Saturday, December 19, 2015

Harbor Report: My top column gems of the year

By: Len Bose

This is the end of my sixth year with the Daily Pilot and I have never enjoyed writing about our harbor more than I do now. During this time I have written 223 stories and counting.
This is the time of year I review my top 10 columns of 2015. If any of these stories catch your attention for the first time or you would like to re-read them, you can visit my blog at or Google them using Len Bose Yacht Sales and name of the story.
I also give a few good gift ideas for those of you looking for last-minute Christmas gifts for your favorite yachtsman.

2015 Top 10 Columns
10. "Take the time to meet the Skipper: A story about Timothy Bercovitz — better known as "Skipper Tim." Published on May 9.
Skipper Tim
9. Trans Pac "Back in the Day": Somers was the communications chairman for the Trans Pac Yacht Club for many years and I thought interviewing him would make for a good story. Released on July 17.
8. Movement on the Moorings: By now, "moorings" might start to sound boring to you, but that's still the hot topic around the harbor. Over the last week, the Newport Beach Harbor Commission held two meetings, during which it completed its recommendations regarding fees for offshore and onshore moorings. This is still a topic of concern going into 2016. Published on April 10.
7. "A solid score for this harbor supporter": Twelve years ago, Jenn Lancaster left her teaching job, packed up her car and moved to California from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Fortunately for every sailor in Newport Beach, Lancaster became the Newport Harbor Yacht Club's racing director. Released on Feb 6.
6. "Rowing into champion status": While moving around the harbor the other day, I noticed all the different college alumni flags flying from homes and boats and the different stickers on cars passing by. I started to wonder: What is our harbor's home team, the team we can all get behind and take pride in? My interview with OCC rowing Coach Paul Prioleau dated Jan. 23.
Lt. Mark Alsobrook
5. "New harbormaster has plenty on his plate": I left off on my last column by informing everyone that we have a new Harbormaster Lt. Mark Alsobrook and I liked what I saw. This week I was able to interview Alsobrook over the phone. Published on Sept. 26.
4. "Swift brothers stay close and fare well in marine business": When I first contacted Pete, he brought up how close he and his brother Tom are, having worked together over the last 30 years. Published on Aug. 29.
3. "Plenty to do in El Nino prep": 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 NiƱo. Posted on Dec. 12, 2015
2. " Rowing coach put the sea in OCC" in OCC": My interview with Dave Grant. At that time, Grant was the dean of students and the head rowing coach at OCC. It did not take much in the way of observation skills to quickly notice that Grant was the big man on campus. Posted on Feb. 20, 2015
1. "1981 Trans Pac": Seven Santa Cruz 50s made it to the starting line in 1981, and they were the talk of the waterfront that summer. All the boats at that time were very similar and it quickly became a race within a race among Chasch Mer, Night Train, Hana Ho, Oaxaca, Octavia, Shandu and Secret Love. Posted on July 2. One of my all time favorite stories.
Gift ideas
You are down to the last four days of shopping for your favorite yachtsman, what should you buy them? I found a few ideas while making my way around the harbor this week.
If you have a Duffy Electric Boat, head over to the showroom at 2001 W. Coast Hwy. They have Duffy hats, shirts, harbor maps and burgees. If you are not already signed up for Duffy Care be sure to ask.
You could also go to Basin Marine at 829 Harbor Island Drive and purchase some of their hats and T-shirts. If you get a little sea sick or have good friends that do ask Derek New, at Basin Marine, about the new gyro Seakeeper that will stabilize your boat and keep your guests smiling.
This is made for boats from 30 feet to 200 feet. "With the push of a button your boat transforms from rolling to stable, guests go from sick to smiling, and memories turn from never again' to 'best trip ever.'"
The next best item I found was the SOS Distress Light offered by Sailing Pro Shop at 885 W. 16th St. Newport Beach. This light is the first ever marine signaling device to comply with all U.S. Signals Coast Guard requirements for night visual distress and is visible at up to 10 nautical miles. That means no more flares to purchase every other year.
While at the Sailing Pro Shop make sure you ask for Carl Swaisgood and tell him I sent you. He has a cool stocking stuffer to give you for free.
Sea ya.

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

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