Santa Cruz Island
Really like the article about crossing the SB Channel. We would like to feature it on Ocean.com. May we have permission to reprint text and images, providing full credit to you as the author and providing a link directly to Catsail.com?
Thanks for your consideration.
President, The Ocean Channel, Inc.
Thank you for your interest in our story. Yes, you may reprint it under the conditions you graciously offered. You have a beautiful site, by the way. I'll get it added to our links page. -ed
I have just read your account of sailing to the Channel Islands - a good read. I am from England sailing a Hobie 17 from Cawsand, Plymouth. None of my sailing can match your trip. Longest one for me has been about 40 miles down the coast to Looe out to the Eddystone lighthouse and back. You are lucky having offshore islands. Good sailing
Hi Bill - I just read the Santa Cruz article at OTW, seeing the photos to go along with the original version on WebCats....Wow!
Just a thought - It appears that your beaching site at Scorpion might make a really good anchorage, avoiding the high-tide problems of beaching when necessary. Do you think this would work? We anchored very successfullly in Ensenada, although that was in protected waters, of course. What is your opinion of the feasibility of anchoring a cat at Scorpion?
Sail fast and have fun,
I20 - San Diego
We are exploring this option. I understand there are some fairly light anchors out there that will do the job. Also, there are kayaks stored at the island that I think we could borrow to shuttle the gear back and forth. Another option we are looking at is just landing at a different beach. What needs to be determined is if we can obtain permissiong to overnight the boat at a place other than Scorpion. -ed.
Makes the trip I was pondering around Martha's Vineyard seem insignificant.
I am just getting back into sailing, and just got my first boat, an SX18, so OTW is a great source of info, ideas and inspiration.
Keep em' coming,
Thanks for the fine compliments. And if you do that MV trip, make sure and send me a story!! -ed.
i just finished reading your article on sailing to santa cruz island, and i thought it was outstanding. although i don't live in california, i'm hoping to try some long distance sailing back here in the midwest, or on my vacations down in florida. it seems that there is a lot of info about racing cats, but not too much on making the kind of trip you two made.
i was wondering if you could tell me more about the forward cargo trampoline ... is it just netting, or the same material as your regular tramp? could you provide some instructions on how to make one of those?
also, i'm interested in the motor and mounting bracket you used. what size engine did you use, and did it provide enough power? and would you be able to describe roughly how to make the mounting bracket? i've never worked with carbon fiber before, so i have no idea what kind of tools or skills it requires. i can buy a new mounting bracket for my H18 for about $250, and am wondering how much i could save by making my own. any info would be great. thanks, and i hope to read more about your future adventures ...
Gary Friesen responds:
I will try to write a technical article on forward cargo tramps in the future, with pictures. But for now, here is a brief description of the trampoline that Bill and I used.
It is rectangular in shape and is made of nylon "netting." It has sewn on borders of 1" nylon webbing material. I used the plastic (nylon also) adjustable buckle clips on the webbing, wherever practical.
The netting is very pourous. It allows water to flow through quite freely. This reduces friction and allows accumulated water weight to be drained away quickly. This configuration will carry well distributed light loads, but is not suitable for foot traffic.
The webbing boarder is adequate to suspend the weight of a man, if its ends are secured in a manner that would allow such loads.
The forward edge of the trampoline is supported by a piece of 1" PVC garden sprinkler pipe that is sewn into the trampoline's front edge. It spans the hulls and lays on top of them. The pipe is drawn forward with "ectran" type rope to the forestay bridle tangs on the hulls.
The rear edge of the trampoline is secured to some eye straps on the ends of the cross bar and to the mast perch in the middle of the crossbar.
As for the motor mount I would suggest the famous Cheetah Motor Mount Bracket if one is available for your boat. I have seen one in use and was impressed with its structural integrity. In my case, I needed one right away and Cheetah was out of production for the season. Besides, I was not aware if they were building one for my particular boat model.
I resorted to building my own motor mount. I started with a carbon fiber windsurfing mast but I am sure that an aluminum one or even a fiberglass mast should have worked nearly as well. I bolted some plates to the end of it and placed those plates between the transoms and the rudder pins. The lower edge of the plates rested upon the lower gudgeons.
The complications were mostly due to the plates wanting to allow too much torque of the cross bar (windsurf mast), and also the motor wanting to interfere with the tiller and tiller's cross bar.
This mount proved to be adequate when needed, but not to be a reasonable place to store the engine. I brought the engine aboard, wrapped it in a life jacket, and tied it down to the trampoline. Also, when trying to operate the engine in more than glassy water resulted in waves pushing their way up into the engine's intake port. This required a spark plug removal and replacement with some water removal to the combustion chamber. The engine is only of any help when there is no wind and therefore no wind waves.
