Ocean’s Five is a 1996 Gemini 105M catamaran. The owner came to Chris with a tall order — replace the diesel inboard and drive-leg with twin electric outboards, install hydraulic outboard tilts, install walk-on solar panels capable of meeting all of the boat’s electrical needs, install both solar and AC chargers, install new instruments, replace the windshields and hatches, and replace the mechanical steering system with a hydraulic system. The project was a success, and Ocean’s Five is now one of the few vessels in the world that can travel over 100 miles solely under electric propulsion after fully charging the lithium battery bank in under seven hours (from shore power) or in several days at anchor (from solar). Completing this project, which involved extensive analysis and modeling, made Chris one of the few true experts in marine electric propulsion in California.
Margie Lynn Again
Margie Lynn Again is a late 1970’s Boston Whaler Outrage 19 that was completely restored by Santa Cruz Marine Services. When the boat arrived in the shop it was a true mess – it had broken into pieces and the foam core was waterlogged and had to be removed. The boat had been used both for pleasure and for commercial fishing into the 1980’s and then sat, hoping to be restored, for over twenty years. The list of tasks completed by Santa Cruz Marine Services encompassed extensive fiberglass repair (to include re-coring the hull), custom teak woodwork (to include all new trim, door frame, and door), installing a new Mercury 150hp engine and new electronics, designing and installing a custom bow pulpit and side railings (which involved bending and TIG welding stainless steel), painting the hull, and building and installing a new deck.
Sweet Cheeks is a completely restored and customized 1978 Radon 18′ with a powerful 5.7 liter Mercruiser V8. The owner, Benny, originally came to Santa Cruz Marine for help fitting his new trailer to the boat, but after noting the quality and breadth of work offered by Chris and his team, a substantial wish list materialized. Chris and Benny subsequently became great friends and enjoyed numerous adventures aboard Sweet Cheeks. Tragically, Benny was subsequently killed in a terrible car accident in Big Sur, and after scattering his ashes at sea (accompanied by over a hundred Santa Cruz locals), Benny’s father sold the boat to Chris. Inspired by what Benny would have wanted for the boat, Chris and his team embarked on an intricate second wave of restoration, to include a new foredeck, bulkhead, chain-locked, electronics, hydraulic steering system with autopilot, and heat exchanger.
Variety Show is a Santa Cruz 27’ racing sailboat owned by Barry Whitall, the former Commodore of the Santa Cruz Yacht Club. Santa Cruz Marine services performed the majority of the required maintenance and repairs to the boat for several years before Barry asked Chris and his team to completely refinish the hull, keel, and rudder. This project encompassed structural repairs to the keel/hull (to include fairing the entire hull, keel, and rudder and extensive fiberglass repairs), as well as an electronics update, the design and installation of a custom teak insulated cooler box, and woodwork repair and varnishing. A real head-turner, Variety Show also sports a paint job that involved the creation of custom colors and stripes that were not only laid out by hand, but also carefully designed to perfectly match the contours of the boat.
Sirena is a completely restored and customized 1974 Cal 20. Chris purchased this boat in 2012 while working at Moore Sailboats in Watsonville. Always eager to tackle a new challenge, and encouraged by his experienced co-workers, Chris went “all out” on boat modifications and spent over a year working on the project before the boat was launched. On its first day on the water, Sirena reached speeds in excess of 14 knots with a crew of four aboard. Since then she has raced in a variety of locations and conditions and also safely cruised much of coastal California. Projects completed include the design and installation of a new rudder, carbon fiber mast, carbon fiber bowsprit with removable carbon pole, sugar scoop, and solar system. Last but not least, a new “T Bulb” and updated rudder are being designed by Jim Antrim and will be installed in late 2021.
Plan B is a 1983 Avon Searider SR 5.4 RIB, US Navy type that was completely redesigned and built by Santa Cruz Marine Services. The list of tasks associated with this overhaul was considerable, and keeping the project within budget required careful planning and regular communication with the client. In addition to reinforcing the transom with additional fiberglass while extending the top of the transom to better suit the new outboard, large scuppers were glassed into the transom to improve cockpit drainage, custom struts were built to appropriately transfer the load of the engine to the cockpit sole, the cockpit sole was reinforced with composite brackets to facilitate the installation of custom seats and console, two forward bulkheads were added to create a chain locker, a custom composite fuel tank cover was designed and built, and new electronics and fuel cell were installed.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which is tasked with understanding and predicting changes in climate, weather, oceans, and coasts, as well as conserving and managing coastal and marine ecosystems, came to Santa Cruz Marine Services for help with Egret, their deteriorating survey launch. Specifically, NOAA correctly predicted that issues relating to water infiltration were leading to structural issues – i.e., the pain was peeling away, and the rub rail’s welded-on track was holding water and leading to aluminum corrosion. Chris and his team performed a series of repairs, to include cutting off the track and welding in patches, fairing out the entire boat, stripping off the flaking paint, using zinc chromate primer on the numerous raw aluminum spots, and then installing new non-skid, rub rails, and electrical systems.
Sundance is a wooden fishing trawler built in the 1960s. Prior to launching Santa Cruz Marine Services, Chris dove headfirst into the considerable task of completely refurbishing the ailing vessel while spending several months in Alaska. In addition to installing a new steering system, Chris tackled a complex (and uniquely rewarding) series of repairs to the hull that involved applying the centuries-old technique of building a steam box and then subsequently bending the oak ribs of the boat into shape. After a long series of 100-plus hour weeks devoted to improving the vessel, Chris developed his Alaskan sea legs alongside the crew. Although it’s not often that Santa Cruz Marine Services has the opportunity to bend oak ribs using a steam box, the attention to detail that Chris honed during his challenging months in Alaska continues to inform his work.
Although not nautical in nature, the work that Santa Cruz Marine routinely completes for Tiny Watts, LLC demonstrates the team’s ability to create custom molds and design and install solar systems. Tiny Watts has spent the last four years working on and experimenting with different solar applications across the nation. From New York City to Hawaii, they have traveled extensively to craft the best systems for their clients’ off-grid living needs. With the help of Santa Cruz Marine Services, they specialize in building pre-wired solar powered kits to power all the essentials need for an off-grid lifestyle, whether that involves tiny homes, bus conversions, van conversions, or food trucks. In addition to solar pre-wired kits, they offer a variety of solar panel array options. More information about Tiny Watts can be found here: Tiny Watts.