Shelter Cove Marina - October 2009 Newsletter
February 2014 - Marina eNewsletter
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Shelter Cove Marina
2240 Shelter Island Dr.
San Diego, Ca. 92106



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From the Marina Office!
Welcome to the February 2014 Shelter Cove Marina eNewsletter.

The weather seems to be taking a turn to the cooler temperatures with rain and wind. This might just be a teaser of "what's to come" in the next couple of months - so batten down the hatches and check your dock lines to make sure they are in good condition and ready for any weather conditions.

Welcome Aboard
Help me Welcome 2 new staff members to Shelter Cove Marina, Sharon Tharp and Natalie Cardenas. Sharon will be primarily working in the office Monday thru Friday and Natalie on Saturday & Sundays. Stop by, say hi and welcome our 2 newest members to Shelter Cove Marina.

Wish Jane good luck in her new endeavors at her new position with the Marriott Marina. We will miss her. We also want to wish Barbara our best while she takes some time off for health issues. We hope to see her smiling face back at the office soon.

Well, lots of changes this new year. Hope to see you around the marina and don't forget to stop by and say hi to the new ladies in the office.

Shaun McMahon - Marina Manager

Christian Marine Surveyors

A Word About Time, Speed and Distance
- By Richard Benscoter
Pulling up to the start line before a sailboat race starts is an adrenalin rushing, heart pounding, sensory overload experience.

Whether a small club race or an all-in race, the rush is the same - boats tacking, jibing and positioning for the perfect wind and layline to the starting line.

This would be an easy task if there were just you, but no, there are probably fourteen boats or so in your class, and to add to the confusion, the next class waiting to start is also probably there.

In this situation, the chance of a close encounter is extremely high, and the possibility of bodily harm is also very high.

How can we minimize the risk but still be competitive? There are a couple of ways to still get that rush of the start but lessen the risk to your boat and your crew.

Before you leave the dock have a planned brief for your crew as to the situational responses to varied situations during the start and race. Have an experienced crew member assist you at the helm recognizing approaching boats that will pose a close encounter.

Once you have recognized an uncomfortable situation, look for an escape route, determine when to execute, and remember, time speed and distance play a critical role here.

Now you are at the start area, you've seen the winds, know the tide current, and you have formulated the complete start sequence in your mind, so share it with your crew. Everyone needs to know the plan.

When the start sequence begins, don't press a bad layline. Control your position and speed relative to the other starters and your plan. Sail boats do not accelerate like your car, so don't plan to take position by speed.

You on the other hand you can slow down very efficiently by over trimming the mainsail. This will "stall" the sail and slow you down, but slowly.

Or steer a curvy course instead of straight ahead. This means really big rudder movements. Make the movements quickly enough (once a second), and your course changes won't even be that big, but you'll steer extra distance and slow down. Watch out for other boats around you.

In every race you will make mistakes. The key is to forget about them for the moment, and go on with the race. It never helps your game to dwell on a mistake. All the energy spent on the last error takes concentration - concentration that is needed for sailing a great race.

Now go have an exceptional race!

Richard BenscoterEditor's Note: Richard Benscoter is a long time avid sailor. He and his wife Debbie are both avid sailors and members of the Silver Gate Yacht Club and owner of the Mariners Woodshop. If you have a sailing question for Richard, send e-mail to

Tommy J's Favorites - The Newmar Navigation Power Conditioner
- By Tom Jarvis
Today's modern marine communication and navigation electronics such as programmable data transceivers, GPS and other microprocessor-controlled devices require clean and steady DC input power.

Their sensitive circuitry is highly vulnerable to voltage drop from engine start, noise and line spikes from alternators and motors, and conducted noise from various other electronic devices.

To protect your important electronics from these conditions, Newmar offers a product called the Nav-Pac Navigation Power Conditioner.

If more voltage is introduced than an electrical appliance is designed to handle, this is called a power surge or transient voltage.

Any such voltage increase that lasts at least three nanoseconds is considered a surge. If the increase is only present for one or two nanosecond, that's called a power spike.

Just like if having much more water in a hose than it can handle, having too strong a power surge can damage your electric appliance. The greater voltage that runs along the electric wires causes great heat that can burn up the wire. Even if the wire doesn't get burned up in a single power surge, the surge can damage the wire.

