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. www.electricshockdrowning.org

Boat name of the week “ Knot for Sail”




Sea ya

Monday, June 06, 2016

Harbor Report: Racing on the high seas




By: Len Bose

I just returned from the first two legs of the California Offshore Race Week, from San Francisco to Monterey and Monterey to Santa Barbara, aboard the Santa Cruz 50 Horizon.
This Friday is the start of the final leg from Santa Barbara to San Diego.
The first thing you notice while sailing in Northern California, especially in San Francisco Bay, is that it is cold, picturesque and horribly intimidating. The wind is always blowing in the 20-knot range and local sailors always show up to the boat with their foul-weather gear pants on.
Once the butterflies go away, normally after the first or second tack, the scenery starts to get your attention. The city's shoreline, Alcatraz and of course the Golden Gate Bridge, just leave you in awe until the next 30-knot wind hits you and the boat tries to wobble out from under you while sailing downwind with a spinnaker up.
We started the first leg one of the race in good shape in relation to our competition and sailed under the gate and out into a body of water referred to as the "potato patch." The wind was blowing in the high teens and we were in race, rather than survival, mode.
As we started to head south near Lands End Point the breeze dropped to around 10 knots and we saw our first pod of whales traveling north. We altered our course to miss the pod.

Just as we thought we were well clear of the pod, two whales breached the water just below us. We bumped into the first one and rode up on the back of the second. I was sitting on the weather rail in all my foul-weather gear and life harness, looking similar to the Michelin Man, when the whales came up from beneath us.
I could barely spit out the word "whale" before we bumped into them. By the time we rode on the second whale I was still trapped under the lifeline looking straight down the whale's spout and I got slimed when the whale spouted.
There was lots going on in this race other than just the sailing. While leaving Monterey, on leg two, we witnessed a great white shark leap out of the water and grab hold of a large seal lion. We were close enough to see the expression on the sea lion's face and it was not having a good day.

While approaching Santa Barbara we noticed another pod and started joking that the whales were looking for us after running into their friends. We made a substantial change in course and yet we came extremely close to running into another whale. We had to have startled this one because it made a quick dive and the tail fin came well out of the water and threw a wave over the boat.
We are doing well in the race. On leg one we finished first in class and fourth overall. Leg two we finished second in class and fourth overall.
We are looking strong going into the final leg to San Diego this weekend. Wish us luck again.

While working around the harbor this last week I noticed the sea lions are making their presence know again, as they do every summer.
If you have a boat on a mooring you had better go check on your boat and place sea lion deterrents on your boat and docks.
***
New idea I am staring this week — boat name of the week. Call me if you have any ideas.
Let's start with "Good Ju Ju."
Sea ya.
--
LEN BOSE is an experienced boater, yacht broker and boating columnist for the Daily Pilot.

Copyright © 2016, Daily Pilot









Wednesday, June 01, 2016

The Harbor Report: Rowing coach put the 'sea' in OCC

DAVID A. GRANT, PRESIDENT EMERITUS,
ORANGE COAST COLLEGE



By Len Bose
February 20, 2015 | 5:34 p.m.

Between 1983 and 1985, I was at the Orange Coast College sailing center almost every day as a member of the OCC sailing team and then one year as coach. During this time, I met people like Jim Jorgensen, Brad Avery and Dave Grant.
At that time, Grant was the dean of students and the head rowing coach at OCC. It did not take much in the way of observation skills to quickly notice that Grant was the big man on campus. One thing I recall about Grant is that he was always a busy guy, and each day, you were greeted by him with a heartfelt hello and a laugh.
Jump forward some 30 years, and Grant has since retired from OCC. But I still get a very warm welcome and a laugh every time I run into him around the harbor.
Grant was born in Los Angeles, and his parents lived in Alhambra. In 1947, after the war, when his father got out of the Navy, the family moved to Costa Mesa.
"Dad did not want to live in the city, so he purchased 5 acres of land in Costa Mesa so that my sister could have horses and I could have dogs," he said.
Grant explained how he enjoyed exploring the bay, duck-shooting and water skiing.
"Kids used to sail their sabots around the bay and explore Shark Island, now called Linda Isle," he said. "We would fish for crawdads. It was pretty wild, and we thought that it would go on forever."

