Sunday, May 30, 2010

Short And Sweet ...

By Len Bose

I should name this piece “short and sweet” because that’s how last night's Harbor Commission Meeting went. My routine is to arrive about 15 minutes late to miss all the roll call and introduction. Although with this commission, by the time I walked in they were halfway through the meeting and Chris Miller was stepping up to give his Harbor Manager Resources Update. A number of issues caught my attention this month. It appears that the Sheriff's Dept. will be bringing a new mooring management proposal to the table; local harbor activist Carter Ford has made progress with the Coast Guard in having the Channel Marker #8 “ramming rod” removed sooner rather than latter; and the (SWRCB) has taken two steps back on the Coastal Marina Permits. I also found a couple other observations this week around the harbor.

After the surprise visit by Sheriff Sandra Hutchens into the mooring group meeting held at the Sheriff’s Harbor Dept. on Wednesday, March 3, informing Harbor Manager Chris Miller that the Sheriff's Dept. would like to sharpen their pencils and return with a new cost estimate to keep the mooring management agreement – this issue will now be discussed further in a Newport City Council meeting study session on April 13 – and then brought before council at the end of April or the first part of May. There's a lot of information written on this topic in the Daily Pilot and The Log. The way I see it, we need to compare apples to apples before voicing our options to council. Last night, commissioner Ralph Rodheim brought up the fact that the Sheriffs Dept. doesn't charge the city for special events, such as the Christmas Boat Parade, and allows us to store the lifeguard boats at no charge in their marina. With a loss in revenue, the Sheriffs Dept. might have to reconsider these issues. Lots to talk about on this subject. I suggest on attending the study session or at least view it on the city’s Web site at

The word last night was that Carter Ford has made some progress in removing the damaged #8 Channel Marker in what I referred to as the “Ram Rod” of Newport in my last week's article. If I heard Chris correctly, the Coast Guard can spend $5,000 on a project before having to take the issue up the ladder. Carter may have found the way to have the pole removed before summer. WELL DONE Carter Ford!

We've all been reading about The California State Water Resources Control Board or (SWRCB) Coastal Marina Permit that would require marina owners to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars each year monitoring the water within their marina. There is nothing in writing yet, but from the outside it appears that the (SWRCB) has taken two steps back and will look at just having the marina operators keep a “green marina” ... whatever that means. This issue is NOT DEAD yet by any means. So send in that letter to your state representative that’s been sitting on your desk for the last six months, and we can work together to finally close this deal. Did I say close this deal? It now appears that the EPA still likes this idea and will continue to move forward focusing now on commercial ship marinas.

This week, I helped a client of mine transfer his mooring and while doing so the thought came to mind that should the city give the mooring assignment to Bellport we would lose Sally who has been the mooring's office manager. This is completely unacceptable to me because Sally has been doing an outstanding job over the many years I have known her, and to lose her would outweigh any advantage Bellport might offer. So city council, please make sure that Sally is part of the deal, should you decide to give the contract to Bellport. I have dealt with Bellport over the years and I compare it to dealing with the Irvine Company. I'm sure everyone has experienced that feeling before.

While in the Harbor Dept. office, I noticed a sign informing the boating community that US Customs is again accepting phone calls to (562) 366-3200 for permission to cross the border and bypass the customs dock in San Diego. This tip might save you a few hours should you be allowed to continue to your destination.

The last thing that was brought to my attention this week was an improvement to the Newport Mooring Association web page at, then click on News. This now makes this site a daily read. There's lots going on this week on the water, so please check back next week for inside information on the upcoming Cabo Race, Lido 14 twilights and the New Island Race being held this weekend at the Newport Harbor Yacht Club.

Sea ya'
Len Bose

Len Bose is a contributing writer to the Daily Voice and owner of Len Bose Yacht Sales.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

No Excuses

By Len Bose

A shot of the bay on Taco Tuesdays.

There are many reasons how lucky I was when I met my wife Jennifer. Her understanding for my passion to go sailing is rarely questioned by a roll of her eyes when I remind her “it's work.” This week was a test of her patience with me sailing Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights, not to mention volunteering to do mark set at the Youth Match Race Regatta this past weekend.

