My father was the original owner of a Rosborough Privateer. He special ordered it, flew to Nova Scotia
several times to watch it being built, and agonized as it was shipped across Canada
on a flatcar, tilted on its side to get through the railroad tunnels. It was splashed in Vancouver, B.C. and sailed to Sydney
B.C. (north of Victoria, on Vancouver Island), where we would go every weekend to learn how to sail her from Lt. Cmdr. Walker, RCN (Ret.), another Rosborough owner. We owned her for about six years, until my dad (who was always itchy about getting something new) sold her. I could have cried.
She was the most seaworthy
boat I've ever been aboard. Not flash inside, not slathered with teak
, but comfortable and homey. And built like a brick outdoor sanitary facility. Framed of 4x4 black oak with cedar planking. We got caught in a 60-knot gale that laid that big ol' bastard right on its beam ends, we went screaming downwind triple-reefed at about 15 knots. Nothing came loose or carried away.
It was sold to a guy in Alaska
, and I've never heard what happened to her. If she came on the market, I'd buy her in a hot minute. They do . . . not . . . build them like this any more. In the 1970's, they hadn't built them like this for a hell of a long time; only James Rosborough did, and you can measure his success by the fact that he went out of business. He couldn't charge enough for the hand work that went into these boats when they could pop the fiberglass
McBoats out of the molds at a rate of one a day. And what's a 1973 ColumbiEricksoPearson worth these days?
Yeah, you'll have to deal with the issues of a wood boat; so what? I remember whenever we were at anchor
, people from other boats in their dinghies rowing around our boat taking pictures. I got up one morning at oh-dark-thirty and there was some guy just sitting in his dinghy
, staring at our boat with his jaw hanging down.
Believe it or not, the biggest issue with ours was that the master shower
drained into the bilge
, with the resultant stink. Dad made a box for the shower
effluent and its own bilge pump
, but it was still open and there was still a bit of a sweet-sour shower smell, but nowadays you can buy a shower sump
box from West Marine
that will eliminate that problem - plumb the shower drain into the sump box, which has its own bilge pump
, and bingo! Problem solved
Great boat. Great boat.