Saturday, September 26, 2015

 2004 Duffy 21' Classic

Clean boat, Stereo w (4) Speakers, (16) Batteries  Newer windows, Fresh bottom paint wax and polished.  Asking priced $19, 500.

For Sale: Harbor 20 Hull #81 "LIGHTNING" - $23000

" Lightning" Is very clean boat and fast. I have commented to the owner while coaching from the water " You have boat speed to burn." She features a Two sets of sails, rebuilt motor Electric Motor, Rewired Boat, Battery Charger, Fresh Bottom Paint, Cockpit Cover and Jib Sock, Paddle Boom Crutch, Pop-up Mooring Cleats, Tiller Extension Lock, Cockpit Cushions, Cockpit Table. Commissioned to race the Newport Beach One design fleet. White hull with blue and red strips.
Did I say she is FAST!

The Harbor Report: New harbormaster has plenty on his plate

Middle of the dock in Green is our new Harbormaster Lt Mark Alsobrook, surrounded by his team of deputies and professional staff.
 By Len Bose
September 26, 2015

I left off on my last column with informing everyone that we have a new Harbormaster Lt. Mark Alsobrook and I liked what I saw. This week I was able to interview Alsobrook over the phone.

The new harbormaster grew up in the Bay Area and obtained most of his boating experience on his family's boat fishing in Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz. He has been a resident of Orange County for the last 20 years and before the family came along he had his own 30-foot sport fisher.

While attending Cal State Fresno he took criminology courses and in 1997 began serving in the Orange County Sheriff's Department.
Like all deputy sheriff's he started working in the jails and worked his way to a watch commander position at the Intake Release Center in Santa Ana. In 2011 he made sergeant and worked at community programs and services where he oversaw county-wide drug education efforts.

In 2013 Alsobrook was promoted to lieutenant and has been our new harbormaster for the last three months.

Since we recently had a tsunami advisory I thought I would start there and ask what he had learned.
Lt. Mark Alsobrook
"We have a very detailed tsunami response plan," he said. "Any time we can put a plan in action gives us an opportunity to improve.
"Our action plan was implemented in all three harbors, Newport Beach, Dana Point and Huntington Harbor, and everything went smoothly. We have done a self evaluation along with sending the details to the county."

I first noticed Alsobrook at last months Harbor Commission meeting when he commented to the group that he would like to report back next month on Harbor Patrol activity, so I asked what type of topics will he be covering.
"We should be working hand in hand with the Harbor Commission," he said. "We both have the same overriding goals to create and environment so the harbor can be enjoyed by as many people as possible in a safe manner that is ecologically responsible."
I took the opportunity to request more information on noise complaints and code enforcement response.
"The best changes and ideas will be coming from the operators, users, residents and businesses. They have to be heard," he said. "There has to be open communication, sometimes the better ideas come are the grassroots ideas that develop from the community."

I asked what the responsibilities of The Orange County Harbormaster are and what might be his biggest task for the rest of 2015 and 2016. Alsobrook took a rather deep sigh, not sure where to start.
"The short answer is my primary task is to make sure that the deputies and professional staff have the training and equipment they need to do their jobs safely and effectively," he said.
As for his biggest task in 2015-16, he brought up El NiƱo and the effects of the expected downpour.
"Boaters should check on their bilge pumps, mooring lines and dock lines," he said. "We all understand that the amount of debris has been building up inland and when the rains hit we are sure to get the big flush. This is going to be a rodeo."

My next question was how can boaters help the harbor department.
"With amount of traffic, boaters need to understand their own capabilities. Not everyone knows the rules of the road — boaters should consider being defensive drivers. Also, personal responsibilities should be kept in mind, for example: personal flotation devices; drinking water; communications; being prepared for breakdowns. These things should be thought of before shoving off," said Alsobrook said.

