Monday, October 31, 2011
It's taken a lot of work. Check it out, our sail list has been up-dated and approximately 400 sails have been added to the list. Great spinnakers, some with socks. A great group of head sails, quite a few storm jibs, many like new. Good selection of mainsails, some storm tri'sails, even a few tan bark in colored sails. Lots of our NO RETURN sails priced under $200.00. These sails have bad stains, worn leeches, sun burned covers, and other defects. With some repairs or re-cutting you can probably end up with a suitable sail on the cheap. Pictured is some of the work we go through as we process your used sails. Many of the sails come in damp and must be dried before we measure and assign a bin to store them in. And of course, no sail is priced over $1500.00 and may be returned for any reason. Happy Halloween....... Ernie and crew...
Sunday, October 30, 2011
Having made it my life's work playing with boats, I've come across some pretty dumb and sometimes dangerous things. The picture above was during the filming of Walt Disney's popular boating movie, "The Boatniks". While filming on a windy day inside Newport Harbor the director wanted the boat pictured, to be heeled over more. A couple of the actors climbed up the mast and started rocking the boat. On one final big rock, the boat rolled over, filled up with water and sank. Filming had to stop while the boat was raised, pumped out and made ready to sail again. Having big boats and little money I depended upon high school kids and "work-a-ways", (you work on my boat and I'll take you sailing) for cheap labor. One day I was forward varnishing the cap rails of Shearwater when the engine started in reverse and at full throttle. As I ran aft, cleats were being torn from the dock, the shore power cord ripped out from the outlet box on the cabin side and by the time I got to the cockpit and slowed the boat down, we were in the center of the Newport bay. No one got hurt, the damage was minimum and as I investigated this unusual departure, this is what I found. I had instructed my latest high school kid to varnish the wheel box which was already sanded. The big gear shift lever which is usually in the neutral position was in his way so he shoved it aft. The little racheting throttle lever he had varnished around and had shoved it forward into the full speed position. He then decided to do a little exploring? He lifted the big teak lid to the wheel box and deciding to do a little varnishing around the back side of the starter switch. When the metal band on the varnish brush hit the + and - terminals on the starter switch the engine started and we were UNDERWAY !!!!! Speaking of starter switches. While anchored in a small bay north of the Cape Of Good Hope one of my $10.00 dollar a day (they pay me for food) crew members did a little varnishing the day before our second attempt to get around the Cape. I asked my first mate to start the engine and warm it it. He had done it before and knew how to do it. He started the engine but it had a VERY UNUSUAL sound. Soon heavy black smoke was pouring out from the engine compartment. I ran aft, jammed the throttle to the kill position and still it wouldn't stop. My god I thought, the boat's on fire. Then, I looked at the started button. The crew member the day before had varnished it and it was STUCK in the start position. I was quickly able to un-jamb it and stop the engine. An inspection of the starter showed that it was TOTALLY FRIED!! Luckily, I had a spare starter aboard and we only had to delay our departure for Cape Town by a few hours. While racing an 83 foot schooner in the Newport to Ensenada race back in the late 70's. A bit of damage ocurred. I was at the helm as we were setting up to jibe. The owner of the boat came on deck and saw a sheet chafing on his freshly varnished cap rails. He got all upset and insisted that we re-lead the offending sheet. I told him that we were going to jibe in a minute or two and that after the jibe the line would no longer cause a problem. "Just the same", he said, "I'm going below and get some carpet and tape it on the cap rail". While the owner of Serena was below we jibed. A crew member somehow led a sheet or after-guy under instead of over the aft life lines. As the huge main boom came across the center of the cockpit there was a loud crash as about 35 feet of beautiful teak cap rail complete with stanchions and life lines was ripped from the top of the bulwarks and laid out on deck. A few seconds later Serena's owner came on deck with his carpet and duct tape and looked in shock at the carnage we had made of his beautifully varnished cap rails. I guess I was a bit of a wise ass, but I then said to him, "see, I told you there would not be a chafing problem after we jibed to the other tack".....
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Yes! I estimate that we have a ton or more of bronze and stainless steel turnbuckles. For years boaters have brought in their old rigging. We cut the turnbuckles off the wire, scrapped the wire and saved the turnbuckles. We also have hundreds of "brand new" turnbuckles that we have purchased from bankrupt boat companies etc. There is also a pretty good collection of "Stay Locks" and other mechanical fittings. Having a large schooner with questionable rigging I totally lucked out and purchased all the used rigging from the famous race boat "Windward Passage" for $500.00. I recut the S.S. wire to the proper lengths, purchased new cones for the used Norseman mechanical fittings and had a trouble free trip to New Zealand. We've probably got the best selection of rigging fittings in the West. Toggles, rigging pins, chain plates, etc. It takes a lot of digging to locate the items you are looking for, things are modestly priced, so please drop by and check out our selection........
