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"Happy Days," the yacht of the late publisher David Copley, is for sale by Fraser Yachts, which has a San Diego office. The price is $34.5 million, according to a document distributed by Fraser. The listing agent for the company wouldn't give more information, but two people within the San Diego office confirmed the sale.

When Copley began using the craft in 2007, its value was said to be $33 million. It was registered in the tax haven of the Marshall Islands. Generally, registering a yacht offshore is a technique for not paying a sales tax. The yacht could be seen in Monaco, where Copley threw lavish parties aboard it, often bringing San Diego Beautiful People to the soirees.


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Don Bauder Jan. 21, 2013 @ 4:35 p.m.

Scott_Marks: Yes, there may have been events that didn't show up in Burl Stiff's coverage of David's yacht parties. Best, Don Bauder


dwbat Jan. 21, 2013 @ 2:47 p.m.

Darn, I was hoping it would $33,000 and I could finance it and make payments.



Don Bauder Jan. 21, 2013 @ 4:37 p.m.

dwbat: OK, you could finance a $33,000 price. But could you afford to keep the staff on the payroll? If memory serves me right, David had something like 12 on the payroll. Best, Don Bauder


monaghan Jan. 21, 2013 @ 8:10 p.m.

God love him: he was a jobs-creator.


Don Bauder Jan. 22, 2013 @ 7:02 a.m.

monaghan: I don't know how much of the money he spent on his yacht staff flowed back to San Diego. But in general, David, with his lavish tastes, DID create lots of jobs in San Diego. Best, Don Bauder


Visduh Jan. 21, 2013 @ 2:57 p.m.

It would appear that if any person or persons are beneficiaries of David's will, he/she/they are not interested in having any of the goodies. The homes are for sale, now the yacht is for sale. I'd guess that this means just about everything will be liquidated.


Don Bauder Jan. 21, 2013 @ 4:42 p.m.

Visduh: Yes, I have been coming to the same conclusion. David was very close to a man who stayed with him constantly for medical attention. If that person is due to inherit all or part of the estate, he may want the physical assets turned into cash. And for all I know, he is not in line to get a lot. Best, Don Bauder


SurfPuppy619 Jan. 21, 2013 @ 4:50 p.m.

The yacht could be seen in Monaco, where Copley threw lavish parties aboard it, often bringing San Diego Beautiful People to the soirees.

David snubbed the Pup....


Don Bauder Jan. 21, 2013 @ 4:53 p.m.

SurfPup: Whenever I talked with David, it was difficult to get him to say anything. But the few times he did, he never mentioned SurfPuppy. Best, Don Bauder


SurfPuppy619 Jan. 22, 2013 @ 2:40 p.m.

David didn't like K-9's................................


Don Bauder Jan. 22, 2013 @ 2:49 p.m.

SurfPup: I doubt if he was much on surfing, either. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Jan. 21, 2013 @ 5:07 p.m.

REMEMBRANCE OF EVENTS PAST: I now remember the last time I spoke with David Copley. It was in March of 2003. I had revealed I was taking my retirement that month. I had lunch in La Jolla with Karin Winner, U-T editor; Chuck Patrick, de facto CEO of Copley Press, and David, nominal CEO of Copley Press. All three were trying to conceal their glee that I was leaving, and I was trying to conceal my glee that I was getting the hell out of there. I don't think David said more than a few words. I know for sure that he didn't mention SurfPuppy, particularly since that nom de plume was not created until about 2008. Best, Don Bauder


Visduh Jan. 28, 2013 @ 9 p.m.

So, Don, where in LJ did you have that lunch? What did you eat? Was it well prepared? Who picked up the check? I ask this because in the late 70's and early 80's there was a then-new restaurant in LJ called (if I recall properly) Botsfords Old Place and it was frequently patronized by Helen. It had to be within a block of the Copley Press hq. By 2003, I'm sure that Botsfords was just a memory, so the Copley Press gang had to take lunch elsewhere. It would be satisfying for my curiosity to know where that was.


clicks Jan. 24, 2013 @ 11:59 a.m.

I hope that Self Serving lazy-pig is missing his Grand lifestyle in whatever afterlife has occurred.


Don Bauder Jan. 24, 2013 @ 1:42 p.m.

clicks: Some will say that David destroyed the Copley empire. That's unfair. The entire metro daily business collapsed in the U.S. David really didn't run the company. Those who ran it did not see the metro daily tsunami coming. They permitted the U-T to become grossly overstaffed. They were very late recognizing technological changes sweeping over the industry. But then, managements of almost all, if not all, the metro dailies, didn't see the hurricane coming, either. Copley sold the U-T at the bottom of the market -- bad move. But it did dump the Illinois and Ohio papers at the peak of the market -- good move. Best, Don Bauder


sdsocialdiary Jan. 25, 2013 @ 6:41 a.m.

Although freedom of speech is a right, in this day and age, I think bullying is not cool. David was a kind friend, who did a lot for so many others, much of it anonymously. Fyi, a good number of the 'facts' above are incorrect.


