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Sunday, July 31, 2011

A SEA STORY........

"We're on the beach! Wake up everyone and put on a life jacket." It was July 1933 and my father, George Minney had run a charter aboard his father's 50' power boat "Arvea" from Catalina to Coches Prietos anchorage on Santa Cruz island. George arrived at the anchorage at 2100 hours and noted a large south swell running and that the surf pounding on the beach was a surreal sight with the phosphorus and foam making a bright neon green looking glow along the surf line. Dad anchored "Arvea" in 8 fathoms and stayed on deck another half hour taking bearings and assuring himself that he was well anchored. He then sacked out in the small pilot house bunk and went to sleep. His charter party of 6 and gone to bed an hour before the anchor hit the water. At about 0300 there was a huge thump and "Arvea" shuddered from stem to stern. Dad was up in seconds and saw that "Arvea" was in the surf line! He started the single diesel engine, jammed it in gear and gave it full throttle. He was able to power the bow towards the incoming surf when a monster wave made "Arvea" rear up like a horse. Dad felt a sickening shock as the fast spinning propeller and rudder dug into the sand and the engine stopped. Seconds later "Arvea" was beam to the breakers and on the beach. The charter party strapped on the life jackets my dad gave them and jumped one by one on my dad's orders into the frigid surf and made it safely to high ground. As the sun came up, "Arvea" was a grotesque sight. The teak paneled pilot house and entire super structure was ripped off and the hull was breaking up. "Arvea" was a total loss! My dad and his 6 guests were stranded at Coches for 3 days. Finally, a passing fish boat picked them up and took them to Santa Barbara. Later a salvage crew retrieved the anchor rode and anchor. They found that the shackle pin had worked out of the anchor shackle. My father had painted the anchor 2 weeks before and forgot to SAFETY WIRE the shackle pin to the shackle body. A penny's worth of wire could have prevented this entire disaster?

Saturday, July 30, 2011


We have a good selection of sailing dinghys (Sabots) rubber boats, kayaks and assorted row boats, etc. We also have some good used outboard motors up to 40HP. Although, we are in the heart of summer, we know if we don't clear these boats and motors out in the next 30 days we will probably have them here all winter. All are fairly priced to begin with and with an additional 25% discount, you are going to get some great bargains. Our project Sabots start at $150.00 (pretty much just the hull and will need work and parts) and will go up to a nice "sail away" boat for $500.00 to $750.00. We sell our motors two ways. If we feel it is a good motor and you pay a decent price we will guarantee it for 30 days. If it won't start and needs work, we sell it "as is" and it may not be returned for any reason. Come see what we have? I know there is a barely used Avon 8' rubber boat that's going to make some boater extremely happy..........

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A PIPE DREAM........

Quite often customers take me aside and thank me for operating and maintaining such a unique and unusual store. One of our regulars said the other day, "Minney, if it wasn't for this store, I couldn't afford to own my boat." Comments like that, makes all the headaches and hard work worth while. Pictured is our pipe and tube fitting area of the store. 316 S.S. and bronze hose barb fittings we sell for $5.00 a pound. Larger bronze elbows, tees, pipe nipples etc. are priced per item at very modest prices. As you know, most boats of any size have dozens of feet of hose, tube and pipe fittings. We have a great selection (it takes a bit of digging and sorting) and we are certain you will appreciate the great value you will be getting................ P.S. At our $5.00/ lb. for tube and hose fittings, the same items at Home Depot would cost about $35.00!!!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


