Saturday, December 03, 2016

The Harbor Report: Councilman with a nautical background

Newport Beach Council Member Brad Avery

By Len Bose

I had a chance this week to talk to one of our newest Newport Beach City Council members, Brad Avery.
I first met Avery in 1979, when he started at the Orange Coast College Sailing Base, and I was attending a big boat sailing class aboard the boat Scandalous.
As we set sail and headed out into the harbor, the boat was greeted by a rather big puff of wind. As it leaned over in the breeze, I and most of the crew put two hands onto the boat. Its Genoa sail needed to be skirted and lifted over the boat's lifelines.

As the call from the helmsmen to skirt the sail was requested, most of us sat tight and looked around for who would be the first to stand up and walk out on the pitching foredeck. Just then, a flash went by me, and the Genoa was skirted.
Avery returned to the cockpit and was also attending to the mainsail. I thought to myself, OK, that's how it's done.

Avery had been doing the big boat thing from the time he was a kid on his father's 8-meter racing sailboat. Avery's father Chuck was one of the first yacht brokers with David Fraser in 1965 in the Lido Village area. Another yacht broker, Ed Cox, was also working in the same office.
Cox opened one of the first sailing clubs in the harbor, and Brad Avery was 14 at the time, washing boats as a part-time job.

"That's how I got into teaching sailing," Avery said. "The sailing instructor did not show up one day, and Cox walked down the dock and said, 'Drop that brush, kid. You are the new sailing instructor.'
"As a kid I would hang out at Richard's Market; they used to have a huge bulletin boat with a chart of the Pacific with pins with boats names that where competing in the TransPac. This is only way we could follow the race at that time.”
Sailing Ship Ticonderoga is one of the vessels Avery sails in the Caribbean

After graduating from Newport Harbor High School at the age of 17, Avery packed his sea bag and flew down to Panama, where he signed up as a crew member and sailed through the canal and cruised the Caribbean. On his return to Newport Beach, he immediately stepped on another boat headed back through the Panama Canal and across the Atlantic Ocean to Europe.
Avery spent some time backpacking around Europe and then sailed back. The next season he returned to the Caribbean and once again to Europe to sail in the Mediterranean. After about three years, Avery returned home and attended school at USC.

After graduating, Avery started working as the director of sailing at the OCC Sailing Base, where he has been working ever since.
I knew Avery had a strong interest in the history of our harbor, so I asked about his favorite stories about the harbor.
"When I got out of journalism school, I had a chance to interview Hans Dickman, who immigrated from Germany after WWI," he said. "Dickman told me a story of riveting submarines during the war before he came over to the U.S.
"Because of the Great Depression, Dickman was able to purchase some waterfront property next to the Cannery, where he opened up his shipyard to repair wooden fishing boats. Another great part of this story is after the 1933 Long Beach earthquake, Dickman found an old market's archway that he placed on a custom trailer and towed it down Pacific Coast Highway.
"The archway was attached to a building already in place, and a Newport Beach icon was born. That whole area was very commercial in those days, and it was a small town at that time."
When asked about some of the changes he's liked around the harbor over the years, Avery said, "That's what I like best about the harbor; the city has done very well to keep the character of the harbor. The iconic buildings, like the Cannery and Pavilion.
"Iconic institutions like the ferry are still there. The mooring fields are the same. Major components of the harbor are still the same, which is really nice."
Avery addressed any concerns about the harbor's future. again pointing out the importance of keeping the harbor's character.

"It's the constant erosion of that character, with the pressure to build maximum square footage of the building next to the water, that is the concern," he said. "We will always have to manage that in the degree that we can. Access to the harbor is of importance with public docks, anchorages, water quality and to find a way that a couple of dredging firms can exist in the harbor so that dredging can be ongoing."
A reminder that at 9 a.m. Dec. 10, the Harbor Commission will be taking other civic leaders and interested members of the public on a two-hour harbor tour aboard one of Balboa Island car ferries.
Boat name of the week: “Galatea."

Sea ya.