Friday, October 28, 2011
Being the "junk man" for Cabo Yachts the past few years has landed some pretty exotic equipment in our little store. Pictured are what was explained to me as hydraulic pumps to operate the big hydraulic rams that lift the engine hatches on the larger Cabo sport-fishers. As you can see, they have a large 24 volt motor that drives the pump and on the other end is a heavy plastic reservoir tank which holds the fluid. Pretty cool, huh? Push a button and your hatches pop up. We only have three or four of the these pumps and they appear brand new. They possibly might have some defect? I've learned dealing with boat companies the past forty years that when a boat is ready to go out the door and something is not working properly, they don't trouble shoot the problem they just replace the malfunctioning part. As you can see, we've lowered the price to $95.00 each. In my mind, they have a $1000.00 look? If I had a large Cabo I'd grab one of these for a spare. The motors alone probably cost $500.00
Thursday, October 27, 2011
If you have a large boat perhaps a pair of the large backstay levers we have might be of use to you? The ones pictured are suitable for boats from 50' to about 80'. Twenty five years ago I purchased a set from Paul Luke for about $1000.00. There's a similar pair (the greenish bronze ones) priced at under $500.00. For thirty years we used a block and tackle arrangement on "Kelpie". I never knew how handy the levers were till I purchased the 68' schooner "Shearwater." Wow! Tacking up and down Newport Harbor was a cinch. Release one, set up the other. They always maintained the same amount of tension. No lines to coil or calling for more "beef" if you are late on the tack cinching up the tackles. There's one thing I want to caution you about when using them. The time to release one is when the boat is "head to wind" on the tack. If you are early, they are under a lot of tension. You MUST ALWAYS stand to one side of them. Once the lever passes the center point it will jump up at you. Serious injuries have resulted from using levers of this type by novice crew members. Being late on the tack can also cause you big trouble because the full force of the mainsail and boom will be on the lee backstay. Note also- we have several "quick release" levers for stay sail stays, baby stays etc.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Being a "junk man" gets me into all kinds of places in my endless search to bring our customers great values in boat gear and equipment. Probably the "mother lode" for 2011 was the Cabo Yacht boat auction. Cabo Yachts moved to North Carolina and there was 100's of tons of stuff they didn't want to take with them. In addition to an 18 wheeler truck load full of pre-fab'd teak interior cabinets and band-saws we purchased, there were thousands of small items. Pictured is part of the quarter ton of small S.S. flare fittings, hose barbs, nipples, caps, bell reducers, etc. that we bid for you guys, lot by lot. And how did we price it to keep things simple for everyone? Same way the guys do it in the produce stores. BY THE POUND! Yes, for years we've priced all our brass, bronze, stainless pipe fittings at $5.00 a pound. Going to Home Depot the other day I took a pound of misc. fittings and priced each one from their posted prices. The pound from the store equaled 7 fittings. The average Home Depot price was $5.00 to $7.00 each. Thus at an average of $6.00 per fitting you guys are getting $42.00 worth of fittings for just $5.00. Mind you, that was at Home Depot. Had I done the same thing at a store that had "MARINE" in its name, that would have been a WHOLE different story???
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Our store is actually a large restaurant that we purchased fifteen years ago. One of the most interesting areas of the building is the kitchen and walk-in icebox. That's the area where screams of excitement and joy are heard from time to time when a local boater finds the perfect raw water pump for his Chrysler Crown gas engine priced at only $20.00 or a Borg Warner 72-C gear box for a modest price of $300.00. Yes, that's Minney's engine room. It's all there but you gotta dig. Please don't call looking for pigtails for your Westerbeke diesel engine, or impellers for the salt water pump on your 4-53 Detroit. It's probably there but we don't have the time or knowledge to locate the proper part for you. Raw water strainers, stuffing boxes, alternators, generators, Morse control and Hynautic shifters and parts, impellers, zincs, hundreds of outboard and out drive propellers, heat exchangers and on and on? If it lives "below the floorboards" we probably have it and it will be priced RIGHT!
Monday, October 24, 2011
Christmas is coming. We've reduced the price to $149.00 each on these stunning two foot long speed boat models. Regular price in most high end stores $595.00. Purchase early and save BIG. P.S. The solid teak folding coffee tables the models are sitting on are only $99.00 each!!!
Sunday, October 23, 2011
I recently made note about a woman delivering a fifty foot sailboat from Tahiti to Southern California. While motor sailing near the equator she came on deck one morning and found the watch stander missing. The boat was on auto pilot and traveling at eight knots. She had told Jim at midnight to rouse her at 0330. It was now 0630. The pelican hook was open and the starboard stanchion gate was down. Jim was probably taking a leak, leaned against the gate, it opened and he fell overboard. He was now treading water somewhere along a fifty two mile course line. Her radio was in operative so she couldn't call for an air search. She searched for three days and then headed for Hawaii dreading the heart wrenching phone call she must make to Jim's parents.
