The Golden One was a large motor sailor with exquisite appointments. The fixtures in the master cabins bath were gold or at least perfect gold plate. It seemed nothing was too good for the master of the Golden One. Today she sat in a cradle at Spinney’s boatyard, having her lower stem surveyed after a mishap with a reef near the Widows. Typically something as posh as the Golden One would never be seen at Spinney’s; Smith and Farmer’s Boatyard, or East Harbor Marine maybe, but not Spinney’s. Spinney’s was more of a “Townie” sort of operation. But Spinney had availability and capacity to haul out on short notice, so there sat the Golden One in all its resplendent beauty.
Spinney seemed to think that was the semblance of resplendent beauty, not the actuality. A brief survey of the hull brought to mind the old saying that ” fresh paint and varnish can hide a multitude of sins.” While the recent incident had not created any significant new damage, the survey revealed a pattern of bare minimum maintenance that told a story of miserly spending on repair that was at odds with the Midas reputation of the Golden Ones’s owner.

The elite soirees that seemed to be held nightly were the talk of all the young women in town. Afterward, there always seemed to be the need for an extensive cleaning, which was as close as locals got to invitations aboard. The tales of what got cleaned up ranged from intimate apparel to birth control devices. Most of the harbor, and members of the local churches, were grateful that the local young men and women did not attract the attention of the master of the Golden One.
At Spinney’s, the nickname of the owner and vessel was twisted into the “Golden Masterbator.” A token of disapproval and a bit of jealousy all tied into one. Because even while in the cradle at the marine railroad, the onboard parties continued. This location away from the usual location of the yacht club allowed locals to see much more of the goings on than was normal.

The night of the raid was moonless and other than a few security lights the yard was lit by the doings onboard the Golden One. A small fleet of black cars descended on the entrance, and a tight knot of young men in dark suits emerged. Into the yard, they walked, and up to the Golden One. Then, citing their warrants, they pushed past the well-dressed toughs with bulges under their arms.

When Spinney and the local police arrived on the scene, a long line of scantily clad males and females were seen getting herded into station wagons. Boxes of suspicious goods and records also flowed. An older man identified himself to our police chief as FBI and mentioned that the Golden One, its master, and all its goods were arrested and confiscated. The minor sins involved male and female trafficking, prostitution, drugs, racketeering, and a long list of priors.

Things did not settle for a long while. The topic of conversation at the local diner was the raid. The Salacious details of activities imagined to have happened became embroidered until fact and fancy blended into one.

The Golden One, on a cradle, was moved to a storage area. One evening Spinney caught the yard’s night watchman giving tours for a dollar a pop. Spinney, a deacon of his church, was said to be outraged. Still, being that he was famously tight about money, there were divergent opinions on whether he was furious because of the scandalous nature of what had happened or that he wasn’t cut in on the take. Those of us who knew Spinney well realized that it was the former.

The Golden One was sold at auction after a thorough stripping removed gold fittings and hidden compartments. She was towed for refit over to East Harbor Marine and emerged some months later as the much more modest Tilley’s Two.
But like many small embroglios, the ongoing development of the legend of the Golden One continued to entertain the community for years. The truth, wonder, or fiction of the event, mattered much less than it was an outstanding story, and it had happened right here.

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