Whenever I start up a conversation with someone from around the harbor, the first question I am normally asked is, "How is the boat market?"
Early in 2011, it's looking like we are coming off the starting line in good shape.
While attending the Sunroad Boat Show in San Diego last weekend, I was showing the Beneteau sailboats line. And, yes, I am the new Beneteau associate in Newport Beach. I have not seen this much traffic on the docks since 2005.
Just within the Beneteau line itself, I have seen five boats trade last month. During the show, I had a chance to talk with Chuck Hovey and Jim Johnson from Chuck Hovey Yachts. And when I asked them how their business was, they both just kind of smiled and said, "We are doing pretty good."
I received a similar reply from Balboa Yacht Club Staff Commodore Morrie Kirk, from Orange Coast Yachts.
Replies like these in the yacht sales business means you are doing great, and you're not about to jinx your sales by boasting.
So, if you were to ask me, "How is the boat market?" my reply would be, "I am doing pretty good."
On a side note, make sure you attend Sunroad Show next year. The event appears to be shaping up to be one of the better shows. Also, mark your calendars now for the Newport Boat Show April 28 to May 1.
Now for some good news. This weekend is the 22nd annual Women's Sailing Convention at the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club. Space is limited to 275 people, and the cost is $170, which includes workshops, breakfast, lunch, dinner, souvenirs and handouts.
You might ask yourself if it's worth it.
I believe it to be the best investment you will ever spend on your boat. Anytime a sailor can review what to do in an emergency situation — from becoming "suddenly single-handed" to dealing with hypothermia — has to be a good thing.
From diesel repair to troubleshooting the head, every aspect of yachting is offered at this convention. Skippers, think about it: Can you imagine how valuable a crewmate would be who can clear the cooling system in your boat, get you home in an emergency and keep you warm?
This is all good information and a traffic value. Just look up "Women's Sailing Convention" or call BCYC to see if there is still room available.
You might recall my January column, "Harbormaster an approachable leader." Lt. Mark Long is now Capt. Mark Long, and as of Feb. 25 he will be joining the sheriff's command team. We all know it was not my story that promoted Mark.
In my simple mind, he just gets it. Everyone is congratulating and giving him their best wishes. I am going to hope for the best on this one and wish Long all the luck.
LEN BOSE is an experienced boater, yacht broker and boating columnist.