Like Dr. Frankenstein laboring through moonless nights to ignite that vital spark, my favorite skipper spent a very long time creating his monster.
Frankenscot came to life for the Everglades Challenge -- stitched from the basic carcass of a Flying Scot sailboat and various ghoulish, scavenged additions: a retracting bowsprit, hiking racks, sliding rowing seat, extra sails, and lots of floatation. It lurched to the finish line in March 2014, winning its class and delivering its crew back to shore safe and sound.
What happens to the monster at the end of the story?
Although Frankenscot might have managed another Challenge -- and the beastie was admittedly a blast to sail in the right conditions -- the wisest course seemed to be to let the monster rest in peace. Pieces.
It took about four hours to unbolt and unscrew and strip the stainless hardware. A few scrambling minutes to slide the high-tech centerboard from its trunk.
The sails and the gear-pouches are tucked into the back of the closet while the borrowed rowing equipment went home to the Tampa rowing program.
The rudder is being repurposed by the designer, O. H. Rogers.
The rudder casing hangs proudly in the shop as a good idea that worked pretty well, while the carbon-fiber boom is hanging around in hopes of a next project.
The safety gear is guarding over some other of our risky ventures.
The lessons learned in the three-day-long sprint down the Florida coast added up to this: the next Everglades Challenge campaign to emerge from our laboratory will NOT star the Frankenscot.
The WaterTribe™ Ultimate Challenge is a circumnavigation of Florida in small boats: 1200 miles of open water, backwater, river, a 40-mile portage, more river, and then more open water. It starts with an Everglades Challenge, and then just keeps going. And going. And going. Competitors take 20 or so days to circle the state. Hmmm.
Or perhaps instead compete in the other Challenges: Minnesota, North Carolina, and the Chesapeake?