By Appointment Or Chance

(c)JerseyStyle_Photography_FL Abbott_August 2013_MG_0704

You know how some things catch your eye, and you become affixed to them and you don’t really know why?

When I was in Ocean City, New Jersey, a couple of weeks back, the F.L. Abbott Sailboats building was just such a thing for me.

The classic 1950’s structure was up the block and around the corner from the Asbury Avenue house we stayed. The first night we were there, I was walking my dogs. I could smell the nearby ocean in the humid evening air and a slight mist was rolling in. I walked the pups up to the corner and turned right, to go to the next block.

I looked across the street and there was the building that said, simply, F.L. Abbott Sailboats. A person’s name, and what they did with their life.

Like a young boy at a school dance, I was smitten.


The next morning, as I again walked the pups, we went up next to the building so that I could have a look inside. I realized it (the building? the business?) was for sale.

By Appointment Or Chance, the sign in the window read. Again, how classic. How quaint. I immediately started hoping Chance would come my way that week.

But alas, no.

I haven’t found out to much about this establishment or its owner except what I read in this blog post from Mid-Atlantic Musings. It sounds like Fran Abbott was quite a fixture in the South Jersey sailing community for damn near a half-century. Wish I could have met the man who worked with his hands and clearly did something he loved with his life.

The well-worn, well-used tools still hang on the pegboard. Shelves are still lined but dusty. A sailboat floats over the main shop floor. Broken shells out back. The sea in the air. A life well-lived, apparently, and embedded in the ocean community.

By chance or appointment.

Here’s a bit of a photostory, visuals of the historical endgame of a man and his business who, it seems, touched many in the New Jersey sailing community.

(c)JerseyStyle_Photography_FL Abbott_For SaleBW_August 2103_MG_0723

(c)JerseyStyle_Photography_FL Abbott_Boat_August 2013_MG_0718

(c)JerseyStyle_Photography_FL Abbott_CashNoCardsBW_August 2013_MG_0709

(c)JerseyStyle_Photography_FL Abbott_Pegboard_August 2013_MG_0735

(c)JerseyStyle_Photography_FL Abbott_Wagon_August 2013_MG_0759

(c)JerseyStyle_Photography_FL Abbott_Winter_August 2013_MG_0729

(c)JerseyStyle_Photography_FL Abbott_Shells_August 2013_MG_0965

(c)JerseyStyle_Photography_FL_Abbott_Racing Sails_August 2013_MG_0967

(c)JerseyStyle_Photography_FL Abbott_night_CLR_August 2013_0645

Ahoy, Mr. F.L. Abbott.

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2013


9 thoughts on “By Appointment Or Chance

    • Hi Mike – unfortunately “By Chance” never happened for me. All images were shot through the windows of the building. Would have loved to have gotten inside. Perhaps some other time. ~ Mark

      • Mark, Next time you’re up, call our number on the side there. We’ll let you in and give you a quick tour. We’re shut down for winter now, but we’ll be back up in spring to close out stuff. My grandparents, FL passed away in 2004, and Ester passed away 94. We don’t live far from the shop, but we’re only there in winter.

        Jamie Lynn

      • All you had to do was call. My sister or I would have been glad to let you in. Super Storm Sandy was not kind to us and your photos are a nice reminder of how the shop looked.

      • Carol, thanks for stopping by my site! Sorry to hear you had troubles after Sandy. I really enjoy these photos of the shop. Part of OC’s history!

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