There’s been a lot going on both with us and in other news elsewhere. Earl McMillan’s Freedom project, restoration of a 108 footer is in full swing. We have posted the latest photos on Trumpyyachts.com. We have been working on our own web site, woodenboatrepair.com and we’ve posted some of our older projects when all of us looked a lot younger. Yesterday was a grand day. We launched S.S. Sophie on March 8 after a major engine room refit that required pulling the stack off, and pulling out the muffler, motor and fuel tanks.
My partner, Nathan Smith and S.S. Sophie’s Capt. John Russell teamed up to run this ambitious project. The guest stateroom was disassembled, we removed the stabilizers, put in new ribs (not sisters), installed backing blocks, keel cheeks, garboard and floor joists. The bottom of the steel engine room bulkheads were cut and replaced with 316 stainless built by Richard Ramsay. The motors were taken to John Wheatley’s Florida Marine Tech and Doc, John’s partner, personally rebuilt them. Two large fuel tanks were cut into chunks small enough to pull out of the stack hole and four new ones constructed out of aluminum were dropped in. Capt. John and Capt. Aimee reinsulated and painted the engine room. Cory Belschner installed the wiring and plumbing. This is a project that all of us will be proud of for a long time to come. S.S. Sophie now has an engine room worthy of her.
At the same time we launched S.S. Sophie, we were in the process of hauling out Blue Moon. We are repainting her hull and doing minor repairs here and there. Wind Rush is getting some interior upgrades with a makeover of the guest cabin and head with new closet doors and much more.
I recently spent time on the phone with Sean Simmons, the old owner of Carousel. He’s got Trumpy yachts on his mind again. In our conversation, we talked about a Trumpy in a boat shed for the last 10 years, up in the St. John’s River, just outside of Jacksonville. I am still trying to find more information about her. We also talked about Mariah/Gitana and he mentioned an article in Yachting magazine, back in 1974. Well, Joe, at our shop, searched the Internet and found and ordered a copy. In that issue, there’s an article on another Trumpy named Abadab written in 1923 by Capt. Blair. I have enclosed a copy. The story is in two parts and I will send the second part next month. It’s a great adventure story and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Because of the Miami boat show, I had a lot of visitors and it’s been a blast. I met with the owners of the Washingtonian, who made a special trip over from Tampa, where the boat is wintering. I took them over to see various projects we had underway and I think they had a good time. They are doing great things with Washingtonian. Also stopping by was Bill Andrews, the owner of Broadview. I asked him if he planned on being at the Volvo Cup/Trumpy meet in Annapolis during the 5-7 of May and Bill said “You better believe it.”
Bob Libby, owner/captain of Sea Tabby stopped in and dispelled the rumor that his Trumpy and Gitana are sister ships.
Last but not least, I got a call from James Fitzgerald, owner of Star Gazer. Last summer, he had her painted and kept in a shed in Fort Lauderdale, up the New River.
Then Hurricane Wilma hit two parts of the concrete that covered the shed and it came down, landing on two boats next to Star Gazer, sinking both! But Star Gazer was pretty much unscathed, just minor damage.
I hope many of you will be able to make the Trumpy meet in Annapolis in May. Make your plans now, by plane, car or sea. I hope to see you there.
Until next time,