San Diego's link with the sea has been timeless, and boats and ships have been important throughout its history as a means of trade, transportation, fishing and recreation.
Part of that history involved the transformation in 1934 of a rough spit of land in San Diego Bay into today's Shelter Island, a bustling peninsula of yacht clubs, marinas, resort hotels, fishing fleets, beaches, parks, restaurants, marine stores and boatyards.
One of those boatyards on Shelter Island was Mauricio & Sons Boatbuilding, established by Tony (Anthony) Mauricio and his father in the 1950s.
Tony was an innovator in commercial fishing as he designed and built the large skiffs and chase boats still used today by the Tuna Seiners.
Tony built many wood boats at the yard, many of which are still in use today.
In 1988, Tom Nielsen and Don Beaumont purchased the boatyard from Tony, and renamed the boatyard Nielsen Beaumont Marine Inc. Mauricio, then 63 years old made the sale because running the Shelter Island operation was more than he wanted to continue to handle in retirement.
Tom Nielsen, who had graduated from Humboldt University and Don Beaumont, who left his job as a successful advertiser had earlier started a yacht management business in 1979.
Tom came back to San Diego after finishing college where he was working maintaining boats. During that period he met Don, and they decided to join forces and start a business taking care of boats for people who were out of town.
The synergy between the two friends sparked a successful business, and poised the two partners for the opportunity to buy Mauricio & Sons when it came up for sale.
Don's marketing sense and Tom'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 advanced schools.
Now over 30 years later, Tom Nielsen and Don Beaumont are still at the helm, and have transformed the boatyard into one of America's most environmentally advanced and efficient boatyards.
Tony Mauricio passed away in August of 2011, but if he were alive today, he would no doubt be amazed and proud at what has happened at his boatyard. Undergoing a complete remodel from top to bottom in 2011, the boatyard has truly lived up to his successor's motto - "At Nielsen Beaumont, the Difference is in the Details".