Saturday, September 10, 2016

The Harbor Report: Breathtaking boats and a busy bay

The “Piano Man” himself Billy Joel ’s previous vessel “Vendetta” has just arrived to Newport Harbor.
Photo courtesy of Doug Zorn Yacht design and photographer Billy Black

I have been walking around with my head down this week trying not jam my foot into a dock cleat’s looking for a story. Finally I lifted my head up and the harbor is full of activity this week.

I started my rounds at the Newport Harbor Shipyard and before my eyes was one of my all time dream boats. The “Piano Man” himself Billy Joel ’s previous vessel “Vendetta” had just arrived into the shipyard and will soon grace our harbor. This 57’ Gatsby-era commuter yacht designed by Doug Zurn and built by Director in 2005 is absolutely stunning and will make you stop in your tracks.

I am a huge fan of commuter style yachts and had noticed “ Vendetta” as soon as she was listed and thought to myself how perfect she would be over at Catalina. With a reported speed of 47 knots the new owner can make it over to the island in less than an hour and accommodate up to six guests.

She is guaranteed to be on the Newport Beach’s most interesting power boat list this year, rumor has it that the boat will be placed in the water for the rest of summer and then hauled for a refit. Which is like saying Julianne Hough needs a make over, I am not going to lie they are both pretty hot just the way there are now and is a perfect example on why we refer to boats as females. Yea I know thats a rather chauvinistic statement, but “what are you going to do?”

After taking a couple of deep breathes and regaining my composure I looked across the bay and noticed that The New Port Marina and Office buildings, near the Crab Cooker on Balboa Peninsula, is almost completed. From across the bay it appears that this marina will have will have over sixteen slips that will be able to hold 55’ foot boats.

From the shipyard I normally take a look at how many big boats there are on Lido Peninsula in the BellPort Marina. Right now the big slips are full to capacity and I counted nine boats over 70’ feet.  My next stop is next to the Lido Sailing Club to get an idea how many big charter boat are in town. The number of 14 stays rather consistent throughout the year for the charter boats.

Continuing around the harbor to Basin Shipyard where the Stan Miller Invitational fishing tournament is under way. The word was that close to forty boats will be competing for Tuna, Yellowtail, Dorado, Swordfish and Marlin release categories. The tournament kicked off on Friday Sept 9th at Basin Marine Shipyard and fishing starts immediately after Captains Party. Awards will be on the 11th at 18:00 at the shipyard. So if you see a lot of good looking sport fishers in the harbor this weekend the reason is because Viking, MagBay and Hatteras yachts are sponsoring the event.


I also had a chance Noel Plutchak this week, some of you might recall that Plutchak repairs our pump out stations around the harbor. Plutchak reports that he is still having problems with boaters using the pump outs as a bilge pump. When boaters do this the pumps suck up loose metal and screws which interns cut the vacuum hoses inside the pumps at a replacement cost of $1,000 apiece. What is bound to happen is that the pump out hoses will get smaller and smaller so that the boaters cannot take the nozzles down below there boats and into their bilge’s. Not to make a pun, but that that really sucks, because some of us have our deck flanges in the bow or in the stern of our boats. So if you see someone coming up from down below with the pump out nozzle you can always take the make and the name of the boat and drop me a note at I will discreetly pass the boat names on to the proper authorities and marina operators.

I am starting to look around the harbor for boats to place in Newport Beaches 20 Most Interesting Boats this November. If you see anything I should mention please droop me a note.

Boat name of the week: “Lido Isle Watt Club”

Sea ya

LEN BOSE is an experienced boater, yacht broker and boating columnist for the Daily Pilot.

