|Home Sweet Home|
A beloved Trumpy is restored to her former glory and comes home to cruise the Chesapeake.
By Eileen Mansfield — October 2002
In the early 1960's Roger Firestone, son of Firestone Tire and Rubber Company founder Harvey S. Firestone, commissioned a 68-foot Trumpy. He didn't have to go far to find the famed builder. The Firestones had a summer home on the Sassafras River, which opens up into the northeastern shores of the Chesapeake Bay, and the John Trumpy & Sons boatyard was located about 50 miles south of the Sassafras on the Western Shore of the Chesapeake in Annapolis, Maryland.
Firestone must have had a sense of humor, since he named his new motoryacht Tireless. (Her tender was named Tubeless.) When she wasn't cruising, Tireless spent part of her time at the family dock on the Sassafras. Locals grew to love her and missed her when she was eventually sold.
Years later Capt. James Silva, a lifelong boater who was living on the Sassafras, got a phone call from his friend Marty Eisenberg, a yacht broker. "He told me there was a boat down in Fort Lauderdale that I absolutely had to see," recalls Silva. Silva and his companion, Dale Fetterolf, were planning on house hunting (not boat hunting) at the time. Eisenberg told them, "Forget the house. Come see this boat." Both Silva and Fetterolf were familiar with the Trumpy name, but not with this particular boat, which had been renamed Principia. According to Silva, as soon as they laid eyes on her, they both fell--hard, even though she had been run down and neglected. Silva quit his job as a broker, and the pair started devoting all of their time to restoring her. The months of hard work included using a toothbrush-size scraper to remove the layers of white paint the previous owner had applied over her teak transom. When the work was finished, they renamed her Tireless and took her back home to the Chesapeake.
She is docked at the Sassafras Marina in Georgetown, Maryland. When I pull into the parking lot on a sunny day in July, I have no trouble spotting Tireless. Even if you've never seen a Trumpy, you know when you've spotted one--especially if she is as lovingly cared for as Tireless.
We're about to embark on a four-day cruise down the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake, an area rich in boat-building history with many unique boats native to its waters: the Trumpy, skipjack, and log canoe, for example. I was going to see the Bay from the decks of one of its own.