SUN VALLEY (CBSLA.com) — When Dillon Griffith started working on his boat, Jimmy Carter was president, “M*A*S*H” was a top television show and you couldn’t surf the Internet.
Griffith grew up on the water in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and fell in love with the idea of building a boat.
It’s a dream he says would later cost him nearly $2 million.
With his family’s support through the next 38 years, Griffith moved his passion project to the back yard of his Sun Valley home and was helped by his eight kids and 54 grandchildren.
“The girls were more involved, more than the boys,” he said. “They’d come up here and play on it all the time.”
But there have been setbacks along the way.
“A crane fell on me and broke me up pretty bad, my inside, and I was out for a while. Then, I didn’t walk on it for 15 years. And then, I had another accident. [An] 11-pound cylinder hit me in the head and broke my neck,” he said.
Despite some bumps, the 83-year-old retired mechanic is finishing up the final touches of his steel-hulled dream boat, which his wife named “The Mystic Rose.”
When it’s finished, the vessel will sleep 20 people.
It will cost $50,000 to tow to sea, but regardless, Griffith hopes to have it in the water by the end of the year.