45 Second Fiddle

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SECOND FIDDLE is hull# 45 out of  52  SS 34’s  that ply the waters of North America and beyond. I found her (looking down around the ears) at the Spencer-Rybovich yard in West Palm Beach; she was 5 years old. When I summoned the courage to make an offer, broker –  Charlie Cox said I was too late as she just went under contract. For how much I asked?  .  .  . $49,000 he said. A week later he called to report the deal fell through . Knowing where  owner James Pugh (who had a Hinckley 43 under construction) , stood on his price, I offered $47,000, and two days later Cox called me at my law office in downtown Rutland Vermont; “you just STOLE that boat”. Good news ? Uh! That boat is 1800 miles and 7 tons away, and I have neither time, crew nor know how to bring her to her new home on Lake Champlain. By transport I got a heart stopping quote of $3300, and little choice. OK, I told the husband/wife team whose sole occupation was transporting sailboats, but for that kind of money I have one condition. You see, for years I had, from my law office window, a Birdseye view of that highway junction through which yachts passed when transported from the Mid – West to Maine. My boat would normally take a less congested route bypassing our Downtown on its way to Charlotte, Vermont’s Point Bay Marine. For my money, I wanted the vessel to tie up traffic in front of my office to the consternation of neighboring merchants, police and all folks I knew would have to yield to the massive dark blue hull with the white waterline and red bottom. She first touched the water in 1984 as SPELLBOUND, but upon my purchase she would be SECOND FIDDLE, a weak effort to convince my wife that she is FIRST.

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