Two men, a magnificent sailboat and the same restless dream

Bob Kingsland started with a dream. In 2007, when he installed hatch covers in Scituate, he had the reality of having built his own sailboat. LEE, Matthew J./Globe Staff/The Boston Globe – The Boston Gl

In 2021, a young South Dakota rancher named Dave Galdo was feeling restless so he sold his 517 acres, his herd of cattle, his house and his van so he could pursue his dream of buying a sailboat and seeing the world. .

For years, as he worked long days after long days, and especially on winter nights when he spent the whole night with calving cows, he dreamed of the sea, read all he could about the sailing, was saving every penny to turn this dream into reality.

At 36, he realized his body was rapidly deteriorating from ranch life and life wasn’t that long after all. So he went in search of his sailboat, a quest that led him – by luck, chance or fate – to a backyard in Scituate.

On a sunny day last week, at an anchorage in East Boston, Galdo stood on the deck of Restless, putting the finishing touches to the dream that Bob Kingsland began 44 years ago.

Mike Haith (left) helped Galdo get the sail out of Restless while it was docked in East Boston Harbor. Erin Clark/Globe Staff

“He was absolute genius,” Galdo said of Kingsland, pointing to the painstaking workmanship that has long made Restless a marvel for sailing enthusiasts. “He didn’t take the easy way out for anything. He added all these meticulous little things, things that no one else would have done.

As Kingsland wrote on sv-restless.com, a website where he documented his work (which remains active after his death), “I quickly realized that I could either build a rough but working boat or build best boat i could figure out how to do – and i chose the latter no matter how long it took one of my main goals was to see something that made me smile every where my eye went posed.

The 50ft Restless in Boston Harbor. Erin Clark/Globe Staff

Looking around Restless today, Galdo smiles constantly as he sees those touches — such as the 18 inlaid stars that work to join the woodwork — and the hard-to-describe way in which the craftsmanship connects these two men who never got together. never encountered in life. Because Galdo is also a man of the field, a handyman (in addition to the ranch, he ran a septic company next door). He had found his way to Restless specifically because he was also a welder and wanted to find a steel-hulled boat he could work on himself.

“To be able to pick up what he started and continue is an honor. And the name he gave the boat suits me perfectly,” Galdo said. “He was waiting to be finished by someone who was restless .”

Galdo bought the boat this summer, and since then he’s been living on board while he races to get her ready to sail south – it’s his only real plan – before the weather turns. Restless, which was listed at $349,000, still needed all of its electronics, new plumbing, some engine work, refrigeration, as well as a winding system and lazy jacks.

“All I know is I’m heading to Florida and dreaming of crystal clear water, palm trees, sandy beaches and fresh food,” he said. And he plans to document it all on a YouTube channel called “The Restless Sailor.”

But before he can make it to Margaritaville, Galdo must overcome his biggest hurdle: his lack of sailing experience.

Galdo studied a nautical chart below the deck of his 50-foot sailboat. “I’m definitely scared,” said the former breeder. “I was good at what I did. Going from that to having to learn all the new things is both scary and exciting.Erin Clark/Globe Staff

He had sailed smaller craft on lakes, but a 50ft sailboat in the open ocean was a different story. Fortunately, his brother is a captain who worked on the East Boston docks. So they spent many hours training and working on the navigation. But when he sets sail – any day now, weather permitting – there will be plenty of unknowns.

“I’m definitely scared,” Galdo said as he rubbed his dog, Jade. “I was good at what I did. Going from that to having to learn all the new things is both scary and exciting.

But what is already good, what has attracted humans to the sea for millennia, is this feeling of absolute freedom, of leaving everything behind and heading out into the unknown.

“It’s unbelievable how much has happened in my life,” Galdo said after picking up a call about the final paperwork for the sale of his home in South Dakota. “Now it’s just that, which is a feeling of liberation.”

And scary.

And exciting.

And he can’t wait to raise the sails to see where the wind takes him.

Friends and family toasted with Galdo (center) as they cruised through Boston Harbor.Erin Clark/Globe Staff

Billy Baker can be contacted at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @billy_baker.

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