Click Here for the latest chapter newsletter published December 2014
Brass Bell Articles
Baldwin, Bill. "Reviews - Lake Wheeler Antique and Classic Boat Show". Winter 2007, pp.60-61.
Booth, Richard K. "So, You'd Like to Own a Classic Wood Boat?" Fall 2007, pp.24-29.
Baldwin, Bill with Lonnie Sieck. "Dockside: Lonnie Sieck". Winter 2008, pp.49,52-53.
Mansfield, Mari. "The Garage Mahal". Winter 2008, pp.27-28.
Justice, John. "Flippin' Boats". Spring 2009, pp.25-28.
Baldwin, Bill. "Wheel, Throttle, and Gearshift...". Summer 2009, pp.14-18.
Booth, Richard K. "Floating on Air". Fall 2009, pp.12-17.
Baldwin, Bill and Leiner, Kevin. "Dockside: Kevin Leiner". Fall 2009, pp.56-57.
‘TWAS TIME TO SAY GOODBYE
By Alan & Judy Hills
Rescued from a barn in upstate New York in 2012, Li’l Rascal, a 1957 18-foot Chris Craft Sea Skiff, was taken to a new home in New Bern, NC by Alan Hills. Initially she was jointly owned by partners Alan Hills and Leif Eriksson. In 2016 she was owned solely by Alan.
She was in great shape structurally and only needed a cosmetic makeover and a replacement engine to become an attention getter. She loved “showing off” and appeared in the following shows: Beaufort, NC (x4), Smith Mountain Lake, VA (x2), St. Michaels, MD (x1), Tavares FL (x2), Oriental, NC (x2), Belhaven, NC (x1) and Georgetown, SC (x1), winning multiple awards in the process.
No garage queen she, Li’l Rascal was used like she was meant to be—driven hard and put up wet. Well, that may be stretching it a hair. She was given much love. Her engine was flushed if used in salt or brackish water. She was always washed and wiped down, covered and sheltered after use on the Trent and Neuse Rivers—her home waters. What more could an old boat ask for?
And then an interesting event took place at the September 2016 Smith Mountain Lake show. When getting ready for a fun run on the lake on Sunday after the show, a man stopped by and talked with us about the boat. At first it seemed that he was just another admirer—she is a looker after all! But no, it was apparently love-at-first-sight—or shall we say sound. He loved the throaty sound of the 6 cylinder engine—he said it reminded him of a time past. Alan told him that she might be for sale soon and the man asked for our contact information. We thought that would be the end of it, but no, Robert Blanchard, called in October and asked to see the boat. He came to New Bern to test her out. After a trial run on the river, he said he wanted to buy her. Negotiations ensued and were sealed when we threw in two Sea Skiff shirts—who knew!
So on October 5th, the deal was done, papers signed, and the boat ownership was officially transferred. It was a tearful parting, but we know she went to a good home when Robert sent us this photo of her at her new home, hitched to his 1957 Pontiac parked in front of his restored Sinclair service station/grocery (New Hill, NC around Jordan Lake). Robert says he likes the name and only needs to change the word Bern to Hill (hum, interesting!) on the transom to make her his. Robert assures us that he is joining the RDC Chapter of ACBS and promises that we will see Li’l Rascal at the ACBS shows. We look forward to seeing her and her new owner again!
And now the hunt is seriously on for a new boat. Alan’s daily routine is checking out the various sites on the web where old boats are posted for sale. He needed a winter project anyway. So, if you know of something on the small side that needs a little loving, let Alan know!