About that time, his father purchased a 24-foot sailboat with an outboard on the back, and the family would sail around the harbor and up and down the coast.
"Going out to the bell buoy was the most exciting thing in the world, and we would look down into the deep blue water and wonder how deep it was there," he explained.
Grant then went on to Newport Harbor High School, OCC and UCLA. At this time in his life, he had rowed a little at OCC and some at UCLA when one day the phone rang and Basil Peterson, then president of OCC, was on the line. He asked Grant if he would be interested in a one-year assignment teaching American history and invited him to his office to discuss the assignment.
During the interview, Peterson hardly looked up from his desk as he explained the one-year assignment. "One more thing — the crew is a mess. Go straighten it out," Peterson said as Grant was leaving the office.
Grant explained that he knew very little about crew, and, without even looking up from his desk, Peterson said, "I am sure you will figure it out."
Later, while Grant was thinking of his new assignment, he happened to see a copy of Sports Illustrated with Harry Parker, the new head coach of the Harvard varsity rowing team, on the cover. Grant picked up pen and paper and wrote to Parker, asking him for his help.
Parker accepted — and invited Grant to spend a week with him.
"I really learned rowing from the best coach in the world," Grant said. "He was fabulous, and he was my mentor through it all." This turned out to be a long-lasting friendship, and OCC extended Grant's assignment.
I asked Grant about some of his favorite moments as the OCC crew coach. He reflected back to 1968, beating Washington State University in the state of Washington. "Back then, that was like beating the UCLA basketball team at home," he said.
I could almost see the smile on his face over the phone while he described to me the team's trip to China in 1968 to compete in a rowing regatta. Grant was also invited back to China the following years as a coach. Grant noted that the team had been invited 10 times to the Henley Royal Regatta in England.
I asked him about the hard part of being the crew coach. ""Every year we would have great kids, fantastic kids that were under 6 feet tall try out for the team," he responded. "The odds of these kids making a boat was very remote, and telling them this was one of my hardest things I had to do as a coach."

I knew Grant has a great passion for the sea and plenty of sea stories. Here is one he told me: In 1972, during a six-month sabbatical, Grant and three of his closest friends purchased a Cal 28 by the name of Passages and sailed to Hawaii, Samoa, Fiji and New Caledonia, retracing some of the routes of Capt. James Cook.
"Well, I never told the crew how often I dropped the sextant, which always made for excitement during our expected landfalls," he said.
Another time he and the OCC sailing director, Avery, were making plans for the college's 65-foot sloop Alaska Eagle to sail in the Sydney-Hobart Yacht Race.
"The fire was blazing with my dog at our feet," he said. "It was warm in my living room and very comfortable. Then fast forward into the race, and everyone on the boat was seasick except Avery and I while we smashed into these huge seas with water going over our heads constantly. Avery and I had three-hour watches on the wheel, and while Avery was coming onto watch, he looked through the boat's port light and asked me to tell the story again about the fire and what a great idea this race was."
Grant was inducted into the Intercollegiate Sailing Hall of Fame in Annapolis, Maryland, in 1975, becoming only the sixth West Coast mariner to be given that prestigious honor. He even found time in 1989 to climb the 19,240-summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa.
I wanted a list of Dave Grant maxims.
He laughed and answered: "Regarding what to do when you lose, you can be disappointed but not discouraged, and as a coach, I would say, 'I never give up until you give up.' To a sailor, I would say, 'A ship in a harbor is safe, but that's not what ships are built for.' This would always remind me to go to sea. There has been many times when I have used the quote from Cecil Rhodes, 'So little time, so much to do.' We have a lifetime to do these things, and we are crazy not to do them."
We then talked about some of the changes he experienced in the harbor. He mentioned "the loss of the big sailing vessels in front of the Stuft Shirt, which is now called A'marree's. It was always a sight to see the Goodwill, a 161-foot schooner, sail in front of the sea base. I also have a concern that the harbor is so built up now that kids have lost the chance for adventure around the harbor."
When I asked him if he had any concerns around the harbor, Grant explained, "The harbor distinguishes us from most other cities. We have a harbor and we don't take very good care of it. Why don't we put huge amounts of money into cleaning things, making sure the catch basin running through the Back Bay is maintained and improved? We have a fabulous resort, and we don't take very good care of it. If the city would put some money into it, it would be money very well spent."
At the end of my interview, Grant pretty much summed it up in one short comment: "We are very lucky to be here."
I have much more biographical information and notes regarding Grant on my blog site at lenboseyachts.blogspot.com. I have to tell ya, I learned a lot on this one.
Sea ya.

