Dad and mother's move to Hilton Head Island, SC was a marvelous change for both of them. For mother it gave her to to garden, write, read, and socialize. They first lived in an area called Calibogue Cay with a dock in front of their house. Their neighbors were well-known people like Jonathan Daniels, Garry Moore and lots of retired generals and admirals. Coming from little Moosup, Connecticut, this was a whole new world for mom and dad and they thrived in it.
With a dock at their house Dad certainly had to but another boat. He researched the yachting magazines and talked with local sailors and zeroed in on a 25 foot English-built Westerly Marine sloop with a double keel. He figured this might be the perfect boat for the shoally area around Hilton Head. He flew to England and visited the Westerly factory. I remember his stories when he returned about meeting the head of the firm and his assistant, 'A beautiful, smart young woman who knew boats from top to bottom.' He bought his first boat for Hilton Head and it was shipped to Savannah.
Dad loved this boat and convinced a friend, Cal Sargeant, to also buy one. Together they raced in Calibogue Sound BUT the boat was just too slow. Dad decided to look for a faster sailboat so he could compete with the others who, under the leadership and inspiration of my father, started a yacht club (The Yacht Club of Hilton Head Island) and scheduled races.
Dad was always very competitive and after a few years he decided to look for a faster sailboat so he could compete with other boats that joined his club. He selected a Morgan 34 and ordered one. I'm not sure if he sold his Westerly or traded it in for the Morgan. Since dad was a master-trader, mostly of cars, I surmise it was traded.
That Morgan 34 was a beauty and dad and his crew of Haskell's Rascals started winning races in Calibogue Sound. Members of dad's crew were Garry Moore (of television fame), Grant Morehouse (a local lawyer), 2 colonels (Casey Cason and ?), Bob Dye (formerly from Connecticut, in the Chamber of Commerce), Dave Griggs (my friend from Pickens, SC), and me.
I don't recall how long dad had that Morgan before he ordered another Morgan design—a Heritage Yacht 36 footer. Charlie Morgan had sold his Morgan Yacht Sales to a Beatrice Foods which provided him the funds to design and build the yacht HERITAGE and compete in the America's Cup Races, with Charlie as her skipper. They lost to INTREPID and Charlie started a new yacht company in Florida—named Heritage Yacht Sales. Dad ordered one of Morgan's first 36 footers and decided to equip it with a sail-furling system designed by Ted Hood of Marblehead, Massachusetts. Dad met Ted and told me all about his fascinating operation. Ted's father had some looms and wove the fabric his son used for their sails—right up dad's alley as a former weaver.
The Heritage 36 was a fast boat! Dad and his crew won many trophies at the Yacht Club of Hilton Head. As a man in his late 70s and 80s, dad inspired the young turks at this yacht club to name a room at their club on Palmetto Bay Road in dad's honor. There is a half-model of dad's Heritage on the yacht club wall (built by Colonel Cason) together with an article about my father—the father of ocean yacht racing on Hilton Head Island.
One day when dad and I were sailing alone on his boat he said, "Hank, let's sail this boat across the Atlantic to England." He was serious but before thinking it through I said, "You've suggested and I've read too many books about yachts that ran into storms out in the broad Atlantic. I think we should keep sailing closer to land; as you've told me, 'I'm a barking-dog navigator.' In hindsight, I should have agreed as it would have been a great experience for me to do with my father. He had Multiple Myeloma at the time, but knew his days were probably numbered and he really wanted to do this with me. I should have done it!