Classic Wooden Boat For Sale

'Midnight Blues' sailing in Frenchman Bay off Acadia National Park

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SOLD — August 2005

Summary
Sorry, you're too late; boat has been SOLD. 30'6" CROCKER RAISED-DECK CUTTER. Crocker-built 1963, Manchester, MA. Cedar on oak, bronze fastenings. Re-framed 1999. Excellent cruising boat. 24-hp Yanmar diesel. Beautiful boat, sails well in all winds.

Featured in...
Maine Boats & Harbors, September 1998
Good Old Boat, March/April 2001, Issue 17

Particulars
Built in 1963 by S.S. Crocker, Jr., Manchester, MA, Design No. 334 (originally 'Sunset'). Based on Design No. 304 ('Gull'): extended cabin to provide better headroom and working space in the galley. Hers was the last construction supervised by Sam Crocker before his death.

Length 30'6"    LWL 24'11"    Beam 9'2"    Draft 4'11"

Yacht Condition & Value Survey performed July 1999; insured for $40,000.

Recently
Moored in Rockport Harbor, summer of 2004. Currently (Summer 2005) located in Camden, Maine, on stands, at Chater's Yard on Camden Street.

Sails
Main 286-sq ft (uses roller-reefing); staysail 88-sq ft; roller-furling genoa 340-sq ft. All circa 1990.

Care of sails: Sail covers have been used religiously. After use, each fall, sails were taken to Bohndell Sails to be gone over and repaired (when needed) and then stored. Although the boat was launched for the summer of 2004, the sails have remained under cover since their last use in the fall of 2001.

Roller reefing
Ratchet and pawl. Karl Webster designed and built the hardware and Sturge Crocker's yard crafted the spar. Karl was a young Assistant Professor at UNH when my parents first met him and his wife in 1959 or '60. He was a mechanical engineer who later taught at UMaine, Orono.

Karl did all the metal work that required machining for Bud MacIntosh's boat-building at that time. He had supplied the same rig to Bud earlier. (Sturge Crocker worked with Bud during WWII at the Portsmouth Navy yard building wooden naval craft.)

Engine
Inboard 24-hp diesel 3-cyl (fresh-water cooled) Yanmar, early 1990s, model 3GM30F.

The engine has worked like a dream, other than the spring I launched the boat without putting in a new fuel filter. Ran rough and petered out that time, but then worked splendidly once that was replaced. This engine has started on the first turn every time. It had 1000 hrs on it when I bought the boat. I used it mostly just to enter and exit anchorages, as I'm the patient sailor who prefers to let the wind carry me as it will—even in the quite calm with the tide pushing us backwards.

Cabin description
Stairs from the cockpit lead down into the galley area. (Removing the steps gives access to the engine from below. There is a hatch on the deck of the cockpit for access from above.) Facing forward in the companionway, to port is a stainless steel sink with foot-operated water pump (pumps from the 30 gallon tank in the bow). An icebox is outboard of the sink, with glassware storage above. Across the companionway is a 3-burner alcohol stove (with oven) and its approximately 2-gallon tank of alcohol (pressurized by bicycle pump). Storage for dishware is above the tank. The galley has plenty of counter space for additional storage; two drawers are built into the top step.

The main cabin, forward of the galley, has a single bunk to starboard and a double bunk to port, with a fixed, folding, dining table standing between. The double bunk folds up for seating. Standing headroom is in excess of 5 feet, 9 inches. In the galley, headroom is over 6 feet when the hatch is closed. Ahead of the starboard berth is a small built-in bureau and hanging closet. Across from these is an enclosed head. The Raritan LectraSan electric toilet (installed in '99) has its own battery, located in the bottom of the hanging closet. There's shelving behind the throne and a small medicine chest on the bulkhead.

