- Pacific Northwest
This is from the previous owner:
Sea Dog, probably the only survivor of a limited edition run of only five identical power boats built by Stephens Bros. of Stockton, CA. in the early
1930’s. One of these, “Panacea”, was reportedly commissioned by actor Charlie Chaplin in 1934 as a present for his mistress, Paulette Goddard.
Her first owner was H.A.B. Sneve of Seattle, who was the proprietor of a marine hardware distribution business. He equipped Sea-Dog with extra fuel
tanks, loaded her up with examples of his wares, and cruised from Mexico to Alaska exhibiting his products in every port along the way. When she was launched, Sea-Dog gleamed of polished teak, Port Orford cedar (a rot-resistant wood grown in the Pacific Northwest) and shiny brass. More than 75 years later, while other vessels have been lost to sea, or simply abandoned to rot away, this salty old dog has lasted through the years – as
well as through countless owners.
The boat is 55 feet, seven inches long with a 12’8” beam. She is registered at 35 gross tons and holds 220 gallons of fuel. Sneve named the boat Sea-Dog and evidently liked it so much that he changed the name of his company from Sneve Co. to Sea-Dog Brand. The company still operates out of Everett, WA as a major player in the marine hardware business. Although there is no longer any connection between the boat and the business, on the front of the annual Sea-Dog Brand catalogue there is a rendition of the Sea-Dog.
Eventually, Sneve sold Sea-Dog to a prominent and well-known yachtsman from Newport Beach named Wesley Smith. After Smith came “Ping” Boudine, who
became Sea-Dog’s owner from 1934 to 1940. Boudine parted with Sea-Dog in 1942 when she was conscripted into the U.S. Navy. She was painted gray and a
50 cal. machine gun was mounted on her bow. For the duration of WWII, her
duties included patrolling Los Angeles for Japanese Submarines.
Upon being discharged from the Navy in 1946, she returned to the yachting
life. She was a participant in several races from LA to Santa Barbara and San
Francisco and she was prominent in the yachting activities of the Los Angeles
and New Port Yacht clubs. She has had several owners since 1946, the longest
was Jim Butz who, with his wife, cruised Sea-Dog for 20 years throughout the
southern California area and Mexico.
In 2006, Les Gunther bought Sea-Dog. She was trucked to Anacortes from where
she moved to Friday Harbor where preliminary restoration work began.
Subsequently, she was moved to Seattle and under the direction of Patrick
Curry a 6 month long restoration was undertaken. All systems were replaced,
including galley, electronics, engines, exhaust, steering, anchoring, tanks,
fuel/water systems, heating and electrical. Where possible, original
bulkheads and structural members were saved, but some of the hull structure
The purchasing survey found several cracked frames, unsound floors and keel
bolts as well as issues with the stem. We had her trucked from Seattle to
Bayside Boat Works in Sausalito where she spent 9 months on the hard taking
care of this issues. She has many sistered frames, some replaced, many new
floors, new garboards & many planks and remounted shaft logs..