The title Rowdy perhaps implies a story of mayhem and parties - and in a strange way, you wouldn't be far off identifying this saga as a spirited account, even though 'Rowdy' does not identify a state of mind, but is the name of a sailboat author Christopher Madsen discovered in 1998.
At that point Rowdy was certainly not living up to her name: derelict, leaky, and neglected, the yacht and her former owner were largely a mystery – and, as author Christopher Madsen began rebuilding his new acquisition, so he became intrigued by her past and became determined to not just rebuild her, but also to solve all of her mysteries. The surprising course of this investigation traversed East and West coasts, involved exhaustive research, and ultimately drew the author as much into researching Duell and nautical history as into the physical act of restoring an old, once-grand boat. In fact, over sixteen years went into the making this story; and so Rowdy is not a quick nautical adventure so much as an in-depth and personal investigation, made all the more gripping by the fact that the story is completely true, historically significant and meticulous footnoted throughout.
It should be noted that color and vintage, historical black and white photos and illustrations are liberally peppered throughout: something missing in many a nautical tale, and a feature which lends a visual touch to the story line.
Rowdy offers many unusual facets that set it apart from other nautical titles.
Another facet included in the book, Holland Duell’s war journal, provides vivid, personalized descriptions of his experiences in the Great War, and is represented to be the most detailed accounting ever written on the 306th Field Artillery, 77th Division.
But finally - and perhaps, most importantly - Rowdy is a history journal of a boat, its owner, and the process of tracking down a multifaceted story of her life and times: a process that immersed the author not only in the original owner's remarkable story; but also afforded him the most wonderful and special opportunity to meet and become friends with many of Holland Duell’s descendants.
And so readers anticipating a singular story of a boat's restoration, or a yachting adventure, or even a new owner's discoveries about his impulsive purchase will find so much more here. The historical research and vintage history is simply extraordinary, making Rowdy an exceptional standout presentation that neatly moves far above and beyond the multitudes of books competing for similar shelf space. Five stars!!...Continua