Wednesday, April 13, 2011

With Reckless Abandon

Memoirs of a Boat-Obsessed Life
Capt. Jim Sharp

Bilbo Baggins warned us to beware when setting foot on a road, because you never know when and where you might get swept away. This advice also, obviously applies to setting foot on a boat. Jim Sharp, son of a jazz musician turned payday lender, went in with some friends to buy an old, plywood trailer sailor to launch at the Jersey shore and ended up owning a fleet of windjammers in Camden Maine.

Between 1953 and 2006 Jim Sharp's boat obsession led to his ownership of an impressive list of old, mostly wooden, boats. I count 35 of them, from 14' to 120' in length. Some were schooners, others tugboats. One was a Norwegian coastal freighter, another a Dutch canal boat. He wore out his welcome with two wives in the process of buying, running and selling all these boats. He also managed to make some sort of a living from them.

A friend lent me this book, which he got from the author, now master of a maritime museum up there in the Moon Pie state. I found it the perfect book to stoke my Spring fever.


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