Sunday, March 31, 2013

Flash Back 2011: Newport Beaches 20 Most Interesting Boats

Thanks everyone! We had over 2,200 views this month new record. 3-31-13

2011 10 Most Interesting Sailboats

# 10 “PUSSYCAT” 34’ Peterson design built by Islander Yachts in 1979. Owner and crew stayed on top of PHRF C this season and won the coveted Newport High Point Series. The owner was last seen taking home most of the “pickle dishes” from BYC and BCYC awards banquets . She is berthed in Basin Marina.

# 9 “Its OK” 49’8” Alan Andrews design built by Dencho Marine in 2007. This yacht can be found racing to Hawaii and Cabo most years and can always be seen on BYC Beercans Thursday nights during the summer. Best known for her wine selection during the Ensenada race. It’s always good to have a “Its’s OK” Team Jersey. She is kept on the Balboa Peninsula.

# 8 “ BIEN ROULEE” Is an Alan Andrews design and built by James Betts. She had an outstanding racing 2011 season winning the Ullman Offshore Series under 40'. Soon to be The Balboa Yacht Clubs Flagship in 2014.  She is berthed on a BYC Mooring.

# 7 “MAULIOLA” 65’ Morrelli Melvin Performance Cruiser Catamaran built by Westerly Marine in 2011. First seen at BYC for her christening this summer, she is preparing for a world cruise and is kept on a mooring just south of BYC.

#6  “CATHLEEN” Built in 1960 by Driscoll Customs Boats works in 1960. Owned by one of our harbor finest yachtsmen and is kept in pristine condition. Seen this year at NHYC Opening Day, The Wooden Boat Festival and sailing the harbor most weekends. She is kept on a mooring just north of the NHYC and is under a full cover most of the time.

# 5 “CHUBASCO” 67’ She is Olin J. Stephens II # 255 design built in 1939 at the Wilmington Boat Works shipyard. “Chubby” has a long Trans Pac history starting in 1947. She is seen most every year at the Long Point race and has been extremely well cared for over the years. Berthed at the Ardell Marina.

#4  “METHETABEL” 76’ Pedrick Design built at Admiral Marine in 2000. Built of all composite materials after 11 years she is still “state of the art.” Last seen at Newport Shipyard for some bottom work getting ready for the Mexico cruising season. Berthed just west of the NHYC.

# 3 “MANAAKI” 40’ Friendship designed by Ted Fontaine. She will leave you speechless has she glides down Newport Harbor most weekends with the whole family aboard. Truly one of Newport gems! She is berthed on south side of Lido and kept under a full cover.

# 2 “TEAL”  42’ Hinckley Daysailor built in 2007 to a Bruce King design. I first noticed this boat pulling into Moonstone on a warm summer afternoon with ensign, club burgee and private signal all flying perfectly. Often seen sailing the harbor and outside. She is berthed next to the NHYC.

#1  “WINDWARD PASSAGE” 73’ Built on the Beach in the Bahamas in 1968 to an Alan Gurney design. Best known for Transpac greatest single performance and with a crew list from the Sailors Hall of Fame. Alan Andrews designed Keel and Rudder revision by Westerly Marine and Paint at Newport Shipyard within the last three years. She is berthed at the Ardell Marina. “In every sailors heart there is a piece of WINDWARD PASSAGE”.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

FLASH BACK: Rain or shine, Peter sails

(I first posted this story two years ago)

