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Chuck's boat in Grant Pk Harbor 1972


The 136 foot yacht ACANIA, built in 1930 for a supposedly secret owner — rumored to be legendary Chicago mobster Al Capone, is alive and kicking and now under restoration. The steel vessel, advanced for it’s era, is in remarkably original condition, and included odd accoutrements like piping leading nowhere (possibly to contain alcohol?), hidden cabinets and a secret bar. While the boat was built for a Wall Street tycoon, a duplicate, the Acania II, was built for an unidentified buyer. The boat has a long history of ownership, is now headed into the charter trade. It now has its own website:

From this year’s wooden boat show at Geneva Lake’s Abbey Harbor. Wouldn’t you rather lean on a restored Chris-Craft helm from the 50s than a conventional bar?

The restored Steam Yacht Louise, built 1902.

The graceful Lorelei, a 41 foot cruiser built 1954 in Holland.

Near the Golden Horn and North through the Strait, toward the Black Sea.

I know nothing about the Donna B, a tug/trawler of about 28 feet, parked at a tavern in Williams Bay, WI, but I do think she’s a smart-looking craft, and seems well-built and carefully maintained.

Yesterday and today were the first two days of their kind, beautiful placid days on Geneva Lake, when I’ve not felt guilty for not taking the boat out.

We sold the SeaBell to another enthusiast on Saturday. Now I’m left with the memories, the hand-plaited rope bell pull, the French signaling horn, the 50-year-old log book, and hundreds of photos, some framed, some in flip-cases and many on the computer, of every inch of SeaBell and some of our outings.

I want to think about other boats whose decks I yearn to walk, but push away. It’s too soon. The funds raised from SeaBell will go to support my college cause-related communications awards program for a few more years, so I’m sure I’ll be reminded of her whenever the award ceremonies come around.

Always liked the feeling of knowing I had a boat on the lake, whether I was aboard her or not. Now I’m not sure what to think.

after 8 seasons aboard the sturdy little SeaBell, as Vicki and I walked away from the dock at Gage Marine on Williams Bay at Geneva Lake, Wisconsin this morning, leaving the new owners, Steve and Laura, aboard to enjoy their new pocket trawler and make plans for the future.

Just sold the SeaBell this morning to a fellow who will cruise her on the Illinois River, who fell in love with the Nimble Nomad boat while chartering one recently for a cruise on the Erie Canal.

January 2023

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