Our last few harbormasters have been very good, unfortunately three out of four of them retired and one was promoted after only two years into the job. I asked Alsobrook, how long he was planning to stay around?
"I plan on staying as long as they let me stay — I am 10 years from retirement. The harbor has always been a goal of mine. I am just grateful that I can fulfill my dream of working in the harbor department," he said.
Photo taken from "The Log"

I joked with him for a little bit suggesting he will be promoted within the next two years. I asked my contacts around town, how they felt about our new harbormaster, they all said he is a good one.
When I said, "Hello, this is Len Bose," to start our interview, he said, "Hello, Len," with such a positive voice inflection that I felt like I was talking with one of my best friends. Make sure you say hello to our new Harbormaster Lt. Mark Alsobrook before he is promoted.
Sea ya.

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

Monday, September 21, 2015

"The Masthead" Issue # 4 1-23-08 Wheres the toughest spot to navigate in NB?

I introduced myself to the Newport Beach Harbor Department, in my continued effort to promote boating safety. Here is a write up:

I met with Deputy James Davis, who has been with the Orange County Sheriff Department for twenty seven years, with the last six years in Operations/Patrol for the Harbor Patrol Division from Dana Point to Newport Beach.

Q. What part of your job interests you the most?
A. . Rescue. That’s why I’m here. We train hard and when everything goes like clock work, there is no better feeling.

Q. What is some of the most difficult and important training you go through?
A. All of our training efforts are important. Fire fighting has to be at the top of the list. All of Southern California understands how fast fire can spread and we plan on being ready to keep that from happening

Q. What are some of the most common mistakes made by Newport Beach boaters?
A. Reading the weather conditions and matching those conditions to their skill levels. These winter and spring months can produce some very challenging conditions that not every boater is prepared for.
Looking forward and proper training for what the day will bring are some of the most common mistakes..

Q, What is your busiest time of year?
A. . There are actually two busy times of the year for the harbor. The first being winter, due to the Christmas Boat Parade and larger weather systems coming through that make for more rescues. The second being our summer season due primarily to the increased boating traffic..

Q. What area of the bay do boaters seem to have trouble navigating through?
A. All in all Newport Bay is a very friendly area to the boater. Skippers will forget to look at the tidal charts and under estimate the distance from the jetty by the height of the rocks. On a high tide the rocks are lower in the water and the jetty distance is closer than it appears. The Back Bay has some shallow areas that the boater must stay focused on while navigating this area. These areas change with the tide flow so what was navigable one trip may be to shallow for a vessels draft the next.

This will be a three part series with the Harbor Department. So come back next week to hear some great launch ramp stories

"The Masthead" Issue # 5 1-31-08 Harbor Patrol and Deputy James Davis

Welcome back to our three part series with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department Harbor Patrol and Deputy James Davis.

Q. I noticed a patrol boat in the Back Bay the other day. Why are you patrolling this area?
A. First, we regularly operate in the Back Bay so we can maintain a familiarity with the area. Second, we are there to make sure there are no violations taking place. We are also ensuring that people are not beaching their boats and getting to close with the wildlife. We also check on the dredging gear whenever we transit the area

Q. What are some of the more common violations you encounter?
A. Speeding has to be the most common followed by lifejackets for the kids and proper registration.

Q. Do you have problems with nuisance radio traffic?
A. We are very fortunate, in that nuisance radio traffic is not large problem. The Coast Guard stays on top of that and we back them up when needed. Most people know to do their radio checks on Channel 9.

Q. What are some common courtesies skippers should keep in mind while operating their boats?
A. Not pushing your right of way would be good start . You could be in a crossing situation with another vessel and notice the skipper has been distracted or does not understand the course of a sailboat. If the skipper would just give way to the other vessel the possibility of an accident could be avoided. Sometimes we see this occurring with the people rowing or skippers making sudden course changes without looking. This minor courtesy would increase all boaters safety while on the water.

Q. Do you have any good launch ramp stories?
A. OOOOOYEAH! A skipper was instructed, to “ JUST FLOOR IT” so they did and placed the boat, not on the trailer, but in the bed of the pick up truck. You can’t help but notice the same mistakes occur over and over again. So we focus on drain plugs, tie downs, and safety issues and inform the boaters of our observastions.

Q. While patrolling, do you ever get out of the boat and walk around?
A. Absolutely! In the summer months we will get out at the ferry lanes and the Rhine Channel and interact with the public as much as possible. The public is really our eyes and ears as to what is occurring in the bay and they are the ones we depend on for information about problem we may not normally encounter during normal patrols. We also maintain a presence in the areas where there is a higher likelihood of people operating their boats while under the influence.

