry that I will not be able to attend your Annapolis meeting but hope that it serves some useful purpose.

By way of background (beginning to comply with your request for some details on our various trips and ship's equipment) we took delivery on hull #29 June 21, 1976. We spent until July 4, 1976 coming down the Hudson and just more or less meandering about the New York Bay area. We were in the harbor for Tall Ships Day, left Sandy Hook for the Chesapeake by way of the Chesapeake-Delaware Canal July 5th.

After that, the "GiGi" sailed out of Baltimore thru May of 1978. The summers of '76 and '77 were spent finding our way up and down the Chesapeke and to the ends of its various tributaries. High points for us were St. Michael's and the Tred Avon River.

We took leave of Baltimore on June 3, 1978, making a 26 hour passage to Norfolk, Virginia. We laid over one day in Norfolk to allow a front to pass. Then we moved out for Bermuda on the leading edge of a high pressure system.

We departed the seabuoy just off the mouth of the Chesapeake at 12:30 p.m. on Monday afternoon. We made our landfall just before dark the following Saturday, and were tied along-side the Custom's dock at St. George's at 2:30 a.m. Sunday morning.

The entire trip was totally uneventful. For some 36 hours we were in a beautiful 12 to 15 knot beam wind that had just come into being after a flat calm, so that we truly were moving at hull speed in swimming pool type waters. With our wind vane

"Peabody" doing the work, no one touched a sheet or the wheel for 36 straight hours. It was one of the most delightful sailing interludes I could imagine.

My son and a friend spent the summer aboard "GiGi", tied alongside the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club. When it came time for college enrollment, I went back to Bermuda and had the boat put ashore. There she sat from the end of August until mid-October.

I returned to Bermuda to set her in the water and move her back to Hamilton, so that my wife could spend a couple of weeks being the Bermuda tourist, living aboard, with Baltimore friends visiting.

On October 17th, my wife and I with a crew of two friends (also from Baltimore) left Bermuda for the British Virgins. At that time Bermuda had storm centers on three sides with wind of 35 knots from the North, gusting to 45. I would say seas averaged in the 15 to 20' range but occasionally appeared somewhat higher.

Even though the boat seemed to be riding very well, surfing down some of the waves under working jib alone at a speed occasionally touching 8 knots, we wound up being pooped the first night out. Unfortunately, because the boat had been riding so well, the companionway boards were not in place some hundred gallons of water or so joined us in the main cabin.

Unfortunatelv the young man on watch (who had never been on the open ocean before) got somewhat of an inhospitable christening to what it was all about. There seemed to be no sweeping force to the wave, so being wet was the only problem. The watch was securely tied in with safety harness and double safety harness lanyards so his becoming disconnected from the boat wasn't a threat. Needless to say, everyone was very religious about wearing safety harness thereafter. Jack lines were rigged both port and starboard to allow movement forward without disconnect.

Because of the storm centers on all sides, we never did pick up the trades. Instead, winds were variable with seas from three directions. We encountered considerable amount of calm, finally depleting our fuel supply to that reserved for harbor entrance. Even so, we sat it out one fall day before winds returned.

Watchkeeping is highly advisable. On two occasions (both at night) we were on collision courses witln other ships. On one occasion it was a passenger liner who I doubt would have given way; on the other it was a seagoing tug coming head on. The last minute decision to come about and bear off cost us some spilled steaks, broken wine glasses and an interrupted dinner. Even so, I doubt that 1OOO' separated us as he crossed the stern we had put to him.

Our arrival at Tortola was facilitated by the strong commercial AM station on the island. It was easy to track directly toward it, despite the fact that skies had been overcast (with rain) for three consecutive days.

RDF crossbearings on San Juan, even through anything but precise, gave us some notion of our distance off Tortola. More concretely, the loom of city lights against the cloud cover of St. Thomas and San Juan gave us a high degree of security that our position was well west of Anagonda. The night Was spent some 20 or more miles north of Tortola in deep water, hove to in rain and variable winds. We began again at 6:00 a.m., sighting the tall islands through = heavy haze at some !O:_0 in the morning, and being safely at Village Gay Marina by late afternoon on October 27th.