I'm quite certain that we have the greatest collection of used sails in the western U.S. Usually about 1000 bags of sails are tagged, measured and ready to ship at all times. I've been sailing for over 50 years and know first hand what fantastic bargains we have. We recently sold a brand new cruising spinnaker from a 75' ketch. Owner paid $8000.00, we sold it for $1495.00. North-Sobstad-Hood-Quantum-Doyle-Pinapple, we've got them all. How can we do this? We can because pay CA$H and own every sail in the store. Most other used sail brokers sell sails that are consigned to them. We buy low and sell low and move a lot of sails. A lovely woman that makes hand bags from our sails purchases over $10,000.00 per year. We recently shipped to China just under 100 bags, a sailing club in South America purchased 40 bags of our "no return" fair and poor sails. All our sails are sold on approval (unless otherwise noted) and may be returned for ANY reason. As you know, new sail prices are getting insanely expensive. In these uncertain economic times, perhaps that new jib you need is sitting in one of our bins and priced so you won't have to mortgage your boat to pay for it?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


There really is an "old boys network." Takes 30 or 40 years to become a member but once you're accepted, good things come your way. In our case, it's weekly calls from leaders in the marine industry about marine hardware close-outs, boat company closings, auctions and yachts being cut up. Recently a local boat yard owner cleaned house and had a "blow out" sale. Several days later two pick-up truck loads of boat gear arrived our store. I checked it out, went to the boat yard prepared to pay a handsome sum for the items left over from his yard sale and the yard owner stated, "I don't want any money, you're doing me a favor by making more room in my store, one of these days I may need something from your place?" Pictured are brand new Jabsco blowers that list for $177.00 that we have priced for $59.00 & $69.00. And, new in the box Jabsco macerater pumps that list for $189.00 that we are selling for $115.00. These items came from an auction. We pay less, we can sell for less. Have a great day...........

Monday, July 25, 2011


For over thirty years we have been supplying Hollywood with marine props for use in their movies and TV series. The "Perfect Storm", "How I Met Your Mother", "Joe And The Volcano" are just a few productions our marine props have been used in. More locally, high schools, churches, yacht clubs, photographers etc. rent our unique marine antiques and artifacts on an almost weekly basis. Our local Ralph's market is using some of our items to highlight and lend atmosphere to their seafood department. Restoration Hardware has some of our heavy Manila line in some of their displays. Most of our items are totally authentic. Our collection of ship's lamps, sextants and nautical instruments is probably better than most museums. Please keep us in mind if you are producing a marine film, having a ship wreck party or doing a photo shoot. You will find our rental prices extremely modest and we usually give extra discounts to n0n-profits, youth groups and local yacht clubs........

Sunday, July 24, 2011


Ever have your boat's engine start all by itself in the middle of the night? We had finished a schooner race and were anchored at White's Cove, Catalina island. It was a misty night and I was snuggled cozy next to my wife when at about 0200 my 60 HP Petter diesel engine started on the other side of the bulkhead. I leaped from my bunk thinking one of the schooner guys was pulling a prank? I found no one aboard my boat, secured my engine and noted that the mist had turned into a light rain. Upon returning my bunk my wife asked, "are the schooner guys messing with us?" I told her "no, what had just happened couldn't happen again in a million years."
Just as I was climbing back into my bunk, the engine started again. I'll admit it, I was scared. I secured the engine a second time and also disconnected the battery wires from the starter. Upon climbing back into my bunk I told my wife that, "if that engine starts again, it's God that is messing with us?" The engine behaved itself the rest of the night. In the morning I studied all the engine's wiring and discovered that a new key ignition switch we had moved to a new location had been getting a steady stream of rain water on the back side of it and that the dampness had some how completed the circuit and started my engine. I moved the switch back to the old location and the engine never started by itself again..........

Friday, July 22, 2011


For over 40 years a local Newport Beach company and been building the best battery chargers in the industry. Lewco Electric. I've had them on all my boats and continue to use them. I am also using several of them for my little casita in Baja. Boat owners are now replacing the Lewco chargers with inverters and the Lewco chargers are ending up at my store. If you just want to charge batterys give the Lewcos a try. Usually about a dozen in stock. 20 amp and 40 amp at less than half the new price. Lewco is still in business and also rebuilds all types of electrical motors, and alternators.

