Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Harbor Report: Movement on the moorings front from April of this year.

Alternative Anchorage near Z Mark?

By Len Bose
April 10, 2015 | 1:30 p.m.

By now, "moorings" might start to sound boring to you, but that's still the hot topic around the harbor.
Over the last week, the Newport Beach Harbor Commission held two meetings, during which it completed its recommendations regarding fees for offshore and onshore moorings and discussed anchorage areas and the Cheyenne, or as I like to refer to it, the dome of silence.
Good things happened at the mooring meeting, and I have to give a "well done" to the Harbor Commission and the Newport Mooring Assn. This is how the system is supposed to work, and as a harbor observer and enthusiast, I felt really good witnessing the process
The commissioners recommended the return of transferability to mooring permit holders. This means that holders could sell their permits rather than surrender them to the city after 2020.
Newport Beach Mooring

One suggestion calls for a mooring transfer fee of one year's annual cost. For example, if you have a 40-foot mooring, your annual fee will be $1,000; should you sell your permit, your transfer fee would be $1,000.
Another recommendation is a transfer fee of 5% of the permit selling price. For many reasons, I am in favor of the fixed-rate idea.
And annual mooring fees would be reduced from $50 per foot to $25. All of this is subject to City Council approval.
Under this proposal, the mooring waiting list would be deposited into the outgoing tide. Should the city ever have to take back a permit because the owner did not upgrade equipment or pay fees, it would be auctioned off. A person could only hold two mooring permits at one time and only trade one within a year's time. Proof of insurance would also be requested, and the fine details still need to be worked out.
The feeling around the harbor is that the process is working. Keep in mind that we have been down this road before, and this deal is not done until the council has voted.
For what it is worth, I feel this is a fair-fair recommendation. So now it is up to you, the stakeholder and harbor user, to contact our City Council members and express your views and concerns. If you require more information, please do not hesitate to send me an email.
Let's move forward to the second meeting's items of a secondary anchorage and the Cheyenne. This anchorage area at Z mark, best understood as the turning basin, in front of Lido Village, is proposed to be used this summer on a trial-run basis.

Noise is the main concern of the local residents, and I have to agree with them. This area looked like spring break when the anchorage was placed there during the summer of dredging.
It can get rather busy out there at Z mark
Promises of no raft-ups and a crackdown on noise levels have been made. My understanding is that this area will be opened only when our primary anchorage is full and more room is needed in the Five Points area of the harbor.
I think we should give this a try. The key to its success will come down to how quickly law enforcement can respond to complaints.

Dark clouds approaching the Cheyenne

Next up is the Cheyenne, a 125-foot catamaran that has been moored in our harbor over the last five years. The concept is that this catamaran is the mother ship to a deep-sea submersible that will dive to the deepest parts of the world's oceans.
I am sure dating myself, but every time this topic is placed on the Harbor Commission agenda, I think of the TV series "Get Smart" and the cone of silence. In this case, the cone of silence is a dome that has been under construction for the submersible for well over the last four years.
Tell me if I made you laugh?

If you want a good laugh, go to my blog site, where I have added a link to a YouTube video. My guess is that the Harbor Commission has gotten a lot smarter on the dome of silence and that this chaos will end soon.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1eUIK9CihA

I am off to the Newport Harbor Yacht Club's Baldwin Cup. Hope to sea ya there.

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

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