Month: February 2018

Homecoming For Naida

She made it! After 6 days on the road (including one lay day due to driver’s max hours) she is back in Chicago!  Thanks to Mark with Capital City Yachts and Winston Trucking she arrived in great condition, no damage inside or out.  Pretty impressive considering she’s 83 years old and its a 2,000+ mile trip.  The team at Canal Street Marina had to plow the yard, and do some creative engineering to get the crane unfrozen and functioning before her arrival.  When I first proposed launching Naida this winter back in November they looked at me a bit funny, but as fate would have it we had perfect weather for the day of her launch.  Sunny and almost 50 degrees with no wind, rare for February 14th.

I was fortunate to have several friends and family members on site to help unpack and clean her after arrival.  Tiela Halpin was kind enough to come down and shoot some photos, while Charlie helped me get the mast stepped and engines ready to crank.  Capt. Julie Means grabbed a razor and dug right into removing all the packing tape from the windows, not a fun task.

She was still watertight after almost 15 days out of the water and being transported cross country.  She had a little leak in between seams under the aft deck, but by day two she had swelled up and the leaking has stopped.

It took several days to unpack and put everything away, Mark did a phenomenal job packing the boat, noting seems to have been damaged during transport.  By Saturday evening she had been washed and unpacked, ready for some fun on Sunday.

Cruising up the Chicago River for the first time since she left Chicago
Even Bosun seemed to enjoy the ride on Naida

On Sunday we had 20 guests aboard in the afternoon for a cruise.  We were lucky to get a break in the weather and were able to enjoy some temps in the 40s and sun.  I was surprised at how well 20 guests fit aboard, several in the salon, a handful on the aft deck, and a few on the bow.  We even had chilli cooking in the galley and a full bar!

Overall we are very pleased with the yacht so far.  She needs some work here and there, but what boat doesn’t?  This week we will be sanitizing the fresh water system, and refreshing the DC electrical system and batteries.  Naida has 7 batteries total, two massive 8Ds for the house, two group 24s for each engine, and a group 24 for the genset. 
More on that project to come later… 

Naida Heads East

They day is finally here!

The truck arrived late last night and got prepped for a 8am lift onto the trailer.  Mark our phenomenal broker from Capital City was onsite to help facilitate the loading.  Dennis, Naida’s previous owner was on site as well to lend a hand.

Hans from Osprey was also on site to make sure the sections of the hull that were blocked are painted and covered prior to loading.
Mark spent several hours going through the boat making sure she is packed properly for shipment.

After the paint dried the process of loading her onto the low-boy trailer began.  Winston Trucking is handling her transport and the driver was a real pro.  He had her loaded, blocked and secured in no time.

Her 12' beam fit the trailer perfectly, and kept us just under the requirement for flagging vehicles.
Loaded up and ready for the 2,100 mile journey back to Chicago

We can’t wait for her to arrive, the staff at Canal Street Marina have been prepping a river slip for her, we are expecting her to arrive sometime next week, probably on Wednesday.


Thanks again to Mark, Dennis, Hans, and Winston Trucking for all the effort that went into preparing Naida for a safe journey home! 

Chris Craft Topside Prep

It’s been well over a month since I have put any time into Virginia, but as we get into February I realized I need to kick this project into high gear!  I spent the past few days planning out how I am going to do the deck and interior, and while I wait for some materials to start that part I figured why not get started on the topsides.

The original plan was to veneer the topsides, but that was pre-Naida. Now the plan is to paint her topsides so she matches Naida, as Virginia will end up being her tender.

Virginia overall is pretty solid, but she did have an odd combination of some dry rot, and a golf ball sized hole on her starboard side just before the transom.

Back in November I glassed the corners, inside and out, and haven’t touched it since.  First step before sealing, priming, and painting the topsides was to bust out the marine filler (aka Boat Bondo) and fill, then fair over this glass repair.

First layer of marine filler is on, let it dry, sand it down, apply more to fill holes, let it dry, sand it down.... you get the idea.

A heat lamp helped speed up this process as it was fairly cold in the shop today which slows drying times.

In the mean time I started sealing the port side, I used Interlux’s Clear Wood Sealer, the primer I am using is Interlux’s Pre-kote which really exposes any imperfections in the hull, it will have to be sanded and filled in a few spots before the next coat.

First coat of Pre-Koat is on the port side, since it will have to be thourughly sanded and filled with several more coats applied on top I opted to just brush it on. Final coats will be sprayed, along with the top coats.

It felt good to make some solid visual progress on Virignia, espcially since I know once Naida arrives in Chicago she will be consuming most of my attention and time for a few weeks.


Stay tuned for more updates on both boats coming soon!

Bottom Job

Shipping day is just around the corner! Naida is being hauled out a week early so the painters can sand the bottom to remove all the old antifouling and prepare it for several coats of an ablative paint we use here in the great lakes.


The broker and previous owner were kind enough to bring Naida over to Swantown Boatworks for haul out.  This means Naida has left the boat house she has called home for 20+ years for the last time. On to new adventures.

Hans and his team at Osprey Boatworks have been awesome, Naida was hauled out and they started sanding work right away, paint had to wait a few days for a good weather window but they still had it done in time for shipment on the 9th.

We went with Sea Hawk AF-33 for antifouling paint, a base coat of black will serve as a signal coat with a top coat of red.  If you use an ablative paint I highly recommend this method as it gives you visual feedback on the condition of your antifouling.  If you see red, good to go.  If black spots start to appear, it means it’s time to re-apply.  Since Naida will be stored in the water year round this will make it easier to spot check the antifouling during the occasional haul out.

New zincs have also been put on, Naida is equipped with an electro-guard system, however since freshwater is less conductive than salt that system will not function in Chicago.  So we have replaced all the standard zincs with magnesium replacements, Osprey also added shaft and rudder zincs for extra protection.

The paint job looks phenomenal, a big thanks to Hans and his team at Osprey, we are looking forward to seeing it in person next week.

Engine Refit

A few years before I found Naida, her previous owners decided it was time to retire her old, tired Chrysler M-48 engines. After some searching they came across a Monk designed boat (Ed Monk was a well known naval architect in the PNW), the boat, which was originally from Olympia, was now located miles from water in Sparks NV. She still had her original twin Chrysler M-8 Royal engines from 1949 in decent condition. These are massive straight 8 engines originally designed for large sedans, what they lacked in horsepower they certainly make up for in torque. 

The owner of the Monk boat had no plans on re-launching it, in fact he intended to turn the boat into a guest house on his property, so he had no need for the engines inside.

A mobile crane was brought in to remove the engines from the now landlocked Monk boat.
Engines removed and ready for transport back to Olympia

Upon returning to Olympia the engines were refreshed and given a fresh coat of paint.  A Kohler genset was also purchased for Naida and preped for install.  Before dropping in her new power plants the entire bilge was cleaned and painted, she hardly showed her 78 years of age!

Twin Chrysler M-8 Royals and a Kohler genset ready for install
Genset coming in for a landing on the aft deck
First of two engines loaded aboard
The bilge/engine room below the salon was given star treatment before the new power plants went in.

Getting the old engines out, and the new massive replacements in proved to be quite the logistical challenge. The doors on either side of the salon were too narrow to bring engines out/in, so a dolly and track system was built that ran from the salon, aft though the master stateroom and onto the deck.

The genset and engine #1 lined up on the track in the aft stateroom

Overall it was an impressive feat, I wish that I had been there to witness it.  

It has been several years since the refit and the engines and genset function perfectly in Naida, almost like they were originally designed to be there.  We hope for many more years of reliable service, a recent oil analysis of both engines showed they are still in remarkable shape.