June 4, 2009. Bob Jordan, based on a contact from Stan Secora (JATO), has been in touch. He bought Curlew from former sailmaker John O'Neill in 1979. She has been out of the water for about 14 years, but there is still hope.
June 11, 2009 - Bob has provided some additional information about Curlew. He sailed the boat out of Thames YC in New London, CT for about 6 years. He bought a trailer and stored her at home. The last year that she was in the water, 1985?) he replaced the old Palmer with an 18hp Yanmar diesel - an installation that did not make him happy. Then, the rest of Bob's life got complicated and Curlew stayed under her cover. While the boat has been covered he runs the engine occasionally, using a temporary set up for fuel supply.
A few years ago he gave the old Palmer engine, which was stored in his garage, but was still in running condition when he pulled it out, to a guy who had it installed in his Dolphin. The engine was reconditioned by Dale Johnson, the eastern CT guru of old Palmer engines. We are trying to trace this engine through Dale - and maybe find another missing Dolphin. Dale does recall that this 'guy' and his son had flipped the boat upside down and were doing some serious bottom work on the hull.
Dale Johnson's shop is just next to Fort Rachael Marina in Mystic, CT. Dale also reconditioned Mike Gooch-Breault's Passage's Palmer engine.
Webmaster Note: Dale Johnson can be reached at Johnson Marine, 860 536 8026
Back to Curlew - Bob also reported he had the top sides painted (white), and he replaced his aluminum rudder - a project that was aided by advice from Stan Secora (JATO). We are trying to find a picture of Curlew - not under a cover.
Your webmaster tracked down John O'Neil, who sold Curlew to Bob. He bought her around 1974 from someone who, he recalls, lived in Essex. CT. Her name was Curlew when he bought her. Her main bulkhead was getting soft, the rigging loose and the mast was threatening to come down into the cabin. He rebuilt the bulkhead and, because of excessive mast pumping, converted the single lower shroud system to double lowers. Webmaster Note: This is not a problem unique to Curlew - click here to get more info on this annoying problem. Curlew was rumored to have done some serious blue water sailing before John got her. The Essex DFIs are not aware of this boat so we will have to do more digging.
John also recalls that back in the early 70's there was a guy by the name of Jim Brooks who had a Dolphin at Thames YC. He could not recall her name. This is a new one and we are checking on her. Webmaster Note: April 30, 2012. Jim's boat was Ceili - click here to go to her. Stay tuned.
April 30, 2012. The need to update this page with name of Jim Brook's boat, prompted a quick read through Curlew's page and your webmaster was reminded, a few days ago, that John O'Neil said he bought her in Essex, Connecticut. That reminded me of a comment made to me 17 years ago when I bought Marionette - also in Essex. That led to the discovery of a Shaw 24 named Bequila - click here to go to that story.
However back to Curlew. I checked back with John O'Neil and he re-recollected that maybe he didn't buy her in Essex - maybe it was Chester, a bit further up the river. Then he told me that the original owner of Curlew had sailed her across the Atlantic (and back?) in 1962/63 - that's serious blue water sailing. We'll have to re-double our efforts and get this story. Stay tuned.
An oversight - Curlew is our 203rd Found Dolphin.