Sunday, January 31, 2016
Hello, Newport Harbor! What are you doing today?
At noon on Friday, an aloha celebration of life for Dr. Nina Ann Nielsen will take place at the Newport Harbor Yacht Club, 720 W. Bay Ave., Newport Beach. Cancel your afternoon appointments, call your spouse and tell him or her to bring your best Sponner and meet you at the club, because you will not be going back to work today. You will be drinking Mai Tais and telling sea stories.
This one's going to hurt, so I need to find my darkest pair of sunglasses. On Jan. 15, Nina died of a pulmonary embolism at her home in Newport Beach. She was 56. Her passing really put a hole in my boat.
I found myself looking up into the sky and saying, "Really?! You're kidding me, right? What, you got a toothache or something?"
I first met Nina, a dentist, at the college sailing parties in the late 1980s. As a competitive sailor, you remember who can beat you and, as a male, you always remember the women who beat you.
"Who is that chick? She kicked my butt today!" I asked Nick Scandone and John Pinckney, who were at that party.
They replied: "Dude, that's Nina. She taught us how to sail. She just got back from Princeton, where she sailed varsity for four years."
"Oh," I said. "That explains it."
As the years passed, I would race Etchells against Nina and Tommy "Smity" Smith, her husband of 26 years. I never really got used to being beaten by a woman, but I was starting to get used to it. Nina went on to be inducted in 1994 into the Intercollegiate Sailing Hall of Fame.
A few more years went by and, while watching my son sail sabots, he returned to the dock and I said, "Hey, good race. You got 2nd."
To which he replied: "Yeah, but that girl keeps beating me."
At that moment I looked up. Nina was helping her daughter Carolyn onto the dock.
"Yeah, son," I said. "You better start getting used to that. She can sail with the best of them."
While watching Nina help Carolyn with her sailing, or just help her on to the swim step of their boat in Catalina, there was a glowing pride of fulfillment that reached out and just grabbed you.
One of the things that I take from Nina is how she touched everyone. When she came up to you and asked you if you needed any help with something, she meant it. If you were to describe Nina in two words they would be" most generous."
Nina's father, Svend Nielsen, is 91. Her brother Jack and sister Pia will be at Nina's aloha celebration, along with anyone who ever raced in Newport Harbor and attended school with her. A memorial Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Friday at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, 1441 W. Balboa Blvd., Newport Beach.
Nina's ashes will be spread out over the ocean where she said her goodbyes to her mother last year. Something tells me that the same group of dolphins, which swam by during her mother's ceremony, will be by to pick up Nina for her new journey. We will all miss you, Nina.
LEN BOSE is an experienced boater, yacht broker and boating columnist.
Quite frankly Windward Passage should be placed in the Smithsonian Institution as a work of art. When entering the engine room one feels as if they passed through the pearly gates.
This is what I learned:
This is what I learned:
Dave “Halfdeck” Johnson is one of the best skippers I have ever met.
The boat is 73’ long, 12’ Draft, 19.6 beam, Perkins Diesel 195 HP 3,200 hours, 8Knots cruising speed, 9 knot max, 3 bladed max prop. 12 KW Northern Lights gen set.
Two years ago the boat went though a major refit. A new Alan Andrews keel and rudder was placed on the boat reducing the wetted surface by 70%. The keel was moved forward and the boat returned to her original lines after she had 18,000 thousand pounds removed. One of the major weight loses areas was in batteries when AGM’s replaced the old batteries. 1,800 pounds was saved. The cabin sole is all foam cored.
The rig was replaced by Hall Spars, the rig and standing rigging is carbon, the carbon rigging is guaranteed for the life of the mast. The mast is polished every three months with Der Shiney Stuff.
All stanchions are custom tapered with their own base. Every pad eye, snatch block, and 6’ at the bow is covered when sailing. All the halyard shackles are soft. There is not one carter pin on the boat, all the clevis pins are custom stainless nuts and set screws. The coffee grinders have rose wood handles.
The boat has crews quarters forward, just aft are two guest stateroom. The salon in in the middle of the boat, and continuing aft down the port side is the galley, that leads into the navigation station and owners stateroom.
