Thursday, December 29, 2016

The Harbor Report: Gate may hold key to harbor's future

Jim Dastur, "a very peaceful man who does not get emotional while expressing his views."

By Len Bose
March 28, 2014 | 5:48 p.m.

A couple of years ago at a Harbor Commission meeting, the topic of replacing some of our harbor's 18 miles of seawalls an estimated cost of $500 million was discussed.
Of course, the cost is what first grabbed my attention, along with how the commissioners responded to the topic. It was then that Marshall Duffield introduced me to the concept of a tidal gate and started to explain how these gates can protect the whole harbor.
Jump forward two years, and the idea of replacing seawalls was still being discussed at this month's Tidelands Management Committee meeting. Attending the meeting as concerned harbor users were Duffield and someone I was introduced to at the beginning of the year, Jim Dastur.
At this year's Tidelands meetings, Dastur has always presented himself as a very peaceful man who does not get emotional while expressing his views on why he feels that the city should proceed with a study on the feasibility of a floodgate at the entrance to our harbor. During this month's meeting, the committee gave Dastur the time to review his reasons on why a study is needed regarding tidal gates. Sitting next to me was Win Fuller, a local resident and active harbor user, who looked at me and said, "This guy is making the most sense."
After the meeting, Duffield walked up to Dastur, introduced himself, shook his hand and gave him a warm pat on the back. This is when the idea of talking to Dastur first came to mind, and I proceeded to ask him for an interview, which he graciously accepted.
Dastur has lived on Balboa Island for 22 years. He was educated as a civil structural engineer and worked in marine construction. He has worked on most of the big commercial docks in the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles. He also has taken part in the retrofitting of all the major bridges in the Bay Area. For three years, he was the head director of the American Society of Civil Engineers' Construction Institute. Dastur was also contracted by India to consult on the building of a nuclear power plant with a seawater intake system — not to mention the fact that he was also the interim CEO of the company that worked on the replacement of the New Orleans levees.
Dastur is the type of person who prefers not to talk about himself, but when he said, "I am talking from a lot of experience," I wanted him on our team. While discussing the replacement of our harbor's seawall, he said, "Rising the walls will not do the job. Unless the walls go way deep, way deep, all you are doing is preventing the water from coming over the top."

To proceed on this topic, you have to ask yourself which government agency, from around the world, is providing you with enough facts that our sea level is rising and by how much. It was reported at the Tidelands meeting that by 2050, the projected sea level will rise by 1.38 feet, with a 1% chance that tide height will be 9.09 feet and a 10% chance that it will be at 8.79 feet. Right now, our mean sea level is at 2.65 feet, and by 2050, it is projected to be 4.03.
Now look at today's water table on Balboa Island at plus three or plus four and consider that the water table could raise to plus six or seven within the next 30 years. This means that if we only replace our seawalls, the water won't come from over the top of the seawall but from under the ground.

It has been said, by one of our council members, that no politician will recommend to pay for a $200,000 study for a tidal gate. Dastur explained to me that "a study needs to be done to see if it is feasible. Before you throw out the concept, we should look at the study. The gate has to be looked at when you look at the harbor holistically and not confuse the gate with the condition of the seawalls."
A couple of things you should understand about tidal gates. Yes, they are very expensive. It would take about 10 years to build the gates. The gates are not up all the time. They would be on the bottom of the harbor channel and would only be raised about four and five times a year for about four hours at a time. In the future, they could be used as many as 15 times a year.
There is much more information on this topic to share with you, and I will post it on my blog. For what it's worth, I am in favor of urging our City Council members to have further discussion regarding tidal gates and would request that they consider moving forward with a study.

Thank you for your column in the Daily Pilot. As more people get interested in the issue, the greater possibility of an informed decision.
Warm regards.

Sea ya.

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

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Jim Dasturs recommendation regarding the Balboa Island seawall.

