Tuesday, August 30, 2011
We have 1000's of new and used yacht blocks. Sizes suitable for 8' sailing dinghys to 90' ocean racers. Pictured are what has become very rare. These are Merriman ash shell blocks with bronze straps and roller bearings. We only have a few and yachtsmen in the "know" usually latch on to them for their nautical antique collections rather than for use aboard their boats.
Monday, August 29, 2011
Sunday, August 28, 2011
Being anchored for 2 days at Smuggler's on Santa Cruz island reminds me of an incident that took place there a few years back. I was anchored there with my schooner Shearwater with a charter party onboard. A large south swell was coming into the open road stead and I noted that a lovely 40' ketch was anchored bow and stern very close to the beach. As a large swell would come in, the boat would surge towards the beach loading up the bow anchor. As the back wash came off the beach the boat would surge forward and load up the stern anchor. As evening approached I found it unbelievable that any skipper would allow their boat to see-saw back and forth in such a dangerous position going into the night? I jumped into my rubber boat and pulled alongside the ketch and suggested to the skipper that he move further offshore before nightfall. The man totally brushed me off--said he was anchored in his favorite spot and pretty much left me with the impression to mind my own business. While sleeping deck about 0200 I was awakened by the sound of groaning diesel engines. A Coast Guard boat out of Oxnard had the beach illuminated and had men ashore trying to bridle the ketch which was now laying sideways on the beach being pounded by heavy surf. I watched for about an hour and as the tide came in the Coast Guard was successful. These were the days when the Coast Guard would attempt to save property as well as lives. With the ketch in tow I observed the C.G cutter disappear out of sight in the direction of Channel Islands harbor. At day break, I scoured the beach with my binoculars and noted a small dingy and other boat gear where the ketch had been. With a crew member with me we to the beach and found bags of sails, a teak boarding ladder, a sailing dinghy, line, life jackets, the stern anchor and rode etc. We were also able to pull in the bow anchor rode and found that the shackle pin had worked out of the anchor shackle. It took us several trips to load our salvage aboard Shearwater. Now, if the skipper of that ketch had been a bit nicer to me I would have located the owner of the boat and returned his gear. As it was, I took the salvage to my store and sold it for about $2500.00.........A nickels worth of seizing wire lashing the shackle pin to the shackle body might have prevented the beaching of a lovely yacht?
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Thursday, August 25, 2011
My 38' sloop "Anita" is anchored off Moonstone cove on Catalina island. Our 2 weeks cruise is drawing to a close. We set sail for Newport Beach on the afternoon breeze tomorrow. It's been a great trip. My little "project boat" served us nicely. The 53 HP Yanmar diesel never missed a beat. Four times we got blown out of anchorages on Santa Cruz island. It's under those conditions (large swells coming in while on a lee shore) you want your engine to start and your windlass to work. I can't say enough about the 1500 pound pull Lofrans windlass I installed several months ago. With "Anita" surging and 250' of 5/16 chain out on a 35# Delta anchor (this usually happens on a pitch black night) that Lofrans windlass made short order of bringing the anchor home so we could make an escape to a safer anchorage. My Minney's outer jib and stay'sl performed well. I do need to make a better sheeting arrangement for the stay'sl boom. The Minney's Force 10 SS stove worked well as did all the sheet winches and running gear. My lazy jacks came in handy as we were close reaching into the tall cliffs near Long Point. The winds increased to about force 6. Even though we already had a reef in the main and the outer jib down it was just getting too "hairy" for this senior skipper. With my mate Marty at the wheel I sheeted the main'sl out and told Marty to round up a bit and luff the main. She complied. With a clove hitch on the bitter end of the main halyard I tossed the halyard off the winch and let her fly. The main dropped between the lazy jacks, we sheeted in the boom and were back under control in weather seldom seen in the summer off Catalina island. All in all. We had a great 2 week cruise. Future projects on "Anita" include new windows and port lights, re-finish the mast and new rigging, and continue dolling up the interior.
