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Radon Team Logo

Issue No. 6  December 2002

Editor: Joshua Radon


President's MessageHappy Holidays

Like most of our faithful readers, we have taken some time off at the boat yard from the daily grind to spend time with our families.  First off, we'd like to wish everyone a safe and wonderful holiday season.  We have shut down the boat yard for a brief two week hiatus, ending January 5th.  In the meantime, if you look carefully, you might see Don and Linda racing down a wave at Campus Point, in search of the perfect ride.  From everyone here at D.R. Radon Boat Building, Inc. to all of our friends, associates, and boat enthusiasts around the world, Seasons Greetings!

White Christmas
Happy Holidays From the Radons!


Featured Boat

This month, we are focusing on a boat we delivered in October, but nonetheless, we are so proud of the result we wanted to feature it anyway.  On October 17th, the lifeguard staff at Lake Castaic took delivery on their brand new 22' foot rescue boat.  Built to their specific specifications, the boat boasts a 496 Mercruiser Engine with 425 horse power and a Bravo II out drive with a four blade stainless steel propeller.  More importantly for their specialized needs, the vessel was equipped with a salvage pump to save sinking boats in peril.  I spoke to Ralph, one of the main lifeguards who will be running the boat, and he was full of praise for their new life-saving tool.  In a phone interview, he described the boat as "Powerful yet compact, as well as fast and light."  Ralph also noted that they were in the process of putting their own special modifications on the boat, such as police radios, life saving equipment and communications systems. The told me they loved the boat so much they were seriously considering buying another one!

Castaic Lifeguard Boat

Castaic Lifeguard Boat

Above Left:  The Lake Castaic Lifeguard boat shows off its speed and handling as it cruises through the ocean off the Santa Barbara Coast.  Above Right:  Don and the Castaic Life Guards, Ralph andSteve, pose on their newest piece of life-saving equipment.


Growing up Radon

Young Kate Kate Radon

As some of you probably know, for the last couple of years Kate, Don's daughter, has taken a key interest in the boat building business, becoming a valued outfitter and an important part of the office crew.  In many cases, she's taken over certain aspects of ordering parts and has become well-known and liked among vendors and well respected by her co-workers.  I had the chance to sit down with her and ask her a few questions (She is my sister after all!), and this is what she had to say about growing up around boats and how she has adjusted to working at the boat yard.

Radon Team: So, first off, how old were you when you first started working full-time at D.R. Radon Boat Building, Inc.?  How difficult was it to start out there?

Kate Radon: I was nineteen when I started working and really getting into the business.  It was hard at the beginning, partially because of the stigma of being Don's daughter.  People expect a lot from you when they know that.  They expect that you just know about boats just because of that.  But that was o.k. because Don wanted to teach me himself how to tackle the more complicated parts of the job.

RT: Do you think that you benefited from growing up around boats and boat builders?  

KR: I think I did, but I mean, I don't think that I got the full picture.  I heard about various aspects of boat building, but I didn't know exactly how it all came together to make the final product.  Most of what I have really learned has been through the direct experience of working on the boats.  Also, when I was young, I never really realized how difficult it was to make boats of such high quality.  I knew about the legacy of Radon Boats, but I didn't know all that went into keeping that legacy alive.

RT: What is your favorite part of working at the boat yard?

KR: I'd say…wiring! (Laughs)  I'm quite serious about that though, actually.  When you wire a boat, it's your project.  You work it all the way through. The sense of accomplishment that you get at the end of the project is integral to maintaining the quality of the product.

RT: What do you think the most important this is that you've learned while working with Don?

KR: Having pride in the work you do.  Understanding the artistry that goes into to making a great boat.  And understanding that each Radon Boat represents someone's dream.  The only way you can really fulfill that dream properly is if you treat it as your own.  

RT: Have you found being the only female worker in the yard to be a disadvantage?

KR: At first, it definitely was.  Being the chivalrous guys they all are (Laughs), all of my co-workers tried to do everything for me, so I wasn't learning anything.  But after a short time, they began to realize that I could do the jobs required of me.
Kate may be modest about her abilities at the boat yard, but Don said that many of the workers now go to Kate with the tough questions, even before they come to him!


Shop Tip of the Month

We were hard pressed to come up with the shop tip this month, as everyone was trying to get out of the door and off to vacations as I was pestering them for a tip.  John Ziegler, once again, came through with a shop tip in the nick of time.  Regardless of what kind of boat you have, he wanted to remind everyone how important it is to make sure that there are no holes where water can come into your boat.  This is especially pertinent in the various holds, where water can come in without you noticing it.  Make sure that you plug all of these holes with Marine Tex or Sikaflex.  As John is often quoted as saying, "No Hole Shall Go Unsealed."


Ralph and Ramon
Above: Ralph and Ramon take a break from fiber glassing to pose for their big moment.


Boatyard Upgrades

We recently finished a huge renovation of the boatyard, covering the once dirt foundation of the yard with concrete.  Everyone in the shop contributed to this grueling task.  Laying concrete goes far back into the Radon Family Lore as Ron Radon was a concrete mason before he founded Radon Boats.  Now that the entire yard is covered with cement, everything has become easier to clean and manage.  The concrete floor allows us to use boat dollies to push the boats around the yard, rather than having to start up the forklift every time we want to move a boat.  Overall, it has amounted to a vast improvement in the working conditions at D.R. Radon Boat Building, Inc.

Paving the boatyard
Above:  The crew works diligently to pave the yard with concrete.


Fishing Tip of the Month

More than a tip this month, we have a philosophical take on fishing from Linda.  When asked about the art of fishing she replied, "The Zen of Fishing is patience."  Simple but true, don't you think?


So, this is the part where the Radon Team newsletter ends. But, as always, we'll be back next month with more tips and pics from D.R. Radon Boat Building. As always, we'd love to hear from you, so e-mail us at [email protected]. Until next month, Happy Holidays!

Don and Ernie Brooks

Don and Ernie Brooks

 Last Updated 5/19/13