Thursday, December 21, 2017

On the Harbor: Keeping a keen eye on our bay is the Harbor Commission

I attended the year’s end Harbor Commission meeting on Monday night, December 11. Over the years, this meeting has been cancelled because of the start of the holiday season. Harbor services is now being managed by the city manager, which had been under the direction of public works, and because of the changed staff it was nine deep that night. The cost of nine staff members reminded me of opening my January credit card statement.

First on the night’s agenda was the review of the Harbor and Beaches capital plan. I have never been a numbers person, although this subject has held my attention more each year. One item on the plan that quickly made me sit up in my chair is the plan to remove the four remaining stationary channel markers. You might recall, the old stationary channel markers 8 and 11 that damage any small boat that ran into them were finally taken out by very large vessels, then replaced with the more compatible floating markers. The City has set aside the funds to replace these remaining markers with floating markers and has been in contact with the Coast Guard to achieve this task early next year. For those of you that are interested in the Harbor and Beaches Capital Plan, I have posted it on my blog site at Two items in the near future are the maintenance of our public piers and review of dredging equipment.
Next up, harbormaster Dennis Durgan reviewed an appraisal of moorings related rents and other Harbor operations fees. The following was taken from the staff report. [Staff retained Netzer and Associates to appraise various rents for the mooring sub-permittees and large vessel anchorage users in Newport Harbor. To clarify, sub-permittees are those boaters who do not have a mooring permit in Newport Harbor but who wish to use one of the “deemed vacant” moorings on a short- or long-term basis. Deemed vacant moorings are fully permitted moorings, but the mooring permittee does not have a boat to store on that mooring.] After a whole lot of explanation, the recommendation was to increase the daily mooring sub-permit fee from $16 winter/$27 summer a day to $1.25 per linear foot of vessel all year round. Do the math and you get $50 a day for a 40-foot boat. At this time, it costs $60 a day at Marina Park. Which would you pick for a 10-dollar difference – the slip or a mooring? So much for making Newport Harbor a friendly harbor for boating visitors, that was my understanding why Marina Park was built.
Harbor Commissioner, Paul Blank, was quick to recognize the rather substantial increase and recommended that the City charge a flat fee of $30 per day. This item was tabled for further review at the next Harbor Commission meeting; the appraisal is posted on my blog site.
Personally, I feel that the City does not want to deal with mooring sub-permittees any longer with an annual income of close to $200,000 a year. Like I said, I am not that good with numbers and I could be wrong but that’s how I read the 2016 statement of reviews for the tidelands.

After I received my “Bye Ferdinand” from Marina Park last week, there were roughly 20 mooring sub-permittees in the harbor. Of the 20, there are 16 that live aboard, and many of them have been renting their moorings for more than five years. The Harbormaster has found in the city codes 17.60.040 H 7. “Live-aboards may be temporarily permitted as sub-permittees pending vessel inspection, for a period not to exceed fifteen (15) days in any twelve (12) month period.” There has been a notice posted on the mooring office desk for more than a month notifying the sub-permittees of the change starting on January 1, 2018. I am not really sure what will happen to all these people after January 15 when they can no longer live-aboard on a sub-permit mooring and doubt more than six of them have read the notice. This will come as an unexpected surprise, as their options will be to move off their boats or go to another harbor. With the very good chance that rent will increase along with a new interpretation of city code 17.60.040 H 7, I believe the mooring sub-permittees could be a thing of the past very soon.
On a positive note, Durgan has been cruising the harbor once a week with the City’s code enforcement and has issued more than 36 citations along with many more notices. This has been long overdue in the harbor and one of the best changes I have seen in a long time. At the end of Durgan’s activity report to the Harbor Commission he said, “It’s like scrubbing an elephant with a tooth brush,” referring to the amount of work that is needed in code enforcement in the harbor.
The Harbor Commission will recommend to City Council that vessels that are over 80 feet will need to obtain a permit to anchor in the turning basin and will be recommended to anchor bow and stern. The Commission tabled 2018 Objectives until January, also posted on my blog site.
Remember that the second round of King Tides [highest tides] will arrive on New Year’s Day.
Sea ya next year!
Len Bose is a yachting enthusiast, yacht broker and harbor columnist for StuNewsNewport.

Monday, December 11, 2017

2018 Harbor Commission Objectives. Do you have and ideas on how to improve our harbor?

What can you add to the list, send your comments! For example the Harbor Commission should continue to looks at the removal of the three large channel markers that are still in the harbor.

