Boat Project Destroyed by Winter Storm

Most shipwrecks happen at sea and involve loss of life. Mine happened in my yard and no one died. Anyone familiar with my blog knows that I like to fix old boats and have at various times reported on the progress of one of my projects, a 1973 Pearson-30 sailboat. Well, the gig is up.

mast pic

The mast on horses in my drive this summer. Cleaned, alumi-guarded, rewired and all rigging inspected

A freak winter storm, an October nor’easter, blew through before Halloween and dumped 5 inches of heavy wet snow. The leaves hadn’t even fallen from the trees and with the added weight of the snow, limbs snapped and it rained wood down on my property. One large limb in particular smashed a skylight, rolled down the roof tearing a gutter off the house, and made a perfect dive, bending my mast beyond saving.

The complete rig for this boat was the reason I bought the damaged hull for a $1. It had been stored inside for 10 years while the hull sat outside full of water. I figured I could fix wood and fiberglass, but the rig, valued at $5,000, was my motivation. Now it is a twisted piece of scrap.

mast pic

The mast laying on blocks

I have owned this boat for 5 years, long for a project of this nature, and for me. I have collected equipment (my basement is full of it) and slowly worked on the boat as time and money allowed.  I had recently noticed the wood blocking used to support the keel was rotting, leading the boat to settle more than I was comfortable with. So I purchased extra jackstands, got it back on level, then cleaned the topsides and re-covered the boat.

mast with tree

This tree limb bent more than aluminum, it put a kink in my dreams too

With the boat supposedly secure for the winter, I imposed on my neighbors to move the mast out of my driveway last week, where I had been working on it, so the snowplow wouldn’t hit it—right to the spot it got blasted.

I was close to launching the boat this spring and was quite sure next year it would be back floating. The mahogany interior and other improvements will have to wait. Now I can only hope my homeowner’s insurance will cover my investment–it certainly can’t cover my frustration. This was one exit strategy I had not anticipated. I’m sure it will take longer to resolve than it has to sweep the glass out of my driveway.

For those of you who have not seen my blogs on this topic you can catch up with Boat Flippers in a down Market and Fixing a Used Boat.

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