Every boat needs a VHF radio, and we've got plenty. Come in and get a brand new Standard Horizon radio in white or black with the DSC capability to interface with your GPS and send out your position during a distress call for only $124.95. We've even got the antennas you need to get the most range out of your radio starting at $49.95.
We must have nearly 5 tons of stainless steel fastenings; nuts, bolts, wood screws, washers, and more... and it's still only $7/lb. Even Jelly Beans are up to $9/lb. The catch is you've got to dig and find what you need, but when "other" stores are getting a couple of dollars per screw you'd be nuts not to come in here and look.
Sunday, August 21, 2011
Spending a few days at "A" dock in Santa Barbara harbor reminds me of a charter I ran on my dad's large schooner "Kelpie" in August 1962. The ink was barely dry on my 100 ton skipper's license when a salty character named Lee Lewis chartered "Kelpie" for a cruise to Santa Rosa island with ten of his buddies. Lee formerly owned the schooner "Idelia" and was author of the popular "Sea Guide" series of cruising guides. I knew I had a bunch of jokers with me when I asked at breakfast one morning while anchored off Santa Rosa island, "how did anchor watch go during the night?" Lee piped in, "we pulled it four times and it was still there!" When we finally made port in Santa Barbara my motley charter party headed ashore with but two things in mind. Booze and women. About o200 while moored to a side tie on "A" dock I heard "Kelpie's" rigging creaking and straining and the boat started taking on a serious list? I rushed out of the foc'sle and was startled to find that the big cannon that normally resided near the front door of the Santa Barbara Naval Reserve building was in mid air and about to be lowered on to the deck of the "Kelpie." Ten drunks with Lee as their leader had attached the gaff foresail throat halyard to the cannon and now had the cannon sitting on "Kelpie's" deck. Then the s--t hit the fan! The police, coast guard, harbor master and commandant of the Naval Reserve showed up. My eleven drunks were proud of their accomplishment and were patting each other on the back when the harbormaster said they were all going to jail for stealing weapons from the Federal Government? I stepped forward and introduced myself as the captain of "Kelpie" and begged all the officials present to let us return the cannon to its home and promised "Kelpie" and crew would be out of the harbor before daybreak. The officials went into a huddle and a few minutes later, the Harbormaster acting as their spokesman stated that, "if the cannon is back at the Naval Reserve building and "Kelpie" and crew is not visible by daybreak, the entire incident would be forgotten. I thanked the officials, took charge of the cannon operation (it must have weighed 1500 pounds) and with much work and luck we got the cannon back to its original home. As the sun broke the eastern horizon, "Kelpie" was reaching along at 10 knots in a brisk Nor'wester bound for Catalina island, with Santa Barbara harbor 15 miles astern.........
Planning a party or photo shoot anytime soon? Join the ranks of Old Spice, Coca Cola, Fox Studios, and the Discovery Channel by renting your decor from Minney's. We've got piles of priceless nautical artifacts that'll take your party to the next level. Ships lamps, life jackets, wheels, cork floats, fish net, anchors, blocks, and a whole lot more.
Saturday, August 20, 2011
Nationals might be finished, but August and September are prime sailing months for small boats in Newport harbor. We've got everything you might need to keep your dinghy under way from tillers, leeboards, rudders, masts and sails and anything else you might need.
Friday, August 19, 2011
You can never have too much line aboard your boat, whether it's anchor rode, sheets, halyards, dock lines, fender lines, sail ties, or anything else you can tie up or down. To satisfy this demand we've got all the line you could ever need. We've got palates full of pre-spliced dock lines, cases full of fender lines and sail ties, thousands of feet of anchor rode, and spool after spool of sheets and halyards. Good line does knot have to cost $2 and $3 bucks a foot...
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
This past weekend we had a couple of great customers from way up north that'd heard of Minney's for years and managed to swing by the store while in town for their 40th reunion. They didn't arrive by boat but rather with boat in tow. Not bad for a couple of old dudes...
