Wednesday, January 12, 2011


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I remember as a little girl walking and seeing the buildig of his first boat. I being a sea and boat lover am behind him 100% and will wish the best for him and his new project. Without his first project I would have one less big childhood story to tell. GOOD LUCK!!!!!!!!!!!

Eric Longabardi

Michelle, Thanks for reading NBN! I know how you feel. Tell your friends about NBN as well. The column and the site are new so I have to get the word out about it!



He built his first one on the 2400 block of Santa Ana Ave....right across the street from my parents. I wondered back then how he would ever get that out of there and into the bay. He truly loves his ships!

James Horecka, AIA

Long live the MAKERS!

Dennis Holland has long been one of my heroes. And not just me! A close friend of mine left the steel mills of the dying Rust Belt of our country back in 1980, to follow his dream of sailing the seas on tall ships. All inspired by a feature he saw on TV way back then about Dennis & the 'Pilgrim of Newport." Today that gentleman is the captain of a world-renowned tall ship. I'm proud of his voyage, following his dream.

Let's SUPPORT the very few true artists among us: Not tear them down!


This project has been ongoing for about 5 years. Imagine the hammering and sawing and painting and dust and chemicals (lead and copper based paint dust? Cough, cough.) and all of the things that come with living next to a boatyard right in your backyard in the middle of a nice Newport Beach neighborhood. I don't want my kids (or myself) exposed to this stuff. Cool boat, nice romantic history in one very biased story... Inflicting this type of "never ending construction" on the neighborhood isn't right no matter how hard you try to spin this. I'm pretty sure I recall seeing this boat on a mooring off lido about 30 years ago, if this is the same boat she was in a horrible state then and time has destroyed her. Isn't this the very same boat that sat on the bottom of the Harbor for a year or more? Take her out to a boat yard and put her together if that's even possible. From all of the visible rot in her structure I seriously doubt this boat is ever going back in the water. At the rate of construction, this project will probably still be going decades from now. Anyone that doesn't believe should just drive by and see how much has been done to the Shawnee in the past 5 years. Then imagine this sitting outside of their front door for what would be Decades. Some folks are trying to make it sound as if all of the neighbors loved living next door to the Pilgrim for well over a Decade of non stop construction, I was here and that is not how I remember the situation.

David Cowling

I read an article in the OC Register about a year ago. In one of our affluent oceanside communities, is a short residential street that has been experiencing the renovation of 3 or 4 very expensive homes for 10 years nonstop, As soon as 1 is finished,the next begins. I would assume that their demographic is very solidly behind the rights of the individual to renovate their home at will. I cannot see the difference between a home renovation and a boat renovation.
Interestingly, Rush Hill owns a rental property near me in Midway City He keeps it in good condition, but has had it vacant for years. At one time it was being used as a storage yard for trash cars. When I called him about it a few years ago, he was very clear that it was his property to use as he pleased. I am dissapointed to hear of this double-standard.


Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and most people would agree that boats are beautiful. The Shawnee has very nice lines, and is therefore particularly beautiful.

Neighbors can find all kinds of reasons to get whiny about Mr. Holland's project, or they can open their minds and their eyes to a beautiful shape in the form of an old boat. They can also accept and embrace that there is a wonderful maritime history in Orange County, especially in Newport. That history is one of the best parts of living in the area; uptight, self-important neighbors are not.

catherine turley

i just saw this on inside o.c. it's not about a boat, it's about a man's dream and how the materialism of others will likely snuff out that dream. good luck to dennis.

Claire Scott

I use to work on the Pilgrim of Newport. I'm English and when I was visiting LA in the 1980's I met Dennis and his family and they welcomed me aboard and it was the most amazing 2 years of my life. anything Dennis does it with good reason and should be 100% supported.

jobs online

You want a battle? Y will get one! I promise

Capt. Mike

Has there been any change to this date. I am restoring my own boat it is a 103' yacht and I hope to be done in about a year. Dennis has inspired me for years. I remember seeing him on TV back in the early 80's just before he finished. Dennis it is your fault I have gotten in so much trouble codes and the army corp of engineers. lol Dennis I hope when I am your age I can still have that same sprite to keep me going, but I hope this is my last boat too.


Eric Longabardi

No actual change, but Dennis and the City are now engaged in court.

Jon Held

Good luck, I certainly understand the time it takes to do this, I've fixed up 4 boats and still working on the 4th to prepare it for a multi year circumnavigation.

שערים מאלומיניום

It just scents a lot like the aging sea drenched wood of the Shawnee to me. In my view this type of element really provides more curse to the community and the town of cardiff seaside than any vessel fixing venture ever will.

Martin Houston

I bet Dennis knew "Squeeky" a boatbuilder and dear family friend in Costa Mesa when I was a kid. I hav pics of hin on my youtube site. Search "Building the Jani J-Inspirations 1.

Joe Babcock

A great story and a great boatbuilder. Anyone should consider themselves lucky to have such a neighbor.

Michael Smith

This man is giving back to the whole world in my opinion by restoring a boat that surely would be lost without his experience in ship building/rebuilding. I can also understand to some point why his neighbor is being like he is but fighting it all in court is stupid and costly and since the city gave this man permission to complete his project in the first place and then go back on that promise is totally ridiculous and also unlawful but that's politics and its also so wrong! Let him finish it where it sits, Maybe even help him out and learn something that otherwise a person wouldn't.
A ship of this age and design is something we will forever treasure, hopefully for generations to come. Please look deep inside yourselves and help this man instead of trying to end a mans dreams.
If I had the funds myself to get there and live and I would gladly move from Northern Minnesota to help this man. This is how much I believe in his project. I would also love to live next door to such a old school craftsman.

Michael Smythers

I wonder if the neighbor is planning on selling his house soon? If I had a house worth 1 million or so and I was planning on staying in that house I would love to have my property values go down, less taxes to pay.

I grew up where people fixed there houses, cars, boats, just about anything. We did it for year after year. Neighbors helped each other. Those days are gone!


I like the send of this age and style is something we will permanently value, hopefully for years to come. Great job done by you.

Dennis Alcorn

I need to know what Fontana Calif. and Shawnee have in
commend? Good luck.


The boat has a WWII record. That is a potentially important fact that could elevate the boats status to a registered national relic. Has anyone explored this element I the boats case?


Great post! thanks for sharing this information with us.

Karen Heacock

I volenteered on the Pilgrim. Dennis and his family are the nicest people! Leave him alone and let him retore the ship!!!

Go get them Dennis!

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