I have made it a point to attend at least one of all the different twilight races this year. The only class that participates in every twilight race, Monday through Friday, is the Harbor 20 class, and the only sailor who attends every twilight race is Peter Haynes aboard boat No. 201, the Spirit. He sails with his wife, Debra, in most events
Peter is also the Harbor 20 Fleet captain of Fleet One in Newport Beach. Fleet One has 110 members — boat owners and crews with 140 boats in our harbor. Of those 140 boats, around 35 boats are active in racing. Each year, the class has about 100 days of racing. Peter tries to attend each and every one of them.
That means that Peter gets more than 300 starts per year, and since 2007, Peter has won the "Rain or Shine" award given to the best attendance record for the season. OK now, that just does not seem fair. I want 300 starts every year!
I asked Peter what was his favorite regatta was each year.
"Favorite regatta? One really can't say until after an event, because the fun factor is greatly dependent on the sailing conditions," he replied. "Personally, I like the really windy days. That said, our Championship Regatta in October is a two-day gala event."
The Harbor 20 has been around for some time now, and one of the things I notice is that its participation numbers have never cycled down. In my mind, this activity level is achieved by maintaining a strong B fleet, which is for the novice to intermediate sailors.
So I asked Peter what he does, as fleet captain, to keep B Fleet so active.
He replied, "I believe I was elected fleet captain after demonstrating an ability to improve the behavior and skills of the fleet. When originally invited to join the board of directors in 2007, I suggested that my role could be to put together a continuing-education program."
I have spent a good part of my life teaching sailing — I met my wife on a sailing lesson in 1979 — and am now focused on this fleet. I offer one-day comprehensive classroom seminars, "Understanding the Racing Rules of Sailing" and "Boat Handling and Sail Trim."
This past Sunday, there were 40 people in attendance at the "Boat Handling and Sail Trim" seminar at Lido Isle Yacht Club. I am working on a "Strategy and Tactics" seminar, which I plan to have available next spring.
My long-term vision is that the Harbor 20 Fleet be the place where people go to learn about racing sailboats, because the majority of the information presented pertains to any sailboat racing.
The next seminar will be "Understanding the Racing Rules of Sailing" on Aug. 29 at Lido Isle Yacht Club. We do this seminar twice a year, with the second being about a month before the championship. A course description and registration information can be found at
Now I need to remember this because I would not be looking to buy a Harbor 20 if I had grasped this concept as the Lido 14 Fleet captain.
I tried to get better information from Peter on how to find a "Fast" Harbor 20 that is for sale. His reply was that they are all very similar and anything can be fixed up.
"Yeah, right," I thought to myself. "I have owned two Schock boats in my life and have sailed many more. Looks like I will need to spend more time researching these boats."
It looks to me that one can find a used boat in the neighborhood of $15,000. I asked Peter, "What puts the biggest smile on his face when you are racing?" He said, "I am most gratified when I see folks who were struggling, but after attending the seminars, start to get in the game."
One of the other features of the Harbor 20 Peter wanted me to point out was the electric trolling motor, which swings out over the side. That way I know he always makes the start of a race, and I will always get home if the wind dies completely.
This week was the end of the Summer Jr. Sailing season. I will report back to you next week with all of the special awards given out from all the different yacht clubs around town.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Harbor Report: A clubhouse away from home

By Len Bose
March 28, 2013 | 3:28 p.m
Back in March 2011, I wrote a story titled "Longing for simple life of small clubhouse." Well, I found it, and it was right in front of me all this time. In fact, the Balboa Angling Club has been around for the last 87 years.
Looking through its history, all the original Newport Harbor names are there: Summers, Beek, Atkinson, Sawyer and Crocker, just to name a few, are all in the club's history books. The 1939 objectives for the club still stand strong today: "To aid in all plans for conservation of the fishing resources of California" and "To promote salt water fishing as a sport; to encourage and improve angling in local waters; and to promote sport fishermen in general."
When I walked into the clubhouse, located in the Fun Zone next to Hill's fuel dock, I thought, "This is it — it's the perfect small clubhouse." Self-serve bar, BBQ, dock, view of the harbor, crane, heads, shower, everything. A long history of members, awards, recognition for outstanding achievements within our harbor are lined up around the walls. The best part of this whole deal is that it is free and open to the public.
Please keep in mind that if you find yourself hanging out at the club and wanting to take part in all the events, it's going to cost you a whole $16 a month for the family to be an official member. If you want to find an activity for your kid to get out of the house, a Jr. Membership for ages 21 and younger is a whole $1.60 a month. Membership is at 300 members and is open at this time. Back in the 1950s, membership reached as high as 700, but the club today runs best at 350 members before it feels the impact. The saying around the club is "Once you join the Balboa Angling Club, you will be hooked for life."

Today, as you read this, the club is working with Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute in the White Seabass Enhancement Plan. Our harbor fishermen all know this, but I was surprised to find out that 2,500 juvenile white sea bass a year are trucked up and placed in the bass fish pens in our mooring fields. They are being placed in a type of ice bin that you place a beer keg in and transported out to the fish pens one scoop at a time. After the juveniles are placed in these fish pens, volunteers from the Balboa Angling Club go out every day to take water temperatures, look for problems and report back to the Hubbs group. This is no simple task, and the variables seem as difficult as putting a boat deal together or making fine wine.
What I found interesting is that the Hubbs institute tags each fish with a type of computer chip, located near the fish's head, that contains the spawning date and location of each fish. This information provides information about growth rates, migration, life span, who likes to eat white sea bass, and their mating pattern. Hubbs officials encourage anglers to turn in their white sea bass heads. This data collected from the tags in the fish heads will track the success of the program's restocking efforts. Should you wish to take part and help in their efforts, the fish heads can be deposited at the Balboa Angling Club, Anglers Center and at the Hubbs-SeaWorld institute in Carlsbad. For some reason, I am having a flashback to the Dr. Demento radio show and the "Fish Heads" song while I write this. Dr. D Fish heads  (push to 2:20 mark)
The next big event at the Balboa Angling Club is the 50th Annual Lily Call bay tournament April 27 and 28. Rob Meinhardt, who is a 20-year member of the club, said, "This is my favorite tournament of the year. My daughter and I have a great time competing in this event each year." Rob went on to tell me that this is an in-harbor tournament that attracts as many as 100 anglers.
I have never seen a facility that provides an introduction and access to our harbor like the Balboa Angling Club. In fact, the first trophy I ever won was in a 1968 Jr. Tournament for the largest bonito in the five- to 10-year-old category from the Balboa Angling Club. I keep it with pride on the top shelf of my trophy case.
Sea ya.
LEN BOSE is an experienced boater, yacht broker and boating columnist.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Beneteau First 35 Newport Beach California. "FULL SERVICE"

OK, You are thinking about a New Race Boat? Something under 40 feet, with an interior, a boat that can sail to its rating and will not break the bank! Perfect, because I have the boat for you.

