Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Harbor Report: Taking in the sights

Rob and Haden McIntosh spreading holiday cheer, Newport Beach style. (Len Bose / May 20, 2001)

By Len Bose
December 27, 2013 | 1:41 p.m.

This week I took a dinghy cruise around the harbor and a bike ride around the Back Bay with the idea of just taking in the sights, sounds and thoughts of the harbor.
I started on the east end of the harbor heading south and navigating under the Balboa Island bridge. It was last Sunday, when there was a slight chill in the air but it wasn't yet cold enough to call winter. The smile on my face was caused by the thought that the days are starting to get longer.
My smiled brightened when I noticed Rob and Haden McIntosh. Rob was dressed like Santa Claus and Haden, who appeared to be about 7 years old, was dressed like an elf. They had brought in their paddleboards from Riverside to paddle around our harbor and spread good cheer.
With holiday music booming from a sound system attached to the back of Rob's board and holiday wishes being extended to people walking around Balboa Island, it could not get any better.
My cruise continued down the north side of Balboa Island, heading west into the Five Points area of the harbor. I had to laugh again because another father-son team, dressed as Santa and an elf, was just making the turn around Harbor Island.
As I entered the widest point in our harbor, I started to notice all the boat owners who were cleaning up from the previous night's Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade and getting ready for the upcoming night's. The decorations were all deflated and looked like misplaced boat covers hanging over the side of the boats.
Thoughts of the parade the night before ran through my mind. So often, I do not feel like fighting the traffic, the cold and the parking and then working my way back home. But once I become surrounded with friends and my teenage son loses the attitude, parade evenings always become priceless. I always try to take a step away from the boat and bank the moment like an extra minute of sunlight.
Some thought the parade to be to short this year, but I thought it was perfect. I always enjoy the big boats like the 100-foot Nordland called Victorious and WildThing, the 58-foot Jeanneau. But the ones that grab my attention are the small boats, like the guy on that 8-foot Boston whaler named NS Para Sailor — that guy had to be cold and wet in all that boat wake.
Big shoutout again to all the boat owners, chairman David Beck and his crew at the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce for providing the 105th year of this holiday tradition and making it so memorable.

Continuing on my cruise, I worked my way toward the south side of Lido Isle going under the flight path of departing jets. At a lower altitude, a flock of Marbled Godwits flew overhead with their high-pitched sounds and quick direction changes.
My thoughts were then directed toward the recent tidelands management meeting, where the topic of derelict boats was brought up again. I hope that all the mooring permit holders understand that on a shore mooring or deep water mooring you do not have to keep a boat tied up to your mooring. I started to notice that most of the derelict boats are now attached to the shore moorings.
What a derelict boat is and how a boat might not reach city code policy will be defined in the upcoming months by the Harbor Commission. How the city can help dispose of these boats is by providing the owners an inexpensive way of disposing of them, and that's what the Harbor Resources Department along with the Harbor Commission will be working on this next year. There will be much more to talk about, so stay tuned. On my cruise or bike ride around the Back Bay, two things came to mind. On top of Castaways Park is one of the best views of all our harbor. You have to walk up a hill, but it's worth it and it might make you feel better after New Year's Eve.
I am also going to try and keep in mind, for that next time I need to be a little creative, to bring my wife, Jennifer, up to Vista Point off of Eastbluff. There is a bench there behind the Vista Point sign that is perfect for viewing the upper bay.
Sea ya next year!

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

Monday, December 23, 2013

338 BOATS UNDER PRECAUTIONARY SEIZURE! Written by Craig Chamberlain

Strap in, this is a long one regarding the boats currently detained in marinas throughout Mexico.

Here is my understanding of what is required to operate a yacht in Mexican territorial waters. ALL foreign vessels located in a marina should have these documents available for inspection at all times in the marina manager’s office and maintain copies aboard the yacht as well;

As the owner of Novamar Insurance Group in the U.S. with hundreds of yachts insured in Mexico AND someone who has formed two Mexican corporations, I would like to chime in on the current situation regarding yachts being detained in marinas throughout Mexico. I completely understand the emotion this invokes – especially to have this unfold as we start the holiday season. When laws that have been on the books for years are suddenly enforced without warning, it creates quite a stir. Laws many foreigners are unaware of and, in some cases, are not applied evenly or correctly by authorities. Similar situations have occurred over recent years in many of the E.U. member nations causing heartburn for visiting boaters there as well. 