Q. How do you stay focused on the “Dog Watches” when it’s cold and not a lot of activity?
A. We call them the “Midnight Shifts” and there is plenty to do. As you know we are on duty 24/7, 365 days a year with several different shifts throughout the day. We focus on noise, water movement and anything out of place. As for the cold weather we do have an enclosed steering station and heat to help us out.

Q. Do you have other tools to help you out at night?
A. Yes, We have night vision and thermal imaging equipment. There are times when a house has been broken into and Newport Police has asked us to come by and with the thermal imaging equipment attempt to locate people who might be hiding to the rear of the residence or on the docks.

This was part two of a three part series with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department Harbor Patrol. So come back next week to hear about patrol techniques, how to keep sea lions off your boat and what call Deputy Davis does not look forward to responding to

"The Masthead" Issue # 6 2-11-08 Harbor Patrol and Deputy James Davis

Welcome back to the last part of our three part series interviewing Deputy James Davis.

Q. What are some of your different patrol techniques for night and day?
A. Well let’s start with the evening shifts, the areas we patrol at night are no different than during the day. We still patrol off the coast and inside the harbor, but we may concentrate our efforts around those areas that are more heavily trafficked such as the Rhine Cannel and the Turning Basin looking for something out of the ordinary. We frequently check in with security guards, live-aboards, and transient boaters to see if everything is OK . Again these people are our eyes and ears. In the mooring areas we are also looking for anything that is not lit up, again we are looking for anything out of the ordinary, small wakes etc. In the Back Bay we are always looking for wildlife that might be injured, people that have gone aground that don’t have a radio or anyone in need of assistance. In the Federal Channel we have the large charter boats and we are frequently in communication with the skippers to ensure there are no problems. We also spend a lot of time looking off the water; we are looking at the homes and businesses and constantly trying to be aware of fire hazards. During shift change we communicate with the oncoming shift and advise the deputies of what has occurred during the prior shift. Like any good ocean racing team there is lots of information to share between watches.

Q. What’s the best way to keep sea lions off your boats or dock?
A. What I am finding out is a strong physical barrier works well. The key is to stop it before it starts, so don’t wait until the sea lions find your boat or dock take preventative action if you notice sea lions in your area.

Q. What is the best way for the boater to approach a public dock with a number of fishermen on the dock?
A. We have had problems with this issue recently.. In response to the problem the Harbor Patrol in cooperation with the California Department of Fish and Game developed a Task Force to address this issue and it seems to be working. Our suggestion is for a boater to pull up a short distance from the dock and ask the fisherman to make room and give them time to bring their lines in. If this does not work give us a call and we will come by and help you out.

Q. What call would you fear to hear?
A. An airplane down from John Wayne airport. We have trained for this scenario and I would prefer never to use this training.

Q. Where do you see yourself in the next ten years?
A. Within the next three years I will be retiring from fulltime work, but I plan on continuing part time. This is how the department keeps the continuity though out the years.

What I will continue to do, if they let me back on their dock, is to report back monthly with Sergeant McCormick for any local notice to mariners and to keep everyone informed.

Friday, September 18, 2015

FOR SALE: 2015 Harbor 20 Hull # 415

                                   2015 # 415 Harbor 20 for sale.   ASKING $ 32,000

Still smells like new, only sailed three times. Featuring new Torqeedo electric motor, Cockpit Cover and Jib Sock, Boom Crutch, Pop-up Mooring Cleats, Bow Chocks, Ensign and Staff, Safety Package, Tiller Extension Lock, C-Foam Cockpit Cushions. Commissioned to race the Newport Beach One design fleet. White hull with blue strips

For Newport Beach prospects this boat has been in the water long enough to sail in the up coming fleet championships in October.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

FOR SALE: 2003 J 109 LINSTAR ASKING $ 185,000

It is with our deepest sorrow that we must inform you of the listing for sale of our beloved friend LINSTAR.

