A classic boat will be brought out of storage for the on Sunday, for what could be a preview of the 1936 Hankins Surf Boat public display.
The boat is a throwback to East Hampton's maritime history when lifeguards used narrow wooden boats in rough ocean waters and the , asked the village permission to use it as a parade float.
Fred Yardley, of East Hampton, was one of those lifeguards, who started working for the Village of East Hampton as a "beach boy" in 1949. He learned how to work the Sea Bright skiff to place buoys in the water to mark the bathing areas at Main Beach under the guidance of beach manager Captain William Talmage, for which the dory is named.
In the morning, the lifeguards would also cast nets from the dory and catch fish that Arnold Bailey at the Sea Spray Cottages would then buy.
One time, he remembers the Smith Meal bunker fish company was offshore fishing during bad weather when a starter broke and they radioed to the lifeguards for assistance. Yardley and another lifeguard jumped in the dory and rowed out over breaking waves and to the rig with the heavy piece of equipment.
"I think we were nuts," Yardley said with a laugh. "I didn't know how special it was at the time."
Charles Hankins, a boat builder in Lavallette, N.J., made the Sea Bright dory surf boat for use by offshore fishermen and lifesavers. The village purchased the boat in 1936 for $1,200 — no small price in the Great Depression.
There were just three others on Long Island; two were owned by an offshore fishing family in Wainscott.
Yardley eventually became a teacher in Springs, but returned to Main Beach in the 1980s, working as the beach manager. The boat had fallen into disrepair by then. It had survived a lot, including a 1954 hurricane when it was swept out to sea and then tossed back without a scratch on it, Yardley said.
Still, the village was ready to junk it. But, Yardley wasn't so sure, and he said he asked the late John Collins, who "could do anything with wood," what he thought of the boat. "He just said, 'Fred, we're not throwing that boat away.'"
Yardley began restoring it in 1993, on his own dime but with the help of Collins and John Yuoska, once a week. Bill Taylor let them use the old town boatyard on Gann Road in Springs. They finished two years later.
The boat was restored to its original color of a white exterior, grey interior and green lip. Leather straps were made for he oars.
It made its parade debut at East Hampton's 350th anniversary parade in 1998, and has been stored at the village highway barn ever since on a 1934 model A trailer.
Yardley said he hopes the village will allow the boat to be displayed at the Life-Saving Station, once it is restored, so that many more generations can admire the old skiff.