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

Saturday, November 19, 2016

The Harbor Report: Plenty of highlights this year

Rhonda Tolar accepting BCYC Woman of The Year Award

It’s that time of year again when I start taking the covers off my Christmas Reyn Spooner collection and preparing the house and boat for the fast approaching holidays. By now I would hope you all know that means it is time for my review of the best of 2016 on our harbor.

Earlier this month I attended the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club awards banquet and as always my heart always goes out to the junior members winning awards for the first time. There is always a 
fresh glimmer in their eyes, with  a very small amount of apprehension coming from their smiles, has they hurry back to the table to receive praise from their parents. It is one of those feel good moments that is pure to our sport of yachting.

I have to give a well done to BCYC Sailing Director Cameron MacLaren, his presentation was one of the best I have ever attend. With each junior award came a heart felt story of the recipients achievements. This years winners were Morgan Burton taking home the Rowland Perpetual for most improvement in sailing for the year. Chris O’ Rourke came up on stage with one of the brightest smiles I had ever seen to accept the Steven Winner Perpetual for the most selfless junior. Jake Johansson, won the award I wish I had one as a junior, The Jon Pinckney Award for the most outstanding racing record. Laurel Foster rolled into the Montgomery Perpetual for outstanding crew member in a CFJ while the one and only Max Mayol stood next to the Byrne Perpetual trophy as the outstanding CFJ skipper of the year. Cameron Wood won the Grand Poobah for junior sailors awards and had his photo taken next to the  BCYC Junior Yachtsman of the year award trophy.

With all the smiles flashing around the room brighter than the photographers flashes it was time for big the kids to take home their pickle dishes.  First up was Mark Gaudio taking home the James Berkshire for obtaining the Lido 14 Fleet One Championships. My good friend Dan Rossen won the Racing Member Crew Hi-Point and also the First BCYC member with the best corrected time to Ensenada. I was fortunate to have my photo taken next to the Gaudio Family One Design trophy for sailing Harbor 20’s and the Directors of 1983 for winning the Puerto Vallarta aboard Horizon. 

The big award at Bahia Corinthian is the Elmer Carvey Memorial — until 1982 the Balboa Bay Club Yachtsman of the Year — awarded to the yachtsman who most contributed to the organized yachting community. Past winners have been Cooper Johnson, Jim Emmi, Ted Kerr, Hobie Deny, Lorin Weiss and Peter Haynes. The list reads on and on and includes Newport's best yachtsmen. This year's recipient was , my good friend, Jerry Moulton for all his race committee work this season.

There was another moment that stood out and grabbed me this year. Rhonda Tolar has done more for yachting than anyone else I have meet over the last ten years. She created Taco Tuesdays which has become one of the best attended sailing series of the year. She has spent endless hours working with the BCYC anglers group and raised more money for BCYC sailors than anyone has ever done in the past. Tolar was overwhelmed with emotion when she received this years BCYC Woman of the year award.

I feel its time to start the Newport Beach Yachtsperson of the year award and bring back the Daily Pilots Harbor Hall of Fame. I recall past winners included Chuck Avery, David Fraser, Chuck Ullman, Bill Ficker, Dave Ullman and the list went on. If it was up to me I would add the name Rhonda Tolar she is making a difference on the harbor and there is no better recipient.

Huge shout out to again this year for all the photos.


Remember that Dec 10th at 9:00 AM the Harbor Commission  will be taking other civic leaders and interested members of the public on a two hour harbor tour aboard one of Balboa Island car ferries. Topics will included Current Harbor Commission Objectives, Derelict Vessels, Fixed Marker Replacement, RGP 54 Implementation, SUP Safety, Alternative Anchorages, Central Ave. Pier, Charter Fleet Vision 2020,Mariners Mile Redevelopment, Speed Limit, Lower Castaways, Launch Ramps, Cruising Guide, Fishing on Public Piers and Anti-fouling Bottom Paints. Everyone is welcome, capacity on the ferry is limited and will be available on a first come first served basis. The meeting will take place at 8:30 AM in the conference room of the Harbor Department at 1901 Bayside Drive, Corona del Mar. Attending this meeting reminds me of voting and you have to vote to count.

