What started off as a peaceful, one-man fishing trip turned into a shark battle royale—mano y mako.
For more than six hours last September, John Miller struggled solo against an 815-pound mako shark about 25 miles off the California coast near Santa Monica. Miller, an experienced Redondo Beach angler, hooked the female mako while fishing aboard his 32-foot Crestliner sportfisherman.
During the intense fighting, Miller managed to place a radio call to a friend, Mike McNamee, asking for help. McNamee set out immediately aboard his 23-footer. He found Miller about an hour later, tied their boats together, and hopped in the cockpit to join the fight. “We both held on for dear life,” McNamee told the Sacramento Bee newspaper.
The two worked side-by-side to subdue the enormous shark. Finally their efforts prevailed: They reeled in the ten-foot-long fish, secured it to the side of Miller’s boat, and towed it back to port. Their catch set a tournament record for makos on the West Coast and was the second-largest mako ever caught in the area. To put it in perspective, the second-place catch in the tournament that day weighed in at 299 pounds.
Coincidentally, the episode was a mako sequel for Miller and McNamee. Three weeks earlier the pair took the trophy at the Mako for Dollars Shark Tournament when their four-man team caught a 720-pounder about 22 miles offshore from Marina Del Ray.
According to UCLA’s Ocean Discovery Center, mako sharks are rare along the West Coast, making them especially high-prized catches for professional anglers—whether they’re on the tournament trail or casting solo.
SHELVES: Under the Black Flag
Thanks to thousands of dime novels and quasi-history books that extol their high-seas adventures, pirates like Blackbeard and Captain Kidd have enjoyed glamorous reputations for centuries. But David Cordingly’s Under the Black Flag breaks down the myth of pirate life and illustrates the hard realities these criminals endured. A former curator at the National Maritime Museum in London, Cordingly explains how pirate captains often subjected their crews to ghastly torture and how onboard factions routinely ignited deadly battles over plundered treasures. He also dispels the myth that pirates always retired to sunny islands with chests of gold: In fact, most died broke and hungry while marauding the seas. Whether you’re a maritime history buff or you simply wish to add some reality to your swashbuckling story collection, Under the Black Flag will make for great reading on your next cruise.
$14, paperback. Harvest Books.
4-6. The International Workboat Show and Conference in New Orleans. (207) 842-5693. www.workboatshow.com.
7-16. The Paris International Boat Show at the Paris Expo. (33) 1 41 90 48 24. www.salonnautiqueparis.com.
28-Jan. 5. The New York National Boat Show in New York City. (212) 984-7000. www.discoverboating.com/boatshows/newyork.
Dress Suit Settled
The Hinckley Company and King Marine Imaging reached an out-of-court agreement with Belkov Yacht Company in September on a complaint that accused Belkov of building boats that look like Hinckleys.
Hinckley had warned several boatbuilders to stop manufacturing models that it felt looked too much like its Picnic Boat line (see photo). The company then filed a suit against eight builders and dealers, including Belkov, who it contended were violating “trade dress,” by trying to mimic the Hinckley style enough to confuse consumers.
Under the terms of the new agreement, Hinckley said it would dismiss the suit and Belkov said it would make certain design changes to the boats under question.
The other seven builders and dealers named in the original Hinckley suit include Alliance Marine, Annapolis Sail Yard, LazMar International, Monaco Marine Group, Wellfound Yachts, San Juan Composites, and Capitol Yacht Sales. The San Juan Composites suit was dismissed because of jurisdictional issues.
Have a Winner!
Duane Clause of Wall, New Jersey, won the “Guess What It Cost to Fix the PMY Company Boat?” contest with a guess of $44,956. Clause (no relation to Santa) came within just $956 of the $44,000 repair bill. Congrats, Clause, your official PMY foul-weather jacket is in the mail. We’d also like to thank the large number of other entrants, especially Gerald Philbrick of Punta Gorda, Florida, and Joseph O’Connor of Mashpee, Massachusetts, who won the “‘Not Even in the Ballpark, Buddy’ Award.” Philbrick was only off by $43,145 (on the low end), and O’Connor guessed $711,000, definitely on the high end. Each will receive an official PMY abacus. Stay tuned for another PMY contest in the near future—hopefully not involving damage to a boat. —Capt. Patrick Sciacca
Open boat slips have become a scarce commodity in Florida, due in part to the closure of several of the state’s marinas following the post-9/11 economic slowdown. But Tampa is one city that’s planning for the future.
Next year Tampa will launch major expansions of two marinas. The Marjorie Park Yacht Basin will get a $5-million upgrade, expanding its number of boat slips from 78 to 105, and adding up to 18 new transient slips. Bidding on the project will begin this month. The project, which is the larger of the two, also calls for deepening the basin to about 16 feet and increasing the marina’s fueling capacity.
Also slated for expansion is the Bayshore Marina, which currently has 36 slips. Though the size of the project hasn’t been decided, bidding will begin in April.
Australian boatbuilder The Rivera Group recently announced a $180 million-buyout by existing management with the assistance of the Australian private equity lender Gresham Private Equity. Riviera’s founder, Bill Barry-Cotter, will remain onboard as a consultant over the next five years. Managing director Wesley Moxey says the company will continue with “business as usual, but with a broader depth of ownership and ongoing, unwavering commitment to producing the world’s best luxury cruiser range.” —Elizabeth Ginns
This article originally appeared in the December 2002 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.