The following is a letter sent to the Tidelands Management Committee from Jim Dastur.  When Jim talks I listen:

Dear Tidelands Management Committee:

Ever since the news broke, almost 3 years ago, about a plan to possibly spend upwards of $70,000,000 for new sea walls for Balboa Island, I have been trying to understand the need for and the details behind this evolving proposal. To the extent that I have knowledge of and experience in marine construction and engineering cost estimates, I have tried to put in my two cents worth. I am truly thankful to City Council members for having given me the opportunity to participate through my appointment to the Citizen's Advisory Panel to the Tidelands Management Committee.(TMC)

A lot of new, useful information has been provided by City staff during the last 3 meetings of TMC. I find it difficult to respond to facts and figures presented at the meeting without taking the time to understand and digest them over a period of time. My current understanding of the situation, along with my personal/professional opinion, for what it is worth, is as follows:
1. Balboa Island is protected from sea erosion and tidal flooding by a concrete wall, owned and maintained by the City. The total length of the wall is approximately 13,200 feet (+/-). The elevation of the top of the wall varies from a high of 9.1' to a low of 7.7'. 
2. Of the 13,200 feet of wall, about 3,800 feet (along the Grand Canal and the West end of the big island) has
deteriorated to the extent that it would be prudent to replace it within the next 5 to 7 years. There is no impending emergency to replace this section of the wall immediately, although planning, engineering and permitting needs to be addressed and is being addressed currently. The remaining 9,400 feet of wall has at least 20 to 25 years of useful life left, with normal routine maintenance. (This conclusion was supported by the City's consultant at one of the TMC meetings) With competing claims for scarce tax dollars, it would be a non-starter to consider any replacement of this section of the wall, any time soon.
3. There is general consensus that the sea level has risen in the past 20 years and is continuing to rise. The top elevation of 7.7' for a significant portion of the existing sea wall poses a present and imminent danger of swamping the island during a king tide combined with an ocean surge and a heavy rain storm. The probability of this happening may be small, but the consequences would be catastrophic. This issue needs to be addressed on an expedited basis.
4. The political football as to who should pay for any or all of the costs associated with these issues is finally being kicked around. The suggestion that Balboa Island property owners be required to pick up a substantial portion of the costs associated with sea walls, further muddies the already murky waters.
5. Current thinking and planning is for the City to put all issues - the entire 13,200 feet of the sea walls, ferry terminal & fuel dock, bridge retrofits, etc. - into one package for permitting and financing; this leads to the daunting $72,000,000 number. It also forces a design decision for 75% of the wall that does not need to be made for the next 25 years.
Based on the above premises, I would like to put forth these ideas for your consideration.
A.  As a first order of business, engineer and construct a cap addition to the 9,400 feet of wall that has a remaining life expectancy of 25 years, so that the top elevation is 9'. This can be accomplished along the lines of the cap addition done to the Little Island's South Bay Front. This would not entail any extraneous issues such as access to private docks and the beach, permitting for encroachment, ADA issues, home-owner views, etc. The total cost associated with this, per the City's estimate of $250 - $300 per foot would be $2.4 to $2.8 million. The cost for this should be borne by the City. Do not have this issue tied up with planning or permitting for a new wall.
     The reason for opting for a height limit of elevation 9.0 is that this 9,400 feet long wall will be replaced at some date in the distant future. At that time, we will have a better understanding of how fast the sea is rising as well as what is being done holistically about rising sea level for the rest of the inner harbor.
B.  Proceed cautiously with the planning, engineering and permitting of the 3,400 feet of new wall. The total cost associated with this, per the City's estimate of $3,800 - $4,000 per foot (I believe this number already has contingencies built into it and does not need additional contingency on top of that) would be $14.4 to $15.2 million. Since this is a new wall and expected to serve for the next 75 to 100 years, the preferred top elevation should be 10'. The City should be able to find the money, from the tidelands fund and supplemented by the General Fund, to get this done over the next 5 to 7 years.
C. Its is premature and counter-productive to reconfigure the entire ferry landing for future high tides. Re-grading the sidewalk and Agate street to provide protection up to elevation 9' can be accomplished at minimal cost out of the General Fund. The same applies to retrofitting of bridges.
The above course of action reduces the monumental $72,000,000 problem to a more manageable $15,000,000 to $20,000,000 problem that addresses issues for the next 20 to 25 years while we continue to look for holistic solutions for the entire harbor, for the future beyond.
I am available to meet with anyone of you if you are so inclined, to discuss my views in detail.
Thank you for your indulgence in reading this presentation.
Jim Dastur

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Last Harbor Commission meeting of the year.

