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Lightning Class Association

#7310 — Lou Mauriello's Lightning

I first started sailing as a young adult when my dad approached me to join him in a partner ownership of a sailboat, what would eventually turn out to be a 28 foot Paceship. Up until then we had both owner powerboats off and on and at the time I had a half ownership in a 16 foot wood Chriscraft runabout. My dad had recently resolved his half ownership in a much larger twin engine ski boat. Our first step was a planned day sail on my father’s friend’s boat. We showed up at the dock only to find a sunfish and my father’s friend with his three children waiting to go out on a sail, which we quickly turned down. Realizing it wasn’t going to be as simple as switching from the power boats we had both been involved in to a sail boat our next step was a visit to the local library where we checked out a few books on sailing technique. After reading up on sailing we figured there couldn’t be much to this tacking thing and soon started investigating buying a boat. We quickly settled on cabin and cockpit space for a LOA which we figured we could handle with our previous powerboat experiences.

The boat was purchased through the yard where it was stored from the previous owner, who we never met. The yard owner recognized we were new to sailing took us out on a test run to determine the boat and, I think our seaworthiness. A week later we sailed her the 4 hours to our home marina, a long multi adventurous trip by the end of which we had turned our book knowledge into practical knowledge thru a crash course in sailing. The boat remained in the family for a few years until we recognized we were no longer utilizing the boat due to the increase workload of our individual business. A decision was made and the boat was sold, through a boat yard owner to someone we never met, exactly as we had purchased her.

I hadn’t sailed for many years after owning that boat until a few years after my second child, my son, was born. Then, while visiting a relative the first year they vacationed in a rented home on a lake, I was instrumental in this relative’s purchase of a Snark, which my children and I extensively used whenever visiting throughout the years the relative participated in the rental.
Interestingly enough, last year I purchased a Snark myself (which I’ve yet to sail) and that relative, upon hearing of my purchase, offered me his free of charge, stored away in a basement ever since that last summer they rented the house on the lake some 15 years ago, now a hull, long since separated from its mast, boom, sail, rudder, tiller, and dagger board.

As the years passed I often talked about how much I had enjoyed owning a boat, especially a sailboat. I picked up a aluminum 10 foot Sears John boat but left the engine at a friend of my father’s who was winterizing it for me. Unfortunately he passed away before I had a chance to pick it up, and the motor passed away into his estate. The John boat has sat idle in the side yard ever since.

About 4 years ago my son, now 25, while reminiscing of those summer visits to the relatives on the lake, asked me about why I hadn’t ever purchased another sail boat and that started the winds blowing. I started to do some research and thru some web searching found the Lightning. I found a colleague who owned one. He offered to take my wife and I for a day sail, which, as a dedicated racer, turned out to be the first he had gone on himself in his own boat, in years. My wife spent the trip on the floor of the boat. I was sold.

The research continued and hull number 7310 was found (laid up by a second owner and hadn’t sailed since the father of the previous owner had passed away leaving it to his son), negotiated for (asking price was $500 with sails, all hardware, trailer, and the "termites"), purchased ($150), and the restoration started. Three years later she is ready to launch, and although I’m not a racer, I’m ready to join my fellow Lightning sailors, and become a sailor once again.

Louis Mauriello

Restoration Log for 7310

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Lightning Class Supporters