Can the Harbor Commission improve the channel markers, better lighting, in the upper bay.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

On the Harbor: navigating the Boat Parade route safely

Barge in front of Collins Island
I thought it would be a good idea to run the Christmas Boat Parade route and make observations along the route. The first thing I should mention is that the route of the parade has not changed. I was incorrect in my November 13 column; from last year, the only thing that has changed is the starting and finish point off of Lido Isle.
You should note that during the parade that there will be very little water flooding into the harbor the first two nights. The last three nights the water will be rushing into the harbor with great velocity, so anytime you are headed west you might want to notice your speed over ground. There will be no moon during the boat parade, so it is going to be dark those nights. For those of you that keep your boats at Marina Dunes or plan on returning to the launch ramp, you are going to keep your game on. The channel markers in the Upper Bay are horribly lit, and it is not easy working your way past the shallows.
I was assured that the start of the parade is not like a sailboat race, where everyone is at full speed and crossing the starting line at the gun. The boats will rally off the Bay Shores beach and then in order head for the start line. So, for any of my large charter boat captains that read my column, it would probably not be a good idea to be at the end of Lido Nord between 18:30 to 19:00 from December 13th through the 17th. Dave Beek told me that close to 80 boats are already entered and, “There is good energy all around the parade this year, and I promise the weather will be perfect,” he said.
Once you start the parade and head up Lido Soud, I would take that first turn a little wide just because there are a couple of big boats at the first turn. At 18:38, the front part of the parade will reach the Lido west channel, and you will notice your first yellow racing marker “V”. Most of these racing markers have reflective tape on them with a very dim white light on top of them. As you head along the west side of Lido, there is little to be concerned about. The last mooring K 21, before the Lido bridge, has an old wooden boat on it, lots of room at this turning mark labeled control mark C.
It is wide open as you work your way to the tip of Lido Peninsula/Rhine Channel. There will be a 5 MPH marker there, the speed markers are not lit and will be difficult to find when I mention them along the route. ETA 18:42. The next leg will be along Balboa Peninsula with one of your largest spectator crowds along the beach and at Marina Park. Just after Marina Park, the channel will seem slightly smaller because of the new line of guest moorings. As you pass the American Legion, pick up the private dock at about 11th Street that extends out off your starboard side. As you pass the Newport Harbor Yacht Club, there is the yellow racing mark “R” as you turn to port and head towards Bay Island. Then at turning mark D, there is the green LED channel marker “11” lower in the water.
The whole way down the Peninsula is an easy run with nothing to be concerned about; the channel will narrow as you pass Hills fuel dock than widen soon thereafter. Most of the moorings do have spreader lines between them and it’s ill-advised to cross through them along the whole route. As you arrive at the end of the Peninsula, ETA 19:29, there are a couple of open moorings off your port side. Keep in mind that it is very important to the parade organizers that you do head out the channel entrance and round turning mark F. There are always be a lot of spectators on the jettys and the cliffs of Corona del Mar.
On this next leg in front of the Coast Guard dock and the Balboa Yacht Club ETA 19:37, on the last three nights of the parade, the water will be flooding in and you will pick up to four knots of boat speed in this area of the harbor. After you have passed the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club, you will approach the tightest turning mark in the parade just in front of the Balboa Island bridge. Note that there is a 5 MPH speed buoy in the general area that might be difficult to avoid if it has not been moved. Your next challenge will be the turn to head along the south side of Balboa Island. Remember the current will be shoving you into the island and while traveling next to the BYC mooring fields this will bunch you up.
Your next concern does not arrive until 19:51 just off of Collins Island with racing mark “Q” and a speed limit buoy in the vicinity of your turning arc as you go into the channel along the north side of Balboa Island. All the moorings have spreader lines and at the very end, close to the Balboa bridge, there is a mooring ball that will be very difficult to find. The mooring ball is right next to the Ocean Alexander 42 named “Wish You Were Here,” that you be turning around most of the nights. So, I would take this turn wide as you dare, remembering the water will be pushing towards the moorings on most nights.
Nothing really to concern yourself headed back out towards Collins Island your ETA 20:17. As you round Harbor Island, you will pick up a tug and a barge; everyone is promising that this will be well lit. Again, take it wide and leave it to your port side. Keep in mind the current is always strong here and will be pushing towards the PCH bridge. You should miss racing mark “Y” without any problem. It’s wide open as you go past Bay Shores although you will have to keep in mind that most of the moorings in G mooring field are open and hard to see.
While powering up Lido Nord channel everything should be wide open, although it is unclear while I am writing this, if the barge in front of the OCC Sailing Base will be gone ETA 20:24. If it was me, I would remember to look at the base while driving by to see if the large crane is still there. Odds are good it will be moved, to where is the question?
Up and down Lido should be easy and that’s it!
Remember on December 13 at Marina Park starting at 17:00, Frosty the Snowman and the LA Chargers cheerleaders will be there followed by the live music of OCSA performance Ambassadors and Fireworks at 18:15.
Hopes this helps you, and if you learned anything…you now know where all the racing markers are.
Sea ya.
Len Bose is a yachting enthusiast, yacht broker and harbor columnist for StuNewsNewport.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Life on the Santa Ana River Trail

                                                Life on the River Trail               Photo by Andrew Bose
(My effort to give my teenager a reality check.)

