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August 5, 2021

Chris Christensen’s Top Secret Houseboat, 1975

Anchored in Los Angeles Harbor, Chris Christensen’s Top Secret houseboat was shaped like a flying saucer.  It looked like two pie plates pressed together.

(Photo by Mary Frampton/Los Angeles Times)

“I lived on a friend’s new sailboat and I found things wrong with it,” he told the Los Angeles Times. “I decided I was going to build something that had a lot of room and lots of comfort.”

What resulted was the Top Secret, since Christensen wanted not only room, but also “something  no one else had.” It’s 40 feet in diameter, made of fiberglass, diesel powered and seaworthy, according to Christensen. “It’s very good, except in a blow,” he said. “It moves with very little effort. The hull only displaces seven inches of water.”

Christensen did most of his displacing in the waters off Southern California and the Baja coast, radioing ahead whenever he tied up for the night.

“I always let them know I’m coming, especially in Mexico. They might send the gunboats out, otherwise, thinking I’m from outer space,” said Christensen quite seriously.




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