Letters – by Our Readers



Really enjoyed the article on compass use in last month’s issue. It was well written for everyone to understand.

Learned several things myself.

Thank you,
Marc Jantzen


Thank you for writing. It has been a while and glad to see you are still reading Bay & Delta Yachtsman. Thank you for the kind words.


Hi Ty,

I know the picture well on page 18 of the February Yachtsman. It is the store at Delta Marina at the Point. From 1960 to 1962 my family kept a 27-foot Owens there. We lived in San Mateo and used to drive there on the weekends. So, as an energetic six-year-old, I think I scouted every inch of that harbor checking it all out. I believe Jack Baumann was the owner; what a great guy.

Thanks for sharing the photo, it brought back a lot of memories.

Butch Wilson,


You are very welcome and glad to hear that the piece “From Way Back,” has yet again served its purpose in jogging one’s memory to days gone past.

I can imagine you as a young lad exploring all there was to see and do in and around the marina property. What a time you must have had for sure.

When I first saw this come in, it created a run of memories for me also and I was happy to learn that, yes… it was one in the same Butch Wilson who I call a friend. It has been a minute or two Butch, but our time spent together when we both berthed our boats at Riverpoint Landing Marina Resort comes to mind as if it were only yesterday.

Delta Marina, yes Jack Baumann. I never had the opportunity to meet Jack but would agree from what people tell me that he was indeed a great guy. The Baumann family is still there and I would have to believe Jack would be very proud to see it operating under the high standards he envisioned. You should stop by and share your memories of Jack, I am sure you would be greeted with a smile and appreciation for such tales.

Thank you for continuing to read Bay & Delta Yachtsman, even though your hull now travels waters outside of our beloved Bay and Delta areas.

Take care Butch, I hope our paths cross once again someday soon.



Congratulations on your first-place finish in your division at the Single Handed Sailing Society Corinthian Race on Feb. 25. It was a cold gray low wind day and I decided to stay home. I see you even finished after dark. Way to go! And I do enjoy your stories in Bay & Delta Yachtsman.

Paul Descalso
S/V Sobrante
Alerion 28

Dear Paul,

Thank you very much for noticing and for reading this magazine, too! Yes, Feb. 25 was a cold day all day and into the night. Those winter races require pure doggedness to finish.

Taking a looksee at Jibeset Corinthian Race results for the past according years, I see that your Sobrante and my Dura Mater have been on the same racecourse since 2010. Starting in 2015 I decided to give the spinnaker division a try for eight years. In all those years we never came up against each other in the same division on the same day!

I notice that you came in second in division in 2018 behind only Jim Erskine on his S/V Kira. Then in 2020 only Sam Turner on S/V Frances came in ahead of you out of a field of six. Duly noted: I see what you can do and I’m impressed. There aren’t many Alerion 28 single handers out there.

This year DM and I are back in the non-spinnaker division. With a new Dave Hodges mainsail. So, bring it on, Paul! Come on out and let’s see how we do against each other for the rest of the season, shall we? I look forward to meeting up with you on the water!



Driving around the Delta I happened across two boats of the same name and was curious to see if you could provide any details on the two boats.

Name withheld.

Dear mystery Delta traveler,

I do happen to know the backstory or at least enough to satisfy one’s curiosity I believe. As one might guess, the owners are Stanford fans. We would all enjoy a stable of nice boats, but rest assured, Farm Boy II is the boat that is replacing the former Farm Boy. They spend a good deal of time on the water and I’m sure they are already enjoying the new vessel whether rain or shine.

Both boats are still in the same marina but the 1985 35’ Californian version of Farm Boy was sold not long after the photo was taken and now resides several slips away on the same dock. No word as to whether the new owner is keeping the name or not. In the meantime however, let’s keep ourselves entertained in the notion that the new owner could very well be a Cal Bear’s fan.


Hi Bill,

Thank you for your great column. I look forward to every issue. I do think some clarification might be needed regarding your comments about Moore’s Riverboat in the February issue. To support my bonafides with respect to this issue, I have been boating our beloved Delta since 1959. I was your neighbor at Ox Bow Marina for 20 years. I now own a home on Bethel Island and share a zip code with the Sutter.