The life of Donny

By Andrew Bose:

This interview is a very interesting topic the living life of a homeless person. We all look at the homeless as trash or lazy and even insane There are many like that but others just messed up with their lives and missed many important chances for success you never know with the right choices and opportunities that man begging might have cured cancer so with that I will continue with the life of Donny.

So I head to the local river trail see Donny and say “hey Donny” and he looks at me with a big smile throws his arms up and yells “SUP BUZZ!!” While giving me a hearty handshake I ask him how he's doing and with his usual response  “F***IN FANTASTIC!” I tell him I will buy him a beer if he sits and talks to me about his life, he says “Why do you want to interview me, seems like a weird school project” he said. After getting his drink, he sits on a tree stump and we get to talking.

I begin, so Donnie how old are you? “53” he replies. How was your childhood?  “Well my childhood was actually a pretty good one I grew up down here with a lot of friends and a good family with tons of different things to do” he explained. I ask, how about your teens, he said  “Well that's where things got a little dark you can say, I loved my teens but I lost my mother my sophomore year that was the worst thing I ever went through I started to use drugs like weed my freshmen year and got into cocaine after my mother's death I went to Edison played football it was fun at first but after awhile I hated it I dropped out my junior year at 17 and got into meth when I was 18” I asked what type of music did you like “When I was your age I liked country like Hank Williams and David Allen Coe that was my shit man” he said with a hearty laugh.

So what were the reasons for living on the streets? “ After my mother died I was lost, my dad was drinking really heavy and was a mean son of a bitch and took his depression out on me. He didn't last that long and he suffocated himself in his car” Jesus Christ, I said,  how'd you take that? “ At the time I was so spun out on drugs I couldn't give half a damn all I knew is that he was with mom and that made me happy I suppose” he lets out a soft chuckle and takes a big sip of beer and goes on “ I got an inheritance after his death it was about two hundred thousand dollars, geez that was a crazy two and a half years I don't remember a lot of it honestly but when I was on the last few grand I bought a shit load of meth and started to sell it” he said.  How'd that go I asked?  “Drug dealing is never profitable if you get high on your supply” he says laughing “ When I was about 25 I got busted and got 5 years for it, prison is the biggest shithole ever it's just a cesspool of wasted life but that didn't keep me from coming back”.

How was the first time you got out “Well 5 years is a really long time and I was happy to be out and crystal was happy to see me to so I started using again but worse then before I had no money so I was stealing it or robbing others for it. I got into a lot of fights in the pen and on the streets I should have been a boxer” he says laughing “but trouble found me again I thought it was a smart idea to steal a car and go over the speed limit in it I got pulled over and busted that got me two and a half years with good behavior that wasn't very bad I had a kitchen job I liked” he said. Did you ever have to join a gang I asked?  No he said “ I was big at the time all I did was work out so I never had any problems and I didn't like those sons of bitches who ran them either but I was cool with everyone”. That 2 year stay didn't phase me I was right back into crystals arms right when I got out didnt stay out very long I robbed a liquor and got shot in the ass by the Asian owner when I was running out” DAMN that's lucky I say, he says “you can say that I got 8 years for that and in that time I was done with everything I wanted to kill myself but i'm not a pussy haha I knew that when I got out I was never coming back I swore it I was 45 and I was done with crystal” What did you do next I asked?  he said “I was done breaking the law, no more of that shit I decided the best thing I could do is travel so I started hitchhiking I went everywhere, sleeping in bus stops under bridges met a lot of cool people I ended up doing a loop for about 3 years and ended up back in California.  Where was your favorite place to visit?  “Well when I got back to California I went to San Francisco and met some rad dudes who had a type of commune where they just took shit loads of acid, now that was pretty cool, I hung around with those guys for awhile. I liked it there might go back for a bit soon. I don't know but HB is my home, I love this place with all my heart that's why I'm happy here” he said.  So where do you like to stay at night “ I like the river trail it not that crowded and peaceful at night Sheep Hills is different that's a lawless place  people get murdered there a lot.” He said. How do you get your meals “ I use food stamps and the soup kitchen always gives me a lot buts its kinda shitty” Where do you go to the bathroom? He smiles really wide stands up and says “ See that bucket in that bush right there that's where I shit” he laughs loudly.

