From Stephanie Smith: At our Florida shop, a large photograph of four Trumpy yachts from four different decades looks over the table where we hold our morning meetings and gather for lunch. It was a proud moment for Jim captured in a picture frame. Recently, Jim was beside himself after talking to my brother, Nate, at our North Carolina boat yard. “Seven. Count them, seven Trumpy yachts in our yards,” Jim said. It’s a little bit of Hollywood accounting since two of the Trumpy yachts are our own but yup, we did have seven sisters at our two locations. Nate had America, Discovery/Stately Lady, Washingtonian, Jacqueline and Sea Hammock. In Florida, we have Dune and Aurora II. Sadly, we could not line them up for a photograph but we still got a kick out of it. And yes, Nate won. We dubbed him the “Trumpy King.”
It’s like deciding which of your children you love more, but there is a friendly competition between our two facilities. South Florida has had the two largest projects in Moores Marine’s history, Summerwind and Honey Fitz, but Nate might have the most glamorous one yet. His work will be in a Hollywood film. After months of planning, reviewing old photographs and meetings, Nate and the North Carolina crew have kicked off the Pilar project, converting the Wheeler Elhanor into Ernest Hemingway’s sportsfishing boat to be used in a film about Hemingway and his Cuban fishing guide.
I had to warn Caitlin Underwood, our new business manager at MMYC, to not get used to projects like El-hanor. Most of our clients are not movie stars such as Andy Garcia, who is the producer and star of the film, but it was a heck of a way to start a new job. Caitlin, who has a business management degree from Virginia Tech, re-places Judy Currier, who left us after three years to slow down a bit, help out her husband with his business and work in her gorgeous garden. Judy was beloved by our clients because of her kind and caring heart as well as her wicked Christmas rum cakes.
From Jim Moores: I know I have told you the beginning of this story of the Cora Marie, the 107 foot 1929 Ted Geary yacht, Fredric Marq of Miami recently purchased. Through the summer, Fredric would call and ask me questions and give me updates. So in October, he called and told me “My Cora Marie arrived. We launch tomorrow. Do you want to come?” Well, I couldn’t say yes fast enough. I had missed the shipping/launch of Summerwind when she came in from Spain because I had to be out of town. Now, I have seen lots of boats shipped, but a large wooden yacht, never!
So once we got to the port and through the maze of security, there she was, nestled between lots of other yachts. Climbing aboard was no small feat. First were the welded-to-the-ship pipe ladders, then walking on top of the huge retractable hatches. After weaving our way through the blocking and chain falls and straps, we climbed aboard. She is a magnificent yacht. The captain, Christian Lint, who had helped Fredric bring her back to operational status. You see, the Cora Marie had sat dormant for 10 to 12 years. Would her engines start? When Fredric pushed her starting button, no one knew if the bottom was wormed out, or if she would run. So, it was quite the gamble. The yacht had to be moved from Cowichan Bay, British Columbia to Port Townsend in Wash-ington state, where she could be hauled out of the water. Now, the last unrestored Grand Dame Ted Geary was about to splash into the Atlantic. This was exciting.
The Cora Marie was listing to starboard and the yacht next to her was listing to port, so there must have been some rough seas on the trip. Capt. Christian’s job was to reanimate her once again. Bilges full of water, she showed no signs of leaking from the outsides. After pumping and prepping, we were told to get off the boat. It was time. Two A-frames and two cranes with four straps, and with a little popping sound of the straps tightening, she slowly lifted off the deck. The sight of two cranes in opposite directions as this gigantic yacht glided through the air so effortlessly was beautiful. I was glad that I had been here to witness this. Down the rat lines ladder we went. As we pulled away you could feel the Cora Marie come to life. The sun was setting, the Cap-tain started up the generator, and the lights pulsed or flickered with each beat of the generator, like a heartbeat. The decision was made to berth for the night at Pier 66. She is not an I.C.W. cruiser. She draws eight feet of water, so to the ocean we went! As we headed out to sea, the yacht had a gentle roll. You could feel her weight, cruising along about 12 knots. It was grand. I could see what had inspired Fredric to purchase her. Now she is on land at Rybovich, where she will get her bottom repainted along with other minor repairs, while her restoration plan is being worked out.
