Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Harbor Report: Fleets take to the harbor this weekend

This weekend is the H20 Fleet 1 Championships which will be raced out of the NHYC in the turning basin. Looking at the entry list there could be easily 40 participants spread out between two fleets. In the A fleet the edge has to be given to Diane & Bill Menninger who have won the last two championships. But don’t tell that to Karen & Gary Throne or Anne & Kurt Wiese. Over in B Fleet Rolly Pulaski and John Whitney have recently qualified to sail in A’s so that should make for a good battle Carl Cheadle & Max Moosmann aboard “Summer Dream” and Jeff Gordon & Reid Vitarell sailing “Tres Unons”. It would not surprise me if Joe Carter came out and wins the first couple of race’s. He shown some series speed recently and if he can put the whole puzzle together he will have a good chance at wining B Fleet although my money is on Team Cheadle at this point. I will be sailing with my good friend Mary Bacon aboard “Rascal II”. Our goal is top 5 this year and if we can sail just a little more consistently we should be able to keep the attention of Team Cheadle & Gorden. This year is a little different because the moorings are still out in front of NHYC which will give us a lot more space. The big difference I have noticed this summer is the current. Because of the recent dredging the water is moving faster in different locations than in past years. I have attached a survey that shows the depths around the harbor on my blog site. Check it out if you are wondering how this might effect your tactics from now on.

                                                                                             2012 Bathymety Survey
               Red Less than -10 MLLW, Yellow -10 to -15, Green -15 to -20, Blue Greater than -20

I took another long harbor cruise on my bicycle this Wednesday with my attention focused on our Public Piers and Waste pump out stations. My mind always wonders, must be a side effect from the 80’s, but I also observed a couple items that should be brought to your attention along with a fantastic recommendation made by Gary Hill. If you like to see a map of our harbor with the listing of these items go to my blog site and hit the link for Newport Harbor Cruising Guide. Before I tell you about my cruise, I would like to give a big shout out to my friend Carter Ford. Carter lead a group of people, a couple years back, in a long effort in updating our our Public Piers and did an outstanding job. The time has now come to take a second look and not just sit back and say well thats done, its time to check on the maintenance of the docks and keep them user friendly. I rode up to all 11 public piers, got off my bike and took a look around and talked to a number of people. Rather than describe my observations at each of the 11 public piers, I am going to make some general recommendations. The most common problem is code enforcement. The time limits for docking dinghies is being abused on most of the piers, a couple of the piers are due for a high pressure washes and repainting of the time limits. It was also brought to my attention that car loading zones time limits are not being monitored. Other ideas I heard was to place running water on a number of the docks, add bike racks, more blue meter parking, I think the City should give a discount to mooring permit holders for the parking permits? Public dinghy racks at 15th street would also be put to good use. Place used fishing line canisters, like we see at the launch ramps and other marinas around Southern California to collect all the used fishing line.
The thought of locations for additional public docks was also on my mind when Gary Hill said check out the public park at Lido Village next to the Elks Lodge? It’s a perfect location and should be strongly considered by the City Council.

After I talked with Gary I rode down the fun zone, Balboa Village, whatever and noticed that the Newport Landing fuel dock has reopened. I went down the dock and introduced myself to the new operator John Balian. John is selling Viscom fuel for 3.99 Gl Diesel and gas for 4.99 gl. You have to wish him the best in todays market place and tidelands permit increases. It was also interesting to see all the different signs around town while on my cruise. Three signs that caught my eye where all the “Slips for Rent” and “Stop The Dock Tax” sign. But the biggest sign was the size of the Newport Boat Show, so please come down to the show this weekend. Support our local marine industry and I will leave you with one last flash back from the 80’s “Its not quantity its quality”. I noticed a lot of good quality boats at the show when I walked through this week.

