The Harbor Report: Savoring days on the Duffy

This week, I spent a lot of time shuttling Duffy electric boats to and from the shipyard for prospective buyers to complete their inspection process before they purchase a boat.

While on the harbor, during these warm Indian summer days, I thought back to all the good times I have had while cruising the harbor.

As a college student, I recalled all the Friday nights we found a place to park the boat in the Rhine Channel, started our night at Snug Harbor and worked our way down the channel to Woody's Wharf.

Quite often, we would meet some new friends and introduce them to the harbor by returning to the Duffy and continuing to cruise down the peninsula, frequently stopping by the yacht clubs and other favorite restaurants to use their facilities and partake in the local nightlife.

Favorite stops along the route included the Studio Cafe, which we referred to as the Who Do You Know. Then we stopped off at Dillmans, Class of '47 and the Balboa Saloon before returning back to the boat, many times with new crew members. On numerous occasions, many of our new crew members had never experienced our harbor aboard a Duffy.

As proper gentlemen and yachtsmen, we could not comprehend how anyone could miss out on experiencing our harbor at night, with the moon, stars and lights reflecting off the rippling water. In the late summer months, during a red tide, the bright, glowing bioluminescence in the water was more entertaining than the laserium.

Staying on course, we would then cruise down to the east end of the harbor and visit the two Corona del Mar yacht clubs before stopping on Balboa Island at the Village Inn. Many times, our visits were short because it was more fun to be on the harbor rather than a crowded restaurant.

Other frequent stops were the lighthouse beach on Harbor Island, the different water slides around the harbor or a climb up on one of the fiberglass whales in Newport Dunes. If the water was still warm and the tide high, there was the occasional thought of jumping off one of the harbor bridges before returning to our starting waypoint.

On one of these summer nights, there was one crew member who grabbed my complete attention. Our first date was a Duffy cruise, just the two of us, and a stop for dinner at George's Camelot in Lido Village. While leaving the restaurant, when rounding Z mark and heading under the Lido Isle bridge, I asked if it would be OK to kiss her. Two years later in the same location, where we jumped off a bridge together and had our first kiss, I asked her to marry me.

Now, 20 years later, I and that same crew member, now promoted to first mate, along with our teenage deck hand, take Duffy harbor cruises together. Our deck hand has heard the story before and is uninterested each time we reminisce about all of our good times together. The stops along the route are less frequent and the nights much shorter. What has not changed is the beauty of our harbor and how my first mate looks at me each time we pass under the Lido bridge.

If you have never taken a Duffy electric boat cruise around our harbor, I highly recommend it. The truly priceless time on the water with your high school friends or your grandchildren will be cherished throughout your lifetime.

There are many places to rent a Duffy for the night — from the Duffy rentals on Pacific Coast Highway, the Irvine Company, Marina Boat Rentals at the Balboa Fun Zone and Windward Sailing Club.

If you are considering a new Duffy, just stop by the Duffy showroom and ask for Matt or Jim. No high-pressure sales from this team; they just want to make sure you enjoy our harbor experience.

Should you wish to look over what the brokerage Duffys have been selling for, please visit my blog site at

Sea ya.

LEN BOSE is an experienced boater, yacht broker and boating columnist.

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