LEN BOSE is an experienced boater, yacht broker and boating columnist





Notes:

                                       BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION
                                                                  
                                    DAVID A. GRANT, PRESIDENT EMERITUS,
                                                  ORANGE COAST COLLEGE

David A. Grant: Administrator at Orange Coast College for 34 years.  He was named the College’s president in August 1989. He served in that position until 1997.
Dave was born in Southern California and grew up in the Harbor area.  He graduated from Newport Harbor High School and Orange Coast College.  He received his BA in political science at UCLA and his MA in American history from Cal State University, Long Beach.  He also did post-graduate work at Stanford, University of Stockholm and University of Oslo. 
 In 1963 Dave was selected to be an OCC history instructor and head rowing coach.  He served as Assistant Dean of Students from 64-1974 and as the Dean of Students from 1975-1986.  He then served as Director of Marine Programs, Facilities and Services for OCC for three years prior to being named as OCC’s College President.
As College President, Dave was intensely involved in all its operations, raising substantial amounts of money from the outside for College needs: The remodel of the Robert B. Moore Theatre, the Student Center and the new Harry and Grace Steele Children’s Center.  He championed the new Technology Center and set up the College’s first High Technology Group to keep the campus up to speed in technology.    He encouraged a now flourishing international students program, inaugurated an Honors Program for those students who wanted a particularly rigorous challenge, established a Transfer Opportunity Center and a Puente Program aimed at assisting Hispanic students as well as a Re-Entry Center, geared to help women returning to higher education.  He put the College first in the state with a Skills Guarantee Program, which guarantees the quality of OCC graduates to employers.
Dave selected more than 80 full-time new faculty members, revitalizing many academic divisions.During his tenure as President of the College,  he also taught a class five days a week from 6 am to 8 am each morning.
 For all those reasons, he was honored by the Governor of California and the California State Legislature.
 The OCC President was inducted into the Intercollegiate Sailing Hall of Fame in Annapolis, Maryland in 1975 becoming only the sixth West Coast mariner to be given that prestigious honor. 
 During a 1972 sabbatical leave, Dave sailed a 28-sloop to Hawaii, Samoa, Fiji and New Caledonia, retracing some of the routes of Capt. James Cook.  He has sailed extensively in New Zealand and Australia, having competed in the Sydney-Hobart yacht race several times, circumnavigated NZ’s South Island aboard the College’s sloop Alaska Eagle as well as sailing with that vessel in the Society Islands and through much of Northern Europe.  He has also sailed amongst the Galapagos Islands and competed in several TransPacific  and Mexican yacht races.  He has sailed through the Straits of Magellan and was a member of an expedition to South Georgia Island, east of Cape Horn.
 In 1989, he climbed with a team to the 19,240 ft. summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa. 
 Dave has been coaching rowing at Orange Coast for most of his adult life, fitting in those early morning hours 6am to 8am before his “real job” on campus.  During his tenure, the Pirates have become a formidable rowing power in the US.  His crews have won numerous championships and have competed many times at the Henley Royal Regatta in England.  OCC was the first American college crew to be invited to race in the People’s Republic of China which they did in 1985. He also coached rowing for elite Chinese oarsmen for a summer in Shanghai.   He served as Assistant Rowing Coach for the United States for the 1984 Olympic Games.  Twice he has been featured in the nation’s premier sports magazine, Sports Illustrated.
 He has been a significant fundraiser for the College, having just chaired the committee that raised $substantial funds for the addition to the College’s School of Sailing and Seamanship.
He was a leader in establishing the Newport Aquatic Center and served on its Board of Directors for 10 years, and as its president for four years.  He has been a member of the Orange Coast College Foundation Board since 1989 and was a key member of the team that successfully passed a major bond issue for the Coast Community College Dist. The OCC Collegiate Rowing Center is named for Dave.
 He served on the Board of Trustees of the Newport Harbor Nautical Museum including a two year term as the President of the Board. At the Nautical Museum he has been a frequent lecturer on historical maritime adventures.
 He is a member of Newport Harbor Yacht Club, the Cruising Club of America and the Leander Club at Henley on-Thames,  England.   He was recently the Chairman of the Orange Coast College Foundation Board of Directors as well as President of the Friends of the OCC Library.  He was also elected to the public office of Trustee of the Coast Community College District for a second four year term.