Quotes from the skipper, “The boat was originally built as a race boat not a cruising boat”. “Its a big surf board, theres not allot in the water.
Kim Harting has done all the custom fabrication, Alan Sanders hand painted the interior in white Algrip, Jeff McKenzie has done most of the wood work on the boat, Garry Miltimore has done most of the custom painting.
The boat exterior gets wiped, after a soft water rinse, almost every day. The interior, bilge and up, receives a wipe down every two weeks.
|Half Models old and new keel|
This week I thought it would be interesting to go back some 50 years and recall who brought home the pickle dishes back in the 1940-1960’s. I placed a phone call to Seymour Beek and Dave Ullman and asked them what where the most active fleets, names to look for and where to look. I then headed over to The Newport Harbor Yacht Club and The Balboa Yacht Clubs
library’s and started my research. I focused in on what I thought was the most active fleets from that time frame and came up with Snowbird, Rhodes 33, Star and Snipe fleets to report on.
The Snowbird was best known for “The Flight of the Snowbirds” now known as the “Flight of The Lasers”. The first year of the race was in 1936 with 32 entries and Dick McKibben was the winner. By the time the 50’s rocked in the entries had grown to 163 boats on the starting line. Names to look for where Ronnie Miracle, Steve Titus, Barton Beek, Janet Power, Tom Frost, Dan Thompson, Jeff Allen, Dick Deaver, Henry Sprague III, and Danny Thompson. The list did not stop there with people who won the right to fly the Gold S on their sail. Joe Beek donated the Perpetual Trophy known as the “Gold S” and first awarded in 1949. I looked for the trophy at the NHYC and did not find it, but I understand the other names you would find on it would be Clark King, Bob White, Bill Lawharon, Fred Schenck. The boat was used in the 1932 Olympics and then became a popular for junior sailors in our harbor. She was about 12 feet long with five feet of beam. She weighed in at 275 pounds
The Rhodes 33 was built with the intention of sailing in and around Newport Harbor. They are 33’ long, 6.8 at the beam and weigh in at 5,800 pounds. The CR on the sail dates back to their original name the Coast Rhodes. The big pickle dish is named the Lester C and the fleet competed for the Lowe and Mark Healy Perpetuals High point series. Past Champions of the fleet where Connie Wurdemann aboard “Midship”, Hook Beardslee’s sailed “Seebee”, Bill Joyce’s “Crispin II”, Tommy Thomas with “Nimbus”, Bob Collins with his boat “Josephine VI”, Strat Enright in “Witch”, Marianne and John Pearcy with “Whim”, Hallett Throne in “Manana”, Phelps Merickel in “Marlan, Bill Taylor sailed “Mistress” and Bud Edgar with “Madness”. As I researched the fleet one name always came to the top of the list Harlan (Hook) Beardslee sailing the #8 boat “Seebee” . I found this quote in the NHYC History book “ The Rhodes class always showed up with a sizable fleet, but the race was usually for second when Hook was sailing”. Other names I found in past results where Jack Hillman, George Fleitz, W.G. Durant and Tom Myers.
It seemed that after you grew out of the Snowbird you then sailed a Snipe. The Snipe is 15.5 Feet, 5’ beam and the hull weighs 381 pounds. The class goes back to the early 40’s in Newport Harbor. In 1946 Bob White and his twin sister Betty ( now Mrs Alan Andrews, the same person I comment on sailing her Ranger 33 “Antares” to Catalina most weekends.) won the Snipe World Championships that year in Chicago and got 2nd in junior championships. That same year Ken & Bob Davis won the Snipe Internationals. In 1953 & 1954 Tom Frost and Fred Schenck won the Snipe Class National Championships. In 1950 & 1956 Clark King won the Championships, blend this all together, can you imagine how strong the Balboa Snipe fleet was at that time. Look over our harbors top sailors and its like reading a who’s who in sailing. Other top Snipe sailors from this time frame where Dan Elliott, Don Ayres, Max King, Jim Lewis, Dick Deaver, Ted Wells, Smyth and Greene. Can you imagine sailing Snipes in our Harbor back then in our summers series and on the starting line you have all those national champions?
