Saturday, October 10, 2015

The Harbor Report: Schocks keep business in the family

By Len Bose
October 9, 2015 | 4:16 p.m.

Its always fun to go around Newport Harbor and talk to people in the marine business, and even more interesting to talk to people who have made the marine industry a family business.
W.D. "Bill" Schock was one of first boat builders to arrive in our area. He built International 14 sailboats at his father house on the Balboa Peninsula near the Pavilion.
The story goes that a neighbor was walking by and noticed Schock's finished product and asked if he would build him one. Shock reportedly said, "You can have this one. It's done." It's my understanding the same thing happened to hulls No. 2 and 3.
Realizing he was now in the boat building business, Schock went up the peninsula and off of Lafayette Road purchased some property. With the help of a few of his friends, he built a boat shop.
The business grew, and he purchased the property across the street to build Santana 22s. Then moving closer to the bay front, he purchased the old ice house, at 2900 Lafayette Road near The Cannery restaurant, that used to aid in loading the commercial fishing fleet with ice.

Shock had three sons, Tom, Scott and Steve. Tom wanted to build boats and took over the boat manufacturing business in Santa Ana and later moved out to Corona. Scott wanted to sell and service new boats, and Steve wanted to design boats.
One thing I noticed about the Schock boys is that they all ended up with the perfect partners. Tom married Jane, who I never really had the opportunity to get to know, although we had a chance to talk at a number of the Lido 14 parties years ago.
Scott married Marie, with whom I had a chance to work on some boat deals and discuss harbor issues. I always felt that I could trust Marie's opinion when it came to the harbor.
Steve married Ruth, who was my best friend from the moment I met her while racing sailboats in college. I saw her later in the Lido 14 fleet.
The old ice house has been the display room for the Schocks for close to 75 years — next year will mark that anniversary. Just recently Marie and Scott Schock decided to retire and have passed the helm to Ruth and Steve.
Because of this long history, dating back to before there was even water in the bay (just kidding; I just like to say that when expressing a great deal of time), the Schocks are able to provide a full-service boatyard, parts department, eight display slips, Mercury and Yamaha outboard certified technicians and years of experience to their customers. Both of their salesmen have been with them for over 25 years, which is unheard of in the marine business or any business today.
Today Schock Boats exclusively sells Grady-Whites boats and are a service center for Boston Whaler.
Some big news on the water this past weekend.
Gale and Jon Pinckney ran away with the Harbor 20 fleet Championships in A Fleet.
The race seemed to be for second place. Walter Johnson aboard Patches and Anne and Kurt Wiese, sailing Ping, tied for third with 36 points, the Wieses taking it in the tie breaker. Mary and Jim Buckingham, sailing Buckshot, stayed 3 points ahead of these two to claim second.
In B fleet, Craig Chamberlain and I won aboard my boat Only Child. It came down to the last race against Mariah and Daniel Geissmann aboard Red Devil. The person with the most heat this weekend was the father-son team of Porter and Chris Killian, sailing in C Fleet. The B's and C's started together, and if the Killians had been sailing in B's, they would have won the regatta.
Porter, 15, was at the helm this last weekend. Not sure what the kid was eating for breakfast, but he was able to find the wind all weekend.
Out in the ocean this last weekend was the 14-mile bank race, with 29 boats participating. Dare won this race, although the big winner was the Richley family's Amante.
This race was the last of the Newport Beach High Point Series and the third year in a row that Amante has taken the trophy.

LEN BOSE is an experienced boater, yacht broker and boating columnist for the Daily Pilot.

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