SoCal Classics

SoCal Classics: Sparkle

In this feature, The Log looks at notable boats — sail and power — that continue to turn heads in Southern California harbors.

Boat name: Sparkle

Length: 48’-8”

Draft: 3’-6”

Beam: 12’-6”

Year Built: 1950 

The Back Story: Sparkle, a Chris-Craft Catalina (Hull # DC-48-22), was number 22 of 24 built by Chris-Craft Industries in Algonac, Michigan. The original owner was president of Pomona Tile Co., who ordered a custom configuration of galley aft, guest quarters forward, and Chris-Craft option of three engines, according to Christine Rohde, Sparkle’s current owner.

“In the late 1960s copper plates were installed on the bow (for beaching in the sand), and she was trucked to Lake Mead for 5-6 years, then brought back to Marina del Rey when purchased by Don and Maxine Speaker, owners of a dive service there, from 1975 – 1995,” Rohde said. “Appropriately, Maxine’s ashes were spread from Sparkle in 2013. She had two owners from 1995 – 1999, when I purchased her in Marina del Rey in 1999.”

A welcomed project: Rohde purchased the classic yacht on April 2, 1999 as a present to herself.

What’s in a name: She was originally named Kantana II, but my Rohde renamed the boat after the nickname her father gave her years ago – Sparkle.

Famous Skippers who have been Aboard: Rohde notes Sparkle was berthed in Marina del Rey in the late ’70s and ’80s with famous owners running the gamut from Elton John, and Clint Eastwood to Donald Sutherland.

Recent Restorations: Sparkle is about 90 percent original inside and out. The original three Chris Craft engines were removed in the ’70s and Rohde repowered her with twin Chevy 454XL engines in 2001, along with new exhausts, fuel tanks, all new electrical systems, and other related items.

Recent Notes: “I’ve lived aboard since I purchased her, and can’t image being on land again,” said Rohde, adding, she shows the boat off to the public during Classic Yacht Association shows and Old Fashioned Day in the Park in Marina del Rey.

Where currently berthed: Marina del Rey.

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2 thoughts on “SoCal Classics: Sparkle

  • Wilson Wright

    Wow ! Particularly impressive with three engines…I would like to see how they were fitted in. Past owner’s list is impressive too

  • Mickey

    Wonderful history and info on Sparkle! Cris has been so nice to invite me aboard to witness her beauty.



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