Captain's Log; Adventures Aboard the "Amethyst"

Saturday, June 11, 2005

"Amethyst" riding peacefully at anchor in Emerald Bay, Catalina Island, Southern California.
Just one of the beautiful places to visit when you sail with Mariner Sailing Charters. Visit us now at

A history of the Sailing Yacht, "Amethyst"

Yacht Name: "Amethyst"
Year Built : 1969
Model and Hull # : Mariner 40, #51
Owner's Name : Capt. Mack Steagall,
Hailing Port: Marina del Rey, CA


Yes, a fine history she has. One of trials, sorrow, abuse and ultimately, redemption and excellence!

"Amethyst" was once known as "Yontonka" and with that name she led a life of ignominy, going from owner to owner, marina to marina, scarcely ever receiving proper maintenance, and simply languished, awaiting her fate, one to which so many of these fine vessels have been sentenced to.

And so, in 1997 in such a wretched state I found her, as she laid along side the Balboa Boat Yard in Newport Beach, CA. So sorrowful in appearance, was she, scarcely recognizable as the Wooden Boat Regatta winner that she was to become!

She was missing her mizzen mast and families of pigeons(!) resided in her, down below.The guano of many generations of various seabirds was upon her decks, and she was devoid of anything reminiscent of bright work. I wondered who it was and how it could be that this could have been allowed to happen.....

something surely must be done..........

I of course snapped her up for a paltry sum, due to the owner realizing his failure as a yachtsman, and after some stop gap mechanical work, delivered "Amethyst", ( the new name that I gave to her, to change her luck) to Marina del Rey, to start her new life. The delivery, a voyage of about 50 miles, is a story in it's own and for the sake of brevity, will not be told here.

Immediately, work began on "Amethyst" with the initial haul out and the sistering of 16 frames, eight port and eight starboard. We also painted her bottom and topsides, losing the garish blue 70's racing stripe that all vessels of the 60's and 70's seemed to be inflicted with. I implore all you fellow Mariner owners.....Lose the stripe! A classic design such as the Mariner possesses owes nothing to the trends of the 70's!

And so it began, a five year restoration of every conceivable facet of this Mariner 40. Water and fuel tanks, plumbing and electrical, engine and batteries all were replaced and rebuilt. And then the varnish. All spars were varnished, as is befitting a proper yacht, and 12 coats more of Epifanes varnish were lavished on the interior. No flat varnish is allowed aboard the "Amethyst". No, no, no...

In November of 2002, I deemed her ready for her maiden voyage, and with a light heart, cast loose the dock lines, and left the confines of her slip! The wind filled her sails and she took to the wind and raced towards Malibu, with a bone in her teeth. She had been reborn, and again would ply the waters of Southern California.
The story of "Amethyst" continues, as she is now the flagship of Mariner Sailing Charters, LLC , where she is in service carrying people on day sailing adventures and trips to Catalina Island. For more about the "Amethyst" and Capt. Mack, or to contact us, please visit our website at

I hope all who strive to restore their vessels win in the end as I have. Do not listen to what negative people say, for it can be done. I have proved it!
Happy Sailing,
Capt. Mack