The inaugural “Youth Match Race Clinic & Regatta” sailed in Governor Cup 21's, and was held at Balboa Yacht Club. The whole idea of this event is to encourage more local match racing and use it as a feeder into the BYC Governors Cup. This concept had been brewing, for a number of years, on the desk of Larry Law. Larry is the Chairman of Newport Balboa Sailing & Seamanship Association (NBSSA), the owners of the Governors Cup 21’s. Larry took a big part in getting this event off the ground and had donated two very large and beautiful trophies for this inaugural event. The “Rose Cup” is awarded to the winners of the event and The “Nick Scandone Memorial” was awarded to the team with the most Corinthian Spirit. The event came off better than I had expected with 10 teams from across the country attending, and the competition was very close. With three teams tying for first place, it was also fun for me to watch this event and see the same names rise to the top, as when I competed. It was fun watching the last match of the event with Newport Harbor Yacht Club's Chris Segerblom, Conner Bathen and Kieran Chung going against San Diego Yacht Club's team of Jake LaDow, Max Hutcheson and Eric Alamillo. I had a flashback when I used to race Chris’s dad, Mike Segerblom, back in the day, when we matched up the likes of John Pinckney, John Shadden and Nick Scandone. I smiled, when I watched Chris Segerblom come from behind on the last run to pass the San Diego team only 50 yards from the finish line. “Wow, this kid sails better than his dad,” I thought. After all the tie breakers, the Newport Harbor team went home with “The Rose” Trophy, while the Annapolis Yacht Club team of Mike Carr, Scott Houck and Brady Stagg held The “Nick Scandone” trophy over their heads. Results can be found at www.balboayachtclub.comunder youth sailing.

Last week, I made notice of all the different events we can sail in during this time of year, and there is a race every night of the week.

Mondays: The American Legion Yacht Club's “Sundowner Series” has been under way since the start of May. This event has the feel of an “Old School Sailing Club” with more than 31 boats participating each week and more than 47 boats registered. The racing starts at 6 p.m. with a random course picked by the wind conditions. Boats vary from a J 124 down to 17 Harbor 20’s registered with six boats sailing in the last race. Most of the fleet is rated 158 to 304 in PHRF. The emphasis is on having fun on the bay, and everyone already knows that the Legion has the best value for beverages and hamburgers. That’s right! There are no $10 burgers here, and it should be no surprise that this event has the largest turnout on the harbor.

Tuesdays: BCYC TACO TUESDAY is in its second year, and is bringing out the boats with 32 boats attending this week and also having 47 boats registered. There was another huge turnout of 17 Harbor 20’s registered and 11 boats sailing in last week's race. The PHRF Fleet ranges from the J 133 to a Cal 25 with 12 boats participating last week and 22 boats registered. The Shields are active with five boats and eight boats entered. This event is all about a good time on the bay, and everyone meets at BCYC for Tacos. Starting on June 8, the Lido Island Yacht Club will start up its Night Flights for all classes. If I recall, this event attracts a number of Lasers and Sabots and is highly recommended for the Laser sailors who want to get back on the water after work, with plenty of good competition.

Wednesday: BYC Twilights. Starting with the time change in April at M Mark, and the Lido 14 fleet returns to the tower in May with Harbor 20’s, Thistle, Lasers, Lido’s, Twichells and Sabots. It is best known for its Sabot turn out, with eight boats last week and 15 sabots signed up. The Lido 14 fleet had eight boats last week with a number of parents and kids teams attending along with 13 boats registered. The Laser Fleet is strong with six boats last night and 16 boats signed up. The Twilights had 35 boats participate last night with 67 boats registered.

South Shore Yacht Club will be starting its Summer Hibachi beginning Thursday, June 2. This event attracts PHRF Boats rating from 10 to 300 with most of the fleet rating from 120 to 216. It's been years since I have been out on a Hibachi. I'm not sure who has been attending this one over the last few years. I'll need to report back to you after they start this year.

Thursday: BYC Beercans – the race that started it all! PHRF boats range from -48 to 192, with PHRF Fleet 3 having the most boats at 10 with a rating from 84 to 125. Fleet 1 is always the most exciting to watch at the starting line, with the first tack off the mooring field with six boats attending last week and a rating span from -48 to 39. The Beercans have 32 entered with 28 boats attending last week. This number will go up as the summer continues. The fun in this race is to see how many people you can invite and get on your boat.

