Forgotten boat uncovered after decades in Oregon woods

"It just looks so lonely... Like it's looking at the water but it can't go there"

Cynthia Carol was left untouched for decades, hidden by a moss-carpeted canopy. (Kathryn Davidson)

REEDSPORT, Ore. (KOIN) — Hidden beneath a moss-carpeted canopy, guarded by a crystal clear rushing spring is Cynthia Carol, a 32-foot boat that has been left untouched for decades.

“It’s heartbreaking to see her in this condition,” photographer Kathryn Davidson, who stumbled upon the boat, told KOIN 6 News. “The mystery is the biggest part.”

Cynthia Carol was left untouched for decades, hidden by a moss-carpeted canopy. (Kathryn Davidson)
Cynthia Carol was left untouched for decades, hidden by a moss-carpeted canopy. (Kathryn Davidson)

No one knows who Cynthia Carol was or what kind of relationship she had with the boat’s original owner, Alfred “Mikey” Ansama, who was 75 when he died 11 years ago.

But he couldn’t have made it what it was without the help of Master Wooden Boat Builder Darwin “Chico” McDonald, who handled the more skilled portion of the contruction — things like steaming and shaping the wood.

McDonald also laid the Keel of the Cynthia. Ansama, a skilled woodworker, worked on the deck and pilot house.

She first took shape on a single sheet of parched paper some 55-60 years ago.

“It has the kind of skill and craftsmanship that’s disappearing from this world,” Davidson said. “How could such a lovely thing that has all this value just be abandoned and neglected for so long?”

Shrouded for decades by an old barn, Cynthia Carol only recently revealed her oak, fir and cedarwood secret to the world. She never left dry dock and never knew what it is to float.

Davidson said it looked like Cynthia Carol “had been dropped out of the sky, like it fell on a house Wizard of Oz style.”

“I was immediately chilled because here’s this wooden boat that’s been here at least 20 years,” Davidson said. “Not a speck of moss on it.”

Davidson, an active member of the Facebook group Abandoned Oregon, has since decided to take on the mission of giving Cynthia a happy ending.

She says the Maritime Museum in Coos Bay finds Cynthia Carol “fascinating.”

“It just looks so lonely,” Davidson said. “Like it’s looking at the water but it can’t go there… I think they have a life of their own… their own personality.”

For more information on how you can help save Cynthia Carol, click here.

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