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Old 06-09-2014, 11:21 PM   #1
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Default 18' Century Resorter

This and the 38' Steamer just posted Senter Cove Guy and I dove on recently.

Neat boat. More cusk digging around it. One is under the boat in the video. They have a consistent attraction to wrecks. These same holes can also be found around the tug boat off the Witches.

The two groups of white dust like spots to the right of the wreck are two schools of fish. We couldn't see them even if they were there when we dove but the sonar could.

I see many many schools of fish on sonar in Winnipesaukee. Some are huge, perhaps 60-80 feet long.

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Old 06-10-2014, 08:04 AM   #2
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Is there a lack of bilge pumps on these old wooden boats? If so, is that why so many have gone down? I was also thinking that years ago there was not the emergency response that is available now (Sea Tow, TowBoat, MP).

Keep these videos coming!
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Old 06-10-2014, 08:24 AM   #3
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Great video, Thank you !!
It's hard to see all that "hardware" still on the boat. But in a way it's nice to see her mostly "dressed".

In answer to the Bilge pump question; no, many did not have built in pumps. As a young kid one of my jobs was to pull the engine cover and seats and use the marina's pump at the gas dock to empty the boat. The next step was a small pump that I would connect direct to the battery and stick the hose out. At some point a built-in pump was installed but it was real hard to drill that hole
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Old 06-10-2014, 09:44 AM   #4
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Default Hand pumps

Does that bring back memories. My dad use to have Higgins boats. Wooden boats made by the Higgins of torpedo boats fame. They made excellent ski boats! Every time we take the boat out I would open the engine hatch and pump out the water by hand. When my right hand gets tired I would switch over to my left hand. The old boats were known to seep water, either between the caulks or from the propeller shaft, which is stuffed every year.
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Old 06-10-2014, 11:22 AM   #5
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This makes me want to get back in the water as soon as I can. Been far too long.
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Old 07-28-2020, 06:18 PM   #6
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Default Here's...The Rest of the Story

Two years ago, Sean O'Shea went searching for information about his boat that sank in Lake Winnipesaukee in 1976. Within a couple of hours he had his answer. Someone pointed him to the video contained in post 1 in this thread.

Here's what Sean had to say:

I was a lucky kid in the 60’s and 70’s. My parents owned a 43’ Chris Craft Corinthian on Lake Winnepesaukee (NH) that was basically the “summer home”. I had the V-bunks in the bow to myself and my own bathroom. We’d been going there since I was 8. I was happy with my little 8’ fiberglass rowboat with a 4 H.P. Johnson motor. I made a lot of great memories with that little boat, but I always had my eye on every inboard speedboat that I saw in the marina.

My (much) older brother had a couple of different mahogany Century Resorters and that was really a dream. There was one boat in particular I would drool over when we’d visit Channel Marine. It was smaller than most at barely 16’ and it had different colored wood in the bow. My dad would practically have to drag me back to the car when it was time to head back to our own marina in Gilford. For years, I socked aside a couple dollars at a time hoping to someday purchase a boat as much like that one as I could find. I probably only had $200 saved when that very same 1956 Resorter had a “For Sale” sign on it when we returned to the area in early May after a long winter at home back outside of Worcester, Massachusetts. My dad saw that look and said “You’ve worked hard. I’ll loan you the extra you’ll need and we’ll set-up a payment plan for you.” They were asking $1,400. My Dad wanted me to learn my own set of business negotiation skills, so he stayed outside by the boat and sent me in to ask if they’d sell it at $1,200 and fix a small tear in the engine cover. I did… and they did. My Dad gave them the check and they would get to work on recovering the engine cover and getting her in the water to get seasoned after spending the winter on a trailer. It was the longest week of my life, but Friday night finally came and I was in my Resorter with that soothing sounding sputter of the inboard making my way from Weirs Beach back over to Gilford. Gosh, she was a pretty boat. I practically slept in it. It was a really cold, gray and choppy weekend, but I took her out as much as possible.