The Star boats came to Newport Harbor when Bill Ficker and Mark Yorston won the World Championships in 1958. The Star boat is 22.7 feet long with a beam of 5.8, she weighs 1,480 pounds. The fleet was most active between 1958 through 1968 with other big names from our harbor winning the world championships. In 1964 Don & Kent Elder won the worlds and brought the race back to NHYC in 1965. The Newport Fleet was one of the most competitive fleets in the world with such names as Rollins, Saint Cecero, Metcalf, Sandy McKay, Bill Boland, Dick Hahn and Erwin deMocskonyi.
|Windward Passage sailing downwind with skipper David "half deck" Johnson at the helm. (Courtesy John Fuller and Team Wi / Daily Pilot / November 7, 2013)|
By Len Bose
November 7, 2013 | 8:48 p.m.
While cruising the harbor this week, I was looking around for Newport Harbor's 10 most interesting boats of 2013. As most of you have noticed, I have quite an attraction to Windward Passage. That's when I picked up the phone and gave her skipper, David "Halfdeck" Johnson, a call and asked for a interview.
"Sure, Len, why don't you meet me at the boat at 2 tomorrow?" David said over the phone. Hearing this, I became rather excited that I would finally be able to go aboard one of my all-time favorite yachts.
I met David about 10 minutes early in the marina's parking lot where the boat is berthed, and we walked down to the boat. You can't help stopping in your tracks when you first see Windward Passage and take in all her beauty.
David is one of three sons of Cooper Johnson, who was a very prominent member of the Balboa Yacht Club for many years. David's brothers are Dougall and Gordo Johnson, who both work in the marine industry in Newport Harbor.
David started sailing sabots as a kid and then moved up to some of the more active classes in our harbor. Some of David's past sailing instructors were Andy Rose and Tom Purcell. "I was also fortunate to sail with Bill Taylor aboard his Rhodes 33 Mistress for many years," David said.
From there, David started sailing with Morrie Kirk aboard his two-toner Hurricane Deck in many of the Mexico races and always skippered the boat back. While sailing on Hurricane Deck, he met Dick Deaver and teamed up with him. "Dick would always invite me on the different racing programs if I would deliver the boat back," David said.
One day, David started to restore a Rhodes 33 and decided to strip the boat down and protect the wood with a West System epoxy resin. "Most of the local Rhodes owners told me I had ruined the boat," David explained. Today, most wooden boats have the West System epoxy on them.
About this time, David started painting boats and became U.S. Paint's West Coast tech rep for about 10 years. When that job ended he went to work at Basin Marine shipyard. While working there, he quoted a job to paint Windward Passage, which had just been purchased by a local resident who was planning on bringing the boat to Newport Harbor.
Once the boat had arrived in town, he went to work on painting her interior. "That year, a rather large winter storm came in, and the docks we were berthed at seemed to be falling apart. I called the owner, who was out of town, and later that day moved the boat to where it is now. I've been here for 22 years now," David explained with great pride in his voice.
During this time, the boat has had two owners and David has become part of the boat. He has captained it for 22 years and the boat is now 46 years old. Most days, the boat gets a soft water rinse and then gets dried. "L.P. paints prefer not to be waxed, and keeping the boat clean is the best way to make the paint last longer," David said. "One of my secrets is to use 'Der Shiney Stuff.' It's a super gloss sealant glaze that we use every three months on the boat's hull." Other daily maintenance routines include running the boat's systems, checking the bilge and following the scheduled maintenance list.
I then asked about some of the most memorable sails he has had on the boat. "When I did Transpac, we were surfing down the Molokai Channel in 40 knots of wind and doing over 25 knots of boat speed," David explained enthusiastically. "Recently, after the boat's last refit, we were sailing into Long Point, Catalina, in about 20 knots of wind with the jib reefed in, doing about 11 knots of boat speed upwind."
After a good two hours on the boat, I walked away in utter amazement at its condition and David's attention to detail. In my 30 years as a yacht broker, I have never seen a boat in this type of Bristol condition. There have been many times over the years when David and I could not agree on who had inside overlap at a mark while racing. But I have to give it to him this time — no one knows how to take better care of a vessel than David "Halfdeck" Johnson.
