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Letters to the Editor - Issue 115

Issue 115

Maine Boats, Homes and Harbors Issue 114 CoverMay 2011, Issue 114
Wiscasset traffic WOW! A sacrilege! Someone of importance actually said something negative about Red’s Eats, and in a public forum no less. (See “A Postcard in Time,” MBH&H #114, May 2011.) For years I and my devout wife have cursed Red’s Eats and the Wiscasset merchants for the traffic delays in their not-really-so-pretty village. Of course environmentalists share equally in this mess with their over-the-top concern for every imaginable species that may or may not exist in the area. That being said, Wiscasset actually has some great little shops that we do not patronize because of the traffic, and also because of our annoyance with their obstructionism. And I’m guessing that we’re not the only local residents who feel this way. By the way MBH&H is by far my favorite mag. I even read the ads.
Edmund Burke
Auburn, Maine
See you in Damariscotta Thank heavens someone finally got it right. We have been saying for years that Wiscasset is a fading beauty, long past her use-by date. (See “A Postcard in Time,” MBH&H #114, May 2011.) Its downtown has a tourist core, but few “real” businesses. Damariscotta, on the other hand, is a year-round vibrant community. Its restaurants are open all year, it has an active downtown with “real” stores for “real residents” as well as for tourists, and it has several great festivals every year, including the Pirate Rendezvous, the Oyster Festival, and the famed Damariscotta Pumpkinfest & Regatta.
Paul M. & Kathleen K. Anderson
Pemaquid, Maine
A lesson learned I enjoyed the reminiscence in the April/May 2011 issue (MBH&H #114) about youthful sailing experiences without adult supervision by Dave Hughes (no relation). His near-disastrous encounter with a bridge reminded me of a similar experience I had a year later, in 1959 when I was 14. It was in the middle of a four-day cruise up Chesapeake Bay on my 15-year-old friend’s 18' sloop. His father had instructed us to not signal for the bridge tender to open the drawbridge when we got to the Kent Island Narrows because he felt they should not have to open the bridge for a couple of kids. Accordingly, when we got to the narrows we tied up to a dock to wait for a proper vessel to go through that we could follow. A waterman who was also tied up to the dock asked what we were waiting for. When we told him he said we didn’t have to wait and then he grabbed a lung-powered foghorn and seemed to take great pleasure in blowing it at the bridge tender. The bridge tender looked down to see what the ruckus was and then stopped traffic to open the bridge. We fired up the outboard and started plowing into the strong current. We had barely made it through when the bridge started to come down. We weren’t much farther along when the outboard quit and we were soon drifting rapidly toward the closing bridge. When it became apparent that my friend was not going to easily restart the engine we scrambled to the bow and managed to get the anchor to grab before we met with disaster. That drawbridge is long gone but I still remember the lesson from that experience: always have an anchor ready to deploy.
Grant Hughes
San Diego, California & Bernard, Maine
Sail is green, power not so much Seems a bit of a stretch to characterize any boat that burns from 20-40 GPH at cruise, “green” (MBH&H #113). Solar panels and LED lighting are nice but do not make a boat “green.” Only sails will do that.
John Osgood
Waitsfield, Vermont & Rockport, Maine
Good boats from Campobello I just recently read the “Boats of the Year” issue (MBH&H #113, February/March 2011) of your fine magazine showcasing the talented boatbuilders along the Maine coast. I thought I might mention a young gentleman from Campobello Island, New Brunswick, who has previously built a Northern Bay 28 bass boat for me (2003) and is currently building a second 28' extended-top cruiser for me. His name is Stephen Newman, and his website is I believe this hull mold is the old Mitchell Cove 28. He also builds the Northern Bay 36. He is a very ambitious young man who also has nice dockage located in Head Harbor. Love your magazine—see you on the water.
Phil Melanson
Durham, New Hampshire & Harpswell, Maine
The gauntlet is thrown As a matter of public safety I feel compelled to respond to comments about the fisherman anchor in the Kent Mullikin/Web Cove segment of “Three Encounters with a Line Squall” in the Winter 2011 issue (MBH&H #114). Re: Mr. Mullikin’s quote from Roger Taylor’s The Elements of Seamanship, and with all due respect to Mr. Taylor, I do not believe that the traditional yachtsman anchor is “the most versatile anchor” or that “it’s a good choice for a variety of bottoms along the Maine coast.” It might be versatile if versatile means not being able to hold in a variety of bottoms along the Maine coast. I feel pretty confident that a majority of experienced Maine boaters would agree, although I don’t have the polling data to back up my claim. There are, however, a lot of anchor tests out there in the public domain. You’d be hard pressed to find an example where a fisherman anchor performed better than horrible in a test. Actually, they perform so poorly that they are rarely included in the tests. The author conceded that it was a bad idea to leave his boat at anchor. That is a good thing. However I don’t understand the attempt to justify using a long-outdated design when clearly there are newer designs far better suited to protecting his boat and those of his harbor mates who might wind up in the path of his drifting boat.
Joe Mair
Boothbay Harbor, Maine & Feasterville, Pennsylvania
A satisfied reader The only trouble with Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors magazine is that it lands in my mailbox every other month, instead of every single month. Keep up the great work.
Fraffie Welch
Marblehead, Massachusetts
Sadly, it’s even worse than that. We publish five times a year, not six, so twice each year there’s a three-month interval between issues. —The Editors

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