Toms Boats Through the Years
By Tom Neale - Published April 15, 2004 - Viewed 1817 times
1. 12 foot skiff, built by "Uncle Ernest." During the second year she suffered considerably from the extensive over curing of an overturned bucket of chicken necks intended for crab bait. Never fully recovered. In 1954 Hurricane Hazel dumped an entire pier on top of her after I had pulled her high up into Main Street to a supposedly safe place.
2. 16' skiff with plywood bottom and perimeter squirts.
3. 18' skiff with cross planked bottom allowing constant replenishment of the eco-system in the bilge. Later added plywood cabin on bow with two brass Navy portholes and a busted steering wheel with real spokes, some of which were also busted.
4. World War II Admiral's Barge sans engine. Wasn't really all mine, but nobody else loved her as much as I did, and I nursed her for several years through her old age and my young dreams. Never got an engine for her and finally had to take the "suggestion" of friends and neighbors to tow her far away up into the marsh so that she could die in peace, remembering, I'm sure, the days of "Victory at Sea."
5. Log Canoe. She floated my way after a storm-well, "floated" is a bit of a stretch. She had a problem with the concept, except to the extent that the small amount of wood remaining gave her buoyancy which exceeded the negativism of the large amount of rot and the old one lunger that someone had long ago planted in her bilge. The only time I know she really floated well was in another storm when she floated regally away, taking with her many hours of my work trying to fix her up.
6. Glaspar Seafair Sedan, 18'. My first true "yacht." My first fiberglass boat. My first boat that didn't leak-through the bottom. With her 75 HP motor, she showed me how much fun it was to get there fast and then hang out. I had her when I met Mel. We took many cruises, and Mel learned that you can survive a sub freezing night at anchor with no heat but lots of bourbon.
7. Tartan 27 Sailboat. My first sailboat. We still miss her, except for the time her center board fell out and hung by its pendant, banging on the hull like the bells of hell, as we sailed down the bay in a ripping northeaster.8. SportYak dinghy. Rowing kit, sailing Kit, unbreakable. Wouldn't row, wouldn't sail, and couldn't fix it. Made a great bath tub.
9. Gulfstar 41. First ketch, first diesel, first aft cabin. She finally sat up straight after we added a lot of lead in the hanging locker.
10. Gulfstar Sailmaster 47. She was our only home for 19 years. Brought our babies home from the hospital to her, and educated them from pre school through high school as we cruised thousands of miles.
11. Sailing Dinghy 8'. Don't remember what kind she was but she's the one the tree fell on and the one from which I dropped my 2 HP outboard overboard.
12. Sailing Dinghy 10'. Don't remember what kind she was either, but she sure could roll over. I soon found why the bow thwart, which broke almost immediately, was so light weight. I gave it a real heavy duty repair. The extra weight made her sail like a drunk turtle trying to figure out which way to dive.
13. Trinka 10 sailing and rowing dinghy. Beautiful classic little lady.
14. Boston Whaler 11'. First skiff with a steering console. I still used the outboard tiller except when I wanted to impress a yachtsman.
15. Boston Whaler 12' Inflatable. The thief who floated away with her (and her brand new 15 HP outboard) probably also liked her.
16. Avon inflatable 11'. Named "Off the See the Lizard." She's 20 years old and my spare dinghy. Rides the waves like a relaxed snake.
17. Avon inflatable 13'. Named "Baby Beluga." She did NOT have any holes in her when I sold her. I swear.
18. Two Kayaks. We carry them aboard now, throw them over, and jump in when we want to get a litter closer to the sea.
19. Four wind surfers. Don't tell the government that I consider these as boats. They'll probably make me rig running lights and install a pumpout fitting.
20. Tin Boat. 12' one-off welded aluminum dinghy. A Tough, Ugly, Great boat.
21. Gulfstar 53 Motor Sailer. Live there now. Needed more room, more space around the engine, and less draft. When we moved off the Gulfstar 47 onto the 53, the former came up 6 inches and the later sank down 6 inches.
22. Cruised for a week or more: 42' trawler, and two sailing catamarans around 45'. Two engines make running around in circles so much easier. 1938 38' Mathews, Mel's family's boat-a classic rebuilt by her dad. 42' Bristol Trawler.
23. More that I don't recall and/or don't want to admit to.
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