Ketchikan sailor spots stolen racing sailboat

Posted: Thursday, June 20, 2002

KETCHIKAN (AP) -- Thanks to the sharp eyes of a Ketchikan sailor, a Washington man will be reunited with his stolen sailboat.

Local yachtsman Jim Dahl said he immediately noticed a Santa Cruz 27 docked Saturday at the city's Casey Moran Float.

He said there was only one of that type in Ketchikan.

Dahl said he was intrigued by the newcomer and took a good, long look at the racing sailboat.

He then picked up his mail. Among the items was 48 North, a sailing magazine. Inside were several letters and an editorial describing a stolen Santa Cruz 27, plus a picture of the boat. It matched the vessel at Casey Moran Float.

Dahl called the owner, who called the police.

On Sunday, police arrested Timothy D. Sexton, 41, of Washington, and charged him with second-degree theft and giving false information. Police said he gave them a fake name.

Boat owner David Garman of Des Moines, Wash., said he's happy his boat has been found and that he plans to fly to Ketchikan as soon as possible to check on it.

Garman said the boat was stolen from Port Townsend, Wash., on May 5. He and his racing partner had just finished the first leg of a two-day race between Seattle and Port Townsend. They decided to spend the night at a hotel, he said. When they went to the marina early the next morning to race back to Seattle, his boat, Giant Slayer, was gone.

Garman had high hopes someone would spot Giant Slayer because of its distinctive appearance.

A Santa Cruz 27 is a small ocean racing sailboat, built to withstand big waves, Garman said. It's 27 feet long, with 18 inches of freeboard. An average sailing boat has about 30 inches of freeboard, he said.

''It's a fast boat, too,'' said Garman who referred to Giant Slayer as one of his babies. ''It's a little wild and it's very wet.''

He named it Giant Slayer because it races bigger boats.

The individual who stole the boat must be an accomplished sailor, said Garman, to bring it all the way to Ketchikan in about four weeks.

Garman said he considered sailing it back to Washington, but his insurance company preferred that it be shipped. Also, he said, he hopes to get Giant Slayer back in time for a San Francisco-to-Hawaii race that starts July 8.



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