About a hour goes, I'm ready to wrap it up and ask any advice? “Never ever ever try meth” he explained in a clear voice. What makes you happy I asked, “ A nice cold beer, waking up in the morning and going to the beach” I then ask my final question do you have any regrets he repeats again “Crystal Meth wish I never touched it that’s it nothing else I'm happy with myself” I thank him give him some more change I tell him how much I liked listening to him and that I got enough to write about he says “Alright cool cool hope you ace it bud I'll see ya around” and I watch as he rides slowly towards the beach.

Friday, November 24, 2017

On the Harbor: Awarding the most deserving sailors

Commodore Chuck Wert presenting BCYC Most Active Family Award to the Johnson family
Have you ever been out to sea when it is cold, and you have so many different layers on that you are starting to resemble the Michelin Man? The air is crisp and the stars look so close that can reach up and break them free from the winter’s sky. You have just come on deck with a hot cup of coffee and you are not sure where to set it down, you turn and look forward into the dark cold night trying to adjust your eyes, then lift your hoody over your head. You find a good spot to start your watch, then reach for your coffee when one of your good mates, that you have sailed with for many years, goes into a story that you have heard many times. You smile…take a big sip of coffee, it’s a good story and you listen because there are always slight changes that keep you interested, make you feel good and laugh out loud.

Assuming you have not burned your mouth with the hot coffee, here I go with the 2017 award banquets. I know you have read this story before, and yes, I have had my Christmas Reyn Spooners all dry-cleaned that ready to be worn with great pride this holiday season.
This year’s awards banquet started on Saturday, Nov. 11 at the Balboa Bay Club where Harbor 20 Fleet 1 members gathered to remember the past sailing season and show gratitude for the people that went the extra mile for the fleet. I always seem to read a book from its back to the front, so let’s start with the award that means the most to all Harbor 20 Fleet 1 members, and that is the Arthur B Strock Service Award. This award is presented to members who have performed outstanding service for the Harbor 20, Fleet 1 organization. This year’s well-deserved recipient was Debra Haynes, who shows the most passion for sailing than anyone I have ever witnessed on the water. Haynes and her husband, Peter, show up to most, if not all, of the scheduled H20 events in their Navy blue boat named Spirt. The perfectly named boat for this competitor, it represents she shows up for most events, attends the festivities after each event, and is the first one to give you a big smile and a warm hello at the start of each race day. This award was first presented in 2006 and has been awarded to people like Phil Ramser, Peter Haynes, Jim Kerrigan and John Whitney. All of the names on this award stand for people that have gone the extra mile for our sport, and I will continue to strive to someday see my name on the Arthur B Strock Service Award.

The next two prominent awards given this night is the Fleet 1 High Point Series along with The Phyllis Rawlins Drayton Trophy. The High Point Series is given to the best attendance and performance by A, B and C fleet sailors. This year in C fleet, Mike Kohl sailing his bright red boat Attack Dragon, in B Fleet it was Debra and Peter Haynes, and in A Fleet Walter Johnson brought it home. The Phyllis Rawlins Drayton Trophy was presented to Roxanne Chan for being the most active female skipper.
Next up, was the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Clubs awards banquet on Saturday, Nov. 18. 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, Jerry Moulton and Peter Haynes. The list reads on and on and includes Newport’s best yachtsmen. This year’s recipient was Don White for all his race committee work this season.

Its is all about MacLaren making it happen
As always, I have to give a well done to BCYC Sailing Director Cameron MacLaren, as his presentation is always one of the best. With each junior award came a heartfelt story of the recipient’s achievements. This year’s winners were Jett Brennan taking home the Rowland Perpetual for most improvement in sailing for the year; Adam Mead 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; Brooks Orradre won the award I wish I had received as a junior, The Jon Pinckney Award for the most outstanding racing record; Jake Mayol won the Grand Poobah for junior sailors awards and had his photo taken next to the  BCYC Junior Yachtsman of the year award trophy.
One of my favorite people in our harbor, Mary Bacon, received the Commodore Montgomery Perpetual for the most improved BCYC racer. Of course, there is the Woman of the Year award which was awarded to four ladies that “Got it Done” for BCYC this season: Gail Cyprus, Ramsey Johansson, Kari Konapelsky and Rhonda Tolar.
Another racing season has been completed and it is time to look into the winter skies, at the stars, and reach up for the awards you want to see your name on next season. 
Sea ya.
Len Bose is a yachting enthusiast, yacht broker and harbor columnist for StuNewsNewport.

BCYC 20012 Awards Mayol most active family

When I first covering the BCYC Awards Banquet in 2012, add on six years and look what happens.

2017 Junior Yachtsman of the year Jake Mayol

My favorite sports coat seems to shrink each year!

