Photographs and text related to Gregg McDonald's

"Wild Tangent" Heritage sailboat located in Aloha, OR

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Received: May 4, 2016: 

Andrew, I have had my Heritage (HWC 10 8 73)  since 1979.  Since I was on the bottom of a two year waiting list that turned into a four year waiting list, Howie connected me with owner Dave Campbell who wanted to sell his boat still unfinished.  I finally launched in 1984 here in Portland.

We trailered down to Florida in 1985 - 86, sailing around Florida and the Bahamas.  In 1989 we bought a Sam Morse 22' Falmouth Cutter that we also trailered to Florida.  The Heritage has not been sailed since.  It is such a beautiful boat that I planned to putter with during retirement.  However, now that I am retired I have too many boats for puttering purposes, and it should go to someone that not only loves the Heritage but would actually sail her.  In following the typical age progression from sail to power, I would trade both boats for a 26' Nordic tug.

I saw that your son bought Howie's Heritage One.  I was wondering if he also picked up a dinghy.  Howie had two tucked under his back deck down in Ft. Myers.  I used to visit Howie and Donna when I was in Florida and would occasionally take a dinghy for a row.  They are so light and easy to row.   I had forgotten that Capt. Andy designed them.

Please add me to your owners' list.  I may not do much sailing anymore, but I still enjoy hearing about it.


1590 SW 197th Ave
Aloha, OR 97003
503 642 2084
Gregg and Leah McDonald email =

Andy Davidhazy replied on May 4, 2016 as follows: : Hi Gregg ... and Leah! WOW! What a surprise getting your message and photo of Wild Tangent (are you math connected? my wife Sue was a math teacher and loves anything math!) and the brief history of your experiences with her.

When I include you in the owners page if you'd like me to mention that you'd trade your boats for another you specified (besides just in your letter of "introduction") I'd be happy to do that. And if you have any other photos or tales to share that would be more than welcome as well! BTW, it looks like she has an inboard ... Andy's has one also but when we tried to get her going in Austin the engine would not start. Turned over OK but put put put put ... nothing. He is planning on restoring the boat. Refinishing the mast and woodwork, etc, . I put an outboard on mine and use the boat ... it is more about sailing for me than major work on the boat. Even so we get loots of "admirers" coming by .... as every other owner does I think. :) Anyway, I'll be getting started with updating the owners site with your material. Do you know how many Howie made?
Will leave you for now ... thanks again for contact and materials!! Andy

wild tangent stern viewGregg added a few comments on May 7, 2016: As to the boat name, I'm not math connected, but "tangent" seemed to apply to a boat sailing on the ocean.  It later expanded to the phrase "off on a wild tangent"  to pretty much describe my life at the time.  Also, if I ever cruised anywhere to merit a book deal, I thought that would be an excellent title.  I'll leave it to the next owner to write that book.

As to the total number of Heritages, 18 sticks in my mind.  There was no number 13 hull, so I think #18 (or maybe  #19) was the last hull number.  I know Howie stopped doing unfinished boats at some point.  He also wanted the mold destroyed so no more could be built.  After he died, I did see the plug he used to build the hull and deck molds.  They were in the bushes at his property in Oregon.  When he sold his place in Oregon, the Pro basketball player that owns it now gave Howie and Donna a five year contract to use the house and property, which they did in summers.  That was up this spring so I'm guessing everything ended up in the burn pile, and a new mansion will be going up.

I wouldn't discourage anyone from restoring a boat.  If you love her, it's pleasure, not work, at least during the honeymoon.  I may have been with Howie the last time he motored to the marina for seasonal takeout.  The motor was running fine, but it has been sitting in his basement shop for a few years.  If your son hasn't diagnosed the problem yet, it is probably lack of compression from dry cylinder walls or lack of good fuel.  I have the same Westerbeke in my boat.  Be sure to change out the water pump impeller.  I learned the hard way.

Kudos to you for being the central communications point for the Heritage Group.  I restarted the Falmouth Cutter Newsletter back when it involved a typewriter, a copier, and postage stamps.  I'll leave it up to you as Editor to determine what is personal correspondence with you and what is of group interest.

On a personal note, can you tell me how Donna was doing?  I have not seen her in over two years, and she was having mobility and memory problems then.  I know she was saying she did not want to sell the Heritage because it reminded her of Howie.  At the same she said she wanted it to go to Andy.

I don't post on Facebook, but I would like to respond to Christy's message. Yes, Christy, I remember you very well.  I don't often receive phone messages from excited young women.  After my answering machine would cut off, you dutifully called back and continued the conversation.  I would have returned your phone call if you would have given a phone number.  As it was, I had your address, and knowing how badly you wanted a Heritage, it was a pleasure to put together those pictures for you.  The last I heard you had postponed your boat search for a trip to Italy, but Howie must have told me later that you had finally acquired your dream boat.  I have never advertised my boat for sale, so the ad you saw in 48 North (OR registration numbers 882 JH) belonged to Curt Adams. I have only talked about selling my boat to two people, you and Capt. Andy, and that was through Howie.

I'll look through my old pictures and see what might be of interest to you or the group. Thanks for including me.


additional photos and text related to Gregg and Leah's Wild Tangent Heritage will be added as soon as these become available.