Carl Alberg designed a custom wooden racing yacht named Katuna. She was built by my father and uncle, William E. and Eric J. Simms at Simms Brothers, Dorchester, Mass. in 1948. She was built for Mr. Gilbert Verney of New Hampshire. She won many races.

photo of Katuna

INTO THE BRINEY - Goes Katuna, Gilbert Verney's 52-foot yawl, seconds after the new craft was christened by Mrs. Verney at Simms Bros., Dorchester yard. The beautiful boat which will sail and race in southern waters this Winter was designed by Carl Alberg. [from the Boston newspaper]

The Simms Brothers Boat Yard opened in 1933 on Freeport Street, Dorchester, Mass. Many Navy vessels and yachts were built there before the property was acquired, in 1957, by the Department of Public Works to build the Southeast Expressway.

Offshore Sailing book cover Offshore Sailing by Bill Seifert with Daniel Spurr

We went to a Windjammers lecture to hear Bill Seifert and I was impressed enough to buy the book on the spot. I've heard a lot of people talk about ways to improve a boat, but I've never heard one person suggest so many good ideas that I hadn't considered. Part of the charm is the specificity of the suggestions. Everyone says you should secure your floorboards, hatchboards and batteries. Bill shows good suggestions on how to do so.

The suggestions are very practical for the do-it-yourselfer, too. Many show how to make or adapt inexpensive solutions. Tip #12 on closing the deck blower vents is one that will pay off for me without ever going offshore. I'll implement that one to stop the wintertime storms from finding their way belowdecks.

Besides modifications, the book also includes advice for operating offshore, cooking, boat selection, dealing with bureaucracy, and more.

Bill Seifert has worked at Tartan, TPI, and Alden Yachts. He's a veteran of many Marion-Bermuda races and now runs his own yacht management company. His tips are born of experience--not of book-learning--and it shows. He obviously knows his stuff.

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