Several years ago I wrote an article for Cruising World magazine and later an updated version on this site about an interview I did with the legendary cruising trader and treasure hunter, Hans Klaar. It turned out that Hans was convicted in South Africa of rape in 1998, but had chosen to flee the country and I was unaware of this when I met him a year later in Trinidad. I can understand now why he did not want to share this information with me or anyone else at the time and know he hoped this would all blow over in time. However, in 2009 the law caught up with him in New Zealand and a year later he was extradited back to South Africa where he served several months in prison on a reduced sentence.
Not having been there I cannot confirm his innocence or guilt, but Hans recently contacted me and asked me to put out his version of events. He claims he is innocent and knowing him as I do, I have no reason to doubt him. If he was innocent, this has been a terrible thing for him to go through, particularly as the press and sailing community have nearly unanimously condemned him without considering his side of the story.
Albin Vega 27 projects
Last August I was contacted by Mike Watson, a submariner based in Groton, CT, who was transferring to King's Bay Naval Base here in SE Georgia. He owned a 1972 Albin Vega 27, built in Sweden, which he wanted to truck to his new home and refit the boat for offshore cruising in between sub deployments. Having just launched the Triton Salty, I drove up with my boat trailer behind our F-250 pickup, loaded his boat and brought her back to our boat shed.
|Mike and his family with their Albin Vega 27.||Mike and I tear out the broken inboard engine. She now has an outboard motor on a transom bracket.|
Over the next ten months I assisted Mike as he worked part time to refit his boat. With less time and funds available then he first imagined, not everything got done in this first fitting out session. But many projects, such as removing the inboard engine, replacing all seacocks and other essential jobs were completed and the boat launched this June. We set down a twin anchor mooring in the river here where Mike and family can dinghy out to the boat for local sailing as he plans for future projects to get the boat ready for offshore.
Work begins on the 1968 Alberg 30
In last year's blog I mentioned the Alberg 30 rescue project I picked up in Florida and brought home to add to our growing boat collection. Some months later I found her a new owner who asked me to begin her reconstruction with the idea that once some of the main jobs are completed he will trailer her back to his home in Jacksonville, FL to complete the fitting out for a planned retirement cruise across the Pacific.
At some point I plan to add a A30 projects page to the site detailing the jobs on the boat. Already we've installed a new manual windlass and anchor roller, finished the new teak toe rail and are working now replacing chain plates and seacocks. This early model A30 has the advantage of no interior fiberglass hull liner so everything is accessible and easily replaced.
Odds & Ends
This year I also had a local 1985 Cape Dory 22 Typhoon Senior in our boat shed for a few weeks where we added a pushpit rail, upgraded the 12v wiring system and added LED lighting. This is a sturdy and pretty little Alberg-designed trailerable daysailer with a factory built outboard well in the lazarette.
|The Cape Dory Typhoon Senior.||The Typhoon Senior came with an outboard well which is perfectly suited to this size boat.|
Also this past winter we had an opportunity to work on a Bristol 34 whose owner sailed into Brunswick to upgrade and fit out his boat on his way south from the Chesapeake for a few months cruising the Bahamas. Working alongside the owner we added a Norvane windvane with wheel adapter from Monitor, solar-trackers, windlass, converted his cockpit mainsheet to mid-boom sheeting among many other jobs.
|SolarTrackers and Norvane windvane installed on the Bristol 34.||The wide transom of the B34 made it easy to mount a windvane and solar panels.|
Many of our customers who stop here while passing through on their way to begin a cruise keep their boats at one of the three local marinas. Anchoring out has usually been impractical since we have limited areas of easy shore access among the marsh-lined rivers of SE Georgia. One group of enterprising young sailors from Florida stopped to visit on their just purchased Pearson Triton and found an anchorage I had overlooked. It is located in plain site along the causeway midway between Brunswick mainland and St. Simons Is on the Little River at N 31 degrees 09.89 and W 81 degrees 26.37. They landed their dinghy at the public access road near the bridge where a bike path takes you a couple miles either to the mainland or St. Simons. As they were sailors on a shoestring budget, we exchanged labor to get some of their boat issues sorted out. A few weeks later they sailed north, but detoured into Savannah for repairs when their tiller fitting broke at sea. I hope to see them again on their way south and put an emergency tiller aboard this time.
In July I sold my F-27 trimaran to a couple from New England. After our trailer trip to the lakes around Michigan we hadn't used the boat and with no immediate plans to sail her I couldn't justify keeping it. When I first brought the folding trimaran home on her trailer and parked her next to Atom, I had felt a pang of guilt as if I'd brought home a younger, faster mistress. I could almost hear Atom moaning, "Does this mean you're through with me?" The jealous ol' girl seemed relieved as the new owners pulled the other boat out of the driveway today.