The Farr designed Beneteau First 35 is my choice. The boat has been sailing to its PHRF numbers with little effort. That’s right all you have to do is sheet in, max out, and take home the pickle dishes. Winning is not everything it’s the only thing! The First 35 will keep the crew coming back and will earn you a spot in your yacht clubs history books. “Go straight and go fast” and the glory is yours. Here is my deal, order the New Beneteau First 35 from me. If you do not have a slip, I will find you a slip. If you need crew, I will assists in finding our harbors best.  This will also include arranging all your maintenance from delivering your boat to and from regattas, bottom cleaning, rig tuning, bottom fairing, sail selection, crew meals. Full service if you want it. All you have to do is show up at the yacht club and step aboard. After the race, just step off the boat and head into The Yacht Club. I will arrange everything. 

Before you call make room in your office for all the Pickle dishes! 

Len Bose

Friday, March 22, 2013

The Harbor Report: Grab a front-row seat for Cabo

Len Bose sails in his Harbor 20, in which he got third place in the Lorin Weiss series last weekend. (Photo by Joysailing / March 21, 2013)

By Len Bose
March 21, 2013 | 3:32 p.m.

Can you say "Cabo, Cabo, Cabo" without laughing and wishing you were packing your sea bag?
Friday and Saturday is the start of the Newport Harbor Yacht Club's 2013 Cabo Race, and the fleet is lit up like an Olympic torch. If you think of it, it kind of is, with eight entries coming from the East Coast for this year's Transpac race to Hawaii and using the Cabo race as a tune-up.
There are 31 entries that will headed out to the starting line this weekend, and I have never noticed the positive economic impact this type of race provides to our marine industry. Shipyards from Marina del Rey to San Diego have felt the impact and are counting their profits as the boats head out to sea.
Over this last month, I felt like a kid in a candy store each time I walked the shipyards and the docks at our local yacht clubs. On Wednesday, I was at NHYC and walked past the Santa Cruz 52 Bodacious IV from the Columbia Yacht Club in Chicago. I was left speechless admiring the attention to detail this yacht has received and started calling prospects to come down to the dock and take a look. I later came to find out that local yacht designer Alan Andrews played a big part in this boat's refit. Alan designed a new keel, rudder, larger mast and sail plan, the most interesting bow sprint I have ever seen. While I stood on the dock, my palms began to sweat as I pictured myself on the helm of this baby off Cedros Island in 30 knots of wind asking for the spinnaker sheet to be eased.
For those of you, like myself, who missed this dance and have to be an armchair sailor this next week, the NHYC web page,, will offer hours of entertainment. Make sure you check out the yellow-brick tracking system that will have a two-hour delay and update the boats every 15 minutes; video will be streamed from the club's Facebook page, and you can stay updated with the club's Twitter account.
Boats I will be watching in Class ORR 1 will be the big boats Wizard and Pendragon. The 70-raters will be in ORR 2 and will be a very close race with the top seed going to Grand Illusion. This class is too close to call, which includes Team Disney returning on a new Pyewacket, with six out of 10 teams all loaded up and ready to rock; keep your eyes on this one. In ORR 3, I am going to go with our local champs Horizon, a Santa Cruz 50 from Dana Point. They will have their hands full trying to stay up with Bodacious and Sin Duda!, Santa Cruz 52s in the forecasted light breeze.
In the PHRF fleet, the boat to watch will be John Garrison's Checkmate, with a crew list of Newport Harbor's best that includes Dennis Durgan, Marshall Duffield, Gary Hill and Gordo Johnson. The stories from this boat will be priceless, and they have a very good chance of winning their class. They just have to keep up with a who's-who list from the San Diego Yacht Club's J160 Innocent Merriment.
Race chairman John Fuller is pleased to see the large turnout for this year's event and how all the logistics came together.
"We have been planning this event for over a year and have a wealth of experience on our committee, with many of the past chairmen helping out," John explained. "It's shaping up to be a breeze strategy year," he added, meaning the wind could be light toward the end of the race.
This normally favors the larger boats in each class. "The forecast looked much better today than it did yesterday, and we still have a couple of days before the start," John explained with a positive inflection.
Something tells me boats could be sailing close to Guadalupe Island in the search for more wind — for their sake, I hope not. In a Mexico sailboat race, it's never over till the fat lady sings, and the larger boats could stall out before the finish with the smaller boats bringing in the breeze from behind.
For those of you who are staying at home and get to sleep in a warm bed this week, the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club will be holding its Ocean Series No. 5 on Saturday, which I believe will be two windward, leeward races. Make sure you go to my blog site at for an update on the Newport High-Point Series.
Sea ya.
LEN BOSE is an experienced boater, yacht broker and boating columnist.