Harbor Commissioner and Cruiser director Paul Blank  “Eel Grass, the more we have the more we can disturb” 

About fifty people attended the last Harbor Commission meeting of the year that was convened on Saturday, December 10th at 8:30AM aboard Seymour Beek’s car ferry “Admiral.”
Harbor Commissioner Paul Blank was assigned the task of cruise director and outlined the cruise around the harbor. Our first topic was derelict vessels on the different offshore mooring around the harbor. Commissioner Joe Stapleton took over the mic and defined what a derelict boat is, according to Stapleton, a vessel must propel itself too and from the Harbor Department docks. By completing this task the vessels owner is proving the boat is operational. Other definitions I have heard over the years also included that the vessel is not taking on water and or in disrepair. Stapleton went on to praise Harbor Resources Analyst Shannon Levin on all her hard work she has done maintaining the Vessel Turn In Program (VTIP) which is a grant from the state of California with a value of $120,000 per year. This grant allows boat owners to relinquish their vessels title to the city for demolition and to date the City of Newport Beach has removed twenty-eight boats over the last two years. It is my understanding that the City has applied again for the VTIP program for next year. Mooring permit holders by now should all know that they do not have to keep a vessel on their moorings any longer. 

Next topic up was our harbors ten waste pump out stations. Commissioner David Girling explained that the problem the city is having is that boats operators are using the waste pumps to pump out their bilge’s. Quite often these bilges have toxic waste in them along with shape  objects. The shape objects are breaking down the pump systems and is the number one cause for their malfunction. Please note that while operating the pump system to note and follow the written instructions. My opinion is that we should have marine recycling centers around town so that boat operators have a place to dispose of types of hazardous waste rather than using our waste pump out stations. 

About this time the ferry was approaching channel marker 11 off of Bay Island. When City Council member elect Brad Avery was asked to talk about the navigational markers around the harbor. Avery was quick to point out that the Coast Guard is responsible for the maintenance of these channel markers and are the only ones that have permission to remove them when damaged. We have seen this problem twice now over the last ten years with the Coast Guard taking over a year to remove these damaged markers. These oversized commercial markers truly are a threat to our local boaters and need to be replaced with a smaller buoys around our harbor Avery explained. 

Recycling center

As we made the turn heading west around the number 11 channel marker Commissioner West was asked to review the new RGP 54 and Eel grass mitigation plan. “ This project has been done with no little expense with as many as six or seven state agencies involved. “ said West. Today Harbor Resources has received fifty applications with only a hand full of residents able to complete the process. “ There is still some red tape in the process and more work to be done, the devil is always in the details.” said West. Because of the RGP and the Eel Grass Medication plan dredging companies are willing to return to our harbor, at this time there are only two companies working our harbor. What now needs to be remembered is that Eel Grass is now our friend and as Commissioner Blank asked the crowd to repeat a number of times during the cruise “ Eel Grass, the more we have, the more we can disturb!” I am tempted to make some T- shirts with this saying on them and give a couple to Blank.
Why are these boats in our Harbor?

Alternative Anchorages was the next topic on the agenda and of course we are referring to the temporary anchorage in front of Lido Village or Z Mark. Over the last two years it has been very successful and with the addition of a public dock off of Central Ave, right next to the Elks Club, I am going to assume it will not be temporary much longer. Please note that this anchorage will not have raft ups and the noise levels will be closely monitored.

Other topics that where discussed was the public walk way starting from the previous Ardell property heading west rapping around the harbor and ending up by the Cannery. Harbor speed limits, boat overhang and all the different harbor users meeting together and reviewing their individual needs with each other was also discussed on the cruise.
Why are these boats in our Harbor?

Next up was the four acre Lower Castaways property that is designated as a Marine Protected Area by our States Department of Fish and Wildlife and will most likely be turned into a park. The only access to the harbor will be for manual propelled crafts. You might not know it, there is access to the harbor now on this site and from what I have heard one of the hottest fishing spots in the harbor.

