So I'm browsing ebay for boats and see a 35' 1965 Piver Lodestar, glass over plywood for sale a couple towns over. Now my friend "Rich" has been talking obsessively about a tri for months. Without even thinking of the consequences I shoot him an email with the listing.
He calls me up the next day, a few days before "Sandy" and asks if I will take a ride with him to the boat.
We find the house walk up and down a 1/4 mile through this wooded mountain pass until we get to the dock. The dock is completely collapsed on one side. You have to walk carefully on the high side but not too high or the boards you are walking on, balanced on one beam, will flip the other way and dump you off the dock.
The boat is $3,000. It has some newer or adequate Garhauer sail handling gear, traveler, jib track, some new line for sheets some old, decent roller furler. It was floating.
As for the bad, ancient outboard, lifting mechanism for the motor almost shot, Pedestal steering rocked back an forth about 2 inches. No interior, no electrical, lots of deck leaks, lots of very soft spots on the deck, delaminated glass over plywood construction.
After stewing about it for a couple of weeks he decides to buy it anyway. Got another discount to 2,500 because Sandy punched in a couple of holes near the top of an ama but she still floats.
Now since this is officially my fault I'm volunteered to move it 30 miles down the Connecticut river and up long island sound to a marina.
We start early two Sundays ago get the motor started, load some gear and get ready to cast off. During the process I notice that the rudder turns from center to starboard but will not turn port. I complain but the owner figures it will be OK. I know it will not be OK but figure he will come to the same conclusion in about 5 minutes and we will just tow ourselves back to the dock with the dinghy. I figure there is no reason to ague with him as reality will prevail.
It is about two hours past high tide by now so we cast off. We get stuck in the mud immediately. The PO didn't mention that you can only move the boat at dead high tide.
We are only about 10 feet from the dock so we just tie off to the dock using the dinghy as an auxiliary dock extension. We are kind of anoyed now and since it is lunch time we decide to go for lunch.
We get back and the boat is now completely dry exposed sitting in some mud. The current problem is that the dinghy is now six feet down and we can't reach it. We take a trip to home depot and walmart and buy some disposable cloths and a ladder.
Back to the boat and use the ladder to get to the dinghy. Rich walks around the boat inspecting the hull and scraping barnacles.
I take a look at the rudder and see that the reason it will not turn is because the heavy duty bracket connecting the rudder to the idler arm is bent down about 1.5 inches. I recommend removing the part and taking it to the shop to heat it and bend it straight. Rich pries it with a crowbar and hits it with a hammer so it is bent only 1" and now it sort of works.
We leave the boat till that Sun late at high tide and return in the dark to tie it up properly.
Later that week we get up early on a week day and move the boat a mile down the river. Yes we really hate that broken dock that only floats the boat for an hour. It is early so we had to do the bridge in the fog.
Last Saturday we take off from the marina at 9 AM with a dodgy steering, a shifter that can only be managed from the engine, it is not connected to the binnacle and the outboard starts really hard.
The sails work however and we get to sail about half way.
At 6PM that night we make it to Branford. We did manage to snag a couple of lobster pots and ran out of gas in the Branford river after dark but all in all a pretty uneventful trip.
So the moral of the story is that if you spend 2,500 for your boat and you only have to move it 30 miles you might make it. If you spend 169.00 for your boat and plan to move it 1,300 miles you probably wouldn’t make it.
So now its my fault I got his boat to his dock and now he has about 10,000 hours of work left.
I did notice some diaries hidden in a waterproof tin all rusted up from a fellow called Crowhurst
Anyone heard of the guy?