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How a legendary fleet of racer-cruisers continues to thrive after eight decades of sailing on Sydney Harbour
return to WoodenBoat 227, July/Aug 2012 >
running back stays
Learning how to sail with my father on his E-scow, the "Evanescent" was...interesting. He had been thrown out of the old Beach Haven Yacht Club on Long Beach Island, NJ for refusing to race anywhere but to his favorite bar called "Squid Row". So the 2 of us sailed the Evanescent on our own. My job was the jib, the leeboards, and the running backstays, my dad's job was to pay attention, steer and watch out for WALKING seagulls in Barnegat Bay. You see, the E-scow only drew about 14 inches with the leeboards UP but she couldn't sail that way or handle any real wind without capsizing. With a deck-mounted, 38 foot sitka spruce mast, the running backstays were CRITICAL when you came about. Planing along at 14 knots was pretty cool, too. Especially when you are 10 years old. It was 1959 and we spent a lot of time on the Evanescent. We ended up taking her down the Intracoastal Waterway to Cape May, then up Delaware Bay, through the C/D canal and on up to Northeast, MD where we kept her in the fall so we could fish from her decks, without the mast, using a long shaft British seagull motor. - FTC-Maine now
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