A well-worn power cruiser gets second life as a roomy home on the water
When Kristan Rojas turned 51 this year, she realized she didn’t know what she wanted from life. As a wife and mother, she had always done what others wanted. Single, with adult children doing fine, it was her turn, she said.
Rojas, a Houston native, was drawn to the water. As she put her Conroe house on the market, she considered buying a recreational vehicle to fulfill a dream of living by the sea.
But limited RV spaces in Galveston inspired a search for boats.
She contacted Tommy Tipton of Lauderdale Yacht Sales in League City, and through him she found Ocean Chase. While the boat was well worn, Rojas fell for it.
The boat transaction was far from typical. Rojas was the exception to the rule that first-time boat owners should avoid fixer-uppers, Tipton said.
“With her record of flipping houses, she was realistic,” he said.
The owner met Rojas and soon realized she could be Ocean Chase’s savior. The boat had excellent bones and engines, but was a moldy mess. The owner greatly reduced the price.
The James S. Krogen-designed power cruiser, built in 1969, originally sold for $600,000, which is far more than Rojas paid. The boat is 54 feet long, has a beam of 17 feet and draws less than 4 feet. Powered by two 425-horsepower diesel engines, it can cruise at 11 knots. The boat comes with three berths and two heads. Only four such boats were built. Rojas is searching for the others.
Liveaboards offer freedom. You can choose where you live and who your neighbors are.
The Galveston Yacht Basin proved to be the perfect dock to heal Ocean Chase. Scrubbing, sealing and cleaning brought the boat back to shipshape.
After going a little stir-crazy living on a boat, Rojas decided to get a job as a bartender. She’s also busy working on seasideshop.biz, her online business. Another of Rojas’ dreams is to take short cruises, perhaps expanding to charters in the next year or two.
Occasionally, Rojas motors Ocean Chase out of the basin with Capt. Blake Eubanks aboard. Eubanks will accompany Rojas until she learns to drive the boat.
“She is an adventurous, energetic and determined lady,” Eubanks said. “I believe people who choose the liveaboard lifestyle definitely fit a unique personality profile, and Kristan has it.”