Seems like this deserves a post here since it's where the story started...
Re-posting this story (6 Feet More) from my blog - you can find a ton more pictures there of both the boat and the trip.
May 21st, 2020 I get this message on Sailing Anarchy:
Hi! I know you've brought several Moore24s back to the west coast. Do you think there would be interest in getting this boat back closer to home?
It's the prototype of what would become the Wilderness 30. Bought it from one of the guys who built it in Santa Cruz (Actually lived on it in the upper harbor!) Story goes like this:
He and several guys working for Moore wanted a larger Moore 24, took the lines of the 24 and blew it up to 30 ft. Ron Moore said " Don't call it a Moore30 'cuz I'm gonna build a Moore 30." George Olson helped them with the appendages but said Don't call it an Olson 30 'cuz I'm gonna build a Olson 30." So they called it an UN-30 (after the Un-Cola ads for 7-Up), built three of them and later sold the mold to Wilderness, who modified it, put on a doghouse and gussied the interior. Anyway, she's followed me from Alameda to San Diego to Jacksonville to Lake Superior. Probably looking for a new home relatively cheaply (need to speak with partner.) Think there might be any interest? Dave
(all the photos I was sent sent can be found at my blog - 6 feet Moore)
Dave and I went back and forth through emails and phone calls a bit before I decided to get ahold of Ron Moore and learn the real scoop from the Godfather. As always Ron was happy to talk boats and even happier with the trip down memory lane this boat question caused.
Turns out there was a guy named Bruce Clayton that was working with Ron and Jon back in the 70’s who took a gazillion measurements of the Moore 24 mold (they had no drawings remember) and took it to a marine architect to have it scaled up to 30’. They smoothed out the sheer where the freeboard had been raised on the Moore and built three boats. Pyrza that we have here is #2 and the first owner wanted a queen sized bed under the cockpit with some headroom for romping around and such so it has a shallow open cockpit.
The Godfather had nothing but good things to say about how the boat sailed – reminded me there was going to be mushy core in the deck after 42 years and then said “You two are family now.” He was so happy we were working together to get an old Santa Cruz boat back to the West Coast and fixed up. How do I not go get the boat now?
A month goes by, Covid19 cabin fever sets in and my wife has a bad day at work. I make her a couple cocktails and low and behold she looks at me and says “Let’s go get that boat! Where is it?” Afton, Minnesota, sitting on a farm. Isn’t that where every old trailer-able boat is sitting in Minnesota?
Turns out the boat is now owned by Dave’s friend Nate who had brought it north after it sat under a bridge in Florida too long. Nate used her on Lake Superior but as life changed he spent more time on his Ultimate 20 as it’s easier to ramp launch and get out sailing in all the different places there. Makes sense. So the UN sat on the farm for 2’ish years after a deck refit was begun before we were called in.
1676 miles east of Seattle – we hit the road June 22. 80 miles per hour 2.5 days east, 14 to 15 mpg and gas pushing $2 per gallon. We stopped for the night at Elks lodges after long days of driving and slept in our van (2004 Chevy 3500 4x4 Roadtrek conversion van), both were closed as we arrived so late but it’s nice to have a quiet place to call home and not deal with the noise of a rest area (Members only, ask me about membership).
Anyway, we arrive at the boat and there’s no doubt she’s a big Moore 24 hull shape with a doghouse that reminds me of a Henderson 30 bubble. She’s rough and definitely in need of some love all around. We meet Nate, look her over inside and out and I look at my wife and say, it’s gonna need about $20k to get going again, you in? To my surprise she smiled and said yes!
4 hours of packing the boat, stripping the mast, tying her down, etc, while getting stung by ground hornets and sweating our asses off in the heat and humidity of the Midwest that us left coasters aren’t used to, we hit the road for a 4 hour drive back to the Elks lodge we left that morning. One change though after the hot sweaty day – we got a cheap hotel room so we could shower before visiting the lodge for dinner while it was open. Alexandria #1685 you were super hospitable to us tired travelers, thank you.
1676 miles, 8.5 mpg, 3 days later and two more Elks Lodge’s (Coure D’Alene you were amazing) we made it back to Shilshole Marina.
The trip was a hot one, a long one, but a fun one. I found myself reminiscing while driving across North Dakota about how we used to crank the heater and open the windows on the old trucks when hauling horses. Sometimes even stopping to throw buckets of water in the radiator to cool things down. 92 degrees out and pulling a good 20 miles an hour in 1st gear going over the divide my wife asks why there is heat coming out the vents – I suggested she roll the windows down as the gauge moved towards 250…
Once home we’ve cleaned her out of everything and got a good look. Some minor tabbing issues, broken keel bolt under the hoisting eye, bottom needs to be done, bad core from the bow back about 2’ and some cracked windows. The running rigging needs to be replaced but most of the standing rigging looks ok. She’ll need a lot of new deck gear but fortunately for us Nate had removed most of it, filled the holes with epoxy and redone the non-skid.
I dropped her off at CSR Marine July 9th to deal with the keel bolts and possibly a bottom job, otherwise I’ll get her over to Henderson Boatworks in August sometime. We hope to have her out sailing come fall and slowly turn her into our performance cruiser with the Moore as our race boat. Jennifer’s already decided she’ll be called 6 feet Moore… More to come!
(full gallery of photos can be found at my blog article - 6 feet Moore)