What a Sad but uplifting Saga....The boat is not an inanimate object...It will connect you with memories of your past and provide inspiration for the future... The wood on the boat will be easy to remove and it looks to be very little damage to the beautiful hull. The process my be daunting at times,,but press on. For what you lack in skills,,make it up with tenacity... Tenacity is your friend and mentor...Ask questions and ask for help.. You won't believe the knowledge and generosity...you are about to encounter.. Welcome,,,
This is my boat.... a Feather Craft Vagabond II - # 506 built in 1957. And John (aka jbcurt00) is the one who brought it to my attention.
It belonged to my brother-in-law who restored it (Louisiana style) about 15 years ago. It sat unused for some time in his garage when it was replaced with a newer boat project, so he gave it to my husband.... who then requested that I lug it home on my way back from a business trip. I did so (with the help of a close friend who felt confident that she could haul a boat and a trailer) and there it has rested on the side of my current home for about two years waiting for some much needed attention.
My husband was killed one year ago at the age of 45. My life as I knew it has been in a strange whirlwind ever since. Although I did have fond memories of the boat as I remembered it 15 years ago, I had no idea what to do with it now. I posted it a few weeks ago on a local Facebook website. I'm sure that you FC folks would shudder to know that I attempted to give it away to the first inquiry who would haul it away. That young boy and his father replied within the hour that it was too much of a fixer-upper for them to handle. I had several other inquiries and arranged for them to meet me the following weekend. During the same week I received an inbox inquiry from John to which I half-heartedly responded. Then he replied with more questions. Real questions. Not the typical standard "how much do you want" and "does it work?" questions. Those are important questions - yes. However, he made it clear that he didn't really care that the boat wasn't in favorable condition. He just needed to know if it was in "original" condition. ?? Well that meant I would actually have to get close and look at it. So I did. And the memories of the good times we had riding in that boat as young adults also came flooding back. Regardless of whether the wood top was true to character or not, it was a stunning boat and we felt on top of the world cruising across Lake Ponchetrain in those seats.
It became clear that I couldn't hand it over to just anyone. I wasn't even sure at that point that I wanted to hand it over to John. I decided to absorb some of the info he gave me and spend some time with it. Last Saturday I climbed in to begin removing most of the wood. I loved that feeling. The weather was perfect and I had a dreamy day reconnecting.
I don't know whether I will be the one to bring it back to full life. I will do as much as I can, but will most likely need help! Regardless, I do feel that this is the beginning of another new beginning. And I can say that I am one part of this Vagabond's history. That alone feels really fantastic.
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