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Thursday, May 17, 2018

May 11, 2018-Fred’s Little Dream Boat

All the boys at the beach where I spent my summers as a kid wanted boats of their own. We were too young for cars but a boat, well, that would be great.

One boy, Johnny, the coolest boy, already had one. Johnny’s Poky Dot was really a very tiny speed boat, hardly more than a bathtub, but a great boat with a good design and Johnny buzzed around that bay in it all the time, and usually with a teen age girl or two at his side. We had to have one too (the boat and the girl).

I got my dad’s old rowboat and converted it to a speed boat, a poor speed boat. The other boys followed suit with whatever they could put together, but the season was late and we barely got to use them before school was ready to start and we headed back to the city.

The next year we all worked in summer jobs in the Valley and the boats hardly got used. Mine even sank.

Glasspar Brochure
Glasspar Superlite in 1961

But I still lusted after a real cool speed boat like Johnny’s. I dreamed of a Glasspar Superlite, made in California, a 9’ 8” sleek beauty with a special hull shape (which few would appreciate but I did) which I would equip with a powerful motor and custom consol and seats just made to take a girl along. I sketched it on the cover of my school notebook many times.

I never got that boat. More summer jobs, then college, then marriage and kids. They all got in the way. I did eventually get a Glasspar boat, a bigger one for water skiing and camping, which was more practical and it was great; we used it all over Washington and California. But the dream of the Glasspar Superlite never left me even after the factory that made them burned down and they went out of production.

As an adult I searched the Internet for them but never found one for sale. I checked out every small white fiberglass boat I saw to see if it was a Glasspar Superlite. I found three. One on the beach in the San Juan Islands, tied to a log. I said, “I wish I could take that boat home and make my speedboat” but I didn’t. It was somebody’s dingy, I don’t know who. The next one was found, surprisingly, in Walvis Bay in Namibia, Africa. It was modified, but clearly a Glasspar Superlite. I thought, now this is strange, how did it get to Namibia?

wingssail images-fredrick roswold
Glasspar Supelite in Altata

Finally, this spring, I found one in Altata, Mexico. It was beat up and two small boys were using it to toss a fishing net off the beach in Altata. I took some photos. It was definitely a Glasspar Superlite. Now this one called my bluff: This was one Glasspar Superlite which was definitely within my grasp. After we got back to La Cruz I could borrow a truck, drive up to Altata, and buy that boat. I am sure I could get it for a small price. Then I could take it back to La Cruz and do a full restoration, buy a good motor, and then…

Then what?

What would I do with a 9’ 8” speed boat? I’m no longer 15 and I am certainly not going to buzz around Banderas Bay and try to pick up girls. There aren’t even many places to buzz around to, not like Skagit Bay. And where would I keep it? Plus, I could better spend the time and money on maintenance on Wings, which always needs more work.

So, practicality wins out. I am not going to buy this Glasspar Superlite.

And I am going to stop dreaming about it. Sometimes we have to let our dreams go and anyhow, what is the good of a dream, which, when it finally can come true, you don’t act on it?

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Fred

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