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A Sad Day as Another Old Sailboat Goes to the Crusher

We all hate to see it, yet are fascinated by the destruction of sailboats. Who among us can honestly say they’re not mesmerized by the spectacle of an old sailboat being broken up by the relentless crushing machines?

Ferris Will, of the sailboat French Girl in Richmond, witnessed the sad end for a seemingly abandoned sailboat as it was hauled out of the water and set upon by the machines last Thursday. He had his camera on hand and took these photos, which he sent to us.

“Some excitement at Richmond’s Marina Bay ramp this morning as this heavy, steel-hulled beast came out of the water the hard way. Sadly, no name on her. RIP!”

A sad day
This is such an ungraceful way for a sailboat to exit the water.
© 2021 Ferris Wills
Once she’s at the top of the ramp the big machines move in.
© 2021 Ferris Wills
Then it’s all systems go on her destruction.
© 2021 Ferris Wills
And thus ends the life of another sad old sailboat.
© 2021 Ferris Wills

And they say sailing is fun! But what happens to a boat when it has outlived its useful purpose for its owner, or perhaps outlived the owner him- or herself? Some boats are fortunate and are sold or passed on to sailors who will refit and care for them. Others are left at the dock like a forlorn Hachikō, waiting for the owner who will never return. We don’t know the origins or cause of demise of the old boat pictured above, but regardless, it’s still a sad sight to see.


  1. Jammin 3 years ago

    It is a sad sight to (almost) see. If you’re going to document an event, please make the photos of high enough resolution that we can see what’s happening!

  2. Murphy Sackett 3 years ago

    Happy to clean things up! Only constant is change.

  3. Jim Gossman 3 years ago

    Doesn’t look like this boat was ever more than a bad dream. Sad. Memorial Day weekend we (Potter Yachters) cruised up the Napa River to another “boatyard of broken dreams”, after passing several marinas filled with unused boats and future crusher candidates. I’ll never understand this phenomenon, but would bet that less than 10 percent of vessels anywhere ( like worldwide) get operated monthly by their owners. Boats need love, or they die. If you own a boat, at least go down and visit it!

    • Ros de Vries 3 years ago

      10% seems about right. Our slip neighbor is a lovely folk boat, which had been left to collect grime for months. Turns out the owner had moved out of state – I think this happens a lot!

      The happy news is that she’s up on Latitude now and may be on her way to a new owner. The potential owner I know is a dedicated sailor and will likely put a lot of love into her.

      I totally agree, love your boat and visit it often. If you can’t, sell it to someone who can. There’s a new batch of keen young sailors after the pandemic – and they need affordable boats.

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