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Thread: Schooner Row

  1. #36
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    Default Re: Schooner Row

    You guys are a bit older than me, (there are fewer people I can say that about every year) and I spent my most of my puppyhood a bit north in Long Beach. I didn't really spend a lot of time in Newport until college, when I had a car. Costa Mesa/Newport was the boat building capitol of the world - at least with plastic. SoCal was still wood boat friendly, but that's mostly gone now. One Newport phenom that I do remember from back when I was just a grommet was the flight of the Snowbirds. It was before I had the slightest clue about sailing. All those sails...it was...organized confusion. The typical, light Newport breeze was just strong enough to get the boats moving. They were bobbing and weaving, and headed everywhichdirection; but they didn't seem to be hitting each other nearly as often as I guessed they should have been. I actually flew once myself. By the time I got around to it, the flock was greatly reduced in size. I think they finally went extinct. I really hate to see traditions like that disappear, but to be honest, I didn't really like the boats.
    Schooner captains love to get blown offshore!

  2. #37
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    Default Re: Schooner Row

    I think the Flight of the Snowbirds kept that design around. They were parked next to a lot of houses around town. I seem to remember Anne Greer and her brother having one next to their garage. The arrival of the Kite really accelerated the fading of the Snowbird as the parents' choice for kids. A boat that was self-bailing and easy to recover from a capsize was a parent's dream. The self-bailing thing was novel enough at first to allow kids to raise Cain in the harbor by intentionally capsizing, floundering about until help was coming, then quickly righting the boat and sailing away.

    The intercollegiate boat back then was the Lehman 10, a very ordinary fiberglass dinghy. There was a Lehman 14 (might have been a one-off experiment) at the Sea Scout post. It was fun because the extra length gave it speed the 10 didn't have and allowed more kids to crowd into it.

    I guess most of us learned to sail in Sabots. They were everywhere, and were what Parks, Beaches, and Recreation used in the city sailing classes.

  3. #38
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    Default Re: Schooner Row

    After its introduction, the Kite fleet at ABYC quickly grew to over a dozen boats. Dang!!! What a bunch of fun. I raced "see through" Lehman 10s in college until they were replaced by the FJ. I remember a Lehman 12, but not a 14. I was at Cal State Long Beach when Corny Shields began donating his 30' Shields One Designs to college programs. We got 2 of them.

    I had a bit of a love affair with Sabots. The Naples Sabot was designed right in the middle of my home waters in Alamitos Bay. I built a bunch of them while in college. My first kiss was in a Sabot. The first trophy I ever won was in a Sabot. I once sailed a Sabot from Long Beach to Catalina Island (at least I sailed most of the way). My buddy Jerry ran the sailing program at Leeway Sailing Club in Alamitos Bay. I often helped him try to keep track of his students on the water. Kinda like herding cats (catboats). Sabots have now been pretty much replaced by Optis. The Opti is a much better boat, but again, it's painful to see the icons of your youth disappear.

    I'm sorry, but I love when these threads go OT.
    Schooner captains love to get blown offshore!

  4. #39
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    Default Re: Schooner Row

    To bring schooners (as well as Newport Beach) back into the thread, I am amazed that my buddy, Larry Sweet, and I passed math. We sat in the back passing drawings of our dream schooners back and forth, along with our note-based conversation about Horatio Hornblower. Hornblower was not a popular book series at the time, and I think Larry and I were the only kids in school who knew about it. We had two plans for our future. First, we were going to save up and go to England, where we would request a visit to C. S. Forester. Second, we would somehow obtain a three-masted schooner and be inter-island copra traders in the South Pacific.

    Imagine our shock and disappointment when we picked up the Daily Pilot one evening and saw an obituary for Forester, who had been living a few miles away in Fullerton all this time.

    Somehow the copra schooner plan never worked out either.

    We both actually preferred two-masted schooners, but we thought three masts were more practical for cargo work. Always important to be practical in life-planning.

    Mentioning Larry Sweet brings to mind another important characteristic of Newport Beach back then. As much money as there was in parts of that community, being a good sailor (both in skill and as a congenial crew member) often cancelled out a lack of wealth. Larry's dad was a teacher at Horace Ensign, but also a highly respected sailor. When UCI opened he was hired as the first sailing coach at the new university. Jay Greer's father-in-law, Dick Lawrence, crewed on a number of big yachts if I am remembering correctly.

  5. #40
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    Default Re: Schooner Row

    Quote Originally Posted by SchoonerRat View Post
    I raced "see through" Lehman 10s in college until they were replaced by the FJ. I remember a Lehman 12, but not a 14.
    WARNING - more somewhat OT stuff about sailing in Newport in the sixties.

    As I understood it, that Lehman 14 was an experiment by the factory, which was interested in the idea of a competitor for the relatively new and insanely popular Lido 14. They made the one and (wisely) gave up on the idea. They gave the boat to the Sea Scouts.