Our last topic was Launch Ramps and where can the city place another one in our harbor. Commissioner McIntosh is chairing this task and said “ I have no clue, we have been talking about this for years. The problem is not only the ramp it is the parking. If you have any ideas please let me know.” The need for a second launch ramp in town is tremendous and the only way I see it happening is we are going to have to want it. The only place that I have found is next to Newport Aquatic Center. Told you we are going to have to want it! On a side note, the launch ramp at the Dunes was a night mare the first night of the boat parade this year. With the low tide at an extreme many people where not able to launch their vessels. I feel we need to do better at this matter.

Boat name of the week “Admiral.”

Sea ya

Sunday, December 11, 2016

2016 Harbor 20 Fleet One Photo's

One photo is worth a thousand words? Well then, Fleet One has a lot to say in 2016:

Friday, December 09, 2016

For Sale : Perry 56 Stealth Chicken

Designed to be a performance cruising sailing yacht this thoroughbred has the lines of a blue water grand prix racing vessel. Prospects need to be reminded that this vessel was not built on a production line. Rather by a group of craftsmen taking great pride in their work and a clear understanding of the worlds oceans and demanding conditions. Only the elite yachtsmen will notice the quality in the design and build of this fine sailing vessel. This is the type of yacht that will stay in ones family for generations.

Saturday, December 03, 2016

The Harbor Report: Councilman with a nautical background

Newport Beach Council Member Brad Avery

By Len Bose

I had a chance this week to talk to one of our newest Newport Beach City Council members, Brad Avery.
I first met Avery in 1979, when he started at the Orange Coast College Sailing Base, and I was attending a big boat sailing class aboard the boat Scandalous.
As we set sail and headed out into the harbor, the boat was greeted by a rather big puff of wind. As it leaned over in the breeze, I and most of the crew put two hands onto the boat. Its Genoa sail needed to be skirted and lifted over the boat's lifelines.

As the call from the helmsmen to skirt the sail was requested, most of us sat tight and looked around for who would be the first to stand up and walk out on the pitching foredeck. Just then, a flash went by me, and the Genoa was skirted.
Avery returned to the cockpit and was also attending to the mainsail. I thought to myself, OK, that's how it's done.

Avery had been doing the big boat thing from the time he was a kid on his father's 8-meter racing sailboat. Avery's father Chuck was one of the first yacht brokers with David Fraser in 1965 in the Lido Village area. Another yacht broker, Ed Cox, was also working in the same office.
Cox opened one of the first sailing clubs in the harbor, and Brad Avery was 14 at the time, washing boats as a part-time job.

"That's how I got into teaching sailing," Avery said. "The sailing instructor did not show up one day, and Cox walked down the dock and said, 'Drop that brush, kid. You are the new sailing instructor.'
"As a kid I would hang out at Richard's Market; they used to have a huge bulletin boat with a chart of the Pacific with pins with boats names that where competing in the TransPac. This is only way we could follow the race at that time.”
Sailing Ship Ticonderoga is one of the vessels Avery sails in the Caribbean

After graduating from Newport Harbor High School at the age of 17, Avery packed his sea bag and flew down to Panama, where he signed up as a crew member and sailed through the canal and cruised the Caribbean. On his return to Newport Beach, he immediately stepped on another boat headed back through the Panama Canal and across the Atlantic Ocean to Europe.
Avery spent some time backpacking around Europe and then sailed back. The next season he returned to the Caribbean and once again to Europe to sail in the Mediterranean. After about three years, Avery returned home and attended school at USC.