NHYC will start its Twilight Series on June 12 for Harbor 20 and Lehman 12. There's always a big turn out in the Harbor 20 fleet, and some of the best sailors on the bay dust off their Lehman 12 each season. I need to find a Lehman and give this fleet a try ... it appears to be fun.

Friday: Lido Island Yacht Club Adult Sailing. The Laser fleet is out. It's just for adults and its fun. Always good sailing and good people.

Well, that’s it. There are no good excuses for you not to get on the water this summer more than once a week. In fact, it appears that Peter Haynes aboard his Harbor 20 “Spirit” is getting on the water three nights a week: he won two of those nights. Funny how that works. Well done! Peter and I look forward to crossing tacks with you in that Harbor 20 fleet soon.

Sea Ya’
Len Bose

Len Bose is a contributing writer to the Newport Beach Independent and owner ofLen Bose Yacht Sales.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Little Things Make Big Things Happen

By Len Bose

What a week in the harbor we just had! Opening Day at BYC & BCYC, the “old” No. 8 channel marker ”Newport Ramming Rod” has been removed, the sheriff's department will continue managing the moorings and Newport Beach City Council has approved Marina Park Phases I, II and III ... and there is a lot going on this weekend.

I truly enjoy Opening Day in Newport Beach and this time of year. The sun is up by 6:30 a.m. and sets at 8 p.m. and we can race Monday nights in the American Legion Series, Tuesday nights in the BCYC Taco Tuesdays, BYC Twilights on Wednesdays and BYC Beercans on Thursday. Let’s go yachting!

One of my favorite features of being a Yacht Club member in Newport Beach is opening Day, and all the pomp and circumstance that goes along with it. Part of this tradition is the boat inspection, where club members have brought in their boats for judging. If you haven't attended this early part of opening day before, this is when the participants are scrambling around the docks bunched up tighter than ducks' fannies. It’s the competition part that gets to me with all the long hours I have put into my boat and now after 15 years of doing this I finally get it. It’s not about winning the inspection, yeah right, it’s about having your boat ready for the upcoming season. If it weren't for this part of the event, I would be dealing with maintenance issues all season long. Once this part of the formalities is completed it's now time to reintroduce yourself to your family and go make a mess of your friends' boats.

I know, I keep bringing Carter Ford's name up each week and I named this week's article with him in mind, "Little things make big things happen,” because that's what happened this week in the harbor. The old No. 8 channel marker “Newport Ramming Rod” has been removed, gone, bye-bye, no more, sea ya … hallelujah, thank you, Carter. I noticed this on Monday afternoon, and Tuesday night was the Newport Beach City Council meeting, where the mooring issue was on the consent calendar. I arrived at council chambers a half hour after the meeting started to see a large group of smiling people standing in front of the steps. It was obvious that the sheriff's department had renewed its mooring agreement with the city. I received a warm greeting from Sgt. Steve McCormick, who informed me of the good news. Within the circle of people was Chip Donnelly of the Mooring Association, Bill Moses the Sec. of NMA, John Fradkin, Megan Delaney, Don Stoughton and Carter Ford also from the Mooring Association, and Lt. Mark Long. On a side note, each time I meet our Harbor Master Lt. Mark Long I cannot help but think “what a difference a day makes” and how lucky we are to have him at the helm. Another thing I noticed was a change in Sgt. McCormick. I don’t know if it was because I have known him for awhile now or that he is working with a new team. But when I left him, I got the feeling we are all now working together, and it felt like he is a friend. It felt good and I smiled as I walked into the chambers to see that the council had started its discussion regarding Marina Park and in no time, the council had unanimously voted to accept Marina Park Phase I, II and III. Wow! I had just arrived at a city council meeting and within a half hour I had my story. Life is good, and it appears to be getting better in the harbor. Now, all we need is to just add water and keep our fingers crossed for lower bay dredging.

Regarding the rest of my week, I volunteered to bring the BYC Governor's Cup boats down from storage and do mark set for the BYC's inaugural “Youth Match Race Clinic & Regatta.” I'll write more on this next week, but this is a big event for the harbor and BYC. If I wasn't smiling already from ear to ear, and that’s a lot of smile with my big head, I am now, because my club is doing a good thing! Let's not forget that BYC is also running the 66 series this weekend. Like I said last week, “It’s time to go yachting” and it's been a good week.

