Rubicon Yachts / Yachts for Sale / JOAN M HENDERSON


44' Custom Bezanson Cruiser


Last Updated: 2023-09-08

JOAN M HENDERSON is a 44' custom cruiser built in 1936 by Walter Bezanson in the West Basin of San Pedro, California for John Henderson.  Built of port orford cedar with steam bent oak ribs, bronze fastened and powered by twin GM 471's.  The decks, flying bridge, pilot house, trunk cabin and transom are all of teak.  During World War II she served in the US Coast Guard for surveillance of west coastal waters.  In 1951 she was sold to the Shoemaker family, owned first by Hazel Mae Shoemaker and then Clarence Edward & Roma Shoemaker.  A frequent visitor to Catalina Island.  Now moored at Loch Lomond Marina in San Rafael, CA in a covered slip.

Make: Custom
Model: Bezanson Cruiser
Year: 1936 Length: 44ft

Hull Material: Wood
Engine/Fuel Type:
Located In: San Rafael, CA

  • Category: Power
  • Class: Antique and Classics
  • LOA: 44 feet
  • Beam: 12.5 feet
  • Max Draft: 4 feet
  • Total Engines: 2
  • Engine 1
  • EngineMake: Gray Marine Detroit Diesel
  • EngineModel: 4-71
  • EngineYear: 1954
  • EngineFuel: diesel
  • PropellerType: 3 Blade, Bronze
  • Engine 2
  • EngineMake: Gray Marine Detroit Diesel
  • EngineModel: 4-71
  • EngineYear: 1954
  • EngineFuel: diesel
  • PropellerType: 3 Blade, Bronze

  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 750 gallon
  • Fuel Tank Count: 2
  • Water Tank Capacity: 124 gallon
  • Water Tank Count: 2
  • Holding Tank Capacity: 10 gallon
  • Holding Tank Count:1
  • Cabins: 2
  • Heads: 1

Additional Descriptions


The hull construction is built with wooden molds (frames) of a traditional yacht building construction. There are steam-bent ribs with a full keel, keelson and floors with intermittent stringers, transverse plywood bulkheads with a shear clamp and a framed deck and a deck house, planked over that gives the vessel it's rigidity and stiffness.

All topside, cabin flybridge, and decks are Teak

This vessel has a fly bridge/upper helm that would seem to be used more for in-close maneuvering. There is an aft cockpit that is covered with a canvas top with stainless steel bows, with a full beam width bench seat across the aft section of the cockpit. A generator is located below and beneath this bench seat, with access through panels in the back of the settee. There are side decks on both and the port and starboard sides of the cabin. These are teak planked, fastened down to beams. There is an entrance to the interior at the forward end of the cockpit as well as two (2) wing doors into the pilothouse from the side decks, and up a set of stairs on either side leads out to the foredeck. On this foredeck there is a windlass, a cabin hatch and an anchor. Safety is provided with stanchions and a cable. Mounted on the cabin house top is a signaling mast, with the anchor light/bow light attached. There are traditional side board running lights mounted on the cabin top as well.

Looking at the vessel, you will see very nice traditional displacement hull lines, a nice turn of the bilge and a graceful turn to the keel. This vessel was a motor sailer that at one time did have a mast and standing rigging.


in the cockpit, down a set of stairs is a cabin that has two (2) twin berths; one to port and one to starboard. Going forward on the starboard side is an enclosed marine toilet. On the port side is a dressing room that houses the electrical panels and other storage. Up a set of stairs continuing forward is the pilothouse. This pilothouse has windows providing a 360-degree view from inside. This pilothouse is finished with beautifully varnished, teak wood paneling and window frames as well as the beams and planking for the cabin tip. There are sliding windows for opening to allow in fresh air. The helm is located on the forward, port side. On the aft port and starboard sides are double seats. l In these seat bottoms is where the engine batteries are located. Beneath this pilothouse sole is the location of the engines. It is hard to imagine, when looking at the engine space and seeing the well preserved, antique engines that power this vessel, that this is the second set of engines. The controls of these engines are all pneumatic; both shifting and the throttles. Each engine has a compressor mounted on it.

Continuing forward and down a set of stairs is the galley. Outboard to starboard is the stove and sink area, and to port and outboard is storage and refrigeration. Continuing forward is a convertible dinette. The dining table folds out of the forward locker door and the lower berths provide the seating. This area becomes two (2) sets of bunk beds, one set to port and one to starboard. Continuing forward through the locker door is a large storage area, providing a hatch to the foredeck giving access to the windlass and anchor area. Forward of this bulkhead is the anchor locker, located in the forepeak. Throughout the vessel there are various hanging lockers, cupboards, drawers and storage areas.

Deck Equipment
  • Anchor Windlass Boston Gears w/ Food Switch
  • Two (2) Anchor Rollers
  • Hereschoff Anchor w/ Chain & Nylon Rode
  • Wood Toe Rail
  • Three (3) Cabin Top Hatches
  • Wood Hand Rails
  • Brass Vents
  • Wood Signal Mast
  • Canvas Cockpit Cover w/ Stainless Steel Bows
  • Manual Spotlight on Pilothouse Roof
  • Two (2) burner propane stove
  • Double Stainless Steel Sinks
  • Stainless Steel sinkboard
  • Custom quarter-sawn White Oak refrigerator with glass door and modern plate cooler inside to replicate the era of the vessel (built by Larry @ Wood Art Co.)
  • Custom Mahogany folding table (built by Larry @ Wood Art Co.)
  • Three (3) 8D Batteries 12V (1) 8-Volt
  • Generator: Kohler 7.5KW
  • 32V-DC Generator on One of Main Engines
  • Voltage: 12V-DC, 32V-DC, 110V-AC
  • 32V Starting system for the engines and lights and a 12V starting system for the generator
  • Lewco 3240A Battery Charger, AC Outlets, DC Outlets, One (1) 30-Amp Shore Power Receptacle
  • Monitrol Galvanic Action Monitor
  • Gray Marine Detroit Diesels (GM)
  • Model 4-71 Marine Diesel Fresh water cooled
  • 2 x 120 HP
  • Records indicate that the engines were installed NEW in 1954 by the previous owner. In November 2006, they were completely overhauled and rebuilt (as reported by the previous owner)
  • Propellers: 22 x 22 RH and LH Three (3) bladed Bronze
  • Drive Lines: 1-3/4" Stainless Steel Propeller Shafts, Bronze Propeller Shaft Struts w/ Shaft Bearings.
Additional Information
  • Canvas boat cover for entire boat

Additional Features


The Company offers the details of this vessel in good faith but cannot guarantee or warrant the accuracy of this information nor warrant the condition of the vessel. Buyer should assume that items on the vessel at the time of viewing, but not specifically listed on this specification sheet, are not included with the sale of the yacht, and should instruct his agents, or his surveyors to investigate such details as the buyer desires validated. Buyer assumes responsibility to verify all speeds, consumptions, capacities and other measurements contained herein and otherwise provided, and agrees to instruct his surveyor to confirm such details prior to purchase. This vessel is subject to sale, price and inventory changes, and withdrawal from market without notice.

Bill Adams

Yacht & Ship Sales

415-425-5099 - mobile
415-484-1300 - office

3300 Powell St., Ste 105
Emeryville, CA 94608

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    For additional information and viewing of this fine quality yacht please contact listing agent Bill Adams. I am always available on my mobile phone at 4154255099 or e-mail me at