The spring of 2003 found several folks in search of a classic wooden boat in which to rebuild. After over twenty years Cotton Blossom went from becoming a steady burden for Carl Reichardt, who had now become her sole owner, to becoming a very desirable item.
In June 2003 Carl sold the boat to Dennis Conner. Dennis, you may recall, had sailed aboard Cotton Blossom in San Diego when Ed Turner owned her in the early 1960s. He had gone from a local junior sailor to World Star Champion and then America's Cup sailor. Prior to shipment to San Diego Dennis had Johnny Smullen, who would become Dennis' Cotton Blossom project manager and coordinator, strip out the cabin of all joinerwork.
Cotton Blossom prior to shipment. Blaine, WA, June 13, 2003.
A good profile view showing her bobbed transom.
She had sailed only rarely since 1981. In the foreground is her aluminum mast which was installed in the late 1970s.
Johnny Smullen had removed most of the cabin joinerwork.
Carl lamented, “I spent 20 years trying to make it all right and Johnny ripped it all out in a few days.”
Looking aft. Carl had replaced the Atomic 4 with a small Perkins diesel.
Her original chainplates were iron. Bronze chainplates were installed in the early 1950s.
Removal of cabin joinery revealed many broken frames.
More broken frames. The original frames were English Elm.
Johnny Smullen and Dennis Conner examining the hull.
Former owner Doug Cole showed up for the shipping.
Sharing a copy of the original line drawing with the new owner, Dennis Conner.
Trying to determine where her original waterline might be.
“Do you think we’ll need an engine in her?”
“ Dennis and Johnny Smullen. Her beautiful lines are still in tact. Just wait for what’s next.”