Steve and Malia Gilbert were skiing in British Columbia when a massive storm slapped Puget Sound. Steve immediately tried hailing his Tacoma, Washington, marina but couldn’t connect, so he dispatched his adult sons to check on Princess Kaiulani, the 1979 Morgan 46 that he bought factory-new and raised his family aboard before transitioning to life ashore.
The news was grim. The storm had parted dock lines and dislodged moorings, sinking some boats while totaling others. Princess Kaiulani was afloat, but ricocheting vessels had chiseled deep canyons across her topsides.
Given the Gilberts’ long-standing connection to their sailboat, Steve and Malia, along with Seattle’s CSR Marine, were determined to restore her, and they used the opportunity to upgrade all major systems, including the boat’s navigation equipment and electronics. Now, many thousands of dollars and several years later, Princess Kaiulani is far more ready for offshore passages than it once was, thanks to new-school technologies, including an automatic identification system device, dual chart plotters, GPS, and digital radar and sonar.