August 2007

‘Rock The Boat’ Sponsors Rock

By Jim Allen
Arizona Boating & Watersports

It is still hard for me to imagine all of the work that so many have put into saving  sad, old boat — a once-proud boat that boasted all the style, sophistication, and amenities that were available in the 1950s.

This 1952 Chris Craft will hopefully live again due to the efforts of people who are trying to help fulfill a dream.

It is hard to give all of the credit that is due in this short space, but it would be hard to do with unlimited space.  The following people and companies are listed alphabetically; trying to list them in order of importance would be impossible. 
They all were absolutely necessary to the saving of this piece of history: Ivory Trader.

Art Kelley — Art is a long-time and good friend.  He has patiently nurtured Carol and me through boat ownership.  Art is a skilled craftsman and shipwright.  He has many other skills and talents, and most of all, he has had the patience to work all the way through our boat experiences right up to assisting in the haulout and moving of Ivory Trader. 

Crane Rental Service Inc. — Thanks to Don McDowell, we will enjoy the help of Ed Haas at Crane Rental Service.  Don spoke with Crane Rental Service, and Ed Haas has agreed to provide a 70-ton crane to offload Ivory Trader from Ed Hale's rig.  We at AZBW look forward to having Ed and his company as one of the new sponsors of the “Rock the Boat” project.  Ed Haas is also an avid boater.  Without people like this, “Rock the Boat” could not succeed.

David Bassham — For the eight years that Carol and I lived aboard Ivory Trader, berthed at Driscoll’s Wharf in San Diego Bay, our dock master David was a constant source of assistance and information. He and his family, Laurie and Reagan, were not only good friends, but also they were mentors in many things maritime. David, true to form, was with me throughout the moving and haulout of Ivory Trader, bringing his expertise to this challenging project and to the end of an era for Carol, our cat Popcorn, and me. Thank you, David, for it all.

Don and Darla McDowell — Don and Darla host Outdoors Arizona, Outdoors In America and Shake Rattle and Troll radio shows.  They have given AZBW the benefit of their experience and their constant support.  They are both avid anglers and supporters of our great outdoors.
Esmeralda Resort — Morris Jackson of Esmeralda Resort and the Titanic Sports Club in Rocky Point has been an inspiration and constant harbinger of good will and a good friend.

Hale’s Marine — I can’t say enough about Ed Hale.  He has an unimaginable amount of experience and expertise with the sea.  He has gone completely out of his way to make sure that the “Rock The Boat”project is given the opportunity to succeed.  Ed has given of his time, experience and spared no expense — including two runs to San Diego to bring Ivory Trader to Phoenix to be restored.

One of Ed's goals with sponsoring “Rock the Boat” was to bring the boating community in Arizona and Southern California together to make them and the public aware of issues that will affect them now and in the future.  He feels that we need to come together as a community in order for our voices to be heard by those who initiate the laws that will govern the boating community. 

Ed has already accomplished this.  The “Rock the Boat” project has brought the boating community together in a way that I had only dreamed possible.  It's amazing how this group of people have joined to make one project become a reality.  Thanks, Ed!

Jim Kelly & Tour — Jim began helping with our Web site in the beginning of AZBW.  He took a majority of the photos that will be used in the project and has contributed many stories to AZBW.

Leslie Thornton — Leslie has contributed in many ways since the beginning of AZBW.  Without her assistance AZBW might not have endured.  With the latest project, bringing Ivory Trader back from San Diego, Leslie helped in every way — including prep work (manual labor) for the haulout and delivery.

Maritime Institute of San Diego — Rags and Kathy Laragione are incredibly knowledgeable and experienced in things maritime. They have always offered to share that knowledge and experience with us.  Rags knows well the ways of the sea and boats and has spared no time or expense in helping with the “Rock The Boat” project. Among other things, he and Maritime Institute of San Diego were responsible for the haulout.

Sea Tow — Capt. Fayette "Bubba" Severence has stood behind this plan from the beginning.  Lesser men would have let common sense prevail and bowed out of the project.  Bubba is fully aware that when one of Sea Tow’s boats hooks onto a tow, they become responsible for the boat they are towing.  Hooking onto an old wooden boat that may sink before it reaches its destination, is clearly above and beyond the call of duty. Bubba did this twice.  Bubba, thanks for your perseverance and faith.

Shelter Island Boat Yard — Bill Roberts and his staff took on a task that most would not.  Finding someone in San Diego to haul out a wooden boat is not an easy assignment.  There are potential problems and most boatyards will not participate.  Bill and his staff made it look easy.  Thank you, Shelter Island Boat Yard.
Sun Valley Fiber-Glas – Dan Turner: You have to meet him to appreciate him.  Dan is one of the real people in the world.  He comes from a background where you do what you say.  Like many in the boat world, Dan does not sugar coat things, but he is true to his word and a good friend.  Dan is helping in every way with both the Chris-Craft Scorpion and Ivory Trader.  He has opened his shop and his time to us without limitations.

The Art Institute of Phoenix – The staff and students at The Art Institute of Phoenix have put their time and energy into the “Rock The Boat” project for the past year.  They have people from all of the disciplines working on this project.  Without seeing it first hand, it is hard to imagine the ability and enthusiasm that comes from each of the people participating. We can’t thank them enough as we continue to move through this project with them at our side.

Editor’s Note: The above sponsors have been mentioned for their invaluable assistance with the haulout and moving of the 1952 Chris-Craft from San Diego to Phoenix. Other sponsors have committed to the remaining tasks that will be vital to the success of “Rock the Boat.” In future issues, as they are involved, we will add our thanks in detail to them as well.

Jim Kelly

Underway—Minus her pilot house (which had to be removed for travel), the 1952, 43-foot Ivory Trader is shown on Ed Hale's truck bound from San Diego to Phoenix and to Dan Turner's Sun Valley Fiber-glas for refurbishing during the "Rock the Boat" project.