After graduating, Avery started working as the director of sailing at the OCC Sailing Base, where he has been working ever since.
I knew Avery had a strong interest in the history of our harbor, so I asked about his favorite stories about the harbor.
"When I got out of journalism school, I had a chance to interview Hans Dickman, who immigrated from Germany after WWI," he said. "Dickman told me a story of riveting submarines during the war before he came over to the U.S.
"Because of the Great Depression, Dickman was able to purchase some waterfront property next to the Cannery, where he opened up his shipyard to repair wooden fishing boats. Another great part of this story is after the 1933 Long Beach earthquake, Dickman found an old market's archway that he placed on a custom trailer and towed it down Pacific Coast Highway.
"The archway was attached to a building already in place, and a Newport Beach icon was born. That whole area was very commercial in those days, and it was a small town at that time."
When asked about some of the changes he's liked around the harbor over the years, Avery said, "That's what I like best about the harbor; the city has done very well to keep the character of the harbor. The iconic buildings, like the Cannery and Pavilion.
"Iconic institutions like the ferry are still there. The mooring fields are the same. Major components of the harbor are still the same, which is really nice."
Avery addressed any concerns about the harbor's future. again pointing out the importance of keeping the harbor's character.

"It's the constant erosion of that character, with the pressure to build maximum square footage of the building next to the water, that is the concern," he said. "We will always have to manage that in the degree that we can. Access to the harbor is of importance with public docks, anchorages, water quality and to find a way that a couple of dredging firms can exist in the harbor so that dredging can be ongoing."
A reminder that at 9 a.m. Dec. 10, the Harbor Commission will be taking other civic leaders and interested members of the public on a two-hour harbor tour aboard one of Balboa Island car ferries.
Boat name of the week: “Galatea."

Sea ya.

LEN BOSE is an experienced boater, yacht broker and boating columnist for the Daily Pilot.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

The Harbor Report: Plenty of highlights this year

Rhonda Tolar accepting BCYC Woman of The Year Award

It’s that time of year again when I start taking the covers off my Christmas Reyn Spooner collection and preparing the house and boat for the fast approaching holidays. By now I would hope you all know that means it is time for my review of the best of 2016 on our harbor.

Earlier this month I attended the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club awards banquet and as always my heart always goes out to the junior members winning awards for the first time. There is always a 
fresh glimmer in their eyes, with  a very small amount of apprehension coming from their smiles, has they hurry back to the table to receive praise from their parents. It is one of those feel good moments that is pure to our sport of yachting.

I have to give a well done to BCYC Sailing Director Cameron MacLaren, his presentation was one of the best I have ever attend. With each junior award came a heart felt story of the recipients achievements. This years winners were Morgan Burton taking home the Rowland Perpetual for most improvement in sailing for the year. Chris O’ Rourke came up on stage with one of the brightest smiles I had ever seen to accept the Steven Winner Perpetual for the most selfless junior. Jake Johansson, won the award I wish I had one as a junior, The Jon Pinckney Award for the most outstanding racing record. Laurel Foster rolled into the Montgomery Perpetual for outstanding crew member in a CFJ while the one and only Max Mayol stood next to the Byrne Perpetual trophy as the outstanding CFJ skipper of the year. Cameron Wood won the Grand Poobah for junior sailors awards and had his photo taken next to the  BCYC Junior Yachtsman of the year award trophy.

With all the smiles flashing around the room brighter than the photographers flashes it was time for big the kids to take home their pickle dishes.  First up was Mark Gaudio taking home the James Berkshire for obtaining the Lido 14 Fleet One Championships. My good friend Dan Rossen won the Racing Member Crew Hi-Point and also the First BCYC member with the best corrected time to Ensenada. I was fortunate to have my photo taken next to the Gaudio Family One Design trophy for sailing Harbor 20’s and the Directors of 1983 for winning the Puerto Vallarta aboard Horizon. 

The big award at Bahia Corinthian is the Elmer Carvey Memorial — until 1982 the Balboa Bay Club Yachtsman of the Year — awarded to the yachtsman who most contributed to the organized yachting community. Past winners have been Cooper Johnson, Jim Emmi, Ted Kerr, Hobie Deny, Lorin Weiss and Peter Haynes. The list reads on and on and includes Newport's best yachtsmen. This year's recipient was , my good friend, Jerry Moulton for all his race committee work this season.

There was another moment that stood out and grabbed me this year. Rhonda Tolar has done more for yachting than anyone else I have meet over the last ten years. She created Taco Tuesdays which has become one of the best attended sailing series of the year. She has spent endless hours working with the BCYC anglers group and raised more money for BCYC sailors than anyone has ever done in the past. Tolar was overwhelmed with emotion when she received this years BCYC Woman of the year award.

