Skeeter-In-A-Barn

We all have dreams of discovering the classic iceboat in a barn, a Renegade, Meade or other such vessel of pedigree. So it was today as Jim MacDonald and I headed inland. A kind widow had called me to ask what she should do with her husband’s iceboat. All she could remember about it was that it was wood and she had taken a ride with him, so it must a two-seater.

After climbing through the upper level of the barn for a few minutes, all we could find was the mast. She called from below that it’s got to be up there somewhere. Indeed, we finally spotted a pointy bow in the shadows and slowly peeled back the layers of tarp, plywood and cardboard. The plank was discovered under the boat, the boom in the cockpit, and stranger than fiction: the runners were identical to a set of cast iron runners that Charlie Sylvanius was selling at the swap meet on Saturday. Odder still was that Charlie was selling a set of four; this boat also had four.

The fuselage was not exceptionally heavy, about 20′ x 32″ with a nicely rounded thin stern like a Meade. Steering is intact, chocks are angle iron, plank is, well, a plank with a little shape. The mast appears to be serviceable and the mast step is there. She couldn’t find the sails, one old and one “new”, but the new one was made by a canvas shop. There’s no doubt it’s a project boat and even when on the ice, it’s still a big old skeeter. We offered to take it, clean it up and find it a home, but she wanted money so we covered it back up and came home with an empty trailer.

Phew, that was a close one! No photos, but for anyone who’s interest is piqued by this I believe she’ll be happy to have something in the low three figures. Call or write me.

Oh yea, the ice. Many swamps we passed were skinned over. Felt good to see it again, like the new buds of a warm spring day.

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