Monday, November 13, 2017

On the Harbor: From derelict boats to the Christmas Boat Parade

King Tides in the first part of December and January

As we quickly approach the end of 2017, I thought I would head out to the harbor and take in some end of this year’s observations.
My first thought was an old question, “What is a derelict boat?” The best simplified interpretation of Title 17.25.020 Anchorage, Berthing and Mooring Regulations in the City Charter and Municipal Code was given to me by Deputy Kevin Webster in July 2016. “There are a whole lot of interpretations of what a derelict boat is,” Webster explained. “The boat has to be operable and in seaworthy condition. A derelict will have excessive debris that will be of concern as a fire hazard. It is a vessel that is uncared for, unsafe and poorly maintained. Other visible signs are excessive bird droppings, broken windows, or extreme marine growth attached to the hull of the vessel. Those are all signs of poorly maintained vessels and I would define as derelict.”
Now that Title 17 now falls under the jurisdiction of Harbor Operations, there is always a slight difference in the interpretation of Title 17.25.020 at every watch change. Should you wish to make your own interpretation of what is a derelict boat, go to my website at where I have the code posted.
Now, let’s say you notice a vessel that you feel meets the definition of a derelict vessel; you can gather your words and do your best to sell the idea to the vessel’s owner, that there is a way out for them to dispose of their problem with little to no cost.
You can inform them that the city has received a grant from the State for disposing of derelict, “owner- surrendered,” vessels in the harbor. It will be a tough sell for you to not come across the wrong way…you just need them to call the Harbor Master’s office at 949.270.8159 for more information about the Surrendered and Abandoned Vessel Exchange (SAVE) grant.

While out on the harbor, my thoughts then went to the upcoming Christmas Boat Parade taking place December 13-17. Checking on the dates at, I noticed that the route has been changed and will be going counter clockwise this year. The parade starts at 18:30 and ends at 21:00, so I would suggest checking the website to get a better idea when the parade will be passing by your favorite viewing location.
I have a couple of ideas on how to watch the parade from a boat. If you have never done it before or you have not participated in a long time, I would strongly suggest that you enter the parade and make plans for each night to cruise the harbor with all your friends. The parade always gets me into the holiday spirit earlier than normal. Please note: This year you will be starting and finishing the parade almost in the anchorage, so take a good look around there before the start of the parade. Another idea is to call Harbor Services and request a mooring ball along the parade route and take your party to the mooring before sunset and just hang out, if you plan to spend the night. Make sure you have a designated dinghy driver to pick up your late arrivals or early departing guests. In past years, I have found plenty of room to jockey the boat around in the channel between Collins Island and Linda Isle, and also at the entrance into the Linda Isle lagoon. You should also find plenty of room just past the turning mark in the harbor entrance.

The good news is that the first king tides will be arriving a week before the parade on December 3, 4 and 5. Last year, this was a problem because the extreme low tide during the parade kept the late afternoon boats from launching at the Newport Dunes ramp. Note that the second round of King tides are January 1 and 2, 2018.  My next report will be on all the different harbor awards nights.
Sea ya.
Len Bose is a yachting enthusiast, yacht broker and harbor columnist for StuNewsNewport.

17.25.020 Anchorage, Berthing and Mooring Regulations.

2.    Vessel Condition—Seaworthiness and Operability. Vessels assigned to a mooring by permit must be maintained in an operable and seaworthy condition. If, based upon the appearance of the vessel, inspection by the City or Orange County Harbor Patrol or other facts, the Harbor Resources Manager has cause to believe a vessel is not seaworthy and operable, the Harbor Resources Manager shall give written notice in accordance with the service requirements of Section 1.05.030 of this Code to the permittee requesting a demonstration that the vessel is seaworthy and operable. The permittee shall, upon written notice specifying the date and time, demonstrate to the Harbor Resources Manager that the vessel assigned to the mooring is seaworthy or operable. In the event that the Harbor Resources Manager determines that vessel is not seaworthy or operable, the permittee shall: (a) commence repairs within thirty (30) days upon service of the written notice of such determination and complete repairs within ninety (90) days of the commencement unless the Harbor Resources Manager, upon written request from the permittee specifying the reasons therefor, approves an extension of time to complete the repairs; or (b) remove the vessel within thirty (30) days of service of the written notice of such determination and request assignment of a different vessel that is seaworthy and operable to the mooring within sixty (60) days after the removal of the vessel. This section is not intended to apply to any brief period of repair common to most vessels. The Harbor Resources Manager may repeat his or her request to test operability and seaworthiness as needed.