Monday, August 29, 2016

The Harbor Report: The season ends in paradise: Whites Cove

Horizon at Long Point race week. (Daily Pilot / Courtesy
Len Bose

Summer is starting its final leg, so that means it must be time to return to my happy place: Whites Cove, Catalina.
Aug. 23 marked the start of Long Point Race Week to Catalina, and this year's event is filled with Southern California's top racing sailboats.
The first of this three-race regatta is from Newport Beach to Long Point, Catalina. Saturday's leg is from Long Point up to and around Bird Rock, at the Isthmus, then back to Long Point. We return to Newport Sunday.
The weather is looking rather sporty with Friday's race the most difficult, as the wind is forecast to start in the south with a late-afternoon westerly finally filling in at about 4 p.m.

With winds forecast between 8 to 14 knots, if we are lucky, it could turn out to be a good weekend for us on the Santa Cruz 50 Horizon. With 40 of Southern California's best boats entered most anyone, if they are on our game, can win the regatta.
There is a new boat owned by Victor Wild out of San Diego. Fox, a Pacific 52, is easy to look at. Roy Disney plans to bring his Andrews 70 Pyewacket and Hasso Plattner. His Swan 60 Claude will also be on the starting line. Plattner has a crew that can compete on one of today's Americas Cup boats. Another two favorites to win the event is Viggo Torbensen's J 125 Timeshaver and Molly and Alan Andrews' Doubletime.
An unofficial way of scoring this event is not just sailing well on the course but by the type of escort boat is waiting for you upon arrival. The boys on It's Ok are always a favorite when it comes to style points and should be mentioned as a race favorite.
I have to bring up the fact to the It's OK crew that I have recently seen Invictus, a 217-foot mega yacht in our local waters. Don't worry, guys, by the time everyone is reading this the marine layer still will not have lifted from Friday night party, and I doubt anyone had thought of chartering Invictus.

After our arrival on Friday, the crew of Horizon will head to the beach and set up Camp Ada, named for Horizon crew member Ada Thornton. The end night cap, looking up at the stars and following their reflection onto the water, is a favorite of mine. You can hear crews returning to their boats and the ensuing laughter. While camping, just up from the beach, you also have to keep in mind that when you wake up in the middle of the night, to water the closest tree, that there might be a buffalo, deer or other wild life near by.
Saturday's is one of my favorite races of the regatta. I am always looking for those secluded little coves to return to. . The down-wind run is a challenge on whether to sail close to the island. It always makes it easier if you have one or two larger boats just in front of you so you do not sail into the unexpected "hole," where there's a lack of wind.
Saturday's party is as difficult to survive as Friday's, and it is normally rather subdued around the Sunday breakfast tables. With a big, good sigh, I get up from the breakfast table, break down the camp and bring everything back to our escort boat.

Sunday's race is normally a run home, with the wind behind our back, and the larger boats in the fleet eventually passing you after later starts. A third of the way home Catalina starts to disappear, and one gets the feeling that summer is doing the same.

Boat name of the week: "Wild Thing"

Sea ya

LEN BOSE is an experienced boater, yacht broker and boating columnist for the Daily Pilot.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

2900 Tiara Coronet Newport Harbor Edition

This beautiful flag blue 2900 Tiara Coronet Newport Harbor Edition with low hours is in absolutely pristine condition, and will turn heads everywhere. She is one of the most versatile high-end vessels ever produced in her class. ASKING ONLY $ 65,000

Saturday, August 13, 2016

The Harbor Report: Taco Tuesday at Bahia Corinthian YC is the place to be

Ronda, left, and Natalie Tolar at the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club

