How I managed to live four decades without sailing is difficult to understand. I drew thousands of sailboats in school when I should have been paying attention, and I always dreamed of sailing, but the opportunity never availed itself. Although cars were a primary obsession during my youthful years (see my long article on this subject: "Car Crazy"), I also had my share of boats. I didn't get my first sailboat, however, until I was 39.

My first boat was a wood and canvas canoe which I fixed up and painted. The photo below was taken in 1959. I am seen helping four siblings get in for a Sunday afternoon paddle on Daretown lake, where our family lived.

Around 1960, I restored a rowboat and built two 8' prams to sell.

We lived in Austria from 1964 through 2002. In 1967, I built a rowboat with the church boy's club. Here they are with their boat.

In 1972, the boat was repainted and served the youth group for several years


Taburyak II

In 1979, the owner of a gas station next to Attersee Lake (Austria) was selling a complete sailing rig for a Tabur Yak II.  The boat had gotten smashed on the rocks in a violent storm and was beyond fixing. Because the price was right, I bought the package and advertised in a newspaper for the boat, which the sail, rudder and dagger board would fit. I actually found the 8-foot dinghy but financial problems forced me to sell the boat before I learned to sail.

From that time on, I was constantly on the lookout for another small sailboat, but it would be five long years before I found it. See Kolibri.

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