Every year auto pilots get boaters into trouble. Most skippers are lucky and only damage or lose their boats. Bill Kitchens, a good friend of mine departed the Dana Point harbor yacht club one evening at sunset. He cleared the red bell bouy marking the reefs off Dana Point. He put his Hans Christian 36 cutter on course for the Newport Beach break water and engaged the auto pilot. It was a chilly evening and spray was coming aboard. He ducked under the dodger and relaxed a bit. Two hours later he was startled awake as his forty foot mast, boom and rigging came crashing down and landed next to him. His navigation had been spot on. He missed colliding with the Newport jetty by about fifty yards, his boat continued on and went under the Balboa pier about a mile north west of the breakwater.
Captain Ron as the locals called him had raced his boat "Naughty Gal" in a series of races off Long Beach. Ron and his crew had done well in the two day series and partied a bit at the Long Beach Yacht Club before the trophy awards. After picking up his trophy and bidding his crew farewell he headed "Naughty Gal" out of the Long Beach marina, and put his finely tuned thirty six foot race boat on course for Newport and set the auto pilot. It had been an exciting and exhausting weekend. "Naughty Gal" was motoring nicely in the westerly swell and Ron perhaps dozed a bit as his boat ticked off the miles. A horrendous crash brought Ron to reality as his entire rig came crashing down on deck. It was pitch black. There was a strong order of diesel fuel and the sound of powerful diesel engines. "Naughty Gal" was trapped under what seemed like a monster out of a horror movie and was crashing and slamming into some type of pilings and steel beams. Then it dawned on our good captain. He was under oil platform Eva which was about a mile north west of the Huntington Beach pier.
Think these stories over. I've got dozens more and I'm sure you do to. The solutions and preventions are simple and basic but the accidents keep happening. I think often of Jim on his first and last ocean passage treading water in the warm equatorial currents as he watched the bright stern light of the yacht get dimmer and dimmer and finally disappear.
Pictured is a lovely boat we recently purchased salvage from. While a bit south of Bahia de Los Angeles in the Sea of Cortez off the Baja coast the skipper had his boat on auto pilot, thought he was further off shore and took a little nap. The eighty year old skipper was not injured, his boat was a total loss. I've got the mainsail and jib and some nice self tailing winches off it at the store....
Saturday, October 22, 2011
As you all know, the mark of a man isn't the car he's driving or the watch he's wearing. You guessed it, it's the belt he's wearing! Old Spice cologne doesn't cut it with with the ladies anymore. But, a nautical belt from Minney's does. Pictured is our great selection of salty belts that are priced within the budget of the most frugal sailor. Leather belts embossed with schooners, colorful signal flag belts, and other nautical themes. Prices start at $19.95. If your "pick up"lines at your local pub are as stale as last night beer, say nothing to the lass at the end of the bar and let the belt you are wearing from Minney's do the talking. Yes, with a new belt from Minney's, your "single handing" days are over...........
Friday, October 21, 2011
Do we have a deal for you! We've been dealing with a rope company for years that makes "small stuff" for us. They take all their excess fiber and braid some pretty exotic nylon and polyester line for us. We cut it in various lengths and blow it out to you guys for pennies on the dollar as sort of a good will gesture. On a recent trip on my little sloop I used our tie downs to lash my rubber boat to it's chocks, lash my outboard motor to my stern rail, lash two fuel tanks to my back stay turnbuckle, lash my fishing poles, boat hook and gaff to my forward grab rails, lash my main halyard to the boom goose neck, pull my Delta anchor up tight on my bow roller, as a safety line on my boarding ladder, a safety line on my outboard motor, secure my Honda generator to a bulkhead, secure my port potty to a bulkhead and probably a few other uses I can't remember. As you all know, tie downs come in handy.
Also, sometime ago we stole 35 spools of first quality nylon one inch webbing. We've been cutting it into six foot lengths and practically giving it away at ninety five cents a tie. I take a lot of pride in properly furling my sails. I usually have a bowline in one end of the sail tie. After I circle the sail and boom I thread the other end through the eye of the bowline and now have some real leverage to snug the sail neatly on the boom. I don't think the old saying, "you can always tell a sailor by the cut of his jib" is correct. In my mind, "you can always tell a sailor by how neatly he furls his sails" is a bit more on target.
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Pictured is a quality access hatch that we have in two popular sizes. The cut out hole size for the big one is 9-3/4 x 19-1/2 with an overall size of 13-3/4 x 23-3/4. These hatches can be mounted flat or vertically. To be able to sell these hatches at about half the price of the big box stores, we had to purchase 400 of them. The small one is only $29.00 and the large one is $49.00. We're going through them fast so order now. One customer purchased six of them for his motor home and a contractor purchased three big ones to use on a tool box he is building for his pick up truck.
