By Edward Einhorn - Easton, Maryland - USA

K.G. Woozle

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In the mid eighties, having relieved myself of the responsibility to sail around the world, I was free to indulge in the absolutely wonderful pastime of small boat sailing. The armchair sank. No longer was I burdened with the tasks of needing to repair a diesel in three languages, determining latitude while striking a whale or paying alimony to a boatyard. The partner I chose for my new adventure was twenty-three feet long, displaced 2900# lbs and drew 18 inches with the board up. She was a Rob Roy yawl built by Marine Concepts. I named her K.G. Woozle after a beloved four-legged friend. When formalities were dropped she answered to “the wooz”. I kept her shiny and strong. She took me places I’d dreamed of. In style. Having met Love Bomb, the wooz offered herself up as a courting platform. That relationship being successful, we three relocated to the Chesapeake Bay, a known haven of shallow draft rogues offering more miles around than the Atlantic from side to side. With the board up and the mud down you could be a sloppy navigator and not be dashed upon the rocks.

Wooz with her namesake

After 11 wonderful years with the wooz including a successful racing campaign in which we garnished awards for the most moonlight finishes and most colorful sail changes, I found myself still suffering with a lifelong disorder known as BFB. BIGGER FASTER BOAT.  This disease manifests itself thru impulsive decisions resulting in bad choices. Using my newly hatched children, bum back and a lust for racing as excuses, I determined we must make a change.  There should be a disease named for this complete with it’s own inane commercials. If you suffer from BFB for more than four hours go get plastered and dwell on your checkbook or something. After having told the family to “never let me sell that boat” I did the deed, buying a BFB.

Racing in the Miles river

Answering my boat for sale ad, Bob drove down from Michigan’s famed upper peninsula to take possession of the wooz. He’d been looking for a well-built boat with style. See this: he drives 15 hours in November. Age impossible to tell. Torn coveralls, ancient Jeep pickup held together with rust and spit. Spends half an hour going over the boat and says he’s gotta go before the snow hits the Pennsyltucky mountains. That’s it. Gone.

A much younger me when I first bought her.

After a year or so my symptoms began to subside. I know I did wrong. I miss the wooz. Bob and I chat once a year. A Christmas card. We talk of someday sailing together on his lake, Huron. After about four or five years I tell Bob if he ever decides to part with her I’d like the chance to buy her back. Bob’s in love. Wooz is the queen of Georgian Bay and he is her knight.

I’d sold the BFB and tried a stint with a Carver. I could find no peace. My heart had broken by my hand. I was always on the prowl but had no lust. After chasing hull for half my life I was used up. Not even a sister ship would do.

Eleven years passed since she sailed. I got a call in September of ’08. A woman sobbing hysterically. She says she is Bob’s daughter. Bob has passed away. As he was dying he told his family to call me to come for the wooz. Bob knew. He was handing her back to someone, as a father would see to his child. We did not speak of money or shape. I simply put a hitch on the pickup and headed up north. As I prepped the wooz for travel I saw projects Bob had done, changes he had made. Oil lamps and heavy ground tackle. A life jacket for his cat. Bob was belt and suspenders all the way. Everyone I met in that far away place had seen Bob sailing the green yawl with the red sails. They were an item on the bay. He’d not changed her name.

This sez it all, Bob and his wife on the wooz, Georgian bay. Courtesy Bob's daughter

The wooz is back in Maryland, wrapped up and waiting for spring. She’s ready for new paint and lines and stuff. This will be a good way for us to reacquaint. I do enjoy just sitting on her, stroking the rail. Of course I look ahead to the places we’ll go and the waters we’ll see. It’ll be different now because this time wooz and I won’t be sailing alone. I just hope Bob lets me steer.

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