Wednesday, February 21, 2018

When good boats go bad.

In our wanderings over the years we have always been observers of other yachts, as they are normally a picture of beauty no matter what shape or size. They can be slender and streamlined or chubby and accomodating, they can be racey and modern or traditional and slower paced, we love them all. But one thing that saddens us, is when a good boat is left to go bad.

There may be many reasons for this happening, and sometimes it is unavoidable. But it is such a shame to see a lovely boat, sitting on her mooring year after year, with no love being shown her, no care taken of most basic needs. Dotted around any mooring field anywhere in the world, there will always be the tired little Sloop, or the old wooden Ketch, or the smaller displacement launch moldering, rotting, slowly losing the battle with the elements, just waiting to slip to a watery grave.

Unfortunately we have had an unwitting part in the chain of events that have led to two yachts fall into this poor state. It has been so sad to see our much loved yachts of years ago now sitting, slowly moldering (according to my word program this is not a word, but it sounds so right for what happens to a neglected boat).

We purchased Nessie II in 1999, she is a 36ft Eric Cox design, built in 1966 in Whangarei by Alan Smith. We did not own her for long, only 8 months, but she was a lovely wooden boat. We realised that a wooden boat was not really our thing, so we did the wise thing and sold her, in the hope the new owner was the right one. But many years later we spotted Nessie on a mooring, slowly moldering away. I live in hope that someone has since come to her rescue. Nessie is not what prompted this little essay, what has sparked this written outburst is the plight of our last boat, Aragorn.

We purchased Aragorn, a Cavalier 32, in May 2002 from Auckland. We had plans of her being our forever boat, we had her transformed from a faded Yellow to a glowing white. We had an original design of a “White Tree” sign written on her hull (if you have any knowledge of The Lord of the Rings, Aragorn’s crest design was a White Tree), we upgraded and maintained. But as time passed we realised we wanted more room for living aboard. So the decision was made in March 2007 to sell Aragorn, and she was handed on to new owners, who we kept in touch with and they cared for her as we had. We lost track of her when she was again on-sold, until one day we spotted her, disguised under another name. To avoid embarrassment I will refrain from using her new name, mind you it is a name that sends Paul and I into spasms of embarrassment, and will have to live on the new owners conscience. 

At first we were pleased to see that she was cared for, and over the intervening years we have spotted her on occasion. It has been nearly 2 years since we last saw Aragorn, but two days ago we again spotted her on a trip down the harbour. What a sorry sight she has become, another good boat gone bad, She is covered in bird poo, her waterline is dirty, and her Bottom is fouled with weed and barnacles no doubt. She is not beyond redemption, but the slippery slide into moldering away has begun.

Aragorn today.

Aragorn covered in shite

Aragorn when we purchased her.

Aragorn when we sold her

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