Apsaras – def. a female spirit of the clouds and waters in Hindu and Buddhist mythology. The Apsaras were nature spirits, the mates of the Gandharvas. They sometimes were water nymphs, and other times were beings of the forest. They are all female, and all of them are described as being very beautiful. They were paired with the Gandharvas, who would play their instruments so the Apsaras would dance. They would often perform for the gods in their palaces. They were inspirations for love, and were sometimes sent to tempt rishis or Brahmans who were very austere.
Hull #152 (Daysailer Model) A was built by the Sea Sprite Company located at Wickford, RI Shipyard; 125 Steamboat Ave., Wickford, RI. I’ve been told that the decks were built at another facility in Southern RI and then shipped to Wickford where the hull and deck were joined together. The original base boat listed for $6995.00, less sails. A mainsail, at the time, sold for $243.00 and a working jib for $137.00.
The original owner was Ronald Manley of Peterborough NH. He named the boat Sea Bones. The deck and hull were both a white gelcoat with teak seats and flooring. The boat had no genoa or spinnaker gear nor did it have a traveller.
On May 24, 1998, Mary Dondero of Warren, RI purchased the boat for $4500. Included in the price was a four-wheel metal trailer and a five-horse Nissan outboard. As a graphic designer, Mary renamed the boat Apsaras and had the hull Awlgripped a claret red. The deck remained white. Mary added a Harken roller furler and switched out the jib for a #2 genoa.
I purchased the boat on August 12, 2012. The boat had been sitting in disrepair in the back of a boatyard in Barrington, RI. I purchased the boat as a “project.” The entire cockpit was falling apart, the bulkhead between the cockpit and the cabin was rotting, and the supports for the floor of the cabin had rotten away due to water damage.
The first thing a friend and I undertook was the restoration of the cockpit and the cabin flooring supports.We completely disassembled the cockpit, reglassed the seat supports, and refastened everything with stainless steel screws. New teak pieces needed to be made in some cases. In other instances, a router and heavy-duty sanding helped to make the wood once again come alive.
A month after buying the boat, we launched and towed it seven miles to Bristol, RI where we stepped the mast and took it out for its maiden voyage. The first thing we noticed was that the #2 genoa only set up with turning blocks for the jib. There were no genoa tracks or moveable cars/blocks for the larger genoa. As a result, it was impossible to get the boat to point as well as it should have. Within a couple of weeks, we installed new tracks, cars, and blocks. The boat now sailed very much like the Ensign I had owned twenty years earlier.
For the next two months, I sailed the boat on a regular basis, trying to determine where future improvements needed to be made. I kept a spiral notebook of things needing to be done.
Presently, the boat sits on the hard next to my J30 at a local boatyard. New deck blocks are due to be installed come spring. There’s also a traveler on order to help shape the mainsail. All of the woodwork has been removed and it is being refinished in my basement. The boat came with new chrome Lewmar self-tailing winches. They’ve also been removed, cleaned, and lubricated.
Inside the cabin, all of the paint will be stripped and a new coat of high-quality marine-grade paint will be applied. (The previous owner painted it using a latex house paint!) I also plan to install an aluminum compression post from the keel up to the base of the mast.
While the boat isn’t in perfect condition, it’s a long way from when she sat neglected, waterlogged, and forlorn in the back of that forgotten boatyard.