To everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven, Ecclesiastes, Chapter III, Verse 1

It's a rare man indeed who would build a boat like Salty.

All my life," said Harry Young, "I've realized that i'd take my pleasure building boats."

But Young wasn't born to riches and "the nearest I could come," he found, "was to have a job where I could work inside on my boat in the wintertime."

And so Salty was born in 1955, when Young laid the white oak keel in a shed at his boatyard near a creek off the Patapsco River.

It took him six years to build her, working when the yard was still and empty in the dead of winter. He'd do his hammering and sawing in December, January and February.

"Then I'd take the tools off so as not to be tempted and I wouldn't touch her again until the next winter."

Young has built five boats in his lifetime. Salty was the last.

"While I was building her I realized I was approaching an age when I didn't want to take on anymore jobs that take a long time, because I didn't know how much time I had left.

"I knew it was my last boat."

Now the time has come when Young, who is 72 years old, has decided he must part with Salty.

She's a motor sailer, 37 feet 4 inches long on deck and 11-4 abeam. She's ketch-rigged and built of oak and African mahogany and teak. She was designed by John G. Alden, one of the premier boat designers of the century.

She has done everything Young has asked her to do since he set her in the water in 1961. She's traveled to Florida and the Bahamas five times and Young and his wife have lived aboard her for six months at a time.

The first year they went south they took along their two sons, aged 3 and 5. Now the boys are both on the verge of graduating college.

Young's boat is 18 years old today and if there is an unattended scratch on her it would take a day to find it.


"She's never leaked a drop through the deck," said Young. "The hull doesn't leak either, but I can't say she never leaked a drop. Anybody who says he has a wood boat that never leaked a drop through the hull isn't likely to be telling the truth."

Salty is a beautiful boat in a simple, spacious and understated way. In an age when boat craft is largely sizzle and less and less steak, she's good red meat.

Young is proud of her, but he's not overwhelmed. "As motor sailers go," he said, "she's about normal."

Last winter he sailed her down the intracoastal waterway to winter in the Florida Keys and kept careful records of expenses. The costs factored out to $12 to $13 a day while they were on the move and $18- $19 while moored in the Keys.

So why part with her now?

"I try to be a practical man," said Young. "My boating years are coming to a point where I want to pull in my ears some.

"My eyes aren't good and they're not going to get any better. And my strength isn't what it was.

"I love to travel, but if I keep going up and down the waterway every winter I won't get to see the rest of the world.

"I know the time is coming when I need to get rid of the boat because I'm not going to be able to keep up with it. It's good for the boat to get a younger man.

"If I'd sold her earlier I'd have remorse. But she's done for me what I built her to do. We had our winters in the south and they were very, very pleasurable."

Young knows the boat is right. Now the only question is who is right for the boat?

He has turned the selling over to a broker because he's afraid he'd be too honest to be a good salesman.

He built her for the waterways and the Caribbean islands.

If a buyer came along with plans to take her across the ocean Young knows he'd end up explaining why it wasn't the right boat.

And if someone wanted her for a live-aboard vessel he'd have to explain about the ventilation.

You see, fresh air flows everywhere through Salty along ducts and channels he built to keep her forever dry and young. "I couldn't sleep aboard her in the dead of winter, said the man who built her.

"When you build a boat for yourself you want it to last, and if it's going to last it has to have two things-leak-proof decks and lots of ventilation.

"But I better stop. If my wife was here she'd be telling me "Harry, you talk too much."