Sunday, August 14, 2011
Every once in a while you might find yourself in a position where ground tackle might not offer you the holding power you need. In that case it's nice to have about 600 feet of poly-pro aboard so you can tie your bow off to a tree and your stern to a small island like you see in the pictures above, taken last November when I sailed aboard the Alaska Eagle through the fjords of Chile. Of course the other 99.9% of the time you'll be using chain and line to keep you put, and we've still got the best prices in town. In fact we might be the only place in town that can splice your rode and chain for you right in the store.
Saturday, August 13, 2011
The hard work is paying off. Instead of working on my boat I am actually sailing it! First night we anchored behind oil island 'White" in the middle of Long Beach harbor. Next day it was pretty much a motor boat ride to Paradise Cove at the upper end of Santa Monica bay. A good anchorage, a bit rolly but great views of the movie star mansions nestled on the hillsides and cliffs overlooking the ocean. An early departure this morning got us to Channel Islands harbor where we are now guest of the Corinthian Pacific Yacht Club. Boy, have they been nice to us. Flying the NHYC burgee probably helped a little bit too? We've got the guest dock in front of the club, key card, hot showers, pool and jacuzzi etc. Tonight they are celebrating their 35th year as a yacht club in Oxnard, California. 200 people arriving in a few minutes, club all decked out with balloons etc. I told my cook the party was for us, that they heard we would be dropping by and wanted to give us a grand welcome. Not sure she believed me? Off to Anacapa island tomorrow and then Santa Cruz Island. Playing with your boat is sure a lot more fun than working on it. Love my Lofrans windlass, let my cook operate it this morning and I flaked the chain. Team work with your crew makes them want to sail with you again. P.S. This whole area looks a bit depressed? Hundreds of empty slips, buildings and stores closed. The area around the museum almost a ghost town. A great place to keep your boat if you want cruise the northern channel islands. No moorings, little red or gray boats telling you what to do and where to anchor, good fishing etc. The weather leaves a bit to be desired???
Friday, August 12, 2011
We've just updated our lists of Headsails, Mainsails, and Spinnakers with a whole bunch of new sails and they're moving fast. We had about 5 cruising spinnakers last week and there might be one left. Summer is quickly leaving us so if you've been thinking about a new sail for your boat now's the time.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
You know, restoring a Down East 38' sloop keeps me on the front lines of the marine hardware industry. Quite often I don't have just the part I need or don't have the time to locate it in our "less than well organized" store. I purchased 2 -3" X 5/16 carriage bolts yesterday for $2.90 each. At $7.00 a pound for my 308 and 316 S.S. fastenings I could have bought a dozen of the same item but all I had was hex head and needed the carriage bolt type of head. $35.00 and $40.00 for a quart of varnish is nuts. I'm doing something about it. We mark up our paints and varnishes only 10% and we sell sandpaper at our cost. We have but one store and it's totally paid for, we keep our overhead down and don't need HUGE mark-ups on items we stock. Boats our our life and we know many of you feel the same way. When we say, "we keep boating affordable" we mean it. My son Josh is slowly assuming command. Every day I pound into him to keep prices low. I was up early this morning and took my boat to the fuel dock for an oil change. Engine is a little Yanmar 4 cylinder diesel. I have the bill in front of me. 6 qts. of oil $27.90- 3 filters (which I usually get $2 to $5.00 each) $71.63. Labor for the oil change $85.00. 7 gal. diesel fuel $29.18. Total bill $228.09. I tried not to appear shocked when I got the bill. Perhaps our local fuel docks could try a little harder at making their supplies and services a little more affordable??? Gone sailing, gonna turn the BLOG over to Josh for a little while. He grew up on my 55' schooner "Samarang". Been working in the store since he was 6. Graduated a year ago from Northeastern University. Recently went around Cape Horn with the "Alaska Eagle" crew and races locally on a variety of different boats.