OCC'S DAVE GRANT IS INDUCTED INTO PRESTIGIOUS LEANDER ROWING CLUB
Thursday, July 11, 2002

Retired Orange Coast College president David A. Grant, who recently completed his 38th and final season as the college's head crew coach, has been inducted into the prestigious Leander Club, located in Henley-on-Thames, England. 
Grant returned this week (July 9) from England where his OCC crew reached the second round of the Henley Royal Regatta competition. After beating the University of Bristol, England by four lengths in the opening round, the Pirates lost to Queen's University of Belfast by two lengths in the second race. 
The Pirates competed in Henley's Temple Challenge Cup division. 
Grant, 63, has taken his OCC crews to the Henley Royal Regatta on 10 occasions in 38 years. He joined Orange Coast College's faculty in 1963, and served as OCC president from 1989-95. He took three years off as crew coach while serving as president. 
Though he retired from the college in 1995, Grant continued to coach OCC's crew. 
Founded in 1818, the Leander Club is the world's oldest and most renowned rowing club. It is headquartered in a building located next to the Henley Bridge, situated at the finish line of Henley's famous rowing course. 
Leander's membership, which stands at 3,000, comprises distinguished past and present British and overseas oarsmen and oarswomen, together with those who've given special service to the sport of rowing. 
Earlier this spring, OCC's beautiful boathouse on North Lido Channel in Newport Beach was named in Grant's honor. The boathouse is now called the David A. Grant Collegiate Rowing Center. 
Grant served as OCC's assistant dean of students from 1964 through 1974, and was dean of students from 1976 through 1986. He was director of marine programs, facilities and services from 1986 through 1989. He became OCC's sixth president in '89.

Grant was inducted into the National Sailing Hall of Fame in 1975. He was only the sixth West Coast mariner to be given that prestigious honor. He was an assistant U.S. Olympic crew coach for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games. 
During his 38 seasons as OCC's head crew coach, Grant's Pirates became one of the most formidable collegiate rowing powers in the nation. They won more than 80 percent of their races -- against the likes of such collegiate heavyweights as UC Berkeley, Stanford, UCLA, Washington, Harvard and Pennsylvania. 
Grant's OCC crews have competed in international regattas in England, Ireland and Canada. In 1984, his Orange Coast squad became the first Western crew ever to row in the People's Republic of China. 

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Harbor Report: Catalina Flyer in good hands with Forbath





 

BY: Len Bose

The Catalina Flyer's overall length is 124 feet with a 40-foot beam, her draft is 9 feet, 5 inches and she cruises at 30 knots. She is powered by twin 2350 Caterpillar turbo diesels and can make the trip to Avalon in 1 hour, 20 minutes with more than 500 passengers.
The Catalina Flyer is Newport Harbor's ride to Catalina for the general public. I had a chance to interview Capt. Steve Forbath of the Catalina Flyer this week.
Forbath grew up in Costa Mesa and was first introduced to the harbor by attending Newport Beach's recreation sailing class in Naples Sabots at the age of 7-8.
He graduated from Estancia High and then proceeded to UC Santa Barbara for his bachelor's degree, then UC Irvine for his master's.

Forbath started working aboard the Catalina Holiday when it opened in 1978. By 1980, he received his captain's license and then took the helm of the Catalina Flyer.

