I am taking a new approach to Newport Beach's most interesting boats this year by limiting the list to 10. The previous four lists have contained 20 boats, both power and sail. To qualify, the boat must have resided in Newport Harbor for most of the year and not have been on last year's list. Not an easy task in today's time and with our city's recent tideland rent increases.
Most of the boats are custom and have been in the harbor for a long time. To be honest, I am just hoping to get the listing on these boats, or at least be invited aboard.
No. 10 — DB Palomar: At 150 feet by 54 feet by 13 feet, you couldn't help notice it dredging our harbor while it made loud, almost prehistoric noises this summer. It was fantastic to have it as a guest; it had its good moments and some bad. But it served us well.
No. 9 — J 133 Tango: This year's Newport Beach's High Point winner, it is kept in the Balboa Yacht Club's marina. The owner spares no expense in keeping it in top condition with one of harbor's best helmsmen behind the wheel. Look for Tango to repeat in 2013.
No. 8 — 55-foot Vic Franck Refuge: It splashed into the Pacific Northwest in 1969. Built from wood, it has spent most of its life in Newport Harbor, always kept in pristine condition at the end of Linda Isle. Most of the summer it can be found in Catalina at Moonstone. This style of vessel always intrigues me and Refuge has been long overdue on this list.
No. 7 — 52-foot 1992 Hinckley Sou'wester Relentless: Hinckley Yachts built it as the company showboat for Europe. Consequently, it has many other custom features, including all polished welds on her exterior stainless-steel work and custom laminations in its interior joinery work. You have to love it, berthed in Balboa Marina.
No. 6 — 53-foot 1990 Nautor Swan Toboggan: Owned by a past Swan owner, it was completely restored and is in great condition. It has been seen sailing the harbor and outside most of this summer. Unfortunately, it recently migrated south to San Diego, where the slips are half the cost.
No. 5 — 44-foot 2007 Farr Tabu: Owned by her creators, this yacht is the best performance cruise I have ever seen. She cruised to South America and back and is in better than new condition. I've known one of the owners for some 36 years when we used to work together and I watched him build his first of four boats. Those boats are perfect also. Tabu is kept on Lido Peninsula.
No. 4 — 2005 San Juan 48 Salute: I first noticed this boat in Catalina this summer at White's Landing. Its gorgeous lines and dark blue hull make it a real head-turner. It is a twin-diesel boat, with two staterooms. My favorite feature are the two large settees in the cockpit that provide the perfect Catalina experience. It is berthed off Harbor Island Drive.
No. 3 — 2006 Northern Marine 84 Islander: On this expedition-style trawler, the skipper is one of Newport Beach's best, and served as project manager during her build. It has cruised Alaska to Mexico and is kept in pristine condition off Lido Village.
No. 2 — Shanakee: This 78-foot Nordland Ed Monk design splashed in 2008 and was designed for passages off the Pacific Coast and the glacial runways of the Inside Passage. It was constructed with a high-tech composite structure and just screams perfection. Built with a sailor's eye, its beauty will last longer than the best French wine. If it is in town, you can find it on the Lido Peninsula.
No. 1 — 1970 Derecktor 69-foot Rhapsody: This boat originally was built as the Exact for Burr Bartram and was used as the New York Yacht Club's committee boat for the 1983 America's Cup races in Newport, R.I. The famous vote concerning the Australian winged keel was held in her salon during that race. It is built of aluminum and was refitted in 1997. It was seen most of the summer at the end of the Balboa Peninsula.
LEN BOSE is an experienced boater, yacht broker and boating columnist.