This Stephens Brothers boat was built in Stockton, CA, one of eight or nine boats using the same blueprints.
Purchased by the United States War Shipping Administration in 1942, the boat served as an anti-submarine net tender in San Francisco Bay during WW2. The boat was fully restored in 1947 and then again in 1998 after purchase by its current owner. The hull is of Port Orford Cedar, the house is teak, and the soles are fir. The fourth-generation engines are Yanmar diesels. The lace curtains were a gift made by a friend’s elderly mother in Milan, Italy.
Seven Bells - poem by Elizabeth Rice Handford, 2002
Wild cacophony of sound,
Onus of duty, earth-bound.
Two bells, three--
Strident voices make demands,
Clanging noises, begging hands.
Four bells, five bells, six--
Life is real--hurry, scurry!
Life is earnest--flurry, worry!
But seven bells!
Lines loosed, engines thrum,
Tide chuckles against the bow.
Come, oh, come away with me now!
Succumb with me
to the magical mystery
of Seven Bells!
Seven Bells has an overall length of 43 ft., is 11.6 ft. across the beam, has a 4 ft. draft, and its gross weight is approximately 20,000 lbs. The hull uses sawed white oak frames with Port Orford cedar carvel planks. The boat has bronze fastenings, a teak deck and trim (bright work), plumb bow, and a flat transom. Seven Bells' official number listed in Coast Guard documentation is 229189.
Between September of 1998 and April of 2000, Seven Bells underwent a complete restoration, including structural hull work, new or reconditioned decks, new plumbing, electrical and electronics systems, refinishing of exterior and interior teak, new cabinetry, upholstery, soles and overheads, hard dodger added over aft cockpit, and engine refitting.
On June 17th, 2001, Seven Bells was selected for the People's Choice Award at the Bell Street Rendezvous on the Seattle waterfront. On September 3rd, 2000, at the Classic Boat Festival in Victoria, British Columbia, Seven Bells was awarded the prize for Best Restored Power vessel. In August 2001, Seven Bells was runner-up for the People's Choice Award at the LaConnor Vintage and Classic Boat Show. In July 2017, Seven Bells won the Lake Union Wooden Boat Festival People's Choice Award.