Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Harbor Report: Capping off the goals for 2015

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By Len Bose
January 16, 2015 | 3:11 p.m.

In continuing to review our Harbor Commission objectives for 2015, let's look at ways to promote Newport Harbor as a preferred and welcoming destination.
Commissioners Brad Avery and Duncan McIntosh are evaluating our public moorage and anchorage alternatives. In other words, can we use the turning basin, in front of Lido Village, as an anchorage for special events? And is my idea of day mooring in front of Big Corona beach doable?
I feel both ideas are good as long as the Harbor Resources Department makes sure to permit the events properly and keep a clear line of communication with the county harbor department. Both areas can handle different uses by permitting the large raft-up parties to Big Corona and allowing the visiting yachtsmen to anchor closer to Lido Village and West Marine. Both anchorages would encourage people to use their boats and our harbor more efficiently.
It's time to update the Complete Cruising Guide to Newport Harbor. Commissioner Doug West is chairing this task, and I hope he recalls the idea of taking a drone over the harbor as an introduction video for harbor users. West did an outstanding job on the last harbor guide, and with help from commissioners Bill Kenney and Joe Stapleton, we should see a new guide by this summer.
The next task is to look into the availability of launch-ramp facilities in the harbor, then make specific recommendations to the City Council. This topic is extremely important to our harbor. McIntosh brought to my attention that we only have one launch ramp, and the people who run it can close it at any time and tell harbor guests to go boating elsewhere.
Not very welcoming, is it? Hello! We need another launch ramp, people. Helping McIntosh is fellow Commissioner David Girling.
Next on the task list is following up on the potential of a harbor water-bus service. My feeling on this is don't waste your time. I could be wrong, but I just don't see the demand needed to sustain this service. West, Girling and Stapleton will be working on this topic.
The last task is to make a recommendation concerning the operation of water-propelled vessels in Newport Harbor. This task is pretty much completed: Jet-pack rides need to be taken out to Big Corona. Kenney has done his due diligence and will make his recommendation to the council this month.
That's plenty of work for our harbor commissioners, and they need more support from the public and the City Council. Council members need to make time and support their delegated commissioners.
I would respectfully suggest to our council members that they look at these objectives and get them done. We have to complete our RPG 54, and we need a launch ramp. Get those tasks completed, and let's keeping moving forward.
I don't recall this much going on in our harbor at one time, most of it for the better. Just remember that the harbor is a lot like a boat: It always comes down to the maintenance schedule.
This week, I would like to give a shout-out to my longtime friend Carl Swaisgood at the Sailing Pro Shop, at 885 W. 16th St. in Costa Mesa. Swaisgood set me up with a whole new business suit, or what most boaters refer to as foul-weather gear. I was impressed with the inventory and Swaisgood's personal service.
As I left his shop, I noticed all the other mom-and-pop marine stores still open in Costa Mesa. MMI, a marine hardware store, was across the street. L. Gaylord Sportswear was around the corner along with Pompanette fishing equipment. It felt good shopping locally, where everyone knows your name and cares about your business.
Sea ya.

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

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