I feel its time to start the Newport Beach Yachtsperson of the year award and bring back the Daily Pilots Harbor Hall of Fame. I recall past winners included Chuck Avery, David Fraser, Chuck Ullman, Bill Ficker, Dave Ullman and the list went on. If it was up to me I would add the name Rhonda Tolar she is making a difference on the harbor and there is no better recipient.

Huge shout out to again this year for all the photos.


Remember that Dec 10th at 9:00 AM the Harbor Commission  will be taking other civic leaders and interested members of the public on a two hour harbor tour aboard one of Balboa Island car ferries. Topics will included Current Harbor Commission Objectives, Derelict Vessels, Fixed Marker Replacement, RGP 54 Implementation, SUP Safety, Alternative Anchorages, Central Ave. Pier, Charter Fleet Vision 2020,Mariners Mile Redevelopment, Speed Limit, Lower Castaways, Launch Ramps, Cruising Guide, Fishing on Public Piers and Anti-fouling Bottom Paints. Everyone is welcome, capacity on the ferry is limited and will be available on a first come first served basis. The meeting will take place at 8:30 AM in the conference room of the Harbor Department at 1901 Bayside Drive, Corona del Mar. Attending this meeting reminds me of voting and you have to vote to count.

Boat name of the week:  Happy Time

Sea ya

LEN BOSE is an experienced boater, yacht broker and boating columnist for the Daily Pilot.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

The Harbor Report: How RGP 54 is helping the harbor

Allyson & Ron Presta

We have been talking about an improved Regional General Permit 54 (RGP54) for well over five years now. This improved permit, which has been in place for close to a year now, streamlines permitting for residents and marinas to dredge under their docks by combining the permits required by the Army Corps of Engineers, California Coastal Commission and State Water Resources Control Board. Without this city permit, this type of dredging is extremely complex and expensive for the individual and marina operators.

I thought it would be interesting to meet with one of the first people to use the improved RGP 54 permit and see how the process of dredging a small marina in Newport Harbor is going. Last week I sat down with Allyson and Ron Presta the owners of the Newport Marina and Bayshore Apartments along with their contractor Paul Gillen from Associated Pacific Constructors. For my readers that have been around the harbor for as long as I have thats the old Swales Apartments and Marina next to the Bayshores entrance.

Because of a close outfall or storm drain that deposits 1,000 cubic yards of sedimentary materials a year, next to their marina, the Presta’s have to dredge every two or three years. Allyson went on to describe the dredging process three years ago, before the new RGP 54 was in place. It took her eighteen months to obtain the five different government agencies permits at that time and removed close to 8,700 cubic yards of materials. At that same time the County of Orange, that maintains the piece of the harbor just in front of the marina took out 26,000 cubic yards. “It was a huge bonus to us that the city cleaned up the upper bay catch basin a few years ago.” Allyson said.

So when I asked, is the process any easier for you?  The Presta’s replied “ It’s become a little bit easier.” Now if I understood the Presta’s clearly it should get a little easier every year as the City and the different contractors gain credibility with the different government agencies. “ There are a lot of documents that are involved to comply with all the conditions. Such as a highly detailed hydrographic surveys before and after dredging, water samples are also taken before and after. We document the depth of the scow, its route and speed to the offshore disposal area. We have to follow the same standards as if were dredging contaminated materials out of the Port of Los Angeles.” Said Paul Gillen the contractor of the Presta’s dredging project.

There are two types of dredging, one that allows the sand to be relocated to the beach and the other is to transport the materials to an offshore disposal site. Even I understood that the offshore option costs more money.

“The process is more than filling out an application, dredging is specialized business, not only do you have to consider if the material is needed to be taken offshore or can replenish the beach we have to take into consideration the docks configuration, their relationship with the seawall and if it can structurally handle dredging, if the pilings are deep enough to support their dock. That’s why the need for a knowledgeable contractor, it’s not like just going online and filling out an application and hoping for the best. These are the type of considerations that the homeowner needs to understand.” Gillian said.

