perfectly restored International 14 was sighted late in the 2006 sailing
season at the Nepean Sailing Club, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, by a few members
when Tony Cond sailed her for the first time in 43 years. This was the
boat his Dad, Larry Cond of Oakville, bought from the builder, George
Cook, in 1950 and taught his son, Tony, how to sail. Tony grew up with
the beautiful cedar-strip-on-oak dinghy and learned to appreciate the
fine workmanship that went into its construction. The mahogany trim is
still absolutely perfect and the slender, hollow Sitka spruce mast still
proudly supports the original Egyptian cotton Ratsey Lapthorne sails.
The Cond family sailed the boat in the Muskoka lakes throughout the 1950s
and 60s but then stored the boat for decades when Larry and his wife,
Ruth, found greater pleasure in larger cruising boats for their sojourns
in the Picton and Kingston region of Lake Ontario. Tony had always hoped
the boat would be turned over to him but his Dad sold it without his knowledge,
and the boat ‘disappeared’ without a trace. The new owner,
an American, restored the boat using Epifanes products.
Thirteen years later, by an unbelievable series of serendipitous circumstances,
‘Rufus’ was found, bought and returned to Tony Cond in August
2006. Tony has since made some changes to the boat to improve the reliability
of the gudgeons, the centerboard box and the cleats… all of which
retain the historic design integrity. ‘Rufus’ currently
resides at the Nepean Sailing Club in Ottawa where Tony now sails her
regularly in light winds. Tony is putting the finishing touches on a
book about the boat’s amusing adventures with the Cond family,
her providential return to the family and her new lease on life as an
actively sailed, much-loved, family boat. The author of "Rigged"
will be moving to Vancouver Island in 2009 where he plans to show his
boat in the Classic Wooden Boat Show in the late summer and where he
will continue his career as a marine engineer.