Monday, July 19, 2010

Harbormaster an approachable leader

I first noticed Lt. Mark Long, Orange County's harbormaster, while attending a Harbor Commission meeting at the end of 2009. He had just arrived in town and his photo had been in the press.

Long was in his street clothes.

"This guy gets it," was the first thing that came to mind. He was reaching out to the community and dressing like his customers. I hadn't realized it before, but it is a lot easier for me to approach and talk to a person dressed like myself than walk up to someone wearing a uniform, gun, radio and bulletproof vest.

I later saw Long at another harbor meeting and at different yacht club functions around town. By mid-summer he was sailing in the beer can races.

It also appeared that the county's Marine Operations had stepped it up by a notch or a few. Sheriff's deputies seemed to be doing more training exercises, such as boat crash simulations with the local lifeguards and fire departments, jumping out of helicopters with dive gear on and participating more with border protection and anti-terrorist agencies.

Lt. Long, who has been with the Sheriff's Department for 25 years, is quickly becoming one of our best harbormasters. We are all very lucky to have him.

Here's my interview with him:

Q: How do you feel about only receiving No. 94 in The Daily Pilot's 103 list? If it was up to me I would have a least put you in the top five.

A: I'm just honored to make the list.

Q: I noticed a new sea wall has been put in along with some new slips at the Harbor Department. How will these slips be used? Will there also be a new pump out station?

A: The slips will continue to be used as before: as rentals for visiting boaters. The pump-out station will be restored in its original location

Q: At first glance, in this new year of 2011, what appears to be your biggest task?

A: Continue to improve relationships and increase services with reduced budgets.

Q: With all the budget cuts you are facing, is there one item you feel a harbor user will miss the most?

A: We will continue to provide the highest possible service regardless with existing staffing levels.

Q: Can you think of one thing that a harbor user can do to make your job easier?

A: Yes. Be mindful of other users in the harbor. Not everybody is a professional boater. The harbor is shared by sailors, powerboaters, commercial operators, recreational boaters, renters, stand-up paddlers, kayakers, swimmers and others vying for limited space. Some are expert seamen; others are first-time boaters. Heightened awareness and courtesy to others will ensure a safe and enjoyable harbor for all users. Secondly, particularly if you plan on leaving the relatively safe confines of the harbor, prepare for some of the perils that occur in the open ocean. Make sure you have life preservers, food, extra water, an operable VHF radio and a cell phone. Buy commercial assistance insurance and a GPS locator.

Q: Is there a service the Harbor Department provides that the average boater should use more?

A: Boating safety classes are held periodically at the Harbor Patrol office. Novice boaters should take advantage of this and other educational opportunities throughout the harbor.

Q: The harbor is being used by more groups each day. Is there a meeting where the yacht clubs, NAC, schools' rowing and sailing teams, charter boat owners, electric boat rental companies all come together and discuss their concerns?

A: The Harbor Patrol facility has an excellent meeting room that can easily accommodate groups of up to 56 to 60 persons. Harbor stakeholders are welcome to use our facility for any harbor related meetings.

Q: You have gotten a lot done in a very short period of time. Any particular item you are most proud of?

A: There are a couple of things that come to mind. First, we have been awarded more than $1 million in grant funding by the Department of Homeland Security. With this money we have established a Maritime Unified Command that brings together federal and local law enforcement agencies to combat terrorist threats on our coastline. The success of our MUC has been recognized nationwide as a model of cooperation, communication and inter-operability between federal and local law enforcement agencies, and a standard for future operational agreements.

Secondly, I'm very pleased that the county and the city [of Newport Beach] were able to agree to a five-year renewal of the mooring contract. The contract allows for a continuation of the Sheriff's Department to manage the transient moorings. I believe our 24-hour service, proximity to the harbor entrance and law enforcement presence on the water is the best combination of valued services for visiting boaters, boat owners, live-aboards and residents. The selection process, along with the associated community meetings, had the added benefit of strengthening our relationship with the city and opening lines of communication with Harbor Resources and many of the yacht clubs and boating groups in the harbor.

Q. We heard there has been a rash of recent burglaries on boats in Newport Harbor. It reads as if boat owners are leaving access to their boats in obvious locations. Can you comment on what the thieves have been targeting and pass along any advice?

A: Boats should be treated no different than houses or cars. Lock them when you leave and don't leave valuables easily accessible to others. If you have something very valuable on your boat that is easily removable, take it with you and secure it elsewhere. The goal is to provide less of an enticement to criminals. Most importantly, keep an eye out for suspicious activity. Citizens are our best sources of information. If you see something that doesn't look right, either call us, if it is on the water, or the city of Newport Beach Police Department.

Sea ya!

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

Minds are made up on mooring

I attended Tuesday's Newport Beach City Council study session and just watched it again via the city's website. My observation and/or opinion reminds me of trying to sell a boat to a couple where one of the spouses has no intention of purchasing it and is just appeasing their partner. The indifferent spouse never steps on board to view the boat, crosses their arms, leans against the dock box, never once takes their eyes away from their phones and should they make eye contact with their spouse, it's in a manner of rolling their eyes to indicate their level of interest in making this purchase. I am a good yacht broker and find it difficult to explain to the interested party that a boat might not be in their best interest at this time.

At this time I feel that I need to have this same conversation with the Newport Mooring Assn. (NMA), mooring permit holders, the mooring master plan sub-committee and the Harbor Commission. Because it appears to me that most of the City Council members have already made up their minds regarding the increase to the mooring permits and, more importantly, the change in policy regarding transferability. From where I was sitting, the left side of the dais was acting like the uninterested spouse in the aforementioned example.