In my forty minute meeting with the Presta’s and Gillen I pretend to understand all the different terms and conditions that are required to complete the dredging process in our harbor. I also heard the idea of finding an area in the harbor to stock pile good sand rather than having to take it offshore and dispose of it. 

So it sounds like that the city did an outstanding job by obtaining an RFP with an Eelgrass mitigation plan attached to it. Along with the understanding on how to keep the RFP in place, but like many so many big projects there are many more pieces to this puzzle before it is completed.

If you have more interest on this topic be sure to save the date Thursday November 10th at Marina Park the City along with Coast Keepers will be sponsoring a workshop on how to dredge with eel grass. I would not forget the date you will save cubic yards of money by attending.

I am just rubbing my face and looking at the next big puzzle that has been placed on the harbor and thats the California Regional Water Quality Control Board and its attempt to force local agencies to ban copper anti-fouling paint. Make sure you go to  to read the City comment letter.

Boat name of the week: Watts Next     

Sea ya

Friday, September 30, 2016

Connecting the dots around the harbor.

Line drawing of NHYC

I feel it is time to update on whats going on around the harbor now that fall has arrived and it’s 101 degrees today.

It is official the Newport Harbor Yacht Club will begin demolition of the club house the first part of January 2017. The news should make for a rather interesting New Years Party to start the new year off with a boom rather than a bang. The process has been drawn out for a long time, first applying for city permits in 2012. Part of the final terms with the Coastal Commission requires the club to fund $350,000 toward public-access improvements. These funds have been directed to build a public pier at the Central Ave bridge, next to The Elks Club in Lido Village. From my sidelines chair it all seems good to me. Although I kind of feel for now Vice Commodore Dwight Belden who will be the Commodore next year with first reports indicating that the construction of the club house will take up to eighteen months. I hope he can keep his parking place.

Next I heard that, during this last week of September 2016, that my very good friend Jim Warner is getting some new wheels. No Warner is not getting a new Jeep, Warner is the Travel Lift operator at the Newport Harbor Shipyard which will be receiving and building a new 85 BFMII Marine Travelift this week. This is the newest model from the Travelift company and comes with all the bells and whistles like a sound suppression system, all wheel electronic steering to maximize maneuverability, spreader bars to lift a wider variety of hull designs. While on the phone this last week with yard manager Jesse Salemen informed me that they do not plan on naming the Travelift or christening it although you can hear the excitement in his voice about the shipyard newest purchase. Should be interesting watching it all put together this week and you thought that Ikea furnishings came with difficult assembly instructions.
I learned a few new things this week while attending this months Harbor Commission meeting. I have reported in the past that it is always good to see our Harbor Master Lt Mark Alsobrook
along with Deputy Kevin Webster giving their reports to the Harbor Commissioners. In regards to the use of the temporary anchorage in the turning basin, just in front of Lido Village. Lt. Alsobrook reported that from June 6th to August 28 sixty-one different vessels used the anchorage. Of this sixty-one many were repeat customers, with thirteen vessels spending the night. The Harbor Patrol made two hundred and thirty-one patrols of this area during this time. 

Regarding our moorings there where one hundred and thirty-one rentals, nine transfers and three derelict boats removed during the same time period. It is my understanding that the temporary anchorage will stay open until Oct 15. I feel that this anchorage has been a great success and should be continued in the future. I still do have concerns with the Jet Pack  companies being allowed to use this same area, my personal opinion is that the Jet Pack  should be moved outside the harbor in the Big Corona area. Next there will be drone’s pulling board riders and I hope that also get placed outside the harbor.

2014's Route on the ferry

There is a big save the date that I recommend you place on your calendars now! December 10th at 9:00 AM the Harbor Commission will be touring the harbor aboard one of the Balboa Island car ferry’s. This idea was done a couple of years ago and was a big success with all the Harbor Commissioners attending and reviewing their objectives. Attending this event will be the harbor department, harbor resources department and city council members. Topics may include if the Jet Pac should stay in the turning basin, what is a derelict boat, should we have more than one launch ramp, acceptable noise levels on the harbor, best use of The Castaways property, public piers, harbor standards that will blend into the City’s sustainability plan and so much more. I personally enjoy standing behind council members trying to ease drop into their conversations, there could also be three new council members attending this event. Mark your calendars now. For more information contact Harbor Commissioner Joe Stapleton at who is chairing this event.

