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RED BANK: HISTORIC YACHT LIGHTS UP RIVER

red bank NJ admiral's barge joe ruffini 121518 4red bank admiral bargeRed Bank resident Joe Ruffini’s history-rich yacht, the Naval War College, brought some Christmas sparkle to the Navesink River Saturday night, one night before it was scheduled to participate in a parade of boats on the Shrewsbury River.

The boat parade is slated to run again on Sunday, December 23. Meantime, for the fascinating backstory about Ruffini’s vessel, which has hosted two American presidents, check out this redbankgreen article from 2016. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

RED BANK: A BOATLOAD OF WOOD & HISTORY

ruffini-boat-100616-7Joe Ruffini in the salon of the Naval War College, where a photo of onetime visitor John F. Kennedy hangs. The”admiral’s barge,” below, will be among the wooden boats on display at the Monmouth Boat Club Saturday. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

ruffini-boat-100616-2A year later, Joe Ruffini is still in the “pinch me” phase, not quite able to believe his good luck.

After a brief online bidding war, the Red Bank roofer ended up owning a well-maintained, 50-foot wooden yacht, built for Navy admirals, that has hosted at least two American presidents.

On Saturday, the public will get a chance to step aboard, when Ruffini’s prize goes on display as part of a wooden and classic boat show in Red Bank.

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RED BANK: ROCKET HITS THE ROAD

nsib&yc rocket 022815 1 nsib&yc rocket 022815 2 It may have been damp and sweltering out, but a vessel built for gliding on ice went for a ride over the weekend.

Over asphalt, that is, not frozen water. Still, the Rocket, the 127-year-old ice yacht owned and lovingly restored by Red Bank’s North Shrewsbury Ice Boat & Yacht Club, traveled to Wooden Boat Magazine’s Wooden Boat Show in Mystic, Connecticut, where it captured the award for Best in Show among restored vessels.

Back in the frigid days of March, the Rocket, built in 1888, raced on its home Navesink for the first time in 80 years against the Jack Frost, which belongs to the Hudson River Ice Yacht Club(Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

 

 

 

RED BANK: ROCKET & JACK FROST AWAIT WIND

nsib&yc 022815 1 nsib&yc 022815 2With more than a foot of ice beneath their runners, the world’s two premier ice yachts had everything they needed to race on the Navesink early Saturday – except for wind.

The Rocket, the 127-year-old prized possession of Red Bank’s North Shrewsbury Ice Boat & Yacht Club, was set to race the Jack Frost, which belongs to the Hudson River Ice Yacht Club. The two yachts met last year for their first matchup in decades. And if the wind comes up before 3 p.m. Saturday, or sometime Sunday, “there will be no goodbyes” as the two teams head out onto the ice, said Red Bank’s John Oakley.

The club cannot allow the general public to access the river via its property because of liability issues, but the best viewing of a race would be from Marine Park anyway, said Oakley. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

 

 

 

GIANTS ON ICE, AS ROCKET MEETS JACK FROST

rb rocket 030114The Rocket, above in foreground, with the Jack Frost.  (Photo by John Oakley of Fantastic Signs. Click to enlarge)

The New York Times has a story in Monday’s edition on a rare meeting between two giant iceboats – the Rocket and the Jack Frost – on the foot-thick ice of the Hudson River Saturday.

The Rocket, the prized possession of Red Bank’s North Shrewsbury Ice Boat & Yacht Club, weighs more than a ton, and requires ice a foot thick to support its weight. Ditto for the Jack Frost, which belongs to the Hudson River Ice Yacht Club. There is only one other vessel their size in the world, and it’s in a museum.

Ice that thick being rare, the two 120-plus-year-old behemoths, capable of speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour, rarely sail. And they had not raced head-to-head in a century, the Times reports.

But then right conditions arrived over the weekend, and the members of the NSIB&YC postponed an open-house event scheduled for Saturday and made a beeline to Barrytown, New York.

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RED BANK: FIRE DAMAGES DOCKED BOAT

Mechanic Chris Davison reboards the boat after the fire. (Click to enlarge)

Fire damaged a yacht docked at a Red Bank marina early Thursday afternoon.

Quick action by two employees of Irwin Marine, adjacent to Marine Park on the Navesink River, enabled them to move the burning vessel away from other boats in the marina, said firefighters, who extinguished the blaze from the promenade alongside the park.

Nels Lybeck, an Irwin mechanic, suffered lacerations, but refused medical attention.

“We were blowing out windows to get hoses in there, and his hand was cut,” said fellow mechanic Chris Davison, who with Lybeck moved the burning boat.

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QUIETLY, A MEGAYACHT DOCKS IN SEA BRIGHT

islander-112211The Islander tied up at the end of Church Street in Sea Bright. (Click to enlarge)

islander-2It’s a megayacht so lavish that it not only has its own website, but the website has tabs marked “main saloon” and “sky lounge.”

It’s so large that a motorist turning down Church Street in Sea Bright Tuesday morning thought an apartment building had been erected at the end of the block in his absence.

Welcome to the Islander, 196 feet of floating, sumptuous luxury, now docked next to a muddy steel fabrication yard in Sea Bright.

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