Owners sell, sail away after a long run

The owners of a legendary local sailboat manufacturer, W.D. Shock Corp., have sold their family business.

Tom and Jane Shock sold the 65-year-old company founded by Tom's father in Newport Beach.

The sale marks an end of a respectable run in the sailboat manufacturing business, which used to have many companies in the Newport-Mesa area.

Shock produces Lido 14 sailboats, one of the most popular models here since the 1960s. It also makes Harbor 20s and other the Harbor models that are very popular with Newport sailors today.

"We're rolling positive and we're on the growth side," said Tom Shock, 66. "It just seemed like a good time."

The buyer, Alexander Vucelic von Raduboj, was the chief operating operator of an electric motor manufacturer in Minnesota and has been sailing for much of his life, Shock said. The first boat Vucelic sailed was an 8-foot Naples Sabot built by W.D. Shock.

After producing boats like Sabots and Lidos in Newport's Cannery Village for about 15 years, Shock moved its operations to Santa Ana, and then eventually to Corona, where the company is now headquartered.

In 2010 it sold about $2 million in boats, Shock said, and he anticipates growth in 2011.

But orders slumped a couple years ago and Shock said he considered selling the business or shuttering it, instead of pushing through another recession. But through it all, he's been the chief operating officer for more than over 40 years.

"My wife said, 'Look, we've been through four of these. We don't have to go through a fifth,'" Shock said.

But he decided against it and saw the company through the downturn without losing money.

"It's much better to have a legacy and keep it going," he said.

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