I have sailed and ran Linstar for the last ten years. We have competed in The Big Boat Series, Southern California One Design and Club Racing. This is the best all around boat I have ever sailed on. She can do windward/leeward races, point to point and take the family cruising.

When viewing this boat please notice her like new sail inventory, rebuilt engine, three year old sail drive, strengthen mast step, five year old mast and standing rigging.

She is a very clean boat with a huge inventory of equipment, she is located in Newport Beach California and very easy to show. Call for an appointment today! ASKING $ 185,000

The J 109 offers one of the best cabin layouts in the performance racer/cruiser market today. Forward is a large guest stateroom that features plenty of storage with good ventilation and privacy door. Next aft is the salon with removable drop leaf table with two straight settees to port and starboard and storage above. Continuing aft is the galley to port with pressure water, stainless sink, two-burner stove and oven and more than enough counter space for preparing large meals for the crew or family. Across and to starboard is the navigation station that features plenty of room for books, laptop, electronics, and charts. Just aft is the head with access to the aft settee. Aft of the galley is the owners stateroom with double berth, hanging locker and privacy door.


Carbon Ullman Class Sails 2014 (only used 8 times)
Carbon Main
Carbon Class Jib
Class 2A Runner

Other Sails all very fresh:
(1) North 3A (Only used three times)
Code O Ullman
(1) North PHRF 2A Runner
(1) North Never used 135% Genoa
Spinnaker Staysail

Beercan Sails:
(1) North main
  1. Ullman Class Jib


B&G wind instruments with (7) displays.
B&G Auto Pilot
Norstar GPS Plotter
Icom VHF with Remote Mic at Helm
Stereo New in 2014 w (2) Interior and (2) Exterior Speakers
Horse shoe ring
B&G Remote
(2) Batteries two years old
Whisker Pole
Fenders & Docklines
Stern Cockpit Seat / Locker Included
Harken Roller Furling
Tuff Luff Head Stay for IRC
Backstay fo IRC
H/C Pressure Water
Transom Shower
Danforth anchor with rode
Shorepower cord
Helm cover
Mainsail cover
Jib furler cover
2-burner propane stove and oven
10-lb LPG tank

Deck Hardware
Harken #46 self tailing primary winches
Harken #40 self tailing halyard winches
2 winch handles
2 PVC winch pockets
Harken ball bearing blocks and fine tune for mainsheet
Harken traveller with 4:1 purchase
Harken ball bearing tracks with 4:1 jib and genoa tracks
Harken foot blocks for genoa sheets
Harken spinnaker sheet blocks on U-Bolts
Harken block on padeye on bowsprit
5 halyard / reef turning blocks
4 halyard Spinlock stoppers on either side of companionway
Tack line lead aft to cockpit
2- bow mooring cleats
2-stern mooring cleats
2-sheet bags on coach roof
P/S handrails on coach roof
Aluminium wheel and S/S pedestal guard
P/S boarding gates


It may be impossible to have both cruising luxury and high level race performance in the same boat, but the J 109 comes as close as can be achieved in the search for the right blend of compromises. With refrigeration, ample fresh water, and two comfortable staterooms, a couple can cruise for several weeks without needing to visit port. The value is in her performance design and quality construction, which will allow you to sail, offshore, club race and take the family cruising safely. This is the type of yacht you can be proud of in front of the Yacht Club. HARD TO FIND! GREAT VALUE!

