Insurancemen took Edna in stride and weren't even bothering, two weeks after Carol, to straighten out their pleasure-craft books on the second hurricane. They were still occupied with Carol, who, among other things, blasted the Atlantic Tuna Derby out of the water. Awaiting the derby were 77 boats valued at more than $2 million. After Carol had gone, 24 of them were on the bottom of Rhode Island's Harbor of Refuge or piled up on battered piers and the shore. Damage to these alone was in excess of $300,000 but Carol wasn't through.
By the time she was through, about one in four craft in New England was damaged in some way, the average insurance claim running in the vicinity of $2,000. The Boston Insurance Company had about 700 claims which may total $1,500,000, the Insurance Company of North America about 500 claims for $1 million. These two are among the largest in the marine insurance business and the biggest claim against them was $30,000.
Boats of far higher value were lost, however. The reason for low coverage was explained quite simply by Arthur G. B. Metcalf, President of Electronics Corp. of America, whose 12-meter yacht Trull went on the rocks at Marblehead, and was gutted by fire.
"The Trull," Metcalf said, "was one of only fourteen 12-meter boats built in Germany and one of five in commission in this country. To reproduce her today would cost from $175,000 to $200,000. To insure a boat for that amount each year would be economically prohibitive. It would cost too much because premiums are so high. Most of the larger yachts probably are insured for only about 10% of their actual value."
Boats that cost $10,000 to build in the '30s today may be worth $40,000. Such a boat was Navigo II, George D. Haskell's eight-meter sloop which was lost at Marblehead.
Other big beauties lost to Carol included Malay, a Concordia yawl, owned by Dan Strohmeier of the New Bedford Yacht Club and the smallest boat ever to win the Bermuda race (this year), valued at $50,000; Avanti, Walter Rothschild's 55-footer, which was to have been delivered to the U.S. Naval Academy, valued at $90,000; Djinn, $75,000 cutter owned by Henry Morgan, former commodore of the New York Yacht Club; Mohawk, 60-foot ketch owned by Kenneth Magoon and valued at $100,000 though she cost $25,000 when built.
But some boats declared total losses by the insurance companies probably will sail again. The hulks will be bought cheap, repaired and refitted by men who know their business and make handsome profits after every big storm. The Mohawk, beached several times by storms, has a fabulous record for returning to her element. At Marble-head, old-timers looked at the rock-ripped hull and warned: "Never say the Mohawk won't sail again."
And there was George Sarant, of Freeport, L.I., 1949-1950 winner of the Harwood Trophy, who all his life wanted to experiment with an Elco cruiser, redesigning it from the hull up.
Sarant owned an Elco "but you can't take an expensive boat and knock it apart," he pointed out. A while back, still wishing he could afford to redesign the boat, he sold it to a doctor friend. Then Carol sank her. Sarant looked it over, still on the bottom, and found that the hull and keel could be salvaged even though the superstructure, which he wanted to remove anyhow, was completely demolished.
The insurance company has written the boat off and Sarant will be able to pick up his dream Elco, or just what the doctor ordered, for about $1,000.