Friday, March 15, 2013

SOUNDINGS Tragedy strikes again

Posted on 15 March 2013
Written by Rich Armstrong
As the sailing community digests the third fatal racing accident off Southern California in less than a year, local sailors say the latest tragedy has them re-evaluating their own vigilance when it comes to safety offshore.
“I’ve had a chance to talk to a few people, and the overall sense among us is the need for all of us to take a fresh look at our equipment and to do what we need to be ready for these types of situations,” Len Bose, 52, who sailed aboard the Santa Cruz 50 Adrenalin in the race, told Soundings.
“That’s what hit me — making sure all of the equipment is up to snuff,” he said. “My foul-weather gear is 20 years old, and I hadn’t even realized it was ripped in the crotch until I got soaked and was freezing my [butt] off during the race.”
A yacht broker, Bose writes a weekly sailing column for the local newspaper, The Daily Pilot, and posts the column on his blog. He is one of many to join the online discussion of last weekend’s fatal accident and the inherent danger that comes with the sport they love.
Uncontrollable Urge, a Columbia Carbon 32, broke apart Friday, March 8, in 8-foot surf on the rocky coast of California’s San Clemente Island after its rudder failed. The crew was competing in the two-day Islands Race, a 139-nautical-mile sprint from Long Beach to San Diego.
Published reports say that after the rudder failed the crew was unable to set an anchor and tried to deploy a life raft, which may have escaped their control. The boat reportedly drifted closer to shore and began breaking up in the surf, forcing the six sailors on board to abandon ship. Five were rescued on San Clemente Island. Craig Williams, 36, a husband and father, was unresponsive when pulled from the water.
The crew had issued a mayday call and activated the DSC feature on their VHF at 9:26 p.m., according to the Coast Guard. They initially declined assistance from the Coast Guard and fellow race competitors.
“In hindsight, I think their biggest mistake was they had an opportunity to receive assistance, and for whatever reason … they missed that opportunity,” Bose said.
The Coast Guard reported 8-foot swells and 20- to 25-knot winds, with a small craft advisory in effect. Bose and others who raced say winds were closer to 30 knots in the lee of San Clemente Island.
“It was pretty confused seas with a lot of out-of-pattern kickers,” race participant Tom O’Keefe said in a post at “The set between Catalina and San Clemente islands was very strong. We were sailing 10 high and still losing bearing on our waypoint off San Clemente. Wind was gusty from sundown to finish, with the high we saw of 28. But the crossed-up sea [is] what really made driving a challenge.”
No one from Uncontrollable Urge has commented publicly on the accident, but in speculating about what may have caused the rudder failure, Bose said “there was also plenty of flotsam out there that night. There were reports that one boat hit a tire, another hit a fishing net and another hit a shark or some other large fish.”
This latest West Coast race tragedy follows the April 14, 2012, deaths of five aboard the Sydney 38 Low Speed Chase after it rolled in breaking waves during the Full Crew Farallones Race. On April 28, the four-person crew aboard the Hunter 376 Aegean died after a hard grounding on North Coronado Island in the Newport-to-Ensenada Race.
With nine sailors dead before the start of the 2012 summer sailing season, the Coast Guard suspended offshore racing in the San Francisco area, pending the completion of a US Sailing inquiry into the Low Speed Chase accident.
An independent panel determined that Low Speed Chase had sailed too close to the lee shore in shoal water. Click here for the full report.
A second US Sailing panel found that a key element of the Aegean accident was probably an “inadequate lookout” and that the vessel likely inadvertently motored beyond a waypoint set before North Coronado Island. Click here for the full report.
No announcement regarding an investigation into the Uncontrollable Urge accident has been announced by US Sailing, the Coast Guard or any California governing body.
“I’d be more comfortable with US Sailing doing the investigation, rather than the Coast Guard,” Bose said. “I’d prefer we handle this ourselves.”

The Harbor Report: Thoughts after a sailing tragedy

By Len Bose
March 14, 2013 | 12:23 p.m.

