While we were giving free sailboat rides to the public during Brownsville Appreciation Days, Steve approached our booth and mentioned he had a nice little wooden El Toro sailboat that he wasn't using anymore. He mentioned that his father had done some repair work and built some of the parts with his own hands. More than anything he wanted to see it get some good use. He never said it, but I could tell that he wanted somebody to love this boat.
Well the timing couldn't have been better. I've been very interested in teaching my own kids to sail, but the C-Larks have always been a bit intimidating for my 9 year old son and 7 year old daughter. However, with this offer of a smaller, simpler boat one idea led to another, and my club and I realized that we could really jump start a lot of kids using this boat. Without even seeing the El Toro I agreed to come and get it, something told me this would be a special boat.
Once I got to Steve's house and he opened his garage, I got very excited. It has a beautiful mahogany finish with fiberglass reinforcements down the center and on the chines. After we loaded it all into the back of the van I presented Steve with a PSC club hat and a certificate of appreciation. They are small tokens in comparison to the inspiration and motivation that he has given us.
The mast fit, but just barely.
This is my happy face.
At home I enlisted my kids to help me rig it up and see how it all goes together. They got really excited when we first unloaded it out of the van because they realized this was a boat that was just their size. They were even more excited when they realized how simple this would be to sail. They're already talking about racing, so I'll have to keep my eyes open for more Toros in the future. As we rigged it, I asked the kids "What do you think?" To which they both replied "I love it!" My daughter mentioned that she loved it so much that she would even take a nap in it... Whatever that means.
Now we've got it taken apart and is being stowed to keep it dry this winter. We will be making some space on our dock to keep this boat available to all members.