New Start for a classic Cape May Boat

Posted 4/04/09
By Paul Kerlinger
Photos by Dave Thomas

Cape May, NJ —After nearly six years of painstaking work, Chuck Pritchard, owner of the Whales Tale, has realized his dream of restoring a classic 1940's wooden boat. This week, the Anna M left its long perch in the Pritchard yard and headed for open water.

Getting the 60 year old restored vessel from Pritchard’s home to the Cape May docks was a slow process.

The boat movers had to negotiate daytime traffic, trees hanging over the road, telephone wires, and the narrow approach to the boatyard.

The 47-foot Anna M was originally a simple fishing vessel.

Six years ago, the old fishing boat was transported from the Cape May docks to Pritchard’s doorstep, where the transformation began. Milt Edelman was the lead boat carpenter for the meticulous restoration

The boat that returned to the docks this week is a far cry from the original

It's now equipped for cruising in comfort with a larger cabin, living accommodations, and modern features that were unheard of sixty years ago.

Since the Anna M originally was built at the Cape May Boat Works, it was fitting that the boat be relaunched where it was first put into the water.

Tuesday, a crane moved the 40,000 pounds of boat from the trailer back into the harbor.

During the past six years, while the boat was being rebuilt in Pritchard's yard, more than one tourist stopped to ask “Hey Noah, how's the Ark?"

This week, as the Anna M proved her seaworthiness, Pritchard and lead boat carpenter Milt Edelman had the last laugh.


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