In electronics, noise is a random fluctuation in an electrical signal, a characteristic of all electronic circuits. Noise generated by electronic devices varies greatly, as it can be produced by several different effects. Thermal noise is unavoidable at non-zero temperature, while other types depend mostly on device type. The Nav-Pac is offered in both 12 and 24 volt configurations.!

Editor's Note: Tom Jarvis is the Vice President of the Board of Directors of the SuperYacht Association and he also performs outside Marketing and Sales for the San Diego Marine Exchange. Click Here to email your boating product questions to Tom.

The Chaotic Motion Generator - Turning "Whatever" Into Electricity

Civil engineer Martin Wickett looked at existing methods of generating electricity and said "Whatever."

So he designed a generator with an innovative set of gears that converts random motion into unidirectional rotation that he calls WITT - Turning "Whatever" into Electricity.

The recently patented device harvests six degrees of movement and transfers the motion to a flywheel that always spins in the same direction. The flywheel drives the turbine of a generator.

The system has numerous potential applications in the marine environment - sea, river or tidal - from lighting navigational buoys to GPS systems, or even the charging of a moored boat's batteries. The size of the device can match the requirements of the application – from a diminutive few centimeters, right up to several meters.

For more information, Click Here.

iSailor - Boating "App" of the Month
iSailor is an easy-to-use navigational system developed for the amateur seafarers published by Transas Marine.

Intended for use on boats and yachts, iSailor provides a clear presentation of navigation information and electronic charts.

Transas' own TX-97 vector chart format supported by iSailor is recognized worldwide as one of the most accurate and reliable sources of navigational information.

You can download a free version of iSailor software on iTunes Store. Works on iPad and iPhone.

 To see a list of 24 other great boating Apps previously published Click Here.

Would Mexico Seize Your Boat?
- By Captain H. G. "Rags" Laragione
A lot has been published lately about Mexico "seizing" foreign vessels, but what's the real story behind the headlines?

For the boats that are in an impound state as we speak and prohibited from leaving the dock, it's a lousy situation to say the least. (The Mexican IRS prefers to call it a "precautionary embargo" rather than an "impound").

For anyone thinking about cruising to Mexico until the matter is settled, it's disconcerting to say the least.

So what's it really all About? Well, among other things, Mexico requires that vessels entering ports in the country have a $70 Temporary Import Permit that proves holders own their boats, and also warrants that they promise not to leave them in Mexico or sell them there.

So this all happened because an "audit" was performed by SAT (the Mexican IRS) in order to establish a database of foreign boats in Mexico, and to find stolen boats in Mexico.

While they were at it they were looking for other possible U.S. and Mexican law violations such as missing Hull Identification Numbers (HIN).

While officials from Mexico's Federal Tourism Department are apologetic, it's of little comfort to the boats that are still in an embargoed state (many of which are purportedly in total compliance with Mexican law.)

The bottom line - For anyone cruising to Mexico while this is being resolved, it's a crapshoot. You might get entangled in it, or it may not affect you at all.

The situation is very dynamic and boats are in the process of being released as we speak, so be sure to Google it to see the latest situation if you plan to cruise South.

Editor's Note: Depending on the size of your vessel; the length of stay; plans for fishing; whether you entered the country with your vessel by sea or by land on a trailer, and the status of the other persons aboard, the list of other items you need to have aboard will include these items and possibly more:

  • Vessel Title (lease agreement in your name if the vessel is rented).
  • If entered by land, the Title(s) for the trailer and tow vehicle (or lease agreement(s) in your name if rented)
  • Proof of citizenship or residency in a foreign country for you and your guests aboard.
  • Tourist Visa(s) for you and your guests aboard

Captain Laragione is the President of The Maritime Institute which offers USCG approved courses for mariners. Curriculum ranges from the maritime rules of the road to the 1600 Ton Captain's License. Captain Laragione is well known for his motto - "The key to safe boating is education; so let's get educated!

Book Corner - Some Suspenseful True Sea Stories
In this month's issue we recommend three classic sea stories for your winter reading enjoyment. You'll be glad you're curled up warm and safe at home (or on your boat at the marina) as you read these true tales of endurance, tragedy, heroism, and even some deceit.

Read the astonishing saga of polar explorer Ernest Shackleton's survival for over a year on the ice-bound Antarctic seas.

