The Harbor Report: Some mooring tips

August 12, 2010|By Len Bose
  • Chuck South and crew.
Chuck South and crew. (Daily Pilot )

This week I met with Chuck South, owner of the South Mooring Co., at the old IHOP on 17th Street in Costa Mesa, and it was an instant flashback for me. Chuck and I walked in and there was Robin, formerly of Robin's Nest and Snug Harbor, with a big "hello, Dad" for Chuck.

I have seen Chuck South on the water for years and he attends most of the Newport Beach Harbor Commission meetings. He always greets you with a smile and hearty hello, and one gets a feeling of trust when you meet him. Maybe that's why the waitress Robin, who is not related to him, called Chuck "Dad" and came back to our table with a menu and Chuck's coffee already in hand.

We sat down and had some lunch and talked about old times and dropped names like Chuck Avery, Ed Cox, Seymour Beek and Mark Sites. Dropping names like this is like the secret handshake of Newport Harbor's "Good Ole Boys" club. Once Chuck realized that I have been working in the harbor for 22 years and had my own stories to tell, we both relaxed and continued telling sea stories.


Chuck South came down to the harbor as a kid to go sailing and dancing at the The Rendezvous Ball Room. In the 1970s he moved from Long Beach to Newport Beach to start working in boat repair and running charter boats.

"Sailing is my passion," Chuck said. "My family sailed and I have always sailed. In fact, I still own my sailboat from the time I was eight years old."

Chuck enjoys single-handed cruising and has spent a lot of time in the Channel Islands and cruising around Mexico. In fact, he is planning a trip to Catalina and an overnight sail around San Clemente Island.

"There is nothing better than spending a night at sea," he said with a half-squinted eye like Popeye talking.

When Chuck's not sailing he is in the mooring business, and when you receive your notice from the county to inspect your mooring equipment, Chuck South is the person you call.

"Anything that has to do with a mooring, I do," he told me with confidence.

I then asked him questions, such as two lines or four lines for double-ended mooring?

"Four lines, Len. Line is cheap insurance," he said.

What are some of the mistakes boat owners can make while tying up their boats?

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