Also, we got lucky at the Cabo auction and stole a nice selection of Cruise Aire air conditioning units and reefer compress0r units. This stuff in brand new and priced at about 50%

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


It's sad to say but a lot of old wooden boats are being cut up in Southern California. Owners are unable to sell them and with slips costing $20.00 to $35.00 (Newport Beach) a foot a month a lot of skippers are scrapping their beloved boats. Almost on a weekly basis the salvage from these boats shows up at our front door We get a huge variety of gear and some of the best items are usually the port lights. Most are cast bronze but many are also stainless and aluminum. As you know, new ones usually run from 2 to $500.00 each. Our average price for a good used port light is from about $75.00 to $125.00. They usually come in in matched sets some time as many as 8 or ten at a time. Perhaps you might consider good used port lights for your next project. Also, you might find it of interest to know that the Fuller Brush Company is appointing us to be a dealer for their popular plastic port lights. Thousands of these were put on fiberglass boats during the boating boom of the 60's-70' & 80's. They are pricey but will pop right into the cut outs for your old ports..........P.S. Our used ports make great home decor also?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


No reasonable offer refused for approximately one ton brand new Cabo yacht propeller shafts, couplings, keys, shaft nuts and stuffing boxes. All items appear new and will be sold to the high bidder as is where is at our store in Newport Beach, Calif. We estimate that this lot purchased today piece by piece would cost over $75,000.00! All offers considered? Call Josh for more information. P.S. Josh jumped on a jet yesterday and is attending a boat auction today in Washington. As you can see, we scour the entire U.S. in search of marine gear bargains for you. When we we say, "we keep boating affordable," we mean it......

Monday, July 18, 2011

I might be a sailor but I also love to fish. On Sunday I made a daybreak run out to the 14 mile bank off Newport Beach. Got "skunked" but had nice weather and great sail back to Newport. Pictured is me aboard my project boat, a Down East 38' sloop. Having a store sure makes a lot of good boat gear available. That Danforth White compass and binnacle $245.00- The traditional Edson bronze chrome plated wheel was $24900- The ABI SS 3" cowl vents were $95.00 each with deck plates-The two fishing poles with almost new Senator reels were $115.00 each- That pair of Barient chrome plated bronze 2 speed sheet winches were $495.00. The prices I have quoted were "off the shelf" prices at my little store. Of course, I paid slightly less? LOL! Summer's here, enjoy it and remember, " God does not deduct from a boater's alloted time, those days and weeks spent messing around with our boats." Have a great week...... Ernie

Saturday, July 16, 2011

It's a beautiful day in Newport Beach. As I write this little note I'm looking out at Catalina Island about 25 miles away. We are so lucky to have Catalina. I've been going there since I was 9 years old and never get tired of crossing the channel and anchoring in one of the numerous coves. I've been to Nuka Hiva, Bora Bora, Bali, Mauritius etc. Catalina will ALWAYS be my favorite island in the whole world.... Picture above is my son Josh and his crew sorting through sails and getting ready to post about 300 bags on our website. We've got some great values so if you are looking for a good sail, check out web site. No sail over $1500.00 and you can return them for any reason if you find the sail unsuitable.

Friday, July 15, 2011

316 S.S. Grab rails or towel racks.........

We have a great deal on about 800 of the S.S. grab rails as pictured. Big box marine outlets are getting about $20.00 for the 12" one and over $30.00 for the 18". I needed a few towel racks for my little sloop but was unable to use the studded type because I couldn't get behind the bar to secure the washer and nut. I solved this problem by taking some scrap teak and one of those band saws pictured below and cut out some 3" wafers, drilled a counter sink hole in the back so the nut and washer would be flush with the back, used my router to put a pretty edge on the teak, drilled a small hole top and bottom and mounted a towel rack in my galley and head. A little sanding and varnish will finish things off nicely. Give a shout if you want to order a few of these 1st quality grab rails? Several dozen 24" to 36" in length also available at very modest prices...