Captain Steve Forbath


Because of the Flyer's size, the vessel has two captains on board at all times while underway. The first captain is in charge of the wheel house, announcements and the helm. The second captain is in charge of the engine room and passengers. Should the vessel encounter limited visibility, both captains are in the wheel house.
While underway, the first captain is constantly monitoring the sea state, engine gauges, GPS, auto-pilot and radar while all the time keeping a visual lookout for small recreational boaters and marine life.
Forbath recalled a couple of years ago when a large 90-foot blue whale had died and drifted into one of the jetties off Newport.
One of the lifeguard boats was towing the whale back out to sea when a couple of 18-to-20-foot great white sharks picked up on the whale. The sharks came up from behind the whale, then jumped out of the water, biting into the whale then spinning violently, thrashing back and forth, until they broke a large piece off.
There have also been times when the Flyer has come upon an unsuspecting Fin Whale on the surface and had to dodge it, giving the passengers the opportunity to go eye-to-eye with the whale as the two went their separate ways.
I asked him what had been some of the most interesting flotsam he'd seen over the years.
"While departing Avalon, about three miles off the island, I noticed what first appeared to be a rather large person on a Jet Ski heading straight for us off our starboard side," Forbath said.
"The next moment I realized it was too big to be someone on a Jet Ski and tried to hail the object on the radio, channels 16, 13 and 14. Just about this time the Coast Guard started to question my inquiries over the radio, when a very strong U.S. Navy voice came over the radio and said this encounter never happened, and the periscope of the submarine quickly submerged under the water."
I asked when the weather might be too rough for the Flyer to make the crossing.
"This winter we canceled more days than I can remember because of wind and swell," Forbath said. "We are concerned about the passengers, we just don't want to hurt anybody. It's all about our passengers' comfort.
"People get scared, they suddenly stand up and try to run and fall down. The boat, knock on wood, can handle anything in this area. We have to keep the passengers comfortable so it becomes more about the sea state rather than wind strength. There have also been times when the winds will come out of the Canyon of Avalon and we cannot get into harbor and I have had to return to Newport before because the harbor has been closed off.


"Some of you might recall the fires in Catalina over the last 10 years," he said. "One night we had to stand off Avalon all night in case we had to evacuate all the residence from town because of the fire danger."
I asked if there was anything he'd like to say to the recreational boater that would make his day easier.
"Keep a safe distance, we move much faster than you would think we do," Forbath said.
The captain and I talked more about our deliveries up and down the West Coast and shared similar stories of challenges while at sea. Forbath can talk the talk, and for someone who has been around as long as he has, I am quite sure he can walk the walk.
We are all very fortunate that he is one of the captains that runs the Flyer here in Newport Harbor.
I am headed out on the Santa Cruz 50 Horizon again this next week down the coast of California in the California Offshore Race Week. It is a three-race series starting from San Francisco to Monterey, then from Monterey to Santa Barbara and Santa Barbara to San Diego.
Please wish us luck again, it always helps.


Sea ya.

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

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

What are those red crabs you have noticed in the Bay

Pleuroncodes planipes

By Len Bose
February 27, 2015 | 4:58 p.m.

Not sure how many of you were on the harbor last weekend and noticed all the Pleuroncodes planipes, or red crabs, doing their thing. By Monday afternoon, it appeared that they had little to no life left in them.
I contacted Michelle Clemente, Newport Beach's marine protection and education supervisor, to get the scoop (no pun intended) on all the red crabs.
"They are typically associated with warm water," Clemente explained. "It's a type of mating ritual, and they got cooked when they landed on the sand. It's a little bit warm for them to be out of the water."

Clemente informed me that this was not unusual and happens during the El NiƱo years.

6-13-15 I was in San Diego in Mission Bay and the bay was full of them.


05-18-16 I first wrote this story almost a year ago. This round with the crabs are a little different, they do not go away with a simple shampoo, just kidding. This time the Sea Gulls are eating them and popping and pooping red crabs all over the boats and docks nasty stuff yesterday.











Lori Bowman Fernandez Photo Taken in Huntington Beach

Friday, May 06, 2016

The Harbor Report: Yacht clubs celebrate traditional Opening Day



Opening Day is a celebration and tradition to welcome members to the yacht clubs' facilities for the upcoming season.
This Saturday, I plan to attend Opening Day at the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club with Commodore Sandy Mills, who will be opening the 2016 yachting season.
The tradition of opening day started many years ago, where yacht clubs would close down for the winter and, of course, re-open before each summer season.
Tradition plays a big part in every opening day, starting with the inspection of the fleet.

I am a big supporter of the inspection process because it leads to the boat owners' preparation and maintenance for the upcoming season. Fleet inspection normally starts early in the morning, with the inspection chairmen and their committee assigned to the different boats for judging.
The judges will then head out to the fleet and meet with the boat owners who have entered into the inspection.
Judges are looking at overall appearance inside and out. They will then head into the bilges of the boats and take a look around with a boat surveyor's eye toward integrity of the vessel.

