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Author Topic:   jimh - Background
GAwhale posted 11-28-2001 09:21 PM ET (US)   Profile for GAwhale   Send Email to GAwhale  
jimh - Another post got me thinking?

Do you still own your sailboat?

What got you interested in Whalers and when did you get your first one?

Are you close to retirement and what are your plans then?

Don't mean to pry. Just Curious.

jimh posted 11-28-2001 10:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I was really interested in boats all my life. As a kid we didn't have a boat, but we always rented a cabin and it came with a boat. Dad had a 5-HP Johnson outboard, an old green one. He put that on the a little fishing boat and we'd go for rides on the lake.

About 1960 Dad took some sailing lessons and qualified for a "Skipper's Card" at the Boat Club which he had been a member of for years (without a boat). The club had a fleet of sailboats--no auxillary engines just daysailers--including 18-foot Flying Scotts and a few 32-foot big day sailers, wooden boats made in the 1940's in New York. Members who were qualified could sail them anytime they were available at no extra cost. They had a racing program. Dad was not too keen on racing, but did take me on a few exciting races on the big 32-foot sloops.

Looking back on it, it was pretty gutsy to take me, a ten year old, out sailing in the Detroit River in an 18-foot centerboarder and no engine by ourselves, just him and me. But I recall several nice sails that Dad and I had in the summers back around 1961-1963.

The club did not have a junior program, but I read all the manuals and taught myself all the theory of sailing, plus I got some time at the helm with Dad or with other club members and their boats.

Somewhere around then Dad got a better deal going with the cabin rental and got a bigger boat in the deal, too. He bought an 18-HP Johnson, a bronze/brown and white engine. Then I was really into boating, cruising around with this lapstrake wooden ouboard and an 18-HP engine with remote steering and controls. Manual start.

The big trip of each vacation was when Dad and I would head down the lake (Mullet Lake in Northern Michigan) about ten miles to Indian River, have lunch, top off the tank, and head back. That was the hilight of the vacation for me.

Boating went on hiatus after that until I was about 30 something, and I joined a sailing club, worked my way up the ranks until I was qualified on their biggest boat, and spent about 10-12 years sailing. Never owned the sailboat myself--but I probably did more sailing than most boat owners.

I crewed with some guys in the Wednesday night beer race, crewed on a bigger boat on Saturday serious racing, chartered the club boats for two weeks of live-aboard cruising every summer, and hung around the dock working on all the boats the club had, and then "test sailing" them after making repairs, etc. Plus I was always going out with other guys who needed crew for sailing or racing. No need to have my own boat, I sailed 4-5 nights a week!

I was aware of Whalers from the early 1960's. I thought they were cool boats.

The sailing club had lousy dingies, so we started looking for a 13-foot Whaler we could use as our dingy when cruising.

Ended up getting a 15-Sport instead. Had the boat about a year, then I met LHG...well, you know the rest!

Retirement? Naw, I am only 51-years old.


lhg posted 11-28-2001 11:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Jim - they may not know the "rest" of the story. So here it is, in brief.

One day, about 2 1/2 years ago, I get an E-mail from some guy in Michigan, one Jim Hebert. This was when the old IWOL forum was in it's heyday. Jim notes that he found me on the IWOL forum and that I seemed to know a lot about Whalers. He had some question on "where to find" or "what to do" regarding his 15' Sport, and could I help out? So I responded. He then sends me a thank you, with a note to check out his Great Lakes boating website, So I do, and realize he had done a great job writing about his adventures sailing the waters of Lake Huron's North Channel, and describing the various Ports of Call, etc.

While browsing his site, I look at the page on Tobermory Ontario, a place I had spent ONE day in, as part of a North Channel cruise in my 18 Outrage. The picture of the harbor looked surprisingly like I remembered it, on that day back in 1996. So I keep looking at the picture, and notice a touch of blue in the upper right hand corner, Mills canvas blue that is! (look at this picture, you'll see it).

So I send him an email back again, saying I was in Tobermory on such-and-such a day, and could that picture possibly have been taken that day. Jim responds that, indeed, it was and here is a non-cropped image clearly showing my 18 Outrage at the dock! Talk about a small world. Later Jim told me that he even remebered walking over to the boat and admiring it! As total strangers, we had both been in that little "one horse" town on the same day.

