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CYA Alert: 1929 Stephens in distress

17 Aug 2020 4:39 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

The 42-ft Stephens bridge-deck cruiser CLASSIQUE (1929) has fallen on hard times and is at risk of being lost unless a new owner is found soon.

Efforts are underway to assess her condition and determine the scope of work needed to return her to service.  If you are interested in helping in any way, or if you know someone who might be interested in taking on a classic in need of work, please read on.

Sistership (Compadre):

CLASSIQUE is one of four yachts built to this design by Stephens Brothers during 1928 and 1929.  COMPADRE, owned by Rick and Cindy Randall, is a sistership.  CLASSIQUE has been berthed in fresh water, under cover in Seattle since at least 1992, and was a CYA member from many years.  Her previous owner Peter Aden passed away last year, and CLASSIQUE has sat largely unattended since then.  The current owner is willing to give CLASSIQUE to a responsible new owner for the cost of back moorage owed to the marina (thought to be around $6000).  Because Peter was in failing health for several years, the boat received little maintenance for an extended period, and small problems have grown into larger ones.

CLASSIQUE is powered by twin Detroit Diesel 3-53 engines. Unfortunately neither currently runs.  The boat took on (fresh) water several inches above the floorboards recently.  It has since been pumped out, and the bilges are dry now.  The engines undoubtedly were affected in some way, but their condition has not been determined.  We hope to bring in a mechanic to troubleshoot the problems in the next couple weeks.  The hull appears to be in fair condition, but has not had a proper survey.  A casual check showed that several floor timbers and frame-ends in the bilge are soft.  Some of the floors will need to be replaced and a significant number of frames will have to be sistered.  While this is routine work for a competent shipwright, it would be beyond the capabilities of most owners.

Cosmetically, CLASSIQUE is in surprisingly good shape on the exterior. Topside paint and varnish are serviceable, if a bit tired.  The teak deck seems to be in good condition.  Inside however, the boat is quite dated, with much of the original dark varnish on cabinets, bulkheads and overhead. Consequently, she’s a bit dark and gloomy inside.  The original interior is largely intact, except for modifications to the port-side settee in the saloon, which was made (crudely) into a dinette.  Fortunately that can be rather easily reversed and the saloon returned to it’s original layout. Systems generally appear to be dated or obsolete.  The boat has two heads but no holding tank.  Wiring has been updated but may not be to current standards.   The condition of fuel and water tanks is not known, but the fuel tanks are not original and outwardly appear to be in decent shape.

Rick Randall is heading up an effort to further evaluate CLASSIQUE and to aid in finding her a new owner.  The first step will be to assess the engines and get them running if possible.  Without running engines, it is doubtful that anyone would be willing to take over ownership considering the other issues to be addressed.  We are hoping to make progress on that in the next couple weeks.  Then we would like to get her hauled for a proper survey so that her condition is better understood.

Currently there are no funds available for the engine and survey work.  Rick is willing to pay for some limited engine work, at least to the extent of troubleshooting and understanding the problems.  Beyond that, we are hoping that concerned and interested CYA members will be willing to contribute funds to cover the remaining engine work, haulout, and survey.  Details of the fund-raising effort will be announced later.  In the meantime, if you have questions or would like more information about CLASSIQUE, please contact Rick Randall at (360)-536-2995 or randallrgr@comcast.net.


  • 06 Dec 2020 3:01 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Stephens Cruiser CLASSIQUE: Update: Encouraging News

    It appears that the long search for a new owner for the 1929 Stephens cruiser CLASSIQUE has come to a successful end. A young man from the Seattle area with a background in woodworking and finish carpentry has agreed to take her. He intends to live aboard and gradually work to return Classique to proper form. He is enthusiastic and understands the stewardship component of classic boat ownership, so that is encouraging

    I want to thank all of you for your interest and support, and especially Gord Wintrup, Diane Lander, and donor “Stephen”, who contributed financially through the GoFundMe drive. We raised a total of $700, which paid for new batteries and the mechanical work to diagnose the engine problems. I would also like to acknowledge the help of Arren Day and Jeff Galey from Port Townsend Shipwrights, who donated their time to assess the condition of the hull.

    That’s all for now. Let’s hope the next chapter in CLASSIQUE’s story is a happy one.

    Rick Randall
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