By: Len Bose

Each summer I look forward to sailing in the weekday night races around the harbor.
One night seems to stand out above the rest during this summer, and it is not on the race course. It is after the race.
Rhonda Tolar has put a team together that is setting the bar to new heights for after-the-race social gatherings. "We wanted to capture the crews of each boat and keep them coming back." Solar said.
Harbor 20 Fleet
 Tolar had noticed that most nights on the harbor the owner of the boat that wins the race receives their pickle dish and the crew seems to be forgotten. But not on Taco Tuesday nights at Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club with Tolar's group.
The post-race activities normally start with racers looking for their favorite beverage and then joining their sailing teams or fleets at a table that has their name cards on them.
As the different teams arrive the energy fills the room. Before sitting down participants are looking for the Taco Tuesday girls to get their raffle tickets. The swag from the raffle always appears to be never ending with shirts, hats, photos, hot tamales, rum, tequila and just plain good, old-fashioned fun.
This recipe is catching on with close to 225 people showing up each week to see who will be this week's Taco Tuesday girl or Tequila guy, not to be outdone by the Hot Tamale guy and gal.
Tolar was born and raised in Orange County and started boating from Day One.
"My parents enjoyed fresh-water boating where I leaned to fish and water ski," Tolar said. "I also wanted to take up sailing someday, so I started asking boat owners if I could crew for them on the weeknight races."

She then got the racing bug and purchased a Mumm 30 and joined one of the most competitive fleets in the world. She put together a strong team from BCYC and competed in the San Francisco Big Boat Series and the Mumm 30 Worlds.
She also sailed in the bay, where her sailing team finished fifth overall and first in the Corinthian, amateur non-pros class. Not an easy goal to achieve.
During this time her friends would tell her she was crazy and wild spirited to try to compete at this high skill level. So she started naming her boats Wild Thing. If you look around the harbor you will notice two very good looking boats with that name.

Tolar felt there needed to be a change to improve the participation at BCYC summer weeknight races. She has been no stranger to volunteering at the club chairing events like Showboat, The Anglers and an upcoming BCYC Sailing Foundation event.
So, when she asked BCYC management to tune up weeknight racing, the club said: "Here, it's all yours."
Tolar and her daughter Natalie have put together a group that spends more than eight hours getting ready for 16 Tuesday nights every summer. They are going on their sixth year.
Tolar's group has planned a blowout party for BCYC's last Taco Tuesday of the summer on Aug. 30. With a grand finale raffle planned, a DJ with dancing, everyone is welcome to come see how it's done.
The party starts at about 7 p.m. There is a $13 buffet.
I am going for the hot tamales myself.

I will be speaking at Newport Harbor Yacht Club's Yachtsman luncheon on Wednesday on my observations around the harbor.
This week's boat name: "Baby got back."

LEN BOSE is an experienced boater, yacht broker and boating columnist for the Daily Pilot.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

The Harbor Report: Deputy Webster joins harbor team

Deputy Kevin Webster.
 (Courtesy OC Sheriff's Department)

By Len Bose:

I would like to introduce everyone to our new mooring administrator, Deputy Kevin Webster of the Orange County Sheriff's Harbor Department.
Webster is not new to the county or the department.
"I am an Orange County kid, born and raised," he said.
He has 16 years on the job, six of them with the Newport Beach Harbor Department. He's a married father of a 19-year-old son and an 11-year-old daughter.
I met Webster when he and our outgoing mooring administrator, Sean Scoles, were out doing introductions around the harbor.
The mooring administrator is responsible for the alignment of the moorings, permit holders' maintenance records, fees and insurance requirements. These tasks include mooring extensions and harbor permit requests. They also monitor the anchorages and guest slips and receive and respond to accident reports.
Fortunately, the Harbor Department has Sally Cooper to help with administrative work the department and the city require to manage the moorings. Cooper provides the continuity within the harbor department's mooring administration during every personnel change.
Other tasks Webster is assigned to monitor are the city's Vessel Turn In Program (VTIP) and Abandoned Water Craft state grants. Over the last two years, these programs have removed 30 boats from our harbor. There is quite a bit of time needed to manage these programs and to obtain these state grants.
"As long as the state provides the grants, we will continue the program," Webster said.
This always leads me into asking — what is a derelict boat?
"There are a whole lot of interpretations of what a derelict boat is," Webster explained. "The boat has to be operable and in seaworthy condition. A derelict will have excessive debris that will be concern of a fire hazard.
"It is a vessel that is uncared for, unsafe and poorly maintained. Other visible signs are excessive bird droppings, broken windows or extreme marine growth attached to the hull of the vessel. Those are all signs of poorly maintained vessels and I would define as derelict."
We discussed other important topics. Mooring permit holders are not required to keep a vessel on their moorings. People can rent a mooring for $27 a night and can request a mooring's location anywhere in the harbor. Two or more boats tied together are considered a raft-up and require a permit that can be found on the city or harbor department websites.
Accidents that require more than $500 in repair must be reported to the Harbor Department. Should you spill fuel, someone get injured, swamped, sinking or run aground, you are required to contact the Harbor Department. And you should not leave the seen of the accident.
Over the last eight years we have been fortunate to have deputies assigned to our Harbor Department. From what I have seen from Webster, while on patrol and when attending Harbor Commission meetings, he is one of the good ones. He is easily approachable. He listens to your concerns. And while talking to him, one feels that he really cares.
My gut tells me he will move up the department ranks rather quickly. We are fortunate to have him on our team.
Boat name of the week: "Wish you were here"
Sea ya.