It appears the council has not even recognized the eight years of study and recommendations presented by the mooring master plan sub-committee and the Harbor Commission. At Wednesday's Harbor Commission meeting, one commissioner proposed to discontinue the mooring sub-committee and proposed a new mooring committee for next month's agenda. At the end of the meeting, another commissioner noted how ironic it was that the City Council never expressed interest in the opinion of the city's Harbor Commission.

If this topic is of interest to you, please Google the Newport Mooring Assn. and find the link to the meeting, which is on the front page, then go down and click No. 5 "Mooring Issues." Listen closely to the NMA speakers and pay special attention to Patrica Newton's budget analyses. You will also notice at the end of the study session it was proposed that this topic be continued at the next study session. I was just informed that council has changed its mind and has requested this topic be brought before it for a vote at the next scheduled meeting on Nov. 23.

Should you have any questions on this topic, please contact your council members, the NMA, or myself I will be glad to help you navigate through the city's website so you can view this topic. I also should note how well the public acted during the study session's public comment phase. I felt that the NMA and the public gave an extremely informative presentation. It was shameful that it fell on mostly deaf ears.

LEN BOSE is a yacht broker and the Daily Pilot's boating columnist. His Harbor Report column usually appears in the Pilot on Fridays.

Many festivities to be enjoyed

There is a lot going on around the harbor this week, so let's jump aboard the "Showboat" and take a harbor cruise.

Everyone, please remember to stay seated and keep your hands in the boat, and if you remember the Jungle Cruise at Disneyland, the headhunters and man-eating piranha do not show up until the end.

The Balboa Yacht Club and the Glass Slipper Guild plans to host the 11th annual CHOC Regatta benefiting Children's Hospital of Orange County's Children's Neuroscience Institute on Saturday and Sunday at the Balboa Yacht Club.

There are some great raffle prizes this year. Whether you're a Lakers or Ducks fan, they have tickets for you. Maybe a round of golf or a Duffy rental for an afternoon is more of what you have in mind. For a special person (or yourself), we have a beautiful pearl necklace.

The raffle is open to all racers and members, and there are no limits on the number of tickets purchased. So please come by and see us on the deck that weekend and buy your tickets. Winners will be chosen on Sunday afternoon, but it's not mandatory that they be present to win. Proceeds from the raffle will go directly to CHOC.

As we continue our bay cruise on Sunday, you will first notice the spectators lined up around the harbor dressed as if they are attending an alumni football game. At 7 a.m., remember the time change is this Saturday night, the Newport Aquatic center will be hosting the Newport Autumn Rowing Festival.

Expect more than 2,000 competitors — and nearly as many spectators — from high school, college, open and master's rowers from the West Coast. The Festival will feature In-N-Out burgers, rowing vendors and four hours of exciting racing, followed by an awards ceremony.

The Newport Aquatic Center began hosting the Newport Autumn Rowing Festival in 1987 as a small, intercollegiate and club teams race. Twenty-three years later, the festival has evolved into a highly anticipated event in both the rowing community and in Orange County.

Each year, the roster boasts teams from Cal, Stanford, UCLA and USC. This is a fantastic event and it's fun to watch all the people on the Coast Highway bridge rooting for their school.

This is the part of the cruise the headhunters and man-eating piranha appear. On Tuesday, the Newport City Council will have a mooring proposal brought it that features these suggestions:

• Offshore moorings should be set at 14% of an average of slip rates in the harbor, up from (6%.

•Onshore moorings should be half of that.

•Increases should be implemented over five periods. When "caught up" should catch up to 14% of slip rates in 2015.

•Allow one transfer from current permit holders to another person; five-year window.

• Allow persons who purchase a boat on a mooring to stay there up to six months to allow time to relocate.

•Allow one family transfer (where mooring permit holder is deceased) in a five-year period.

That wraps up our harbor cruise this week. Andd for all of the crews I have taken out, you guys are the best. I really mean it every time I say it.

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

Cruising by the Boat Show

As a yacht broker I walk the docks of Newport Harbor, introducing myself to boat owners and just getting a hands-on feeling for how the boating market is doing. This week, I report on my dock-walking and point out some of boats that caught my eye, along with what's going on in the shipyards and repo marina.

I am sure you all have noticed that it's Boat Show time. While one walks around the show, the phrase that comes to mind is "quality, not quantity." And, to get to the bottom line, yes, it is worth going and taking a look at what is being offered. But if you are looking for a sailboat, stay at home because there are only about five sailboats in the show. If you are looking for power, there are a number of mid Sport Fishers being shown along with a number of my favorite, Downeast/lobster-style boats.

When you first walk into the show, you must go aboard the red Hunt 52 from Global Yachts. I am not sure if all of the Hunt 52s are this well thought-out or commissioned. That's because Gordon "Gordo" Johnson, one of our harbor's top yacht commissioning consultants and captains, has done his magic here again. Now, if only I can get one of the 22-foot Newport Classic Boats "Runabouts" into the gauge of the Hunt 52?

While at the show, stop by and introduce yourself to Rudi Gern from Newport Classic Boats, and take a look at the line of boats he is producing in Costa Mesa. These are one of the sexiest lines of boats I have seen in a long time, and did I tell you where they are built at? That's right, Costa Mesa! You have to take a look at one of these boats and place her behind your house on the water and name her "Locals Only."

I have one last tip for attending the show: On the weekend there is free parking at City Hall and across the street on the west side of Newport Boulevard.

Newport Shipyard appears to be busy, with a number of large yachts in for service. I noticed a 64-foot Nordhavn, a 59-foot Michelson and a 70-foot Ferretti, all in for annual maintenance. As I walked out to the end of the ways, I noticed a local racer having to sail his boat back to his mooring. You had to see the relief on the skipper's face when I told him I would help him off the dock.

