Eulogy for a Barbour by Judy Hills, RDC Triangle Chapter of ACBS
It began and ended in New Bern, NC. Built by the once-renown Barbour Boat Works (probably in the late 1950’s), this vessel began her life with the elegant moniker of “Silver Clipper” which was a type of runabout.
In your mind’s eye envision a white lapstrake hull with a gleaming mahogany deck with shiny chrome hardware, cutting through the water powered by a fat 50 HP Evinrude motor.
We don’t know, but we hoped she had a happy life and was well -used and well-loved.
Fast forward to present-day 2017. A widow calls for assistance in getting rid of the deceased husband’s Barbour boat which had been stored in a carport for God-knows how many years. Friends, who restore old boats, visit to see what might be salvageable. The poor old girl is now beyond help: rotting, delaminating, coming apart at the seams.
It is as if she is trying (unsuccessfully) to shake off the years of neglect. Unfortunately, everything that’s old is not worth saving. They determine that the only things that might possibly be salvaged are the trailer, the wooden/glass windshield, and the builder’s plate.
They cruelly (or mercifully) make short work of cutting up her once-proud hull to deposit in the local landfill. One can almost hear her sigh of relief as she is released from her shabby shell. What an ugly ending for this once beautiful craft! We silently recite Alfred Lord Tennyson’s “Crossing the Bar.” As she “turns home again…may there be no sadness of farewell.”
Thank you, Judy Hills, our newest ACBS website reporter.
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