Nielsen Beaumont's Secret is Excellence
Photo: Tom Nielsen of Nielsen Beaumont
Nielsen Beaumont Marine must have something special happening in
their boatyard to survive and even prosper in the shadow of two
It seems the secret is excellence.
Sandwiched between Driscoll Boat Works and Shelter Island Boat
Yard on Shelter Island in San Diego, Nielsen Beaumont has gained a
reputation in their 18 years of operation of providing quality
workmanship and service.
The genesis of this operation took place years before the
boatyard was purchased from Mauriccio & Sons, when Tom Nielsen, a
track star who had recently graduated from Humboldt College, and Don
Beaumont, who left his job as a successful advertiser, started a
"I didn't know what I wanted to do when I graduated from college
so I came back to San Diego and was sanding boats at the San Diego
Yacht Club," Nielsen told BoatingNews in a February interview. "I
contacted Don and suggested we start a business taking care of boats
for people who were out of town."
The synergy between the two friends sparked an eventual
"million-dollar-a-year" business and poised the two partners for an
opportunity to buy Mauriccio & Sons when it came up for sale.
Beaumont's marketing sense and Nielsen's experience in
competitive sports provided good mojo for the company as they
gathered a team of experts around them. Quality workmen and women
gravitated toward the business as Nielsen Beaumont held up its end
of the bargain by instituting programs for sending the workers to
The gambit paid off. Today Nielsen Beaumont has assembled
approximately 25 highly educated and trained craftsmen and women and
built them a state-of-the-art machine shop so they can provide the
best of service to their customers.
Hanging in the workshop is an array of diplomas from institutions
around the country proclaiming the mastery of the workers there.
Although they are presently still hauling many of their boats out
of the water by rail (one of two boatyards in San Diego still doing
this), Nielsen Beaumont is in the planning stages of undergoing a
sweeping redevelopment of their yard. In order to accommodate the
greater number of boats coming their way, they will be rebuilding
their piers and bringing in a new 75-ton lift.
But, the present charm of the old yard (they have to buy their
railroad spikes from the San Diego Railroad Museum) has not slowed
down business. Nielsen Beaumont's level of expertise has earned them
dealerships in Volvo Penta and Mercury Marine.
We've made a conscious effort to change our focus," Nielsen said
when talking about the new dealerships. "To do this, you really need
good quality mechanics, which we have. We have some really great
The yard now sees a steady stream of boats being hauled in by
trailer and will send their workforce off site to accomplish repairs
according to Jay Danna, one of the craftsmen at Nielsen Beaumont.
"We'll go to almost anywhere we have to in Southern California to
fix a boat," Danna said.
Although the boatyard already has a fine collection of craftsmen,
including Steve Mercado who has his master's mechanic certificate
for Volvo and is sitting for his masters for Mercury Marine in
April, they are constantly in touch with schools in the San Diego
area looking for new blood.
Twenty-year-old Lara Stepp is part of this new generation. Stepp
recently returned from a course where she achieved top honors in the
class. "They're paying a lot of money to send me to these classes,"
she said when asked about her success. "I take it very seriously."
"The days of the shade-tree mechanic are gone," Nielsen told
BoatingNews. "It's impossible to work on these new engines without
great people and proper equipment."
Nielsen Beaumont is located at 2420 Shelter Island Drive in San
Diego and can be reached at (619) 222-4255. Their Web site is