Don Bauder Jan. 25, 2013 @ 7:01 a.m.

Margo: David was kind and generous to friends -- no argument there. Why don't you tell us which "facts" are incorrect? Best, Don Bauder


sdsocialdiary Jan. 25, 2013 @ 9:33 a.m.

Don, I will respect David's privacy just as I would respect yours, or others.


Don Bauder Jan. 25, 2013 @ 12:02 p.m.

Margo: OK, but if any of us made statements that you know to be untrue, I would like to hear the particulars, and so would readers. Best, Don Bauder


SurfPuppy619 Jan. 25, 2013 @ 8:18 p.m.

Margo, you are a kind person. I agree with you, it is tasteless to make mean spirited/degrading comments about a person who has passed and was certainly a decent person.

PS Tell Kima I still LUUUVE her.


Don Bauder Jan. 26, 2013 @ 5:52 p.m.

Margo: Kima and SurfPuppy -- a loving couple. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Jan. 26, 2013 @ 5:50 p.m.

SP: David was indeed a kind person. Also humble. He was known to have acknowledged that had his mother not married Jim Copley, he would have been pumping gas at a filling station. Best, Don Bauder


Psycholizard Jan. 26, 2013 @ 5 p.m.

Those who live on million dollar yachts often live unhappy and unhealthy, but those who live on hundred dollar surfboards always live healthy and happy. Since every empire turns to sand, why not lay on it?


Don Bauder Jan. 26, 2013 @ 5:56 p.m.

Psycholizard: I have always heard that deep down, David was an unhappy person, and again, he would let his closest intimates know that. But this is something I have only heard second-hand. Best, Don Bauder


Visduh Jan. 27, 2013 @ 8:52 p.m.

One's health or lack of health is often an indicator of one's happiness and acceptance of life. David was woefully unhealthy, and not because of any obvious congenital factors, mental illness, or autoimmune illness. So, it may be assumed likely that he was, for whatever reasons, miserable and never found his way out of the morass. I've seen many examples of how "money cannot buy you love", and how it cannot buy contentment either. He had so many opportunities to find his way in life, and use that fortune to do good for the less fortunate while giving himself some purpose, yet apparently never found the right one.


Don Bauder Jan. 27, 2013 @ 9:59 p.m.

Visduh: Yes, his addictions suggest that he may not have been a happy person. He had a fear of speaking in public. And other problems. Yet, as Margo points out, he was kind and generous. And he favored some artists before they became famous. Best, Don Bauder


Psycholizard Jan. 28, 2013 @ 4:36 p.m.

The Copleys should be praised for their generosity, they were of the old school that took care of the cities they owned. Even with their misguided politics we will miss them, because they had class, and that is rare in the wealthy today.


Don Bauder Jan. 28, 2013 @ 7:53 p.m.

Psycholizard: The Copleys, generally, were avid civic supporters in San Diego. I simply don't know about the other cities in which they owned newspapers. Keep in mind, though, that the Copleys were virulently anti-union and hired a brutal law firm to rein in U-T unions. On the other hand, Copley employee benefits were quite generous. Best, Don Bauder


Visduh Jan. 28, 2013 @ 7:42 p.m.

OK, Psycho, give us a mere two examples of how the Copleys "took care of the cities they owned." I'll concede that they had papers in many small Illinois cities, along with places such as Torrance. So you have many places to cite. Taking care of a city is whatever one wishes to make it. That can mean whatever you want it to mean. What do YOU mean?


Don Bauder Jan. 28, 2013 @ 7:56 p.m.

Visduh: You asked Psycholizard, but I will toss in my two cents. Both Helen and David were generous donors to the arts in San Diego. Best, Don Bauder


Psycholizard Jan. 29, 2013 @ 1:09 a.m.

Helen Copley sat on the Symphony board, their concert hall is named for her. she gave millions. She gave paintings and money to the Museum of Art. The planned library in La Jolla was swallowed in the general collapse. I have attacked the Copleys and their terrible rags for years, in this blog and everywhere else, but certainly Manchester is worse. We should bury our anger with David Copley, as with anyone, his final minutes are worth our pity.


Don Bauder Jan. 29, 2013 @ 8:28 a.m.

Psycholizard: Some of the Copley generosity raised eyebrows -- particularly, the gift to KPBS which led to a new building being named for the family. The question was how could KPBS perform its role of monitoring other local media if the Copleys had donated so much? Nonetheless, it was an example of generosity.

Yes, the Copley papers in San Diego and elsewhere deserved criticism; for the most part, they were written and edited to please the Beautiful People, the Republicans, and the advertisers, not the whole San Diego market. That is one reason their market shares and readership were so low. Ergo, the company paid for its own bias. But I agree: the Copley stewardship was preferable to the current bumptious management. Alumni from the Copley years, such as myself, joke that we had never expected to see the Copley rein considered "the good old days." Best, Don Bauder


Psycholizard Jan. 29, 2013 @ 2:03 p.m.

If the Copleys were tragedy, Manchester is farce.


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