Looking across at South Coast, it appears that Dennis Rosene and Joe Carter are putting a new bottom on their Far 40 "Radical Departure." I then stopped at Larsen Boat Yard and the place looks like new again. When shopping for work on your boats make sure you stop by and see Abe or Marshell. These guys have been around the harbor longer than I have and their work is equal to that of Basin and Newport Shipyards.

As I continue my tour around the harbor, I stopped at our local repo marina to see what they have. Please be advised that repo boats prices are lower, but the expenses are always high because these boats always need a ton of maintenance. They do have some interesting products at this time, with two fairly clean 36-foot and 38-foot sailboats along with two 32-foot and 36-foot Sport Fishers. The rest of the inventory is just junk, in my opinion.

Another interesting thing that Dave Beek at Island Marine Fuel told me is is the repo guys are stopping by his dock, about five boats a week, and filling up before heading to the great repo yard in Long Beach. So, if you think about it, there must be more slips available in town?

My last stop was Basin Shipyard, and the crew was emptying out the yard with the mid-week completions as the new customers were arriving. There was a survey being completed for a purchase and it's always fun to watch the other yacht brokers do a double take, as I am taking photos for this column and talking into my tape recorder. I also noticed one of my favorite sailboats in town, "ANTARES," Betty Andrews' pristine Ranger 33 getting a new bottom.

That's it for this week. Give me a call or send me an e-mail if you want a more in-depth report about my harbor observations, and I am sure you are all keeping an eye on Jack and his "Padle4Life" this week?

Sea ya

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

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Some help disposing those expired flares

Have you ever been instructed by your spouse that it is your turn to cook dinner, then 4 p.m. comes around and you just realized you have not taken anything out of the freezer? You then look in the refrigerator for leftovers and your mind starts coming up with ways of scraping something together.

That's how this week's story filled my trash can at home.

There is always that object in the fridge that's been there too long, but you always have to open it up and check to see if it's still good.

Did you know that you can do your VHF radio checks on Channel 27 and automatically receive a reply back in your own voice? Channel 27 is owned by Sea Tow and they are the ones providing this service around most of the country.

Dave Beek at Island Marine Fuel told me about this service almost a year ago. It's very easy to use. Just switch the VHF radio to Channel 27A and send a message; your response will be your message followed by a short message that this service was brought to you by Sea Tow.

In my fridge you never know what you will find in the vegetable drawer, so I opened that up thinking that I might find some hazardous waste. Well, I was right.

Rather than just shut the drawer as quickly as I had opened it, I thought I had better take the time to dispose of it properly.

This question came from my friend Paul Blank, the Balboa Yacht Club's Fleet Captain:

"Hey, Len:

I have had a frustrating time disposing of the expired flares that I recently replaced on my boat. It's not easy disposing of old flares in Orange County.

1) West Marine and other suppliers won't take old ones, but will happily sell you new ones.

2) The Harbor Patrol won't take them (or wouldn't take them from me).

3) The Coast Guard in O.C. won't take them.

4) The Newport Beach Fire Department won't take them.

5) The O.C. Fire Authority won't take them.

6) There is a guy in the Coast Guard Auxiliary who takes a limited number of them for use in the "Safety at Sea" seminars he teaches.

7) I have a call into the O.C. Hazardous Waste Authority (or some such organization) and am waiting for a call back from supposedly "the one person in O.C." who knows how this stuff can be disposed of. I'm not holding my breath waiting on that call — it's been more than 24 hours.

Both No. 1 and No. 6 above encouraged me to keep my expired flares on board with the reasoning that they will still work even though they are expired. This is, of course, in addition to maintaining the new flares I purchased to comply with USCG and ISAF regulations/laws.

While I can understand the logic and common sense of this direction, this cycle eventually gets ridiculous if old flares are never removed.

I explained to both parties that on a racing sailboat both space and weight are at a premium.

I implored them both for a solution that would allow boaters to remain compliant with the law and not clutter their lockers or be needlessly redundant.

Both were incredulous.


The answer is Rainbow Disposal at 17121 Nichols Lane in Huntington Beach, or call them at (714) 847-3581. Go to Gate No. 6 and they will take them from you for free. Rainbow can also take up to 25 gallons of toxic fluids you might find in you bilge, like diesel, gas, coolant, etc. There might be a cost for this service.

One would have to think that a large percentage of people would just hide this hazardous waste and just dump it. This leads me to the idea that maybe the city of Newport Beach should have some sort of hazardous waste disposal site around the harbor.

I did find a couple of good items in the fridge. The guest slips behind SOL Cocina will be more accessible soon, and I made some good progress with Gil at Nikki's flags in producing a burgee for the Newport Harbor's PHRF High Point series. The first race of that series is this week's Mid Winters that sailed out of the American Legion Yacht Club.

Sea Ya!

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

Saturday, June 12, 2010

I Sea You!

By Len Bose

Once a week I walk through our local shipyards just to make sure I am not missing anything and to keep in contact with all the local venders. This week I made my normal stops at Newport, Basin and Marina Shipyards and I also took a quick sortie through the Newport Boat show.

Long Beach Marina Shipyard is not my first choice in shipyards, although they do allow you to work on your boat yourself and they have a tendency to be a little slow, which might give you that extra afternoon to complete a couple extra tasks on your hit list.

The first boat I noticed while walking into the shipyard was the new Antrim 49 "Rapid Transit." This is an open-style boat with canting keel, three rudders and dagger board. The learning curve on this boat has to be more difficult than reading through a B&G manual. Not only do you have to learn how to sail the boat on that strange front chine, you have to trim the keel, rudder and centerboard to make her sail to her -90 PHRF rating. No wonder it took her half way to Catalina to get up to speed. Looks like Jim Partridge is putting a kelp cutter in and maybe even working on the keel. “Rapid Transit” is a sexy boat and I would love to get a chance to sail on one of these open boats one day.

