History       Gallery       Timeline

 

In 1937, when “the Base” was a little more than a strip of sand just east of “The Arches,” a groundswell of public support created the first 25-year lease of the Newport Sea Base property to the Orange County Council, Boy Scouts of America. Since that time, the Newport Sea Base has been providing quality maritime programs for youth with a commitment to developing character and inspiring a love for the marine environment in the hearts of youth.
 

William H. Spurgeon, III spearheaded a drive to develop the facility that included a bulkhead, storage facility, a clubhouse, restrooms and shower building in 1947. By 1961, 2,100 Scouts used the Base, and by 1969 the overall day use attendance was 12,000 a year. During that period, new buildings and programs, like the summer Aquatics Camp, were added. Many of the programs continue today.
 

The original Newport Sea Base was beginning to show its age by the 1970s and demolition began in 1979. The Newport Sea Base (in its previous configuration) was dedicated on December 7, 1980.
 

In 2002, the Sea Base began a $7.2 million project to transform the facility into a modern teaching and aquatics center. The expanded Newport Sea Base now features additional classrooms, a library, conference room, crew center, picnic area and new boating equipment. Fleets of boats include kayaks, canoes, rowboats and over three dozen sailboats. It is also home to the two Sea Scout Ships; Del Mar and Renegades, as well as the Chapman University Crew Team, Chapman University Sailing Team and Corona del Mar High School Sailing Team.

 

The site is provided courtesy of the Orange County Board of Supervisors and operated by the Orange County Council, Boy Scouts of America. A shining example of what a privately funded and publicly accessible facility can do, the Newport Sea Base counts an overall attendance of more that 15,000 per year. The success of the Newport Sea Base has been made possible through the generous contributions of many dedicated donors.
 

1929     First Sea Scout Ship organized in Orange County

1930     Two Ships and 40 Sea Scouts in Orange County Council

1932     Five Ships, 75 Sea Scouts in Orange County Council

1935     First annual Region XII Sea Scout Rendezvous held in Newport Beach, Nov. 29- Dec. 1

1937     The Orange County Council signed a 25-year lease with the City of Newport Beach for 100’ of bay front

1939     Lease expanded to 270’ for $1 per year

1944     City of Newport Beach dumped 130 tons of sand dredged from bay onto site to build up base; pilings placed to hold in place

1946     W.H. Spurgeon, III became active in Sea Scouting, originally as Skipper of Ship 207 in Laguna Beach

1946     Construction began; shower house, storeroom

1953     Signed new 10-year lease from County of Orange. Old Mess Hall brought down from Santa Ana Army Air Base

1956     Ralph Whitford became Port Captain at the Sea Base; remained until 1968

1961     2,100 boys attended Sea Scout Base during the year

1963     Region XII Sea Scout Rendezvous returned to Newport Beach; more than 1,000 attended

1966     Aquatic Camp began during summer; eight five-day sessions, cost $18. 208 boys attended
1969     SSS 306, Flying Toads, under Skipper Bob Jessen, admits the first female in the nation to the Sea Scout program (under Exploring)

1970     Orange County Council purchased the tallship “Argus” for $40,000

1974     Planning for new sea base began with hopes for 30 year lease from County

1979     Andy Fitzpatrick became Sea Base Director

1984     Considered replacing the “Argus”

1992    “Conqueror”, 90-foot vessel, began taking Scouts out on cruises

1994     Replaced old horseshoe dock built in 1980

1998     Began fund raising drive, seeking $4.5 million for improvements; planned two new buildings

2000    New 30 year lease signed with the County of Orange

2002    Sea Scout Ship 711, Newport Beach, won the William I. Koch International Sea Scout Sailing Championship, in Chicago

2004     $7.2 million in renovations completed
2004    Bill Mountford retires as the Sea Base Director
2004    Chapman University signs a 10-year sublease with NSB to operate its collegiate rowing program from the facility

2004    Sea Scout Ship 711, Newport Beach, won the William I. Koch International Sea Scout Sailing Championship, in Cape Cod

2005     Partnership with Corona Del Mar High School Sailing finalized

2006     Sea Scout Ship 711, Newport Beach, won the William I. Koch International Sea Scout Sailing Championship, in Miami
2006     Sea Scout Ship 711, Newport Beach, was selected as the best Sea Scout program in the nation

2007    “Argus” sold to the Argus Foundation for renovation and restoration

2009     Six exciting new donated RS Feva “youth performance trainer” sailboats put into service during summer program

2010     OC Sea Scouts participating in the Sea Scout Advanced Leadership (SEAL) Training earned national class rankings of 1, 2, 7, 8 and 9

2010     Local Sea Scouts hosted 28 British Sea Scouts for a one-week cruise to Long Beach, Catalina and Dana Point

2012     Sea Scout Ship 90, Newport Beach, won the William I. Koch International Sea Scout Cup, near San Francisco

2014     Sea Scout Ship 90, Newport Beach, won the William I. Koch International Sea Scout Cup, in Long Beach
2014     NSB Rowing program launches in September, with approximately 20 athletes
2014     Joe Vickers mural is added to the Sea Base
2016    NSB Rowing qualifies two boats for the US Rowing Jr. National Championships, which finish 7th and 10th

2017    NSB Celebrates its 80th Anniversary

 
 

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