In the forward cabin is a V-berth, with sleeping for two and an aft-facing single seat between the two bunks. There is storage in the peak for anchor line and assorted equipment (barbecue grill, radar reflector, spare mooring lines, etc.). All bunks have storage areas below and shelving above. Both cabin hatches have a plexiglass inlay, providing light in daytime and a starlight view (slightly obscured by booms) at night. The main cabin and head have electric lighting. The main hatch has both solid boards and screens for the entryway. There is a screen for the bow hatch, as well.

Assorted equipment (partial listing)
New head with Raritan LectraSan toilet (1999), USCG Approved
Hiller 3-burner alcohol marine stove with oven
Anchors: 25-lb Plow, 50-lb Fisherman, 100-lb Herreshoff Storm
Electric bilge pump, manual bilge pump for back-up
Two portable fire extinguishers
Compass, handheld searchlight, VHF, depth sounder, knot meter

The Long Version
'Sunset' was built for my parents in 1963, then sold in 1974—they replaced her with a 40' Crocker ketch (originally 'Green Heron'). She was 'Vakanti,' moored on the coast of Texas, when I bought her in 1994. She was trucked to Crocker's Boat Yard for repairs and refits, then sailed to Frenchman Bay, Maine, that July, rechristened 'Midnight Blues.' She is very comfortable for cruising and sails well in all winds.

'Midnight Blues' was meticulously maintained when she was in regular use. She was moored off South Gouldsboro, Maine, in '95, '96 and '97 and stored winters at Winter Harbor Marine through October of 1998. Upon haul-out that fall, a misaligned bottom plank led to discovery of rotting frames. The boat was completely gutted with all non-supporting bulkheads and sheathing removed, including head and engine, to allow for repairs. Total value of stripping, reframing, refastening, and reconstructing cabin (including finish work), approximately $27,000. (For the beautiful result, see the Launching Day photos from 1999, on the photograph page).

Since 1998, her primary mooring has been at Rockport Harbor, Maine, and in October of 1999 she began to take up winter residence at Chater's Yard in Camden, Maine. She is now hauled and launched by Alan Drinkwater of Rockland, with mast stepped and unstepped at Rockport Marine at the beginning and end of each season.

In 2001 I decided to sell the boat, after a period of ill health prevented me from taking care of the boat's upkeep and sailing regularly. A local boatbuilder—who specializes in building and repairing classic wooden boats—looked her over to verify that her current condition was still in line with the 1999 survey's valuation of $35,000 to $40,000 and I set the selling price at $36,000.

The first WoodenBoat ad ran in issue #168, which I believe came out in July 2002. Before that, all I'd done was put a for-sale sign on her down at the boat yard. I got several calls from the WoodenBoat ad. In September 2002, I had an offer of $31,000 subject to survey. The buyer then took the survey recommendations to a yard in his area (Cape Cod area of Mass.) and was given an estimate of $8–$10,000 to fix everything on the list. He decided not to proceed.

At this time, I lowered my asking price to $28,000 and had no serious offers, though the boat was showing often. A year later, in July of 2003, I approached David Jones Yacht Brokerage to take over her sale for me due to health and other reasons. Taking into consideration his commission on the sale, we raised the asking price to $29,500.

The boat was out of the water while I was selling her, because I was unable to row out to her; however, I did all of her re-painting in 2002 even though she didn't go in. No work was done on the boat in 2003 and she remained at Chater's yard.

In May 2004, the brokerage had a prospect who was concerned about the engine, and it arranged for a professional survey of the engine. It was a favorable survey, but the buyer made a low-ball offer, which was refused.

In 2004, we did all of her external re-painting and varnishing, including completely stripping and refinishing the mast and launched her for the summer. Her engine was serviced at Rockport Marine and then she lay at the mooring all summer. In spite of not being in the water during the previous two summers, after the initial soaking up period, she was tighter than ever. (A note about that: this boat has never been completely free from leaking. I have an automatic bilge pump with a counter that measures the rate. On average day, once soaked up, it registered two or three times in a 24-hr period. A solar panel maintains the battery charge required.)

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Last updated 26 August 2005 at 6:39 p.m. ET (Boat SOLD)

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