Sister Ships

Southwind as she was found at Cabrillo Marina in San Pedro, California in January 1998.

53 ft ELCO Motor Yacht was custom designed for the 1939 New York Motor Boat Show, built at the ELCO plant in Bayonne New Jersey in 1938. 

She has been:

Do-Ho (as a maid) by Mr. & Mrs. Howard Johnson of Howard Johnson Motor Inns & Restaurants fame.

Alchade (1940) by Alanson Deuel, owner of the Niagara Falls Gazette and radio station WHLD, who moved her to Buffalo, New York where she served coastal duty on the Great Lacks during WWII.

Southwind (1946) by Joseph Barry Lodge Mr. Lodge is reported as the Vice President of Dwight Lumber, the builder of Dee Wite Runabouts, was responsible for four Dee Wite models featuring the “Lodge Custom Torpedo Stern”, and owned a engine manufacturing plant, Lodge Motors.  

Southwind (1950) by Morris Barney Dalitz. Mo Dalitz was the leader of the infamous Mayfield Road Gang, owner of a legitimate laundry business, and custodian of the millions of Teamsters funds built Las Vegas in general and the Desert Inn Resort, specifically. Southwind was the official hospitality boat for the Desert Inn Resort and would eventually find a new home on Lake Mead

Southwind (1957) by Marian Hicks, a gambler and well known builder of the El Cortez and builder/owner of the Thunderbird Casino. Marian had Southwind repowered with her present pair of 671 Graymarine diesel engines. She was moved to San Diego, then to Newport Beach, then to Los Angeles.

Southwind (1983) by Vlad Worotko who leased her to Stephen J Cannell Productions for the TV series Riptide about three private investigators who lived on a boat. The series lasted 56 episodes until the fall of 1985. After the series was cancelled, Southwind sat for 10 years in San Pedro California until eyesore complaints mounted and forced a sale.

Riptide (1997) by present owners Dennis Ballard and Peter Riess moved her to Wilmington California where restorations included: removing and replacing all decks and cabin tops, stripping and refastening top sides, rebuilding the worm-eaten keel, rebuilding the port engine, stripping white paint off the trunk, completely rebuilding the pilot house and that was just the exterior. Inside the two stripped multiple layers of wall paper and paint, removed the royal blue shag carpet, stripped and varnished all surfaces, had new cushions and blinds made, added mechanical refrigeration, groomed all electrical out and installed new. Five years from start to finish.

Riptide is Captain Peter Riess and Dennis Ballard's second restoration. The first was a 1941 Chris Craft 34’ Deluxe Enclosed Cruiser.

Riptide has berthed in Port Orchard, Washington since 2010.

The fully restored Southwind, rechristened Riptide, 1939 Elco, 53 feet. Captain Peter E. Riess and Dennis Ballard, owners and caretakers.

Beginning at bow, there are crews quarters with upper and lower bunks. A large “butterfly skylight” now replaces the ladder and hatch to the foredeck. Aft of the crews quarters in the galley, the original icebox has been converted to electric refrigeration. Up a curved staircase to the large salon which features a large buffet, L-shaped settee and the original dining table which had rattan chairs around two sides. At the aft end of the salon, two staircases: one up to the pilothouse, the other to three staterooms, a very large head and a large tiled shower stall. The aft cabin spans the transom and provides the owners with full-sized bed, a large dresser, and a cedar lined locker. The pilothouse is new and closely matches the design of the boat. Aft of the pilothouse is a sun deck.


Betty Jane's sister ship, Irresistible, 1954 Chris Craft Corsair, 45 feet. Note the difference between years in the hand rail and port navigation light on the deckhouse roof. Irresistible berths in LaConner, Washington where heat is needed evidenced by the stove pipe rising out of the deckhouse roof in the forward starboard quarter. She's got honest-to-God deck rails instead of Betty Jane's life lines running the length of the decks. And she's got a swim deck off her transom.