The Boat

SV Rad Mode was an unfinished, Westsail 32 Kit Boat, hull #664, that we purchased in a too-cheap-to-believe deal in March of 2015.  She was made in 1976 and is a “Mark II” version of the boat with the non-skid texture included in the hull mold, the molded in scuppers, and the port side lazarette.

Built tough, this is the hole saw cutting for a dorade in Rad Mode’s cabin top.

The original owner bought her in ’76 from Westsail Corp. and somewhere, I have the actual receipts for his purchase of the hull and deck.  I’ll post them when I come across them again.  We aren’t sure where he splashed her but we know she spent some time in a marina in Alameda, CA before he motored her over the a marina in the Sacramento Delta.  I have spoken with more than a few people that knew him and the word is that he was less than a charmer.  Apparently, he was kicked out of numerous marinas in the Delta. As luck would have it for us, she eventually came to rest in a berth at Bruno’s Marina.

Here are some pics we took the first time we looked at her…

The previous owner was an engineer for General Electric and we have numerous sketchbooks that are filled with plans and redesigns for the boat.  He’s made numerous comments throughout them that Westsail Corp. could have done this or that better and claims to have built our icebox with an additional .6 cubic feet, along with some other claims of improvements.  Since I’m not an engineer or  yacht designer, I can only hope that we might be able to take advantage of any small benefits of his redesign and also hope that any troubles caused by them are small and insignificant.

We have receipts from about a decade after the boat was purchased where he was buying top of the line and overbuilt parts for the boat.  So upon purchasing her, she came with almost everything we needed to finish her with the exception of running rigging, standing rigging, and sails.  We are guessing that sometime around the mid 80’s, he took all of the hardware, bowsprit, and boomkin off of the boat and sealed her up extremely well.  It seemed almost like he knew he wasn’t going to be around for a while.

Kristina, going through some of the parts that came with the boat.


He returned probably 5 or 6 years ago and lived on the boat for a while, running the engine once a month for 20 minutes and working on some of the woodwork in the boat.  He ended up getting sick and when he regrettably became too ill to enter or exit the boat, his family came and took him.

After he passed, the marina ended up with the boat due to liens and we in turn purchased it from them for peanuts.  The Harbor Master was very generous, knowing that he had a boat that could have been scrapped out for far more but he was more interested in selling it to someone that would finish her so he could see her sail out of the marina.

Rad Mode should be ready to sail this summer and will sail for the very first time!  A toast to both the former owner, the harbor master, and all of the friends that have helped us finish her will definitely be a part of her official naming ceremony before we make that very first trip out!

If you are interested in seeing Rad Mode completed over the next few years and want to follow along with her subsequent journeys and our eventual circumnavigation, please follow this blog and go to our YouTube page here and click the little red subscribe button!