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
We have a matched set of Harkin #53 aluminum self-tailing winches in that came from a large race boat that was wrecked. They appear in excellent condition. New price is well over $5000.00 for the pair. We've been asking $2995.00 for the set. To see if anyone reads my blog, an offer of $2500.00 for the pair would be acceptable and we'll pay the shipping anywhere in the lower 48. Another great item is our folding teak grating cockpit tables. They fit perfect in the cockpit of my Down East 38 and are easy to stow when not in use. We order them 100 at a time through our Indonesia friends. I varnished mine and it looks great. If you don't varnish or oil them, they show grease stains. A customer watching me hand varnish all the little gratings, suggested using spray varnish, which was a great idea because brushing it on is totally frustrating. $95.00 each plus shipping. They come with square, round and octagonal tops. I think the square one looks the best and holds the most goodies and wine. A big box store has this same table in their catalog for over $250.00? I'm making a nice profit at my selling price, what gives with our so called discounters???
Monday, August 8, 2011
We probably have the best collection of new and used propellers on the entire West coast. 2-blade, 3-blade, 4-blade and 5-blade. Bronze, stainless and aluminum. Props for a 2 HP outboard motor up to a 90' yacht. As you know, metals prices are up. The average prop for a 40' boat will run from $600.00 to over $1000.00. Our new props are usually 50% less than a new one from a prop shop. Our used ones are priced at about 10% to 25% of the new price. Also, we sell on approval. Getting the right prop is a complicated procedure. On my own boat, first it was too big and I couldn't get the engine up to the proper RPM. Then it was too small and I had to run at too high an RPM to get the boat up to speed. It was pretty easy to figure out that I needed a prop somewhere in the middle. So, if you don't get the right prop 1st time around, return it for a more suitable prop. We also have about 100 Martec folding sailboat props. These are becoming less popular since Max Prop and others have come out. Need a Martec folding prop? We'll make you a deal you can't refuse. Many of our props are listed on our website, check it out? We ship all over the U.S.
Sunday, August 7, 2011
It's mid November 1959. George Minney is living his life long dream of sailing his 65' schooner "Kelpie", crewed by his 3 sons on a year's voyage to Tahiti. "Kelpie" was racing along in the NE trade winds knocking off 170's and 80's (miles per day) in idyllic sailing conditions. One afternoon as we were nearing the equator a large blackish gray mushroom shaped cloud seemed to be bearing down on us on our port beam. The winds slackened and soon stopped and "Kelpie" became totally becalmed and dead in the water. My dad came on deck and ordered all sails sheeted flat as the sky darkened and a foreboding feeling came over ship and crew. All of the sudden a forty knot gust of wind hit us on the port beam and "Kelpie" was totally knocked down! All hands were on deck and we were all totally petrified. The main hatch, 3X4 feet was open on low side of the boat and the sea was cascading down the spiral staircase into "Kelpie"s" main saloon. A few minutes like this and "Kelpie" would surely SINK! I crawled to the main sheet and was unable to ease it off the strong wooden bit it was secured to. No knife was handy so I couldn't cut it loose. Looking around I saw that everyone was just hanging for dear life as "Kelpie", totally dead in the water, kept healing at a 60 or 70 degree angle. The jib sheet and fore stay sail sheets were 4 feet under water and impossible to get to and the gaff foresail sheet had welded itself to the cleat under the boom, not that anyone could get to it anyway? We were all terrified as we looked around at one another. Was this going to be the end of the my dad's dream? Are we all going down with the ship? When all seemed totally hopeless , GOD intervened? The brand new 5/16" stainless steel main halyard parted and the mainsail and boom came crashing down onto the deck and into the ocean. Kelpie stood back up and a huge sigh of relief over took the crew. To this day, I know that a miracle had taken place aboard the "Kelpie" a thousand from land, en route to Nuka Hiva in the Marquesas Islands. From that day forward, the ship's sharpest knife was always lashed to the lowest part of the main boom gallows where the helmsman could grab it in a second............
