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Her Story

Terry-Deb was delivered on December 3, 1941 by railroad car from Holland, Michigan where she was built to Motor Boat Marina in Seattle, where she most likely was part of a fleet of rentals that littered the sound. The buildings of Motor Boat Marina are still standing on Seattle's Portage Bay today and the words "Motor Boat Marina" and the Chris-Craft script logo are still barely visible on the building's side.

For thirty-three years, Terry-Deb lived on Puget Sound waters and her condition steadily worsened. She was being kept outside on Seattle's Duwamish River and was eventually abandoned. In June of 1974, Terry-Deb had sunk to the bottom of the river several times and was facing certain scrapping. Jim Paynton ("Dad") and George Paynton ("Grandpa") bought Terry-Deb for what was owed for back moorage: A sum of only $480. Once aboard, they quickly found that there was no bilge pump and no sign that one had ever been there. What they found themselves doing for the next several hours was bailing Terry-Deb's bilges out by hand, pouring buckets of Duwamish River water into the sink.

Dad and Grandpa wasted no time in getting her  into a boat house, stripping her decks and roof and recanvasing her foredeck and cabintop. The woodwork was stripped and refinished, her hull worked on several times, including the replacement of eight planks and spending months at a time hauled out. In 1977, her original Hercules Chris-Craft marine flathead six cylinder engine was removed due to its having a cracked block. She was repowered with a rebuilt 1967 200 horsepower Ford 289 Interceptor V-8 engine which roared to life in February, 1978, to the cheers and excitement of its installers, Dad and Grandpa George.

It would be several more months before Terry-Deb would see any cruising time. She moved under her own power with a new propeller for the first time in May, 1978. It would be several years before she was seaworthy enough to take on the first Paynton family boat cruise into the San Juan Islands in 1981. Her cabin sides were refinished in Chris-Craft mahogany stain and varnish in 1983, a new mahogany mast was built and a new door was constructed in 1984. Terry-Deb's galley was updated with storage cupboards and an ingenious leak-catching system in 1985 and the jewel of her interior, the helm, was restored in the winter of 1988.

My parents became members of the Classic Yacht Association in 1983 and Terry-Deb served as the flagship of the Pacific Northwest Fleet in 1988, with Dad as Commodore and Margie ("Mom") as fleet secretary. We took extensive cruises in the summer regularly as far north as Nanaimo, BC and participated in festivals and shows up and down Puget Sound including Everett's Salty Sea Days, Tacoma's Daffodil Festival and the Rendezvous by Land Sea and Air in Port Ludlow.

Terry-Deb was put up for sale in September, 1988 with the family's purchase of Maranee that year. She was taken from Salmon Bay Marina  and took up residence at the brokerage dock at Yachts Northwest on the West Shore of Lake Union. It was there that she sat for months with no offers and no lookers. She was moved to Hanan Yacht Sales on Lake Union's North shore in early 1989 and was sold in April.

In a strange happenstance, Terry-Deb was back at Hanan less than a year later, with the addition of a wood burning stove (a feature added to the boat before we owned it and later removed), a cracked window and a light green bootstripe. Other than that, she was unchanged. Wishing I could buy her (I was only 11 at the time) it was strange to see her for sale again with a seemingly unsure fate ahead of her.

The last time that I saw Terry-Deb was July, 1990. She was anchored on the south side of Bainbridge Island at a Salmon Hatchery. We saw her from Maranee as we were coming home from that year's Chris-Craft Rendezvous in Port Orchard and made a special car trip back to see her the following week. We weren't sure if she was abandoned there, but she obviously had no one aboard. Her transom step was being held up with a dock line, her curtains were drawn and her bootstripe was now dark blue. She still had the life ring that Mom had painted her name on and the curtains obscuring her interior from our view were still the ones I remember Mom making at home. It was like seeing a ghost of sorts, with no way to get to her, and no way to know who owned her. From then on, when we went through that channel, Terry-Deb was nowhere to be found.

Right now she only lives in memory for those of us who cruised aboard her and knew her well. May there be a day in my future that I can see Terry-Deb again.