3.    It is unlawful and a public nuisance for any person owning, leasing, occupying or having charge or possession of any vessel in the City, to maintain, permit, cause or allow to exist on such vessel any of the following conditions:

f.    Maintenance in such nonseaworthy condition that it is unsafe, unsightly or poorly maintained, including, but not limited to: broken windows, unsecured doors and hatches, excessive marine growth attached to the vessel, the vessel is inoperable for its intended use, partially destroyed or partially repaired for more than three continuous months, provides access to marine mammals, is actively seeping hazardous or toxic material into the surrounding waters, and would present a physical danger to public safety personnel during emergency access;

Monday, October 30, 2017

On the Harbor: What’s happening in the coming months

                                             SDYC 2016 PV Race                Photo
The end of October is the quiet time around the harbor with most boat owners rubbing their faces and cursing under their berth while completing their maintenance list to match the 2018 calendar.
Although, if you look close enough into the harbor you will notice two groups of yachtsmen with their maintenance lists nearly completed and are overwhelmed with excitement as the start of the BAJA-HA-HA on October 30 and the CUBAR November 11 with both events starting from San Diego then cruising down to Baja California.

The BAJA-HA-HA is for the sailboat cruiser looking for some company as they start their cruise to wherever their dreams will take them: 154 boats have entered this year’s cruise with 63 boats sailing down the California coast from north of Monterey. During this migration, close to 20 cruisers have stopped in Newport Harbor to anchor for the night or to spend a couple of weeks at Marina Park. For me it is always exciting to see so many people reach their goals and start on a new course.
The BAJA-HA-HA will be on the starting inside San Diego harbor with the crews in Halloween costume. I can only assume the Coast Guard will have the start listed in the Notice to Mariners and issue a security alert while all the ghouls sail out of San Diego Harbor. Let’s hope it is not that foggy that afternoon on October 30. The HA-HA has three legs to this cruise, the first from San Diego to Turtle Bay. Then to Bahia Santa Maria, then finish in Cabo San Lucas. The schedules include softball games to beach parties. The fun meter is pegged for 12 days during this event. This one is on my bucket list and I hope to be attending this time next year.
Now, the CUBAR is a power boat rally consisting of yachts, mostly all expedition-style with a few coastal cruisers. From the three boats that stayed with us at Marina Park these were all advanced yachtsmen and this is not their first rodeo.
This is a rally rather than a race with the participants paying close attention to their speed and course. There are scheduled stops in Ensenada, Turtle Bay, Magdalena Bay, Man of War Cove and finishing in San Jose del Cabo. Wine tasting, exploring and fishing are the main activities while at anchor. Good times will be had, and I will always be looking for an invitation to attend this event someday.
By this time, you might be asking why I am writing about something that has nothing to do with our harbor? That’s not true any longer with the addition of Marina Park and the updated mooring system along with our free anchorages. Each cruiser I meet truly enjoyed their stay in Newport Harbor. These cruisers must be telling their friends, because more and more of them are landing in our pond rather than flying by each season. It has been really exciting to be a part of this change and watch our harbor become more boater friendly.
Bringing it back closer to home, we have had the heat turned up around the harbor a couple of times this month and I am not just referring to the weather. If you are a regular reader of mine you might have noticed over the last month that I have mentioned that model coyotes have been the best deterrent to keep sea lions off your docks and boats. Some of you might have even heard the news reports on KNX 1070 news radio and NBC TV news reporting the use of the model coyotes by the City of Newport Beach in the harbor. The interesting fact is just about the same day the radio and TV news agencies reported how effective the coyotes are, the sea lions must have heard them, too. The sea lions have picked up on the stationary position of the coyotes and they are lying all over them now. Best to shift back to the SealStop system, and you can find more information on this at For those of you that did purchase model coyotes, remember that you have to move them around to be effective. Thats kind of funny because my wife tells me the same thing.
Sea ya.
Len Bose is a yachting enthusiast, yacht broker and harbor columnist for StuNewsNewport.