Some judges might even know Coast Guard, National Fire Protection Assn. and American Boat and Yacht Council standards.
This would cover everything from batteries being boxed and properly secured, looking for fuel leaks, making sure a set of tapered soft wood through hull plugs are leashed to each through hull and to make sure there is a corkscrew for happy hour in the galley.
I have known more than one boat owner who could tell me how many door hinges they have on their boats because they have polished each and every one of them. For the boat owner who has taken the last week off work and has gone through the inspection checklist themselves, I salute you for a job well done.
The odds of you having an equipment malfunction this season have been greatly diminished because of their hard work. If you happen to know this type of yachtsmen, send me a note; I would like to interview them.
*
Let's talk flag etiquette
This is when I start my yearly rant about flag etiquette. Now, the bottom line is you are enjoying your boat, and are having fun doing so, and I should stop here.
But I have a hard time with people flying pirate flags and thinking that the more flags you fly the better. I noticed one boat last weekend flying a set of plastic flags from the sign shop.
The guy could not have been any happier and said, "Look at all the color I have flying."
I replied, "Looks like you are going to have a fun opening day."
As I turned away, I suffered from acid reflux, but, hey, people on the boat were having a great time, and that's all that really matters.
So, yes, I am a type of snob when it comes to flag etiquette. I wrote a story nine years ago on this topic. You can find it on my website, lenboseyachts.blogspot.com.


Here is the Chapman, book of seamanship, recommend list for dressing ship:
"On the Fourth of July and other special occasions, yachts may dress ship when at anchor. The international Code Flags are displayed from the waterline forward to the waterline aft, using weights at the end in the following order arranged to the effect color patterns throughout: Starting forward:AB2 UJ1, KE3, GH6, LV5, FL4, DM7, PO 3rd repeater, RN 1st repeater, ST0, CX9, WQ8, ZY 2nd repeater."
Now, if you do not have your signal flags in this order, and you get marked down, you can ague that this is only a recommendation for a color pattern, and there is no official pattern.
I have to take Tums every time I see boaters dress ship a week before and still have their signal flags up a week after opening day.
One last bit advice for the upcoming season: Make sure your first mate understands how to read your GPS and how to work the VHF radio and call for help.
Let this person engage and disengage the auto-pilot and let them hand steer to or from Catalina once this season.
It's summer and the sun is out!
Sea ya.


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

Friday, April 29, 2016

FLASHBACK: The True Yachtsman Guide To Flag Etiquette for Opening Day

I wrote this story in 2007:



According to naval regulations, a flag officer is anyone who holds the rank of rear admiral and higher. Applying that reasoning to yacht clubs, only the commodore, vice commodore and the rear commodore have a clear claim to the title of flag officer. A past commodore has less of a claim, and a fleet captain, secretary and treasurer have no real claim at all.
Yachting and Customs and courtesies by Joseph Tringali.

When two boats are approaching the same gangway or landing stage, flag officers shall have the right of way in order of seniority.

Piloting seamanship and small boat handling “Chapman’s”











Distress: Though not official, flying the US Ensign upside down is universally recognized as a distress signal.




Transportation: Code flag “T” is used to call the club tender.

When cruising away from home waters, the wise yachtsman keeps a sharp eye out for local customs. It is a mark of courtesy to conform to local procedures and practices. While visiting at a yacht club of which you are not a member, observe the actions and routines of the local owner-members, and particularly the club officers. This is especially important with the respect to evening colors. Not all clubs strictly calculate the daily time of sunset, and some may be earlier than you would normally expect. If you will be off your boat at the time of evening colors be sure to take down your flags before you leave your boat.





SHIPS BELLS:
That pesky clock which no one ever seems fully to understand is based on the concept of watches: not wristwatches, but ship’s watches. The ship’s day is divided into six four-hour ‘watches’ beginning with the period from 8:00 P.M. to midnight, which is called the ‘first watch’. For the record, the names of the watches are:
8:00 Pm to midnight First watch
Midnight to 4 AM Midnight Watch 135
4:00 am to 8:00 Morning Watch
8:00 am to Noon Forenoon Watch
Noon to 4:00 pm Afternoon Watch
4:00 pm to 8:00pm Evening watch

Now for the bells: A junior member of the crew, usually a cabin boy, was assigned to the task of keeping track of the length of the ‘watch’ by turning a sand-filled hour glass and to make this just a little more complicated, the glass needed to be turned every thirty minutes. The boy was ordered to ring the bell once for each time he turned the glass. Thus, one bell repents 8:30pm two bells 9:00 pm, three bells 9:30. Etc. At eight bells, four hours, the watch changed, and a new cabin boy took over, ringing the bell once at thirty minutes after beginning of his watch and continuing as described through the entire four-hour period.

