Wooden Boat

Her keel was laid in '36,
Just before the war,
The finest red mahogany
Shipped up from Ecuador.
And her boom escaped the big leagues--
Solid native ash--
A simple rich man's plaything
In the shadow of the mast.

Four decades later
I found her at a dock,
Nearly under water and
Her deck was full of rot.
But that hull of red mahogany
Could stand the test of time--
Two-hundred dollars later and
That old sailboat was mine.

So we pumped and scrapped
And stripped her down
Until she was skin and bones--
Then put her back together
Like the manual had shown.
Tightened up the shrouds and stays,
Cleaned and patched the sails,
Spit and polish all around
From centerboard to rail.


If you're going sailing,
You need a wooden boat.
They take a lot of work
But they are the finest things afloat.
You can have your fiberglas
And those hobie cats and all--
A simple wooden boat will outsail them all.

I sailed her for a year or two
Nearly every day
You'd find me on the water
Chasing squalls across the bay.
I'd run out to the island,
Then tack her gently home--
She'd heel into the wind and
You could hear her creak and moan.


The last time I saw her
She didn't look her best.
I thought I didn't care
'Cause I was headed for the West.
So I sold her to some kid
Who had my twinkle in his eye--
Two hundred dollars later and
We both said our goodbyes.

©1988 by Delma Carl Suggs
Published by Hurricane Hole Music, ASCAP
All Rights Reserved

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© 1996 by Saltwater Music