12 June 2010

Adventures on Land

Most people who own boats have probably already made some pretty concrete plans about getting them in the water.  Over in Marblehead, the racing season is already well under way, and all the local harbors have filled right up with boats.  But as a schoolteacher and a poor multitasker, I can't get warmed up on the boat thing, until the school year is at an end—and that is still a few days off.
But the last few days have brought some interesting reminders to bear.  About a week ago, up in Gloucester, I saw a friend's Burgess design (ashore, which I found reassuring), the Bluenose.  A very pretty racing sloop, I can never remember the name of the class.
Then today, while driving through Marblehead, past Redd's Pond Boatworks,  I saw another Brutal Beast—one of the Lady's eight sisters from 1985.  At first I thought it might be the same beast that I saw being restored in Marblehead last summer, but Thad Danielson of RPB doesn't think so.  He was intimately acquainted with the history of that particular BB, and knew the whole story of how they came to be built, neglected and then sold.  He gave me the name of the owner, and who knows?  Maybe that will lead to a gam or a regatta.  Thad also let it be known that he has the plans to the Beast Class and can build them to order.
On returning home, it was time for spring foray into the interwebs for new information about Beasts or their designer, Starling Burgess. I was surprised to find that, according to online sources, Starling Burgess's most famous sailboat design, the J-Class Rainbow, is being rebuilt.  Besides the social commentary this might inspire (J-Boats were abandoned after World War II, as too expensive for even the super-rich to deal with; what does it say that we can rebuild them now?), it is a very  exciting news for fans of yacht racing history.  Rainbow was reputed to be the greatest J-Boat ever built, and if you have never seen a J, then there is no way I can describe how awe-inspiring they are. [Here is a link to the New Rainbow's homepage.]
So that's the armchair/laptop news for this spring.  Maybe tomorrow I can vacuum out the Lady, and slap some oil on her interior, and do some other tinkering.  And soon, I hope to be posting updates from our adventures on the water.