Boat name of the week:  Happy Time

Sea ya

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

Saturday, October 29, 2016

The Harbor Report: How RGP 54 is helping the harbor

Allyson & Ron Presta

We have been talking about an improved Regional General Permit 54 (RGP54) for well over five years now. This improved permit, which has been in place for close to a year now, streamlines permitting for residents and marinas to dredge under their docks by combining the permits required by the Army Corps of Engineers, California Coastal Commission and State Water Resources Control Board. Without this city permit, this type of dredging is extremely complex and expensive for the individual and marina operators.

I thought it would be interesting to meet with one of the first people to use the improved RGP 54 permit and see how the process of dredging a small marina in Newport Harbor is going. Last week I sat down with Allyson and Ron Presta the owners of the Newport Marina and Bayshore Apartments along with their contractor Paul Gillen from Associated Pacific Constructors. For my readers that have been around the harbor for as long as I have thats the old Swales Apartments and Marina next to the Bayshores entrance.

Because of a close outfall or storm drain that deposits 1,000 cubic yards of sedimentary materials a year, next to their marina, the Presta’s have to dredge every two or three years. Allyson went on to describe the dredging process three years ago, before the new RGP 54 was in place. It took her eighteen months to obtain the five different government agencies permits at that time and removed close to 8,700 cubic yards of materials. At that same time the County of Orange, that maintains the piece of the harbor just in front of the marina took out 26,000 cubic yards. “It was a huge bonus to us that the city cleaned up the upper bay catch basin a few years ago.” Allyson said.

So when I asked, is the process any easier for you?  The Presta’s replied “ It’s become a little bit easier.” Now if I understood the Presta’s clearly it should get a little easier every year as the City and the different contractors gain credibility with the different government agencies. “ There are a lot of documents that are involved to comply with all the conditions. Such as a highly detailed hydrographic surveys before and after dredging, water samples are also taken before and after. We document the depth of the scow, its route and speed to the offshore disposal area. We have to follow the same standards as if were dredging contaminated materials out of the Port of Los Angeles.” Said Paul Gillen the contractor of the Presta’s dredging project.

There are two types of dredging, one that allows the sand to be relocated to the beach and the other is to transport the materials to an offshore disposal site. Even I understood that the offshore option costs more money.

“The process is more than filling out an application, dredging is specialized business, not only do you have to consider if the material is needed to be taken offshore or can replenish the beach we have to take into consideration the docks configuration, their relationship with the seawall and if it can structurally handle dredging, if the pilings are deep enough to support their dock. That’s why the need for a knowledgeable contractor, it’s not like just going online and filling out an application and hoping for the best. These are the type of considerations that the homeowner needs to understand.” Gillian said.

In my forty minute meeting with the Presta’s and Gillen I pretend to understand all the different terms and conditions that are required to complete the dredging process in our harbor. I also heard the idea of finding an area in the harbor to stock pile good sand rather than having to take it offshore and dispose of it. 

So it sounds like that the city did an outstanding job by obtaining an RFP with an Eelgrass mitigation plan attached to it. Along with the understanding on how to keep the RFP in place, but like many so many big projects there are many more pieces to this puzzle before it is completed.

If you have more interest on this topic be sure to save the date Thursday November 10th at Marina Park the City along with Coast Keepers will be sponsoring a workshop on how to dredge with eel grass. I would not forget the date you will save cubic yards of money by attending.

I am just rubbing my face and looking at the next big puzzle that has been placed on the harbor and thats the California Regional Water Quality Control Board and its attempt to force local agencies to ban copper anti-fouling paint. Make sure you go to  to read the City comment letter.

Boat name of the week: Watts Next     

Sea ya

Friday, September 30, 2016

Connecting the dots around the harbor.

Line drawing of NHYC

I feel it is time to update on whats going on around the harbor now that fall has arrived and it’s 101 degrees today.

