With his newlywed bride, Ida, grinding the winch handle on shore, Chet stayed with the Senior and carefully aligned her in the cradle for hauling. Chet and Ida had begun what would become a large and renowned boatyard known as Chester A. Crosby & Sons.
In a tradition of fairness, E.M., “Ned”, Crosby, grandson of Chet, started at the bottom of a boatyard and went from there. At age seven, hired by Chester A. Crosby & Sons for $2.00 an hour, he swept the shop and changed sparked plugs with the outboard mechanic brothers. As Ned grew older and more experienced, so did his accountabilities. He went through the different departments in the yard …rigging, hauling, maintenance and building a boat from start to finish… soaking it all in as he went. Throughout the eleven years Ned was there before leaving for college, he was, also, able to get a good sense, first hand, of why his grandfather gained a reputation as a kind man and one with whom you would want to do business.
Along with sterling customer service, Chester A. Crosby & Sons had a reputation for the quality custom boats it produced. The “Aries”, for instance, is an example of the detail work and fine carpentry of which the yard was capable. This wooden boat, designed by Dan Knott, consisted of a traditional schooner with classic lines and built with old-world craftsmanship in this age of new world technology.
Fiberglass became the new rage during the shops heyday, and Chet wasn’t going to be left behind. Even though there was a paperweight in the office that read, “If God wanted fiberglass boats, he would have made fiberglass trees;” Chet was always up on current technology from fiberglass to shrinkwrap. The yard built a fiberglass boat designed by C. Raymond Hunt Associates in 1976 which became Contrail. The 32-foot custom day boat has been owned by a single family. Their desires were for a simple boat, yet one with Hunt signature deep-vee hull that could cut through the swells that the Nantucket Sound southwesterlies could stir up while you’re having a cozy lunch at “The Black Dog” in Vineyard Haven.