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My father's mahogany cruiser

My father own this cruiser between the years 1964 to 1973

It was probably designed and constructed by the famous boat designer C-G Pettersson sometime during the 1910s. The length of the boat was just over 9 meters and the width about 2 meters and it was entirely built of mahogany. A big boat at that time for not so rich people. My father was sailing the Atlantic and Pacific oceans under the WW2 and of course he must have his own boat now (1964).

Monalisa, 1964 a C-G Pettersson designed cruiser

Here my father proudly maneuver the boat, it's autumn and it is time to pull her up for winter storage. We could have strong and chilly winters here in Sweden which isn't so good for wooden boats. The photo is taken at Fittja just outside Stockholm, you see the Goodyear factory in the background. The photo is taken 1964 and that's the year when my father bought it. He bought it at Biskoppsuddens marina in Stockholm (Sweden). The cost for it was was maybe 200 Euro.

Monalisa, 1964 a C-G Pettersson designed cruiser

Now the boat had come ashore. As you see here there are four small round windows, usually there are only three or less on this type of boats. The earlier owner hasn't take care of the cruiser and now an extensive renovation work began.

Rudder and the whole fixture was replaced with new stainless steel self made parts, the part should surely be intact even today if the boat is still left.

All the varnish had blisters and has to be ground down completely. An extensive rot in the hull and superstructure required time-consuming woodwork. In connection with the renovation my father reconstructed it to be more practical. Among other things, the partition wall was cast away with its glass door, new larger windscreens were built by handcraft, perhaps not so successful today when you want to have these classic cruisers in their original shape.

The engine was completely exhausted, probably a 4-cylinders Penta with 12 hp according Christoffer (see below), Maybe a top speed of 8 knots which is impressive with this little engine. It had a reduction gear shaft which went broken and snapped off at the first test drive. A used marine engine was purchased, a 6-cylinders inline flathead, it was so worn that it was scrapped and it was never mounted in the boat. A fire water pump engine with magneto ignition was purchased. In mint condition, also a 6 cylinders inline and flathead, 90 hp. It took way too much gasoline and went bad on kerosene, assembled out after one or two years. I wish I had some photos of the fantastic installation of this engine, my father built most of the parts and the engine was really big. He had to place it above the transaxle to the propeller. I believe the top speed reach 12 knots with this engine.

Next engine was a Perkins diesel four cylinders inline, a lot of problems with the delivery of this engine, which was renovated and built together by a machine school. A hydraulic gearbox was purchased and mounted to the engine by the same school. After a hopeless summer with lots of problems things started to work out. After one more year most problems was resolved and my father could start enjoy the boat trips we made. In Sweden at this time the diesel fuel cost compare to gasoline fuel was just a one third, everything perfect. Engine's power was 40 hp and gave a top speed of 9 knots.

Monalisa, 1973

Here is a photo of how it looked after renovation and some rebuilding in 1972. More practical, reliable and cheap to run. But not as beautiful as the original. Having tires as fenders didn't look great, but they were sturdy and well functioning, so often became my father's designs.

Many memories are associated with this boat, countless were the times when we were out in the Stockholm archipelago in the years 1965 to 1973. The longest journey was to Mariehamn in Åland. When not in use the boat was anchored at the boat club Ligna at Hornstull, in that time there was a lot of Pettersson designed cruisers in use.

The boat was sold to a private person in 1973, the price was about 500 Euro and the new buyer was if I remember correctly a submarine captain. That kept my father calm, because this boat needs a person that was very handy to get it running.

Monalisa's Compass

Now after many years I found Monalisa's compass, the only part of the boat that I have left, really happy to find it.

I have often wondered what happened to the boat Monalisa after my father sold it. It would be very interesting to know something. Has someone restored it to original condition? Or is my father's boat a wreck today or maybe it doesn't even exists?

If you can recognize the boat and give some information about it I will be very happy, please send me a message.

mail address

Update, January 2007:
Now,something exciting happened, Mona Lisa's unknown sister Ingalena has appeared! It is almost identical and it's placed here in Stockholm. The owber told me also that there should be even one more, who would believe that there were several such sister boats, I have been offered to come out and take a look at it on occasion.

Ingalena, sister boat to Monalisa

One day in May 2007 I took a trip out and meet the owner of Ingalena, Christoffer. Imagine seeing this boat almost identical to the Monalisa, it was 34 years ago, and it was 43 years ago I saw her in the original condition. I was not old then but now when I have Ingalena in front of me I remember all the details! Christopher and his father tells excitedly about how they found Ingalena and all the work they put into it. A little frightened I become when he shows the hole in the hull, they have taken out a large wooden board and there gapes a huge hole. I thought, they will never get Ingalena in the sea again, but have now heard that she is lying there in the water safely.

Here Christoffer is telling his story about Ingalena:

Ingalena name is Norröna according KMK's papers from the 1920s. She was registered there from 1921-28. The owner was then Mr. Göransson. The boat has also been registered in the name of Jago KMK's membership record from 1939. Both Jago and Norröna are unusual name and the holes after the letters in the nameplate in the bow tell us it's correct. The boat's technical data exactly matches the documents technical data. It shows that the engine was a penta with 4 cylinders and 12 hp, which gave a top speed of 8 knots. Usually the boats had very strange names at the beginning of the century. It was not to the same owner would have boats with the same name in documents. Even male names appear and nonsense names and abbreviations.


Read here about Christoffer's exciting detective work and renovation of the cruiser Ingalena (Norröna):

My memories of my father's boat Monalisa, Lars Karlsson

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