On the Harbor: a new year update


Welcome to a New Year which takes me back to The Who song, “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” whose message is summarized in the last line, “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss” and its meaning is “nothing changes and so don’t get fooled again.” Which is a very confusing way to report on what’s going on in the harbor this first month of 2024. So let me backtrack before throwing a few soft punches.

I ended last week by walking through Basin Shipyard and took a moment to talk to owners Dereck and Dave New. As always this time of year, the yard is packed with Dave reporting that they are two months out. So, if you own a boat with outboards or Pod drives, you better call now and book your annual maintenance to be ready for the spring/summer boating season. The yard was full of new Tiara products, but I’m sure there were many other makes of yachts in the yard, yet the pretty ones always grab my attention first.

For most of January I spent my time in the Duffy Boat yard. Did you know that if you need to haul-out your boat while just leaving the boat in the Travel Lift slings for an inspection or quick repair, the Duffy yard can help you? There is other breaking news coming from the Duffy yard with three new maintenance programs known as “Duffy Care” Silver, Gold & Platinum being offered, along with a very generous trade-in program for new boats. If you would like more information, contact the Duffy Sales office. I’ve also heard more rumors that there has been an ownership change at Larson Shipyard. I really should check in with Abe Parra before commenting; I have noticed that the front office, facing PCH, is empty at this time.

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Len Bose

Picturesque Newport Harbor

Over at the City Harbor Department at Marina Park, I had a chance to listen in on a code enforcement update from Deputy Harbor Master Matt Cosylion. This is where our harbor is leading all other harbors in making improvements. The main focus of enforcement activities since the creation of the City Harbor Department, was to clean up and remove all the junk that was on the moorings. This effort has been a huge success, because no longer do I see derelict vessels on moorings with a fleet of junk tied up next to them, or the homeless sneaking aboard abandoned vessels. Cosylion reported a new focus on vessels with non-functioning running lights, so make sure coming out of these winter months that your running lights are working. I have always kept a spare back-up that can be added to my vessel should the running light go out while on a harbor cruise. Cosylion also reported that his focus is being placed on slip owners with nothing but overhanging junk in their slips. I have been using the term “junk” which means inoperable, unseaworthy and abandoned vessels.

After Cosylion completed his report, many who attended the Harbor Commission meeting showed their support with applause, which doesn’t happen that often, but was much deserved in this case.

The Harbor Commission meeting then moved on to the next item on the agenda to review an appraisal and discussion of rental rates for offshore mooring permits. The Harbor Commission works at the will of the City Council and is tasked with making a recommendation to the City Council. Before making this, the commission is holding a special meeting at 5 p.m. on February 1 in the council chambers and opening further discussion with the stakeholders. At the Harbor Commission meeting, many who were first to make it to the podium for public comments were making clear arguments requesting the annual mooring permit rate increases be adjusted to the Consumer Price Index as it has been since 2016. Some of the public understood that should the commission recommend a rate increase exceeding the CPI, a condition of the rate increase should include more wash down & maintenance docks, added dingy storage and any other features that help permit holders. Later during public comments, on this same topic, what I witnessed was an embarrassment. I would not call myself a skilled negotiator, but I know better than calling out buyers and sellers, and throwing personal insults at them is not a good strategy for coming to a working compromise. Yes, it’s fantastic these people attended the meetings. But before speaking and throwing personal insults, I would suggest doing your due diligence by attending more meetings and presenting a better argument.

Sea ya.


Len Bose is a yachting enthusiast, yacht broker and harbor columnist for Stu News Newport.

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