They come in two colors, light cream and gray.....
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
View is looking forward aboard "Shearwater" with "Passage Mainsail" set running inside the Great Barrier Reef near Carins, Australia...... Note my eight year old daughter sitting on main boom. Mainsail is off the track while "Passage Mainsail" is set.....
Passage mainsails, "the sail your sail maker won't tell you about?" When I purchased "Shearwater," part of the sail inventory was a "passage mainsail." I didn't use it on the delivery of the boat from Miami to Newport Beach because the winds were too variable and we motored a lot. A couple of years later when we were making the passage from Newport to the Marquesas I found it invaluable. I had novice college kids crewing for me and the thought of an accidental jibe with the 26 foot, two hundred pound boom and thousand square foot mainsail in the middle of the night was a bit nerve wracking. After a couple of near jibes as we entered the north east trade winds I dropped the big main and set the "passage mainsail." It is shaped like a tri'sail but is about as big as your full mainsail with one reef in it. It bends on your sail track and is loose footed like a jib. Mine also had a set of reef points so I could use it for a storm tri'sail if I wanted to. I grew to love this sail and used it 80 percent of the time as we circled the globe. A gal named Jill that I picked up in New Zealand would almost always jibe the boat once every night when she was on watch. "Something is wrong with the compass", she would tell me as I scurried on deck, sorted things out and got her back on course. No problema, I would think. The "passage mainsail" would back like a jib, no damage was done and I didn't have to get upset with Jill for nearly dismasting my schooner. Another great thing about "passage mainsails" is that they can be made out of your old mainsail or a good used mainsail from another boat. On a long passage in the trade winds your main is up sometimes for twenty or thirty days. For me, Cape Town to Barbados was forty days. Why be cutting your stitching and chafing holes in your $5000.00 new mainsail on the spreaders and shrouds when you could be doing this to one of Minney's $500.00 used mainsails that you had re-cut for a couple of hundred bucks. You will not only get a great nights sleep knowing that the kid you picked up at your last port and is paying you $10.00 a day to sail with you is steering your boat can jibe any time he gets confused and the jibes and will do no damage: but, you will be saving your $5000.00 new North mainsail for going to weather, coastal work and cruiser races in various ports.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
For all you guys outward bound, here's a few fishing tips. We caught hundreds of fish with our two hand trolling lines with rubber shock cords on them. 500 lb. test mono filament works great, so does 1/8" braided nylon line. The shock cords are attached to the line so they will be visible to the helmsman on woman. Your after shrouds will work great and the helmsman won't have to be constantly looking behind the boat to see if the shock cord is streached out. A good pair of heavy leather gloves is a good idea and also having a gaff with a good long handle will be of use. We mainly used Jap heads with large double hooks and feathers of various colors. Fish up to about 20 pounds you can just heave over the life lines and onto the deck. We found a short line attached to the boat and a quick clove hitch around the tail of the thrashing fish was a good idea because quite often the fish would manage to jump back over the side of the boat. A winch handle works great at giving your wahoo a couple of taps on the head. We were sailing a large boat in the trade winds that had preventers and vang tackles in place. We were usually doing 7 or 8 knots and made no attempt to slow the boat for the smaller fish. The larger fish we would attempt to luff up a bit if it wasn't blowing too hard. Quite often, a monster fish would hit our lines and break everything or tear the hook out of his mouth. We found day break was usually the best time to catch fish and also a day or two out from what ever land fall we were heading to. Fresh fish made up a big part of our diets. We would only eat deep water fish such as tuna or dorado. Reef fish have been known poison people.... After wrapping our trolling lines in our taffrail log spinner a few times we found it best to bring in the log while we were fishing. A little money spent on some trolling gear will provide you with dozens of great fish dinners.....
Monday, October 17, 2011
While you guys were singing in the choir, playing golf, and frolicking in the park yesterday, I was measuring sails. The batch that we processed was a really great group of sails. Storm jibs and tri'sails, most of them like new. Several of them were "blaze orange" in color. A trend I've noticed the past few years which I think is a good idea. Anyone flying these sails is probably not having a nice day. Should they need a little assistance from the Coast Guard, they will be easy to spot in the turbulent seas. We measured about twenty spinnakers. One totally stood out. A brand new cruising spinnaker with a sock. .75 ounce, pretty colors with a forty foot luff. I priced it at $995.00. I'm sure Mr. North would think it was worth about $2500.00. There were lots of roller furling jibs in great condition. Quite a few of them needed some re-stitching on the covers. Why you guys leave these sails up all winter is beyond me. The sun rots the stitching, green grundge tries to grow inside and they unfurl in heavy winds and turn to shreds. Lots of good mainsails. While me and the boys were doing our thing a customer drops by and ask he he can test a few electronics in a corner of our parking lot. I give him the "go ahead" and soon he his little shop set up. He ran electrical power from the store out to his testing equipment and soon he had four of our radars, 3 chart plotters, a couple off fish finders and boxes of radar cables etc. in his testing area. We kept measuring sails and on his knees on the asphalt he kept testing our electronics. I finally felt sorry for him and brought a big soft sail over for him to play on. Long and short! He purchased a thousand bucks worth of our gear (probably going to sell it for $10,000.00) and we added about eighty great sails to our inventory. They will all be listed on our website in about five days. If you want to get "first dibs", get your butts down here.....