Alfred Lansing's scrupulously researched and brilliantly narrated book with over 200,000 copies sold has long been acknowledged as the definitive account of the Endurance's fateful trip.

To write their authoritative story, Lansing consulted with ten of the surviving members and gained access to diaries and personal accounts by eight others. Click Here to order your copy.

The Strange Last Voyage of Donald Crowhurst
This true story is incredible - You won't want to put it down.

In the autumn of 1968, Donald Crowhurst set sail from England to participate in the first single-handed nonstop around-the-world sailboat race.

Eight months later, his boat was found in the mid-Atlantic, intact but with no one on board. In this gripping reconstruction, journalists Nicholas Tomalin and Ron Hall tell the story of Crowhurst's ill-fated voyage. Click Here to buy your copy.

A Voyage For Madmen
On April 22, 1969, the world watched as a small sailboat came ashore at Falmouth, England, completing a voyage of astonishing courage and endurance that would forever alter our ongoing adventure with the sea.

Ten months earlier, nine very different men had set off in small and ill-equipped boats, determined to do the impossible: sail around the world alone and without stopping, to win the race dubbed the Golden Globe. Only one of the nine would cross the finish line -- to fame, wealth, and glory.

For the others, the rewards would be despair, madness, and death. Click Here to buy your copy.

The Road to Ensenada
- By Kells Christian
The toll road to Ensenada collapsed about 10 miles of north of Ensenada on December 22, 2013. An earthquake struck the area on December 19 and the road slid down the hill about three hundred feet three days later. This is the area of the road built on the side of cliffs, with the beautiful view of the ocean (and tuna pens), just south of Salsipuedes.

I have traveled to Ensenada three times since the slide. The road closure results in a minimal, one road detour that is easy to follow. The detour is well marked and impossible to miss. The detour is on to the "free road" and begins at the entry/exit point on the toll road know as Mission, located at La Fonda hotel and restaurant.

The detour does traverse a few switch backs on a two lane road, fairly busy with normal traffic including buses and large trucks. The detour slows the commute to Ensenada by about fifteen minutes if you are unwilling to pass the slow moving vehicles. The detour rejoins the "toll road" just south of the last toll booth (San Miguel) and all of the other parts of the road between the border and Ensenada are unchanged. You save $2.40 by missing one toll booth.

The failed section of road had been under repair for some time and the cause appears to have been reliable old gravity. The timing of the repair is not yet known.

For those who have not traveled the road in some time, there have been many changes over the past few years. The Mexican side has a new border entry located several hundred yards west of the old entry. The crossing is much "higher tech" than the prior crossing, but still uses the red light/green light random method to determine who gets a secondary inspection. The border road on the Mexican side has been rebuilt on a raised foundation, to allow its use in rain and flooding conditions. The return to the U.S. is slightly different, requiring a little zig zag at the transition between the road along the border and the access to the actual border crossing, but it is well marked.

The American border crossing at San Ysidro (San Diego west) now has three options, passports, passport cards (Ready) and Sentri. The Ready lanes are for R.F.I.D. enabled cards, including passport cards. The Sentri lanes are exclusively for Sentri, Nexus and Global Entry card holders and are the fastest moving lanes. The passport lanes are for all others (with passports required) and are the slowest moving lanes.

The boating draw to Ensenada includes fishing, surfing, economically advantageous repairs and general destination cruising and exploration. Traveling in Mexico is safe and fun. My family and I have traveled all over, mostly by plane, but some by car (including a drive to Cabo) and some by boat. We understand the fears many of our friends express but we are strong advocates of facing those fears and enjoying the alternative culture that is so close and easily accessible. The narco war is mostly calmed in Baja, the risks are minimal, and from our experience they are the same as they have been for the past two decades.

There has been recent activity regarding importation permits, properly displayed hull numbers and some impounded vessels. As with any foreign country, we must follow the rules and carry the proper documents. The motivation of the traveler and the boater are often the same, adventure, new experiences and exploration of the unknown. Mexico offers all of this and if you continue south it also offers warm water!

Kells Christian has been an accredited Marine Surveyor since 1990. His expertise extends to both recreational and commercial vessels. Kells was Regional Director of Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors (SAMS) for 2 years and a prominent member of numerous other industry organizations. You can e-mail your marine surveyor questions to or Click Here to visit his web site. I Like
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