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Stories of Boat Related Mishaps and Experiences | Soundings Online Column

The inglorious demise of the Cup’s namesake yacht

This survey photo shows the schooner America in December 1940 shortly after she was hauled.The sad, complicated history of the original gaff schooner America, the famous yacht for which the America’s Cup is named, has long been associated with mystery and shame. How could it have happened that this once swift, black-hulled beauty was left to rot and die in Annapolis almost 70 years ago under the care of the U.S. Naval Academy?

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A Rosie by any other name is not as sweet

Rosie was built in 1955 by Bronza Parks and named after his mother.The skipjack Rosie Parks, a Chesapeake Bay icon that almost disintegrated under the care of the very museum entrusted to save her, is about to begin a second life. A $500,000 restoration project of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum comes to a happy ending this spring when the 51-foot (LOD) Rosie sets sail after decades in a terminal, nautical coma.

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Brutes of Baltimore: the humble tugboat

The Cape Henlopen emerges from the fog, returning to Fells Point after a long day's work.The sweep of urban renewal continues to cleanse, change and regenerate Baltimore’s Inner Harbor and neighboring waterfront properties into a safe business and residential haven. One symbol of local maritime history survives: the cherished tugboat, a modernized icon of the past that remains an unchanging presence on the water, carrying out the same duties that helped drive the growth that built this city.

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My money pit: time to correct the neglect

After 25 years without stripping, Erewhon's bottom is now in fiine form.When the lockbox of my “nautical needs money pit” is breached, there is no telling exactly where the cash might go, but the general direction mathematically is up, up and away.

Following the traditional rag-hauler’s endless pursuit of frugality, my primary objective has always been to become fairly proficient in the art of solo sailing without making it more potentially dangerous than it is already.

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Redneck Yacht Club? Not for this ‘shantyboat’

Joe Fernon is quite at home aboard Lilypad, the 20-foot shantyboat he built.Who among us real boaters has never yearned for a getaway cottage overlooking a bay, ocean, lake, river, creek, cove or even a mere goldfish pond? A simple kind of weekend hunting cabin with a wood cookstove to knock down a chill, some oil and kerosene lamps to set a mood, a padded rocking chair, and a comfy bunk with a bedroll would do nicely.

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Jack Sherwood, Writer-at-Large

Jack has been cruising Chesapeake Bay and writing about the region for more than 25 years. His critically acclaimed book, "Maryland's Vanishing Lives," was published by Baltimore's Johns Hopkins University Press and is now in its second printing. Before joining Soundings, Jack was a feature writer at the Washington (D.C.) Star for nearly 20 years and a senior editor at Chesapeake Bay magazine from 1995 to 1998. His monthly Bay Tripper column focuses on the Chesapeake.


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