Absolute purists will note the 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm evening watch is usually dived into two ‘dogs’ known as the ‘first dog’ watch, from 4:00 PM to 6:00 pm and the second ‘dog watch”, from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. The word ‘dog’ in this instance has nothing to do with a four-legged canine; rather, it is ‘dog’ in archaic sense that we might today use the word ‘jog’ or ‘skip’. ‘ Dogging’ the watch allowed the crew to eat their evening meal, which generally was the only full meal of the day, between the hours of 4:00 pm and 8:00 pm. One-half of the crew was at the table while the other half was at work. No special arrangement is made for the bells during the dogged watch: they continue as before, adding one bell every half hour until the watch ends at 8:00 pm
One final note on ship’s bell is recorded by Lieutenant Commander Lovette and provides an interesting idea for yacht club New Year’s Eve party:
An old custom, once strictly observed, was that of having the oldest man in the ship, be he the admiral or jack-of-the-dust, strike eight bells at midnight, on December thirty-first. This was immediately followed by eight bells for the New Year and always struck by the youngest boy on board. It was, of course, the only time of the year when sixteen bells were struck.

Piloting seamanship and small boat handling “Chapman’s”
Yachting and Customs and courtesies by Joseph Tringali.
Yachting Protocol Guidelines by SCYA



Most yacht clubs have an area set aside as a memorial for the club’s past commodores. Regardless of the form it takes, the purpose of the past commodore’s memorial is something more than feeding the egos of the select few by recognizing a group of individuals whom most people remember vaguely and whom new members may know not at all. It is in the nature of a yacht club to maintain a closer tie to its roots than almost any other kind of club. The memorial, past picture books, photographs, is a continuing link with the club’s past. It is one of the many traditions, which make a yacht club unique

In the past I have noticed visiting yacht club with more than half of the participants flying the wrong flags in the wrong places. Yacht clubs should also ask the visiting club’s to bring their flag so that we can fly the visiting clubs flag. Proper flag etiquette shows other clubs and yachtsman just what your club is all about. Final words, Flags are not flown for appearance; they convey definite and well-accepted meaning. There may be some debate on whether or when a particular flag should be flown, the byword must always be, “ Less is more”



Flag Time
With few exceptions vessels shall make colors only between the hours of 0800 and sunset. All colors should be struck at sundown, which includes yacht club burgees, fun flags, fish catch flags, code flags for dressing ship, etc. For our opening day chairs, all boats displaying colors, private signals, code flags, etc before 0800 on opening day should be noted and assumed that all colors were flown overnight.

Private Signal: The owner of the vessel designs a flag. Usually a tapered, swallowtail pennant, but sometimes a rectangle or triangle. The tradition of the private pennant signal, or "house flag," currently used dates back to the 18th and 19th century when the sailing ship lines were at their peak. Many line owners were yachtsmen and carried their "house flags" to their yachts. Many members of the older yacht clubs have "house flags" that have been passed down for generations. It is flown in place of the yacht club burgee, from the bow staff on mast less yachts, or from the top of the mainmast on sailing vessels. On todays racing yachts they are flown under the yacht club burgee on the starboard side. Many private signals, particularly those of recent vintage, show symbols which are particularly related to the owners life; someone in computers might be distinguished by a cursor, for example; while others a play on words: the name "Seals" could be represented by a seal or a sun rising.


It is accepted practice that never more than one private signal is displayed at a time.
If a member does not have a private signal, one is recommended that is both simple and timeless in design and easily recognized from a distance to insure its continued use for future generations. Traditionally, initials were not used. May be flown by day only or day and night.


Bose Private Signal
















FLAG INVENTORY

All true yachtsmen should have on board an inventory of the proper flags and signals. The following is a list of suggested flags.

ENSIGN (mandatory)
Congress established the Yacht Ensign of 13 stars encircling an anchor in 1849. Also, the national colors (traditional Stars and Stripes) may be displayed in lieu of the ensign, particularly in foreign waters.

UNION JACK (optional)
A rectangular of the union of 50 stars on a blue field.

YACHT CLUB BURGEE (mandatory)
Usually a triangular or swallow – tailed pennant, which represents the owner’s yacht club.

