Skip to content
August 25, 2014

High Heels on Boats, for Safety’s Sake

 Linh Goben, with daughter Emma in the background, styling aboard Savannah.

©Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Many owners don’t allow high heels on their boats. You can buy signs and stickers to indicate this preference. Tom Perkins, who built and sailed the 289-ft Maltese Falcon, advised visitors that he’d have any high-heel shoes found on his boat thrown overboard.

Not all boat owners feel the same way. Take Teal Goben of Ellensburg, Washington. He’s cool with his wife Linh wearing high heels on their 1993 Featherlight 43 catamaran Savannah, which he is painstakingly turning into a very modern and very fast performance cruising cat. And we have to admit, the shades/swimsuit/cell phone/floppy hat/high heels and martini look is a pretty fine nautical combo for Linh.
Linh says high heels are not about looks, but safety. "The only time I get hurt is when I walk in flip-flops. Which is why the first-ever commodore of the Punta Mita Yacht & Surf Club will be taking two pairs of Top-Siders and 48 pairs of high heels when she and Teal — with daughter Emma — go cruising for the second time.
We’ll have more on Gobens and Savannah in the September issue of Latitude 38.

Powerboat Basic Training

We’ve always found it puzzling that in our highly regulated society you can buy a massively powered motorboat and drive it away without first passing so much as the most rudimentary safety course. The same is true of purchasing a sailboat of course, but the damage you can do — at least to others — going five or six knots is minuscule compared to the carnage a powerboat can do at 30 to 60 knots.

The bill would require operators of vessels such as this ski boat to be licensed in the state of California.

© 2014 Centurion Boats

Apparently this concern has recently crossed the minds of California’s legislators. Bill SB 941 passed the legislature last week and is headed to Governor Jerry Brown for signing. It will require the state Division of Boating and Waterways to issue vessel operator cards to powerboaters who have passed an approved exam.

SB 941 is supported by the Recreational Boaters of California. For starters, boat operators under age 21 will be required to get an operator card before they can operate watercraft. But there will be a seven-year phase-in beginning in 2018. The requirement would apply to all "operators of engine-propelled vessels" by 2025.

Online education, such as the BoatUS Foundation course, will help facilitate this safety effort.

Delta Doo Dah Deadlines

Sunset at Venice Island on the San Joaquin River.

© 2014 Steve Andersen / Thetis

Have you done the Doo yet? As Labor Day approaches, this season’s Delta Doo Dah cruising rally is winding down. The deadline to sign up is this Friday, August 29, at midnight.

Ed Dietz and his grandkids have done five Delta Doo Dahs on the MacGregor 26 Prime Time.

I’m a PreCursor
©Latitude 38 Media, LLC

If your Doo is done, we’d love to see your pictures and hear your tales of adventure. Photos can be shared on our SmugMug gallery at, but you’ll need to contact Doodette Chris first for the upload key and instructions. We’d also love to hear your Delta stories for possible inclusion in the October issue of Latitude 38. Our deadline for that will be Wednesday, September 3.

Contributors to our photo gallery will be entered in a drawing for Latitude swag, and all cruisers whose stories or photos we include in the magazine will receive a thank-you gift from us.

We’re happy to report that Mike Johnson and crew are making good progress toward completing their transit of the Northwest Passage aboard Gitana.