If you would like to see the interior of Windward Passage and learn more about the boat, go to my blog at lenboseyachts.blogspot.com.
LEN BOSE is an experienced boater, yacht broker and boating columnist.
By Len Bose
A couple of weeks ago I was contacted by our Harbormaster Lt. Mark Alsobrook and Harbor Resources Supervisor Shannon Levin to come up with a story to best prepare our harbor users for the upcoming El Niño.
|Deputy Jason Middlekauff|
A meeting to discuss our concerns was attended by Alsobrook and Levin along with Sheriff's Deputy Jason Middlekauff, who has been working our harbor over the last 14 years, Newport Harbor Yacht Club Dock Master Anthony Palacios and Balboa Bay Club Dock Master Troy Heinemann.
The latest forecasts are calling for well above average precipitation throughout California in January through March, and the recent forecasts have shifted toward a wet December as well.
|Notice mooring ball, thimble, swivel and wire seized shackle|
1. Make sure your dock and mooring lines are all in good shape. We recommend you purchase your line from New England Ropes rather than off the shelf. Three-strand nylon line works best, I like the black because it stays cleaner than the white line. This line is made for this purpose and will outlast a bargain brand line. On your mooring its best to splice in a thimble at the end of your line that attaches to the shackle and swivel, then onto the mooring ball. Make sure you place seizing wire through the end of the pin on the shackle. The recommended chafing gear for your lines is old fire hose. This works better than leather or nearly anything else you can come up with.
|This is bad, notice the old ring, this line will break in the first blow|
2. Make sure your bilge pumps work and that the float switches will not get stuck in the up position. Clean your bilge, fiberglass, absorbent pads, oil, engine coolant, old wires and nuts and bolts. If not cared for, these things can give you a headache when your bilge pump cycles on.
3. If you have not replaced your mooring ball to the ball buoy then it's time to do so. Chuck South, from South Mooring Company, told me that a new ball buoy will cost you $300 installed. The old ring buoys are over 20 years old and there is no way to inspect the rod that runs through them. The ball buoy's chain that runs from the ground gear and can be inspected. Ball buoys should be replaced every 10 years. Also, keep in mind if you recently purchased a mooring permit you should not assume that the mooring tackle is strong enough for your boat.
4. Do your due diligence this year and take that Genoa and main sails down and fold them, then place them in their bags below decks. Take the flybridge canvas down for three months. Loose canvas and sails will do more damage than you possibly can imagine.
5. Sea lion and bird deterrence will need to be secured to the boat with extra care.
6. Your boat's insurance policy should be up to date. The city plans on following up to make sure all mooring permit holders have insurance.
7. Inspect the cleats on your boats. Not all boat manufacturers place backing plates under the primary mooring cleats. These cleats can get worn down over time. A good friend of mine's boat broke free during a storm when the primary mooring cleats bent.
|West Newport piling issue, the dock got stuck|
on a low piling at high tide.
We also focused our attention on private, marina dock and pier permit holders.
1. Check your dock cleats by hitting them with a hammer and making sure the bolts and backing plates are in good condition.
2. Check the condition of your dock. You might not even have a boat on your dock but you should still check your pilings, gangways rollers and pins. One idea would be to give Swift Slips a call and pay them to inspect your dock. Pete Swift recommend people check the pile connection and overgrowth of mussels on pilings. Check on flotation — if the dock is low in the water now, it will get even worse with the additional weight of wet framing. It will also tend to collect debris like branches and trash and put more of a strain on the pilings. This is especially true in the back bay areas where in the past docks have been torn out and swept into the turning basin off Lido Island.
3. During king tides, be careful not to tie your boat to the dock too tight. When low tide arrives the dock lines might hold up the floating piers. "This past week we had a king tide which brought on many high tide issues, pilings being too short and gangway wheels being lifted into the air and electrical getting wet and shorting out," Swift said.