I have an abundance of what I think is important information to share with you this week. Most of you have read about the tragedy that took place in the Islands Race this last weekend, when one soul was lost while competing in a sailboat race around our local island. I competed in the race, and on my return home, I was greeted with plenty of hugs and attention from both my wife and son. While assuming my king's chair in front of the TV, I reflected on the personal mistakes I had made during the race.
My biggest blunder was that I had not checked my own equipment. My foul-weather gear pants had a rip in them that allowed me to get wet, which means I got cold. My footwear had rotted away and I was leaving pieces of my shoes around the boat. I did not rush to my heaviest foul-weather coat when we went through our first rain squall of the day. Later that night, when I went below for a quick hour's nap, I left my all my foul-weather gear on. These mistakes all made me wet, sweaty and very cold when I came back on deck.
I thought further into my mistakes. I should carry a shape sailing knife, personal flares, whistle and, if I was really smart, a waterproof hand-held VHF radio in my offshore foul-weather jacket. I still need to check my CO2 cartridge in my life harness and replace the pellet that automatically inflates the harness if I am submerged. I can't help but think that a sky diver packs his own parachute, with his personal safety in mind, before each jump. I better start packing my own sea bag with the same type of personal attention to safety. It goes without saying, I will be one of the first ones to sign up for Orange Coast College's next safety-at-sea seminar.
Speak up on launch ramp
I attended this week's Harbor Commission meeting and study session regarding the Castaways lot that is located next to the PCH bridge, basically on the corner of PCH and Dover. While presenting my idea, I went off on a type of tangent regarding a city land marina with boat storage racks like at Newport Harbor Shipyard. I went on to explain the need for a commercial launch ramp and a marine recycle center. My ideas were, for the most part, thrown into the current. My point is that you have to attend these meetings and voice your ideas; otherwise, you could very easily find something you don't agree with in that location someday.
The first presentation of the Harbor Commission meeting was given by Marshall "Duffy" Duffield, who introduced his idea of a docking system that could replace our mooring fields. You needed to see Duffy's presentation to truly understand all of its features. This idea will save water space, make this type of boat storage more user-friendly, cut down on maintenance and improve the appearance of the harbor. This concept is going to take a huge amount of work to get it started, but if only a couple of City Council members will take a close look at this idea and give it a try — maybe in the mooring field that is located between Balboa Island and Basin Marine — this idea could possibly turn out to be one of the best ideas to improve our harbor since the jetty entrance.
The next subcommittee report was on the topic of a temporary yacht anchorage, which will be placed on the agenda for next month. I hope you are all still reading this? Make sure you attend and voice your opinion on a temporary anchorage being placed in the turning basin in front of Lido Village.
I still can't say enough on how fortunate we are to have Doug West as the chairman of our Harbor Commission and Chris Miller as our harbor resource manager. These two continue to lead the charge for our revised RGP-54 dredging permit that could take effect in April 2014. The task these two have taken is enormous; the process is mind-boggling when dealing with no less than seven government agencies to obtain an RGP that we all can work with. I asked Doug in the simplest of terms, "Do you feel confident that you can complete this task?" His reply: "We will get this done." If you see Doug or Chris, please stop them and say good luck and thank you. Remember a good pat on the back goes a long way in this line of work.
Ahead on the calendar
This April 7 between 10 a.m. and noon, there will be a meeting at ExplorOcean/Newport Harbor Nautical Museum to discuss safety issues regarding stand-up paddling in Newport Harbor. If you enjoying SUP, you best attend this one; there is more on the table than you can imagine.
This Sunday is the start of the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club's Lorin Weiss Harbor 20 Series. I am still keeping my best set of sails up for this one and am bringing in Craig Fletcher to crew with me. I still want my name on the trophy someday.
Sea ya.
LEN BOSE is an experienced boater, yacht broker and boating columnist

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

FOR SALE 2003 21' Duffy Newporter Asking $ 22,500

2003 21’ Duffy “Newporter”. She has always been maintained by Duffy Care and is in very good condition. Her features include 48 Volt Premium Power with (16) 12-Volt 8D maintenance free batteries. Samsung Microwave Oven, Refrigerator, Barrett Bonded Windows, Ultra leather Seat and Backrest Cushions, Sony Stereo and 10 disc CD changer.
She is very clean and easy to show!

Looking Aft
Looking forward

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Sailing community again mourns loss in race