Dave Clark had his Santa Cruz 50 “ADRENALIN” was out for some new bottom paint and is having the hull waxed and cleaned. Looks like “ADRENALIN” will be ready for opening day, because she is showing better than ever – especially with a fresh white bottom paint.

My favorite yacht insurance agent Craig Chamberlain of Mariners General has his Frers 45 center cockpit “DARLING” out for a new bottom. I also noticed that this year's Cabo Race Overall winner, Dr. Laura’s J 125 “WARRIOR” was in a slip with the boom off and a couple of guys in fiberglass suits were working on something. Might have been a rough trip home for the delivery crew.

I had another one of my clients pulling his boat at Newport Shipyard, so I proceeded south to take a look at the bottom and comment on some signs of the metal turning pink on his prop. The boat's been there for two days now and still has not been pulled out of the water. The hurry up and wait is the typical MO for Newport Shipyard, but it's still one of the best yards in town with my good friend Jimmy Warner operating the travel lift over the last 20 years. Good work, good value, and good people are all at Newport Shipyard. One just needs to stay on the patient side of life while there. Looking around the yard, one boat just jumped up and said HELLO, kind of like the first girl you notice in a bikini each summer. That’s the new 65’ Cruising Catamaran designed by Morelli & Melvin and built by Westerly Marine. Can you say built & designed in the USA? The owner is a Swiss gentleman who has done it right, and at $3.5 million it better be. Don’t ask me “what it rates,” because the answer is 1st class baby! I couldn't help but smile and think we should all give a big “ WELL DONE” to the designer and builder, because the pride is back in the Southern California boat building business. The word is – Hull #2 will be launched in the fall.

As I headed over to Lido Village to take my sortie through the spring boat show, I thought how cool it would be if I could bring that 65’ Morelli & Melvin into the boat show for Westerly Marine. She sure would be the Flag Ship of the show! Now, it could just be me and I am sure Duncan and Terry won't be very pleased about what I am going to write, but the show is weak at best. Yes, Offshore Yachts has some good product at the show along with Ocean Alexander and Grand Banks, but that’s about it. Lido Village is a dump with most of the space unoccupied. Parking is an insult, and I just don't get the feeling it’s producing the atmosphere it once did. I can't tell you why I feel this way … maybe it's time to go back to the Dunes or maybe there are just too many shows. So, if you ask me if you should go to the show, I would have to say yes. Just don’t expect to be wowed! Should you seek better parking, remember that over the weekend you can park in the city’s parking lot for free.

My last stop was Basin Shipyard. One has to remember, “You get what you pay for” and Dave and Derek New are the best in town. I also feel Bennie, the travel lift operator, is as good as Jimmy over at Newport Shipyard. I have been to a number of shipyards in my 22 years in this business and these two guys are the best I've ever seen. Like the Allstate commercial claims, “your in good hands” with these guys. The yard was in mid-week transition, and the yacht catching my eye was “BANDIT” the 60’ Viking owned by Corey Myer. This light blue masterpiece always makes you stop and take a second look and say “NICE BOAT.” No doubt that Cory is getting ready for opening day at Balboa Yacht Club, and he has to be the favorite to win the Boat of the Year award. Larry Ellison may have won the America's Cup, but Corey Myer won the cup when it comes to fishing.

So let the season begin. It's time to go yachting!

Sea ya'
Len Bose

 Len Bose is a contributing writer to The Daily Voice and owner of Len Bose Yacht Sales.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Say It Ain’t So, Gordo!

By Len Bose

Gordon "Gordo" Christie of West MarineIt’s Wednesday, it’s windy, raining and I just made it through my morning sales calls. Now, I have to write my harbor column. Everyone knows where to get a weather report and that the Ensenada Race starts this weekend. I asked myself, what else is coming up soon? Our yacht club's opening day, yeah that’s it, and who is busy between everyone getting ready for the Ensenada Race and Opening Day. Gordo, That’s it! Gordon “Gordo” Christie, the operations manager at West Marine. So, I grab my tape recorder and camera, and drop in on Gordo.

For the people that don't know Gordo, he has been the "go to" person at our West Marine store for the last four years. He has been the Jay Carson, the Gordon West, your favorite bank manager, bartender ... get the idea?

“Hey Gordo, how are you doing?” I said as I approached him in the middle of the store. “I would like to take a half hour of your time and do an interview with you for my “Daily Voice” harbor column?"

After a couple of, “why me” questions from Gordon, I simply explained that everyone in the bay will be walking in the doors within the next couple of weeks looking for him. The first thing I found out was that Gordo was leaving West Marine! YEP! “Gordo, say it isn’t so!” Now what am I going to do? “Its okay Len, the store has lots of good help right now. Do you still want to interview me?” “Of course I do, even more so, now,” I replied.

I came to find out that Gordon is responsible for keeping "the stuff on the shelves” as he would say. When asked what is his favorite part of the job? “It's running into all my old friends. It feels like it's just been a couple of weeks since I have seen them. When it’s truly been a number of years. The hardest part of the job is just keeping a finger on the market. One never knows when someone from a big job will walk in and clean out the shelf of an item. I can always guarantee you that on that same day, someone else will walk in and want that same product. What do you mean you're out of Simple Green? It goes without failing, every time."

So, how can a person receive the fastest service? Before you come into the store go online to the West Marine catalog and bring in the parts number. Or Google the manufacturer and find the information from the manufacturer's Web site. What if you are on the boat and come straight into the store? Gordon recommends that you take a photo of the part you are looking for with your phone camera. “You would be surprised how much time that saves everyone.” This is a great idea. Nothing makes me more upset when I buy the wrong part for something and have to return to the store. What else should our readers do Gordo? “Don't forget your list on the boat,” he replied with a contagious laugh.