ASSOCIATION BURGEE (mandatory)
The Catalina Conservancy Burgee may be flown in place of the yacht club burgee or beneath a yacht club burgee. The design of the Association’s Burgee was created in 1996.

OFFICERS Flags (mandatory)
A rectangular flag which represents the rank of the yacht club or association officer. Four flags are generally recognized in yacht clubs: Commodore, Vice Commodore, Rear Commodore, and Fleet Captain.

The Commodore’s Flag consists of a field of dark blue with white fouled anchor surrounded by thirteen white stars.


The Vice Commodore’s Flag consists of a field of red with white stars with a fouled anchor surrounded by thirteen white stars.

The Rear Commodore’s flag consists of a field of white stars with a red stars with a fouled anchor.

The Fleet Captain’s flag consists of a field of white with a dark blue fouled anchor.
Fleet Captain Flag



PRIVATE SIGNAL (recommended)
Usually a tapered, swallowtail pennant, but sometimes a rectangle or triangle. The tradition of the private signal, or “house flag” currently used dates back to the 18th and 19th century when the sailing ship lines were at their peak. Many line owners were yachtsman and carried their “house flags” that have been passed down for generations. If a member does not have a private signal, one is recommended that both simple and timeless in design and easily recognized from a distance to insure its continued use for the future generations. Traditionally, initials were not used.

OTHER SIGNALS
Owners Absent (recommend): A dark blue rectangular signal. When hoisted, it can often save the frustration of rowing across the cove or harbor only to find the owner has gone ashore.

Owners Absent (recommended): A rectangular dark blue signal with a white diagonal stripe starting from the upper corner at the hoist.

Owners at Meal (optional): A white rectangular flag for those who care to dine understand. Also so known as a do not disturb sign.

Crews Meal ( optional) A red rectangular flag for that crew who care to dine understand. This is one of the only signals flown on the port side.

International Code Flags (optional)
A set of these signals is both practical for cruising and necessary for dressing ship. May be displayed for signaling using the “International code of Signals” for definition of the codes.


Racing Pennant (optional)
A distinctive pennant has been designed by the Sea Cliff (N.Y.) Yacht Club as an identifying signal for racing boats. The field is blue, with white fluorescent strip in the middle, and red anchor superimposed.




ROUTINE
The tradition for over the past 100 years in yachting is that the Club (Association) Burgee be displayed on the bow staff or the truck using a staff or “pig stick.” The reason for these locations is for maximum visibility under sail, as well as at anchor.
In recent years, yacht clubs have opted the starboard spreader as an alternative location for the Burgee to accommodate yachts whose trucks are encumbered with wind indicators and electronic gear. However, the Burgee must be hoisted to the spreader (or “two-blocked”). Other flags may be hosted beneath the club Burgee, in the following order: Association Burgee (if a yacht club Burgee is also being flown, Officer’s flag, owners Flag, other message flags. Yachts at anchor must display the Ensign on a staff placed in a socket located on the starboard stern rail or pulpit as close to the centerline as feasible.

SIZE OF FLAGES
All flags should be of proper size for recognition and identification.
YACHT ENSIGN OR NATIONAL COLORS.
The fly (horizontal direction) shall be a Minimum of one inch per foot of overall length of overall length of the yacht, with the hoist (vertical direction) equal to two-thirds of the fly. Length overall should include bow platforms for the better proportions.

BURGEE, PRIVATE SIGNAL, OWNER ABSENT, OWNER AT MEAL, GUEST, CREW AT MEAL AND INTERNATIONAL CODE FLAGS. The fly shall be a minimum of one-half- inch per foot of the height of the highest truck, measured from the waterline, and with the hoist two-thirds of the fly.


DRESSING SHIP
On the forth of July and other special occasions, yachts may dress ship when at anchor. The international Code Flags are displayed from the waterline forward to the waterline aft, using weights at the end in the following order arranged to the effect color patterns throughout: Starting forward:AB2 UJ1, KE3, GH6, LV5, FL4, DM7, PO 3rd repeater, RN 1st repeater, ST0, CX9, WQ8, ZY 2nd repeater.


NOW that you have read this what the hell do you do with this information? Keep this site bookmarked and refer back. Purchase the listed flags for the yachtsman that has everything. Show everyone next season that you’re a true yachtsman and take the time to fly the proper signals.