Sea ya

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

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Harbor Report: Council approves dock rent increases

Lots to talk about this week so lets push off the dock and get underway. On the 12th of this month the City Council voted 4-3 to increase the Marina Tidelands permits over the next seven years. The annual rate will be .36/sf good through 2014 and will adjust to $ 2.52/sf by 2020. Will the marina owners continue their fight, you betcha.
While putting this weeks column together, I kept flashing back to the Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and Elmer Fudd skit, duck season-wabbit season. Then changing the word duck to dock season, thats right the city is Elmer with his shot gun and laugh. For the home owners that received City Managers Dave Kiff letter this week it appears to me that its definitely “dock” season right now. The letter goes on to explain the difference between tax and rent, bottom line, the rent will be going up soon. The devil is always is always in the details, coming to a screen this holiday season.

I also attended last weeks Harbor Commission meeting, this was an important meeting to pay attention to because our commissioners volunteered to take on the following tasks this year.  to . The following is my rendition of their tasks, for the complete list go to the City’s web site, Harbor Commission, 9-12-12 Agenda and scroll down to the bottom of the file. (The following was taken from the agenda)

Ensure the long term welfare of Newport Harbor”

  1. “Investigate potential solutions to long standing obstacles to maintenance” like permitting, the lack of small scale dredging operators. assigned to the task are West, McIntosh, Avery. Strange that this was the first task listed because it is the most important.

  1. Best use of The Lower Castaways: Avery,Girling, Rhyne

  1. Resetting Harbor Lines: Rodheim, Rhyne

  1. Enforcement of Harbor Codes, West, Blank, Avery

  1. Improve boating education “Newport Beach Residents” Blank, Rodheim

  1. Strategies to maintain water-related businesses on the Harbor: McIntosh, Rodheim

  1. Communicate the Harbor Commission’s Role with the public: Girling, Avery

  1. Alternative mooring design solutions: Rodheim, Avery

Promoting Newport Harbor as a Preferred and Welcoming Destination

  1. Define strategies for increasing the number of visiting Vessel: Blank, Girling, West

  1. “Evaluate public anchorage alternatives”:  West, Avery

  1. Evaluate public piers that facilitate visitor access. Girling, Blank
If you would like to get more involved with the Harbor this coming year go over this list, contact the Harbor Commissioners that are tasked with the issues that interest or effect you and ask if you can help or tell them your concerns or add to the list.

We might have made some progress this week towards the installation of a Marine Recycling Center. What is a Marine Recycling you ask? Its is a place where anyone can dispose of waste oil, oil filters, batteries, transmission fluid, zincs, coolant at no cost. How many times a year do you have to dispose of such items? Not easy is it, or at least dispose of these items properly. Mayor Gardner invited me to speak at the Coastal/Bay water quality committee meeting last week regarding the need for these centers and I felt it was well received. With the mayors help this idea to copy, whats already in place in Dana Point, might just happen!

Last weekends Bahia Corinthian Yacht Clubs Championships was a huge success with 21 teams competing in the championships and 18 Teams in the Family. Mark Gaudio won the championships and the Mayol Family won the Family Championships. The competition was exceedingly tough and I am confident the event will improve next year.  I made it into the finals in the Championships and finished in 6th place. The club also awarded me with one of the five “Corinthian” Awards for sportsmanship which is something I am having framed and very proud to display.

This weekend I will be sailing with Marry Bacon aboard her Harbor 20 “Rascal II” in BCYC “Tune Up” regatta and then on Sunday I chartered the Harbor 20 “Adrenalin” from the Harbor 20 Sailing Club for this Sundays Fall Schock regatta. If you ever wanted to sail a Harbor 20 contact the sailing club its a great way to give these boats a try and see if this fleet works for you. 

Sea ya

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

Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Harbor Report: It's going to be a great weekend on the water

                                                                 This weekend's Championship Regatta features Harbor 20s Racing at M Mark. 

I cannot explain to you in words how excited and nervous I am about this weekends Club Championships at the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club. The event will be sailed in Harbor 20’s with the Family division taking to the water on Saturday and the Championships Division sailing on Sunday.