If you were to give advice on safety or what not to forget to place on your boat, what would it be? “Stay compliant, be ready for the worse and keep an eye on the horizon. I strongly suggest that everyone own a POB or EPRIB. They are only $400 and they will save your life. Remember to wear your life jacket and also remember Slip, Slap, Slop. Slip on a long sleeve t-shirt, Slap on a hat and your sunglass, and Slop on the sun screen.” Anything else? “Yeah, don’t forget your pocket knife, flash light and the TP!”

Because Gordon is in the pulse of the industry, I asked him if he has seen a difference in sales between this year and last? “This store has done well with a drop in sales of only 4-5% last year. This year, we are doing better and I think the industry is doing well because I noticed a lot more people calling in and stopping by, asking us where the Boat show was last week. I can also tell when things are getting busier in the harbor by the amount of TP we sell."

So what does Gordon do with his time off? “I like to hang upside down and let my feet rest. I also like surf fishing, I find it very relaxing. I also race a couple of times a year; the Long Point Race is the best race in the world."

What will you be doing for work in a couple of weeks? “I'll be going into the yacht maintenance business. I have learned a lot while working here over the last four years, and I will be doing everything from wash downs to general management."

One thing is for sure – Gordon will know who to call. Speaking of who to call. Gordon, if you're leaving who is our new go to guy? "The tall guy, Mark White will be the new go to person. The store also has Jordan Susman the son of Joan & Stan Susman." I kind of like this kid because when Gordon introduced me to him he recognized my name and told me it was a pleasure to meet me. Something tells me Jordan will be the next go to guy. Gordon also pointed out a Gold Tech pin he had on his nametag. I never knew West Marine sent their associates to tech school? I have to keep this in mind the next time I'm in the store.

Well Gordo, I am sad to see you go! “Len you are not going to get rid of me that easy, I'll still see ya' around the harbor.” For anyone that needs a maintenance guy, Gordon is your guy! You can reach him at (949) 230-8350.

Thanks for reading!

Sea Ya'

 Len Bose is a contributing writer to The Daily Voice and owner of Len Bose Yacht Sales.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Short And Sweet ...

By Len Bose

I should name this piece “short and sweet” because that’s how last night's Harbor Commission Meeting went. My routine is to arrive about 15 minutes late to miss all the roll call and introduction. Although with this commission, by the time I walked in they were halfway through the meeting and Chris Miller was stepping up to give his Harbor Manager Resources Update. A number of issues caught my attention this month. It appears that the Sheriff's Dept. will be bringing a new mooring management proposal to the table; local harbor activist Carter Ford has made progress with the Coast Guard in having the Channel Marker #8 “ramming rod” removed sooner rather than latter; and the (SWRCB) has taken two steps back on the Coastal Marina Permits. I also found a couple other observations this week around the harbor.

After the surprise visit by Sheriff Sandra Hutchens into the mooring group meeting held at the Sheriff’s Harbor Dept. on Wednesday, March 3, informing Harbor Manager Chris Miller that the Sheriff's Dept. would like to sharpen their pencils and return with a new cost estimate to keep the mooring management agreement – this issue will now be discussed further in a Newport City Council meeting study session on April 13 – and then brought before council at the end of April or the first part of May. There's a lot of information written on this topic in the Daily Pilot and The Log. The way I see it, we need to compare apples to apples before voicing our options to council. Last night, commissioner Ralph Rodheim brought up the fact that the Sheriffs Dept. doesn't charge the city for special events, such as the Christmas Boat Parade, and allows us to store the lifeguard boats at no charge in their marina. With a loss in revenue, the Sheriffs Dept. might have to reconsider these issues. Lots to talk about on this subject. I suggest on attending the study session or at least view it on the city’s Web site at

The word last night was that Carter Ford has made some progress in removing the damaged #8 Channel Marker in what I referred to as the “Ram Rod” of Newport in my last week's article. If I heard Chris correctly, the Coast Guard can spend $5,000 on a project before having to take the issue up the ladder. Carter may have found the way to have the pole removed before summer. WELL DONE Carter Ford!

We've all been reading about The California State Water Resources Control Board or (SWRCB) Coastal Marina Permit that would require marina owners to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars each year monitoring the water within their marina. There is nothing in writing yet, but from the outside it appears that the (SWRCB) has taken two steps back and will look at just having the marina operators keep a “green marina” ... whatever that means. This issue is NOT DEAD yet by any means. So send in that letter to your state representative that’s been sitting on your desk for the last six months, and we can work together to finally close this deal. Did I say close this deal? It now appears that the EPA still likes this idea and will continue to move forward focusing now on commercial ship marinas.

This week, I helped a client of mine transfer his mooring and while doing so the thought came to mind that should the city give the mooring assignment to Bellport we would lose Sally who has been the mooring's office manager. This is completely unacceptable to me because Sally has been doing an outstanding job over the many years I have known her, and to lose her would outweigh any advantage Bellport might offer. So city council, please make sure that Sally is part of the deal, should you decide to give the contract to Bellport. I have dealt with Bellport over the years and I compare it to dealing with the Irvine Company. I'm sure everyone has experienced that feeling before.

While in the Harbor Dept. office, I noticed a sign informing the boating community that US Customs is again accepting phone calls to (562) 366-3200 for permission to cross the border and bypass the customs dock in San Diego. This tip might save you a few hours should you be allowed to continue to your destination.

The last thing that was brought to my attention this week was an improvement to the Newport Mooring Association web page at, then click on News. This now makes this site a daily read. There's lots going on this week on the water, so please check back next week for inside information on the upcoming Cabo Race, Lido 14 twilights and the New Island Race being held this weekend at the Newport Harbor Yacht Club.

Sea ya'
Len Bose

Len Bose is a contributing writer to the Daily Voice and owner of Len Bose Yacht Sales.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

No Excuses

By Len Bose

A shot of the bay on Taco Tuesdays.

