View Full Version : A major repair (1960) & lessons learned - pics.

03-14-2002, 01:27 PM
I thought some might be interested in seeing a major repair job my parents had to have done after hurricane "Donna" hit the New Jersey shore in 1960. There was also a valuable lesson learned. My parents had owned "Caprice" for about two years at the time & from what they used to say they routinely kept the bow lines in the chocks that were mortised into the toerail. During the hurricane the wild thrashing around that the boat did in her slip ripped one of the chocks out of the toerail. It then didn't take long for the bow line to chafe through, allowing her to blow over to one side of the slip. With the 6' - 7'storm tide, the deck of the boat was above the top of the pilings, which then acted like a big jackhammer from underneath.
Moral of the story, we NEVER put docklines in chocks again. - Only for anchor & mooring use!!
My family owned & enjoyed "Caprice" for another nine years after this.

Dave R
03-14-2002, 01:34 PM
Cool pics and good advice. That last picture reminds me of song. How's it go? Something about a three hour tour.

Art Read
03-14-2002, 01:47 PM
So how DO you lead the docklines now? If the chocks are to prevent the lines from chaffing "randomly" over the edge of the deck and stem, how have you rigged 'em to avoid that now? Unless they ALWAYS lead straight up from the bit to the top of the piling above the deck edge? (Neat pictures, BTW...)

Alan D. Hyde
03-14-2002, 03:59 PM
Great photos, NedL.

Thanks for a fine posting.

Who made "Caprice" and which model was she?


Scott Rosen
03-14-2002, 04:06 PM
Great pics. Brings back lots of childhood memories of hanging out at the boatyard with my dad back in the days when boats were wood and men were men.

03-14-2002, 04:19 PM
Nice to see the pictures. Sorry to see her all opened up though. The part of your story that strikes me is why the boat was left tied to a dock with pilings? That's not a very good place. I learned that from experience. Though the chocks and cleats held fast on my boat during Hurricane Fran back in '96 on the east coast here in North Carolina my boat still sank and was a pretty much a total loss.

I was living on the boat at the time, tried to get all gear off but one can never do that completely. Had to leave her tied to a dock and pilings because the fisherman buddy of mine who was going to tow it up river for me had already left. I was stuck in traffic trying to reach my boat from work and he had to leave before I could get there.

Halfway through the storm she was tossed about and drove directly down ontop of the pilings. Came to a view of my mast tilted 45 degrees out of the water the next morning. Five other boats on top.

Moral of the story for me is to never ever tie to a dock during a hurricane if the docks are directly exposed. And the number one moral is to never go without an engine. Was working on the engine bed and had the ole Perkins sitting in the cockpit just prior to the storm.

Lost all my good hand tools and books about boats, but still had a few power tools. Didn't even get my clothes and things like that off.

Ah well, all replaceable.

Scott Rosen
03-14-2002, 06:52 PM
Me too, don. I don't think there were many other cruisers that size built lapstrake with bent frames. I like the color. It looks the same as Kirby's No. 1 Green/Gray.

03-14-2002, 07:39 PM
My hat is off to you.

Roger Stouff
03-14-2002, 07:41 PM
OUCH! That hurt MY heart!

03-14-2002, 09:42 PM
Ned - Is the little guy at the foot of the ladder anyone we should know?????

- M

[ 03-15-2002, 06:43 AM: Message edited by: Concordia..41 ]

03-15-2002, 05:53 AM
The 17' storm surge from Hurricane Hugo picked a local marina dock over the pilings, across the intercoastal, and right down on a barrier island. Probably 40 boats had to be craned off the island. 5 or6 landed right on another dock. several smashed beyond repair.


03-15-2002, 08:57 AM
Margo, That little one at the ladder is my older brother. I was not quite a year old at the time.
From that point on my family always let the bow lines lead straight from the bit to the pilings (with appropriate slack). As the lines are tied high up on the pilings they do not chafe on the toerail when taught. (There is about a 4 1/2' tide rise & fall on that area of the N.J shore.) Hurricane Donna was not a particularly large hurricane (about 90+ mph winds), but she hit dead on that part of New Jersey. My mom used to talk about how calm & sunny it was when the eye went over. In 1960 the weather forcasting was not what is is today, Donna kind of snuck up unexpectedly so poeple couldn't really prepare. That was the last time our family left a boat in a slip during a hurricane. I've ridden a couple out "on the hook". There is a nice high windward shore on the river I grew up on & boats from miles around come there to anchor in the lee during any bad storm.
The yard that did the rebuild did an excellent job, they were boatbuilders themselves. They added no butts, all the planks were replaced in their full lengths.
"Caprice" was in every part a true "Jersey Skiff". She was a 30' Ulrichsen built in 1952 in Keyport New Jersey. Construction was traditional Jersey white cedar, steam bent (in place) white oak ribs, copper rivet fastened. Original power was a single Chris Craft 160hp. flat head six which pushed her at 15 knots. In 1964 my dad, my brother , & I repowered her(ok, so my brother & I mostly were just "gofers" handing tools) with a Barr marine conversion of the Chevy 409 cid engine. With that she would do 20 knots wide open. She was a really beautiful boat with lots of mahogany & teak. Her cockpit & wheelhouse soles were all teak decked.
The color was Interlux Bermuda green which was discontunued by Interlux in the early 1970's. It was quite similar to their Hamilton green (a bit bluer as I remember).
Sorry the pictures are not better, but they are from 40 year old slides.

John R Smith
03-15-2002, 09:27 AM

thanks very much for posting this, I really enjoyed seeing something about a clinker boat. The slides have a definite charm, too, don't they?


Alan D. Hyde
03-15-2002, 10:59 AM
Ned, thanks again.

Do you know what happened to her? Is she still around?

John's right, the tint and tone of the old slides carries with them a nostalgic charm...


03-15-2002, 03:13 PM
Alan, My family sold her in 1969 & moved up in size. We used to see her out on the water regularly in the years thereafter. Sadly I last saw her about 1980 blocked up in the back of a boat yard & in pretty sad shape. I don't think she was around much after that. She did make it to almost 30 years which is actually pretty amazing for a wooden boat during that transition period from wood to fi@%*ass during the '70's. I do have fond memories of my young years growing up on her.