    See-thru Lehman 10s were neither particularly attractive nor particularly fast, but they were easy to transport to college regattas. Making one more attractive also made it slower. Much slower. My brother was the captain of the sailing team at CalTech. They got the idea to put some very pretty white paint on the hull of one of their two Lehman 10s, then spend many hours polishing that paint for speed. What they got was the slowest Lehman 10 in the intercollegiate fleet. Their ugly green see-thru, on the other hand, was the fastest in the fleet. Not that any of it mattered all that much since every team sailed every other team's boat over the course of a meet.

  6. #41
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    Default Re: Schooner Row

    Yes, Dick Lawrence and I both crewed on the twelve meter "News Boy" with owner Jack Baily. I seem to remember that the Lehman 10's had bottoms that were prone to oil canning in a chop.
    Is Larry Sweet related to Clark Sweet, the owner of the cutter "Jinker"? Here is the schooner I spent most of my racing and drinking time on, the 38' Alden Schooner "Wanderlure II" owner Jerry, the Toad, Hampton.

    Jay
    Last edited by Jay Greer; 12-05-2017 at 03:01 PM.

  7. #42
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    Default Re: Schooner Row

    I don't know if Larry is related to Clark Sweet. My brother used to crew sometimes on a 12 Meter moored in Long Beach, right by the fishing harbor. I don't remember the name. We sailed by it one time when we had one of Cal Tech's sloops out to play in Hurricane Alley. Cal Tech's boats were at LAYC.

    Yes, those Lehman 10s did oil can in a chop. They must have felt pretty flimsy when the college regattas were in SF Bay. Those gale force winds up there could stir things up! One time my brother was up there for races on a windy day. I think the races were postponed due to the wind speed, but somebody talked my brother into going out with him in a 5-0-5. Crazy!

  8. #43
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    Default Re: Schooner Row

    Beautiful. That mainmast is way forward.

  9. #44
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    Default Re: Schooner Row

    Yep, "Wanderlure II" and her sister ship "Medley" were the only two boats built to Alden's plans for this size boat. Some see it as a miniature Malibar but, these are truly a different boat much finer in the entry and more wine glass in the mid section. We had an amazing suit of sails for her, gollywobbler and all the trimmings. She went so fast as to beat "Lucky Star" at times. That drove Brad Downy nuts! Jerry Hampton had to give her up for health reasons and now resides near us in Port Townsend at Olele Point. He has the converted converted Columbia River gill netter "Ida J" now.
    Jay aka Bird

  10. #45
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    Default Re: Schooner Row

    Ida J is lovely. I have a lifelong love for beautiful workboats. Anyone who questions that should get their hands on Gillmer's History of Working Water Craft in the Western World. House paint sometimes trumps varnish.

  11. #46
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    Default Re: Schooner Row

    "Ida J" is indeed a practical and well thought out conversion of a proven design for modern use! Every thing, conceivable has been thought out and well done to bring her up to practical modern usage standards. She has new teak decks and a new, wing shaped ballest keel to improve her performance under sail. She is rigged out for crabbing under power and trolling under sail. Her owner has invested over a hundred thousand dollars into her in the last five years and recently has had her listed for sale. The offers were so insultingly low that he has decided to have her used for his own flaming Viking Funeral!

    This will be a very sad ending for both a magnificent, historic, vessel and her very colorful owner!
    Jay
    Last edited by Jay Greer; 12-05-2017 at 09:15 PM.

  12. #47
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    Default Re: Schooner Row

    The lack of appreciation is sad. A viking funeral is not so sad. Did you ever read the marvelous novel, Beau ​Geste?
    Last edited by Bookmark; 12-06-2017 at 09:48 AM.

  13. #48
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    Default Re: Schooner Row

    Of course Grants is gone now! I understand that a fast food chain is attempting to buy the property. The Grant family members were the last of the old bunch. The Safeway was up near the Y at Harbor and Newport Blvds. I remember Costa Mesa/Goat Hill when there were eucalyptus trees down the center of the main drag and Don Vougn's Dad was the sherriff. He was the only cop in town and drove a green Hudson Hornet with a light and siren on the roof. We called him, of course, the Green Hornet! Gawd, I even remember the early forties when Seventeenth Street had strawberry and vegetable fields on either side as well as the Portagee lady that had her fruit stand on the corner of !7th & Irvine! My parents called her "Myself" because she would always greet them with "Hi "keeds! Myself I am happy to see you!" She always had a big grin until her son was involved in a shooting over a girl and she hocked her farm to pay for his attorney. They lost the case!

    The Costa Mesa Downtown still had hitching posts in front of the stores! There were no parking meters but the Goat Hill Tavern was there even then! But it was called "Roads End". The Bay Waters were clean back then!

    I was dredged out of the Bay in 1935, been, mostly, there ever since. Except I am, now, in Port Townsend where it is almost like Newport was during the good times. I even worked on the "Wild Goose" putting in a new galley for John Wayne with Tom Hazlett the Stainless Steel Wizard of Vic Barry's tank shop. That place was behind Minnie's on the waterfront. Who remembers Walter Cole who had the first used boat junk store on the lot that is now occupied by the Lido Tower Apts?
    Jay
    Last edited by Jay Greer; 12-06-2017 at 04:24 PM.