2013-03-11 19:47:25
As details emerge on a sailboat racing accident off California's coast, sailors are mourning the loss of crewman Craig Thomas Williams.
Williams, 36, a San Diego resident and crewmember aboard the 32-foot sailboat Uncontrollable Urge, died in the waters off San Clemente Island late Friday night after the boat crashed into the island's rocky shore. The sailors were forced to abandon ship when the vessel hit the surfline, and the five surviving crewmembers were airlifted from the island by a Coast Guard helicopter and taken to a hospital to be treated for cuts, bruises and hypothermia, authorities said.
While the sailors were experienced yachtsmen, the vessel, an all-carbon design from Santa Ana-based Columbia Yachts, was brand new, competing in its first offshore race. Former Newport Beach Harbor Commissioner and Columbia Yachts President Vince Valdes was crewing on the boat and was one of the survivors rescued from the island.
Others on board were boat owner James Gilmore and crew Mike Skillicorn, Doug Pajak and Ryan Georgianna.
Gilmore tweeted Friday morning that he was taking the new boat on its first race: "Gonna see what this boat can do!"
The boat was competing in the fourth annual 139-nautical-mile Islands Race, which pits sailors on a course from Los Angeles Harbor to San Diego Bay, going around Santa Catalina and San Clemente islands.
Just off the backside of San Clemente Island, Uncontrollable Urge issued a distress call at 9:26 p.m. Friday, stating that the boat's rudder had failed.
The vessel initially declined Coast Guard assistance, calling a boat-towing company for help, but the company could not take the call due to weather conditions. Sailors in the race reported 10-foot swells and up to 30-knot gusts of wind that night.
Yacht broker Len Bose, 52, was crewing aboard Adrenalin, a sailboat competing in the race, when he heard the chatter over the radio.
"We were about two miles ahead of them when we heard the call for assistance," he said, but Innocent Merriment, another boat in the race was closer to them, and Uncontrollable Urge ended up declining its assistance.
About 11 p.m. after failing to set anchor, the crew attempted unsuccessfully to deploy the boat's life raft, leading to the vessel's fate on the rocks.
Bose said he heard over the radio that another boat in the vicinity of Uncontrollable Urge ran into a fishing net that night, which could have been the reason for the rudder failure.
"There was so much debris, seaweed and flotsam out there; the chances of running into something was high," Bose said.
The death marks the third fatal accident to hit California's sailboat racing scene in a 12-month period. In April, five sailors died in the waters off Northern California when the 38-foot yacht Low Speed Chase smashed into the rocks off the Farallon islands.
Later that month, four sailors died in the Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race when the 37-foot sailboat Aegean ran aground off Mexico's North Coronado Island.
"When you look at all three of these incidents, there were different reasons for the end results, but what they all have in common is that they all hit the island's lee shore, where the waves and wind pull you in," 2010 Islands Race participant John Drayton said. "For hundreds of years, sailors have been warned to stay away from the lee shore. It's never a good thing."
Drayton, who has more than 40 years of sailing experience and has competed in dozens of offshore races including two transpacific yacht races, said Uncontrollable Urge was one of the smaller vessels in the 39- boat field but was fully capable of making the trek.
"Those are experienced, knowledgeable sailors making difficult decisions on that boat, and when you lose your rudder, it's the equivalent of being in a truck on a mountain road and losing your brakes," Drayton said.
A memorial fund has been set up for those wishing to donate to the Williams family. Go to and search for Craig Williams 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

My perspective on my comments:

Racer's perspective:
I am still tired and a little sore from this years Islands Race. I am writing this on Sunday after the race, on Saturday afternoon, at 4:00 Pm after I had just woke up, I received a phone call from the writer of this story Bradley Zint.
What I am concerned about is how my perspective is taken by the injured party’s of this tragic event. By no means was I implying that the crew of Uncontrollable Urge was not prepared for this event. If I have offended any of the members of the this crew I am deeply sorry for my comments and your loss. My intentions of my perspective is directed as a wake up call for the overall of the sport. 

Len Bose

One sailor dead in race co-sponsored by Newport Harbor Yacht Club

Crew of Uncontrollable Urge Day before the start
San Diego man was part of a six-man crew aboard the Uncontrollable Urge, which was competing in the Islands Race.
By Bradley Zint
March 9, 2013 | 6:14 p.m. 

A San Diego man died over the weekend during a sailing race co-sponsored by the Newport Harbor Yacht Club, officials said. Craig Thomas Williams, 36, was one of six crew members aboard the Uncontrollable Urge, a 32-foot vessel participating in the fourth annual Islands Race that began Friday in Long Beach and ended Saturday in San Diego, race officials said.
Five others were also injured in an accident where the surfline broke apart the drifting sailboat late Friday night near San Clemente Island, Coast Guard officials said. A Coast Guard helicopter recovered all six crew members before transporting them to an area hospital.
"The members of NHYC would like to express their sympathy to the friends and family of the boat, Uncontrollable Urge," the Newport Harbor Yacht Club wrote in a statement on its Facebook page.
Coast Guard officials said the Uncontrollable Urge, which was in small-craft advisory weather containing 8-foot swells and 10-knot winds, initially "stated they were not in need of assistance and declined assistance from both the Coast Guard and other boaters involved in the race."
The crew issued a mayday call around 9:26 p.m. Friday after the rudder failed and the vessel began drifting toward San Clemente Island, Coast Guard officials said.

