South Bay : Another Delay for Patient Boat Builder

It took Dale Hines 24 years to build a sailboat in his back yard. But it took him just a couple of minutes to lose the engine’s operating manual.

The 80-year-old Torrance resident launched his 32-ton, 50-foot boat last month, much to the surprise of his neighbors who never thought the concrete craft would see an ocean wave. Hines had hoped to be sailing to Hawaii by now, but had to postpone his plans partly because he needs the manual to perform repairs on the 50-year-old Navy surplus Hercules diesel engine before he leaves.

The book was last seen in Hines’ back yard a few days ago. He believes someone might have walked off with it, since his back yard abuts a neighborhood park.

But his wife, Marie, wonders if the book was simply misplaced.


“I have a feeling if I go out back and start looking for that book I’ll find it,” Marie Hines said.

But Hines isn’t taking any chances. He’s offering a $100 reward for the return of the manual, which his wife said she’ll gladly take if she finds the book first.