  14. #49
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    Default Re: Schooner Row

    "The Fabulous Hudson Hornet, with Twin-H Power". I have always had a soft spot for those quirky cars. The sides of the frame wrapped around the passenger compartment so you stepped over it and down when entering the car.

    I didn't arrive in Newport until 1959, the year Mariners Elementary opened. Jay L. and I were in the 3rd grade. Your Anne and my sister were in the 1st grade. I think they had gone to Harbor View Elementary before that. My father was one of the engineers from Lockheed who started the company that became Aeronutronic. The company moved down from Glendale in 1959.

  15. #50
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    Default Re: Schooner Row

    Mark, why are you living so far from the ocean?
    Jay

  16. #51
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    Default Re: Schooner Row

    Back in 2010 my wife got a wonderful career opportunity here in Lexington, which is a lovely community. She really loves her job and is extraordinarily good at it. Both of us miss the ocean, however, and we will be heading back to a coast somewhere when she retires. We both love Puget Sound, especially the Olympic Peninsula side. We have also spent some of our married years around the Chesapeake, and are very fond of that area. I am actually a Baltimoron by birth, born a few blocks off the Inner Harbor. She grew up in Pensacola. We met and married in Newport, RI. Over the past 40+ years of marriage we have lived in Rhode Island, Florida, Virginia, Hawaii, Maryland, California (San Diego and the SF area) and now Kentucky.

  17. #52
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    Default Re: Schooner Row

    Gawd Mark, you are a travelin man for sure!
    Jay

  18. #53
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    Default Re: Schooner Row

    You guy's should keep right on reminiscing, it is some of the best content on the forum right now. Tell some more lies!

    Drift...
    I had a friend and work mate, a boat builder now deceased that grew up in Newport Beach circa 1950's. His father was an areonautical engineer that built boats for a hobby. (X-15's by day, Atkin's sailing skiffs by night) Working together we used to share the lies of our youth and his stories of exploring all the open land and sailing on and off the beaches of southern Ca. were the stuff of dreams. One tale that comes to mind although I may have it wrong was of a sea scout boat, an open boat maybe 25 ft? Full of kids, sailing parallel close to the shore, and being able to swin out to it to climb aboard, or swim in to the shore all while it was sailing along the beach. He claimed that may have been the most fun sailing he ever had. An open boat with 10 or 12 kids in it flying along next to the beach.
    He caught and trained birds of prey which were displaced as chicks by the rapid development of the wilds of Costa Mesa, and also claimed to have lost the Sabot Nationals because he smoked a doobee just before the finals and screwed it up!
    I miss him...

  19. #54
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    Default Re: Schooner Row


    Anybody recognize this one? We found the picture while going through some of the stuff my late mother had stashed away. My father had simply written "Someday-with love" on the back. I'm guessing he took it around 1960, he grew up in El Segundo and went to UC Berkeley about that time.



    Here he is at the helm of something.
    Steve

    Boats, like whiskey, are all good.
    R.D Culler

  20. #55
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    Default Re: Schooner Row

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoeyawl View Post
    You guy's should keep right on reminiscing, it is some of the best content on the forum right now. Tell some more lies!

    Drift...
    I had a friend and work mate, a boat builder now deceased that grew up in Newport Beach circa 1950's. His father was an areonautical engineer that built boats for a hobby. (X-15's by day, Atkin's sailing skiffs by night) Working together we used to share the lies of our youth and his stories of exploring all the open land and sailing on and off the beaches of southern Ca. were the stuff of dreams. One tale that comes to mind although I may have it wrong was of a sea scout boat, an open boat maybe 25 ft? Full of kids, sailing parallel close to the shore, and being able to swin out to it to climb aboard, or swim in to the shore all while it was sailing along the beach. He claimed that may have been the most fun sailing he ever had. An open boat with 10 or 12 kids in it flying along next to the beach.
    He caught and trained birds of prey which were displaced as chicks by the rapid development of the wilds of Costa Mesa, and also claimed to have lost the Sabot Nationals because he smoked a doobee just before the finals and screwed it up!
    I miss him...
    The Sea Scouts had a cold molded dropable life boat that Uffa Fox designed during WWII. The boats carried provisions, sails, a folding mast, fuel and a Seagull out board motor.
    They were designed to be dropped from a Mosquito Bomber to downed pilots in the English Channel. The sea scouts would race it in the Twilight Series in Newport Harbor. The sails we blown out which prevented it from sailing to weather very well but, it went like Hell on a reach and down wind! They also had a Baltic Trader that was a dog to sail. Wayne Ettle did a lot of work on it but it needed more to make it seaworthy and the powers that be, junked it in favor of a fleet of plastic boats! Many of us wanted to save it but the wise men of the steering committee voted the conservation down and we lost an historic ship in the bay!
    Bummer!!
    Jay

  21. #56
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    Default Re: Schooner Row

    I don't recognize that lovely schooner or the young aspiring Errol Flynn.
    Jay

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