Sunday, October 16, 2011
A friend of mine was delivering a 50 foot sailboat from Tahiti to Newport Beach. While motor sailing through the doldrums on auto pilot she left orders for the 2400 to 0400 watch to wake her at 0330. She was quite surprised when sun light beamed her awake though the sky light at 0630. She dressed quickly and went on deck. To her dismay, the boat was steering itself and there was no one on deck. She awakened the the other three crew members, searched the boat from stem to stern and yes, the early morning watch stander was missing. An inspection on deck showed the pelican hook open and the cable was down on the starboard stanchion gate. What a dilemma? Did Jim fall overboard when he first went on watch? Mid way through his watch? Or perhaps later? The boat was traveling at eight knots, he could be treading water anywhere on 52 mile course line. She knew her single sideband radio was inoperative so calling for help was out of the question.
She turned the boat around and motor sailed the opposite course back and forth for 3 days. The crew member was never found and the skipper suffered a mental trauma I don't think she ever recovered from. Two things could have prevented this tragic accident. The first would be to not use the auto pilot during the night watches. This would force the watch standers to be more alert and if they did fall overboard the boat would go in circles and the change in motion and the racket of the sails luffing and backing would be sure to bring other crew members on deck. The other solution was something I did on my lengthy voyage aboard my schooner "Shearwater." I had two small kids aboard and I wanted to keep them on board. As you know, most stanchions and lifelines are too low. If you fall into them they tend to trip you and toss you over the side of the boat. On all passages I rigged what I called "deep sea life lines." This was spare line that I had that I ran about chest high around the entire boat. I then took lighter line and laced it in from the rope life line down to the upper permanent life line. This made a sort of net like arrangement. On several occasions yours truly and other crew members got tossed into them and rebounded back on deck instead of going overboard if the "deep sea life lines" hadn't stopped them. My ship was a schooner and the jury rigged life lines were easy to rig. On other boats you might have to be a bit more creative. Had my friend on her voyage from Tahiti to Newport rigged something like this out of extra line sure to be aboard a boat the size she was delivering. Her favorite crew member might still be alive. Pictured is "Shearwater" running in heavy trade winds across the Indian ocean. Note my "deep sea life lines" in place on the starboard quarter......
Saturday, October 15, 2011
If you have an Islander, Ericson, Down East, Catalina, Pacific Sea Craft or any other boat built in Southern California, chances are these stanchions will fit your boat. A good friend of mine owns the company that builds these quality 316 SS steel stanchions and stanchion gates. He builds them by the 100's for us when things are slow at his plant. Our standard stanchions come in 24" and 30" lengths. The bases are either square or with a 6 degree slant to account for the crown of your deck. The stanchion gates come in pairs and are matched so that the bases all face the same way when installed. The price of the gates are $125.00 a pair and the stanchions are about $35.00 each. They weight very little so shipping is modest.
Friday, October 14, 2011
Nice looking Nissan 4-stroke. I haven't heard it running. It appears to need a bit of electrical work. Pictures tell the story. Power head indicates engine has very low hours. Being sold where is as is for $995.00. If you are a mechanic you can triple your money on this one? Josh @949-548-4192 Can be seen at 1500 Newport Blvd. Costa Mesa. This is a copy of a Craig's list ad that I put on line this morning. A woman brought it to us after she lost her husband. We've had it priced at @ $2500.00. Winter's coming and we don't want to hold it till spring. A friend recently purchased a 40 HP Yamaha from Schock boats. She paid $6500.00 for it.....
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Several months ago we purchased the entire contents of a small machine shop. One of the items is a Gorton engraving machine. It was used for cutting out and labeling electrical panels for boats. The machine is in excellent condition and comes with approximately 500 pounds of templates, alphabet patterns, cutter bits and misc. tooling. We estimate that the replacement cost of what we have would be about $10,000.00. There's a huge demand for the items this machine can turn out. Every large yacht has dozens of labels posted about. It will cut on plastic, brass and other metals. We have it priced so it's an absolute steal. $1500.00 and it's yours. It's heavy. Probably a little over 1000 pounds.
