Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Things Wives Say

"So it's parked out front and I say to her . . ."
"Don't spend more than $100," she said as he headed off to see what might happen at a local auction near Cranston, RI. In my experience wives say these things, thinking that really you shouldn't spend a dime, much less a dollar. But if you must, then here's a pittance. Had he come back lugging a moose head, it would be just another comedy trope.

Out with the old
Instead, Frank O'Niel is busy restoring a 1970's 27' Tartan. To hear him tell it -- here I must say that Frank is quite the raconteur and he does thoroughly enjoy telling it -- he positioned the trailer in front of his house and invited his wife to come out and see. The price? Exactly the sum she specified, not a penny more. Well, perhaps not at the auction, but since then he's fudged a bit.

In with the new
Frank hasn't an unfilled moment on his hands since he sold his architectural molding company and ventured into retirement. I met him at Port Edgewood Marina where he was putting the finishing touches on the Tartan's interior and turning his attention to the deck and rigging. He is a cabinet maker who has been around boats and yards forever. He mentioned Ted Hood and Shannon as just a few among many and offered me a tour of Infinity's cabin.

It is a work of art. Much of the wood he had salvaged from office buildings on which he worked, replacing flooring with something more trendy or a better match for the color scheme. In his hands this commercial jetsam became the best match for building a gutted interior from scratch.

He's thinking of heading south to revisit Florida. He and his family explored the Keys in the 60's and he hankers to see them again from this old boat's new deck.

Infinity on the way to beyond
I mentioned that Infinity would be perfect for venturing beyond and hopping across to the Bahamas. She draws three and a half feet with her board up and is as solid as a stone.

His eyes lit up but then he asked whether pirates would be a problem. I could only advise that the further he got from those marauding bands of big-city bankers, the safer he would feel. I hope to see him in Georgetown this winter.

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