Monday, October 16, 2017

On the Harbor: Fall is here and reminiscing about sailing

Fall is here, the leaves change color and the activity around the harbor cools down a little, so I thought I would take a cruise and report my observations.
October started off with a loud roar from the Huntington Beach Air Show. Activity on the harbor felt more like the 4th of July, let me take that back, the air show seemed to have broken the sound barrier in more ways than one. According to Dave Beek, owner of Island Marine Fuel, “The air show is one of the busiest days of the year for us.” Countless marine industry people were too busy to smile and just had their heads down…working. Marina Park was full and the Dunes launch ramp appeared to be close to capacity. The most common quote I heard was, “I have never seen so many boats out on the Huntington Beach flats at one time.”
Most of the boaters would be heading out of the harbor between 10:00 and 11:00 a.m. then returning around 4:00 or 5:00 p.m. The fog was clearing up early, the sun was out and there was only a light southerly breeze rolling across the water. It does not get much better than that and the timing could not have been better for all the different harbor users that weekend. Everyone I talked to on the water planned on returning to the air show next year.
As the airshow left with a boom, just the way it came in, people seemed to take in a big sigh, sit back and relax before the next tide change of the holidays approaches. From my cruise around the harbor, the shipyards appeared busy, the repo marina looked empty which I assume is a good indication on our economy. The fishing charter boats looked to be shifting over to more whale watching charters. A pod of Orca whales passed by our coastline this month which has kept the sea lions in the harbor.
As I mentioned in my last column the sea lion population has been a constant irritation to the boats located in A and B mooring fields close to the harbor entrance. The model coyotes are still the leading deterrent to keep the sea lions off your boats and docks. The Coast Guard dock became a target early this month with some great effort, as the sea lion barking moved up the bay.
While walking the docks, it appears most of the marinas are full again along with an increase in brand new boats, which is always good for me and adds a giddyup in my step.
Newport Harbor Yacht Club’s new clubhouse is starting to take shape and there are loud noises that Balboa Yacht Club is moving forward in renovating their clubhouse too. Slips are getting bigger around the harbor, as yacht clubs seem to be adjusting and renovating their clubhouses. My gut tells me it will not be much longer before more condominiums will enclose our harbor.
This thought frightens me: We only have one launch ramp in town and the commercial pier is a third of its size 10 years ago. Accessibility to our moorings is becoming more and more difficult, so where can beginning boaters go to launch their boats? Like I said in my last column “What are you gonna do?”
I guess I’m going to show my age and dream of the past. Rather than wish on my youth returning, I will wish for the small boating clubs to return. I long for the days where we returned from the water, threw burgers on the BBQ, sat down to a simple picnic bench and told sea stories of the day. No big deal that my hat is on, pants are wet, or that the kids are throwing rocks into the water for the longest skip or running around and hiding from each other.
For me and the sport of sailing it appears my bubble has popped and I will have to take my hat off, waddle on up to the bar and order a 10 dollar draft beer and consider that 25 dollar hamburger. Ya ya…I know poor me. But I still like to dream of simpler days and the thought that I am turning into my Dad does not bother me one bit.
Sea ya.

Len Bose is a yachting enthusiast, yacht broker and harbor columnist for StuNewsNewport

Friday, September 29, 2017

Harbor 20 Fleet Championship Regatta Report

Gale & Jon Pinckney 2014 Harbor 20 Champions

October 4 & 5, 2014
By Gale & Jon Pinckney, Earth #15

It is important to understand that every regatta is different, and as such it is important to identify ahead of time, if possible, what the keys to success will be. Sometimes setup and tuning for speed are the priority and other times tactics or starting are more important. You could have a deep fleet in which anyone could win or a shallow fleet in which it is a one or two boat show for the win. Every regatta has a different set of circumstances that will determine strategy and success. Once you have correctly identified and committed yourself to the key points for victory, your process for making decisions throughout the regatta has a starting point, more structure, and hopefully you are rewarded with more consistency and better results.

We felt consistency was going to be a huge factor because of the depth of the fleet along with the possibility that we might not get enough races in for a throw out. Starting well would be key, but being aggressive trying to win an end on a small line would probably be too risky over the long haul. With super light winds from the south, we knew we would be racing through the moorings where speed is difficult to maintain as you have to navigate competitors, moored boats, and unsettled winds that just went through someone’s patio. Finally the tough fleet and conditions were certain to put everyone in situations in which they would be behind and have to try to come back. We felt the team that would ultimately win the regatta would be the one that could dig itself out from behind better than the other top teams.

Mast Tune

Our shroud tension was set the way Bill Menninger recommends, which is fairly loose around 16/17. I think that as long as your shroud tension was within one or two turns on either side of 17 you were fine. In general, in light air, you don’t want to be tight which I think starts around 20. Although some of us fixate on it, I do not think mast setup was a big deal this weekend unless you were tight. As an example, I found on the morning of the regatta that my mast is off-center, side-to-side by one inch, and has a significant bend to port up top. Mast Tune 101 always starts out with a straight mast that is centered side-to-side, but we sailed all weekend with it out of alignment, which drove me crazy. Since, as we still seemed somewhat fast, this tells me there must have been more important factors than mast tune in determining boat speed. That being said, I definitely plan to take my mast down and examine the problem further.


Locating pressure and placing yourself in it was by far the single most important item to pay attention to this weekend. When the wind is 2-4 knots, as we had all weekend, the difference is staggering when you find yourself in 2 knots more pressure than your opponent. With four knots instead of two, you are probably going twice as fast and able to point 20 degrees higher. When we sail in the normal 8-10 knots when the wind is filled in across the course, 2 knots more pressure always helps, but it is nowhere near the game changer that it was this weekend. When you hit a soft spot in 8-10 knots, you can still coast and maintain most of your momentum and get going again with relative ease when the next puff hits. Not so when it is 2-4 knots! If you slow down as the result of less pressure, pinching, poor sail trim, steering or tacking, it will take forever to get up to speed again.