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Five to ten times a day you guys roll in with a car or pick-up truck full of boat gear. We know you want to go home empty. About 95% of the time we cut a deal and you drive away with a check and we have your pile of gear to deal with. In almost every load, "there's some gold and some garbage." The gold we attempt to put fair selling prices on and sell, the garbage ( items that are badly damaged, too old to be of any use to anyone, small items that the pricing and selling of them cost more than their value), we put on the FREE TABLE. In the past week an Achilles rubber boat, 15 boxes of electrical fittings, new galvanized pipe fittings, bunk boards, a complete auto pilot, several radar antennas, 5 damaged sails and 100's of other items were placed on the FREE TABLE. What's pretty amazing is that during business hours, this stuff disappears sometimes in minutes. Lots of time I go on a cleaning frenzy and put some perfectly good items on the FREE TABLE that I just get tired of looking at. Alcohol stoves, electronics etc. What's really cool is that local boaters are using our free table to dispose of some of their unwanted items. Several times a week we will arrive at the store and find items on the table that appeared over night? Don't tell anyone, but some of the stuff is so good that we slip it into the store and sell it.... FREE BOAT GEAR! Is that a good way to 'KEEP BOATING AFFORDABLE, OR WHAT?" P.S. Would the guy that took the table please bring it back?
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
While processing used sails the following thoughts come to mind. I see a lot of totally useless damage to first class sails that with a little prevention doesn't need to happen. It seems most boaters are using roller furling head sails. They hoist them on the head foil etc. and then forget about them. They think the cover will protect them from the elements and all they have to do is give the sheet a "yank" and away they go. Surprise, the sail opens up and they discover what I call the "green grundge". All winter, rain water has worked its way along the luff of the sail and a greenish moss has sprouted and is growing nicely in their $5000.00 North 150% genoa. Sun damage is probably the biggest problem I see with the furling sails. Quite a few of you with white covers furl the sail backwards and cook the leeches and save the covers. Also, the covers take a horrible beating from the sun. The cover material seems to hold up well but the stitching gets sun rot and the cover starts falling apart. Last winter we had quite a few stormy days. On one of them I took my binoculars and on the hill above the Balboa Bay Club I looked down on the harbor and counted 14 boats that had their roller furling jibs un-furled and turning to shreds in the squally weather. I noted that our harbor police did nothing to protect your property. Two boats had what was left of their jibs flying all month. It seems to me that it's kind of a "no brainer" for boaters to lower their roller furling head sails in the winter to protect them. We've got quite a few great head sails that have the leeches totally sun rotted about two feet in from the leech. Get your sail maker to re-cut the leech and you can end up with a practically new sail for peanuts.......
Monday, October 10, 2011
Pictured is a stack of sails we processed over the weekend. They won't be on our website till later in the week but if you want "first dibs" I suggest you come to the store and check them out. They are all tagged with luff, leech, foot measurements etc. While the three of us were trying to set a new record of sails measured in an eight hour period (old record is 97) customers kept bothering us so we didn't break the record. That wasn't bad thing though. One sailor purchased a near new North 1.5 oz. cruising spinnaker with a 58' luff complete with sock and gear for $1495.00. Another nice gentleman came up from San Diego and picked out a great looking 1.5 oz. tri-radial chute with about a 48' luff priced at $695.00. A few minutes later he came up with a smaller chute to fly as a mizzen spinnaker priced at about $250.00. His wife loved the orange, gold and white colors of the sail. He even had a copy of our BLOG that stated the "Baja Ha-Ha" mariners could take off an additional 10%. Just as me and my boys were getting up to speed a man dumped a Santa Cruz 33 mainsail in our midst. It was about a "5" on a "1 to 10" scale. I offered him $100.00 bucks cash for it. He sort of hemmed and haa'd and then disappeared into the store. A few minutes later he showed up with a great looking black anodized 2 speed Lewmar flat top winch. "How about this winch for my sail" he said. "Done deal" I said. Darn customers, how can we ever set a new sail measuring record? In thinking about the sails we measured you might be interested in some of the new ones. Quite a few storm jibs and tri'sails. These are usually in like new condition because few cruisers are dumb enough to mess with storms. Lots of head sails and mainsails and about 6 nice cruising spinnakers with socks and gear. Some racer's gonna freak when he checks out the Quantum exotic Code 5 assyo chute that we have. It's big, had to go to the center line of 15 th street to measure the luff which is close to 70 feet. $1495.00 is the price. It's about an "8" on the Minney scale of conditions. Of course, Quantum can build you a new one for about 10 G's! P.S. Hope you you didn't get offended when I mentioned that "customers keep bothering us", honestly, WE NEED EACH OTHER..............
