The contrast to the people having fun on the water Sunday were the boats that seemed abandoned. That had at one time been somebodies pride and joy, and now would need hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars to bring back to life. All of these boats are within 100 yards of each other in the Intercoastal Waterway. It’s a bit of a boneyard, and not one of them is getting any better on their own.
This old sloop would probably take the least work to repair. I’ve been seeing her from the Atlantic Boulevard bridge most of the winter. She is still afloat on her mooring, her mast is in place, as is all the standing rigging. The condition of all that metal is unknown … but she’s at least riding upright at the waterline. The gelcoat is abysmal, many birds have roosted on her decks, and the hull below the waterline is covered in marine growth. From there, it gets worse.
Here, at least the American flag is reasonably new. Everything else is pretty sad. Not to mention, she’s a Buccaneer, which is a pretty sad sailboat to begin with. I never thought they had very nice lines. All slab-sided and boxy. Her mast is at least with the boat, but she’s on the bottom at low tide and the tender has obviously taken some rainwater. This is another boat that’s been anchored in this small creek most of the winter.
The riverboat at Moody Fabricating may actually be there for restoration. I don’t know why else she’d be there. I hope that’s the case. These stately old working boats were, for a brief and glorious moment, the primary means of transportation of people and goods between major river ports all across the country. But for now, she’s just another aging, fading river queen. But I’ve saved the best for last.
This poor little boat broke loose from her mooring and drifted over to the shore, and is now sitting half-sunk and waiting for a rescue that may be a long time in coming. Talking to someone who apparently fishes nearby frequently, I learned that he’d watched an attempt to pull the boat out of the mud, with no success. Even if they get her out of the mud, I shudder to think what she looks like below decks.
The ubiquitous “They” say the two happiest days in a boat owners life are the day he takes delivery and the day somebody takes it off his or her hands. I’ll agree with half that statement. I’ve bought and sold a lot of boats in my life, and I’ve always been thrilled the day I bought it, and very depressed the day I’ve had to let one go. I can imagine the feeling any of the owners of these boats might have felt the day they first stood on their decks. From the smallest sloop to the riverboat. And now, they’re faced with the prospect of bringing these back to once again be their pride and joy. Every one looks to be a major undertaking. I wish them all good luck.