Sea ya'

 Len Bose is a contributing writer to the Newport Beach Independent and owner ofLen Bose Yacht Sales.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Twice Around

By Len Bose

Working my way around the bay and reading through all the different marine-related applications this week, I only found a couple of items of interest to me.

The first being the status of the #8 Channel marker, Class breaks have been posted for the 2010 CdM to Cabo race, and a very informative article written by David Weil Esq. regarding “Will Purchasing an LLC Avoid Sales Tax."

Lots can be said about our harbor's #8 channel marker. I am sure we all have had our close calls avoiding it and we all have noticed its constant state of repair over the years from people hitting it. In fact, this year we named and awarded, in “The Daily Voice” Harbor Awards, after the “#8 Channel Marker Award:” For courageous readiness and determination and continuing against all odds. Well, if you haven't been down in the eastern part of the bay in awhile, last year a very large catamaran ran into the marker, basically totaling the structure. I recall this happened sometime in late September or early October. All the proper “notices to mariners” were posted and Newport Beach’s new “ramming rod” was decorated with one yellow light well before the coming holidays. Just before the Christmas Boat Parade, the coast guard's Chief Jeff Ruggieri, Officer in Charge of Aids to Navigation Team - Los Angeles/Long Beach, was the speaker at Newport Harbor Yacht Club's weekly "Yachtsman's Luncheon" on Dec. 16, 2009. The idea was to go face to face with the community into what type of replacement buoy or structure would be feasible and best suit local needs. My understanding is a simple red floating buoy, like the one that is on station now, will meet the needs of the harbor. While attending the last few Harbor Commission meetings, when this subject is brought up and it's been brought up every meeting, the commissioners just rub their face and shake their heads in disgust, because there is little the city can do because the marker is in a federal channel and is the responsibility of the coast guard. The city has even offered to pull the “Ramming Rod” and look for reimbursement at a later date. The coast guard's response is sorry, “We just cannot work that way." So, it appears that all visitors and locals will get to look at our “ramming rod” well through the summer. Let's just bet we don’t have any more strange weather this year, yeah right! Take a look at what happened to another marina with the same problem this year!

The class breaks have been posted for the upcoming CdM to Cabo race The fleet has been split up for the most part, as I reported a couple of weeks ago. The New Pendragon VI has withdrawn because of some steering issues and the R/P 63 Limit is having difficulty making it because the delivery ship is running very late. The big news is still the size of the 40-foot fleet with 13 boats in the D class. This is the best thing to happen to offshore sailing on our coast in many years. Please keep tuned in to this event, as it will be fun to watch on your computer at In fact, last night I asked if we could place the Iboat screen on the BYC big screen on Friday night with telephone interviews over the intercom. This could be a lot of fun, although I think my idea fell on deaf ears. Now I am just hoping for wind. Something doesn't feel right to me this year, and with the PV race having wind I am just hoping for the best.

The last bit of information I have for you this week is an outstanding article written by David Weil Esq. of "The Log." Weil writes a bi-weekly column “Ask A Maritime Attorney,” and this piece's question was “Will Purchasing An LLC Avoid Sales Tax”. It’s a good read and you should take a look at it

Sea ya'
Len Bose

Len Bose is a contributing writer to the Daily Voice and owner of Len Bose Yacht Sales.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

2100 Cabo Race Recap, And Lessons I Learned Along The Way

By Len Bose

Start of the CdM to Cabo race

This is the easiest subject for me to write about this week because I am sure you do not want to read about the calls I received from clients on why I have not sold their boats yet or read about the tears coming down my face as I write checks to Uncle Sam today.

As expected, this year's Cabo race was not a barnburner, although there was still a lot of lessons learned on my 29th Mexican Ocean Race.

As navigator aboard the Santa Cruz 50 Flaca, the “Old School” tactic of staying 50 miles offshore and playing the shifts is no longer a winning combination. NO! NOW you need to be a master of Satellite Communications. In the Trans Pac race it has been this way for sometime now, but I have always perceived the Cabo race as more of a sprint. So while walking down the docks before the start and noticing all the boats with the KVH Tracphone antenna I started to think that I was already behind the first wind shift.

