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My father's mahogany cruiser Monalisa
Owned from 1964 to 1973


  1. Swedish wooden boats with Pettersson look
  2. My father's cruiser Monalisa, restauration
  3. Monalisa, after restauration, a boat that could be used
  4. Monalisa's sisters Ingalena and Elinor

3. Monalisa, after restauration, a boat that could be used:

A working boat:

Monalisa, 1972 a Victor Israelsson designed Pettersson cruiser

To the left, stairs up to the front deck, inside the stair house the reserve fuel tank was set, I'm not sure if it was there from the beginning. The main fuel tank capacity was 100 liter and this spare fuel tank capacity was 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.

Monalisa, 1973 a Victor Israelsson designed Pettersson cruiser

Here is a photo of how it looked after the restoration and some rebuilding in 1972. 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's archipelago in the years 1965 to 1973. The longest journey was to Mariehamn, town at island of Åland. My father did this tour with a friend, at Mariehamn they had to wait three days until the wind calme down, his friend took the ferry back. More common places we visited were Dalarö, Ornö, Vaxholm, Gustafsberg. In the lake Mälaren we visited Mariefred, Södertälje, Gripsholm. When not in use the boat was anchored at the boat club Ligna Båtsällskap at Hornstull, in that time there were a lot of members that had wooden boats and some of them Pettersson designed.

The locks:

I can't tell you about my dad's boat Monalisa without telling about the locks. Dad had the boat lying in the lake Mälaren which is a fresh water lake. Most of the times we were out with the boat we went out to Vaxholm or Dalarö, that is the salt sea. To get there, we must pass a lock. We had two locks to choose from, Karl Johanslussen and Hammarbyslussen.

The lock Karl Johanslussen:

Karl Johanslussen 2005

A photo I found in my collection from 2005, what we see is the entrance of the lock from the salt sea side.

Here we see the narrow entrance to Karl Johanslussen. In the early 1960s, this lock was free to pass. It could be very stressful when you were to pass the lock. Many were inexperienced boat drivers and there could be heavy water streams inside the lock when the gates were opened. The lock had been given the nickname the "Divorce Ditch". The lock gates did not open to the sides as normal lock gates do without upwards. When you went in and out of the lock you passing under the uplifted gates that drop water on your head. The lake Mälaren's water level was about 0.5 meters higher than the salt sea.

Monalisa, 1973 a Victor Israelsson designed Pettersson cruiser

A photo from 2006 when I visited the lock to look at the boats. This is the inside of the lock Karl Johanslussen, dark and wet. The boat has nothing to do with the story below.

At one of our passages of the Karl Johanslussen in the middle of 1960s the famous poet Cornelis Vreeswijk came in simultaneously with his boat. It was crowded in the lock as usual, maybe it was a Sunday when everyone was going home with their boats. I would help him where I was standing on the front deck, I stretched out my hand to grab his boat hook and pull him straight. The problem was that I was weighing maybe 35 kg in the age of 8, and Cornelis who was a heavy man certainly weight more then 100 kg. When he pulled the boat hook for me I stumbling and almost falling overboard into the water. It could have ended seriously dangerous with all the boats that were driving into the lock.

If you find it interesting to read about the history of Karl Johanslussen I have a reportage here.

The lock Hammarbyslussen:

This was the bigger of the two locks, this one was not free, maybe we paid about 1 Euro for each passage in the 1960s.

Hammarbyslussen 1972

At one point when the engine had recently been installed and was not so reliable, we got a motor stop just as we were entering the lock, the water currents from the open gate took hold of the boat and it twisted and staggered in the lock. Dad managed to get the motor started again and turned the boat in the right direction again. Pretty nervous moment can be said!

This is one of the last photos I have of my father's boat Monalisa. My father sold the boat to a private person in 1973 from an ad in the newspaper Dagens Nyheter. The price was 550 Euro and the new buyer was told to be a submarine captain. That kept my father calm, because this almost 60 year old boat needs a person that was very handy to get it running safely.


Monalisa's Compass

Now after many years I found Monalisa's compass, the only part of Monalisa that I have left today, 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 Hornstull's Strand, I found a commercial sign about this shop at the museum. It could have been bought the winter 1964 to 1965 when he was taking lessons at the navigation school.

Monalisa's anchor

Have a look at this photo from 1964 when my father boutgth Monalisa. It's the anchor. My father thought it took too big place and took it away. He stored it in his house and keept it after he sold the boat.

Monalisa's anchor

And what is this, the anchor! It has been stored at my sister and her husbunds summer house all these years. The anchor has a special bent which can be seen on both photos. But there is a small chans that it belongs to another boat in the family, but to me it looks exactly the one I rember from Monalisa. But of cocurse it was a kot of anchors manufactired with this look. 103 years old and no rust on it.

  • Here is a link to Göta Channel Museum (sorry only Swedish): (Musiehuset, sorry to say, it's shut down)

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 its original condition? Or is my father's boat a wreck today or maybe it doesn't even exists at all?

If you can recognize the boat Monalisa or her sisters (see next page) and give some information about it I will be very happy, please send me a message.

Contact information: mail address

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

Svenska sökord: salongsbåt, motorkryssare, träbåt, båt, motorbåt, pettersonbåt, mahogny, furu

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