The Islands Race route is 139 nautical miles and rounds both San Clemente and Catalina islands. The San Diego Yacht Club co-sponsors the race with the NHYC.
The Uncontrollable Urge, owned and skippered by James Gilmore, was from the Silver Gate Yacht Club in San Diego, according to the San Diego Yacht Club's website.
The racing-related death involving local participants is the second in recent memory. In April 2012, during the annual Newport-to-Ensenada race, four racers from one vessel died. The official investigation report ruled that the Aegean — a 37-foot, Redondo Beach-based vessel — likely ran aground before sinking off the coast of North Coronado Island.
The four fatalities were the first in the race's 65-year history.
Racer's perspective
Len Bose, who writes the Daily Pilot's "Harbor Report" column, participated in the Islands Race aboard the Adrenalin, a 50-foot vessel based in Newport Harbor. It was manned by about seven crew members, he said.
Bose said the mood in San Diego at the finish line was somber after people heard the news of Williams' death and the others aboard the Uncontrollable Urge who were injured.
"That was the talk of the yacht club this morning down in San Diego," he said.
"It was kind of a reality check there ... it makes you sit in your seat," Bose added, calling it a dangerous sport.
After hearing of the death in news reports, many participants' wives were calling in, hoping to hear their husbands were OK, he said.
While Bose never feared for his personal safety during the race, he said the crew knew what they were getting into before setting sail.
"It wasn't a surprise what we'd be facing," he said. "It seems that you go out there and you do it so often that sometimes you forget. That might've been the case this time for a few people."
Most of the boats, including his, had equipment failures of some type or other, Bose said.
Of the weather conditions, he said it was a "very dark night. No moon. Just a ton of stars out there, the glow of your running lights on the water. When it's that black, it has a tendency to pucker you up a little more."
He said with news of yachting fatalities, "our biggest concern is [additional] government restriction on what we do. It's a type of sport that you're out there playing it and you best be ready.

Friday, March 08, 2013

The Harbor Report: A new sheriff (or two) in town

Len Bose will be sailing on Dave Clark¿s Santa Cruz 50 Adrenalin in the Newport Harbor Yacht Club Islands Race this weekend. (Courtesy LEN BOSE / March 7, 2013

By Len Bose
March 7, 2013 | 3:08 p.m.

Time to catch up on some harbor news this week.
It's been recently announced that Harbormaster Lt. Tom Slayton will be retiring this month. While talking to him on the phone, I found myself stumbling to pronounce his full name, and he said, "You can call me Tom." I then thought to myself, how lucky we have been with our last two harbormasters, and I started to stumble again on who his replacement will be.
One of the many strong points of Lt. Slayton — Tom — was that he would always take the time to explain the harbor issues with me, and he could read the approaching situation. Before I could stumble out another word, he said, "My replacement is Lt. Mike Jansen, and he will keep the same course."
I sat back in my chair and thought, wow, how did he know my biggest concern was that we would fall off course like we did two harbormasters ago? I am starting to like the new guy already and I have not even met him yet.
For those of you who did not know, Tom is retiring at the age of 52 after 27 years with the Orange County Sheriff's Department, the last two years as our harbormaster. "It's time to spend more time with my two kids" ages 8 and 11, Tom explained. "Being the harbormaster has been a great opportunity for me and challenging." He agreed to answer a few more questions and gave me his and Mike's email addresses. I'll just need to take some time and come up with some thought-out questions for them in the near future.
My understanding is that Tom will be attending next week's Newport Beach Harbor Commission meeting, and I assume Mike will also be attending as the commission thanks Tom for his hard work and understanding. I also received more news from the Harbor Patrol that Deputy Carlos Contreras will be retiring this month. Carlos has been a mainstay in our harbor for 17 years and has been our mooring administrator and boat accident deputy during his watch. I have always felt that Carlos was easy to approach and more than willing to help me when I called him. So it looks like there will be a couple of new sheriffs in town. I had to say that; the good news is that we should be holding our same course.
Another important topic coming up is how to use the lower Castaways parcel, which was donated by the Irvine Company to the city a couple years ago, at the corner of PCH and Dover. This is some of the last remaining undeveloped waterfront property owned by the city, and now is the time to start expressing your views on how this parcel should be used. The Harbor Commission's study session is at 4:30 p.m. March 13 at the old council chambers.
In my humble opinion, this property should be used as a boat launch ramp with free access for our commercial marine operators to launch their equipment. I can't express to you how important it is for our harbor to make sure we leave room for our commercial users. This area would also be a great place for a marine recycle center so that boaters can easily depose of used oil, transmission fluid, engine coolant and used zincs.
You might think we have a good boot launch ramp at the Newport Dunes Resort. That's right, it's the Dunes' launch ramp, and if they feel like having a concert on Labor Day, they can close it and tell people to go to Dana Point or Huntington Harbour to launch their boats. When I heard of this happening last year, it just rubbed me the wrong way. The city needs to continue working hard to prove to people that this is a friendly harbor, and telling people that we are closed and to go someplace else is not the way to achieve that goal easily.
As you read this, I am heading out to sea to compete in the Newport Harbor Yacht Club Islands Race. The race starts in Los Angeles Harbor near Angels Gate, then Catalina and San Clemente islands are rounded to port and the finish is in San Diego.
The weather is shaping up to be very challenging conditions, with the forecaster using expressions like "The wind will be so strong it will be blowing dogs off their chains" — that's windy!
I am quite excited to be sailing on Dave Clark's Santa Cruz 50 Adrenalin. This should shape up to be the best sail of the year.
Sea ya.
LEN BOSE is an experienced boater, yacht broker and boating columnist