There are many reasons how lucky I was when I met my wife Jennifer. Her understanding for my passion to go sailing is rarely questioned by a roll of her eyes when I remind her “it's work.” This week was a test of her patience with me sailing Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights, not to mention volunteering to do mark set at the Youth Match Race Regatta this past weekend.

The inaugural “Youth Match Race Clinic & Regatta” sailed in Governor Cup 21's, and was held at Balboa Yacht Club. The whole idea of this event is to encourage more local match racing and use it as a feeder into the BYC Governors Cup. This concept had been brewing, for a number of years, on the desk of Larry Law. Larry is the Chairman of Newport Balboa Sailing & Seamanship Association (NBSSA), the owners of the Governors Cup 21’s. Larry took a big part in getting this event off the ground and had donated two very large and beautiful trophies for this inaugural event. The “Rose Cup” is awarded to the winners of the event and The “Nick Scandone Memorial” was awarded to the team with the most Corinthian Spirit. The event came off better than I had expected with 10 teams from across the country attending, and the competition was very close. With three teams tying for first place, it was also fun for me to watch this event and see the same names rise to the top, as when I competed. It was fun watching the last match of the event with Newport Harbor Yacht Club's Chris Segerblom, Conner Bathen and Kieran Chung going against San Diego Yacht Club's team of Jake LaDow, Max Hutcheson and Eric Alamillo. I had a flashback when I used to race Chris’s dad, Mike Segerblom, back in the day, when we matched up the likes of John Pinckney, John Shadden and Nick Scandone. I smiled, when I watched Chris Segerblom come from behind on the last run to pass the San Diego team only 50 yards from the finish line. “Wow, this kid sails better than his dad,” I thought. After all the tie breakers, the Newport Harbor team went home with “The Rose” Trophy, while the Annapolis Yacht Club team of Mike Carr, Scott Houck and Brady Stagg held The “Nick Scandone” trophy over their heads. Results can be found at www.balboayachtclub.comunder youth sailing.

Last week, I made notice of all the different events we can sail in during this time of year, and there is a race every night of the week.

Mondays: The American Legion Yacht Club's “Sundowner Series” has been under way since the start of May. This event has the feel of an “Old School Sailing Club” with more than 31 boats participating each week and more than 47 boats registered. The racing starts at 6 p.m. with a random course picked by the wind conditions. Boats vary from a J 124 down to 17 Harbor 20’s registered with six boats sailing in the last race. Most of the fleet is rated 158 to 304 in PHRF. The emphasis is on having fun on the bay, and everyone already knows that the Legion has the best value for beverages and hamburgers. That’s right! There are no $10 burgers here, and it should be no surprise that this event has the largest turnout on the harbor.

Tuesdays: BCYC TACO TUESDAY is in its second year, and is bringing out the boats with 32 boats attending this week and also having 47 boats registered. There was another huge turnout of 17 Harbor 20’s registered and 11 boats sailing in last week's race. The PHRF Fleet ranges from the J 133 to a Cal 25 with 12 boats participating last week and 22 boats registered. The Shields are active with five boats and eight boats entered. This event is all about a good time on the bay, and everyone meets at BCYC for Tacos. Starting on June 8, the Lido Island Yacht Club will start up its Night Flights for all classes. If I recall, this event attracts a number of Lasers and Sabots and is highly recommended for the Laser sailors who want to get back on the water after work, with plenty of good competition.

Wednesday: BYC Twilights. Starting with the time change in April at M Mark, and the Lido 14 fleet returns to the tower in May with Harbor 20’s, Thistle, Lasers, Lido’s, Twichells and Sabots. It is best known for its Sabot turn out, with eight boats last week and 15 sabots signed up. The Lido 14 fleet had eight boats last week with a number of parents and kids teams attending along with 13 boats registered. The Laser Fleet is strong with six boats last night and 16 boats signed up. The Twilights had 35 boats participate last night with 67 boats registered.

South Shore Yacht Club will be starting its Summer Hibachi beginning Thursday, June 2. This event attracts PHRF Boats rating from 10 to 300 with most of the fleet rating from 120 to 216. It's been years since I have been out on a Hibachi. I'm not sure who has been attending this one over the last few years. I'll need to report back to you after they start this year.

Thursday: BYC Beercans – the race that started it all! PHRF boats range from -48 to 192, with PHRF Fleet 3 having the most boats at 10 with a rating from 84 to 125. Fleet 1 is always the most exciting to watch at the starting line, with the first tack off the mooring field with six boats attending last week and a rating span from -48 to 39. The Beercans have 32 entered with 28 boats attending last week. This number will go up as the summer continues. The fun in this race is to see how many people you can invite and get on your boat.

NHYC will start its Twilight Series on June 12 for Harbor 20 and Lehman 12. There's always a big turn out in the Harbor 20 fleet, and some of the best sailors on the bay dust off their Lehman 12 each season. I need to find a Lehman and give this fleet a try ... it appears to be fun.

Friday: Lido Island Yacht Club Adult Sailing. The Laser fleet is out. It's just for adults and its fun. Always good sailing and good people.

Well, that’s it. There are no good excuses for you not to get on the water this summer more than once a week. In fact, it appears that Peter Haynes aboard his Harbor 20 “Spirit” is getting on the water three nights a week: he won two of those nights. Funny how that works. Well done! Peter and I look forward to crossing tacks with you in that Harbor 20 fleet soon.

Sea Ya’
Len Bose

Len Bose is a contributing writer to the Newport Beach Independent and owner ofLen Bose Yacht Sales.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Little Things Make Big Things Happen

By Len Bose

What a week in the harbor we just had! Opening Day at BYC & BCYC, the “old” No. 8 channel marker ”Newport Ramming Rod” has been removed, the sheriff's department will continue managing the moorings and Newport Beach City Council has approved Marina Park Phases I, II and III ... and there is a lot going on this weekend.

