On the Harbor: Checking out the shipyards


On your marks, get set…it feels like we are in that long pause before Go – summer is here. Twilight sailing has started, and the yacht clubs’ opening days have passed, while everyone is still stuck at the starting gate. I took a quick walk through our shipyards this week just to get a pulse on the harbor.

I started at Newport Harbor Shipyard and as always the big boats grab your eye, when I noticed the large blue stern of a sailboat sticking out of the paint tent. I could still make out the previous name of the boat – Chessie Racing. She was designed by Bill Tripp to be daysailed with a small crew along with the performance for occasional distance races. She is 62 feet overall with a draft of 13’4,” and yes she has the ability to reduce her draft to 7’8” to enter our harbor.

Everything about this boat illustrates perfection with teak decks, carbon hull, huge sail plan with boom furling main, hydraulic and electrical systems that provide push button power to every winch and sail control. She is rumored to be owned by a member of the Newport Harbor Yacht Club. What a sight when this boat lines up with Hasso Plattner’s Reichel/Pugh 68’ Claude during Long Point Race Week. After standing there looking at her, I finally awoke and continued my walk through the yard. Maybe because it was a Monday morning the activity looked a little light for this time of year.

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Len Bose

Basin Marine Shipyard

Looking across the harbor over at Balboa Shipyard and South Coast again looked slow, so I got back in my car and headed over to Basin Marine Shipyard. While driving down PCH, I glanced over at Larson Shipyard with no activity at all. They must be in transition into new management, or they are coming up with using that property differently. The Duffy boatyard is next and as expected, busy as always. If you need a quick haul out for a simple fix or inspection, keep the Duffy yard in mind, as their travel lift can lift up to most 55-ft. boats. Arriving at Basin Marine Shipyard there is a boat there I would guess is a Jarvis/Newman 42, some type of lobster boat that has been going through a complete restoration. She is leaning toward fishing, and she is sweet!

Looking out at the harbor, I noticed the new Grand Banks/Eastbay 44 leaving the boatyard. This new line has been out for more than five years, and I am now just noticing it. She is designed by Ray Hunt which is why I had a double-take. The recent Hunt designs are perfect for our use in Catalina. If I am ever so fortunate to own this boat I would have to name it Dream On.

Another all-time favorite yacht of mine is the 65’ Halmatic Silver Oak, which traded hands at the end of April. She is now berthed in a private slip near the turning basin. I’m very pleased to see that she is staying in our harbor.

My feel-good moment came after holding my own in the NHYC summer Twilights on Thursday night (May 23), sailing my Harbor 20. While pulling up to the bar in the Pirates Den at NHYC, David Team came up and offered to buy me a drink, and after a short while, his wife Kyle came up and I introduced myself. Kyle said, “Oh Len Bose from Stu News Newport – I look forward to your articles as I’m a big fan.” Nothing like a pretty lady giving you a compliment to end your day. Thank you again for the cocktails Dave; that was very kind of you and the next two rounds are on me.

Well, I am off to Foster City for the IOM (remote control boats) Nationals. I will be getting my nose rubbed into it, yet it always comes down to tiller time. Please wish me luck, as will need it.

Sea ya.


Len Bose is a yachting enthusiast, yacht broker and harbor columnist for Stu News Newport.


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