Zorro, Lost in Space and the Third Reich

Oceana is a boat with an amazing provenance and history:


She was built in Holland in 1938, That fact in and of itself is pretty amazing. She was one of the last private vessels to be produced by Dutch for the next decade, certainly one of the last steel boats of the era.

She was constructed of the same Dutch steel that was being used to build the infamous U-Boats and Panzers in the build-up to the war. And Hitler annexed Holland  in May of 1940, just eight months after the outbreak of the war.

Guy Williams as "Zorro"


It’s not known how/when she came to America, but in the late 50’s she was purchased by Guy Williams, famous for his starring role in the “Zorro” Television Series.





Mr. Williams later went on to star in “Lost in Space” “Sinbad” and “Bonanza”  Sailing was a passion of Mr. Williams’ and indeed Oceana is mentioned in several bios about him including IMDB and Wikipedia.


Mr. Williams kept her moored in San Pedro, and often took his family as well as celebrities out sailing. Guy Williams Jr. fondly remembers sailing on Oceana with more than a few celebrities, as well as “Uncle Walt” and his Brother Roy (Disney).  I like to think that perhaps Oceana played a roll in starting Roy’s son Roy E. Disney’s formidable sailing career.  If there’s Royalty in Sailing circles those men are the Crown Princes.


The previous owner circumnavigated her around the globe, twice.

It’s truly Awe inspiring to think of the history this vessel has been a part of and the wonders she’s already seen, if I can add a tiny bit to that tradition I will consider myself privileged indeed.


Recent Posts

Got nothing done, feel kinda good about it.

One issue of concern I’ve had with the boat since I got it are the chainplates; which connect the mast/rig to the hull.

Everywhere the rigging is attached to the boat on Oceana is painted steel, and the rig moves and so the turnbuckles rub off the paint, then rust sets in and then the rust turns into scale with steel flaking off in huge chunks.

So ever since I’ve first set eyes on her, I’ve wanted to replace these parts with stainless steel.  And in all likelihood I could probably just cut them off and weld on a new tab.  But Chainplates take an ENORMOUS amount of load from the sails, and it wouldn’t be a good idea for a real welder much less a terrible one like me.

The problem you see is that belowdecks the chainplate is MASSIVE, 1/2″ thick steel, which is curved to the hull 

If you look at the last picture, it’s hard to tell but you can sorta see the problem.   ***IF*** I could somehow manage to cut that out without mangling the hull, it’s so close to the ribs that I’d never be able to weld in the replacement, there’s simply no space for a welding rod much less a MIG gun.

Today while looking at bowsprits (another ongoing nightmare I’ve been having!) I saw a boat that moved the chainplates to the exterior.  Whoalah!!  This solves all my problems.  I can leave the existing chainplates belowdeck, and use them as massive backing plates.  And I can probably get away with slightly smaller 1/4″ plates on the exterior.

So anyway, I’m pretty excited that I at least sort of have a plan now!

I guess it solves another problem I’ve been struggling with too: I’ve been reluctant to rip out the teak railing.  It’s in poor shape, but at the same time it’s still teak and would be nice if I could salvage it.  But I guess if I’m changing all the plates the wood no longer fits which means tomorrow I’m chiseling it off without trying to save it.  Because it’s a 40 minute ordeal to get EACH screw out.

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