Friday, September 11, 2015

The Harbor Report: Commission discusses Dunes settlement

By Len Bose
September 12, 2015

I attended this month's Harbor Commission meeting Wednesday night and I wanted to update you on what was on the agenda.
First up was Newport Beach Planning Manager Patrick Alford to review the terms of the Newport Dunes Settlement Agreement. This agreement outlines the operational characteristics of the launch ramp for trailered boats. The agreement states that there must be a minimum of 120 parking places for vehicles and their trailers in close vicinity of the launch ramp.
The ramp must be open seven days a week. When I called the marina office they informed me that the ramp is open 24 hours a day. I have heard, from a very reliable source, that there has been times when people have been turned away from the launch ramp during special events at the Dunes.
Alford has received complaints about the launch ramp being closed, and when he contacted the Dunes management, he said he was told that errors where made by employees during those special events.
To my understanding these closures have been very rare. I have only heard about one on a major holiday years ago. But who should you call if you showed up to the ramp and it was closed or if the parking requirements where not at minimum standards and you where turned away? Newport Beach city code officers are responsible for policing the settlement agreement.
From my observation, the launch ramp is run well and exceeded my expectations. There are launch services and operators to help you with many of your boating needs.
Pete Swift, from Swift slips, recently informed me that they have a great working relationship with the Dunes and are launching four times a week there. One thing I did learn recently is that there is a rather deep drop off at the Dunes so if you have to do a deep water launch you should talk to the launch operators.
My gut still tells me our harbor needs more than one trailerable boat launch ramp, preferably city owned. Finding that location is like placing a square peg in a round hole and I know of only two places, both in the upper bay, that there is still space left.
One is in Castaways lot just north of the Pacific Coast Highway bridge. The second is North Star Beach next to the Newport Aquatic Center. Both of these areas are basically impossible to place a launch ramp in because of traffic concerns but unfortunately they're about the only place still open around the harbor.
18th Street Beach Launch

My other concern is we have lost the ability to launch small trailerable sailboats, unless you are a yacht club member, in the lower bay. I have mentioned many times I was introduced to our harbor by being able to launch our Hobie Cat from the 18th Street beach. I have always held a deep belief that we need to keep accessibility to the harbor for the novices new to our sport of sailing and boating.
The good news is, we still have plenty of places to launch kayaks, SUP, and other small boats that do not require trailers. Eighteenth Street is still open, North Star Beach appears to be the best place in town with a ton of free parking, the small beach next to the Lido bridge on the north side is still well used.
The Castaways lot appears to be a desirable location, although there has been a fence placed around the seawall area and posts placed on the south end — I assume to keep trailerable boats from launching.
North Star Beach next to NAC
I laughed to myself when I noticed the two new park benches added there and the portable toilets. But hey, what are you going to do? The place is open and you will start seeing signs being placed on the street welcoming the public into this area soon.
Also on this week's Harbor Commission agenda was the review of objectives for the upcoming years. I will review these objectives once they are all established. If you have any harbor concerns it's time for you to contact your favorite commissioner or council member and let them know what you are thinking.
My concern is the ability to streamline our permits for new docks and develop an eelgrass mitigation plan for new docks.
One last note before I go — we have a new sheriff in town. Lt. Mark Alsobrook, of the Orange County Sheriff's Department Harbor Patrol, recently took the helm has our new harbormaster. At first glance, I like what I see.
He and Deputy Sean Scoles attended the meeting and promised to keep in touch by making a quarterly report to the Harbor Commission. This is huge and long overdue in my opinion.
Sea ya.

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

Should Newport Beach have Marine Recycling Centers?

                                   (This is what we have in Newport Beach now)

I am still moving forward with the Marine Recycling Center idea for Newport Beach. Two weeks ago Harbor Commissioner Ralph Rodheim and I went to Dana Point to meet with Brad Gross and Paul Lawrence of Dana Point Harbor. The concept of this sortie was to learn the details of Dana Point Harbors Marine Recycling Center and if possible copy these centers in Newport Beach.

Let me take two steps back and tell you how I got this idea. I was cleaning my boat out one day and found I had diesel fuel in my bilge and then proceeded to sponge it into a two gallon bucket. When deciding on how to dispose of the fuel I found I had four choices. The first choice was to dump it in the waste bin or into the gutter, I could take it to one of the fuel docks and pay $20 to dispose of it or I could drive all the way to Northern Huntington Beach and dispose of it at the Rainbow disposal yard. Keep in mind I am lazy and cheap and always look for the easiest out. About this time I wondered if the city had a solution? 