It is my understanding when the authorities did their sweep of the marinas, some of the boats did not have all proper paperwork filed in the marina office(s). The documents may have never been there, had expired, were lost, misfiled, who really knows. When the authorities went from boat to boat to give boatowners the opportunity to produce the documents and no one was aboard, the boat was put a non-compliance list. The authorities may have overlooked or misinterpreted some documents as well.

It is my personal opinion the best way forward is to acknowledge to the authorities there was a breakdown in the document trail somewhere, educate boaters what is required of them before they arrive in Mexico with their boats. So they have the required documents ready to present to every marina manager when they check in. I think marina managers can and will work with boatowners as it is in their best interest to get this situation resolved ASAP. 

The following documents are what we understand is required by a visiting yacht in Mexico. They should be filed with every marina the yacht enters AND these same documents should be kept aboard at all times while in Mexico: 

Temporary Importation Permit (TIP), current vessel document, copy of the vessel’s Mexican Liability Insurance Policy, passport of the owner, and a crew list from the last port. If the vessel is corporately owned, or if someone other than the owner is in charge of the vessel, a letter is required from the owner authorizing the captain to act on behalf of the owner. The vessel owner/captain should also check in with the port captain upon entering each harbor (each harbor that actually has a port captain). Make sure the correct hull I.D. and document numbers are referenced on ALL documents. Typos are not excused.

This is more than a pain in the neck for anyone with a boat stuck in a marina somewhere, but these are the same laws that have been on the books for years. I would not want to diminish the heightened emotions this has evoked. However, as someone once said to a friend hitting on his wife at a party aboard his boat, “you can have my wife or a have a party on my boat but not both”. They all three laughed and the party continued. Hopefully this situation can resolved quickly, respectfully, and in a similar manner, so those affected by this can resume enjoying all that is so wonderful about Mexico. 

Just my two cents worth-Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Feel free to share with your friends.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Harbor Report: Yacht club's first female commodore has boating in her blood

Jon, Morgan and Commodore Gale Pickney on their boat at Newport Habor Yacht Club Opening Day 2013.

By Len Bose
December 20, 2013 | 9:40 a.m.

This week I had the opportunity to talk to a person whose family descended from the Mayflower. Named after her father's boat, Gale Nye Pickney has recently taken the helm of the Newport Harbor Yacht Club as its first female commodore.
Shortly after she was born in Chicago, her family moved to Newport Beach. She grew up on a Cal 40 that was kept back east and a 45-foot Stephens motor yacht here on the West Coast.
The family cruised from Northern California down to Mexico and spent quite of bit of time in Avalon on Catalina Island. Her father, Harry Nye, was a two-time world champion in the Star class in 1942 and 1949. The Nye family has a long history with the sea, with other descendants acting as sea-going ship captains.
As a child, Pickney grew up in the NHYC junior program sailing Sabots, Lasers and Lido 14s. She then became a sailing instructor at Balboa Yacht Club and later at NHYC before leaving for the University of Southern California, where she sailed FJs on the sailing team.
She moved away from the harbor, for a short time, completing her master's degree and taking a job in the Midwest.
On returning home she immediately returned to her yacht club and immersed herself into our harbor and boating activities. This is when she rekindled her friendship with Jon Pickney, and the two were later married.
Today the couple have a 9-year-old son, Morgan, who has also taken to our harbor and is in the NHYC junior program.
Gale and Jon have a Harbor 20 and a 35-foot lobster power boat called Blue Lobster. As a family they made more than 11 trips to Catalina over the summer. Most of their time in Catalina is spent at Moonstone Cove, with occasional trips around the island. When referring to their family time in Catalina, Gale Pickney describes it as "one of the best things that has happened to our family."