The "GiGi" was berthed at Village Cay Marina from mid-November to January 6th. John and the others of the Marina are most helpful and there was no time in which I felt the boat would be anything but totally safe. My wife returned to "GiGi" just after the Christmas and New Year's holidays, January 6th. She, friends and relatives alternated acces_ to living aboard until I joined her on February 5th. We left Tortola on February 7th, sailing four days and four nights to put in at Bequia, just below St. Vincent on the northern end of the Grenadines. From there we began five additional weeks, starting southward through the Tohago Cays to Union Island and then al: a very leisurely pace, our way northward. We touched on most Islands or Island groups excepting Guadeloupe and Dominica. Time did not permit nearly as many stops nor duration of stay as is warranted by the loveliness and charm of that world. The Pit of St. Lucia, Isles des Saintes and St. Martin's were highlights, second only to the Grenadines themselves.

Once making our landfall at Bequia, we had generally short sailing legs except for four overnights with distances ranging from 68 to 80 nautical miles. On these overnight legs, we would hoist anchor about 5:30 p.m. and make our Landfall between nine and 11:OO a.m. at the next stop. This was characteristic as we bypassed St. Vincent, Guadeloupe, Dominica and made the overnight from St. Martin's to Virgin Gorda.

We were back in the British Virgins March 1st, giving us ten more days in the Virgins prior to departure by plane back to Minneapolis.

At this writing "GiGi" once more sits onshore awaiting further voyages. Plans at this point are indefinite. November of this year or February of next year, we either will opt for Bermuda, Azores {O the Mediterranean with return via the Canaries on the Southern route, or potentially a dash through the Panama Canal for the Marquesas and the South Pacific. Time becomes a real factor when you start making for Tahiti.

Now for the boat itself. All in all, I would say that the "GiGi" performed very well. You asked for a description of equipment aboard and some commentary as to why the various equipments and my comments as of this time.

To begin, factory delivery included 25 pound CQR with 5/16" chain and windlass. There is also, mounted on the bow, a 2OH Danforth attached to its own individual 250'5/8" nylon rode with 30 feet of 5/16" leader chain. Either can be let go as quickly as the other, and both can be let go simultaneously if desired.

Chain is the only way to go and an electric windlass makes hoisting the anchor light work and rapid. If I were to do it again, I would have a 35 pounder rather than a 25 pound CQR. The 25 pound has never failed to hold the boat; I think it's a factor of peace of mind. There are some grass bottoms along the way (St. Martin's, for example) when setting a CQR becomes problematical.

The Seawind II chain locker was originally divided for 200' in chain and 150' of nylon rope. I found this unsatisfactory as invariably a pounding sea jumbled everything into a snarl. At the present time the Danforth rope is flaked alongside of lifeline stanchions and tied. The original 3OO' of chain has been shortened

to 260', but still hoisting a great deal of footage in a calm anchorage will result in piling such that it jams against the hawse pipe. The answer is either a smaller chain (1/4") or a larger chain locker. I find I can let go up to 175' and still have it tumble home adequately. Once I string more than that, it is a trip below to manually arrange the chain low in the locker, so that the last 20' does not jam against the deck above as it stacks.

"GiGi" is also fitted with the Sterns roller furling system with dual grooved head stay. Dual grooves permit hoisting and flying of twin headsails for downwind purposes, poled out using the Britain system, with poles stored on the leading edge of the main mast. The few times I have had both the downwind sails flying, the sailing has been magnificent. Each of these two is just over 500 square feet giving me downwind sails of 1O00 square feet for airs up to IO or 12 knots apparent. Needless to say, she flys at hull speed. By moving downward in successive steps to include working job and storm jib, I can fly the headsails downwind in most wind conditions.

The Sterns roller furling gear has worked without difficulty, although I have taken great care to keep the swivel bearings well protected with WD-40 at all times.

Continuing with above deck equipment, we have a six-man Avon stored above the main hatch on the sea hood. While this requires one to sit tall in close quarters in order to see across the bow, it is a convenient and out-of-the-way place.

The boom crutch is the first accessory I would recommend above any. I originally designed one which I felt went with the lines of the Seawind; I left with Wright-Allied a complete set of drawings. I understand they have fitted a number of Seawinds accordingly. For reefing or striking sail under rough conditions, the boom crutch is the only safe way to go.

The self-tailing Barient 23's are adequate, and are well worth the additional cost. They have been totally trouble-free although I think I would purchase a larger size if I were to do it again. A petite feminine watch person does have some trouble when it comes to sheeting in during stiff conditions.