Every boat is different and everybody's needs are different. I hope that my descriptions will be of some help.
Texsport Float Bags
I picked up one of the smaller bags for a sail with Hobie Fleet 448 on their annual "Island Hop."
The first leg presented surprizingly strong (fun) conditions, and sailing my SX18 solo, I kept the hulls down, which allowed the bag to take a pretty good beating. Yet, all remained dry inside. Very durable and I expect to get many years of use.
Thanks for the recommendation, and for reviving OTW.
Hobie SX18 #596
Glad we could help! (Those bright yellow bags really look cool the boat, don't they?) -ed.
Always enjoyed your magazine. Great tips.
Thanks for the new issue Bill, it's great! I'm trying to read one thing at a time and save the rest for later- so far that's been about every 15 minutes. I'm going through the whole thing for a third time later this afternoon. By the way, I'm sure I was the first hit after you updated last night.
Just like a lot of Cat sailors, we're glad to have you back.
Big hello from France Bill !
Nice to see "On the Wire" is back
As for Catamaran Sailing on the Web, here a friend of mine has started a french language site / list which has now more than 300 subscribers:
By the way the t-shirts are still perfectly ok.
Have a hobie day
Congratulations on having your life in order enough to move forward with the On The Wire dynasty. Although I have really missed not having any new issues for the last year and a half I really do respect you for not doing something half-assed or just letting it go completely away.
Finding On The Wire one day while at work was a Godsend to me. It was one of the only sites on the whole net that was strictly dedicated to beachcats with some real content. The Hobie that I've always wanted but always had to put off from getting could wait no longer after reading the ezine for hours. I finally made the effort and sacrifices to get my boat after sailing but never owning one for 25 years. I even bought my boat from a posting on I was also suprised to actually get an email from Bill when I sent a message asking about the status of the ezine. He was honest and helpful, pointing me to this list. I too eagerly await the upcoming issue and am trying to come up with some stories, tips, pictures or something so I can help contribute to future issues.
I really think Bill Mattson is one of the few true ambassadors of our sport, always willing to encourage and help and not demean or belittle anyone who shows an interest. I salute you sir, and hope that one day we may sail together.
Hobie 18 Magnum
I have used the archives often and found your ezine to be a great resource.
Thanks for coming back.
What a pleasure to see OTW back up. And the channel crossing story is a great thing to read through. Over here we don't have such islands, unless you count New Zealand. Oh, and Tasmania, but we don't like to mention that too much.
Your book seller at Amazon doesn't seem to have caught up with Jesse Martin's book of his solo round the world journey. There's also a video available. The book is called "Lionheart", publisher Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1 86508 347 X. Not a cat book, but Jesse joined the cat brigade there for a while, and his achievement is still pretty spectacular. My last email from him noted that he's preparing for a two year trip with other people aboard. I wonder if the plans include ship's chaplain.....
Well, now I guess I'll have to get the boat on the water again, and the hands to the keyboard again. Hopefully there's be lots more stuff flowing from the water into OTW this year.
Thanks, Kim. You been one of our most valued contributors. "Our" meaning us cat sailors as a whole. During our crossing, Gary and I were discussing your article on weather helm and how it clearly explains the distinction between "tiller tug" and "rudder load".
Can't wait for your future submissions.
Remind Mr. Martin that we are still around. I would not mind some material on his 2 year cruise.
Thank You, Bill
You kept me away from work for almost an hour today. I had visions of sailing, which although not as good as sailing, are better than working.
Thanks, Paul. It will be interesting of OTW puts a small dip in the DOW index today. -ed.
Glad to see the ezine is up. I just purchased an old hobie 14 (my first hobie) and will be frequenting your site to gather knowledge from the "Old Salts". I will do my best to contribute my findings as I go through the process of switching from big monohulls to the little Hobie rocket.
Hobie 14 "Skywalker"
Lake Ozark, MO
Thanks for the note, Scott. I hope we can help.
Thanks for reviving "On the Wire", Bill. It is a high quality publication, very entertaining and worthy of subscription (if you ever wish to charge for it.) Good luck maintaining a schedule.
Roy Tally, Hobie Fleet 52
White Bear Lake, Minnesota
Thanks, Roy. By the way, the poker players keep asking about you. -ed.
Anti PWC Article
Just read the PWC/Sidewinder missile article, linked to Scuttlebutt, and loved it. Want to put it in our magazine, 48° North Sailing Magazine, Seattle. (See <48north.com> for a sample)
We (sailors) battled PWC's in the San Juan Islands through the courts for quite a while and can identify with frustration felt by many boaters being buzzed....
Thank you for your interest in our site. You are more than welcome to use the article. A credit and reference to our website would be much appreciated.