The family division is all about the photo opportunities, encouraging club members to grab mom and dad and go for a sail an spend the day at the yacht club. BCYC members with Harbor 20’s and non members have allowed the club to use their boats for both events. A total of 12 boats will be in the event, with two round robins of 3 races to decide on who will move on to championships.18 teams have entered the family division and will be competing for the new perpetual trophy donated by Pomeroy family. All entries will be receiving a framed photo of their team and one team that shows the most sportsmanship will have a chance to win the prestigious  “Corinthian” medal.  The first flight on Saturday will be starting at 1200 off of M mark and if the weather is permitting will be finishing in front of BCYC with the winner of the race receiving a cannon blast at the finish. If all goes as scheduled the Family Championships should be starting during the 3:00 hour. Looking over the family enter list it appears the family’s to watch for having the “most fun” is to close to call. My guess is that the Foster, Hawkins, Bacon, Mills and Pickell family’s are going to have the largest smiles on their faces.

                                               Championship Division Perpetual Trophy donated by the Madden family

Starting at 1100 Sunday all the smiles will be gone and the 22 teams will have their “game faces” on as the first flight of 12 teams heads out to M Mark for 3 races. The qualifying flights are the hardest part for me. If I can make the cut and make it into the Championships the stress will be lifted and I really wont care how I finish in the Championships, yea right! My mind set at this point is that I know I am going to have a good time because I am sailing with one of my best friends Dan Rossen. Thats right the kids are back in the house, with Dan being “The Problem Child” and me as “Only Child”, these are the names of our boats, we got the “good time’s” already covered. The competition is no push over and the entry list reads like a world championships regatta. One privilege of being our towns harbor columnist is that I am going to throw some bad mojo dust over the fleet by acknowledging the favorites in the paper. In my opinion Mark Gaudio will be the favorite to win Championship Division Perpetual Trophy donated by the Madden family, but he is going to have his hands full with Mike Pinckney, David Levy, Eric Mayol and Erik Shampain all wanting to be the first name on that new perpetual trophy. One of the best parts about sailing in Harbor 20’s is that anyone can win on the right day and some of the Harbor 20’s fleet 1 members will be sailing very consistently like Peter Haynes, Karl Pomeroy, Guy Doran and Jim Kerrigan.  Like I said already, anyone can win this battle, and it would not surprise me if one of the other ten teams, I did not spread any bad mojo dust on, takes home the gold. 

After the races on Sunday, around 6:00 PM, the awards will be handed out, dollar beers will be flowing and all the “only if” stories will start being told by the sailors. Everyone in the harbor is welcome to come down to BCYC and observe the festivities and consider joining “The friendliest club in the harbor”.
Special recognition has to be given to Commodore Tom Madden for chairing this event, Paul DeCapua for leading the race committee and Lori Everson for putting together all the awards. Along with the entire membership of The Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club. This is going to be fun, hope you can come down and check it out.

Sea ya

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

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Still trying

My next "Silly Idea" came to me at one of the Harbor Commission meetings I attended this year. While in Dana Point Harbor, I noticed two marine recycling centers. These are where boaters can dispose of waste oil, absorbent pads, oil filters, batteries, transmission fluid and engine coolant free of charge without having to drive to the Rainbow disposal site in northern Huntington Beach .

Now the devil will be in the details on this idea but I am going to give it my best effort. I am sure most of my readers already know that Island Marine Fuel Dock and Hill Fuel Dock will take your used absorbent pads and, if you ask nicely, your waste oil. Just give Dave or Gary a call and they will give you the details.

(FAST FORWARD ONE YEAR and I have made NO progress?)
Just last month my boat's transmission/hydraulic seal broke and I ended up with over a gallon of seawater and transmission fluid in my bilge. When I asked the dock crew at BYC  where I can dispose of this fluid he replied "Just take your boat to the waste pump out and pump it to the waste hold". Of course, I explained that recommendation  is unexceptable.
His reply was " then the only proper way to dispose of that is to place it in your car and drive it 40 min. away to northern Huntington Beach".

What do you think most people do in this situation?

A. Drive an hour and a half to HB and back?
B. Go to the waste pump out station?
C. Dump it into the bay?
D. Dump it in the nearest dumpster?

It appears every year I have to dispose of some type of marine related hazardous waste. Am I the only boater with this problem?

Dear Newport Beach Harbor Commissioners

Harbor Commissioners,

The idea of having and maintaining Marine Recycling centers appears to have been placed on hold until a suitable location is found.
Rather than table the idea, I would like to propose other locations to meet the desired effects an Marine Recycling center will have on our harbor.

