- Northern California
Sea Breeze was built by the Stephens Brothers Yacht Designers and Builders during 1939 at their Stockton, California yard.
Just 2 years after the opening of the beautiful Golden Gate Bridge, Sea Breeze entered the San Francisco Bay for the first time. A 1939 trunk cabin cruiser of 41 feet was commissioned by Mr. & Mrs. Robert Wiel of San Francisco and custom built in Stockton, California. Mr. Wiel was an executive with the San Francisco boot maker, Buckingham & Hecht.
World War II Years
In December of 1941, Sea Breeze was placed into service by the US Navy and was used as a "Yard Ambulance Boat" in and around the San Francisco Bay. A bronze plaque in the Pilot House commemorates her service (USS Sea Breeze) to country during that time.
After the war, it is unclear how long the Weil's continued to own her. The next known owner was Theo Stephens, one of the executives of Stephens Brothers, who owned her from the early 70's through the mid-80's. For the next several decades, Sea Breeze would split her time between the Bay and the California Delta and was berthed at Willow Berm Marina in Isleton, California.
Back to Stockton: The Theo Stephens Years
During this phase of her life, Sea Breeze benefited from the ownership of a boat yard owner and Theo Stephens made several enhancements to Sea Breeze, such as replacing the awning over the cockpit with a hard top structure, and adding stainless steel to the galley and more custom cabinetry. We believe Theo re-powered Sea Breeze, as well.
Theo left aboard a set of cocktail glasses with his engraved initials TJS.
Eighties & Nineties
In the early 80's Mr. & Mrs. Robert Arthur owned Sea Breeze keeping her berthed during the summers at Willow Berm and in the San Francisco area the rest of the year. The Arthur's undertook a major renovation of Sea Breeze during their ownership which included a number of cosmetic, mechanical and structural enhancements during their ownership. The Log indicates that the Arthur's enjoyed many cruises with friends aboard Sea Breeze both in the Delta and the Bay.
In the mid 90's Jim Harleen purchased Sea Breeze, and like the previous owners made important enhancements to her during his stewardship. He re-powered her and re-fastened the hull in 2000. Jim and his family were active owners and the Log indicates many outings with friends to Angel Island, the Delta and other spots on the Bay. Jim berthed Sea Breeze at Willow Berm and for a time at Loch Lomand Marina in San Rafael, California.
We first became acquainted with Sea Breeze when she was berthed for awhile at Loch Lomand. At the time we owned Fleetwood (1955 Stephens) and always admired the uniqueness of Sea Breeze's design and overall beauty. In 2006, after having moved from Marin County to Atlanta we sold Fleetwood.
Even though we were in Atlanta, we longed to find a way to return to boating on the Bay and when we were made aware of the availability of Sea Breeze we leaped at the opportunity. We have owned her since October of 2008 and have made a few maintenance repairs on her (8 forward keel bolts, re-bedded shaft and rudder logs, etc). We look forward to many years of enjoyment with Sea Breeze and maintaining her traditions.
One small bit of irony in the fact that Sea Breeze is now berthed in Alameda, California in the covered berths at Fortman Marina alongside a number of other classic yachts and near our old yacht Fleetwood (photo shows them "Bow to Bow"). Small world.
If anyone has additional information about Sea Breeze, or photos we would be grateful if you would drop a line to us as we are eager to complete her history as much as possible.
-Keith & Lisa Mitchell