Eight Bells: Philip Ramser

Philip Ramser, age 90, of Newport Beach, California passed away on June 18, 2022. Active in Southern California commercial real estate, Phil was born in West Los Angeles, attended the local schools, and went to college at USC.

Phil’s introduction to the sport began when his father, Hal Ramser, purchased a Kettenburg 46-foot PCC hull No. 5 by the name of Antigua. Phil was next introduced to the Snipe fleet, and for most of the 1950s, he sailed locally and around the country following the Snipe fleet.

In the ’50s, Phil served in the Air Force, and upon his return home sailed Antigua for a number of years and did very well in our local offshore races. After he sold Antigua, he moved into the Etchells 22-foot fleet and helped develop the fleet in Newport Beach and Europe.

“We sailed Etchells all around the world — Australia, England, Hong Kong and Scotland,” he explained. “We would have boats built in Scotland and race these boats, then sell them, and we did this for about three years in a row. That’s how the Etchells fleet started in Europe.”

Somewhere, Phil found time to sail 5.5 meters in Europe with Tom Omohundro and Harry “Buddy” Melges before becoming commodore of the Newport Harbor Yacht Club. Just about this time, he purchased a New York 36 by the name of Vidiot and campaigned that through most of the ’80s in our local PHRF fleet.

Taking a short break from owning his own boat in the early ’90s, Phil played a role in developing the concept of the Harbor 20.

“We needed to find five people who wanted a boat, so we did, and now the fleet has over 30 boats racing in most of the events,” he had explained.

His lifelong devotion to boating, and to supporting the activities of his home Newport Harbor, will be missed…

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