Florida Keys News
Saturday, August 24, 2013
Wreck ashore
Refurbished 1920s yacht now another derelict vessel

It's enough to make a seasoned sailor cry.

In her day, the "Freedom 40," a 1920s-era double-masted sailboat, crossed the Atlantic numerous times, building up a storied nautical legacy. She once was a real beaut. You'd never know it looking at the boat today.

At the moment, the vessel sits, mortally wounded, on its starboard side. It's dug into the silt and environmentally sensitive seagrass 100 yards off the southern edge of Cow Key, the latest man-made refuge for idle seabirds -- and a potential navigational hazard.

There's an element of Titanic-like hubris to this story as well: While not quite on its maiden voyage, the doomed vessel was being towed out of a Safe Harbor marina in June after an extensive refurbishment when it ran aground in the shallow waters. The incoming tide listed it over on its side and seawater flooded in, ruining the boat, probably forever.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, "Freedom 40" is now listed in the derelict vessel removal program.

tschmida@keysnews.com

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