From the East Coast Back to the West

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A new Azimut yacht at the Annapolis boat show.

The only way I am able to give you my thoughts is with a lot of work from my better half. Judy, thank you so much for your work in typing and sending off my chicken scratches. You are my everything.

As of this writing we can announce the birth of our third grandchild and second grandson. Joy to the World! We are truly blessed.

We scheduled in a journey to Annapolis, Md. They promote their annual in-the-water boat show as the oldest and biggest in the world. I felt we needed to check this out, as the show in Newport is I believe the largest on the West Coast. Their show has the sailboat show the first weekend and the power boats the following weekend. We went to the power boat show.

This show included hundreds of new power boats tied up in the city marina area. We were there for four or five hours and viewed about two-thirds of the show. Included were about 100 more trailer boats and two to three hundred booths.

Our area has many hardware companies that supply equipment nationally and internationally. One company supplies one-of-a-kind quality stainless steel anchors of original design, and they had a booth.

Along these lines, though not at the show, is M.M.I. on 16th Street in West Newport. This company started more than 30 years ago, supplying American parts and hardware as Taiwan starting making production sail and power boats. As the Taiwanese economy grew and costs increased, some builders started and/or moved to China to be more competitive. M.M.I. has supplied American parts, because American parts are quality items that the majority of the well built and designed yachts in both of these countries desire for their products.

For the life of M.M.I. they have had a local store to sell to our boats at a bargain price because they purchase their inventory in large quantities. Our cousin Tim has a lifetime of working in the marine industry and works the sales desk. I recommend you compare prices and believe that, like me, you will be surprised at their much lower costs on thousands of products. Ask for Tim and tell him Skipper Steve says “Hi.”

“Yachties” in the know commonly talk about how much larger boating is in Florida. That is true, but I have been amazed at the number of yachts and marinas in the Baltimore and Annapolis areas. With the Chesapeake Bay cruising grounds, the inland waterways north and south and then the Coast, literally years of cruising is available.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about inspecting a 62-foot Azimut speedster at the Lido show. The Italian flair and style of sharp bow, small salon and futuristic design is well-known. They just recently have offered a new line of yachts dedicated to long-range cruising, with a larger interior volume and economic engine and fuel costs. I’m including a picture of one of these boats because it fulfills those needs with an Italian edge that is quite pleasing to the eyes.

As the costs of fuel and high performance eco-friendly diesel engines evolve, there seems to be a new niche for slowing down, cruising in comfort and maximizing fuel savings. We may see this as a new trend.

Last week we chatted about P.T. Joe and Christina/Music Man. This time we will speak to the converted Coast Guard rescue boat of about 60 feet, berthed at the north end of Bay Island. The two story home landward was for many years a shade of pink with white trim. For at least 20 years the boat and home were the beach house of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans. While they owned it in the ’50s and ’60s, I never saw them there when going by. I suspect they were busy working on motion pictures and television.

Prior to owning the home, Roy loved fishing and came many times to my grandfather’s sport fishing landing, Port Orange, located on part of the current Ardell Yacht Sales and Marina in Mariners Mile. Contrary to many other Western movie stars, Roy was a true cowboy and when he went fishing he wore what he always wore, Western-style clothes and cowboy boots. But he left his six-guns at home! Years ago my Dad had a picture of him at Port Orange, which I haven’t seen for years but I think my older brother has it safely filed.

Most people acquainted with our harbor know where John Wayne lived and raised his kids.  Hornblower Co. now owns the boat which was converted and used by the Duke. Our family and many others have fond memories of seeing “the Goose” anchored outside NHYC’s Moonstone Cove at Catalina in the ’60s and ’70s. Rarely did he come ashore, as this was his favorite way to relax and enjoy his family. We would see his captain towing his kids and their friends waterskiing behind the 17-foot Boston Whaler that was berthed on the top of the Wild Goose. His enjoyment in Newport Harbor is eternally evident,as he is interred on a hill that looks down on our wonderful harbor.

Sea Ya,

Skipper Steve

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