I truly enjoy Opening Day in Newport Beach and this time of year. The sun is up by 6:30 a.m. and sets at 8 p.m. and we can race Monday nights in the American Legion Series, Tuesday nights in the BCYC Taco Tuesdays, BYC Twilights on Wednesdays and BYC Beercans on Thursday. Let’s go yachting!

One of my favorite features of being a Yacht Club member in Newport Beach is opening Day, and all the pomp and circumstance that goes along with it. Part of this tradition is the boat inspection, where club members have brought in their boats for judging. If you haven't attended this early part of opening day before, this is when the participants are scrambling around the docks bunched up tighter than ducks' fannies. It’s the competition part that gets to me with all the long hours I have put into my boat and now after 15 years of doing this I finally get it. It’s not about winning the inspection, yeah right, it’s about having your boat ready for the upcoming season. If it weren't for this part of the event, I would be dealing with maintenance issues all season long. Once this part of the formalities is completed it's now time to reintroduce yourself to your family and go make a mess of your friends' boats.

I know, I keep bringing Carter Ford's name up each week and I named this week's article with him in mind, "Little things make big things happen,” because that's what happened this week in the harbor. The old No. 8 channel marker “Newport Ramming Rod” has been removed, gone, bye-bye, no more, sea ya … hallelujah, thank you, Carter. I noticed this on Monday afternoon, and Tuesday night was the Newport Beach City Council meeting, where the mooring issue was on the consent calendar. I arrived at council chambers a half hour after the meeting started to see a large group of smiling people standing in front of the steps. It was obvious that the sheriff's department had renewed its mooring agreement with the city. I received a warm greeting from Sgt. Steve McCormick, who informed me of the good news. Within the circle of people was Chip Donnelly of the Mooring Association, Bill Moses the Sec. of NMA, John Fradkin, Megan Delaney, Don Stoughton and Carter Ford also from the Mooring Association, and Lt. Mark Long. On a side note, each time I meet our Harbor Master Lt. Mark Long I cannot help but think “what a difference a day makes” and how lucky we are to have him at the helm. Another thing I noticed was a change in Sgt. McCormick. I don’t know if it was because I have known him for awhile now or that he is working with a new team. But when I left him, I got the feeling we are all now working together, and it felt like he is a friend. It felt good and I smiled as I walked into the chambers to see that the council had started its discussion regarding Marina Park and in no time, the council had unanimously voted to accept Marina Park Phase I, II and III. Wow! I had just arrived at a city council meeting and within a half hour I had my story. Life is good, and it appears to be getting better in the harbor. Now, all we need is to just add water and keep our fingers crossed for lower bay dredging.

Regarding the rest of my week, I volunteered to bring the BYC Governor's Cup boats down from storage and do mark set for the BYC's inaugural “Youth Match Race Clinic & Regatta.” I'll write more on this next week, but this is a big event for the harbor and BYC. If I wasn't smiling already from ear to ear, and that’s a lot of smile with my big head, I am now, because my club is doing a good thing! Let's not forget that BYC is also running the 66 series this weekend. Like I said last week, “It’s time to go yachting” and it's been a good week.

Sea ya'

 Len Bose is a contributing writer to the Newport Beach Independent and owner ofLen Bose Yacht Sales.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Twice Around

By Len Bose

Working my way around the bay and reading through all the different marine-related applications this week, I only found a couple of items of interest to me.

The first being the status of the #8 Channel marker, Class breaks have been posted for the 2010 CdM to Cabo race, and a very informative article written by David Weil Esq. regarding “Will Purchasing an LLC Avoid Sales Tax."

Lots can be said about our harbor's #8 channel marker. I am sure we all have had our close calls avoiding it and we all have noticed its constant state of repair over the years from people hitting it. In fact, this year we named and awarded, in “The Daily Voice” Harbor Awards, after the “#8 Channel Marker Award:” For courageous readiness and determination and continuing against all odds. Well, if you haven't been down in the eastern part of the bay in awhile, last year a very large catamaran ran into the marker, basically totaling the structure. I recall this happened sometime in late September or early October. All the proper “notices to mariners” were posted and Newport Beach’s new “ramming rod” was decorated with one yellow light well before the coming holidays. Just before the Christmas Boat Parade, the coast guard's Chief Jeff Ruggieri, Officer in Charge of Aids to Navigation Team - Los Angeles/Long Beach, was the speaker at Newport Harbor Yacht Club's weekly "Yachtsman's Luncheon" on Dec. 16, 2009. The idea was to go face to face with the community into what type of replacement buoy or structure would be feasible and best suit local needs. My understanding is a simple red floating buoy, like the one that is on station now, will meet the needs of the harbor. While attending the last few Harbor Commission meetings, when this subject is brought up and it's been brought up every meeting, the commissioners just rub their face and shake their heads in disgust, because there is little the city can do because the marker is in a federal channel and is the responsibility of the coast guard. The city has even offered to pull the “Ramming Rod” and look for reimbursement at a later date. The coast guard's response is sorry, “We just cannot work that way." So, it appears that all visitors and locals will get to look at our “ramming rod” well through the summer. Let's just bet we don’t have any more strange weather this year, yeah right! Take a look at what happened to another marina with the same problem this year!

