09 September 2008

9' of snow = crushed hull

I saw the saddest thing this August. We were on a canoeing vacation on Idaho's Warm Lake, and I saw an immaculately maintained West Wight Potter on a trailer. I couldn't understand why she wasn't in the water, tied up to one of the many private docks around the lake.

Warm Lake is a beautiful lake for day sailing. The water is naturally heated by underground volcanic activity, and it is so clear you can see forever. I walked around this boat, admiring how well-equipped she was, and secretly hoping we'd find her skipper amenable to taking us out on the lake.

And then I saw it. It was truly horrible. The entire portd side had been crushed lengthwise just below the waterline. Asking around, I met the owner. He said he'd pulled the boat out for the winter and spent the entire time in his cabin nearby. The boat was stored mast up, tarped, and with a boom tent rigged to shed the snow. It was a particularly snowy winter, with as much as 9 feet of snow on the ground. It never occurred to him that he ought to go down and shovel off the boat.

In spring when he walked down to the lake to put the boat in, he found the crushed hull. The poor guy was really choked up.

He said he was going to part her out, but this was August - summer was almost gone - and he had not been able to bring himself to do it yet. Although I really coveted some of her hardware, I could not bring myself to make him an offer. It felt like too much like asking someone for a loved one's organs - someone who wasn't ready to accept what had happened yet.

So the morale of the story is, shovel your boat.

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