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Old 20-09-2016, 01:49   #1
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Greetings and Salutations

Hi Everyone,

I'm an old man now who has been away from sailing much too long. Life has a way of happening while your still planning your next move and mine is no different. I want back in before I get too old to really enjoy it, y'know?

My brother Ted and I moved from the Texas Gulf Coast to Largo, Florida in the 1980s. He was (and still is) an accomplished singer, songwriter, composer and the consummate Texas Blues guitarist. Me? Not so much. I play the radio, the guitar if no one is looking and I sail when I'm able.

Anyway, it was on Dunedin Causeway that I met Sgt. David 'Rocco' Cuccia, USMC, Force Recon, Retired those many years ago. Rocco had a large collection of shrapnel embedded in his body, a small stipend from the military and a catamaran concession. He rented cats to the tourists and taught locals and vagabonds alike how to sail - for a fee.

Rocco and his buddies sailed mostly Panthercraft Cats; the 18' and the 20' Dart. All of us being a little crazy, soon became fast friends. These guys lived for squalls and high winds (is it 4:00 o'clock in Florida?). Being the 'new guy' they also loved trying to scare me to death. But I was having way too much fun to be scared. I sometimes just camped on the beach so I could be the 1st one there.

One day, the winds across St. Joseph sound had topped 40 knots with a slow-moving low pressure area, so the short-board windsurfers struck their postage-stamp sized sails and called it a day. Rocco, a Seal buddy of his and I decided to try to hold down the 20-footer. Rocco and I weighed in the 170-180 lb range and Tom was probably 220-230 so we had close to 600 lbs of meat on-board, not counting gear. But I was the only one that trapped out that day. Guess I was trying to prove something.

We kept the foresail furled and yet on a reach, we still outran the wind a few times. The short-boarders stuck around and were filming from the shore. After several runs, I unfurled the little genoa. Tom handled the main and Rocco wrestled the helm.

So now under full sail, we screamed across the shallow sound, while the fiberglass made a loud slapping sound on the chop. Tacking for another reach, we lurched to full-speed and promptly broke the mast about 4' up from the center-beam. The guys filming said they recorded a gust of 88 knots on the hand-held when suddenly all hell broke loose. That was the day I made the crew and we sealed the deal over Captain Morgan and a host of newly-minted exaggerations at a local decompression chamber called the Louisiana Seafood Company.

Those were the weeks that led up to my addiction to sailing and some life-long friendships. These guys had 6-pack charter Captain's Licenses. I crewed the boats, did a little maintenance (which never ends) and they helped me study. We sailed a 36' Portman Sloop (later to become the Watkins 36) and a 44' CSY Cutter/Ketch center cockpit/walk-through; both owned by a doctor (shrink) out of Tarpon Springs (another great guy). In those years, off and on I lived aboard sailboats and we ranged all over the adjacent waters. We ran charters of all kinds, from the Anclote River to the Florida Keys and from deep in the Gulf to as far east as remote islands in the Bahamas.

Now I'm the one pushing 220-230 lbs and back to sailing, grey hair and all. I'm shopping for a boat. My wife loves everything about sailing but the water. Of water, she is terrified. But she is willing to try - on alternate days. Depends on when I ask. Just missed out on a Lapworth 44' by 'that' much! Still, there is a bargain for me out there somewhere...
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Old 20-09-2016, 07:37   #2
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Re: Hi All

Hi Phillip,

Us too, but hopefully for only another month although we're on the Fl W/Central Coast (Tampa area)! Welcome to the CF!
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Old 20-09-2016, 07:40   #3
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Re: Hi All

Greetings and welcome to the funny farm phillip
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Old 20-09-2016, 07:46   #4
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Hey Phillip.. Welcome to CF..
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Old 20-09-2016, 07:52   #5
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Re: Hi All

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Originally Posted by CareKnot View Post
Greetings from the Texas Gulf Coast. Currently living on the hard. Say a prayer for me.

Phillip
Welcome to the funny farm... errr, Cruiser's Forum... Phillip ;-)
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Old 20-09-2016, 08:33   #6
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Re: Hi All

Thank you all for your kind welcome. Funny farm? That's where I live. Wait, you mean there is more than one?

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Originally Posted by SV Bacchus View Post
Hi Phillip,

Us too, but hopefully for only another month although we're on the Fl W/Central Coast (Tampa area)! Welcome to the CF!
Ahoy Bacchus,

I know it well. I'm an old man now who has been away from sailing much too long. Life has a way of happening while your still planning your next move and mine is no different. I want back in before I get too old to really enjoy it, y'know?

My brother Ted and I moved from the Texas Gulf Coast to Largo, Florida in the 1980s. He was (and still is) an accomplished singer, songwriter, composer and the consummate Texas Blues guitarist. Me? Not so much. I play the radio; the guitar if no one is looking and I sail when I'm able.

Fell in with some crazies. For years we sailed mono-hulls and raced 18' and 20' cats all over St. Joseph Sound and the Clearwater area. Crewed charters out of Dunedin and Tarpon Springs. The Sun Coast is my old stomping grounds, but we extended it from the Gulf to the Bahamas.

So where have you run aground?
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Old 20-09-2016, 08:38   #7
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Re: Hi All

Oh David, Fort Lauderdale? Ah! Now I understand the agri-cultural humor...
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Welcome to the funny farm... errr, Cruiser's Forum... Phillip ;-)
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Old 20-09-2016, 08:42   #8
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Re: Greetings and Salutations

Welcome to the forum.
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Old 20-09-2016, 08:43   #9
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Re: Hi All

Wait, I misread your post, Newhaul! You were the instigator. I should be thanking you. I love instigators.

By the way, I lived in Tacoma for a couple of years. Beautiful area.
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Old 20-09-2016, 09:02   #10
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Re: Hi All

Hey Boatman,

Thanks for the warm greetings. I suppose it to be about 5 or 6 pm in your locale. Am I close? Are you at safe harbor or sipping tea and planning for the midwatch somewhere offshore? How goes it for a delivery skipper in Europe?
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Old 20-09-2016, 09:29   #11
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Re: Hi All

Oops! I originally started a thread that never posted. Now I have two in Meet and Greet. So I reported the other and asked the two be merged. Here I am, new to the forum and already adding to the moderators work load. So sorry.
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Old 20-09-2016, 12:42   #12
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Re: Greetings and Salutations

Welcome here Careknot and welcome back on the water! There used to be a Lapworth 40 in my harbor when I was a kid, beautiful boat! And the 44 is a great ol' classic too. Good luck in your search, keep us posted!
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Old 20-09-2016, 13:57   #13
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Re: Greetings and Salutations

Hi Don,

Thanks for the fix and sorry for the trouble.

The Lapworth evidently was given to a church at the passing of the (I think 2nd) owner. They first neglected it and then restored it and listed it.

Not getting a lot of responses, the church committee decided it was over-priced and proceeded to discount the boat on a regular basis. The boating community seemed to be wondering what was wrong with the boat *because* of the repeated discounts - so inquiries were few. I placed my bid for the 'then' asking price of $10,000. She's back on the market two weeks later for $64,000.

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Welcome here Careknot and welcome back on the water! There used to be a Lapworth 40 in my harbor when I was a kid, beautiful boat! And the 44 is a great ol' classic too. Good luck in your search, keep us posted!
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