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My father's mahogany cruiser Monalisa
From 1964 to 1973


  1. Carl Gustaf Pettersson cruisers
  2. My father's cruiser Monalisa
  3. Monalisa's sister Ingalena

1. Carl Gustaf Pettersson cruisers:

My father was sailing the Atlantic and Pacific oceans during the WWII and of course he must have his own boat later when he landed in Stockholm, Sweden. After 19 years this dream became true and he bought the cruiser Monalisa. A big boat at that time, 1964. If I remember correct he paid 200 Euro for this boat, 39 years old at that time, that was a price that attract not so rich people and our family was not very rich.

My father's cruiser Monalisa was probably designed and constructed by the famous boat designer C-G Pettersson. It could have been built about 1925. The length of the boat was just over 9 meters, the width not more then 2 meters and it was entirely built of mahogany.

More information about C. G. Pettersson at Wikipedia (sorry, only Swedish):

You can easily recognize a Pettersson designed boat, long and very narrow wooden boats.

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2. My father's cruiser Monalisa:

Monalisa, 1964 a C-G Pettersson designed cruiser

Here my father proudly maneuver the boat Monalisa, 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 West of Stockholm, you see the Goodyear factory in the background. The photo was taken 1964, the year my father bought Monalisa. He bought the boat at Biskoppsuddens marina in Stockholm (Sweden).

Monalisa, 1964 a C-G Pettersson designed cruiser

Now when the boat had come ashore an inspection can be done. 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. My father had rent a place on our neighbor's garden to have the boat at during the renovation.

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 still exists.

Monalisa, 1967 a C-G Pettersson designed cruiser

Early photo from 1967 with me at the steering wheel. This is at Ligna boat club and as you see the boats around are wodden boats, not plastic.

All wood inside the cabin had blisters and has to be scratched and sanded 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 what collectors want today, they want classic cruisers in their original shape.

The engine was completely worn out, probably a 4-cylinders Penta with 12 hp according to 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. An used marine engine was purchased, a 6-cylinders inline flathead, sorry to say, even this one was so worn that it was scrapped. It was never mounted in the boat. A fire water pump engine with magneto ignition was purchased later. In mint condition, also a 6 cylinders inline and flathead, 90 hp. It was installed but 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 was 12 knots with this engine, not much improvement and still seven times as much horsepower.

Monalisa, 1972 a C-G Pettersson designed cruiser

The stairs up to the front deck, under the stairs the reserve fuel tank was set. The main fuel tank hold 100 liter and this spare fuel tank hold 25 liter. At this photo you also get a glimpse of the beautiful cabin. The doors was built new by my father, the old ones was in too bad condition to be saved.

Next engine was a Perkins diesel four cylinders inline, a lot of problems with the delivery of this engine. It was sold by a company at Södermalm and was renovated and built by a machine school. A hydraulic reverse gearbox was purchased and mounted to the engine by the same school. After a hopeless summer with lots of problems things started out to work. After one more year most problems was solved and my father could start to enjoy the boat trips we made. In Sweden at the 1960s the diesel fuel cost compare to gasoline fuel was just one third. Engine's power was 40 hp and gave a top speed of 9 knots. 3 knots lower top speed relative the 6 cylinder engine but to 1/6 of the fuel cost, perfect.

More information about Perkins at Perkins own homepage:

I have tried to find out more information about this Perkins engine. Now I think it was a Perkins series EA, EB, EC or ED marine engine. 40 to 45 hp and 1.6 or 1.7 liter. Weight 259 kg. I remember that it had wet sleeves and a Bosch direct injection. It also had the heat exchanger and hydraulic gearbox option.

Monalisa, 1973 a C-G Pettersson designed cruiser

Here is a photo of how it looked after the renovation and some rebuilding in 1973. More practical, reliable and cheap to run. But not as beautiful as the original. Having old 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, town at island of Åland. When not in use the boat was anchored at the boat club Ligna at Hornstull, in that time there was a lot of members that had Pettersson designed cruisers.

My father sold the boat directly to a private person in 1973, the price was 550 Euro and the new buyer was told to be a submarine captain. That kept my father calm, because this 50 year old 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. From a visit recently at Göta Channel boat museum I understand that my father must have bought this compass at the marine shop Gösta Berg at Hornstulls Strand.

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 Monalisa or her sisters and give some information about it I will be very happy, please send me a message.

mail address

  • Here is a link to other Pettersson wood cruisers (sorry only Swedish): (Woddenboat emergency or in Swedish: Träbåtsakuten)
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3. Monalisa's sister Ingalena:

Update, 2007:
Now something exciting happened, Mona Lisa's unknown sister Ingalena has appeared! She is almost identical with Monalisa and it's placed in Stockholm. I have come into contact with Christoffer who owns Ingalena. He told me also that there should be even one more sister boat to Monalisa, maybe in Finland. Who could believe that there were several such sister boats, I have been offered to come out and take a look at Ingalena on occasion.

Ingalena, sister boat to C G Pettersson designed cruiser Monalisa

One day in May 2008 I took a trip out and meet the owner of Ingalena, Christoffer. Imagine seeing this boat almost identical to the Monalisa, it was 44 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 have put into her. 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 later heard that she is floating in the water safely.

Ingalena, sister boat to C G Pettersson designed cruiser Monalisa

When I visited Christoffer I could take some photos of Ingalena. It's not only photos of almost an identical boat that my father had, it's in the original condition as it was when my father bought Monalisa 1964.

Ingalena, sister boat to C G Pettersson designed cruiser Monalisa

When I see these photos my memory wakes up and I remember all the details.

Ingalena, sister boat to C G Pettersson designed cruiser Monalisa

Sometimes I helped my father with the renovation of Monalisa. I scratched and sanded the mahogany which was in a terribly condition at that time.

Ingalena, sister boat to C G Pettersson designed cruiser Monalisa

In that time, the 1920s, they use brass metal.

Ingalena, sister boat to C G Pettersson designed cruiser Monalisa

The lantern, made of brass. I must really thanks Christoffer and his son that invited me to see Ingalena, so lot of memories.

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):

This page is offline today, I hope it come back, and then I update the link.

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

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