The sound of sledgehammers ringing against iron pipes took over the Vineyard Haven waterfront this weekend as the 1910 British Channel pilot Ccutter Raider was rolled from the back of the shed at Five Corners, around the corner, down to the beach and eventually over the open door of a landing craft.

The new owners, Dominic Zachorne and Jenifer LeComte, were preparing to take her to Wickford, R.I.

Muscle and ingenuity. — Ray Ewing

The boat had been in the back of Capt. Bob Douglas’s shed for 45 years. He bought her with the intention of using her as a personal yacht.

In the late seventies, Ross Gannon replaced many of Raider’s frames and the screws that held on her planking. Island craftsman Ted Box rebuilt the aft end and installed an interior.

But the restoration was never finished. Captain Bob and Charlene Douglas got busy building and rebuilding other things: businesses, boats, barns and a family. At the back of the shed at Five Corners, somebody tacked burlap over Raider’s hull. Dust grew deep on the deck of the boat and over the years one cabin at a time would be cleaned out by a motivated sailor, working in the harbor for the summer, looking for a private place to stretch out.

New owner Dominic Zachorne gives thanks for the help. — Ray Ewing

There were two boats of a similar vintage in the shed, Raider and Violet, both of which Captain Bob brought to the Island at the same time. Gary Maynard had worked on Violet, eventually sailing her halfway across the Pacific Ocean. I asked Gary why he rebuilt Violet and not Raider.

“Raider was always Bob’s boat,” he told me simply.

As Raider came over a hump of the landing craft on Saturday, Captain Bob shook his head in wonder.

“She has the most beautiful lines,” he said, still imagining taking her sailing.

There aren’t a lot of places where if you run into the predicament of how to move a 25-ton boat, your neighbors will take the day off from work, stay up most of the night and return in the morning to finish the job. Not that there are many neighbors elsewhere who are capable of such an endeavor; Vineyard Haven is still special.

Where Raider had been stationed for decades. — Ray Ewing

From the moment Raider began her slow march from the shed, Lyle Zell and Ross Gannon quietly took charge.

“Let’s get it on rollers and see if it moves,” Ross said after Dominic Zachorne had originally told the father and son team from Gannon and Benjamin what his plans were. For the next couple days, before any of the two-dozen volunteers positioned a length of pipe or put down a section of track to roll over, they checked with Ross or Lyle.

Every time the boat lurched forward, volunteers steered the iron-pipe rollers with their hammers, calling out when there was further to travel or the rollers needed to be shifted. There were points during the day and night when progress slowed to less than a crawl as the boat navigated over a concrete threshold and under a doorway. But for the most part it just moved forward.

Bon voyage. — Ray Ewing

“It’s exciting to be a part of it, even if you’re just sweeping,” Cole Powers was overheard telling somebody, but I know he showed up with a truck full of tools and worked for both days.

When the community around Vineyard Haven comes together to get something done, the sense of mission is extraordinary.

“I can’t leave this to go to work,” said Seneca Craig, making people laugh.