Saturday, August 6, 2011
Putting new counter tops in the galley area of Anita was really quite simple. And, what made it simple was a great little business on La Palma Ave. in Anaheim, California called "OLIVE MILL". I found them in the yellow pages and was only looking for surplus Corian that might have been left over from other jobs. I'd put counter tops on my large schooner "Samarang" years ago and knew that you can work Corian like wood. It cuts, drills, sands and can be glued. At "OLIVE MILL" I found a great selection of surplus Corian and other materials and spent almost an hour trying to decide on a color. Finally I discovered the perfect piece but it was too small. I had to have it and ordered a 30" X 144" sheet. The hardest part of the job was making perfect patterns of "Anitas" countertops to trace onto the Corian. I then had the bright idea to see if "OLIVE MILL" would cut it out using my patterns. They said they would using their high tech computer cutter. I rushed my patterns up to "OLIVE MILL" (20 minutes from Newport Beach) and met with a great guy named Andy. He was totally interested in my project and we spent about 20 munutes going over the patterns. I departed "OLIVE MILL" thinking how smart I was of having them do the cutting instead of me and my wiggley jig saw making cuts that should be straight. I dropped them off on Friday morning and begged him to have them done by Monday afternoon. Six hours later on Friday I got a call and was told that my counter tops were ready to pick up. Wow, was that speed or what??? I picked them up this morning, rushed them down to my boat. THEY FIT PERFECT!! Gives my boat a whole new look and all future "galley slaves" will forever be indebted to their captain and "OLIVE MILL" for the beautiful new counter tops.......Thanks again, Andy.......
Being a single dude I know how nice it is to have a lady companion to sail with. It's a bit of a challenge when you finally invite a female friend and then mention, "I'll be captain and you can handle the food and the galley." I then mention that the holding tank is out of the boat and that I'll introduce her to a new potty trick we call "baggers"? If she is still interested in yachting, I know I have a winner and we make plans to sail the seven seas. My little sloop is sandwiched between 2 mega-yachts. It's always a bit humbling as we arrive at the marina and my sailorette asks, "which one is yours?" I point out my Down East 38 "Anita" in the shadow of Gary Primms "Primmadonna" and watch her jaw drop as we start down the ramp. BUT!! I've been busy on my little project boat. I've replaced the ugly phony teak looking formica with Corian counter tops. My sea going cook will have lovely place to prepare culinary delights and delectable reapasts. She'll discover that SIZE really does not matter when it come to galleys as long as they are neat, clean and functionable. This was an easy project for a do it yourself boat owner. See next BLOG.
Friday, August 5, 2011
Years ago I was clerking in our old store on Pacific Coast hwy. when Jerry Lewis walked in with a couple of his cronies. He walked over to our Chelsea clock display and said, "I want this one and this one and this one" and picked out about 8 brand new Chelsea clocks and barometers. He then said, "deliver the clocks to my boat the "Pink Pussy Cat" at the Balboa Bay Club and I'll see that you get paid. I boxed up the clocks, totaled the bill which came to about $1985.00 and delivered them to his boat. In the salon of his boat he checked the clocks and my bill and then turned to a body guard kinda looking guy and said, "pay the man." The body guard opened a small suitcase (just like in the movies) that was packed tight with $100.00. Jerry took out a bundle and counted out $2000.00 and then asked for change. I told him I had none. He handed me a $100.00 and told me to run up to the Bay Club bar and break it. I did, returned to his boat and then left with $1985.00 cash in my pocket. GEE, NOT EVEN A $15.00 TIP? Speaking of clocks and barometers. Please be aware that we always have a nice selection of used clocks and barometers in stock. Chelsea clocks have become INSANELY expensive. Our look alike imports fill the need for most yachtsman and are 90% less money.
