Every year I compile a list of what I consider to be the top 20 boats in Newport Harbor. I divide my list into two categories — sailing boats and power boats — and count them down from 10 to 1.
I spent a couple of days cruising the bay and viewing boats that I have seen over this past season. My choices were made by what I feel are interesting and demonstrate the character of our harbor.
Today, I give you my list of the Top 10 power boats. Later, I'll list the Top 10 sailing boats.
No. 10 — Watt R Winery: A 22-foot custom Duffy electric boat. She was customized by Newport Shipyard with a hard top, teak trim, satellite TV, underwater lighting, heater, windless, wine cooler, head and one very large horn. She can be seen every Thursday afternoon on a harbor cruise and is berthed at the Balboa Bay Club.
No. 9 — Cheyenne: A 125-foot Morrelli & Melvin design. The boat is being re-outfitted for a Five Dives Expedition and will carry an 18-foot-long submarine that is expected to be able to dive well below 36,000 feet. She is moored just west of the Newport Harbor Yacht Club.
No. 8 — Tyee: A 75-foot Northern Marine Long Range Cruiser and expedition trawler. The interior features rare woods, choice granites and rich fabrics. The owners have a long tradition of yachting in Newport Harbor and have owned many different vessels. She is kept in pristine condition and lives on Lido Peninsula.
No. 7 — Forger: A 74-footer commissioned in 1988 at the German Bültjer Shipyard in Ditzum to a Beeldsnijder design. It is immediately obvious that she is a different sort of motor yacht. Her "iroko" topside gleam has countless coats of varnish. She came to town five years ago and is berthed on the end of Linda Isle.
No. 6 — Royal Buzzard: A 70-foot Power Cat built in 2002 at Knight & Carver to a Morrelli & Melvin design. She has a 24-foot beam and is powered by twin 660HP Caterpillars. She can reach a top speed of 24 knots and carries 2,128 gallons of fuel. She has been seen cruising Mexico and docks at Balboa Island.
No. 5 — Following Sea: The original owner was a member of Newport Harbor Yacht Club who commissioned Ray Hunt to design a 52-foot yacht for extended offshore cruising. Built by Dick Bertram in 1964, the construction was cold molded plywood and was said to be the lightest, fastest cruising sport fishing boat on the West Coast with a cruise speed of 20 knots. Restored by one of Newport's biggest boat builders, she can be found in the NHYC mooring field.
No. 4 — Drumbeat: A 49-footer, she was built to a Kernan yacht design with a type of commuter boat styling. She was finished by a team led by Richard Crow from Orange Coast College and is now owned by one of our harbor's best yachtsmen. Often seen cruising the harbor or returning from weekend runs she seems to move through the water with little effort. Berthed on the end of Lido Isle.
No. 3 — Sea Chase: A 47-footer Lyman Morse built in 1991. I do not have that much information on this custom boat, and I wish I had a better photo of her. What I do know about the boat is that the owner and his wife handle the boat perfectly and are seen on bay cruises and runs down south. This masterpiece can be seen just north of BCYC before the bridge.
No. 2 — Galatea: She is a 53-foot heavy displacement trawler. She was designed by Art DeFever Sr. and built by Paul Lindwall in Santa Barbara for Bill Hanna. She is powered by a single Caterpillar D333 that pushes her 105,000 pounds displacement through the water in expedition fashion. Galatea was seen cruising the harbor and at Moonstone this year. She is berthed on the Balboa Peninsula.
No. 1 — We have two boats this year as Newport Harbor's most interesting power boats. Both boats have the same owner and have been restored to their original design. The boat on the outside is Cracker, a 1956 31-footer Rybovich Sportfisher hull No. 24 and repowered with Cat Diesels. The boat on the inside is Fourbells, a 1955 36-footer Rybovich hull number No. 17, also repowered with diesels. Both boats were completed this year and will be used for local fishing and cruising to Catalina.