LEN BOSE is an experienced boater, yacht broker and boating columnist for the Daily Pilot.

Saturday, July 09, 2016

The Harbor Report: It's good to be king.

By Len Bose

Sunday July 17 is the start of the 81st Flight of the Lasers and when people like Brett Hemphill, David Beek and Gator Cook call me up to ask me to write a story about “The Flight” I am all over it.

First call I made was to Seymour Beek to find out as much about the race as I could. Beek first sailed in the race at the age of seven, I did not happen to ask Beek what year that was but the race started in 1936. The race first was known as the Flight of the Snowbirds, which is 11 foot monotype sailing dingy. The Snowbird was a class in the 1932 Los Angeles Olympic Games.

Beek’s best finish’s were in 1948 and 49 with two-second places to Gil Kraemer and Dick Deaver respectively. These were the years when as many as a 160 boats would be on the starting line at the same time. To finish in the top fifty would be quite the accomplishment, but to finish second during this time,with all the past Olympians 0n all those boats, needs some serious respect and acknowledgment.

Beek refers to the race as “The Flight” because over the years the race has been sailed in the Snowbirds from 1948 to1970, Kites 1972 to 73 and now Lasers from 1975 to present. The Laser also happens to be an Olympic class boat.

In 1954 Tom O’Keefe won The Flight and I had a chance to talk to him over the phone. “ At that time The Flight was the largest one design race in the world. I recall once I got into the lead there was a news reel boat filming the race and later played the news reel in the theaters.” O’Keefe said. “ I also remember all the power boats in the bay blowing their horns at the finish line when I won the race. It was a big deal at that time. O’Keefe recalled a story about a competitor who's boat did not measure in to the rules and this person had won a number of different regattas that summer. There was someone who took offense to this competitor and swam from Balboa Island and tipped the boat over just before the start of the race. O’Keefe recalls the harbor department following the swimmer back to the beach he had come from. “I still have the silver plated bowl I won as the take home trophy that year, I will always remember all those boats.” O’Keefe said.

Next I checked in with Chris Raab who had won The Flight in Lasers in 99, 02 & 03. “ This race meant everything, I needed a new sail really bad and the winner received a new sail. My father was at work and he did not have time to trailer my Laser down from Long Beach so I remember sailing my boat from Long Beach to Newport, at the age of 15, so that I could practice a couple of days before the event. Dude this race meant everything to me, it was huge!” Raab said.

I had to pick up the phone and call the man himself Jon Pinkney who has won The Flight more than anyone else with seven wins. Like all the past winners the first thing he said was “ It was the big event, the biggest race on the bay at the time, and I wanted that new sail. Out of the 100 boat that started the winner was the king.” Pinckney said.

Pinckney recalls the 1990 Flight, which was one of the windiest, as the one that got away from him. “ Phil Ramming and I came off the starting line ahead of the fleet. Ramming had just tacked off of O mark to starboard and lee bowed me back to the right side of the course. Ramming then made it in front of the ferry, that was headed into Balboa Island, and I had to sail around it. I was never able to catch him after that.” Pinckney said. This was some twenty-six years ago and Pinckey was telling the story as if it was yesterday.

