I’m so heartened when I see that someone has lavished love an attention on an old production boat. We more or less expect people to love and care for high end models like Hinckleys, but isn’t there even more virtue in finding that someone has lavished love and attention on a 1970’s production boat? Here in Rock Hall I stumbled across this gem, a sister ship to our 1979 Pearson 40, Endeavor. All these years later I still find the design – for all of its flaws – to be uniquely striking. Look at the love someone has shown this gem.
She still looks almost totally original; I can only hope and assume that the bow pulpit is off for repair and will be re installed! Notice how they have retained the teak dorade box aft of the forward hatch, with its novel hinged cover to store winch handles. Ironically, my 1989 Sabre also has a deck mounted plexiglass lid, under which winch handles were to be stored. Both boats harken back to an age when halyard winches were on masts, which as a single handler, I often long for!
By contrast, I find it heart breaking when an old boat has been blocked in a yard and left to rot. In the photo below, this older production boat probably wasn’t constructed all that well, but the hull form looks to me like it would sail very nicely. Note the deep forefoot, long cord length keel, and generous deadrise (see my last post!). It’s so sad, and so unnecessary at the same time. If someone had just maintained this boat, then two nights ago they could have been out on the bay with me, beating into that stiff southerly, giddy as this boat cut through the chop in a canter, just like my Sabre was. I wonder what the owner was doing instead. I wonder if it was anything like as meaningful. I’d bet good money he or she was in front of a TV, sitting with an idle brain, wasting time as this poor baby wasted away in the yard, unloved.
Consider the Pearson 40 I found by contrast. In this photo, look at the time they spent replacing the weather boards with plexiglass, and lovingly varnishing the teak coamings in the cockpit. Whoever you are, those of us who love sailboats thank you. We’re part owners of these wonderful creations, and we’re part stewards of them on behalf of mankind.