I decided to do a "walkabout" around the harbor in search of this week's story and happened to fall upon one at the Newport Harbor Shipyard. Kamalii is a 75-foot Rhodes ketch design, which was originally built for Edward Doheny in 1958 by Wilbo boat works in Wilmington.
She sailed in five races from Los Angeles to Hawaii between 1961 and 1969, and has spent the last few years behind Bay Island. She was recently sold to a buyer from New Zealand, and is having her hull and systems repaired by Richard Strizzi and Rick Brown.
The new owners plan to sail her back to New Zealand on her own bottom to complete her restoration. I have always admired the quality of work performed by Richard Strizzi in his wooden boat restorations.
One of his recent restorations was the Cathleen, a Calkins 50 that has been on the Newport Beach 20 most interesting boats list for the past two years. While talking to Richard he was concerned that most of our harbor's wooden boats have been purchased from buyers from outside of the country who no longer reside locally.
It appears that Kamalii will keep Richard's and Rick's crew busy for the next couple weeks. Make sure you stop by and check out their work; it's art in progress.
My next destination was the Orange Coast College sailing base, where I wanted to meet with the director and Harbor Commissioner Brad Avery. As a harbor commissioner, Brad has been tasked with chairing a steering committee for Harbor Visioning. This is a very difficult assignment because at the speed of local government, nothing ever appears to get accomplished, and all efforts seem to be in vain.
The other day, I walked into a Harbor Commission meeting with Brad and we touched on the subject. I immediately got the feeling that Brad was going to accomplish his task and create a tool that the Tidelands Committee and City Council will use for years to come.
You might be asking, what is Harbor Visioning? My understanding is that it's a process that will define harbor improvements for generations to come.
Commissioner Avery recently wrote a letter to the editor published in the Daily Pilot on May 24.
Brad explains the process much better than I ever can, with topics including dredging, Marina Park and services for mooring lessees. In his letter he explains that: "It's vitally important that we consider every idea. The best ideas usually come from those who use the harbor and know it well, but we need fresh input from all citizens."
Please contact our harbor commissioners and take the time to express your ideas with them. The way I see this is that harbor users just cannot lay back in their hammocks and let someone else deal with this. It's time to step up, get on watch, and pull your weight.
This weekend is the Balboa Yacht Club's Championships Regatta, which is split apart in three classes. This Saturday is the Masters for members over the age of 55 and the Family Championships. The family event is for members and their immediate families.
The two events will be sailed in front of the club, with play-by-play analysis from the race tower and finishes off the main dock with cannon fire for the winners. Start time is noon for the Masters and 3:30 p.m. for the Family. Last year's race was a huge success and everyone is welcome to watch from the dock and cheer for their favorite teams.
Sunday is the Club Championships and or "the race for the parking place."
This year's competition is the toughest it's ever been and I will have to sail well above my ability to make it to the podium. I also wanted everyone to know that my column will run every Friday again.
LEN BOSE is an experienced boater, yacht broker and boating columnist