Sailboat that ran aground on East Beach sold, the new owner hopes to restore it

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SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — One of two boats that ran aground in Santa Barbara during this week’s storm is being given a second chance.

The Varuna — a 40-foot wooden sailboat — has been sold and is being salvaged. Todd Black says his brother saw the boat on the beach and thought his company might help the owner move it.

Instead, the previous owner sold the boat to Black for $100.

Black plans to ship the boat to his family’s home in Los Osos, repair it, and hopefully sail it back to Morro Bay.

“It’s a beautiful boat,” Black said. “That’s why I was there to save him. This thing is worth saving. I don’t want to break it.”

The boat has spent the last two decades in Santa Barbara. It ran aground on East Beach Tuesday morning after Monday’s storm.

Radio and TV personality Red Skelton is said to have owned the boat before its former owner. This owner says the rutter broke before the storm and hopes to see it fixed and back on the water soon.

Black said he was ready to work to restore the boat to its former glory.

“I’m going in every way possible to make this happen,” he said.

A few miles south, a fishing boat ran aground in Montecito at Butterfly Beach. The family that owns the boat named ‘Surfish’, along with a handful of local volunteers, worked early Wednesday morning to try to free the boat in hopes of bringing it upright at high tide.

“We’re trying to get it off the beach not only to protect the beach but it’s our livelihood, I mean it’s everything to us so I really hope we can make it work,” said said Rose Brown, owner of Surffish.

The owner of the other boat that ran aground on East Beach during Monday’s storm said he had no plans to put it back in the water. Officials said each owner would have 72 hours to clean the boat from the beach.

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