When I told Pinckney and Raab about the winner of this years Flight receiving a new sail they both got rather quite. I’ll let you know if I see Raab on his Laser this week before the start. Sailing Pro shop is donating the new sail along gift certificates, the entry is free thanks to the Newport Chamber of Commerce. There are several categories that people can enter, such as the youngest skipper, parent child, couple, oldest skipper, and bragging rights.

Entry and information can be found on the website,

Boat name of the week “ Chill Vibe”

Sea ya

LEN BOSE is an experienced boater, yacht broker and boating columnist for the Daily Pilot.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Find the Golden Ticket and stay Grounded .

Sailing Classes at Marina Park
While working at Marina Park I have noticed an extremely good value for anyone who is interested in leaning how to sail or paddle. I have to assume that while looking out over the harbor every summer that you have noticed all the junior sailing programs offered by the different yacht clubs. Lets say you our maybe just one of your kids are looking for a way to learn how to sail or paddle this summer? The University of California, Irvine operates the sailing base at Marina Park. Look up the Marina Parks web site then notice all the boats, SUP and kayaks that you can take and lean how to boat safely. The highlighted words to look for are education, safety, access and fun. All the equipment is brand new and UCI has put together a staff that can be compared to any sports dream team. I have personal watched the staff and they are very good at what they do. Class to look for when you get to the web page are Parent & Me sailing, Family Fun Night at Marina Park and Ladies Who Launch. You have to check this program out, I have never seen a greater value or opportunity to access our harbor. When you get down to the docks say Len Bose sent you and ask about the sailing association. If you do this you will be shocked to have earned a golden ticket to the harbor and everyone will ask how you did it.

Speaking of being shocked, I attend the Marine Recreation Association seminar last week on Corrosion, Electrolysis and Shock Hazards in the Marina. I am still trying to figure out why I always babble about the topic I have just attended but this information is important and I have to share it with you.

Now I am really stepping out on a wire here trying to explain electrical systems and stray current to you because I have no clue what I am talking about. But while at this seminar the first item that caught my attention was the National Fire Protection Association codes and standards. I sat up in my chair when I heard it is recommended to complete an annual inspection of all electrical wiring, grounds, connections, conduits and hangers. One of these items is “splicing of flexible cord/cable shall be prohibited.”
What does this mean to you and I? All those household extension cords, that you see on every dock you walk on, should not be used for charging the batteries on you Duffy or Harbor 20. One of my very good friends Harbor 20 caught on fire from an electrical fire and damaged the boat and they used a household extension cord. I recall our instructor stating that these cords will not hold up to the weather and are not strong enough to throw circuit breaker.

As the seminar continued we talked about a strict no swimming policy near boats especially in fresh water. This is when I started to understand that salt water conducts electricity and fresh water does not. That means the odds of drowning from electric shock is much greater in fresh water. So after hearing this, I am all charged up, and called my electrician to come and inspect my pool at home.

So in keeping everything simple and reviewing my notes these are some of the other things I am going to try and remember. If you have a sail drive on your sailboat or your boat is built of carbon ask you marine electrician how an isolation transformer works and find out why it is a good idea to install one on your boat.

When walking the docks notice that all the electrical connections should be one foot above the dock. Large pig tail connections should be strapped to the dock, we have all stepped on a line on a boat and understand how easy it is to slip when stepping on line. Note how power is supplied to the docks and were. It is a good idea to look for chafing in the electrical lines. Talk to your boat bottom cleaning divers they know when there is loss current around your docks. If your tripping your docks power circuit the odds are good it could be your relay in your inverter is probably failing.

When to call for help: Anytime an AC ground fault condition is suspected. Anytime DC stray current damage is observed. Anytime your diver or others report shock or tingle. Anytime you suspect problems with dock wiring.

Boat name of the week “ Knot for Sail”

Sea ya