Thursday, March 07, 2013

For Sale: 1995 Duffy 18 "Snug Harbor" w Duffy Refit

1995 Duffy "Classic" 2011 Duffy Refit

1995 Duffy Snug Harbor “Refit” from Duffy. Fresh standard battery pack, Replaced Canopy, Engine, Shaft, Electric Wiring, Batteries, Battery Charger, Carpet, Cushions, Jensen Stereo w 4 speakers, Duffy Care.
She shows better than new! Great Value Asking $ 16,500

Looking Forward

Forward Storage

Looking Aft

Friday, March 01, 2013

The Harbor Report: Fixing up for the races

Line drawing of 83 foot AANDEEL

By Len Bose
February 28, 2013 | 5:44 p.m.
Spring is approaching, and the boats have returned to Newport Harbor. With this year's Islands Race, Cabo and Transpac all on the horizon, a large number of race boats have gathered here in Newport Beach for their annual maintenance.
The most interesting megayacht is not in town for our local offshore races, but it sure appears it can run with the big dogs. The 77-foot Sparkman & Stephens-designed Aandeel (formerly known as Sleighride), now 82 feet, has received a refit, with five feet added to its overall length. Up-and-coming yacht designer Adam Voorhees received his first contract to design the refit. Performing the refit was our own Westerly Marine from Santa Ana, with owner Lynn Bowser directing his crew at Newport Harbor Shipyard. When I approached the yacht, Lynn gave me a warm welcome and took a couple of minutes to introduce the boat to me before he had to get back to work applying the keel to the boat. According to a good friend of mine, the boat was lifted to its maximum height with the shipyard's travel lift; they had just four inches to spare above the keel height to the bottom of the boat when applying the keel.

For those who have not heard of Westerly Marine, they have long been one of the world's best custom-boat builders and have been able to stay in business in Costa Mesa until about 10 years ago, when they moved up to a larger location in Santa Ana. They did the work on Windward Passage's keel change and have produced a couple of Morrelli & Melvin 65-foot cruising catamarans over the last two years. I also noticed local Harbor 20 sailor Len Connelly working on this project. Len has been working for Westerly Marine for close to 20 years and plays a big part in producing some of the world's best yachts.

My understanding is that the original owner wanted an ultra-light boat, exceedingly fast, that could blow the hatches off any racing boat. The new owner, who lives in the Santa Barbara area and will keep the boat in the Ventura area, wants the same and more. Come on by the shipyard and take a look; she is truly something to behold.
While at the Newport Harbor Shipyard, you will notice all of the activity to some of Southern California's best racing boats getting ready for the above-listed races. The one-of-a-kind Checkmate was in the yard getting ready for Cabo. Word on the street is the Newport Harbor Yacht Club boys are "putting the band back together," and the crew list reads like a who's-who. Can't wait to hear the stories from this run. Other boats in the yard are Pendragon VI, getting some work done to its mast; Orange Coast College's Katana, painting its bottom; and the gorgeous Santa Cruz 50 Adrenalin, also getting some work done to its bottom. The Santa Cruz 52 Sin Duda is in town from Chicago this summer for the Cabo and Transpac Race. Mirage, a Santa Cruz 70, is in the yard for some mast work. Two J/120s are also in the yard. It appears the fleet is getting locked and loaded for the upcoming sailing season.

Speaking of locked and loaded, the first race of the Newport High-Point Series has been completed with the American Legion Yacht Club running the Midwinter Regatta a couple of weeks ago. The first boat out of the blocks this year is John Szalay's Peterson 34, Pussycat, with 11 points, followed by Roy Jones' J/133, Tango, with 10 points and Peter Bretschger J/120, Adios, with nine. The next high-point race will be Balboa Yacht Club 66 Series beginning March 16.
This weekend, I am racing my Harbor 20 in the NHYC Schock Regatta and am also planning on attending Peter Haynes' boat handling and sail trim seminar March 9 at the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club. I have to thank Peter for that eighth-place finish in my first Harbor 20 A fleet regatta; by attending his rules seminar, this boat handling and sail trim should get me into the top five. It's open to anyone; take the time and you will be glad you did. For full results of this year's Newport High-Point Series and interior photos of Aandell, go to my blog site at
Sea ya.
LEN BOSE is an experienced boater, yacht broker and boating columnist.

AANDEEL, she is due to be splashed on Monday