Sunday, October 9, 2011
There's a great story in our local newspaper this morning about the building of the Newport Beach break water and harbor. Back in the day, June 1926 to be exact, a young boy had borrowed his father's speed boat. a Dodge Water car to take a few of his friends to Catalina island. Upon returning to Newport estuary George Jr. age 15, had to pilot the boat across a shoal or sand bar which at low tide might only have two feet of water over it. It was a stormy afternoon and waves were breaking over the mouth of the harbor. The speed boat overturned and the three boys ended up in the turbulent waters. George Jr. had polio and was wearing steel leg braces. His two buddies were able to make it to shore but little George drowned. His body was never recovered. From that day forward, George Sr. made it his goal in life to have a proper breakwater built and the harbor dredged. It took him years, but in 1934 the Corps of Engineers built the jettys and completed the project in 1936. About ten years later, George Sr. was taking his boat out of Newport Harbor when he had a heart attack. He died a few minutes later almost exactly on the same spot that his son had drowned ten years before..... Picture is George Jr. at the helm of dad's speedboat....
Saturday, October 8, 2011
Pictured is what is left of 5 tons of the popular Lewmar "Claw" anchors. Bruce lost their patents several years ago. Lewmar jumped in and started manufacturing in China which totally dropped a bomb on Bruce's extremely high prices. We've been selling these anchors for several years. Our customers seem pleased with their performance and we seldom ever get in a used one that is bent or shows any sign of damage. In my mind, you can never have too much ground tackle. I got trapped in a bay on a small island in the Indian ocean when a cyclone was approaching. I had out three bow anchors and two stern anchors. Let's hope you never have to face weather like that but even in Baja, the weather can shift at night and put you on a lee shore. A second or third anchor ready to go could save your "butt". Tip for the day. When cruising there's a tendency to get your boat all snug in a harbor so you'll only have a short row to the beach. This works well in Baja during the day but at night, the wind can do a 180 on you and you can quickly find your back against the wall. Move out to deeper water before dark and get a bit of sea room. Engines don't always start and anchors don't always come home quickly? A rule I tried to keep in my voyages was to anchor far enough offshore so you could sail away if need be. Heed the old clipper ship saying, "BETTER A MILE TOO FAR THAN A FOOT TOO NEAR."..........
Friday, October 7, 2011
After a delightful week hanging on a mooring in Avalon, I'm back on the "firing line" of my little store. October is always a great month for us. Instead of getting the back to school slump and decline in business, we get the annual parade of cruisers waiting out the hurricane season as they head south to Mexico and beyond. Yesterday was a totally fun and interesting day. One lively couple from Marina del Rey was doing their final outfitting of "Ima Loa", Doc Sterns 40' catamaran which they purchased and have completely re-conditioned. Soon they will be anchored in an idyllic cove in Baja sipping rum punches. Another customer had a bit of a sad tale. He rolled in with a pick-up truck full of "pure gold". I noted that the stainless port lights appeared new but had signs of bedding compound on the flanges. He stated that he had to dismantle his dream boat and scrap the hull. He didn't really want to talk about it, but I knew I was dealing with a wounded mariner. The $1500.00 check I gave him cheered him up a bit. More than the money, he appeared somewhat happy that his hardware and electronics would end up on other adventurer's boats and help them to full fill their dreams. During all of this I was trying to measure spinnakers in a brisk afternoon westerly. As I left for lunch I loaded my truck with the crews of 3 "Baja Ha-Ha" boats and delivered them back to "Viking's Port", our little staging area on Mariner's mile where cruisers can tie up their rubber boats and hoof it up to the store. After lunch, a family from Vancouver dropped in looking for a big mainsail. Sixty feet by twenty two. They are sailing aboard their 60' cutter to Panama and then on the Belieze where they are going to establish a boat yard. We pulled 3 sails from our computer list that didn't fill the bill. Then we dove in to the huge stack I was working on. The cruising family was totally into the program. With pop on one end of the measuring tape and his good looking son on the other, I read the measuring tape and wrote out the specs. We looked at some great sails, but they were all a bit on the small size. If any of you have a 60' luff by 22' foot- ten or twelve oz. dacron main you would like to sell, give the store a ring. The sails I was showing this family were all priced at $1000.00 or less. The rains are gone, I've got 500 sails to measure. Anyone want to help??? Pictured is the NEW EDITION of chart guide from San Diego to Panama. This is a great buy. $500.00 worth of charts for $99.00. Also are the USCG Navigation Rules. All boats of any size are required to have this book aboard. If you get boarded and do not have this book aboard, YOU WILL BE CITED BY THE U.S. COAST GUARD.....
Thursday, October 6, 2011
G.P.S. is fantastic, no doubt about it. However, I feel todays mariners are cheating themselves out of the satisfaction of making an accurate landfall after a 25 day passage using only a compass, sextant and good time piece. In a humorous note. I asked a navigation student of mine I hadn't seen for years how his celestial navigation worked out on his voyage to Tahiti? His reply was, "spot on Ernie, my trimaran is still on the reef at at Rangiroa in the Tuamotus. We've sold hundreds of sextants and taffrail logs over the years. Now, cruisers purchase three G.P.S.'s and head for Nuka Hiva. Today, sextants seem to be used for conversation pieces on coffee tables, to be hung on walls and to make lamps out of. Pictured above is one of several sextants we presently have for sale. Also is a brand new Taffrail log. I towed a similar one for 40,000 miles and was always amazed at how accurate it was. I also got a lesson in how rope is make when I had to untangle it from my trolling lines. Our good used sextants usually are priced in the $150.00 to the $500.00 range. Pictured is a U.S. Navy WWII sextant and a taffrail log that has never had it's fish in the water........
