Big boat relaunched in Cortez
|'Golden Ball' goes home to her element
The "Golden Ball" is back in the water where she belongs, moved by crane to a moorage in Hunters Hill Marina in Cortez.
The 46-foot sailboat will stay there for another year or two while owner Jamie Canfield refits her, paints and does all the myriad tasks to prepare a boat for sailing.
He already has spent three years on her restoration, and finished the last of that work at the marina, so she was ready to be refloated over the weekend. He expects the next phase to take maybe two years, and of finishing the boat, "Who knows how long?"
The boat was designed by the foremost naval architect of his time, L. Francis Herreshoff, for Florida chartering. There is only one other like her, Canfield believes. He bought the boat through a sailing magazine advertisement.
He left the "Miami rat race" in 2000, moving with his wife and two children to Bradenton. He is a real estate broker and property manager, owner of Florida Realty Group in Bradenton.
The boat is shallow-draft, two feet, with minimal keel and large leeboards, and can sleep up to 10, he said.
A devoted conservationist and officer of the Sierra Club, he bought her to use for the youngsters in the school for troubled juveniles in East Manatee County, but the school closed before he could get the program under way.
So he brought her to Cortez for the restoration and will devote the refurbished craft to educational and environmental studies, mostly through the Sierra Club's Inner City Outings program