History of the Bluewater 40 Pilothouse Trawler
I received this article a long time ago from Rodgers Jenkins, the original owner of the Bluewater 40 PH "Camelot" that was moored in Gig Harbor, WA. for a long time. He owned Rodgers Marine Electronics and became a dealer for the Bluewater in Portland in the 70's. The boat was in need of a restoration, he was elderly and sold the boat about ten years ago. Camelot was last seen being restored in British Columbia.
Bluewater 40 Pilothouse History
by Norman Milne
The Bluewater PH design came about sometime in early 1970. A San Francisco food importer named Mazzetta got together with a young naval architect named James McPherson and the result was aboat that was designed to operate in blue waters of the Pacific Ocean. Maxetta had enough boating experience to realize that the usual twin screw flat bottom design was useless in rough ocean waters. McPherson had some experience with Monk designs in the Seattle area and I consider his original design a classic example of good small boat practice.
By 1960, I was up to a 25 foot cabin cruiser and with a growing family, needed something larger. I drew up a sketch of what I wanted but there was nothing around that was readily available. I really wanted a bluewater boat as I had some coastal travel in wind. I found a 45 foot trawler design that Peter Varney in Newport beach was importing in the $35,000 range. Built in the Romsdal shipyards in Norway, it was a fishing boat designed for North Sea weather with a master stateroom where the fish hold is normally located, and crew bunks forward. There were a number of things that left me cold in the design and since we were not in a position to go ocean traveling, we passed on it for more civilized 40 foot Owens as an interim solution. One boat had been delivered to a customer at Lowery Yacht harbor in San Rafael north of San Francisco.
The Owens dealer in Stockton, where we lived, took us down to see it and we got a good ride on the way from Bud Lowery. We enjoyed it from 1961 to 1971 but a trip to the Farralones proved that it was no sea boat. In 1970 we were back at Lowerie’s to look at a trawler yacht he was importing from Taiwan. A single screw diesel driven double fiberglass balsa cored hull* sold me on the boat and immediately placed an order based on being allowed to change the design. Being double hulled, it did not rely on bulkheads for strength so there was full freedom to redo the interior layout which I did. I decided that I did not need the wasted space of walkaround decks and this meant a larger salon. The two heads below were next, one with a shower.
(*The first couple boats had balsa cored hulls. The rest of them were solid fiberglass.)
A dodger (portuguese bridge) on the forward deck would turn green water and eliminate the freeing ports along the hull and in the aft end. The wheelhouse was enlarged with a sailing berth and seating. With an eye to living aboard, cabinets were designed into every nook and cranny. I opted to use the English Bedford diesel as a British friend with a Leyland, the parent company, had sold me on it. The 466 cubic inch engine turned out 150 ship horsepower. It had a long history of service in the London Bedford busses and trucks. It also had an engine driven hydraulic pump and an air pump to pump up tires! A 330 to 393 SHP model was also available and would have been a good alternative as my later research into British Admiralty Ship design indicated the hull could be driven at 8 knots with 65 SHP.
The changes I required were put down on paper and passed on to McPherson who came up with the drawings of the new design for the shipyard in Taiwan. The first three boats were all the same design since Mazzetta had decided to name his boat as Bluewater, as shown on artist’s rendering and they all became Bluewaters. Our #4 boat became SUJAN, like the Owens for our daughters Sue and jan. Number 4 finally showed up in June of 1971 and went through a two month outfitting process at Lowerie’s which could provide the details for a book length saga.