1. A Boat from an Old Movie

After I got out of the Navy my wife (the former Lynne Harley) and I were living and working in San Francisco. I worked for Matson Terminals Inc. as an industrial engineer, and she worked as a claims authorizer for the Social Security Administration. By this time my buddy, Doug Balcomb, had purchased the GAMBELLA and was busy getting it operational again. Lynne and I decided we wanted a boat too, and we began to haunt various harbors and boating centers looking for something that would fill the bill. I also carefully read all the yacht sales ads in various sailing magazines. One thing I noticed was there seemed to be a lot more boats for sale in Southern California than in Northern California. So one weekend we flew to the Los Angeles area and took a look around down there. One sales person took us under her wing and showed us a number of “blue water” boats. One boat in particular seemed to be a good fit for our wants and pocketbook. Her name was ESCAPE and she was a 31 foot sloop. The ESCAPE was not a new boat but she looked solid enough. She was a wooden boat, roomy and nicely finished down below. The sales lady arranged for a marine survey and also for the owners to take us for a sail on a subsequent weekend. Here is what she looked like:

ESCAPE on a reach

ESCAPE on a reach

ESCAPE in Her Berth

ESCAPE in Her Berth

The owners did take us for a short sail and “showed us the ropes.” One interesting point they made about the history of the ESCAPE  was that she had been used in an old movie called “Saps at Sea.” I filed that away in the back of my mind and almost forgot it entirely until just recently.

When I started work on the new “Sea Stories” category for Uncle Rob’s Blog I remembered the title of the movie and plugged it into Google. Sure enough there it was, a 1940 movie featuring Laurel and Hardy. I purchased a copy. It  was typical of that team, just silly slap stick, and they made the boat look really old and decrepit even though it was about 25 years younger at that time. Here is the cover of the DVD and a couple of frames showing it as it looked in the film:

DVD Cover

DVD Cover

Prickly Heat

Prickly Heat

At Sea

At Sea

(click on image for larger view)

To make a long story short, we purchased the ESCAPE, and in my next post on this subject I will tell you how the ESCAPE escaped L.A.

Saturday, December 26th, 2009 ESCAPE

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