What caused the “uncapsizable” Puffin to capsize in front of hundreds of prospective buyers on Labor Day in 1957?
This was the same year that America's sense of technical superiority would be given a body blow by the Soviets' launch of Sputnick, while the American attempts to launch a satellite would explode on the launching pad:
Here in Saltaire, America's newfangled sailing technology, the fiberglass hull sailboat, would be on display and on sale. It was trumpeted to the village as the safe dream boat of the future for the village's corps of young sailors.
Kids' safety was always of first concern in this Village of big families and "Happy, healthy Saltaire Youngsters." A Village that had come of age after the Hurricane of 1938. A Village that in 1954 had suffered the scourge of a polio epidemic. Yes, the Village had known tragedy, and had always come back stronger than ever. Now scores of Villagers, checkbooks in hand, came out to see a live demonstration of the marvels of the the UNCAPSIZABLE PUFFIN, the sail boat designed with safety in mind.
A score of families were about to sign on the dotted line to buy their own Puffin. It was just a matter of a brief sailing demonstration, using real Healthy Happy Saltaire Teenagers as the crew.
The whole dock was filled with spectators.
The Puffin sailed from the dock.
In thirty seconds flat it was upside down.
Checkbooks back in thier pockets, the crowd walked off the dock and went home to pack to leave the Village. It was Labor Day.
There would be no fleet of New Puffins in 1958. It changed the sailing preferences of Saltairians for generations.
The crew survied, but have never told their story. Only now, after 51 years can their whole story be told, In their own write. And only here at Saltaire38.blogspot.com
What was the weather?
What were the sailing conditions?
Who were the crew?
Was it scuttled?
The controversy lives on. Check this blog Monday, August 11 for the controversial true confession: The capsizing of the Uncapsizable Puffin:
After 51 years the crew comes forward to describe that terrible day.
COMING MONDAY, AUGUST 11 Only on: http://www.saltaire38.blogspot.com/