Thursday, June 20, 2002

Boat stolen from Prouts Yacht Club

Published in the Current

For the first time in more than 20 years, a boat has been stolen from the Prouts Neck Yacht Club.

On June 6, a custom-built wood-and-fiberglass sailboat, 15 feet long, was parked on its trailer at the yacht club. Between then and June 11, the boat, a Doughdish with a white hull, named “Heartthrob,” was stolen.

It is worth about $17,000, police said.

The owner is from Pennsylvania, according to Scarborough police, and summers in Prouts Neck.

Bill Harding manufactures the boats in southern Massachusetts. In 1972 he started building them out of fiberglass after a 1914 design by Nathaniel Herreshoff.

Herreshoff built the boats out of wood between 1914 and 1943.

The first customers were people summering on Cape Cod who bought them for their children to sail in the breezy, choppy Buzzard’s Bay. But, Harding said, “the boat turned out to be beloved by all ages in the family.”

And though he has made 475 of the ballasted-keel boats, one has never been stolen before, he said. “This is the first I’ve ever heard of that,” Harding said.