At home, in our harbor, the Pickneys are very active in the Harbor 20 fleet. Depending on the intensity of the regatta, Gale will helm in most of the fleet events and Jon will take the helm in the team racing events.
I asked Pickney what her favorite trophy is. She described an award that's in her mother's case that was given to her father for winning the 1942 Star Worlds. In 1963 her mother had this trophy replicated and reduced in size. These replications were made available to the winners of the Star Worlds.
"Now if you would like to know what my favorite trophy is in my case, that would have to be the two Ted Monroe awards for winning the NHYC Winter Series in B and A fleet in the Harbor 20 class," she explained with pride in her voice.
This led me to ask who some of her harbor mentors were.
"Well, Commodore Brad Avery is one — with all the work he has done over at the Orange Coast College Sailing Base and the amount of people these programs have introduced to our harbor. Commodore Ted Monroe was a friend of my father's and like Brad Avery played a big part in the yacht club," she said.
"We also purchased Commodore Monroe's Harbor 20 from his family after he passed away. Commodore Bill Crispin did so much for our club and race committees along with Commodore Phil Ramser making everyone feel so welcome to our harbor. These are just some of the people that come to mind," she explained with a type of pride and passion in her voice.

How she would like to be remembered?
"That's a humbling question and I hope I am not going anywhere soon," she said. "My focus has been getting people out on the water by giving a venue and being inclusive and igniting or re-igniting the passion or just advancing the passion to go boating."
Pickney has some of the best tools available, along with a long history, to take boating into the future. Boating and our harbor are at a turning point and like a crewmate hiking on the weather rail, I am glad to look back and see she has the helm.

Sea ya.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Harbor 20 News

Check out that big growler approaching

12-7-13 Balboa Yacht Club, Harbor 20 Fleet 1,  Sunkist Series #2. The first words that come to mind is “Dark and Stormy” and I am not talking about cocktails. Starting time was 1300 and that’s exactly when the largest squall of the day rolled through. Eleven skippers ignored the gale wind forecast and the two red flags above the harbor department and watched the squall roll in from the west.

I had to work this day, at least that’s what I was telling everyone, but it was my understanding that prior to the squall arriving many skippers had thrown a reef in their mains as they watch the wind speed push into the twenties.

Chris Killian told me he had his wife Cathy and son Porter with him and was one of the skippers who placed a reef in his main before heading out onto the race course. To quote Chris “We had green water rolling over the top of the boat, I mean lots of green water,” he explained with excitement still in his voice. Fleet one races inside Newport Harbor and it does take some breeze before we get water rolling over the tops of our boats.

After the squall rolled through the wind eased some and the race committee took down the postponement. Skippers sailing with two crew members and a full main had the advantage off the wind. BYC races lean more towards random leg than windward/leewards.

Per Trebler was the only C fleeter to make it to the starting line. This allowed him to catch up in the series after missing the first day of the series. Rod Graham extended his lead in the B fleet with two firsts. In A fleet Ed Kimball and Gary Throne split the day both getting a 1 & 2. Tucker Cheadle is in a close third place in the series and has been sailing very consistently.

12-8-13 Newport Harbor Yacht Club, Harbor 20, Fleet 1, Winter Series Day 2 High Point Event. The forecast was for light wind, sunshine and cooler temperatures. In fact more racers made it to the starting line than I had expected. The forecast for Saturday night was “Dark and Stormy”, and this time I am talking about cocktails, with three yacht clubs in town having their installation dinners and Fleet 1 was having their Awards Banquet after the racing on Sunday.

We had a good turnout with thirty six boats out. Thirteen in A’s and 21in B’s. The racing was difficult in the light breeze because you needed a little luck to find it. I received a rather kind complement from Bill Menninger “You seem to find the breeze when it’s coming in from every direction” with a little bit of frustration in his voice. In the second race of the day Bill got off the line and found the first shift coming in from the right side. He punched out to a big lead as we worked our way downwind towards the PCH bridge. Unfortunately for Bill the wind filled in from behind and Kurt Wiese and I interrupted his party. Kurt won that race and Bill went on to win the day to take home the high points.

In B fleet Carter Ford had his game face on and sailed through most of A fleet through out the day keeping the hammer down until he returns back to A’s. Kathryn Reed aboard “Wood In It Be Nice” has been sailing very consistently and has a good hold on second place.

John Whitney taking home the prestigious Arthur Strock Award

12-8-13 Lido Isle Yacht Club, Harbor 20, Fleet 1, Awards Ceremony. Starting time 1800 with close to 110 members attending. Shana Conzelman chaired the event and after a tremendous amount of effort by Shana and her committee, one word comes to mind, and that is spectacular.

The first awards given out was for the High Point Series. Gary Thorne 1st Bob Yates 2nd and Len Bose 3rd. The High Point awards are given to A, B, & C skippers who have the best total score for the season in their respective fleets.

