Weight: The light weight (750 lb) of the P165 makes it relatively easy to push off the trailer. I believe the light weight also increases the P165’s downwind performance compared to similarly sized sailboats, due to reduced friction. On multiple occasions I’ve passed larger sailboats downwind, and in some cases, upwind in light air.
Appearance: The P165 looks pretty much like a downsized version of a larger sailboat. It has a relatively sleek foredeck and cabin, while keeping me dry in rough water. I removed nearly all of the original striping and replaced it with a large red stripe and thin blue outline stripe in order to make it stand out from other boats. I also changed all the lettering, enlarging it and using some italics. I get many compliments at the boat ramp, even from motorboat owners, who seem to think it looks “cute.”
Quality/Seaworthiness: I regularly sail in the Pacific Ocean off the Ventura, California coast, and have found that the quality of the P165 seems to be equal to other small sailboats I’ve been aboard. For a small, light sailboat, the coaming does a very good job of keeping ocean spray away.
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Getting in Touch with Reality
As part of my usual in-depth research for this column I decided to ask Google whether sailing was safe. “In fact, it can be deadly,” came the response, “A study from Rhode Island Hospital concluded sailing is more dangerous, and has a higher fatality rate, than skiing and snowboarding combined with NFL football.”
Five Days in the Turnbull Islands
I rowed out of the marina at Blind River, Ontario, and raised the sail just offComb Point. It had been a ten-hour drive from Wisconsin, followed by the usual scramble to launch and load the boat.
The Worst Sailor Still Alive
Upon retirement I decided to learn how to sail, so I bought a little dinghy and taught myself how to efficiently capsize, founder on rocks, and embarrass myself in front of large groups.
SMALL BOAT CRUISE: Tobyhanna Lake by Sunfish
Tobyhanna is a Native American word for “a stream whose banks are fringed with alder.”
PLAN STUDY: Kombi Sail and Paddle Canoe
The first boat I designed was the Beth Sailing Canoe, which, for better or worse, made me a marked man.
An 1881 Bowdish sailboat, abandoned in a northern Michigan junkyard, is rescued and restored to museum condition by John Parlin, wooden boat surgeon extraordinaire
AUSTRALIA THE HARD WAY
The David Pyle Interview
Amateur Boatbuilding: What if I Make a Mistake?
Everyone makes mistakes. If we try new things we will make mistakes, an essential part of the learning experience. It’s nice to learn from mistakes of others, but we learn more lessons and they stick better when they are our own. The more painful the mistake, the stronger the lesson learned.
Reader Boat: Precision 165
During my three years of ownership, here are just a few things I’ve observed about my P165. Most of these features have contributed to my joy of sailing this little boat.
Are Power Tools Corrupting Us?
“Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” —First Baron Acton, 1904