Nautical Museum Sets Sail With Auction

Betina Bents, who died last year, had a dream of a museum that would preserve the roots and development of the nautical community of Newport Beach.

Her dream is nearing reality. The Newport Beach Nautical Museum has recently been incorporated as a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization, and a major fund-raising event has been scheduled for June 2 at the Balboa Pavilion. This will be a dinner and an auction to raise money to be used for site selection and building.

Several boats have been donated for sale at bargain prices, among them a 30-foot Chris Craft Express/Sport Fisher in Bristol condition, a Viking bay launch and two star boats.

Among other items, so far, to go on the auction block are a week’s vacation in condominiums in Kauai and Sun Valley and a trip to Cabo San Lucas. Luncheons and bay cruises aboard local yachts are up for bidding, as well as wining and dining in local restaurants.


Ullman Sails will give a certificate for a Sabot sail. Also to auctioned are a marine head, a Loran-C, a corrosion-control system, foul-weather gear, a three-hour flying lesson, a round-trip flight to Catalina Island and lunch there, and a boy and girl Cabbage Patch dolls with sailing outfits in tiny duffel bags. More items are coming in, says Bud Desenberg, who is working on the project.

The basic purpose of the museum is to develop a permanent, multipurpose facility, which will include:

A gallery to exhibit a revolving collection of Arthur Beaumont paintings, as well as those of other noteworhty marine artists.

A display of early Newport Beach history, including, but not limited to histories of early families, yachting activities and yacht club memorabilia, such as boat models and restored, one-design boats with special significance to Newport Beach.


A book, periodical and videotape library relating to local nautical history situated in an area that can be used as a large meeting and lecture hall for related community events ans such educational activities as lectures, seminars and classes related to the nautical purpose of the museum.

To be considered for permanent display at the museum are a collection, to be developed, of models, paintings, charts, perpetual trophies and memorabilia of the Transpacific Yacht Club Honolulu Race and the Pacific Coast Intercollegiate Yacht Racing Assn. Hall of Fame.

For further information, write P.O. Box 3022, Newport Beach 92663, or phone 673-3377.

Sailing Notes

Tannenberg Series, Sunday Skippers Races Numbers 2 and 3, sponsored by the Del Ray Yacht Club, will be sailed Sunday starting at 11 a.m.

The Dana Point Yacht Club will hold its opening day this Sunday, along with the Capistrano Bay Yacht Club. DPYC will hold its Cabrillo Beach to Dana Point Race on May 25. Handicaps will be figured on a 75 nautical-mile basis. Boats must be a minimum of 23 feet length overall. This is the last year of the race out of the old Cabrillo Beach Yacht Club, which is having new quarters built.

The state’s official tallship ambassador, the Revenue Cutter Californian, has accepted her first official ambassadorial duty at the request of Gov. George Deukmejian and Gov. George Ariyoshi of Hawaii. They have invited the Californian to represent California in Hawaii’s July 4 tallship parade off Honolulu.

The voyage will be a once-in-a-lifetime event for 12 young cadets, who will sail aboard the Californian as she departs from San Diego on June 2 to compete in the Ancient Mariner Race to Lahaina, Maui. The cadets will range in age from 16 to 21. For further information and an application, call the Nautical Heritage Society at 661-1001.


The mussel quarantine now in effect since May 1 along the California coast should be strictly observed, warns the State Dept. of Fish and Game. Under the May 1 through Oct. 31 quarantine, human consumption of sport-caught mussels may prove fatal owing to paralytic shellfish poisoning. They may, however, be used as bait. Mussels grown commercially under state regulated conditions are not affected by the quarantine.

The dock crew of the Balboa Yacht Club is asking for donations of used hand tools and hardware to keep the Junior Program and racing crews afloat and active.

High Roler, Bill Power’s new Nelson/Marek yacht out of the Newport Harbor Yacht Club, with designer Bruce Nelson aboard, is competing in the first Admiral’s Cup Trials. This ocean-racing sailing event will be off the Isle of Wight in the English Channel and on long-distance courses between England, France and Ireland. The series concludes May 19, and the Admiral’s Cup starts off England’s south coast on July 29.