Updated history of S/V Fiddlers Green 1978
Posted by: Matt Corwin
Date: October 25, 2018 06:29PM
Hello group, Following are some excerpts from the Fiddlers Green's log book, she has a very complete set of records and there are even letters between Sam Morse and the old owner's and a signed letter from Lyle Hess.
From a presentation for sale letter written by Ted and Claudia Bowler of San Diego writers of cruising books, Power Squadron Commanders etc.,second owners of the sv Fiddlers Green, 1978 Bristol Channel Cutter #21
2009 by Ted Bowler, 2nd owner
"Fiddlers Green was custom built by the factory, the Sam L. Morse Boatyard in Costa Mesa, California. She has had two owners. Geoffrey Jenks is the original owner (1978-1996) and was a shipwright for the Sam Morse Boatyard so all the wood joinery is exquisite. He had the boat interior designed specifically for him and is unique. He tells the story when they were getting ready to lay out the head they had him sit on a bucket and they designed it so that he fit perfectly around all the wonderful wood joinery. His design includes a full length mirror, enclosed head and U shaped dinette just as some of the features. He sailed out of Dana Point and mainly in southern California waters. In 1996 when we purchased the boat the 23 HP two-cylinder Volvo Penta diesel engine had 1100 hours."
The boat was then sold by Rouge Wave brokerage in 2009 to Mr. Walter Kastner, a novice sailor from Pennsylvania who I assume conceptually fell in love with the BCC's through literature etc but had no real idea of their use as is evidenced by the marina's reports of multiple rescues and some pretty amusing story's he actually recorded in the ships logbook, things that I would never admit to even under cross examination! He liked keeping a log, I think it felt very shippy to him to record near dock mishaps tangled warpage etc., makes light reading after a miserable day cleaning bilges or reorganizing the crazy mess he left her in, for example there was a 35# Bruce anchor in the rosewood nav table cabinet and there were even Coleman fake kerosene lamps literally duct taped to the cabin sides. Wrongs to be righted everywhere one looked.
Mr. Kastner had passed away some time before she was given to a charity on the advise of an unwise boat broker who certainly did not know what he was looking at when he inspected her for the heirs, he advised she be donated for tax purposes due to her apparent bad condition. The Behr's latex flat house paint covering the teak bulwarks and peeling in sheets to reveal wet, greenish teak didn't help her appearance much nor the solar driveway marker lights wire tied to stanchions, steering gear and elsewhere running rigging all ahoo. Canvass Bimini and dodger hanging loose and green with algae, cracked Isinglass...
There were cabin top leaks to beat the band but fortunately rosewood is a very tough, oily wood that handles moisture fine so the wood is all in good shape although the glue holding it together is not. The cherry wood v-match paneling is held in by the rosewood furniture frames so its all still in place but the construction type adhesive has failed so a long job of disassembly, glue scraping and re-bedding waits for volunteers to start lining up, put your bids in early!
The boat was neglected for so long that the bilge actually filled to within an inch of the sole beams, as far as I can tell after pulling the fuel tank and cleaning and drying the bilge, she takes on no sea water (in three months) so I bet that it was rain water drip by drip that filled her up, amazing, it must have taken years!
Fortunately the cabin sole is fine and so are the cabinet bases, the only serious damage was to the fuel tank that pitted from the outside in the bilge water and had to be replaced, water was actually leaking into it from the bilge.
Fiddlers Green is on her way back to being well found but it will be a long road, I feel that she was probably due for her 10 year maintenance routine when the last owner bought her almost ten years ago so besides all the recent damage, all the hoses had to be replaced as well as re-bedding of all hardware and of course paint and brightwork.
Two points of interest I think are the teak rudder and the Montgomery-like dingy, I think the dingy is shorter than a stock Montgomery because it fits on chocks behind the mast and is just short of the companionway hatch opening. I read somewhere that she was built by Sam Morse Boatyard and the chocks are really well done and look original to the boat. She was built as a sailing dink but all the stuff is gone but the lee board hardware. No rudder, mast, sail or leeboard remains. I probably would not want to have to stow all that stuff anyway.
The teak rudder is in amazing condition, looks like its not even aged. I unshipped it with a block and tackle off the boom and that sucker wanted to go straight to the bottom, must be every bit of 300lbs!
Matt Corwin, Wiscasset, Maine
s/v Fiddlers Green