4. If it appears we have a large storm approaching you should consider disconnecting your shore power cord.
1. Never stay on board during a storm.
2. It is a good idea to store your dingy on land this winter.
3. If you are in doubt, don't go out. You have to boat within your skill set.
4. Frequently visit your boat and inspect your dock.
5. Keep a heads-up for flotsam when boating both outside and inside the harbor after a storm.
6. Check out the city of Newport Beach's "El Niño" preparations at newportbeachca.gov/trending/projects-issues/el-nino-preparations.
You can check out my blog site at lenboseyachts.blogspot.com for photos of above recommendations.
LEN BOSE is an experienced boater, yacht broker and boating columnist for the Daily Pilot.
From my favorite red chair
In 1956, President Eisenhower initiated the "People to People Program" as a conduit for "Greater International Understanding" through "direct, close and abiding communication between cities." If you where to take the word “international” out of the City of Newport Beach description of sister city’s and play along with me here. I would like to recommend two places as sister city’s. They are Balboa Yacht Clubs “Whites Landing”, Catalina and Newport Harbor Yacht Clubs “Moonstone”, Catalina. Both places have their own mayors and caretakers/staff. Each city has to pay raising permit fees and deal with most all of the same types of problems as any other small city’s.
Ranger 33 ANTARES
While visiting Whites Landing this year I asked the caretaker Mike Lonfield if anyone has ever called him god before because this has to be heaven? He replied “ No Len, no one has ever said that before” followed by his calming chuckle. As I sit in my favorite red chair, at the entrance of the city, looking across the cove from Whites towards Moonstone my eye is always looking at all the different boats. Last weekend there was the Ranger 33 ANTARES with cockpit cover out and flopper stopper deployed. There was a rather large south swell running this weekend and the beach landings where being scored like an Olympic diving competition. The ladies off of ANTARES received perfect scores for not tipping over in the large swell and accomplishing this by rowing in rather than coming in with speed with an outboard.
TollyCraft 57 "SONRISA
Most every summer weekend, anchored in the south east corner of White Landing is the Tollycraft 57 “ SONRISA” and “TONINA” a DeFever design built by Lindwall Boat works out of Santa Barbara. These two family’s know how to have fun in Catalina with each of them having pristine Bertram 20’s as runabouts. When I have a client that wants to do Catalina the right way and not make mistakes with anchoring, and gear placement? I tell them to look over at these two boats and copy their routine. Both of these owners are very approachable and happy to answer your boating questions.
San Juan 48 "SALUTE"
Another boat I first noticed this year, when she was about 3 miles out, was the dark blue San Juan 48 “SALUTE”. What a good looking boat, kind of like seeing a supermodel walking through the grocery store and you tell yourself you have to get one of those someday.
Another boat you can’t help but notice most every weekend is the Costa Mesa built Ditmar Donaldson “LAURA”. She anchors most weekends between the two coves and appears to be a perfect platform for the island.
52 DeFever "GALATEA"
Over in front of Moonstone I can find most of Newport’s most interesting boats with last years # 2 power boat GALATEA which is another 52’ DeFever design built by Lindwall resting peacefully at anchorage.
1924 Edson B. Schock design “COLNETT”
A little east from her, just sitting there shining in the mourning sun, was Ray Hunts 52’ design “FOLLOWING SEA”, surrounded by the 1924 Edson B. Schock design “COLNETT” and the 77’ tug the “WILLIAM B”. Anchored furthest out was the 72’ “JUNO” with the whole family enjoying breakfast together in the cockpit as the sun began to warm up the cove. As I looked back towards Moonstone I could not help but notice two of my favorite newport boats. Almost side by side was the 73’ “WINDWARD PASSAGE” with its skipper shamming the morning due off her and the 78’ “SHANAKEE” standing tall with the owners grandkids aggressively fishing around the side decks of the boat. As the day warmed up and most everyone was swimming in the 72 degree water I noticed another boat that was truly enjoying themselves. It was the Santa Cruz 50’ “ROCKET” and I could hear the laughter coming from the boat a whole city away.
It was another perfect summer weekend in our sister City's of Whites Landing and Moonstone. In fact it was so perfect that I am going back this weekend for BYC/NHYC Long Point Race Week which will lead me to next weeks story. Go to my blog site at lenboseyachts.blogspot.com for photos of all boats I talked about.