Good Luck historical yacht was originally designed by marine architect William Hand and built in 1917 by Morton Johnson boatyard of cape May New Jersey in 1917. She was bought by the Egan of sales for Johnson and Johnson and after the Great War he and the boat, named Good Luck, was shipped by train to Portland, Oregon and sailed down the coast to San Francisco. She had a lovely life for many years until her gradual decline and change of ownership found her berthed in San Rafael and cared for by captain Willis Schroeder. He had owned her for 30 years before passing away and leaving the vessel to a lady friend who used her as a place to live without regard for the history or character of the former yacht. When this woman was on the verge of eviction she called me, and seeing the potential and character of the boat I bought it from her.
Three years of restoration has yielded a beauty that is every bit as good as new and then some. The hull has been cold molded and the interior completely remodeled.
She has a queen bed and a sleeping sofa, full bath, galley, and a beautiful cockpit area where you can enjoy the amazing views of the San Francisco Bay Alameda Estuary.
Good Luck :: Historical Yacht
When I bought The Grand Lady, she was named Diamond Lady. She was an old Desco Trawler that was on the verge of sinking. I have owned her since 1996, and have reincarnated her three times since then.
She was built as a shrimp trawler in Saint Augustine, Florida back in 1964, and was originally purchased by the National Sea Urchin Fisheries Department as a research vessel. I don’t know if this was a state, federal, or scholastic ‘department,’ as the Coast Guard papers I have didn’t specify anything more. The boat was fitted with a big hydraulic crane on her stern and all manner of scientific instruments for measuring the oceans and the life forms therein. She spent several years cruising the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and once made her way up to Lake Michigan, according to Coast Guard records. She had navigated both the Panama Canal and Cape Horn, and when I found her, she was at the end of her life in Chula Vista, California.
The boat is built of cypress planks and ribs, and is double-hulled. Cypress is an excellent material for boat construction, because of its resistance to rot, worms, and other marine related problems. The hull is a good six inches thick, and finished fair. The hull is gracefully shaped for a fishing vessel, and actually leaves no wake when unladen at cruising speed. The power comes from a single Caterpillar turbo Diesel engine, a # 434, which has six pistons, each the diameter of a basket ball, which provide plenty of torque and horsepower to easily turn the 60, four bladed brass propeller. The fuel capacity was once 12,500 gallons, but recently I removed and cut down the tankage so she now has a capacity of 600 gallons of diesel and 500 gallons of water.
That reduction in tankage turned the engine room into a spacious storage area, where I have a washer and dryer, large linen closet, two berths, and a workshop. Forward of the engine room is my tool room, which used to be the crew’s quarters. Aft of the engine room are now three staterooms, each with private bath. This area was designed as the fish hold, capable of carrying 60,000 lbs. of seafood. The researchers used the area as a laboratory, and when I had the restaurant, it served as the walk in cooler, wine cellar, dry storage, and manager’s office.
Above the staterooms now resides the main salon. Prior to that it was the main dining area of the restaurant, and originally it served as the main deck of the boat. The deck is crowned, which means it curves to allow rainwater to flow outboard off the boat. This makes for an odd main cabin floor, as it currently exists. You sit in the sofa, and it’s difficult to get up, because you’re sitting in a sofa that’s tilted backwards by ten degrees. I’ve enclosed this area and laid hardwood floors and installed much built in cabinetry, so now it is a showcase of a room with lots of windows and light.
The galley, which takes up most of the original cabin house, was once small and cramped, leaving plenty of room for the crew and pilots to eat and navigate. When I opened the restaurant, I gutted the room and installed a six foot Wolf stove, with two ovens and a three foot griddle, as well as lots of refrigeration and food prep areas, and a huge dish sink. Now only the stove and two refrigerators are left, and the galley looks like it belongs in a design magazine. The counter tops are sea foam colored Silestone; the cabinet doors are made of African mahogany, with center panels of acid etched copper and brass pulls. A Brazilian Cherry deck and lots of cool lighting make the room spectacular.
The boat has come a long way since she was a research vessel, and now awaits the next phase of her life as a luxurious vacation rental, complete with amazing food, ambiance, and sunsets. I invite you to come stay with us aboard The Grand Lady. It would be our pleasure to have you as our guest.