It is official the Newport Harbor Yacht Club will begin demolition of the club house the first part of January 2017. The news should make for a rather interesting New Years Party to start the new year off with a boom rather than a bang. The process has been drawn out for a long time, first applying for city permits in 2012. Part of the final terms with the Coastal Commission requires the club to fund $350,000 toward public-access improvements. These funds have been directed to build a public pier at the Central Ave bridge, next to The Elks Club in Lido Village. From my sidelines chair it all seems good to me. Although I kind of feel for now Vice Commodore Dwight Belden who will be the Commodore next year with first reports indicating that the construction of the club house will take up to eighteen months. I hope he can keep his parking place.

Next I heard that, during this last week of September 2016, that my very good friend Jim Warner is getting some new wheels. No Warner is not getting a new Jeep, Warner is the Travel Lift operator at the Newport Harbor Shipyard which will be receiving and building a new 85 BFMII Marine Travelift this week. This is the newest model from the Travelift company and comes with all the bells and whistles like a sound suppression system, all wheel electronic steering to maximize maneuverability, spreader bars to lift a wider variety of hull designs. While on the phone this last week with yard manager Jesse Salemen informed me that they do not plan on naming the Travelift or christening it although you can hear the excitement in his voice about the shipyard newest purchase. Should be interesting watching it all put together this week and you thought that Ikea furnishings came with difficult assembly instructions.
I learned a few new things this week while attending this months Harbor Commission meeting. I have reported in the past that it is always good to see our Harbor Master Lt Mark Alsobrook
along with Deputy Kevin Webster giving their reports to the Harbor Commissioners. In regards to the use of the temporary anchorage in the turning basin, just in front of Lido Village. Lt. Alsobrook reported that from June 6th to August 28 sixty-one different vessels used the anchorage. Of this sixty-one many were repeat customers, with thirteen vessels spending the night. The Harbor Patrol made two hundred and thirty-one patrols of this area during this time. 

Regarding our moorings there where one hundred and thirty-one rentals, nine transfers and three derelict boats removed during the same time period. It is my understanding that the temporary anchorage will stay open until Oct 15. I feel that this anchorage has been a great success and should be continued in the future. I still do have concerns with the Jet Pack  companies being allowed to use this same area, my personal opinion is that the Jet Pack  should be moved outside the harbor in the Big Corona area. Next there will be drone’s pulling board riders and I hope that also get placed outside the harbor.

2014's Route on the ferry

There is a big save the date that I recommend you place on your calendars now! December 10th at 9:00 AM the Harbor Commission will be touring the harbor aboard one of the Balboa Island car ferry’s. This idea was done a couple of years ago and was a big success with all the Harbor Commissioners attending and reviewing their objectives. Attending this event will be the harbor department, harbor resources department and city council members. Topics may include if the Jet Pac should stay in the turning basin, what is a derelict boat, should we have more than one launch ramp, acceptable noise levels on the harbor, best use of The Castaways property, public piers, harbor standards that will blend into the City’s sustainability plan and so much more. I personally enjoy standing behind council members trying to ease drop into their conversations, there could also be three new council members attending this event. Mark your calendars now. For more information contact Harbor Commissioner Joe Stapleton at who is chairing this event.

For me its all about the Harbor 20 fleet one championships on October 8th and 9th. All our harbors best sailors will be competing to be champ, my wife Jennifer and I will be sailing our boat Only Child hull number 108 this year.  Wish us luck.

Boat name of the week: Hum Babe

Sea ya

Thursday, September 29, 2016

"My gut tells me he will move up the department ranks rather quickly."

Deputy Kevin Webster
Last July I wrote a story about our new mooring administrator Deputy Kevin Webster and my last sentence was "My gut tells me he will move up the department ranks rather quickly. We are fortunate to have him on our team."

The good news for Deputy Webster is that he has been promoted to Sergeant, the bad news is he will be leaving the harbor department. Odds are pretty good we might see him back again as a the Lieutenant sometime in the near future.

So now my mind wonders, is it time to consider and discuss further the concept of outsourcing the mooring management to the public? One of my good friends tells me thats horrible idea, more and more of my harbor birds tell me it is time.

More news from around the harbor in my column this week.

Sea ya.

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.