Year round boating is unique to the warmer climates in the southern states. The school summer recess, weekends and the afternoon sunshine months allowed boating for those of us enthusiastic youngsters. This has continued for many of us throughout our adult life.
From a very young age, our family outboard engine mechanic shared in this lifestyle.
Brad Menet started boating in a skiff and three-horse outboard. The harbor was his playground. At Horace Ensign and Newport Harbor High, he and his friends brought in outboard motors to their shop classes and shared with other students the mechanics of outboard repair and maintenance.
At 12 years old, Brad moved up to a 14-footer with a 25-horse outboard and boated inside and outside Newport Harbor. Friends with larger boats allowed water skiing in the Back Bay water ski area until the area became exclusive for the birds and mud worms.
During this era of his young career, he and a childhood friend repaired outboard motors for Art Gronsky at Art’s Landing. The Landing had sport fishing boats, a fuel dock and rental skiffs with outboards for harbor fishing. Included were new outboard sales and a shop for repairing all makes and models of outboards.
At the age of 15, Brad’s family moved back to Canada where they had immigrated from, but Brad stayed to continue school with his friends at Harbor High. He continued his love of Newport boating and after school worked for local shops as a mechanic. He was self-sufficient at a young age, and still was able to obtain his diploma.
I met Brad many years ago as my Dad had the family outboards repaired at Art’s Landing. My Dad and Art met years before their graduation from Newport Harbor High School. When Art was a youngster his Dad owned the historic Pavilion which made Art a second generation Newport commercial fisherman. I continued using Brad for my family’s outboard mechanic.
For the last 12 years, Brad has been the owner of Amber Marine (http://www.ambermarine.net/) in Costa Mesa. They sell new Delphinus inflatables and Tohatsu outboard motors. These are affordable boats and motors. The shop repairs all models of outboards and inventories more than 50 rebuilt outboard motors.
I’ve used Brad for many years and recommend him. Whether one has a sailboat, inflatable or tender, almost all boats use outboards in one form or another, and a good mechanic is indeed a valuable asset.