Challenged America Flagship Project Edges Closer to Completion

Posted: January 23, 2014  |  By: Shane Scott [The Log]

SAN DIEGO -- The hopes and dreams of many disabled sailors who participate in Challenged America programs are currently being poured into a gleaming classic wood-hull Grand Banks 42 trawler yacht, now being renovated at Nielsen-Beaumont boatyard.

The soon-to-be flagship of the organization, also to be named Challenged America, was donated to the group by Tom Nielsen of Nielsen-Beaumont almost two years ago.

Challenged America, formed in 1978, provides sailing lessons and boating experiences for disabled veterans. Nielsen, his crew and several Challenged America volunteers have already put hours of work into the cosmetic reshaping of the old boat. But with a lack of additional manpower and funds, organization president Urban Morales and director of donations Dave Hopkins came to the conclusion that they might have bitten off more than they could chew. “I’m sure you can imagine the work and money involved in restoring such an old woody, and we’re probably about 80 percent there,” Morales said. “The engines are running, and the previous deck structure has been removed and replaced, along with the interior.

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