The Boats

As a lifelong sailor, I have always had a disdain for powerboats, so how did I end up with TWO of them?  Well, even though I am not a fan of modern power boats, I still find the lines and design of classic wooden runabouts and yachts irresistible.  

Dennis B, Naida’s previous owner said it best “With a boat like Naida we are nothing more than caretakers, ensuring it’s preservation for the next generation”


“Virginia” – 1957 Chris Craft Barracuda

The first boat was the Chris Craft, I found it on eBay while looking for an outboard, and at $400 I couldn’t pass it up.  It came with a 1957 Johnson Javelin outboard in spectacular condition, and a trailer.  I bought it in August of 2017 and work on it began shortly after.  So far she has been stripped down to the bare hull and frame and is in the process of being re-built.


“Naida” – 1935 Grebe Motor Yacht

The second boat, a 1935 Grebe was found under similar circumstances.  At the end of 2017 I had my hands full with the restoration of the Chris Craft, not to mention the maintenance and upkeep on Chicago Sailing’s 23 other boats. But here at Chicago Sailing we had been discussing the possibility of adding a trawler to the fleet, I had been browsing on brokerage sites for a few weeks when I came across Naida’s listing.  I was stunned to come across this beautiful 1935 Grebe, in Olympia WA.  For those who don’t know, Henry C. Grebe & Co was a yacht designer and builder based in Chicago on the north branch of the river. They built custom pleasure yachts along with several types of naval vessels during WWII, mostly minesweepers. The site of the former Grebe yard, where “Naida” was built, is approximately 500ft from the back door of our current warehouse, after 84 years on the west coast (Between LA & Olympia WA) she is scheduled to be shipped back to Chicago in January.  We are looking forward to getting to know this 84 year old beauty this summer.

The former Grebe boat yard in relation to our present day warehouse