A Brief History of Our Journey with “Elsie”
I obtained Elsie in the summer of 2013 from her port in Mystic Seaport, Connecticut. She was known as “Elsie Marina” at that time and was desperately in need of much work. The survey done at the time proved this out, as we had to involve several master carpenters and other craftspeople to bring her up to the point where she was insurable. Once that was complete and the insurance secured, several friends and I began what was to be a “direct trip” through the Erie Canal and on to Erie, PA. Unfortunately, at the time, the Erie Canal closed early for some maintenance on certain locks, so I was forced to winter her in Coeymans, NY, near Albany. This proved to be a great experience, however, as the very friendly, helpful, and capable ownership and staff there not only helped me to monitor her well-being, but allowed me to work on her throughout the winter when I could get there. In this way, I was able to complete a significant amount of additional work on her over the winter.
We brought her to Erie in the Spring of 2014, where I have continued to rebuild and enhance her, in several cases making major and very significant enhancements to her structure, both internal and external.
Together with my wife, children, and grandchildren, we have had many wonderful years enjoying her here in the Erie area. My wife and I stay on her whenever possible for as long as possible, she is a most pleasant, comfortable, and welcoming vessel that continually draws attention and admiration from passersby. We have a number of friends who enjoy viewing the beautiful Erie sunsets from her deck while enjoying appetizers or dinner on board even when we are not there.
At this point, we have purchased a replacement for Elsie that will allow us to travel farther south in the many cold months and is more suitable for our needs of living aboard for long periods of time. We are looking for a new owner for Elsie who will love her and enjoy her as we have. In full disclosure, most of her flaws today are cosmetic, but a wooden boat of her age will always require TLC and work of some sort. My project for this summer was to be painting the salon area, which was partially prepped at the end of last season. The biggest project over the next couple of years or so will be the sistering of her original fasteners to ensure long-term integrity.
You know most of the critical information about Elsie from the extensive research you’ve done and wonderful articles you’ve written, but I am happy to discuss anything you have questions on at your convenience.
Elsie is “on the hard” and covered every winter, launched every summer, floating happily in the waters of Presque Isle bay and the Erie region until late fall. Elsie is a “happy boat,” as described by many people. She is a joy to own and a vessel that brings great happiness and smiles to all who have the pleasure of experiencing her in some way.
I currently have Elsie insured for $50,000. She is for sale “as is,” and is available for inspection “on the hard” here in Erie. The final selling price is open to negotiation, if you are interested please make an offer. Our primary objective is to sell her for a fair price and for her to find her new home with someone who will enjoy her immensely and continue to improve and enhance her as we have. She can be launched for a sea trial for serious buyer, with advance notice. She takes a solid day to fully “take up,” but her bilge pumps work well and she has always run great with minor tune-ups.
You can also see Maynard Bray’s post on Off Center Harbor about the Murray Peterson tugboat JOSEPH H STUART.
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