"Peabody", the Hydrovane self-steering device, works fine on all points of sail when apparent winds are 6 or 7 knots and above. The Seawind trims well and has a tendency to hold course in excellent fashion. On one occasion, the locking pin between the self-steering vane drive shaft and rudder loosened and fell to the ocean floor. I think it must have been two full days before we noticed this problem. It did seem we were making more adjustments than usual, but we were able to trim sheets and hold fairly good courses. Without the vane, and absent of any bunges or other devices generallv rigged for self-steer purposes. I would advise wiring the pin to the shaft (which we do now) since the sea has a way of backing out even the most persistent of locking pins.

I have rigged a 12H stern anchor with 150' 1/2" nylon to round out our ground track tackle complement. This is mounted to port; the little 40+ Seagull sits on its transom bracket on the stern pulpit to starboard.

I had some reefing points put in the mizzen, so that I could cock the boom sufficient to clear the wind vane. Having it cocked upward some 30-36" at the aft end allows it to swing over the wind vane when tacking, and does not direct wind against thc wind vane when close hauled. In retrospect, and particularly

as it concerns ocean sailing, this was unnecessary. Coming about isn't that frequent, and when tacking is required it is a simple matter to remove the plywood vane. When close hauled, the mizzen is generally backwinded anyway and may as well be dropped.

Below decks (starting from the bow), I have fitted a shelf at the very forward end of the V-Berths, going from the port shelf edge to the starboard side. This allows us a bedding shelf complete with pin rails, that does not detract from the sleeping area at all. We have a filler cushion which allows it the V-Berth to serve as a double. I chose to have the factory install the 24 gallon tank under the V-Berths, coupled as a second water tank. This plastic tank has split numerous times, because of the bow pounding, and hence became unusable. I have attempted to fiberglass this in place on two occasions, and have had a boatyard apply three layers on all sides in an attempt to assure integrity. But it continues to pound and leak.

I would recommend that future Seawind buyers either retain this for storage space or make sure the tank is aluminum or stainless steel, and very well bedded.

We specified drawers in all locations. We do not have the ordinary swing-open hatches below setees or below the V-Berth. After taking delivery, I used my saber saw to cut oblong hatches so as to gain access to the room behind the drawers. Subsequently, I fiberglassed in 3/8" marine plywood partitions, so that no storage space was wasted. This includes the area below the forward berth drawers (a place in which to keep spare parts, zinc collars, etc.

The same situation is true in the main cabin. Drawers occupy all spaces below the setee, except for the area where the head outlet goes through the hull. The area behind the drawers (outward of the drawers) is accessed by hatches, with partitions so that stored goods do not touch or jam the drawers.

I have to say there have been times when the contents of the drawers were the only dry contents on board. One fault of the Seawind II is the sealing of the rubrail joint. I don�t know about yours, but mine leaks like a sieve. I am having the people in Tortola take off the rubrails to see if it isn�t possible to seal that joint on a permanent basis. As it concerns comfort, I consider this an inherent design weakness, not offset by the builders construction method, at least in the case of hull #29.

Our cook stove is kerosene, a Shipmate two burner with oven. I have had installed a 1O gallon kerosene tank, which sets under the port gunnel, forward of the winch pad. This ten gallon tank would serve at least a six month's voyage under normal cooking routines. I have moved the pressure tank under the stern port quarter, so as to free up the space under the sink for pots, pans and dishwashing supplies storage. I have the ability to feed the pressure tank from the ten gallon malt: storage, via plastic tubing when refill is necessary. After moving the pressure tank aft of the port sail locker, and after breaking the plastic tire pump for applying manual pressure, I installed a simple $19.95 12-volt compressor well up under the sink, and out of the way. I also tee'd in an automobile valve in the same area, so that now by simply plugging the 12-volt compressor into its receptacle (on the electrical panel) we can have our 12-15 pound pressure with 30 seconds of battery power rather than up and down huff and puff. These little compressors use teflon for their mating surfaces and otherwise are made totally of aluminum, so function well under seagoing conditions. It sure saves a lot of work. The addition of a cigarette lighter type receptacle underneath the companion way stairs is a simple 15-30 minute operation.

In preparation for living aboard, we also have a 500 watt inverter. This is mounted directly behind the stove on the lower shelf forward. The 500 watts at 115 volts lets us charge navigational calculators, use a low powered hair dryer, a seal-a-meal bag sealer for foods, etc., etc. A very, very handy device.

