Dad was the master of The Godspeed Manatee which "has only one flaw: it sinks". It also stank of sea water and diesel fuel and was, thanks to a chugging one-lung engine, by far the loudest and most trouble-prone boat in the Guilford marina. And yet in Dad's eyes this distant relative of The African Queen was a yacht. A vessel for pleasure cruises with his very best friends. Not that she wasn't diffilcult at times:
From a letter dated November 14, 1972
"Ugh. I took it out last weekend and it took me 45 minutes to get the damned thing to start. My fingers are raw and blooded. I shall now do the same to them with the bilge pump."
February 6th 1973
"The Manatee continues to float and start on the first turn. Took her up the river last Saturday ( toop-toop-toop). I think it's the camel urine in the gas tank."
September 24, 1973
"I got a call from Dr. Gilbert, the dentist with the other one-lung engine, the other night who said the Manatee was sinking. Well, although it did have one hell of a lot of water in it, I did bail it out and it floats high, dry, ran the engine and it's fine."
I believe Dad finally sold the Manatee for $500 around 1980.