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;

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