The Rain or Shine Series is presented to the fleet one skipper who races in the greatest number of Rain or Shine races for the season. This year’s recipient was Michael Volk who participated in seventy six races. In a close second was Rod Swift with seventy four and in third was Peter Haynes with seventy two. The inflection in Peter Haynes voice, as he graciously presented the award to Michael, indicated that this award will be contested next season. From what I can tell the record is eighty two races set by Peter in 2012.

The Arthur Strock is awarded to the member who has performed outstanding service for the Harbor 20, fleet one organization. After observing the fleet for the first time, as a skipper, this year I could have guessed this one. I first noticed John Whitney busting his butt in The Baldwin Cup this year. He helped organized the rules seminar, and helped us at BCYC obtain boats for our club championships. I mean everywhere I went this season John was already there. Well done John, you raised the bar on this award and thank you.  

Next was the Broken Rudder Award. This fine awarded is given to the skipper whose boat sustained the most damage in the heat of battle. I was sailing that fateful Tuesday night, the wind was in the high teens and the racing area was very tight. Mark Conzelman aboard Shana’s Secret sailed just past the leeward mark on the starting line and with all the excitement of a windy starting sequence did not notice the bow sprint of the big power boat and caught one of his stays that caused his mast to collapse. That one could happen to anyone in those conditions. Unfortunately it happened to one of our fleets newest members with his new boat. 

This years First Mate Awards goes to the highest placing husband and wife teams in A and B fleet at the fleet one championships. In A fleet Diane and Bill Menninger won and in B fleet Barrie & Len Connelly took home the award.

Next was Fleet 1 Grand Masters Trophy that is awarded to the highest placing skipper over the age of sixty five at the Fleet 1 championships in A and B fleet. In B fleet Win Fullar received the award and in A’s Bob Yates was the winner.
Jessica Newman and Diane Menninger

This year a new award was donated to the fleet by the Drayton family. The “Phyllis Rawlins Drayton” trophy. This award is presented to the top women finishers in A and B divisions (either skipper or crew). Now this award was particularly emotional as it was awarded and received. John Drayton and the family had obviously spent a lot of time putting this together and it meant a great deal to them and the fleet. What made the inaugural presentation so special, to me, was the reaction from one of its first recipients
Jessica Newman. Jessica and her father Greg where sitting at our table and Jessica reaction was truly emotional, inspirational and priceless. In A fleet Diane Menninger received the award and it was obvious she to was also very grateful to have received this award.

It was a perfect night and good times will be remembered for years to come.

sea ya

Len Bose

Friday, December 13, 2013

The Best of Newport Beach Harbor 2013

Photos from this years stories.

The Harbor Report: Looking back at the year's highlights

Thank you for reading my column this year

By Len Bose
December 13, 2013 | 1:14 p.m.

Another year has rolled by like a clearing winter's westerly breeze. This is the fourth year I have been writing the harbor column, and I look forward to many more years to come. I would like to take the time to review 2013 with you.
If this review perks your interest and you would like to go back and read previous columns, go to the Daily Pilot's website at and enter my name in the search box. If you would like more photos, go to my blog at
This year, I was able to write 49 stories for the Daily Pilot, all with the help and patience of my editor, Michael Miller. Without Michael's help, these stories would never make it to print.
Out of these stories, 18 were interviews with local residents. Early this year, Newport Beach City Councilwoman Leslie Daigle tried to explain the tidelands budget. Harbor Commissioner Doug West took a lot of his time to explain what was going on within the harbor, and Deputy Sean Scoles reviewed our harbor department mooring polices. I have to say, though, I learned the most about our harbor when I stopped by the Newport Harbor Yacht Club one morning and sat down with the coffee klatch.
We had a couple of people retire or leave our harbor this year. Joyce Ibbetson was kind enough to talk to me before she retired after 34 years as the boating program director for UC Irvine. I was also able to catch up with Laura MacGregor Sharp and discuss her plans to continue building the boats that her mother and father started as MacGregor Yachts.
A couple of my favorite conversations this year were with Gerardo Martinez from the Duffy Electric Boat Company and the kids who worked on our harbor as a Duffy rental valet and bait barge attendant. These stories gave some insight into the types of work our harbor provides.
I always enjoy talking to our harbor's youth, and this year I had a chance to talk to Derek Pickell, the new sabot champion. I also caught up with Madeline Bubb, who overflowed with passion for sailing.
I was also very honored to talk to Phillip Ramser, Doug Campbell and Peter Haynes. These guys have done more for the sport of sailing than anyone I have ever met, and it just made me feel good that I had the opportunity to pick their brains about sailing and our harbor.
After reviewing this year's harbor topics, eel grass mitigation and the Castaways' future plans come to the top of the list to pay attention to in 2014.
The stories I enjoyed writing this year were about the Harbor 20 sailing fleet, the Newport Beach High Point Series and the Balboa Angling Club. This will come as no surprise to my regular readers, but if you have not heard about these groups and events, I hope you take the time to review my past stories.
Talking about my regular readers, I cannot begin to express my gratitude for the compliments I receive when I get the chance to meet you in person. These stories do not come easily to me, so please keep the comments coming.
I'd like to make one last shout-out to Harbor Resources Manager Chris Miller, who sent me this email regarding a story about my father, "The importance of sailing stories": "Hi Len, Just wanted to say that your article today was one of your best! Although you said it was more about you, it really reminded the reader to enjoy life with the company of others to share in that experience. Valuable lesson indeed. Thanks for all that you do to better the harbor. Chris"
Well, Chris thank you and everyone whotakes the time to read my column.
Sea ya.