Before I meet with Commissioner Rodheim I thought I had better look into what Newport Beach’s has in place already and gave Dave Beek and Gary Hill, the owners of our local fuel docks, a call. Both fuel docks will take your absorbent pads and waste oil at no cost. I also leaned from these two plus Dave New at Basin shipyard that people quite often just leave their waste at their doorstep.
So with the understanding we might find a better system of disposing of this type of waste Commissioner Rodheim and I proceeded to Dana 
Point in a fact finding mission. I  had also perversely placed a call to Orange County Supervisor John Moorlach for assistance in my research and I did receive a couple of emails from Moorlach staff. On our arrival to Dana Point we received a warm welcome from Mr. Gross and it quite obvious that he and his staff would like to help us with this project.
After inspecting the west and east Basin Recycling Centers both Ralph and I felt we should proceed to investigate into this idea further
That’s were we are today and I plan on presenting our findings to the Harbor Commission at tonight’s meeting. Please attend tonight’s meeting, leave me a comment, send me an email to or you can always just call me (714) 916-0200. 

(West Basin)

(East Basin)

Monday, September 07, 2015

Flashback: The Harbor Report: Looking back at the top fleets

This week I thought it would be interesting to go back some 50 years and recall who brought home the pickle dishes back in the 1940-1960’s. I placed a phone call to Seymour Beek and Dave Ullman and asked them what where the most active fleets, names to look for and where to look.  I then headed over to The Newport Harbor Yacht Club and The Balboa Yacht Clubs 
library’s and started my research. I focused in on what I thought was the most active fleets from that time frame and came up with Snowbird, Rhodes 33, Star and Snipe fleets to report on.

The Snowbird was best known for “The Flight of the Snowbirds” now known as the “Flight of The Lasers”. The first year of the race was in 1936 with 32 entries and Dick McKibben was the winner. By the time the 50’s rocked in the entries had grown to 163 boats on the starting line. Names to look for where Ronnie Miracle, Steve Titus, Barton Beek, Janet Power, Tom Frost, Dan Thompson, Jeff Allen, Dick Deaver, Henry Sprague III, and Danny Thompson. The list did not stop there with people who won the right to fly the Gold S on their sail. Joe Beek donated the  Perpetual Trophy known as the “Gold S” and first awarded in 1949. I looked for the trophy at the NHYC and did not find it, but I understand the other names you would find on it would be Clark King, Bob White, Bill Lawharon, Fred Schenck. The boat was used in the 1932 Olympics and then became a popular for junior sailors in our harbor. She was about 12 feet long with five feet of beam. She weighed in at 275 pounds

The Rhodes 33 was built with the intention of sailing in and around Newport Harbor. They are 33’ long, 6.8 at the beam and weigh in at 5,800 pounds. The CR on the sail dates back to their original name the Coast Rhodes. The big pickle dish is named the Lester C and the fleet competed for the Lowe and Mark Healy Perpetuals High point series. Past Champions of the fleet where Connie Wurdemann aboard “Midship”, Hook Beardslee’s sailed “Seebee”, Bill Joyce’s “Crispin II”, Tommy Thomas with “Nimbus”, Bob Collins with his boat “Josephine VI”, Strat Enright in “Witch”, Marianne and John Pearcy with “Whim”, Hallett Throne in “Manana”, Phelps Merickel in “Marlan, Bill Taylor sailed “Mistress” and Bud Edgar with “Madness”. As I researched the fleet one name always came to the top of the list Harlan (Hook) Beardslee sailing the #8 boat “Seebee” . I found this quote in the NHYC History book “ The Rhodes class always showed up with a sizable fleet, but the race was usually for second when Hook was sailing”. Other names I found in past results where Jack Hillman, George Fleitz, W.G. Durant and Tom Myers.

It seemed that after you grew out of the Snowbird you then sailed a Snipe. The Snipe is 15.5 Feet, 5’ beam and the hull weighs 381 pounds. The class goes back to the early 40’s in Newport Harbor. In 1946 Bob White and his twin sister Betty ( now Mrs Alan Andrews, the same person I comment on sailing her Ranger 33 “Antares” to Catalina most weekends.) won the Snipe World Championships that year in Chicago and got 2nd in junior championships. That same year Ken & Bob Davis won the Snipe Internationals. In 1953 & 1954 Tom Frost and Fred Schenck won the Snipe Class National Championships. In 1950 & 1956 Clark King won the Championships, blend this all together, can you imagine how strong the Balboa Snipe fleet was at that time. Look over our harbors top sailors and its like reading a who’s who in sailing. Other top Snipe sailors from this time frame where Dan Elliott, Don Ayres, Max King, Jim Lewis, Dick Deaver, Ted Wells, Smyth and Greene. Can you imagine sailing Snipes in our Harbor back then in our summers series and on the starting line you have all those national champions?

