What Happened When a Texas Man Discovered an Old Boat in the Attic?
Wichita Falls resident Jim Loudermilk carefully removed a 1930s racing sailboat from an old downtown building and restored it to its original glory
Article and video from TexasMonthly.com
Wichita Falls resident Jim Loudermilk carefully removed a 1930s racing sailboat from an old downtown building and restored it to its original glory.
A local legend in Wichita Falls claimed that a fifteen-foot sailboat was somehow parked inside the attic of a building downtown. Resident Jim Loudermilk heard that it belonged to a young Navy recruit who put it there right before he shipped off to World War II. When the building was sold to a new owner, Loudermilk was allowed to climb into the attic and check the story out for himself. There, buried under decades of dust and debris, was a Snipe, an eight-hundred-pound racing sailboat made in Mississippi and popularized in the 1930s.
The owner offered it to Loudermilk under two conditions. One: he had to figure out how to get it down. And two: he would restore the old watercraft to its original glory.
See the story play out in this dispatch from Texas Country Reporter.
“Play Baby”, hull number 1469, was built in 1935.
In 1934 “Play Baby “was born. She was a Snipe sailboat built in the original configuration with cedar plank deck which was covered with canvas decking material with a pivot centerboard. Charles P Warman Jr. obtained plans and began building a Snipe sailboat. He finished her in 1935 and registered her with the International Snipe association and was given hull number 1469 and was christened “Play Baby”.