Getting back to Trumpy yachts, I received a beautiful 3-D drawing of the 75’, 1965 Trumpy yacht America from Paul Berger. It seems that Paul, America’s owner Ted Conklin, and Mike Hart, a retiree U.S. Coast Guard inspector, have teamed up to get America a C.O.I., or better known as Inspected Vessel to Carry Passengers. Paul, who owns the Washingtonian, a 61-feet Trumpy built in 1939, has just gone through getting his Trumpy re-certified. Paul is a renowned architect from the Windy City of Chicago. Paul said “I can do this” after seeing the drawing. I know he can. There were no blueprints of hull lines, so Paul created them.
We just finished the Honeyfitz and all the work had to meet Coast Guard specs for a C.O.I. With Amer-ica, this is pretty straightforward, so once the plan is a little more fleshed out, I will let you know. I think it’s exciting that two Trumpy owners and friends are putting this together, and in 3-D!
I’ve been doing a lot of traveling lately, and one of the trips was to International Boatbuilders Exhibition in Louisville, Ky. to present two seminars, the first on Large Wooden Boat Strategies, with my co-speaker, Brion Rieff, a Maine boat builder. Brion talked about the different types of repairs on smaller wooden boats and I talked a lot about the Lloyd’s Register of Shipping’s “Rules and Regulations for the Classification of Yachts and Small Craft.” I just call it Lloyd’s specs but it’s really about the importance of doing work to a rec-ognized standard for yacht repairs, so our hand-out was just that. I thought Brion and I were a good team al-though Stephanie said I talked too much. My next presentation was “Large Repair Management: Working with Owners”. This one was mostly about communications to avoid misunderstandings. This was well at-tended, and after returning home, I had gotten a lot of emails from people who found it useful so I guess it went alright.
I recently had our guys Chet and Devin install a washer and dryer aboard Aurora II. That sounded so easy. It wasn’t. Where to put them, and the plumbing and drainage, and how big could it be? The width of the forward hatch is 26 inches, so that was the start. We had done a bunch of work in the crews’ quarters, painting new floors, timbers, tanks, and the plumbing for the washer. So the search began. First to the appliance stores with tape measure in hand, no good!
The first one that everybody was trying to talk me into was this all-in-one Italian job, but I wanted to wash more than a sock, a tee shirt and a towel at the same time. So, the search continued until I went to buy a new refrigerator at a kitchen design store. There they were, Bocsh Axxis, a little expensive but small and you can pack it full and it cleans better than most full-size house units. The crews’ quarters are still not finished, but it is so much nicer.
Okay, now for a cautionary tale. This is the time of the year when boats are put to sleep, covered from the cold, and winterized. This story is not about that but the opposite. This is about a boat covered with a dark green cover and stored in between two buildings. This is an elegantly crafted barrel-back Hackercraft. With the cover cinched tight, between the rainstorms and the hot sun, the boat cracked all the seams and warped the boards. This didn’t have to happen, and this is what gives wooden boats a bad rap! Just like being up north, down south a cover for a varnished boat should not lay on the wood. A simple bow to hook from the forward lift ring to the aft one, and a couple of side braces to the rubber step plates, and a cover made of white material that goes down to the hull would have been a good investment. The other would have not to have had the boat on black asphalt between the buildings. This is just common sense.
In a final note, sometimes in life you don’t realize what a significant impact someone had on your life until they’re gone. A dear friend of my family, Tom Jewett, recently passed away at age 90. He really did lead a full live. Tom, movie star handsome to the end, was a friend of my father’s in Indiana. He even dated my mom after she was widowed before they decided they were better at being friends.
At age 50, Tom retired by selling his clothing store and left Indiana, where he was born and reared. He turned into quite the Bohemian, moving to Florida and living aboard his houseboat, the C’est la Vie.
Our family would follow suit and move to Miami. In 1969, Miami was a whole dif-ferent world. If it wasn’t for Tom, all my sailing adventures might not have hap-pened, and I wouldn’t be writing this today.
Tom’s life was always full, but he quickly got bored with retirement. After trying his hand at yacht broker-ing, he met up with the crew of the Moby, a steel tug boat. Tom worked with the crew helping with films such as “Splash”, “Blue Lagoon”, and lots of the Bond films.
Tom had a heck of life and as a friend of our family since I was a child, I will deeply miss him. Later this month, we’ll say farewell to him aboard Aurora II, in the warm waters that drew him to a new life in Florida. So, thanks, Tom, for breaking the bonds that held me to those landlocked cornfields and small towns and led to so many great adventures as well as a career.
Until next time,
Jim Moores and Stephanie Smith