Monday, July 23, 2012

A Visit With Dave Beek At Island Marine Fuel

By Len Bose   "I ran this story two years ago, sorry I am just having a flash back!"
Dave Beek, Island Marine Fuel
While walking the docks this week, it's always interesting to hear the whine of buffing machines. It kind of reminds me of a return of a migrating bird, but it sure feels good to see everyone working.
This week I stopped by to see my good friend David Beek at Island Marine Fuel for a free cup of coffee and to get a look at the harbor from the fuel dock's prospective. I also have an update on the No. 8 channel marker “Newport Ramming Rod” and a reminder about a couple shifts coming down the course.
Everyone knows that the Beek family has been in Newport Beach before water was added into the bay. But I thought it would be interesting to get a view of the harbor from one of the busiest fuel docks on the bay.
Dave grew up in Newport Beach and the fuel dock and ferry were always there as part of the family business. He spent time working on the ferry and helping his dad Seymour Beek on their yacht “Vamos” over the years. In 1999, Dave was helping his dad with the start of the Ensenada Race aboard “Vamos,” when Seymour asked Dave to start running the fuel dock. Dave had been working in retail and jumped at the opportunity to bring his full service ideas down onto the dock. “We want you to leave thinking there is no other choice for fuel in town,” Dave said. “There is no need for you to worry about your dock lines or fenders. We are there to help you anyway we can.”
We all know that Island Marine Fuel has the only mini market on the bay, so if you forget the sunscreen, beer or soda – they have it all. They also have a small assortment of marine items from life jackets to frozen bait. So, remember if you get pulled over by the Harbor Patrol or Coast Guard for a safety inspection and you are short a couple of life jackets, you can stop by Island Marine Fuel and buy a life jacket and continue your cruise.
What I really want to talk about is what you might not know or what you have forgotten. I asked Dave what was the best way to approach the fuel dock? Dave’s answer was simple, “Take your time, take a look at who is in line, and how the strength of the current and wind are going to affect your vessel. Just take your time on your approach.” He was also quick to remind everyone not to let anyone use their legs or hands as fenders. “You won't believe how many times we see people hang their legs off the side of the boat to try to stop the boat from hitting the dock and end their weekend because of an injury.” Another popular mistake is to come in too fast and have someone jump from the boat, barefoot and land on a cleat. Guess what? The cleat wins!
People should also remember not to smoke on the fuel dock and also it’s best to turn your electronics off before you approach the dock. You should remember to have your blower on in your engine room, or have the engine room hatch open and also make an inspection of your engine room before you leave the dock. In the summer months, May through September, it’s best to fill on Monday or Tuesday mornings. It's also recommended to call first for large fuel orders of 250 gallons or more.
I also thought it was important to ask Dave what people should keep in mind regarding their maintenance schedule. “You should check your fuel lines as part of your check list before starting your boat,” Dave replied. A couple of times a year, you should check your fuel fill and make sure the hose is double clamped to the fuel fitting. I see the hose coming off the fitting more than the hose breaking down.” Dave also suggests having your engine room’s fire extinguishers checked once a year. “Remember not to keep your hand-held extinguishers too close to the engine room entrance, because that just might be the source of your problem.”
I also asked Dave how long the fuel lasts. This is when Dave sat back in his chair, gathered his thoughts and began to explain the yachtsmen's concerns regarding this. Gasoline has octane in it and it begins to break down after six months. Diesel has cetane and it too starts to break down and grow things in your fuel tanks after six months. Marine engines work under much heavier loads (stress) and more severe operating conditions than automotive gasoline or commercial truck engines. They are also subject to problems caused by ethanol and ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel. Peak, dependable and trouble-free performance are keys to boating safety and enjoyment.
Many of the nation’s high quality marinas provide ValvTect Marine Gasoline and ValvTect Marine Diesel at their docks. Unlike automotive gasoline or truck diesel fuel offered at gas stations, these special marine fuels are formulated for heavy duty marine engines to help provide peak performance, extend engine life and prevent problems with ethanol and ultra-low sulfur diesel.
Yes, you guessed it, Island Marine Fuel sells ValvTect fuels, and Dave went on to tell me how hard ethanol is on your boat. “Ethanol absorbs water, eats fiberglass fuel tanks and plastics. If you don't buy your fuel from me, make sure you add the proper fuel treatments!"
So then, is it really better to keep your tanks full? “People always wonder if they are receiving a line from me on this question. But the consensus is it is better to keep your tanks full and try to keep the condensation down in your fuel tanks. You know what the best thing is for your boat, Len? Use it! Make the engine work, place your rigging under load and use your boat.”
Funny you should say that Dave. How have you seen the boating activity over the last two years? “Well, there might be less boats in the harbor, but most boat owners are staying home and using their boats. We have seen activity increase over the last two years.”
Well, I can't let you leave before I ask what is the most used tool on your boat? Dave replied, “The corkscrew! No, I use my sockets the most."
Thanks for your time Dave, nice view you have here. "No problem Len, stop by for coffee anytime."
I went long this week, so let me wrap this up quick. Carter Ford reported on the No. 8 Channel Marker, or what I like to call "Newport’s Ramming Rod": “I've kept on the Coasties as hard as seems reasonable and they have made a decent effort within their procedural structure. They retained South Mooring to pull it. South tried, but couldn't do it. A diver's inspection did not reveal where the tilt begins. As of just today, Shellmaker is now working with the Coasties on agreeing on and then proceeding with a new plan. Another attempt with Shellmaker's larger barge might be made. Or, a vibratory hammer may be trucked in from Northern California. Details are rapidly evolving. They all know time is important to us. I should have a further update soon," Carter said.
Note to race committees: Make sure when you use the No. 8 marker in your courses that the participants understand they have to go around both marks.
One last item to remind everyone of, this Tuesday the Newport Beach City Council will certify the EIR for Marina Park. I strongly recommend your attendance at this meeting and encourage your support for Phase 3. If you don't know what Phase 3, please contact me and I will provide you with all the information and references you need.
Thanks for reading.
Sea ya'.
Len Bose is a contributing writer to The Daily Voice and owner of Len Bose Yacht Sales.

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