Please consider the following locations.

1. Basin Marina in place of the garbage bin that is located in front of the shipyard. This is the ideal location because it is easily monitored.

2. Basin Marina in the back of E Dock. There is plenty of room in the back parking lot.

3.  Lower Castaways. There is room and is in a good center location of the harbor.

4.  Sheriff’s Harbor Department. We can try to partner up with the county on the cost of waste removal?

5. The City’s Corporation or Utilities Yards. Not ideal but still close enough that boaters would use the facilities.

Please keep in mind, used oil, zincs, oil filters, ATF, Anti Freeze, Batteries etc are most likely disposed of with the boat owner placing these items in their car and transporting them to the many different locations.

A one-stop location will be used more often than driving all around town or out of town to dispose of these hazardous materials.

To my readers,

There has been many times when I have changed the oil, removed bad fuel or just pulled some type of strange substance from the bilge of my boat and had no proper place to dispose of these types of materials. Not that I have placed items like these in the dumpster before, it would make sense to have a one stop place in town, I would be doing the right thing and disposing of the Hazards Waste properly.

This is an email list of our Mayor, Harbor Commissioners, and Harbor Resource Manager. Please take the time and tell them if we had such a center YOU would be using it.,,,, , , ,,

Sea ya!

Friday, September 07, 2012

The Harbor Report: Harbor is like a fine wine

This last Labor Day weekend I climbed aboard my 1983 Schwinn “Traveler” bicycle and set out on a different type of harbor cruise. Words that came to mind on this hot summer day, as I pedaled from Huntington Beach to Newport, were working waterfront facilities, holistic, accessibility, inclusive and enjoyment.

I thought back to when I first came down to the harbor in 1975 to sail the Hobie 16 my father had just purchased from Fletcher Olson at Hobie Newport. We launched the boat off of 18th street and I immediately immersed myself into sailing and our harbor. In Cannery Village  there where sailmakers, dock builders, canvas makers, marine machines, electricians, yacht brokers, new boat sales, marine instrumentation dealers and a marine documentation service. Lido Village and down the mariners mile, from Newport Blvd to Dover, was all full of working marine related waterfront facilities. This blend of the marine industry was the authentic attribute of our harbor and made for a special place to be a part of.

As I rode my bike from the boardwalk down next to City Hall and into Cannery Village I ran into an old friend and stopped and talked about how times have changed and how they and Schock Boats were the only marine related business left in the village. I continued my cruise and went through Newport Shipyard, Lido Village and then down Mariners Mile. What was left of the marine industry was maybe a hand full of yacht brokers, five to six new boat dealers with little to no inventory, two marine insurance company’s, one sailing club and a gondola service. Because it was the last weekend of summer there were many rental companies renting paddle boards, kayaks and electric boats which is always good to see. The large charter boat fleet has never been so active, but the true essence of our harbor was missing.

Guest slips at Billys

What happened, were did everyone go? We all know that the demand for waterfront property has skyrocketed, city codes have changed, and property owner’s best use of their land has cycled towards residential condominiums. The marine industry had to pack up and move onto the mesa or into the riverbed. My principal concern is preserving public access to the waterfront for tourist, locals, pleasure boats and commercial users. If we lose access to our harbor now we might not get it back for a 100 years?

How can this happen you might ask? What happens if more condominiums are built around our harbor, if tidelands permits become so expensive that marina owners remove their slips and shipyards close down. How long will these new residents put up with the noise levels of large charter boats, restaurants, shipyards, commercial users and pleasure boaters?

City leaders should take a step back, harbor users should get involved. Waterfront planning should be long-range, with wide range thinking from our whole harbor.  Our harbor should not be just about economic development or how much eelgrass we have. It should be like making a fine wine, year after year, that blends these elements together, preservers our history, culture, use and capture the essence of the special place that it is.
Good wine comes from time and not being rushed or forced into a bottle. It should be shared, enjoyed by everyone and improve with age. So, lets open a bottle together and let it breath and talk more about the cheese?

sea ya

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