The Star boats came to Newport Harbor when Bill Ficker and Mark Yorston won the World Championships in 1958. The Star boat is 22.7 feet long with a beam of 5.8, she weighs 1,480 pounds. The fleet was most active between 1958 through 1968 with other big names from our harbor winning the world championships. In 1964 Don & Kent Elder won the worlds and brought the race back to NHYC in 1965. The Newport Fleet was one of the most competitive fleets in the world with such names as Rollins, Saint Cecero, Metcalf, Sandy McKay, Bill Boland, Dick Hahn and Erwin deMocskonyi.

There is so much sailing history in our harbor it just makes me want to try that much harder.  

Man I love this place.


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

Monday, August 31, 2015

The Harbor Report: Swift brothers stay close and fare well in marine business

By Len Bose
August 29, 2015

I am always looking to talk with people who make a difference in our harbor.
People like Carter Ford, Mark Sites, Chuck South, Duffy Duffield, so this week I had a chance to talk with Pete Swift of Swift Slip Dock and Pier builders. When I first contacted Pete, he brought up how close he and his brother Tom are, having worked together over the last 30 years,
"We are best buddies," Swift said.
Pete and Tom Swift grew up together on Balboa Peninsula where they learned to swim and enjoy our harbor together. They are three years apart in age and attended Newport Elementary, Ensign Intermediate and Newport Harbor High School.
They went on to separate colleges, and in 1982 Pete picked up a part-time job building a private dock on harbor Island. It took him about three weeks to complete the job working out of the homeowner's garage.
"Something our crew can complete in an afternoon now," Swift said.
Today, Swift Slips has 20 employees and just purchased a new building in Costa Mesa that will allow them to work indoors. I asked Swift how long it takes to have a new slip built. His response was rather enlightening — with all the different government agencies, it takes about eight to nine months to complete the permit process. To build then install the slip takes about 45 days.
It is my understanding that most customers purchase decks made from PVC material. Washing it only requires a brush and salt water and the job is done. This decking is scratch resistant and long lasting. I was also surprised to hear that the floats under the dock can have up to a 50-year life expectancy.
I learned the docks float better with all the sea life attached to them.
"The heavier the dock, the less is going to rock or tip, it's better for the dock," Swift said.
I was deeply disappointed to learn that our city's new Eelgrass Mitigation Plan is only for dredging and not dock replacement.
"This is a major breakthrough for our tidelands permit holders although it has little to no effect on dock replacement," Swift said. "We are hoping that when someone, with eelgrass under their docks, dredges we can come back the next year and hope that the eelgrass has taken a different pattern."
At this time if a tidelands permit holder would like to replace 20% of the structure of their slip they will be required to follow the Coastal Act, which involves permits from the Coastal Commission, Army Core of Engineers, Fish and Game, two city permits and possibly even the county.
"Customers ask if we know anyone at the different agencies so that they can get through the process faster," Swift said. "I reply we know everyone, that's how we get it done so fast. If we didn't know everyone, it could take well over a year."
"If the restrictions from the different government agencies continue to grow at the pace they are now, permit holders may not be able to build new slips 10 years from now," Swift added.
I then asked Swift what he felt about the condition of our harbor.
"It has never been cleaner," he said. "After the dredging and how the public protects the water quality our harbor has never been cleaner."
We talked about the condition of our harbor seawalls, and Swift said he has not spent much time researching the problem of the sea level rising and feels it is best just to repair the seawalls where they are failing and keep an eye on the topic.
On their off time, Pete likes to SUP around the back bay and stay away from the crowds while Tom sails a 30-foot boat in our different summer series twice a week. I found it quite refreshing to see two local brothers make it good for so long in the marine business.
I am off this weekend for the Long Point Race Week aboard the Santa Cruz 50 Horizon. Please wish us luck and wind.
Sea ya.

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