CANIM has had three name changes over the years. In 1932 Buster Keaton changed her name to “The Natalie” as a gift for his wife, Natalie. Richard Lowe, Jr. changed the name to Polaris in 1935. American Can Company changed to Canco in 1939 and C.E. Bouchin changed it back to CANIM in 1949.
CANIM was acquired circa 1932 by actor Buster Keaton and, subsequently, there were a series of quick transfers between Natalie Keaton, wife of Buster Keaton, her mother, Margaret Talmadge and her sisters, Lynn and Beatrice Atkinson. The Atkinson’s maintained the yacht until April, 1935 when it was transferred to Richard and Katherine Lowe, Jr.. In January, 1939 the yacht was transferred to American Can Company who owned her during World War II, including her service with the US Navy. In July, 1949 ownership transferred to C. E. Bouchin, and then to G.G. Gaudin in May, 1951, and stayed with Gaudin until 1958.
Industrialist, Clessie Cummins purchased CANIM in February, 1958, and owned the boat until 1963. He was the father of the American truck diesel engine. He used the Yacht as his floating development laboratory for his engine brake and fuel system ideas. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Society of Automotive Engineers posthumously honored him for his pioneering achievements. His story is told in the book titled “The Diesel Odyssey”. During this period, CANIM’s hailing port was Sausalito, CA.
In December, 1983 a very tired CANIM was transferred to Norton Charters. During the next fifteen years, CANIM underwent several major refits. Several million dollars were put into CANIM at various boat yards. Gary Norton’s restoration in 1983 was excellent and highlighted in Wood, Water & Light and published in Visions, the magazine of the Smithsonian. The subsequent years under the control of Warner Erhard, founder of est fame were not so kind. The original interior was gutted and replaced with a contemporary motif. Norton again purchased CANIM in February, 1991 and chartered her until she was sold in September, 1998 to a company controlled by Rick Boehlke. In May, 2000 the yacht was seized by the US Marshals as a result of a default on the mortgage and was auctioned in Seattle, WA where she was purchased by Dan Prigmore of Boston, MA. The restoration was completed with the expertise and professional guidance of Philbrook’s Boatyard. CANIM was re-launched in 2002, with Boston as her hailing port.
Upon encountering CANIM cruising the British Virgin Islands in 2004, the current owners, Marty and Lisa Sutter, immediately saw CANIM as the yacht of their dreams, and initiated a quest to acquire the vessel. As guests aboard CANIM in Martha’s Vineyard in the summer of 2006, the Sutters convinced Mr. Prigmore to reconsider his plan to make a two year voyage from Maine to Alaska and, in November, 2006 Mr. & Mrs. Sutter acquired the ownership of the vessel. The Sutters moved CANIM to the British Virgin Islands where additional renovations were made to the boat, including laying a Burmese teak sole in the main and forward salons with an inlaid compass rose crafted by Erik Groenenberg of E&S Yacht Maintenance at Nanny Cay. The compass rose was made of eight different exotic hardwoods. After wintering in the BVI, CANIM made her way through the St. Lawrence Seaway and into the Great Lakes, where she reached her new hailing port, Harbor Springs, MI.