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Special discount to "Baja Ha-Ha'ers." Drop by the store on your way south to join up with the "Ha-Ha" fleet and save 10% on a good used sail. Mention you saw this on our BLOG and that you are part of the fleet heading to Cabo San Lucas. We've got a good stock of Mexican charts that we are blowing out at a 50% discount, Mexican flags, cruising guides etc. You can anchor for 5 days in the guest anchorage off Lido Island and dinghy up the bay to within a half mile of the store. Load up on last minute gear for your boat and we'll give you a lift back to your dinghy. We speak "Baja". I've had a little "casita" in Bahia de Los Angeles for the past 25 years. P.S. If you enjoy our little BLOG, please drop me an e-mail @ firstname.lastname@example.org Adios..........
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
We still have a nice selection of our popular teak grating, fold-up cockpit tables. These tables are ideal for small boats. I used mine all last week and then put it in a locker before setting sail. Big box stores carry a similar item for $200.00 plus. We cut a tough deal with our importer and are helping to keep boating affordable by pricing them at $99.00. I varnished mine with a brush and admit it was a bit tedious coating all the little teak squares and cut-outs. A customer watching me work suggested I use spray varnish. What a great idea. If you don't varnish or at least apply teak oil, the teak will stain as you use it. One hundred left at the $99.00 price. Tops are square, round or six sided. Any skipper worth his salt would love one of these for Christmas.....
Monday, October 3, 2011
This week only. All Lewmar, Bomar and other brands of marine hatches will be discounted 15% to all our faithful customers that follow our BLOG. We have several hundred to choose from. Most are aluminum a few are stainless steel and bronze..
Sunday, October 2, 2011
As a boy growing up in Newport Beach one thing I'll always remember is the "Santana" winds. Orange county was mostly farm land in those days. Starting about October and ending about the end of April it was possible to get the powerful northeast winds at any time. The first signs of the winds would be hot dry summer weather in the winter. My dad used to wake me in the middle of the night and say, "Ernie, how about coming with to help double up on the lines on the "Kelpie" and make sure everything is secure aboard her." Kelpie was my dad's sixty five foot schooner that he kept docked at his little boat yard on Mariner's mile. For a young kid to go out into the night in forty to sixty knot winds it was quite exciting. Branches were coming off trees, tumble weeds were coming down all the NE facing streets, waves were breaking over the docks on the south side of the bay. Down on the docks one could see boat covers being shredded, small boats that had been poorly secured being damaged as they rubbed wood to wood against pilings and wharfs. The wind would howl through the rigging of "Kelpie" and other nearby boats as dust and debris filled the air making it hard to see and a bit dangerous. We would get the "Santana" winds four or five times each winter. It was pretty much a southern California occurrence with considerable damage taking place along the coast. Catalina island, especially Avalon would usually take a direct hit. Avalon bay is open to the NE and boaters foolish enough to not heed the early warnings (summer weather in January, large swells starting to come into the bay from the NE, a large dust cloud approaching from the mainland) would find themselves in very dangerous conditions. Boats on mooring would drag ashore, boaters attempting to leave would get there props fouled in mooring lines and blow ashore. Those lucky enough to escape would run around to the back off the island where they could find refuge off the palisades. Yes, the prudent mariner should have a lot of respect for the "Santana" winds. As I write this little ditty, I'm on a mooring in Avalon, it's hot and dry and we are having summer weather the second day of October. My weather man (my son Josh in Newport Beach) has been advised to call me on my cell if stiff NE winds start blowing. It's totally beautiful here, but I have first hand knowledge that it can turn to pure hell in a matter of an hour or two......
Saturday, October 1, 2011
It's October 1st today! Not only is it the opening day of Lobster Season but it's also the start of the 30 day count down till the end of hurricane season. Only a month before the "Baja Ha-Ha" when 150 sailing yachts leave San Diego bound for Cabo San Lucas in Mexico. Pictured is one of the most popular cruising guides for cruising Baja. Charlie's Charts has been in use for the past 30 years. It's been up dated and a "must have" for any navigator heading south. We've also got many of the other popular cruising guides for Baja and further south. Also, please note that we are closing out all our foreign charts. These include 100's of up to date Mexico charts that we are blowing out at a 50% discount. Remember, when you are heading south from northern waters, your 1st stop for a successful voyage your first port of call should be Minneys.