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Issue No. 15 July 2004

Editor: Joshua Radon


President’s Message

Summer is here!

     This summer is extra special to me. As most of our readers know, I spent the greater part of last summer in a leg cast. That meant no diving, no surfing and not much fishing. My friends and family know that almost everything I do is done so I can get on or in the water. I recently spent three days and two nights at Santa Rosa Island, surfing and fishing. It was a great trip – very peaceful and plentiful with fish.

     I want to wish you all a safe and enjoyable summer!

Don Radon






In response to last month’s President’s message about Harbor Patrol employees, we received this e-mail from Eric Enders, Morro Bay’s Chief Harbor Patrol Officer:

“Thank you all very much, Don, Linda, and Josh, for the kind words in the
President's message of your latest newsletter.  Truth be told, we could not do the job that we do without knowing that we have a dependable, tried-and-true boat beneath our butts.  Without the knowledge that the boat beneath us can take care of itself so we can concentrate on the matters at hand, we would not be "unsung heroes."  And for that, we owe a debt not just of gratitude but often of our very lives to the boat builders of the industry like you that build such excellent craft.  Thank you”

Thank you, Eric.


Morro Bay Harbor Patrol Boat Restoration

If one stays in the boat business long enough, you see decades-old boats coming back for a little T.L.C. This was the case with the Morro Bay Harbor Patrol boat, which was originally built in the mid-80’s. As we mentioned in last month’s newsletter, we recently stripped the boat down to less-than-bare fiberglass, and then built it back up again. The process was long, but very rewarding. The best part, by far, was working with aforementioned Eric Enders, Chief Harbor Patrol Officer for Morro Bay. He had great ideas but did not throw any extra stress onto the project. After the boat was back in Morro Bay, he sent us the following e-mail:

“Don & Linda:

Just wanted to thank you two again (and don't forget the crew!) for all the great work, help, advice, etc. in getting our boat ready for another 20 years.  Although we expected nothing less, I have to say that your legendary work quality and can-do attitude made the whole process pretty darn painless.

The trip home was a breeze.  Other than nearly overheating going over the pass just our side of Gaviota, the boat trailered just fine.  Haven't gotten any feedback from my crew as I won't let anybody get near it (except my boss, who signed your checks)!


Again, we thank you, Eric.


Morro Bay Rescue Boat
A photo from the original magazine article in the mid 1980’s


Morro Bay Rescue Boat Today
The Morro Bay Harbor Patrol boat today


Morro Bay Rescue Before

Morro Bay Rescue Boat After


Shop Tip

Shop Tip

Upside-Down Fiberglassing


            Upside-down fiberglassing might sound like fun.  Or maybe it sounds like a mess.  Whatever their motivation, many of our intrepid, resourceful “do-it-yourself” customers often broach this subject.  So, how do you fiberglass upside-down?  This often asked question is the matter at hand in this month’s shop tip.

    The first thing you want to remember when attempting this tricky procedure is that you do not wet out the fiberglass upside-down.  Gravity is working against you here, so you don’t want to give it any help.  If you wet out the fiberglass directly onto your repair area, you will probably end up with resin all over your nice suit or your designated work space.

    Step one, for those of us who don’t like copious resin spills:  Cover the areas that you want to keep resin-free (just say no!) with plastic or thick paper.  Of course, remember to thoroughly clean and sand the area that you wish to cover with fiberglass before doing anything.  After you’ve sufficiently covered the areas that you want to keep clean, get a wet out board.  For this, you can use cardboard or plywood, and some eccentrics even employ a piece of glass.  Whatever you use, make sure it is large enough for the scrap of fiberglass that you have. 

    In this precarious situation, you must make sure not to put too much resin on the fiberglass.  Apply a thin layer of resin to the wet out board and the area of application.  Next, place the woven material (that would be the fiberglass cloth or roving) on the wet out board.  Wet out the woven material using caution; I would normally leave this material a little dry (much like this shop tip).  Then lay the matt down over the woven material and wet it out completely.  Smaller pieces can be handled by one person.  Simply lift the entire laminate from the board and place it on the area to be glassed.

    The area that you are fiberglassing determines how you deal with transferring the fiberglass from the wet out board to the area to be glassed.  If it is a small spot, you can simply pick it up with one hand and hold it against the target area.  Take a brush or roller in the other hand and brush the glass down until it is flat.  Make sure there are no strings hanging down or the whole piece will fall off…disaster!  Now, take a squeegee and squeegee out any excess resin out of the fiberglass.  Once again, make sure there are no strings hanging down. 

