This week brings a story about the crown jewel of wooden yachts in Shoreline Marina — Richard Lindemann’s Delta Moon, a 42-foot Chris-Craft Constellation. She is easily recognized by her distinctive bull nose and has been cruising local waters for the last few years.
She has been in private charter while here, often decked out in holiday lights hosting floating parties in years past. Just recently, she came on the market and it seems like a good time to look into her past.
Putting together her history was like contact tracing — except the only exposure is that of joy. Her past owners recall stories that sound like a summer love affair.
According to Rachel, at the Mariners Museum in Newport News, Va., who checked the original hull card, the yacht was shipped from the factory on Aug. 8, 1958, to Norwood Chris-Craft Sales in Norwood, Mass. Soon afterward, she made her way to San Francisco Bay.
The first owner named her “Billie Jo” and loved her for more than 20 years. Upon his 1980 death, the boat was donated to his yacht club. She was purchased for $35,000 by Bruce M. Engblom, who now resides in South Carolina. He was happy to reconnect with the boat and said, “So glad to see Delta Moon still getting the care and love she always deserved. We bought her in Tower Park Marina in Lodi, Calif., in 1980 and lived aboard at The New Bridge Marina in Anitoch until 1988. We were young and could not afford a house and I suggested — “how about a boat?”
They moved aboard with an 18-month-old baby, a dog and a cat.
He continued, “We completely loved our 8 years aboard, meticulously maintaining her and enjoying life. But then the law of diminishing return (escalating insurance costs) forced us back to terra firma. She will always be in our hearts.”
The Engblom family “sort of” renamed her Delta Moon but left the name Billie Jo on the port and starboard nameplates to appease King Neptune and avoid any bad luck by renaming her. They sold her for $76,000. She passed through a couple hands from there — a couple who always had a neighbor take the boat in and out of the slip (towing his dinghy so he could return to the dock after navigating her out of the marina), and a fellow in construction who built some of the custom interior items.
George and Evelyn Gray found her in Sausalito and their tradition was to name boats after their two sons Alan and Dale. So she then became Alandale. In 1995, widowed Mrs. Gray sold the boat for $58,000, and carried the paper for the new owners.
Jeff Harlow, the new title-holder, liked to call the boat, “Ike and Mamie Eisenhower’s dream boat, with streamline and luxury.” Harlow was vice president of Levi Strauss at the time. His career was quickly advancing and he had assignments that took him throughout Latin America. His strong passion for the boat never waned.
Under his direction, the boat spent the next 6 years in Svendsen’s boat yard in Alameda undergoing a comprehensive half-million-dollar redo. The restoration maintained her original look on the outside with new cabinets, electrical wiring, engines, underwater lights, air-conditioning, and electronics including a dishwasher.
Jeff grew up in Chesapeake, Maryland, attending boat shows with his grandfather. He was engaged in Delta Moon’s restoration down to the last detail. He even selected the cowhides that the upholsterer used for the dinette, settee and bar stools.
At one point, Jeff’s career took him to Ft. Lauderdale and he researched having Delta Moon trucked to his new home — but her size made it too much of a challenge.
He still has a photo of her on his desk in his home office. All the past owners agree, there is truly something special about Delta Moon.