So we began corresponding, still never having met. Then I get an E-mail about an idea he has: wants to start a Classic Whaler reference section on his website, and could I help with info on the 15 Sport and any pictures I might have? I agreed he should do it, and a few weeks later it was up and running. So we announced on the IWOL forum to check out An the hits started coming. Many of you long time members will remember those days. Then the same request comes for the 17, which also gets done.

Then, Jim asks what I think about a Forum.
Could the IWOL crowd be attracted? I say I don't think so, since it's pretty popular and well known, and seems to be working fine, which it was. Then, by early January, 2000, the IWOL folks screwed up, and changed their format, and also deleted many posts not favorable to some of their targeted advertisers. It, overnight, became a dog, at least I thought so. So I sent Jim a note, that NOW was the time to bring out a continuouswave Forum. So, on Feb 12, 2000, it went live, and some of the "hardcore" from IWOL posted the new site on IWOL's site, and emailed about 100 of the regulars. Now, as Jim said, the rest is history.

It's interesting to search back to the first days of the Forum and you can see how things came together.

Jerry Townsend posted 11-28-2001 11:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jerry Townsend  Send Email to Jerry Townsend     
Beautiful LHG and jimh. When I read LHG's first post, I questioned what is this guy trying to get here anyway - now I, and others understand and know - another part of the story. Many thanks. -------- Jerry
Blackeagle posted 11-29-2001 01:06 AM ET (US)     Profile for Blackeagle  Send Email to Blackeagle     
Is this the picture with your whaler in it?

Sounds like a pretty cool coincidence, especially considering that we have it to thank for this marvelous site!

jimh posted 11-29-2001 07:54 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Yes, that is the picture. You can just see the stern and canvas of T/T WHALE LURE in the extreme left of the shot.

I remember that afternoon. We were waiting for the ferry to go over to Manitoulin. I was planning the article on Tobermory and needed a picture. Behind LHG's Whaler is a CS36. I think that might be DIVA, which used to be owned by my good friend Mal Sillars, the television weatherman in Detroit. He had just recently sold it about then.

Behind DIVA is a Mackinaw-36 cutter, one of just a few built and I happend to know the folks that own that boat, the McCaully's, too. We were all members of the Birmingham Power Squadron. In fact, we went aboard for a tour, and I remember Nancy telling me they had just bought a Whaler to use as a dingy but didn't have it along on this trip.

So in the middle of all these 36-foot cruising sailboats there was the little 18-foot outboard, LHG's boat. You don't see many small boats up there, unless the just came off davits of some big yacht. I thought it was pretty interesting, too.

Now the really funny thing was the fact that Larry could recognize his boat from such a small sliver of it being seen. Then he tells me the story of how he got to Tobermory: he had run down the entire southern coast of Manitoulin, offshore in Lake Huron, in his 18-footer! Not to mention Drummond and Cockburn Islands, too. He'd come all the way from Mackinaw in one day!

This astonished me! I though "Man, that Whaler must be one helluva boat!" That southern shore of Manitoulin is pretty sparse in terms of harbors of refuge and most cruising sailors never go that direction at all.

Besides the seamanship needed to make such a long offshore run, I was impressed with the boat's fuel endurance, too. That Whaler must have come about 125 miles or more between fuel stops.

It really opened my eyes to the potential of a Whaler as a miniature cruising machine.

dfmcintyre posted 11-29-2001 03:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     
Jim -

I didn't know about the sailing in Detroit River connection. What boat club was your family a member of?

PS - My father used to teach navigation in the squadrons around the metro area.....

lhg posted 11-29-2001 03:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
JimH now knows that a trip like that (actually more like 180 miles) is really no big deal in a twin engine Whaler, with reasonably decent weather. Besides the 63 gallon belly tank, I had my twin 12 gallon Tempo reserve tanks under the Reversible Pilot Seat, Montauk style. The 18 Outrage gets about 3 miles/gallon loafing along at about 2200RPM (25 mph), with 23" pitch props on the twin 115 Mercs. Even though this was the 4th of July weekend, we did not see a single boat for over 125 miles on this wilderness northern shoreline of Lake Huron. About a mile outside of Tobermory, the belly tank went dry and I plugged in the twin reserve tanks.

Filling the tank the next morning, about the time the "now famous" picture was taken by JimH, is where I learned about oil settling to the bottom of a tank with improper pre-mixing. To fill the 63 gallon tank at 50:1, I needed a gallon + a qt. The fuel attendent wouldn't let me slowly pour in the oil with the gas, since I had to get out of the boat per Canadian law. So we put in 12 gallons first, then added half a gallon of oil, then another 24 gallons of gas, than another 1/2 gallon of oil, then 12 more gallons of gas, then a qt of oil, and topped off the gas. He convinced me all would mix and be fine.