The Riverboat indeed opened as a restaurant/bar in the Sutter. John Moore revamped the Sutter and opened his restaurant in 1966. There was in fact a tradition of women hanging their panties on the ceiling. I was there in about 1984 with my beloved grandmother, Butchie Roden. Ask anyone who has been in Manteca for 20 years. They know Butchie. Anyway, she had a few brandies and climbed up on the bar. She dropped her rather large panties and nailed them to the ceiling. I did not know if I should be mortified or proud. I chose the latter. She later got me into a bar fight at Manteca’s Jade Room when she was 90 years old. I will save that story for another day.

The Sutter did suffer damage during a fire around 1994. I have no idea what happened to any of the panties, including my grandmother’s. The SJYC rescued the Sutter and it still sits in the Dutch Slough. The barge most recently known as Moore’s Riverboat was rebuilt in the same location. That barge was, as you say, destroyed by fire last year. I have heard it was arson, and I have heard it was idiots under the influence of various substances. Regardless of the cause, we all share the loss.

I have no memory of a tradition of hanging panties in the most recent iteration of Moore’s Riverboat. I believe that only happened in the Sutter. If Moore’s Riverboat should be rebuilt, I think that would be a wonderful tradition to reinstate.

As to Hal Schell, he and I shared many common interests. We both loved the Delta, the Santa Cruz mountains and British sports cars. We sat down one day and had a Heineken together. I have never drank the urine of a skunk, but I imagine it would taste like Heineken. I told Hal so.

Sincerely yours,
John Fleming
Soquel, CA and Bethel Island, CA


Thank you for the great letter. Your grandmother Butchie sounds like my kind of person. It is a shame that Moore’s is now gone. Hopefully, Ken and Laura Scheidegger will be able to rebuild. Ken tells me the concrete barge is still intact and they have removed the fire damaged structure. I think starting a new tradition of panties on the ceiling would be great. Hal got me drinking Heineken for a while as that was all he would drink. After he passed, I switched back to Bass Ale or Ranger Ale. It is amazing the people you meet that can’t stand Heineken. I always thought that Hal had some kind of deal with them to promote their product, but he said he never got any acknowledgment from them. It was a shame as he did a lot to promote the beer in the Delta. I can’t wait to hear about how your grandmother got you into a bar fight! Please keep in touch!


Hi Captain Pat,

I enjoyed your article about acronyms. When you mention PFDs, it reminded me that we have been using a throwable PFD in our ski boat as a cushion to sit up higher in the seat for better visibility from the captain’s chair. Thank you for pointing out that throwable PFDs shouldn’t be used this way. We are considering maybe getting an additional one and designating it to only be used as a throwable and not to be sat on. This brings me to one question that came up when I read your article. When you fly on an airplane, you have probably heard them say in the safety briefing, “your seat cushion may be used as a flotation device.” Considering that sitting on a throwable PFD is bad, would you be concerned that the seat cushions in a plane might be unreliable as PFDs since they are sat on by tons of people and the material inside could be degraded?

Also, regarding life vests, you mention that ski vests are not guaranteed to turn a person face up. Many of the infant vests I have seen are very similar to a ski vest in the way they are worn, but are guaranteed to turn the wearer face up. What type would these vests fall into or do infant vests have their own special type?



Thank you for taking the time to write. You bring up a couple of really good questions. Regarding the suitability of the airplane seat cushion as a flotation device in an emergency we have all heard and probably have memorized “In the unlikely event of a water landing, your seat cushion can be used as a flotation device. You remove your seat cushion and hold the straps on the back as a flotation device.” While it may work it probably does not really matter since all flights scheduled to fly over large bodies of water are equipped with life vests and rafts. Besides, what are your chances of surviving a “water landing” and needing a life vest, raft or seat cushion. I don’t know, but I imagine that the FAA does not test the seat cushions for suitability as a flotation device.

With regards to the child life vests we can find both Type II (designed to turn many but not all unconscious users face up) and Type III (not designed to turn an unconscious person face up).

A good Type III PFD from Mustang Survival is the Youth Canyon vest that has an additional head pillow that will turn an unconscious person face up, although only rated as a Type III vest. Look closely as there are a lot of child PFDs that look attractive for kids but have no USCG certification and therefore do not count. Price can be your first clue that you need to look deeper. The Mustang Survival Youth Canyon can be found on Amazon for $100 while the questionable vests can be found for $25. Choose carefully – someone’s life may depend on your decision.


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