By Len Bose
Once a week I walk through our local shipyards just to make sure I am not missing anything and to keep in contact with all the local venders. This week I made my normal stops at Newport, Basin and Marina Shipyards and I also took a quick sortie through the Newport Boat show.
Long Beach Marina Shipyard is not my first choice in shipyards, although they do allow you to work on your boat yourself and they have a tendency to be a little slow, which might give you that extra afternoon to complete a couple extra tasks on your hit list.
The first boat I noticed while walking into the shipyard was the new Antrim 49 "Rapid Transit." This is an open-style boat with canting keel, three rudders and dagger board. The learning curve on this boat has to be more difficult than reading through a B&G manual. Not only do you have to learn how to sail the boat on that strange front chine, you have to trim the keel, rudder and centerboard to make her sail to her -90 PHRF rating. No wonder it took her half way to Catalina to get up to speed. Looks like Jim Partridge is putting a kelp cutter in and maybe even working on the keel. “Rapid Transit” is a sexy boat and I would love to get a chance to sail on one of these open boats one day.
Dave Clark had his Santa Cruz 50 “ADRENALIN” was out for some new bottom paint and is having the hull waxed and cleaned. Looks like “ADRENALIN” will be ready for opening day, because she is showing better than ever – especially with a fresh white bottom paint.
My favorite yacht insurance agent Craig Chamberlain of Mariners General has his Frers 45 center cockpit “DARLING” out for a new bottom. I also noticed that this year's Cabo Race Overall winner, Dr. Laura’s J 125 “WARRIOR” was in a slip with the boom off and a couple of guys in fiberglass suits were working on something. Might have been a rough trip home for the delivery crew.
I had another one of my clients pulling his boat at Newport Shipyard, so I proceeded south to take a look at the bottom and comment on some signs of the metal turning pink on his prop. The boat's been there for two days now and still has not been pulled out of the water. The hurry up and wait is the typical MO for Newport Shipyard, but it's still one of the best yards in town with my good friend Jimmy Warner operating the travel lift over the last 20 years. Good work, good value, and good people are all at Newport Shipyard. One just needs to stay on the patient side of life while there. Looking around the yard, one boat just jumped up and said HELLO, kind of like the first girl you notice in a bikini each summer. That’s the new 65’ Cruising Catamaran designed by Morelli & Melvin and built by Westerly Marine. Can you say built & designed in the USA? The owner is a Swiss gentleman who has done it right, and at $3.5 million it better be. Don’t ask me “what it rates,” because the answer is 1st class baby! I couldn't help but smile and think we should all give a big “ WELL DONE” to the designer and builder, because the pride is back in the Southern California boat building business. The word is – Hull #2 will be launched in the fall.
As I headed over to Lido Village to take my sortie through the spring boat show, I thought how cool it would be if I could bring that 65’ Morelli & Melvin into the boat show for Westerly Marine. She sure would be the Flag Ship of the show! Now, it could just be me and I am sure Duncan and Terry won't be very pleased about what I am going to write, but the show is weak at best. Yes, Offshore Yachts has some good product at the show along with Ocean Alexander and Grand Banks, but that’s about it. Lido Village is a dump with most of the space unoccupied. Parking is an insult, and I just don't get the feeling it’s producing the atmosphere it once did. I can't tell you why I feel this way … maybe it's time to go back to the Dunes or maybe there are just too many shows. So, if you ask me if you should go to the show, I would have to say yes. Just don’t expect to be wowed! Should you seek better parking, remember that over the weekend you can park in the city’s parking lot for free.
My last stop was Basin Shipyard. One has to remember, “You get what you pay for” and Dave and Derek New are the best in town. I also feel Bennie, the travel lift operator, is as good as Jimmy over at Newport Shipyard. I have been to a number of shipyards in my 22 years in this business and these two guys are the best I've ever seen. Like the Allstate commercial claims, “your in good hands” with these guys. The yard was in mid-week transition, and the yacht catching my eye was “BANDIT” the 60’ Viking owned by Corey Myer. This light blue masterpiece always makes you stop and take a second look and say “NICE BOAT.” No doubt that Cory is getting ready for opening day at Balboa Yacht Club, and he has to be the favorite to win the Boat of the Year award. Larry Ellison may have won the America's Cup, but Corey Myer won the cup when it comes to fishing.
So let the season begin. It's time to go yachting!
Len Bose is a contributing writer to The Daily Voice and owner of Len Bose Yacht Sales.