February 7, 2012

Part 1: Steve Mohr's adventure of a lifetime. Building a yacht for a cruise to Hawaii.






By STEVE MOHR

Class of 1960


As with most great adventures, this one began with an innocent introduction to something new. It was in the early 1970s that my wife, Linda, and I snuck away from the four kids and my auto repair business for a quickie weekend getaway. We headed to San Diego and stayed at the Mission Bay Hilton.


They had a small boat dock on Mission Bay and rented little tin sailboats. We thought we would try it, and after floundering around for an hour or so, we finally figured out how to make it go forward! I guess we got a little hooked on our success, and wanted more.


It wasn't long before we owned an 18-foot catamaran, similar to a Hobie and got involved in a San Diego yacht club and became involved in racing almost every weekend. One day while sitting on the beach between race heats, I said to Linda "How about I build you a sailboat and we go around the world?" She said "YEAH!".....and so it began. As the saying goes, a journey begins with a single step.


Now I know it sounds a little crazy, but after some research, and I mean very little research, we decided on the boat that we would build. Having only seen pictures in magazines, I purchased a set of plans from an Australian naval architect. Naturally they were drawn and worded to be used by someone familiar with building boats, which I was not, but I was always a quick learner and worked well with my hands.


We had a large home on almost an acre of property that backed up to the Southern Pacific Railroad tracks, and over the next seven years the boat slowly took shape. Now mind you, that this was a 55-foot deep-keeled ketch rigged blue water yacht, at completion weighing over 80,000 lbs. This was built almost 100 percent by my wife and me while still raising those four kids and running the same automobile business.


When it finally came time to launch we contracted a professional boat mover and with much trepidation and a lot of really big jacks, we got it loaded on his truck. That turned out to be the easy part.


Steve Mohr's story continues in about two days in our blog. Stay tuned for some thrills.

9 comments:

Toni Crescenzo Gelfer said...

This incredible project is a testament to your work ethic, but, the courage to set sail, takes a whole different set of attributes..I look forward to reading about it..

Anonymous said...

Merrill Clark, class of 1962 wrote...

Jim Brunton, Class of '62 lived in South America and he, too, along with another guy, built a boat, too........apparently a large one, similar to Steve's. Steve's boat appears to be a sailboat. Looking forward to the "rest of the story".

Anonymous said...

From Steve Mohr....

Frank...the first part looks fabulous! The pictures of the boat even look better than the ones I sent to you! Great job!

Anonymous said...

From Andrea Leporati Rago Crawford, class of 1960 , , ,
Frank, I so enjoy all your memories of Levittown and the special time we all had of growing up there. I often try to explain how wonderful and safe we all felt....great job on your part!

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