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Old 01-20-2015, 09:13 PM   #1
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1931 Stephens 43 Cruiser

While shopping for a trawler I saw many deals including a 1931 Stephens 43' cruiser. I ended up buying the Ponderosa 47 and it is now in dry dock for general maintenance.
ok I read all of your advise on wood boats and my rescue heart said take this boat so it does not sink. So I bought it and will bring it up North by truck next week. I will set it up at my ranch next to the shop for restoration. You can find the description on POPYachts Int. I'll follow up and tell you what I plan on doing with this boat but I want to see your response first.
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Old 01-20-2015, 09:28 PM   #2
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A fully restored sister ship is in my neck of the woods. Beautiful old gals.
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Old 01-21-2015, 12:59 AM   #3
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Are you sure you want to dry out this old girl next to your shop. Fastest way I know to ruin her.
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Old 01-21-2015, 06:51 AM   #4
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I think it's absolutely beautiful. Stunning.
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Old 01-21-2015, 10:45 AM   #5
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Scary
I'm building a clean pond 4' deep for her to gracefully lay in. You are one of the best experts on wood boats here on TF. I'm about 15 min from where your boat is tied up. When she is settled in maybe come by for a glass of wine. There is more information I will share later.
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Old 01-21-2015, 11:02 AM   #6
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She's a beaut. Spent my young years at boatyards in New England working on and enjoying aboard old woodys. I've posted so this thread flashes me and I can stay up on your journey. IMHO all boats have soles... err souls. Anyway, the older classics have a more mature soul and therefore deserve the respect you are showing to this lady.

Best luck with her. A fine piece of U.S. boating history!
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Old 01-21-2015, 12:41 PM   #7
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There were a few of them here when I first got started in saltwater boating. I've seen plenty of mistakes made on wood boats too. I have only had wood boats and I'm going on 35 years now.

That is a good looking boat and a great one to restore too. I'll be looking forward to see how your progress goes. Are you going to salt the water you sit her in? Or leave it fresh?

Good luck with it. I know the great quality parts they made them from are disappearing fast. Even the wood isn't the same and now we have African wood instead of mahogany.
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Old 01-21-2015, 04:45 PM   #8
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I eagerly look forward to following your progress.


Good question about salt.


The truck trip will probably be the most dangerous part.
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Old 01-21-2015, 06:51 PM   #9
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I would love to

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barqueiro View Post
Scary
I'm building a clean pond 4' deep for her to gracefully lay in. You are one of the best experts on wood boats here on TF. I'm about 15 min from where your boat is tied up. When she is settled in maybe come by for a glass of wine. There is more information I will share later.
These 1930's Stevens are by far my favorite wood boats. These graceful old yachts slip through the water. I'ved loved their lines since I was a kid. You should be able view the original blue prints at the Hagen library in Stockton. As you probably know there are quite a few Stevens yachts still in service in the Bay Area. They managed to get around, I saw one ten years ago hauling supplies to fishing resort out of Ketchican Ak 10 years ago. They tend to have a distinct running angle slightly bow down with almost no wake. Wow it's own pond, awsume.
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Old 01-21-2015, 07:53 PM   #10
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I visited and read through her listing on POPYachts... she's one heck of a boat!
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Old 01-21-2015, 09:03 PM   #11
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My History
One of my 3rd grade class field trips was Stephens Bros. Boat works in Stockton Ca. almost 60 years ago, (oops I gave away my age). I was forever appreciate of wood. My twin 12 year old grands sons and I are building an Arch Davis Laughing Gull this winter. We also have a 16' Snipe with Pineapple sails which I'll introduce them to sailing for the first time this spring. My great Grandfather was a whaler from the Portuguese Azores Isl. I guess I inherited the love of boats and sea.
This Stephens boat was taken from the owner (small payment) by the US Government in 1942, totally painted Navy Grey and put into service on the west coast for patrol. I have the original 1931 bill of sale and all of the engine and maintenance records, and yes Haggin Museum is the holder of all Stephens Bros. nautical plans and artifacts.
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Old 01-22-2015, 12:20 AM   #12
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Posted a day ago on the following CL link there is a very Similar Stephens Beauty Girl... to yours! One of the ad's picts is close to same as your pict. I've walked alongside her on finger dock a few years ago.


