Newport Beach entrepreneur Anthony Hsieh figured out a way to do both.
"Most people reserve this for two weeks out of the year," says Hsieh, 42.
"It's the American Dream."
His marine company Granders Inc., which includes Crow's Nest and Sundance Marine, is the largest privately held yacht dealer on the West Coast. The company name comes from the sport-fishing term "grander," which refers to big game weighing more than 1,000 pounds. Crow's Nest Yachts sponsors Team Bad Company, a competitive sport-fishing team, which won more than $6 million in tournament prize money last year.
"Basically, that pays for the gas," Hsieh says. With the expense of 10 full-time crew members and costs associated with the fleet, he says the team is not a money-making venture, but rather an expensive hobby.
Hsieh developed an affinity for sport fishing at age 14, when he spent the summer working for $7 a day at the Port of Long Beach. But it was his adult ventures in online mortgage lending that has funded his passion. The most recent was just three years ago, when he sold the Irvine-based HomeLoanCenter.com to Lending Tree. He remained as chief executive officer until the sea beckoned.
Today, he spends about as much time on the ocean as he does in the Pelican Crest home he shares with his wife Jennifer and their four children.
The Palladian-style home, remodeled two years ago, is a testament to Hsieh's passions and hobbies.
"I wanted the home to have a rich, nautical feel," Hsieh says.
Designer Robert Rubel, contractor Tim Cooper and wood artisan François Langin jelled with the same precision as Hsieh's sport-fishing team to bring the 9,600-square-foot home to a high level of sophistication.
Fine wood craftsmanship similar to the intricate detailing found on million-dollar yachts is showcased throughout the home. Langin used exotic woods including quartersawn wenge and white oak and Macassar ebony veneers from one tree laid in a book-matched sequence. Exotic veneers allow for an eco-friendly approach.
"My goal was to bring nature's beauty and emotion into the home," Langin says.
A light finish allows the natural wood grain to show, instead of being covered by heavy glazes.
"I have great reverence for the materials," he says. "In some cases, it took 200 years to grow."
And behind his work, Langin left the Hsiehs with the power of intention by signing his name along with his good wishes for love, gratitude, peace and understanding.
When asked which room in the house Hsieh favors personally, the homeowner says, "Selfishly, my office. It's where my mind works."
The neoclassical-style office functions as his getaway. Soundproof doors separate this space from the rest of the home. Equipped with video conferencing, Hsieh chooses to work at home many mornings. The gas fireplace and mahogany-stained paneling create a soothing environment.
Memorabilia in this personal space pays homage to sport fishing. A bronze sculpture of a blue marlin by Florida-based artist Geoffrey Smith.