About the Boat

Mischief is an Eagle 40 Pilothouse Trawler and has been a great coastal cruising boat for us. The Eagle 40 is a semi-displacement, hard chine trawler that cruises comfortably at 7-8 knots. It is quite low to the water with the side decks about a foot above the typical dock. No jumping. The main engine and fuel and water tanks are low in the boat which, in combination with its hard chine and wide beam, makes it extremely stable, especially at anchor. The interior is divided into three main living spaces, a salon with galley, a spacious pilothouse with great views from which to drive the boat and a single stateroom with island queen bed. It’s perfect for a couple that likes to travel.

A total of 37 Eagle 40’s were made between 1994 and 2008. We had looked at a number of them before we found Mischief. We bought her sight unseen while she was berthed in Texas, because this particular boat had the features we wanted. We were lucky to find what we think is the best Eagle in the fleet, at least for us.

Of course, no boat is perfect when you first get it. Mischief had spent its young life in Florida and Texas so it had air conditioning but not heat and was clearly set up to spend most of its time with the generator running or plugged in at a dock. To make it more suitable for cooler, more remote Pacific Northwest cruising we added a number of systems:

  • Diesel powered heating system plumbed throughout the boat
  • Additional batteries for spending time at anchor without the generator
  • Charger/Inverter for higher charging rates and some AC power at anchor without the generator
  • Replaced the AC water maker with a model that runs on DC power
  • Added a new instrument console at wheel with two 12 inch chart plotters and everything needed to control the boat when running
  • Replaced the inflatable dinghy with the 10 foot rowing dinghy that Michael built

Plus we modified the existing configuration with several major projects, described in the Boat Projects section lower down on this page.


Year Built 2007
Length Overall
40′ 6″
Beam 14′ 6
Length on Water Line 36′ 10″
Draft with Keel 4′ 6″
Displacement 28,000 pounds
Water Capacity 220 US Gallons
Fuel Capacity 440 US Gallons
Engine Cummins QSB5.9-230 HO Electronic Diesel



About Our Burgee

We needed a burgee for the bow, to tell the direction of the wind, but since we didn’t belong to a yacht club, Karen made up a unique design for us. Since then, we acquired the name “Starfleet” for our very small yacht club. We have a handful of friends who are in it, and they also have made their own Starfleet flags.

Starfleet Burgee at Entrance Island

About the Dinghy

Michael spent three years building the 10 foot Acorn dinghy, our current tender. The design is by Ian Oughtread. Our handsome dinghy is a great conversation starter wherever we go!

10 Foot Acorn Dinghy

While Michael was busy working on building the dinghy, Karen documented the three-year process of building it. You can view the entire book on our Blurb page. You could even request your own copy of the book!

Boat Projects

Self-Launching Anchor

June 15, 2013 | Among the criteria we used to decide on an Eagle 40 was its suitability for single-handed cruising. The anchoring setup that came with the boat was not set up for Pacific Northwest conditions and was definitely not friendly for a single-hander. It would need to be changed. The issues were:

No More Slapping

March 29, 2013 | We were eagerly anticipating our first night at anchor in our new Eagle 40, Mischief. Imagine, a real double bed instead of the cramped v-berth we were used to in our former sailboat. But our reverie was interrupted by a persistent slap, slap … slap, slap, slap against the hull right in our berth; sometimes on the starboard side, sometimes on port. We couldn’t hear it from any other place on the boat, just the berth.

Articulating Rudder

April 27, 2012 | As we started learning to handle Mischief it quickly became apparent that in comparison with our previous sailboat the low speed handling was very sluggish. A little calculation showed the rudder on the Eagle was sized more for a 15 knot boat than the 7-8 knot boat we actually have. Since a larger rudder was out of the question we wondered what could be done. Some suggested a stern thruster but we resisted that option because of cost and complexity concerns.