Interview / Local News / Sailing News

Maria – 1950 steel ketch restoration for Oak Orchard waters.

I fell in love with the lines of MARIA the first time I saw her sailing out of Oak Orchard Harbor. She was the kind of boat that makes a young man dream. I knew her owner at the time, Dean Bonke. He was a really nice guy and the boat really suited him. One day in the late 1980s, MARIA sank at her mooring. I happened to take pictures at the time, and included them in the video of MARIA’s restoration.-Kyle

Peter Watson shares some information about the specs and history of his beautiful boat:
See video below:
Steel Ketch, built in 1950 in Holland, designed by Henk Tingen, De Bilt, Netherlands
Length overall—41′
Weight of hull w/ballast 22,000 lbs.
Spars are spruce with stainless rigging and galvanized hardware.
The original design was an Orca.
Engine is a 34 HP Mercedes 4 cylinder diesel, turning a 2-bladed prop.
Mainmast—53′ overall length
Mizzenmast—overall length–30′
L.W.L.—28′ 7″
Ballast is concrete and lead
Beam—10′ 7″
Sail area—750 sq. ft.

I bought this vessel from Dean Bonke of Point Breeze at the time, who bought it from John Adkin who lived in Rochester, NY at the time. John and family had restored the boat in the 1960’s, including new plywood under deck, a vinyl sheet between plywood and teak above. He also painted the whole interior of the hull with a commercial zinc paint. They sanded and re-faired the outside of the hull where needed, and re-painted the hull. John Adkin bought the boat from someone in New Jersey, he told me that it had come from there. I was also told by a dutch friend on Cape Cod that these were production boats built for “the market” and shipped over here on freighters . This friend of mine from Holland had captained one in the Virgin Islands back in the 60’s. He said it was basically the same boat, built on the same lines. Forrest and I have been working on Maria for one and a half years now and have welded in a steel deck (never to leak again), rebuilt the diesel engine and put it back into the boat, completely rebuilt the sides and roof of the cabin, chipped loose bondo off the outside of hull and replaced it, installed a new rudder shaft and surrounding tube, and begun sanding and re-varnishing the masts and spars.
Peter Watson’s web page:

MARIA restoration video: