- 2010/2011 new raw water cooling pump and hoses, new raw water strainer, new exhaust hose, new cutlass bearing, engine mounts. Engine/prop shaft precision aligned using optical alignment system. Stuffing box serviced. New transmission drive plate.
- Heads rebuilt 2012
- Hull and bottom painted Spring 2012
This yacht is a one of a kind Kettenburg 50, with many unique features and details. She has sailed and raced under the burgees of the San Diego Yacht Club, San Francisco Yacht Club and the Seattle Yacht Club.
“I lead or I direct” a Latin phrase which is the motto of the State of Maine is also the house flag for Dirigo. This was selected by the Trepte Family and maintained by all owners of this yacht. Her house flag flies proudly at the dock or on the water. Two different flags are kept aboard. One is the flag of the State of Maine with Dirigo across the flag as the motto and is flown regularly. The other is the Coast Guard flag for Dirigo and is the proper flag when she is “dressed ship”.
Dirigo was built and launched in 1963 in San Diego at the Kettenburg Boatworks in San Diego. She was commissioned by Gene Trepte, a local yachtsman and racer who was seeking a faster, lighter and more competitive boat, while at the same time wanting comfort and a beautiful boat. Trepte approached his long-time friend Paul Kettenburg and requested a modified version of the Kettenburg 50 yachts that were being built. The following is an excerpt from the conversation between Paul and Gene:
Gene to Paul in negotiating the building of Dirigo:
"Paul, I want to put a bigger rig in it (the rig is 6 feet taller than standard Kettenburg 50s), I want to put more lead on it, and I want to change the rudder to a curved rudder with more depth at the bottom than at the top. This way you have more steerage potential at the bottom because it is sort of elliptical. Well being my friendship with Paul, he agreed to do it. I said I also wanted teak decks on it and he agreed to do it, and he built me a beautiful boat.”
In 1964, Trepte took Dirigo to the Ahmanson Series sponsored by the Newport Harbor Yacht Club – a première race in the California area and finally got his first place finish! The metal plaque is still in the main cabin of Dirigo. While first place in the Ahmanson Series was the immediate goal, he kept racing and cruising her for five more years until he was approached by Ken Bechtel (Bechtel Construction in San Francisco). The following excerpt is how Dirigo went from San Diego to San Francisco:
Gene’s recollection of how this happened:
One day we came back from Catalina and standing on the dock was Ken Bechtel, Bechtel International, and Ken introduced himself to me and said, "I’ve just been over talking to Paul and I want to build a K-50." Paul said, "Well, it’s going to take some time because we’ve destroyed the mold (meaning she is one of a kind and he wasn’t building another one like her!). Mr. Trepte, would you be interested in selling your boat?" I said, "Well, you know, every boat that somebody owns is always for sale." He said, "What would you want for the boat?" So I clicked, clicked how much I paid Kettenburg and how much extra sails and stuff I had in it and blurted out a figure and he said, "Fine. I’ll take it and I would like to leave in 10 days for San Francisco."
Bechtel shortened the boom on Dirigo and moved the traveler to the house top. Thus, she became a much more sailing friendly boat on San Francisco Bay where the wind always blows. They raced and cruised her in that area for another ten years or more.
In about 1978, Dirigo was sold to Dr. Dubois who brought her back to the San Diego area. Dr. Dubois re-powered her and put in the marinized diesel and the larger water and fuel tanks. Good quality water and diesel were hard to find in the areas of Mexico they were cruising so being able to carry the extra quantities made the long distance trips feasible. The family took the boat to Mexico on a regular basis so that they could enjoy the warm waters and scuba dive. The aft starboard cockpit locker was set up for diving tanks and Dirigo became the perfect platform for cruising in Mexico.
In about 1987, Dr. Dubois sold Dirigo to the Mallo family. The couple intended to live aboard in Sand Diego which worked well until they had three children under the age of five. Dirigo became tight quarters for a family of five!
In 1992, Dirigo was purchased by Gerry and Barbara Maurer and Don and Meredith Roose from Seattle. Gerry had sailed many Kettenburgs (including racing TransPac) so a Kettenburg was a known quantity.
Don and Gerry flew to San Diego for sea trials on Dirigo that Fall. With Gerry’s prior relationship with Paul Kettenburg and Peggy Slatter, a local dealer for Kettenburgs, they were able to have both Paul and Gene join them for the trials. It was a great day on the water and Paul and Gene reminisced about sailing, building boats and the love of the sea. Dirigo couldn’t have had better sales people aboard her.
We had Dirigo trucked to the Northwest since it was November and she had been sitting for five years as a live aboard. The Mallos used her as a houseboat (as Gene was known to call boats that stopped racing) and not a sailing/racing vessel.
Both the Maurer and Roose families were seeking a cruising boat that could comfortably take children and grandchildren on sailing and cruising adventures. Dirigo was a perfect boat for that. The families cruised from South Sound to the end of Vancouver Island during the summers and it was a perfect match for what they were seeking.
Since both families belonged to the Seattle Yacht Club, Dirigo was a frequent entry in the Opening Day of Yachting through the Montlake cut. Dirigo has numerous plaques aboard for winning Dressed ship; Classic Sailboat and as part of the fleet of beautiful sailing sloops.
In 1997, the Roose Family decided to purchase a power boat and Dirigo became owned by the Maurers. They have continued to cruise her and take children and grandchildren of all ages to Port Madison and north to Alert Bay. Many great memories have been built aboard this gracious and comfortable yacht!
She has been loved and cared for by all of her owners. Whether sitting on the fantail with a good book, having cocktails in the cockpit, or enjoying a cozy dinner in the main salon each space gives you a new appreciation for how fortunate you are to be aboard this classic and beautiful yacht. It is easy to have cocktail parties for ten or twelve people or a sit down dinner for six or eight. It would be hard to go anywhere in the Northwest without someone saying, “Oh I’ve been aboard Dirigo for drinks or for dinner and we had a wonderful time!” She is a boat for entertaining or for quieting sitting – either way you always know you are where you belong.
Dirigo is a boat that captures your spirit and becomes one with you. She is a boat to fall in love with!