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

Friday, December 06, 2013

The Harbor Report: Teach your children to sail well

By Len Bose
December 6, 2013 | 1:22 p.m.

This week, I took the opportunity to learn about Phyllis Drayton and the good times she is having on our harbor.
I first met Phyllis sitting across from her and her husband George at last year's Harbor 20 awards banquet. After I introduced myself, she said, "Len Bose, ooh, I read your articles. You know, my son John also writes a boating column in the local paper." This perked my ears and made me sit up a little straighter.
I have come to learn that Phyllis' family owned a home on Balboa Island in the 1930s-1950s and sailed an eight-foot Balboa Dinghy, a predecessor to today's Sabot. She and her sister Ann moved up to race Snowbirds and competed in many of the Flight of the Snowbirds races.
She then became involved at the Balboa Island Yacht Club and became the club's secretary in the early 1950s, all the while staying active in the Snowbirds, Lehman 10 and Sabot fleets. After moving off the island, she returned in the 1980s and '90s to teach young mothers how to sail. Her son John said, "I'm still surprised occasionally to hear from someone who was taught to sail by mom on Balboa Island.
"She first started racing at NHYC in 1946, 67 years ago! She has raced more or less continuously since then."
In 1985, she was the senior Sabot national champion and enjoyed competing in the Mother Sabot Amazon Race around Lido Isle. Phyllis was one of the earliest members of the Mother Sabot group started at the Newport Harbor Yacht Club in the early 1970s and remained active for the next 40 years as a Sabot mom. As a family, the Draytons spent many summers at Moonstone Cove on Catalina Island on their Cal 25 and Cal 29.
The Draytons were one of the original five people to purchase a Harbor 20 in the early 1990s. John explained the purchase: "Mom and Dad bought Harbor 20 No. 5, 'Whim'; it was actually Mom [and not Dad] who put the money down for this boat. First group on the bay — their boat was actually No. 3, but she felt 3 was an unlucky number, so she had it changed!"
The Draytons have been very active in the Harbor 20 fleet over the last 20 years. Most of the time, it's been George and Phyllis out on the water together with an occasional appearance from one of their three sons and one of their grandchildren.
This type of family tradition of boating in our harbor is now approaching four generations, within many families, and it's something that truly inspires me in many ways. Like the Draytons, I live for the day I will sail in the harbor with my son and grandchild. This type of family longevity on the harbor needs to be more recognized and appreciated now and in the future.
You might have noticed how big I am on our local fleets and yacht clubs' award nights, and we still have two big events this week. Newport Harbor Yacht Club is having its annual meeting Saturday, which is perfect for me because most of the Harbor 20 class will be attending and then trying to race Sunday afternoon.
NHYC awards one of our harbor's most prestigious awards, the Burgee of Merit. The criteria for receiving the Burgee of Merit include competing in the Olympic Games, winning a major world championship or bringing unusual distinction to West Coast yachting in general. This award is not given every year, so it's always interesting if anyone will take this baby home this year. I will be attending the Harbor 20 awards night on Sunday, and there is a rumor that there is a new award being presented.

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