page is about a boat we had for a while. The boat was a little
that it's a wooden boat, which it is, but that it was built originally
as a lifeboat! The story goes that it was built in the 1930's
a lifeboat to be dropped from airplanes to rescue downed
I have seen web pages on this and sure-enough - the pictures show
lifeboats hanging from the bottom of modified bombers.
story is that somehow the boat
ends up in the possession
of the Japanese during WWII. There are stories of it actually
being part of a rescue in the South China Sea. The boat makes
way back to the Americans after the war. Apparently, in about
1970 an American Air Force
Officer bought the boat and rebuilt it in its current configuration by
adding the decks, cabin, and engine. The story goes that the
rebuild took ten years to transform it from its historic
The guy did a good job as you will see.
the price of four cases of beer
(on a side deal with an Admiral) - the
boat was transported back to Long Beach in California although I have
not heard when this happen. The Officer, who is apparently
living in So Cal, apparently sold the boat to the new
owner who had visions of bikini babes hanging off the boat as he
cruised the harbor but soon found out that the babe might prefer a
little nicer boat. That owner gave the boat away to the
previous owner who's son used the boat while in college in Monterey.
The story here is how the boat got to Monterey. The father
friend cruised the boat up the coast to deliver the boat.
had a good trip with one exception - going around Point
Conception. The story goes that several boats were holed up
Coho Bay awaiting a break in the weather and when something opened -
they all pulled out for a north bound trip. Shortly after
left the weather fell apart and the waves were about 12 to 15 feet high
on 4-second intervals! The boat was violently careening back
forth and the hand held radio was smashed when it slid off the table
and hit the wall. Focusing on the waves the father did not
that all the other boats had turned back. No one was
them on that day. Not having that radio could have been a
problem. Instead of turning back - they kept on
little boat was doing just fine. They limped into Port Luis
several hours later worn but not beaten. When the harbor
greeted them he asked if they had seen a small boat out there beating
up the coast... they had been warned that someone was still out there -
yes - they were the only boat to make it around on that day.
The kid apparently worked at the aquarium and shuttled people back and
forth with the boat for apparently several years. Somewhere
this era the engine was rebuilt. Again - details kinda fuzzy
about this era.
the boat made its way back
to Southern California on a trailer - 70 miles per hour across the
grapevine! The boat was used to cruise out to Catalina and
Santa Cruz. The little boat is very seaworthy - it will go
anywhere. But - as things go - it ultimately went into
for a few years only to be sold again to
the owner I bought if from. Its not clear in what condition
boat was when the previous owner acquired it but apparently he did a
bit of engine work to make it seaworthy.
So why is it listed as a 1982 Monomoy? Because with the
of wood boats - who wants to list their boat as a 1930 model.
Also, this boat has fiberglass outside the hull below the waterline -
and since thats what counts - its also classified as a fiberglass boat.
Every boat should have a name and this one is named in honor of Rascal
the family dog. If the boat is 1/10th as good as the dog it
So without further delay - here is the MV Rascal!
picture was taken after painting
the cap rail and deck. Notice that the boat is a
double-ender. The stern is pointed like the bow.
is a close-up of the stern.
also that the rudder which
hangs off the stern also has a tiller rod for manual
This boat is actually pretty lean even though it weighs 13,500-lbs.
boat is powered by a Yanmar
3TL. You don't see them advertised anywhere on the Internet
hopefully parts are still available. It is a big heavy three
cylinder diesel with manual start capability. It has a
starter and alternator. It burns about 0.5-gallon per hour so
really easy on the gas. By the way - this is one slow
Top speed may be about 7 knots (8-mph).
is a view of the back of the
engine is coupled to a clutch
style transmission. It can be locked into either forward or
reverse or it can be partially engaged (like slipping the clutch on a
car) to creep super slow when approaching the dock.
hope I can find someone to pull the
engine and give it a new paint job.
is a shot of the exhaust exiting
the hull. The exit point is just above the waterline on the
outside. On the inside you can see how the lapstrake boards
attached by rivets to the frames. You can really tell this is
old boat. The wood seems to be strong but I will constantly
the lookout for rot.
has a small cabin with berths on
either side. Excellent view of the construction of the hull.
helm is pretty simple.
Wheel, throttle (black knob), gear shifter, power panel, and
compass. You can also tell that it is work boat rough on the
interior. That will change over the years.
on top it has a few interesting
things... That search light is Navy gear. The
the white item just in front of the orange dock pole. The
about three gallons and fed by an electric pump from larger below-deck
tanks. The diesel just flows by gravity down to the
In front of the tank is the horn. The horn and the search
have started painting the
boat. It came to us a little worn and a little tired on
paint. You can also see the original plastic window on the
right. In this picture we have already replaced the left with
laminated glass. Check out that anchor pulpit. It's
beam as is the Samson post (sticking up with the bar driven through
it). This is one tough little boat.
take a look at the same view with
a fresh coat of paint.
All work and no play is
no fun so we take the little cruiser out for a spin every now and
then... It really feels good out on the water.
what do you see in SoCal
waters...? How about Sea Lions. They are around
here by the
We bought the boat in November of
2004 and we donated the boat to charity in November of 2005. Such
a short time to have such a great little boat.
So what did we learn during our "year on the water"...? Actually
I learned plenty about being on the boat and on the water and we
learned plenty about owning a boat. Being on the water was mostly
a joy. We did sail out of Los Angeles Harbor and mostly cruised
up around the Palos Verde Peninsula and over to Long Beach. Never
made it too far away.
I learned that boating while having a full time job in Los Angeles
means you're not going to boating very much. During the first
several months I managed to cruise the boat twice a week for perhaps a
few hours on each cruise. The slowly, the demands of work reduced
the cruising time to about an hour a week. Even then, as I walked
past all the stationary boats in the marina, I thought how at even a
single hour a week, the Rascal was getting a lot more use than the vast
majority of other boats. At the end of the day, it seems that if
you do not have a lot of free time on your hands, boating is not for
As far as boating and boat maintenance goes, the experience was well
worth it... some fundamentals: Stow your gear! six
foot waves and boat wakes throw everything off and sends items crashing
to the deck. If its valuable, stow it while cruising! Wakes
are trouble. Short and steep they crash the boat as you plow
through them. The Rascal was heavy for its length and mostly
handled the wakes pretty well but the big ones really shook things
up. Waves... never cruised in anything more than about six
feet which the boat handled with ease. Going up wind meant
pounding and spray. Downwind was easy cruising. Maintenance
- keep onboard systems very simple for ease of maintenance and
longevity. Avoid steel as it rusts mercifully.
As far at the boat in and of itself... did not work out and this is why
it was donated after just one year of ownership. We needed a
bigger boat or a boat with a different set of features. The fuel
consumption was great and the displacement speed was tolerable - but -
at that slow speed you need to be comfortable. The Rascal was not
that comfortable. We needed more seating, perhaps a dinette, a
galley, a head, better berths, and a closet. The stripped down
Rascal had none of these and this, more so than its usage, was why it
is now off to a new owner.
So will I be getting another boat? Yes, and the next boat will
have more amenities to make things more comfortable. I may try
sailing too. Will we have another boat prior to retirement
cruising? Not sure about this... Stay tuned for more!