Saturday, June 28, 2014

Harbor Report: Business is good on the harbor

By Len Bose
June 27, 2014 | 7:50 p.m.

Hello everyone. I apologize for not turning in a story last week. The good news is that I have been selling boats.
Which leads me into my annual marine industry sales observations.
I asked Mike Zemla of Western Marine Maintenance, David Beek at Island Marine Fuel, Arurto Vilegas of Yacht Maintenance Services and Tracy at B.T. Canvas how things are going. Their replies were some form of "Great, I gotta go!" as they hurried to their next job.
I have noticed an increase in sales to people who have yachting in their blood. They stopped boating when times got tough and are starting to return. Most of my clients are people in their late 50s to 70s who miss spending time on the water and want to pass on their family traditions. In almost every single sale this month, the customer said that if he was going to do this, he better do it now.
It's fun to watch how the harbor changes during the day as I run boats from the different slips to the shipyards for inspections and back.
In the early morning hours you have the different rowing teams breaking a sweat before 7. The diver makes his first jump into the water, and I can hear that deep sigh through the snorkel when he hits the cold water and starts cleaning the bottom of the boats.
As the day progresses the kids take over in their sabots, kayaks and paddleboards. As twilight approaches, the harbor fills up again, with adult sailors participating in the different summer series. The Duffy electric boats start to appear for sunset dinner and cocktail cruises.
It's interesting to see how my selling a boat affects those around the harbor. Zemla, my engine mechanic, gets a call to catch up on the boat engine maintenance. Beek sees more people going to the fuel dock because of the new interest in boating. Vilegas gets a long list of work from bottom cleaning and buffing and waxing the hull to system repairs. Tracy always seems to update the canvas for the new owner. It's a good feeling seeing so many people working again in the marine industry.
This time of year I spend a lot of time on the water, and things seem to be running smoothly throughout the harbor this season. The New Port marina, the building project between Woody's and the Crab Cooker, is moving at a very fast pace with its new seawall in place. The city's Marina Park is continuing to make progress, and the new sea wall going in around Bay Island is keeping the residents shaken up as it gets hydraulically pressed into place.
We have had our normal amount of sea lion activity taking place and one or two lonely sailboats around the harbor. I am not clear on what the city code or policy is, but I have seen a lot of moored boats with more than one dinghy attached. To me this kind of looks like that neighbor down the street who has five cars parked in front of his house.
It goes without saying this is my favorite time of year. The harbor is standing tall this summer and ready to welcome visits.
One last thing before I go this week. If you are out on the ocean this coming holiday weekend, keep an eye out for floating Mylar balloons. If you find one, stop and pick it up with your boat hook, take a photo of your catch to send to me, then properly dispose of it. I'll make you famous and it's rather gratifying.
Sea ya.

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

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