Thursday, July 14, 2011


Only a dozen left out of 24! As many of you know, Cabo Yachts has closed their large plant in Andelanto, California and has moved the building of all new Cabo yachts to North Carolina. We picked these band saws up at the Cabo auction several months ago and feel they are a great value for anyone that does wood working. Delta by Rockwell. A great name in wood working tools. A new one is about $1000.00, we are letting these go for $495.00. They are the perfect size for a small garage, weight is about 200 pounds. I've put this same model on the decks of three large wooden sailboats I've worked over. With a sharp blade you can go can easily cut through 4" teak. If I could only have one large power tool, I'm pretty sure I would choose a band saw.....

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


I'm not much for endorsing marine products but after anchoring my Down East 38 sloop more than a dozen times on my 10 day Fourth of July cruise to Santa Barbara island I really started to get attached to my new Lofrans windlass. In 90' of water with 300' of 5/16" HT chain that little beauty brought my 45# Delta anchor home in no time. If anything, it's almost too fast, my chain flaker had trouble keeping up with it? It free wheeled nicely, is compact and is a good looking piece of equipment. We've become a dealer for the entire Lofrans line. If anyone out there is tied of pumping, blown breakers, chain jumping off the wild cat or having to pay out chain with the down button on this is a windlass you might consider. They're expensive but so are hernias. For more information, drop us an e-mail or stop by the store and see the windlass and step by step color pictures of my personal installation of the Tigress 1500...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


A dispute between an importer and the biggest ship model distributor in the U.S. made several dozen of these classic speed boat models available at 'blow out" prices! Take your pick of the classic Chris Craft or the Italian Riva.. Upscale stores, Abercrombie etc. would get close to $600.00 for one of these models. Our "inside track" to the importer who wanted this unexpected overstock to move out in short order is allowing us to sell these models for the very low price of $195.00 each. They are packed and ready to ship. Order yours today. Ernie... P.S. We've been putting a few of them in a local furniture consignment store here in Newport Beach. They are selling an average of 2 a week for a price of $295.00 each!

As you well know, everyone these days has to have two speed self-tailing winches on their boats.
Did you ever wonder what happened to all the wonderful "flat top" winches that got replaced? I'll tell you what happened to them. THEY ALL ENDED UP IN MY STORE!!! I estimate I must have about 4 tons of these winches. Most are 2 speed, perfectly good made of bronze, aluminum, stainless steel etc. All are popular brands, Barients-Barlows-Lewmars-Merriman etc. Most take the modern handles we use on current winches but some of the oldies take the old bayonet and rachet handles. In my mind, these flat tops are some of the best winches ever built. Nothing's better than a 2 speed stainless steel Barient sheet winch. No plastic parts, built to last 100 years if keep them clean, lubricate them often and don't drop any parts overboard. What I'm getting at is that if there are a few of you out there that still know how to "crank and tail" at the same time and want some great values in winches. Give us a shout (or an e-mail) and we'll come up with a recommendation for you. We'll even open them up and check them out before we ship them to you. Buffed up and polished, some of the beautiful old Merrimans make great book ends, lamps and nautical decor.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Rocket Man flies in Newport Harbor!

Rocket man puts on awesome show in Newport Beach. While working on my boat I watched rocket man test out his new water powered lift off device. His device seems to divert the water from the high pressure water pump of a personal water craft through a 30' hose to the nozzle pack on his back. He starts in the water wearing a wet suit and the jet pack and some how can control the engine and pump remotely. All of the sudden he fires himself out of the water and is able to stay air borne for several minutes??? I'm sure you will be hearing more about rocket man???

Fourth of July at Catalina Island

I spent the past ten days cruising about in my little Down East 38 sloop, "Anita." Here's what the dinghy dock looked like Fourth Of July at the Isthmus, Catalina Island.

- Ernie Minney

Fourth of July at Catalina Island.....


We've been measuring sails at high speed, new list out shortly.

- Josh