I started up one engine (I always idle out of a harbor on just one engine) and after the fuel remaining in the 3 carbs from the reserve tank burned up, the engine sputters and dies. Would not re-start. So I start up the other engine. Same thing. Now I'm drifing in this busy harbor, twin engines both dead. So I get out the paddle and get over to a dock, with about 30 people now watching (a disabled Whaler with twin engines is evidently a curiousity in Canada - this isn't supposed to happen)! I'm suspecting the new fuel, so I unscrew the water separating filter. It contains PURE OIL, so I knew the oil went straight to the bottom of the belly tank. I dumped the contents back in the fuel fill and put on a reserve filter. So I plugged in the reserve tanks again, primed in some good fuel mix, cranked and HELD choke for about 30 seconds, and finally each engine started in a huge cloud of blue smoke, clearing out the pure oil now in them. Must have killed every insect in the harbor! (One of my Yamaha powered Whaler friends likes to call my Mercs "bug foggers") Had to take the boat out and pound it around in the waves for about a half hour to get the oil mixed in to the fuel. A full tank doesn't agitate very well.

So that's the end of the story.

jimh posted 11-29-2001 06:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I bet the fact that your tank was so empty had something to do with it! Most of the time when people fill the tank probably has much more gas in it than yours did, having just run dry.

We should go back there and stop at the Duck Islands for lunch. I always wanted to run down that coast. Also Providence Bay used to be a hot spot back in the 1880's, so it might be interesting to look in there, too.

Boy, I love the North Channel and Georgian Bay. They spoil you for boating forever. When you go somewhere else it is never quite as nice in comparison to those places.

dfmcintyre posted 11-30-2001 08:47 AM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     
During the first week of our stay at Northernaire, the boat is off the trailer and we tool around Bayfield Sound and out into the 'Channel from there.

During the second week, the boat is on the trailer, and every day after breakfast, we head out and toss her in at Kagawong, Little Current, that little ramp north of LC, and this year we put in at ProvBay (local talk). We always pass through Prov coming or going to the ferry.

It was calm and warm over on the channel, low to mid 70's water temp.....

When we put in at Prov, I checked the temp on my GPS unit...HUH? 62 degrees!. We tooled around for about 15 minutes, in very choppy water before deciding to go back to LC.


lhg posted 11-30-2001 04:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Don - Yes, I remember the water temperature well from that trip down the south shore of Manitoulin. That is the coldest water on the lower Great Lakes at any given time, and more like northern Superior's temps. I remember being shocked to see my temp gauge recording 43 degree water for most of the run, and this on July 5th. Wind and waves were light, about 2' out of the Northwest. Except for Providence Bay, there is no activity on that shoreline. You are on your own out there! I see why the sailboats stay away. No place to put up for the night. And the water is shallow enough that you need to stay 2 or 3 miles offshore.

But I would be game to get our "Great Lakes Boston Whaler Cruising Club" together for another 4 day circumnavigation of Manitoulin Island this coming summer. Launch at Detour Village on the U.P., run down to Tobermory (or South Baymouth) for a night, up to Killarney for a night, over to Little Current (with a little NC exploration thrown in) for a night, and back to Detour. Just remember to have your Mills canvas ready for the South Shore part of the run.

I have heard that Kingfish likes to do this trip in a day!

kingfish posted 11-30-2001 05:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     

I started out at Cedarville and went outside of Drummond Island then up into the N.C. via False Detour Passage, along the North side of Cockburn and Manitoulin to Waubuno Channel, out to Neptune, gassed up at Little Current and went back the same way. Had perfect weather, and covered 265 miles in 13 hours. When I was 15, my Grandfather and I traversed the North Channel from Detour to Neptune in a 16' Lone Star aluminum boat with a 40 hp Johnson. Took us three days for the one way trip!

Macman posted 11-30-2001 06:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for Macman  Send Email to Macman     
265 nautical miles in 13 hours? are a madman! I could be most of the way to eastern Nova Scotia with that kind of trip. Well on my way to Newfoundland. Will not be hapening in my Montauk (at least with the wife!) Thanks for the tip on the music. I think that they are coming here soon. Portland is off the map,but plenty of artists come here to chill out after playing in Boston. You would be surprised at the music that I have seen here in small spaces.

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