The class breaks have been posted for the upcoming CdM to Cabo race The fleet has been split up for the most part, as I reported a couple of weeks ago. The New Pendragon VI has withdrawn because of some steering issues and the R/P 63 Limit is having difficulty making it because the delivery ship is running very late. The big news is still the size of the 40-foot fleet with 13 boats in the D class. This is the best thing to happen to offshore sailing on our coast in many years. Please keep tuned in to this event, as it will be fun to watch on your computer at In fact, last night I asked if we could place the Iboat screen on the BYC big screen on Friday night with telephone interviews over the intercom. This could be a lot of fun, although I think my idea fell on deaf ears. Now I am just hoping for wind. Something doesn't feel right to me this year, and with the PV race having wind I am just hoping for the best.

The last bit of information I have for you this week is an outstanding article written by David Weil Esq. of "The Log." Weil writes a bi-weekly column “Ask A Maritime Attorney,” and this piece's question was “Will Purchasing An LLC Avoid Sales Tax”. It’s a good read and you should take a look at it

Sea ya'
Len Bose

Len Bose is a contributing writer to the Daily Voice and owner of Len Bose Yacht Sales.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

2100 Cabo Race Recap, And Lessons I Learned Along The Way

By Len Bose

Start of the CdM to Cabo race

This is the easiest subject for me to write about this week because I am sure you do not want to read about the calls I received from clients on why I have not sold their boats yet or read about the tears coming down my face as I write checks to Uncle Sam today.

As expected, this year's Cabo race was not a barnburner, although there was still a lot of lessons learned on my 29th Mexican Ocean Race.

As navigator aboard the Santa Cruz 50 Flaca, the “Old School” tactic of staying 50 miles offshore and playing the shifts is no longer a winning combination. NO! NOW you need to be a master of Satellite Communications. In the Trans Pac race it has been this way for sometime now, but I have always perceived the Cabo race as more of a sprint. So while walking down the docks before the start and noticing all the boats with the KVH Tracphone antenna I started to think that I was already behind the first wind shift.

So, there we were after the start, slowly working our way offshore to the 118 Longitude line where all the information we obtained before the race told us to go. The full moon was so bright it reminded me of the days when the police helicopter would chase me home from parties in my youth. We had about 15 knots of breeze and I was confident in our tactics because of the competitors around us. About 5 a.m the first morning of the race, a number of competitors started gibing to port to pick up the first shift off the land. I had originally elected to ignore this first shift in an effort to reach a desired waypoint a weather friend of mine pointed out. This is where the KVH would have first helped me by watching the IBoat tracking system and noticing that most, if not all, of our competitors jibing inside. Note to self “keep between your competitors and the next mark.”

Rumor had it that Dr. Laura, on her J125 “Warrior,”had already spent $1,500 worth of Internet time and hit that first shift. Just before the shift, “Warrior” was only one of two boats that had reached 118 Longitude line with us and went on to win the race overall. I could not get “Flaca” in phase with the wind shifts and we finished a deep 6th place in class.

Another new item in this race was the daily check-in system done over the Satellite Phone rather than the ship's Single Side Band Radio. I thought this system worked great and we could report our position within one minute rather than the old system of sitting by the SSB for over an hour. I still spent some time plotting our competitors after receiving the fleet's daily position. This is another advantage the people with the KVH systems had over us. They would just pull up the latest Iboat track and all the information you need was in front of you. The only drawback with this system is the loss of tradition with the SSB. Although I do believe with a couple of changes the new system is the way to go.

Now we have missed the first shift and fell some 20 miles behind the leaders in our class. Nothing more fun than looking at the owner of the boat and the crew and informing them that you have just blundered the race away in the first night. Only one thing to do at this point and that is to compete for the boats' overall speed record. We only had one night of big breeze and that was just past Cedros. I had also kind of fixed the watch system to make sure I was on watch at sundown where I have found that most of the best breeze of the day seems to gather. As the breeze started to build we could not help to keep our excitement from the other crew members, when we hit 17 knots of boat speed as the wind speed started to reach 30 knots. This is the only time when the upcoming watch finished up their dinner fast and moved for the helm. The owner of the boat came on deck first and was kind of giving me a funny look, because I was always on deck during the best breeze.

“You can go eat now Len,” the owner said, and I set the boat up for a hand off. The wind was building and I set him up on a perfect wave where he beat the speed record with an 18.4 knots. I put my head down and pouted the whole way down the companionway, and then noticed there was still 40 minutes left to my watch, so I powered my dinner down and returned back on deck and asked the owner if he wanted a small break at the wheel before he started his watch. I received another concerned look from him as he handed the helm to me to go put on some warmer clothes and his life harness. This is when the wind really started to build and we where getting puffs in the 36 knots range now. With a small trim to the spinnaker pole and the change to my favorite spinnaker trimmers I was locked and loaded, baby.

With the full moon we had, nothing in life is better than being on a Santa Cruz 50 in these conditions. We soon broke the speed recorded with a 19.9 and the owner quickly came back on deck ready to start his watch. “Okay Len, my TURN!” he then stood behind me and said, “Umm, maybe would should stand behind me in case I have any trouble." "No problem," I said. " Just give me one second and let me put on my life harness." I ran down below, grabbed my harness and thinking that the wind might last through the night, I downed two five-hour energy drinks then went and sat behind the helm.

A couple of minutes later the wind started to die and returned down to the low 20s. This is when the owner looked at me and said, “I think I can handle this now, you can go off watch.” I replied, “ But , But, But … I just downed 10 hours worth of energy drinkkkkkkks!"

One last “note to self” – let the client-owner win the boat's speed record. I think he was more upset with that than our finish!

Speaking of finishing, I did pretty good on my bets. Criminal Mischief won class A, Grand Illusion won Class B and Morpheus won class C. I almost went four for four, but Dr. Laura and “Warrior” won class D. I did say a J 125 would win the class, and at the airport I was told that the normal navigator in Reinrag2 had to miss the race.

Next week I will be back on the docks with a new subject. Thanks for reading. Its now time to give the government their cut. Anyone want to buy a boat?

Sea ya'
Len Bose