There was a younger boy — maybe 12 or so — who had some emotional and behavioral issues. His grandparents had custody of him and he would often come spend weekends with them. He didn’t have many friends, so I would hang out with him, give him boat rides, etc. and this weekend was no exception. We were skipping along at a really good clip out in Saunder’s Bay. The “Knotayot” was purring and gliding over the waves like nothing I’d ever experienced. There were almost no other boats out for such a cold and gray Sunday afternoon. I noticed a lot of water was on the floor and I assumed maybe some spray had come in from the waves. I slowed down to neutral to grab a towel to wipe up the water, but the boat rushed forward as I did. I realized there was a lot of water in that boat and this boat was taking on water quickly, I put it back in gear and hoped to race toward a beach I saw on the shore maybe 1/2 mile away. She stalled. I had one of the big orange life jackets and I tied it on my young friend. There was one boat — just a microscopic blip on the horizon. I waved frantically, but they didn’t seem to notice. At this point, the only points that were more than a few inches above the water line were the front windshield and the back flag mast that held the new flag my Dad had just bought me that morning to celebrate my new boat. I grabbed the flagstaff and ran to the windshield and stood on it and flagged frantically. I noticed that the white blip stopped, then made a 90 degree turn and rushed toward us at full throttle. I had them pluck my friend from the water, then I asked for a tow line still stubbornly thinking I could get this boat back to shore. I had it wrapped around my leg as I was trying to tie it off and the Resorter fell from under me like a stone. I was pulled down a couple of feet until my leg freed up. I didn’t realize how close to death I was between the possibility of drowning and the probability of hypothermia had this boater not noticed my plea for help at the last possible second. All I knew is that my dream of years had just disappeared into the deep icy waters and I was overwhelmed with grief and trauma.

Channel Marine gave my dad back the check, but naturally not without questioning if this 14 year old boy had perhaps plowed through “The Witches” (an area of rocks and sunken islands). I angrily assured the owner that I’d grown up on that lake and I knew better. I deeply regret the angry, snide and disrespectful tone I took with this man. He was only asking a question and had every right to. I felt it was some sort of attack on my character and I was already feeling traumatized, but I never should have spoken to him the way I did. This all took place in May of 1976. Fast forward to about 1999 and I returned to Lake Winnepesaukee with my wife and my two young daughters. I went to Marine Patrol in Glendale and asked if perhaps they had a copy of my accident report or if anyone knew of the boat’s recovery. I met a man who said that records were destroyed after 25 years and I’d missed the report by only a matter of months. Also, he understood that despite some attempts by various curious divers, the boat had never been so much as located. It was in a deep, icy grave.

Now it’s 2018 and a series of life-altering events led me to uncover PTSD — and this boating incident was a major factor in this. I never dreamed I would be someone to deal with this. My family had a “get over it” attitude when it came to unfortunate incidents and we always looked at the bright side. I was very lucky that my friend nor I perished in that 42 degree water in 1976. But somehow, I carried a sense of loss and unworthiness that piggybacked with many other events and came to a head.

I now live in Nashville, TN and I joined a group of Century inboard enthusiasts on Facebook (along with a couple of Chris Craft groups). One day, I got a crazy idea. I posted a photo of Saunder’s Bay and I gave a one paragraph description of the sinking 43 years earlier. By the end of the day, I had several people offering me leads. One was for a diving club and that club had a list of many boats (perhaps 70??) that had sunken in Winnepesaukee. They were divided up by town. When I got to Gilford, I held my breath. “16’ Resorter” with the exact coordinates of where she was. And more than that — a link to a 3-minute video of the dive where it was discovered in 66 feet of water off of Governor’s Island in 2014. Hans Hug offers a service using sonar to find items underwater. He’s also a diver. When speaking to a group in the Lakes Region, he met Russ Vaiden who had been a Marine Patrol Officer and is the first one who responded to the sinking on that fateful day. He pulled my floating engine compartment and some cushions out of Saunder’s Bay and set a marker. He’d been radioed that we were already brought to shore. Hans was very welcoming with my inquiries and introduced me to Russ, who was equally welcoming and forthcoming with his memories of that day.

So… 43 years after the event, I was never able to accept the fact that this Resorter was just “gone”. It made no sense to me. Now I feel closure somehow having visited this watery grave for this classic 1956 Century Resorter. R.I.P., girl. I’m so sorry for what we went through together.
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Last edited by Senter Cove Guy; 07-28-2020 at 09:22 PM.
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Old 07-28-2020, 06:55 PM   #7
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Default Incredible!

That was awesome!

Thank you for sharing!

It's Always Sunny On Welch Island!!
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Old 07-28-2020, 07:51 PM   #8
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Question 16 vs 18...

I'm confused. The above title refers to an 18-foot boat, but Sean O'Shea is missing a 16-foot boat. Are we discussing the same sunken boat here?

Sean O'Shea was smart to look for a place to intentionally "ground" his boat.

BTW: From my usual auction site, I've learned that steering wheels such as the one in the video is referred to as a "banjo" wheel. (With its many spokes).
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Old 07-28-2020, 08:11 PM   #9
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Default Same Boat

Originally Posted by ApS View Post
I'm confused. The above title refers to an 18-foot boat, but Sean O'Shea is missing a 16-foot boat. Are we discussing the same sunken boat here?

Sean O'Shea was smart to look for a place to intentionally "ground" his boat.

BTW: From my usual auction site, I've learned that steering wheels such as the one in the video is referred to as a "banjo" wheel. (With its many spokes).
18 feet was a rough measurement.
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Old 07-29-2020, 12:30 AM   #10
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Default Great story

Sad, but fascinating story. Thanks for sharing.
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