With that in mind, the number one priority on our boat was looking for wind at all times. I am always trying to identify where the next pressure is located and what path will allow me to sail to it as soon and as easily as possible. More importantly, since everyone else is presumably of the same mindset, I must do better by identifying where the next two or three pressure systems rolling down the course will be, after the one that everyone else is looking at is gone. I need to know how fast or slowly they are traveling, how long they will last, how much pressure they contain, and once I am in them, will they connect me to the next cycle of pressure systems coming down. Sometimes a smaller pressure line won't look as good short term as a larger one your opponent is in, but it may connect you to the next one or two better. It is easier said than done, but this system of “connecting the dots” is usually the key to winning in our small, shifty bay. While we were always trying to pass the boat in our immediate area, our biggest gains were always made two or three moves in advance using this process.

Pressure aside, we were always trying to go fast, because when you are fast you have more options. This requires keeping the sails a little looser and the bow down footing whenever possible. When you are fast, you are free to tack or pinch, if need be, for a short while to cross boats, moorings, create lateral separation from an opponent to leeward, or to connect sooner with a puff on your beam. If you are slow going into any of the above maneuvers, you lose too much speed and it will take too long for you to get up to speed again. Every decision we made this weekend was based on speed and pressure. We never went wing on wing all weekend (reaching is faster), and we never tried to pinch over a moored boat unless, by reading the available wind, I was absolutely 100 percent sure we could clear it. If there were any doubt at all, we would reach off and duck. All things being equal, I would rather head down and ease sails to a beam reach and gain a lot of speed to duck - than have to tack in 2 to 4 knots.

We made some huge ducks of 20 feet or more on large moored boats or opponents. Maybe in hindsight a tack would have been better. Perhaps we could have gone wing and wing a couple times, too. However you have to accept the fact that of the hundreds of decisions you make over the course of the weekend, you will be wrong 25 percent of the time. When you prioritize all your decisions based on speed, when you are wrong you are still going fast and you still have all your options. On the flip side, when you are wrong 25 percent of the time and going slowly or almost stopped, you will lose way more boats than someone who made a wrong decision but is still going fast. It adds up over the course of a weekend. There is too much at stake in 2-4 knots to risk being wrong when the penalty is slowing down significantly. This is where you typically lose lots of boats as opposed to one or two. Things are different in 8-10 knots, but 2-4 knots is a completely different animal. One other thing I did for speed was reread Jim Kerrigan’s article on the H20 website “Positive thinking about zero to four knots of wind”. He makes some very good points. We did everything he said…except lie down!

Our final key to the regatta was recognizing the winning team would be the one that could come back from adversity and salvage a decent finish when caught deep. Whenever I race, I always study results and find something interesting. In this particular case, I highlighted those come back races as this was where the regatta was won or lost. I try to identify what factors contributed to the problems in the race and how those problems can be corrected in the future. I then calculate the average finish in these races to see how well we were able to come back when we were behind. From there you can also determine what you did right or wrong in your comeback. In our case, all three highlighted races were the result of bad starts. In the start of race one, we couldn’t lay the pin and had to gybe around and start late. In race three, we were over, and in race six, we had to circle back around after getting shut out at the RC boat for barging and again start quite late. I have concluded that the solution for the poor starts is that we need to compensate for the extreme light air by positioning for our final approach earlier and from a better location. Starting near last in 50 percent of the races is not the formula for success, and I will definitely try to apply the lessons learned in the future. We were a bit lucky because if there had been a stronger steadier wind, we probably wouldn’t have been able to catch up as well as we did. The light, fluky winds allowed plenty of opportunities to catch up using the techniques that I described above. Another perspective in looking at results below is that the most important race of the regatta was race #3 as Pinckney and Campbell started the race in last place after being called over early. Menninger is launched and wins the race gaining 12 points on Campbell but Pinckney makes a comeback and only loses a point to Menninger.

Pinckney 7 1 2 4 1 4 Total: 13/3 = 4.3
Menninger 8 5 1 1 4 10 Total: 23/3 = 7.6
Campbell 1 2 13 2 9 6 Total: 28/3 = 9.3

Key to Regatta

Ability to come back and post a good score in a race where you are deep.

Pinckney total score in races #1, #3 and #6 =13
Menninger total score in races #1, #2 and #6 = 23
Pinckney totaled 10 less points in comeback races.
Total overall margin of victory was 10 points.

This was a very tough regatta and we feel fortunate to have won. Sailing in 2-4 knots really is a different ballgame and we hope that sharing with you our approach and debrief is helpful. Also thanks to the always humble Bill and Diane Menninger for letting us rent their trophy for the year!