To balance up the trip, there are three and one-half gallon stainless scotch tanks and vodka tanks under the starboard gunnel. These terminate in stainless steel spigots in the main cabin for that time we call the sundowner. Also, they make quite a conversation piece. In St. Martin's I filled these using $3.00 per quart vodka and $3.40 per quart scotch. Seven gallons of booze lasts quite a long while.

The refrigerator space was somewhat reconstructed, to divide freezer from regular refrigerator storage. There are a total of four cold plates, two of which are pumped down by 11O volt compressor and all of which are driven by engine compressor. 45 minutes to one hour per day on the engine gives us a freezer compartment in the 10-15 degree range and an ice box that holds 40 degrees very easily. Ice can be made in the freezer compartment. While it is not very handy, in that you must go through the top section to get to the freezer below, I highly recommend something other than ice if south sea island cruising is on your agenda.

The engine driven compressor runs off a specially fabricated three-groove fly wheel and sets immediately starboard of the engine, mounted on a platform just outboard of the starboard engine mount. The 110 volt compressor is mounted on a shelf above the water heater to port and forward of the sail locker. When tied along to shore power, I do crack the sail locker two or three inches to allow heat to escape.

Other equipment includes chronometer, barometer, inside spare compass, one Weems and Plath and one spare plastic sextant, inflatable Dinghy, man overboard pole, horseshoe, strobe man-over-board light, radar reflector, Unimetreic Sandpiper VHF, Benmar RDF, Sony all band radio with loop to serve as backup RDF, Data Marine Model 2700 depth sounder (1O00' and very, very comforting when it comes to making landfalls in pitch blackness) Bristol 222, 200 foot fathometer, flush mounted in the cockpit, Signet Windpoint and Windspeed, Kenyon Speedo and Log, deck washdown pump, stereo FM, AM and Tape System, 12-volt oscillating fan in the forward cabin, Seaswing stove on dual brackets, one above the stove and one forward for stoage purposes and miscellaneous small gear such as flares, safety harness and anchor-lights, grill, etc.

I have taken considerable pains to fiberglass in various plywood partitions, such that literally every cubic inch of space is available for some good purpose. As an example, there is a flat area immediately under the stove compartment that seals off a half cubic foot or so. Simply by drilling a small bole, making a pattern, and using a saber saw I was able to cut a very eve appealing oblong hatch, gaining access to that space. Epoxying of a couple of small pieces of teak allow the hatch to drop in secure, yielding this space for such things as stove retainers, stainless steel choreboys, stove spares, etc. There is a huge area behind the stove, that the stove can never swing into despite angle of heel. It was a very simple job to cut a piece of 1/4" plexiglass, and set it in place, therefore allowing large pan stoage behind the stove, utilizing otherwise wasted space.

I did not mention a second heavy duty ten gallon per minute Par bilge pump, which I engineered into the area under the starboard stern quarter. I was able to build a little platform, and get this pump well out of the way, tied into an automatic bilge switch.

Other odds and ends include such things as dodgers, weather cloths, rain catcher, full awning, wind scoops (including one which is quite rainproof for the forward hatch) and a "panic" bag filled with three solar stills, fishing gear, compass, life boat navigation kit, Nuetro, etc.

A large complement of spares enable us to effect most any overhaul which might occur, of any mechanical device, and in some cases the electronic devices. I have full spares kits for all bilge pumps, a spare alternator on board, numerous engine parts including injectors, valves, gaskets, etc. so that most any repair can be effected short only of a complete overhaul. I have a spare forestay, various size cables such any two shrouds can be replaced, turnbuckles, toggles, etc. We have added hinged trays under port and starboard cockpit seats, and other nook and cranny storage so that parts, screws, tape, drills, etc. are available for most any eventuality. On one leg we even made an electrical connector to replace the one (totally eroded) from cockpit floor to compass. And, believe it or not, the "GiGi" still floats with her boot stripe above water. It is a lot of fun; the anticipation and the preparation as well as the actual adventure.

In summary, I think the most important feature to be added for ocean going is self-steering. After that I find the seaswing stove the most valuable, once you get by the essentials such as sextant, chronometer, etc. The CQR on chain with a windlass is really a back saver. I have added inboard tracks for jib sheeting, and padeyes on the rail, since the original design does not allow proper sheeting of the working jib. This may be changed by now.