1931 Stephens Yacht 43' (San Rafael)
http://stockton.craigslist.org/boa/4856184136.html


Yours pictured here:
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Old 01-22-2015, 10:25 AM   #13
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Funny

My grandfathers 40' was pressed into patrol duty as well. Be careful about introducing your grandkids to boat building, that's how I got introduced to boating. I have been afflicted with boats my whole life as a result.
I've had the opportunity to work with some of the shop tools from the Stevens yard. Ladds has Stevens ship saw and shaper. These are still being used today make frames and planks. The ship saw is a large band saw that has a stationary horizontal table and the band wheels and sawblade tilts on an axis near the table surface. This allows you to push a very large timber across a horizontal surface and adjust the angle of the cut as you feed the material through the saw. It takes two skilled shipwrights to do this as the saw has to be adjusted at the same time as the material is fed through the saw. I've used this saw to cut a replacement stem and keel for that 57 Chris a few years ago. It's a truly unique saw. Stevens legacy is a very important part of the Delta, their boats have stood the test of time. There are two beautiful examples that grace the dock just across the narrow Sacramento river from my boat. The Contessa and Miss 102, both beautifully maintained, what a joy to wake up and see them in the morning light.
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Old 01-22-2015, 08:07 PM   #14
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Wood Boats
Wood boats have a lot more personable feel than the fiberglass mold type which almost everyone has including me. Trees are selected, wood is graded and cut, experience craftsman shape each part and assembles them according to what the nautical architect envisioned. That is why I could not let this boat go to the Sea God! Are there going to be any wood boats built 50 years from now?,....... maybe but with robots.
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My survey was done at Ladd's marine. I went through the shop and saw that very unusual saw which looked home made. Very deep throat just as you mentioned. It's great to see tools and plans 80 years old and still available.
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Old 01-22-2015, 08:28 PM   #15
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Mark Pierce and I had the pleasure of visiting "Cielito" on Angel Island, San Francisco Bay, in August 2012. The owners invited us onboard and gave us a royal tour. They also insisted that we try some fine bourbon before we departed!

Cielito is a 1930 43' Stephens trunk cabin cruiser in beautiful condition.
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Old 01-22-2015, 08:36 PM   #16
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Quote:
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Mark Pierce and I had the pleasure of visiting "Cielito" on Angel Island, San Francisco Bay, in August 2012. The owners invited us onboard and gave us a royal tour. They also insisted that we try some fine bourbon before we departed!

Cielito is a 1930 43' Stephens trunk cabin cruiser in beautiful condition.
VERY nice!
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Old 01-22-2015, 08:46 PM   #17
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Restoration in 2009
I'll share some file photo's with you. The entire boat was checked and re-planked (using silicone bronze fasteners) in summer of 2009. It still looks like this today. Survey seems to think it's sound.
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Old 01-23-2015, 07:50 AM   #18
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Well that is great

Quote:
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Restoration in 2009
I'll share some file photo's with you. The entire boat was checked and re-planked (using silicone bronze fasteners) in summer of 2009. It still looks like this today. Survey seems to think it's sound.
Some major money was spent there. What's left to restore, if anything?
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Old 01-23-2015, 11:03 AM   #19
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Congrats and great job. Looking forward to following this thread, I cut my teeth on wood hulls, my first pay check came from scraping and painting the bottoms and refinishing the great mahogany master pieces of the 40's thru the 60's while my uncle built a 34' mahogany caravel planked sloop as well. I was bitten....
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Old 01-23-2015, 11:10 AM   #20
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Ventura Marina or Southern Ca. for that matter is very hard on boats. Almost no covered berths. This boat had full canvas (over cabin) except for the deck. The original deck is about 1 inch T&G and canvas. This is where restoration is in need, canvas replaced and repainted. I once re-decked a sail boat many years ago with carbon fiber grit for the none skid area. Someone my help me here. This boat is loaded from floor to ceiling with stuff, some very expensive. My goal is to try and restore her to almost original and undo the last owner's attempt to live aboard and have full electronics.
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