So, there we were after the start, slowly working our way offshore to the 118 Longitude line where all the information we obtained before the race told us to go. The full moon was so bright it reminded me of the days when the police helicopter would chase me home from parties in my youth. We had about 15 knots of breeze and I was confident in our tactics because of the competitors around us. About 5 a.m the first morning of the race, a number of competitors started gibing to port to pick up the first shift off the land. I had originally elected to ignore this first shift in an effort to reach a desired waypoint a weather friend of mine pointed out. This is where the KVH would have first helped me by watching the IBoat tracking system and noticing that most, if not all, of our competitors jibing inside. Note to self “keep between your competitors and the next mark.”

Rumor had it that Dr. Laura, on her J125 “Warrior,”had already spent $1,500 worth of Internet time and hit that first shift. Just before the shift, “Warrior” was only one of two boats that had reached 118 Longitude line with us and went on to win the race overall. I could not get “Flaca” in phase with the wind shifts and we finished a deep 6th place in class.

Another new item in this race was the daily check-in system done over the Satellite Phone rather than the ship's Single Side Band Radio. I thought this system worked great and we could report our position within one minute rather than the old system of sitting by the SSB for over an hour. I still spent some time plotting our competitors after receiving the fleet's daily position. This is another advantage the people with the KVH systems had over us. They would just pull up the latest Iboat track and all the information you need was in front of you. The only drawback with this system is the loss of tradition with the SSB. Although I do believe with a couple of changes the new system is the way to go.

Now we have missed the first shift and fell some 20 miles behind the leaders in our class. Nothing more fun than looking at the owner of the boat and the crew and informing them that you have just blundered the race away in the first night. Only one thing to do at this point and that is to compete for the boats' overall speed record. We only had one night of big breeze and that was just past Cedros. I had also kind of fixed the watch system to make sure I was on watch at sundown where I have found that most of the best breeze of the day seems to gather. As the breeze started to build we could not help to keep our excitement from the other crew members, when we hit 17 knots of boat speed as the wind speed started to reach 30 knots. This is the only time when the upcoming watch finished up their dinner fast and moved for the helm. The owner of the boat came on deck first and was kind of giving me a funny look, because I was always on deck during the best breeze.

“You can go eat now Len,” the owner said, and I set the boat up for a hand off. The wind was building and I set him up on a perfect wave where he beat the speed record with an 18.4 knots. I put my head down and pouted the whole way down the companionway, and then noticed there was still 40 minutes left to my watch, so I powered my dinner down and returned back on deck and asked the owner if he wanted a small break at the wheel before he started his watch. I received another concerned look from him as he handed the helm to me to go put on some warmer clothes and his life harness. This is when the wind really started to build and we where getting puffs in the 36 knots range now. With a small trim to the spinnaker pole and the change to my favorite spinnaker trimmers I was locked and loaded, baby.

With the full moon we had, nothing in life is better than being on a Santa Cruz 50 in these conditions. We soon broke the speed recorded with a 19.9 and the owner quickly came back on deck ready to start his watch. “Okay Len, my TURN!” he then stood behind me and said, “Umm, maybe would should stand behind me in case I have any trouble." "No problem," I said. " Just give me one second and let me put on my life harness." I ran down below, grabbed my harness and thinking that the wind might last through the night, I downed two five-hour energy drinks then went and sat behind the helm.

A couple of minutes later the wind started to die and returned down to the low 20s. This is when the owner looked at me and said, “I think I can handle this now, you can go off watch.” I replied, “ But , But, But … I just downed 10 hours worth of energy drinkkkkkkks!"

One last “note to self” – let the client-owner win the boat's speed record. I think he was more upset with that than our finish!

Speaking of finishing, I did pretty good on my bets. Criminal Mischief won class A, Grand Illusion won Class B and Morpheus won class C. I almost went four for four, but Dr. Laura and “Warrior” won class D. I did say a J 125 would win the class, and at the airport I was told that the normal navigator in Reinrag2 had to miss the race.

Next week I will be back on the docks with a new subject. Thanks for reading. Its now time to give the government their cut. Anyone want to buy a boat?

Sea ya'
Len Bose