    If the area is larger than one person can handle (varies depending on the person) you can use a slightly different technique.  Wet out the fiberglass the same as described above, but when it comes to placing it on the area to be glassed, take a piece of PVC pipe approximately 3-4 inches in diameter and the width of the fiberglass. Roll the fiberglass onto the pipe.  Then, two of your good friends, who happen to like working with resin and fiberglass, hold the pipe next to the area to be glassed.  Then another friend uses a roller to roll the glass down against the area, as the first two friends unroll the glass.  Remember, do not leave any bubbles or fiberglass strings hanging down as either can make the piece fall right off.  Once the glass is dry, you can finish it just as you would any project.




A visit from Velma Radon

     Velma Radon stopped in Santa Barbara last month on her way to a month-long visit to New Zealand. She was going to New Zealand to visit Don’s brother Mike and his family, who live there.

     Don & his mom had lots of fun together, especially while eating out at their favorite places such as the Beachside (at Goleta Beach), shown below.

Don & Velma Radon



My White Sea Bass Trip June 2, 2004

Written by Jim Short, Radon 26’ owner

Outside Ventura Marina


Mike with big WSB
Here's Mike with the first, and biggest, fish of the day.


Toby Takes a Break
Toby takes a break.


Ken with Fish On
Ken's on with his fish.


First Ever Keeper!
Here I am with my first ever “keeper” White Sea Bass.


Scruffy with 3 WSB
Here's Scruffy with the fish.


Trolling can be boring
Trolling for salmon can be boring…


Until you catch one!
…until you catch one!


Dog Relaxing
The dogs relax, later that night.



Fishing Tip of the Month
*Editor’s note:  This month’s tip comes from Jim Short*

King Salmon Fishing off Santa Barbara

I am not an expert, but I do have some experience fishing for King Salmon in the Santa Barbara, California area. I have fished the last two big salmon seasons in Santa Barbara, the first in '95 (or '97) with lead balls and the other in 2002 with downriggers. I've done a lot of research and have fished for salmon in both Sitka, Alaska and British Columbia.


I am a firm believer in using a downrigger for Salmon Trolling. Many people use 2 and 3 lb. lead balls with or without a release. Even with a release, it's difficult or impossible to get deep enough. If you use a weight release, you lose a lot of weights that can become hard to replace during a hot salmon season. If you don't use the release, you don't have a very good fight. With a downrigger you get the best of both worlds: depth and a wonderful free fight with the fish.

Tackle and Gear

1.      Rod

The main idea with a downrigger rod is to have a long rod that can take up slack in the line when the fish forces it to release. You need a rod that will take a smooth curve as far as possible along the length of the rod, i.e. slow action. None of my rods are ideal because I don't have any rods that are specific to the downrigger. They make special downrigger rods that are 8' to 10' long and have a light to medium, smooth action. If alone, I fish only two rods, one per downrigger. If with a friend, I usually fish two rods per downrigger and use three of my setups and one of theirs. I only have three salmon setups. I use:

·       G.Loomis SAR 108 4C 9' moderate action 10-30#

·       Calstar 270C 8' Fast action 12-30#

I have two of these for all around great rods that work for Halibut, White Sea Bass and even downriggers. They have worked well.

2.      Reel

As far as the reel goes, I think level wind is important, especially when you're alone, trying to bring up a downrigger and line by yourself. I fish 15-20# test.

·       I use a Calcutta 400 on my Loomis with 15# test.

·       On my Calstars, I use a Penn 320 GT2, level wind, with 20# test.

3.      Hotspot flasher

I've never heard anybody question that the Hotspot flasher is the way to go. Generally, red or green seem to be the best. Rig is with the narrow end forward.

4.      Rotary Salmon Killer, in red, green or clear, can be used with frozen anchovies.

5.      Crocodiles in red, green or blue have worked well for me, the ones that are about 3"-4" long.

6.      Hootchies

7.      You'll also need a big net with a long handle.




Photo gallery 

Fun on the water!

Cassie & Linda
Cassie and Linda off of Goleta Beach


Jeremy & Don
Jeremy and Don fishing for halibut


Tom & Susie Lang's Photo
This photo was sent to us by Tom & Susie Lang. Although it looks like they are going through a small passageway, it is actually an optical illusion. They are cruising the back side of Santa Cruz, and the image on the left is just the reflection of the island. We love this photo!



Photo archive

Camara Icon


SB Harbor Patrol Boat
Santa Barbara Harbor, mid 80’s: Don with then-mayor Sheila Lodge for the launch of S.B. Harbor Patrol Boat, which is still in use.


SB Harbor Patrol Boat
The hoist lifts it off the pier…


SB Harbor Patrol Boat
Everyone watches as the brand new Radon 32’ Harbor Patrol boat splashes


Radon Team is finished for now! See you next time!


 Last Updated 6/12/13