For me its all about the Harbor 20 fleet one championships on October 8th and 9th. All our harbors best sailors will be competing to be champ, my wife Jennifer and I will be sailing our boat Only Child hull number 108 this year.  Wish us luck.

Boat name of the week: Hum Babe

Sea ya

Saturday, September 10, 2016

The Harbor Report: Breathtaking boats and a busy bay

The “Piano Man” himself Billy Joel ’s previous vessel “Vendetta” has just arrived to Newport Harbor.
Photo courtesy of Doug Zorn Yacht design and photographer Billy Black

I have been walking around with my head down this week trying not jam my foot into a dock cleat’s looking for a story. Finally I lifted my head up and the harbor is full of activity this week.

I started my rounds at the Newport Harbor Shipyard and before my eyes was one of my all time dream boats. The “Piano Man” himself Billy Joel ’s previous vessel “Vendetta” had just arrived into the shipyard and will soon grace our harbor. This 57’ Gatsby-era commuter yacht designed by Doug Zurn and built by Director in 2005 is absolutely stunning and will make you stop in your tracks.

I am a huge fan of commuter style yachts and had noticed “ Vendetta” as soon as she was listed and thought to myself how perfect she would be over at Catalina. With a reported speed of 47 knots the new owner can make it over to the island in less than an hour and accommodate up to six guests.

She is guaranteed to be on the Newport Beach’s most interesting power boat list this year, rumor has it that the boat will be placed in the water for the rest of summer and then hauled for a refit. Which is like saying Julianne Hough needs a make over, I am not going to lie they are both pretty hot just the way there are now and is a perfect example on why we refer to boats as females. Yea I know thats a rather chauvinistic statement, but “what are you going to do?”

After taking a couple of deep breathes and regaining my composure I looked across the bay and noticed that The New Port Marina and Office buildings, near the Crab Cooker on Balboa Peninsula, is almost completed. From across the bay it appears that this marina will have will have over sixteen slips that will be able to hold 55’ foot boats.

From the shipyard I normally take a look at how many big boats there are on Lido Peninsula in the BellPort Marina. Right now the big slips are full to capacity and I counted nine boats over 70’ feet.  My next stop is next to the Lido Sailing Club to get an idea how many big charter boat are in town. The number of 14 stays rather consistent throughout the year for the charter boats.

Continuing around the harbor to Basin Shipyard where the Stan Miller Invitational fishing tournament is under way. The word was that close to forty boats will be competing for Tuna, Yellowtail, Dorado, Swordfish and Marlin release categories. The tournament kicked off on Friday Sept 9th at Basin Marine Shipyard and fishing starts immediately after Captains Party. Awards will be on the 11th at 18:00 at the shipyard. So if you see a lot of good looking sport fishers in the harbor this weekend the reason is because Viking, MagBay and Hatteras yachts are sponsoring the event.


I also had a chance Noel Plutchak this week, some of you might recall that Plutchak repairs our pump out stations around the harbor. Plutchak reports that he is still having problems with boaters using the pump outs as a bilge pump. When boaters do this the pumps suck up loose metal and screws which interns cut the vacuum hoses inside the pumps at a replacement cost of $1,000 apiece. What is bound to happen is that the pump out hoses will get smaller and smaller so that the boaters cannot take the nozzles down below there boats and into their bilge’s. Not to make a pun, but that that really sucks, because some of us have our deck flanges in the bow or in the stern of our boats. So if you see someone coming up from down below with the pump out nozzle you can always take the make and the name of the boat and drop me a note at I will discreetly pass the boat names on to the proper authorities and marina operators.

I am starting to look around the harbor for boats to place in Newport Beaches 20 Most Interesting Boats this November. If you see anything I should mention please droop me a note.

Boat name of the week: “Lido Isle Watt Club”

Sea ya

LEN BOSE is an experienced boater, yacht broker and boating columnist for the Daily Pilot.