Thursday, August 4, 2011
A customer asked me to help him sell his boat. Pictured is a rendering of a 32' ketch that has taken 15 years to build. Boat is in the water, spruce spars and rig are in storage and available. For more information call the owner/builder at number listed. Pictured also is one of our many customized wooden signs. We have a large catalog available on numerous subjects, we pretty much like the beach and marine scenes. Pick your picture and then customize it with the name of your home town, yacht club, family name etc. Allow about 10 days for delivery. Prices start at $60.00... P.S. Asking price of that lovely little ketch is $29,500.00. 15 years of a man's life went into building his dream boat. He is forced to sell due to health issues. His phone number is 714-536-7616
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
If you are an "old salt" or an "arm chair sailor" you will love the used book section of our store. We've got them all. Jack London, Sterling Hayden, Hal Roth, Alan Villiers, Lynn and Larry, Steve Dashew, and hundreds more of the best sea going authors that every were. Every week hundreds of books come in from yachtsmen (and yachts women) that are "swallowing the anchor" and moving inland. Lots of magazines too. Wooden boat (complete collections) Rudder, Sea and Yachting. I just took home a 1913 Yachting magazine and read it cover to cover. In those days you could build a 60 foot schooner for $10,000.00! A great read I just finished is the "Saga Of The Babbon. Growing up in Newport Beach as I kid I got to know most of the characters in the book. Bob Dickson, Don Chilcott, Chappie the shipwright etc. Tells about the loss of the "M" boat Windward in Mexico. Mentions the Farwell schooner Sea Drift and the Scripps big ketch, Novia del Mar. It's main character is one of the "Bali Hai" boys, Hugh Kelly. A local boy that bought the schooner Babbon, sailed it for years, raced with Bob Johnson of Windward Passage fame and later purchased land on the island of Moorea near Tahiti and opened the famed "Bali Hai" hotel. Fun read if you are an old time Newport Beach local. Lots of hot sex too! Which totally surprised me being a boating magazine. I'd give it an "X" rating. Author is Stu Newcomb, the brother on Carolyn Newcomb, long time NHYC member and the gal that ran my store for 2 years while I proved to myself that the world really was ROUND.........
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Above pics show a few of the spars we have in the backyard of the store. Long tall one is a Cal-40 mast that I am getting ready to cut up and sell for SCRAP! Two bucks a pound and it's yours, would make a great yacht club flag pole or could possibly go back in a boat. Lots of Sabot mast and booms (we've got a guy making them for us because Sabots are the kid starter boat in Newport Harbor) spinnaker poles to 28 feet, dozens of small boat and racing dinghy stuff, reaching struts, expandable poles and so on. I found a great stay sail boom for my Down East 38. It was the boom off a Cal-25, fit almost perfect. Off the shelf price $85.00. I got it for slightly less. LOL. Good selection of spar fittings, probably 50 milk cartons full of masthead fittings, mast step fittings, tangs, chain plates, boom bails, goose neck fittings, spreaders and spreader tips and on and on? Have a great day and get out on the water............
Monday, August 1, 2011
Several months ago we purchased a huge amount of line from a big box marine store that no longer exists? We're storing it in containers, in our back yard and in a wood shop on Newport bay. We gotta thin down this inventory before the winter rains. It's first quality nylon and polyester double braid in various colors and lengths. Pictured is 12- 600 foot spools of white 1" diameter double braid yacht line. A dollar a foot by the spool, $1.50 a foot if we cut it. Had a guy in yesterday that is going to buy 3 spools to tow a 20 ton Trojan horse across the desert to the "Burning Man" festival held later this year. A super value is our 6' long fender lines in double braid with an eye splice. This splice alone will cost you $5.00 in a rigging shop. We've sold thousands of them for .95 cents each. We also have hard to find Manila or hemp line up to 2" diameter. Decorators love this stuff. The Los Angeles County Fair bought 5000 feet of it? If you are looking for line, we've got it and and a price so low you'll be amazed............